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Title: The End Of The Reckoning
Author: Linda Suazo

Fitzgerald's Pub:  Chinese Food Fair

They have all cheated, except Father Clifford.  He calls Assumpta over to
the kitchen door and leans over the bar.

Peter:  I love you!
Assumpta:  Would you take that thing off before you say things like that.
Peter:  I can't help it.
Assumpta:  I know.

Lights flicker and go out.
Assumpta turns.
Peter:  Where are you going?
Assumpta:  I'd better go down and see if I can fix it again.
Peter catches her wrist:  No, Assumpta, not tonight.  It's too dark for you
to be able to see anything.
She feels the warmth of his hand on her wrist and the argument that would
have ensued disappears.
Assumpta:  I suppose you're right.
Niamh witnesses this interchange and looks from Peter to Assumpta and back
again. But as the darkened pub is being emptied and the contestants filing
out into the wet street (it was still raining),  her attention turns to
finding Ambrose. Brendan and Padraig are planning for the party to continue
at Padraig's house.
Brendan:  I think that's a fine idea.  What about you, (He turns to
Siobhan:  It sounds fine to me.  Let's go.
Brendan:  What about you, Father?  We're going over to Padraig's to finish
the party.
Peter:  No, I think I will stay and help Assumpta clean up.
Assumpta:  You don't have to do that.  I am not helpless.( she is lighting
Peter: ( Ignoring Assumpta) I'm staying, but you two go and enjoy. (He
speaks to Brendan and Padraig)
As the last of the people leave, Peter locks the door of the Pub.  He turns
to survey the mess.  Candles flicker everywhere.
Peter: You wanted to do this on your own?
Assumpta:  I just didn't want you to feel obligated.
Peter:  Do you remember what I said to you at the bar?
Assumpta smiles.
Peter:  Let's get started.  He starts stacking dishes and cups.  Assumpta
stands there for a minute and looks at him, then she goes into the kitchen
for some trays.

Later that night in the kitchen of the Pub.  The bar is clean and darkened.
In the kitchen  by candlelight Assumpta is finishing the washing up and
Peter is drying and putting things away.
Assumpta:  Thanks for the help.
Peter:  It's my pleasure.
Assumpta:  How about a cup of tea?
Peter:  Sounds good.
Peter walks into the living room and sits in a chair beside the fireplace.
There is a fire burning and Assumpta comes in with the tea.
Peter:  Come and sit beside me ( He says to her as she was about to take the
chair across from him).
Assumpta walks over and stands in front of him.  She snaps her fingers and
points to his collar.  Peter smiles, takes it off and hands it to her.  She
lays it on the table and then sits next to him in the chair.

Peter puts his arm around her  and she in turn lays her head on his
Assumpta;  What are we going to do?
Peter:  Well, I am going to speak to Father Mac tomorrow. .... He already
knows how I feel.
Assumpta: How does he know that?
Peter: Do you remember when I went away on that retreat and you left for
Assumpta:  Of course I remember.
Peter:  Well, he knew how I felt about you then. And today I all but told
him what I wanted to do.
Assumpta: .... I can't believe that you felt this way and you didn't tell
me.  Do you realize that I would never have married Leo if I had known how
you felt about me?
Peter:  I didn't know that then.  I didn't know you cared for me.  I couldn'
t even imagine it.  I thought that you loved Leo ... I never thought you
could feel about me the way I did about you.
Assumpta:  God, Peter! I have been fighting feelings for you since your
little friend Jenny came and tried to lure you away from the Priesthood.
Peter turned and looked at her.  Her eyes were flashing in the firelight and
he reached up and touched her face gently.
Assumpta:  I have been fighting things all of my life, Peter, and I don't
know how not to fight.
Peter:  The one thing you don't ever have to fight for is my love.  He bent
his head and kissed her on her forehead.  His hand came up under her chin
and lifted her face.  His lips gently met hers.  It was the first time, in
reality, that they had kissed.
He had kissed her many times in his dreams but reality was so much better.
When they parted they were both breathless.
Assumpta:  You're a good kisser,  ...for a priest. (she says breathlessly)
Peter:  So, how do you feel about me?
Assumpta: What?
Peter:  You said that you have had feelings for me since Jenny was here, So
how do you feel about me now?
Assumpta laughed.
Assumpta:  I'm not used to telling people how I feel.  Unless I'm angry, of
Peter:  I'm not people.  He said, quietly.
Assumpta, realizing that she wasn't going to be able to be funny about this,
became quiet.
Peter:  Well?
Assumpta turned her head and reached around the back of his neck and gently
brought his mouth to hers.  This time the kiss was longer and far more
passionate.  When she pulled away from him she said "I love you, Peter...
You have no idea how much I love you."  I have loved you for years, but I
would never let myself even think about it. It happened so slowly I don't
know when friendship became love, but I knew you were dedicated to your
vocation and I .. knew I couldn't compete. When you told me that, that was
it,  you were going on retreat and were going to forget, what I thought you
were feeling, I didn't know what else to do to stop the pain. So I married
Leo.   I thought maybe I would learn to love him the way I loved you.  I
think I was married for 5 minutes when I realized that I had made a mistake.
Do you realize how painful it is to love someone that you can never have.
Peter:  Yes, I think I know how that feels.  He said sarcastically.
Assumpta:  Oh yeah.  She smiled.
Peter reached for her hand and lifted it to his lips.
Peter:  I didn't know my own mind then.  I thought I wanted to be a priest.
I didn't realize how much pain I was putting on both of us.
Assumpta:  After all this time, Peter, I want you to be sure.  I don't want
you to give up everything you've worked for if you are not totally positive
that this is what you want.  I don't want to be...His kiss stopped her. His
arms went about her and he held her tightly.
Peter:  Assumpta, this is the way I can have the best of both worlds.  Don't
you see.  I don't have to stop being a Catholic and I will have you
too..If .if you will have me.
Assumpta:  I.What?
Peter:  Will you marry me, Assumpta?
Assumpta:  Of, course I will marry you, Peter.However, we have to deal with
the fact that I am already married.
Peter:  Oh, yeah.  Sometimes I forget.  ..Well at least we know which
direction we're headed. HE REACHED OVER AND TOUCHED HER FACE.
Peter: At first I worried about how God would feel about all this.  But,
Assumpta, neither one of us wanted this to happen, and heaven knows we have
fought and fought against it.  But I think this was God's idea in the first
place and like you said long ago, if two people are meant to be together,
nothing in this world can keep them apart.
Niamh is brushing her teeth.  Looking in the mirror she is remembering the
interaction between Assumpta and Father Clifford.  She is staring into the
mirror but she doesn't see herself.  There was something there, at the bar
tonight, but she can't think of what it was.
Ambrose:  Niamh, are you coming to bed?  No answer.
Ambrose:  Niamh, can you hear me.
Niamh:  Oh!  What?
Ambrose:  Are you coming to bed?
Niamh:  Yes, I'm coming.
Ambrose:  Will you bring me some asprin, I have a headache.
Niamh:  Maybe I should have helped Assumpta wash up.  She said, more to
herself than to Ambrose, as she handed him the pills and glass of water.
Ambrose:  I thought Father Clifford was staying to help her.
Niamh:  I guess so.  But......
Ambrose:  What is it?
Niamh:  Nothing, nothing.  I guess I'm just tired.
The fire is almost out and Assumpta and Peter are sitting close to one
another, their hands entwined.   Assumpta's head resting on his shoulder.
Assumpta:  It's getting late, Peter.  You'd better go.
Peter:  Yeah, I guess I should.  Don't want to though.
Peter:  I wish I could make time stand still, and we could sit here forever.
Assumpta: ( Heavy sigh)  Yeah, I'd vote for that.  Still, you have an early
morning, so you had better leave.
Peter gets up and pulls Assumpta to her feet.  His arms wrap around her and
he holds her close to him.
Peter:  I love you so much, Assumpta.
Assumpta didn't answer, she just held on to him. She began walking him to
the door.
Assumpta:  What are we going to tell the others?  I personally don't care
what Father Mac thinks, but I do care about Niamh and Ambrose.  And Brendan,
Siobhan and Padraig.
Peter:  They will just have to understand.
Assumpta:  Do you think they will?
Peter:  Don't know.  But if they care about us, they will.
Peter opened the door and they stood in the doorway.  Peter reached over and
touched Assumpta's face.  She reached up and covered his hand with hers.
Peter turned to walk away.  Assumpta called to him.
Assumpta:  Sleep well.
Peter:  I will, oh, I will.


Niamh puts Kieran back into his crib.  As she walks by the window, she looks
over at the pub.  As she looks out, the door opens and  Peter and  Assumpta
walk out. She sees the tender exchange between them and begins to realize
what is happening.


Assumpta is in the kitchen, getting things ready for breakfast.  Niamh comes
Niamh:  I have been up all night. (crossly)
Assumpta:  What for?
Niamh:  I couldn't sleep.
Assumpta:  You sick?
Niamh:  No!  I'm just figuring things out here.
Assumpta:  What do you mean?  What things?
Niamh:  Oh, believe me, I have gone back in my mind for several years and I
can see it now as plain as day.
Assumpta:  What are you talking about?
Niamh:  About you and Father Clifford.
Assumpta stands still, in the middle of putting something on the stove.
What about us?
Niamh:  Don't play innocent!  You love him!  And now I know that he loves
Assumpta says nothing.
Niamh:  Am I right?
Assumpta still says nothing.
Niamh:  Am I right, Assumpta?
Assumpta: Yes, Niamh, you're right!
Niamh:  How could you do this?  He's a priest.
Assumpta's eyes well up with tears.
Assumpta:  Niamh, I never wanted to love him.  You must know me better than
that.  Niamh stops as she is about to say something.
Assumpta: And he certainly didn't want to love me either......  The emotion
is so strong Niamh.  It's like we are helpless to do anything to stop it.
And believe me we have tried.
For a moment Niamh feels Assumpta's pain.
Niamh:  What are you going to do?  She said, feeling a bit sorry that she
was so angry with her.
Assumpta:  He is going to see Father Mac this morning and tell him that he
is quiting the priesthood.
Niamh just stands there, astounded.
Assumpta:  Niamh, I am sorry.  I know this must sound terrible.  But it is
the truth.
Niamh:  How long have you two known this?
Assumpta:  I knew that he loved me after our court appointment in
Cilldargen.  We went for a long walk beside the lake and he told me that he
thought about me every minute of every day.  I  couldn't bring myself to
tell him exactly how  I felt then, but I told him last night.
Niamh:  Knowing this makes perfect sense out of a lot of things, Assumpta.
Assumpta:  Yeah, I imagine it does.
Assumpta:  So, will you hate me, Niamh.
Niamh looks at her for a moment and then walks up to her and hugs her.
Niamh:  No, Assumpta, I don't hate you.  You are and always will be my best
friend. I only wish you had let me know how you felt.
Assumpta:  I didn't even let myself know how I felt.


Padraig:  Does that coffee machine have to make so much noise.
Brendan:  I've never noticed how noisy it is.  Can't you shut it off,
Assumpta:  Look!  It's not the machine's fault that you two don't know when
to quit.  Besides if I shut it off, how will you  ever sober up.
Niamh is helping with breakfast and glances over at Brendan and Padraig.
She laughs to herself.
Assumpta hands Brendan and Padraig each a cup of black coffee.  Padraig
Several other people come in and sit down.  Niamh goes to take their orders.
The back door slams and Assumpta quickly goes through the kitchen door into
the back.
Peter stands in the kitchen and Assumpta walks over to him.  He reaches for
her and she goes into his arms.  Niamh walks in to pick up some glasses and
plates and sees them.  Peter quickly lets go of Assumpta .
Niamh:  Don't you two have anything better to do.  There's four more
customers out there.
Assumpta looks at Peter who looks at Niamh and Assumpta laughs.
Assumpta:  It's alright Peter, she knows.
Peter:  Oh.
Niamh:  It's ok, Fath..Peter,  I'm getting used to the idea.
Peter:  Does everyone else know?
Niamh:  No, just me.
Assumpta:  I have no idea how to tell the rest of them.  Niamh sorted it out
for herself.
Niamh:  I know how to tell them.  She walks out to the bar, followed by
Peter and Assumpta.
Niamh:  Look you two.(she stands in front of Padraig and Brendan)  I've got
something to tell you and you better not have a problem with it.  Peter
loves Assumpta and Assumpta loves Peter and he is going to quit being a
priest. Do you have anything to say?
Padraig stares open mouthed.
Brendan:  Well I knew that.  I mean I knew that you two were in love.
Peter:  How did you know?
Brendan:  Well you'd have to be blind and deaf not to see that happening.
Padraig still staring with mouth opened.
Peter:  The next question is how do you feel about it?
Brendan:  Look, I've known Assumpta almost all of her life and I have known
you for 3 years now.  I know what kind of people you are.  If this is the
decision you have made.. then I'm all for it.
Peter;  Thank you for that Brendan. ( he shakes his hand)
Assumpta:  Thanks Brendan. (Brendan hugs her).
Padraig has finally figured out what it going on.
Padraig:  I want a hug too. (He hugs Assumpta and shakes hands with Peter)
Assumpta:  What about Siobhan?
Brendan:  She'll be fine.  She knows anyway.
Assumpta:  She knows?
Brendan:  Yeah, we talked about what we thought was happening to you two.  I
'm telling you she won't even be surprised.
Customers:  Could we get some help over here?
Niamh and Assumpta get back to work.  Peter sits with Brendan and Padraig.
The door opens and Siobhan comes in.
Assumpta is in the back room stacking dishes and putting glasses away.
Siobhan comes in the back.
Siobhan:  Assumpta!
Assumpta stops what she is doing and says nothing.
Siobhan:  I'm happy for you, Assumpta.  Assumpta hugs Siobhan.
Assumpta:  Oh God , Siobhan, I can't believe it.  Everyone is being so
wonderful about this.  Assumpta tears up again.
Siobhan:  I'm sure there will be plenty who won't be.
Assumpta:  I don't care.  As long as my close friends are alright with it, I
'm happy.
Siobhan:  Kathleen will probably never speak to you again.
Assumpta:  She doesn't speak to me now.  So.
Siobhan:  Laughs.
Peter comes in carrying some dishes.  Siobhan gives him a hug and walks back
out to the pub.  He walks over to Assumpta and puts his arms around her.
They stand there for a few minutes lost in their own feelings.
Assumpta:  I love you, Peter.  It seems so strange to hear myself say that
out loud.  I've said it to myself a million times.
Peter:  Hearing it means everything to me.(he touches her face and wipes a
stray piece of her hair out of her eyes). I talked to Father Mac this
morning.  I told him what I have decided.  It seemed as though he knew what
my decision was before I told him.  He wasn't as upset as I thought he was
going to be.  Probably glad to get rid of me.
Assumpta:  I know what everyone is going to be really upset over.
Peter:  What?
Assumpta:  Father Mac will have to be the priest around here for awhile.
Peter laughs.
Peter: I don't know what will happen in the future, Assumpta, but what ever
does, we can face it together.
Assumpta:  I know. ( She smiles)