Voiceless Veronica

Written by Vanessa Grillone

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Veronica. She liked to read books and play with her cousins and watch the Care Bears. Veronica had a hard time making friends. She was shy and every time she tried to talk to someone in class, she felt a million tiny butterflies fluttering their wings inside her tummy. 

When the teacher asked a question she knew the answer to, she wouldn’t raise her hand for fear of saying the wrong thing. She didn’t want any attention on her. Veronica had just gotten braces and glasses and was already tired of hearing the words FOUR-EYES or BRACE-FACE.  

So, she kept quiet. 

Veronica’s family had dinner together every night. One night over a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, she was trying to tell her parents about her day at school. She wanted to tell them what the other kids were calling her. Before she was able to get a few words out, her sister began talking about her basketball game. Her sister was much better at telling stories, she was louder and confident. Having lost the attention of her parents, Veronica stopped talking and continued eating. 

That night before Veronica went to bed, she opened the pink music box that she got for Christmas. When she opened the lid, music began to play. The tiny ballerina inside popped up and spun to the music. Watching the ballerina always soothed Veronica. 

“Ballerina, if I give you my voice, can you watch over it? What I say doesn’t matter right now. Hold onto it until it does.” 

As the ballerina twirled, Veronica’s voice floated from her mouth into the box. The ballerina winked and twirled until Veronica closed the lid. 

With her voice tucked away safely at home, Veronica became invisible. She sat on the sidelines and kept quiet. She avoided attention and eventually people stopped noticing her, stopped making fun of her. Even the teacher would forget to call her name during morning attendance. 

The more invisible she became the bigger her voice grew within the music box. There was so much her voice wanted to say but couldn’t. Questions remained unanswered, stories untold. 

One day during recess, Veronica’s reading was interrupted by girls from her class. Three of them were chasing a fourth one while screaming at her. UGLY!  LOSER! LONER!

“Please stop”, the girl whispered. 

At first, Veronica tried to ignore them, tried to focus on her book but their voices grew louder.  She peeked over her book and thought about how she felt when she was made fun of and she didn’t like it.

Veronica felt angry. Tears welled up in her eyes. She clenched her hands into fists. Something was bubbling in her stomach. It wasn’t butterflies, it was something else…

LEAVE HER ALONE, Veronica tried to scream but remembered that she locked her voice up at home. She tried again. With each try, her voice got louder and louder. Meanwhile, at home, her voice was getting too loud and too big for the music box. 


The box broke open and the voice floated to Veronica.

Just as her voice reached her, she screamed LEAVE HER ALONE! 

The girls looked over at Veronica with shock. The teacher on duty walked over as the girls ran off. 

“Are you okay?” Veronica asked the crying girl.

“Yes, thank you for sticking up for me.”

Veronica beamed, her voice made a difference. 

Reminder: Voiceless Veronica is a work of fiction – written for my nieces. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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