The first time he looked at me, I knew no one had ever looked at me that way before.
We met after a play in the Abbey called Drum Belly. The play was on my upcoming English exam. I wasn’t going to go, as money at the time was always needed for other things.
My friend and fellow student Michéal, bought me a ticket, so like Cinderella I went to the Abbey.
It was a great play, hadn’t been to the theatre for years.
Later a few of us from college went for some drinks. Michéal told me his friend was coming in to meet us.
In arrived his friend, a man with a bounce in his step and huge smile on his face.
I marched through the city between these two friends, we had some food and went back to his pals, where they played guitar, laughed, chatted and sang. It was a great evening. They put me in a taxi later and sent me safely home.
A few weeks later Micheal told me his friend had offered to get the English books on my reading list for 2nd year. He worked at a University. I was delighted, they would have cost me a small fortune to buy.
I saved his number in my phone as the Bookman, never knew his surname. True to his word, he got me every last book I needed. I just had to go collect them.
In the back of my mind I wondered what were his motives, Michéal told me he was just a nice guy, a diamond he called him.
I collected my books one Friday evening. We interrogated each other and went our separate ways.
To be honest, I wasn’t looking for love, I was happy for the first time in my life. It was just me and my little boy. We were doing just fine by ourselves.
I promised the Bookman I would buy him a few beers if he was in Lucan sometime, but I never called him. Later that night I sat admiring my pillar of books, thinking, Jesus, do I have to read all of them?
A few weeks later the Bookman phoned. He asked me out for dinner. Sushi and a movie he suggested. I didn’t know how to hold chop sticks and I never ate Sushi. I braved it, ate the Sushi, which was divine and we rushed to the Light House cinema to catch our Woody Allen movie, which we were late for.
When we arrived they somehow had double booked our seats. The guy on the door was so apologetic. He really wanted to help. He dashed away and came back with two big armchairs, which he plonked in the aisle for us.
I remember thinking to myself, it was a fire hazard having us block the exit. Think that was the law student in me.
We sat down like the king and Queen of the Big Screen and laughed.
As the Bookman leaned in to steal a kiss from me, the usher was walking back towards us. He said, ‘I’m so sorry but I’m going to have to ask you both to leave, it’s a health and safety issue.’
He took away our thrones and we went off and had coffee and cake.
That was three years ago now. The Bookman’s name is Éamonn. He changed our world, words couldn’t describe what a truly wonderful man he is. I couldn’t be without him.
Today is his Birthday. He is my diamond.
Happy Birthday Mr Bookman
I love you. Xxx