Henry O’Reilly Jr. turned off the main road into the leafy tunnel that would take him up to his father’s place. The road sign warning anyone going that way that the speed limit here is 80kmh never failed to make him smile. You would have to be suicidal to try and go that fast, while navigating the severe bends in the narrow country road up the hill.
A mere couple of months ago he had passed a 141 Dublin reg silver BMW 3 series sitting in the ditch. A certain write off. Wanker of a twenty-something driver he hoped rather than an underage joy rider. He snorted at the thought of a wealthy property manager daddy cutting back the funds and making the precious son drive a battered red Fiesta for a while. No BMW this time, just the tire tracks leading in and out of the ditch still visible.
No such thing as free handouts from Junior’s father. The motorbike, a mint condition second hand 2009 Honda Transalp, a stylish black bike, was bought from his own savings, the result of years of working as a software tester in Dublin, working as much paid overtime as possible and skimping on rent. Who needs more than a kip when they work all hours anyway? Will the old doc agree to him moving back in now that he needs help? If she is there it is going to be awkward. Junior wondered what she told him after her last visit to Dublin.
He should have just sent MJ away, should have told her to go away and get lost. The dreams were to blame for it, dreams of necks as white as hers, luminescent skin cold to the touch of his burning lips. The next day at work one of the linguistic testers, a student from Barcelona who had been contracted for a few weeks, almost caught him out at kissing his large widescreen monitor. “My eyes are knackered from staring at computer screens sixteen hours a day, José, I’m having trouble reading the test script, was considering a bit of ad hoc testing there just now,” it was always best to put a light spin on things, give the impression you’re a cool and funny guy, not the headcase they thought they had just encountered.
“Ah, you are a funny man, Junior. I go to pub with Francine, Helene, and Vittorio. Will you come with us? We leave in one hour.”
Having offered polite excuses and wished José a good time he had hastened to dim down the background colour on his desktop. This, whatever it was that was happening to him, had to be curtailed.
Mindfulness Clinic read the sign in blue MS Gothic on white background. Junior narrowly avoided bumping into it as he turned into the driveway leading down a slight slope toward the whitewashed old building which his father had turned into a place of peace and healing for troubled or stressed out minds. It was late afternoon and the daylight was starting to fade. Up here the rain had teamed up with a cutting north-westerly wind. He parked his bike next to the tool shed making sure it was sheltered from the wind and wouldn’t get blown over. It was a heavy bike and not easy to lift, and it was out of sight here. There were no cars parked outside the clinic. It was past opening hours and the doc must have gone out to the shops or something. Junior felt a warm wave of relief washing over himself that he didn’t have to face him right away. If he was lucky, his father would return on his own. Things would be so much easier to talk over if she wasn’t there.
© Ash N. Finn, 2016