Chapter 5

Written by: Ray Stone

With his eyes closed and face screwed up by pain Harry asks again. “Are you getting a divorce?”

Phil has a lump in his throat and can’t answer right away.  “Of course not,” he answers eventually, looking at Mary as she walks in.

“We had some sad news about nanny, darling,” says Mary. “She went to heaven this morning. What with the party and everything else, we were both getting on each other’s nerves and upset about nanny.”

With that, Mary puts a arm possessively through Phil’s and half smiles at Harry who has drifted into unconsciousness. Phil is really uncomfortable that Mary is arm in arm with him; closeness he has not experienced for a long time.

The nurse comes in and says she is going to take a blood sample and change a dressing so Phil and Mary must wait outside.

Outside, Mary suggests they go for a coffee. “It’ll do us good to have a little break,” she says.

Phil can’t figure Mary out. She is being nice which is so out of character. She hasn’t said a bad word since they drove to the hospital. Perhaps, he thinks, the shock of Harry’s near death experience has made her think about their relationship. Harry is going to need a lot of looking after when he leaves the hospital. He will need their love and understanding.

“I was very rude this morning, darling – about your mother. Things just got on top of me and I took it all out on you. I’ll find out what the funeral arrangements are tomorrow.” She smiles. “You were always her favourite son. Everyone knows that.”

Phil begins to unwind and wants to respond but he’s still wary. He decides to let things carry on as they are. If Mary is genuinely sorry about the way she treated him then things will only get better.

Mary sips her coffee and smiles. She reaches out and touches his hand. “I wonder what arrangements your mother made about her business.”

Phil’s brow creases. “What, you mean her TV repair business? I guess her lawyer will take care of that. He’ll probably sell it to pay off all her debts.”

“She couldn’t have owed much.” Mary’s lips tighten and she pulls her hand away. “That business should go to you. You can phone the lawyer and find out what’s going on. Anyway, there’s bound to be a will.” Mary smiles. “She might have left some money for you as well.”

Phil is sensing a very chilly cold weather front from Mary so he just agrees with her. “You’re probably right. I’ll give him a ring this afternoon.”

Mary speedily delves into her handbag and pulls out a phone. “No need to wait. Do it now.”

“I haven’t got his number handy. I’ll do it tonight, dear.”

“You bloody weak-kneed idiot. No wonder you lost your job.”

Phil looks at the snarling face. The storm has arrived and thunder and lightning herald torrents of abuse.


Phil clearly has a crappy life and this chapter is getting more to the reasons for it. I like what you've contributed Ray.
As a fan of yours I thank you, sir. I'm always slightly out of step with your thinking but I'm catching up. Cheers
These two teeter to the edge and back again. Will they or won't they finally explode? Really dramatic and edgy. Beautifully crafted Ray.