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in a HEARTBEAT my costumes and buying new skates and traveling to competitions. Recently I’d been questioning the whole dream. But I wasn’t sure I could let it go. And even if I wanted to, how would I ever tell Mom? I’d grown up with Mom’s voice in my head. How could I hear my own voice beneath the roar of hers? I sighed. “It won’t be as fun next year without you.” “I’ll be back over Christmas break. Besides, we still have this year.” She put out her fist and we bumped knuckles, our good-luck sign. “Tonight we’re gonna kick some ass.” “I’m doing my triple lutz tonight.” “You’ll stick it too, Dynamo,” Kelly said with certainty. “You make that in competition and you’ll blow the judges away.” I stuck out a purple tongue. “Call me Purple Dynamo.” She pulled into the parking lot of the ice arena, a brown brick building with a slanted roof and floor-to-ceiling windows. I’d grown up learning to skate here, fighting for ice time with the hockey teams. I put my hand up to my ear and fingered the edge of my sapphire earring. Like Michelle Kwan’s gold dragon necklace, I have my own good-luck symbol. The earrings had belonged to my grandma and had passed down to me when she died. We hurried inside, past the refreshment counter and the odor of hot dogs and popcorn. We made our way down to the level of the ice, where the refrigerant smell eased my butterflies. My coach was talking to another coach, and my warm-up group was already there. As we passed by, I waved at Jasmine, one of the younger skaters, who would be competing in the level below me. She just turned ten last week. I changed 24

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10/14/09 2:27 PM

In A Heartbeat, by Loretta Ellsworth  

For fans of Gabrielle Zevin and Lurlene McDaniel, In a Heartbeat explores the ties of family and the weight of regret when a mistake costs E...

In A Heartbeat, by Loretta Ellsworth  

For fans of Gabrielle Zevin and Lurlene McDaniel, In a Heartbeat explores the ties of family and the weight of regret when a mistake costs E...

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