Ikue woke up and tried to lift herself out of sleep. After a night of sleep she always woke to the feeling of a kind of abandonment. It was as if everything had changed irrevocably. She reached over for her diary and scribbled “What do you want me to see and who do you want me to be?”
She switched her hand on the knob of the radio. “We tried to kill her but that stupid girl; that fool refused to die” said the voice filled with disdain.
“You have been listening to another dreadful story online and on air.” came the next announcement. Ikue looked at the radio like it was a freak of nature. She moved into the kitchen and turned the red light on the coffee pot. The smell of coffee began to waft through the air.
The sound of the doorbell pounded on her heart. She moved through the hallway and could hear an engine running outside the door. She looked through the spy hole. It was George.
She quickly opened the lock. George gestured from his rolled down window.
“Are you coming?” he said.
“Where?” Ikue shrugged.
“You’ll see”, he said.
Ikue looked behind her as if trying to decide. “One minute”, she motioned. She ran to the kitchen to turn off the coffee, then into the living room to turn off the radio. She grabbed her shoulder bag and put in her diary. Then she went to the front door and locked it behind her.
The car smelled like conkers. There were red throws covering the brown leather seats. She did not know where she was going but she felt safe. It did not feel appropriate to ask or even speak.
“So have you any bad habits?” George said. Ikue thought for a moment.
“I look at the lives of celebrities on the internet” she said finally. George nodded.
“That’s not that bad”, he laughed.
“I feel so bad about it I delete its history on my computer” she joked.
“Mine is sleeping with the light on. I’m afraid of the dark. It stares at me.” Ikue nodded.
George parked the car overlooking a sea. “Here we are”.
He pulled the key from the engine. It was eight o’ clock on a Sunday morning. The tide on the beach was very far out and the whole strand looked like desert. A figure here and there dotted the beach. Ikue and George walked into the sea breeze.
“I brought you here to say a prayer so if you are ever afraid you will remember when we were together.”
They walked a little, hand in hand, and then he recited the words. Everything looked and felt better after he said them.
Ikue did not question why George had brought her there or why he said the prayer.
They walked along the waterfront looking for breakfast. They stepped into a white cold tiled restaurant and sat into one of the wooden booths. They ate pancakes with maple syrup and drank coffee and held onto this dimension of time like it mattered.
Lena O’ Connell
Lena O’ Connell graduated from the Limerick School of Art and Design in 2009. She is a qualified art teacher.