Your husband wakes up before you do.

This has always been the case, as he goes to work earlier than you—on the days that you have work anyway.

His alarm rings, and you are aware, just vaguely, when he reaches down to turn it off. He goes back to sleep, as he always does, for an extra minute or two, and you’re vaguely aware of this too. You occasionally give him a pat on the shoulder when you feel like he’s been laying down for more than a few minutes. Then he gets off the bed, and heads to the shower. You would then grab the blanket that’s been misplaced somewhere, pull it up until just above your neck, and snooze a second time.

During the early months of your marriage, you always wake up a hundred per cent when your husband’s alarm goes off. You become alert, alive, and most times, you’re annoyed by it. Nowadays, you mostly sleep through it, hovering somewhere between dreamland and reality, being somewhat aware of your surrounding but not alert in any way—a minute more of being left alone would get you straight back to sleep.

Half an hour later, your husband comes out of the shower, and he would go straight to you, patting your head, caressing your cheeks, and giving you a good morning kiss on the forehead. He often lingers for a moment longer, waiting for you to actually come out of the dreamland to register his kisses—a signal that it’s really time to get up. You would smell soap—a scent that you associate, strangely, with your husband. His hands would be cold, and they wake you up, as your cheeks would still be hot from all the blankets wrapped around you. You would slowly open your eyes, a smile registering on your lips, and stretch out your arms and legs before you’re finally ready to kick the blanket. He would get ready for the day, while you open the fridge to take out milk, his lunch, and his breakfast. Then you make coffee for the both of you.

Earlier in your marriage, you’re annoyed to be woken up by his alarm, although you never actually say you are. You feel that the alarm gives you headache, and you would try to continue to sleep in until the early afternoon. Your husband would kiss you goodbye before he heads off to work, and you would mumble your farewell with your eyes still firmly shut. Oh, just look at you—still wrapped tightly under the blanket, still hovering in the dark space of dreamland, where you would dream the weirdest thriller adventures but couldn’t quite remember anything when you get up.

These days, though, you wake up.

You start waking up with your husband a few months into your marriage. You always have the morning headache anyway if you sleep in. Plus, you always feel like the day has gone by too quickly when you wake up late. You feel guilty—for waking up late, for wasting time, for giving your youth away. So you decide to wake up to see your husband off. Then you start making him coffee in the morning, and taking out bread or cake out of the fridge for his breakfast.

But he has never gotten the time to drink coffee at home, so soon after, you buy him a reusable coffee cup.

Your husband never wants to learn how to make coffee using the espresso machine, despite your offer to teach him multiple times. So you wake up, and make him coffee—it’s saving you $3.70 each weekday anyway. Then you realise that on the days you’re not preparing him his breakfast, he would go on his merry way without one, or occasionally grab a piece of biscuit before hurrying off the door.

These days, you make him coffee and prepare his breakfast, insisting that he should eat something before goes, despite his stubbornness that he could hold it off until lunch time.

By the time you’re pouring the frothed milk to the coffee cups, your husband would hug you from behind—commenting that after thousands of cups of coffee that you make, you still can’t make latte art. You shrug, because you have given up on learning how to do latte art. You feel like your hands are not created for delicate things. That’s why you always bake cakes that are homey instead of pretty, or cook food that are hearty instead of fancy. Your husband would quickly finish his breakfast, put his lunchbox inside his backpack, walk towards the door, and wear his shoes. You would use this time to mist all the plants in the house, and when he’s ready to go you’d hand him his latte with a piece of paper towel—just because he always complains that the coffee gets spilled on the train.

He would say his goodbye and open the door, and you would tell him what you’re cooking for dinner. Then he would sneak a quick kiss on your cheek.

“See you tonight,” he says. “I love you.”

See you tonight, you say. I love you too.