Interview with characters Ethan and Jessica Harrington from After All Is Said And Done by Belinda G. Buchanan
I blew into town, literally, on the heels of a summer squall. The drive from Bar Harbor had started out warm and sunny, but quickly changed to torrential rain and winds as I arrived in the small town of Serenity Harbor. I pulled into the parking lot of McKay’s Bar and Grill and said a quick prayer of thanks for living through the hurricane. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but it was a very bad storm.
The rain had diminished to a steady downpour as I got out of my car. Using my purse for an umbrella, I hurried into the restaurant.
I quickly found the ladies room and went inside to repair the damage. I checked my reflection in the mirror and grimaced at the horror. I did my best to fix it with the tools I had brought with me, which consisted of rewetting drops and a tube of lipstick. Maybe the color on my lips would take the attention off of my wilted hair.
Going with the assumption that my idol, Robin Meade would never let flat hair get in the way of an interview, I girded myself with pretend confidence and strode out of the restroom.
The couple I was to interview was already here and sitting in the back of the restaurant. As I drew near their table, the two of them seemed to be having an argument. But it was being done in such a way, that it was going unnoticed by the people around them.
I stepped up to the table and cleared my throat. “Dr. Harrington?”
The man stood up and extended his hand. “Ms. Buchanan?”
“It’s very nice to meet you,” I said, giving him my best smile.
He turned slightly. “This is my wife, Jessica.”
She remained seated. “Ms. Buchanan.”
“Please, sit down.” Dr. Harrington gestured.
“Thank you both for agreeing to meet with me,” I said.
The waiter came to take our drink order.
“I’ll have water with lemon,” Jessica said.
I nodded. “I’ll have the same.”
“Scotch and water,” Dr. Ethan Harrington replied.
(Jessica suddenly cut her eyes at him. Not sure of what I’d stepped into, I decided it would be best to start the interview.)
Me: “Dr. Harrington, as I told you over the phone, I am doing a human interest piece for the Maine Gazette. You are one of the doctors that operate a clinic inside the confines of the Serenity Harbor Hospital. Can you tell me a little bit about that?”
Ethan: “The clinic is open to those without insurance and those who cannot afford it. We don’t turn anyone away.”
Me: “What made you decide to open the clinic?”
Ethan: “My partner, Dr. Sarah Williams, opened it. It was her dream, and I am fortunate enough to be a part of it. There are families out there who have to make a choice every month to pay their rent, or pay for their prescriptions. We are trying to make that burden easier for them.”
(As he spoke, I admittedly lost myself in his dark eyes and soft voice. The silence that followed caused me to clear my throat.)
Me: “Jessica, what are your thoughts on the clinic? Do you agree with what your husband said?”
Jessica: “Yes,” she answered, reaching over and placing her hand on top of his. “I think it’s very important. His type of work is under appreciated and almost always goes unnoticed. But I am very proud of Ethan. He’s doing a wonderful thing.”
Me: “And, as I understand it, you are a doctor as well?”
Jessica: “I’m a cardiologist.”
Me: “Well, I’m guessing that you both must lead very busy lives.”
Ethan laughed: “That’s probably an understatement.”
Me: “How long have the two of you been married?”
Jessica: “Almost three years.”
Me: “How did you meet?”
Ethan: “We met at the hospital. It was my second day when I was introduced to her.” He paused a moment to look at her. A small smile spread across his face. “It was love at first sight.”
Me: “Do you have any children?”
(The smile suddenly ran away from Ethan’s face. He picked up his glass and drained it.)
Jessica: “We have a baby boy.”
Me: “How do the two of you balance work, parenthood, and time for each other? Or do you?”
(There was a long pause from both of them.)
Jessica: “We just have to make time for all those things. There are some days we don’t see each other at all, but when we do, we try to make the most of it.” She flipped her golden locks off her shoulders.
Me: “Still it must be hard. I would think that something’s got to give.”
Jessica: “Spending time together is probably the one thing we don’t get to do enough of. It can be difficult at times.” She looked over at her husband.
(Ethan held up his glass to signal the waitress.)
Me: “Ethan, do you agree?”
Ethan: “I think the one thing that’s helped us overcome this obstacle is that we were already in our professions when we married each other. I don’t think we had unrealistic expectations from each other.”
Me: “Such as?”
(The waitress brought Ethan another round. He eagerly picked it up and took a long swallow. Jessica watched him for a moment and then looked at me. Realizing I was still waiting for an answer, she took in a small breath.)
Jessica: “The fact that we can’t always spend time with each other doesn’t mean we love one another less. It just makes it better when we do get to see each other.”
Me: “What is the one thing you love the most about one another?”
Jessica: “His dedication as a doctor.”
Me: “And, Ethan? What do you love most about your wife?”
Ethan flicked his gaze, which had grown darker, towards his wife. “Her honesty.”
Jessica’s face flushed. Tension quickly filled the area like a dense fog. Taking that as my cue to leave, I thanked them both for their time and began walking away. Just before I went out the door, I turned back to look and saw that they seemed to be embroiled in another argument.
After All Is Said And Done: A Novel of Infidelity, Healing, & Forgiveness is available to purchase through: