The Boat Trip 1
‘So, have you made up your mind yet?‘
‘About the boat trip on Sunday, what else?’
Eímear set her embroidery hoop on the window ledge and winced at the dark thumbprint showing on the white flowers. ‘I didn’t even ask my mam. Did you?’
‘And will she let you go?’
‘She will of course. Sure John Daly’s the best skipper on Cléire.’ Róisín laughed, ‘I know he’s my uncle but it’s the honest truth.’
Out above Roaring Water Bay, wind-stretched clouds formed wands of coloured light sailing high over Sherkin and Cape Clear Island. At this hour the water in the bay was not roaring at all, but was calm as glass, and fishing skiffs darted across it to set their nets while the going was good.
Eímear became aware of Róisín’s soft breathing near her.
‘Isn’t it gorgeous?’
‘It is. But not so lovely I’d marry a fisherman just to keep sight of it. I’d rather a view of the shops on Patrick Street.’
Eímear had her sights set on marrying well and living in a townhouse so grand it took a dozen maids to clean it. Róisín once swore to do the same; the two of them would be neighbours in Cork city and take high tea together while their husbands were out. But when one of the Cotters began courting her, Róisín told Eímear that she’d die soon as leave this rugged coast for the city.
‘No one said anything about you marrying a fisherman,’ Róisín said now.
‘It’s a day out, Eímear, is all. A bit of fun. You must be mad if you won’t come.’
The bedroom door burst open and Nola hurtled in.
‘Won’t come where?’
The older girls exchanged glances.
‘What have I told you, Nola, about my room?’
‘To knock and wait. But I hadn’t time, because Mam sent me on an errand to say your friend should be getting home.’
‘You cheeky little—’
‘She’s right,’ Róisín said. ‘Ma’ll be praying for me if I’m not back. Best not risk her wrath, not till after Sunday.’