Joe realising that Kerry has sent the newspaper clippings that Mrs. Mangel kept about him playing football for recycling.
Kerry joins Joe in the hall and asks what's wrong. Joe looks as if he's going to explain, but he then just sighs:
Kerry smiles that he really hates to throw anything out, doesn't he; he's so sentimental! Joe heads back into the lounge room and sits down, looking disappointed. Kerry tells him that he's just an old hoarder at heart! Joe mutters to himself:
JOE: Well... gone, now, hasn't it.
Office of the Robinson Corporation
Des is working at Paul's desk and he calls Melanie in to do some filing. As she goes to the filing cabinet, Melanie asks hesitantly if Clive's taken. Des comments that he thought she was interested in more *mature* men, but Melanie shrugs that he must be pretty mature to be a doctor! She muses:
MELANIE: I wonder when he'll ask me out.
DES: Well, Clive's pretty slow at things like that.
MELANIE: He's not the *only* one, *is he*?
DES (blankly): Huh?
MELANIE: Well, I know you invited me over to your place for a drink, but it's not the same as going out.
DES (aghast): Melanie! I'm *engaged*!
MELANIE (surprised): Engaged? To be *married*?
MELANIE: Who? Who to?
DES: Jane. Jane Harris.
MELANIE: Really? She must be like *me*: attracted to older men.
Des gives Melanie a look, but she doesn't notice! She asks Des when they're getting married, and Des replies that it'll be as soon as Jane gets back from overseas. Melanie sits down in the chair opposite Des and asks how come Jane got engaged and then went overseas. Des explains that her grandmother got pretty sick over there. Melanie remarks that it's lucky they hadn't planned the marriage just yet. Des, however, explains that they had, but he had to postpone it. He then adds quickly that he's got a lot of work to do... Melanie tells him that so has she: she's decided to reorganise the whole filing system. Des asks warily if that's wise, but Melanie insists that she can make everything much easier to find. She adds:
MELANIE: You can trust me, Des - I've done this a lot. You just get back on with your work!
Matt, Sharon and Nick walk into No. 30 after seeing Hilary off. Nick comments that the house is *theirs*. Matt asks Sharon if she thinks Hilary will be all right, as she was really upset. Sharon insists that Aunt Edie will take good care of her. Nick says enthusiastically that they should take advantage of Hilary being away. Sharon suggests they throw a party - tonight! Nick says he'll be in it, and Matt nods that they can probably get it together in time. He then adds warily:
MATT: Let's just make sure nothing gets broken, OK?
SHARON: Look, we'll put all the breakables in my room and we'll really clean up the place tomorrow. By the time Hilary gets back, there'll be no sign of the party, all right?
Nick grins that it's rave time!
Joe is sitting in the lounge room, still looking glum. Toby comes in wearing one of Joe's old football shirts, saying he's going to kick the winning goal just like Joe did. He then asks his dad if he can tell him some more footy stories. Joe, however, sighs that he doesn't feel like it. Toby tells him to come and have a kick of the footy, but Joe says he doesn't feel like that, either. Toby asks in concern:
TOBY: What's the matter, dad?
JOE: Nothing, mate, nothing.
TOBY: I reckon you oldies get real boring at times.
JOE (snaps): Look, can you just go and find someone else to kick the footy with you and leave me in peace?
Toby wanders out. Joe sits there and sighs heavily.
Office/Reception area of the Robinson Corporation
Des is busy in the office, adding up some figures as Melanie sits in the chair opposite and watches him. Des eventually looks up at her and asks her warily what she's doing. She tells him:
MELANIE: I finished the filing; I thought I'd keep you company.
DES: But I'm trying to work.
MELANIE: Well, I'm not saying anything; I'm just here if you want to talk.
Des looks down at the desk again, then, realising that Melanie isn't going to go away, declares that he's going to call it a day. He heads out into the reception area with some files. Melanie follows him and says quickly:
MELANIE: You said that Mike was away.
MELANIE: So you've only got that lonely old house to go home to.
DES: It's OK - Jamie's there.
MELANIE: Well, what are you going to do for dinner?
DES: Probably have a pizza, after I pick up Jamie from Mrs. Kirkwood.
MELANIE: Well, why don't you let *me* come home with you and cook you a *proper* meal?
DES: Look, thanks very much, but I'll be fine.
MELANIE: Look, it's not a problem for me, Des. I don't have anything to do, and if I did, I can put it off. After what *you've* been through you should be looked after.
DES (blankly): What have I been through?!
MELANIE: Having your wedding cancelled.
MELANIE: Well... whatever. What you need tonight is adult, intelligent conversation and a good, home-cooked meal.
DES: Look, I can manage, Melanie - honestly, I can.
MELANIE: I won't have any argument about it Des. For one night, I'm going to take your mind off losing Jane.
With that, Melanie grabs Des's arm and leads him towards the door. Des insists:
DES: I *haven't* lost her!
Toby is playing with a football in the lounge room, telling Kerry - who's sitting on the couch, holding Sky - one of Joe's footy stories. Kerry listens as Toby adds that his dad was a hero: it was a great moment in football history! Kerry comments that she's never heard about any of this before, and she asks if it really happened. Toby tells her:
TOBY: Course it did! Dad was a *terrific* player - it said so in the paper.
KERRY (grins): Oh? What paper was *that*?
TOBY: The Erinsborough News. You know - those old ones.
Kerry looks at Toby blankly. He adds:
TOBY: The ones that were in the bottom of the carton.
KERRY: Yeah? It's a wonder Joe didn't want to keep them, then.
TOBY: He *does*. He's going to make me up a scrapbook.
A look of horror crosses Kerry's face suddenly as she realises what's happened. Joe comes in through the front door at that moment and joins the others. Kerry starts to say awkwardly:
KERRY: Joe, um, I hate to tell you thisó
Joe interrupts, though, and comments that Hilary's going to have a fit when she hears what's going on at No. 30. Kerry explains that Hilary asked Harold to keep an eye on the kids while she was away, but he's gone out tonight, so he asked *her* to do it. She adds that perhaps she'd better pop over and see if everything's OK. She asks Joe if he can put Sky to bed for her. Toby says *he'll* help - then Joe can tell him more about those games he won!
The party is in full swing. There's a knock on the door and Sharon lets in more guests. Matt joins her in the hallway and asks in concern how many people they invited. Sharon replies that it was about twenty. Matt says tersely that he didn't think there'd be quite this many. Sharon warns him that he's starting to sound like Hilary! There's another knock on the door and Sharon opens it to Kerry, who comments that he gathers they're having some sort of party. Sharon assures her that they won't mess anything up. Nick joins them as Kerry muses:
KERRY: I don't think Hilary would approve of a wild, raucous party going on in her house.
NICK: Oh, it's nothing like that - just a quiet night.
Kerry explains that her father's asked her to keep an eye on them tonight. Nick sighs:
NICK: Oh you're not going to *stop* us, are you?
SHARON: I didn't think you'd be the *type* to ruin our fun.
KERRY: I won't! Have a good time, all right? Just keep the noise down a bit - we don't want the neighbours complaining.
Kerry adds that, if they like, she'll come over in the morning and help them clean up. Sharon beams that that would be great! Kerry heads off and Nick says to Sharon in relief that he thought they were going to be closed down there for a minute! Sharon insists:
SHARON: No way, buddy. Let's *party*!
Melanie places a huge mixed grill in front of Des and he beams that it looks great! Melanie tells him that he needs someone to serve him a hearty meal more often! Des shrugs:
DES: I do manage all right. You know, I've learned to cook a bit and I don't burn water anymore!
Melanie bursts out laughing. Jamie looks at her with a scared expression on his face! Melanie then tells Des that she thinks it's wonderful the way he's managed to keep his sense of humour with what's happened with Jane and everything. She adds:
MELANIE: But don't worry - you'll find someone else.
DES (tersely): I'm not *looking* for anyone else. Jane's coming back here to marry me.
MELANIE ('playing along'): Course she is. I'm sure she must realise that an older man appreciates a woman's tender, loving care much more than a young man does.
DES: Well *I* certainly appreciated Jane; I mean *do* appreciate Jane - still. *Now*
MELANIE: But life goes on, Des, and I think you'll find the right girl is probably closer than you think!
DES (exasperated): I *know* where the right girl is: she's in England and she's coming back here to marry me!
MELANIE: Sure. Now, eat up, Des, you need to keep up your strength!
Des looks at Jamie in despair!
Joe walks into the lounge room and picks up the TV guide. Kerry comes in and Joe asks her what she wants to watch. Kerry tells him that she wants to talk to him first. The two of them sit down and Kerry says guiltily:
KERRY: I threw out your papers.
JOE: Oh, that doesn't matter!
KERRY: It *does*. Toby told me you were going to make a scrapbook out of them. They must've been important to you.
JOE: Well... only 'cos mum kept 'em. I mean, I didn't think she'd given me a thought all those years we weren't together, but she kept every paper that mentioned me; and now she's so sick and... Oh, I wish I was over there with her...
KERRY (softly): She'll be OK.
JOE: How can we tell? I mean, Jane's staying on: she can't be *too* good.
KERRY: Well, she's just had a major operation. It's natural it'll take her a while to recover - especially at her age.
JOE: Yeah, I guess so.
KERRY: I'm so sorry about your papers. You didn't even say a word.
JOE: Nah! Well, there was no use starting a row, was there? I mean, they were gone; there was nothing we could do about it.
KERRY: Oh Joe, I love you!
JOE (looking thoughtful): You know - that's the first time you've actually said that.
KERRY: Well - you'll be hearing it a lot more from now on. [Smiles] I'm so glad I've married you.
The two of them kiss passionately.
Melanie and Des are washing up the dishes, Melanie saying as they do so:
MELANIE: But instead of proposing, he told me he thought we shouldn't *see* each other anymore.
Des remarks that that's a bit rough, and he asks if the guy said *why* he broke it off. Melanie retorts:
MELANIE: He said I embarrassed him. Can you imagine that? I mean - what do *I* do to embarrass anyone?
DES (quickly): I can't imagine...!
Des then suggests that maybe Melanie's better off that she hasn't got this guy anymore. Melanie nods that he's right: she meant to cheer him up tonight, not make him feel even more miserable. Des insists that he's *not* miserable: he's missing Jane and he was disappointed that they had to postpone the wedding, but he's fine. Melanie says:
MELANIE: I *love* it when people are brave like you.
DES (through gritted teeth): What do you think I've got to be brave about?
MELANIE: Well, Jane takes off like that: obviously she's not sure if she wants to go through with the wedding.
DES: No. No, no--
MELANIE: And think of all the guys she's met in England: doctors; specialists, even - attractive professional men. It's not that surprising that she's changed her mind and decided not to come home.
DES: No, you've got it all wrong.
MELANIE: Des, I understand you're having trouble facing this. You'll deal with it - in time. I won't talk about it anymore.
Melanie then asks Des what's on telly. Des, however, says he'd rather have an early night. Melanie nods:
MELANIE: Of course. You probably haven't been sleeping very well with so much on your mind.
With that, Des pushes Melanie towards the door! She smiles at him:
MELANIE: I'll be bright and early at the office in the morning. And Des... don't worry: I'll be here to see you through all of this.
With that, Des opens the door and sees Melanie out. He then closes the door and quickly puts the chain on!
The next morning, there's a rapid knocking on the front door at No. 30. Matt emerges from his bedroom and opens the door to Nick. The two of them head into the lounge room. It's in a state. Sharon joins them and exclaims in horror that they'd better get started. Matt says he's got to get to swimming training, but Sharon tells him he's got to stay and help first. He then notices that someone has spilt coffee all over the piano - and there are huge white marks on the top of it from the coffee mugs. Sharon lifts up the top of the piano and realises that the pads on the hammers are all stained with coffee. Nick sighs that they'll have to be replaced and the piano tuned again. Matt groans:
MATT: It's gonna cost a fortune. Mum *loved* the piano. She's gonna have a *fit*.
SHARON (sighs): What are we gonna *do*?
A short time later, Sharon is wiping the top of the piano with a cloth, trying to remove the mug stains, but she exclaims that it's not making any difference. Matt tells her and Nick that it's going to have to be re-polished. Nick suggests that he could do some more gardening work to raise the money, but Matt retorts that it's going to cost hundreds of bucks. Sharon says:
SHARON: If only we knew when Hilary was getting back. I think I might try ringing Aunt Edie to find out.
MATT: Sharon, even if we knew how long she'd be, we wouldn't be able to raise the money in time anyway.
There's a knock on the front door suddenly and Kerry comes in. She looks around and remarks that they have a bit of cleaning up to do! Sharon shows her the stains on the piano and Nick explains about the hammer pads having coffee on them. Kerry remarks that they should have put a blanket on it or something. Sharon says warily:
SHARON: Kerry, I hate to ask you this... you couldn't possibly lend us the money, could you?
KERRY: Oh Sharon, I would if I could, but Joe and I are really flat at the moment.
Nick suggests that they could rob a bank! Matt looks at his watch and says he's *got* to get to swimming training. He heads out. Nick adds that Matt needs someone to time him, and he heads out as well. Sharon mutters in annoyance:
SHARON: Great! I hope you both drown!
Kerry suggests to Sharon that they get to it. Sharon comments that it hardly seems fair, as Kerry wasn't even *there*. She adds that it's really nice having her around, especially with Bronny away. Kerry muses that she always wanted to have a sister: a younger one that she could boss around!
Reception area/Office of the Robinson Corporation
Des is whistling as he heads through the office door, but he stops abruptly as he finds Melanie sitting at the reception desk already. Des asks her warily what she's doing there so early. She replies:
MELANIE: I want to do everything I can to help you, Des. I *told* you I'd be here bright and early! Go and sit down - I've made some coffee
Des heads into the office and discovers a vase of flowers on the desk! He asks what they're for and Melanie joins him and tells him that she thought they might cheer him up. She adds:
MELANIE: You've got so much heartache, I thought at least your surroundings should be as bright as possible.
DES (tersely): Melanie, my heart is *not* aching.
Des then adds that he really appreciates this, but he can look after himself. Melanie remarks:
MELANIE: It's wonderful to see you taking such a positive attitude.
DES: I've got nothing to be positive *about*!
MELANIE: Exactly! Your world is in tatters, but still you go on. You know, I really admire you for that, Des.
Des points to the reception area and suggests to Melanie that she go back to work. Melanie smiles and tells Des to call if there's anything he needs. With that, she leaves the room. Des immediately goes and shuts the door!
Toby and Joe are watching TV in the lounge room. Kerry arrives home and comments that she's finally got the kids sorted out, although they've got themselves into a bit of strife. She then tells Toby that he's going to be late for school, and he picks up his bag and heads out. Kerry lies down on the floor with Joe and smiles at him that he's a real hero to Toby - and not only to *him*. She then goes on:
KERRY: I've been doing a bit of thinking.
JOE (warily): What about?
KERRY: I don't think I've been very fair to you in lots of ways. I guess I've expected *you* to make all the compromises.
JOE: How do you mean?
KERRY: Well, by not being prepared to cook meat for you.
JOE: Oh, well. You did say you didn't want to handle dead flesh.
KERRY: Well, I don't - but I can't expect you to become a vegetarian just because*I* am. It's not fair that you have to cook all your own meals - so, from now on, I'll cook you whatever you want.
JOE (looking surprised): Fair dinkum?!
KERRY (nods): Fair dinkum! So - how about I start with a breakfast of bacon and eggs?
JOE: Good one! Um... it's going to be, like, real stuff; not like nut-meat bacon?
KERRY: No - the real thing.
JOE: Oh yeah! Couple of snags?
KERRY: Well, that might be stretching the friendship!
JOE: This is more than a friendship, darl!
KERRY (warmly): Yeah, I reckon it *is*!
The two of them rub noses fondly.
Matt finishes a length and Nick, who's standing at the end of the pool, looks at the stopwatch and tells him that it took him 59 seconds. He adds that Matt's a bit slow this morning, probably because Hilary's not there to push him around! Matt comments that she *is* actually a pretty good coach! He climbs out of the pool as Nick mimics:
NICK: "Now, Matthew, you can do better than that! You've got to beat the world record by three seconds or you're just not good enough for me. Now, back into the pool and swim, swim, swim!"
Matt grins at Nick and tells him to knock it off! Nick gives Matt a gentle prod and continues:
NICK: "Come on, Matthew, no mucking around. You have got to *work*!"
Matt gives Nick a gentle shove back and tells him to get out! Nick slips on the water at the side of the pool, though. He stumbles and falls onto his face - and then rolls sideways into the water...