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Title: Have I Told You That I Love You
Author: Silvie Fouache

"Oh, God, where's that ambulance," Peter cried.  He was looking at how
Doctor Ryan and Brendan Kearney, the village schoolteacher, were trying to
resuscitate his girlfriend Assumpta Fitzgerald.
He had been working and living in Ballykissangel as a priest for 3 years
now.  His days as a priest were over, but his life with Assumpta was only
just beginning.  He had fallen in love with her from the first time he saw
her; when she gave him that lift into town. They had tried to hide their
feelings for each other for 3 years.  Assumpta had even married her old
college friend, Leo McGarvey, to get Peter out of her head, but the marriage
was destined to fail from day one.  Leo couldn't cope with living in Peter's
shadow and left after only a few weeks.  At that time Peter had been called
back to Manchester, because his mum was dying.  After her death he knew
there was nothing left for him in England any more and BallyK was his only
home now.  It had made him realise life is too short and he had to tell
Assumpta how he felt about her.  Officially, no one knew what was going on
between them yet, or at least so he thought, but they would now.
Tonight was the Oriental food fair for charity and Fitzgerald's was heaving.
Peter had won, because everyone else had cheated by having his food prepared
by Shamie Chan, a professional cook.  He had just accepted his trophy when
the lights suddenly went out.  Padraig had offered to take a look at the
fuse box in the cellar, but Assumpta wouldn't hear of it and went down
herself.  After a few minutes the lights went back on, but then there was
this loud bang, followed by Assumpta screaming and the lights fading again.
Peter immediately knew something was wrong.   He rushed down to her followed
by Doctor Ryan, Brendan and Padraig, to find her lying unconscious on the
cellar floor. He tried to wake her up by calling her name, but she didn't
move.  Doctor Ryan gently pulled him away from her.  He felt her pulse,
immediately yelled at Niamh to call a cardiac ambulance and started mouth to
mouth helped by Brendan.  Peter had never felt so helpless in his life and
cried: "Assumpta, please don't leave me now."  Padraig tried to calm him
down, but that wasn't easy.
Doctor Ryan had almost given up on her when she suddenly started breathing
again.  "She'll make it," he told Peter.  "Thank you so much doctor," he
replied still in tears.

Peter was gently stroking Assumpta's hair and face.   She had always been a
very lively girl with an answer ready to everyone, but lying in a hospital
bed she looked so vulnerable. She slowly opened her eyes and could see
Peter's face smiling at her. He took her hand in his. "Welcome back to the
land of the living," he said.  He looked tired and she could see he had been
"What am I doing here?  What happened," she asked.
"You nearly electrocuted yourself.  They had to revive you. You were
unconscious for a day. Padraig tried to help you with that faulty fuse, but
you refused his help.  Don't ever try anything like that again, do you
hear," he said almost angry.  "We all thought you were going to die.  I
thought I had lost you."  He tried to hold back his tears, but it was no
good.  He was in floods again.
"I won't," she said, "but promise me you'll stop crying now.  I'm still here
and you're stuck with me for the rest of your life whether you like it or
not," she said trying to make him feel better.
"I'm sorry I haven't told you any earlier how I felt. If I had, you wouldn't
have married Leo and he wouldn't have been hurt. It must have been awful for
you all that time," he said.
"Yes, it has been very difficult for me at times, but it can't have been
easy for you either."
"If only you knew how many sleepless nights I had during the last three
years, but no more of that now," he said.
He helped her to sit up a bit and then produced a beautiful ring and put it
on her finger. "Assumpta, I love you more than anything, will you marry me,"
he asked.
She looked at it him stunned at first and then said: "Just try and stop me,
of course I will, Peter. I love you too, just as much."
He carefully took her into his arms as not to hurt her. Then they kissed,
gently first, then deeply, oblivious of everything around them.

"I wonder what your mum would've said if she knew," she grinned a bit later,
resting her head on Peter's chest.
"I know exactly what she would say, because I was able to tell her all about
you before she died.  She was happy for us. The only thing she regretted was
that I hadn't had the courage to tell you how I felt any sooner, because
then she would have been able to get to know you," he explained.

At that moment doctor Ryan came in and told Peter it was best he left now,
because Assumpta needed her rest.
He kissed her goodnight and then left.
Doctor Ryan pulled up a chair and sat beside Assumpta's bed.  "So, how are
you feeling," he asked.
"A bit sleepy, but I'm happy.  Thanks for saving my life," she said.
"You're a very lucky girl in more than one way, I would say," he said
glancing at her ring.
She flushed. "I suppose the whole of County Wicklow will know by now that I
seduced a priest.  But, do you know what doctor?  I don't give a damn about
what people think about me, because for once in my life I'm really happy,"
she said in defence.
"To be honest, everyone in BallyK has known for ages how you felt about each
other.  I can even remember Brendan trying to push you two in the right
direction on more than a few occasions, without you realising it.  I don't
think people have a right to judge you.  The both of you deserve a bit of
happiness for a change.  I think you'll find most people in BallyK are on
your side.  Of course, there are always a few exceptions, but they're not
even worth mentioning," he reassured her.
"Thanks, I think I'll have an even better night's sleep now," she said

"So that's your final decision," Father Mac asked Peter the next morning.
"Yes, I can't go on living a lie any longer. I just know I'm doing the right
thing for a change," Peter said.
"Well, in that case let me wish you good luck in your new life," Father Mac
Peter was surprised at Father Mac's answer. "What, you're not even going to
try and talk me out of it or give me a lecture?"
The priest suddenly looked a lot older than he was.  "When I was your age, I
had the same decision to make.  Only, I choose the priesthood and I still
regret that sometimes.  I have become a very bitter man and have taken it
out on others all too often. Do you remember Nancy McGuire," he asked.
Peter nodded.  "Are you trying to tell me she's your daughter?"
"I'll probably never know for sure, but yes I think she might be. I never
knew Eileen, her mum, was pregnant when she left here."
"But why didn't you try and find out if Nancy was your daughter?"
"I don't know.  I thought it was best to leave things as they were.  It
happened all too long ago.  Or maybe I'm just too much of a coward," he
"No, you're not. It took me a long time before I could make up my mind.  My
mum dying and Leo leaving just made me realise I had to do something. If you
ever want to find out about Nancy I'm always here to help."
"Thanks," Father Mac said sincerely grateful.

At the hospital Assumpta was sitting up in bed holding Kieran. "I want a
proper family like you, Niamh.  I could never have had that with Leo.  He's
always to busy thinking about himself and his career.  I only married him to
get Peter out of my head.  I know it wasn't a very nice thing to do and I
really regret it.  After all he was one of the best friends I ever had and I
hurt him terribly."
"Well, I think it would be best if you don't leave it too long to tell him."
"You're probably right. Could you hand me the phone, please?"
Niamh put the phone within Assumpta's reach and took Kieran off her.
She dialled Leo's number.  He quickly answered. She told him she was in
hospital and wanted him to come over.

"He'll come out here straight away," Assumpta said when she hung up.  She
had a worried look on her face.
"Do you want to hold Kieran again," Niamh asked trying to cheer her up.
"Yes, please," she smiled.  She took the baby in her arms and cuddled it.

A few hours later the sound of the door opening woke her up.  She thought it
must be Leo, but instead it was Ambrose in uniform.
"If you're looking for Naimh, she went home ages ago," Assumpta said.
"I'm here on duty. I'm afraid I've got some bad news for you." He looked
deadly serious.
She started feeling sick. "Has something happened to Peter?"
"No, Peter's fine. It's Leo.  He's had an accident. They found his crashed
car at Glenmalure. He must have been surprised by a sheep and ran off the
road into the valley.  He was killed instantly."
She burst into tears.  "Oh, my God, what have I done?   I should never have
asked him to come over here.  I was only thinking about myself.  I'm only
ever thinking about myself.  I've hurt so many people lately.  I should
never have married him.  I..."
"Assumpta, please, calm down.  It's not your fault.  It's nobody's fault.  I
know it's cruel to say so, but accidents happen," Ambrose said. "You almost
got killed yourself, remember?"


"You know Niamh, two and a half years ago I would never have thought I'd be
lying here," Assumpta said looking at her new born daughter in her arms.
"Isn't she a little miracle?"
"Yeah, things have certainly changed for you during the last 2 years, haven'
t they," Niamh said. "Hannah's beautiful."
Peter entered the room. "Hi Niamh, is she trying to talk you into having
another baby,' he teased as he went up to Assumpta's bed and kissed her and
his daughter.
"And what's wrong with that," Assumpta asked grinning.
"I'll be off home now. I'll leave you to it," Niamh said getting up from her
"Oh but, you don't have to go yet," Peter said.
"Oh yes I do. I've got to pick up Kieran from kindergarten. I'm late
already. I'll come back with Kieran tomorrow. He'll be curious to see his
new playmate. See you then," Niamh said walking out.
"Bye, give our love to Ambrose and Kieran," they called after her.
Peter sat down on Assumpta's bed. He put his arm around her and kissed her
again. "How are you feeling after this morning's events," he asked gently
stroking Hannah's cheek. "Very tired. I've known many happy moments since we
've been together, but this has been the happiest day of my life without a
doubt. It's been tough, but it was certainly worth it" she said. "I've
longed for this for such a long time."
"So have I," he said, "I love you so much." They looked into each other's
eyes for a long moment and then kissed.
Suddenly Hannah started crying as if she wanted to say: "Hey, I'm here too!"
"Come on hush, Hannah. Of course we love too, very much," Peter said as
Assumpta put Hannah into his arms. He walked round the room and cradled the
baby and sang a silly song to her. She soon stopped crying.
Assumpta was touched.
"See, I told you you're a natural," she said.