ASN 2.6 Gobshite

by Matt P.

Siobhan stormed out of the gardens, shaking her head angrily. She reached up to run a hand back through her hair as she turned to her family and friends. “Well that was a goddamn dumpster fire. Why did we invite that horse’s ass again?”

Monica didn’t look much happier, but she took a deep breath before she spoke—and Lacey reached out to squeeze her hand before she continued. “Ignoring the fact that Franks kept opening his mouth, there was actually a lot of good information. Gethsemane and St. Paul agreeing to provide counseling and a safe place could be really important.”

There was a low murmur of conversation as they all made their ways to their respective vehicles, as people left the meetings. Most of it seemed to be along the same lines as what they were discussing, about the way Franks had behaved; but there seemed to be at least a number of them discussing the actual information ad the point of the evening.

Reverend Morrison had apparently taken a few moments to detach herself from the crowd, but when she managed she jogged over to meet them. Her elegant face seemed more lined then it had before the meeting, and she spoke directly to Monica and Lacey first. “I am so sorry, girls. If Reverend Burgess hadn’t gotten the flu it would have been better; he’s about the only one who keeps Franks in line.”

Siobhan scowled. “If that trumped up jackass Franks wants to pretend to be a religious leader in this weird freaking town, he shouldn’t get to act like a petulant five year old.” Having met Burgess, a kind man with white hair and an easy smile, she didn’t doubt he could have kept Franks in line. “He shouldn’t need a handler, especially from another church.”

“I know, and I am sorry,” Morrison apologized, and sounded sincere. Siobhan softened a little bit because she could see the genuine regret in the woman’s face, and she just sighed. “I do think there is a lot of good that will come of it. We have people in the community talking about how Salvation is spreading, and that’s important—maybe we can keep it from getting too bad.”

Walter offered a smile in return, both to Monica and Lacey and then moving over to Morrison as well. “And besides, you certainly did enough work to get an A, regardless of what that…” He paused, trying to come up with the right word to describe him.

“Gobshite,” Morgan supplied helpfully.

“Gobshite did,” Walter finished automatically, and then blinked a little bit as he looked over to his date with a raised eyebrow. “What did I just say? It doesn’t sound like something I should be saying this close to a church.”

Morrison regarded Morgan curiously, while Siobhan leaned in eagerly—sensing a new curse word that she could add to her already astonishing repertoire. “Gobshite is Irish slang for an idiot, which I think he definitely qualifies as.” Siobhan nodded, mouthing the word to herself and committing it to memory.

Walter shook his head. “You’re a bad influence, I think. She doesn’t need more tings to say that will get her kicked out of class,” he offered wryly. Naomi, meanwhile, finished giving Morgan a considering look and apparently had come to a question.

“You’re Irish?” She asked curiously. Morgan gave a smile that was only a little bit a smirk, more warm then wry—but still with a teasing edge to it.

“It does seem to fit with the red hair, green eyes, and being Catholic, doesn’t it?” Morgan asked, one red eyebrow cocked. “Inevitable next question, why don’t I have an accent?” She supplied, which drew a nod from the Reverend. Morgan’s smile didn’t fade, but there was a twinkle in her eyes. “My family is from Ireland,” she explained. Walter noticed she never exactly said she wasn’t from Ireland, or confirmed that she was—she implied heavily with her words and the tone of her voice, without offering any more information than before. But Morrison seemed to buy it, nodding and clearly taking it to mean ‘My family is from Ireland, but I’m American.’

“Well, either way…” she turned back to the young women. “You all did a good job arranging this and helping set it up, and thank you; I hope you’ll keep doing things for the community like this even when there isn’t a grade on the line.” She looked like she was going to say more when they heard raised voices behind them, including Reverend Franks. Morrison sighed and shook her head. “I’ll send the letter to your teacher about the project so you get credit, and we can talk about it later this week.” At that she shook her head, and started back toward the church.

While the Richards and Morgan turned to watch her go, Siobhan saw Lacey turn to Monica and lean in. Monica asked softly “Where are you going tonight?” That caused Siobhan to blink; it was said in a tone that suggested it was not an idle question about evening plans.

“My dad is back in town,” Lacey whispered softly. Monica winced, but took the shorter woman’s hand in hers and squeezed it tightly.

“Everything OK?” Walter asked, causing Siobhan to jump a little bit; she hadn’t seen her father look over at the two girls, nor had she realized he noticed the interaction. She wasn’t surprised on reflection, but it still startled her.

“Yes, Mr. Richards,” Monica answered, while Lacey appeared to be deciding what to say. “Lacey’s going to crash at my place for the night, so we can get to school early and write up our report about the project.” Walter gave the dark skinned young woman an even look, but she didn’t back down from his gaze or look away. After a moment of considering her, Walter nodded.

“Alright. But if something is up…” he let the words trail for a moment. “Let me know, alright? I have lots of ways to make things better,” he finished with a reassuring smile. Siobhan didn’t think he knew what was going on anymore than she did, but she loved him for offering to help the two young women who were her closest friends.

“Of course,” Lacey offered softly, smiling. “And you’re right. Things get better,” she offered, squeezing Monica’s hand.