Who Sings For The Singer?

By Zac Chapepa

Tommen stands from his seat. He’d been sitting for the past couple hours, singing to the audience once standing in front of him. People trickle away as he puts away his instrument, ready to pack for the afternoon. The guitar sits firm inside its case, and he brushes over it as he looks up from the small stage.

A young girl in a pink dress, brown hair with light dimples, stands in front of him. She’s right below the stage, holding a doll in her hands as she watches him, amused by his actions, putting away his equipment for the day.

With a moment of pause, he smiles at her, realizing how much she’s fascinated. It’d been a rough week. No one was able to offer enough money for Tommen to make a living. The day would pass off with a few dollars, enough for a meal or a pack of Madison cigarettes. It was all he had for past consecutive days and it promised to continue with its brutal tune.

This girl looks around eight years old and he has no idea why she chose to stay behind.

“Can I help you with something, Princess?”

“My name is Sofia. My mother gave it to me.”

Tommen almost chuckles. “Really? I didn’t realize that. So, Sofia. What can I help you with?”

She looks up to him and he notices she was looking at the guitar; Its golden color shining in the sun.

“I want to sing.”

“What’s that?”

“To sing. I’ve seen you sing so I want to sing, too.”

Tommen takes a long look at her, his smile not waning from his face. She looks determined, like she knows what she’s asking for. He sighs and continues with his questioning.

“Which song do you want to sing?”

“Fly My Little Dove by The Munchkins.”

It increasingly becomes hard for Tommen not to cave in. He looks at her, weighing his decision and settles for it.

“Why don’t you jump on stage and show me what you got?”

She smiles and hops on stage, heading straight for the mic. The doll in her hands dangles by the hand as she walks to the center and when she reaches it, she points to the mic. In a moment’s realization, Tommen quickly stands from his chair and lowers the mic to her level. She taps the head a couple times and clears her throat. Before she even opens her mouth, a young couple is distracted from their walk and they draw close to the stage.

Sofia is undeterred. She starts to sing softly into the mic and the speakers bring out her lovely voice. She picks up her pace, refining her tune and it comes out as nothing that Tommen had expected from the song. He realizes how powerful and beautiful her voice sounds and he riffs a tune from his guitar, the melody sounding nothing like anything he’d heard before.

Slowly, the crowd gathers and people watch as Sofia sings in her innocent voice. It becomes a touching moment, even for Tommen, who perfectly matches her tune with his guitar. Upon finishing the song, the crowd cheers and people drop their notes inside the guitar case, filling it with a sizable amount. It appears four times the amount Tommen had collected in a week, which shocks him in his socks. Some of the audiences stick around, giving Sofia a hug and Tommen finally approaches her.

“You’ve done excellent, little Princess.”

“Sofia,” she retorts.

“Yes, Sofia. Sorry, you did a great job. Can we split the cash?” He asks, as he points to the case. She looks at it, before she hugs her doll tighter and responds.

“I want all of it.”

“All of it?”

“Yes.”

“Ok, well…as you wish.” Tommen tries to hide his despair as he rises from his crouch, reaching for the money. He counts every note and secures it in a bunch. It’s a pretty hefty bunch whose weight he could only dream of. He hands it out to her and she looks at him before taking the money. Her eyes squint and Tommen is uncertain of what she thinks.

“You know what. You can keep it.”

“No, I can’t lit-”

“Sofia.”

“Yes, Sofia. See, this money was never here. It’s here because of something you did. It was all you. The best I can do is split it between the two of us.” She smiles.

“Ok.” Her face beams with happiness as she watches him pull a large chunk of it, handing it to her. “What is your name?”

“Tommen, Tommen Sheynchov.”

“Goodbye, Tommen.”

This story is part of an ongoing series of shorts called “Who Does What?” being featured on Medium. Follow Misplaced Identities to read more of these series so you won’t miss a thing. Also, be kind enough to recommend so someone might bump into it.