Helen handing Jim a small cardboard box that she found in Lucy's room. Jim looking shocked at its contents.
The box has a label on it saying ‘Microgynon 30 ED'. Jim looks at it and says in astonishment:
JIM: The *pill*? *Lucy*?
HELEN: Her name's on the packet.
JIM: But she's so *young*. This is *awful*.
HELEN: I know. It's the *last* thing I would've expected.
JIM (exclaims): What sort of school is it? They're supposed to be *looking after* her.
Helen comments that they're probably jumping to conclusions; there could be some reasonable explanation. Jim retorts that if there is, he'd love to hear it. At that moment, the front door opens and Nick and Lucy come in. Jim demands to know where they've been, and Nick explains that they went for a coffee and forgot about the time. Jim snaps that when he says eleven o'clock, he doesn't mean twelve thirty. He then tells Nick to go to bed, as he wants to have a talk to Lucy. Nick walks off to his room. Lucy starts to say to her father that she didn't think he'd mind so much. Jim, however, thrusts the box of pills towards her and says tersely:
JIM: *This* is what I mind.
Lucy looks at it and then snaps that Jim has been snooping and going through her things. Jim retorts:
JIM: The important thing is: what are you doing with these?
LUCY: What about my privacy? What *else* have you been looking through?
HELEN: Darling, it wasn't your father. I was tidying your room. *I* found them.
LUCY: So you're against me too?
HELEN: *Nobody's* against you, but I think we're entitled to know the truth.
LUCY (looking annoyed): OK.
Lucy pauses before going on more calmly:
LUCY: I get bad cramps every month and the doctor gave them to me to help with the pain.
HELEN: Why didn't you tell us?
LUCY: What's it got to do with you? *I'm* the one that gets the cramps.
JIM: Lucy, you've got to admit, when you go behind our backs—
LUCY: I would've only been going behind your backs if I'd done something wrong, and I *haven't*.
Helen suggests that they leave this ‘til tomorrow: it's late now. Jim tells Lucy to go to bed and they'll talk about it in the morning. Lucy, however, retorts:
LUCY: You mean *you'll* talk, but I bet you won't listen.
With that, she stomps off to her room. Jim and Helen look at each other.
The next morning, everyone is having breakfast, but Jim tells Nick and Todd that if they've finished, he'd like to have a private word with Lucy. The two guys head through to the lounge room. When they've gone, Beverly tells Lucy that they don't mean to attack her; all they want to do is discuss why the doctor prescribed the pill for her. Lucy retorts:
LUCY: I told dad: because of the cramps.
Jim sighs. Lucy goes on:
LUCY: It's *true*. I tried other things at first, but they didn't work, so the doctor suggested the pill.
JIM: Darling, don't you think you should've asked my permission first? Or at the very least Beverly's or Helen's?
LUCY: Gran, what would you have said if I had?
HELEN: I don't know, darling. I suppose I probably would've asked you to keep on with whatever treatments you were taking.
LUCY: But they weren't working – I *told* you that.
BEVERLY (chips in): The pill *is* quite widely prescribed for cramps.
JIM: *I* still think Lucy's too young to be taking it.
LUCY: What *you're* saying is I'm too young to be taking a contraceptive, but I'm not *using* it for that. You're treating me like I've done something wrong and I haven't.
Jim starts to protest, but Lucy challenges:
LUCY: It's true. What you're really saying is you don't trust me. Go on – admit it.
Jim doesn't respond. Lucy continues angrily:
LUCY: If that's what you *really* think of me, maybe it's just as well I *am* on the pill.
Sharon emerges from the kitchen as Matt arrives home from a run. She exclaims that she can't believe he jogging on a Sunday morning! They head into the lounge room and Matt asks how last night went. Sharon, however, sighs that she'll tell him after breakfast: it might seem funnier then. Changing the subject, Matt tells Sharon that Hilary's gone off bird-watching for the day with Kenneth Muir – and the two of *them* have been charged with house-cleaning duty. Sharon grimaces:
SHARON: I can't *wait* to tell the guys at school about this weekend!
Driveway of No. 26
Nick is kicking a football around when Todd joins him, carrying his skateboard, and says:
TODD: They arguing about *you* in there?
NICK: I'm not sure. Jim had a go at me about coming home late last night, but I think it's a bit more than that.
TODD: Yeah, well, they probably just don't want you going out with Lucy at *all*.
NICK (demands): What you been saying to him?
NICK (snaps): You sure you haven't been filling him in on your opinion about me and Lucy?
TODD: I don't think I'd *have* to, mate – it's pretty obvious that you're just using her.
NICK: Give me a break, mate. It's none of your business anyway. Stop giving me a hard time about it.
TODD (shrugs): Your funeral.
Lochy is in the kitchen with Kerry, telling her that when she went by the house a couple of days ago, she saw a shadow. Kerry, however, sighs that she's had enough ghost talk for one day. Lochy asks if Bouncer can come with them on the picnic, because if the ghost comes, he can save them! She then asks if she should go and wake Toby up now. Kerry, however, tells her:
KERRY: No, not yet. He didn't sleep very well last night, because *someone* has been scaring him with stories about ghosts.
LOCHY: Don't you *believe* in ghosts?
KERRY: Maybe – but not the horrible kind you keep telling Toby about. The ones that I believe in *help* people.
Lochy then asks if they can play cricket when they get to the picnic. Kerry suggests that she go out and see if she can find the cricket stuff under the house. Lochy heads out, taking Bouncer with her, suggesting that they might find a ghost under the house!
Matt is vacuuming the lounge room floor as Sharon lies back on the couch and asks how you're supposed to treat a Reverend. Matt shrugs that he doesn't know: he's never been out with one! Sharon sighs:
SHARON: I wish Melanie had told me who she was going to bring. If she had, I'd have found a way of getting out of it.
MATT: What – so the whole night was a complete write-off?
SHARON: No... It was all right until we found out who he was.
MATT (laughs): What – so after that you actually had to watch the movie?!
There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Matt turns off the vacuum and goes and opens the door to Todd. He lets him in and Todd asks Matt if he wants to go to the skateboard ramp. Matt nods:
TODD: Good. I tell you what: our house isn't a happy place at the moment. Talk about aggro.
MATT: Why – what's happened?
There's suddenly an exclamation from the lounge room. Sharon is looking at the Erinsborough News and she says:
SHARON: I don't believe it. How could he *do* this to me?
Matt asks what it is. Sharon tells him:
SHARON: Listen to this: it's from the ‘Dear George' column. “Dear George. My ex-girlfriend dumped me after losing weight and saying she was only doing it for me. She started saying I was jealous and possessive and after that, when I was sick in hospital, she dumped me without telling me why.”
TODD: *Nick* didn't write that, did he?
SHARON: It gets worse. “Now she's running round with lots of other guys and I feel hurt because she's just flaunting it in front of me. What should I do?” Signed ‘‘Desperate' of Erinsborough.'
Matt comments that it doesn't sound something *Nick* would write. Sharon mutters:
SHARON: He better not've – ‘cos if he did, he's in deep trouble, let me tell you.
Beverly is sitting on the couch, comforting a grizzly Rhys. He calms down, and Beverly looks at him and says she's sorry to have to tell him that there's a whole lifetime of tears ahead of him – but what makes it worthwhile is that there's a lifetime of laughter to go with it. She then murmurs distantly:
BEVERLY: I just wish I could be the one to help see you through it all...
Lucy emerges from her room and heads into the kitchen, where Nick is sketching. He asks her if she's OK. She shrugs:
LUCY: Yeah. Sure. What are you doing?
NICK: Not much. Haven't done a decent painting since my accident. Can't seem to concentrate.
Nick then asks Lucy if Jim is still hassling her about last night. Lucy, however tells him that the problem isn't last night; it's about her father not trusting her. She adds quickly that it's nothing. Sharon storms in through the back door suddenly and snaps:
SHARON: That was really low, Nick. How could you *do* a thing like this?
NICK (blankly): Like what?
SHARON: The letter you wrote to ‘Dear George'.
NICK: I *didn't*.
SHARON: Don't lie to me. It's so obviously about you and me; no one *else* could've written it.
NICK: Sharon, I don't know what you're talking about.
Sharon snaps at Nick that he made her sound like someone he *hates*. Nick repeats that he hasn't *done* anything. Sharon thrusts the newspaper at him and storms back off. Beverly comes in and asks everyone to keep it down. Nick reads the letter to ‘Dear George' and looks worried.
Sky is rocking back and forth on one of the pieces of play equipment! Toby throws a cricket ball at Lochy, who hits it with the bat. The ball launches into the air and is caught by a girl in her late teens standing a few yards away. Toby and Lochy run over to her and Toby exclaims that that was a great catch! Lochy asks the girl if she wants to play with them. At that moment, though, Kerry calls that it's time for lunch, and the girl goes to walk off. Toby and Lochy grab her arms, though, saying Kerry won't mind. The three of them run over to where Kerry has set out a picnic blanket and Toby tells Kerry that the girl is a friend of theirs. He then asks what her name is. The girl says she's Lee. Kerry introduces herself and Toby and Lochy introduce *themselves*. Kerry then says to Lee:
KERRY: You new around here? I haven't seen you before.
LEE: Yeah, pretty new. We move round quite a bit. Um... my dad's got a pretty important job and has to travel a lot for business.
KERRY: Nice for some!
LEE: Yeah! Even overseas sometimes – and when he does, he takes us with him.
TOBY: You're lucky!
LEE: Yeah, but I guess I'll have to stick around *here* for a bit. I've got this really important high-powered job.
KERRY: What *sort* of job?
LEE: With a Public Relations firm. I'm really enjoying it.
KERRY (looking unconvinced at the girl's story): Yeah, I bet you do...
Kerry notices Lee eying-up the food on the picnic blanket, and she invites her to stay for lunch. Lee hesitates, then sits down.
Lucy is in the kitchen on her own when Beverly comes in from the lounge room. She tells Lucy that things aren't as bad as she thinks: Jim's reaction was just typical for fathers – they can't bear the thought of their little girls growing up. Lucy, however, sighs:
LUCY: It's *more* than that. He's being unfair. He still doesn't believe me about why I went on the pill.
BEVERLY: Oh, I think it's more that he's hurt that you didn't feel you could discuss it with him first.
LUCY: But it's *my* body. *I'm* the one with the pain. I don't have to talk to him about *everything*. Anyway, I knew he'd carry on; that he wouldn't understand.
BEVERLY: Maybe so, but what about *me*? Couldn't you have trusted *me*?
LUCY: Well, I thought about it – but then I figured you'd end up telling dad anyway. *Would* you have told him?
BEVERLY: Well... in your case, I would've had to ask his permission to prescribe the pill because you're under 16. In fact, the doctor you saw should've contacted us.
LUCY (admits): I lied about my age. It seemed easier than causing a fuss.
BEVERLY: I think I could've made him understand.
LUCY: Yeah... I should've come to you.
BEVERLY: Well... if there's a next time...
LUCY (smiles): Thanks.
Lucy then asks Beverly if she believes her about why she went on the pill. Beverly replies that of course she does. Lucy says she's glad *somebody* does. Beverly gives her a loving hug.
Matt and Todd head into No. 30 as Sharon emerges from her room. Matt asks her how things went with Nick, but she retorts that he had the nerve to pretend he hadn't written it. Matt asks her if she gave him a hard time, and Sharon says of *course* she did. Matt goes on:
MATT: Sharon, I've been thinking. It's not like Nick to've written in to something like that in the first place. I mean, he must've been really desperate; a real cry for help.
TODD (nods): Yeah, for sure.
SHARON: You think I was *mean*?
MATT: Well... I mean, he must've really been hurt – been really devastated – to have thought of writing in in the first place. You know? I mean, you going over there and bawling him out is just twisting the knife.
Sharon looks at Todd and asks him if Nick has been feeling bad about her seeing other guys. Todd replies awkwardly that he *was* at the start, but he doesn't think he is anymore, as he's going out with someone else now. Sharon asks who it is. Todd says hesitantly:
TODD: Um... it's Lucy.
MATT (looking astonished): Lucy? You're kidding!
TODD: Look, I don't know how serious it is, but they *are* going out together.
SHARON (snaps): That creep. I was starting to feel sorry for him, you know, but he obviously isn't suffering at *all* if he's found someone else this quickly – and that makes the letter even *worse*.
SHARON: *Why?* Because if he's not unhappy then there's only one reason he would've written it: out of *spite*.
Matt and Todd look at each other.
Toby asks Lee if she's got any brothers or sisters. Lee replies that she has a couple. Lochy asks if they're older or younger, and Lee replies that they're younger. She then looks at Kerry and says:
LEE: Do you ever need a babysitter? I've got plenty of free time.
KERRY: Your hours with the big promotions firm are pretty flexible?
LEE: Er... yeah. Well. I haven't exactly started there, yet; I just need a bit of a job to tide me over.
KERRY: Look, I'll tell you what: you give me your ‘phone number and if I hear of anything, I'll contact you.
LEE (quickly): You can't. Um... I don't remember my new number. Look, thanks for lunch, but I've gotta go.
With that, Lee stands up. Kerry tells her to take some more food if she's hungry, but Lee replies that she's all right: her mum makes a really big roast on a Sunday, and the way she's feeling, she won't be able to fit it in. With that, she runs off. Kerry sits there looking concerned.
Helen and Jim are sitting in the lounge room, talking about Lucy taking the pill. Helen comments that no matter *what* Lucy says, it does put temptation in her way. Beverly overhears from the kitchen and, heading into the lounge room, asks Helen and Jim if they aren't selling Lucy a bit short. Helen, however, insists:
HELEN: It's not a matter of not trusting her; it's just that she's... well, she's so awfully young – and sometimes it's hard to be sensible at that age.
BEVERLY: Well, I'm sorry to disagree with you, but *I* think she's *very* sensible. I had a talk with her today and personally I don't think we've got anything to worry about.
JIM: She's growing up so *fast*. *Too* fast. She's changed so much since the last school holidays.
BEVERLY: Are you sure you're not over-reacting?
JIM (retorts): Well how am I *supposed* to react? Not only is my young daughter calmly taking the pill, but she's also staying out ‘til all hours of the night with *Nick*. Now, I know this won't be a popular choice, but I'm going to tell her to stop taking it.
BEVERLY: You're right: it *won't* be popular. It'll simply confirm *her* feeling that you don't believe her reason for taking it in the first place.
Helen insists that it's not quite as straightforward as that. Beverly, though, says:
BEVERLY: Like it or not, she's becoming a young woman. Sooner or later, we're going to have to let her make her own decisions. I think there'll be a lot less heartbreak all round if it's sooner.
Helen comments that once upon a time everything seemed to be so much simpler. Beverly, however, says she doesn't think being a teenager was *ever* simple. Jim muses:
JIM: Neither's being a parent!
Toby and Lochy are arguing in the kitchen about who hit the most sixes in their game of cricket! There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Toby goes and answers it. He comes back in a few seconds later with Matt, who hands Kerry a bunch of flowers, explaining that they're to say thanks for her help with his assignment: he got an A! Kerry exclaims that that's fantastic, and she gives Matt a hug. He tells her that he wouldn't have got the marks he did without her help, so if there's anything he can do for *her*, she should just ask. Kerry grins:
KERRY: Well, actually, there *is*. I don't suppose you'd mind walking Lochy home for me?
MATT (rolling his eyes slightly!): No – that would be great!
Lochy asks why *Toby* can't walk her home: she wants to show him where she saw the ghost again. Kerry, however, explains that it's getting late and she doesn't want Toby walking home in the dark. With that, Lochy gives in and she and Matt head out.
Lucy and Nick sit down on the couch and Lucy asks warily what they've done *now*. Jim, however, who's facing them, insists that he just thought it was time they had a bit of a talk. He goes on:
JIM: Last night's date: are you two just friends or is this likely to be the start of something a little more serious?
LUCY: I don't know... It sort of depends on Nick.
NICK: Well, personally, I think it's a bit early for *either* of us to tell.
JIM: Fair enough – but if you *are* going to start seeing each other, there are a couple of ground rules that, without exception, *must* be obeyed.
LUCY: What are they?
JIM: One – you must let me, Helen or Beverly know exactly where you're going; and two – you must be in by whatever deadline we set you. Is that understood?
Lucy nods. Nick says they'll do what they're told – but he then asks if all the aggro that's been hanging around is because of him and Lucy getting in late last night. Jim, however, explains that that's a separate issue to do with Lucy – and it's been resolved now. Nick sits there looking puzzled.
Lochy runs up to the front wall of the haunted house and tells Matt that that's where she and Toby saw the ghost. Matt sighs that there are no such *things* as ghosts. Lochy, however, tells him to come inside and she'll show it to him. Matt turns away, saying he's got to get her home. Lochy, however, suddenly spies someone running across the front of the property, and she tells Matt that that's the ghost they saw! She runs off through the front gates, heading for the house. Matt follows her, calling to her to come back. Lochy retorts:
LOCHY: No. You come with *me*. We can catch her!
MATT: Lochy, you can't catch ghosts. Lochy...
It's no good, though: Lochy keeps running towards the house, leaving Matt standing watching her.