Libby telling Taj that it has to stop, they can't work anything out - Susan saying she doesn't know whether she wants Libby to stay - Toadie yelling that the accident was Stuart's fault and he wants him gone for good
Outside No 30:
Stuart asks Toadie to calm down so they can talk things through. Karl comes out and asks what's going on and when Stuart says 'he's kicked me out', goes to get Susan because she has a better chance of getting through to him. Connor looks on from the doorway, raising his eyebrows.
Susan comes in to a very cold reception from Toadie. She keeps talking while he flicks through a newspaper. She comments that everyone knows how he's hurting, she knows what's happened with him and Stuart, but this sort of behaviour doesn't help anyone, least of all him. It's not the time to be making rash decisions, jumping to conclusions or making accusations he may regret later on. When she adds that she's trying to help, he snaps back at her saying he'd have thought things are bad enough at her place without having her stick her oar in where it's not wanted. She looks downcast as she gets up to leave and he watches her go.
Lyn asks Joe if something's happening at No 30, as she's just seen Stuart packing his car. Joe replies that she doesn't need to stress about that and she adds that it would be even nicer if the 'little one' would just come out and join them right now. He offers to cook something nice for dinner and she puts in a request for something really simple like bangers and mash, nothing too exotic. He agrees.
Darkness, outside a phone-box in a country setting.
A car stops and Taj gets out and thanks the driver. He settles himself down on the floor in the phone-booth.
Joe has prepared a meal and tells Lyn that down at the shops he saw Susan who was 'in a real stinker'. Lyn answers that it's no surprise - poor Libby. Joe comments that he doesn't know what to think as it's no way for a teacher to behave, but Lyn adds that it's not Susan's fault and it must be difficult for her being acting Principal. She looks at the mountain of food he puts in front of her 'We are two, not twenty'. She asks about the bangers and mash she ordered - it's Spanish bangers with new mashed potatoes and sour cream, julienne carrots and zucchini with mustard sauce. She waves her arm to remove the garlic smell, but he thinks it wouldn't be Spanish without garlic. She tells him it looks delicious but she can't eat it - she just wants cheese on toast, which she'll get herself as it might be safer. He's a bit crestfallen but comments there's all the more for him.
Outside No 28, morning:
Karl and Susan walk out. He's carrying an overnight bag and talking breezily but she's still a little cool and distracted. He's a bit nervous at getting behind the wheel again. Just before getting in, he says that she wouldn't be seen as condoning Libby's behaviour, but as a mother who's concerned about her daughter. Susan turns away and replies very coldly that the matter's closed. Realising that he'll get no further response Karl gets into the car, saying that he's always admired her amazing capacity to forgive. She just says 'Give me a call when you get there'. He sighs and says 'Yes, of course'. She watches him leave.
Taj gets out of a Ute, thanks the driver and starts to walk up a driveway. We see Libby sitting with Ben on the grass and laughing as he plays with a twirly thing. Taj walks up the drive, then stops at a gap in the shrubbery which frames the sunny picture of Libby and Ben. He pauses and looks down.
Taj writes a letter and we hear his voice:
I'm writing this after a long and tiring journey, one that I at first hoped would lead me to you, but which I now see has led me to realising something. I'll never understand why you say what happened between us is a big mistake, but now I see that you're happy without me.
His voice continues as we see him post the letter in the mail-box, start to walk away and then hide behind a tree when he sees a red car approaching,
I'm sorry for the shame you obviously feel over our night together and what I thought we felt, but I can't tell you that I'm sorry that it happened because for me it was a very real and special moment and I can't say that I'm over you or that I'll get over you soon. But I'd like to think I'm big enough to walk away now, knowing that I don't really have the place in your life that I craved. You've created a beautiful little family with you and Ben and I have no right or any wish to disrupt that. So for now I say thank you, good luck and a (something) farewell.
The last few lines are heard as Karl's car goes up the driveway and Taj watches as he gets out and is excitedly greeted by Libby. Karl's voice saying 'My darling!' is heard as Taj turns and walks away.
The Coffee Shop:
Connor tells Stuart it isn't his fault, but Stuart wonders whether it was, saying he's gone over and over it and just doesn't know. Connor feels it's wrong for Toadie to cover up his grief with all this blind anger but Stuart replies that Toadie's in Hell and he wonders how he gets out of bed in the morning.
Toadie meanwhile has pointedly walked past them and met Tim Collins at another table. He ignores Stuart when he asks if he can just say something and after Connor and Stuart have left Tim Collins comments on the tension between him and his friends. Toadie tells him not to worry about it and refuses his offer of time off, on the basis that he needs to be doing something and they have clients who need help.
Lyn's reading a book when Joe comes out in his dressing-gown. She has slept in Steph's old room because the smell of his garlic breath was more than the two of them could cope with. He's not well because his sausages the night before were a bit fiery . She calls it a self-inflicted wound as he goes off again.
Country, Grandpa Tom's garden:
Karl and Libby are looking out over the plain and enjoying the kookaburras and then the silence. Libby appreciates that there's nothing to clutter the mind, but thinks she may have missed a few phone-calls. Karl immediately says Susan has been very busy, with Candace away. Libby says shakily how nice it would be if she could come and visit or even just call and she's sure she would if she could, to which Karl replies that her mum loves her very much. 'We all have our duties' she says forcing herself to sound bright and goes off to do the dishes, asking him to check the mail-box.
At the mail-box:
Karl finds Taj's note, looks around concernedly for Taj then pockets it.
Taj is hitch-hiking. The second car passes then reverses towards him. He asks the young woman driver if she's 'come back for another go' but she just laughs, saying she checked him out in the mirror and he looks like a nice guy. He agrees that he is, gets in and they drive away.
In the garden:
Libby's walking, very quiet. Karl says it's so quiet and isolated there's nobody about to hear a daughter opening up to her father, so Libby can tell him what she's thinking. She replies that she feels shame, is so ashamed of herself. Karl gently says that he's never felt anything but proud of her. She wonders what Drew would think of her right now and thinks he'd never forgive her. Karl says that Drew would think the world of her as always, and if he'd been there it would never have happened. As she agrees, Karl gives her the letter. After her initial shock that Taj has actually been there, she asks why Karl didn't throw it away. He answers that he trusts her to deal with it in whatever way she thinks best.
Tim sits down and asks Toadie how he is. Toadie says he's fine, but Tim has been fielding calls from peeved clients and suggests they work together at meetings for a while. Toadie promises it's not necessary and he won't upset any more clients, so is left sitting alone for lunch as Tim goes back to the office
The Coffee Shop:
Taj and the driver come in and he insists he'll buy her coffee. She wants the conversation to be more stimulating than in the car as he was so silent and guesses that he's followed a girl who didn't want anything to do with him and he's on the run from it. He tells her she's close - that he stood and thought it just suddenly felt wrong - him being there just didn't fit her family picture. She comments that he's obviously been on an emotional roller-coaster that he's handled really well. He's far too cute to stay single long and there's sure to be someone for him. When he starts to say that she's great, but they shouldn't…she laughs and asks if he thought she was coming on to him, then when he admits he did, says he might be right for her younger sister. He gets the message, gets the coffees.
Libby comments that the letter from Taj is full of teenage angst. Karl answers that it's understandable and she goes on to say that she should have understood, but has been so caught up in her own take on things she hasn't thought of him and the disruption to his life. She's behaved appallingly. She's an adult and she can't take back what she's done but should have the sense and maturity to deal with it and make it right for him too. Karl reassures her that she has everything inside of her she needs to deal with it and he's confident she will. The phone rings just then and Libby eagerly says 'Mum, hi!' Susan's tone stays flat as she responds, to Libby's questions, that she's fine and very busy and then immediately asks if Karl's there. She's passing on a message about a hospitalised patient which may mean he has to come home. He's not pleased, but Susan adds distantly that she's just the messenger. He sees Libby hunched in the corner of the verandah, clearly upset and he and Susan say a very cold goodbye. Karl says 'Come on Libby, it will be Ok'. She turns, wipes away her tears and says 'I don't think so. She's never going to forgive me.'