A New Beginning

by Monica Waterston

It has now been 2 months since Assumpta's near electrocution in Fitzgerald's. Soon afterward, Peter handed in his letter of resignation to the bishop, and he and Assumpta eloped to get married in Dublin. Only Niamh knows where the pair have gone, and what they have done. All the others think that she has left to finally take up the offer of the wine bar partnership and they also think that Peter has traveled to another parish.

Scene- Peter and Assumpta's flat-the living room.

They are sitting on the couch sipping champagne from goblets. Assumpta's head is in Peter's lap, and Peter is stroking Assumpta's dark red hair. The fire in the fireplace is burning merrily, and it's late at night.

As the camera pans around the room, we see a mantel, devoted to pictures of Peter and Assumpta's wedding day. All of the pictures are in black and white with the exception of one- the kiss. It is in full color and in a crystal frame. There are candles as well on the mantelpiece, and they too are flickering. In the background we hear soft music being played.

The camera then rolls to show us their flat. The kitchen is behind the couch, airy and bright, with a table, 4 chairs, a bar and stools, and the necessary utilities as well as framed pictures of Peter and Assumpta. Finn's food and water bowls are in the corner next to the icebox. The stairs are next to the kitchen, leading up to rooms. All in all, it is a very beautiful flat.

"Assumpta?" Peter whispered to his wife, still stroking her hair.


"What are you thinking about?"

"Oh, nothing," she replied, looking up at him and setting her goblet down on the table.

“Really?” Peter knew this tone with his wife, and she was definitely thinking of something.

Assumpta's voice became subdued, and she looked down at her hands. "Just thinking about when we should return to Ballykay is all. We need to go back, Peter."

"Assumpta, I'm not in a hurry to go back, you know that." Peter told her, scowling.

"Peter, I didn't want to go back either, but..."

"But what?"

"I miss my home, Peter. Ballykissangel's my home. Dublin was nice, but it's not home, you know?" she peered up at him expectantly.

"Assumpta..." Peter trailed off, "I know, but weren't you the one who wanted to get away from Father Mac, and Kathleen, and the prying eyes....everything?"

"Yes, Peter, I was. But now it's different. I know now that I don't care what Kathleen thinks of us, and I certainly don't care what Fr. Mac thinks of us!" she said, her voice growing louder with each word she spoke. Assumpta propped her head up and gave Peter a kiss.

Peter took a moment to ponder this, and took a sip of his champagne. "You're right, Assumpta. I don't really care what the pair of them think of us, I really don't. If they disapprove, let them disapprove. We are married, and in love. There is nothing they can do to stop us, is there?"

"Nope." Assumpta said, a hint of a smile on her lips. "Now, Mr. Clifford," she said, her voice stern, "Pass me my champagne."

"Of course, Mrs. Clifford." Peter laughed, and handed Assumpta her drink.

"I can't wait to be a publican again..." Assumpta said wistfully, "In my own pub at that."

"When do you want to go back?" he asked her, giving her a kiss.

"I don't know, a month or two?" she sounded uncertain. "We need time to pack, and sell the flat.."

"Sounds good." Peter said.

"Peter?" Assumpta said softly.



"For what?" Peter looked puzzled.

"For loving me when no one else did." Assumpta's voice became sad.

"Assumpta, what are you talking about? Everyone in Ballykay loves you!" Peter looked shocked.

"No," she said, clearly unconvinced, "They liked my business." Assumpta's face became cloudy.

"Assumpta Clifford, you are talking nonsense. You know that you were the most loved person in Ballykissangel." Peter put on a stern look and lifted Assumpta's head to look him in the eye.

"You think so?" Assumpta tried to fight a smile.

"I know so."

"Peter?" Assumpta suddenly sounded low and passionate.


"You know about vampires, right?" she asked him, still keeping her tone.

"Vampires?" Peter looked at his wife strangely.

"Vampires." she repeated.

"A bit..." he stopped. "Why?"

"Well," she said, gaining a devilish smile, "I'm feeling rather vampire-like right now."

"Is that so?" Peter asked, still not getting Assumpta's meaning.

"Mmmhmm." she said, getting up to face him. "It's nighttime." she stated.


"Well, vampires are active only at night." Assumpta clarified.

Peter grinned as Assumpta kissed him.

Scene- Int. Day, Peter and Assumpta's flat. The kitchen.

There are moving boxes stacked haphazardly around, as Peter and Assumpta are planning their move back to Ballykissangel. We hear the door slam and footsteps. The camera shows Assumpta walking into the kitchen and setting a shopping bag down. She leaves her purse and keys on the kitchen table and goes upstairs. The shopping bag tips over and a small box tumbles onto the ground. Peter is nowhere to be found. Suddenly, Assumpta's Irish setter, Finn, comes bounding in the kitchen, and finds the box. He seizes it in his jaws and goes out. Peter enters the door, and upon seeing the shopping, begins to put it away.

Cut to- Peter and Assumpta's room

Assumpta is sitting on the bed, propped up on pillows looking at a worn burgundy photo album. The camera zooms into the album, showing pictures of Assumpta as a child with her father. Assumpta's father has her up on his shoulders, and is smiling up at his daughter. Assumpta is beaming from ear to ear. She turns to another photo of herself as a young child, sitting on top of the bar at Fitzgerald’s, her Dad kissing her on the cheek. The camera shows Assumpta's face, and we see tears roll down her cheeks. She carelessly wipes at them with the back of her hand, then shuts the album. She slowly begins to get off the bed and walks over to the bookshelf in the corner of the room.

"Dad," she whispered out loud, "I wish you could see how well I've done. I own the pub now. You’d love it there. I'm married also. To a former member of the clergy at that, but still." a smile crept onto her lips as she spoke.
"You would have liked Peter, I know it. He's like you. He's great, Dad...he loves me. I mean really loves me. I wish you were here, so you could meet him." Assumpta started to cry as she turned her eyes toward the ceiling. "Dad, Peter let me know that it's okay to cry. I miss you very much. He allowed me to cry for you, Dad. He let me..." Assumpta wiped the tears from her eyes again and stared up at the ceiling.

"Assumpta!" Peter's voice called out from downstairs. "Who are you talking to up there?"

"Nobody, Peter." Assumpta yelled back.

"Oh, all right then. Come down and have some tea with me then, ok?"

"Sure. Be right down!"

Assumpta shuts the photo album and gets up from the bed, wiping a tear from her eye as she opens the door to go downstairs.

Peter is pouring tea into two cups and sets them down at the table. He begins to put milk and sugar into both cups. Assumpta comes softly down the stairs, and stares at the table in shock. "Peter..."

"What? Oh, yeah, the tea. Here." he said, turning his back to her.

"Peter..." she repeated, her voice nearly frantic.

"What?" he said again, turning to face her.

"The box. Where is it?"

"Assumpta, I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about! What box?" Peter was looking at his wife who was now down on all fours trying to locate the missing box.

"Peter," she sighed loudly, "There was a shopping bag. It had vegetables, some milk, and a box in it. Where's the box?"

"Assumpta, darling, I assure you, there were vegetables, and milk, but no box. I put them away myself."

"PETER!" she screamed, looking horrified. "I need that box!"

"Assumpta, I'm going for a walk. If you find the box you're welcome to come with me."

"Fine. Leave!" she snapped. "I'll find it by myself."

Peter looked back at her and shook his head.

Assumpta is left alone on the floor, sitting Indian style with her hands in her lap. She is looking around the room with a scowl on her face. "That box has got to be here somewhere, it has to!" she stated out loud to no one in particular. She puts both hands down and pushes herself to stand. She walks over to the table and begins pulling out chairs. "Come on, where could you be?" she sighed in exasperation. She peered under the table, and shoved away the newspaper on it.

It went on this way for about 10 minutes when there was a scratching at the kitchen door. Assumpta walks over to it and opens it. Finn comes trotting into the kitchen with the box hanging from his mouth. Assumpta groans. He goes over to his dish and drops the box next to it. Assumpta comes close to him and kneels down to retrieve the box. Finn takes this opportunity to lick Assumpta on the face and whimper at her.

"After the trouble you caused me, you mongrel?" she looked at him warily. "You aren't getting a treat from me tonight, that's for sure!"

Finn whimpered again then turned to his food.

Assumpta gets back up and goes over to a chair. She sinks in it and examines the box. It's slightly chewed, but still readable. Assumpta's face is one of concentration, and she studies it for about two more minutes before throwing a look of disgust at the dog. "You," she said forcefully, "Stay here. No more taking of my stuff, d'ya hear me, Finn?"

Finn turned and looked at her as if to say, 'Sure, whatever you say.'

"Good." she glanced at the dog a moment longer then headed up the stairs to her bathroom.

Scene- Peter and Assumpta's bathroom.

The camera rolls to show us the couple's bathroom. Small, yet comfortable, and tastefully decorated. The hunter green walls have a cream trim, and on the walls are a framed picture of Peter in his suit, and one of Assumpta in her dress. The window next to the sink is open, letting the sunshine stream in. It reflects off the pictures, creating a rainbow across the ceiling.

Assumpta went over to the bathtub and sat on its edge. "Well, here goes nothing." she sighed and took out the contents of the box. She laid the box on the edge of the tub and followed the directions as indicated.

Just then, Finn comes up the stairs and into Assumpta's bathroom. Spotting the box teetering teasingly on the edge of the tub, Finn grabs it and runs out.

"Finn!" Assumpta screeched, "Come BACK here with that this instant!"

Finn trots down the stairs, and Assumpta leaps up from the bathtub, hot on his heels.

The front door opens, and Peter comes in. "Find your box, Assumpta?" he asks. He then sees Finn coming through the living room about to charge through the open door.

"Stop that dog!" Assumpta yelled, "Peter, stop him!"

Peter registers this, looks at his wife, looks at the dog, and finally lunges out to grab the dog's collar just before he races out the door. "Give it here, mister." Peter said sternly. Peter wrestles with Finn and finally gets the box before he tears it to bits. Peter holds it up to the sun and silently reads it. Assumpta stands there by the stairs, giving a silent moan as she wraps her hands around her stomach. "Assumpta, what is this?" he turned to her and looked her in the eye.

"What's it look like, Peter?" her voice suddenly became sarcastic, and she instantly regretted it. "I'm sorry, Peter..." she looked down.

"Well, it looks like a pregnancy test, Assumpta....are you..." he continued looking at her, waiting for an explanation. "Come on, out with it." he prodded her.

Assumpta walked over to the couch and instantly fell into it, stretching out and laying her head on the pillow. She managed a half smile. "I don't know for sure, I only just took the test...and I'd have to get a doctor's confirmation...." she looked at him anxiously.

"How come you didn't want me to find the box, Assumpta?" Peter looked slightly hurt, but smiled up at his wife.

"Well, I wanted to make sure, you know? In case... I didn't want you to be disappointed." she finally said, looking down at the floor.

Peter walked over and instantly enveloped Assumpta in a hug and kissed her forehead. He cupped her head in his hands and made her look up at him. "Assumpta Clifford," he said, looking deeply into her eyes, "I will not be disappointed no matter what the results are. If you aren't, we can always try 'till we get it right, okay?"

Assumpta looked at him. "Okay."

The next scene, we see them entwined in each others arms, Peter stroking Assumpta’s hair as she sleeps, her head on his chest. The clock chimes 9 p.m, and Assumpta is awaken by the clock. She gets up and looks at Peter.

“I think the test should be done by now..” she whispered.

"Do you want me to come, or shall I wait down here?" Peter said, helping her up from the couch.

"Well first, I'm not certain I'm even pregnant yet, so you can stop treating me like glass." She looked up at him and smiled. "I'll come down and tell you."



"I love you." Peter gave her a passionate kiss and let her run up the stairs.

"I love you too." she called from the landing. "Be right down!"

Scene- Peter and Assumpta's bedroom, 15 minutes later.

Assumpta is on the bed, staring at the ceiling. She takes a sip of the water beside her and sits up. Looking around the room, she finally grabs two pillows from their bed and quietly walks downstairs. Assumpta takes a few minutes, then reaches the back of the couch.

"Peter," she whispered, rubbing his shoulders.

"Yes, love?"

"Will you love me no matter what?" she asked coyly, making her way around the couch.

"Of course." he assured her.

"Even when I look like this?" Assumpta asked, finally coming into Peter's view. Assumpta beamed and looked at Peter's shocked eyes.

"Assumpta Clifford," he said softly, standing up and taking her in a passionate embrace, "You know I will."

Later that night....

Assumpta is lying on the couch, her head in Peter's lap. Candles are lit, and music is playing in the background. Assumpta's eyes are closed, and Peter is stroking her hair.

"You know what, Peter?" she asked, still not opening her eyes.

"What's that?"

"I actually like this." she replied, wrapping her arms around her wide ‘belly’ and smiling.

"Well, just think, in no time at all you won't need pillows." Peter grinned at her and brushed her hair out of her face.

"And by then I'll hate looking like this... but I'll relish in the moment here while I can."

"Okay." he laughed. "You know something, too, Assumpta?"


"Honest truth, you look beautiful." Peter said tenderly and kissed her forehead.

"Even with pillows?" she giggled.

"Even with pillows." Peter replied.