Title: Assumpta's Journal Author: Linda Suazo ASSUMPTA'S JOURNAL Apr. 6. Just picked up this journal in Cilldargan. I have always wanted to keep one. I remember some of the girls at school would write every night in it. I'm not promising to write every night, but I would like to put down some of my thoughts and also keep track of what is going on around here. Delivery, today, so I have plenty of stout for Brenden. I can't imagine what life would be like around here if I ran out. Niamh came in earlier tonight and we sat for awhile. She really likes Ambrose. I think he likes her too. Well, I'm tired so I guess I'll go to bed. Apr. 7 I'm being so good about this. Two days in a row. Wow! I think Fionn has something in his foot. He started limping this morning. I will have to ask Siobhan to look at it. She wasn't in the pub tonight. Apr.10. Niamh and I went shopping today. I bought a blue sweater and a pair of boots. Then we went to lunch. Siobhan looked at Fionn's foot. He had a little piece of glass in it. So he is feeling better. Some rotten kid threw a rock through one of my front windows. I found it this morning. I told Ambrose about it and he said he would see to it. Danny O'Hara rang me tonight. Asked me out again, but again I told him no. I like him, alright, but I don't want to give him any idea's that I'm interested. Father Mac came into the pub tonight. Oh, I hate that man! I'm tired. Apr.. 20. Ten days, oh well. I enjoy writing when I don't feel I have to. That's what makes it fun. Father Mac was in today. I think he just comes in here to irritate me. They are working on the church roof. I will be so glad when they finally get the new priest. Then, hopefully, I won't have to see his face in here. He'll go back to Cilldargan where he belongs. Unless, of course, the new priest is just like him. Oh God! Padraig and Brendan and Siobhan were in tonight. I am afraid Padraig had a little too much to drink. Brendan had to take him home in my wheelbarrow. I hope he remembers who's it is. Fionn's foot is fine. It rained all day. Of course. And it's cold. Apr. 21. Great news.! Ambrose proposed to Niamh tonight. She came in and told me after they came back from Cilldargan. He wanted to take her to a nice place, unusual for Ambrose, so they went to Castle Court, and that's where he proposed. I wonder when they will get married. I hope they don't go away from BallyK. What would I do without her? It would seem funny to be married. Having the same person around all of the time. I think I would go daft. But she's not like me. I hope everything works out for her. May 4. Well, it's been awhile. Got a delivery today. They have raised the prices again. I told him if they keep raising prices, I was going to quit buying. Of, course, he knows that I can't do that. Niamh was here earlier, we talked about marriage and her wedding etc. She really loves Ambrose. I wonder what it would be like to really love someone. I guess I came close to that feeling with Leo. But I know there must be more to love than that. I was relieved when he said that he would take the job in Dublin and not move down here to be with me. But we did have some good times. Sometimes I miss that. God! I hope no one ever reads this journal. May 15. I'm going to stop apologizing for not writing in this thing. I'll write when I can. I already don't feel guilty anymore. Niamh told me today that she is thinking about moving in with Ambrose so she can see what he is like to live with. I'll bet that will raise a few eyebrows. I can just see Kathleen. I can just see BRIAN. I think it's a good idea. She might as well find out what he is like to live with before she gets married to him. What if he is lazy, or mean, or demanding. She might as well find out now. Of course, I don't think Ambrose is any of those things, but you never know. *I'm not going to DATE these entries anymore either, then I won't know how long its been between them. The priest is here. I picked him up on my way home from Cilldargen. He was walking in the rain but did not have his priest's garb on, or I probably wouldn't have stopped. He's very young and ENGLISH of all things. Seems very eager to do whatever he is going to do, though. He thought the church was beautiful. He thought my name was beautiful. I called him a hippie priest. What a laugh! Later he had his first run in with Father Mac, over the "new confessional". What I gather is that he didn't approve of it and Father Mac defended Brian and the confessional. I think having this priest here is going to be very interesting especially if he gets up Fr. Mac's nose. Yeah! Oh,and he doesn't drive. *Well, even though the date isn't on here, I want to remember that this is the next night. So, last night after I went to bed, I heard all this racket. Someone banging on my door. I got up and went to the window. What do you think? The new priest, I guess I had better write down his name, Peter Clifford, needed a ride up the mountain to old Tommy's place. He has been sick for a very long time and he died last night. Father Clifford was in a great hurry to get there before he died. I told him he had better not do that for me. The last rites, I mean. Father Clifford was genuinely upset about old Tommy. I just can't understand what difference it makes. Tonight , the usual group in the pub. This time it was Siobhan who was pretty drunk. I got some new recipes for bar snacks. Everyone seemed to like them. I think Niamh and I will go to Cilldargan tomorrow. I wonder if I will still be doing this when I am old. *Not much happening tonight. It's been awhile since I have written. The pub was full tonight. That always makes me happy. Father Clifford was here as well. We talked a lot about what he did before he came here. I would think being here would resemble a stint in purgatory. It can get pretty boring. He seems to like it. I think he is one of those nauseatingly happy people who love everyone and everything. He's seems very kind, though. That might be a weakness. People take advantage of you. I guess Brian wants my field. I hope he buys it. I could use the money. *Well, something interesting. A girl named Jenny showed up today, looking for the PRIEST. Father Clifford was playing football at the time and so I saw her wandering about the town. Later it started to rain, and I noticed the key I had given Jenny was still here. I don't know why I did it, but I took the key over to Father Clifford's house. I just guess I didn't trust that girl. Anyway, I'm glad I did, because in a little while he came over here and asked for a room. He said he had Jenny's key and would use her room. He didn't want her to come out on a night like this. I don't know what she had in mind, but in a way he is like a little boy, and she seemed like she would take advantage of him. That made me angry. *Football match here tomorrow , against Cilldargan. I don't really have time to write everything, but we have a bet going that Cilldargan will win. I am the one who put the money up, so guess who gets to take the losses. Siobhan seems to think Cilldargen will win, even though they haven't won in years and years against Ballykissangel. Father Peter is responsible for this whole plan. Sometimes he makes me so mad. He assumed that I put Liam and Donal up to harassing Edso Foley so that he would move his caravan away from that field. It wasn't me and I told him it was Brian. Brian is so sure that BallyK will win that he let his players celebrate their win ahead of time. Wouldn't it be a laugh if they lost. *It's been awhile. I want to cover just a bit of what has gone on since. Incredibly, BallyK lost the football game and we made a lot of money. Anyway it was Peter's idea to give it to Edso Foley and his family. So we did and they were able to find a place in Cilldargen and he finally got a steady job. The girl, Jenny, left very abruptly. I don't know what happened there. I had another fight with Peter. I was sorry later but I was so angry. It seems that Ambrose had an accident and one of the statues from St. Joseph's fell onto his car and he had just got out of it or he would have been killed. He got the bright idea that now he should be a priest. Well, anyway, Niamh and Ambrose's wedding reception was scheduled here on Saturday night and he broke their engagement on Thursday. It seems he wanted to be a priest because of the accident. I was so mad that when Peter came in I yelled at him and he left right away. I am sure he knew how mad I was. Anyway, Niamh wanted to have the reception anyway so we did. Brian and Peter were against it, but who cares what they think anyway. I apologized to Peter later about yelling at him. He seemed grateful and later he went to talk to Ambrose. We were in the middle of the party when Ambrose came in and in front of everyone asked Niamh to marry him. I was so happy for her. I don't know what Peter said but it worked. *It was Peter's birthday last week and we threw a surprise party. He wasn't expecting it so it was a lot of fun. I promised him, as a gift, 6 free driving lessons. I have started them and he tried really hard to do what I told him to. Oh, well, priests don't have to pass the test, to pass the test. If you know what I mean. *Another rainy day. It didn't start raining until late in the afternoon. 40 shades of gray. I'm still angry, but not as angry as I was. I took Peter out driving today, and he nearly killed us. He was so busy talking that he didn't look where he was going. I wanted to hit him I was so mad. My van was full of mud because we went off the road. I told him that he didn't need driving lessons, that priests always passed their driving tests. I think he was shocked. I was too angry to care. I made him wash my van. Another broken window this morning. I told Ambrose, but unless I stay up and watch, I don't know how he will ever find out who is doing it. *I was still angry with Peter when he came in this morning and very humbly asked if he could use my van for his driving test. I told him I would pick him up at ten, tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. *Well he passed his test, but he did it his way. He took off his priest's collar. The man didn't even know he was a priest. In fact he thought I was his wife. What a laugh. We had a great party at the pub afterwards.Peter's friend Michael Bradley (Judge Mickey) died today. I could see that he felt really bad. He really has a kind heart. Can you imagine that I am saying that about a priest? But Peter isn't really a priest to me. He is more like my friend. We can talk about a lot of things. We can fight about a lot of things too, and it doesn't stop us from being friends. *I can't believe today. Leo came here. Of course, it was just to cover a story, but it was good to see him all the same. Brian is going to run in the bi-election against Sean Dooley. Men who campaign for office make me sick. There isn't a word of truth in them. Brian is going to replace the church bell himself. Who does he think he is fooling. Peter! He is fooling Peter, who thinks Brian is being straight. *I went out with Leo tonight. I didn't want to. I don't know why. He told me he loved me. I guess I didn't want to hear that. I don't feel that way about him anymore. I guess too much time has gone by. *I am tired of all of them. Brian and the election. Leo and his stupid stories. Who knows what Liam and Donal are doing up there on Brian's property. Leo asked Peter about me and he wanted to talk to Peter about us. I am so mad. Why can't he just go back to Dublin? I told Peter that I didn't want him to give Leo any advice. In fact, I told him to mind his own business. I know Leo wants me to go back with him. He says I don't have anything to keep me here. I don't know why, but I haven't thought about leaving in a long time. For some reason I feel good about being here. I don't think I could leave my friends. Any of them, as upset as they make me. *Leo left tonight. I am relieved. I know he loves me still. But I don't love him. Sometimes I feel so confused. I am alone and should be glad someone loves me. Will I never feel that kind of love that makes people want to get married? Oh, God! I'm going to bed. *We are having a festival. Brian's idea. Oh well, maybe it will bring some business into town. Yeah! He's got a ram up on a platform in a box. What will he think of next. Siobhan has been upset about it all day. She had too much to drink and climbed up to the ram. I was afraid she would fall. I was trying to talk some sense to her when Peter came over. Anyway he finally went up and got her and the ram. We took the ram out to the hills and turned it loose. We replaced it with one of Eamon's wooden sheep. I can't wait to see what Brian will say about that!!! Father Mac has told Peter he has to go back to England, "because his bishop needs him there". What a crock!!!! The old liar! I asked Peter if he didn't want to go home. He told me that home didn't come into it. He just has to go where they send him. I asked him where he wanted to go and he said "I want to go where I am wanted." Poor Peter. I felt so bad for him. I hate Father Mac and the church. I don't know what I will do, but I am going to do something. He is the only decent priest we have ever had here and that old buzzard wants to send him home. I am so angry. *Well, no wonder Brian had this brilliant idea. He had opened a pub with a three day license, on the Dublin road. There goes any profit I might have made out of this whole thing. I was so angry when I found out about it, I went out there to see for myself. Sure, and there it was, Quigley's Bar and Grill. With Ambrose helping to get the place ready. *I need to talk about this with someone, and I can't so I will write it down here and maybe I will be able to understand it better. I was so angry that I went up to St. Joseph's. I just wanted to sit down inside, and let myself calm down. Peter was locking up the church. I was upset and he didn't have a clue what I was doing there, of all places. But he let me in and told me that he had to go out to Niamh's, to talk about her up and coming wedding. Anyway as I was sitting there, a rock came through the window and hit me right on the forehead. Probably the same kid that has been throwing them through my windows. It almost knocked me out. I felt really dizzy walking home. I put some tape on it and it felt better. As I was stacking some crates, Peter came in and he was really angry that I had left the church open. But when he saw my face, it all changed. He came over to me and he took my face in his hands. He made me stand there while he cleaned the cut and put a bandage on it. You know, I don't even remember what was said. All I felt was the warmth of his hands and at that moment I felt that he cared for me a great deal. What a strange and awesome feeling! Anyway, I can't really say that to anyone, can I? *Well Niamh is married. I have been so busy I haven't had time to write. So to make a long story short I nearly lost the pub. Brian made me a deal. We would have a publican's race and whoever won would take my pub. If I won, he would give up his. I WON!!! A little secret. Peter glued my glasses to the tray. I didn't know it until after the race. This all took place after the wedding. It turned out to be a very nice wedding. Even though Niamh nearly had a breakdown before it. In the pub afterwards, we had a grand party. I had been collecting signatures for days, trying to get enough to make a difference for Peter. He didn't know, of course. I found him sitting over on Hendley's steps. I walked over and sat beside him. I told him I would miss him if he decided to go. He said that it was already decided. So I showed him all of the signatures and told him nearly everyone in town had signed it. God! He started to cry. Not a lot but just a little, trying to get a hold of his emotions. I felt like crying myself. Then he asked me, what about me? And then he asked me again. I didn't know what to say, and I didn't dare do what I felt like doing, which was to put my arms around him and tell him I cared very much about him. So I just left. I don't know what he thought, but I knew I had to get out of there. *Well, I have bought Peter Clifford. BallyK auction! Unfortunately Father Mac has bought me. I can't imagine what he will have me do, but I know what I will have Peter do. He is going to tend bar. Niamh bought Enda Sullivan (for me)! She brought him over to the pub as an early birthday gift. He was a big star in the 80's and he is quite good looking, however, I'm not impressed. He has offered to sing at the pub for free. Hmm that might be interesting. *They talked me into doing this stupid play called Ryan's mother. I guess Enda will play the male lead. Peter is directing. Padraig is the writer, so he is always there. Now it seems that Brendan wrote most of the play. He was so mad at Padraig for taking the credit, so now they are both there, telling me what to do. Sometimes Peter gets so upset because they won't let him do his job. There is a love scene in this stupid play that I'm not anxious to do. Oh well·. *Things have certainly changed since I last wrote. I was very upset about that stupid love scene. I mean Enda had his hands all over me. I was ready to quit. Then Fionn came running across the stage chasing a cat, and his leash caught on Enda's boot and Enda fell, spraining his ankle quite badly. So he is out of the play and they are trying to get someone else to play the part. You can bet I'm not doing any love scenes with anyone here. I hope they just cancel the show. *The show is over, and I will try to remember my thoughts and feelings. Peter came to me and asked me to play opposite him. He said that I was too picky and that no one else could really do it. As some of the requirements were, could he act and was he not old enough to be my father. I asked him if he were at the sacramental wine. I don't think he was very excited about it either. So I agreed. If I have to kiss someone in this town, I guess I could kiss him. We practiced our lines in front of Padraig and Brendan. But when I went to kiss him and I put my hands on his face and bent my head to kiss him, I just couldn't do it in front of everyone. I wanted to, but I couldn't. Peter felt uncomfortable also, so everyone left. We started again. The story became so real to me. We went through our lines and I think I forgot I was acting.( however I won't ever tell anyone that) I touched his face and bent down to kiss his lips. Suddenly he stopped and I said, " We have to finish". He said" I don't think so". There standing in the back was Father Mac and a bishop and two other priests, along with Brendan. To make a really long story short, Doc. Ryan worked on Enda's ankle until he could walk on it. So he came and took Peter's place. I wish ·.. I can't talk about this, even here . *I'm sorry for this, but it has been months. Many things have happened here. Niamh is pregnant. Kathleen Hendley had a fire at her home. Father Mac tried to get rid of Brendan as a teacher. Of course we all stopped him, including Peter. I should have been more careful to record these things, but I have had a lot on my mind lately. And tonight is not the night. I am tired. *Well, painful as it is, I am writing tonight, because something happened today and I need to sort it out. It started yesterday when my water tank blew up and caused the ceiling to fall in. A friend of mine called me and wanted to know if I was interested in coming in with her in a wine bar up in Dublin. I told her I was. I started to think about my life. The constant struggle, in more ways than one. I felt that if I didn't figure out what I am feeling and what I wanted, I never would. I told Niamh that I was thinking about going to Dublin. I don't want to leave. I love it here, well sometimes, and I have friends here. So Niamh told Peter and he came storming in here, and asked me if I was leaving. I told him it was none of his business. He said "Assumpta, I care about you". I told him I would let him know what I decided to do. God, what am I going to do? If I stay what is going to happen to me? I can't even talk to the priest. What am I feeling? I don't want to think about this anymore. *OK, I can't leave. Call it weakness or whatever, I just can't leave. I can't even write why in my journal. I hate the church. *Niamh had her baby. In the car. Ambrose delivered him. It is a boy. He is so darling. They are naming him Kieran. Kieran Peter Egan. Peter after Peter Clifford. Peter is so cute with him. He coo's and talks baby talk to him. I was just thinking what a good father he would make, if the church didn't have her hooks into him. *Time has gone by again. Sometimes, I can't sit down and write. I'm too emotional. I said something to Peter today in the pub that I regretted immediately. I don't know why I say those things to him. I wouldn't hurt him for anything, and yet I do, time after time. *I'm sitting on my bed, lights out, with a candle. I can barely see to write this. I don't want the light on. I have been crying. If this is what it is like to love someone, I don't want it. What is happening to me? I went out tonight to bring Brendan, Siobhan and Doc Ryan some sandwiches and beer. They are trying to stop Brian from building a road through Killnashee woods, and the night was cold. When I got there I found that Peter was there on the same errand of mercy. I no sooner got out of my car than the three of them decided to go back home for a bit and left Peter in charge of the fire and the protest. He didn't want them to leave, so I said, teasingly "If you're scared I will stay with you". So we stood around the fire trying to get warm, but the wind was really cold, so he said, " let's get into my car". So we did. And all of a sudden we had nothing to say to each other. I made a joke about the owl. I asked him what he would do if Father Mac came along and found us in the car together. He said he would tell him to mind his own business. I told him he surprised me and he said,"I do?" I don't know why I said it, but it just popped out. I said "constantly". Oh God!! He reached over and took my hand. He asked me if I was cold. I said, "Yes" and then I said "No". But he wouldn't let my hand go. He just held it and warmed it, like it was something cherished, and then he pressed my hand to his forehead. I looked at him and tried to imagine what he was thinking. I can still feel his hand. I can't imagine what he was thinking. God! He is a priest. He doesn't know that I love him. Did I write THAT? There, I said it. I love him. I don't know when this happened, but I know that that is how I feel. But what is he feeling? It is making me crazy!!! I have got to get out of here. *I found my journal under the bed, when I came back here. I'm not alone. Leo is with me. I am married to him. I can hardly write that. When I read the journal from the beginning it is amazing to me that I didn't see what was happening to me. These pages are full of him. The pain I was feeling then is nothing to the pain I felt after that. He came to see me at the pub. He told me Father Mac was sending him on retreat. He made me understand that whatever he was feeling was over. Even though he never told me what it was he was feeling. But I knew what I was feeling. I knew what I had to do. I went to London. I stayed for awhile with Mary and accidentally I ran into Leo. I guess he sort of picked up the pieces and I decided that this was all there was for me in life. I was in so much pain that I just wanted it to stop. Leo has tried to be a good husband. He treats me well. When Peter came into the pub today and congratulated us on our marriage it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. God, please help me not to feel anything more for him. Please. *My life is a blur. I don't even know where to start. I will just fill in somewhat the things that have gone on since I last wrote. What a story this journal has been. I never dreamed that this would be the way my life would go. Leo is gone. I couldn't bring myself to write in my journal while he was here. He left because he knew we had made a mistake in getting married and he missed the city life. I don't think he would ever have been happy here in Ballykissangel. He knew that I didn't love him. I never told him that, but he knew anyway. Niamh said I owed him an explanation and so that next day I went to London to find him. I didn't tell him about Peter. That would have been too painful for him. But I did tell him that I didn't love him the way I should have, in order to marry him, and that I was so sorry. I think that he felt better about it when I left. When I came home, I heard that Peter was gone. At first I thought he had left for good, but Niamh told me his mother was ill and that he would be back. I am so relieved to be single again. I feel regret for Leo, but it is nothing compared to the pain I felt before. I have peace inside me for some reason. Nothing really has changed, except I have righted a great wrong. No matter what happens, I will never make that mistake again. It feels so good to go to bed tonight··.alone. *Doc. Ryan told us tonight that Peter's mother died yesterday. I feel so bad for him. I wish he was here. We are sending some flowers. Michael gave me his phone number. He wants me to call him. Maybe I will. The lights are playing up again. I will have to have someone look at them. *I talked to Peter tonight. He said he was glad that I was home. He hoped I was alright. I told him I was and I asked how he was. He said he was glad to have visited with his mum before she died. She helped him with some things. He didn't say what. He said he would be glad to be home. "Home" he said. I'm glad he thinks of here, as home. Just before he hung up he told me he had missed me. The turmoil seems to be gone. PEACE. I can't tell you what it means to me. *Things have been peaceful here. It was a beautiful day here today. I cleaned all day. The bar is sparkling clean. My room is clean, finally. Got a delivery of stout. I was almost out. The lights went out again. I can't keep doing this. I have to get them fixed. We are having a Chinese food fair here on Saturday. *Peter came back today. He came to the pub this morning. I was cleaning behind the bar when he walked in. He came over and sat down and just looked at me. He was smiling. There was something so different about him. I smiled back. I was so glad to see him, but I didn't let him see how glad. "Hi"! he said. "Hi". I said. We really didn't need to say much more. I did ask him if he was ok. He said he was. I asked him if he wanted something to drink. He said "No, I just came to see you." He asked me how I was. I told him I was fine, now. He asked me about Leo. I was careful what I said. I told him that Leo knew that we had made a mistake in marrying and that we were both ok with it now. Then he said, "Want to go for a walk?" I said "Sure, we can take Fionn". So off we went, walking Fionn down by the Angel. At first we didn't say much, but then Peter started talking about his mum, and the conversations he had had with her. She told him that more than anything in this world she wanted him to be happy. And that life sometimes takes a turn that your not expecting, and not to be afraid of it. I wonder what she had in mind. He took a turn with Fionn for awhile, and as he reached for the leash, his hand touched mine very softly, and he left it there for a minute. I think we were gone for two hours. It was the nicest day I have ever spent. We talked and laughed, but there was a certain restraint to our conversation. A lot of things unsaid. And I guess they will have to remain unsaid. It's better that way. I know that I cannot expect more, but what I have now makes me happy. *This entry is so incredible that I have to reread everything I put down, to see if I have missed anything. I fixed Thai food for the folks at the pub tonight. Everyone (except Brian) loved it. Peter came in just as Padraig was telling a tasteless joke about someone's mother dying. Peter took it very well,but Padraig was embarrassed. Peter just told him to buy him a drink. Everyone laughed. Peter seems so different. Kind of quiet though, yet much more sure of himself. Later on the lights flickered and Padraig yelled for me. So I went downstairs. As I was trying to deal with it, Peter came down into the cellar. He asked me if I needed some help and I said yes. Just then a spark flashed out of the box, clear across the room. Everything went dark, but I was ok. I heard Peter say, "Assumpta, Assumpta" are you alright? "Assumpta". Before I had time to answer I felt his hands grab me and he held me in his arms so tightly I could hardly breathe. "I'm ok," I said. His arms stayed around me and I didn't move. I could feel his face against mine. I could feel his heart beating. I don't even know how long we stayed like that, but I heard voices at the top of the stairs, coming down. His voice said to me "We need to talk". "Yes" I said, and moved away from him.The lights flashed on again and Brian and Brendan and Padraig had come downstairs. I went back upstairs leaving them down there to deal with the fuses. Then I heard Ambrose banging on the door. .He caught Liam and Donal, and Shammie Chung trying to run outside. Then Brian and the rest of them came upstairs. All of a sudden the lights went out again and everyone ran for the door. Leaving Ambrose just standing there. The lights flashed on again and there was Peter. Ambrose said, "Go on, I haven't seen you". And then Peter said "Well, that's silly. You have seen me and anyway this was a private party". I felt like laughing. Ambrose was so angry. There is no way I am going to sleep tonight. My thoughts keep going back to the cellar. I don't know what's happening. All I really know is that I love him so much. I don't know how much he cares for me, but I know there is something there. I hate the church. I think it's oppressive. To take a good man like Peter and make him a captive when he has such a loving, wonderful heart. But I have to care what he thinks. This can't be easy for him. I care how he feels. But he seems so calm. I don't know. God, I'm so confused. I hope I can sleep. *Had Michael Daley come in this morning to fix the lights. I will cost me, but it had to be done. He said I could pay him in payments. We all have to go to court in Cilldargan. We have been summonsed. After hours drinking. I am so mad at Ambrose. Then he had the nerve to ask me to babysit. Of course, I said, "No". I haven't seen Peter today. I think Ambrose got him to babysit. I still think about the cellar. I just can't get it out of my mind. *If someone were reading this, and they better not be, they would really like to know what happened today. I am so tired, but I have to put these things down so I don't forget anything. What a story this will make! They picked me up in one of Padraig's buses. Peter and I were in the front. We didn't speak much because Kathleen was sitting behind us. He had his Priest's uniform on, and I hadn't seen him in that for along while. I suppose he wore it because it would look good for our case. Anyway, without going into the goings on at court, the Judge threw the case out, so we are all free, and not going to have to spend any days in jail. As we got up to leave, Peter came over to me and said, "Come with me". We got on a town bus and headed for Ballykissangel. Half way there he said "Lets go". I said, "Where are we going?" He said "Just follow me"We got off of the bus and started walking toward the hill. As we were walking, he took my hand. I let him. I had come to the conclusion that in order to find out what he wants, I need to let him express himself. So we walked around the hill to that beautiful lake. We walked along the sandy beach hand in hand. It was quiet and sunny and beautiful. He stopped and turned toward me. "Assumpta, I need to tell you how I feel." "Yes", I said. When I left here to go to see my mum, I was confused and in a lot of pain. You had married Leo and I don't think anything in my life will ever affect me that way.again. I couldn't believe you would marry Leo, without any warning, without letting anyone know. "But I,··"Wait, Assumpta, let me finish." I don't know what I was thinking. I guess I thought things would always be the way they were. When I was faced with the reality of it, I was so angry with myself for how selfish I had been, I couldn't deal with it. Remember I stayed away from you for so long. I couldn't bear to see you with Leo. Then when Leo left, and you went after him, I thought I had lost you forever. I thought he would talk you into staying with him.And I had no right to expect anything else. In fact, I should have been glad to see a man and his wife work out their problems. So that was my frame of mind when I went to see my mum. Well, needless to say she picked up on that. We had many long talks and she finally got out of me what I was feeling and the pain I was in. I didn't want to tell her, but she wanted to know everything. So eventually it came out and to my surprise she put her arms around me and told me I was a wonderful man and any woman would be lucky to have me. I wept. All the guilt of letting her down was gone. I was never so grateful to God as I was when Michael Ryan told me that you were back in BallyK, and without Leo. Again selfish. Assumpta, I love you. I have loved you almost from the start, without knowing it. I love your spirit, I love the kindness that you try so hard to hide. I love your beauty. I think about you every minute of every day. You are in my days and you are in my nights. You are my whole world, Assumpta and I can't live without you." The tears were falling down my cheeks. I said" Peter, if I had known how you felt, do you think I would have married Leo? God, Peter, I married him because I was in so much pain. You were going on retreat. That was that. Remember?" He had a pained look on his face. " There was nothing else I could do. Of course, looking back on it I realize what a mistake it had been but at the time, it seemed the only thing I could do. Then I knew it was wrong. When we came home and I saw you that day in the pub, my heart broke. I knew I had made a terrible mistake" Not just because I wanted you, because I knew you were not free to love me, but because I was living a lie with Leo." I was wiping my face with my hands and suddenly Peter put his arms around me. He held me and wiped the tears from my face with his thumb." I have known for sometime, Assumpta, that I was going to leave the priesthood. I can't be a priest feeling the way I do. I have already told Father Mac. I told him the day I got back. I knew I couldn't be a priest no matter how you felt about me. Because I knew how I felt about you" After that we walked a little ways and he held my hand. The sun was going down and we turned around and started to walk back. It was like I was in another world. So much had happened. He stopped and put his hands on my face. He held my face and kissed me so softly. I won't sleep tonight either.