Terese Talks

An imagined scene where Terese talks to the bottle

Well, where do I start? Wishing we hadn’t come to Erinsborough? In a way, I do wish that. Brad and I were happy till we moved back to the place he’d spent some of his teenage years. And back to Lauren. Right now I can hardly bear to say her name; it’s something I spit out, like a grizzly bit of meat. It all seemed okay when we first arrived. At least, I thought it was. Lauren was married to Matt. Nice man, a bit boring, but steady, till his bad spell. And that probably even wouldn’t have happened if my husband and his wife hadn’t decided that maybe they shouldn’t have split up over twenty years ago and went around looking gooey eyed at one another. They tried to hide it at first, but I noticed.

Brad is so easily influenced. He’s always been a dreamer, but at least with my career progression, he’s had a certain freedom to express himself or whatever he calls it. And when Josh was training for the Commonwealth Games, he was able to give up his job and coach him. That was down to me. I don’t think he appreciated how hard I worked to make sure we had a decent standard of living. And standards are important to me, considering the fact that my background meant I had to work my way up the career ladder the hard way.

Pam and Doug always preferred Beth, Brad’s first wife, to me. He wasn’t married to her for very long but he knew he’d made a mistake and that’s where I came in. I can understand his parents’ attitude but you would think they’d have gotten over it after this many years. They think I can’t cook, but for God’s sake, I wasn’t prepared to be one of those homely little wives who was tied to the kitchen. And anyway, I’ve never neglected my family. They go out to the day on a good breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it fuels ambitions. I’ve always wanted our kids to have ambitions.

Anyway, back to the situation I’m in now. Yes, I know that Brad says I pushed him away. But how many wives would welcome the fact that he and Lauren had had a baby together that she thought had died and he knew nothing about? Did he stop and think about how I’d feel about it? No, he went off into a parallel universe, one in which he and Lauren had brought up their daughter and played happy families. Then they searched for her and brought her into our lives. I tried to be accepting. I tried to be nice. But you could see that Paige only had one agenda, and that was to get her birth parents back together again. Romantic, right. Except that there was me, and there was Matt. Poor Matt. Like I say, he wasn’t the most dynamic of men, but Lauren should have paid him more attention. If she had, he wouldn’t have had so much stubborn pride and got himself into a terrible mess working for Dimato. By then, Lauren didn’t need too many excuses to lean on my husband.

I know that a kiss is not a full-blown affair. But after that kiss when Brad and Lauren were searching for Paige, (a kiss they were going to keep secret, might I remind you,) something shifted. People kept telling me – well, Brad in particular – that I had to start trusting him again. They hadn’t let anything go further than a kiss. But it’s still betrayal, right? And it’s not as if the two were strangers. They had history and they were living on the same street. It was always going to be there, that … memory. There was also the time when I was in Canada, visiting Piper and I found out Lauren had fallen asleep on my sofa. Or so she said. I wonder about that, now. What was she even doing, visiting my husband when I was overseas? Can you blame me for being suspicious after that?

I felt awful for thinking the way I did after Matt died. I really was sorry he’d been killed, and after all, he’d saved Brad from that speeding car. But I was worried, too. I knew it would mean that Lauren would be even more emotionally reliant on Brad, and I knew where it would lead. When Brad told me that Matt’s last words to him were ‘to look after Lauren’ I admit I doubted whether he’d made it up. Was it just another excuse for him to pursue Lauren? You can see my thinking here, surely?

I didn’t mean to start drinking so heavily. I just wanted some escapism from the stress. Look, there’s been Josh’s accident, and  Imogen’s eating disorder, which brought back some painful memories of my own. There’s been the incident with Ezra – and I didn’t feel that Brad understood how much that affected me at all – and then there was Nick. I still can’t believe what Nick did. I feel as if everyone has let me down. Is it all my fault? How can it all be my fault? I have tried to hard to get Brad to sit down and talk things through. But he just flounces out like a teenager, using phrases like ‘oh you don’t understand!’ Or, ‘It’s so unfair!’ Imogen has far more maturity than Brad sometimes. I do know that I could have handled things a bit better. I shouldn’t have read Lauren’s journal, or Paige’s text message. But I ask you, what would you have done in my situation? I only wanted one man. But clearly, that man always longed forLauren. And right now, I hate her for ruining my life.

© Carol Ann Wood
October 2015

This writing is unauthorised fan-fiction based upon the Australian television serial Neighbours. It takes one pre-existing Neighbours character and adds a new plot-line to summarise recent plot-lines as an original story.

The author makes no claim that any rights-holders of Neighbours – in particular FreemantleMedia Australia Pty Ltd and FreemantleMedia Operations BV – have made any endorsement whatsoever of this writing.


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