I open my eyes slowly, and for a moment, I wonder where I am.
The room is neat, compared to my messed, well-lived-in room at home. There is a chill coming in through the window I left open before I got into bed the night before, and the sun has already risen above the horizon.
Sadly, Jayden did not come to visit me during the night.
My dad treats Shirley and me to waffles with strawberries and cream.
As I hear Jayden’s car stop in the driveway, I get up from the table and when there is a knock at the door, my dad looks at Shirley baffled. His cheeks are bulging with waffles, and there are smudges of cream on his lips.
I smile and say, “It’s for me.”
An interested, curious look appears on both their faces.
After I open the door for Kieran, I invite him in and take his hand. We walk through the hall to the dining room and when I introduce Kieran to my dad and Shirley, my dad looks at him distrustfully.
I feel mortified when my dad says to Kieran, “You will bring her back before sundown.” I never knew he cared.
Kieran says obediently, “Yes, Sir,” while I pull him by the hand to follow me out into the hall again. I call back to them, “Bye, Dad. Bye, Shirley. I’ll be back later.”
As I pull the front door closed behind me, I hear Shirley convince my dad that Kieran looks like a very responsible young man and I cannot help smiling. Here I was thinking he could not be bothered about me, when all along he did, he was just so busy trying to be happy in his own life while he was married to my mom, that somewhere, somehow, he sort of neglected me.
I avoid making eye contact with Jayden, as he glares at me through narrowed eyes.
After Kieran and I get in the car, Jayden increases the volume and it is impossible for us to speak.
We drive away from Slane and then toward Newgrange.
Newgrange is located only eight kilometres outside of Drogheda and together with Knowth and Dowth it is designated as a World Heritage Site.
It was constructed during the New Stone Age and the passage tombs are about five thousand years old. As the name implies, passage tombs are passages leading into a chamber where the remains of the dead were placed.
The passage at Newgrange points to the South East and is approximately nineteen meters long. It leads into a chamber with three recesses. I find it fascinating that after five thousand years the tour guide tells us the roof is still waterproof.
Newgrange is basically just a large circular mound of stones that covers a tomb. It has a curb of massive slabs of stones laid out on their long edges, each end touching, all around the base of the mound. Most interesting is the way the curb stone at the entrance and the stone diametrically opposite, at the back of the mound are decorated. Outside the mound, about twelve meters away, there is a ring of tall, widely spaced standing stones surrounding the mound as well.
Kieran is fascinated by the height of the monument, which is six meters at its centre, and the lush green grass growing on top of it. We walk around the entire mound, hand in hand, while Jayden follows a few steps behind us.
When we leave, Kieran looks excited.
After we arrive back at my dad’s house, Kieran walks me to the door, and then he takes me in his arms. He rests his forehead against my shoulder and I feel him sigh deeply.
When he brings his head up again, he looks into my eyes and his summery, greener than green eyes speak volumes of unspoken words. He says eagerly, “So long have we gone around in this endless circle and I cannot believe it is almost over. Will you trust me, Heather?”
“Of course, I will.” I smile up at him. “Why wouldn’t I?”
It looks as if he wants to tell me something, but I can see the moment he decides not to. He hugs me close to him and then brushes his lips over mine. “Soon I will be with you all the time and we can spend every moment together. I have worked so hard at finding this spell, but it has been worth it, to be with you and for you to be with me, without us having to fear the shadows.”
I wrap my arms around his shoulders and strangely, I can feel a weight drop from my shoulders. It is a burden my soul has been carrying, and now that it is almost over, my soul feels as if it will soon be able to rest.
Kieran sinks his lips on mine, and I surrender myself to his kiss completely. I feel a deep, sheltered love for him.