"And this is Dyeland Castle!" JenniAnn
waved to the large lavender and blue structure after she and Andrew had
bid good night to the last of the Dyelanders. "We have most of
parties and meetings and such here. I also live here."
"Alone?!" Andrew was aghast. "How old are you?" he asked
with out thinking.
"I'm seventeen," JenniAnn answered defensively. "Hardly
Andrew shuffled his feet, uncomfortable. "I didn't mean to
I'm sorry that was rude. It's just such a big place and the
"Well, I spose it's not ideal but may be it'll change some day.
And during the day it is rather busy around here so I hardly notice,"
Andrew was not entirely convinced but chose not to press the
issue. "So you helped start this
place? And you're... a princess?"
The girl laughed. "So sayeth I," she bowed and then looked up
with a grin. "It's a bit of a joke.
You say you're a princess, you're a princess. But, yeah, I helped
start Dyeland and keep it going smoothly, I think..." She
shivered a bit in
the cooling night air. "Would you like to come inside for some
maybe and to talk? Do you drink tea? Or maybe hot
Andrew nodded with a smile. "Sure, thanks. Either would be
"But which do ya prefer? Or how about coffee? I have
sarsaparilla, too. You like that on the show. Or, umm, the
character representing you does but I thought something hot..."
Andrew chuckled. "I do like sarsaparilla but hot chocolate would
So the two headed inside, Andrew gaping at the cathedral ceilings and
sculptures and paintings. The kitchen, however, was not terribly
grand but instead cozy and inviting. He took a seat at the table
after JenniAnn turned down his offer of help. Soon she placed a
mug in front of him and sipped from her own.
"So have you seen Touched by an Angel
Andrew sat down his mug and nodded. "Not all of it but I do watch
when I can."
"Is it accurate?"
"Usually. There's a plot element here and there that doesn't fit
but mostly it is. They do a great job."
"I'm glad you feel that way cause I love the show. I've totally
had a crush on..." JenniAnn stopped, suddenly remembering who she was
talking to. "Well, I mean Mr. Dye is very attractive and I think
I feel a connection to his work because of childhood memories of my mom
watching Tour of Duty
"Oh... great. He seems like a really great person." The
rushed way in which the girl had spoke led Andrew to believe that may
be that wasn't entirely the truth but still he wouldn't press her.
"So, uh..." JenniAnn stirred her cocoa and then just looked up at
Andrew; panicked, in awe, and not sure what to say. This wasn't
what she'd had planned! Her thoughts raced! I hardly talk to boys ever! And now
this boy... man... person. The *one*... No, no...
Mustn't think that way. Very bad. Crush of crushes...
REAL!!! Here! Now!!! Sipping hot chocolate and
"That was a nice song you wrote," Andrew finally broke the
JenniAnn turned bright red. "Oh, thanks."
"You don't mind that I heard it, do you?"
JenniAnn squirmed. "Oh no. Not at all. I mean it's a
free country, right?"
Andrew just looked at her questioningly. "Is it?"
"Oh! I mean... yeah, Dyeland is a free country," she
"That's great. Well... I need to be getting to an assignment but
it was nice to meet you, Princess JenniAnn, and everyone else.
them," Andrew stood up.
JenniAnn, too, stood up. A stricken look crossed her face.
"You're going? Forever?"
Andrew shook his head and beamed at her as a single thought came to
him. It's not that often a
human worries about
"I'd really like to come back. That
if the Princess wouldn't be opposed?"
"No! That would be... it would be lovely, Andrew. Here, let
me walk you out." JenniAnn excitedly leapt up and followed him.
They shared a somewhat awkward hug at the door. Andrew again
promised to return as soon as his work allowed him. JenniAnn
followed him a few paces out and then watched as he walked away.
She looked on curiously as he knelt down to pick something up but only
shrugged and then went back inside once the angel had
disappeared. She slunk against the door, shaking and unsure
whether to laugh or cry. After a moment she jumped to her feet
and ran up the stairs and into her room. She lit a candle on her
shelf, illuminating an icon of an olive-skinned woman holding a small
"Okay, Ms. 'I Don't Know How to Love Him'... It's girl talk
time." Then she let out a giddy shriek and began giggling
Andrew was waiting at a cafe in
checked his pocket watch. His assignment was due to enter in 4
minutes and 52 seconds. While he waited, Andrew remembered the
scrap of litter he'd picked up in Dyeland and thrust into his other
pocket. He withdrew it and began to stand up to throw it away
when he noticed there was writing on it. Curious, he uncrumpled
the paper and read. The first two stanzas were familiar.
This was the song he'd heard earlier in the night. But Princess
JenniAnn had written more...
His tears are more heart-rending than
a banshee’s wail
But through it all his spirit doth,
with strength, prevail.
And if Andrew were here I’d but one
thing to say
That I shall ne’er cease to love him
til my last day.
Andrew didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He supposed just then
with his assignment on the way neither was particularly
appropriate. He carefully folded the piece of paper back up and
tucked it into his pocket. He whispered a prayer to his Father
then continued to wait for his assignment.
JenniAnn was staring straight ahead,
shaking her head. "Y-you knew about that from the first night we
met? You knew how I felt about you that early?"
Andrew tried to make eye contact with her but she wouldn't. He'd
gotten so into recalling that night he'd not even realized he'd told
her something she hadn't known before. "Not exactly. I
mean, you *were* seventeen. I just thought most teenage girls had
crushes that they thought would go on forever and... I didn't
really know until you told me some years later."
"I just can't believe from that first night you knew what I wrote and
you never said anything!" JenniAnn shook her head.
Andrew ran his hand through his hair. "I didn't want to embarrass
you. If you want the paper back, I can go get it."
JenniAnn had been about to say something more but her mouth clamped
closed upon hearing his words. She simply stared at Andrew.
"Laja..." Andrew said softly when he noticed tears forming in her
eyes. "I'm sorry. I guess I should have said something or
somehow got it back to you."
Finally, the woman shook her head. "I-it's not that. It's
not that at all and you don't have any reason to feel sorry.
It's just... Y-you kept it?"
Andrew took his turn blushing. "Yes. I guess it's not every
day and not even every century that someone writes a song about
me. That meant a lot to me. Even if it was written about
the TV version."
JenniAnn nodded. "I did write it because of the show. But I
stand by every word as being about you. The real you. Every
"Thank you," Andrew softly told her as he gently squeezed her
hand. He reached for a tissue then and handed it to her.
"Can I see it?" JenniAnn asked as she wiped at her tears.
Andrew nodded and went to a bookshelf. He set the book in
"The Bible?" she asked, surprised.
"I keep a lot of special things there. This woman I took Home
years ago told me that since God wanted us to store up our treasures in
Heaven, she thought it only right to keep her most treasured earthly
things in her Bible since the words there came from Heaven. I
liked the idea," the angel explained.
JenniAnn glanced through the items pressed beneath the pages. She
recognized some while others made her realize how much of a mystery
Andrew really was. At Luke 8 she found what
she sought. It looked much different from the last time she'd
held it eight years ago. It was blotted and creased to the point
of nearly tearing in four.
Andrew looked on curiously as JenniAnn took the piece of paper with her
to a near by desk. She took a scrap piece of paper from a stack
he kept, wrote something, folded it back up with the song lyrics, and
replaced it in the Bible. Then she handed the Bible to
Bemused, the angel flipped to Luke, unfolded the paper, and the new
scrap fell out.
"Sometimes even 17 year olds know what they're about," he read
aloud. It was signed "With love, Laja" and a smiley was beneath
her signature. "Point taken," Andrew responded with a pensive
"Now, please, don't think so much about it, Andrew. I am
happy. Maybe unreasonably happy... but happy," JenniAnn assured
him. "I was just taken aback by the idea you'd had an inkling
about everything for so much longer than I'd thought. And then I
was so touched that you'd kept this." She gently touched the worn
paper Andrew was still holding. "Kinda seems like we've come full
circle." Her face fell then. "Wait, full circle doesn't
mean 'over,' does it?"
Andrew chuckled and shook his head. "No, not at all. I
think we have many more St. Patrick's Days ahead of us."
JenniAnn sighed with relief. "I'm glad. Well... Fawn and I
should head home but..." She looked up at Andrew hopefully.
Andrew laughed once again. "Why do I have the feeling I'm about
five seconds away from having eye lashes batted at me?"
"Only if you say no and I don't think you will. Could you sing 'A
Stor Mo Chroi,' please? I love it so and it wouldn't be a proper
Irish holiday with out it," JenniAnn begged.
"Laja, I don't understand why you like that so much. It's a sad
song," Andrew frowned.
"Yes, but it's lovely and it's real," the woman countered.
Andrew smiled. "That's true enough. Of course I'll sing it."
JenniAnn listened in awe, with tears in her eyes, as Andrew sang of
farewells and memories and the chance of eventually finding one's way
back home to those that were dearest to you. May it always be so
, she prayed
Stór Mo Chroí, when the evening's mist
Over mountain and sea is falling,
won't you turn away from the throng
And maybe you'll hear me calling.
For the sound of a voice that is surely missed
For somebody's quick returning.
A ruin, a ruin, oh won't you come back soon
To the ones who will always love you.
A few notes:
I've long considered Mary Magdalene the Patron Saint of Dyeland so
that's partly why she figures in here. For the record, I don't
necessarily believe MM had romantic feelings for Jesus. But Lady
JenniAnn does cause she seems not to want to consider that maybe Andrew
Lloyd Webber took some liberties with the story. Or perhaps more
likely she just likes imagining that MM is somewhere
sympathizing. Plus, I'd just
watched Jesus Christ
Superstar so that connection was
stor mo chroi" translates to something like "darling or dear one of
my heart." Possibly simply "my beloved" although I prefer the
translations since the phrase "my beloved" is now inextricably linked
in my mind with Colin Firth's portrayal of an actor with a terrible
Southern accent on "Saturday Night Live." Anyhow, not crucial to
story but I do love that song and that makes it more
understandable. Also, "a ruin" is apparently "my dear."