Chapter 1: Introduction to Figure Skating

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One week later....

"We are here."

Hitomi decided to take me to the local ice rink today for some fun. I had been to the rink before. Still, I wasn't very good with skating. I would have to hold the railing or the wall in order to skate around the rink.

Once the doors opened, I could hear children laughing and having fun. Plus, the air was cold. We walked inside and got a pair of skates. Hitomi had trouble tying my laces for me. "I can do it," I said in a shy tone. She gave me a small smile.

"It's okay. I think I'm doing it right," she told me. "I can help." We turned our head to see a boy. The same boy from last week from the cherry blossom festival. "Oh. Thank you very much," Hitomi said to him.

He got down on his knees and started to lace my skates for me. Once he was done, he helped me onto my feet. "Arigatou gozaimasu," I thanked him formally and bowed to him. He bowed in return. "Do you skate well?" he asked me.

I shook my head. "I can help you if you like," he told me with a smile on his face. I looked up at Hitomi and she gave me a nod. The boy took my hand and guided me to the ice. "What's your name?" he asked me.

"Kino Ayako," I introduced myself. "I'm Hanyu Yuzuru," he introduced himself to me. Once at the entrance, Yuzuru touched the ice. "Onegaishimasu," he said to it. I did the same and got onto the ice. A step on the ice, I immediately held onto the edge.

"I don't think I can do it," I told him. Next thing I knew, he took both my hands. My legs were struggling to stand onto the ice. "It's okay. Follow me. Take small steps," he instructed me. I followed his instructions.

Over thirty minutes, I was able to skate without his help. He would skate next to me in case if I needed up to get up. "You want to learn to skate backwards?" he asked me curiously. "Backwards?" I was confused.

He showed me how to skate backward. "Take it slow," he told me. You are really just moving your bottom side to side. I turned myself around slowly and tried to skate backwards only to fall on my bottom. I didn't cry though. Yuzuru helped me onto my feet. "Try again," he said with a smile. He really encouraged me to try again.

So, I tried again a few times until I managed to skate backwards. "There you go," he said to me. I felt a smile form on my face. It was rare for me to smile.

For three hours, we skated together. "Ayako." We turned our head to my aunt. "It's time to go," she told me. We skated off the ice. "Will she be here tomorrow?" he asked Hitomi. I looked up at my aunt. "Maybe. We have to see the time and everything," she told him. He gave her a nod and looked at me.

"I hope to see you again soon," he told me. I gave him a small nod. "Thank you for today," I told him. He gave me a smile.

I really did hope that I would see him again.

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Next day......

"Ayako. Do you want to go to the ice rink today?" Hitomi asked me. It got my attention. "Really!" She gave me a smile and a nod. Quickly, I wore my jacket and appropriate clothes. Hitomi had told her husband how happy I became.

When we arrived at the rink, I wore my skates and looked around to see that Yuzuru wasn't on the ice. {I wonder where he could be...}

I walked to the ice by myself and touched the ice. "Onegaishimasu," I said and stepped onto the ice. Surprisingly, I didn't fall. I practice skating around the rink...forward and backward. Yesterday, when I got home, I looked up videos on figure skating.

I wanted to try. I gained some speed and tried to do a simple toe loop. It wasn't too difficult.

Clap..clap...

I turned my head towards the clapping to see Yuzuru. "You did a toe loop," he pointed out to me. I gave him a nod. "Good job," he said. Yuzuru proceeded to give me more lessons.

It was a start of a new friendship.

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