The Ties That Bind – Episode 24

Characters from the serial, Evelyn, Phil and Dan in a kitchen.

“I’m off work tomorrow, “ she added. “We’ll have another talk then. Things won’t seem so bad in the morning.”

She gave him a gentle push in the direction of his bedroom.

He seemed happy for someone else to make the decision for him and Evelyn breathed a sigh of relief as she closed the door behind him.

“Mum, you were brilliant!” Dan whispered, wide-eyed in admiration.

She gave a wan smile.

“I don’t know about that, but at least he’s gone to bed calm.”

“You seemed to get through to him.”

“He’s under extreme stress, Dan.” She sighed. “It’s a good thing you came round. I think he was near to breaking point.”

“But why? I mean, what’s caused it?”

“It can creep up on people. Fortunately, your dad’s acknowledged how he’s feeling. It gives us somewhere to start.

“Hopefully he’ll sleep better tonight, now that he’s opened up a bit.”

“OK.” Dan nodded, trying to take it all in. “So what do we do next?”

“I’ll phone the doctor in the morning and get in touch with his work. He’ll probably be signed off.”

She looked troubled.

“Dan, I know we’ve had our differences, but I don’t like to see your dad suffering like this. It’s such a pity he doesn’t have any other family.

“Anyway, he’s going to need a lot of support.
And –” she hesitated “– I don’t think he should be left on his own tonight.

“I’m going to phone a taxi. I’ll go home and pack a bag, then come back and sleep in the spare room.”

“You’re great, Mum, you know that?”

Dan’s hug renewed some of Evelyn’s strength.

“You’ll be all right till I get back, won’t you? Then you can go home.”

Dan shook his head.

“Bring a change of clothes for me, too, Mum. I’ll sleep on the sofa.”

When Dan woke the next morning, he was unsure exactly where he was.

He raised himself up on his elbow and heard the sound of his mother’s voice drifting through from the spare room.

“Yes. That will be fine. I’ll stay with him. Thank you.”

Of course! They were still at Dad’s flat.

The spare room door opened and Evelyn emerged.

“Morning, sleepyhead,” she said. “Were you all right on there last night?”

“Yeah. The sofa’s comfier than I expected,” Dan replied, sitting up.

“Thanks for staying, Dan. It was good of you.”

“That’s OK.” Dan shrugged. “I just thought – you know – a bit of support and stuff.”

Evelyn smiled at him.

“Toast?” she asked.

“Yeah, thanks. Have you seen Dad this morning?”

“I peeped in a few minutes ago. He’s still asleep, so that’s good.” Evelyn went to the kitchen.

“I phoned the doctor. He’ll be here at half past ten,” she called as she switched on the kettle.

“I’ll let you know what he says when you get home tonight. You start at ten today, don’t you?”

She took mugs from the cupboard and searched for plates. There was no reply from the living-room.

“Dan, did you hear –”


She spun round. There was Dan, standing in the kitchen doorway, wearing an Ayrton Senna T-shirt and pyjama bottoms.

He was staring at his phone, looking dazed

“What is it, Dan?”

He looked up at her, a huge grin on his face.

“I have an interview for that job next week!”

To be continued…

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