The Ties That Bind – Episode 12

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

“I’m sorry about earlier, Dan. I – I was upset. It was nothing to do with you, but somehow you ended up in the middle of it.” Evelyn felt awkward.

“The way your dad was today, that sudden change of mood – it made me remember why we drifted apart in the first place. He was always like that.”

“So because he thought you were talking to a
man . . .?”

“If it wasn’t that, it would have been something else which set him off.”

Evelyn smiled wearily as she remembered.

“He’d suddenly flip and before I knew it, we were in the middle of a furious row.

“Half the time I didn’t even know what had set him off.”

“Oh,” Dan said, sounding as if he was floundering in strange waters.

Evelyn picked a few crumbs from the side of the gingerbread plate – Phil had always been partial to her gingerbread.

“So we’re all right, aren’t we? You and me? I mean, Janie’s angry with me and so’s your dad.” She sighed.

“I’d like to think there was someone who was still speaking to me.”

“Yeah, sure,” Dan said, bringing two mugs over to the breakfast bar.


“Thanks.” Dan poured milk as she cut him a generous slice. She was used to her son’s appetite.

“Mum, can I ask you something? I accept that you’re not getting back with Dad – I always knew that.”

“I’m not sure Janie’s ever accepted it,” Evelyn said regretfully.

“No, I don’t think she has, to be honest.”

“I’ll have a word with her later.”

“Anyway, you’ve said Chris is your boss,” Dan continued, sipping his tea.

“Yes. So?”

Dan gave her a grin.

“So who’s Simon?”

Hot fury pumped through Phil as he strode away from Evelyn’s house – his house, the family home.

How could Evelyn treat him that way?

For the next hour, he paced the streets, reliving all that had happened in the past two days.

He’d been elated when Evelyn agreed to meet him and, last night in the restaurant, he’d been sure they could start again.

Today had been good, too, all of them together again, so warm and homely.

But it had been a mistake, he could see that now. It had only re-enforced his devastation at losing everything he’d held dear.

It wasn’t Evelyn’s fault, he could admit that now. When he’d heard her on the phone, he’d been overwhelmed with jealousy to see her so happy.

It was clear that she’d moved on and didn’t want, or need, Phil any more.

She’d tried to tell him as much, but he’d refused to listen. He’d been fooling himself.

He was surprised when he reached the footbridge over the river on the edge of town. He hadn’t been aware of where or for how long he’d been walking.

He tossed a stick into the river.

“What do I do now?” he muttered into the approaching dusk.

He couldn’t face going back to his sparsely furnished flat, where loneliness echoed around its empty walls.

Back to work tomorrow. It was becoming increasingly difficult to gear himself up for it.

When he’d heard rumours of possible redundancies in the firm, he’d felt a glimmer of hope. But it scared him, too. He’d worked in insurance all his life.

What would he do if he lost his job? Who’d want a fifty-one year-old divorced, lonely insurance broker?

He leaned on the edge of the bridge, his emotions churning like the water flowing thirty feet below.

Worry, anger, fear, hurt and loneliness all vied for pole position within his soul.

A young couple strolled past, not taking any notice of Phil as he stared down into the relentless torrent below, remembering the stick which had sunk without trace.

It was a bleak thought but once it was in his mind, he couldn’t dismiss it.

Would anyone really miss him?

To be continued…

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