Before Eight

from by Cheryl and Emerson Martlage

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Everything is about relationships. Some are given to us without our asking, like siblings, genetics and place of birth, while many are freely chosen. However, no matter what the relationships are, whether given or chosen, we can always change them—strengthen, weaken, destroy or ignore—the options are endless. Our lives are full to overflowing with decisions about relationships.

Sometimes, things happen that we didn’t plan on. Relationships break. This story is about a significant connection between two people that lasts less than 800 days. Then it’s over. Shocked, we struggle to understand what happened. Clarity arrives slowly as we build on the lessons learned and move forward with cautious resolve.


You swore you’d always try
Recklessly, I believed you
You looked me in the eye
But planned an escape

I pictured morning talks
Everlasting days together
You couldn’t see the same
And left before 8

We lived a simple life
I thought we both were happy
You took my hand and heart
Which got in your way

You needed something more
Than only me forever
Steady isn’t edgy enough
So you just couldn’t stay

Until then it seemed that
You were my one and only
Sparks and fire
The perfect match

Dark and brooding
To me you were my perfect catch

Then from out of nowhere
Without the slightest inkling
You became a stranger
With somewhere else to be

Today I’m sad to say
I don’t know what you’re thinking
I used to know you
But you gave us away

So then as this story ends, with memories bittersweet
Yesterday will forge tomorrow’s dream


from New Music, track released October 1, 2017
Cheryl Martlage - Lyrics, Vocals and Production Emerson Martlage - Music, Guitar, Vocals and Production


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Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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