sunday, new york, 2027.

It starts out the same way it always does. The city wakes us up with all its hustle. When you’re in New York, every day feels the same. There is no differentiation between the weekdays and the weekends.

Only we know the difference. Today is Sunday. Sundays are reserved for bad poetry and good coffee; other times, it is good poetry and bad coffee. We don’t get to pick, the city chooses for us. There is no alarm set because, between you and me, we are busy people who rarely catch a break. Sunday is our day, we get to sleep in until the sun scorches our behinds and there is not a single person in the world who can do anything about it. This freedom that comes with ascending the stairs of your twenties is surreal and I’m still trying to come to grips with it; you seem comfortable with it already.

Jupiter, our dog, pounces onto the bed. He has no regard for the Sunday-sleep-in rule, he just wants to go outside. I roll over and check my phone, the screen flooded with emails upon emails that I swipe away one after the other. No one gets to talk to me today except for you. Five minutes of barking later, I finally get up and scratch Jupiter’s belly, my left hand hitting your body aimlessly in a lazed effort to wake you.

What time is it?

It’s ten-fifteen.

That’s late.

Yeah. But it’s Sunday.


You drag yourself out of bed because you know what little time we have to spend solely in each other’s company is precious. Every second is sand beads slipping through our fingers. I fill up Jupiter’s bowl and we both trudge into the bathroom to wash up. There are two sinks in the bathroom, the kind I’ve always wanted and couldn’t believe my luck when the apartment came with it. I pestered you for a whole week to put down the deposit and cut off the rest of our preordained apartment hunting.

This is the one. This is our place. I had said.

Two sinks close the deal?

You know it does.

The next moment, we are out the door in our coats of pale brown shades. Fall has arrived ever so silently through the chilly breeze and reddened leaves. With Jupiter on the leash leading our paces, we amble down the neighborhood, arms linked not for affection but for warmth. You lace your fingers through mine and put both our hands in the large pocket of your coat. I think about how unfair it is that men’s clothing always has larger pockets, brush off the thought, and run my thumb across the back of your palm.

You look at me and you smile. The kind where the left side of your lip droops down while the right hooks up, either side complemented by shallow dimples. I’m no believer but I know concretely that God added some voodoo special ingredient when he made you. I wouldn’t go so far as to say your smile cures cancer, but for just one moment, I’m free of the pains of the past and the wails of the world.

Our footsteps come to a halt when we reach a breakfast parlor we have yet to explore, every Sunday bringing us to one farther from our apartment. Then again, the Sunday is ours to squander. We turn to look at each other and share a silent gaze of agreement.

You wanna try this one?

Sure, why not. I’m starving.

Me too.

This one has outside seating that is still bearable in the swift autumn breeze. We park Jupiter and flip open the menus to order to our hearts’ content, never mind the numbers behind the dollar sign. We are two senseless workaholics who snap their backs crooked working Mondays through Saturdays; if we can afford a place with two sinks, we can afford to splurge on the universally agreed-upon most important meal of the day.

Plus, it’s brunch.

You repeat our orders to the waiter when he comes by and nearly forget the beverages. I call after him and ask for the largest possible cup of cappuccino they have as well as a small cup of hot chocolate. The coffee’s for you because of how you’ve gotten used to it, can’t live without it. The large is just for me to steal a few sips and judge whether today is a good coffee day or a bad coffee day. Then, I’ll go back to my one true love other than you, chocolate.

The waiter gives us a perfunctory smile and leaves with the menus and chit. We talk for the duration of the food preparation, no silences, no pauses. I’m planning to visit my parents soon, you should come with. Your mom is doing just fine, she wishes we would call more often. I scored a few more freelancing gigs throughout the week and you are on-call for the next rotation. We should go somewhere fancy for dinner tonight. No, we should order pizza and watch TV then spend the rest of our night talking about it. That sounds perfect. It sounds like us.

What film do you have in mind? Please don’t say Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

I won’t, let’s do a turn-of-the-century science fiction that boggles our minds because you like that. You do. And I like that you do.

Our food arrives and we feast like New Yorkers do. It’s wonderfully made to the point where neither of us spares a second to comment on it. We just keep savoring the chef’s creation until the very last speck, our faces expressing the deliciousness that is hitting our taste buds, exchanging bites off plates now and then because all good things, we share. We remember to break off small pieces of food for Jupiter as well, who is sitting quietly, observing his surroundings. He must love Sundays as much as we do. Perhaps we should’ve named him Sunday instead.

We stack the plates neatly to one side and take out the paper napkins that had wrapped around our cutlery earlier. They’re both wrinkled but we unravel them and you take two pens out of those big pockets of yours, sliding one across the table to me. One mischievous wink before we dip our heads and begin writing on the napkins. This is the poetry part of Sunday. We know nothing about poetry, but we call it that anyway.

Once both pens are no longer scribbling, we exchange the napkins.

Yours is a stupid sketch of me. Again. You do this all the time, opting for a horrendous and quick drawing while I write. Neither of us can draw, but you insist on it anyway, so one of the drawers back home is filled with your napkin doodles. I can’t bear to look at your renditions of me but neither can I bear to throw them away.

Mine reads: ‘You’

And you call this poetry!

It’s true, though. You are poetry.

You’re mushy.

I know. Get the bill?


We pay and leave. I’m still getting used to the tipping practice of New York. It’s strange to me, but when in Rome. We walk back in the direction we came from, our second destination already set in stone. It’s rare that we can escape the noise of the city on the weekends but there is one spot always made quiet for us, like a little bubble that blocks out everyone else, like the rest of the world does not exist.

The bell fixed to the top of the bookstore door chimes five times. It always does. This is what I love about our Sundays. The routine. The mundanity. The ease. We stow ourselves away between aisles of forgotten literature, stories written but untold. We find pieces of ourselves within pages, you and I sinking into nothingness, shrinking into non-existence amidst the millions of fictional people we are surrounded by. You pick up the books related to your work and I wipe them out of your fingers, replacing them with fiction instead. You don’t really fancy the bookstore but we come anyway because I love it. And because you love that I love it. We find little phrases and gift them to each other, even if they’re not ours to hold, even if they will never be meant for us.

As the smell of parchment stings our nose and the stained glasses cast patterns onto dust jackets, time gets stolen by a nameless thief. Some Sundays, we are out of the bookstore within the hour; other Sundays, we take longer. We seldom check out any books because of the mountainous pile already sitting in our living room.

And so we go home, my hand once again stuffed in your coat, the wind gently lashing across our cheeks. Once home, we shed off our coats and collapse on the sofa to bask in the late afternoon rays. I curl up in the elongated portion of the couch while you take up the other side, busy turning on your console. I pick up the book on the coffee table and continue where I left off, your gaming a white noise to my reading.

You’ve tried to get me to play along as much as I’ve tried to get you to read, neither of us successful in our conquest. Levels and chapters later, the sun sets over New York City, a signal to get thinking about dinner. I’m not a firm devotee to astrology but I blame my indecisiveness on my star sign. I’ll have whatever you want to have for dinner. You roll your eyes at me so far back you probably saw the inside of your cranium. We discuss the possibility of cooking, making something from scratch, just you and me messing around in the kitchen. I’ve become much better of a cook in the past six years while you’ve always been great at recreating your mom’s recipes. I love insisting I’m the better cook even when I know the opposite is true, but you always give in and agree with me for the sake of it. You shield your eyes with your hands and think hard for ten seconds before arriving at a conclusion. Pizza. Why, of course. Go with the safest choice neither of us can reject, why don’t you?

Dinner gets here swiftly and we dig in. You bring out the red wine which I am still acquiring a taste for and we eat like tomorrow will never knock upon our doorstep. As ebony shades dominate the skies, we discuss just about everything. What have our friends been up to? What are our plans for Thanksgiving? Christmas? What about a second dog? It’s light, it’s effortless, being with you. I don’t second guess whatever slips off my tongue, I don’t hold back my opinions for fear of your judgment. I talk and you listen; you talk and I listen; it’s wonderfully harmonic and the neighbors can’t complain.

We wipe our hands of the pizza and I sit for a moment, taking in the view. You walk over to the record player sitting by the television and put on vinyl. Jazz. How ever-classy of you! You saunter over to me in the most hilarious footing and I know what is about to happen. I raise a brow at you in hopes that you would give up on this ridiculous endeavor but you take me by the hands anyway, lifting me off the ground.

Every day and more, I forget how tall you are, how your silhouette encapsulates mine. This time, it was my turn to roll my eyes. I throw my head back laughing because not only do we lack artistic talent, we also perform in a subpar manner when it comes to dancing. I step on your toes now and then but you say nothing at all. If someone were to look through our living room window, we would be the main characters of a rom-com ending. It’s silly, but it makes you happy.

We admit defeat after a song or two, just like we always do. We clean up and wind back at the couch, Jupiter with us this time, awakened from his nap. You put the movie on while I gather all the pillows and blankets toward us, half-heartedly building a fort. It does not hold. Nevertheless, we cosy up and watch the film, you making the occasional comment on the trivial things, me pointing out how great the cast looks.

Somewhere in the middle of the film, I space out for a few minutes. My eyes flutter around the room and I look at everything around me. The two sinks, Jupiter, you. I think about how, even though I do not believe in a greater being, if God were to stand before me right now and tell me all of this was never meant for me—that we were made of different things—I would denounce all faith and religion just to prove Him wrong. And I think about how lucky I am to have found a home in this city and in you after so many wrong choices of the past. How every footstep led me here, how every heartbreak led me to you. How our histories contest each others’ and how your broken pieces look exactly like mine. No two souls are alike, they say, but I believe us to be the exception.

When the credits roll, we turn off the lights and our phones, wash up, and dive straight into bed. We say all the things we want to say, assuming tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

I’ll see you in the morning.

See you in the morning.

As our consciousness ebbs away while the rest of New York lives on the night, I know what you’re thinking and you know what I’m thinking: we can’t wait for next Sunday to arrive.

art by Rhowan.