Adam didn’t remember how he made it home. He was still drunk from that kiss. Veronica had smelled
so good. He still had her scent in his nose, still felt her lips on his.
In the bakery, Adam told Elaine everything about that kiss.
‘Veronica? You made out with Finlay’s niece?’
Adam grinned. ‘Yeah.’
‘You idiot. Finlay’s gonna rip your head off.’ Elaine took a baking sheet with freshly-baked pies from
‘Mom and Dad weren’t too thrilled when you kissed Pauline … didn’t stop you either.’ Adam handed
Elaine the sheet with the raw dough.
Elaine put it in the oven. ‘Mom and Dad aren’t part of the IRA.’
‘Who knows?’ It was meant as a joke.
Elaine rolled her eyes.
Adam felt so happy, and nothing Elaine said could change that.
He watched Elaine baking for a while. ‘When did you first notice?’
‘That you like Pauline.’
Elaine turned to Adam with a smile. ‘Well, we’ve already known each other from school, but … it really
clicked in ballet class.’
Adam grimaced. Ballet. He had never understood what Elaine liked about it.
‘I love the way she moves to the music … so…’ Her gaze became a stare. Memories that only she
could see unfolded on the white wall next to Adam. ‘Fiery.’
‘Fiery? Since when is ballet fiery?’
‘I don’t know. It was like that with her. The passion, I guess. She is always so passionate about
everything she does,’ Elaine said. She sat down at Adam’s table with a glass of milk.
‘What about you and Veronica? How did it come about?’
Adam shrugged. ‘She was kind of … there.’
‘Well, that sounds very flattering. She was there.’
‘That’s the way it was.’ Adam took a sip from Elaine’s milk.
‘I only know her by sight,’ Elaine said. ‘What’s she like?’
‘What do you mean?’ Elaine asked.
‘I just met her.’
‘Do you even know anything about her?’
Adam shrugged. ‘She’s a good kisser.’
Elaine smiled. ‘I see. You’re someone who gets right to the point.’
Adam threw a kitchen towel at her.
Outside, on the street, there was a loud bang.
‘What was that?’ Elaine jumped up and went into the salesroom.
Adam followed her.
There was screaming, then another bang. It sounded like a shot.
Elaine wanted to go out, but Adam held her back. They peeked out of the window. A few yards from
their entrance, a man lay in the street. He was surrounded by three policemen pointing their guns at
him. Pedestrians ran off in all directions.
‘We’ve got everything under control,’ one of the policemen called out.
‘Murderer! Murderer!’ someone screamed. A stone came flying from a window across the street,
hitting a policeman’s helmet.
The three policemen stormed the house.
Adam didn’t want to be in the skin of whoever was now taken by the police.
Two women approached the man lying in the street. One of them was Elaine. Adam followed her
outside. The man was bleeding from a wound in the chest. He was rattling.
Elaine knelt and pressed the kitchen towel on his wound. He blinked one last time, then his eyes
stared off into space.
Elaine sniffed and closed his eyes.
The woman standing next to Adam made the sign of the cross. ‘Those bloody police!’ she swore.
‘They would never shoot at an unarmed Protestant.’