One day Julie found a drafted suicide note. She confronted Christina, but only got silence.


Julie couldn’t sing. She used to believe that she could, but then she made the mistake of singing outside the comfort of her own bedroom. Most of the people she had sung in front of had been polite, but before long she noticed the rolled eyes and the snickers. At the tender age of 13, Julie stopped singing.

Puberty was kind to her, and before long she had the attention of many boys. She broke some hearts and had hers broken. Eventually she found herself graduating college with a degree in Business and no idea what she was going to do next.

She got a job at a small diner in a city far from her home. Occasionally she would catch herself humming the tune to some long forgotten song, but mostly she was quiet. One day, a man noticed her and she noticed him noticing her and they began a romance straight out of one of those movies she would watch with her college roommate on nights that they had no dates.

Eventually he placed a ring on her finger and she was ready for her happily ever after. A year later they had a baby girl with eyes so blue they took your breath away. Julie quit her waitressing job to stay home with the baby, who they named Christina (after his grandmother), and loved every moment of it. Sometimes she would open her mouth to sing, but found that she only got silence.

More years passed, and one day after dropping Christina off at school Julie came straight home instead of going grocery shopping like she usually did. For many years she would debate whether or not this had been the biggest mistake of her life. She usually came to the conclusion that it was better to know.

A year passed and her husband left her for another woman, not the redhead she had caught him with, but a brunette who used too much lipstick. She was left to raise Christina on her own.

When Christina reached her teenage years she began to rebel. She rimmed her blue eyes (slightly dulled with age) with black, and she tore her clothes and repaired them with safety pins. One day Julie found a drafted suicide note. She confronted Christina, but only got silence. Julie, who had returned to waitressing full time, tried to forget about it and write it off as a phase.

Eventually it was time to bring Christina to college. Julie helped her pack lovingly, and sent her off with many hugs and tears. She did not receive a phone call for three months. Sometimes she would try to call or send an email, but would get no answer.  Three months later she got a quick phone call wishing her happy birthday (two days late, but she didn’t mind). When she tried to ask how her daughter was doing she only got silence.

Years and years and years passed, and Julie grew old. Christina had grown ever further apart from her, and then had been killed in a drunk driving accident when she was twenty five. Julie’s husband tried to reconcile with her a few times, after the brunette left, and then after the blonde left. Julie had always kept him away.

Finally, Julie found herself lying in a nursing home. She had been alone for so long, getting a roommate was a bit of a shock to her. The woman was a cheerful lady who had a large family and many visitors. Her name was Christina, and every time Julie heard someone say it she got a bit of a chill.

One day Christina found herself without the usual parade of visitors. She began to talk aloud, not exactly to Julie, but definitely with Julie in mind. Eventually she came to the conclusion that they should sing to pass the time. Julie refused, stating that she couldn’t sing. Christina laughed, and told her that was nonsense. Everybody could sing, she insisted. And then she began to belt out a song in a voice so awful that for a moment it sounded beautiful.

Julie listened for a moment. And then she opened her mouth.

And sang.


Victoria Krauchunas is a college student


To comment on this story, visit Fiction365’s Facebook page.