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  • Michael Braccia

Leeford Village - episode 117

Episode 117: Does he know?


Previously in Leeford Village:

 

Simon finds out that Zack has been sacked. Sherry explains to Linda why she wants to go back to Rio with Carlos. Ethel senses that her beloved Billy is still with her, and Adam is shocked to be told that Cody is not his biological father.

 

~

 

 

Adam’s hands are shaking as he looks out of the lounge window. Agnes knows how he thinks and feels, but he was never prone to high emotion as a child. The revelation about Daniel is like a dagger to his heart and she can see that Adam is close to breaking point. He has never been particularly keen on Daniel – as a man or a pharmacist – and despite all the issues Adam has had with Cody, he loves the man and part of him will always consider him to be his dad. He continues to look out of the window, and there is a catch in his voice.

 

‘Here’s Jasmine changing her name to Thornton so she can be part of the family, just as I find out that I’m not a Thornton at all!’

 

Adam laughs, but it is a false laugh, and he is brought up short as he sees the reflection of Cody standing in the lounge doorway.

 

‘Not a Thornton, Adam? What do you mean?’

 

Adam ignores him, but snatches his mobile off the table, fumbling for the number he wants. It is answered after two rings.

 

‘Meredith, I need you. Come over to Cody’s now, please.’

 

He pauses as Meredith replies. No one can hear what she is saying, but Adam is insistent.

 

‘I know, love. Please ask them to come back later. You’ll have to close for half an hour. I need you, please!’

 

A short pause, then he presses the red button to end the call. Agnes stands up and takes his hand, but he snatches it away.

 

‘We don’t need Meredith for this, love.’

‘I do, Mom. I’m not saying anything till she gets here. She’s my life now.’

‘Adam, what’s going on?’ says Cody as he slumps down on the sofa. Adam turns again to the window. The doorbell rings. Agnes is the first to react.

 

‘That must be Meredith. I’ll let her in.’

‘No! I’ll get her!’ shouts Adam.

 

Cody thinks better of interjecting. For once, he makes a wise decision. Agnes sits next to him. Cody holds up his hands in a questioning gesture.


 

 

Footsteps on the stairs. Cody doesn’t understand why Meredith needs to be there.

Meredith is my life”, he thinks. What’s all that about? If Meredith makes any claims or accusations, Agnes will kill me.

 

The door opens.

 

‘Mer-‘ splutters Cody.

 

It’s not Meredith. Jasmine has returned from another ‘trip to the bank’.

 

‘What’s going on?’ she says, as Adam and Meredith follow her into the room. ‘This is like a lineup for a Poirot reveal.’

 

Agnes coughs and beckons for Jasmine to join her.

 

‘Never mind that, love,’ says Agnes. ‘Sit down over here.’

‘Does he know?’ whispers Jasmine, but obviously not quiet enough.

‘Know what?’ says Cody.

 

Cody stands up and walks towards the television. He turns round to face everyone, knowing that he is positioned at the focal point of the room.

 

‘Right, everyone. Will someone please tell me what’s going on? What is it I’m supposed to know?’

‘Or not supposed to know,’ mutters Agnes under her breath.

 

 

~

 

 

 

‘What you say, Sherry, special time?’

 

Sherry loves the way that Carlos speaks. She loves everything about him. This is the moment for her – hopefully for Carlos – and she does want it to be a special time.

 

‘Special occasion is what we call it,’ she replies.

‘Special occadion,’ Carlos says, with some effort.

‘Nearly, love, but that will do,’ she says.

 

The restaurant in central Banfield is not busy, but the few people who are eating there turn round as one when Sherry stands up and drops to one knee.

 

‘I haven’t got a ring for you, but there is something very precious I can give you. My signed photograph of the 1966 World Cup winning side – England.’

‘Who signed photograph?’ Carlos asks.

‘Bobby Charlton, of course,’ Sherry replies.

 

Carlos smiles.

 

‘I hear about him. Very good. Why you on your knee?’

 

 

 

‘Oh, my darling, perhaps you do things differently in Brazil. I’m proposing to you. Carlos, will you marry me?’

 

‘Yes!’ he shouts. Everyone in the restaurant stands up and applauds. Carlos embraces Sherry and kisses her.

 

‘Oh, Carlos! We will have lots of children and make our home in Rio!’

‘No,’ he says.

‘What do you mean, “no”, Carlos?’

‘I no go back to Brazil. I marry you. Live here.’

‘What? I thought you loved your own country!’

‘One problem,’ he says. ‘I want marry you, but not yet.’

‘Why, Carlos?’

‘I already married – to Anita.’

 

Sherry glares at him and a tear stains her cheek. She can only utter one word.

 

‘What?’

‘I did it for Dad, but no working out. I told her we finished and I come to live with you.’

‘What did your dad say? Anita was always his favourite.’

‘He say he will kill me if I go back. I have ruined Anita’s life, and he has – how you say – disheritage me.’

 

Sherry pauses for a moment.

 

‘Disinherited you?’

‘Yes. I no go home. I here to stay.’

 

 

 

~

 

 

 

Agnes makes eye contact with Adam. She points to the door. He immediately understands and moves, crab-like, to the safety of the hall.

 

‘Just want a word with Adam,’ says Agnes, using Jasmine’s shoulder to lever herself out of the comforting arms of the sofa. Not feeling quite so comforted, Cody really does need to know what is going on. He tries to follow Agnes across the room.

 

‘Agnes!’

‘Give me five minutes, Cody. Please sit down.’

 

He reluctantly concedes as his wife and son escape from the room. They close the door.

 

‘Adam, what are we going to do?’

‘We’ll have to tell him.’

 

Agnes is becoming increasingly agitated.


 

 

 

‘Not now. Not yet. Please.’

‘Okay, Mom. This is what we do.’

 

He hatches a quick plan and explains it to Agnes in less than two minutes.

 

‘Ready, Mom? Let’s go back in.’

 

Cody looks like he is about to explode. On the faces of Jasmine and Meredith there is displayed a mixture of relief that they are no longer left to ‘mind’ Cody and a glimmer of hope and expectation that Agnes and Adam can extricate the family from this situation. Only Cody is unaware of the real truth. Adam had told Meredith the headlines when he let her into the flat. Adam moves into the position by the television previously occupied by Cody.

 

‘Right, settle down everybody!’

 

He looks straight at Cody, who gives the impression of a man desperate for an explanation. Adam suddenly feels sorry for the man who has brought him up, but he still wants Cody to know about Daniel and the grandmother he didn’t know existed before his chat with Agnes. And about the Spanish villa, but most of all Adam wants Cody to know about Agnes and Daniel, and the fact that Cody is not his father. However, Adam honours his promise to his mother, after what she said.

Not now, Adam. Please, not now.

 

‘You might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, you know it’s Dad’s birthday soon and he must be speculating what the big secret is. We did want to keep it secret, but we might as well tell you – we’ve arranged a party and disco for you at the community centre. All seventies pop classics, and we’ve all promised to dance on the condition that you, Dad, demonstrate your ‘seventies dancefloor special’ as you call it.’

 

Adam lets his statement sink in.

 

‘What do you think, Dad?’

 

Cody stands up, looking stunned. He walks towards Adam, smiles and gives him a bear hug.

 

‘Son, I can’t believe it! I wondered what was wrong. Don’t worry about spoiling the surprise, I’m made up. Thank you so much. Hope it didn’t cost the earth.’

 

Adam smiles behind gritted teeth. Even Agnes doesn’t realise that no such booking has yet been made with the community centre. Not even discussed with them.

 

‘The planets and the sun, Dad, but you’re worth it.’

 

Agnes moves over to Cody and kisses him.

 

‘That’s it then, love,’ she says and then turns to her son. ‘No more surprises, eh, Adam?’

 

‘Well, since we’re on a roll, I was going to announce this at Dad’s party. Meredith and I are getting engaged!’


 

 

Agnes and Jasmine rush towards Meredith to welcome her to the family and ask the usual questions about the ring and dates for the planned nuptials.

 

‘That’s lovely,’ says Agnes. ‘Is that it then, Adam?’

 

‘No more, Mom. That’s enough for one day.’

 

At that, Meredith speaks to the entire family for the first time.

 

‘I’ve got something else to tell everybody. This might surprise you. Even Adam. I might as well announce this while we’re all together. I’m pregnant!’


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