You pour the coffee and wait. Sitting there in the dark you reflect for a moment about how this has never been your time. This early morning shit is for the birds. You take your first sip as the alarm beeps, causing your phone to dance around the table. The crack of dawn has arrived. Then there’s what has to be done.
You get up from the tiny table to cross the cramped apartment. You walk to the bed and look down. There she is peaceful, beautiful, asleep, perfect in the moment. You move the long hair covering her face. You rub your eyes. It can’t wait much longer. It’s the right thing to do, so you nudge her awake.
She starts with grumpy, she always does. Soon enough you are both angry, your opposing schedules colliding. Too tired to fight, too short on time, you try to discuss breakfast. She waves you off. She’ll have breakfast when she gets there today. Just some juice for now, maybe a piece of fruit. There are bananas in the kitchen. You finish your coffee and soon she has herself clean and dressed. By the time her hair is brushed she is all smiles and sunshine. She takes her bag from your hand and you both walk out the door, down the stairs.
The morning outside is cool and grey, the world seems blurry in this early light. The street is quiet, the neighbors barely awake, save for the one or two just starting their cars. You walk in silence, hand in hand. So many things you want to say. About hopes for the future. Apologies for the past. Things that could be, the way they should have been. Your time together is too short each day so instead you talk about nothing. Just happy for what you have right now. This morning. That’s all there is.
You walk on to the intersection, waiting for the walk signal. She bumps you with her shoulder and smiles. It’s always that smile, that what gets you. You wonder how she does this every morning. She doesn’t even drink coffee. Ten minutes that all that remains, six blocks and then your time together is over. You it fill as best you can with laughter at little jokes you both make. You are so tired, your feet seem to drag on the cement and she begins to almost skip with each step. She is looking forward to the day and you are looking towards finally getting some sleep.
When the building comes into sight she wants to walk the rest of the way by herself. Your heart sinks, but you know you have to let her go on. You say goodbyes and watch her walk away. She turns one last time to wave at you. You know their only so much time before it’s someone else’s heart she’ll be breaking. You smile and wave back.
You’ll get to spend one more hour with her later when you bring her home from school. Before you have to work. Now you just head home, and go to bed.