Of course, I’m sure you know that by now. After the countless nights we’d spent together, there had always been the inevitable countless mornings we’ve had to endure together.
The first few were awkward, to say the least. Even after the first hundred or so, I’d still sometimes wake up disoriented, wondering where the hell I was and who the fuck is this chick lying next to me and why is she so close?
Things got better, sure. Some mornings I’d wake up and be surprised that you weren’t in bed at all.
Some of those mornings were the worst. I’d end up philosophizing why you hadn’t spent the night—had I done something wrong? Did something happen? Where were you now?
Still, some of those mornings were the best. I’d wake up and find you in the most random places. Sometimes, I’d come downstairs to find you huddled in front of the couch, either watching TV, or asleep with the TV on, and relief would spread through me like a cold wash of water. I’d join you and it would be like nothing happened.
Other times, I’d find you rummaging through your drawer for something—you’d never tell me what, and I’d never ask—and stop as soon as you noticed me watching. Then you’d join me in bed and it would be like nothing happened.
But the best mornings were the ones that left a soft burnt smell lingering in the house. On those mornings, I’d be awoken by the sound of your yelling for me to get up, and I’d crawl out of bed all pissed
off and grumbling under my breath, only to be greeted by the sight of a full breakfast waiting for me in the kitchen.
Then you’d beam at me, your sleeves soaked in what looked like a mix of eggs and milk, flour—maybe instant pancake mix—everywhere, even in your hair, and a mess of unwashed frying pans and spatulas in the sink behind you.
It didn’t really matter that the food was always bland, or burnt, or both. Or that you fell asleep almost right after eating every time. Or that every once in a while, I’d get a really nasty stomach ache that made me question whether you’d actually cooked those eggs all the way through.
We’d have mornings like those in all sorts of places—at my place, at yours, in hotels (that one time you woke me up with nothing but a Quake bar and a glass of water was priceless—mostly because I almost
wanted to wring your neck, but I digress), in huts out on the beach. Sometimes it was take-out, sometimes it was some… I-dunno-what-this-is-but-I’d-really-rather-not-know thing you’d whipped up out of nowhere.
It would be impossible to hate those.
Those mornings were my thing.
It hadn’t been that long since the last of those mornings, had it? It was probably, what, two weeks since the last before I woke up alone in bed again.
You weren’t rummaging through your drawer, but it was half-open. I never liked nosing around so I didn’t bother to check what was inside. If I had, I probably wouldn’t have been so surprised.
Downstairs. The TV wasn’t on. There was no you huddled in the couch.
There was no burnt smell lingering in the house that morning. The kitchen was empty. No mess of pots and pans and spatulas on the sink, no egg shells on the counter, no burnt pile of pancakes and bacon on
I still wonder why you left that morning, but I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter.
Mornings, Christ, I can’t stand mornings.
I’ve been asked why, time and again. I never really had a reason to hate them until then.
The week after, I asked for the graveyard shift. There’s no way in hell I’m going to wake up to another sunrise in that godforsaken house. Get up at 1, get to work at 2:30, get home before 1 for some lunch, then sleep.
Imagine how pissed I was when I got that call.
Your mom was crying pretty bad. “Anak,” she still called me. Between her sobbing and my half-awake brain, I couldn’t make out the details of the accident. All I knew was, at 8-something in the morning, the
cab you were riding swerved straight into a something-wheeler truck going at something-kilometers an hour, ricocheting or something off of the truck and crashing into a nearby traffic sign. A wreck upon a
wreck. That, and you didn’t make it.
It’s a little overwhelming to think that the last time we spoke, we were screaming at each other. I don’t even remember why anymore. I remember you crying, and refusing to come to bed, instead deciding to
sit near your drawer with your back turned to me.
I went to bed that night thinking it would be like nothing had happened, and woke up that morning with you gone.
I’m really quite surprised. I didn’t think you could lose a person twice, but I’m pretty sure I did.
Mornings were never my thing, and at this rate, they never will be.
Originally posted on Tumblr on August 10th 2012
This post was written in response to the following writing prompts:
LOVE - Keep it simple — write a love story.
HAZARD - Involve a road-sign in your writing.
LAMENT - End your piece with a woman in tears.
EULOGY - Write a eulogy or a scene in a funeral service for one of your characters.