SIX DAYS LATER
Beryl, Robert, Gordon and Debbie are all sitting around the kitchen
table at Beryl's, eating breakfast. Beryl looks at Robert and
says, "Come on, darling, mummy hasn't got much time - there's
too much to do!" Gordon tells her, "I'll take over!"
Debbie adds, "Calm down, Beryl - you've got hours!"
Beryl just points out, "You know me: I like to be organised
- especially for my own wedding!" She stands up and goes
on, "I'll have to give this place a last-minute clean, though."
Debbie insists, "It doesn't need it." Beryl,
however, says, "I'll just mop over the kitchen floor and
dust a bit." Gordon tells her earnestly, "The place
is fine!" Beryl looks at him and says, "I know
I'm probably being a fusspot, but I can't help it!" Gordon
points out, "We're not having hordes back here!"
Beryl tells him, "You would be surprised just how many things
get dirty." Changing the subject slightly, Debbie asks, "What
time's Susan due to arrive?" Beryl replies, "Some
time later this morning." Gordon comments, "I hope to
God she's by herself." Beryl replies, "I don't think
Wayne would dare to come - not after you made it clear
he wasn't welcome. You stop worrying; nothing is going to spoil
our day." She pats his shoulder. Gordon smiles, "Nothing
can. We're a very formidable team!" There's suddenly
a knock on the back door and Beryl calls, "Come in."
The door opens and Caroline steps inside. Beryl looks at her in
surprise and asks, "Why didn't you come in through the front
door?" Caroline explains, "I thought you'd probably
still be eating your breakfast." She then asks, "You
ready for the hairdresser's?" Beryl smiles, "Yes - but
are the hairdresser's ready for me?!" Debbie looks
at Caroline and says, "Would you mind giving me a lift to
Craig's flat? There's a few things I've got to pick up there."
Caroline tells her, "Of course not." The two of them
head out towards the lounge room. Gordon looks at Beryl and says,
"You calm down and relax at the hairdresser's, OK?"
Beryl smiles, "I'll try!" She then kisses Robert and
heads out. As she does so, she calls ahead of her, "Oh, Debbie,
there's something I must tell you. Craig asked me not to, but
I really think you should know."
Craig is sitting on the couch in his flat when the front door
opens and Debbie steps inside. Craig leaps up and stares at her
in delight. He smiles, "Hi!" Debbie just says a wary,
"Morning." She then goes on hesitantly, "Don't
be angry at Beryl, but I'm glad she told me: why didn't you let
me know about the car insurance?" Craig replies, "I
didn't want to worry you." Debbie insists, "I
should be able to share your problems, Craig." Craig
tells her, "It was mostly my own fault, anyway: I was just
trying to impress your mum." Debbie asks, "What are
you going to do now?" Craig tells her, "Go on the dole...
try and look for another job... pay the money back." Debbie
sighs, "It seems so unfair." Craig goes on, "I've
realised one thing, Deb: when you've got someone to work
for... care about... it just makes things not nearly as hard."
Looking suddenly uncomfortable, Debbie says quickly, "Yeah...
I came to pick up a few things from the bedroom. I forgot them."
Craig tells her, "Something else you forgot, too..."
He picks up Debbie's cuddly toy dog and says, "He's been
missing you - a lot." Debbie stares at him. She
then just turns and heads into the bedroom.
Wayne is sitting at the bar at Dural, looking at a magazine.
Susan walks into the lounge room and asks, "All packed?"
Wayne nods, "Yep." He stands up and goes and puts the
magazine on the coffee table. He then turns and looks at Susan
- who appears to jump slightly. Wayne comments, "Nervous,
are you?" Susan replies quickly, "No. Why should I be
nervous?" Wayne retorts, "Not worried I might smash
the wedding cake or generally cause trouble for everyone?"
Susan tells him, "I invited you to the wedding on the basis
you wouldn't." Wayne points out, "I was going
to go anyway." Susan says, "Still, you agree
it is better we play the happily-married couple?" Wayne nods,
"It'll probably cause a few less heartaches." He adds,
"You have my word: I'll behave myself." With that, he
turns and heads out of the room. Susan stands there, reaches into
her jacket pocket and removes a small bottle of pills. She then
murmurs to herself, "You will, whether you like it or not..."
Fiona is sitting at the kitchen table at Beryl's, with Robert.
Gordon and Rob are standing around and Rob is asking Fiona animatedly,
"He actually took your appendix out out there?"
Fiona smiles, "They had to!" Gordon shakes
Rob's hand and smiles, "It's good to see you again! You haven't
changed a scrap!" Rob muses, "A bit older...
a bit wiser... you know!" Gordon then looks at Fiona and
asks, "You OK?" Fiona insists, "Yes, yes, I'm alright,
I'm alright." Gordon persists, "Are you sure you should
have come, so soon after leaving hospital?" Fiona declares,
"Wild horses wouldn't have kept me away! Of course, I had
a terrible argument with the doctor! But I eventually convinced
him that I knew more than he does!" Gordon grins, "I
bet!" Everyone sits down and Rob asks Gordon, "What's
the plans for the bridegroom?" Gordon tells him, "Beryl's
changing here and we're having a small gathering here later, and
I'm getting changed at a friend's place - Doug Fletcher's."
Rob asks, "What sort of timetable have we got?" Gordon
replies, "I'll make a move as soon as Beryl's back from the
hairdresser's." Rob bursts out laughing, "We've got
hours!" Gordon starts wiping Robert's mouth. Fiona looks
at him and comments warmly, "Look at you... so domesticated."
Gordon smiles, "No smart comments, thankyou very much! I
think I'm doing very well!" Fiona insists, "So do I!
And I can't tell you how much today means to me: two of my oldest
and dearest friends getting married." Gordon says, "It
means a lot to me, too. I think it's probably the best decision
I ever made in my life. I got things right eventually!"
Fiona smiles, "Oh, darling, there's precious little you've
ever done that's wrong - regardless of what
that dreadful book says. You know, I nearly died when
I heard about it." Gordon asks, "What did you think
about all that? Very few of us escaped." Fiona tells him,
"You know me: I was so angry to start off with, then I realised
it really wasn't worth getting worked-up about." Gordon says,
"That's exactly the attitude that Beryl and I are taking:
all that counts is the future; the past can go and take a running
jump." Rob chips in, "I reckon you've both
got the right idea. It's worked for Angie and me." He then
adds, "Hey: I just thought of something!" Looking at
Gordon, he continues, "Who would have thought? We're going
to be brothers-in-law!"
Andy is sitting with his feet up in the lounge room at Caroline's.
Doug walks in and says, "You haven't seen my tie,
have you?" Andy just murmurs, "No." Doug asks,
"What's the matter with you?" Andy explains,
"I can't get the accident with the bug off my mind."
Doug points out, "What's done's done. The insurance will
pay." Andy, standing up, sighs, "That's just it: there
wasn't any." Doug asks in surprise, "What's
Craig going to do?" Andy shrugs, "Blowed if I
know - but he made it pretty clear to me the sooner I'm gone,
the better." Doug comments, "I see." He then suggests,
"I suppose I could find a slot for you in my new venture."
Andy, however, says quickly, "No, no. Don't take that the
wrong way, Doug; it's just that I want something: I don't
know what, but it's bigger than pizzas and talking T-shirts.
I'm thinking of heading back to Sydney after the wedding."
Doug remarks, "I gather you've given up on Debbie..."
Andy replies, "It would be silly to keep myself, wouldn't
it?" He goes on, "I'm going to try and get into something
that's going to bring me big bucks fast." Doug offers, "I'll
give you ten bucks if you can find my tie!"
Susan and Wayne are standing in a hotel room in Melbourne. Susan
removes her hairbrush and mirror from her bag, commenting as she
does so, "Looks as though the weather's going to hold out.
Pleased for mum's sake." Wayne retorts, "Yeah... has
to be a perfect day, doesn't it? I only hope dad has a better
time of it than I had at my wedding." Susan growls,
"There was no need to bring that up." Wayne retorts,
"Why not? It happened. Dad's lucky, of
course: he doesn't have a Glen Young to ruin his life."
Susan throws down her brush and mirror and snaps, "That was
a cruel and vicious thing to say." Wayne retorts, "Don't
I have any rights? Everyone's after me; why
can't I have a go back?" Susan warns, "You try anything
today..." Wayne holds up his hands and says quickly, "I
am simply here to see my father married, and that is all."
Susan murmurs, "Alright, then. I believe you." She heads
towards the door. Wayne asks, "Where are you going?"
Susan replies, "Out for a while. I've got a debt
to pay. I'll be back in time to change for the wedding."
Caroline is sitting in the lounge room at her house, spraying
her fingernails. Doug is still wandering around, muttering, "I'm
going to go bonkers in a minute! How can a tie be so
hard to find?" Caroline suggests, "Wear another
one!" Doug tells her, "I want to wear the yellow
one." Caroline asks, "Have you looked in the drawers?"
Doug retorts, "I hang my ties up; what would the
stupid thing be doing in the drawer?" Caroline smiles, "Sometimes
you get a little absent-minded, my darling!" There's suddenly
a knock on the front door, and Caroline goes to answer it. She
finds Susan standing there. She steps inside and Caroline gives
her a hug, beaming, "How good to see you!" They head
into the lounge room, where Susan says, "I was on my way
over to mum's, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to call in."
Caroline asks, "How are you?" Susan replies, "Not
bad." She then tells both Caroline and Doug, "I wanted
to see you both to thank you for being so marvellous to me. I
know how much trouble I gave you." Caroline assures her,
"It doesn't matter. So long as you're over it." Susan
assures her, "I am. Thankyou." She then reaches into
her handbag and takes out a cheque. She holds it out to Doug and
says, "I wanted to give you this. It's to cover all the money
you loaned to me. I was going to put some interest into that,
but I know you wouldn't've accepted it." Doug nods, "I
certainly wouldn't've." He goes on, "Now you are
in the money, though, I hope you're being sensible with
it; no more gambling nonsense, or anything like that." Susan
tells him, "That's all over - definitely. I only did it because
I was so desperate for cash." Doug says, "I certainly
Robert is sitting at the kitchen table at Beryl's. Glasses are
stacked up on trays around the kitchen. Beryl looks at her son
and says, "Don't you dawdle there, young man: I've got to
get you dressed!" Gordon walks in from the lounge room. Beryl
asks him, "Did the caterers find all they need?" Gordon
replies, "They seemed happy." Changing the
subject, he holds out Beryl's wedding ring and says, "The
thought just occurred to me: we really need a fitting
for that." He tries to put it on her finger. Beryl, however,
says, "Don't you dare: it's bad luck before the
ceremony." Gordon sighs, "Lord, you're superstitious!"
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Susan calls, "Can
I come on in?" Gordon calls back, "Yes, come on through!"
He heads out into the lounge room. As Susan walks in, he smiles,
"At last I get to see you!" He gives her a
warm hug. Susan says, "I'm sorry I caused you so
much worry." Beryl emerges from the kitchen, holding Robert.
Susan looks at her mother and tells her, "I brought
you something. I thought you mightn't have one of your own, so
I brought you this." She reaches into her bag and
takes out a blue garter. She adds, "Something borrowed, something
blue. It's the one I wore." Beryl takes it and smiles,
"Thankyou, love, that's very thoughtful!" Gordon then
asks Susan, "How was Wayne when you left? Did he
react badly when you told him I didn't want him here?" Susan
replies uncertainly, "No... he was alright about it."
Gordon sighs, "Thank goodness for that. Now we can relax
and get on with it - which mostly means me, so I'd better
get over to Doug's and change!" Turning to Beryl and giving
her a kiss, he smiles, "I'll see you later." Beryl points
out, "You'll see me in church!" Gordon laughs,
"Don't keep me waiting!" He then turns to Susan and
implores, "Please, don't let her clean the house again!"
With that, he heads out. Beryl looks at Susan lovingly. She then
says quietly, "We're a pair, aren't we?! I'm so glad you're
Caroline opens the front door of her house to find Gordon standing
on the step. She smiles, "Hello, Gordon. The groom ready
to do battle?" Gordon grins, "I don't know about 'battle'!
At the very worst, maybe the shirt collar's a bit tight!"
He heads inside, into the lounge room. As he does so, Caroline
says warily, "Er, Gordon..." Gordon turns to look at
her. She goes on, "I won't beat about the bush. I know how
you must feel about me after writing the book. If you don't want
me to come to the wedding, I'll fully understand." Gordon
looks at her. He then says gently, "No, of course, you must
come." Caroline replies sincerely, "Thankyou."
Wayne is sitting in his and Susan's hotel room, staring at a
photo he's holding of him and Gordon. He puts it down on the table
and then picks up the 'phone and dials a number. The 'phone rings
at Beryl's. Susan picks up, saying, "Palmer house."
Sounding surprised, Wayne says, "Hi, it's me. I wanted to
speak to dad." Susan retorts sharply, "He's not here.
I'll see you soon." With that, she hangs up again. Beryl
emerges from the kitchen and asks, "Who was it?" Susan
replies quickly, "No one. Wrong number." In his hotel
room, Wayne puts his hand on a bottle of scotch sitting on the
table. He then pauses, though, and pulls his hand away again.
He sits there, looking thoughtful.
At Beryl's, Beryl shows Susan to the front door. Susan is laughing,
"I'll see you later. And no more cleaning! And try and relax!"
Beryl assures her, "I'll relax, I'll relax!" With that,
Susan gives her a kiss and heads out. Beryl closes the door behind
Wayne is having a shower in the bathroom at the hotel. Susan
is back in the room and Wayne calls out to her, "How long
have we got?" Susan, removing the bottle of pills from her
handbag, calls back, "Oh... about half an hour." She
tips four pills into her hand and then into a coffee cup. She
then opens a sachet of coffee and pours it on top of the pills.
She picks up the kettle and pours hot water into that cup and
also another one next to it. She then calls to Wayne, "How
about a cup of coffee before we go?" Wayne emerges from the
bathroom, towelling his hair, and comments, "Not like you
to make me anything these days." Susan just shrugs,
"I was making a cup for myself; I thought I may as well make
you one." She hands the cup to Wayne, adding as
she does so, "No milk." Wayne takes the cup and sips
Rob is sitting at the kitchen table at Beryl's, dressed in his
suit. Beryl walks in, wearing a blue dress. Robert is holding
her hand; he's dressed in a smart shirt and trousers. Rob wolf-whistles
at his sister and smiles, "Who would have thought? My big
sister taking the plunge again!" He adds, "You
sure about it?" Beryl chides gently, "You know me better
than that. Course I'm sure; I don't take marriage lightly."
Rob smiles, "All I can say is: good luck. You deserve
to be happy after all you've been through." Beryl says, "I
just wish mum and dad could be here." Rob, however, points
out, "At least they're having a holiday at last, eh?"
Beryl nods, "That's something, I suppose." Rob looks
at Robert and comments, "He's a good little bloke, isn't
he?" Beryl replies, "He's kept me sane quite
a few times." Rob then asks, "How do you feel about
Dave, now?" Beryl hesitates before replying, "I
still feel a lot, love, but when it came to the crunch, I couldn't
go through with marrying him again. We've moved on. Gordon's
everything I need now - not that I'll forget the life
I had with David, but it's like the books: they have book one
and so on and so on... well, I'm up to book number two. Do you
know what I mean?" Rob nods at her. Beryl smiles, "Good.
Let's get organised!" She goes to the 'fridge and removes
an arrangement of flowers. Rob bursts out laughing, "I thought
you were going to start cooking again!" Out in the
lounge room, the 'phone starts ringing.
A few moments later, Gordon is standing in the lounge room at
Doug and Caroline's, saying on the 'phone, "Beryl, thank
goodness you haven't left. Did I leave the ring over there?"
He listens before retorting, "Because I can't find
it. It must be there. On the kitchen table, near the
highchair." Beryl tells him, "I haven't seen
it, but if you have, it can't be far." She then
looks at Rob, who's standing next to her, holding Robert. Looking
suddenly serious, she says to Gordon, "Oh... er... Robert
was out there. You don't think he could have swallowed
it?" Robert smiles at his mother!
A short time later, Beryl asks, "Any luck? He can't
have swallowed it." Rob is on his knees under the kitchen
table, and he asks, "What does it look like?" Beryl
retorts, "It's a wedding ring! You can't miss it!"
She adds, "In the meantime, I'll call the doctor." She
goes to the 'phone and dials a number. When the call is answered,
she says, "Oh, er, Dr. Johnson, it's Beryl Palmer... I'm
fine, thankyou... oh, well, actually, I'm not: I think Robert's
just swallowed a ring." She listens before asking, "Are
you sure?... I see... Thankyou. Thankyou very much. Bye."
With that, she hangs up. She looks at Rob, who's now standing
up in the kitchen. Rob asks, "What's he say?" Beryl
replies, "He said it won't do him any harm. Just be patient
and it'll past through him in the... um... 'normal way'."
Rob bursts into giggles as he gives his sister a hug!
Gordon bursts out laughing in the lounge room at Caroline's.
Caroline is putting on her shoes, and she points out curtly, "I'm
sure Beryl doesn't find it funny, Gordon!" Gordon
smiles, "I know, but I can't help it: I have this
bizarre image of everybody waiting at the church and young Robert
sitting on the potty!" Doug suggests, "We've got to
get serious about this: poor Beryl has to wear something
on her finger. What about a curtain ring?" Caroline chides,
"Do be serious, Doug!" Doug, however, insists, "I
am being serious. My grandmother wore a curtain
ring. She kept it for the rest of her life." Gordon suggests,
"Perhaps I could call into a jeweller on the way to the church?"
Doug laughs, "Or perhaps you can call into a chemist and
get some laxative?!" Caroline sighs, "Stop it - think
of poor Beryl." Gordon nods seriously, "Yes, you're
right: she must be frantic..." There's silence - before everyone
bursts out laughing again!
There's an empty coffee cup on the table next to Wayne and Susan's
bed in their hotel room. Wayne is lying asleep on the bed. Susan
is standing next to the bed, looking down at her husband, scornfully.
She says out loud, "Coming to the wedding?" There's
no response. Susan throws Wayne's jacket over him and smiles nastily.
She then turns and heads out. Wayne comes-to slightly, but then
lapses back into unconsciousness.
In the lounge room at her house, Beryl says to Rob, "I
hope nothing else goes wrong." Rob sighs, "Will
you just quit worrying? You said that Gordon and Caroline had
worked out a substitute, yes?" Beryl cries, "But it's
not the same, is it?" Rob just pleads,
"Sis, will you get a move on? It is no longer fashionable
for the bride to be late." Beryl nods, "Alright."
She goes to help Robert up from where he's sitting on the couch.
As she does so, Rob spots something on the couch beneath him.
He says quickly, "Hold everything!" Beryl sighs, "What's
up now?" Rob picks up the ring and smiles, "Ta-da!"
Beryl smiles in relief, "Thank goodness! It must
have been tucked in his clothing." Rob declares, "We've
got the ring, we've got the bride, can we get a move on?!"
Wayne stirs suddenly on the bed in the hotel room. He opens his
eyes, sits up slightly and looks at the bedside clock. It flicks
over from 11:48 to 11:49. He groans as he sits up. He murmurs
to himself, "Wedding... yes..." He staggers over to
the armchair, where he picks up the bottle of scotch on the coffee
table. He pours himself a glass and downs it in one. He then picks
up the 'phone, dials a number and says, "Yes... room 911.
A cab - fast." He hangs up again, looking the worse
Gordon is standing at the front of the church, with the vicar.
Fiona and Susan are sitting in one of the pews. Doug and Caroline
are sitting with Robert. Rob appears at the rear of the the church,
arm-in-arm with Beryl. Andy, Debbie and Craig are all sitting
with each other. The organist starts playing and everyone turns
to look round. At the rear of the church, Beryl looks at Rob.
Rob then begins escorting his sister up the aisle.
In the hotel room, Wayne is staggering around. He mutters to
himself, "Handkerchief." He starts going through an
open suitcase, muttering as he does so, "Where's she put
my handkerchief?" As he goes through the case, he comes across
a small pill bottle. He lifts it up and stares at it, his head
still swimming. The 'phone rings suddenly and he goes and picks
it up. He slurs, "Wayne Hamilton?... Right, I'll be downstairs."
With that, he hangs up and picks up his hotel room keys.
The marriage ceremony is underway. Beryl is standing with Gordon
at the front of the church. The vicar says to her, "And do
you, Beryl Aileen Palmer, take this man to be your lawfully wedded
husband?" Beryl smiles at Gordon and then replies, "I
do." At the back of the church, Debbie slips her hand into
Craig's. He looks at her, lovingly. Debbie smiles back at him.
The vicar says to Gordon and Beryl, "By the power vested
in me--" He's interrupted suddenly as Beryl bursts out laughing.
Gordon looks at her. He then bends down and whispers, "What's
the matter? Are you thinking about Robert on the potty?"
Beryl giggles, "No!" The vicar, looking put-out, says
quietly to Beryl, "Shall we continue?" Beryl nods, "Yes."
The vicar says seriously, "I now pronounce you man and wife."
Everyone hears a sudden loud bang at the back of the church, as
the door is thrown open. A few seconds later, Wayne staggers in,
slurring, "You haven't started, have you?"
Everyone turns to look at him as he adds, "Didn't want to
miss it... see my dad get married." He then collapses onto
the floor. Doug leaps up and grabs him, growling, "Come on..."
He leads Wayne back outside. Gordon glances at Beryl. Looking
aghast, the vicar calls, "Witnesses, please." Fiona
and Rob stand up and step forward. The two of them, Gordon, Beryl
and the vicar then make their way to a side room to sign the marriage
register. Susan sits in a pew, looking annoyed.
A short time later, outside, the guests shower rice at Beryl
and Gordon as they emerge from the church. Fiona takes a photo
of them. Gordon asks Beryl quietly, "What on earth gave you
the giggles?!" Beryl smiles, "I couldn't help
it: I kept thinking how tangled the relationships are in this
family. You started out as Rob's father-in-law, now you're brothers-in-law,
heaven knows how you're related to Angela! We
were related by marriage, now we are married!
I'd hate to be drawing up our family tree; it would look like
a plate of spaghetti!" Wayne staggers over to them suddenly
and slurs at Gordon, "Dad... it wasn't my fault... I was
trying to prove I could do the right thing. Someone gave
me something." Gordon, however, just mutters, "Don't
bother, Wayne." With that, he and Beryl walk off. Standing
with Susan, Rob warns, "That's what you're in for, Susie.
Do you honestly think you can stand it? Why don't you make your
decision - now?" Susan pauses. She then says, "I
know you'll think I'm crazy, Rob, but I can't come up-north with
you." Beryl and Gordon join the rest of the guests. Fiona
suggests, "If we're going to walk back to the house, we'd
better get going - and remember: I'm an invalid; I can't go as
fast as you lot!" Everyone sets off, Beryl and Gordon
included. Still standing with Susan, Rob warns, "Your life
is going to be so miserable, Susie." Susan retorts,
"It'll be what I make it, Rob." She then suggests,
"Come on, let's join the others." They start walking
off. As they pass Wayne, Susan gives him a withering glance. Wayne
just stands there, looking haggard.