I open my eyes and she is there above me. I wonder how long blue eyes have watched me sleep.
"Good morning," she says with a kiss.
I smile and stretch, another morning beside her.
She leaves the bedroom and I can hear her fumbling with the coffee pot in the kitchen. Soon its smell drifts lazily through the house and I get up.
The morning ritual has begun.
We sit at the kitchen table , cigarette smoke sailing on a breeze coming through the window. Sipping on coffee, she details for me the day ahead of her. I listen absently, injecting a nod or a smile where appropriate. I am watching her eyes as they change color and roll about. It"s said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. From here I can see nothing.
"What of your day?" she asks after a pause.
I briefly describe nothing, finish my coffee, and light another cigarette.
"I"m going to be late," she says and gets up and stretches as she goes to the shower.
She is singing again, as she often does while performing a task. In the shower, and now as she dresses herself.
A slow, mournful song, the words I can not hear. The sound says many things, though not the chorus to the song. Intonation tells the story of her life now, the death of one and the birth of another. In her reincarnation she carries still the pains of the past, wounds still seeping and gaping.
She stops singing and comes to where I sit, her dark hair slicked back and wet "Hello beautiful."
I don't hear her but nod to acknowledge she has spoken. I am thinking how it came to this. Was it all something, by higher powers, premeditated like a murder, only this of soul rather than body? Or is it truly coincidence, one of those transformations like plastic surgery?
I smile at her expectant gaze. The silence between us is golden, a rarity in this new beginning where we tell tall tales and stretch the truth, just a little, to make things more interesting. This is the time of romance, where hanging on every word and long, meaningful stares are commonplace as they move unknowingly toward extinction.
She smiles back and returns to the lavatory where she blowdries and fusses with her hair.
"Damn beautician," she complains and continues singing. The song is happier now. She is almost ready for the day.
I look at the ceiling and listen to her sing. A catchy tune, its gaiety almost infectious, almost inspiring a song of my own. I smile when I remember that my own voice will not carry as well as hers.
A dash or two of my favorite perfume, and soon its smell wafts out to me. How that smell made me crazy, though now I am not so drunken by its effects. I wonder if she's noticed I don't nuzzle her neck like I used to.
"Will you be here when I get home?"
I shift my gaze to where she stands by the window. The sun coming in behind her obscures her face and I cannot see what she is thinking.
"Of course," I answer through a grin. She asks that often.
She moves close to me and kneels down. Her mouth is a sensuous crescent and her eyes search mine. I wonder what she is looking for.
We kiss and caress, then kiss again and she is on her way. I listen as she drives away, enjoy the quiet, then turn on the radio.
I stretch and wander about the house, looking at each room as she left it. The bed unmade with her clothes strewn across it. A wet towel draped over the shower curtain and one still on the floor. A cup of coffee still steaming on the table and the dishes still dirty in the sink.
And then I begin to clean.