The Ties That Bind – Episode 13

Characters from the serial, Evelyn and Simon walking in front of a castle.

Evelyn? Are you all right?”

Evelyn blinked rapidly and tried to focus on what her boss was saying.

“You seem distracted.” Christine Bellamy was usually sympathetic but Evelyn picked up on the impatience in her voice.

She tried to disguise a shaky breath with a cough.

“I’m sorry, Chris,” she stammered. “I – I feel a little hot.”

“Help yourself.” Chris indicated the water dispenser in the corner of her office and Evelyn jumped up nervously.

Distracted? That was one word for it, she thought as she fumbled with the stack of paper cones.

She’d have to take control of herself. This meeting was important.

It was her chance to discuss the future path of her career. Yet she was finding it impossible to concentrate.

Her hand was shaking as she raised the water to her lips. How could she focus with all the upset at home?

To Evelyn’s dismay, her plan to allow Janie time to cool off in her room on Sunday evening had backfired.

After only 20 minutes, a taxi had turned up and Janie had stormed down the stairs with her bags.

Evelyn had tried to intercept her at the door.

“Janie, where are you going? Please, love, can’t we just talk?”

“There’s nothing to talk about.” Janie was stony-faced.

“Just tell me where you’re going. I have to know you’re safe.”

“I’m going to spend the night at a friend’s.”

“Which friend?”

“Why should I have to tell anyone who I’m spending time with? You don’t!”

“Janie!” Evelyn recoiled at the venom in her daughter’s voice.

The door slammed behind her and they’d heard nothing more from her until lunchtime the following day, when she sent a short text to Dan.

“She’s back in Stirling, Mum,” Dan mumbled sadly. “She caught the train.”

More pain shot through Evelyn’s aching heart.

“We were supposed to be spending today together,” she said.

Dan looked troubled.

“Will you be all right, Mum? I have to start work at half one . . .”

The worry on her son’s face forced Evelyn to pull herself together.

“Of course, love. You get going. I’ll be all right – we’ll be all right.”

But Evelyn wasn’t so sure. Janie’s anger had been so deep. If only she’d given her a chance to explain.

On the other hand, she thought, with a jolt of resentment, why should she have to explain herself?

She hadn’t done anything wrong and she wasn’t obliged to justify her actions to anyone – especially her rude, hot-headed daughter.

This fiery thought had enabled her to put on a more positive face for Dan before he left for work.

Despite this, Evelyn couldn’t shake off the uneasy feeling that Dan had something else on his mind.

He’d always been able to talk to her before now and it saddened her to think that he no longer could.

Simon had also left her a message, asking to meet again. Her initial rush of delight had instantly drained away because of all the other issues in her life.

Somehow it didn’t feel like the right time.

It should have been. It should have been the perfect time.

Simon obviously liked her enough to want to see her again and she liked him, too. So why did she feel guilty about wanting to go out with him?

She kept telling herself she mustn’t allow Phil’s jealousy and Janie’s over-reaction to spoil her chance of happiness.

On top of all of this, she needed to speak to Phil and set the record straight.

She knew that if she didn’t squash all these ridiculous hopes once and for all, they’d never get past this.

She had no desire still to be in this same mess five years hence.

The trouble was, how should she tell him? If she asked to meet him, he’d get his hopes up again.

She didn’t want to tell him over the phone, and an e-mail or a text would be too cruel.

Maybe she could write a letter. Deliver it by hand, just to make sure he definitely received it.

It seemed to Evelyn that her whole life had fallen apart in the blink of an eye.

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.