Series Four, Episode Two
“The Calm Before the Storm”
Scene: Early morning. Martin’s Kitchen. Martin is preparing an espresso. Aunty Joan walks past the window and waves. She then knocks at the kitchen door and enters.
Joan: Morning Marty.
Martin: Aunty Joan.
Joan: Glad to see you’re alive and well.
Martin: (confused) Yes. I am.
Joan: I called by to see you last night and you weren’t here.
Martin: Ah, no. (Unconvincingly) A, um, medical emergency came up.
Joan: Your emergency?
Martin: I can’t discuss my patients.
Joan: I see.
Joan stands and stares at Martin with a raised questioning eyebrow.
Martin: Fine. If you must know, Louisa put her neck out.
Joan: Oh, I see! I phoned later also. No answer.
Martin: Well, it took a little longer than expected.
Joan: (suggestively) Mm, I’m sure it did.
Martin: Don’t be crass Aunty Joan. It doesn’t suit you.
Joan: I didn’t say anything!
Martin: We talked. That’s all.
Joan: Quite a lot of talking then, especially for you, gauging by the hour.
Martin: And...if you insist on sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong, we played Scrabble.
Joan: You? Played Scrabble?
Martin: Yes. I’m literate.
Joan: Who won?
Martin: I’d rather not say.
Joan goes and gives Martin a semi-hug. He looks uncomfortable, but has the mere hint of a smile in his eyes.
Joan: I’m so pleased for you Marty.
Martin: Nothing’s changed.
Joan: If you say so. Now what’s for breakfast?
Martin rolls his eyes and tuts.
Scene: Same morning. Louisa’s kitchen. Louisa is boiling the kettle. She crosses to the table where Scrabble is still spread out. She picks up a piece and smiles fondly at the memory. She then begins to pack it all away.
Scene: Morning. Portwenn Surgery Reception Area. Pauline is sitting at her desk, logging into her computer. Martin comes into the reception area from his kitchen.
Martin: Good morning Pauline.
Pauline: Morning Doc.
Martin: Do you have my patient notes for today?
Pauline: No patients today.
Pauline: You haven’t got any appointments booked for today. No calls. Nothing.
Martin: How is that possible? The people of this village are statistically among the sickest people in the world.
Pauline: I dunno. (Sarcastic) Perhaps you truly are a healer.
Martin: Yes. Well. I guess I’ll be able to catch up on a few other things.
Pauline: You should take up golf Doc. Isn’t that what aging doctors do?
Martin: Yes. Following a little ball around until it falls into a hole would make all the years of hard work worthwhile.
Pauline: There you go then. That’s sorted.
Martin: Just let me know if anyone gets sick.
As Martin turns to leave, the door to the surgery opens. Martin and Pauline turn to look. A frail little old lady walks in.
Pauline: Oh hello Mrs Appleyard! How are you my love?
Mrs A: Oh. Not too good Pauline.
Pauline: Oh dear.
Mrs A: I’ve come to see the Doc. Is he in?
Martin is standing right there, a little put-out at being ignored.
Pauline: You’re in luck.
Martin: What seems to be the problem? Your eyes?
Pauline gives Martin a reprimanding look.
Pauline: You can go straight in. It’s a slow day today.
Mrs A: I tried to call...
Martin: Yes. Pushing those little buttons can be a real trick.
Pauline gets Mrs Appleyard’s notes from the filing cabinet and hands them to Martin, hissing at him under her breath.
Pauline: Behave! (To Mrs Appleyard) Through you go now.
Martin and Mrs Appleyard go through to his consultation room. Al enters the surgery reception.
Pauline: Hello Al! What are you doing here!?
Al: I been trying to call you, but couldn’t get through, so I thought I’d pop in.
Pauline: My mobile’s broken. I told you that.
Al: Yeah, I know. But I’ve been trying the land line here with no luck.
Pauline: Well that’s a bit weird. It’s not like I’ve been on the phone.
Al: Maybe it’s busted. Let’s have a look.
Al picks up the phone and puts it to his ear.
Al: No dial tone.
Pauline: Mm. Odd. The internet’s still working.
Al: It’s on a separate line.
Al lifts the whole phone from the desk and pulls the chord up also. The whole cord comes up. It is not plugged in.
Pauline: Oh no!
Al: It’s all right. We’ll, just plug it back in. No drama.
Pauline: (worried and amused) Yeah, but Al, we haven’t had any calls for days! Who knows how long it’s been unplugged. The Doc’s got no appointments!
Pauline giggles nervously.
Scene: Martin’s consultation room. He is talking with Mrs Appleyard.
Martin: I really think it’s best if you get this seen to as quickly as possible. I’ll phone ahead to the clinic in Truro and let them know to expect you.
Mrs A: Thank you Doctor.
Martin picks up the phone and puts it to his ear. He then holds it away, hangs up and tries again. Still nothing. He catches on to the fact the line is dead.
Martin: (yelling) Pauline?!
Pauline: Bit busy out here Doc.
Martin sticks his head out of the consultation room to see Al bending down, plugging the phone back in.
Martin: (menacingly) Pauline! What have you done?!
Scene: Afternoon. Exterior Portwenn Grocery Store. Martin is leaving the store as Louisa is entering. They meet in the doorway. Louisa takes a step back to allow Martin out. They are clearly pleased to see one another.
Martin: Louisa. Hello.
Martin: (pointing to the arm full of books Louisa’s carrying) You’re, ah, back at work?
Louisa: Yeah. Shaping young minds once again.
Martin: And how’s your neck?
Louisa: Feeling much better. Got a great night’s sleep. First time in ages. You could have slaughtered a pig and I wouldn’t have roused.
Martin: Mm, delightful image.
Louisa: Sorry. How are you?
Martin: Well, apart from still believing I was cheated in Scrabble...
Louisa: I won fair and square Martin.
Martin: Yes. Well, next time I’m bringing my medical dictionary.
Louisa: (pleased) Is there going to be a next time?
Martin: Well...yes. I think a rematch is in order don’t you?
Louisa: Fine. I’m not intimidated.
Martin: Perhaps you should be.
Louisa: So when is this rematch to be held then?
Martin: Um, Friday night? Your place?
Louisa: I’ll be there...obviously.
Martin: I’ll look forward to victory then, then.
Louisa: As will I.
Martin: See you then.
They stand looking at each other, each reluctant to be the first to leave.
Martin: Right. Friday then.
Louisa smiles and gives a little wave. She then walks off away from the grocery store. Martin looks at her with a perplexed expression and raises a questioning finger.
Martin: Ah, Louisa?
Louisa, who is walking away from him, stops in her tracks and turns around.
Louisa: Oh, I forgot...
Martin: Your groceries.
She gives an embarrassed smile and walks past Martin into the grocery store. He gives a nod and then walks off with his head held high.
Scene: Evening. Portwenn Pub. Louisa orders a glass of wine at the bar and is making her way to a table outside when Martin’s father, Christopher Ellingham, bumps into her, spilling her wine.
Christopher: Oh. I’m terribly sorry.
Louisa: (Brushing herself off) No. That’s ok. Accidents happen.
Christopher: Let me get you another. White wine was it?
Louisa: It’s fine. Really.
Christopher: I insist. What kind of gentleman would I be if I let a beautiful woman go thirsty?!
Louisa: (blushes) Well...
Christopher: (to the bartender) A repeat for the young lady.
Louisa: Thank you.
Christopher extends his hand in introduction. Louisa takes his hand. He puts her hand to his lips.
Christopher: Christopher Ellingham, by the way.
Louisa raises her eyebrows.
Louisa: (surprised) Oh really!? Hello. I’m Louisa.
Christopher: Well it’s lovely to meet you Louisa.
Louisa: (looking for a spark of recognition) You don’t know who I am, do you?
Christopher: I’m sorry. Have we met before?
Louisa: No, no. It’s just...No. Sorry, my mistake. I just thought...I know your son is all.
Christopher: Ah, yes. I imagine young Marty has made quite an impression on everyone in Portwenn. (Heavy sarcasm) Life of the party I bet?! Charming them left, right and centre.
Louisa is taken a little aback and looks at Christopher with a questioning eye.
Christopher: But let’s not talk about Marty. I fancy you’re much more interesting.
Louisa takes her drink and Christopher guides her to a seat.
Christopher: Tell me, what is it you do in this sleepy little hamlet Louisa?
Louisa: I’m, ah, the Headmistress at the local Primary School.
Christopher: Impossible. Headmistresses are supposed to be hideous old battle axes. You’re far too delightful for that.
Louisa laughs in spite of herself.
Christopher: Have you lived here long?
Louisa: All my life.
Christopher: Really?! I’m surprised I haven’t come across you before. I’d never forget such a lovely face.
Louisa: (with curiosity) You know, you’re nothing like Martin.
Scene: Evening. Martin’s kitchen. Martin is putting away dishes. There is a knock at the kitchen door. He opens it to reveal his father.
Martin: (shocked) What are you doing here?!
Christopher: Well that’s a fine greeting.
Martin: I told you never to come back to Portwenn.
Christopher: Can’t a father drop in on his son?
Martin: Yes. A father can. You can’t.
Christopher: Marty. Water under the bridge.
Christopher walks past Martin and inside. Martin reluctantly shuts the door.
Martin: What do you want?
Christopher: I was in the neighbourhood.
Martin: No you weren’t.
Christopher: I was passing through.
Martin: The road through Portwenn doesn’t lead anywhere.
Christopher: Alright. Fine. I felt it was time to bury the hatchet.
Martin: Great. I’ll just go and get it.
Christopher: No need for violence Marty. I just wanted to say thank you in person for fixing me up.
Martin: It’s a little late for that. That was years ago now.
Christopher: Ah, it’s never too late.
Martin: And I did it for Joan, not for you.
Christopher: Yes. Anyway, how about a drink?
Martin: I haven’t got anything.
Christopher: Luckily I have.
He holds up a bottle of scotch.
Christopher: Got this at the pub. Charged me an arm and a leg for it mind you.
Martin rolls his eyes and goes to get a glass for his father.
Christopher: Well worth it though. Met a beautiful young girl. Friend of yours I gather. The local headmistress.
Martin: (worried) What?!
Christopher: Knocked her drink clean out of her hand.
Christopher: That’s the one. Said she knew you.
Martin: (seething) You stay away from her!
Christopher: Settle down Martin my boy. We just had a drink.
Martin: Leave her alone.
Christopher: Good Lord Marty, anyone would think you cared.
Martin regains his composure and changes the subject.
Martin: Why are you really here?
Christopher: Not tonight Marty. It can wait. Let’s have that drink.
Martin: You’re not staying here if that’s what you’re thinking.
Scene: Evening. Louisa’s dining room. Louisa and Martin are sitting at the table facing each other. On the table is a Scrabble board and several books.
Louisa: (amused) Phlegmbosis is not a word!
Martin: It is. It’s the medical term to describe the excessive production of phlegm.
Louisa: Right. Well if you get that, I get eleventy. The five year old term for the number that comes after tenty!
Martin raises an eyebrow.
Martin: I never had you down as a sore loser Louisa.
Louisa: I never had you down as a cheat Martin.
They smile at each other.
Louisa: Yeah, thank you.
Martin gets up to get Louisa a drink, clearly comfortable in her surroundings.
Louisa: I met your dad the other day.
Martin stops what he’s doing.
Louisa: Is he staying with you?
Martin: Ah, no. He isn’t.
Louisa: He didn’t know who I was.
Louisa: Didn’t you ever tell him we were engaged?
Louisa: Why not?
Martin: Because it was none of his business.
Louisa: But he’s your father.
Martin: Yes. But ah, generally we don’t talk.
Louisa: Yes, I know, but I thought...
Martin: (getting a bit short with her) I didn’t want him to spoil things, ok!?
Martin: I can do that all on my own.
Louisa: (reassuringly) Martin. (After a pause) Why is he in Portwenn?
Martin: I don’t know. (Getting stroppy) Louisa, please. Can we not talk about this right now?!
Louisa: (reprimanded) Yes, alright.
Martin comes back and sits down with their drinks.
Louisa: So, it looks like I’m winning again.
Scene: Interior. Mrs Tishell’s Pharmacy. Mrs Tishell is behind the counter when Christopher Ellingham walks in.
Mrs Tishell: Good morning. Can I help you with anything?
Christopher: Mrs Tishell is it?
Mrs Tishell: Yes. That’s right.
Christopher: Christopher Ellingham.
Mrs Tishell puts her hand to her cheek, mouth open in a rather dramatic way.
Mrs Tishell: Well, I must say, as I live and breathe, you’re every bit as handsome as your son! Oh my!
Christopher: Are you all right Mrs Tishell?
Mrs Tishell: Oh, I’ve rarely been better. What can I do for you? Cup of tea? Piece of carrot cake?
Christopher: (bemused) Ah, no, thank you. Just some aspirin.
Mrs Tishell: Certainly. Glass of water with that?
Christopher: No. That’s fine.
Mrs Tishell gets the aspirin and hands it to Christopher.
Mrs Tishell: There you are.
Christopher: I must say Mrs Tishell, the service here is excellent.
Mrs Tishell: Oh, thank you! Now about that cup of tea...
Scene: Afternoon. Exterior. Bert’s Restaurant. Joan is unloading fresh produce from the back of her truck when Christopher walks up.
Joan turns around and glares at him.
Christopher: How delightful to run into you!
Joan: I wish the feeling were mutual. You’ve got a nerve coming back here.
Christopher: Come on now Joan.
Joan: Come on nothing. You’re a scoundrel and if I never saw you again I’d be a happy woman.
Christopher: That’s the feisty sister I remember.
Joan: What are you doing here Christopher?
Christopher: I came to see my family. Is that a crime?
Joan: You don’t come to see your family. You come to extort things from your family.
Christopher: I was in a pickle Joanie. I had no choice.
Joan: We always have a choice.
Christopher: Anyway, I’m here now, so there’s no changing that fact.
Joan: Yes. Unfortunately.
Joan: Never. (Relenting a little) Have you seen Martin?
Christopher: I have. He was just as welcoming as you.
Joan: I can imagine.
Christopher: He’ll come around.
Joan: No, I doubt that.
Christopher: So what’s the story with him and the school teacher? He was very protective of her. Practically bit my head off when I merely mentioned her name.
Joan: You don’t know?
Christopher: Know what?
Joan: They were engaged Christopher.
Christopher: (disbelieving) You’re joking!?
Joan gives him a look to confirm it is true.
Christopher: You’re not joking. My God! I underestimated the boy. Lord, how did he manage that?! Saw sense before the deed was done did she?
Joan: I really don’t know.
Christopher: Just as well for her sake hey Joanie?!
Joan: He cares a great deal about her Christopher and you should respect that.
Christopher: Yes. Yes of course. (Still disbelieving) The old dog hey!?
Scene: Evening. Bert’s Restaurant. Martin and his father are sitting at a table having dinner. Bert comes to the table.
Bert: Evening Doc.
Bert looks from Martin to his father and back to Martin.
Martin: Ah, Bert, you remember my father, Christopher Ellingham.
Bert: Pleased to see you again Sir. Bert Large at your service. I take it everything is to your satisfaction this evening.
Martin: Yes. It’s all quite tolerable.
Christopher: So this is your place? Very impressive Bert.
Bert: Thank you very much. If you require anything at all you just give me a holler. (Noticing their water jug is empty) I’ll just get you a fresh colander of water.
Martin: A carafe Bert.
Bert: If you’d prefer Doc.
Bert goes to get the water.
Christopher: So you were engaged?
Martin snaps to attention.
Martin: Who told you that?
Christopher: Joan. Fine thing when you have to find out your own son was engaged from someone else.
Martin: I’d prefer you didn’t find out at all.
Christopher: My God, she’s a beauty Martin. And you let her get away?
Christopher: Saw sense did she?
Martin: We both did.
Christopher: Really? Well, I’m sure it was fun while it lasted, but a good decision in the end. After all, you’re not really husband material are you Martin my boy?
Martin listens with a concerned frown on his face.
Christopher: You’d have made her miserable at the end of the day, sad and sorry sack that you are. Drain the life right out of her. Extinguish the sparkle in her eye. It’s what happened to me and your mother.
Martin: I’m not you.
Christopher: No. But the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Trust me Martin; inevitably it would have happen to you too. It’s not worth the heartache. Watching someone go from loving you to loathing you isn’t easy. Not marrying Louisa is probably the kindest thing you could have done for her. And yourself.
Martin: (annoyed) You don’t know anything about Louisa, or me for that matter.
Christopher: Perhaps not. But I’m only saying this because I care.
Martin: You don’t know what it is to care.
Christopher: And you’re an expert are you?
Christopher: Just think about it Martin.
Christopher: (obviously feeling a little awkward) Speaking about caring, I know you may not, but I have news about your mother.
Martin: You’re right. I don’t care.
Christopher: Regardless, you have a right to know – she’s not well Martin.
Martin: (with a mere hint of concern) What’s wrong?
Christopher: She has cancer. Of the liver. It’s secondary. They’re talking months at best.
Christopher: I can tell you where she is...
Martin: (distractedly) Right.
Christopher: Just let me know.
Martin: (still staring into space) Yes.
Christopher: Are you ok?
Christopher: If you’d like to know more...
Christopher: Right then. (After a silence) Does this place have a loo or should I have brought my own bucket?
Martin: Round the back, past the kitchen.
Christopher stands and heads to the toilet. Martin stares blankly, lost in thought. Bert comes back with the water.
Bert: Alright there Doc? You don’t look so good. There’s no blood in the food. I checked it myself.
Martin: Well things are looking up. The food is fine Bert. I’m fine.
Bert: Right then. Well if you need anything else...
Martin: No. I don’t need anything.
Scene: Exterior. Day. The fish market. Louisa is completing a purchase when Martin rounds the corner. They see each other. Martin, however, on seeing Louisa, turns to go back from where he came. Louisa does a little double take, and then calls after him.
Martin stops and turns but does not change his course.
Martin: (distractedly) Ah, hello Louisa.
Louisa: (concerned) Are you alright Martin?
Martin: Yes, fine.
Louisa: Didn’t you see me?
Martin: (still looking like he wants to run away) Ah, no. I have to...
Louisa: I was just wondering if you’re still coming to the barbeque at the school tonight?
Martin: Ah, tonight. I can’t do tonight. Something’s cropped up.
Louisa: What’s cropped up?
Martin: Sorry. But it’s...ah...more important.
Louisa: (indignant) Oh. Right. Well if it’s more important!
Martin: Yes. It is. Sorry. I, um, have to go.
Louisa: (confused) What’s happened Martin?
Martin: (short) Nothing’s happened. It’s just that there are things in life that are more important than sitting around eating burnt sausages on stale bread and listening to duelling banjos.
Louisa: (hurt & perplexed) Ok. Right. Another time then.
Martin: I don’t know. Perhaps.
Louisa: Well... See you Martin.
Martin: Yes. Goodbye.
Louisa walks off, looking back over her shoulder, clearly at a loss as to why Martin was treating her so coldly. Martin glances at her, then curses under his breath.
Scene: Evening. Exterior. Portwenn Primary School grounds. A good crowd of adults and children have gathered. There is a live folk band, people are dancing and eating. Louisa is happily chatting to people. Aunty Joan is sitting at a table eating her barbequed food. Louisa goes up to her.
Louisa: Hello Joan.
Louisa: It’s a lovely evening. Glad you could come.
Joan: I never miss it!
Louisa: Impressive turn out this year.
Joan: I thought Martin was coming with you?
Louisa: He was. But something more important came up apparently.
Joan: Well, you know Marty. Not really his scene is it?
Louisa: No. I guess not.
Joan: Never mind.
Louisa: I met Martin’s father the other day.
Joan: Ah yes. Christopher.
Louisa: He’s like the anti-Martin isn’t he?
Louisa: All charm and flattery.
Joan: (with clear distaste) Yes. Not an honest bone in his body.
Louisa: (shocked by the venom in Joan’s voice) Oh.
Joan: He doesn’t deserve to call Martin his son.
Louisa: What? Why?
Joan: And Martin’s mother is worse. Vile woman.
Louisa: (very curious) Really? How so?
Joan: I take it Martin hasn’t spoken of them much.
Louisa: No not really. Just the odd comment here and there. I mean I know they don’t get along too well.
Joan: Well, it’s not my place to say anything.
Louisa: Would that be why Martin was acting a little bit strangely today? Because his father’s here?
Joan: I dare say it is.
Louisa looks across the harbour in the direction of Martin’s Surgery.
Scene: Same evening. Exterior Doctor’s Surgery. Martin is standing out the front of the Surgery, gazing across the harbour at the school, full of life and action. He is holding a cup of tea. He looks down at it sadly, then back at the school. He turns and goes back inside, closing the door behind himself.
Scene: Day. Interior. Portwenn Primary School. Louisa is sitting with a student who is doing some cutting, guiding him.
Louisa: You need to turn the paper Kenny, not your scissors. It’s much easier that way. (He does) There you go! Well done.
Another student approaches Louisa. He is wearing a paint smock and carrying a paint pot that has two brushes sticking out of the narrow opening in the lid.
Louisa: William! Paint stays in the painting area!
William: But Miss...the brushes are stuck!
Louisa: I’ll help you in the paint area.
William pulls on the two brushes at once. The brushes and the lid come flying out of the paint pot, splattering Louisa with purple paint. It’s on her arm, her top, in her hair and in her eye.
William: (very sheepishly) Sorry Miss.
William beats a hasty retreat to the paint area and a teaching assistant, Karen, comes up to Louisa.
Karen: Ew. Purple. That’s not going to come out easily.
Louisa: It’s in my eye.
Karen: And your hair!
Louisa: Yes, thank you Karen! Can you handle this lot for a minute while I go and clean up? Andrew’s next door if you need anything.
Karen: Yes. Of course.
Louisa leaves the classroom.
Scene: Portwenn Primary School Staff Room. Louisa is trying in vain to get all the paint off her clothes and out of her hair. Another teacher, Mary Gordon, comes over.
Mary: Lordy, what happened to you?!
Louisa: Workplace hazard I’m afraid. Have I got it off my face and out of my hair?
Mary: Yes. Your eye doesn’t look too good though. It’s going a little red and puffy.
Louisa: Yeah, got a bit of paint in it. I’m sure it’ll settle down.
Mary: (pointing to Louisa’s arm) You missed a spot.
Scene: Exterior. Street a short distance from Mrs Tishell’s Pharmacy. Louisa is walking towards Mrs Tishell’s and PC Penhale is wcoming toward her in the opposite direction. They meet.
Penhale: (noticing her eye) Ew, that looks nasty.
Louisa: Yeah, well the other guy looks worse.
Penhale: Did you get an ID on him?
Louisa: No. I was joking Joe. I’ve just got something in it.
Penhale: Oh right. Sorry. Always a policeman I’m afraid. Just can’t turn that off.
At that very moment two teenagers scream by, one yelling at the other.
Teenager: I’m gunna kill you!
Louisa looks on with concern. Penhale doesn’t even notice them.
Louisa: (pointing in the direction they teenagers ran) Ah, Joe...
Penhale: Can be a real curse at times. Everything starts to look like a crime. Innocent people on the street start to take on the characteristics of hardened felons.
Louisa: Mm, I see.
Penhale: Well I’ll let you sort that eye out. Off to see the Doc are you?
Louisa: Ah, no. Mrs Tishell.
Penhale: Right then. See you later.
Louisa: Yes. Bye Joe.
Penhale heads off in the opposite direction to that which the teenagers took. Louisa raises her eyebrows at him and then heads for Mrs Tishell’s.
Scene: Interior. Mrs Tishell’s Pharmacy. Martin is collecting an order.
Mrs Tishell: There you are Doctor Ellingham.
Martin: Thank you.
Mrs Tishell: I met your father the other day.
Martin: Yes, well, that’s hardly my fault now is it?
Mrs Tishell: Such a charming man.
Martin: Yes. Could charm the birds out of the trees I’m sure.
Mrs Tishell: (with emphasis) He stayed and had a piece of carrot cake.
Martin: Well good for him Mrs Tishell. One less piece you’ll try and force on me I suppose. Now I really must be off.
As Martin turns to leave, Louisa enters. Her eye is looking rather red and inflamed.
Louisa: Oh, hello Martin.
Martin: What’s wrong with your eye?
Martin: You look terrible.
Mrs Tishell: (under her breath with a roll of the eyes) Finally he realises it.
Loiusa: It’s fine.
Martin: It’s not fine.
Louisa: I got paint in it.
Martin: Well you have to get it out again! You run the risk of developing all sorts of irritations and infections and possibly permanent damage.
Louisa: Yes. I know. I tried to get it out. I was just coming to get...
Martin: Come up to the surgery and I’ll flush it out properly for you.
Louisa: Well, I don’t...
Martin: Yes, you do.
Martin strides out and calls to Louisa.
Martin: Come on.
Louisa shrugs at Mrs Tishell.
Mrs Tishell: It seems you’ve been summoned.
Louisa leaves. Mrs Tishell watches her go.
Mrs Tishell: Lucky thing. If only I had a bit of paint in my eye. Never mind.
Scene: Interior. Portwenn Surgery Consultation Room. Louisa is lying on the examination couch. Martin is leaning over her, looking in her eye. He is being very businesslike with her.
Martin: Well. I think that’s got all of it.
Louisa: It was non-toxic.
Martin: That doesn’t make any difference. Your eye will reject any foreign body – toxic or not.
Martin begins to clear up. Louisa sits up and watches him.
Martin: You’re all done. You can go. I’ll need to check on you...your eye...tomorrow, just to ensure the inflammation has settled.
Martin continues to busily arrange things. Louisa watches in silence. After a few moments, she speaks.
Louisa: Martin? Is everything alright?
Martin: (not looking at her) Yes. Fine.
Louisa: It’s just you seem a little distracted. And well...over the last couple of weeks I got the feeling we...well...that things were going...Have I done something wrong?
Louisa: So, why...
Martin: (with no emotion & continuing to clean) My, ah, mother is not well.
Martin: She has cancer. Secondary cancer of the liver. It doesn’t look good.
Louisa: Martin I’m sorry.
Louisa: How do you feel?
Martin: I’m relieved.
Martin: Did I stutter?
Louisa: Why are you relieved?
Martin: Well...I thought my father had bad news.
Louisa: (disbelieving) And that’s not bad news?
Martin: Well, it’s not good news for her obviously.
Louisa: And for you?
Martin: I guess I don’t really care.
Louisa: Martin! She’s your mother! She’s dying! How can you not care?!
Martin: (turning to her and using a slightly patronising tone) Sometimes, Louisa, the best thing you can do is not care.
Louisa: I don’t believe that. I don’t believe you believe that either.
Martin: Don’t tell me what I believe.
Louisa: It’s ok to care Martin.
Martin: It’s a risk.
Louisa: A risk worth taking.
Martin: Not always.
Louisa: (sad concern) What did she do to you Martin?
Louisa looks at Martin with genuine concern and affection. He continues to move busily around the surgery while talking.
Louisa: So what? You just turn it off?
Martin: The more you care Louisa, the greater the potential for hurt.
Louisa: Well, yes. But pretending you don’t care doesn’t actually mean you don’t care. You still care, even if you try to tell yourself you don’t...care.
Martin: (bamboozled) Pardon?
Louisa: I don’t know. Caring doesn’t have to end badly.
Martin: (finally stopping and looking at Louisa) It did for us.
Louisa: (challenging him) Who says it’s ended?
Martin: You did for one.
Louisa: No I didn’t.
Martin: You did.
Martin: We made the right decision Louisa. We don’t belong together.
Martin: You want me to be something I’m not. You want me to change.
Louisa: I don’t want you to change!
Martin: You do. You want me to care for one. That’s not me.
Louisa: No. This is not you. You’re pushing me away. Why? What are you afraid of?
Martin: I’m not afraid of anything. I’m just not like you. I don’t need to care. I don’t need to smile and laugh and placate people with insincere platitudes. You do. You need their approval. I don’t need their approval. I don’t want their approval.
Louisa: What about my approval?
Martin: (after a pause) I don’t need or want your approval either.
Louisa: (hurt) Right then. Well, I hope it doesn’t disappoint you too much, but I still care about you and I care whether or not you care about me.
Martin: You shouldn’t.
Louisa: And I’m here if you need anything.
Martin: I don’t.
Louisa: Fine. Well. I guess I should go.
Louisa: I’ll see you tomorrow.
Louisa rushes out of the consultation room. Martin speaks to the empty room.
Scene: Next day. Interior Portwenn Primary School. Headmistress Office. Louisa is sitting at her desk resting her head in her hands, staring blankly. There is a knock at the door. Louisa slowly comes back to reality.
Louisa: Come in.
It’s one of the other teachers, Mary Gordon. She walks in holding out some paper work to Louisa.
Mary: Here’s that planning you were after.
Louisa: Oh right. Thank you Mary.
Mary: Your eye looks a lot better today.
Mary: Did you go to the Doc after all?
Mary has no idea what to say next. She stands awkwardly. Louisa isn’t really paying attention, clearly distracted with thoughts of Martin.
Mary: Anyway. Today’s a new day I guess.
Louisa: (snaps out of it) Yes. Sorry Mary. I’m just feeling a bit...Well, thanks for the planning.
Mary: Will you be alright?
Louisa: Yeah. Fine. Thanks. I may just take a walk.
Scene: Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her desk talking to PC Penhale. They are running through hypothetical, gruesome crime scenarios. Martin comes out from his consultation room and goes and put some files into the filing cabinet near Pauline’s desk. He glances at them with distaste.
Pauline: Multiple contusions to the head, broken arm, found at the bottom of the stairs.
Penhale: I’m thinking crime of passion. Pushed down the stairs in the heat of the moment.
Pauline: Perhaps. But can we just assume that?
Penhale: Well, you know what they say about assuming.
Pauline: No. What?
Penhale: I don’t know. I was hoping you could tell me.
Martin: You’ll make an ass out of you and me.
Pauline: Are you calling me an ass?
Penhale: That’s not on Doc.
Martin: No. It’s what happens if you assume.
Penhale: Assume what?
Martin: It’s the letters. (Frustrated) Never mind. Honestly, I mean you look like normal enough people... but you are actually (he walks back into his office trailing of a list of derogatory comments).
Pauline: It’s best not to engage him. Bit like a dog – never look him in the eye, it only provokes him.
Scene: Exterior. Hill outside the Portwenn Surgery. Louisa is heading up the hill. Penhale is heading down the hill.
Penhale: Hello Louisa. The eye looks much better.
Louisa: Yeah thanks. Just going to get the all clear now.
Penhale: Tell me Louisa, if you were going to commit a crime of passion, would it be pushing someone down the stairs or something a little more...oh...I don’t know...reliable?
Louisa: (looking worriedly at Penhale) Um...not too sure about that Joe. Can I get back to you on that one?
Penhale: Sure. No problem. Take your time.
Louisa: See you.
Penhale: Yes, see you later.
Louisa continues to walk toward the surgery and Penhale away from it.
Scene: Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her computer. Martin comes out to her.
Martin: Pauline! Where are the rest of my notes for this afternoon?
Pauline: On your desk.
Martin: No they’re not.
Pauline: Yes they are. I put them there.
Martin: Well they’re not there now.
Pauline: (snaps) Right!
Pauline stomps into Martin’s office. Then stomps back out again empty handed.
Pauline: Right. Well obviously you’ve put them away again.
Pauline opens the filing cabinet and gathers some notes together. She hands them to Martin, who fixes her with a stare.
Martin: It would be more efficient to have a monkey in charge out here.
Martin returns to his office. Pauline yells after him.
Pauline: You’re welcome!
Pauline sits back at her desk. The door to the surgery opens and Louisa walks in.
Louisa: Hello Pauline.
Pauline: Heya. He’s not in a very good mood I’m afraid.
Louisa: Oh right. Thanks.
Pauline: You can go through.
Louisa gives Pauline a brave smile. She goes and knocks on Martin’s consulting room door.
Martin: (barks) Yes.
Scene: Martin’s consultation room. Louisa opens the door and sticks her head in.
Martin: (turns and immediately softens. He checks himself, however, and is very short when he speaks) Come in.
Louisa: How are you?
Martin: Have a seat.
Louisa is a little taken aback by his tone, but continues.
Louisa: I’ve been worrying about you Martin.
Martin: Well don’t. Let’s look at that eye.
Martin pulls his chair close to Louisa’s and examines her eye.
Louisa: I was thinking...
Martin: Well there’s your first mistake.
Louisa: (stung, but continues) ...that if you’d like, I could go with you to visit your mother.
Martin pushes his chair back from Louisa and looks at her with much anger.
Louisa: It’s not a 24 hour tumour Martin. You’re going to have to deal with this.
Martin: (staring at Louisa) Your eye is fine. You can leave.
Louisa: (calmly) Don’t do this Martin.
Martin: Do what?
Louisa: Why won’t you talk to me?
Martin doesn’t respond.
Louisa: What’s changed?
Martin: Nothing’s changed. I told you yesterday, and for your own sake you really should listen to me, I don’t need you.
Louisa: Why are you doing this to us?
Martin: There is no us.
Louisa: (challenging him) Why isn’t there?
Martin: We are no good together Louisa.
Louisa: Yes, we are.
Martin: We’re very different people.
Louisa: We’re not that different.
Martin: We want different things.
Louisa: No we don’t. I don’t accept that.
Martin: The truth is...
Martin: The truth is...(unconvincingly) I’m over you.
Louisa: You’re over me? What does that mean? You’re over me? What are we? Teenagers? Are we in school?
Martin: You exhaust me. I can’t take night after night of playing happy couples.
Louisa: So you’d rather spend night after night alone?
Martin: You know that about me. Don’t act surprised. People bore me.
Louisa: Well make up your mind Martin, do I exhaust you or do I bore you?!
Martin: Over time you’d discover the same thing. I can’t be the sort of person who goes to dinner parties and laughs obsequiously at banal humour.
Louisa: And you think that’s who I want you to be? I don’t want you to be anyone but yourself.
Martin: This is who I am. And you’re better off without me Louisa.
Louisa: No I’m not.
Martin: (more softly) And I’m better off without you.
Louisa: What about the things you said the other week? You kept my letter. You wanted me back.
Martin: (almost tenderly, in contradiction to his words) I wanted to conquer my failure Louisa. I wanted you to want me again. And you did.
Louisa: No. You’re lying. This isn’t you. Something’s making you act like this.
Martin: (getting angry) You’re making me act like this. You could have left when I told you to, but you don’t know when to stop. You keep doing this Louisa. You just can’t leave things alone. Why do you have to try and fix everything? Did you ever stop to think perhaps I don’t want to be fixed? Or did it ever cross your mind that perhaps the problem isn’t me? Perhaps the problem is you!?
Louisa: (losing her composure) Why are you doing this? Why are you being like this?
Martin: What am I doing?
Louisa: You’re being cruel and horrible.
Martin: I’m not being cruel and horrible. I’m being honest. I’d expect you to know the difference.
Louisa: You’re being hurtful. Can’t you see that?!
Martin: I’m not going to lie just to appease you. And I’m sorry Louisa, (clearly not wanting to say it, but doing it to push her away) but I really don’t want anything more to do with you.
Louisa: (not wanting to believe it) You don’t mean that.
Martin: I said what I meant and I meant what I said. I don’t mean to hurt you Louisa.
Louisa: Well congratulations, you’ve done it all the same.
Louisa rushes out, upset. As she pulls open the door, we catch a glimpse of Pauline racing back to her desk. Martin talks to the empty room.
Scene: Joan’s farmhouse. Kitchen. Evening. Joan is clearing up after a meal. There is a knock at the door. She goes to answer it. It is Louisa. Joan is clearly surprised to see her.
Louisa: (Louisa is a little distressed and uncomfortable at being there) Hello Joan. I’m so sorry to disturb you.
Joan: No, that’s fine. Come in.
Louisa: Thank you. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been out here.
Joan: Yes. Far too long in my opinion.
Louisa: (stalling) So, ah, how are you?
Joan: I’m fine my dear. How are you seems to be the more pertinent question?
Louisa: I’m sorry Joan, I just didn’t know who else to turn to.
Joan: What’s the matter?
Louisa: I’m not doing too well. It’s Martin.
Joan: Of course it is. What’s he done now?
Louisa: He’s pushing me away. And I’m worried. I’m worried that...I’m worried he might mean it when he says...What am I doing wrong? Things were...
Joan: Louisa, slow down. You’re not making sense.
Louisa: Joan, I know you said it wasn’t your place, but I need to know. What happened with Martin and his parents? He’s only started behaving this way since his father showed up and his mother’s sick, but he’s acting like it means nothing to him. Why?
Joan: You’re right. It’s not my place, but I’ll tell you this much...He’s a damn fool if he pays any attention to a word his parents say!
Louisa: Why? What happened?
Joan: Ever since he was a boy, they made him feel like he wasn’t wanted, wasn’t loved. His mother resented his very existence – put him in boarding school, sent him here for holidays. It’s hard to overcome being rejected by your own parents; not feeling worthy of the one love that should be unconditional. He most likely doesn’t feel he deserves your love either. And if Christopher has been in his ear, I’d say he thinks he’s doing the right thing pushing you away. He’s still a scared little boy deep down – afraid of being rejected. But if he rejects you first he doesn’t have to face that possibility.
Louisa: But I’m not going to reject him.
Joan: You did once.
Louisa: Well yes. But it was his decision too. And at the time it was the right decision.
Joan: Yes. I’d say he did what he thought was best for you.
Louisa: (with spirit) You know, I’m sick of hearing that! I should be the one to decide what’s best for me.
Joan: Well go on then!
Louisa: (losing her bravado) What do I do?
Joan: Call him on it. Show him how foolish he’s being. Let him know you’re going to fight.
Louisa: What if he doesn’t listen?
Joan: Would you rather not try?
Joan: Right. Well go on then!
Louisa: (determinedly) Ok! I will! Thank you Joan. I’m sorry again to have disturbed you.
Joan: You’re welcome anytime.
Louisa: See you later then.
Louisa turns and heads to the door. Joan stops her.
Louisa turns back to Joan.
Joan: Whatever happens, never doubt for a minute that you’re very special to Martin.
Louisa: Thank you. I need to hear that.
Louisa gives a little wave and leaves, closing the door behind her. Joan looks concerned and speaks to herself.
Joan: Oh Marty. What have you done?!
Scene: Interior. Morning. Martin’s Kitchen. Martin is at the sink when Joan walks past the window, doesn’t knock, just pushes open the door and comes in.
Martin: Oh right. Come in then. Given up knocking have we? I mean honestly Aunty Joan, do you not have your own home?
Joan: Martin Ellingham, you’re a bloody idiot!
Martin: What have I done?!
Joan: Tell me this – do you admire your father?
Joan: Do you aspire to be like him?
Joan: So why in good God’s name are you listening to him?!
Martin: Aunty Joan, I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.
Martin: What about Louisa?
Joan: Don’t play dumb with me Marty.
Martin: I’m not.
Joan: You deserve to be happy and if it’s Louisa who makes you happy, and I dare say it is, don’t miss this second chance. You may not get a third.
Martin: And what about her?
Joan: She deserves to be happy too. She’s an intelligent grown woman Marty. She’s not going into this blind. She knows what you’re like – truly like.
Joan: You can keep pushing her away. Lord knows I can’t stop you, and you can tell yourself you’re doing it for her good, or that you don’t care, or...you can take a chance. Risk being happy Marty. Allow yourself that.
Martin: I...well...it’s not...
Joan: It’s your life Martin. I’ve said my piece.
Joan turns and leaves. Martin calls after her.
Martin: Aunty Joan?!
Joan does not stop. Martin is left to ponder her advice.
Scene: Interior. Day. Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her desk talking to Christopher Ellingham. No one else is there. We join them mid conversation.
Christopher: Yes, a forty-five foot luxury catamaran.
Pauline: Oh, nice. I can just picture you out on the open seas. It’d be such an eyesore!
Pauline: (quickly) I mean sight for sore eyes! Sorry!
Christopher: (smiling uncertainly) Yes. Shall I go through then?
Pauline: Yeah, go through. He’s probably in there playing Pacman if I know the Doc!
Christopher clearly thinks Pauline is insane.
Christopher: Right. An experience as always Pauline.
Scene: Interior. Day. Portwenn Surgery Consultation Room. Martin is sitting at his desk writing up patient notes. There is a knock at the door.
His father walks in.
Martin: (short) What are you still doing here? You said what you needed to say; now you can pack up your horse or your donkey, or whatever it is that brought you here, and leave.
Christopher: (false concern) Where does all this anger come from Martin?
Martin: You know damn well where it comes from.
Christopher: Yes. You’re like a blasted elephant you are. Don’t forget a thing.
Martin: I wish I could forget like you.
Christopher: We’re not going to talk about this now.
Martin: What shall we talk about then? My failure as a surgeon? My failure as a son? My failure with finance? My failure as a fiancé?
Christopher: (laughing it off) Marty, you’re too hard on yourself.
Martin: You need to leave, I have patients.
Christopher: No you don’t. The waiting room is empty.
Martin: Right. Well I’ll leave.
Christopher: You’re acting like a child Martin. And you thought you were ready to get married.
Martin: That doesn’t have anything to do with this?
Christopher: It doesn’t? And anyway, you couldn’t even go through with it.
Martin: Does it bother you that I couldn’t go through with it, or that Louisa chose to be with me in the first place?
Christopher: You’re dementing Martin. It doesn’t bother me at all!
Martin: I think you can’t stand the idea that Louisa chose me. After all, who’d choose a failure like me? Especially when Mum chose to leave you.
Christopher: Don’t be ludicrous. And she didn’t choose you. She rejected you, just like everyone else.
Martin: (absolutely livid) You know nothing about it!
Christopher: (trying to calm things down) Martin. This isn’t how I wanted things to be. You’re angry now, but I’m leaving the day after tomorrow and I’d like to have dinner tomorrow night before I go.
Martin: I don’t think so.
Christopher: I’ll be at the pub from six. If you’re there, you’re there. If you’re not, you’re not.
Martin goes and opens the door and stands back.
Christopher: Tomorrow night. Six o’clock.
Christopher goes out the door and turns to say something else. Martin shuts the door in his face.
Scene: Exterior. Portwenn School. The children are leaving for the end of the day. Louisa is rather impatiently ushering them out the door. Martin happens to be across the road and, upon seeing Louisa, hides himself from view and watches her.
Louisa: Right. Off you go. Quick sticks now. See you later.
Young William walks past, eyes cast down.
Louisa: William! A smile before you go please.
He looks up at Louisa and smiles, still a little embarrassed. She smiles back at him. William is the last student to leave.
Louisa: (to herself) Right! Things to do.
Louisa returns inside. She has not seen Martin. He continues to stare at the spot she has now vacated. Louisa then appears in the classroom, visible from the street. She looks up and out at Martin. He is unaware she is looking at him. Martin turns and leaves. Louisa gives a confused shake of her head, then begins to pack up things in the room.
Scene: Interior. Portwenn Surgery. Martin’s consultation room. Martin is sitting at his desk facing Bert.
Bert: The thing is Doc, I think I might still be depressed or oppressed or stressed.
Martin: Who’d have guessed?
Bert: So what’s wrong with me? I changed my lifestyle. I even lost a little bit of the blubber.
Martin: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but clearly you’re thinking too much Bert.
Bert: Me? Thinking too much?
Martin: Yes. I know, it’s hard to believe. Generally it appears you don’t think at all. You’re bored Bert. You haven't learnt from your past mistakes. You’re life has become repetitive again.
Bert: Repetitive you say?
Martin: Yes. Repetitive.
Bert: Repetitive you say?
Martin: (barks) Bert! All you need to do is break you’re routine slightly and add interest to what is otherwise perhaps the dullest existence known to man. And I don’t mean change careers!
Bert: Right. Break the routine. Stop thinking.
Martin: Preferably not all together.
Scene: Interior. Portwenn Surgery Reception. Late Afternoon. Pauline is at her computer. There are a couple of patients waiting. Louisa bustles in, clearly on a mission, talking to Pauline as she strides by.
Louisa: Is he in Pauline?
Pauline: Yes, but...
At that moment Martin follows Bert out of his consultation room. Louisa pushes past the Bert, turns Martin around and pushes him back into the consultation room.
Scene: Interior. Same moment. Martin consultation room.
Martin: Louisa, what on earth do you...
Louisa closes the door.
Louisa: Right. I’ve had enough of this Martin. We need to sort it out once and for all.
Martin: Sort what out?
Louisa: I’m not your mother Martin.
Martin goes to say something, but Louisa continues before he can get a word out.
Louisa: I care about you. You. The actual you. As you are now. I want to be with you. I like having you around.
Martin again goes to say something, but Louisa cuts him off.
Louisa: And you’re not your father. You’re a better man than he could ever be. You hide it well, very well in fact, but you’re kind and caring and thoughtful. Admittedly, you are rude.
Martin: (finally getting a word in) Well...
Louisa: You can keep pushing me away, but I’m not going to give up that easily. I made that mistake once and I’m not going to make it again.
Louisa: It’s you that I want. That I need.
Martin: You don’t need me.
Louisa: How about you let me be the judge of that.
They are looking intently at each other.
Martin: (childishly defiant) Well, I don’t need you.
Louisa: No. You probably don’t.
Martin: (with no conviction) And, I don’t want you.
Louisa walks closer to him.
Louisa: I don’t believe you.
Martin is now cornered.
Martin: Anyway, this, ah, isn’t a good time. Um, you should go. I, ah, have patients.
Louisa places her hand on the side of Martin’s face, then moves it to the back of his head.
Louisa: Is that what you want?
Louisa stands on tip-toe and kisses Martin’s neck.
Martin: (pleading) Please Louisa.
Louisa: Maybe it’s time you took a risk Martin.
Louisa kisses Martin beside the mouth.
Martin: You don’t want to do this.
Louisa: Yes I do.
Louisa kisses Martin on the mouth. He is tentative initially, then relaxes, placing one hand on the side of Louisa head, tangled in her hair, and the other hand on the small of her back. He pulls her close. After a time, Louisa pulls away, but they still hold each other. She smiles contentedly.
Martin: Yes. Well, I’m glad we got that sorted out then.
Louisa: I’m not sure it’s fully sorted.
She kisses Martin again. Unaware, tangled together, they begin to head toward the closed door that leads to the reception area.
Scene: Same moment. Portwenn Surgery Reception. Pauline is at her desk and a couple of patients are waiting. There is a thump against the consultation room door, which causes Pauline to give a slight jump of fright. She gets up and goes to the door to listen. She puts her hand to her mouth to smother a giggle. She then turns to the patients in the waiting room.
Pauline: Ok everyone. Sorry. Surgery’s cancelled for this evening. Sorry Mrs Nicholls. I’ll call tomorrow to schedule another appointment. Off you go then!
Pauline musters the patients out the front door. She then goes back to the consultation room door to listen again.
Scene: Interior. Same moment. Martin consultation room. Louisa and Martin are leaning against the door to the reception area, kissing. Louisa pulls away and speaks weakly.
Louisa: I, ah, have to go actually.
Martin: (disappointed) What?
Louisa: We’ve got a parent night at the school.
Louisa: Can I come back?
They stare at each other. Martin is gently tracing the line of Louisa’s jaw with his thumb.
Louisa: I guess I could be a little late.
Martin: I can write you a Doctor’s Note.
They kiss again.
Scene: Next day. Interior. Portwenn Surgery Reception. Al is behind Pauline’s desk looking at the computer. Pauline is talking to him in conspiratorial tones.
Pauline: Next thing there’s a bang against the door.
Al: (pointing to the consultation room door) That door?
Pauline: (with a laugh) Yes! I had to clear the waiting room!
Al: No way. Not the Doc. Who’d have thought?!
Pauline: I know! Can you believe it? All very...
Martin comes out of the consultation room and Pauline quickly shuts up.
Martin: Hello Al.
Al: Hey there Doc. Just doing your monthly service.
Martin: Yes. Good. Carry on then. Could you check the phone lines too please Al? They’ve been playing up apparently.
Al: Ha! Right. No problem.
Martin: Good. Pauline? A word.
Martin extends his arm to indicate he’d like to see Pauline in his consultation room.
Pauline: (under her breath) Oh boy. (Out loud) Yes. Ok.
Pauline goes through to Martin’s consultation room.
Scene: Same time. Interior. Martin’s consultation room. Pauline enters followed by Martin, who closes the door.
Martin: I was thinking Pauline...
Pauline: (dubiously) Yes...
Martin: That perhaps I did put those patient notes away in the filing cabinet the other day.
Pauline: (shocked) What?!
Martin: I may possibly have inadvertently put them back, prior to actually seeing the patients.
Pauline: (like she’s talking to a small child) Are you trying to apologise to me Doc?
Pauline: (with a chuffed smile) Aw! That’s so sweet.
Martin: (embarrassed) Yes. Well. That’s all.
Pauline: Very good Doc.
Pauline goes and opens the door to reception. She turns back to Martin.
Pauline: Or maybe Doc, I didn’t put them on your desk. I guess we’ll never know.
Martin nods and Pauline smiles, then goes back to Al. We hear her in the background.
Pauline: How’s that phone Al?
Scene: Exterior. Evening. Martin and Louisa are walking toward the pub together. They are, once again, very comfortable in each other’s company.
Martin: I’m only going to make sure he really leaves.
Louisa: It’ll be fine.
Martin: I have no expectation beyond the evening being soul destroyingly painful.
Louisa: Well, with an attitude like that...
Martin: If you expect nothing from people, you’ll never be disappointed.
Louisa: Mm, very cheery!
Scene: Same time. Interior, Portwenn Pub. It is very full. All the regulars are there, including Pauline, Al, Bert, Penhale and Martin’s father. Louisa and Martin enter from the alley outside.
Martin: Oh God. The whole asylum is here!
Louisa: (smiling) Be brave.
Christopher approaches them, sizing up Louisa.
Christopher: Martin my boy. Glad you decided you could make it after all.
Christopher: And the very beautiful head mistress.
Martin rolls his eyes.
Christopher: Are you joining us Louisa?
Louisa: Yes. I hope that’s alright?
Christopher: A delightful surprise. In more ways than one. Let’s sit. I’ve reserved a table.
They head for a table. Time lapse to a little while later. Martin, Louisa and Christopher are sitting at the table finishing off their food. We join them mid conversation.
Christopher: (telling a tale about Martin) So he spent the whole evening wearing two different shoes!
Christopher laughs. Louisa smiles reassuringly at Martin. Martin is not impressed.
Martin: I need the lavatory.
Martin get’s up and leaves the table. Christopher looks at Louisa and smiles.
Christopher: So? You were engaged to my son?
Christopher: Wise decision not to go through with it.
Christopher: Now don’t get me wrong Louisa. I want the best for my son, but you clearly deserve better. He’s not good enough for you.
Louisa: (shocked) Excuse me!?
Christopher: He’s a selfish being. Always has been. Not his fault I guess, but there you are.
Louisa is speechless. She shakes her head trying to come to terms with the fact that Christopher would talk about Martin that way.
Louisa: I don’t think...
Christopher: Don’t want to abandon you my dear, but I think I best use the little boys’ room too.
Christopher gets up and leaves the table. Louisa is still smarting.
Louisa: I’ll show him not good enough!
Martin returns to the table. Before he has a chance to sit down, Louisa grabs him by the hand and drags him across the room toward the door leading into the alleyway outside the pub.
Martin: Louisa! What are you doing?
Louisa: Just come on!
Scene: Same moment. Exterior. Alleyway outside Portwenn Pub. Louisa is dragging Martin out of the pub.
Martin: Have you taken complete leave...
Louisa stops and turns to Martin.
Louisa: Do you love me Martin?
Louisa: Do you love me?
Martin: What does that have to do with...
Louisa: Just answer the question.
Martin: It’s not that simple.
Louisa: It is that simple. Yes or no?
Louisa: Yes or no?
Martin: Yes. You know I do. I love you more than anything else in life. I didn’t know it was possible to love anything as much as I love you. I’ve loved you since the moment you questioned my ability to be a GP in this god forsaken crack in the earth. And with each passing day I love you more. You’re my last thought as I go to sleep at night and my first thought when I wake up in the morning. I’ll always love you.
Louisa: (moved) Oh.
She looks as if she may cry, but then shakes her head and snaps out of it.
Louisa: Right. Good. Well stop acting like such a tosser and start acting like you love me!
Martin: (not the response he was expecting) What?!
Louisa: For God’s sake Martin, put your arms around me every now and then, hold my hand, touch my leg. And if you’re feeling really brave, you could even kiss me.
Louisa: Just do it!
Martin: Our private concerns...
Louisa: (threateningly) Martin!
Louisa strides off, back into the pub. Martin looks around, somewhat shocked. A moment later Louisa reappears.
Louisa: By the way, I love you too.
She goes over and gives Martin a big bear hug and a great smacker of a kiss on the cheek.
Louisa: Let’s go back.
Martin: I suppose you expect me to hold your hand?
Louisa: I’ll make it worth your while later.
Martin takes her hand and they go back inside the pub.
Scene: Same moment. Interior Portwenn Pub. Martin and Louisa walk in hand in hand. Martin’s father observes them, noticing the intimacy of the hand holding. They return to the table.
Christopher: Everything alright?
Louisa: (smugly) Fine.
Time lapse to later the same evening. Martin’s father is talking with Bert. Martin and Louisa sit at the bar on stools facing out into the room. Christopher is keeping an eye on them.
Martin: I’d, ah, like it if you would come to see my mother with me.
Louisa is moved. She smiles at Martin with a mixture of joy and sadness. She nods.
Louisa: Of course.
Martin places his hand on Louisa’s leg. She covers it with her own hand and squeezes tight. Martin leans into Louisa and they share a single tender kiss. Martin’s father watches and then turns away, head downcast. Martin continues to hold Louisa’s hand and they smile warmly at each other.