• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12

Early Morning

It’s still dark when I wake up, suddenly unaware of where I am until I feel the warm trace you left beside me. I must have dozed off, probably while checking my phone, those pictures of us in the woods poignantly smiling back at me, as if knowing the joke I’ve let myself become. Or the one I’m trying to escape from. I no longer know. It’s been happening more frequently but it doesn’t matter, not as long as that keeps you around, your sweet humming coming up from the staircase, filling up the house like the burnt scent of our wintry evenings by the fire, my bare shoulders teased by the spirals of your melody and the laughter in your eyes. It’s too early for this, maybe. But then again, you’ve always been the morning one, your steps in the kitchen an alarm of routine pleasantries whose order I have a hard time following but try to do so in any way, lest you suddenly roll your eyes at my lack of concentration like you did when I told you we were lost, those bloody pines circling us and leading us farther from our actual road, one I haven’t been able to find in spite of brewing the coffee with a tiny pinch of almonds or stacking the mugs up in that funny way you like, with the sound of my warning not uttered but implied, however amused I was for witnessing the ghost of your child nature coming back to life, carefully interwoven with your ups and downs, our suns and clouds. But it’s too early, I think. You shouldn’t be there yet, opening cupboards and rinsing the nightmares away. Why aren’t you in bed? Why can’t you wait? Why did you have to go for help? How was I found but no one saw your steps? How can I remember all your morning rites but not the tree where we embraced? I’m as lost as I was then, that’s why I get up and run down the stairs, to bring you back, to stop you from throwing our leftovers and putting the pans away. To put everything on track despite the sheer silence I encounter when I enter and find it all as it was. It’s too damn early but the door cracks. I turn around. I no longer wake up.