Greg asks, "When?" Alison replies, "As soon as
I can tee it up." Greg asks eagerly, "Tomorrow?"
Sarah, however, sighs, "Greg, come on..." Greg demands,
"What's the matter?" Sarah tells him, "We can't
just up and leave." Greg demands, "Why not?" Alison
chips in quickly, "I'm going to need a couple of days to
clear things up, then you're welcome any time. I'll support you--"
Sarah interrupts and retorts, "No." Alison just goes
on, "Provide accommodation... spending money... Anything
you need to relax and enjoy yourselves." Looking at Sarah,
she adds, "You could do hairdressing." Turning to Greg,
she continues, "And you could do anything you like."
Sarah, however, says, "Thanks for the offer, but it's just--"
Greg interrupts her and says tersely, "Wait." He then
turns to Alison and asks, "Can I have a couple of minutes
to practice my legally-trained powers of subtle persuasion?!"
Alison smiles, "Sure! There's no hurry! I'll just go and
check the dinner." With that, she leaves the room. Greg goes
and crouches down in front of his sister and tells her, "We're
going." Sarah mutters, "That's subtlety, is it? Do you
realise what it would involve? Apart from leaving all
our friends, and leaving dad... and packing and moving and everything...
What's it going to achieve?" Greg tells her, "It's
going to stop you turning out like Phyllis. We can pick and choose
for the first time. Freedom: that's what it's going to
achieve. And Alison can help us find mum..."
Pamela walks downstairs at Dural and heads into the lounge room.
She's all dressed up. Wayne is standing staring out of the lounge
room window and Pamela tells him, "I'm just popping out for
a while." Wayne, who has a glass of scotch in his hand, stares
at her slightly unsteadily as he asks, "Nick?" Pamela
nods at him. She then asks, "Are you going to be alright
on your own?" Wayne slurs, "Yeah, I'll be fine. I might
watch some telly. I might not. Is it ratings or non-ratings at
the moment?" Pamela doesn't respond. Wayne then raises his
glass to her and smiles as he slurs, "You run off. Have a
good time." Pamela just retorts, "Thanks - I intend
to. See you in the morning." With that, she turns and heads
out. Wayne calls after her, "Don't worry about me."
As the front door bangs, he adds bitterly, "No one else
Alison is dialling a number on the telephone in the kitchen at
Caroline's. When the call is answered, she says, "Hello,
Gordon, it's Alison. I'm calling to ask you a favour." Gordon
is standing in the lounge room at Beryl's, and he muses, "Ask
or demand...?" Alison assures him, "Ask. I'm not greedy!"
She then goes on, "Are you acquainted with anyone big in
the world of psychiatry? The only thing is I need one of the best."
Gordon grins, "I won't argue with that!" Alison
just retorts curtly, "Are you or aren't you?"
Gordon tells her, "There's Roger Smith - he has a huge reputation
in business. He's a pioneer in applying psychiatric training to
personnel management. I think he's with one of the banks now and
making a fortune." Alison smiles as she declares, "He
A while later, Sarah and Greg are seated at the dining table
at Caroline's. Alison clears away the dishes and then heads across
into the kitchen. After she's put the plates down, she goes to
the 'phone and dials a number. The 'phone rings at Nick's. As
he goes to answer it, he has shaving cream on his face. He says
curtly, "Yes. Hello?" Alison comes on and smiles, "Hello.
You missing me?" Nick says, "Jane?" In Melbourne,
Alison frowns, "Jane? Jane who?" Nick realises
his mistake and says quickly, "Oh, Alison! Hi! Of course
I'm missing you!" Alison demands again, "Who is Jane?"
Nick tells her, "Just an old friend from Adelaide. The STD
pips threw me. Anyway, how are you? What's happening?" Alison
replies, "I'm coming back to Sydney tomorrow morning."
Nick says, "Great. What time?" Alison replies, "Seven
o'clock. Can you meet me at the airport? I've left my car there,
so get a cab in." She listens before adding, "I'm sure
you'll find it worth your while: I've got some news for you...
I think you'll find it very interesting... Be at the
airport; I'll tell you then. Bye." With that, she hangs up,
looking pleased with herself. Nick also hangs up, a puzzled expression
on his face.
Craig is doing the washing-up in the kitchen at Beryl's as Debbie
wipes up. Craig comments to her, "I still think you're mad."
Debbie, however, muses, "That's lovely! I stay home so I
can be with my man and he thinks I'm mad! What are you
planning: some quick fling with a floozy from Tech or something?!"
Craig flicks soap suds at her! Debbie grins, "Stop it! If
Mumma Bear catches us, she'll yell at us again!" Craig points
out seriously, "One good reason why it'll be a good idea
to go to America for a while. She'll have less to complain
about and I can look for a flat for us." Debbie stares at
him and comments, "You really are keen to get rid of me!"
Craig insists, "I'm just keen not to stand in the way;
you'd obviously love to go. I'll be OK; I won't think
you're walking out on me." Debbie smiles, "Thankyou."
There's silence. Craig then looks into Debbie's eyes and tells
her, "America would be great fun - and great experience;
and you'd also be doing the right thing by your boss. So quit
feeling guilty because I can't join you. Say 'yes' and make the
most of it." Debbie leans in and gives him a loving hug,
beaming as she does so, "Sometimes I think you could talk
me into selling my own grandmother!" Craig, however,
assures her, "Never. Who'd buy her?!" They then start
Alison is sitting in the lounge room at Caroline's. She has her
dressing gown on and is reading a book. She hears a noise at the
front door, suddenly, and she calls out, "Is that you, Doug?
I'm leaving tomorrow morning; I have to get back to Sydney."
It's Caroline who walks in, however. She stares at Alison and
says coolly, "Good." Alison turns and stares at her.
She leaps up from her seat and says quickly, "Oh! I thought
it was Doug. I've been helping him with the business." Caroline
continues to stare at her. Alison adds, "I slept in the spare
room - alone. You can check for yourself if you don't believe
me." Caroline just says coolly, "I believe you. I know
Doug too well, now, to think he'd do anything as silly as play
up." She then smiles, "You should see how scared
you look! What did you think I was going to do: fly into an uncontrollable
rage?" Alison nods, "Yes, more or less. I didn't expect
you to be quite so amiable." The two of them sit down. Caroline
then tells Alison, "I'll let you into a little secret: I've
just seen Wayne. He's still brooding about Susan, so I suggested
that if he loved her that much, he should join her. I think he's
giving the matter some serious consideration." Alison muses,
"Yes, well, the world would be a better place..."
Caroline nods, "Infinitely." She then smiles, "It's
nice to agree on something for a change, isn't it?!"
Pamela and Nick are hugging tightly in the hallway at Dural.
As they pull apart, Pamela smiles, "Thanks for a lovely evening."
Nick assures her, "The pleasure was all mine."
Pamela just says teasingly, "So far..." Nick then asks,
"Where's Wayne?" Pamela indicates the lounge room and
adds, "Probably unconscious." Nick goes to head in there.
Pamela, however, grabs his arm and cries, "Don't. You'll
spoil the evening." Nick turns back to her and says, "I
can't stay." Pamela asks in surprise, "Why not?"
Nick tells her, "I've got an early start. I've got to pick
somebody up from the airport." Pamela asks, "Who?"
Nick sighs before admitting, "Alison." Pamela gives
him a look. Nick pleads, "Don't make a big issue out of it.
She gave me a call and asked me to pick her up at seven. Apparently
she's got some news for me. I don't know any more than that,
OK? But I said I'd pick her up - so I can't stay the night."
Pamela glares at him and snaps, "Then don't stay at all."
Nick looks at her in surprise and sighs, "What's the matter
now?" Pamela growls, "You must have some
idea. Think about it; open up the gates on that huge reservoir
of sensitivity." Nick just shrugs, "We've had a great
night." Pamela retorts, "And I take it, now, it's over."
Nick points out,"According to you it is; isn't it?
If I've missed something, let me know." Pamela just shakes
her head at him and sighs, "Go home, Nick; get a good night's
sleep." Nick turns and heads for the door, muttering under
his breath as he does so. Pamela stands there in the hallway,
looking annoyed and upset.
The next morning, Alison is driving her and Nick along a road
in her open-topped car. Nick looks at her and queries, "Personnel
management?" Alison explains, "The bank has 20,000 employees,
so your job would be to raise their morale, set their aims high
and get their head together." Nick smiles, "Tell me
how much money again..."
Wayne is lying on the couch in the lounge room at Dural, his
eyes closed. Pamela is pacing the floor, growling to herself,
"I think I'll kill her. After all, they swat flies,
don't they? Tread on lizards, flatten mosquitos, run over wombats!"
She raises her voice as she says this and Wayne wakes up, suddenly,
muttering, "Wombats?" Pamela looks at him and asks,
"How are you feeling?" Wayne puts his hand to his head
and groans, "Erm... human... roughly!" He sits up slowly
and adds, "I think I'll go to bed." Pamela points out,
"You've only just woken up!" Wayne just mutters, "And
what's changed?" He turns and heads out to the hallway. He
then looks back at Pamela and says, "God, that must sound
pathetic. I do appreciate the way you put up with me. See you
for lunch, maybe." With that, he leaves the room. Pamela
goes and sits down on the couch. She then places her hands on
her temples and starts staring into space...
As Alison drives along, she turns the steering wheel suddenly
and the car swerves to the right. A look of shock crosses her
face. Nick says quickly, "Hey, watch it!" Alison starts
swerving even more, the car veering left and right across the
road. Nick asks in concern, "What's up? Something wrong with
the steering?" Alison retorts, in a horrified tone, "It's
Pamela. She's trying to kill me."
At Dural, Pamela continues staring ahead of her.
The brakes on Alison's car screech as Alison tries to bring the
car to a halt. Alison puts her hand to her head in horror. Nick
mutters, "I don't believe this..." Alison cries
to him, "Put on the handbrake; get it in neutral." The
car turns to the right, suddenly, and hits a grass verge. It crashes
into a roadside postbox, smashing it to pieces. A few seconds
later, the car comes to a halt. Alison closes her eyes in relief.
At Dural, Pamela sits on the couch, looking disappointed.
In Alison's car, Nick snaps at Alison, "You're both mad.
Alison just murmurs, "I won..." Nick undoes
his seatbelt and climbs out of the car. He then growls at Alison,
"I'm going, alright? I've had it up to here with
both of you. You can keep your job; I don't want to know about
it. I'm going, alright?" With that, he grabs his
jacket and bag and starts walking off.
A while later, Nick is standing with Pamela in the lounge room
at Dural, snapping at her, "It would've been murder.
Do you understand? I could've died. You damn near killed
me. You're sick. I don't care how much you hate your
sister, but when it goes this far you're sick."
Pamela just shrugs, "You should know." Nick demands,
"What are you talking about?" Pamela says coldly, "Your
brother - Jason." Looking furious, Nick snaps, "Who
have you been talking to: Michael?" Pamela just retorts,
"What does it matter? You killed your brother and got away
with it, so don't point the finger." Nick snaps, "It
was an accident." Pamela retorts, "Rubbish."
Nick yells, "It was an accident." Pamela, however,
stares into his eyes and says coolly, "I can do more than
get into people's heads, Nick; I can speak to spirits,
as well. Did I ever tell you that? And I've been talking to Jason.
He says you shot him." Nick, a hint of terror in
his eyes, mutters, "Don't be stupid." Pamela bursts
out laughing, "It's true, though, isn't it? You should see
yourself: you've gone as white as a golfball! Looks like we're
just two sickos together!" Nick growls, "It wasn't the
same. It wasn't the same because I cared about Jason.
We fought and we argued, but we were still very close. I loved
him. He was the sort of guy that had everything going for him.
He could pick up anything just like 'that'; five minutes and he
was an expert. It was the same with girls, too: he didn't have
to try; they'd throw themselves at him. Michael hated
that, let me tell you. Michael isn't half the man Jason
was. Jason was..." He breaks off before continuing, "One
day he came home and told us he was getting engaged. Engaged...
to this little blonde piece called Louise. Now I'll tell you this
- I'll make it very plain: I simply didn't disapprove of Louise;
I hated...; she was the most conniving, sullen, moody
little bitch - and I told Jason that several times, but he wouldn't
listen to me. He thought I was jealous. Me! Jealous of
Louise?! And that weekend... that weekend was the last
chance I had to talk him out of it, but he wouldn't listen to
me. Louise had him conned. I remember we came to this little wire
fence... God, just a little wire fence... And I remember I'd been
pleading with Jason: I said, 'Jason, if you marry that girl, you'll
ruin your life.' And I remember as I bent down to go under the
fence Jason grabbed me and he pulled me back and I spun round
and I said, 'Don't you ever do that' - and it just went off."
Pamela stares at him as he murmurs, "It just went off...
I didn't consciously mean to kill him. I loved him -
but it wasn't an accident, either. My finger didn't slip.
I remember thinking five minutes before this happened the only
way to save Jason was to shoot Louise - and in one blind moment,
I shot Jason." Pamela looks down at the floor. Nick
goes on sadly, "If I can do that to people I'm close
to, I don't want to be close to anyone. That's
the reason I don't want to get involved." Pamela says gently,
"I think you've punished yourself enough, don't you?"
Nick, however, tells her, "Michael's right: I'm bad news."
He goes to walk out. Pamela cries, "Nick! Wait!" Nick
just turns back to her and says, "No. Pamela, forget me.
Forget you ever met me." He goes. Pamela stands there, looking
A short time later, Alison opens the front door at Charlie's
to find Nick standing on the step. She muses, "I didn't expect
you to apologise for at least another day!" Nick ignores
this. Instead, he just asks, "What's the name of the bloke
I have to see about that job?" Alison asks, "Why the
change of mind?" Nick replies, "I've calmed down."
Alison heads into the lounge room and Nick follows her. Alison
asks him, "Is that all?" Nick tells her, "And I've
decided I need a change of scene." Alison takes a card out
of her handbag as she asks, "Just from the job or from Pamela
and I as well?" Nick replies, "The two of you,
as well. I'm clearing out. You won't see me for dust." Alison
comments sourly, "You're good at running away from
things, aren't you, Nick? Scratch the surface and what
do you find? A man who's never been able to take the plunge."
Nick, ignoring this, goes to walk out. Alison says quickly, "Enjoy
the job. I'm sure there are thousands of young, nubile tellers
out there simply dying to have a fun night with no strings attached."
Nick turns and stares at her.
A few minutes later, Pamela is standing in the hallway at Dural,
saying in surprise, "Pack my what?" Nick is
standing with her. He tells her, "Your bags. Go up and pack
them and let's get going." As Pamela stares at him, he goes
on, "You were right: I've been punishing myself for too long.
It's been unfair both on myself and the women I went out with.
I love you, I guess." Pamela raises her eyebrows,
looking bemused! Nick then says more sincerely, "Sorry. I
don't 'guess' anything. Old habits die hard. I'll start again.
I love you - and I want you to live with me." A
broad smile crosses Pamela's face.
A short time later, Pamela runs downstairs and tells Nick, who's
standing in the lounge room, "OK. Ready. I've left a note
for Wayne." Nick suggests, "Let's go, then." He
picks up two suitcases in the hallway just as Wayne runs downstairs
and cries, "Hey! What's going on?" He indicates a piece
of paper he's holding and reads, "'I'm moving out to live
with Nick. I'll call and explain later. Pamela.' A man doesn't
want to go to sleep for too long round here, does he?" Pamela
insists, "I would've called you; I'm going to keep in touch."
Wayne asks, "Do you have to go now?" Pamela,
however, tells him, "Wayne, I'm very fond of you, but I was
only ever here temporarily. Don't panic, OK? You're going to survive."
Wayne mutters, "You reckon?" Pamela assures him, "Of
course you will. Everyone does." She then
kisses him on the cheek and adds, "I'll see you soon."
With that, she heads out. Nick follows her. Wayne goes and leans
against the front door, staring at the note from Pamela.
Sometime later, there's a nearly-empty decanter of scotch on
the coffee table in the lounge room. Wayne is sitting on the floor,
leaning against the couch. He has in his hand the bottle of sleeping
pills that Caroline gave him. He's turning the bottle over and
over, slowly, staring at the pills inside...
Nick is driving himself and Pamela along in his car. Pamela says
suddenly, "Can we take a right up here? If we've got time;
I'll just be a few minutes." Nick asks, "What happened?
Forget something?" Pamela, however, replies, "No. There's
just one last person I'd like to say goodbye to."
A few minutes later, Alison marches into the lounge room at Charlie's,
followed by Pamela, who says, "Sorry about this morning."
Alison, however, retorts, "No you're not. You're sorry you
missed." She sits down as Pamela tells her, "I'm
not, actually. In retrospect I'm very lucky
I missed: Nick came around afterwards - he was a bit
angry at first, but after he'd calmed down we had quite a nice
chat." Alison mutters dismissively, "How nice."
Pamela tells her, "Yes, it was. The upshot of it all is:
I've convinced him to be a one-woman man. We're going away
together. He and I. Alone." Alison stares at her. She then
smiles, "Don't make it sound like a resort commercial. You're
a possessive bitch shacking up with a born bigamist. I give you
two weeks if you're lucky!" Pamela smiles back,
"I think I'll put you on our Christmas mailing list!"
Alison shrugs, "What a reckless waste of thirty cents."
Pamela, however, assures her, "Oh no - money well spent.
It'll just be a little yearly reminder; a little card that sort
of brings you down to earth - because despite having an ego the
size of Africa, the plain fact is you lost. I've
got the man... I'll have happiness... What have you
got? What have you ever had?" Alison pauses before
saying lightly, "Thanks for dropping in; it's always a pleasure.
I like passing the time of day with someone who gets
straight to the point." She stands up as she goes on, "Nevertheless,
having stated that point--" Pamela interrupts and
assures her, "I'm going." Alison retorts, "Good."
With that, Pamela heads out to the front door and leaves. As soon
as she's gone, Alison heads over to the french windows and calls,
"Coming in for afternoon tea?" Greg and Sarah walk in
and Greg remarks, "Huge back garden." Alison nods, "Yes,
yes, it is a good size." Sarah then asks, "Was
someone here just now? We thought we heard voices."
Alison replies quickly, "Yes, yes, briefly. An old ex-neighbour.
No one important, certainly; no one worth meeting." Sarah
then asks, "Where's the tea: in the kitchen?" Alison
nods, "Yes." Sarah and Greg head out to get it.
Wayne is sitting at the bar at Dural, pouring some water from
a jug into a glass. He stares at it, groggily. He then stands
up, slowly, and staggers across to the couch. He places the glass
of water on the coffee table and goes to reach for the bottle
of sleeping pills. At that moment, there's a knock on the front
door. Wayne ignores it. There's another knock and a female voice
- which sounds like Janice's - calls out, "Wayne?" Wayne
continues to ignore it. He tips some pills into his hand as the
voice calls, "Wayne, are you there? If you can hear me, open
the door. I want to talk to you, that's all. I'm a friend.
I know what you're going through. I want to help."
Wayne just sits there and brings a pile of sleeping tablets slowly
towards his mouth...