Read the Prologue of No Time for Lullabies!
Posted on January 12th, 2019

“Mel, please don’t do this.”

With a heavy sigh, Melody Mitchell zipped the last of her suitcases. The rest were already in the trunk of the Toyota—her rusty but reliable graduation present from her parents. Just yesterday, her dad had insisted on buying four new tires, and she was grateful. It was a five-hour drive to Nashville. A surprise flat was the last thing she wanted on this road trip.

She’d had enough surprises to last a lifetime.

Taking a deep breath, Melody slowly turned to face him.

Brody Myers sat on the edge of her bed, gazing at her with his big blue eyes.

She loved those eyes.

She loved him.

Sometimes love just wasn’t enough.

Gathering her courage, Melody walked over and kneeled before him. Now that she was close, she could see tears swimming in his eyes. She’d probably be crying, too, if she hadn’t spent the last two months sobbing uncontrollably. Maybe she was all cried out.

“Brody,” she said softly. “Can’t you please try to understand? I need to get out of Meadow Creek. I need a fresh start, and this is an amazing opportunity.”

“It’s a waitressing job, Mel.”

“At a café in downtown Nashville. It’s a songwriter’s dream, Brody. Someone could hear my music—”

“This has nothing to do with your songs. You’re running away.”

She didn’t bother denying it.

“There’s plenty to run from, don’t you think?”

“Then I’ll run with you.”

Of course he would. Melody and Brody had been joined at the hip since third grade. Now they were eighteen. They should be headed to college. Loving life. Loving each other. But life had other plans. Amazing plans. Plans filled with blues and pinks and diapers and bottles.
Then life took those plans away.

“You deserve better, Brody.”

“Better than you?”

“So much better than me.”

“How many times have I told you there’s nothing better than you?”

Melody bowed her head.

“I can’t be what you want, Brody. Not anymore.”

His eyes flashed with understanding.

“This is because of what the doctor said, isn’t it? That’s why you’re leaving me?”

“You want kids.”

“And we’ll have them, Mel. Don’t you think I’m heartbroken, too? Don’t you think I want to run away, too? Away from all the judgment and the impossible expectations? My own father still won’t speak to me.”

“Your dad wanted you to be a preacher, just like him. Instead, we’re the two biggest sinners in Meadow Creek, Kentucky. We’ll be lucky if they don’t throw us both out of church.”

“None of that matters.”

“It matters to me.”

Brody shook his head. “Leaving won’t change a thing. You know that, right? We’ll still have gotten pregnant, we’ll still have miscarried, and we’ll still be the biggest scandal in town until something more scandalous comes along. Your moving hundreds of miles away won’t do a thing except kill me.”

His tormented words ripped through her chest, leaving her breathless.

Keep it together, Mel. He won’t let you go if you don’t.

Lifting her head, Melody gazed into the sweet eyes of the only boy she’d ever loved.

“I can’t be what you want, Brody. Not anymore.”

“You are everything I want.”

“What about kids?”

“What about them? The doctor said there was a ten percent chance that you would carry the next baby to term. He didn’t say we’d never have kids.”

“Ten percent is close enough to never for me.”

Brody urgently reached for her hand and gently laced her fingers with his.

“Melody Mitchell, I have loved you since I was eight years old. I’ll never love anybody else. Why isn’t that enough to make you stay?”

Tears trickled down her cheeks. Brody had always been stronger. Always willing to face things head on and ignore the gossip. But the constant judgment of their families and the hushed whispers of the town had taken their toll, and she simply couldn’t handle it anymore. If she moved away, maybe Brody would have a chance at a normal life. Maybe his parents would forgive him. Maybe he could still preach. Maybe he could still be a father someday.

So many maybes.

“You have to let me go, Brody.”

“I’ll never let you go.”

Leaning in, Melody kissed him softly. Their mutual tears mingled on their lips, breaking her heart just a little bit more. When she opened her eyes, she could see the anguish etched on his face, and she knew that, today, she would have to be the strong one.

Melody took a deep breath and whispered the biggest lie she’d ever told. A lie that would surely break what was left of both their hearts.

“You will let me go, Brody. Because I don't love you anymore."

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