Excerpt for The Opera Singer by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


A Novel

By Christopher G. Bremicker

Copyright 2017 by Christopher G. Bremicker

Smash Words Edition

Cover Image by: Miss Mae



The relationship started.


We got to know each other.


We got in deeper.


My friend at the hi-rise helped with our relationship.



Kate said she was an opera singer. When I met her first, at Starbucks, where she came in, in a whirlwind, she claimed she was flying to London that afternoon, her son was at a slumber party, and she had a restraining order on her husband, from whom she was separated. She sang on the sidewalk near the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis next to a cigar box.

I was just off a relationship with a girl who was a Stanford graduate, had a master’s degree in social work, and was author of two published books. She had three husbands and two daughters. The fact of the matter was, she slept twelve hours a day and watched television the other twelve. I was wary of what women told me about themselves.

I told Kate I was a writer, gave her my card, and she checked out my website. I was a good writer, she told me a week later, and asked me to write her story. I thought nothing of it then responded with a note on her Facebook page.

“Contact me on my email address on my business card,” I invited. “Let’s write your story.”

“Wonderful,” she replied. “Let me know what might be a good time to discuss.”

“Monday at 6:00 at Starbucks,” I suggested.

“Sorry, can’t come Monday,” she answered. “But could Wednesday.”

“Wednesday works,” I countered. “See you at 9:00 AM at Starbucks?”

“Sounds good,” she said. “Thank you.”

I got to Starbucks at 7:00 and worked on a story about the Army. Nine o’clock came and Kate did not arrive. I waited for half an hour. She did not show up. I checked her Facebook page, but she did not leave a message. Not knowing whether to feel destroyed or philosophical, I took the bus home.

I was hurt and tried to remember if this was the first time I was ever stood up. Kate was crazy, and probably unreliable, but I took it harder than I expected. I liked her, thought she was a nice person, and had high hopes for the relationship, even if it was only a friendship.

I tried to slough it off. I went to bed that night and tried not to think about it. I had mental issues too and wondered if she saw my new title for my book about them on my website, Fruity Acres: Confessions of a Schizophrenic.

I woke early the next day, went to work, and, as I walked into Starbucks, Kate got out of her car and said hello. She apologized for not showing up the day before. Family obligations prevented her from doing so. I forgave her, and we bought coffee, separately.

She stood me up so, I did not feel obligated to buy her coffee. She searched for her credit card, said she did not have any money then bought a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich. She was buying a piano, she said.

She was singing the Star-Spangled Banner, God Bless America, and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, for the fundraiser for Dai Thao, one of the candidates for mayor of St. Paul. The fundraiser for the Hmong man was at a restaurant in Lower Town in St. Paul. She said I could come down and hear her sing.

She said she sang at the Minneapolis Veterans’ Home. She got a young boy, the son of a resident, to sing with her. His voice was angelic, she said.

I told her I was a veteran and she thanked me for my service. Kate knew what it was, to love and be loved. She sat down at my table.

I was thrilled to see her and forgot how good looking she was. She was tall, slim, with long, auburn hair that cascaded around her proud, handsome, but slightly sad face. She opened her coat and showed me her T-shirt that read, “Well behaved women do not make history.”

Kate talked fast, almost frenetically, about herself. She talked about the opera and her family problems interchangeably. I asked her to stick to opera as a subject, but she slipped occasionally into psychology or social work, which I did not understand. I had no interest in these subjects.

The psychology stuff went like this. Her therapist wanted her husband to come in for therapy. Her husband refused therapy. He was bipolar. One of her children was in therapy too.

The social work stuff went like this. Her husband wanted custody of her children and was suing her as an unfit mother. Right now, she had custody of her children. He refused to pay child support and was abusive, she claimed. She was going to court soon. I steered her toward the subject of opera.

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