Sunlight streamed through the window, causing him to open his eyes and look at the first day of the new year. They had partied hard the night before with friends, and he was sore from all the fun games and the dancing and cheering. But he remembered her promise above it all. And smiled, looking forward to the gift she had promised him for the year.

He turned to look at her, deep in sleep, a slight snore which was endearing more than annoying. Every time he saw her sleeping face, he didn’t have the heart to wake her up. She looked like she was spinning dreams and he always fell short of waking her up because of that expression as she slept, blissfully unaware of his daily musings.

But today was different. He had woken up a few minutes earlier, brushed his teeth, made tea for them and now he couldn’t put it off any longer. He lay down in bed beside her and gently caressed her face. She moaned in her sleep, sensing an outside disturbance to her dreams. But he persisted. He moved on to her shoulders, gently squeezing them and whispered, “Honey, it’s time to wake up. You promised, remember?”

Her eyes slowly fluttered open, focusing on him as she fought to dust the cobwebs of sleep from her eyes. “Hi Honey, Happy New Year!” she said, happy these were the first words out of her mouth on the new year and that she had woken up to him beside her.

“Happy New Year Honey, time to wake up. Remember your promise? I want to us to start our new year by you holding on to your promise and making me the happiest man in the world.”

She gasped, a little embarrassed that he was going to be so in-the-face about it. “Yes I promised hon, and I will. But at this time in the morning? Surely we should ummm… start this evening? I mean there’s a time and a place…”

He was unrelenting. “The time is now, the place is here.And I’m not taking no for an answer. We talked about this hon. We agreed you would think of it as a bodily function, just like brushing, eating or taking a bath. That’s the only way we can do it as often as we would like to and turn it into a pleasurable habit! Come on now get up and brush your teeth and wear the special outfit I got you last night. I’ve kept it in the bathroom.” Saying this he pecked her on the cheek and playfully pulled her out of bed and gave her a hug that spoke volumes. “I’m waiting, don’t take too long ok?”

She sighed and hugged him tighter, loving this side of him. Yes, 2017 was already bringing in some surprises with it! She eagerly went to brush her teeth and freshen up. And came out of the bathroom, a little shy, a little scared and a little worried if she could keep up to her promise of doing this every single day, twice a day if they had the time!

But then she looked at him, at his kind eyes and the hope he held in them. And hand in hand they went. For their morning walk.