The Ties That Bind – Episode 27

Characters from the serial, Evelyn and Simon

“What did you think?” Simon asked as the theatre lights came up. “Did you enjoy it?”

Evelyn considered.

“I’m not sure if ‘enjoyed’ is the right word,” she replied carefully. “I’d say it was – um – interesting.”

“I know what you mean. Some playwrights are more intent on getting a political or social message across than just writing an entertaining script,” Simon replied with a comical grimace.

“So you didn’t enjoy it?” Evelyn murmured as the audience began filing out.

He looked around guardedly.

“Not a lot,” he admitted in a low voice. “Actually, not very much at all.

“In fact – I hated it!” he hissed.

Evelyn smothered her laughter until they reached the sanctuary of the street.

Simon shot her an apologetic look.

“Sorry, Evelyn. I didn’t realise it was going to be such heavy going.”

“It’s not your fault,” Evelyn replied. “But maybe we should both have been honest at the interval.”

“You’re right – that’s a whole evening of our lives wasted.”

“Not wasted exactly – I’d call it an experience.” She laughed.

“Well, that’s one word for it.” Simon grinned at her. “OK, let’s make a pact. From now on, we’ll always be honest with each other about stuff like that.

“Life’s too short to sit through tedious plays.”

“Agreed.” Evelyn chuckled and realised at that moment how often Simon made her laugh.

That had to be a good thing.

“The only thing I enjoyed was the ice-cream at the interval,” he remarked.

“What about my scintillating company?”

“Oh, yes, of course – apart from that.” He put his arm round her shoulders and gave her a friendly squeeze.

“Hey, isn’t that ice-cream place round the corner still open? Shall we go and have another one – or a coffee?”

Evelyn hesitated. The natural thing would be to invite him to her place – it wasn’t far away. But . . .

“That sounds good,” she said instead, without really knowing why.

“I’m relieved that you didn’t like that play, to be honest,” Simon said suddenly.

“If I found out that you enjoyed that sort of thing, I’d have to break up with you instantly,” he teased.

Was there actually anything to break up, she wondered.

“Simon . . .”

“Come on – they close soon.” He hurried her along and the moment passed.

They enjoyed their ice-creams and a coffee while sitting at a window seat, overlooking the River Ness.

“Lynda phoned today,” Evelyn began, curious to see Simon’s reaction.

As it turned out, he didn’t bat an eyelid.

“Oh, did she ask you about the quiz?” He stirred his coffee. “Can you go?”

“Yes. And yes,” Evelyn replied.

“Good. I would have mentioned it, but she said she was going to phone you,” he said easily.

“Yes, it was great to talk to her.”

“It should be a fun night. I like a good quiz,” he said with a smile. “Oh, look, we’d better hurry – they close in five minutes.”

It was late by the time he dropped her off at home.

“Well, the ice-cream was good.” He chuckled. “So the evening wasn’t a complete disaster.”

There was a pause.

“So, I suppose . . .” He stopped speaking almost as soon as he started.

“Yes?” she prompted.

“I suppose I’ll see you at the quiz next Thursday. I’ll text you the details.”

He leaned over and kissed her lightly on the cheek.

“Goodnight, Evelyn.”

“Goodnight, Simon.”

Watching his car driving away, Evelyn wondered why she couldn’t shake off a feeling of unease.

To be continued…

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