A lost diary of an english girl living in Ireland during the 1092's. Its a love story too. Elizabeth and Patrick will fight for their love.
I found him in the same place that we had met for the first time not long ago. It was under that rare, old strawberry tree that was away from the others in the small orchard that laid at the pit of the tiny valley far outside the city limits. He had fallen asleep there again, but it was no surprise since he was tired, even I was feeling weight of fatigue upon my soul.
I quietly sat next to him not wishing to wake him from the much needed tranquility that this tree provided. I sat just to think, to absorb, all the confusion that was around us here and now. The pressure was like nothing I had ever known. Dublin was a strange place to come to from London many months ago, but now I wonder what England would feel like to my heart after the ghastly event I witnessed. Maybe strange and just as foreign as this new land had been upon my first arrival.
While lost in my own thoughts I didn’t see him stir awake. A small cough brought my attention to him. “Hello” I whispered softly, he tilted his face up toward me allowing me to see him. His face was soft, but across his freckled checks were little trails that had once carried tears. This caught the breath in my lungs, he had been crying. Yet the worst part was that he didn’t share this burden with me in the city… No, he had carried this to here on the outskirts, to cry… for his brother.
The sky was clouded but no rain was likely to come in these dry months of the year. Many people gathered at the broad-stone railroad station yet many more could have shown in this large capital. Some of the people here were civilians, some were officers; here for revenge, and some were here to see a young man die for his defense against a Royal officer that was going to kill him. I looked over to Patrick, his long hair was normally pulled back tightly but today it hung loosely in front of his face. We weren’t out there with the crowd, we were inside my home standing at the second story window to watch this act.
I glanced between the scene outside and Patrick next to me. His face showed nothing that I would understand but with the increase of voices outside I turned back below, I instantly knew of why the sudden swell of voices. Out of the twin wooden doors that were part of the station came two officers dragging a man by his arms, his face covered with a black bag. My hand grasped onto Patrick’s shirt as we watched. I knew those men once through my father, they had come to our home for dinner once. All I could remember about them was their quiet voices asking for more food or drinks. But now their voices boomed across the open area.
“This man is convicted in a lone attack against an officer, a guerilla attack that has left a young woman alone in this harsh world. Officer Stokes was attacked mercilessly in the open after returning from duty. We have found this man guilty.”
They paused to bring him up to show the crowd. I could see the Irish towns people yelling the young man's innocence to deaf ears, then across the open square were the officers, the patrol men, and the British advisors cheering for revenge for one of their own. The women from both nationalities were silent next to their husbands, I felt like one of them in a way, quietly standing next to my love, but he was not yelling.
He was here to watch this act for his people, to witness the prejudice but above all he was here to watch his older brother die The officers faces leered at the volume of the crowd. They roughly ripped the black bag away from the head. Red hair fell down over the face and for a moment I swore I saw Patrick down on the platform.
I looked up to find him standing next to me, then back down to the figure below, knelt Michael. He was only three years older then Patrick but they were closer brothers then most families. The officers circled the young man, then one of their legs lashed out catching the stomach. Then another to the stomach, head and chest. I watched this until they broke Michael’s nose. The blood fell to the platform, but it didn’t slow the beating. My eyes watered, my vision gone for a moment and still i could hear every punch and hit. My quiet sobs were heard by Patrick as he pulled me closer. There was a pause as the crowd voice rose again: shouts, cheers and pleads from the woman to stop this torture. I looked down, the crowd was closer to the platform. The taller officer raised his hands, the crowd became low. “ This man is convicted by the one law that you all should recognize from this point. The Royal Army, police and the Black and Tans were sent by his king to help you people. This man brutally killed an officers with an attack on the out lands of Dublin. We have convicted him” The officer pointed a finger at the motionless body on the ground. “Of murder by the law of Great Britain, the only law that this forsaken land will obey, no more talk of independence or such. Britain has given this country everything it needs, every man, woman and child should be thanking King George V. This man not only lacks gratification, but then he has coldly murdered another man, this is our law and this is the law that you will all live by!” The two officers gathered the bleeding body off of the grounds, dragging his feet, as they took him in front of a brick wall. I knew what they were going to do and I felt sicken as they shoved him to his knees. Michael didn’t move or speak as the officers left him, circling back behind him.
A few more officers exited from the station to keep the civilians at a safe distance from the area of the officers and Michael. The group was like a crescent moon around the trio. Michael’s face was red from both the bruises and blood, a tear escaped my eyes as I looked sadly upon him. He showed no anger or pain in the final moments. The taller officer moved, bring my eyes to him, then I saw the pistol that an officer was required to carry. I quickly buried my head into Patrick’s shoulder. Through this experience he hadn’t moved, now with my head next to his heart I didn’t feel his body shaking like mine but I heard his heart beating. It beat quickly as the officer outside loaded his weapon. Michael’s voice rose up against the crowds own sound. His voice was strong and calm. “I fought for my life against that officer that would have killed me and now you are taking it from me. I will go before God clean for this. You had no rule over me nor will Britain ever. I was born an Irish man and I will die freely.” The officer turned on his heel to face Michael again, the people’s silence only increased the sound of the pistol’s firing as Michael was shot. It happened in a mere second, my heart broke to pieces within seconds as I flung my arms around Patrick for support. He held me tightly as I cried. My broken sentences were barely above a whisper but he returned my sob with quiet words as he stroked my hair. When I calmed my breathing, I slightly pushed away from him to look at the crowd below. Some were crying on each other, some were walking away, and some were shaking hands with officers. My stomach turned as I watched the officer that shot Michael take a bow. If I had not heard the shot I would have thought it all a strange scene in an opera but behind the officer that was on his own little stage was a white sheet covering Michael’s body. In the middle of the pure white sheet was the crimson blood over the body. I stumbled to the bed in the middle of the room, my mouth unable to function on it’s own. Patrick came to me kneeling on the floor, his eyes held tears but they never fell.
He caught a falling tear off my cheek, he slowly stood then walked away through the door, leaving me in the room. I stared at the window for moment before seeing the falling rain. The rain pouring brought more tears to my eyes. All I could think was, “Now, you!… God choose to cry for Michael’s death, where were you moments ago? You abandoned him in a time of need, this time, this place, here! Where were you?” I screamed in my mind as I fall back onto the bed. I cried myself to a light sleep with tears still escaping my eyes. When I awoke, the sun was along the ridge of the far hill, I left my home to search for Patrick. I understood his need to leave then but right now he was in need of me.
He sat fully up next to me in silence for a few moments. I watched his face as he starred into the setting sun. “I didn’t mean to leave you there alone, but I had to leave.” He softly apologized, I took his hand closest to me, griping it tightly. “I know,” I replied. “Did you go to see your sister?” My question was correct by his reaction as he looked at me in surprise. “Aye, I went to see her before my father got back from the town. She didn’t cry, ya know?…” I nodded, I did know many things about this family. I knew why Patrick wanted to see his sister after that event. “She just sat there waiting for me to tell her… I had to tell my littler sister how her oldest brother was killed by the men that my father wants to kill.” His deep accent that was always present grew deeper as his emotions increased. I had met Nora before this and I instantly knew she was a strong girl. For the short time that I was at their home I knew by the way that Nora walked through the tiny home. She was strong in every stride, a little trick that took me many years to accomplish myself. I also saw a deeper understanding of the world around her. “Patrick” My own voice was quiet and trembled as I spoke the single word. He didn’t met my eyes right away. It seemed that he was replaying the day in his mind. I was sadden that he would torture himself that way but I couldn’t think of a way to make him focus away from it. When he finally met my eyes, his own had changed slightly, he merely nodded and pulled me closer to him. We sat there, the rough bark against our backs as we looked at the fading slivers of the setting sun behind the far hill. Again, as we sat, I felt his heart beat, this rhythm different from the first but it was a welcomed difference to hear. We sat there till the light was gone, then slowly made our way, stumbling through the darkness back to my home, back into town.
May 16th, 1921