‘Maybe if you hated each other’s guts, it’d mean that you meant something to each other in the first place’
“You can explain that to Helen. I’m sure she’ll understand.”
“But she might not.”
“Then it sucks to be you, doesn’t it?”
He storts literally begging then. “Helen is the love of my life,” he tries to go. “Why are you doing this?”
I’m there, “Because it bothers me – it’s always bothered me – that you and the old dear couldn’t hate each other like normal people when you got divorced.”
“I don’t understand why it should bother you that we still like each other.”
“I don’t know either. Maybe if you hated each other’s guts, it’d mean that you meant something to each other in the first place. Or maybe I’m overthinking it. Maybe it’s just that I’ve finally got something on you and I’m enjoying the power.”
I take another chip. They’re good chips.
He loosens his tie and opens the top button of his shirt. He’s like, “What if I gave you some money?”
I laugh in his face. “You’ve tried begging and pleading. Now we’re on to, what, bribery?”
“Thirty thousand euros, Ross. I’ve got it in the safe back at the house. You can have it. Tonight.”
“I can’t be bought. Not for €30,000 anyway. No, from where I’m standing, you’re all out of options, Dude.”
And that’s when he says it. “I didn’t want to have to do this,” he suddenly goes, “but, like you said, you’ve given me no alternative,” and then he pulls it out of literally nowhere.
He goes, “Hannah McLysaght.”
And suddenly it’s me who’s, like, muttering and stuttering. I’m there going, “Hannah . . . What? I don’t . . . The . . . What did you say the second name was?”
“Hannah McLysaght,” he again goes? “You met her in Krystle nightclub – when was it, back in March? You were out celebrating young Christian’s birthday.”
I’m suddenly going, “Er . . . Er . . . Er . . .” like a focked percolator.
He’s there, “I think you told Sorcha that you stayed in Christian’s house that night – although that was a white lie, wasn’t it?”
I’m there, “Who told about that?”
He smiles at me. “Ross,” he goes, “I pay a solicitor a considerable amount of money to make sure I know the things that I need to know.”
I shake my head. He’s talking about Hennessy Coghalan-O’Hara, who happens to be Christian’s
The old man suddenly picks his phone up from the table. “So,” he goes, “because full disclosure clearly means so much to you, perhaps we’ll ring your good lady wife and discover just how forgiving she is when she hears of your . . . would you call it an affair, Ross?”
He’s good. God, he’s better than good. Of course he is. I didn’t lick it up off the old maple hordwood flooring.
I’m there, “Okay, maybe I won’t say anything about you and the old dear then. Is that 30Ks still on offer?”
But he just looks over my shoulder and smiles and goes, “Oh, look! Helen’s organised a birthday cake!”