Cork has seeped into me, I guess you make it ‘home’

Welcome to the latest Summer Soap — a daily fictional serial run over 12 parts. Called 12 Letters From Home, this story was written by Luisa Geisler, a Brazilian living in Cork city, and was chosen from work submitted by students of the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC. In this final episode, the main character lays bare her true feelings
Cork has seeped into me, I guess you make it ‘home’

HAPPY EVER AFTER: “There’s this Cuban song, Quizás, quizás, quizás. We should play it at our wedding...”

LETTER 12

Dear Connor,

You got home and I was eating my leftover sandwich again. I made sure to make it before you arrived, then you wouldn’t ask for a bite. I saw you and smiled a lettuce-and-mayo filled smile.

“Yes,” I said while you were still petting Izzy.

“Yes what?” you said.

“You know what.”

You hugged me. Izzy was still “doing a party”, as we say in Portuguese. And in this case, he was actually throwing us a mini-party for our hugging moment.

None of this is perfect in any way. You don’t know about losing the baby. You don’t know about Steve. You don’t know any of that. We probably won’t have an Irish-Brazilian child in the near future.

But I knew the answer was right.

I re-read all my letters. As I said in my last letter, I want you to have them all. I want you to read them. Even if that causes us to have problems. As I said in my first one, I know you don’t like “stories about women”. Chick lit, you call them.

But this is not about a woman. It’s about us. In a weird way, it’s about Cork. It’s about realising that I’ve been here for a year now. That I like the pet shop owner where we get Izzy’s food. It’s realising that the used clothes stores have the best things. It’s about realising that being here is not an exception to who I am. Being here is who I am.

And of course my accent is not from Cork. Of course I still find “craic” a weird word. Of course I still have a hard time when people talk too fast. My vocabulary will forever be lacking, I think.

However, now I know that the guy in front of the post office is yelling “Evening Echo”. I always thought it was just random words.

This place, this country, these people, they have seeped into me. I say I came here to learn English, but my English isn’t as great as I would like.

On the other hand, I’ve learned that there’s no such thing as “black beer”. I also learned I can love so much a thing the size of a blueberry, and cry because of beans. I never planned any of that.

And, just like in one of the other letters, sometimes I can change “Cork” for “you”.

Of course I still think you probably drink too much. Of course I’m still terrified of our relationship not working out. I’m terrified of getting hurt at every single moment. Of course I still don’t feel at home one hundred per cent of the time. However, if I went home right now, I wouldn’t feel at home there either.

I guess home is where the people you want to be with are. The people and the dogs, as well, since I couldn’t abandon Izzy.

So maybe you could open up a little. Maybe I could keep on studying, but something more interesting. Maybe we could have a bigger place with more AirBnB guests. Maybe we could stop that and have the room for a kid. Maybe you could learn a little Portuguese. Maybe we could begin by teaching you the ‘quiçá’ (kee-sah), quizás, expression, that comes from Latin, qui sapit. Who knows, right?There’s this Cuban song, Quizás, Quizás, Quizás. Is it a tango? There are so many versions I’m not sure. However, it was so popular that it was even translated into English, as Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps. But I like the original. Who knows, who knows, who knows. I hope we’ll be happy. But who knows, who knows, who knows. We should play it at our wedding.

I love you so much,

Júlia

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