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Deleted scene from a 1948 B&W film starring Maureen O'Hara, some freckle-faced kid and Pat O'Brien in a tattered cap


by James Lloyd Davis


        The boy is young, watches his father come up behind his mother in the kitchen, hug her with strong arms crossed around her, huge hands on her shoulders.  She only smiles, turns the eggs, rolls the sausage that sizzles in the pan.
         "Go on, ye lug.  Let me finish."
         On the way to school that morning, his father walks beside him part the way from the row houses where they live, past the old rusty whisper of what was once a shipyard where all the men once worked, but work no longer. 
         Unemployed but hopeful always, the man whistles and smiles.
         The boy says, "You and Mam, you love each other, right?"
         "Sure we do.  Why'd'ya ask?"
         "Sometimes you fight.  Mam gets mad.  You shout.  She throws things.  You slam the doors."
         "Sure and we do.  All couples fight.  Real love survives the fightin'.  Ye'll find out one day.  Real love ain't all cuddles and cakes."
         The boy asks, "Then what's love?  Really.  I mean... real love."
         "Well then... not one with a gift for definin' the abstract elements of our modern social order," the man says, "I could only give ye one good example."
         The boy looks up, waits.
         "Remember the time ye broke Mr. O'Malley's window with a rock ye flung for no good reason a'tall except to see the damn thing fly?  Last year, it was.  Aye, December."
         "But..."
         "Remember how ye begged the man not to tell yer old Dad fer fear he'd bring a belt t'yer hinder parts with a pure ferocity of spirit?"
         "But..."
         "And remember how Mr. O'Malley told ye he'd not tell your Dad as long as ye swept out his store each day for a month by way of payin' im back?"
         "But..."
         "Well then.  Mr. O'Malley lied.  Told me all about it, he did.  Talkative man, O'Malley.  Mumbles away for hours behind a pint.  Can't keep a secret, not t'save his own mortal soul."
         "So... you knew?"
         "I did."  The man nods grimly.
         "But... you never said."
         "No. I didnt, did I.  And that, boyo, is what ye'd call real love."
Endcap