This is a short background piece which is part of a larger work.
| It had been years since Jaime had met up with his boyhood friends. Ireland is along way from Boston, never mind the years. As Jaime waited for them, he felt a bit nervous. What if everything had changed?
"Hey Jaime!" A lanky blonde man in jeans and a flannel shirt walked up and clapped Jaime on the back while grabbing his hand for a shake.
"Michael?" Jaime questioned. "Man, you've grown since I last saw you!"
Before Michael could answer, a lean dark haired man jumped on Jaime's back and knuckled his head before jumping down and coming around to Jaimes face.
"Eddy." Jaime laughed. "Now you I'd recognize in the dark of night.''
"By his smell no doubt." Michael teased to which they all laughed. Michael grabbed Jaime's bag and the three took off to Michael's car.
"How was Canada? "Michael asked.
"Feckin' cold is what it is. My Irish bones are not used to those temperatures and the cold. Will be glad to spend some time in a warmer climate."
"Boston's not that warm, you know." Eddy countered.
"But sure it is not as cold as there."
"How long are you staying in the States?" Michael asked
"Depends on how long you'll have me." Jaime answered.
"I know Da is working on getting you a green card." Eddy said. "He knows some guys in the city who can help. Once you've got that, you can go anywhere."
"And glad I am for it Eddy. Will I see your Da? I'd want to thank him." Jaime turned to Michal. "And your Da too, Micheal. Without that money he sent, I'd still be in Ireland."
Many Irish immigrants worked together to help family and friends back in Ireland. They would send money, sponsor jobs and give a home to those who found themselves coming over. Both Michael and Eddy's fathers did just that. Some people sent money to the IRA but not these guys They wanted to help people not an organization. Michael had memories of strangers showing up on their doorstep in Upper Mills. Men and women alike. Da would give them a place to stay, work to do, and money. Often working the local political machine to get them legal status and a job somewhere in the area or off to another relation. Perhaps a connection somewhere else in the country. Eddy's Da had done likewise in Boston. Even when times were lean, the door was always open to those who needed help.
When word got out about Jaime leaving the IRA Provo, both Michael and Eddy had pressed their fathers to put out feelers for Jaime, to get word to him to come to Boston. It took over a year but here he was..in the flesh.
"You'll be staying with us", Eddy said,' 'so you'll sure be seeing the ol' man."
"My Da's off in Upper Mill but I'll share your gratitude with him when I head home."
"He's not here in Boston?" Jaime asked
"No, he's still working day and night at the poorhouse farm. It's really taking shape."
"Mayhaps I'll find my way there one of these days." Jaime offered.
"Yeh, maybe some day. You got any skills man?" Michael said.
"You mean besides planting bombs?" Jaime spit out with heat.
"Jaysus, man!" Eddy piped up. "What's that all about? We're on your side you know."
There was a long pause as Jaime looked out the car window. "You don't know me." He sighed. "You remember a 12 year old boy who played football with you. The boy you helped out of the hell hole of a school and that feckin' priest." He turned to look at Michael and waited until he gave a glimpse back at Jaime. "I'm not that 12 year old any more. He's gone, boyo. He's gone."
Micheal turned back to the road. Eddy pushed back into his seat and let out a sigh. It started to rain and the windshield washers scraping against the glass was the only sound in the car.
Finally Michael hit his hand on the steering wheel. "Bullshit!" He looked over at Jaime. Jaime looked over at him now. "Bullshit! We've kept in touch. You're no stranger to us. You're sure as hell no stranger to me! So you followed Liam into the Provo. So you maybe got caught up in some stuff you didn't want to be involved in. Maybe you even got a charge out of some of it. But I'm betting there are more books than clothes in that bag you're dragging around. I bet you've been working and sending money home to your mam ever since you left home. You stick up for anyone who's in need of a hand. You love a good pint of Guinness almost as much as you love to sing songs of the old land. You'd give a friend the last penny you have before you'd let them go beggin'. And I"m just beginnng...I don't know who you are. Don't be a bollix."
Eddy broke up laughing in the backseat. Jaime broke out into a smile and shook his head. "A bloke's got to try to get sympathy where he can you know. Eddy's like to turn me out on my ear otherwise."
After that, the three talked over each other sharing about their lives both today and in those days long gone by. That bond made all those years ago sounded strong and sure.