How Catherine and Michael were reconciled. Another version of the "lost scene" from the film.

Based on the film Chloe, directed by Atom Egoyan, written by Erin Cressida Wilson, which in turn was based on the film Nathalie, directed by Anne Fontaine, and written by Jacques Fieschi, François-Olivier Rousseau, and Anne Fontaine, from an original idea by Philippe Blasband.

Prefatory Remarks: I don't know if everybody knows this, but the beautiful angelic singing that is heard when Catherine barges into Michael's room is Amanda Seyfried. Recently in Boxoffice Magazine, she said her "singing has fallen by the wayside, sadly." Yes, it is sad. She should sing more—her brief vocal in Chloe is so evocative, and it should have been included in the soundtrack. Anyway, my fic was inspired by Amanda's wonderful singing.

Grace And Truth

by Diablo Priest

The third Wednesday of each month was normally a day-off for Catherine, and she awoke in an empty house illuminated by the brilliant sunshine of nascent spring. David, having quickly resumed his neglectful habits, was on campus at a meeting with his teaching assistant—a sexy young Ph.D. candidate from Slovenia named Ema. She spoke five languages, had a master's degree in Italian literature, and was writing a brilliant thesis on Pasolini's poetry: clearly, she was capable of following the syllabus for a week or two; however, David wanted to be in her presence because he wanted to bed her. Michael, attempting quotidian therapy, had returned to school. The light was warm and pure, and it made Catherine think of Chloe, dead for three days. Silence reigned.

The kitchen had been left a mess, so she picked up and washed the dishes, while periodically glancing out the sliding glass door to the wooden deck where Chloe had died. Before she had finished with her chores, Catherine was trembling and staring at the deck that was partially obscured by a burning white glare on the glass.

"No," she said aloud to herself, "I will not let this crush me."

She went back upstairs and took a shower, but that did not revive her. In her bedroom, she surveyed her designer-labeled clothes and all the trendy shoes. She wanted to go someplace, but didn't know where, and couldn't think of what to put on. All the material objects in her life seemed like shadows—they had no substance. Her friends with their bourgeois mentalities seemed like strangers speaking a foreign language—she couldn't speak with them. A lachrymose feeling, like nausea, churned within her. Exhausted, she sat on the bed. Then she lay back. That was better. As she gazed at her vanity, she could see within the mirror the large window from which Chloe fell. Silence reigned. Incongruously, Catherine felt at peace while looking at the reflection of the sky beyond the glass. She found the oblivion comforting. Her mind emptied.

Catherine woke up in her bed. She knew not how long she had been asleep, but all the windows were still bright with sunshine. A serene voice singing as if in a celestial choir echoed softly through the house. What was it? Church music? Catherine was transported back to Christmas Midnight Mass when she was eight years old. As a little girl, she had found the holy music mesmerizing, but this time she was compelled to seek out the source. After putting on some sweat clothes, she went to Michael's room; but he wasn't there. The clock beside her son's bed told her that he wasn't due home yet. Lingering in Michael's space was her vicarious intimacy with him—dysfunctional as her imperious intrusions into his private matters. After lightly caressing the headboard of his bed, she left the room. She could still hear the ethereal singing. At the top of the stairs, the vocal was clearer; and Catherine recognized it as the song she had heard just before Chloe sent her the fateful text message "I just left him." She followed the haunting notes. She followed the invisible voice.

Downstairs, Catherine followed the singing into the kitchen and out onto the deck. Without thinking, she had come to stand on the spot where Chloe had hit. Horrified, Catherine fled down the steps and into the garden, but was instantly halted by a resplendent flash from the large concrete urn that stood near the steps. Two long-dead flowers, black and shriveled, hung over the side of the urn, and a little snow was still on top; but in it, she could see Chloe's lustrous hairpin exposed by the sunshine. Out of the urn, Catherine raised the golden pin, and it shimmered in the sunshine. Silence reigned.

"Chloe, oh Chloe," she sobbed, her body shaking. "Why couldn't I love you? Why couldn't I believe in you?"

Catherine stood weeping for a while.

The opening of the sliding glass door startled her. Looking up with watery red eyes, she saw Michael standing on the deck.

"Mom," he said, anxiety and concern accenting his voice, "are you all right? Do you hear singing?"

"I thought I was going crazy," Catherine said, holding up the sacred gift. "But you heard it too. It led me out here to Chloe's hairpin."

"The singing led me to you," Michael said; then he descended the stairs and took his mother into his arms.

Together they cried; but through the sorrow, their bond was revived. Mother and son trying to pass through the burning pain of an ineffable loss. The reward was a new life.

Their embrace was broken when his phone sounded, and he pulled it from his pocket.

"It's Anna," he said softly.


"She heard about what happened, and yesterday she told me that she wants to get back together. But I'm not sure."

Catherine smiled at her son. The fear of losing him was no longer overwhelming. Chloe was with her always.

"No, that's good," she said. "You should get back together. If she's as smart as she is pretty, she won't let you get away again."

"I'll let voice mail pick it up," Michael said, and smiled back. "Let's have some tea, mom."

Hand-in-hand they climbed the steps and crossed the fateful spot. Michael paused with a lethargic sigh. Sadly he looked down.

"Who was she?"

Catherine looked up at the heavens and replied, "She was the Light who brought grace and truth into our lives."