A short story about a girl named Carrisma who loves to sing
|“You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ‘cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me”
-From Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”
Life could just not get any better, thought eighteen-year-old Carrisma Hunter. I’m up here, singing my heart out, and I feel like nothing can go wrong. I only wish I knew where Mom was, she’s never been late to any of my concerts. I hope she’s okay. Maybe she just got held up at the office.
Claire Hunter looked at her watch for the third time in half an hour. This traffic is terrible; I’m never going to make it to Carrisma’s concert on time. She must be so worried. I’ll try and get on the highway, it’ll be faster.
Where is my mom? The concert’s almost over. She can’t miss it; I have a solo that she was looking forward to hearing me sing.
There we go, now the traffic’s moving along. I should be at the school in about twenty minutes. I hope Carrisma hasn’t sung her solo yet, I really want to hear it.
Nobody was prepared for what would happen next. A car in the opposite lane started weaving and fishtailing madly, its driver obviously drunk. Claire tried to get out of the way, but it was too late. In a split second, the car connected with hers head-on, and there was the sickening sound of metal crunching on metal. The driver of the other car was taken to the emergency room in critical condition, but Claire had died upon impact. One of the police officers recognized her wallet, and they saw she had a daughter who was to be notified as the next of kin. They made a few calls around and determined where Carrisma was presently, and set out to find her and tell her the unfortunate news.
“I can’t believe my mom missed my concert,” Carrisma said to her good friend Scott, a popular senior.
“Maybe she had a good reason. She could have been held up in a meeting, or maybe the traffic was bad. I’m sure she didn’t do it on purpose. Your mom loves you.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right.”
Suddenly, there was a cluster of people over by the door. Carrisma and Scott hurried over to see what was wrong. Two uniformed police officers entered the auditorium, their eyes scanning the room until they finally came to rest on Carrisma’s face.
“Are you Carrisma Hunter?” inquired the female cop.
“Yes,” she answered tentatively.
“Come with us, please.”
Puzzled, Carrisma obliged, and the two cops led her over to a more secluded area.
“Can one of you please just tell me what’s going on around here?”
“I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Miss Hunter, but your mother was involved in an accident earlier tonight.”
“Is she okay? She’s not hurt, is she?”
“She was hit head-on by a drunk driver and died instantly. The driver of the other vehicle survived, but he’s in critical condition. We’re very sorry for your loss.”
“What? You can’t be serious. Mom? MOM!” Carrisma screamed, finally breaking down and beginning to sob hysterically.
The funeral and memorial service was held three days later. It was a beautiful sunny day, like the world was smiling down upon Carrisma’s mother and welcoming her to heaven. Claire Hunter was laid to rest in a gorgeous closed pine casket, surrounded by all those who had loved and admired her. Carrisma gave her a very nice eulogy and accepted condolences from people after the service. At the cemetery, she watched as her mother’s body was slowly lowered into the ground, and threw a single long-stemmed white rose in after her. Nothing seemed real to her anymore. Carrisma’s perfect world had just been shattered.
Since she had no other immediate family, Carrisma was sent to live with her Aunt Jennifer in her trendy studio apartment in downtown San Diego. It was quite an adjustment for her, having lived in the quiet suburbs nearly all of her life. Still, it was better than living in her old house, where memories of her mother still haunted her.
School went on as usual, except for the fact that the other students seemed to treat her differently now that her mother had passed. It was almost like they were afraid to say anything to her, afraid of how she might react if they said anything about her mother or the accident. Carrisma almost wished they would say something, just so that things could get back to some semblance of normality.
Everyday after school, she drove to the cemetery where her mother was buried. It was very quiet inside, almost eerie. Carrisma walked straight to her mother’s gravesite, where a beautiful stone marker lay, wreathed in flowers. It read as follows: “Claire Elise Hunter, 1962-2008. Beloved mother, sister, and friend. Never forgotten.”
Carrisma seemed to find solace there, almost as if her mother was still with her. She often cried as she thought about her mother, lying there, unable to see her daughter and enjoy life. Aunt Jennifer was nice enough, but she wasn’t Mom, and that was who she really wanted and needed.
Her friend Scott noticed the difference in her. She never seemed quite as lighthearted or cheerful anymore, nor did she smile nearly as often. Worst of all, she seemed to have given up singing altogether. This was serious, because singing was Carrisma’s life. It was what made her happy; put the devilish sparkle in her eyes. She was even planning on going to NYU on a music scholarship and become a famous singer. Without music, Carrisma wasn’t herself anymore, and walked around, listless and without a purpose.
“Why don’t you sing anymore?” Scott asked Carrisma one day.
“I told you, I just don’t want to,” she replied.
“Come on, Carr, I know that isn’t the real reason. Does it have something to do with your mom?”
“I just-I just…It’s too painful, Scott. Every time I open my mouth to sing, I think about my mom. She died coming to hear me sing. If she hadn’t been on that road, if she wasn’t in such a hurry to see me, none of this would have happened. It’s all my fault.”
“You can’t keep beating yourself up over this, Carr. It’s not your fault. No one could have predicted this. Your mom wanted to come see you. She loved you, and she was proud of you. She would want you to give up on your dream. The spring talent show’s coming up, why don’t you enter it?”
“I can’t, now quit bugging me. I’ve made up my mind; I’m not going to sing.”
Later, though, Carrisma began to question her decision not to sing. I really do enjoy it, she thought. I’ve always sung in the talent show. I can’t this year, though. The pain’s too raw.
That night, Carrisma’s mother came to her in a dream.
“Carrisma, you can’t stop singing. I won’t let you. You’ve come too far to give up now. Scott was right. Please give the talent show a chance. I know it won’t be the same without me there to see you in person, but I’ll still be there in spirit. You can do it, honey. I believe in you.”
The next day, Carrisma had made up her mind.
“I’m going to sing in the talent show,” she told Scott.
“Terrific. What made you change your mind?”
“Let’s just say I had a little divine inspiration.”
The day of the talent show dawned bright and clear. Carrisma slipped on the new dress Aunt Jennifer had bought her and anxiously went over her song one last time. Soon, it was time to perform.
“I’m dedicating the song ‘Fly’ by Celine Dion to my mother, Claire Hunter, who was killed by a drunk driver a few months ago. This is for you, Mom.”
“Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven’s love
Past the planet and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again
Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this memory bittersweet
Until we meet
Fly, fly do not fear
Don’t waste a breath, don’t shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don’t wait for me
Above the universe you’ll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won’t forget
Fly, fly little wing,
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light”