FIRST CHAPTER SNEAK PEEK

His eyes weren’t just brown.

They had specks of green in them, sprinkles of amber. In certain lights, they looked black, hidden under his heavy lids and thick eyebrows. In others, they were brighter than a crystal, surrounded by small crinkles that made him look like he was always laughing.

His hair wasn’t just dark.

It was a mass of unruliness, no two curls or cowlicks the same, and with just enough gleam to make the difference between ebony and copper. Never the right haircut that could tame that mane, yet nothing so wrong that it made his coif offensive.

His face wasn’t just imperfect.

It was gloriously full of the flaws that prove life was lived all right. A nose too long, bent slightly a degree to the right, though only noticeable if you looked hard enough. A rounded chin that you’d hardly ever see because there was never a day that black stubble at the very least didn’t cover it, which in turn clashed oddly and magnificently with lips that were always flushed pink against rough, olive skin.

We hardly ever really look at those we love the most. We become accustomed to their spirit, their energy, their familiarity. Comfort is the biggest blinder there is.

But I looked at my husband. I looked at him in all the smallest moments. The ones we tend to forget because they don’t seem so special. The in-between moments that rest in the second-hand on the clock as we wait for the next tick of the minute-hand.

I looked at my husband the way we should all look at the ones we love more than anything else in the world. Because when you look in those small, fleeting seconds, you see so, so much. An ambiguous nature and breaths full of surprises. A shedding of the norm, of the expected. Vulnerability in all its beauty.  Physicality is our book cover.

My husband looked at me, too. And he smiled. A smile that changed his whole face, rippled it up into a brooding enigma of sunshine. The transformation of a ruminating man into a mischievous boy.

He stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around his waist, dripping all over the bathroom floor tile as the morning sun poured in the window. And I looked at him. And he looked at me. And he smiled as he reached out and wiped a bit of chocolate croissant off my lip.

“Savin’ it fer later?” he teased me, sparing none of the unforgiving rolling R’s he was born with. He sounded the way Guinness tasted.

That was the last time I saw the glint of green in his eyes, the shine of his wet, unruly hair, and the curl of his pink lips. That was the last time I looked at him.

And then the minute-hand struck and time on taking it all for granted ran out.