Our Morning Routine


The sun beckons us but we lay still. We know better, we know there are trains to catch and jobs to attend to. We know better but we choose not to act on grown up knowledge. Instead, we are defiant with our lethargy. Instead, we lie in the web of sheets and pull each other close.

We exist in between consciousness and sleeping stupor. We are not entirely asleep but we want to be. We want a few more minutes of rest. We want lazy weekend mornings. We want the tranquility and simplicity of us, shielded from the outside world and its responsibilities.

But your alarm doesn’t agree with our wishes. It shrieks of the Monday morning reality we need to address. You sigh and turn it off. You turn back to me and say my name softly in a way that makes your nose crinkle with adoration. I pretend not to hear and hide under the sheets. You join me, holding the blanket over our heads. I keep my eyes firmly shut but you begin to taunt me with your lips. I try not to react but with you, I always give in.

After we finish, slightly out of breath, you remind me of a truth I don’t want to hear. But really, we need to get up. I roll my eyes and attempt to resume what we had just started. You laugh and pull me away. Rain check? I sigh and fall back onto the pillows. You just laugh at my annoyance and get up and leave the bed.

I hear the water running and decide maybe you are right when I look at the alarming time we’ve wasted. I jump from the bed and move in haste to the kitchen. I begin to cook our staples – oatmeal and coffee for me, and some ill tasting protein shake and omelet for you. I eat mine while yours still cooks. At some point, you enter the kitchen with your hair still wet, and startle me from behind with your arms. Thanks, you mumble into my ear and I brush it off as of course. I do this every morning and I wonder why you always feel compelled to thank me. It would be sensible to express thanks if it was an unexpected gesture but you show gratitude even for the most habitual things.

I leave you in the kitchen with your food and begin my own transformation. I have always envied how little is required for boys to get ready. With us girls though, it’s a process no matter how many shortcuts we take. I wonder if I should wash my hair and recall the miracle that is dry shampoo. So I skip on the lengthy wash and settle for a quick shower. When I’m done, moving onto the next task of hair and makeup, you enter the bathroom. The bathroom counter isn’t big enough for the both of us, especially with my debacle of products claiming territory. But you don’t mind, you never do. You just exist in between my mess, your few products lost within the sea of mine accumulating into something of unity.

You brush your teeth while I put on the last touches to my makeup. As I decide what lipstick to wear, a vibrant pink or a subtle berry, you pitch in. The second one, you say, it’s more you. I nod my head. Berry it is, I acclaim. It’s rather a trivial matter, this lipstick, and really I could just choose for myself. But there’s a value in knowing your opinion, there’s conviction in knowing your ability to rectify my indecisiveness. It’s reassuring to know I don’t have to make all the decisions alone, no matter how small.

Once we finish in the bathroom, we return to our room to dress. In theory, this task would be time consuming for me, not you. With ease though, I grab some dress and heels but you stare at the closet, wondering what shirt fits today’s mood. While I put on some accessories, I watch you with the corner of my eye. It’s as if you’re waiting now for me to reciprocate your earlier gesture. I walk over and grab a shirt for you. Here, this one looks good. You look at me hesitant, you sure? I nod my head and you look relieved. Where would I be without you? I answer you with a laugh.

The true question is where would we be without each other? How would I ever arrive anywhere on time if it weren’t for your early bird assertions? How would you ever feed yourself without burning a kitchen? I know you’ve tried a few times, but those fire alarm scares are warning enough. And how would we decide the most frivolous matters, my makeup decisions or your shirt confusions?

This is how we exist, intertwined in each other’s trust. Alone, we are okay and we could survive somehow. But together, we thrive. Together, it’s just easier to put faith in another person. We aren’t alone in facing our doubts; we have each other to navigate the uncertainty and to find the answers.

I think of all of this as I wait for you in the kitchen. I can’t find my coat, you say in distress. I gesture that I have it in my hands and you look relieved yet again. I grab our keys and bags while you throw on your coat. Should we go then? I ask. We’re going to be late for the train. You smile and kiss me softly. Mhmm, you mumble which I take as a yes. So I grab your hand and pull you outside with me, locking the door as you do up the final buttons of your coat. You wrap your arm around me as we rush onto the street. Even if we are a little late, I wouldn’t mind. The truth is I like our morning routine and whatever inefficiencies that defines it. Because it’s our routine, it’s the shared interweaving that begins our days together.

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