Dear Kayleigh…

The following is a work of fiction based on recent events and experiences in Ireland.

Dear Kayleigh,

My beloved twin- Dia dhuit! I know we have a complicated relationship and you are probably very shocked to be receiving this letter, but I have been wanting to reach out to you for months now. First off, I need to apologize. When mum and dad split, I chose dad’s side. I know now that choosing sides was immature and it only drove a wedge between us. I deeply regret that decision. I am so sorry. The truth is mum and dad share blame. One thing is for certain though, we cannot blame ourselves for our parents’ mistakes. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me even though this letter is long overdue. My heart is open and I want us to be able to move forward in a positive and healthy way. I want our relationship to be even stronger. I miss being your sister and best friend. I am starting off with this letter in the hopes that we can establish a new and improved relationship. I want to share with you what I experienced yesterday:

I woke up to a breathtaking view outside my window.
I saw lush greens, my precious baby lambs, and an azure sky. In Achill Island, the clouds were painted across the sky effortlessly. I turned on the TV and I was immediately informed of the news that there was a nationwide ban of single-use plastic items. I want to share this with you and get your perspective because I am passionate about this subject. Personally, I was pleased with this report because, as an environmentalist, I am well aware of the negative impact plastic waste has on the planet. I was reading an article, “Almost all bottled water contains microplastics, study shows, on the Irish Times while I ate my full Irish breakfast. One quote that stuck with me was by Dr. Andrew Mayes. Mayes led the research team at the UEA’s School of Chemistry and he said, “We are becoming increasingly aware of microplastics in the environment and their potentially harmful effects, but their prevalence in other areas has been much less studied. They have been reported in tap water, beer and many other foods, but I think that people will be surprised that almost all bottled water appears to be contaminated too. This study analysed more than 250 bottles from 27 lots and 11 different brands from around the world, so it is the largest and most comprehensive study of water I know of to date, and almost all were contaminated to some degree.”

Microplastics can do extensive and irreversible damage to the planet and I do not want Ireland’s luxurious landscapes to be ruined but I also can acknowledge that, like every other story, there are two sides to consider. Kayleigh, what do you think? 

Again, I know this letter came out of the blue but I look forward to hearing from you very soon. Sending all my love.

-Love, Eilís

Dear Megan…

The following is a work of fiction based on recent events and experiences in Ireland.

Dear Megan,

Achill Island is truly lovely. I cannot wait for you to visit me next week and I hope the weather is grand so we can picnic at the cliffs. I have been working extra hours this week so that I can take the time off when you are here. I am wrecked from working the extra shifts at the local pub and from finishing moving into the cottage. This has been quite a lot more work than living in the dorms at Trinity. Since you have been on holiday and I have been working I think that you owe me a full Irish breakfast when you get here to help destress me.

I had a rather troubling night last night. It started at five in the evening when I left for work which started off just fine. I was greeted by the four friendly Jack Russells at the door that tend to roam around the pub. As I settled in, I tended to a man who seemed as if it had not been the first drink he ordered that day. Since it was a Sunday and Cork and Limerick were playing each other around dinner time, I knew going into the night that it was going to be a long one. I also was aware that he would not be the last drunk I would serve that night. I started the night rushing to immediately start serving hungry people that were anxiously watching the match. It is always difficult serving people during matches because they get frustrated with me when I walk in front of them. This is normally how the nights have been going here, stressful but manageable. Last night topped it off though. During the middle of the match, the man that seemed to have been at the pub all day started yelling at another man. I brushed it off my shoulder at first because people tend to get rambunctious during matches. But then they started physically fighting and before you know it others are trying to get them off of each other but it was not working. I then called the gardai and was hoping the yellow vehicle was somewhere near before the fight escalated even more. Unfortunately this was not the case. It took nearly 40 minutes for the gardai to show up. By then the owner of the pub had already settled things between the men but my job just started to get more difficult. Due to all of the commotion most of the kids in the room were in a fuss and had to be soothed. People were upset by the distraction which lead to me having to deal with even more unhappy customers. I am just happy that no one was injured by either of the men in the process.

Please pray for me that the next few days run smoothly and go quickly. I cannot wait to see you. Our time together is going to be craic. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Your loving twin,

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