Wishes Do Come True
“Ambre. Off to bed, princess!” her polite mother whispers, caressing her hair.
“But you haven’t yet narrated me a story, mommy!” lying on the windowsill, half-asleep, she slurs her words.
“You are too heavy-eyed to hear one, child. Tomorrow, okay?” she assures.
“No, mommy! Look, I’m wide awake.” she rubs her sleepy eyes.
“Please, mommy! Please.”
“Alright. Which story do you want me to narrate, your highness? Any special demand?” her mother bobbles a curtsy to her in a playful way.
“A fairytale that has never been narrated before is what your highness demands!” Ambre says, flicking her hair, careful enough not to overplay her role.
“Um, let me think… ‘Maya and the Turtle’ would serve the purpose well, I guess. Are you ready to enter the magical world?” she asks.
Ambre nods, her eyes shining as if been sprinkled with stardust. Having received a green signal, her mother begins.
“This is a Korean tale about kindness, courage, and a loving heart, Ambre. This poor girl Maya, brings home a Turtle and takes good care of it, which later helps her in making her meet the prince. Sounds good?” she questions, giving her an insight into the story first, before actually narrating it to her, the way Ambre loved.
“Is it that she later becomes a princess, mommy?” her tone is vibrant enough to comprehend the excitement it holds.
“Indeed, darling!” she confirms.
“I wish I get to be a princess, someday!” she is quick enough to drift into a conversation with herself. But the very next moment, her dreamy bubble is popped by her mother’s finger pointing towards the sky.
“Look, Ambre. A shooting star! C’mon, make a wish.” she says, her palms already joined.
“But mommy, daddy once said that shooting stars are nothing, but rocks that break off or are left over from a comet.” she questions as to how true this fact is.
“Baby, true are the things that you believe in with all your heart, and this is the only fact I’ve ever known.” She takes her into her arms and continues, “If you believe in shooting stars or for that matter, dandelions, birthday candles or eyelashes, the world will conspire to make your wishes come true! All you need to do is believe.” she smiles at her daughter.
“The previous shooting star hasn’t yet granted my wish, mommy.” she says, her eyes gloomy this time.
“Believe, princess, believe!” she kisses her forehead and begins with the story, “Once upon a time, there was a girl named Maya… Maya’s mother foresees her destiny… Though poor, she brings home a turtle… Demon… sacrifice… prince charming… they live happily ever after.” She finishes the story and bids Ambre goodnight.
Ambre wakes up and sets off to the nearby forest cum joggers park famous for its poetic appearance. This enchanting place with a nonpareil charm has always seemed fictitious to her as if brought to life from between the pages of a poet’s diary.
It takes her around 15 minutes to reach her favourite spot, the place surrounded by water all around, with a bed of rocks arranged in a row, to let people cross the man-made lake. In the entire scenic forest, this was the place where she used to escape, whenever depressed or too happy or even otherwise.
Just when she comforts herself on her favourite frog-shaped rock, she hears something struggling in the water. A closer look at that thing boggles her mind.
“This has to, has to be a dream!” she tells herself, pinching herself hard.
But it wasn’t. She actually sees a turtle in the pond.
Initially scared, she saves the baby turtle from drowning. Just when she saves that reptile, everything turns magical. She is no longer in nightwear, but a beautiful princess gown. A look at her reflection in the crystal-clear water makes her blush. To her, it is as if a piece of her imagination has been brought alive.
She used to picture herself wearing exactly the same gown she was wearing, golden coloured with shimmer all over. Curly hair and a wreath of flowers as the crown gave her the perfect princess look. She couldn’t help but stare at her reflection.
“Ah, I’m finally a princess! Sheer ecstasy! Mommy was right. Kindness pays!” she hoots, while picking up the turtle and hugging it.
Somebody calls out for her.
“Oh wow! So the entire nation knows, I’m a princess.” Euphoria embraces Ambre.
Ambre senses an urgency in the voice and answers back, “Yes! How can I help you?”
The voice seems to have lost the urgency for it broke into giggles, “Princess, get up. You are running late for school!”
The voice seems familiar to her and she gets up in a haste.
“Mommy?” She is baffled. “Where’s my turtle? My… My dress? My cr… crown?”
“Darling, no pranks this morning! Mommy has a mild headache. Go freshen up yourself!” her mother says.
That morning, while brushing her teeth, Ambre thanks the shooting star for having fulfilled her wish. She had been secretly wishing upon them to make her a princess.
“This way or the other, in reality, or in dreams, wishes do come true!” she whispers to herself, having fully been convinced that shooting stars aren’t parts of some comet, but wish granting factories.
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