I twist the worn-gold handle, end over end, until I cannot turn it any more. The clockwork springs to life and a bar pings with the first crystal-clear note. Leaning back into my armchair, I close my eyes to listen.
It begins with a playful, busy jingle, that reminds me of my childhood. Those carefree days, playing with friends, and always in wonder of the world. That was when I received the music box, for my tenth birthday. Mum had made me close my eyes, but they snapped open when it started playing, I was so excited!
A pause, and the song becomes complex, more full. I used to think that meant my life would be more fun as an adult…I had that wrong, didn’t I? A job, a family, and a house of my own; but I ended up unhappier for it. I never had time to enjoy any of it, or so I’d thought at the time.
The music turned slow, melancholy. That was my life now. All my energy spent, and now I was slow, cautious in my movements. My bones ached, and when I sat it was harder every time to stand up once more.
The song slowed, the notes fading and further apart. I was so tired, each act was barely worth the effort expended. My eyelids were so heavy…maybe I should just keep them closed? It would be so hard to get up, after all.
The last note hung in the air.
And a busy jingle played. I forgot how it did that! It cranked just too much to just play once, which annoyed Mum to no end. “How lazy they must be,” said she, “To not test if it plays right!” I told her I loved it just as it was, because no song should end on a sad note.
With a wistful smile, I opened my eyes.
Inspired by the challenge at WordPress Daily Post and the music box I recently bought my fiancée!