When Philadelphia girl Amy travels to Dublin to complete her Irish “bucket list,” she runs into Michael, and the sparks fly. They spend a whirlwind Irish weekend together, and end up getting to know more about each other than they’d ever planned. In this scene, they’re visiting Dun Aengus, an ancient Irish fortress found on the Aran Islands, where Michael discovers a fundamental truth about the way he sees Amy…
“I’ve been watching you stroke your fingers over rocks and ruins with a look on your face that belongs in a bedroom.”
“I can’t help it,” Amy said, stepping away and turning in a circle with her arms spread wide. “Look at this place!’ It’s amazing!”
She turned to face him again, and the wind carried her hair as her eyes lit with exhilaration.
“Do you know how amazing it is when you can stand in a place where history is measured in thousands of years, instead of hundreds?” she asked. “When I touch a rock, I wonder about the man who put it there. What was he like? Did he have a family? What was his favorite food? Did he stand here, in this very spot and wonder about us? What we’d be like?”
The corner of his mouth lifted, and he reached out, taking her hand.
“There’s that spirit again. You’ve got it true. It’s all a grand adventure to you, isn’t it?”
“This trip? Of course it is.”
Her face fell a bit. “Here it is,” she said.
She strolled back along the path, hands in her pockets, and deep in her own thoughts. Michael fell into step beside her.
“I’m a fraud, you know.” The words came out of his mouth and she turned her head to look at him. He was looking away, down at the ground.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” She stared at him, confused.
“It means what I said. I’m a fraud. A total fraud.” He looked over at her, and he almost bit the words out. “I’m telling you to embrace your life, and I’ve been spending mine doing just the opposite.”
Her brow creased. “You’re…what? Secretly boring, like me?”
“No,” he said, shaking his head. “I went the opposite way of it. I bury myself in my work and my beer and an amenable girl and I keep repeating that cycle, over and over.” His tone carried more than a bit of self-loathing.
“Why do you do that?” she asked, stopping and stepping in front of him.
“It keeps me from having to actually find something worth living for, I suppose,” he answered uncomfortably.
“It’s safer.” Her eyes held his.
“Yes, I suppose it is.”
“But not easier.”
He shook his head, not wanting to elaborate, and she reached out and took his hand as she began to walk again.
She didn’t say a word, all the way to Kilmurvey, a tiny village of crafters set up at the foot of Dun Aengus. Michael couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this close to a girl and shared a companionable silence. It wasn’t uncomfortable in the least, not for him. And from the look of her, not for her, either. She smiled at him as if she were simply content to have his hand in hers.
She got it.
The realization hit him with the force of a fort full of stones. He didn’t have to explain himself any further or smooth over any feelings in the wake of his confession. She was already there, walking next to him and seeing it all with crystal clarity.
Amy stepped over to a display set up just outside a shop that sold Aran jumpers, their heavy cable-knit and unique patterns catching her eye. He watched her, with the ruins in stark relief behind her, and he wondered.
He wondered about that man, all those thousands of years ago. And he wondered if that man had a woman that he could be silent with, and still feel the words in the silence.
And if he did, did he know that it might be another thousand years before a man could find such a woman again?
He snapped out of his thoughts as she turned to him.
“What do you think of these?’ she asked, holding up a pair of odd-looking girl and boy leprechaun salt and pepper shakers.
“I think they’re horrid,” he said. “You don’t plan to pay money for those, do you?”
“They’re not much money. And I think they’re cute.”
“The pepper leprechaun looks rather wonky. Her leprechaun breasts are uneven.”
She gave him a look. “Leave it to a man to focus on leprechaun breasts. Fine. I’ll put them back.”
“I’m only codding ya,” he said. “Buy them if you’d like.”
“I can’t look at the pepper without seeing her freaky boobs now.”
“Then buy them,” he said, “But I get to keep the wonky one.”
“Deal.” She strolled back over to the counter, putting the salt and pepper shakers and a sweater down to pay for them.
Michael’s obviously seeing Amy for who she really is, but can he get Amy to see that same person in the mirror? Find out….Someday In Dublin!