Saturdays have now become Sean’s favourite days. The one hour window of freedom he has between three and four o’clock every Saturday afternoon is what he awaits eagerly each week.
He is invariably drawn to walking down to the river and standing by its concrete edge where the old mill used to be when he was a child. It was a ruin then and mum never wanted him anywhere near it. “Don’t you go near the mill,” she’d say, “you’ll ruin your dress again, and don’t you go too close to the water! The river is dangerous there and you’ll drown when you fall in.” Odd how she used to say when rather than if. He and June went there regardless of course.
Sean moves his gaze away from the wild currents of the river which seems so doggedly intent on tearing the old stone bridge away. It is standing its ground, doesn’t look any different now than it did all those years ago. He shrugs and turns around to enter the café which has since replaced the old mill. The Millsite Café it is aptly named.
Sinéad knows to get his spicy hot chocolate made for him the moment he walks through the door. Probably thinks he fancies her. Sean knows a woman fancies a man when she keeps looking down and swiping a loose strand of hair behind her ear. He has never told her anything personal about himself. Small talk is all he is prepared to give in public places. Mostly about the water. Can’t go wrong talking about the water in this country. The rain, the swell of the river outside the café with the tide and the rain. The speed at which the river flows even without the tide pressing in and without the rain.
“River’s high today with the tide racing in,” he turns his attention to the bleached blond waitress who is approaching the little niche he has made for himself in the far corner of the café to deliver the hot beverage, “and this rain pouring down relentlessly tops it up even more.”
“God help any poor sod who falls in. He couldn’t be saved,” Sean and Sinéad say in unison and cross themselves. Sinéad looks down as she places the spicy hot chocolate on the table and tucks a renegade strand of hair behind her ear.
“They’ve let me know they have snow over in England,” Sean tells her keeping his eyes on the steaming beverage in front of him. He is not too sure how a man’s avoidance of eye contact is likely to be interpreted by a woman who so obviously fancies him. Didn’t she just do that tucking of hair behind her ear thing again? He feels a tad guilty that she doesn’t know that they over in England are just his mum.
Sean’s mum had disassociated herself from Dr Carr after the incident of the clubbing with the doctor’s golf stick. Sean has no memory of hitting her on the back of the head with the 9-iron but has come to accept that this is what his mum believes to have happened and what Dr Carr needs him to own up to. Otherwise there won’t be any unsupervised afternoons in the Millsite Café studying the intricacies or absence of any intricacies of male body language when courting a female. Nor will there be any continued assistance from prescription drugs which have been so successful in giving him this raspy teenage voice of his which makes Sinéad blush and look down every time he speaks to her.
Dr Carr is making sure Sean knows the rules of transformation and Sean has had to ban June from his life entirely. June had to be sacrificed. He misses her at times, but it would be unwise to admit that to the doctor who is righteous and never reluctant to stress how he has stood by Sean and did not defect to England like his mother.
© Ash N. Finn, 2013
Note: This latest flash piece is a sequel to an earlier piece I posted. The Sean in the above flash is Sean-o as those of you who have so kindly followed this blog may have noticed!