The Ties That Bind – Episode 2

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

Her exasperation was heightened even more when she saw the name on the screen.

She didn’t have time for this, but it was difficult to break a habit.

“Phil. Hello. You’ve just caught me – I’m on my way out.” She didn’t want to encourage a conversation.

“Hi, Evelyn. Oh – you say you’re . . . going out?”

“Yes, sorry. Was there something you wanted?”

“I – well, actually, I was going to ask . . .” His voice trailed off and Evelyn felt a wave of irritation.

“Ask me what?”


“Phil, I’m sorry but I really do need to go.” She fumbled with her keys as she tried to lock the front door and keep her phone by her ear.

“Can it wait?”

He gave a small laugh.

“I was actually going to ask you to meet me at the Beehive tonight.”

Evelyn was stunned.

“You want to meet me? Why?”

“I – I just thought it would be nice. Have a bit of a catch-up.”

“But . . .”

“We always enjoyed our evenings out at the Beehive, didn’t we?”

“Yes – when we were dating! Centuries ago.”

“We’ve been since then. We often went there. How about tomorrow night?”

“Phil, we’re getting a divorce!”

“I know, but we can be civil to each other for one evening out, can’t we?” He paused. “Besides, there’s something I’d like to discuss with you.”

Evelyn opened her mouth to protest once more, but glancing at her watch, she realised she didn’t have time to keep arguing.

“Phil . . .”

“Please, Evelyn,” he persisted. “I’d just like a chance to talk to you without either of us throwing chairs.”

She couldn’t help smiling at that.

“OK. Fine. I’ll meet you tomorrow but I really must go now. I’m late.”

“Great. Seven-thirty? I’ll book a table.”

“A table? Phil, I thought you just meant a drink –”

He’d hung up.

Dan was glad when the bus reached his stop at last. It had been a long day.

For some reason the shop had been particularly busy lately and for the past few weeks he’d been well and truly fed up.

He walked through the park as usual, glad to be surrounded by greenery for a few minutes instead of grey pavements, drab buildings and noisy traffic.

Finding an empty bench by the pond, he sat down and looked up the job advert on his mobile.

Excitement surged through him again, as it had when he’d first seen it during his snatched lunch break.

It was just the sort of opportunity he’d been looking for; a chance to use his physics degree, instead of spending his life picking up clothes from the floor of the department store.

He’d spent hours – days – weeks – searching for an opportunity to put his qualifications to good use, but the shop job had been all he could get, and although it was driving him slowly mad, it was better than being unemployed.

He’d continued searching for the past fifteen months and now, at last, something suitable had turned up.

Pocketing his phone, he closed his eyes, enjoying the still-warm rays of the evening sun on his face and the breeze which rustled the leaves around him.

The last few years hadn’t been easy. He’d been away at university when his parents split up and it had been strange when he came home and there was only Mum in the house.

Janie was away by then, too.

Dan knew his sister had always hankered after independence and wanted to fly the nest at the earliest opportunity.

To achieve this, she’d turned down a place at the local college in favour of studying a similar course in a different town.

Now, sharing a flat in Stirling with a couple of friends, she was throwing herself into her studies and by all accounts was excelling at her Business Management and Marketing course.

Now, at last, he might have the chance to do something he enjoyed, too.

Elated, he stood up and set off towards home, resolving to start his application tonight.

Even the thought of having to work tomorrow didn’t annoy him as much as it normally would.

At least he had Sunday off, for a change.

He’d tell Mum about it over tea. He knew she’d be chuffed for him.

Mum was supportive and always said the most important thing was to find something which made him happy.

Well, being offered an interview for this job would definitely make him happy.

So when she saw how much he wanted this, hopefully it wouldn’t be so hard for her to accept that the job was over five hundred miles away.

To be continued…

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