Posted by: smithdavid | April 14, 2013


The sun has risen above the roofs of the duplexes opposite Emmet’s back garden and is now warming my face. It’s like coming into a warm house from a dull, gray winter’s day. I sip from Annette’s homemade cappuccino.

‘For what it’s worth, my vote goes with Tess,’ I say, smiling, knowing that my vote is not worth much.  ‘Tess Conboy has great ring to it…’

‘Hmmm, I like Tess,’ says Annette, ’but Sadie is a great name too…’ She has one hand on her bump, there are only a couple of weeks to go before the due date.

‘We’ll see…’ says Emmet, looking out from under his bush hat.

to our right, lough eme...

to our right, lough eme…

The house is in Trim, half an hour outside Dublin. I flew in from Manchester last night, this time having no problem getting Matilda on the plane.

I hear my phone beep inside but it’s comfortable in the sun and everything in the garden is calm.

Eventually I look at my phone, it’s a message from Tara – Rossnowlagh pumping, get here now.

I think about you when I go back outside, it’s two years today since you had to leave us and as I can’t be with Dad and Sooz you’d have been happy that I’m with Emmet.

It’s three before we leave, there was no point rushing from the sense of contentment I felt in the sunshine. Besides, it’ll be light till at least nine in Rossnowlagh, there’ll be plenty of time to surf.

Now we’re on the A46 from Enniskillen to Belleek. Through the lush trees on our right is the light blue water of Lough Eme. Up ahead  a line of cars has gathered behind a tractor, I wait behind them for a while. At last there seems to be a gap big enough to pass a few cars so I floor it. This hire car is not like the diesel van and I push down harder with my right foot, but it the pedal is down as far as it can go.

rossnowlagh, where we're heading...

rossnowlagh, where we’re heading…

I look for a gap in cars to pull in to but they are spaced close together, I have to keep going. The road dips and rises again up ahead, anything could emerge from the dip. I grip the wheel tighter, lean a little farther forward. Beside me Emmet is not flinching as we hurtle on but I’m aware of how important it is that he is safe.

And now a sense of you flares within me and there are no words but I know, with absolute certainty, that there is nothing coming over the rise and immediately I’m calm.

We pass the tractor at last and I pull back into the right lane, the sensation from a second ago has gone but I can still feel it’s warmth and it has left a permanent imprint within.

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