Chapter 7

It was Saturday evening. Eileen was nervous. What, if he recognized her? But no – that was impossible! She had taken too many precautions. She had changed her look, her style, her whole appearance. She even adapted the local accent. She stood in front of the bar, his favourite bar. She knew because she had been observing him so well. It was a warm Saturday evening, so she was wearing a light beige dress. It looked good on her with her newly tanned skin. She thought: "I even changed my skin". She shook her head and checked her white bag for her ID, took a deep breath and entered. The bar was noisy and full. Eileen had never been inside the place. She'd just watched from outside. Eileen felt like an undercover agent, and it was kind of the truth. She sighed and took a seat at the bar. She ordered a glass of sweet red wine and turned to face the people. He hadn't noticed her yet. Eileen didn't know what to do. She truly hated him. She hated Liam and his sister Amy. She hated them as much as she could. She knew that they had been responsible for her father's death, responsible for her becoming an orphan and now she was sitting in the same room with her father's murderers. Did I mention how nervous Eileen was?
Liam sat on a table with his sister Amy, Spike and Tiffany. Eileen knew all the facts by heart. She had studied them, followed them around and spied on them. Her glass of wine was already half empty. She decided to go to the restroom to check herself once more and then to approach him. At home she had made up stories she could tell him. To get to the restrooms she had to pass him. She took one last reassuring sip and headed towards the toilets. She was concentrating on her shoes. When she got near his seat she closed her eyes. And all of a sudden she lay on the floor, her glass of wine spilled over her new fancy dress. Her eyes burst open. A drunken guy had jostled her. And now he was laughing! Of course Liam and his companions noticed and Liam got up. He offered Eileen his hand and was surprised as she accepted. He smiled at her and then turned to the drunken idiot.
Liam: Paul, apologize to the lady!
Paul: What do you want?
Liam: Apologize to the lady!!
Paul: Or what?
Amy: Liam, stop it.
Eileen: I will kick your butt.
Paul: (laughing nastily)
Liam: Listen to the lady.
Paul: No. Way.
All of a sudden Eileen kicked the drunk hard. He had ruined everything. Her dress was ruined, her hair was ruined, and – even worse – she had met Liam in a way she hadn't anticipat-ed. She had planned a whole conversation that was never going to happen now.
Liam and Amy: Woah!
Paul: Outch!
Pub owner: What's going on here? Is there a problem?
Eileen: No, Sir. There was a problem with this rude drunk bastard, but I've already taken care of it.
Pub owner: Who is your friend?
Liam: That's me, Jack.
Jack: Oh lord! Liam! I didn't see you! How are you?
Liam: I'm fine. So, Jack – do we have a situation here?
Jack: No, no it's okay. A free drink, young lady?
Eileen: Yes, that would be nice.
After that, Liam escorted her to his table and made her sit down next to him. Liam was adorable to look at. He had di-shevelled blonde hair, blue eyes and a little beard, was tan and beefy. Of course Eileen had seen him a hundred times before, but still, she was never that close to the man who had probably killed her father. He looked concerned and Eileen noticed that she was glaring at him. So she swiftly turned her glare into a cute smile and introduced herself.
Eileen: Hi, I'm Catherine.
Liam: Hey, I'm…
Eileen: Liam.
Liam: Yes. And these are my sister Amy, my best friend Spike and his girlfriend Tif. Her real name is Tiffany but never ever call her that way if you want to live.
He was joking – Eileen was sure about that – but still, his statement gave her the chills.
Tif: Hi Cathy.
Spike: Good evening.
Eileen: Hi y'all.
Eileen turned her attention back to Liam. She knew what she had to do if she wanted to infiltrate the RH-Assembly.
Eileen: So, Liam. Where are you from?
Liam: Actually, I grew up in SF, spent my whole life here and never saw a reason to leave.
Eileen: I didn't get around much, either. Grew up in the sub-urbs and just moved to the city.
Liam: No offence, but your accent sounds kind of weird…British or Scottish?
Damn it.
Eileen: Irish, actually. My mother's Irish and somehow my brothers and I adopted her accent. But it's only showing when I'm nervous.
Liam: Irish, interesting. Can you speak Gaelic, too?
That reminded her of Ben again and she suddenly felt sad and guilty. And she missed him.
Eileen: Well, I know a few words, but not that many. When my grandparents used to visit us, they tried to teach us but I forgot most of it. (Laughing)
Liam: I never met my grandparents; they died before I was born.
Amy: Are you just talking about our dead grandparents? That's an interesting first conversation! Did you tell her about our cat Debby yet? She died when Liam was six. He found her dead in the grave yard. The biggest traumata of his childhood!
(Laughing loudly)
Liam: (Ironic) Thanks, Amy. That's a much better start for a first conversation.
Eileen and Liam talked and talked. Sometimes they were interrupted by the others. Liam told Eileen about his family, his past and his future and Eileen told him all the little stories she had made up. The bartender brought her the promised drink from Jack and afterwards she ordered another glass of sweet wine. To be honest – she got a little tipsy. And funnily enough she started to enjoy the time she spent with Liam. It felt like hours had passed when Amy said:
Amy: Catherine, your dress is ruined.
Eileen: (giggling) Thank you, I can see that!
Amy: I've got a dress in my car. I'm sure it would suit you – it's claret-red and would look absolutely wonderful being in line with your hair! Would you like to change?
Eileen: Oh gosh Amy, that would be so nice of you!
The two left for Amy's car.
Amy: I think he really likes you!
Eileen: Who?
Amy: My dear brother, who else?
Eileen: Oh, really?
Amy: Yeah, I haven't seen him talking to a girl like this for months. You have to know, he used to have a girlfriend – Erica. They were together for four years.
Eileen: What happened?
Amy: She cheated on him. She broke his heart. She used to be one of my best friends, but after she came clear with Liam she stopped talking to me, too.
Eileen: Oh god. The poor guy and – poor you!
Amy: Yeah, but don't tell him I told you! Here's the dress. Do you like it?
Eileen: Wow, it's really gorgeous.
After Eileen had changed they headed back into the bar. Eileen excused herself for the restrooms. She stared into the mirror and smiled. It was working. Amy liked her and she had Liam twisted around her finger so easily. That was worth buying that new dress and the high heels. She applied a bit more powder and went back to Liam's table. They were talking about a trip to the beach on Monday. Eileen sat down and her attention went back to her glass of wine.
Liam: Catherine?
Eileen: (smiling) Yes, Liam?
Liam: You want to come?
Eileen: Pardon?
Liam: To the beach? With us? This Monday?
Eileen: Oh, sure!
Liam: Great. That's going to be fun!
Eileen had enjoyed that evening even though she had told one lie after the other. Amy had been very nice to her. Spike and Tif also, but they had been tied up with each other most of the time.
Eileen got home at one o'clock in the morning and fell onto her bed.

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