The Eighteenth Maya of Julianna Dalisay || Aisha R.
Every morning, at exactly six o’clock, Nathan woke to the ragged screeches of a bird. It was an ugly sound. A cry wrenched out from the air, kicking and screaming from the veranda, pulled in past the window, through the blinds, and into the bedroom. To this, he would start his day.
The morning routine followed. Shower. Dry. Dress. Off he went to the kitchen to start coffee and breakfast. Before, when Julianna cooked alongside him, mornings were livelier; a bustle of two dancing over the tiles. The first years of married life were like that. A little messy, charred at the edges, but still good. Now, his coffee was stale, his breakfast bland, and the air crowded only by angry animals wails. Nathan took his coffee to the veranda, outside to where the Maya bird was. It fluttered about in its padlocked cage, never stilling, and it cried. Great, heaving, hysterical cries.