The Party


I WAS as surprised as anyone else would have been to receive the invitation to Amy’s St. Stephen’s Day party. We had known each other in school, sure, but had never been close. I was convinced she held a pitying disdain for me in fact, she being loud and opinionated and ‘arty’, me being lazy and laid-back with a tendency to sink into the shadows.

here was that one time in music class when I scored higher than she did on a theory test and she demanded the teacher re-check the results, and another when I, in an uncharacteristic act of boldness, corrected her misuse of the word ‘less’ when she paused in the middle of her oration just long enough to consider me with a look of pure, unadulterated derision.

Seriously though, she’d meant ‘fewer’ and her nasal voice carried for so far and for so long that I reached my limit – she had been loudly and confidently getting words wrong since I initially met her in First Year. Apart from that though, we didn’t have much contact, had different friends, different priorities.

While I had continued on my meander through life, drifting from university to work to unemployment to work again, never really having any particular ambition, fairly content with my quiet, uneventful lot, Amy had skipped college, got a job with AA Roadwatch and moved through the ranks to become a national radio station’s drive-time DJ.

I’d hear her programme from time to time on my commute home and with a shudder would switch over immediately. It was that grating timbre to her voice. And she was still confusing the use of words with alarming regularity.

Read our full Christmas story in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald, on sale in shops and online