But the world of blind items and who-took-who-to-the-Dairi-Burger was starting to lose its charms for Elizabeth. She was tired of keeping up with all the latest gossip. She started to wonder if she had it in her to write, not just a 300 word story about Ben Affleck’s toupee, but...a novel.
And so she left her job at a London broadsheet, and bought a large Georgian townhouse in Dublin. She’d never been to Ireland, but she’d heard a lot about it, and liked the sound of the quaint people who lived there, riding around on their donkeys, telling stories by candlelight. She’d heard that the Irish believed in fairies, and that some of them even spoke a language called gaelic. Ireland sounded like a magical place to Elizabeth. A place where she could go and immerse herself in beauty. A place where she could forget…
Todd. Even now, just thinking about his name brought back so many painful memories. His big brown eyes. His tousled locks. The way he ran across the basketball court, waving up at her in the bleachers. Elizabeth’s lovely eyes filled with tears. Would she ever be able to forget about Todd Wilkins? Would she ever be free? She had thought that coming to Ireland would be the way to forget him, but Ireland wasn’t the way she had thought it would be. There were no pixies. The people didn’t believe in magic. They spoke English, in a way. They had electricity. And no donkeys. And it rained all the time. She had been fooled!
The first few months were the worst. She had stayed secluded in her large 18th century house, which she had gutted and made to look like the split level house in which she had grown up, complete with spanish-tiled kitchen. She had even painted the walls of one room brown, just in case Jessica ever visited. But when the decorating was over, she realised that she couldn’t stay indoors forever, even if it was always raining. She had to go out, had to make friends. She had to forget. But it was hard. It had been ten long years since she’d seen Todd Wilkins. They’d had a passionate, if chaste, romance throughout high school. Even Todd’s departure to far off Vermont was only a temporary glitch in their love story. And then…
And then Todd had fallen in love with someone else. With Elizabeth’s best friend. With Enid Rollins. Elizabeth couldn’t even say her name without feeling her eyes fill up with even more tears, tears she couldn’t bear to shed.
“Damn you, Enid Rollins,” she whispered. “Damn you.”
She looked out the window into the rainy Dublin night. In sunny California, Jessica was probably arriving at the Wakefield’s charming home. While Elizabeth sat and wept softly into her tea, Jess was probably racing around saying hello to their parents, the almost supernaturally youthful-looking Ned and Alice. Alice was sometimes mistaken for the twins’ sister, an occurance that was becoming just a little disturbing. Elizabeth could almost see Jess’s homecoming in her mind’s eye: her parents hugging Jess; Prince Albert, the twins’ elderly labrador, leaping up from his bed and running over to hump Jess’s leg.
That was when the tears started to fall….
“Get this mutt off of me!” screamed Jessica Wakefield.
“Sorry, honey,” said Ned Wakefield, apologetically. “Prince Albert, heel!”
The labrador waddled back to Ned. Jessica threw him a foul look, and then turned back to her parents.