Part TwoPreviously, on Soap Opera SundayPart One: I'd just arrived in Galway, Ireland after 24 hours of travel and met a group of cute Irish boys in a pub. They offered to show me the city, so of course, I went along with them...
It had stopped raining, but the streets were still slick. The band of Irish boys and I made our way down the sidewalk until we came to a large wooden door with a small sign hung out beside it. One of them opened the door and Liam, the boy who was holding my hand, pulled me through behind them.
Inside it was warm and homey. The room was long and narrow, with a bar on one side and clusters of tables along the other. People were laughing and drinking and toward the back of the room a fire crackled in an old brick fireplace. Seated around the fire were several musicians who were playing classic Irish music. I felt as if I had stepped onto the set of movie, but it was all real. And that sense of magic that filmmakers just love to cultivate in Irish films? That was real too.
Before I had even had a chance to adjust to my new surroundings, one of the boys slipped a fresh pint of Guinness into my hand and found me a chair.
The cold beer warmed me up and soon my feet were tapping and my cheeks were flushed. It didn't seem to matter to anyone that I was a stranger, an American girl who had no idea where she was or what she was doing, I felt like I belonged to these people and they belonged to me.
The night started to move more quickly after that. When I had finished my drink, Liam pulled me up and whisked me away to yet another cozy pub - where another round of pints appeared.
I'm not sure how they managed it, but Liam and his friends had enough energy to keep me going, despite the fact that none of us had slept in well over 24 hours. They had a kind of buoyancy that was contagious, and I was having such a good time, letting them drag me all over the city, showing me all of the little hideaway places I never would have seen on my own, that I almost forgot about my hostess.
In between pubs, I suddenly remembered what I was supposed to be doing.
"Hold on," I said, and Liam - who was still holding my hand - stopped when I stopped.
"You all right?"
"Yeah." The air was cool after the rain and if felt good on my hot cheeks. "I just need to call this friend of my dads. What time is it?"
"Nearly eleven," he told me. His friends had stopped now too, they were waiting for us to catch up with them.
"Help me find a phone," I said, and started digging in my backpack for the scrap of paper with the phone number.
"Sure," he said, "They'll have one over at Donaugh's. It's just round the corner."
"Okay," I said, but I was still looking for the paper. It didn't seem to be in the front zipper pocket any more. I must have stuck it in the main section. I unzipped my bag and started looking through the clothes on top. It wasn't there either. I stopped. It didn't make sense to take all of my clothes out on the wet street. I'd have to wait until we got to Donaugh's.
"Okay," I said again, "I'm ready."
Liam took my hand again, so gently that it made me turn and smile up at him. "You find it?" he asked.
I was surprised that he had noticed. "No, but I'll take all my stuff out when we get there."
"Sure thing," he said, and squeezed my hand. "We're coming," he called to his friends, then started running, pulling me along with him. I laughed and almost slipped on the wet sidewalk as I ran to keep up with him.
...to be continued.
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