Des snapping at Paul, Jim and Melanie that what happened between him and Jane is none of their business.
Madge is vacuuming in the lounge room. Bronwyn joins her, turns off the vacuum cleaner and asks what time everyone is coming. Madge replies that it'll be any time after 2pm. Bronwyn remarks that it's funny: she never had a going-away party in Narrabri and she lived there all her life! Madge points out that this is Ramsay Street; any excuse for a party! She then asks Bronwyn gently if she's sure she's not upset about missing out on that job. Bronwyn tells her:
BRONWYN: Well... I couldn't help feeling a *bit* disappointed, but this is Henry's big break, and I want to be there to share it with him.
Madge accepts this and turns on the vacuum again. Bronwyn heads through to the kitchen. Henry arrives home and joins her, and she asks him if he got the tickets. He tells her, however:
HENRY: I got *one* ticket.
BRONWYN (looking puzzled): How do you mean?
The two of them sit down at the kitchen table and Henry explains:
HENRY: I thought about this whole deal a lot, Bron, and I think it's a lot fairer if... if I go by myself.
BRONWYN (frowns): Fairer for *who*?
HENRY: *You*, mainly. This vet thing's just what you always wanted. You put in so much work to get this far; it wouldn't be right to throw it all away.
BRONWYN (sharply): That's *my* decision.
HENRY: Yeah, but you'd be making it for *me*. Don't think I'm not grateful - I *am*; it's just that itó
BRONWYN: You don't want me to go?
HENRY: Bron, Bron, that's not true. I *do* want you with me; it's just... if we relocate completely and I bomb out, then we both have to come back to nothing. If we give it just a little bit of time, then see how we're both going, then... well, it'll be easier to make a decision.
BRONWYN (sadly): Yeah, but you're going to be all by yourself...
HENRY (smiles): You'll be with me - every second of every minute of every hour of every day!
BRONWYN (grins): Oh, I love you!
HENRY (happily): I love you, too!
Madge joins them and puts her arms round the two of them, saying:
MADGE: I love *both* of you, but you're making me cry!
Henry asks her to look after Bronwyn for him. Madge smiles that of course she will. She tells Henry fondly to look after *him*self.
Des is sitting in an armchair with Jamie. He doesn't notice as the front door opens quietly and Mike comes in. He looks at Des - who has grown big sideburns - and grins:
Des looks at him in astonishment and asks him what he's doing home! Mike explains that Melanie contacted him and let him know Des was back. Des sighs and asks if she told him about Jane. Mike nods that she mentioned it. He asks what the story is. Des tells him:
DES: It's a long story, mate - and it's not over yet. We had our differences - mainly whether to stay in England or to come back. I had Jamie to think of - so I stayed for a few weeks, then I stopped off at Greece on the way home: gave myself some time to think. Jane's supposed to be letting me know one way or the other.
He gets up to put the kettle on as he continues that he didn't want to tell people - not until he heard from Jane. Changing the subject, he asks Mike what *he's* been up to. Mike beams:
MIKE: Well! Everything! It's been great, actually! I went and stayed with some friends up-north for ages, I went and saw Jenny... just basically got away from everything, you know?
DES: Sounds like what *I* need!
Mike goes on that he really feels he's ready to get on with the rest of his life: he's done a lot of thinking and feels like he's positive about the future for the first time in ages. Des smiles that he's really happy for him. Mike then asks what all the noise is at the Ramsay house and Des explains that it's a going-away party for Henry, as he got a DJ job in New Zealand. Mike suggests that the two of them head over and wish them luck. Des, however, says hesitantly:
DES: Um... no, not me, mate. You go. I'd rather not see them 'til I know something for sure.
MIKE: Why not?
DES: Tell you the truth, I had a bit of a go at the welcoming party - you know: over Jane. Almost bit their heads off. I'd rather not see them until I've got something definite to tell them.
MIKE: Fair enough.
Joe is sitting on the couch with Henry as Henry apologises for leaving Joe in the lurch like this. Harold serves them with some beers as Henry tells Joe that if he's a smash on the Kiwi airwaves, he'll use his influence to have Joe brought over and start up a 'Joe the Gardener' spot again! Harold points out coolly to Henry than he's going to a commercial station: if they do a gardening spot, they'll want an expert, not someone who just happens to own a wheelbarrow! Madge joins them with nibbles, stopping them from arguing further! Bronwyn joins them as well as Madge asks Joe where Kerry is. Joe tells her that she'll be over later: like the rest of them, she wants to make sure Henry's actually going! Jim and Helen arrive and Helen tells those gathered than Lucy sends her best wishes. Harold tells everyone to make themselves comfortable - the others will be here soon. Jim warns him:
JIM: I wouldn't expect a visit from Des - he didn't seem to be in much of a party mood.
HAROLD: Oh? Why's that?
Everyone stares at Jim, waiting for an explanation.
Lee is with Matt in the lounge room, reading sarcastically from the newspaper:
LEE: 'Unique opportunities for young women'. Ha! I can imagine what *that* might be.
Matt, however, tells Lee not to be negative: there's got to be *something* in there. He then adds that, with Henry going away, Joe might need some help gardening. Lee, however, mutters that she's as good at gardening as she is at everything *else*. Matt stares at her, and she apologises for being such a pessimist, adding that he can put in a word for her. She then sighs:
LEE: It's just that ever since I talked to mum and dad last night, I've been on edge.
MATT: Yeah. You know, you told them you're not coming home. There's nothing they can do. Don't worry.
LEE: Yeah, I guess...
Matt then suggests that Lee come over with him to the Ramsays'. Hilary joins them as she says she doesn't know anybody, and she always feels really stupid trying to make smalltalk. There's suddenly a knock at the front door and Hilary goes to answer it. A female voice can be heard at the door, and Lee exclaims:
A woman and man come in and the woman dashes over to Lee and tries to hug her. Lee, however, pulls away, snapping:
LEE: I told you I'm fine. What are you doing here?
MRS. MALONEY: We've missed you so much.
Lee turns away in disgust.
Harold opens the front door to Mike and Jamie. Henry joins them and Mike shakes his hand. There's an air of awkwardness as Mike congratulates Henry on his new venture. He adds that he hopes everything goes well for him and Bronny. Henry assures him that it will, although Bronny's staying in Erinsborough while he makes a go of it. Over on the couch, Madge says she wonders what the story is with Des and Jane. Joe is sitting with her and Helen and he calls over to Mike:
JOE: Hey, Mike! What's Clarkey up to? Is my niece going to give him the flick or *what*?!
MIKE (hesitantly): Um... well... he was actually just talking to her on the 'phone when I left. Look, whatever it is, I'd wait and let *him* tell you.
Mr. and Mrs. Maloney are sitting in the lounge room with Hilary and Lee. Mrs. Maloney is telling her daughter that she was so relieved when she called: they'd contacted the police, but with so many young runaways these days they weren't terribly encouraging. Matt comes in with a tray of tea things as Mr. Maloney asks his daughter:
MR. MALONEY: Why did you feel you had to run away?
LEE (snaps): Are you serious? With you two going at it night and day?
MRS. MALONEY (insists): There's no more fighting, Lee.
MR. MALONEY: We've sorted out our differences.
LEE (curtly): I'll bet!
MR. MALONEY: We *have*.
LEE (tersely): So you're not getting divorced anymore?
MRS. MALONEY: Well... that's yet to be decided; but at least we've woken up to the fact that even if we don't get back together again, *you're* the one we have to think about.
LEE (sarcastically): Oh, well, that makes a change.
Mr. Maloney tells Lee that they don't want to pull her apart - she can stay with either her mother or him. Lee, however, yells:
LEE: I don't believe you. You've been going at each other's throats for far too long. Just drop this stupid act.
Matt chips in and asks if they'd like some time alone. Lee, however, asks him not to go. Hilary comments that Lee's parents seem perfectly sincere to *her*. Lee, however, retorts that they're just putting it on, but it won't work: she's not coming home - not ever. With that, she storms off to her room, leaving an uncomfortable silence in the lounge.
Madge joins Helen in the kitchen, commenting that it must be every mother's dread, the last one flying the nest. Helen, however, points out that she'll still have Bronwyn. Madge smiles that she likes having young people around the place: it stops her feeling old. There's suddenly a knock on the front door and Henry goes and answers it to find Des standing on the step, holding a sunflower in a pot! Henry shakes Des's hand and tells him he's glad he could make it. Des hands over the sunflower and Henry exclaims in bemusement:
HENRY: You shouldn't've!
DES: I didn't! It was just sitting on the verandah. There's a note!
He points out a piece of paper in the pot. Henry looks at it and exclaims that it's from Cass! Mike asks who Cass is, and Joe grins:
JOE: One of Henry's groupies!
He adds that Bronwyn's going to have to be careful! Across the room, Harold is telling Des that business has been quite brisk. Des, looking not all that interested, nods that that's good - but he'd better get the little bloke home, as he's all jetlagged out. Henry joins them and comments that Des and Jamie only just got there! Harold explains that they're a little tired after the flight. Des wishes Henry all the best. Over on the couch, Joe murmurs:
JOE: I tell you what: Clarkey deserves an award - the most jilted man in the world!
Unfortunately, Joe's voice carries further than he thinks, and Des stares at him. Joe says quickly that he didn't mean any offence. Des sighs:
DES: No, it's all right. Look, um, she was friends with all of you, so I guess you've got the right to know. Jane is staying in England for a while - and you know me: well, this is home.
MADGE (muses): I bet Nell Mangel had her oar in there somewhere!
Des nods that she *was* putting a lot of pressure on Jane to stay. Helen asks hesitantly if this means the wedding's off.
DES (nods): Once and for all. We've just been talking and, well, the decision was pretty mutual. We were separated for far too long, you know? Things happen. Her career was taking a different direction than mine and... it would never work out. No way.
Henry looks round at Bronwyn, as she heads out through the back door suddenly. Jim tells Des sympathetically that if there's anything they can do, he just has to say.
Back garden of No. 24
Henry joins Bronwyn outside and asks her in concern if she's OK. She has tears in her eyes, and Henry realises that she's a bit choked up at what Des said. Bronwyn sobs:
BRONWYN: *Our* relationship's going down exactly the same path: separation... different jobs - one of which is on the glamorous side...
With tears welling in his eyes as well, Henry tells Bronwyn sincerely:
HENRY: All I can say is that Jane can't have loved Des as much as *I* love *you*. I feel really strongly about this radio thing - I admit that. I've been bumming around from one thing to another for so long... I've finally found... I've finally found something I'm good at, that pays well and has a future.
BRONWYN (cries): I'm just worried about whether I'll be a *part* of that future.
HENRY (sniffs through his tears): If I wasn't sure about that, I wouldn't be going.
HENRY: Really. I'm just trying to get some security for us, you know? I've got to get a steady job before we get married, Bron, otherwise how are you going to have all these kids we're going to have?!
BRONWYN: The time will go slow.
HENRY: No way! We'll both be starting new jobs soon. It'll fly by - I promise.
With that, Henry kisses Bronwyn passionately.
Des is sitting at the table. Mike joins him and asks how things are going. Des shrugs that he was just having a quiet cuppa. Mike sits down and says he's not doing anything tonight, so why don't they get a video? Des agrees to this. He then muses:
DES: I suppose I must have been worth a few good laughs over there.
MIKE: How do you mean?
DES (bitterly): Everybody must have thought it was a stupid idea in the *first* place, Jane wanting to marry *me*.
MIKE: I don't think *that's* true.
DES (mutters): Should've given it a lot more thought *myself* -
MIKE: Des, they're your *friends*. You can take it from me: they're not saying 'I told you so' or anything - and for what it's worth, I think you made the right decision by telling them.
DES (murmurs): Yeah, I suppose so.
Mike then asks how *Jane* took it. Des, however, says he doesn't want to talk about Jane anymore. Mike starts to say that he knows he acted like a bit of an idiot when Des and Jane first got together, but Des points out that he had his reasons. Mike smiles:
MIKE: Look, even after everything that's happened, we're both still here, right? Best of mates, eh?
In the lounge room, Lee is telling her parents curtly:
LEE: I'm not coming home.
Mrs. Maloney points out that Lee has missed so much school, and these are very important years. Lee mutters that she doesn't care. Mr. Maloney says:
MR. MALONEY: It's not as if we've *denied* you anything - I mean, you've had your horse-riding lessons, and the opportunity to travel, and a more than generous clothing allowance.
LEE: All the things you tried to *buy* me with. 'Stay with me and you can have this.' 'Love me more and you can have that.' It won't work - can't you *see* that?
MRS. MALONEY: But you can't really expect to stay *here* - these people don't even *know* you.
Matt points out that that's not entirely true. Mrs. Maloney explains that she didn't mean any offence, but this isn't the first time Lee has depended on the kindness of strangers. Hilary asks in surprise if Lee has done this before. Mrs. Maloney nods:
MRS. MALONEY: Several times.
MR. MALONEY: Once because we wouldn't buy her a pony.
MRS. MALONEY: *Couldn't* buy her a pony.
LEE (snaps): Stop talking about me as if I'm not here.
Mr. Maloney tells Lee that any parent has to make unpleasant decisions occasionally, but that doesn't mean they don't love her. Lee, however, just snaps:
LEE: That's enough! Stop trying to shame me into coming home, because it won't work. If Miss. Robinson throws me out then I'll just find somewhere *else* to live.
Matt tells the Maloneys that Lee can stay as long as she likes. Lee thanks him. The Maloneys stand up and suggest that they'd better leave it for now: it's obvious that Lee and the Robinsons have got a lot of talking to do. Mr. Maloney says:
MR. MALONEY: One thing, Lee: whatever you decide, just remember that your mother and I are willing to let bygones be bygones.
MRS. MALONEY: Anything to have you back again.
LEE (tersely): I told you: I'm not coming home.
MRS. MALONEY: Well, at least you can walk us to the car - that's not too much to ask, is it?
With that, Lee and her parents head out, leaving Hilary to say witheringly to Matt:
HILARY: Such interesting friends you bring home, Matthew...
Henry is telling those still at the party that they won't be able to get his radio shows in Australia, so he'll be sending tapes to Bronny, if anyone's interested! Everyone groans! Joe says he thinks it's time someone said a few words. He stands up and goes on:
JOE: I haven't known... I haven't known Henry for as long as yous... and, well, for that I'm grateful! No, no, I'm sorry, mate - no, no, you're a top bloke anyway!
Jim and Helen call quickly for a toast and everyone raises their glass to Henry. Harold then says *he* would like to say a few words. Joe grins:
JOE: Here we go!
Harold, however, says:
HAROLD: When I married Madge, I not only gained a wonderful wife, but, well, in Henry I gained a very fine son, and I am very, very proud of his success. Of course, our house will be much sadder - if not quieter! - for his absence, but I do wish him and Bronwyn all the best, and, um...
Madge chides that this is a party, not a wake! - and she's not losing a son, she's gaining an international radio star! With that, Jim leads everyone in a chorus of 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow'! Henry and Bronwyn sit there smiling happily.
Matt is standing in the lounge room, looking thoughtful. Hilary joins him and says:
HILARY: *Well*, Matthew?
MATT (sighs): You heard what Lee said: they were putting on an act.
HILARY: And did it look like 'an act' to *you*?
MATT (shrugs): Well how should *I* know? They're not *my* parents.
HILARY: I've always been considered an excellent judge of character, and *I* say they looked and sounded like two loving and warm parents attempting to come to terms with the wilfulness of a spoilt child.
MATT: Yeah, but they're getting a divorce - I mean, you *heard* them say that.
HILARY: So? Matthew, as far as *I'm* concerned, a child which shares its time between two happy parents is far better off than one that is forced to live in a house with two warring partners.
MATT (sighs): Mum, I don't know *what* to think.
HILARY: Well *I* do. Now look, it's all very well for you to offer this girl unlimited board and lodging, but if *anyone* was acting, I'd put my money on your friend. Just don't let yourself be used, Matthew.
With that, Hilary heads out of the room. Lee comes back in and, seeing the expression on Matt's face, asks in concern:
LEE: Matt? Is everything all right?
Matt just stands there, looking worried.