7:14 AM [the mornings i’m tired of waiting for]
I can smell the coffee in the kitchen brewing, an odd warmth swells in me, even though my tongue curls in disgust. I can hear him shifting downstairs, his hand fumbling around for a spatula in the drawer to the left of the oven, his other hand pouring batter into a skillet too hot I can smell the burning before it happens. He curses in loud whispers. I hear the click of the knob being turned down, the burnt pancake sliding off into the plastic bag of trash, the pan being put back on the burner.
I roll over to my side. The window is cracked, the wind of the skies not yet awake blows through my daffodil curtains. I bring my blanket up to my chest, staring at my wrinkled bedsheets, an open spot where a body recently slept. My hand brushes it down, smooths it out, and rests there. The stairs creak, groan, murmur. The door squeaks and cries before softly thumping against the wall where it settles in a dent from years before. I feel a hand gently lie on my shoulder, it falls down to the middle of my back, the bed sinking behind me.
I close my eyes, pretending to dream, laying unmoving. Soft, perfect lips gracefully kiss my forehead. Warm, rough, callused hands push back the hair cascading down my face. I can sense his longing gaze, his unwillingness to leave, his worry seeping out of him like a squeezed sponge. With one last glance, he turns, gets up, and shuts the door behind himself. Setting on the table he bumped, a tray of semi-burnt pancakes, a mug of Earl Grey tea, and a napkin with words: “I love you, babe.”