Monday, January 16, 2012

Welcome Home~Part 2


Alexander and Duncan had a hard time remembering which grandchildren belonged to them and which belonged to the other. Even the grandchildren were confused since the two families were happiest when they were all together.
Alexander and Isabelle's oldest daughter, Nadine, loved making candy even when she was a young girl. It was only natural she would open a candy shop. Nadine's oldest child was a girl named Maddie.
Duncan's son, Gordon married Fiona Rourke who made the best Irish stew Alexander have ever tasted. Fiona was delighted when her specialty became a very popular choice on the O'Sullivan's menu. Gordon and Fiona's first child was a son they named Gordon, Jr. but he was always called Mack.
Mack and Maddie were the best of friends for many years. Mack comforted Maddie and her broken heart when she saw her heartthrob Tommy Jones holding hands with Melinda Sue Reynolds. Maddie cheered Mack up when he broke his arm and couldn't pitch for the big game in his senior year in high school.
They were the best of friends until the summer after graduation when everything changed. Maddie had inherited her mother's love of candy making. She read about a candy making class in the Greensboro Weekly News. It was the only one of it's kind in the United States. Maddie showed her parents the article. They knew it was an opportunity for their daughter to learn a skill beyond what her mother would ever be able to teach her. Maddie's Aunt Grace lived in New York City and as luck would have it, she was very close to the culinary school where the classes were held. It seemed like such a perfect plan. She was excited and couldn't wait to break the news to Mack.
Mack was working at the pub when Maddie came in to tell him of her plans. Instead of being happy and excited for Maddie, Mack blew his top.
How could she do this to him. How did she find out he was going to the same culinary school to become a chef. Was she doing this just to keep an eye on him. He was looking forward to being on his own and not having to answer to anyone and now Maddie, his constant shadow was going to be following him to New York City. He could see the hurt in her eyes as he ranted and raved but he couldn't seem to stop himself. He was the oldest of 8 children. His aunts and uncles and all of Maddie's family had been around constantly while he was growing up. Even his job at the pub didn't bring the solitude he craved. He was tired of family, tired of friends and especially tired of Maddie.
Maddie left the pub trying desperately to hold back her tears. She knew if she told her parents what Mack said it would hurt them and she didn't want to do that.
She didn't see Mack again after his blow up. He didn't stop by her house to say goodbye when he left on the train for New York.
Her classes started the following month. She knew there was a possibility she would run into him but she would try to avoid him if she could.
Maddie did well in her classes. She learned so much about candy making and couldn't wait to get back home to show off her new skills.
Aunt Grace loved showing her niece all the sights of New York City. They took in a couple of Broadway plays and stopped in at O'Reilly's Irish Pub and met the proprietor Mr. Sean O'Reilly and his lovely wife Maeve.
Maddie never did run into Mack. Her mother asked her about him in her letters but Maddie kept saying their schedules were full and they couldn't find the time to get together. Nadine guessed the children had a falling out and didn't pursue the matter any longer.
Maddie's time in New York came to an end. As exciting as New York City was, she was happy to be home in Camden Corners . She taught her mother all the tricks she had learned and Tempting Treats Candy Shop was even more popular than it had been before.
Mack was ashamed of himself for the way he had spoken to Maddie that day. He didn't know what had gotten into him. Maddie was the most honest person he had ever known. She didn't deserve what he had said to her. He'd had an argument with his father that evening. Gordon couldn't understand why a son of his would need to go to some dad gum school to learn how to throw a sandwich together.
Mack was determined to go and had saved his tip money all through high school. He paid for the train fare and tuition himself. Gordon couldn't stop him and after the shock wore off, he sent him off with his blessing. Gordon had to be honest with himself. He was afraid if his son spent any time in the big city he would never want to come back to Camden Corners .
Mack was enthralled with New York. He visited every museum he could find when he wasn't absorbed in his classes. He spent a bit of time in O'Reilly's and never tired of hearing Sean and Maeve O'Reilly tell the stories of growing up in Ireland. He got to know the whole O'Reilly clan and loved being with them. It reminded him of his family and his home in Camden Corners .
His studies took up some of his time but he found himself alone many nights in his room at the YMCA. He didn't even mind the noise on the streets that seemed to go on all night long. It was better than the deafening silence. He was missing his family and missing Maddie more than he thought possible. He knew she had been to O'Reilly's because he saw her through the window one evening. She was laughing and having a wonderful time singing Irish songs along with the patrons of the pub. Mack was embarrassed to see her and a little miffed that she was enjoying herself so much with all those other fellows. He walked back to his room and spent the evening alone.

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