The Luck of the Irish
Another three-word challenge story, proof that you can fit Joe in anywhere...
She stood under the shelter at the deserted bus stop and stared at the wattles. The waterlogged branches were bending almost to the ground, the rain still falling steadily. Everything was grey and it matched her mood perfectly. She didn’t quite understand what it was but lately everything seemed to irritate her, seemingly innocent comments scraping at her till she just wanted to scream at people to leave her alone. All she wanted was just one day without anyone asking anything of her, free to be herself. She wondered if she could even remember who that was – there were so many versions of her now that it was getting harder and harder. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend – always there when they needed her. But what about what she needed?
The bus stopped next to her with a spray of water that just missed her and she got on, shaking the drops from her umbrella. Sullen faces stared back at her as she made her way to the back and sat down. The windows were all fogged up and she rubbed the cold glass with her hand to give herself a view outside, not that there was much to see. Long lines of cars, people hurrying along the street and holding on to their umbrellas that the wind was trying to wrench from their grasp. A typical winter’s day. The bus driver had the radio on and Gloria Gaynor was singing “I will survive” and it made her think of the time when she was sixteen and dancing at the disco with that boy who had the most beautiful eyes that always looked so sad… And suddenly it was like she was jolted awake. What the hell was she doing? Sitting here like some zombie, going through the motions of living and not feeling anything at all but irritation? When was the last time she had done something on impulse?
The bus stopped and the doors opened and she found herself stepping out into the rain, with a fleeting thought at the back of her mind that she was behaving irrationally.
When the heavy door of the pub closed behind her, it was as if she had stepped into a different world. It was all dark wood and simple furnishings, like a place from a bygone era. There was a vaguely Irish tune playing quietly in the background and it sounded familiar to her but she couldn’t quite place it. Her steps echoed on the wooden floor as she made her way to the bar. The place looked to be empty except for the barman who was rearranging bottles on the shelf behind the bar and turned at the sound of her approach.
“Hello lass. You look like you could do with a whiskey to warm you up.” He was already pouring her one before she could say anything and she sat down gratefully at the bar, dropping her soaking umbrella on the floor.