Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy here - Tirgearr Publishing
A startling revelation - the long-time friend you never viewed romantically is actually the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.
But what do you do about it?
For Derek, a laid-back graduate camping with college friends on Ireland's west coast in the summer of 1996, the answer is … absolutely nothing.
Never the proactive one of the group - he's more than happy to watch his friends surf, canoe and scuba-dive from the shore - Derek adopts a wait and see attitude. Acting on his emotional discovery is further hindered by the fact he's currently seeing someone else - and she's coming to join him for the weekend.
As their five days on the beach pass, and there are more revelations, Derek soon realises that to get what he desires, he'll have to take it. Events conspire to push him to the forefront of the group, and, as unexpected sorrow begins to surround him and his friends, Derek grasps his chance at happiness. After all, isn’t life too short to just wait and see?
10% of the author's royalties will be donated to WWF,
the World Wildlife Fund.
• • •
“Do you remember everyone you’ve ever kissed?”
We were sitting around the fire, which sent its flames up from the dry driftwood to spread light past us to the tents behind. It illuminated the hazel copse a little way off, but was beaten by the darkness before reaching the waves that softly washed up on the shore, thirty yards away.
Just the two of us, Sinéad and I, sat beside the fire. Sarah was in the dunes, and John and Bill had gone to the town to get more drink. We’d all thought that we’d have been drunk already, but we weren’t yet. We nearly were—at least I was—but not quite enough. The two lads had decided to walk the mile to the pub and get a dozen more cans of beer and a bottle of Jameson, and some lemonade for the two girls. Us men were fairly sure that by the time we’d finished the beers we’d be ready for the whiskey straight, or with just a little fresh, cool water from the stream beside the copse. It gurgled in the silence behind me, down a few rocks into a wide brackish pool that drained slowly down the beach at low tides, meandering through the sand.
I watched Sinéad looking back at me as she thought about the question. She was beautiful. I could see that in the firelight. Why couldn’t I see that during the day? Was it the night? Don’t be stupid, Derek, I told myself. It’s the booze! And the knowledge that you’re sharing your tent with two lads.
Still, she was beautiful. But she was better than just attractive— she was smart and funny and all those adjectives that people throw around when describing the people they fancy. She was one of my best friends—definitely my best female friends. That's why she was there, of course, because she was not just a pretty face. Yet that was a pity right now, when all I wanted was someone sexy.
“Yes," she answered. “I remember everyone. But then, I haven’t kissed very many people. Only twelve.”
I looked back at her eyes, my own betraying my surprise. “Really? You have only ever kissed twelve people?”
Sinéad laughed softly and nodded. “Yes! And I knew them all before I kissed them. Does that surprise you so much? Why do you ask anyway? Can you remember all those thousands of girls that you have kissed?” She asked this in a gently mocking way, and I blushed a little, though probably not enough for her to notice in the light from the fire.
I looked into the flames for a moment, then met her eyes again. “I haven’t kissed thousands of girls! And I am not that surprised about you only kissing twelve guys, though I am curious as to how that is,” I smiled, wondering how the hell it was possible. “But, I have to admit that I don’t remember every girl I’ve kissed. I don’t remember kissing some of them that I know I have kissed. It depends on the circumstances of the kiss. Sometimes I was fairly drunk.”
She laughed, and I laughed with her. I took a swig of beer and she did the same, then I looked at the fire again, not really wanting to look straight at her as I continued. “Sometimes though, I see a girl, and she looks so familiar, and yet I’m sure that I don’t know her, and she gives no indication that she knows me, or that I seem familiar to her. Or sometimes I see a girl who I don’t recognise or think I have met before, but who looks at me like she knows me or should know me, and I just wonder, if maybe a few years ago, I wasn’t holding her on a dance floor and kissing her. It’s really strange.”
When I raised my can again she was still looking intently at me. “Everybody forgets people. People don’t stay looking the same all their lives, so you are going to not recognise people, eventually, and if you didn’t know them all that well in the beginning, you're going to forget them sooner. I’ve forgotten lots of people I used to see around. I haven’t forgotten the people I have kissed because I knew them quite well, and I still know some of them very well. Why I haven’t kissed people I didn’t know is none of your business, really. But to be honest, it just happened that way: I was never not going out with someone for very long. But anyway, there have been lots of men I knew well and didn’t kiss, and I still remember them. Kissing doesn’t have that much to do with your memory—even if you think that you should remember the ones you kissed more than the ones you didn’t.”
I said nothing, but nodded and took another swig of beer, raising it high and draining the last of its contents into my mouth. She again took my cue and drank.
“What if the people you think you know are girls that you would have liked to kiss, but never did?”
• • •
David J O'Brien was born and raised in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. He studied environmental biology and later studied deer biology for his PhD, at University College Dublin. Instead of pursuing his life-long interest in wolves and predator-prey interactions, after completing his doctorate, he taught English in Madrid, Spain, for four years while his girlfriend finished her doctorate in molecular biology. They married and moved to Boston, USA, so his wife could pursue her career and David decided that teaching was a vocation he was happy to continue. After seven great years teaching Biology at Boston's Cathedral High School and Zoology at Bridgewater State College, he returned to Spain three years ago so his wife could set up her new research group in her hometown of Pamplona shortly before their daughter was born. He currently teaches English and science in Pamplona, while looking after his daughter and writing.
David has loved writing since his teens. He began with poetry and had one of his first poems published in Cadenza, a small Dublin poetry magazine at the age of fourteen. Since then several more have been published in journals and anthologies such as Albatross, The Tennessee State Poetry League, Poems of Nature and various anthologies of Forward Press imprint in Britain. He began writing fiction soon after and wrote the novella that would later become Leaving The Pack at the age of seventeen. Though his academic writing took precedence for a number of years, and he is still involved in deer biology and management, he kept writing other things in his spare time and has always dreamt of one day being able to do it full time. While living in Madrid, he wrote some non-fiction articles for the magazine Hot English and while in Boston for the newspaper Dig.
An avid wildlife enthusiast and ecologist, much of David's non-academic writing, especially poetry, is inspired by wildlife and science, and he sometimes seeks to describe the science behind the supernatural. He has written a little bit of everything: to date a four-act play, a six-episode sit-com, various short stories and five more novels.
His Young Adult paranormal novel The Soul of Adam Short will be published in 2015 and a novella under the pseudonym JD Martins was published in January.
David is currently working on sequels to Leaving the Pack and an Ecological Fiction novel set in Scotland called The Ecology of Lonesomeness, He is also plugging away at a long novel set in the pre-Columbian Caribbean, and a non-fiction book about the sociology of hunting.
Find David Online
Website - http://davidjmobrien.wordpress.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DavidJMOBrien
G+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DavidOBrienauthor
Tirgearr Publishing - http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/OBrien_David