Ginnie’s Diary, 13th October 1974
It doesn’t look as if Cathy will come back. No one has seen her. Her picture was in the paper and there are notices up on lamp posts along the roads. It’s not a good picture of her. She would hate it if she saw it.
Mrs O’Kinnear is in hospital and we went in this morning and brought her flowers. She fell down the stairs and some of her ribs are broken and one of her wrists is broken and her nose is broken as well. Mum says she doesn’t believe she fell down the stairs. She thinks Mr O’Kinnear lost his temper and beat her and maybe he pushed her down the stairs. Mrs O’Kinnear didn’t say anything, she just nodded thanks for the flowers. We sat with her for half an hour, but then Mr O’Kinnear came in and he looked at mum with crazy eyes. We left very quickly then.
Miss O’Reilly and Henry were here in the afternoon. Henry was carrying this big basket into the house. “We can’t keep him, because I don’t have a garden. Have a look and see if you like him. Maybe you can keep him here and then Henry and I can visit and play with him ever so often?”
He is only 13 weeks old and he is so cute. His name is Luke. I have little red marks all over my hands and arms. His little teeth are like very sharp needles, he doesn’t bite, but when he plays with me and nibbles me his teeth prick my skin. He is black and white and very fluffy. More black than white and he has very dark eyes, they are almost black, like Henry’s.
Henry says he is a Border Collie, and he will be big and can protect me and my mum when he is grown up. He called him Luke, because it means the giver of light. Light makes darkness disappear he said. He is a strange boy, but I think I am beginning to like him.
I asked him why he always wears black clothes and he said this strange thing, he said “Because I’m looking for light.”
Maybe mum is right and he is just very sad. It has to be hard when your mother dies and then your father leaves and completely disappears. My dad left us but we know where he is and he comes to see us sometimes and then he and mum always have a row, and he sends presents for my birthdays and at Christmas, mostly ones I don’t like much and that’s because he doesn’t really know me being away from us now. But he’s not totally gone.
Henry and I were playing with Luke, and Mum and Miss O’Reilly thought I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I heard that Miss O’Reilly told Mum that she knows one of the gardai who had come to see us and asked lots of questions about Cathy and her parents. She knows the woman and she must read a lot because she comes to the library often and takes out books to read. And she said that the police are wanting to talk to Mrs O’Kinnear again without Mr O’Kinnear there when she is a bit better and can speak better again. Mum said she was afraid of him after the box he gave her and she wouldn’t be surprised if he had hurt his wife and Cathy.
“I’m done with men,” Mum said, “but at least my ex-husband is only a cheating peacock. He never hit out at me or Ginnie. Imagine being afraid of your husband. I think the poor woman is terrified of him.”
“Now, please don’t tell anyone about what Chris told me or she’ll get into trouble.” Chris must be the name of the woman garda who asked me questions that day.
“Of course I won’t, Ger.” Mum kissed Miss O’Reilly on the cheek and gave Henry a hug when they left.
© Ash N. Finn, 2016