October 30, 2022

Story: Voice

Voice, by Xaria Amoroso
Runner-up in the 'The Story I Needed To Have Read' writing competition
"Your son has a special talent. His voice is a gift." The old doctor said, while the boy's parents smiled warmly, hope twinkling in their eyes. The boy, who was just five years old at the time, didn't completely comprehend the situation, despite his cheerful smile. Everyone in every hundred kids is born with a gift in this world, and Kris was one of them.

That evening, the boy's parents took him to see his grandmother, who was very ill. "Sing to her, dear." His mother smiled reassuringly at him. So, he began to sing, his voice gentle and soothing to the ears. The plants outside moved from side to side, as if they, too, were listening to the boy's voice. The aroma of lavender flooded the room as the atmosphere got calmer. He would stutter or mix up a few words now and then, but he still finished the song. A gold swirl of light surrounded his grandma, and she was cured in seconds.

The boy hurried up to his grandmother and hugged her tightly. "Our son is destined for great things," his mother stated lovingly. His father nodded, hugging his wife close to him as they both looked in admiration at their child.

As time passed, the boy was like a miraculous plant bearing fruits with the ability to heal. However, he, like all plants, needed sunlight, water, and nutrients to thrive. All of that was taken from him in a couple of minutes by a devastating home fire. His sunlight, water, and nutrition, or in other words, his mother, father, and house, all burnt down that day, leaving the boy in a gloomy state of mind, and as we all know, plants do not thrive in darkness.

He hated his voice since he couldn't save his parents or restore his home by singing. It seemed as if Kris didn't realize that his voice cures people, not resurrects the dead or rebuilds houses. Perhaps he did realize but refused to accept it.

Kris was adopted at the age of 13 by a middle-aged woman who lived in a cottage near a tiny village. The boy avoided singing and rarely talked. He didn't want a voice that couldn't save his parents or his house, he didn’t want to accept that his voice wasn’t perfect.

Kris was home-schooled instead of sent to a public school by the woman because she believed he would be more comfortable at home. She chose to adopt Kris since she was unable to have a child of her own. She gave him everything a boy his age would need and did her best to be a good mother. Kris noticed all her efforts and cherished them, although he tried not to become too close to the woman for fear of losing her as well.

Kris's birthday was coming up in two days, and the woman wanted to throw a party for him even though she knew she couldn't afford one. The woman sighed as she counted the little money she had, her attention shifting to a crimson jewellery box on her dresser. The box contained all the jewellery her husband had purchased prior to his death, each piece holding a special place in her heart.

She was sitting on the bed, pondering what to do when she heard a child's voice behind her. “Don’t.” She turned around to look at Kris. He wanted to go on a walk and wanted her for permission, but after seeing what had happened, he didn't want her to sell all her jewellery for his birthday.

"But you'll be 14 soon, and we need to celebrate." The woman protested, insisting she still wanted to throw Kris a birthday party. Kris gazed at the woman, and for the first time in over a year, he smiled. He was happy to learn that someone cared so much about him. His smile faded as he was reminded of his mother.

Kris paused for a moment before responding, "I don't need a birthday party to celebrate; all I want is to spend the day with you. Everything you do for me is enough. I know I seem distant, but it's just that I don't want the past to repeat itself, and I don't want to lose you too. I… I love you, mom." Kris gave the woman a hug while crying into her dress, his tears staining the blue fabric.

The woman started crying as well. She was overjoyed, like if she had just won the lotto. She wrapped her arms around the boy. Even though she had considered him her son from the day she adopted him, calling her mom gave her the confidence to call him her son.

Kris stayed up late that night, thinking to himself. He didn't need to remain in the dark any longer. He has a new home and a new mother who has taken on the responsibilities of both mother and father. His sunlight, water, and nutrition had returned. He exhaled deeply and gazed out his window.

He couldn't undo the past, but he could grow from it. He must first heal before he may grow. He finally accepted that there was nothing he could have done to save his parents or his house. It was a sad truth, but one he had to accept. He knew his parents saw great potential in him and his voice, and he didn't want to disappoint them.

He began to hum quietly, the grass and flowers outside softly swaying in the breeze. A peaceful serenity flowed over the home as the subtle aroma of lemon filled the air. Although he didn’t notice it, a gold swirl of light surrounded his heart. It was a sign.

A sign that the healing process had begun, that he could finally accept himself and his past, that his voice didn’t have to be perfect.

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