The ladies have taken over Abbi’s kitchen to prepare for Holy Week, the final week before Easter. The room is filled with the smell of baking, eggs and toast from breakfast, and the hint of cigarettes that David goes to smoke every 15 minutes. The radio increases the amount of chatter in the room. Liam and David sit relegated to a tiny corner of the smallest table in the room trying to stay out of their way. However, David’ temper seems to be bigger than table, if not the room, as he keeps slamming his glass on the table and moving around with great animation. The women are not phased at all.
“And Mrs. Kearney wanted me to thank you Abbi for that wonderful blanket for the auction.” Mary Connolly smiles quickly at her daughter-in-law. The women continue to knead and shape dough for the scones they are preparing.
“I hope it was enough. She’s always been there for me whenever I needed anything. I need to call her. I’m sure she’s worried about James.”
Liam’s mother crosses herself before she speaks. “That poor boy was interning for Pat Finucane. More threats on lawyers is the last thing she needs since her husband got sick.”
Abbi stops kneading and walks over to the refrigerator just as David seems to have reached a crescendo about whatever it was upset about.
“I’m more of a man than he’ll ever be.” He stands and his chairs screeches across the floor. He grabs plates and his glass from the table.
Abbi turns. “How about you Liam?” She says this confidently knowing that David is not listening to anyone but himself.
“Abbigail!” Liam’s mother tries to scold her but instead begins to laugh as Liam’s face turns bright red.
Mary throws down the dough, turns, dusts her hands off on her apron, and crosses her arms. “Ladies, here we are preparing for Holy Week and you’re…you’re…” her toughness begins to crack and she attempts to hide her laughter.
“Only suggesting what every woman who has ever dated Liam brags about.” Abbi finished her mother-in-law’s sentence awkwardly, since she was one of those women.
Meanwhile, David is still clanging plates about in the sink. “I mean, what does he think, threatening me? I have no control over them. I also wouldn’t have been so stupid.” He drinks the last of his beer and slams down the glass again.
They all stare at him as he makes a path towards the refrigerator that Abbi is standing next to. He rips open the door and takes out a plastic container. He opens the lid and starts eating the ham that is contained inside.
“Excuse me, David.” His mother crosses her arms again. “Is it not a Friday?”
David is caught mid-bite with a piece of ham in his mouth. “Oh Jesus, ma, I’m sorry.” He finishes the bite anyway and begins to fumble with the container.
“And using the Lord’s name in vain…”
Liam stands from the corner he was sitting in, plate in his hand. “Not that many in this room are big into the commandments or anything,” he mutters.
“Liam Patrick Joseph Flynn!” His petite mother scurries to her son and points the damned finger in his face.
“What ma? Ma, I was kidding. It was a joke.”
“And don’t be lying to your ma!”
Abbi turns and takes a drink of water. She laughs to herself. “I mean, he isn’t far from the truth.”
Everyone stops and stares at her. Wondering if she’s talking about the fact that everyone knows David had an affair with her best friend or the simple fact that he’s been an active member of the IRA since he was born.
“And breaking news, The Parades Commission is to allow the march to proceed down Ormeau on Easter Monday…this just in as we wait for more news on the ongoing peace discussions.” The radio sobers the conversation.
David slams the refrigerator door. “Fuck.”
“David!” His mother throws her hands up in the air. “Please?”
“Ma,” genuinely puts his arms out to his mother. She accepts the offer for a hug.
“Please be careful, David.”
Abbi takes the plate from Liam and walks it over to the sink. Slowly, Mary and Liam’s mother begin their kneading and cutting again. Liam give his mother a kiss on the cheek and he flicks his finger into Abbi’s hair.
“Troublemaker.” He grabs his coat. “See youse later.” He runs his fingers through his curly, black, messy hair.
“Liam,” David grabs his coat and cigarettes from the table. “Give me a lift?”
“Do I have a choice?” He grabs the keys on the counter.
David gives his mother and then his wife a kiss on the cheek before abruptly leaving with Liam.
Again, Liam’s mother crosses herself as the other two women watch. They then follow suite.
“Are you still going to wait until next week to tell him, Abbi?” Mary begins to roll out a ball of dough.
“Like he doesn’t have enough stress about the peace process, I have to tell him he’s going to be a father…again.” Abbi stacks the plate in the drying rack and begins to dry her hands.
Abbi throws the towel down and stares out the window as if she’s at the bottom of a precipice looking up. The women continue their work while the radio drowns out any silence.