Cross Country – Part 2
“Where’s my phone? Did I leave my phone in the car?”
“I saw you put it in your bag. Here’s your thingy Clare.” Emer pulled the ipad from her bag and started to hand it back to her daughter. The ear piece caught on the handle.
“Mum, don’t break it.” Clare hung over the back of the seat as her mother dodged left and right to find a suitable angle for the pass over. The earpiece flew clear of her handbag to hit her on the glasses.
“Jesus! I’m blinded. My eyes, my beautiful eyes!” The glasses were pulled off with a flourish and hands clapped dramatically over eyes. Drama queen.
Maeve poked her with her elbow.
“Will you behave!”
Finola ignored all, pulling a packet of Kit Kats out of her handbag. They were placed neatly in the centre of the table.
I smiled at the carriage window.
“Did you see that lunatic at Kilcolgan?” Finola folded her scarf tidily and placed it carefully over her coat. The coat was also folded, neatly, across her knees. Maeve struggled with hers. It was a beautiful garment, you could sense the softness of the leather as she slid it from her shoulders.
“Move Emer, you’re sitting on my tail.”
“Let back your ears and pull like an ass a girleen! Do we have to play cards? I’m useless at cards. I can’t remember a single game.”
“Comon. It’s mighty craic. You’ll remember as soon as you start. I’ll help you.”
“Oh thanks. You’re the biggest cheat on two legs.”
“What? What! Feck off. I am not!” Maeve sniggered across at me.
“Don’t listen to a word. It’s all lies.”
I smiled back. Hadn’t a clue what else to do really. Clearly I was part of the ebb and flow of their banter. I didn’t mind. They were all around my mother’s age and clearly having fun. A big day out.
Finola clattered Emer across the back of the hand. She was reaching for the Kit Kats.
“Wait for the coffee first.”
“Violence, assault. You saw it! You did didn’t you?” Emer grinned at me.
“I have a witness Finola. Now Ha! A witness. She’ll testify. Won’t you?”
“Will you stop disgracing us,” tutted Maeve as Finola pushed the Kit Kats at me.
I politely declined and was immediately sorry. I like Kit Kats. Two teenage heads appeared behind Maeve and Emer. Right on cue. Like fledgling birds they reached for Kit Kats. Maeve handed them back. The chicks dropped back. Emer opened hers immediately and started eating.
“That lad had a death wish,” said Maeve.
“Fecker. Off with him. I gave him the evil eye out the back window you know. Fecker!”
“Should have taken his number and called the guards. We’re lucky we’re here at all.”
Finola tut tutted into her handbag. Maeve checked her phone. Emer squinted over her shoulder.
“She’s coming, she’s coming!”
“Great! Who’s having what? Laoise, Claire, Dee, what are ye having?”
“Have they juice?”
“I’m sure they do,” says Finola.
“Here Emer. Pass this back to them and they can do their own ordering. Dee! Emer has a tenner for you! Get the girls something.”
“You can’t do that! Clare! Don’t take money.”
“I can. Clare! Don’t listen to her.”
“Clare! Listen to your mother. Don’t touch…”
“Will you stop, will you? Clare! Don’t listen to your mother. I’m older than her. Get yourself something. Will you let me get my niece a drink. You can get it on the way home.”
“Ok. Clare! Get something really expensive!”
Finola laughed. Maeve was on the phone. She waved at the pair to stop.
“Fine. Fine. There’s a concert tonight so you’ll have to clean up after you and put all the chairs back. I won’t be home until after 9 so I won’t have time to do anything. It starts at 8. Will you? You will! Good. Alright. I’ll see you later.”
“Tea or coffee?”
“I’ll have a coffee.”