William kept his shoes on as Kerry walked barefoot on the beach. She, in a tie-dyed oil-spill dress, high neck, high hem, showing off long, slender legs. He, somehow pulling off handsome with a fag constantly on the go, wearing navy trousers and light blue, flappy-collared shirt.
“Right, you’ve seen the beach,” he said. “Let’s go to the pub.”
“You Irish are so romantic,” she replied, laying a tatty towel on the sand.
“I grew up by the sea, what do I want to see it again for?”
“Because you haven’t seen it with me.”
“And what can you show me that I haven’t seen already?”
In the early days, she had ways of winning those skirmishes. The sun was lower in the sky as they brushed the sand off.
“Come here, while I take a photo.”
She turned her head away as the shutter clicked.
“You look pretty when you’re moody,” he said. “Come on, let’s get a drink before it’s dark.”
“I don’t want a drink.”
“Well I do.”
So they went.
“I’m pregnant,” she said, and took a sip of orange juice.
“Are you sure?”
She nodded, in fruit-machine flash.
“How far along?”
“Two months. I’m keeping it.”
He emptied his glass.
“I’ll stand by you.”
“What about that woman in Brazil?”
“Kerry, forget her.”
He took her hand in his.
“It’s you and me now,” he smiled, cigarette smoke curling.
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” she thought, and smiled back.