After Sunday morning mass, Mona walks to the bottom of the garden; stares at the fields and far off hills. She thinks of Lisa and the first kiss in the school gym on Friday; on seeing her in church at mass; outside the church when they walked along the road behind their parents. Couldn't even hold hands; not touch. Like being in limbo; so close, yet so far. I know she felt the same by the look she gave.
A bird settles lightly on the fence where Mona stands; she holds out a finger, but the bird flies off up into a tree. She sighs. Looks back at the house. No one about. Must be busy. I was hoping to hold her hand; feel her flesh against mine. But no. The parents were too close. All those eyes. Chatter, chatter. Mammy could talk for Ireland, so she could.
A slight breeze touches Mona's neck; she shivers. Hope it's better this afternoon. Want to go to the pond, sit, talk, and be alone with her. She sits on the bench her da had made by the apple tree; stares at the sky. Grey clouds. Darkish. Could be rain. Hope not. All day yesterday not seeing her and today seeing but not being able to touch her or kiss her. We spoke. We walked. We wanted to do more. Never felt like this before. Can't eat properly. Can't sleep; moods come over me. God, what a state to get in.
- What you doing out here?
Mona turns. Her sister, Caitlin stands nearby staring at her.
-What have you to think about?
- Mind full of information aren't you.
Mona looks away and stares at the horizon.
-? Just need some air.
- Mammy says the Logan girl's coming for tea.
- That's right. Why?
Caitlin walks to the bench and sits down.
- Just wondered why. You don't?usually invite people to tea.
Mona turns and gazes at her sister.
- Felt like a change. Someone different to talk with.
- I hear she's a bit of?a rebel.
- I hear things.
-It's not true. She's ok.
Mona pauses. She looks away from Caitlin and stares at the grass.
- Well, you just be careful of her. I wouldn't want you getting into bad company.
- I won't.
-Just saying. Da would not take kindly to trouble from you.
- I said there won't be any trouble.
- There was a rumour of her and Davy Collins. Not good for a?fourteen year old. If her da found out, she'd be for it.
- Davy Collins is a pox.
- Maybe, but she and he so rumour has it…Just be careful.
Mona sighs. Fiddles with her fingers.
- She's a good friend. She stuck with me from my first day at
- And that's it is it? The first day school friend. Maybe because she can't get others.
Mona turns and glares at her sister.
- Just because you and Donal are made for each other, doesn't mean others can't find…friends.
- Moody bitch aren't you. Well, just be careful that's all I'm saying. Wouldn't want you getting into trouble from the likes of her.
- Can you go now; I want to be alone.
Caitlin shrugs her shoulders; wanders back to the house.
Mona stares after her. What does she know. Gossip. That's all. Just because she and Donal are made for each other, she hates to think others can be happy, too. She turns her gaze back to the fields beyond. Crosses her legs; pulls her dress over her knees. I'll ask her about the Collins boy; see what it's all about. She sighs; wishes Lisa was there beside her; holding hands. To look in her eyes; see the truth there; feel the heat in her palm. Mother of God what a pain it is to be like this; a minor crucifixion it is. A whoosh of wind blows about her; disturbs her hair and dress. She rises; looks back at the house; hopes Caitlin says nothing to her parents about Lisa. Don't want them on my back, too. Spoil sport she is, damned spoilsport. Hope Donal runs off with another, some ugly bitch from the town. She smiles. Sighs. Pulls her cardigan about her body; wishes it were Lisa embracing her and not the woolly. Soon hopefully. Soon. Come rain, come bloody shine.
Mona wanders slowly towards the house, her arms folded across her small breast; her head lowered in deep thought; a thousand wishes and hopes swishing round her mind, like water rushing round a whirlpool, teeming with life and boundless energy. To touch, she whispers, To touch. To touch.