Emerald Beauty

 

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Notes

This story sprouted from a poem I wrote in my Creative Writing class in high school (2012.) However, true to my nature, I've misplaced it.

I'm always losing things...

 

 

As a sort of heads up for those who have actually been to this little harbor town (or nearby area), I, personally, have never been anywhere in Ireland. I have dedicated hours upon hours to research in an attempt to make this as real as possible. If you happen to be from the area (Carlingford or Greenore, County Louth, Ireland) feel free to give me some feedback and suggestions as to town life, events/happenings.

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Thank you for reading! 

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Prologue

Have you ever had one of those life experiences that makes everything else look…dull? You know, those moments that you want to live in forever? Those heart-stopping, laughter-filled, agonizingly beautiful moments that follow you through your entire life? They are far and few between, a true delicacy in the heart of life. I’ve lived an experience so rich, so uplifting and so free that I almost flew. It was something that made my heart race, my smile wide, my eyes shine…and it came in the form of a leanly muscled, green eyed man who took a broken heart and made it whole.

What I wouldn’t give to see him again…

 

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Chapter 1

The house I lived in was small and quaint, tucked on the corner of a small neighborhood where everyone knew each other. Of course, I hadn’t been here for a while on the account of my being away at college. I’d just finished my junior year and returned home early as a surprise to my parents; precisely the reason I parked my car on the opposite corner. I wandered the house, taking in the sameness of everything around me. The deep colored wood floors that were in every room of the house except the tiled bathroom, the matching kitchen table just visible from the left side of the living room… It was a small two-story home, big enough for a family larger than mine, but almost too small for all the memories it holds.

I remember my brother and me running through the house, laughter trailing behind us as we played tag. It didn’t matter that mom had told us to take it outside, it was more fun to run through the house, filling it with our happiness in a way that would stick forever. I remembered sitting at the dinner table and talking about school, boys, what I wanted to do with my life… Sitting in the study, curled up in my favorite chair, reading while my father worked at his desk. Helping mom with dinner, teasing Logan about his first girlfriend…

I smiled as I sat on the tan couch, curling my feet under me and wrapping my arms around my middle. This house was everything I loved and adored about childhood. Mine had been spectacular and I only hoped I could make it the same for my future kids.

With a sigh, I leaned back against the cushions and made myself at home. Before I knew it, my eyes had closed and I was lost to the dreaming world.

***

I was woken up by a mouthwatering smell emanating throughout the whole house. I breathed in deeply through my nose and smiled. Mom’s sweet and spicy chicken. I stretched my limbs and started to sit up when I heard a deep chuckle from the cushion beside me. I opened my eyes to find my dad, smiling widely next to me, his hair going gray. Crinkles appeared next to his glacier blue eyes, the tell-tale sign that he was as happy as could be. He pulled me into his arms and I cuddled in like I used to, my head on his chest and arms around his waist. He placed a kiss on the top of my head and gave a squeeze.

“My angel, it’s good to have you home.”

I smiled into his shirt. “It’s good to be home, daddy.”

“Roger, dinner’s almost ready—” My mom entered the room, her wide gray gaze taking me in quickly. She rushed forward and hugged me hard, her arms crushing my ribcage.

“Easy mom.” I chuckled as she backed away, her eyes filling with moisture.

She swiped a gentle hand down the side of my face, her smile so wide it looked painful. “We’ve missed you so much, Ally.”

“I missed you, too.”

That night, we sat at the dinner table and enjoyed a wonderful home cooked meal. We talked about school, how the last year went and what my plans were for next year. It was sort of comforting to get into these age-old conversations; a nice break from talking about boys with my girlfriends and discussing pretty much the same with my one guy friend, Rae. Until, of course, my mother brought it up.

“So, Ally,” She started, her tone giving away the pending subject. “You’ve been away for a couple months… Have you met anyone?”

I finished chewing the piece of chicken in my mouth and shrugged. “Campus is pretty big, mom. I meet new people every day.”

She sighed. “You know what I meant.”

“Yes, I did,” I set down my fork. “And, no, I haven’t.”

She nodded, expecting my answer. “Do you remember the boy you used to play with when you were little?”

“Which one?” My brows furrowed.

She moved in her seat and it became obvious that she’d hoped I hadn’t met someone. “Tommy Kriegle stopped by the other day and wouldn’t you know it… He’s single, too! Perhaps you two should get together sometime, catch up over coffee or maybe dinner.”

I sighed and twisted my mouth off to the side. My mother meant well, she really did; but her constant nagging about my getting a boyfriend was starting to get on my nerves. “I don’t think I need a guy to live my life, Mum. It’ll happen eventually, I promise, but right now I’m happy with being single.”

It was her turn to let out a sigh. But my Da, one of two people who understood me, heard me loud and clear. He smirked calmly, most likely happy to keep me single and away from the inevitable. That was the trouble with not only being the youngest but being a girl. Mum was all too eager for me to move forward and find my knight in shining armor while Da wasn’t at all ready to let go of me being his little girl. It was something that I’d figured out in high school and had never seemed to ignore completely, but they were my parents and they reserved the right to act as parents do.

When dinner was done, I helped with the dishes before vegging out in the living room. I was just getting comfortable in the cushions again when there was a knock on the door. Da stood to answer it, leaving Mum and me alone. She kept sending odd glances in my direction as I replied to a text Rae sent me.

 

Rae: You wouldn’t happen to have anything on you right now, would you?

Me: In the presence of others it is always appropriate – and required – to wear clothing.

Rae: Not clothing, Ally. You know what I meant.

Me: And what is this thing I know?

Rae: Don’t be coy.

Me: You know my brain isn’t always tuned to yours, Rae. If I knew what you were talking about maybe I could help…

Rae: CONDOMS, ALLY! DO YOU HAVE ANY CONDOMS!?

 

I laughed heartily, feeling it in my toes as well as in my chest.

 

Me: Sorry, can’t help you. But you just gave me the laugh of a lifetime.

Rae: I’m so glad you think it’s funny.

Me: I wish I could help you out, best friend. <3 Rae is Bae <3

Rae: That is not on any level okay.

Me: It’s a good thing you love me.

Rae: Yeah yeah…

Me: Have fun, Rae! BE SAFE.

Rae: Yes, mom.

Me: Be a good kid…and give me grandbabies!! (currently my mom.)

Rae: She loves you. J

Me: You and those stinking emoticons…but seriously, no kids yet, dude.

Rae: You don’t have to tell me twice. Have fun with your dad and Mrs. Matchmaker!

Me: Have fun with…whoever it is you plan on getting kinky with.

 

Rae texted back, but I was pulled from the screen of my phone at the sound of my name. I looked up to find Mum giving me a curious look, making me aware of the grin on my face. There was something in her eyes that screamed curiosity, but my gaze didn’t remain on her long when I heard the voice of someone I had missed just as dearly.

“Well, I’ll be damned.”

I turned my head at the sound, instantly recognizing it as my brother’s voice. And there he was, standing in the doorway, blonde hair and blue/gray eyes surrounded by pale skin. He was leanly built, more of a homebody than outdoorsy, less of a fitness nut and more into donuts and apple pie; yet he somehow never gained weight. I dropped my phone and launched myself at him, throwing my arms around his neck and holding him close. We both laughed, excited to see each other after so long.

“Als, it’s been too damn long.”

“Tell me about it.” I pulled back and sent a smile in Charlotte’s direction. Charlotte is Logan’s wife of two years and the love of his life. They’d been together since their sophomore year of high school, making this year their seventh year together. Charlotte was also on her way to being a first-time mother. Her belly took up plenty of space in front of her, making me wonder how she kept her tiny frame from toppling over.

“It’s good to see you, Allyson,” She said kindly as we embraced awkwardly around my niece/nephew. “Your hair’s grown out.”

I touched my hair self-consciously, having not always been a fan of the natural barrel curls.

“It’s beautiful, Ally. Makes your eyes really pop.”

From then on out, it was all smiles and catching up. I got to feel the baby kick, arranged to stay with my brother sometime soon and sat through the unfortunate planning of a homecoming party. My mother made a big deal about either of us coming home for extended periods; it was her way of consoling herself of the fact that we aren’t babies anymore.

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