Ludovica is a young beautiful woman; she has a great job which however doesn’t reflect her ambitions, a dream which absorbs her, an ex boyfriend who deceived her, many loyal friends, and a family she can always rely on.
One bad day, her ‘normal’ life is upset by a sad news: Ludovica has multiple sclerosis.
This when the story of Lilia Savini starts: the story of Ludovica who faces her disease, special medical examinations, the difficulty in wearing heels…and letting herself fall in love again. Because, as the author reminds, there can be a light even in the darkest night.
A light that strengthens, encourages, and gives us a reason to move on, beyond all difficulties, even the insurmountable ones. This light is always Love: for your friends, your family, your life partner, and, above all, for yourself.
Lilia Salvini was born and grown in Anzio, but since five years she lives and works in Rome, where she runs a chartered accountancy firm with her husband.
Ex aerobics teacher and sportswoman par excellence, she stopped teaching when she was diagnosed multiple sclerosis.
Through this funny novel, written by chance, she tried to tell, and she is trying to get across, her will to do it.
Well, well, well…
God, it seemed so easy though! I told myself yes, I can do it, after all, what does it take to do it? You only have to be yourself, close your eyes and…tell you, tell your story; you have to do it for those who, just like you, were a little less lucky than others. In the bargain, if we go into detail, what is luck? It’s just a state of mind we create. Ok, I’m not saying that uncomfortable situations don’t exist, but you just have to learn to live with them as best as possible, however, that’s my point of view…
But, am I wrong or was I just about to tell you about me?
Well, I was born in 1970…
« No, no, that’s not a good start, you’re saying it in a roundabout way. Do you think people care about your birth year? »
That was my sister’s voice, Cristiana, who even had to argue on this.
«Hey, was this my idea or not? Is that ever possible that you always have to argue on anything I try to do? This is the story of my experience and, thanks for the suggestion, but I only want it to be the result of what comes to my mind, not to yours! Is that clear? »
«But Ludo, why are you asking for my opinion, then?» She slammed the door behind with her usual arrogance, which really bothered me.
Cristiana was five years older than me, she was beautiful and, somehow, she was the one who had opened all the doors with my parents, always being scolded in my place, and with her rebel attitude she had allowed me to get more freedom too.
However, she felt free to act like a mum when our mother wasn’t there because she was working in her boutique.
We looked almost the same someway: there was a period where we really looked like twins, but with opposite characters.
I still remember when one of Cristiana’s friends, a really shy boy, saw me and stopped, thinking I was her, and when I went to say hello and introduced me as Ludovica, he turned red.
However, let’s get back to where we were, I can surely say that even if we often used to see things in different ways, we compensated each other, and I loved her.
For the moment, I’ll just follow her advice, and I’ll bring my memory back to ten years ago…
«Come on girls, no complaining, I’ve said to come at 7 pm for the dress rehearsal; bring your leggings and tops in the colour each of you have chosen, together with the matching bandanas. And please remember I don’t want to see any bracelets, necklaces or watches : you know I don’t accept them when you have to dance…and tell your family not to wait for you, everything must be perfect, or I wont let you go home, okay?
That ‘okay’ was already part of my everyday vocabulary, and the girls used to tease me for it, and to ape me, particularly when I said it to give orders.
I couldn’t help being so strict with my aerobic course’s girls! I was always friendly with them, but I demanded the best. After all, I came from a classical ballet school where the teacher, a German woman, was far more strict than what I became in the fitness world.
Anyway, the girls, about twenty, loved me and they showed it in their own ways, whenever the chance arose. On the contrary, I was always been their best friend, ready to give love advices and to listen to them, offering a shoulder to cry on.
But, above all, I had understand one thing, that is that sometimes, getting the best out of them, I managed to make them stars, which I think was really considerable at that age.
My aim was to increase their self-esteem, I used to see myself in them, even if nobody had never believed in my capabilities…
However, let’s get back to the show. For that occasion I was assigned the hard task of preparing two performances in an open air theatre, more precisely two Latin-American aerobics choreographies which were to open a festival entirely dedicated to the Caribbean world.
«Wow!» I thought with satisfaction. «Somebody believes in me, then!»
Anyway, that wasn’t a real job although I was really doing it very well; it was more like a great passion, actually it was a sort of unrealised secret dream I had really sacrificed for, getting a licence for teaching aerobics after a long day spent in my office.
Yes, that’s it, that’s what my father had wanted for me. He put me in an already-established career, a career made of desk, computer and paper sheets, and I didn’t feel to mess everything up and deceive him just to follow that dream of becoming part of a fairy world of shinestones and sequins, just like show business.
However, back to the performance, I had prepared those two choreographies with all my energies, which to tell you the truth were very little in that period. The first choreography was set up on a remixed version of a song of a famous Mexican singer, who was really popular at the time, you would hear it at full volume in any nightclub. The second one was based on my favourite track, a beautiful mambo, which I had especially mixed for a step choreography...and the what a great result! A mix of rhythmic steps and sexy movements, something breathless…I was sure it would have seduced every person passing by.
It took me a lot of time to prepare it, but finally the result was winning! Each time, satisfaction had always been the only reward for that job, that I did love. Gianni, the owner of the gym I used to work in, had tried several times to persuade me to leave my office job, and work in the ‘Planet’ gym, where according to him, with a full-time contract I would have surely run more courses, and, therefore, I would have earned more. He even offered me more money than I was earning in the chartered accountancy firm, and, even if that made me sick, nothing doing, I had given my father my word, and I would have kept it at any cost.