By Peter Tyler
Marriage is tough. Isn’t that something we hear all the time?
“Honey, is the coffee ready? I have to get going.”
We love our early mornings together, enjoying the peace and quiet of the predawn hour between slumber and the other part of our lives. For this hour, we have each other.
“Here you go, babe.” I hand Jane the steaming mug, her preferred ratio, heavy with cream and sugar, something I learned during our first weeks together.
While taking the coffee mug, she pulls my arm gently into a long embrace. I feel her body warm to mine. For us, the kitchen is a romantic place. Or, at least, the kitchen is romantic for this hour. We cook together in our well-rehearsed ritual of preparing breakfast. She crisps the bacon, I scramble the eggs, then she salts, and I add a sprinkling of herbs. Our arms, legs, and even chins and cheeks, are never far apart in the small kitchen.
We stop for another warm, full body kiss, and I glance out the window, where the first red streaks of the sun creep upward above the neighborhood’s rooftops. And I know that Jane feels my embrace change as the reality of the day sinks in. Our morning hour is ending.
I pull gently away and then pause. The morning light from the window gives the disheveled hair that falls against Jane’s shoulder an otherworldly sparkle, and I can pick out the sweet scent of her lavender body lotion even amongst the smell of our cooking. Without meeting her gaze, I know that she is studying me too. After a final squeeze of my arms and a smile, I turn away.
Quickly, I go out of the kitchen door, making sure to close the drawstrings of my robe as I cross the two driveways. I walk up the steps and slip into the side door of my house. Mary and the kids will be awake in twenty minutes, like clockwork. It’s the same each weekday.
Through the open window, I can hear Jane calling to her husband that breakfast is ready.
Yes, marriage is tough. And love can mean sacrifice.