Bittersweet Memories Overwhelmed Me as He Sang

Our last night at the house Clay and I sat alone by the fire as darkness descended. The flames flickered and jumped, the wood snapping as it burned. Birds and crickets chirped in the silent evening. Neither of us spoke, both lost in our own thoughts.

I sat in the Adirondack chair, my feet pulled up on the edge of the seat, my arms wrapped around my knees. I was exasperated, frustrated, but I wasn’t sure who to be angry with. Clay could have made more of an effort to fit in, but then again I should like him for who he was and he shouldn’t have to change. My friends could have included him more, made him feel more welcome, but they hadn’t had much of an opportunity to get to know him.

Thinking about it, I should have just come without Clay. Maybe it was mostly my fault for bringing him in the first place. I wasn’t really sure how to integrate a relationship with the rest of my life. It wasn’t something I had much experience with.

As I considered the past few days, Clay hummed a soft tune then sang, “The crickets sing you lullaby, beside the dying fire.”

I stared at him, my mouth hanging open. “What did you say?”

“I was singing,” he replied simply, his gaze locking with mine.

“I know. Why were you singing that?” I asked.

He merely shrugged in response.

“That was a song my mother used to sing to me when I was growing up.” As I said this tears formed in my eyes. That day had been so full of memories already, and now he was singing Gartens Mother’s Lullaby? What were the odds he would even know that song? “I sang it at her funeral,” I told him as I began to weep, the pain of losing her almost as fresh as the day I said goodbye.

“Why are you singing a lullaby? Of all things?” I repeated my question with more force.

“It seemed appropriate for tonight,” he said standing and coming to kneel in front of me. He rested one hand on my thigh while the other wiped away my tears. I slid my feet down to the ground and allowed him to pull me from the chair. He dragged me into his embrace and I leaned against him as thoughts of my mother overwhelmed me.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Lullaby and is part of something longer I am working on.

This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after What Is the Meaning of the Magnolia Tree?

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