Dreams Do Come True
By JIM BISHOP
It's an old story. Very old...
My mother and I were dreamers. When the days were soft and tender we sat on the beach, digging our toes into the hot sand. The big breakers came in slow, their shoulders growing tall and green. They crashed in thunderous white and we would sit in silence, the breeze scrubbing the hot sun from our faces.
She was 34, I was 10. She was short, plump, a woman of fair skin and brownish hair with bronze glints. She was feminine and prim. We watched young John and Adele race up and down the sand, screaming. I preferred to be close to her.
I asked what she dreamed. Jenny Tier Bishop laughed and ruffled my wet hair. She showed an edge of a gold tooth. "You," she said, "are an inquisitive little boy." "Yes, ma'am," I said. She clapped her sandy palms to make the younger ones stop running.
When she was ready, she told me her dream. There were many, she said, but the one of diamond earrings kept coming back. Someday, when my father had a lot of money, he would buy diamond earrings for her. Not big ones, of course. "See," she said, pulling her ear, "these were pierced when I was 15. Wouldn't I look pretty with little diamonds?"
"Yes, ma'am," I said. "You sure would." She asked me my dream, but she appeared to be indulgent, almost disappointed, when I told her. I said that when I grew up I would own a house right here in Sea Bright. I would be able to look at the ocean every day, in all of its moods, even when the wind howled in winter and smashed the sea into boiling white.
Huge White Yacht
I would see all the big ocean liners leaving New York, steaming tiny over the edge of the world. My house would have servants who would have nothing to do but carry silver trays loaded with jelly beans and chocolate bars. In the back of the house I would have a huge yacht.
She looked down at me, the bun of hair loose on her neck, my mother laughed at my dream. "Little boy," she said, and I knew that I had lost her admiration. My feet came up out of the sand and I ran at top speed to meet the big curling wave. Salt stings the eyes.
Her dream came true. My father gave her the diamond earrings. They were tiny icebergs in big gold prongs. She sat before the vanity mirror, turning her head from side to side. My father paid a little a month for those earrings for a long time.
I was glad her dream came true. When they dressed to go out, I sat over my homework at the dining room table. I didn't want to forget to tell her how beautiful she looked. She wasn't really beautiful but she lifted her head like a queen when those earrings were on.
Times became what my father called "hard." The earrings were gone a long time before I noticed. When I asked about them, she smiled and cried at the same time. It was funny to see the big smile and the small diamonds shimmering on the lower lids. "Your father had to pawn them," she said. "He'll get them back."
Sewed Rosettes on Garters
Policemen were poorly paid. The city cut their salaries. My mother made our clothes on a sewing machine. At night, she sewed rosettes on silk garters for a penny a piece. Every year she paid the interest on the pawn ticket. Sometimes she worried that she would forget when it was due.
One summer she surrendered. The payment was due, but she ignored it. "Earrings," she said, "are a form of vanity we can't afford." She never saw them again. In Woolworth's she found round white clip-on earrings and she wore them. "Nice?" she said. "Nice," I said.
A lot of ragged years passed. The children left. They had lives to live. My mother became old. She looked smaller. But when she smiled, a little edge of good tooth showed and, in my mind, we were back on that tawny beach.
Great good luck sometimes touches a person once. It touched me. A book I wrote became a bestseller in 16 countries. Vice presidents of banks shook my hand personally when I made deposits. My world was suddenly suffused a pale pink and blue. I bought a house on the beach. My dream had finally come true.
House on the Beach
When the house was right, I invited my mother and father to it. There were no servants carrying trays of candy. But the house was on the same beach. My hair was gray but surf still thundered with youth.
I handed the plush box to my mother. "Your time to dream." I said. Her hands began to shake. "John," she said to my father, "help me with this. I'm so clumsy."
Dad opened the box and murmured: "Jenny, they're beautiful" She mussed my hair. The earrings were screwed in. "How do I look?" We said, "Beautiful." She couldn't tell. She had been blind for years...
(ယခုေဖာ္ျပေပးလိုက္သည္က Myanmar Matriculation Exam ေက်ာင္းသားမ်ား အေထာက္အကူျဖစ္ေစရန္ ရည္ရြယ္ပါသည္။)
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