Name: Maeve O’Malley Downey
Birthplace: Galway, Ireland.
Current Residence: Achill Island, Ireland.
Status: Owner, Padraig’s Pub and several tourist shops. Head of the “family business”.
Aspirations: Living past her father, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
Hobbies: Knitting, painting, reading, shenanigans.
Parents: Seamus O’Malley and Maura McLaughlin
Siblings: Kael O’Malley, Aislinn O’Malley, Siobhan O’Malley, Kiara O’Malley
Children: Rosa Downey, Magdalena Downey, Michael “Mickey” Downey
Significant Other: Paul Bruno Downey, husband (deceased)
“Only t’ree today?” she asked, her snow white eyebrow arched over green eyes a perfect mirror of his own.
“Make it some place tropical this time. Like the Cayman Islands. They always picture the Cayman Islands, don’t they?” he said, then laughed, his husky, gravelly voice being joined in mirth by the other two occupants in the room.
“Sure, my love. Slán go fóill!” she said as he turned to go.
“Chífidh mé ar ball thú,” the old man finally spoke.
“Until we meet again, Daideo,” he replied, nodding to his grandfather. The old man said something in rapid Gaelic that he couldn’t follow then laughed heartily.
“Yer learnin’, son, hurry back then, we’re not gettin’ any younger,” his Ma said softly.
Michael’s mother even resembled a rabbit a bit, with her startlingly white hair and fretful movements as if every fiber within her was made of pure energy. Mary thought idly as she rode in Maeve’s car that Michael’s mother had to be getting along in age, but she acted as if she were a spry young girl, eyes darting about, fingers drumming on the wheel, knee bobbing to an unknown cadence.
“Stop playing games with me! Tell me where my son’s father is! Where is Michael!?”
Mary had never been a violent person but she could easily see herself making an exception for this crazy old bat. Maeve began to chuckle and her eyes finally lost their inscrutable blankness. She leaned back again in her chair and nodded her wizened head slowly.
“It’s easy t’see why my son has been in love with you all these years. I confess to not believing it in the beginning but time has made a fool of me. A fool out of all of us it would seem. Mickey needs you to go home. Think, girl, think, I’ve already told you why if you’ll just hear what I’ve not said,” Maeve said with a tone that was at once soft and iron firm.
Mary shook her head, her confusion and anger making her head spin. Then she realized it wasn’t just her thoughts whirling, but her vision as well. She felt like the world was stuck in a blender because it seemed to swirl around her. She quickly sat down on the old hand carved chair, gripping the lace covered table and trying to stop the lines from moving.
“I… I… don’t feel so well,” Mary said and looked up at Maeve who was regarding Mary with a curious, almost satisfied smirk.
“You… you put something in my drink! You… oh,” Mary said then slid softly down to the floor from her seat.
Maeve shook her head sadly.
“Can’t say as I remember dropping ye on yer head as a child, but I must have.”
Mickey chuckled and headed towards the landing.
“Ma, I’ll thank you to mind your own business. I just gave her what she wants. I gave her a cold hard dose of the truth. Ball’s in her court. Now, I’ve a window to fix and some payback to plan. If you want to help me with either you’re welcome to come along. Otherwise?”
He walked off but hadn’t made it down three steps when he heard her clogs join him.
“I see how ’tis. You come crawlin’ to me askin’ me to help ye with a problem you created but here when I come to ye offerin’ my help, ye want no part of it.”
“Fine, then, how about ye help me with a problem I have?”
He stopped at the landing.
“And what’s that?”
“How do I get my stubborn as a mule son to marry the only woman with enough gumption to stand toe to toe with me? I’ve been giving her my worst and she hasn’t broken yet. She’s feisty and loyal. Ye should have chosen a woman like that in the first place.”
“You could always give her a break if you admire her so much.”
“Pbbfw… Where would the fun in that be?”