I stepped out of Shannon Airport with a suitcase in my hand, guitar on my back and car keys in the other, I cuddled my jersey to my body before I headed to my car, the weather was warmish in the county Clare but far from the hotness in LA but I welcomed it, I jumped into the car and taking off to Lahinch, a quiet little town on the coast of the sea with the colourful vintage house; thought of it made me excited for the short holiday.
Julia suggested the peaceful corner of the earth, seeing that Eric was from this part of Ireland and he said it was a cosy way to spend time away from the rushing world of lights and cameras, so he gave me the keys to the stone cottage and only asked that take care of Walter while I was there which wasn't a big deal since I love little guy, I hopped on a flight after taking of Rhea and business back home; out to this beautiful countryside.
I pulled up to the town and stopped the car, I wanted to experience this beautiful view and fresh air that came with it, I jumped out of the car and ran to the front of it, I was greeted with a beautiful scenic view of the town resting against the sea; I watch little boats and ships bobble up and down as the wave moved in and out of the beachfront, I ran to the barricade and look down to see the sea, a gust of wind took my body and I reached my hands wide, closing my eyes to feel the wind blow through; giggling at the thought of flying off.
Before long I was standing before a stone cottage that was half into a hill, my excitement bubbled in my throat as I exited the car, grabbed my suitcase and practically ran for the front door, I opened it to find a very disappointing modern room, I was expecting a cosy small cottage in the hills but I got a very magazine-worthy modern house; it was in a light grey to go with greyish stones that stood around it, it long open plan living to which I could see from tv and fireplace off to the side to the dining room and kitchen.
A long floor to ceiling window that went from the tv area to the chef's kitchen, it modern maybe too modern because it felt cold, empty and intimidating, I walked into the quiet room and instantly my footsteps echoed through the house, I walked up to the kitchen which made for chef and I knew this where Eric spends most of his time, I placed my hand of the marble counters then turned to the extraordinary view the long window provided; I let out a sigh of relief before walking to the hallway which held a reading room and bedroom en-suite.
The whole house lacked personality which was weird since Eric was goofball, no pictures, no sign of life, it felt like a hotel room, impersonal but I power through and began unpacking my clothes, I had showered and decided on a nap before I get into some work; so I laid on the white sheets, listening to the house settle but I couldn't sleep, I use to noise because staying in a house with six children and Rhea occasionally banging of metal, it was easy to find comfort in it.
I looked at a big clock on the wall, listening to it clicking, I decided then to go into town and get Walter, I wasn't supposed to get him until tomorrow but I needed some sort of body moving about the house, so I grabbed a jersey, combat boots and keys, I was out of the house in a few seconds; driving into town.
I watched the people with interest as I drove the town, I spotted an old candy store, McDonald's, a library and a couple of stores until I drove up about pub with a sign that said 'the ugly duckling', the store had a deep blue entrance with beautiful circle top windows and moulding on the door and windows, I walked into the pub to find it empty; round tables cluttered the room while booths stood against the walls, the bar was fully stocked and the walls were littered with pictures and bands posters, on the far end stood a stage and fireplace next to it.
Behind the bar stood a massive man with a red-headed man with a beautiful beard, he was polishing a pint glass as moved towards him. "hey there" he said as he placed the glass down "what can I do you for? Love" he asked in a gruff voice with a thick Irish accent.
"hey I am Nefertari," I said as presented my hand and he shook it.
"Liam" he nodded.
"I am looking for Mrs O'Connor," I asked as he nodded and shouted for her as I turned my back to him and looked around the room
"can I get you anything?" Liam asked as I shook my head "maybe some coffee"
"don't get her that" a woman with white powdered hair, a little shorter than me, she was fit and looked like she could run a marathon. "hello there, dearie, are you here for Walter," she asked as I nodded softly. "I was expecting you tomorrow"
"well, the house seemed a bit..." I couldn't explain what I meant without sounding lonely.
"Empty," she said nonchalantly "well Eric finds his home in people rather than places," she said as if she were talking about her son "but Walter isn't here, he is up with Roisin at the stables with new health laws we can't have Walter here" she then turned to Liam "the bloody government is going to shit" as Liam snickered as she turned back to me "so just up the road, not too far with a sign that says O'Connor, you couldn't miss it"
"can I walk up?" I asked, wanting to experience the outdoors until I went back to the modern isolated fortress.
"sure, love, just asks for Roisin," she said with a smile "but come back for a hot lunch, ok?" I nodded as I headed out of the pub with a wave.
I walked down the road past colour old houses that I wish I could explore until I came to the countryside which was a ten minute out of town, I passed short stone walls and fields of green with puffy sheep that grazed the sweetgrass while I watch in pure bliss until I came to a big stone wall with a sign that said O'Connor stables with a silhouette of a horse; I sighed and walked into the gates.
I walked onto the grounds to find an open driveway area and stables with a bunch of horses peeking out of their stables, one horse, in particular, caught my attention, it was pitch black with blue eyes which were usual for a horse this dark, it was enchanting this beast but huffed and puffed aggressively in its stable but still I walked up to it with hand outreached for it:
"I wouldn't do that if I were you" a voice sound behind me, I turned to see a handsome woman with a sharp jawline along with her blonde and clear blue eyes, her long nose and full lips were only featured that was soft and fragile; she wore casual riding clothes and was carrying a saddle when she spotted me."Eclipse, won't let me touch him" she commented she carried the saddle to a stand and please it over it.
"Sorry, he is just enchanting," I said as I turned to follow her "I am Nefertari, I am looking for Roisin, I am here for Walter"
"oh, I am Roisin, Walter is in the pen," she said as she waved for me to follow "follow me"
I followed her through the stables toward an open field with a few pens on it, a few mares and a few foals ran about in excited with them ran a very happy Walter, I smiled at how big the Great Dane had gotten, I didn't want to disturb his bliss so I leaned the wooden pen and watch the wholesome sight.
"have you ridden before?" She asked as I stared at the horses.
"yea," I said as she began to climb the pen "my mother's friend had a few horses, terror breeds, I use to ride them a lot"
"prideful creature, terror breed" she mentioned as one of the mare come towards us, her belly was huge and she kind of staggered towards us, she placed his muzzle into Roisin tummy as she sat on top of the pen.
"What breed are they," I asked as the horse where massive compared to a terror
"Shire horses" she explained as she pats the head of the horse "they compete in competitions, but Mari here is too old for those and pregnant too, she is due anytime now"
"That's adorable," I said as she looked down at me.
"Come on in," she said as she jumped down into the pen.
"I don't want to intrude" I whispered as Roisin shook her head and helped me into the pen.
As soon as my feet hit the ground the horses surrounded me with interest, Marie began to sniff my body then my hair and I just giggled at the funny feeling, she rubbed her muzzle against my hand, telling me to rub her which I did gladly as she shook her lovely long blonde mane before she trotted away and the rest of the mares come to have a look but Marie pounded her hooves which made the mares runoff as Roisin laughed.
"she is a true queen," She said as Walter finally realized I was there and came running towards me.
I got onto my knees and welcome the babes "hey babes, long time" I ruffled the dogs grey fur as it tried to lick my face, I laughed when I looked up Roisin was staring at me as if she was out of it:
"want to get a pint later?" she asked as I smiled
"Sounds like fun" I smiled as I stood to my feet "I guess we should get out of your hair"
"I will drive you into town," she said as I shook my head "I have to get supplies anyway, come on," she said as she walked over to an old chevy truck and got in, Walter didn't waste time getting in and I followed after him.
We took a steady ride into town when we reached the ugly duckling, she stopped the car as I jumped out with Walter next to me, I wave goodbye as a very rushed Mrs O'Connor came out of the pub as Roisin drove off:
"Ugh, that child" she grumbled as she watched the car disappear down the road "she always running," she said to herself "well, come on, dearie, I have some food waiting in there, Walter can come in too, it will be our little secret" she escorted us into a very busy pub.
I looked around the pub that not too long ago was empty, now it was filled I would guess lunchtime rush, Mrs. O'Connor escorted me to the back of the pub next to the fireplace, Walter snuggled up to my legs as I relaxed into the cosy place, I watch the different people who would be in and out from time to time, so with this atmosphere, it inspired me to write; I pulled out my notebook and began writing down some lyrics.
A few days later I fell into a routine, taking Walter for walks, stopping by at an old candy store, helping out at the pub or stable and back home to take care of something meetings with artists, it was bliss, I could see life like this peaceful, calm, predictable. I sat on a roof with Roisin who was fixing it, I handed her tools, wood sheets and anything might need as we went into a light conversation for the past few days I noticed Mrs O' Connor around the house that stood behind a neatly cut hedge at end of the property like right now she was watering the plants that grow on the outside of the old stone mansion; I turned to Roisin who was hitting a nail into the roof.
"Your mom has been around a lot lately" I mentioned as Roisin looked at me then down to her mother.
"Yea, my brother is coming into town in tomorrow and my sister a week from that" she explained as she pointed to a tool that I passed to her "she gets very fussing with it comes to the guest, even if they are family"
"sounds like a good time" I smiled as I looked to the sea which was down the hill and I breathe in the gorgeous fresh air and closed my eyes "you don't seem to do excited about them coming?"
"well I saw them a few weeks ago so it's not a big deal but Ma stays here, she finds peace here, so she only gets to see them two a month" she looked to her mom with such love before turning to me "wanna go for a pint later?" She asked as I nodded softly
"Yup, I want to do something tonight," I said as I looked to the sea "any ideas?"
"well, we could go to an art gallery" she suggested as I gave her a weird look. "what?"
"I have known you for a week now and when I suggested an art gallery we ended up drunk at sea," I said as she laughed.
"maybe I was to try something new," she said but I gave her a look as she laughed again "are you coming or not?"
"ok, sure," I said as I raised my hand in surrender.
"Good" she smiled before going back to fix the roof.
Roisin showed up at my door with an Uber and bottle of whiskey, she wore tight leather pants that bunched up at the bottom with a velvet red corset top and a blazer that had different badges of rock bands, her short blonde her was loose as she leaned against the door frame at that moment she looks familiar, not I have been with her all well familiar but like someone I know familiar, I shook my head at the thought and grabbed my purse:
"you look lovely," she said as she escorted me to the car where the driver was waiting.
"Thank you," I said as I looked down at my sequins black dress that said "little black dress" in white across my chest, I had paired the outfit with a pair of dark stocking, purple sandal heels with a heart-shaped purple bag and my purple leather jacket I held over my arm. "not too bad yourself, actually looking too good" I commented as she just waved it's off.
"it's an art gallery, I wanted to dress up" she mentioned as we got into the uber "the exhibit starts in a few minutes, so let's get drunk and sit through this" she mentioned as she took a big swing of whiskey as the Uber driver drove off.
We walked into the art gallery, I held onto Roisin arm as we entered, we were kind of tipsy but we held ourselves with grace or I hope we did, we walk from painting as I tried to explain to her about paintings we looking at but she was giggling non stop as we stared at a painting of the lonely house, I explained the realism behind the picture when certain people gave us death glare which made me push her to the next exhibits, a young woman stood by the art piece with dark skin, features so soft she looked like a doll and a head wrap covering her hair, she wore a summer wrap dress with thick heel boots and a sweater falling off her shoulders, she stared at the art piece, biting her fingernails, I walked up to her as Roisin stood back watching her closely.
I walked back to Roisin who was enchanting by the beautiful woman, I grabbed her arm "now I know why we are here" I said as I stood before Roisin who rubbed the back of her head with a blush touching her cheeks.
"what are you talking about?" she said in a dismissive tone, I nodded before I turned to approach the woman as Roisin tried to stop me.
"interesting painting" I mentioned as stepped next to the woman who stared at the painting, the painting was of the back of a woman with a summer hat on her head covering face but her surrounding was in deep red and blacks.
The woman seems to jump at my sudden appearance "oh, yes, I don't know if it's beautiful or just demented" she expressed with her hands.
"maybe a bit of both," I said as I looked to the painting "I am Nefertari, nice to meet you"
"oh, Emma" she whispered as she turned to paint again, I turned to Roisin and nodded for her to come closer "you don't sound Irish" she commented before turning towards me "are you from around here?" she asked as I smiled.
"no, I am from LA but," I said with a smile, presenting Roisin who looked like a deer caught in headlights "Roisin is a local"
The girl looked at Roisin and a bright smile "hey, we met at Mr O'Malley store" she said as she presented her hand and Roisin stood frozen until I nudged her shoulder, she went to shake the woman hand.
"Yes, we did," Roisin said as she steps closer to the woman "are you here on vacation?"
"I don't know yet" she hummed "I might stay a few months" she smiled before turning to Roisin "getting a feel for this place"
"it's peaceful here" I mentioned as Emma smiled and nodded.
"do you want to go for a pint" Roisin suddenly asked as Emma looked shocked then smil?
"Sounds like fun," she said as she turned to me
"I forgot I have to email important documents and stuff," I said as I back away from the two "don't worry about me, I will get an Uber" I waved at them before I left in a rush and a bright smile on my face.
I stepped out of the airport as my Ma and Roisin pulled into the parking lot, I smiled as I jogged over with suitcase moving behind me, my Ma ran from the Chevy and gave me the biggest hug ever, she held me tight as I looked to Roisin who leaned the truck, she smirked at me as I stuck out my tongue at her as she just smiled.
"I missed you, Ed" she whispered into my chest as I giggled.
"I missed you too ma, you looking beautiful, gorgeous," I said as she pushed me off in a playful way before grabbing my waist as we walked to the car.
Roisin grabbed my suitcase and threw it in the back "hey Hollywood," she said as I ruffled her hair and kissed her cheek but she punched my arm.
We all hoped into the truck with Roisin driving, Ma in the middle and me next to her, we drove off as I turned to ma "how are you? Love" I asked her as she smiled.
"I am doing ok, the pub is blooming, new faces and Liam has been a great help" she smiled before she directed her question to me "and you, son, how are you? You never come home so abruptly?"
"I am fine, I just miss you all" I smiled as my mother gave me a look that said she knows I am lying.
"well, it's too late now, Olivia is coming," she said as she crossed her hands over her lap in a stubborn way as if to say I am not changing my mind before I could object.
"Ma, you didn't have to call her" I complained at the forwardness "everything is fine"
"you came home last month," Roisin said with her face was forward "it's weird to have you back so soon"
"so basically you don't miss me" I teased as my mother laughed "it's fine, seeing Olivia would be great," I said to relieve my mother stress. "how are you, Roisin" I looked at my baby sister at the wheel.
"I am fine, the stable is great, Marie hasn't given birth yet" she smiled as my mother interrupted.
"and she has been spending time out and about" my mother teased.
"Oh really" I shifted in my seat to look at her, she shook her head and looked out the window before directing her attention to the front window.
"It's nothing" she blushed avoiding eye contact.
"Two girls," my mother said with a teasing smirk.
"Ma!" she shouted as my mother cracked up.
"on a little love triangle, eh?" I teased as Roisin didn't even look at me just shook her head.
"stop," she said in a tight tone as we barreled down the road to our cosy home.
A few days later, I was awoken by Walter jumping on the bed which I sit up in fright, I gave him a dirty look before stumbled out of bed and to let him out, I got to the door when I heard my phone ding and I walked back to find it, I smiled at the text from Roisin: hey babe, thanks for other night, sorry for not being around but Emma needed help moving into the house up the hill but Ma says that water is the warmest today, go enjoy yourself.
I did a happy dance before running for my closet, I grabbed my two-piece swimsuit, my yoga pants, jean jackets and my flat sandals, I took my bag, my guitar and called Walter before leaving the cottage. I had to put Walter on a leash as we walked down the quiet streets, the sun was shining but not hot, the weather was perfect for a swim as we walked slowly down the hill we passed farmhouses, cows grazing, sheep staring blank at me and farm dogs gave us looks of cautious but we chugged along, we came to the town as I wave at the different people had got into contact with until I got to the pub.
Mrs O'Connor stood sweeping the sidewalk, she looked up at me "hey there, long time, dearie" I smiled. "Why haven't you been around? Love"
"I wanted to give you some family time and I got swarmed with songwriting, unnecessary demands," I said as Mrs O' Connor nodded.
"don't let those Hollywood snobs get you down and come over for some dinner or pint later, ok?" she said as I nodded.
"yes. Mrs O'Connor" I smiled as I continued down the road until I got to the beach, I released Walter who went running away in freedom, an empty shoreline which made me happy and found a patch of dry sand on the rocky beach, I placed my down my blanket, guitar and got rid of my jean jacket, I began doing some stretches, getting my bones to get working after a few weeks without dancing made my muscles feel tight; so I breath in the fresh air and closing my eyes getting into pigeon pose as I stared at the sea.
I started jogging from the early hours of the morning, I ran up the hill around the islands to then down to the beach, I ran alongside the rocky coast, the beach was empty as it usually was during the week and off vacation season which I enjoy because it meant I had the whole place to myself, I looked to the sea to found someone swimming peaceful against the waves, the person was oblivious to the world so I watch them enjoy their little piece of happiness when suddenly I was tackled to the ground but over the excited yet familiar dog.
The person yelled from the water and ran over to me, the voice was one I thought I would never hear again. "Walter, stop!" she clapped her hands "Walter, off!" she shouted as the dog exciting moved off me.
"it's ok, love" I laughed as she looked down at me with wide eyes "we are old friends" I giggled as she looked surprised before she turned to leave but Walter came up behind her and pushed her down onto me, I caught her swiftly as she laid in my arms.
We frozen and the past few months just drifted away "hey" I whispered as her eyes brightened as if she forgot everything was living in this moment.
"Hey" she whispered back when a blush settled on her cheeks but as soon as it settled it was gone, her face turned flat and she quickly stood to her feet, walking away from me.
"This is where you ran to?" I asked as I followed her, I didn't stop myself from glancing down at her luscious hips, butt and cute feet. "you look ravishing, truly delicious" she looked breathtaking in her two-piece swimsuit.
"what are you doing here?" she asked as she began to dress, she throws on an oversized jean jacket, she slipped onto pair of yoga which wasn't easy, seeing that she was still wet.
"my hometown, love," I said as she packed her bag, placed her guitar on her back and called Walter "let's go for coffee, love"
She walked on without looking back "I can't" she said "I have a meeting" she dismissed me very rapidly like she wanted to be left alone
"how about a pint?" I asked but she shook her head.
"I have plans" she stuttered as she stopped to put Walter on a leash.
"I can't get a break with you," I said which she just turned to look at me "I want to explain" she placed her hand on my chest which surprised me.
"I am not ready for this," she said as I grabbed her hand but she pulled it away from me. "sorry" she whispered as she walked away and my sense told me not to follow her but give her some space.
After I had finally got a good sweat on and my legs were feeling like rubber, I looked to Walter who was fast asleep next to me because of all that running, I slowly got up as to not disturb him, I pulled off my yoga pants and ran into the water to relax, I centred myself until I could float and I just let the wave take me in and out of the shore, the world seemed to drown away as I laid there in total freedom until pushed myself to do some laps up and down, close enough to the shore but far enough for the water to be a bit deep, as I pushed my body I turned to see if Walter was still asleep but all I saw was him onto someone.
I dashed for the shore yelling and running over to the man Walter had tackled "Walter, stop!" I clapped my hands, trying to get the dogs attention "Walter, off!" I shouted as the dog exciting moved off the man and I was faced with Edward, in the flesh.
"it's ok, love" he laughed as I looked down at him with wide eyes "we are old friends" he giggled as I looked surprised before I turned to leave but Walter came up behind me and pushed me down onto Edwards's arm, he caught me placing his hand against my bareback.
We frozen and the past few months just drifted away "hey" he whispered and I looked into those bright blue eyes and I forgot the kisses and the crude remarks Cecilia made.
"Hey" I whispered back when a blush settled on my cheeks but as soon as it settled it was gone and everything came back in short hurtful bursts, that made me push off him and stand to my feet and turn away.
"This is where you ran to?" he asked as he followed me closely behind, I felt his eyes on my body and the heat it left in every spot "you look ravishing, truly delicious" he growled and I almost jumped into his arms right there but I control my desires.
"what are you doing here?" I asked as I began to dress, hoping to get away from here as fast as possible, I throw on an oversized jean jacket, I slipped onto pair of yoga which wasn't easy because my legs were still wet from the water.
"my hometown, love," he said as I packed her bag, placed her guitar on her back and called Walter "let's go for coffee, love" he suggested but I had to process this.
So I walked on without looking back "I can't" I said, "I have a meeting" which wasn't a complete lie, I did have a meeting just in a few hours.
"how about a pint?" he asked but I shook her head.
"I have plans" I stuttered as I stopped to put Walter on a leash, who stood still which I was grateful for.
"I can't get a break with you," he said in a voice so heartbreaking "I want to explain" I turned to look at him and placed my hand on his chest, I felt his heartbeat, it was racing, racing through all the emotions he was feeling right now.
"I am not ready for this, it too much," I said as he grabbed her hand but I pulled it away from him, burning at his touch "sorry" I whispered as I walked away with Walter by my side and all I wish for him was not follow me, I need to process this.