Every student will be able to identify with Jessica Yin’s short story Saturday Morning which describes both the woe and elation of that feeling of daybreak.
I never thought that peace would feel like rainy, cold, Saturday mornings, the tired grey sky letting loose a steady stream of tears that pitter-patter like your steady heartbeat next to me. I never used to like mornings; it meant another day of stress, of textbooks to be read, essays to be written, and applications that summed up my human worth in a matter of 200 words. It meant the end of dreams, the only place you used to live, but now I feel content to stretch out lazily like a cat in sunshine, brushing my feet up against your legs.
For once, the ticking drill sergeant in my head has gone quiet and it’s with an air of lethargic nonchalance that I flip through my usual morning iPhone routine. Nothing interesting on Facebook, no new texts to respond to, and even the email from Dad lacks its usual disapproving tone; he’s actually impressed by my column article, though of course the dear old man reminds me that internship applications for his company are opening soon and that I ought to apply before better candidates take the place he’s gotten for me. Even this subtle reminder that I live in his shadow can’t ruin my mood or evoke a single spark of urgency in my limp, sluggish body; I’ll take care of it later, father of mine, I promise, because you’re stirring beside me, turning so I see the rise of your profile’s silhouette against the darkened room.
For once, those teasing, mocking lips of yours are still and with your chest rising steadily in a quiet, hypnotic rhythm you seem so gentle, harmless; for once we are not at war and I’m not afraid that every move is a power play, every touch and every moan is a tally on your side of the scoreboard. I don’t have to be clever and you don’t have to be cruel and we can just breathe easily together, in and out. The ping of my phone makes your eyelashes flutter and you turn once more so the soft, warm skin of your back faces me; though the email that ping-ed tells me I’ve gotten my dream summer internship at a criminal law firm, it’s your gentle sigh that makes my heart sputter and skip a beat. I know that soon you’ll have to go, because you always go; we’re trains passing in the night, stuck on a fast track in opposite directions.
It’s who we are, it’s who we want to be, but in the misty, groggy, morning haze I can’t think of anything I want more than to linger here in the memory of whispered secrets and desperate wishes. I almost say it then, those words that can’t be true, that feeling that must not be voiced, because if I say it aloud, if I dare give them life, you will run and I will break and the carefully constructed thing we have will fall apart. So I content myself to running my fingers along your spine, smiling lightly as you shiver and stretch your arms out towards me; at peace in the warmth of the crook of your arm, I savor this fleeting moment when I’d almost believe that you and I belong together, when I’d almost dare think that you and I could make this work, when I might hope for a shot at peace, if only on rainy, cold, Saturday mornings.