whale song | Teen Ink

whale song

August 25, 2010
By emilysbreakfast GOLD, Alto, Michigan
emilysbreakfast GOLD, Alto, Michigan
10 articles 0 photos 48 comments

“Do you hear it?” I could see your eyes shining in the subtle morning light from where you sat across the porch. I let the screen door swing silently behind me, and trod quietly on the dewy wood planks, worn smooth and grey over the course of their seaside years. I brought you your coffee and nestled into the flannel blanket you’d draped over the wicker bench. I was straining my ears so determinedly that when it came, I wasn’t convinced it was anything more than my imagination. But I had heard it; you were grinning eagerly and holding my hand. Another low groan resonated somewhere in the distance, swelling like a sinkhole about to swallow its share of earth, digesting into massive depths. It was a rumbling question that you felt more than heard. The echo of an answer came shortly after, undulating across the coast and rolling to a stop in the valley that enfolded your aunt’s cottage.
“what are they saying?” I whispered. I remembered our first real conversation after meeting…after that embarrassing night at the bistro, when I knocked your crab alfredo into your lap on my way to the bathroom. My cheeks were burning as Grandma recognized your mom from her book club, and we were introduced. I reveled in your laughter and disregard for the mess I’d made – how easily you asked me to ice cream afterwards – how you told me all about the whales over your Tin Roof Sundae. You explained how they sang to each other, how it sounds almost sad. I was supposed to go home the week before last, but you begged me to stay, at least until the beginning of august, at least until I heard the whale songs.
“I love you.” You answered, and I knew you weren’t simply speaking whale. Another melody rose nearby, and as promised, it ached with a sadness we both understood, the beauty it held and the Goodbye it brought. I was allowed to stay until the first whale song. We listened to the notes fade, and I prayed my memory of you would not do the same.

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