“I was a damn fool,” I say as I look down from his gaze, shifting my eyes to my smooth glass of Guinness. I never associated the word “beer” with “beautiful” before, but what a delightful alliteration. The darkness of the drink made the old oak bar even darker, and made Cillian seem even closer to me. His light green eyes stared into mine intently, waiting for me to explain myself.
“You’re not a damn fool, darlin’,” he’d probably say. At least, that’s what I was hoping for.
He sighed, leaning back in the old wooden chair, crossing his hands over his stomach.
“You’re a damn fool, darlin’.” Well, at least I had gotten the “darlin'” part correct. Bastard.
My head snapped up and my eyes met his in confusion and annoyance.
“I just said that so you could convince me otherwise!” I retorted, sinking back into my chair, blowing a strand of my honey blonde hair out of my eyes. Cillian took delight in my agitation and began to chuckle.
“Now that’s some damn movie dramatics,” he said. “No person actually huffs hair out of their eyes.”
“Well, I do,” I quipped. I gulped down some of my beer, squinting my eyes as the liquid molasses went down my throat.
“Too bitter?” Cillian inquired. “Bitter beer for a bitter gal.” There was laughter dancing in that Irish brogue of his.
“Will you stop?!” I exclaimed, completely exasperated.
“Never, my sweet Lily, and you want to know why? You wrote letters to that bastard for a month after he left and moved to Cork with that Scottish tart.”
I sunk even lower into my chair, another strand of my hair falling into my face. Eyes crossed, I gazed at it. Of course he was about talking Asher, but I didn’t want to hear another word about my pathetic crusade to win him back. Sunlight, Asher used to call my hair…it was like touching sunlight.
But that, of course, was before he left me on a rainy street in Dublin, fleeing with some bar bimbo. I hear they eloped. So it goes, Vonnegut would say.
And here I am, with Cillian McCoy, in some country pub discussing the demise of my relationship. Cillian could see the self pity on my face. He knew he felt sorry, underneath that impossibly annoying joking exterior.
“Bring us another round, aye, Danno?” Cillian asks the man behind the bar. The old man has kind eyes and a subtle smile.
“So it goes, then,” Cillian sighed. “Or some Vonnegut shit like that. My brother was the damn fool, breaking your heart. And for that I am sorry.”
Oh. He’s smarter than he looks.