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From Lost and Found, Chapter 1 (Emi’s point of view):

“Are you ever going to learn to do this yourself?  I won’t always be here.”  I set my wine down and begin to arrange the ends into a knot.  “And where’s the step stool?”  He begins to walk backwards to another corner of the kitchen, pulling me along when I don’t let go of his neckwear, slowly kicking the stool out to me.  I stand on the second step, finding it easier to do this particular task when he isn’t towering a foot above me.

“I can,” he says.  “It just never turns out right… and I’d rather it be crooked than lose my patience over something that’s going to be undone in a matter of hours.”  He smugly raises one eyebrow.

“Right,” I say, tightening the knot– tight– against his neck.  He coughs dramatically and pulls it a little looser.

His hand draws up to my face, stopping abruptly, his finger lingering inches from my mouth.  “Um, you have a little wine on your top lip.”  He stares at it while I stare back at him.  I lick it from my lips and smile with a slight blush.


“Thank you, Emi,” he says after clearing his throat, clutching the knot once more.  “How do I look?”

“Your hair’s a mess.”

“You always say that’s a good thing,” he says, confused.

“Yeah it is,” I sigh.  I’d never met another man who could pull off that look in any setting, amongst any crowd.  Women everywhere he went would fall at his feet… hence the fact that he was never without one.  “You look fine.”

“Just fine?”

“Good.  Great.  Amazing.  All of the above,” I say nonchalantly.  He was the epitome of handsome, and I know every detail of him like I know my own– after all, he was often my subject in portraiture class in both high school and college.  I know the perfect mix of brown and yellow and white paints that would recreate that messy hair that often covers his light brown eyes.  I can haphazardly paint brushstrokes in every direction and it would still look like the perfect head of hair on him.  His brows are just a shade darker, his lashes long, outlining a stare so intense at times that it can go right through me.  His natural tan coloring always makes me look even paler when we walk side by side.  He has a strong jawline with angular cheekbones that exhibit their own natural blush.  His nose is well-proportioned to his face, and turned up ever-so-slightly at the tip.

And his lips… I won’t even go there.  “What were we talking about?” I ask him.

©2011 Lori L. Otto