Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: Greg Stevens   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Mark Piper

Caroline is at Beryl's. As Susan escorts her into the lounge room, Caroline - who's holding a white plastic carrier bag - tells her, "If you had a video, I could've brought you some tapes." Susan just sighs, "There's no video and I'm sick of knitting... I guess it's books!" She then offers Caroline a coffee. Caroline smiles, "Please. And something a little more substantial, if you don't mind." Susan's face drops as Caroline continues, "Doug and I spent the entire morning working on possible business deals. We skipped lunch. I'm absolutely starving." She then adds, "What's in the 'fridge?" Susan says quickly, "It's a bit bare." Caroline opens the 'fridge door - to find the 'fridge empty apart from a carton of milk. She takes it out and looks at it in surprise. She then asks Susan, "Didn't you buy any food with the money that Doug gave you?" Susan nods nervously, "Yes..." Caroline asks, "You mean it's all gone? The whole $100?" Susan points out, "There was that wine we had for dinner..." Caroline gasps, "One bottle of wine?" Susan tells her, "I needed some other things: the chemist and so on. Money goes nowhere." Caroline appears to accept this. She then comments, "I'd better go down and do some shopping for you. Can't see you starving!" With that, she heads off, leaving Susan standing there looking worried.

Craig opens the front door at his and Debbie's flat to find Doug in the corridor. He smiles, "How's the pizza business?" Craig grins, "We're making a few bucks, yeah!" Doug steps inside and looks at Andy, standing by the table. He asks him, "You still working the CB?" Andy, however, explains, "No, I'm out on the road, now. Debbie's taken over the CB." He adds, "There's someone out there likes the sound of her voice, too!" Craig laughs, "She thinks she has an unwanted admirer. Crank caller." Andy adds,"Keeps coming over the CB." Doug smiles at them. At that moment, the front door opens and Debbie walks in. Seeing Doug there, she tells him that she has something for him - and she hands over a talking good-luck card! A metallic voice says, "Good luck for the future. Good luck with the stars. With everything going so smoothly, You'll soon be ahead by far!" Debbie adds warmly, "Good luck for your new business, Doug!" Andy chips in, "I thought it was your T-shirt talking, for a minute!" Doug says, "So did I! Thought I was losing my marbles!" Craig looks at the card and asks, "How do they work?" Andy tells him, "I think it's a piece of metal tape across some miniature playback head or something. I've heard the ones that play Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, but never one that talks." Doug, looking suddenly thoughtful, turns to Debbie and exclaims, "You are beautiful!" He then kisses her on the forehead and adds, "This girl has given me a fantastic idea! I'm going to be rich again! I am going to make a fortune!"

Susan is lying back on the couch in the lounge room at Beryl's. She puts down the book she's reading as there's a knock on the door. Standing up, she calls, "Coming, Caroline." She heads out to the hallway and opens the front door - to find a tall, thickset man standing there. He tells Susan, "Stuart sent me." Susan asks blankly, "Stuart?" The man replies, "From the pub? Wants to know when he's going to see his $500." Susan says nervously, "Er... soon." The man tells her, "If he doesn't have it by the end of the week, it'll be $600." He then hands over a piece of paper and adds, "That's his number. Let him know when you're ready to pay up. I wouldn't take too long about it, if I were you. Just a friendly warning..." With that, he turns and heads off, leaving Susan looking worried.

There's a knock on the door of Michael's room at the mansion and Michael calls, "Come in." The door opens and Janice steps inside. She says to Michael, "I haven't caught you at the wrong moment, have I?" Michael replies, "I was just about to go out and get an early dinner, actually. Night duty." Janice, looking disappointed, comments, "I won't see you 'til morning, then." Michael, however, tells her, "I'll have to come back and get my briefcase and things." Janice looks around and says, "I'll tidy up your room while you're gone." Michael asks in surprise, "Why?" Janice replies, "Because I want to." Michael insists, "You don't have to." Janice explains, "I just thought it would be the neighbourly thing to do." She adds, "That's the trouble with the world today: everyone's too caught up with themselves to think about the person next to them." She goes on, "I'm sure you're not, coming from the country. Country people are famous for looking after their neighbour, aren't they?" Michael muses, "I suppose they are." He then tells Janice, "I'll see you later." With that, he heads out, leaving Janice standing in his room. She goes to his desk and starts picking up some socks lying there. She then spots a sheet of paper lying on the desk and she picks that up. She starts reading it.

Fiona is sitting at the table in her room, looking at property notices in the newspaper, when the door bursts open and Janice comes running in, panting, "You'll never guess what I've just found!" Fiona just sighs, "You know, I don't think we're going to get a two-bedroom flat under $120,000 - or nowhere's near decent, that is. I was rather hoping you and I could share." Janice, ignoring this, declares, "A love poem." Fiona stares at her and demands, "What on earth are you talking about?" Janice replies, "Listen." She then reads from the sheet of paper in her hand: "I am scared to say I love you. I speak in circles in case I offend. I desire to reach out and touch, but others have hurt with dishonest intentions. I want to show that I am sincere in my feelings and my actions, but I suffer because of the thoughtlessness of others who use you without consideration." She looks at Fiona - who sits there open-mouthed!" Janice comments, "Straight from the heart, wouldn't you say?" Fiona asks hesitantly, "Where did you find that?" Janice, sitting down, beams, "In Michael's room - on his desk. I was cleaning-up." Fiona sighs, "Janice... when are you going to learn to stop pushing? I've told you so many times: Michael is not interested in having a relationship with anyone; he's too busy concentrating on his career." Janice, however, insists, "The only reason he's not interested, aunty, is because he's been hurt by someone, and he's scared to try again in case it happens a second time. That's what he's saying in the poem: 'I am scared to say I love you.' I can help him, aunty. I can rebuild his confidence." Fiona mutters, "Don't be so silly. Michael's got all the confidence in the world!" Janice tells her, "Not in affairs of the heart. That's why he's holding back with me." Fiona, looking worried, says pointedly, "Janice... I do think you are reading more into that poem than you are meant to." Janice, however, retorts, "I don't. In fact, I'm more convinced than ever that I am just the person Michael needs. I help him with his problem and he helps me with mine. What better recipe for happiness?" Fiona gasps, "Happiness?! What you're suggesting is a recipe for disaster! For goodness' sakes, girl, have you gone out of your senses? I don't believe what I'm hearing." Janice just shrugs, "You'd better start getting used to it - because before too long, Michael and I are are going to be a twosome. You mark my words." Fiona buries her head in her hands and sighs heavily!

Caroline is standing at the kitchen sink at Beryl's, saying in disbelief, "Talking T-shirts?!" Doug, standing by the table, nods, "That's what I said." Caroline demands, "How are we going to make a million dollars out of that? How do you get T-shirts to talk?" Doug tells her, "Technology. The miracle of the microchip. However they get those greeting cards to talk... It'll be a hoot." Caroline says, "Gimmick." Doug shrugs, "Hoot. Gimmick. They'll sell like hot-cakes; I guarantee it." He goes on, "I've got it all worked out: we'll operate from home to keep the overheads low; import cheap T-shirts from somewhere north of the equator. You can be the Marketing and Promotions Manager and, hey presto, a million dollars!" Caroline stands there, staring at him. Susan calls over from where she's putting food in the 'fridge, "I think it's great! It's a novelty, and it probably won't last for ever, but while it does, you will probably make a million dollars." Doug smiles, "Someone with vision. I like the girl!" He then looks at his fiancée and asks uncertainly, "Caroline...?" Caroline pauses before smiling, "I'll buy one!" Doug gives her a hug and beams, "Sweetheart, we are going to be in the money. We'll be throwing it around like there's no tomorrow!" Susan's face drops as Caroline muses, "We'll see about that!" Susan chips in hesitantly, "I don't suppose there'd be a job for me? Cleaning the office? Making the tea? Collecting the mail?" Doug starts to say, "There won't be much to do first-up--" Caroline interrupts, however, and says, "I'm sure we can find you something." Susan adds quickly, "You don't have to; I was only half-serious." Doug, however, tells her, "I reckon we can find a job for you if we put our heads together. We can't let you go on living off charity, can we?" Susan smiles at him nervously.

It's evening-time. In their flat, Craig tells Debbie, "Don't take any orders after ten. I don't want to be too late getting home." Andy joins them from the kitchen and adds, "It should quieten down by then, anyway." Craig then asks Debbie, "You'll be OK?" Debbie nods, "Course I will." Craig adds, "No more funny voices tonight?" Debbie replies, "If there are, I'll ignore them." Craig smiles, "Good for you!" With that, he gives her a kiss and heads out. Debbie sits down at the table and says to the CB radio, "Do you hear that? No funny voices - and that's an order!"

At Beryl's, Susan picks up the piece of paper that the heavy who visited her earlier gave her. She stares at it and then goes to the telephone and dials the number on it. When the call is answered, she says, "Could I speak to Stuart Lane, please?" She waits a moment. She then says, "Oh, Mr. Lane, it's Susan Palmer. I just thought I'd let you know I've found a way to pay back the money I owe you... I'm not exactly sure when, but I've got a job, and as soon as my first pay-packet comes in..." She breaks off and cries, "I don't have any ready cash, Mr. Lane... I'm sorry - it's the best I can do. I'll let you know when I can make the first payment." She listens and then snaps, "It's no good making threats, Mr. Lane. Right now, I simply haven't got the money and that's all there is to it." She slams down the 'phone, looking upset.

At the flat, Debbie repeats the order for a pizza into the CB radio. Craig then comes on and says, "Roger. Out." He hangs up. Debbie stands up from the table and goes and picks up a magazine lying nearby. As she does so, the radio crackles suddenly. The menacing male voice then comes on and says coldly, "I'm here today, I'm here to stay, Please don't send your friend away." Debbie stops in her tracks and stares at the radio as the voice repeats, "I'm here today, I'm here to stay, Please don't send your friend away." It then adds, "Hello, Debbie." Debbie stares at it and growls, "Go away." The voice just says, "Debbie, are you there? I'm your friend. Don't be scared." Debbie grabs the radio suddenly and cries down it, "Go away. I'm not your friend and I'm not scared." The voice just asks, "Why don't you want to be my friend?" Debbie retorts, "Because I don't like you." The voice says coldly, "You don't even know me. How can you say you don't like me? Why don't we meet so we can get to know each other a little better?" Debbie cries, "No! If you don't go away, I'm going to call the police." The voice ignores this and goes on, "Why don't you tell me where you live? That way, I could come and see you." Debbie cries, "No!" Craig's voice comes on the radio suddenly and snaps at the menacing voice, "Listen, just lay off. Got that?" Debbie cries in relief, "Craig, it's me. Can you please come home?" Craig replies, "Be there in ten minutes, Deb." Debbie cries, "Just hurry." The menacing voice chips in again, "Debbie, I only want to be friends. If you won't tell me where you live, I'll have to think of some other way we can meet. I'm here today, I'm here to stay, Please don't--" With that, Debbie turns off the radio. She stands there, looking horrified and upset.

The door to Michael's room at the mansion opens and Michael sticks his head out into the hallway and looks around. Finding it clear, he steps out into the corridor and starts creeping down towards the main front door. All-of-a-sudden, he hears Janice call, "Michael!" He tries to make a dash for the front door, but it's too late: Janice runs down the stairs and smiles, "I thought I heard you leaving!" Michael remarks grimly, "You must have excellent hearing, Janice!" Janice tells him, "I'm on my way to the gym. Any chance of a lift?" Michael nods, "Certainly - and thankyou for cleaning my room." He then adds, "I couldn't find my calculator." Janice replies, "Top drawer on the left - next to your underpants." Michael murmurs, "Right..." He then goes on, "In future, no offence, but I think I'd rather clean my own room. That way, I know where things are." Janice smiles, "It's alright - I don't mind you asking me where I've put things. That way, you'll know for next time, won't you!" Michael sighs, "I suppose I will." He then adds, "Until I move, of course." Janice's face drops. He goes on, "When the building is sold. I don't want to leave things until the last minute. I'll probably start looking the first chance I get. Maybe your cleaning days are numbered after all - at least, as far as I'm concerned." Janice, apparently trying to blink back tears, says quietly, "Of course. I hadn't thought..."

At the flat, Craig is telling Debbie, "He can't hurt you, Deb; that's the main thing to remember. He doesn't know where we live, he doesn't know our telephone number... so there's no way he can touch you." Debbie points out, "He knows my name. How did he find that out if he doesn't know me?" Craig reminds her, "I told you before: listening-in. We all call each other by our first names; that's how he found out yours." Andy chips in, "It's someone's idea of a sick joke. I know it's not very nice, but that's all it is." Debbie murmurs, "I just got the feeling that's it something else; that he knows me - or he thinks he knows me - and it's not a joke." Craig starts to say, "For goodness'--" Debbie interrupts, however, and snaps, "Don't tell me I'm imagining it. It's something that I can feel and I've always been somebody who trusts my feelings." Craig insists, "I think you're making a mistake this time, Deb. I really do." He then sighs and goes on, "Deb, I love you. If I thought for a second you're in any sort of danger, I'd do something about it. But I don't. This guy is like an obscene 'phone caller: a nuisance. Eventually, he'll get tired of his stupid game and call the whole thing off. You'll see." Debbie looks at him, warily.

Janice joins Glen behind the reception desk at the gym and asks, "Been busy?" Glen nods, "Has been 'til now. It'll probably pick up again just when I get back from dinner. Just my luck: I feel like an early night." Janice leans on the desk and starts staring into space. Glen asks her, "Anything I can bring you back?" Janice, however, is miles away. Glen prompts, "Janice?" He waves his hand in front of her face and she turns to look at him, blankly. He asks her, "Is there something on your mind, Janice? You seem a little bit off the air." Janice starts to say, "I have a friend... she wants to develop a relationship with this man she knows onto a more serious level." Glen nods, "With you so far." Janice continues, "At the moment, they're very good friends, but the man in question just isn't responding fast enough. What should this friend of mine do?" She goes on quickly, "I might also add that there isn't much time left; the man in question could be moving on." Glen ponders, "In that case, I'd say it's time for direct action. Tell your, er, 'friend' to lay her cards on the table and see what happens. Sounds as if she's got nothing to lose." Janice retorts, "Except her self-respect." Glen just shrugs, "Fortune favours the bold, Janice. Remember that." With that, he heads off, leaving Janice looking thoughtful.

It's the next morning, and Michael walks along the footpath and up to the front path at the mansion to find Fiona watering the plants. He comments to her with a smile, "I didn't know you were such a keen gardener!" Fiona chuckles, "I'm not - but if these don't get a drink soon, they'll all be dead!" Michael heads off up towards the front door.

As Michael opens the door to his room, Janice says cheerily, "Good morning!" Michael rolls his eyes and sighs heavily. He then looks across at Janice, standing by his table, where breakfast is laid out. He asks wearily, "What's all this?" Janice declares, "Breakfast! A home-style country breakfast, just like your mother used to make. It's what you need after a hard night at the hospital." Michael, however, groans, "What I need after a hard night at the hospital is sleep." Janice just tells him, "Later. First you must eat." She guides him over to the table, where he sits down and takes a sip of orange juice. As he puts the glass down again, he says, "I have to admit: that was good." He then starts tucking into a fry-up that Janice has prepared for him. As he does so, Janice says, "Michael..." Michael looks at her. She tells him, "Don't interrupt; let me finish." She then goes on, "You and I have known each other for quite a while, now, and I think it's fair to say that, in that time, we've grown to like each other and respect each other. In fact, as far as my feelings are concerned, it's more than that." She continues, "Now, Aunt Fiona tells me that you're not interested in marriage - but I don't believe that. I know that you had a bad experience before, and that you're scared to try a second time, but you needn't be. Honest. If you ask me to marry you - for example! - I wouldn't reject you. I'd say 'yes'. Of course, what I'd be gambling on is how you'd feeling being the father to another man's child - but being the type of person you are, I'm sure you wouldn't mind. You'd love it as if it were your own. Wouldn't you?" Michael turns to stare at her. He then asks slowly, "How do you know that I've had a bad experience falling in love and that I'm scared to try again?" Janice explains, "The poem. The one you left lying on the desk. I wasn't snooping; I just saw it there when I was cleaning. Told me everything about you." Michael sighs, "That poem, Janice, was written to me, not by me. A female patient in a psychiatric ward who thought she was in love with me. I've never been hurt by anyone - and I won't be scared to fall in love... when the right girl comes along. I'm sorry, Janice - really. I want to be friends with you, but that's all we can be." A look of horror crosses Janice's face and she jumps up from the table and runs out, slamming the door behind her. Michael sighs heavily.

Fiona is still watering the front garden when Janice comes running out of the house, wiping tears from her eyes. She doesn't notice the step in front of her, and as she runs onto it, she goes flying. Fiona looks round as he niece ends up on the ground, and she cries in horror, "Janice!"

A few moments later, Fiona yells towards the mansion, "Michael! Quickly!" Michael comes running out. Fiona tells him in concern, "Michael, she fell. She seemed to fall on her stomach." Michael looks down at Janice and then says to Fiona, "Can you call an ambulance?" Fiona nods, "Yes, of course." She dashes off inside. On the ground, Janice opens her eyes to find Michael looking down at her, saying soothingly, "It's OK, Janice. Take it easy. You'll be alright." Janice just murmurs, "Save my baby..."

Susan is sitting in the lounge room at Caroline's. Doug is standing there, saying, "Fortunately, I've managed to convince a couple of investors that I'm still worth a risk or two - and they've come up with the money to back the idea." Susan remarks, "That didn't take long." Doug tells her, "Never does if it's a good idea, Susan. A good product will sell itself." He goes on, "This afternoon, I've got meetings with supplier reps, and tomorrow morning with technical people." Caroline comments - from where she's arranging some flowers above the fire - "It's all go, isn't it?!" Susan asks Doug, "Have you decided what I'll be doing yet?" Doug admits, "No." He then asks, "What sort of job experience have you had - apart from nursing?" Susan tells him, "Not a lot. I was a receptionist for a doctor while I was living in the country." Doug asks, "Doing what?" Susan replies, "Keeping his books... sending out accounts... making appointments." Doug asks, "Do you want to do that for us? Keep an eye on where we're going. Keep an eye on the money." Looking eager, Susan asks, "Petty cash?" Doug nods, "And whatever comes in from our sales. You can be our cashier." Susan nods quickly, "Fine." Doug asks, "No problems?" Susan, looking relieved, smiles, "No! None that I can see..."

Craig is drying some dishes in his and Debbie's flat. Debbie wipes down the table and asks him, "What's on today?" Craig tells her, "I'm meeting Andy. We're going to drop another couple of hundred flyers; drum-up some more business." He finishes the dishes, picks up his car keys and announces, "I'd better be off." The 'phone starts ringing suddenly and Debbie comments in surprise, "Who's that? No one could want pizzas at this hour of the morning!" Craig heads out as Debbie answers the 'phone, saying, "Hello... Speedy Pizzas." The cold, menacing voice comes on and says, "Debbie..." Debbie, looking horrified, says nervously, "Who's that?" The man replies, "Don't tell me you can't recognise the voice. It's your friend, remember?" Debbie gasps, "How did you get my 'phone number? Who told you?" The voice just says, "I'm coming to see you, Debbie. Don't be afraid. I'll wait until there's no one around to interrupt us. Just you and me..." Debbie cries in horror, "No! Just stay away - please. Just leave me alone and stay away..."


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