"Love that's true happens only once
in a blue moon"
“What do you suppose is wrong with me?”
Blánaid tugged her cardigan closer about her body trying to conserve some warmth. Ronan had certainly chosen a chilly enough evening to watch the sunset.
He had driven them out to the Three Sisters headland, as far as the tractor road went, then they had walked up the field’s steep incline to the summit of the Middle Peak. To the left was Binn Hanraí, Henry’s Peak, and to the right was Binn Diarmada, Dermot’s Peak. Below them was nothing but jagged cliff-face and the roiling Atlantic Ocean, its frothy white halo ebbing and flowing over the rugged coastline.
It was beyond Blánaid’s comprehension why the Three Sisters had men’s names on two of her peaks. Right now, the only things she knew was that she was freezing her bum off, and that if she were here with a lover, she could snuggle against him for some warmth.
The North Atlantic winds were blowing right up the legs of her trousers. She moved to tuck her legs under her but it did little to alleviate the goose bumps from the chill seeping through her clothing.
“What do ye mean by that?” asked Ronan with his soothing soft Cork accent, glancing at her.
The breeze caught his cinnamon colored hair and whipped it around his face for a moment before leaving it in a wild state that gave him a roguishly handsome and just out of bed look.
She swallowed hard at his intense gaze. Looking away, she continued. “Just what I said. There must be something wrong with me. It’s a lovely Friday evening and we’re sitting here watching the sunset together.”
“And what’s wrong with that?”
“What’s wrong is that I should be sitting here with a boyfriend sharing a bottle of wine between us rather than with a friend-friend and a flask of tea.”
“Are ye saying ye don’t love me, then?”
Blánaid glanced over at him and lifted an eyebrow in response to his question, but her unease continued growing. Even in the fading light, she saw curiosity in his hazel eyes even though his words held some humor. His gaze was penetrating, as if he was trying to look into her thoughts. Things had always been easy between them, but something seemed different lately and she couldn’t quite say what.
She shifted nervously and faced the horizon again. It was awash with amber, gold and russet with cloud streaks of lavender and peach. Silver starlight began to shimmer along the edges. And the sea echoed the glow along the path of the setting sun, rippling as if on fire. Night was coming quickly on a deep azure velvet sky from the eastern horizon beyond Ballyferriter Village. The moon was out but not quiet full, giving it a lopsided appearance.
Yes, it was the perfect night for lovers, yet Blánaid saw none of it. Instead, all she thought about was her unseasonably dry dating spell.
“What I’m saying is that it has been months since anyone has asked me out. You haven’t dated either if I’m guessing right,” she told him.
Ronan cleared his throat and said, “Yes, well . . .”
“And now, if we want to take pleasure in something as simple as a sunset, we have to come out here together.”
“Are ye saying ye don’t want to be here with me?”
“Are you telling me you wouldn’t rather be sitting here with a woman you love rather than me?”
Ronan didn’t reply immediately, forcing her to finally look over at him again. The words seem trapped on his tongue. When she opened her mouth to speak, he finally said, “I wouldn’t rather be here with anyone else.”