The first book in M. Mabie’s brand new The Breaking Trilogy is available now, and I have a little sneak peek for you.
He rumbled and cleared his throat before he asked, “How are you?” His voice was as coarse as the leather on his feet, and his question was one I’d asked myself many times.
The pleasant answer, the answer that gave comfort to others was, “I’m at peace knowing he’s in a better place.”
But I didn’t say that.
Lost to myself, I boldly examined the brute before me, foot to head, and answered him honestly. “I don’t know.”
His light brown hair was full-on wild, messy and flipped over to one side, and I couldn’t even see the skin on his cheeks through all the brown and red whiskers. His eyes looked green, then brown, then gray and blue. A flowing hazel.
When my gaze lingered, he continued slowly, “If there’s anything you need—” He paused and shifted his weight back and forth. “If you need anything—”
I dropped my eyes, hoping I wasn’t making him uncomfortable.
“Myra,” he addressed me, and my name had never sounded so raw. His voice was sharp and deep. “Jacob was my brother.”
Reckoning rang in my chest. I was so thoughtless. That explained his unease. How terrible of me to not realize.
I glanced up at his intense face again, trying to make the connection. I’d only seen a few old pictures of Abraham from when he and Jacob were children, and he hadn’t attended our banding ceremony.
“Please forgive me. I’m so sorry for your loss,” I apologized, embarrassed by my rudeness. “Of course, you’re Abraham.”
He didn’t look like the Pastor, Ms. Catherine, or Jacob—at all. Then again it was hard to say what he looked like under that hair atop his broad shoulders. Jacob had been a large man, and Abe was large too, but in a very different way.
It felt shameful appraising him, comparing him to his brother there in our church beside his mourning family, and I bowed my head again to show respect, again forgetting my place before a man. He’d been offering a kindness, being polite.
That must have been all he needed, because after shifting a few more times on his feet, he briskly marched away.
I replayed the whole encounter, over and over, as others passed me with condolences.
The truer answer to his question of what I needed was: I didn’t know because I didn’t know what I had. My childhood home was now occupied by one of my older brothers and his children. Would the home I lived in with Jacob be mine?
Did our short marriage even count? We hadn’t even had our reception yet. Hadn’t moved our rings together. Hadn’t done a lot of things that husbands and wives do.
Would I be alone forever now?
Did some hearts break slower than others? Or would mine remain unbroken because I hadn’t known my husband in a biblical way yet, despite which hand my gold band was on?
When would someone tell me what to do? Or how to feel?