the difficulty of aria

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I'd heard it far too many times

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I'd heard it far too many times.


Such a harsh word.

A dream destroyer.


Tonight, the word no would come in the form of three loud buzzers if I wasn't too lucky. But I held on to another word – hope, hovering at the opposite end of the spectrum - my companion for the past year.

Someone laid a hand on my shoulder. My eyes widened, my heart pounded. The ringing in my ears, which had subtly started this morning, was all I could hear now. I swallowed as I tried to reply. My throat sensitive, dry, almost burning.

Before I knew what was happening, I was urged forward until I stopped and stood at the red X on the floor. Someone called my name. Aria. I gripped the microphone in my hand and looked up, the lights overhead blinding me...taking me back to the night that changed it all.

The night


lost hope.

One moment I was arguing in the car with my parents about giving me permission to attend a party; the next they were gone.

The ringing intensified in my ears. Was this a side effect from surgery I should have been aware of? Someone said my name again, and questions followed. I replied, unable to recognize my own voice. It was an octave lower.  It trembled. Smile. I reminded myself, twice. Smile.  I spoke slow, terse. There was nothing sweet or melancholic about my story. I'd lost my parents years ago. I was the only survivor in that car crash. But for years after, I barely lived.




Another term for no. No, Aria, you won't be able to speak. No, you won't be able to sing. You will suffer in silence.

I tapped at my right ear and the ringing stopped. All I could hear was the music.  Since I was two, barely able to form proper words, I'd been singing. Music had been my life. The accident, the paralysis, the loss of the most supportive, loving parents ripped the music away from me. Life was dull, colourless. Dim. Hopeless.

Until my best friend told me a story about people defying the odds. Their heart-breaking stories displayed in front of millions. People paid attention to what they said. How they'd given up. How they'd bounced back. For a while, I'd thought of them naïve. Miracles didn't exist.

Then she told me a story of girl who'd lost everything, and how she'd cheered for this girl to defeat her own monsters.

Her name is Aria.

For ten years, she didn't have a voice. She couldn't speak, much less sing. But once upon a time in her life, she shone as bright as the stars. She'd given up on life, but it was just on pause. It was time she lassoed the moon so she could once again soar in the sky, like the star she is.

I repeated it in my own voice, but in my best friend's words, in front of millions.

"What are you doing tonight, Aria?"

"Tonight, I'm going to sing."

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⏰ Last updated: Jul 10, 2017 ⏰

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