Welcome to The Echo’s annual feature — Summer Soap. Now in its fifth year, Summer Soap is a daily fictional serial run over 12 parts, which began last week and runs till Saturday. Called Cork’s Quick Coupler, this story, set in the world of speed dating, was written by Jessica Militante (right), from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC. You can catch up with previous epsiodes at echolive.ie. In the tenth episode, a foursome is arranged from the date event
Episode 10: Seán and Siobhan’s Surefire Fix
Seán and I made our way to where Aphrodite was standing. We waved over Ciara and Siobhan who were giving us curious looks. They crossed over to where we were waiting but before we could say anything, Aphrodite started talking again.
“I hope ye had a fabulous night! The last thing that needs to be done before we can officially call this ‘Cork’s Quick Coupler’ event over, is that ye need to fill out yer match cards! They can be found on the table to my left along with some pens.
“Just put yer name at the top of the card with your email underneath and the names of those ya hope to match with. Once yer done, drop it into the red box on the table. If ye both put down each other’s name, it’s a match!
“We will do our best to get yer matches back to ya over email in the next few days. Thank ye for coming!”
Aphrodite stepped down from her chair and everyone started heading over to the match card table.
“I’ll go grab us all some,” Seán said before weaving his way through the crowd. I turned towards Ciara and introduced her to Siobhan.
“And I think you probably met her twin, Seán, during the event,” I said.
“Nice to meet you, Siobhan. Seán had me skitting, like. No wonder Jules took a fancy to him,” Ciara said. I shook my head.
“No, it wasn’t like that. But I do believe this is the start of a beautiful friendship.”
“Yeah,” Siobhan said. “And if ya think he’s a laugh, just wait. He isn’t even the funny twin.”
“How did you meet Julia?” Ciara asked Siobhan.
“In the toilets. She was hiding from Paul.”
“Ah, say no more.”
“I’ll never understand that,” Seán said as he approached our group. He handed each of us a match card and a pen. “How do women make friends in the toilets, like?”
“Because women are incredible beings of love and support and for some reason that all comes out when we are in the bathroom together,” I said.
“Do we know her? No,” Ciara said.
“Are we going to tell her she looks unreal in that dress? F**k yes,” Siobhan said.
“Will we share our lipstick with someone we just met? Damn straight!” I said.
Seán looked between the three of us and shook his head.
“Forget I asked.”
We all took a seat at an empty table to fill out our cards. I took extra care to write my name and email address in clear and precise writing. Ciara was trying to discreetly look at my card, but the girl does not know the definition of subtle. I cupped my hand around my card to block it from her view.
It didn’t take me long to fill mine out. I only had one name to put down and Theo wasn’t a difficult name to spell. I toyed with putting down Seán’s name as a joke, but I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea. Not that I think he was even interested. Quit over-thinking, Julia.
“I’ll go toss them in the box for us,” Ciara offered. We handed her the pens and our completed cards, and she strutted over to the table. I suddenly remembered something and turned to the twins.
“Hey Seán, what was it that you ‘thought I needed?’”
“Oh yeah! It’s a tradition Shiv and I have when we are angry at the world, like. We buy everything off of the Domino’s menu, get a naggin of vodka each, and complain until we either feel better or pass out. Whichever comes first.”
“We call it Seán and Siobhan’s Surefire Fix!”
“That sounds… dangerous?” I said.
Ciara slid back into the seat beside me.
“Seán wants me to eat a bunch of carbs, drink a bottle of vodka, and pass out in a heap of complaints.”
“Let’s do it at our apartment!” she said.
Siobhan gave her a high five with a “hell yeah!”
“I like you already!” she told Ciara.
The two of them started exchanging phone numbers and Instagram handles, speaking so quickly that even I was having a hard time following them. Seán looked at me, his overwhelming fear evident in his eyes.
“What have we done?” he asked.
I reached out and patted his hand.
“No use in trying to stop it now. Let’s just hope they are benevolent overlords.”
“So are ya down for a helluva night?”
“Yeah. I guess if I die from alcohol poisoning at least I don’t have to deal with trying to date anymore.”
“Be grand. That’s what the pizza is for, soaking up all the alcohol.”
“You know that’s a myth, right?”
“Can’t be. I’m still here, aren’t I?”
He smiled cheekily at me and I couldn’t help but smile back. Siobhan clapped her hands together excitedly, regaining our attention.
“Alright ye two, Ciara and I have got it all planned out. We’ll meet at yours at nine tomorrow evening. Seán will get the Domino’s, I’ll get the alcohol, and Ciara will create a play-list for us all to have a good cathartic cry to.”
“What would you like me to do?” I asked.
“Not a thing, my friend. This night is for you.”
They all looked at me supportively and I squirmed. Ciara linked her arm with mine and stood up, hauling me along with her.
“I need to get this one home before she turns back into a pumpkin. See you tomorrow!”
This should be interesting.