The Lullabye Tree

Six figures.  That's what he had been making since he was 40, now at 58 he had been pushed out the door.  

Taking stock of all things, there was no way, no way he could pay all his debts.  He'd kept her in the dark, there was no reason to worry her and the girls.  He watched them screaming with delight as they jumped into the pool.

She had friends over, she bustled around, quite the hostess, everyone loved her luncheons and, her dinners even more.

These were the things he loved even more than money.  He had tried to convince himself something would come along but, it had been six months now.  He had managed to pay their bills out of the severance package, it was quite hefty as it should have been after all of these years, 

But, now, there was nothing left, no one wanted a washed up old man, past his prime.. he couldn't even get a job at Micky Ds.  It made him smile, how many times had he been rude, to the people that worked the drive-thru.  How many times had he put down one of the workers cause they were ... too old, he felt, to work there?  And look at him now, all his MBAs.. all his years at the top,  they didn't even want him at the drive-thru window.

He kissed her cheek, telling her he needed to go to the office and get some papers.  Actually the papers that would matter most, were upstairs in the drawer by the bed..

Walking close to the park, he popped the pills into this mouth. 

He walked a little farther..  there was a tree, a huge, beautiful, majestic tree.  It seemed so out of place there, yet it's canopy invited him, the large root offered a seat to him.   A ragged heart with the initials J+M still present, made him wonder, what had happened to them.

He sat there, his mind dancing with images from so many years past, he felt the first double beat, it took his breath away, numbness climbed up his arm, to his lips and he knew they were turning blue.. he prayed for his family, he prayed for forgiveness.. 

The tree hummed, the leaves shivered, the branches swayed and, he heard the song..

hush-a-bye
don't you cry
go to sleep my little baby

"There he was, a statistic, another one fallen by the wayside, a sign of the times."

"She found out about everything after he was gone.  They ruled it a heart attack, it was expected since he had a heart condition.  She gathered up the papers, even through her haze she thought about their love for each other, of his love for them.  She thought about his most unselfish act and though it left them taken care of, she would have preferred to be poor with him.  Hadn't he known that?

 

The End

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