“The sun is bright this morning,” she mused, sipping coffee slowly on her front porch. With feet bare and hair in thick curls, framing her pecan colored face. She looked towards the direction of the sun. In her sipping, she wondered if he was doing the same thing. Could at that exact moment could he be drinking coffee, watching the sun, thinking of her. She smiled at the justice of that thought. Could it be that what the old women say was true? The heart wants who it wants, it never listens to your head. She smiled, the light of that thought warmed her better than the sun.
The habit of being awake early began with the carrying of her first child, insomnia made her nights days with the sun her signal to sleep. She rocked in the porch swing, happy the house was quiet that she may hear her own thoughts, and see them through. Married life suited her, yes. She knew to be faithful, forsaking every other and clinging to her husband so the two of them could be one flesh. Their life was supposed to have a cadence, a loved rhythm they planned aside from what could be found writhing on bedsheets. The passion would be cyclic, she knew. She knew how to be a wife, knowledge of position didn’t push her to the front porch in her robe, with a chemise underneath. He did.
This angel of her own making, this man-made god of her youth and imaginations. He whom she saw when she heard music, or closed her eyes. The heat produced at the christening of his name over her tongue was unlike anything she had. Of course, she he knew to have him would be to forfeit her destiny, her blood, her responsibility. It would be to change the course of her path in the worst and most incredible way possible. She held on to the blue coffee cup, her head resting on the back of her thumbs and didn’t fight the tears this time. She recited the same prayer she had for the last few days. “Father, either remove him or give me whom my heart wants. Either way, Father this must change. It cannot bear to be his and be here. In Your grace I stand, In Your love I am complete. I thank you. Amen.” The tears where hot, flowing faster than the white porch paint could absorb them. The sobs then, the release not complete. She wanted to run to him, full speed. She wanted to take but her love for him and sprint towards him. Damn the rest, damn the rest of the all she was supposed to do that day. Through the fields before her, towards the sun, and not stop until he was in arms length of her own hands. She cursed softly then. She began to will herself back to composure. She shoulders began to shake from sobbing. The sobbing, caused the coffee and its contents to spill over the porch and her feet. The heat from the coffee was a relief to pain in her heart. That burn was understood and could be explained, treated even. This, this inside heat, had no explanation. She couldn’t pray fast enough to keep ahead of it. This pain outpaced her. When her eyes closed she saw him. The cruelty came when she opened them and he was gone.
While washing clothes, his ghost followed. She walked to the mailbox, he called her name. She washed dishes and wished his hands were around her, his chin in the meeting of her neck and collarbone. “Relief, Lord. Send it.” She loved him. She wanted him. She couldn’t have him. The screen door closed with a bang. “Mama, are you okay?” her daughter asked. Sitting up quickly, she made no attempt to dry her face. “I’ll be okay, baby.” She smiled then. Her daughter’s eyes seems to search her own. She believed her daughter saw the lie but didn’t know what it was. She rose from her perch on her porch swing, picking up her coffee cup. She ushered her child back through the screen door, hand on her back. “Daddy wanted to know if you were going to drink coffee with him this morning. He has his cup already, Mama.” She shook her head behind her daughter. “No, I don’t think I will, baby. I already had some. I have other stuff I have to do this morning.”