When a tragic accident tore his life apart, Nick Deegan left his wife Kate and their two young children - always thinking that one day he would return to them. Now, two years later, Kate has passed away after an illness and Nick moves home to raise Emma and little Liam without her. On the day of Kate's funeral, Nick discovers a book she left for him containing things she wanted him to know. But alongside the do's and don'ts of raising their children are details of five dates Kate has arranged for Nick in the months ahead. As Nick navigates his way through the book and tries to cope as a single dad, he slowly realises that it's not romance Kate wants him to find, but something far more important. Will he have the courage to take a second chance?
Prologue - Nick
The day is clear and
startlingly bright and it makes the view of Dublin from the top of the Three
Rock Mountain stretch out before us like a forever. On a day like today, that
view doesn’t end, it just disappears into the horizon in a hodgepodge of browns,
greens, yellow’s and blues.
“It’s beautiful Nick,” Kate says
I think she’s beautiful.
“Yeah, isn’t it?” I point out various landmarks to her but she’s barely
“It’s like, we can see so
far ahead here, we should be able to see into the future,” she grins at me. “What
do you think?”
I come behind her and wrap
my arms around her. I let my chin rest on the top of her head. Kate is tiny,
small boned and delicate but a powerful runner. She beats me every time. She’s
also an incurable romantic. “I think you’re right,” I grin. “I can see into the
future right now.”
“Yeah?” She stares ahead.
“What can you see then?”
“Having hot sweaty sex in
the next five minutes.”
Like I knew she would, she
laughs and belts me. “You’ve a one track mind, Nick Deegan,” she scolds
“Just about you,” I nibble
her ear. Truth is, I wouldn’t be able for sex having just run seven miles, four
of them up a mountain.
“Well, you’ll be sad to know, I don’t see that
in the future,” she says. “But I can see us flying to Barcelona to do the
marathon and rocking it.”
We’ve entered the Barcelona
marathon. Kate convinced me but I’m dreading it.
“But right now, in our
future,” Kate goes on as she brings her hands up to mine, “I can see us running
home, getting rid of Larry, nice and all as he is, putting Emma to bed and then
me, feeding you popcorn and seducing you in front of the telly.”
“Keep talking,” I say, with a small grin, “I
like the sound of this future.”
“I can see you unbuttoning my top and sliding
your hands inside and –“ she stops. “Aw, maybe I’ll just show you.” She
wriggles out of my arms and starts to jog on the spot. “D’you want to start
running into the future so I can show you?”
“How does a four minute mile
sound to you?”
She laughs delightedly and I
run after her and catch her up.
I wish we hadn’t run. I wish
we’d just stayed in the present, my arms tightly about her.
I wish the future had never
come knocking on our door.