Chapter 2 Sinfonietta

Paddy grabs the door for Jane, and the teen gets in. Mr. Doyle is one of the only people in town with an automobile, having bought it after decades of scrimping and saving every penny he made in construction work.

"So, you start school in a month, that's exciting," the car snorts awake and putters for a moment. "Are you excited?"

Jane considers his question, trying to remember the right words, while also being grateful that he spoke more slowly to her than his Irish friends. "I'm…nervous. It's scary, a new school, not knowing anyone."

"You'll have your brothers with you. And my daughter, Maura. She's a little older than you, but she'll have your back. Promise."

The idiom doesn't sail completely over her head, but as the tires bounce along the cobblestone road, the rather silly image of Maura Doyle grasping Jane's spine entered her mind. She laughs the thought away. Maybe she's a bit drunker than she'd thought she was.

Paddy returns her smile, albeit confusedly, but continues. "I bet you two will be the best of friends. No doubt in my mind."

Jane nods, getting the gist of his sentiments. Though she'd never say it to his face, she finds Maura very odd. Not cold, or mean, or rude, of course, but just…odd. Too painfully shy to hold up a conversation, even if Jane's English is a little broken, and always distracted.

Paddy stops the car in front of the Rizzoli's apartment, again getting out of the car to open Jane's door for her. "Should I pick up you and your brothers for school?" his tone is sincere and fatherly, and she nearly finds herself nodding.

"Our mother wants to walk with us. Thank you, though, Mr. Doyle," her small curtsy makes him chuckle.

"Maybe next time, then. Good night, Little Rizzoli," he pats her head awkwardly before turning back to his car and driving off.

After he's rounded the corner, Jane shakes her head to clear the rest of the leftover wine clouds and makes her way upstairs.

"Good night, Mammy," Maura calls over her shoulder to her mother, who is standing over the sink basin with a cigarette between her lips.

Constance turns toward her voice, stirring the steaming dishwater with her hand boredly, "Where's your father?"

"Mr. Rizzoli is quite drunk, so Da was making sure his daughter got home safely," Maura's honey-colored curls pop back through the door.

"Did you eat?" Connie drains the water and turns to face her daughter, putting her cigarette out.

"Not hungry," the girl mumbles as she leaves the room again. "Good night, Mammy."

Constance sighs deeply, shaking her head at the dishes, "Good night, lovey."