The Ties That Bind – Episode 10

The main characters from the serial, including Evelyn, Phil and their children Dan and Janie in the garden.

When they arrived back at the house, they carried the bags of compost into the back garden and placed them beside the shed.

“I’ve really enjoyed today,” Phil repeated. “All of us together.”

“It’s been good,” Dan agreed.

“What do you think, Dan? Do you think we could go back to those days?”

Dan was startled.

“I dunno, Dad, it’s not up to me. You and Mum . . .”

“I think we’ll be fine,” Phil said. “Come on, let’s go and put the kettle on.”

They opened the back door and entered the kitchen. There was no-one around.

Phil switched the kettle on and flung open the door to the hall.

“Tea, Ev? I’ve – oh, sorry . . .”

Evelyn was standing in the hall with her back to him, talking on the phone.

“Yes. That’ll be fine, Chris. Thank you.” She laughed. “All right, see you on Tuesday. Bye, Chris.”

She hung up and turned round, an excited sparkle in her eyes.

“Hello,” she said. “How did you get on?”

“Fine. We got three bags at a bargain price.” Dan laughed. “Dad was so chuffed. We’ve left . . .”

His voice trailed off as he saw the sudden black look on his father’s face.

“What is it? Is everything all right?”

Phil gave a bark of ironic laughter.

“Of course everything’s all right, Evelyn, why shouldn’t it be?”

“Phil, what’s the matter?”

“I’ll see you later, Dan.” Phil snatched up his jacket and suddenly he was gone, slamming the door behind him.

“Mum, what was –”

But Evelyn was gone, too. Dan heard her running upstairs and the distant slam of her bedroom door echoed through the house.

Dan stood in the kitchen, his heart thumping.

“Dan? What is it?” Janie came into the kitchen. “What on earth happened?”

Janie came downstairs a few minutes later, a solemn look on her face.

“She’s taking a bath – says she’ll talk to us later.”

Dan glanced at his watch.

“Bit early for a bath. D’you think she’s OK?”

“She sounded as if she’d been crying. What happened, Dan?”

“I’ve no idea, to be honest,” Dan said. “Everything was fine. Dad was really cheerful when we got in – a bit hyper, actually – but as soon as he saw Mum, he seemed to flip.”

“Did Mum do something to annoy him?”

“No, she was on the phone.”

“Who to?”

“I don’t know, but . . .”


“It – it might have been a new bloke,” Dan said hesitantly. “She looked really happy when she came off the phone.

“It sounded as if someone had just asked her out.”

Janie stared at him, horror-struck.

“But what about Dad? They were out together last night. She asked him round for lunch, she . . .”

Dan put his arm round her shoulders. He knew what his sister had been hoping.

“Janie, they’re not getting back together,” he said gently. “You have to accept that.”

“I won’t believe that until they both tell me for definite,” Janie said stubbornly. “I’ll ask Mum when she comes down.”

She slumped down on the sofa and proceeded to chew her fingernails.

Dan looked at her.

“So that’s it? You’re just going to sit there and do nothing?”

“What else do you suggest?” Janie demanded.

Dan stifled a sigh.

“OK, this is the plan while we wait for Mum,” he said.

“I’m going to make us some toast and tell you about the job I’ve been trying to tell everyone about all day and you’re going to help me with my personal statement.”

As he’d hoped, this news distracted his sister.

“That’s great, Dan. What job? Where is it?”

“Applications Engineer,” Dan said eagerly. “I’m sure I’d enjoy it.”

“Good. That’s important.”

“Yeah, that’s what Dad was saying. The trouble is, it’s in Bristol.”

“So far away?” Janie wrinkled her nose.

“That’s why I haven’t told Mum yet,” Dan admitted. “I don’t think I will tell her, unless I hear back.

“There’s no point in upsetting her if nothing comes of it. I might not even get an interview.”

“Rubbish! We’ll make sure you do.” Janie gave him a playful punch on the arm.

“Come on – toast. Then we’ll get to work on your statement.”

To be continued…

An error has occurred while loading your details. Please click the following link to try again - if the issue persists, please don't hesitate to contact us. Try again by refreshing the page.