The sun slipped from below the horizon, peeking between the trees that festooned the hilltops. From the surface of the river, in their boat bobbing amidst the cool, foggy, morning air, Tanya and Michelle sat in silence, enjoying the warm golden rays of the new day. They rose early each morning, and together welcomed the day, hand in hand, rain or shine, summer or winter. Their private ritual had been going on for over half a century and they had yet to miss a sunrise together.
It had all began one May morning, on a beach, by a lake, at a time when their lives were empty and devoid of real meaning. Tanya had spent the night sitting alone on the sand, wondering in whose bed her boyfriend was sleeping. Michelle had risen early from the couch where she had spent the night, her boyfriend having been too drunk to do much more than pass out in the kitchen the night before.
Michelle had seen Tanya sitting in the sand and had sat down silently beside her. No words passed between them as they watched the sun rise and a new day begin. Each was alone in her thoughts, questioning her path and wondering if there was more to life then she had yet experienced.
Tanya had spoken first, "Wanna go get some breakfast?" They had driven to a small diner, the conversation flowing easily, as if they had been friends all their lives. Neither bothered to go back and find their respective boyfriend. They had simply driven back to the city together, and by 5:00 that afternoon, Tanya had packed up her possessions, left the apartment she was sharing with her philandering beau, and had moved in with Michelle.
The next morning, Michelle awoke, slipped on a sweater, and then gently roused Tanya from her bed. Before Tanya could speak, Michelle had wrapped a thick blue terry cloth robe about her and was leading her up the fire stairs to the rooftop. In two old wooden lawn chairs, they watched the sun rise over the city.
The days turned into weeks and before long, Tanya was rising on her own, no longer needing to be awaken to see the sunrise. When Michelle had been transferred by her work, Tanya had quit her job and moved with her. The city they moved to was more expensive and so they had to economise and rent a one bedroom apartment. Tanya had planned to sleep on a hide-a-bed in the living room, but they didn't have time to set it up the day they moved in. That night, Michelle had insisted that Tanya sleep with her, rather than in a sleeping bag on the floor. The next day, they sold the hide-a-bed.
The seasons changed, the years passed, and through-out it all, the two never failed to share the sunrise. Through sickness and storms, at home and on vacation, they shared the beginning of each day, thankful for that one May morning that had brought them together. Life was good to them. Though they had to be careful to hide the nature of their relationship from those who did not understand, both had thrived in their jobs, to the extent that they were able to quit and open their own business. Neither had planned to fall in love with another woman and endure the difficultiest it caused. But, in their hearts, they knew, that as surely as the sun would rise each day, their love would never fade because they were meant to be together.
As the sun rose above the trees and began its slow, stately, voyage across the sky to mark the passage of another day, Tanya began to paddle their canoe back towards the dock. Her eyes sparkled and her smile radiated happiness as she said the first words that she had used to start every day she had spent with Michelle, "Wanna go get some breakfast?" Michelle responded by leaning forward, kissing her partner tenderly, and whispering softly, "I love you too."