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  • Michael Braccia

Leeford Village - Episode 123

Episode 123: Turmoil at Leeford Plaice


Previously in Leeford Village:

 

Frank calls a parish meeting to discuss the census. Cody announces at the meeting that he is to become a grandfather, and that Daniel Windrush will also have the same privilege. Zack is in Manchester with Clare and he declares that he wants to live with her. After the council meeting, Cody sees Agnes and Adam at Burry’s Chemist’s with Daniel. Cody wants a word with Agnes.

 

~

 

Without taking his eyes off Agnes, Cody takes two steps towards the front door of the shop. He turns the sign to ‘Closed’ as a group of teenagers try to enter to get their fix of fish / chips / can of Coke for the evening.

 

‘Oi, mate, we’re hungry!’ one of them shouts.

‘Get a curry for a change!’ replies Cody.

 

One of the lads makes a V-sign and aims it at the chip shop owner. Cody reaches for the door handle.

 

‘Bugger off you little blighters!’ Cody shouts, but thinks better of chasing them down the street. Instead, he turns the key in the lock.

 

‘Cody!’ exclaims Agnes. ‘What are you doing?’

‘Never mind what I’m doing! Go and sit down.’

‘But the customers!’

 

Agnes realises that Cody is closing the shop whatever she says. She moves into the living room. He follows, but does not join her on the sofa, preferring instead to stand by the television - the setting for many a speech, proclamation and a host of announcements by members of the Thornton family over the years. Particularly Cody, and Agnes could sense another one on the way.

 

‘What is it, love?’

‘What is it? You ask me that, Agnes?’

‘You seem upset.’

 

At that, Cody grabs a dining chair and places it in front of her. He sits down heavily, the chair creaking.

 

‘Where were you this evening, Agnes?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘It’s a simple question. Where were you while I was at the parish council meeting?’

 

Agnes takes a deep breath.

 

‘Here. Working with Ian.’

 

Cody wrings his hands.

 

‘Liar!’

 

 

‘Cody, how dare you speak to me like that!’

‘I’ll speak to you any way I like!’ he shouts. ‘And if I ask Ian if you’ve been out, what do you think he’d say?’

 

At that, Agnes breaks down, her tears flowing.

 

‘I’m – so – sorry.’ She sobs. ‘I did go out.’

‘Why didn’t you say that in the first place? Why lie to me?’

 

She turns on him.

 

‘What? You of all people talking about lying? You’re a born liar, Cody!’

 

He stands up suddenly, knocking the chair over.

 

‘Don’t make this about me, Agnes!’

 

Cody instantly reflects on his own behaviour over the last few years. After establishing a settled business, his family with a reasonable standard of living, he knows that he has stepped out of line from time to time. Dodgy deals, too much beer at The Cross, too much binge-watching of a variety of detective series. He sighs, and considers his main preoccupation of the last couple of years. Meredith, he thinks. Is this some retribution for my feelings towards Meredith? He pulls himself together, glares at Agnes and recovers the chair from its prone position.

 

Agnes manages a sarcastic smile.

 

‘Do you mean that floozie in the card shop? Is that what you mean?’ asks Agnes.

 

‘Floozie? That’s our son’s future wife you’re talking about. She’s carrying our grandchild, for God’s sake. I thought we’d sorted all that out, Agnes. I thought we were okay. No, this is about you!’

 

This time, Agnes lowers her eyes and tries to touch Cody’s hand.

‘No, Agnes, just tell me where you were.’

‘Walking,’ she answers. A bit too quickly.

 

Cody’s shoulders tense up, his face reddening.

 

‘Walking, you say. Where?’

‘Over the park.’

 

Cody stands up, hands on hips.

 

‘You’re lying again! I know what you did, and you could have put Ian in a difficult position. I suppose you asked him to cover for you. Lie for you if necessary. That was unfair!’

 

Agnes tries to reply, but Cody jabs his finger towards her, and continues.

 

‘Do you owe Daniel money? And what’s Adam got to do with it?’

 

~

 

 

The last time that Jasmine and Justin met at their favourite restaurant in Banfield, they were spotted by Adam and Meredith.

 

‘Fancy seeing you here!’ exclaimed Adam.

 

Justin, forever the gentleman, felt that he had to invite the couple to join them for dinner. As the evening progressed, both Adam and Meredith noticed that Jasmine occasionally brushed her hand across Justin’s wrist and he would automatically respond by gently touching her hand with his fingers. Adam’s wink to Meredith elicited a raised eyebrow in reply. During the meal, the four quickly formed a bond, and they agreed to meet up again. Their next rendezvous coincided with the date of the parish council meeting.

 

‘You okay, Adam?’ asks Meredith.

 

Adam has just arrived back from his meeting with Daniel Windrush.

 

‘Yeh, Mom came with me,’ he answers.

‘Did he give it to you?’

‘Yes, but we had words.’

 

Meredith touches his hand.

 

‘You didn’t do anything stupid, did you?’

‘No, but I don’t think that Daniel realises what he’s done.’

‘What about Agnes? How’s she coping?’

‘She had a go at him as well. Mom told him she didn’t know how much longer we could keep it from Dad.’

 

The bell rings. Meredith looks through the window.

 

‘It’s Jasmine and Justin. Where are we going?’

 

Adam slips on his jacket.

 

‘Not The Cross, anyway. They are still trying to keep things under wraps.’

 

Meredith lets in their new friends.

 

‘Hi Jasmine, Justin. Where to tonight?’

‘Little country pub – The Wolf Pack, near Wolverhampton. Nice and quiet,’ says Jasmine.

 

Adam taps Justin on the shoulder.

 

‘Do you mind driving, mate?’ asks Adam.

‘No problem. I’m on orange juice tonight, anyway,’ he replies.

 

Adam smiles, and has a question for Justin that will turn out to have significant consequences.

 

‘Do you mind if we pop to see Mom and Dad before we go to the pub?’

 

~

 

 

‘Leave Adam out of this!’ screams Agnes.

 

Cody thumps the dining table.

 

‘So you don’t deny that it’s got something to do with the pharmacist!’

‘What?’

‘You know exactly what I mean. I saw you with him at Burry’s. An envelope was exchanged between Daniel and Adam.’

‘Where were you?’

‘Outside, looking through the window.’

‘How dare you, Cody.’

 

He hits the table so hard that a vase of flowers crashes to the floor, water cascading down the tablecloth.

 

‘Stop it, Cody, stop it!’

‘No! I want to know the truth!’

 

As Agnes stands up to face him, the living room door opens. Adam enters, followed by Justin, Jasmine and Meredith. Adam is the first to react.

 

‘Dad, what the hell is going on?’

 

Cody glares at his son.

 

‘You may well ask, Adam. I’ve been trying to get the truth out of your mom.’

‘Leave her alone, Dad.’

‘Well, are you going to tell me?’ shouts Cody.

 

Jasmine tries to shout above the other voices.

 

‘Stop it, please! Everyone stop it! Please sit down so we can discuss this.’

‘Do you know what’s going on, Jasmine?’ asks Cody.

 

No response.

 

‘Can anyone tell me what’s happening?’ he pleads, as he slumps onto the sofa.

 

Agnes finally speaks in a calm voice.

 

‘I’m so sorry, Cody. It’s like this. Adam isn’t your son.’

 

Cody once again stands up and then pushes Agnes to one side.

 

‘Thought it was something like that, since Adam said something about not being a Thornton. Do you know what, Agnes? I’ve had enough of this!’

 

Cody walks out of the room, grabs his coat from the hall, and in his haste almost trips down the stairs. He leaves the shop, followed by Adam.

 

~


 

Adam doesn’t see the direction Cody takes, so he searches his dad’s usual haunts. After checking The Cross, the seated area at the edge of the market and the café, he finally finds Cody at the park.

 

‘Are you going to sit here in the dark?’ asks Adam.

‘Not sure anyone would miss me,’ Cody replies.

‘Listen. You are my dad, no matter what happens.’

‘Is it Daniel?’ asks Cody.

‘How did you work it out?’

‘I didn’t need to be Inspector Morse. You know, the “grandfather” thing, you talking about not being a Thornton, and all the whispering going on the last few weeks.’

 

Adam nods, and places his hand on Cody’s arm.

 

‘You saw the envelope, didn’t you?’

‘I did. What was it?’ says Cody.

 

Adam explains about the inheritance from Daniel's mother, and how Daniel approached Agnes.

 

‘The envelope contains the deeds to the villa.’

‘You know that your mom kept all this about Daniel and you quiet all these years, don’t you Adam?’

‘I know, Dad. I can’t stand Daniel, and he’ll never be my dad. And you know that Mom loves you.’

‘Too late for that, son. She’s lied too many times and has always been suspicious of me, with Meredith and all that. I never did anything. You believe me, don’t you, son?’

‘Of course, Dad. Meredith explained. But what do you mean by “too late”?’

 

Cody pauses.

 

‘Tell your mom it’s finished.’

‘Finished?’

‘Tell her to get out. I don’t want her there. The shop’s in my name. Our marriage is over.’

 

Adam grabs Cody’s arm.

 

‘Oh, Dad, please, no!’


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