Writing is a never-ending process. This excerpt is from a book, tentatively entitled, "Maire's Song." This is the fourth book in The Florida Irish Series and will be released sometime in 2014.
The first three books are:
Love & Redemption
Life & Deliverance
Faith & Forgiveness
In this chapter, Gerritt Finnegan is talking to his mother-in-law, Anne O'Fallen. Gerritt Finnegan's mother's story is told in Life & Deliverance, to be release November 2013.
feared the night, less now that they had talked, but he feared it
still, and the hours of lying by her side. How could he do that and not
react? So far he had failed miserably. But at least now she knew. She
knew she affected him, and that was infinitely better than hiding it all
They had attracted attention at dinner by
holding hands, which struck him funny. Michael had been decidedly
confused, and her parents gazed back and forth wondering what the joke
After dinner, she went with her father and
brother to talk about song choices, not a conversation he needed to be
in, and so he found himself face-to-face with Anne O’Fallen and with a
whole mess of time on his hands.
“You would like to walk?” he asked, gesturing toward the promenade.
She smiled and stepped out before him into the ocean air. “I’m surprised Michael hasn’t turned green by now,” she said.
Michael O’Fallen’s hatred of boats was common knowledge within the family.
“Maybe he has too much else on his mind.” Gerritt stepped to the rail. Another boat two weeks ago a man jumped to his death.
joined him at the rail. “That could be. Between the concert, arranging
the songs, finding practice time, and wondering if you and Maire are
actually in love, there is a lot to consider.”
Gerritt visibly flinched at her words, and she caught his reaction. He should have guessed as much.
“And what has he decided?”
Anne O’Fallen had always been direct. Plus, she had a way of approaching that came at you unexpected. She had done it again.
“He hasn’t decided. He’s still wondering. One minute you’re both cold as a fish, the next you’re holding hands.”
Gerritt turned to her. “Are you wondering as a person or as the mother of my wife?”
Her face creased into a smile. “The mother of your wife mostly.”
“She fascinates me.”
Her eyes widened. Not probably the words she wanted him to say.
“Tell me. When you married Mr. O’Fallen, how long did it take to fall in love?”
rested a hand on the rail. She still had such youth about her. Even in
middle age, her skin was so clear and fresh. “Him, two days. Me, two
weeks. But we were forced to marry. You were not.”
“Who says?” He didn’t like the look on her face, but his question was out there. He couldn’t take it back.
“Gerritt Finnegan, for the love of your mother, explain that statement.” Her expression became a mixture of anger and worry.
He wanted to cause her neither one. “I chose to marry her because someone had to, and she wanted it to be me.”
Her fingers tightened on the rail, and her voice cracked. “What was wrong with my baby?”
had to have known something was wrong all along. Maire had been ill at
the time and so thin. So he hadn’t told her anything she hadn’t already
“She is fine, and we are fine. We’re figuring
out how to be husband and wife. She was always the sister of my best
friend, and now she’s more than that. It has taken some adjustments.”
are being honest with me?” she asked. Anne’s eyes were blue, but a sort
of pale blue, like the clearest water. They were also always
expressive, but more so when she was upset.
“As honest as I can be. I have no intention on hurting her. I would love her instead.
She caught his choice of words. Anne O’Fallen was also very intuitive.
“And how long will that take, Gerritt?” She was calm now, but her face retained its worry.
“Mrs. O’Fallen, you have watched me grow up. Tell me if I have never kept my word.”
looked past him for a moment at the darkening sky, and it struck him
how easy it probably was for her husband to fall in love with her. That
was a strange observation for a son-in-law to have, but there it was.
“All children lie at times. Michael used to lie all the time.”
Gerritt laughed. “There’s the truth. I remember you calling him out more than once.”
She laughed softly. “He’s a miracle baby. He should have died.”
Gerritt stared at her then. She had never told him that.
transferred her gaze to his face. “I was expecting when I was injured
in the storm. Broke my leg in two places and lost my memory. There was
no reason why he survived it except God was there with us both.”
“And to hear him sing is …?”
She pulled up one side of her mouth. “Is a mother’s best wish. Perhaps one day you and Maire will know something similar.”
“You believe me then?”
were a quiet boy, given to thinking a lot … too much perhaps … and
Maire followed you around. We always speculated you would marry one day,
your mother worst of all. You know her fondest wish?”
He tossed his head. “No. Past my marriage to Maire.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t say,” she said. She pursed her lips. “But then you are an adult.”
“Say whatever you are comfortable with.”
She turned about. “You have heard the story of Michael’s life?”
“Bits and pieces.”
“He knew your mother before he came here, before he married me.”
This he had learned through deduction, not because anyone had directly said so.
She continued. “She came here running from your real father. What has she told you of him?” She turned about.
really. That he tried to kill Papa. That Grace stopped him. You need
not fear any talk of him will upset me,” he said. His mother only ever
called him a horrible man.
She nodded. “Then I will
tell you this. He sent Michael here originally, and he came here later
to fetch your mother back. He would have killed us all, except for
Gerritt leaned back with his elbows on the
rail. What kind of man stooped that low? And to think of what his life
would have been instead. “Why do you tell me this?” he asked, “What does
that have to do with my mother and what she wants the most?”
“Because she came here for Michael and found your father instead.”
It all made sense now. Her strange adoration for him that no one seemed to understand.
“Does that bother you?” After all, they had lived side-by-side for years now.
once did, but that is long gone. She came looking for a Savior, for
someone to make everything in her life go away. Her motive was wrong.”
swallowed hard. Like Maire. Maire wanted him to fix things, and so he
had tried only to find them both with nothing to stand on. He blinked.
Faith. His father said faith was like having nothing beneath your feet.
how could nothing at all be more sound than something unstable,
something like sand? The answer rose up in his heart. Because God’s
nothing is stronger than man’s something.
“Mrs. O’Fallen, what is it my mother wants most of all?”
She raised her chin and the ocean breeze swept her hair from her neck. She rubbed her arms. “Green-eyed babies.”
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a
penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.
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