“Bellasini, why didn’t you make a wish?” asked her mother.

 

“Oh! You know how it is with dreams and wishes Mum,” replied Bellasini, trying to avoid the question. “It’s like with Father Christmas, or the Easter Bunny. You get to an age, when you just seem to know it’s time to stop believing, and move on. I’m fifteen now.” Bellasini paused for a second, before continuing. “Besides, you and Dad don’t believe in making silly wishes.”

 

“Of course we do Bellasini,” responded her mother. “Nobody should ever stop believing in their dreams and wishes. Your father and I, have hundreds of them.”

 

“But what good are they if they never come true,” replied a teary eyed Bellasini, watching the last flicker of the candles fade away. “I wished as hard as I possibly could, dad would be home for my birthday, and look!” she continued pointing to her father’s empty chair at the table. “He’s not here!”

 

A single tear welled in Bellasini’s left eye, and began its unhurried course down her cheek, as her mother took her hands, and quietly replied.

 

“Nobody can make their wishes come true. Not even you. All you can do is believe in them. And, if you truly believe in them, then maybe, just maybe, they will come true.”

 

Gran was beaming with pride, at her daughter-in-law’s heart-felt explanation of the importance of dreams and wishes. So, while mother and daughter sat silently hugging each other, she re-lit the fifteen candles.

 

“I have an idea,” whispered Gran. “Let's all join hands, and blow out the candles together. And as we do, let’s all make a single wish. Let’s all wish, as hard as we possibly can, that Bellasini’s father can fix the glitch inside the bank’s computer, and come home soon."

 

Everybody, including Bellasini, thought that was a great idea.

 

So they all stood up, joined hands, and concentrated on that single wish.

 

As they all lent forward to blow out the candles, the teardrop that had been resting on Bellasini’s cheek, fell, and slowly tumbled toward the table. The dimly lit room was suddenly awash with the colors of a rainbow, as the tear reflected the flickering candlelight, like a glass mirror ball. As it splashed down on the clasped hands of Bellasini and her mother, all the candles on the cake flickered out. As if blown out, by a magic gust of wind.

 

Ring! Ring!

 

It was her father, on the telephone.

 

A huge smile returned to Bellasini’s face, as she talked, made jokes, and laughed with him, for nearly half an hour.

 

Walking back to join everyone at the table, she thought to herself, maybe it had not been their exact wish, but at least she got to share a part of her birthday, with her father. A much happier Bellasini, returned to the dining room, to open presents and eat dessert.

 

It soon became obvious, the events of the day, had taken their toll on Gran. She was pale, and looked very tired, so Bellasini insisted on walking her home, while Gemma helped her mother, tidy the dishes.

 

On the way, Bellasini excitedly described in great depth, all that had taken place, while she was in Virtasia.

 

She told Gran of the Wiz, Kuching, Book, David and the meeting with her hero, the Dragon Prince.

 

There was a lot to tell her, on the short journey home.

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