Chapter 23

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     Carson and I were washing dishes at the sink. Neither of us were speaking, but I enjoyed the silence. I enjoyed how with Carson, we could enjoy each other's presence without talking.

     "You know, a karaoke bar just opened up downtown," Carson said, glancing at me.

      "Oh, cool," I said. "I always wanted to go to a karaoke bar."

      "Then why don't we go?"

      I stopped rinsing the dish I held and I looked to Carson, who wouldn't meet my eyes. He was staring at the dish he was washing, his cheeks growing redder by the second.

      "Do you want to go?" I asked, smiling at his reaction.

     "Yeah," Carson said, shrugging. "It would be fun."

     "Then I'll come."

     I was smiling at Carson and I grew relieved when he finally smiled back. Growing excited, I anticipated our meet up.


      Carson and I entered the small karaoke bar. The lights were off, but the place was illuminated by colourful lights of purple, blue and yellow. It was small and thankfully, not that packed. A few groups of teenagers hung around at tables that littered the bar and the rest sat on black couches in front of a stage. On the stage hung a TV where lyrics were displayed.

     "I've never been to a karaoke bar before," Carson said. "It's just like how they're described in shows."

      Carson walked forward and I followed him to a couch near the stage. We sat on it and looked to the stage, watching as two girls climbed onto it. One girl had purple hair and she was dressed in neon colours. The other girl wore glasses and was dressed in sweats. They looked like polar opposites, but I could tell they were best friends from the way the spoke to each other, as if they were constantly thrilled.

      "Next up we have Ashley and Mia," the host, a young man, said, handing the two of them microphones. "They're going to sing Give it Up from the show Victorious."

     The crowd that sat in front of them roared with applause. I smiled, feeling nostalgic about the show Victorious. Jade and Cat singing Give It Up had been one of the most iconic moments of the show.

      Ashley began to belt out the song and she looked confident onstage. She was whipping her hair around, using her hands to express how into the song she was. And to my surprise, Mia contained the same confidence as she moved around on stage, owning it. The both of them looked like they were having a blast and I smiled at the sight. Sighing lightly, I couldn't help but imagine myself in their position.

     "That could be us, but you're playing," Carson whispered to me.

    "You want us to sing?" I asked, surprised.

     "Of course. What do you think?"

     I stared at Carson who looked dead serious, surprised by his request. I hadn't thought about singing once and I knew I couldn't.

     "I can't let people hear my voice," I said. "You know why."

     "We're downtown," Carson said. "I doubt any of these people know Serena exists."

      Biting my lip, I felt conflicted. Staring at the two girls who sang their heart out, I wanted to join them on stage. I wanted to finally have my voice heard, but I couldn't. I couldn't because I didn't have the guts to sing in front of a crowd.

      "I can't, Carson," I said. "I'm scared."

      Carson stared at me, looking both disappointed and sad. I opened my mouth to apologize, but suddenly Carson raised his hand up. The host looked to him as the two girls finished their song.

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