Episode Forty-Eight

Avoid Spoilers! Read from Episode One

[noun. things kept hidden or concealed; a mystery.]

June, 1983

“I know what she’s feeling,” Miranda Smart replies. “Kelly, I know what Henry must’ve been feeling.”

“How?” Kelly Driver asks.

“Kelly,” Miranda whispers. “I’m gay too.”

“I don’t follow.”

“Of course, Reginald doesn’t know. In fact, no-one does,” Miranda explains. “I grew up in a very Christian family and my parents would not have understood. I love Reginald, don’t get me wrong, but I married him because I had to.”

“I don’t think this is any of my business, Mrs Smart.”

“Reginald is a very strict Christian man,” Miranda continues. “He wouldn’t approve, which is the reason why he didn’t approve of Henrietta.”

“I think she tried to run away, Mrs Smart, but something happened to her.”

“I feel so ashamed that I let her think that I didn’t understand her.” Miranda Smart holds her hands to her face and begins to cry.

Kelly cries too. She misses her best friend.

Present Day

Cathy Gilmore rests the gift-wrapped box on the table in front of her. The present had been delivered to her at her place of work at the Peppercorn Patch hospital.

The nurse looks the box over, noticing a small card on the top of the box.

To my gorgeous wife, it reads, as if I could make you any sweeter, but I’ll try.

 A gift from her husband. Cathy felt so happy to have Mark Gilmore back in her life. She thought she had lost him to another woman, but things had worked themselves out.

She had been unsure whether she would take Mark back after he cheated on her, however she knew she still loved him. She had just been attacked by the Poetry Predator, so she was feeling particularly vulnerable as well. He had promised to take care of her, and that was what he was doing.

Cathy undoes the bow on top of the box and opens the carton of cookies. Choc-Chip. Her favourite. He certainly knows how to make her happy. And they look hand-made as well.

She wipes the crumbs from her lips before heading off to check on her next patient.

June, 1983

“Welcome everyone,” Reginald Smart addresses the small congregation.

Kelly Driver looks around at the group of people. The dark forest around them is eerie to Kelly, but she feels comforted by the familiar faces. She had been invited by Miranda Smart to attend the group meeting. It was a meeting that only people who were in ‘The Family’ could attend. She could see her parents’ friends sitting in a small circle around the fire which was keeping them warm.

“Welcome to all of our ‘Family’ members,” Reginald continued.

Kelly looked around to see her parents. She couldn’t see them, which she thought odd, as they, too, were part of ‘The Family’ and should have been in attendance.

“Kelly, it’s so nice of you to join us. We don’t usually invite children under the age of eighteen to our gatherings.” Reginald’s glasses glimmer in the firelight.

Kelly feels all eyes on her. Miranda Smart, who is sitting next to her, grabs her hand. “Thanks for coming,” Miranda whispers.

All of a sudden, Miranda pulls Kelly up from her seat forcefully. “This girl is confused!” Miranda shouts to the group as Reginald grabs her other hand. “She thinks she is a homosexual, but she is mistaken.”

Kelly Driver looks at Miranda Smart. In the glow of the firelight, Kelly can see Miranda smirking at her.

“You tricked me!” Kelly shouts, trying to free herself from the grip. “Let go of me!”

“Family members,” Reginald calls to his friends gathered around, “let’s pray for Kelly!”

“Let go of me!” Kelly screams out again.

“Let’s heal this poor girl from her pain and confusion,” Miranda says. “Let’s pray that she recovers from her sickness.”

Kelly suddenly feels the congregation in front of her throwing water at her.

“This holy water will wash away your sins!” Reginald exclaims. “You have corrupted our wholesome daughter and you will now be accountable for your actions!”

Present Day

“How dare you treat Joanne like this after all you’ve put her through,” Constance Helling says into the Holgate Bedlamites’ hospital room.

“She needs to know the truth about me,” Doctor Peter Smith replies, his face close to the Perspex screen.

“Joanne is better off not having you in her life!” Constance exclaims. “You’ve caused her too much pain!”

“She needs to be tested for Huntington’s Disease. Please just ensure that you do that for me.” Doctor Smith is restrained for a moment. “For her.”

“She’s already asked to be tested,” Constance replies. “She’ll find out her results shortly.”

Doctor Smith smiles to himself, before lowering himself to the floor. “I always wanted a child,” he says, sitting on the floor with his back up against the Perspex screen.

“And look what you did to her when you got one,” Constance huffs.

“I’ve lost her,” Doctor Smith whispers.

“Yes,” Constance says, “it’s what you deserve. How does it feel to have something you loved taken away from you?”

Constance Helling lowers herself to the floor and pushes her back up to Doctor Smith’s. The only thing that separates them is the Perspex screen. Tears start to stream down her face.

“You took my Thomas from me,” Constance continues. “He was all I had in this world to love.”

“I’m a bad person,” Doctor Smith agrees.

“You were a good person once,” Constance reflects. “I remember telling you I wanted a child of my own.”

“I remember. We were young then.”

“And you told me about IVF,” Constance explains.

“You were my first patient.” Doctor Smith’s eyes begins to tear up.

“You helped me make my beautiful boy.” Constance wipes her face and takes a few deep breaths. “And then you took him away.”

“He was a beautiful boy,” Doctor Smith says, wiping his own face. “But he had problems of his own. He battled his own demons.”

“I could have helped him,” Constance offers.

“It was all my fault,” Doctor Smith says, burying his head into his hands. “I should have screened the sperm donor.”

“You think he inherited his problems from his father?” Constance asks.

“I know he did.” Doctor Smith rubs his temples with his fingertips.

“It was an anonymous donor,” Constance adds. “There was no way of knowing.”

“It was before I knew myself,” Doctor Smith reflects. “I hadn’t yet been tested for Huntington’s, otherwise I would never have done it.”

“Done what?”

“Donated my sperm,” Doctor Smith replies. “Thomas never had a chance. Not with a father like me.”

Final Episode – Thursday April 28

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