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The Boy

Adam Baranyi

Luke Doyle

A long time ago there was a boy. The boy had a dream of going abroad for university. He was searching course and country for two years and two months. He liked most of them he found, but they were all but some, too expensive, and his family hadn’t the wealth to support his education, let alone his living costs.

One day his dad came to him.

‘Say now, why don’t you go to Ireland where your auntie Vicky and Anna live?’ inquired he.

A sudden flip of realization later the boy was looking—up the country of Ireland, a land far away laying on the Atlantic. What he found were pictures and stories of little men going on about their little life in their little houses in little towns on a not—so—little island. It wasn’t at all familiar to the boy, not without the grey standing—giants of the socialist era and the tired, grumpy faces of a nation struggling against its own’s mischiefs. No, this was something entirely different, something simple, yet deep and joyful. He felt a deep connection to this greenish land. It was a calling rather than a connection actually.

So, the boy made a decision. He was going to study in Ireland. And study he did, at a university college, nonetheless. He picked an Arts course, which might not read as interesting or extraordinary, but for him, it was the opportunity to finally study what he was really interested in, and that was extraordinary enough. So, he came to a country strange and new. At first, he stayed at his auntie’s in the countryside. There, he had a small taste of the sweet people inhabiting this corner of Europe. During his first weeks, he had to take the journey of Wexford—Dublin, which, while wonderfully placed along the fabulous sights of forests and hills and hills and forests, takes almost 2 hours for heaven’s sake! Nevertheless, the boy eventually made it in every day, even if he had to run a kilometre at half five in the morning.

As a good fresher, he went on his orientation tour on the week dedicated to him and his peers. He managed to take part in the conversations and build a few connections but often felt as if he was but a spectator. He wasn’t used to the language of the Irish yet and he couldn’t add as much as he thought of the matters discussed. He explored the campus, visited all the lakes and coffee shops. Yet, he only saw enormous blocks of concrete towering over tiny ecosystems struggling to survive and expensive rooms that sell products easily producible at home and still every one of them is visited by a human centipede every recess. The boy left the campus puzzled with the college’s colours around his neck. He stood and waited for his ride at the stop contemplating if he had made the right decision.

Then suddenly another boy came over, in glasses, brown—ginger hair, a leather jacket, Doc Martins and a deadly accent.

‘Hey!’ said the other boy.

‘Hi!’ said the boy.

‘Are you a fresher by any chance’ he said pointing at the boy’s scarf.

‘I am, you?’

‘Ah me too! You just had your tour as well?’

‘I did, yes’ ‘Grand and what course are you on?’

‘Film&English, what about you?’

‘You’re jokin, I’m on Film&English’

The boys stared at each other.

‘Well that’s awesome, I also took up German and Folklore’ said the boy.

‘Folklore? Irish Folklore?’ asked the other.

‘Yes, that one’ The stranger’s features widened.

‘No way! I’m on Folklore as well, that’s huge!’

‘Woaw, no way this is crazy’ They both laughed.

‘And which bus are you waiting for anyway?’ ‘Wexford bus, 740 to Gorey’

‘To Gorey?! That’s one town away from where I’m from’ ‘Wait what? Okay, this is just unreal’

But it was very real, they got on the 7 pm 740 Wexford bus from UCD and spent the two—hour duration of the journey talking about life, about Ireland and about college. They are still friends to this day. I know because I met them just a few days ago. They are men now, and they both work and have a place up in Dublin, so they don’t have to commute anymore. And the boy, who is now a man, lives happily in Ireland and doesn’t regret a single thing in coming here, working here, and studying here.