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When Graham met Cathy

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1 When Graham met Cathy on 2nd August 2013, 20:50

May 1948

After Graham had travelled around Europe for the past two months, he arrived back in his home country where he would give his last concerts before the summer break. His piano career started already when he was just a boy of fourteen, and he already gave concerts to a wider audience, even the British aristocracy, but he didn’t travel outside Great Britain for concerts until he was eighteen. Now, at twenty-one, he was already well-known not only within Great Britain, but most of Europe, and he started to establish a name on the other side of the pond, America. After his summer break he would travel around the States for a while.
When he came back to Ireland to give his last concerts before the break, he stopped in his hometown Dublin, as well as in Belfast and Cork. Ironically he had never been in the South of Ireland, so when he arrived at his last stop, Cork, he didn’t know the area at all. The concert would be in the evening, so he used the hours he still had left before the concert to walk around Cork. He was just on his way back to the hotel and passed a few stores when he felt something hard slamming in his face. Someone had actually slammed the heavy door of the little bakery shop right in his face, so hard that he stumbled back and touched his hurting nose. A second later he saw blood on his fingers.
Great, he thought. I have a concert tonight and look like I had a fight with some guy in the local pub.

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry!”, he heard the voice of a woman. He slowly looked up and his heart almost stopped when he saw her. A young woman about his age, with long, dark brown hair and eyes of the same colour. She was rather slim and not particularly tall, and she was not dressed like most girls he had seen in Paris or Rome, no, she was definitely an Irish girl from the countryside. And those eyes…he couldn’t stop looking into those brown eyes. He completely forgot that his nose was bleeding until she reminded him of that.
“I’m so, so sorry, I didn’t mean to slam the door in your face, that was not… you have a tissue? Oh wait, I should have one…yes…hold on!” She got a clean little handkerchief out of her pocket and handed it to him.

“Thank you”, Graham mumbled, still distracted by her beauty.

“Are you okay? Does it hurt?” She looked concerned at him. She had that Southern accent that was absolutely charming. She didn’t even wait for his answer, she grabbed his sleeve, just like that, and pulled him to the bench next to the bakery. “Here, sit down.”

“I’m fine”, he mumbled under the handkerchief with which he tried to wipe off the blood, but he sat down anyway, and she sat next to him.

“I can’t believe I did that!”

“That’s okay, you didn’t do it on purpose. Hopefully…”

She let out a laugh, and for a moment he forgot his hurting nose because all he noticed was the sound of that laugh and the way her eyes lit up.
“You’re not from here, are you?”, she asked.

“How can you tell?”

“Ehm…let’s see. You’re dressed like a city boy, you have a city boy’s accent, well, a Northern one, you’re definitely not from the South.”

He smiled. “Yes, I’m from Dublin.”

“Ah, so indeed a city boy. So what are you doing here? Visiting friends? Oh, I’m sorry if I ask you private questions, I know it’s not my business, and I probably shouldn’t talk so much, I’m sorry, I can’t help it sometimes…”

“That’s okay”, he said friendly. In fact, he liked it. Most women he had met were shy, polite and sometimes rather distant, and often too well-mannered, but this girl…she was something special. She talked so freely and he couldn’t help but feel drawn towards her.
“I’m afraid I don’t have any friends here in the South. I’m here for work.”

“Work?” She watched him with fullest attention. “What could someone from a city as big as Dublin do here in the middle of nowhere?”

“I’m giving a concert.”

“A concert? Are you some kind of musician?”

“Well, yes…more a pianist.”

“Really?” She raised her eyebrows. “ I have to say, it’s a really rare thing to meet a pianist here in Cork. Are you going to be in the Concert Hall or where is the concert?”

“Yes, that’s right, the Concert Hall.” The blood was wiped off his face, although his nose still hurt, but right now he couldn’t care less.

“What’s your name?”


“Nice to meet you, Graham”, she said with that lovely smile of hers. But suddenly the smile vanished and her eyes widened. “Oh. My. God.”

“Eh…excuse me?” He looked confused at her.

“Oh, shit!” She covered her mouth. “Sorry, I shouldn’t curse. But…oh, bollocks!”

“What is it?”

“You don’t happen to be Graham Hart by any chance, do you?”

Graham looked at her for a moment. “Ah…I guess I am…”

“Oh, you must be joking!”

“I’m afraid not…”

“That’s crazy!” She shook her head. “I’m not much into musical stuff, to be honest, I study Marine Biology at the university here, but my flatmate studies music and she’s obsessed with you! Well, in a healthy way, and I know she’s going to kill me if she knew that I just said that.” The girl laughed nervously. “Anyway, she keeps raving on about you and your music, but I always thought you were some old guy with grey hair, you know? Kind of like Beethoven, a bit creepy looking…I mean, that’s what you usually think when you hear the word ‘pianist’, right? Some old, grumpy-looking guy… Oh, if Lucy knew that I met you she would go crazy, seriously, she really loves your work and talks so much about you. As a matter of fact she’s going to be at your concert, but I bet if she knew in what hotel you stayed she would wait in front of the door and desperately hope she could meet you in person, and I should really stop talking about my flatmate like that, it’s actually kind of private…Oh man…I can’t believe it!” She looked at the young man next to her. “You’re so not old!”

Graham laughed. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

Her cheeks flushed and she hid behind her hands. “I can’t believe I slammed the door in your face! If Lucy knew about that…oh, this is crazy!” She slowly lowered her hands. “Again, I’m really sorry.”

“And I’m really okay”, he assured her. He couldn’t take his eyes off her, all about her was so beautiful, the way she talked, the way she smiled, that brightness in those warm, brown eyes. She may just be a simple girl from the country who talked bluntly, but for him she was the most fascinating girl he had ever met, she was so full of life and optimism. “And tell your flatmate I’m really honoured that she likes my work.”

She giggled. “Oh, knowing Lucy she will blush to her ears when I tell her that I talked about her in front of you. She’s very shy, the two of us are complete opposites. She’s more into music and composing, and I’m the scientist.”

That girl got more fascinating with every second! He would have never pictured her as scientist.
“Are you from Cork?”, Graham asked.

“Me? No! My parents’ cottage is deep in the country, outside of Cork. I’m just here because I study at the university, but I’m almost finished with my degree.”

He wanted to ask her so many questions, or just listen to her for hours, but unfortunately he had to get back to his hotel and get ready for the concert, and he still looked like he was in a pub fight. He looked at his watch and wished it would not be that late already.

“Oh, I’m keeping you here with all my talking, I’m so sorry!”, she said. “First I slam the door in your face and then I bother you, I’m really-“

“You don’t bother me at all!”, he said almost a little too eager. He could feel that he was blushing while she looked at him, so directly into his eyes as if she was trying to read his soul. That girl made him nervous…in a very positive way, but still. He had always been very shy, so he easily blushed when something made him nervous, and he really didn’t want to blush in front of her, but he couldn’t avoid it. “Anyway…I’m afraid I have to go.” He got up while a voice in his head screamed not to go. “It was really nice meeting you.” He reached out his hand to shake hers, and when her hand touched his, he felt this strange feeling inside of him, something he could hardly explain.

“It was really nice meeting you, Graham”, she said, looking him straight in the eyes again. “Mr-not-so-old-guy…”

He chuckled. He didn’t want to let go off her hand, but he had to. And then he remembered something. “What’s your name?”

She smiled. “Catherine O’Doherty.”

A smile crossed his lips. “Like Saint Catherine.”

“Yes, just without all that holy stuff going on.” She looked at him a last time, then turned around, and in that moment she felt like something strange was happening, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it yet.


SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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