She may be a jolly good fellow, but she’s nowhere to be seen.
A great big party laid on in Sinéad’s honour; champagne, balloons, firecrackers, the works. Family wrangled in from all over to toast the occasion. Her mother had toiled ceaselessly to make it an extravaganza to remember…but the girl herself had done a bunk. AWOL. Hadn’t even the forethought to mention where she was going.
If he was honest, Pascal would admit that he got a kick out of it – he loved seeing intricate plans come a cropper. It was probably why Greek tragedies appealed to him; Sophoclean irony, or something along those lines. He tried to behave in the appropriate manner as his parents fumed…but you’d have needed industrial bleach to wipe the smirk from his face.
The dowager of the house, Eileen Noonan, was getting steadily more irate – doubtless as the young lady herself was getting steadily more drunk. Eventually, long into the night, just as the tension inside reached its apex, the doorbell rang. Pascal could barely contain his schadenfreude-fueled glee as he let in his sozzled sister. Quick as a flash, Mrs Noonan confronted her prodigal offspring in the hallway.
“Where have you been?” demanded the humiliated old dear.
“Out”, came the impertinent, impetuous reply.
Pandemonium. The slap, dished out by way of retort, literally knocked Sinéad off her feet. Suddenly Pascal’s amusement evaporated; his teenage sister lay prone, practically out for the count, while his mother was being physically restrained by her quick-thinking eldest son. Good old Conor, braving the flying-fists to get between mother and daughter. No, it definitely did not seem so funny after that. As Pascal would put it later, ‘Nothing like physical violence to put a dampener on an evening’.
The subsequent apology by the mater familias left a lot to be desired too, given that Pascal felt that it was transparently insincere and uncomfortably manipulative. He dared not speak to Sinéad about it, but he did come to his own conclusion: The smack served to illustrate why his sister had walked out of her own party without notice – if you had a mother like that, wouldn’t you want to escape her too?
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…❤