The Ties That Bind – Episode 42

Characters from the serial, Evelyn and Phil with their children Dan and Janie.

“Come in, Evelyn. Sit down.” Christine Bellamy smiled when Evelyn went into her office.

“Thanks for seeing me, Chris.”

“I’m surprised to see you in here on your day off. I assume this means it’s something important?”

“It is. I wanted to make sure we had time to discuss it properly,” Evelyn said.

“What can I do for you?”

“First of all, I’m sorry I was a bit off my game for a while. But believe it or not, it’s helped me to reach my decision.”

“I’m all ears.”

So Evelyn confided in her boss, telling her all about Phil’s troubles with stress and how she’d been trying to help him.

“You’ve had a lot on your plate,” Christine replied. “But things are easing off now, are they?”

“It’s been a slow process, but Phil’s managed to turn things around at last.”

“I’m glad to hear it. Sounds like you’ve had a tough time.”

“It’s been a difficult time for the family,” Evelyn acknowledged, “but everything’s back on track now. Touch wood.

“I shouldn’t say that, should I? Life has a way of tripping you up, doesn’t it?”

“It has.” Christine laughed softly. “Anyway, I’m glad you’re feeling more like yourself, Evelyn. You seem a lot more relaxed.”

“I am. I’m able to focus now, and my experience with Phil has helped me reach a decision about my future career path.”

Evelyn’s smile was confident and happy once more.

“I want to study mental health nursing.”

“Good. I’m glad you’ve reached a decision.” Christine nodded.

“But I’m sure you realise that’s not an easy option,” she continued in a serious tone.

“I’m ready for it. I’ve been researching it and there are a lot of online modules I can do.” Evelyn paused. “It feels like the right decision.”

“You’re more than capable, Evelyn, and I’ll support you in every way that I can.” Christine gave an encouraging smile.

As they continued their discussion, Evelyn felt a surge of energy and new-found confidence.

When she left Christine’s office she felt better about herself and her life than she had for a very long time.

She walked along the corridor, mulling everything over.

She’d done her best for her family throughout good and bad times. She and Phil were on amicable terms, Dan wasn’t moving far away and she and Janie had made up their differences.

Now she was about to embark on a valuable new stage of her nursing career.  What more could she ask for?

“Evelyn? Is that you?”

Her thoughts were interrupted by a voice that seemed vaguely familiar.

She stopped and turned to see a man in a white coat hurrying to catch up with her.

A curly-haired man with a pleasant smile and blue, blue eyes.

“Hi. Remember me? Alex, from the quiz night?”

As soon as their eyes met, Evelyn remembered Alex extremely well.

“Alex! Of course. Good to see you.”

“You, too,” he said with a smile.

She’d forgotten what that smile did to her.

“Um . . . do you work here?” she asked.

“I’m a lab technician,” he explained. “And you . . .?”

“I’m a nurse. Day off, but I’ve just been in seeing my boss.”

“That’s dedication,” Alex replied, his eyes twinkling.

“Well, maybe . . . um . . .” Evelyn could kick herself for stumbling over her words.

What had happened to the confidence that had been coursing through her veins only moments ago? And that woman who was in complete control of everything in her life?

More to the point, why wasn’t she listening to what Alex was saying?

“Sorry? Um . . . did you say something? I mean, what did you say?”

He smiled again.

“I said I’m just going to hang up my coat and that’s me finished for the day.”

“Oh. Err – that’s nice.”

“How about you?”

“Me? Oh, I’m finished – I mean, I didn’t start. Like I said, it’s my day off.” She wished she could remember how to talk like a normal person.

“Yes, so you did.” He paused. “Is somebody waiting for you? If you don’t mind me asking.”

Evelyn guessed what he was really asking and felt heat rising in her cheeks.

“No. I haven’t got a ‘somebody’,” she replied, and couldn’t help noticing how his eyes lit up.

“Well, that’s handy.” He smiled. “I was going to pick up something to eat on my way home, but perhaps we could go out for tea together instead?”

“Tea? Together?” she repeated stupidly.

“Together. Tea. Out,” he said, chuckling. “If you like.”

Evelyn swallowed hard.

“That would be lovely,” she managed to say.

“Great. Give me five minutes.” His blue eyes sparkled. “Meet you down in reception?”

Alex brushed Evelyn’s fingers with his own and, all of a sudden, she felt all the pieces of her life falling into place.

The End.


Look out for our next Daily Serial “The Legend Of Wychwood Manor“.

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