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.


Index of Posts:

Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


Please note that any advertisements which appear below these posts are not indicative of any endorsement by the author. They are placed there by a WordPress algorithm.


Sheila Takes A Look At Love

An imagined scene, in which Sheila Canning brings an Erinsborough newcomer up-to-speed on all that’s happening in and around Ramsay Street

“I haven’t seen you round here before, have I, love? What can I get you, a beer? Coming right up. It’s a bit quiet in here this morning. I reckon people are all broke right now, what with Christmas. Even moneybags Paul Robinson, so I’ve heard! Oh, silly me, you won’t know who anyone is if you’re not from this neck of the woods. Well, pull up a bar stool, and if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, I can fill you in on a few folk. I’m Sheila Canning, and I’m the eyes and ears of Erinsborough. Oh, not that I’m a sticky beak like that Susan Kennedy. And I don’t judge anyone. But let’s just say between you and me and my gnomes, it’s been quite a year in our street, and there’s been more make-ups and break-ups than in a soap opera!

“See that woman walking by the window, blonde hair? Well, that’s Lauren, and she’s been in a love-triangle. Shocking, the whole saga. She was married to Matt. Nice man, a policeman. Set in his ways, but a good egg, and a family man, till he went a bit odd towards the end. He was rather sexy. I wouldn’t have minded being arrested by him if I were a criminal. Then the poor thing was killed by an out-of-control car. And guess whose life got saved by Matt shoving him out of the way? Brad Willis! Brad and Lauren had a child together years ago, you see. She’d been adopted out, they went on a mission to find her, and lo and behold when they did, the pair were making eyes at one another as if the child was about to be conceived! Like I said, I’m not judging, but Lauren certain played the merry widow. Matt was hardly cold in his grave before Brad had his feet right under Lauren’s table, and his wood in her shed. (Well, actually, Matt was cremated but you know what I mean.) I’m pretty sure when Matt spoke his last words to Brad that he didn’t mean look after Lauren in quite that way! And poor Terese, Brad’s wife. She went through hell. She can be a bit bossy, granted, but Brad is a weak man. Like a lot of men. Oh, present company excepted! Then Terese got burnt in a fire at the school – long story – and Brad decided he had got a conscience after all. A guilty one I reckon, saying as he chose to rescue Lauren from the building before his own wife! Lauren ended things with Brad after that, so he went crawling back home to look after Terese, but she’s thrown him out again. I tell you, with all their confrontations on the street, it’s like watching the shoot out at the OK Corral.

“And that wasn’t the only love triangle of the year either. There was another one involving Turner and a Willis. Amber Turner, she’s a nice kid but I’m not sure she’s got a lot between the ears sometimes. She was with Josh Willis, then she left him for Daniel Robinson and was about to marry him, only he got stuck down a well with Imogen Willis. I know, you couldn’t make it up, could you? Except Amber didn’t know he was stuck down a well and thought he’d jilted her. So what does the silly girl do then? Only goes and spends what would have been her wedding night being comforted by Josh. Some comforting that turned out to be. She found out later that she was pregnant to him. She and Daniel had got back together by then, as Amber realised he hadn’t jilted her. Are you keeping up? Anyway, of course, the baby being Josh’s spelt curtains for her and Daniel. And now Daniel’s with Imogen. She’s a smart cookie, and they seemed more suited. But Daniel’s changed, so I don’t reckon they’ll last much longer. He’s gone too much like his uncle Paul if you ask me. Money mad.

“Yes, there’s a lot of folk had their hearts broken around these parts. And it’s been pretty hard for me to stand by and watch some of it. I thought that Kyle – that’s my grandson – had found his soulmate with pretty young Georgia. She’s a nurse. She seemed a lovely girl. Even if she did have a pop at my taste in table lamps. So Kyle and Georgia got married, seemed happy, and then Georgia’s mother got sick and needed special cancer treatment. In Germany. So off Georgia goes to be with her mum, leaving Kyle to try and work all hours God sends on his business. Then if you please, she comes back and says she wishes they hadn’t got married. I could have wrung her neck with Dr Karl’s stethoscope. All the same, Kyle seems to have taken it on the chin. He’s seeing Amy Robinson now. She and her son Jimmy are living with us. Amy’s ex came back on the scene a while back, but he was a good for nothing type, and when she realised the truth, she soon shipped him out again. I know she’s a Robinson but Amy’s not a bit like her dad, Moneybags. And it was me who helped get Amy and Kyle together, you know. I’m a good matchmaker. All it took was shutting them in the laundry room to get them to talk and realise they were well suited. Although, I didn’t expect to find them actually getting together in the laundry room if you know what I mean. That image will stay with me for life!

“And my daughter Naomi, well, I’ve despaired at her choice in men for a long time. I don’t know what I did wrong there, but she doesn’t seem to see a good thing when it’s right under her nose with a sign saying ‘Unmarried, available, trustworthy’. Mark Brennan is all those things. Perfect, I tell you. A career as a cop, good looking, buying his house, what more could she want? But Naomi always had a taste for the high life. That’s why she fell into the arms of Paul Robinson. Moneybags. I think I mentioned him earlier. I wasn’t happy about him dating my daughter, but like a good mother, I didn’t interfere. Well, apart from a few tactful words of advice. I’m always tactful. Luckily she saw things my way eventually, but I do wish she hadn’t got drunk and spent the night with Josh Willis. You knew that Moneybags would want revenge when he found out, and he tried to have Josh set up, got someone to plant drugs on him. Oh, I don’t blame Josh for fancying Naomi. I mean, my daughter is a very attractive young woman. She takes after her mum in that way. Men can’t resist her! She’s living in the States now, new dream job and everything. I do miss her, though.

“As for Mark, the one that Naomi let slip through her fingers, well he’s taken up with Paige. That’s Brad and Lauren’s long-lost daughter. I’m not judging, but I really don’t think she’s right for him. She’s too young for starters. Still goes about flashing her belly. And if you ask me, she’s a bit selfish, wanting her parents reunited and not giving a hoot about anyone else’s feelings. And I can’t help but see her around young Tyler, Mark’s brother, and wonder if she’s better suited to him. I heard – and I’m not gossiping – that they had a bit of a moment down that well. It’s a good job they’ve filled it in now, it seems like half of Ramsay street ended up down there. And I reckon something happened when Paige and Tyler were trapped in the school lift during the fire too. I don’t know what, but the truth always comes out in the end. Still, Tyler seems to be having enough love interest to keep him occupied. He took a shine to my B&B guest, and he’s got young Piper Willis mooching about after him too. She’s a strange one, can’t decide if she’s a bit, you know, disturbed, or just rebellious. But with a family like hers, poor kid doesn’t stand a chance of being normal.

“I think lasting love seems to elude most of us in Erinsborough. No-one seems to stick it out these days. No wonder the Willis and Turner kids can’t get it right with their parents’ track records. I suppose we have to be glad that Toadie and Sonya are still happy, even after all they’ve been through. He had a freak accident, you see. But they’ve coped well. Sonya’s a fussy mare over little Nell, but she’s alright really. Yes, I do hope they’ll be okay. It’s a long story, but I owe them for a couple of reasons. Well, alright, I’ll just tell briefly. Naomi had a thing for Toadie once, and I was horrified. She just can’t seem to leave married men alone. Thankfully Toadie wasn’t having any of it, because he’s loyal. Then there was the school fire and I couldn’t get Toadie out because he’s paralysed, so I had to run for help. I felt bad, but he says I wasn’t to blame. Anyway, Sonya and Toadie Rebecchi and Karl and Susan Kennedy, they’re about the only ones who haven’t strayed this year in Ramsay Street. And Karl and Susan have had their history of infidelity, I can tell you, but I haven’t got time to go into it now or we’d still be here this time next year.

“Oh look, there goes Steph Scully. Did I tell you about her? She got sick, heard voices and kidnapped a baby. After she got out of the psych ward, she came back to make amends and rebuild her life. But then this strange woman turned up and, honestly, I wasn’t spying or anything but I saw the two of them and they looked very close if you know what I mean. I heard through the grapevine that she’s Steph’s ex. Everyone who knows Steph wouldn’t have seen that one coming. Well, it takes all sorts and I guess she must swing both ways. I suppose that’s one way of making sure your toast always lands butter side up!

“Oh, look at the time already. Nate should be in soon for his shift. Now, he’s a bit of a prickly cactus, and we all thought he was an odd bod when he first arrived. Didn’t speak more than two words at a time, waggled his eyebrows and scowled a lot. But he turned out to be alright, in his own way. He started dating Chris Pappas, but Chris wanted to be a dad and Nate didn’t. In the end, Chris went off to New York to be near Lucy Robinson and their baby. They had that artificial going-on, you know. And good luck to them if that’s what they wanted. But poor Nate, losing Chris knocked him back a bit. Till Aaron Brennan came along. So now we’ve got three Brennan boys in Ramsay Street. Aaron and Nate seem to be getting on well. And Aaron, he’s a sweetheart really. I’ve had to give them lots of cdvi e, of course. Like I said, I’m good at matchmaking. They call me Cranky Granny but it’s just because they look up to me a lot. I’m not really grumpy, anyone here will tell you I’ve always got a smile for the customers.

“So, you see, it’s been quite a year. I don’t want to brag, but even I had my moments. I enjoyed meeting Harold Bishop, who used to run the coffee shop over the way. What a nice man. He came back for a visit during the festival. I could tell he was keen on me, but he kept thinking he’d seen his dead wife and was talking to her. I do understand, I mean, I still miss my Frank. But, you can’t help wonder what might have been. Then I met Russell, the Brennan brothers’ dad. We had a bit of a romance, although he had to fend off that dried-up floozy, Angie Rebecchi, when she came by the street. Silly woman, I don’t know why she ever thought he would look twice at her. Plus, she can’t make cakes to save her life! A traditional man likes a woman who’s a good cook. I thought Russell was charming, till I found out that he’d knocked seven bells out of Tyler when he was a kid. I couldn’t just forget about that, so I told him to go and get help. He left town, and now he’s having counselling. He phones me now and then, but, well, maybe we were just meant to be mates and nothing more. I should probably just stick to being the agony aunt of the street. You see, everyone comes to me with their love problems and I’m always ready to listen and advise. I’m a wise old stick when it comes to matters of the heart.

“Would you like another beer, love? Oh, where did he go? I’ve only just got started on the story. Honestly, some people, fancy walking out when we were having such a nice chat!”

© Carol Ann Wood
December 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.


Index of Posts:

Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


Please note that any advertisements which appear below these posts are not indicative of any endorsement by the author. They are placed there by a WordPress algorithm.


Lauren In Limbo

Inside the mind of Lauren Turner at a difficult juncture

Yes, it’s a bit of a mess right now. You don’t need to tell me that. But I swear I didn’t mean for any of it to happen. Not like this, anyway. I’m not the heartless floozy that some people in Ramsay Street seem to think. But, if I’m totally honest, there was always going to be something between me and Brad. They say you don’t forget your first love, and I know that’s true now. When he and Terese and their kids moved in across the road, I tried to keep my memories and feelings at bay. I didn’t want to be unfaithful to Matt; he didn’t deserve that, at least, not then. He’d never let me down, and he supported me when I had to sell the equine business. He never once said I was a failure.

But seeing Brad again, well, it did change things. Something was unspoken between us. Of course, what he didn’t know then was that we’d had a baby together. When we discovered the truth about Paige, it changed things for ever. People keep saying I couldn’t have loved Matt. I did. But maybe not in the way I had loved Brad. Matt felt safe, he met me when I was in a bad place. I had lost my lover to another woman, and I’d lost my little girl. I thought she was dead, then, of course. I was beyond joy when I found out my daughter was still alive. Well, joy, and anger at Mum. I know she thought she was doing the right thing, but she robbed me of Paige’s childhood. And robbed Paige of the chance to know her real parents.

I should have told Matt that I’d had a baby before I met him, I know that. But I think I was still grieving, and I wanted to push the memories away and start again. Then, boom, Mason was on the way and, well, you know the rest. Matt was good to me, but I often thought about Brad, especially on our daughter’s birthday. When he walked into Harold’s that day, it really did feel like the years had melted away. Cliché, I know, but it’s true. After we knew about our daughter, it was obvious that we’d want to talk about it together. Terese didn’t understand that. Matt didn’t either, at first, but to be fair to him, he did come round eventually. I think he even forgave me for that stupid kiss when Brad and I were searching for Paige. I say think, because I’ll never know for sure if things would have been the same again. He had this stupid male pride about owning the house, then went working for Dimato. It just wasn’t the Matt I’d known. All because he wanted to be the big man.

I can’t even express how it felt to realise that my daughter had been working with me for weeks, and not telling anyone who she was. But when we discovered the truth, it was wonderful, the way that she fitted into the family, or should I say, families. Terese was always creating about it, though. She found it harder than Matt to accept Paige. She pulled a few underhand tricks, too, and she even tried to get Paige’s adopted mum to tempt her away. Oh yes, Terese may seem the wronged woman here, but she’s not above being devious.

I wish the accident hadn’t happened, of course I do. Matt was a wonderful father and until he got into trouble, he was a loving, caring husband. I still don’t know for sure whether he and Sharon Canning got further than a kiss that time Terese found them together. Matt and I, we’d had a terrible row, and he’d stormed out. He saved Brad’s life and sacrificed his own, so you can imagine how that makes me feel. I can’t say whether we would have stayed together, if he’d lived. Maybe we’d both have moved on, he might have found someone else to make him happy. Although not Sharon Canning, definitely not her. She just happened to be around and seized an opportunity.

I tried to stay away from Brad after Matt died, I really did. But I needed someone to talk to. Nights are the most lonely when you’re suddenly bereaved and I just wanted someone to put their arm around me and tell me everything would be okay. Brad was there for me. And Brad was unhappy in his marriage. To be honest, I think he’s been unhappy for years. He tried to do his best for Terese and the kids, but all she gives him is grief. She doesn’t understand his creativity like I do. She wanted him to build a career, and she’s always going on about standards.

I’ve got to let Brad work this one out for himself, I realise that. Terese is busy getting everyone in the street onside, and she didn’t lose any time in telling all the kids what Brad and I got up to. She did that for revenge, because if she had thought it through, we should have all told them together. They didn’t need to find out like that. No, Terese was falling apart before this happened. She’s paranoid, she spies on Brad and she probably hasn’t ever trusted him. Was he meant to put up with that for ever? Was she just going to carry on nagging and picking rows with him every chance she got? And blaming everything that was wrong in their marriage on me, and on poor Paige being around? Why shouldn’t Paige have a chance to spend time with both her birth parents after what she had stolen from her? I’m probably going to sound like a total bitch but Terese drove Brad over the edge and she has to share some of the blame for all this.

© Carol Ann Wood
October 2015


Index of Posts:


Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


Please note that any advertisements which appear below these posts are not indicative of any endorsement by the author. They are placed there by a WordPress algorithm.


An open Letter From Nate Kinski

A few words from a man of few words.

What if Nate Kinski, played superbly by Meyne Wyatt since 2014, put his thoughts into an open letter, before slipping quietly away in one of the infamous yellow Erinsborough taxis? He’s never been the type to wear his heart on his sleeve but if we – and Ramsay Street residents – were to read his innermost thoughts, they might go something like this.

“Alright, so by the time you guys get to read this, I’ll be on my way to Darwin. I know I didn’t get the chance to say a proper goodbye. But it all happened so fast. I had to make a snap decision when I got the go-ahead for re-enlisting, and there was no time to waste. And you know me. Don’t like a fuss.

“I know I haven’t been the easiest person to get along with since I rocked up in Erinsborough. Karl and Susan, I reckon you thought I was a bit odd. I wasn’t in a good headspace back then. If you’d seen what I’d seen, been where I’d been, believe me, you’d have known why. And you’d have known why I didn’t talk about it much. Death was a daily thing. Civilians and soldiers being blown up. You lose one army mate, then another, then another. That’s why I was here, a mate’s funeral. Anyway. That was then.

“I didn’t know you Kennedy guys before I came to stay. What can I say about you, Susan? You’re the best. You even forgave me for nearly burying you alive. That’s PTSD for you. You think you’re done with it, then it comes back to bite you. But Susan, you really helped. I should’ve thanked you more, but I’m not one to be demonstrative. Well, not unless it involves a remote control car or a game of cricket. Then you’ll see me get emotional alright! Yes, I owe a lot to you both. And Karl, you’re alright, apart from the music. And the MAMIL gear you wear on the bike. I liked living with you, except for that blue box stuff. I’m all for a bit of sauce if it’s a spunky guy in a high vis vest and not much else, but when you catch your aunt by marriage and the local doctor dressed as … Wait, enough. Let’s not go there.

“Yup, I’ve made some good mates in Erinsborough. Had a couple of big romances too. Shame they didn’t work out. Chris, he was just desperate to be a dad. I wasn’t. I’ve seen the horrible things that can happen to kids, I couldn’t cope with having one of my own and worrying about them all the time. And Aaron, well, I hope you know I love you, dude. But you choose family over me. And I suppose I get that. You’ve got two brothers in Erinsborough. You reckon you’ve got a career going. Though, come on, mate, I don’t see being a PA to a girl of sixteen and a crim like Paul Robinson as a career. You need to find your own path, just like I have. One day you will.

“I needed to come to Ramsay Street, to work out what I wanted out of life. And now I know. Aaron, we had our good times. We got off to a rocky start, didn’t we. There was the Boys In A Box thing. Not one of Naomi’s best ideas. I felt like a total jerk, but I can laugh about it now. Then there was the time when I tried to make cocktails to impress you. I made a right pig’s ear of it and you didn’t even like cocktails, as it turned out. But we got on the beers and had a good night, once we’d got rid of the olds. Karl just doesn’t pick up on signals when he gets chatting about The Right Prescription.

“Aaron, I know you don’t totally get why I had to go away last time. Well, there was one reason but that’s between us. And by the time I came back, you’d moved on. You didn’t know where you stood with me, and you had every right to have fun. But now I’ve seen that guy, Tom, the one you thought was dead in the explosion, I know he’s a phoney. Please stay away from him, he’s trouble. I’ll miss you lot, Aaron. I’ll miss your cute smile, your crazy ideas, hell, I’ll even miss you calling me ‘Eyebrows’. And not many people could get away with that!

Sheila, I’ll even miss you. You’re a bossy old coot, but you’ve got a good heart. You didn’t like it when I was your boss for a while, though. You thought you knew better than me how to run a bar. I’ll let you into a secret, Sheila. You do. But I never told you that, cos I didn’t want you getting big headed. You always stuck up for the gay customers, and I appreciate that. You even became a gay icon. But Sheila, what you know about being gay you can write on a beer mat. You stereotype us, which is a bit daft when you remember that I’m an army guy. You won’t catch me acting camp or wearing bright clothes. You’ve taken on a lot looking after that granddaughter of yours. I know you miss Kyle and it fills a gap. Kyle’s another person I liked. We had some laughs. I feel sorry for Amy being dumped like that, but he must have still been in love with Georgia, all along. Sheila, you should think about yourself a bit. You’ve got to take care of your ticker. Rest up and don’t be a martyr.

“Tyler, me and you have been great mates. We have that man bonding thing, if that’s what you call it. I guess you needed a buddy, and before Aaron arrived, you only had Mark. Mark, you’re a good guy but you can be a bit stuffy. You should chill more, instead of fussing about cleaning and putting the spice jars in a neat line. Surely a cop wants to relax off duty. But then again, you’d lost your girl, and you haven’t exactly had much luck in love since, have you.You need to find the right woman and have a few kids, then you’d stop worrying about mess.

“It didn’t matter that I was running from my army past, I still saw a lot of loss and destruction in Erinsborough. A tornado, a car accident, a school fire, and now an explosion. They were the worst ones. Jeez, I’m gonna tell everyone I meet, if you want a quiet life, don’t go to Erinsborough. I feel a bit bad leaving right now, what with people going through such a tough time. Poor Sonya, you’ve only just dealt with Toad being paralysed and getting mobile again, then Steph rocked up. No offence, Steph, but you do have baggage. And now this Walter. I know Toad will look after you, Sonya, but just watch yourself, don’t get taken for a ride again.

“I don’t suppose Paul will get to read this. I’d hedge a bet that he’ll be behind bars by the time I’ve got my combis back on. Can’t say I have much sympathy there. You all know what a bad time me and Aaron had over trying to find out what he was up to before he went bankrupt. Maybe his past has caught up with him at last. I can’t see who else could have caused that explosion, to be honest. Amy, I’m sorry, I know it’s harsh, but I think you’re going to have to get used to jail visits. And Steph, you believe he’s innocent, but you’ve got to think about yourself now, and getting your boy back for good.

“As for you Willis folks, I cant tell you how sorry I am for what you’re going through. You’d dealt with enough already, but losing Josh and Doug, that’s just awful. I’m glad that Chris and Josh made their peace after Josh coward punched him when he was out of his tree on grog. Josh was a decent guy. Got himself in a few sticky situations but, hey, we all make bad decisions. I wish I’d got to say goodbye to him. Should be used to that, shouldn’t I, not getting to say goodbye. This is it, then. I’ve learnt a lot from Ramsay Street and I won’t lose touch, what with Karl and Susan living there. The army was calling me. And maybe that’s just it. I left the army, but it never really left me. It’s a gamble. But I know it’s the right thing to do. And I owe you folk of Ramsay Street for helping me get my head straight.

“So long. And for God’s sake, no more disasters. Stay safe.”


I know I’m not the only viewer who will really miss Nate. He’s been a very different character to any others I remember. I would love to think that he might pop back in the future, with his comical expressions, his monosyllabic responses and his droll sense of humour. Thank you, Meyne, for dealing with some very heavy storylines in such a sensitive way. Good luck in whatever you do next. Don’t forget about Nate, though, because the viewers definitely won’t.

S’long, ‘Eyebrows’.

© Carol Ann Wood
June 2016


Index of Posts:


Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


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Brad’s Eye View

Brad Willis muses upon his life and relationships

Always my fault, apparently. Brad Willis, father of five, a failure at relationships, a failure in my career. Well, that’s the way that Terese has written the story anyway. I admit, I haven’t always done things the right way. I haven’t always done the right things, even. But I’m not a totally bad person. Terese would have you believe that I’m a philanderer, but seriously? I’ve been faithful to her up until now, for twenty years. It was probably a mistake to come back to Erinsborough in one sense. That was down to Terese being offered the manager’s job at Lassiters of course. But how can I regret coming back when it’s led to knowing about Paige? I can’t wish that had never happened.

Lauren and me, we go back a long way. I loved her, but I was a bit mixed up at the time.I felt torn between Lauren and Beth. I probably shouldn’t have married Beth, as we weren’t really suited. We found that out pretty early in our marriage. That’s where Terese came in. I loved her enthusiasm and the way that she’d come from a pretty poor background and worked her way up. She was strong, feisty and ambitious. Before we knew it, the twins were on the way, and I had to think about what I wanted to do to earn money for my family, plus I’d already got Ned to provide for. That was when I fell into teaching. It was steady, as Terese often said. I think she saw me being a school head one day, rather than just your average PE teacher. And now what am I? A whiteboard wiper!

When we realised Josh was so talented at swimming, we wanted to put our hearts into helping him every step of the way. He was so keen, and so focused. A bit like his mum, in that respect. Terese was enjoying her rôle at Lassiters and it seemed sensible for me to give up my job and coach Josh full time. That’s what was happening when we came back to Ramsay Street. The place had changed a bit, but there was Lauren, with her blonde hair and her familiar smile, and it was like stepping back in time. I knew Terese felt awkward about mine and Lauren’s past, and so did Matt. I admit when I first met Matt, I was surprised that Lauren had married someone like him. He saw everything in black and white; everything was right or wrong. Which is why he was a cop, I suppose.

You could see that Lauren had always been a loving mum and that she’d been quite content, but from the beginning, I felt that there was something she wanted to say to me, something she wasn’t quite telling me. We kept having those ‘moments’ when she was about to open up but then a customer would come into the Harold’s or Terese would appear from behind a tree, as if she was waiting for me to slip up. When the bombshell hit, that I was the father of Lauren’s first child, and that the baby had been adopted out, well, it was such a shock. Why Lauren never told me about the baby I don’t know. Things might have turned out differently. But I’m not saying I regret having Ned, or the twins and Piper, not at all.

Terese was weird about us searching for Paige, and Matt wasn’t happy either. But we needed to do this. Our daughter had been stolen from us, and underhandedly at that. Lauren would never have willingly given up her baby, no matter if I was around or not. She thought at one time that she couldn’t have children. That was partly my fault too, but let’s not go there. Matt came to accept things because he loved Lauren. It was hard on everyone but I tried to be there for Terese and take her feelings on board too. Lauren and I were about to give up searching for Paige, when that kiss happened. I felt guilty and so did she, but it was just an emotional moment and we got carried away.

When the truth about the kiss came out, all hell broke loose. Terese never trusted me again after that. I wondered if she ever had done, the way she reacted. Matt nearly lost his temper, but to be fair to him, he did calm down eventually. If they hadn’t had all that financial mess, he’d never have gone off to Sharon Canning’s room. And then if I hadn’t gone after him to have it out, we’d never have been in the road having an argument, would we. I owe the guy my life. Look after Lauren, he said, as he lay there. Yea, I know, he didn’t mean like that, but then again, in his heart of hearts, Matt knew that Lauren had always loved me and she’d never quite let go. So maybe he did mean it like that.

Bonding with Paige has been such a wonderful thing for me and Lauren. Who could deny us that chance? Paige is artistic like her mum, and she encouraged Lauren to start drawing again. And that sketch of me, I’d no idea that Lauren had kept it all those years.  Being creative is something Lauren and I always had in common. Following our dreams, not just being career-minded. That’s something Terese could never understand. She either just mocked me, or wanted to take over everything I was into. I feel like my dreams have been crushed slowly over the years. She was always reminding me of how much she’d achieved and pointing out how much I hadn’t.

She’s blaming her drinking on me. She says I wouldn’t listen when she wanted to chat about our marriage. I did nothing but listen, but all she ever did was shout at me. And she did even more of that once she started knocking back wine as soon as she got home from work. She says I didn’t give her enough support over Ezra, but she wouldn’t talk about it so how could I? She says I didn’t understand how devastated she was over Nick’s behaviour, but she just refused to see what he was really like, for years. Every time he spoke to me, it was to put me down, and she never backed me up. Not once. Well I don’t mind saying I’m glad he got put away. I’m sorry for what he did to Paul, even though Paul’s not my favourite person. He’s interfered in our marriage more than once, and that’s hypocritical, given that he’s been married five times already.

Well, I’ve got to work out what’s for the best now, I guess. I will always care about Terese, but she has made herself unlovable lately. I’m starting to find out what Lauren’s really thinking. She’s already said she had feelings for me from day one, rekindled feelings. What do I feel? I suppose I let my feelings get rekindled too. We were pretty young when we were first together. Bad timing, Lauren always says, that’s what we’ve had. I think if we’re meant to be together, it will happen at some point. She wants me to move in with her. I know it’s a bit soon but we’ve already crossed the line and I’m not sure there’s a way back now. And I’m not sure either of us want a way back. Maybe the timing could finally be right.

© Carol Ann Wood
October 2015


Index of Posts:


Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


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Through Paige’s Eyes

Not necessarily my opinion, maybe not yours. But Paige sees it differently!

Hey, listen up, guys. I know this is going to sound bad, but I did kind of want my birth parents to be together. The thing is, when I first came to Ramsay Street, I was undercover, cos I had to make sure they really wanted me in their lives. And when I’d worked out who they were, I saw them hug and I honestly thought they were still a couple. They looked so right, so natural.

When I realised that Brad and Lauren were both married to other people, I was surprised, and yes, I admit, a bit disappointed. All I had ever wanted was to have two parents who loved each other. I know what it’s like to not be in a loving family, trust me. I’d always known I was adopted, but I had no idea it wasn’t strictly legal. My adoptive mother thought she couldn’t have kids. Then Ethan was born, and I felt unwanted. Oh, they splashed money around, sure, but it doesn’t make up for feeling unloved, does it?

When I found out the whole truth of my birth and how Kathy had me adopted out, I was hurt and angry. How could she do that, deceive her own daughter? And then there were the ‘what ifs’ for me, and for Lauren and Brad. Well, I call them Mum and Dad mostly now and it feels good. Anyone could see that Brad wasn’t completely happy with Terese. She’s too controlling, too full of career prospects. My dad is creative and he needs to feel he can try new things, not be stuck in a classroom beholden to Susan Kennedy, on top of being bossed about at home. Yea, I know, he and Terese have been married for twenty years, but that doesn’t always mean anything. Like I said, I should know.

Terese wasn’t very nice to me when I was getting to know the family. I think she blamed me for the fact that Mum and Dad bonded again when they found me, but I was only trying to have the relationship I should have had with my birth parents all along. I’ve been deprived of that, and she didn’t seem to understand. Oh, she said I was ‘welcome in their house.’ Yea, right, about as welcome as a bad smell. She only smiled at me with her mouth, not her eyes. She was so cold. Matt wasn’t always happy about me being around either, but at least he did chill a bit, and he would have done anything to make Mum happy. Till near the end, anyway. He had this stupid pride about owning the house, and it all got messy. I felt guilty too, as it was my lap top Bailes used to chat to that girl who stole the money. I should’ve been more careful, but it happened, and I didn’t make Matt go and work for Dimato to get extra cash, so they can’t blame me for that.

I’m not sure Mum ever loved Matt in the same way as she loved Brad. She’s hinted as much, and I once overheard Matt say so when they were having an argument. I’m sorry that Matt died, it was such a horrible thing to happen, and I feel for my brothers and sister, but Mum has to move on in whatever way she needs to now. I’m avoiding Terese, as I know she blames me for my parents hooking up for the night. She thinks I’ve helped engineer it; she once even read my text from Ethan asking if I’d managed to get Lauren and Brad together yet. It was just a random remark, Ethan wasn’t even being serious. I get that Terese would be upset, but she shouldn’t have read my message. She even read Mum’s journal once, AND she tried to get my birth mother to tempt me to go away with her. Bit nasty, don’t you think?

Mum’s told me a lot about when she and Dad were young. How he eventually went and married Beth, even though he clearly didn’t love her. And that’s why I don’t think he truly loved Terese either: There was something restless in him because he was still in love with Mum, even though he might not have admitted it, or realised it. And Mum, she obviously married on the rebound. Nice as Matt was, kind and steady, he was never going to be Brad. I think Mum had always had that thought at the back of her mind, about Dad being the love of her life.

I suppose I’m going to be seen as the bad guy here, for not blaming my parents. But I didn’t say to Dad, hey, go and spend the night with Mum, you know you want to. Dad chose to. And he chose to because Terese was getting impossible. She nagged him constantly, and she didn’t trust him. She drove him away with her paranoid ways and then he had to deal with her drinking. Oh, she said she’d get help, but she even lied to him about that and said she’d been to the AA meeting when she hadn’t. And yes, I know what happened with Ezra that time was awful for her, but she only went to his hotel room out of spite because she was still sulking about Dad kissing Mum once. You know, when they were searching for me. Terese just wouldn’t let it go.

Then there was Nick. Dad saw through him a lot quicker than Terese. She thought the sun shone out of his backside, and to be honest, he was pretty nasty to Dad while he was here, boasting about his wonderful career and making Dad feel rubbish. Well yea, look how that career turned out!He deserved to be locked up. And still Terese was making excuses for him after what he did to Paul! She’s so deluded sometimes.

I don’t know what will happen now, but I don’t want Dad to get back together with Terese. Mum makes him happier. And she’s coming out of her shell too. I hate to say this, but when Matt was alive, she didn’t do things she loved, very much. Look, she only got back into her art properly after I arrived and she discovered that I loved sketching and designing too. She’d kept that sketch of Dad for a reason, I know it. I think that when she started drawing again, she also started to question her life with Matt. Now that she’s widowed, she deserves to be happy. It’s always sad when people get hurt, but she’s not some wicked person here, she’s a warm, loving person, and she didn’t plan any of this. I hate seeing Dad so tortured. I’m not going to let everyone in Ramsay Street slag off my folks. I know it’s a weird situation all round. Who else has a half-sister on their mum’s side who’s pregnant by their half-brother on her dad’s side? Crazy. It’s a mess. But life is messy, right? And in the end, people have to follow their hearts. I know that’s all that my parents want to do. You can’t blame anyone for that.


As told to Carol Ann Wood


© Carol Ann Wood
September 2015


Index of Posts:


Links:
About the author
Contact the author
Follow Carol Ann Wood on Twitter
Carol’s football-related blog: Levelling the Playing-Field
NOT Just Saying: Carol’s comments on feminism, fashion, food and folly
Perfect Blend
Neighbours


Please note that any advertisements which appear below these posts are not indicative of any endorsement by the author. They are placed there by a WordPress algorithm.