John Worthington asking Mrs. Mangel to marry him.
Mrs. Mangel stands there open- mouthed. John presses:
Mrs. Mangel says eventually:
MRS. MANGEL: *Marry* you?
JOHN (smiles): Well, I realise I'm not the *best* of catches, but I'd do my hardest to make your life a happy one. Please. Tell me one way or the other.
MRS. MANGEL (distantly): Yes...
JOHN (uncertainly): Yes, you'll marry me?
MRS. MANGEL (beams): Of course I will!
JOHN (a broad grin on his face): Oh Nell, you've made me the happiest man in the world! Thank you!
With that, he gives Mrs. Mangel a loving hug.
Sharon walks into the lounge room, where Nick is sitting on the floor with a pile of books, and hands him a drink. She smiles that there's one more exam tomorrow and that's it! Nick thanks her for helping him study. Sharon assures him that they *both* got a lot out of it. Bronwyn comes in at that moment, pushing Jamie is his pushchair, and Nick asks her what she's like at quadratic equations! Bronwyn laughs:
BRONWYN: Forget it! Shaz is the Maths whizz. *I* have trouble remembering my PIN number!
She then looks round at the state of the room and exclaims that she doesn't know how Sharon and Nick can work in the mess. She starts picking up papers, but Sharon tells her that she and Nick are studying and she asks her if she can leave it 'til tomorrow. Bronwyn says she'll grab some lunch and take Jamie for a walk - but tomorrow they *both* get stuck into it. Nick reminds Sharon that they were going to party after the exams. Bronwyn, however, mutters at Sharon that there's always an excuse; they've got to get the place sorted out - and what if Aunt Edie arrives? Sharon insists that she won't. Nick then suggests:
NICK: What if we all come back here?
BRONWYN (dubiously): What - you and all your mates?
BRONWYN: No! Forget it!
SHARON: No, it's a *great* idea! We could have our end- of- exams party *here*!
BRONWYN (warns): Sharon...
SHARON (enthusiastically): Listen! We could combine it with the house- warming party we were talking about; kill two birds with one stone, sort of thing!
The three of them head through to the kitchen as Bronwyn says warily that she's not sure she's keen on having a horde of Year 10 kids there. Sharon, however, insists that they won't invite a horde; twenty at the most. Bronwyn points out that they'll have to get Des's permission as Aunt Edie's agent. Sharon smiles that he won't mind; he can come too! Nick adds:
NICK: Yeah - bring whoever you like!
Bronwyn hesitates and then sighs that she supposes a party *could* be fun. Sharon exclaims that that's unreal! She then realises that she hasn't got a thing to wear; she'll have to go shopping! Nick suggests that they could make it a theme party. Sharon beams that they could go down to the op shop, get some old stuff and tart it up a bit. Bronwyn asks what theme. Sharon shrugs. Nick suggests ghosts and ghouls, but Sharon mutters that they don't want to wear sheets and stuff. Bronwyn suggests Country & Western, but Sharon retorts that they're city girls now; they want something really chic... like The Great Gatsby. Nick suggests:
NICK: How about The Untouchables? Gangsters and molls... like in the movie!
SHARON (happily): Yeah! Great idea! This is going to be *so* classy!
Bronwyn doesn't look so convinced!
Mrs. Mangel is walking arm- in- arm with John, saying to him that she thinks the wedding should be a small, intimate affair. John smiles that as long as *she's* there, that's all that matters to him. Mrs. Mangel tells him sincerely:
MRS. MANGEL: Oh John, you've made me very happy.
JOHN: Then after *our* wedding, we can head off to England to be with Caroline for *hers*.
MRS. MANGEL: You don't think your daughter will mind, do you? You know... your getting married again.
JOHN: Caroline wants me to be happy - and as I said: that means sharing the rest of my life with *you*. You've nothing to worry about. What we *do* have to do is organise your passport; that could take some weeks - and we should be talking about where we're going to live; not to mention all the-
MRS. MANGEL (laughs): Oh John, slow down - there's plenty of time for that! Right now, I can't concentrate on *anything*! I'm feeling as giddy as a young girl!
JOHN: Of course, all that can wait. I hope you're not too giddy to come with me and pick out a ring...?
MRS. MANGEL (smiles): I think I'm up to doing that!
Office of the Daniels Corporation
Paul is sitting at his desk, his back to Gail. She says to him coolly:
GAIL: I don't see what you've got against it.
Paul doesn't respond. Gail points out that they both know the odds involved in the IVF; at least through adoption they'd know that eventually they'd get a child. She gets up from her desk and walks over to Paul as she goes on that she knows she used to be against the idea too, but they've got to be realistic: isn't having a family the most important thing? Paul turns to her and retorts:
PAUL: Of *course* it is. Look, you know damn well that I want to be a parent just as much as you do.
PAUL: Well, I've always thought of that as being *our* child, not just *any* child.
GAIL (mutters): All right. Fine. We'll continue on the IVF and hope we get lucky.
She walks back to her desk. Paul starts to point out that that's not what he's saying at all - but Jane comes in at that moment and tells them that Madge is there to see them. Paul tells Gail that they'll talk about this later. Madge comes in and, sitting down on the chair by Paul's desk, says she just wondered if they've caught that lunatic who attacked Beverly. Paul replies that they haven't heard anything yet. Madge says she's been feeling sick all morning just thinking about her. She asks how Jim is and Paul tells her that he's pretty upset. Madge murmurs that it may sound a bit callous, but hopefully he and Beverly will be able to try again soon. Paul nods
PAUL: Yeah. Yeah - hopefully.
He looks at Gail.
Nick and Sharon are lying on their fronts on the lounge room floor, Sharon reading Nick the formula for a quadratic equation. She then changes the subject and smiles that she wants this party to be the best! She adds that it's so good having the house to themselves; they're not kids anymore. Nick replies that *they* know that - it's just convincing the rest of the world that's the problem. Sharon looks into his eyes, awkwardly. Nick murmurs:
NICK: I'm glad it's worked out like this, you know? I thought we wouldn't be able to see each other very much before.
SHARON: Yeah, me too...
NICK: Studying together's been really good.
He looks down at the floor in embarrassment before looking back up at Sharon and saying:
NICK: Shaz, I was wondering if I... if I could... you know...
SHARON (softly): What...?
NICK: Come over whenever I like!
SHARON (smiles): Course you can!
Nick then leans in and kisses Sharon on the lips. She kisses him back. When they part, Sharon grins:
SHARON: What took you so long?!
Reception area at the Daniels Corporation
Jane is making herself some coffee when Mrs. Mangel comes in from outside. Jane asks her what she's doing there on her day off; is something wrong? Mrs. Mangel, however, smiles happily:
MRS. MANGEL: What could possibly be wrong on a beautiful morning like this, Jane? The birds are singing, the sun is shining and God is in his Heaven!
JANE (frowns suspiciously): Are you all right?!
MRS. MANGEL: I'm the happiest woman in the world! Mr. Worthington has asked me to be his bride!
She shows Jane her engagement ring. Jane throws her arms around her and beams that that's fantastic! The office door opens at that moment and Paul and Gail come out with Madge. Finding Jane and Mrs. Mangel hugging, Paul asks what's going on. Jane smiles that her nan's got a bit of good news! Paul asks what it is. Mrs. Mangel beams:
MRS. MANGEL: Mr. Worthington and I are going to be married!
Paul looks at Gail and then offers Mrs. Mangel his congratulations! Mrs. Mangel shows off her engagement ring, explaining that John insisted on a ruby *and* diamond. She adds:
MRS. MANGEL: He said that only something as perfect as this could match the purity and permanence of our love.
MADGE (growls): Oh please...!
MRS. MANGEL: Mrs. Bishop, would you like a closer a look?
MADGE: Oh, I'm afraid I really haven't got time, but it looks very nice, though. Congratulations.
With that, she adds that she's got a bar to run and she heads out. Paul tells Mrs. Mangel that she'll have to excuse him too. He heads back into the office. Mrs. Mangel asks Gail if she can have a brief word. The two of them sit down in the coffee area and Mrs. Mangel says:
MRS. MANGEL: Neither John nor I want a *long* engagement, so the wedding will be quite soon - after which we're going to England for our honeymoon.
Jane calls over from her desk that that's great! She asks how long they're going for. Mrs. Mangel replies:
MRS. MANGEL: I'm not sure - but knowing how much John enjoys travelling, I wouldn't be surprised if it were for a few months.
Turning back to Gail, she says:
MRS. MANGEL: I think that it's not fair to expect you to give me the time off; that's why I've decided the best thing is to, er, resign from my position here.
Gail's mouth falls open in surprise. She then says she's sorry to hear that - but she understands. She thanks Mrs. Mangel for letting them know. Mrs. Mangel says she thought she'd give them plenty of notice so they can find someone suitable. Gail tells her:
GAIL: We'll all miss you, and we wish you every future happiness.
MRS. MANGEL (smiles): Thank you.
Nick and Sharon are pashing on the lounge room floor when the front door bangs and Bronwyn calls out that she's back. They pull apart quickly. Bronwyn comes in with Jamie and asks how the study's going. Nick replies quickly that it's finished; he was just leaving to tell the other guys about the party! He quickly grabs his bag and dashes out. When he's gone, Bronwyn turns to Sharon and grins:
BRONWYN: Come on - tell!
SHARON: Isn't he unreal? It took him forever to make a move, but once he did... wham!
BRONWYN (grins): I could see that!
SHARON: He's a really good kisser. Bronny, this is it: love!
BRONWYN (muses): Ah... love. I *think* I remember it.
SHARON: Ah, don't you worry about Henry - he'll come round. You just have to be patient with these city guys.
BRONWYN (dismissively): I couldn't care *less* about Henry.
SHARON (smiles): Sure...!
Bronwyn turns and heads out of the room, looking upset...
Madge is standing outside the Waterhole with John, shaking his hand and offering her congratulations. John smiles that he's a very fortunate man. Madge doesn't look convinced! She heads off to start her shift. Sharon and Bronwyn - pushing Jamie - approach at that moment, and say hello to John. John comments that the two of them look in good spirits and he asks where they're off to. Sharon explains that they're going to the op shop to get some stuff for their party. John exclaims:
JOHN: Really? I haven't been to a good party for... well, as long as I can remember!
SHARON: You can come to ours!
JOHN (smiles): Thanks, Sharon, but I don't think you'd want an old fogey like *me* to dampen things.
SHARON: Oh, you're not *that* old! You'd enjoy it: it's a theme party - The Untouchables - like gangsters and molls? You'd remember those days, wouldn't you?
JOHN (muses): Just about! You're dressing up, then?
SHARON: You bet! I want to make an outfit that makes me look like a femme fatale!
John turns to Bronwyn and grins as he asks if she's going as a dangerous vamp to turn the head of some poor, unwary hoodlum! Bronwyn, however, replies:
BRONWYN: Hardly! I've got this idea for an outfit. All I need is a Forties- style jacket and I'll be sweet.
John, looking thoughtful, asks if a double- breasted jacket with navy pinstripe would be it. Bronwyn nods that that would be the shot. John smiles that he's got just the thing at home; it might smell of mothballs, but after a bit of an airing it should be all right. Bronwyn beams that that would be terrific! Mrs. Mangel walks over at that moment and John smiles at her that he was just talking to the girls about their party. Mrs. Mangel's face turns into a frown and she says coolly:
MRS. MANGEL: Party?
SHARON (quietly): Ut oh...
John explains to Mrs. Mangel that it's a fancy dress party; it makes him wish he was forty years younger! Mrs. Mangel turns to Sharon and Bronwyn and smiles:
MRS. MANGEL: How nice. I'm sure you girls will have as much fun as a barrel- load of monkeys. Now, come along, John - we have to get to the Post Office to pick up my passport application.
With that, John says goodbye to Sharon and Bronwyn and he and Mrs. Mangel head off. Bronwyn turns to Sharon and muses:
BRONWYN: A barrel- load of monkeys?!
Henry is crouched in front of an empty armchair in the lounge room, practicing a speech:
HENRY: Bronwyn, the words in that letter might have come from Scott's typewriter, but... but the feelings came from my *heart*.
He then lets out a groan and mutters to himself that *she'll* laugh and *he'll* die of embarrassment. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and he goes and answers it to find Nick standing on the step. He asks Henry cheerfully how he is. Henry replies:
HENRY: Oh great, great. I've just struck up a serious relationship with half the living room furniture!
Nick explains that he's come to invite Henry to a party tomorrow night. Henry beams that he's the all- time rock 'n' roll party animal! Nick adds that it's a theme party - The Untouchables. Henry asks how Jim feels about having the party in the house after what happened to Beverly, but Nick explains that it's at Sharon and Bron's: they're celebrating their moving- in and the end of exams. With that, he dashes off, leaving Henry muttering:
John is sitting on the couch with Mrs. Mangel as she makes a list. He tells her that he doesn't have many people he particularly wants - just a few friends from the bowling club - but *she* can ask whoever she likes. He adds that he bumped into Madge earlier; he's sure *she'd* appreciate an invitation. Mrs. Mangel, however, murmurs:
MRS. MANGEL: Yes, but, er, we don't want it getting *too* out of hand, do we? An intimate ceremony is all *I* want.
The front door bangs suddenly and Jane comes in. She smiles at John that her nan told her the wonderful news and she thinks it's fantastic! She hands the two of them small gifts. She then sits down in the armchair, having to move a jacket in the process. She asks whose it is and John explains that it's his: he's dropping it over to Bronwyn for her and Sharon's party. Mrs. Mangel opens her gift to find a scarf inside, and she smiles that it's lovely. John's gift is some gloves. Jane explains:
JANE: A little something to keep out the cold on your holiday - English winters and all that!
JOHN: Oh, our trip is hardly a *holiday*, Jane - I've already arranged to buy a little cottage in St. Albans, near my daughter. Your grandmother and I will be setting up our home there. We'll have to get used to that English weather, Nell, won't we!
Mrs. Mangel sits there looking taken aback.
Henry is sitting at the kitchen counter as Madge prepares dinner. He's muttering:
HENRY: Women: you can't live with 'em, you can't live without 'em.
Madge groans and asks what the disaster is *this* time. Henry explains that Nick invited him to a party tomorrow night - at No. 30. Madge asks what the matter is with *that*. Henry sighs:
HENRY: Mum, why don't you just grab that knife, stick it right in here [he indicates his heart], twist it round a few times... it's the same thing. I can't go with Bronwyn there.
Madge sighs at Henry that he's over- reacting. Henry, however, retorts that he made a prize goose of himself over her; every girl he likes just wants to be good friends, but he's fed up with good friends. Madge tells him that she knows lots of girls who'd *jump* at the chance of going out with a fellow like him. Henry sighs:
HENRY: I don't want *lots* of girls... I want *Bronwyn*.
MADGE: Go to the party. The Henry Ramsay *I* know is nothing if not persistent - and there'll be friends there if you need moral support. Got to be in it to win it!
HENRY (murmurs): I guess so...
Mrs. Mangel is sitting alone on the couch. Jane comes in and hands her a cup of tea. She then sits down with her nan and asks:
JANE: Why didn't you tell Mr. Worthington how you felt about living in England?
MRS. MANGEL: I couldn't. I was just as surprised as *you* were. If you hadn't suggested he take that jacket over to Bronwyn, I don't know *what* I would have said.
JANE: How do you feel about it now?
MRS. MANGEL: Oh, I don't know. It's not that I have anything *against* living in England - in many ways I'm sure it would be lovely - but... but this is my *home*.
JANE (murmurs): Yeah...
MRS. MANGEL: All my friends are here... the church and the bowling club... and after all these years, Joe's come home. We're only just starting to get to know each other again.
JANE: You *love* Mr. Worthington - anyone can see that. I suppose with something like this, you have to follow your *own* happiness.
MRS. MANGEL: But England is so far away...
JANE: It's only a 'plane flight, nan. We can come and visit you - it'll be *fun* having somewhere to stay in England. You could always 'phone up if you wanted to have a chat.
MRS. MANGEL (pulling Jane towards her): Oh Jane, I'd miss you...
JANE: Nan, I'd miss you too.
MRS. MANGEL: I'm not sure if I'm *strong* enough to make this sort of change in my life...
Sharon and Nick are pashing when Bronwyn comes in and shows off the jacket John brought over. Sharon smiles that it looks terrific! Nick asks her what she's going to wear with it, but Bronwyn grins that he'll have to wait and see! Sharon examines the jacket and exclaims that they don't make clothes like *that* anymore. Bronwyn nods that it's fully lined and *everything*. She then suddenly discovers something in the inside pocket. She takes it out. It's an envelope. She looks at the postmark and exclaims:
BRONWYN: 9th June 1956.
NICK: That's over thirty years ago!
Sharon asks what's inside. She goes to pull out a letter that's sticking out the top, but Bronwyn points out that it's personal: for Mr. Worthington to have kept it that long, it must be pretty important. She adds that she's going to take it back to him right now. With that, she heads out.
Office of the Daniels Corporation
Paul is talking on the 'phone, snapping:
PAUL: Yeah, thanks a lot, Frank. How about next time I just send you a pound of flesh, eh?
He hangs up, angrily, just as Gail comes in. Paul asks her if she's seen what Barnes & Co are charging: it's ridiculous. He then stands up and announces that he's calling it a day. Gail, however, says she wants to sort out this adoption business before they go. She continues:
GAIL: I just don't see why you're so set against it. I mean, look at me and look at Rosemary: *we're* both adopted. I know the problems - and because of that, we could give a child so much.
PAUL: Yeah, I think you're right.
GAIL (charging on): I mean, we love each other, we've got a good home-. What?!
PAUL (smiles): I said I think you're absolutely right - one hundred per cent.
GAIL: They why didn't you say so?!
PAUL: Because you didn't give me much of a chance, did you?!
Gail admits that she supposes she's been a bit enthusiastic! She asks if that means they can register with the adoption agency. Paul smiles:
PAUL: Why not?!
They kiss happily. Paul then tells Gail that the most important thing about parenthood *isn't* your chromosome count - and if they get lucky with the IVF, they might be able to start their own footy team! Gail grins:
GAIL: Or netball!
PAUL: Or basketball!
GAIL: Or if we have that many, half of them could be the spectators!
Bronwyn is standing on the step of No. 32, telling Mrs. Mangel that she thought Mr. Worthington would be there; that's why she brought the letter over. Mrs. Mangel replies that he'll be returning later - she'll give it to him then. Bronwyn hands over the letter and turns to leave. Mrs. Mangel says quickly:
MRS. MANGEL: Bronwyn, you haven't read this, have you? A person's private correspondence is their own affair and no one else's.
BRONWYN: Don't worry - I wouldn't have a clue what's in it.
Mrs. Mangel looks vaguely disappointed! Bronwyn turns and heads off. Mrs. Mangel heads into the lounge room, apparently trying to resist the temptation to take the letter out of the envelope. She puts it down on the coffee table - but then 'accidentally' swipes it so that the envelope drops onto the floor and the letter falls out. She muses:
MRS. MANGEL: Oops! Oh dear! Well, it's open now!
She picks up the letter, unfolds it and starts reading. As she does so, a look of astonishment and horror crosses her face...