Amelia pulled back the curtains, she wasn’t sure why people drew their curtains in the first place, there really seemed no point, as day and night merged together seamlessly, like black paint that had merged with grey. No one knew where one day started and the other one ended.
Living in Tromsø, Norway during the winter months seemed so surreal. She wondered how people got used to it, but in spite of the long dark hours the locals seemed oblivious to the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that so many people bang on about these days, and display like a badge to cover up all their life woes, that suddenly seem to disappear with the dark nights.
She had only been in Tromsø for a short while but had become amazed by the high spirits of the locals in such a dark surrounding. They seemed to have a festival for everything. In the UK the summer was the ‘be all and end all’, here the skiing, snow and the Northern Lights were the highlight of the social calendar and something to be celebrated. Every café and restaurant were adorned with candles which gave a feeling of cosiness that warmed the heart.
Stepping out into the cold morning sunrise, that would never reach its full potential, the crisp white, night time fall of snow crunched underfoot. Heavily laden down with ice skates Amelia trudged her way to the bus stop. The No 26, that took her to the Fjellheisen cable car pulled into view. Excitement mixed with fear, searing through her veins, as her heart raced at the thought of the wind whipping her face; enveloping it with a shield of cold that would awaken all her senses.
As the cable car climbed the four minute journey along the sharp face of the mountain to the Storsteinen ledge, she exited into the crisp snow. The smell of freshly cooked waffles and coffee from Fjellstua Café enveloped every crevice of her nostrils, reminding Amelia that she had not had any breakfast yet. But that would have to wait though as tempting as it was, there was something more important to do.
Prestvannet Lake was calling. Booted up she took a cautious step out onto the glass covered lake, her head whirling with emotions. It felt good to be back on the ice but she felt odd being on her own. She had always had someone to bounce ideas off; now she had to do it alone. That was something she was going to have to get used to. Tears stung her eyes, causing a kaleidoscope view of the ice. As she skirted the perimeter of the lake, the wind whipped her tears away just as freely as he had been whipped away from her. She imagined he was here with her, whirling her round, throwing her into the air with the grace of a swan taking flight. If only things had been different, but they weren’t and now she was solo.
She had spent the past month planning for her first epic moment on the ice. She wasn’t going to let their dreams shatter. She had spent too long wallowing in self-pity, it was not what Aaron would have wanted.
With every swirl of the ice and sashay of her body the tension melted away until the ice became an extension of herself. Her skates seamlessly writing her future in the ice, like a calligraphic invitation to the ceremony. As she moved into the Layback Spin, with her head looking up to the sky, there it was……Aurora Borealis….. it was a sign. Rarely was it seen in the morning. She knew it was a sign that she was doing the right thing. As the vibrant colours of the sky danced before her eyes, she had an idea for a new routine.
“Thank you, Aaron,” she whispered quietly as a solitary snow flake fell and landed in the palm of her hand, tightly she gripped it, fully aware that when she opened her hand it would be gone. Gone but not forgotten. Corona Virus had robbed her of her soul mate but it wasn’t going to rob her of her dreams at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.