Because Jack didn’t drive—not stick, not on the left side of the road, not at all, ever—Sadie piloted the rental car from the Dublin airport to the wedding, grinding gears and scraping along the greenery and—for a few miles—creeping behind a tractor on a winding road. It was 10 p.m. and raining. If Ireland were emerald, she couldn’t say. She would risk nothing. The tractor was a comfort, lit up with white lights. She planned to follow it as long as she could. ’Til dawn if necessary.
“Pass him,” said Jack.
“You pass him,” said Sadie.
“I’m not driving.”
“That’s right,” said Sadie.
Not their wedding, but Jack’s middle sister, Fiona’s. Sadie would meet the entire family, simultaneously—Fiona and her Dutch about-to-be husband, Piet; Jack’s youngest older sister, Katie, and his oldest older sister, Eloise, and their families; and, of course, his parents, the significant Mister and Missus, Michael and Irene Valert. Jack was the youngest of all of them, the only one born in America—not American, he insisted, despite being mostly raised there. Everyone else in his family was English. He was, too, though he couldn’t pass.
Sadie drove as an act of heroism, though at any moment she might swerve off the road, into a ditch or off a cliff—she wasn’t sure, she couldn’t see. In Boston, where they lived, she almost never got a chance to drive, to perform this act of casual generosity. When she did, Jack was full of gratitude and compliments, passed her snacks and drinks, read to her from magazines. They were still in the early days of their life together. This was their first wedding.