The Ties That Bind – Episode 34

Characters from the serial, Evelyn and Simon with Lynda and Alex in a bar.

A week later, Evelyn was sitting opposite Lynda in their favourite coffee shop.

“So, it’s a day off for you, is it?” Lynda asked.

“No, I’m on later, but I knew you were on holiday this week, so I thought we could catch up.”

“It’s good to see you.”

“You, too. So what’s new?”

“Oh, not a lot. Busy at work, you know.”

Evelyn’s heart sank. When had conversation become so stilted between them?

Lynda was her oldest and dearest friend. It was breaking her heart to find that they couldn’t speak freely any more.

She suspected she knew the problem, but was nervous about broaching the subject.

What if she was wrong about Lynda having feelings for Simon? She didn’t want to cause any more awkwardness between them.

“How are things at home?” Lynda asked. “Is Dan still staying with Phil?”

“Sometimes. He divides his time between our houses.” Evelyn frowned.

“I’m not sure how easy that is for him, but I think he’s a bit unsettled anyway because he’s still waiting to hear about that job he went for a while back.”

“Really? I thought he’d have heard by now.”

“So did I, to be honest. It doesn’t bode well, does it? He had his heart set on it.”

“Poor lad.” Lynda had always been fond of Dan. “It sounded ideal for him.”

Evelyn didn’t voice her own feelings about Dan moving so far away. It was his life and she’d support him whatever happened.

“So is Phil improving at all?” Lynda asked.

“Yes. He’s gone back to work, but only part-time, to ease him back in.

“Meanwhile, he’s been doing my garden as a bit of therapy.” Evelyn smiled.

“I’m quite happy about that because I can’t be bothered and he enjoys it.”

“He always loved gardening, didn’t he? Tell him he’s welcome to come round and do mine, too.” Lynda laughed. “I never seem to find the time.”

“You’re not working too hard, are you?

“I remember Simon telling me that you kept taking on more clients and volunteering for extra training courses and the like. Don’t wear yourself out.”

Evelyn paused. The flush on her friend’s cheek confirmed her suspicions.

Once again, it was at the mention of Simon.

She took a deep breath and decided to take the bull by the horns.

“Do you have feelings for Simon?”

“Simon?” Lynda’s eyes widened in alarm. “Why would you think that? I haven’t said anything . . .”

“You didn’t have to, Lynda. I sort of guessed.”

“Evelyn, I swear there’s nothing between us. I wouldn’t do that. You’re my best friend.” Lynda fidgeted with her fingers.

“I know, but Lynda . . .”

“Evelyn, it’s all right, honestly. It’s my problem.” Lynda bowed her head.

“It’s ironic, really, seeing as I was the one who set you up. I just didn’t realise how much I liked him until you became an item.”

“Well, we aren’t any more. We split up.”

Lynda looked up.

“What? When did this happen?”

“The night of the quiz.”

“But someone said you left together.”

“We shared a taxi. I went to my house. He stayed in the taxi and went home. I’m surprised he didn’t tell you at work.”

“To be honest, I’ve been trying to avoid him.”


“Because he was going out with you, of course. I thought I was too late.”

“It’s not too late, Lynda. I can’t guarantee anything, of course, but I do know he’d like to find someone special.”

“Did he tell you that?”

“Yes. It’s just that I’m not her.” Evelyn shrugged. “And he wasn’t the right one for me, either.”

“So . . . do you think I should ask him out?”

“Well, I do know he likes you, so it’s a good start.”

“And you wouldn’t mind?”

“Of course not. I told you, we’re not right for each other.” Evelyn squeezed her friend’s hand.

“Simon’s a decent man, Lyn. And you’re my best friend. Good luck.”

They finished their coffees soon afterwards and as Lynda hurried away, Evelyn smiled to herself.

She could almost see the fluffy little pink cloud her friend was floating on.

A tiny sigh escaped her. She’d been telling Lynda the truth when she’d said she and Simon weren’t right for each other, but she was going to miss him.

She’d enjoyed his company.

But as she headed in to work, she recognised all the positive things in her life.

Phil seemed to have come to terms with their divorce at last and, thanks to Dan, she no longer felt solely responsible for helping him.

She smiled.

There was another positive thing, too. She now had time to concentrate on choosing her career path.

And she’d reached her decision.

To be continued…

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