Sorry! It's nine parts.... talk about last minute changes.... :)
My sister left the house that night. For me she offered a place to stay
before we left the state and an apology. For Logan she gave an assurance
that she'd be okay, and asked him to keep his promise.
He grudgingly agreed.
I cannae say I blame her, really, and despite the fact that Ma has nae said
a word to me since the explosion at supper, I'm glad I decided to wait for
my own traveling. Marie came over to offer a place for me, but I'm just nae
inclined to leave yet.
"Kitty, it's nae gonna get easier to leave."
I sigh and shoot a look to my friend. "Aye, that I know."
She sighs and lays back on Jean's bed, staring at the ceiling. "Stay with
meself and Kurt. Ma is givin' us a bit of her purse before we leave for the
"Sweet of 'er."
"Aye." Marie sighs again. "What's Logan say about all this?"
"Outside, of 'ach, Kitty, ye and your sister have really corked this up'?
He's mad, but nae as much as Ma. I think we actually hurt her."
"Ye're leavin'. Course it's gonna eat at her."
"Thanks so much," I throw a pillow at her. "I know that well, but--"
"But it changes nothin'. I dinnae what there's to say that's comfortin',
Kitty. Come home with me, ye can say your piece to your Ma at Mass."
Pulling my hair out of the bun and thumping down on the mattress, I
accidentally wrap fingers around the rosary I keep under my pillow. Bloody
lovely. Like I need a reminder of somethin' Ma gave me when I was a good
daughter. Pulling it out and staring at it, I watch how it glints like
somethin' purer than any of the recent McCleve girls.
"Bloody hell. Get me satchel, Marie, I'm stayin' with ye and your family
She spares me a look and then nods. "All right. We'll come back for the
rest with my brother tomorrow night."
Kurt Kennedy, lookin' more German than his sister ever will, stands next to
us and clucks his tongue. "Won't be as nice as ye think, Marie."
She crosses her arms and glares. "Tis a carriage Kurt, nae a ship. Can ye
"As much as I can," he agrees reluctantly, "but I'm nae happy to lose ye to
I swallow and bury my hands deeper in my coat. It's Sunday, Mass is about
to start and I'm thinkin' that a quick escape to O'Leary's is in order. All
of our belongings are packed and ready to load on the much debated carriage,
but now it's just a matter of waitin' for the leavin' date.
I hate waiting.
"What do ye think, fair Kitty?"
I smile at Kurt. In another life Ma might have been kinder and offered him
my hand rather than that burke Johnny, but nae in this one. Here, Kurt's a
better humoured older brother than my own. "Ask your sister over there
He snorts at me and extends a hand to Marie, who accepts reluctantly and
nearly has to be dragged into the church. I guess I'm nae the only one
dragging my feet about today.
"Come on lasses, the sooner ye get in there the sooner it'll end."
Marie groans. "That or we'll nae walk out of there again."
I cannae help but nod in agreement.
A gloved male hand wraps at my shoulder and nudges me forward. "Ye two are
impossible. We'll sit in the back and do everything like it's normal. Ah,
Raven Darkholme-Kennedy waves us over and I whimper, forcing a smile. She
would have to sit in the middle where we're perfectly visible to the entire
gossip circle of the Irish community.
And of course her one and only son has to sit with her. Bloody hell.
So I've had my moments of clarity. But sitting there, next to Kurt, Marie
and Raven, listening to the priest discuss the dangers of the wild new world
and how we shoul' be grateful for 'our little light of hope in the
wilderness,' I'm developing a bit of a headache. If this goes on much
longer, I'm inclined to wonder if it's the drilling pain in my temples or
the arch stare of my remaining family ripping away my plans of the future.
But I'll be damned to Hell if I'm changing my mind. This is New York. I
was'nae born here, I didnae choose the buggery place, and I choose to
exercise my free soul and get out.
"Kitty, stand up."
My mind is drifting. I almost missed getting in line for communion. Not
very bright to do on top of all the other actions I'm planning to commit.
"Aye, with ye in a moment."
Marie nudges me in line, nearly knocking me over. "What ar'ye doin'?"
"Planning. Besides, Father Franklin should consider it a compliment that I
didnae fall asleep this time."
Marie stifles a laugh as Raven looks back our way. "Sorry, Ma."
She clucks at us and turns back around. We've luck on our side.
By the time I make it back to my pew, stewing over the impending travel yet
again, I catch Ma staring at me. Even with my lesser years, I've seen
certain looks. Some that can rend the heart asunder. Some that have sent
my brother backpedaling behind a locked door. Some that can make ye wonder
whether or nae God chooses to listen to us anymore.
The one on my Ma's face is one of pain. She's staring at me like she'll
never see me again, and the glint of anger that sent me to Marie's is gone.
I'm leavin' her to this city, like Jean. Leavin' and hopin' that Logan
isnae itchy enough to go insane and nae be able to care for the pair of
them. For a moment I wonder if my now absent elder sister could be touched
by such a searching, desperate look and realise that yes, she could; and
then I have to look down. Have to, nae a choice in God's earth otherwise.
My chest's on fire and I cannae hardly breathe. I think Marie's trying to
get my attention, but I'm nae paying her any mind-- only my frozen lungs are
It's amazing that I didnae rip my skirt and scuff a knee when I fled from
[cont'd in part 6]
"To touch is to heal
To hurt is to steal
If you want to kiss the sky
Better learn how to kneel" --"Mysterious Ways," U2