Following Dreams (Keith Harkin Story)I write a lot and thought that maybe I should try writing about my favorite person in the world! So heres a story that is kinda based on me, what I want to do and some of my wishes and dreams. Hope you like it, please give feedback! x
I stared into the small mirror that hung over a basin in one of many small but welcoming pubs in Dublin.
“I’ve finally made it to Ireland” I whispered, smiling at my reflection.
My skin was pale with naturally rosy cheeks, thick deep red hair that looked brown until I stepped into the sun, hung in loose curls around my face and shoulders all the way down to my lower back.
I had dark green eyes like the colour of moss which were framed by long lashes; my lips were full and pouty though my mouth was small. I’ve never at all been athletic but my body was slim, yet curvy in the right places.
I wasn’t beautiful, or that’s what I thought. I was last picked for everything back home and usually never noticed by guys. I was plain, plain Jane I would call myself.
I grabbed my overstuffed duffle bag and walked out of the bathroom. The music was loud and made me smile as I watch the locals sing and dance around the small pub.
It was the middle of the day and I had just arrived, my flight having landed two hours earlier.
“You look somewhat out of place standing there grinning like a fool, lass” said a middle aged man sitting on a stool just to the side of where I stood in the door way. His blue eyes stood out prominently against his dark hair. He stood and offered me his hand with a smile.
“Declan O’Rirden” I took it and gripped it strongly giving it a shake.
“Rose Hudson. To be honest, I’m a little bit overwhelmed at the moment.” I laughed and he laughed along with me.
“Well darling,” he said in a thick Irish accent “I’ll do my best to him you out but I can’t make any promises.” He laughed a deep rumbly laugh and helped me carry my bags to a table off to one side of the bar.
“Okay, now that we’re away from most of the racket tell me what you’re doing here in good old Dublin!” He said in a booming voice, outstretching his arms as if offering me a hug.
“Well I’m from Australia and ever since I was a young girl all I've wanted to do was come to Ireland. I used to say that I was going to live here as soon as I finished school. Sadly some things happened and I had to wait a few years before leaving. Now I’m finally here and I’m so incredibly happy.” I didn’t want to go into the full detail of my decision to come to Ireland with this stranger so I cut out the major parts.
“Well lass, tell me where you’re heading and ill help you out. Least I can do for someone who’s travelled this far to for fill her dreams.” He said with a wink.
“Actually I was hoping to get to Derry by nightfall if possible, can you help me out?” I gave him a sweet smile trying to act innocent.
“That’s only about a three and a half hour bus ride, come on I’ll walk you to the bus station and see you off.” He stood, polished off the rest of his, what looked like, beer and slung my heavy bag over his shoulder. I followed and thanked him for his generosity.
It was only a short walk to the station and on the way we talked about our interests and hobbies. I learnt that this kind man’s name was Declan, he had a wife and three kids whom he loved dearly.
After he helped me buy my ticket we swapped mobile numbers so that if I got into any trouble I would have someone to contact for help.
“Thank you do much Declan for all your help, I’d probably still be sitting at the pub smiling like an idiot if it weren’t for you.” He laughed and pulled me in for a hug.
“Stay out of trouble, lass.” I gave him a warm smile as he started heading back towards the pub. As he turned to give me once last wave he stopped and yelled, “May all your dreams and wishes come true on this trip, Rose!” I waved back and sighed.
“I hope they do, god I hope they do.”
The sun felt warm on my face and arms, it was nice just sitting there looking at the beautiful surroundings. I heard the bus rumble down the road, whatever improvement id gained on trying to relax slipped away and the excitement kicked in again.
I flagged down the bus and as the doors opened with a hiss the old man behind the wheel yelled, “Hello there! Come on, come on let’s get going! I see you’re a traveller, well I hope you’re having a wonderful time!” His excitement was contagious and I felt myself slip.
“I’m having an amazing time!” I gave him a huge smile showing off my perfect teeth and found a seat.
The bus trip took its time, I didn’t mind though. I sat in the bus and smiled to myself as the green hills and fields passed by, it was so beautiful.
By the time I saw the sign notifying me I had arrived in Derry it was almost four o’clock in the afternoon. I couldn’t keep still; I fidgeted all the way to the Derry bus station. I grabbed my over the shoulder bag as well as my enormous duffle bag and hopped off the bus, thanking the driver and waving as he rolled away from the station.
It was the middle of March so the sun would set at around 6pm. The weather, like usual, was chilly.
As I wondered through the streets looking for a place to stay before it got, I heard a large amount of noise coming from a few streets down from where I stood. I followed the noise and came to a steep hill lined with pubs, on further inspection I found that it was called Waterloo Street.
I walked slowly up the street looking for a pub that caught my eye, all the way music flooded out of the pubs open windows and doors to fill the cool air surrounding me. I laughed loudly, dropping both my bags to outstretch my arms and spin around. I smiled up at the sky, which was slowly darkening.
Once I had finished spinning, I picked up my bags and dizzily started to stumble the rest of the way up the pub lined street.
About half way up one pub caught my eye, it didn’t seem as full on as the rest but I could hear them announcing there line up of bands and solo’s for the night. ‘Gweedore Bar’ seemed perfect to stop and take in the locals.
I walked into the pub and dropped my stuff next to the bar. A girl younger than me by about a year or two stood on the stage and started to sing, her voice gave me goose bumps. I pulled out my diary and started to write about my first day in Ireland, I looked up again at the girl and my diary slipped from the table top and onto the floor. Picking it up I read one sentence on the page it had fallen open on, “One day I’ll get up and sing in front of a crowd of people, I’ll show them that I can do something and I’m not just a plain Jane.”
An odd feeling came over me as I read it. Reading my little nickname I gave myself made me feel a little sad but once I realized that this bar was the perfect place to go through with my goal happiness mixed in with the sadness and washed it away.
I called the old man behind the bar over, “Hi there, I’m just wondering what I have to do to get up there?” I flashed him a big smile and pointed to where the girl was being applauded.
“Well now lass, can you sing?” the man’s accent was incredibly thick and I had to listen carefully to understand, the loud noise coming from the pubs residents making it even harder.
“Well I believe I can, it’s just one of my dreams and seems coming to Ireland is my biggest dream I feel as though it’s the perfect time to start making all my other dreams come true too.” I winked at him.
“Well now that does seem like a fitting idea, you’re in the country of luck my dear so there’s a grand chance all your dreams and wishes will come true.” He smiled and put a hand on my shoulder, “Tell you what; I’m going to get you up on that stage and help you out with making your dreams come true.”
“Thank you so much!” I gave him an awkward hug, the bar between us limiting how close we could get.
The old man disappeared, returning with a piece of paper telling me to be ready to go one stage at 8:30pm, which was only 15 minutes away! I thanked the man once more and asked him to look after my stuff till after I had sung.
Walking into the bathroom I fixed my hair and made sure the small amount of makeup I had on still looked ok.
I picked a song and went to the side of the stage to let the young man know what music to put on. I took off my jacket and walked onto the stage. I had on combat boots, denim skinny jeans and a white tank top that had three small yellow buttons shaped flowers coming down from the middle if the neckline. Though the air was cool standing under those bright stage lights was almost making me sweat. The music started and I closed my eyes trying to let the small nervous feeling in my tummy grow into full blown stage fright. I'd chosen a song that I had loved since I was a young girl, yet I couldn't for the life of me remember where I had heard it.
The moment I started singing everyone in the noisy little pub went dead quiet.
"Let's steal away and chase our dream,
And hope they never find us.
The dreary days, the empty nights,
We'll leave them all behind us."
Once the song had finished it stayed quiet, then out of nowhere they cheered and whistled like crazy. I started laughing wondering if they were making such a fuss because I was good or if they were so drunk that everything was wore cheering at.
I walked off the stage and to the bar to get a drink.
"Well done lass! You were amazing, you sure don't look like the singing type!" He was acting like an over excited puppy.
I thanked him for a third time and he told me to come back whenever I felt like singing.
Walking with my bags and drink to a free table at the side of the room I got lots of smiles and pats on the back. Just as I sat down a short girl sat in the seat next to me, slapping her hands on her knees.
"Well knock me dead, you've got a cracker of a voice there girl!" she said grinning.
"The names Rebecca Harkin, but call me Bec, what's yours?" her voice was pretty and her accent was thick but understandable.
"I'm Rose Hudson, nice to meet you." I smiled at her warmly and went to shake her hand.
"Where you from? America?" she yelled in her pretty high pitched voice.
"No not America, I'm from Australia." I said laughing.
"Oooo!" She clapped her hand over her mouth, "We don't get many Australians here in Derry!"
I laughed and sipped my drink, “Well I’m here on a trip to find myself and follow my dreams, sounds cheesy but I need this.” I gave her a small sad smile and looked down at my drink, running my finger around the rim of the glass.
“I know you probably don’t want to talk about it but just know if you need anyone then I’m your girl.” She smiled and put her hand on my shoulder, “Have you got a place to stay while you’re here?”
I thought about the question for a minute and frowned, it was almost 9:45 and I had forgotten about finding a room and a pub for the night.
“No I haven’t, I’m sure there’s a place around here somewhere still willing to give me a room though. Do you know anywhere Bec?” I finished off my drink and stood, picking up one of my unbelievably heavy bags and smiled down at her.
“Now Rose, I’m not letting you stay at some pub by yourself! We’re friends now!” I gave her a confused look and as I leaned forward to pick up my second bag she pulled me in for a tight hug.
“You’re staying with me at my apartment, I haven’t got a roommate so there’s a spare room all made up ready for someone. That someone is you from now on!” She squealed, picked up my second bag and marched off towards the exit.
“So I guess I have to say yes?” I smiled, laughed at Bec marching proudly just ahead and followed.
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