Pancakes For One

FEU Advocate
May 31, 2024 18:01

There is something humbling about the morning after a breakup.

This is the very phenomenon that pulls you back to the ground; swift and without warning. Today is Saturday, and the first time I despised the weekend was the moment I felt salt on my pillowcase sting my eyes. I did not bother to roll over; I knew you were not there. I stood up and made my bed, and I felt a sharp prick as I touched the soft duvet. You used to fold the sheets while I arranged the pillows. I am doing the very thing you would hold in bed other than my hand. Quickly, I tucked in the corners. 

Today is Pancake Day, or at least, the remnants of it. I looked closely at the procedure behind the box. Who cracks the eggs on my behalf while mixing? Who puts butter on the pan while I heat the coffee? How many tablespoons were two when you took your things and I am left with one in the sink? I decided to head to the supermarket. 

“On a diet?” the cashier asked. I pretend to not hear and kept my eyes glued to my items. “A total of six-forty five.” I handed the amount and thanked her. 

“Don’t you want your receipt?”—Love cost me four years of patience, four months of knowing, and a lifetime to carry. Yet, my change was the grief I dragged to this very supermarket. In the contents of the bag I carry home to forget. “Yes, please. Thank you.”

I placed butter in the pan, cracked the eggs, and mixed them well. While waiting for the pan to heat, I ran upstairs and fixed my duvet—tucked on the corners with a little overlap at the top—the way I will now be doing it in place of your absence. An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion; therefore, I will not pause my life for someone who no longer moves with me. 

Today is Saturday, and the very first time I danced with the ghost of who you were. Healing is disguised as strawberry syrup on pancakes. Grief is the receipt I carry in my pocket the morning after I thought I knew what love was four years ago, and I leave it there as a reminder that I have loved well. I spent four lifetimes working up lists of the shared errands we used to do. I now have a new one: do them all over again by myself. 

- Allyah Jenris C. Allam

(Illustration by Darlyn Antoinette Baybayon/FEU Advocate)