Jacob walks past the round house when his mobile rings, which he promptly answers.
Hello, Jacob speaking.
Jacob, it’s Eve, I’ve got my mum with me.
Can you come over to the hospital?
Of course, I’m just walking past as it
Happens, I’ll be there before you know it.
That’s wonderful! I’ll see you in a bit.
Jacob knocks on Eve’s door at the hospital, and her mother, Diana, opens it and welcomes Jacob in. The two greet each other warmly.
What a surprise, It’s so good to see you.
I thought, after visiting Eve, and her
Belongings from … it would be such a shame
If we didn’t call you up and give our
Regards, before she gets transferred in the
Morning. You’ve been so good to Eve, I hear.
Jacob makes his way to Eve’s bed and holds her right hand.
You’re the only one I’ve ever been close
To, that I liked. I’ve never told you that.
Awwww, you’re so sweet … strangely, it’s been worth it.
I won’t sit up for long, I’m still giddy.
Can I get you something? A cup of tea?
I’ve brought Jasmine tea, and Belgian chocolates.
My, you’re really making the most of it.
I should watch my figure … ah, what the hell.
Share the whole tin. The tray is in the hall.
Jacob goes outside to prepare the refreshments.
Say, it must be all of two months since I
Last saw Jacob. One of those rare outings.
Shame, as he’s such a joy to have around.
Unlike all of those so called friends of yours.
Let’s just put it all behind us, please. They’ve all
Come to visit since yesterday, asking
The same questions, I didn’t want … they weren’t
Really my friends, but his … I just want to …
I know, darling, but you’ll be back home soon.
It feels luck such a waste, think of think what you
Could have achieved by now. Oh, sure, you’ve got
Your freelance work, but you could have written
History books by now if you’d stayed in
Oxford, amongst all those archives, instead of in
That cold mansion.
Not completely a waste.
Really? And what good has come out of it?
I would never have met Jacob. He’s kept
You must really like him?
Well, I …
Jacob comes back through with tray of tea and chocolate.
I hope that I wasn’t interrupting.
No, I said it’s two months since I saw you.
Around Easter. We all went to Woodstock.
That’s right! We had a wonderful lunch at
The Brothertons Brasserie. We’ve upped sticks since
Then, mind, we needed a much bigger house.
Yes, Eve did mention that. And how is Bob?
He’s doing fine. The practice is booming.
Our loft and spare room have been converted
Just to make room for more and more patients.
You will come and visit quite soon, won’t you?
This weekend would be good, but I don’t want
To be in the way while you recover.
Im Gegenteil, mein Brüderchen, I need
Your help. It won’t be much fun without you.
We’ve been thinking, if you want to earn an
Extra bit of money, then Eve has a
Lot of research notes which need typing up.
Sure, but I thought you have one of those voice
Recognition recorders, or suchlike.
I do, but it’s not all that accurate.
It’s amusing sometimes, and the docs still
Need formatting, structuring and so forth.
I don’t feel like talking for long, either.
Then I will come, just like old times. I mean,
I’ve got plans for tomorrow and Friday
Morning. After, I’m free until Tuesday.
Oh, do tell us. Are you meeting Clara?
I’m meeting her this evening as it goes.
Ooooh, lucky boy.
It’s not like that.
Let me explain. Well, the funny thing is,
A young painter, Angelica Manford,
For whom I am due to model this week …
I think I’ve seen some of her works, Hasn’t
She recently won an award somewhere?
Paris! You’re so lucky! What is she like?
Charming, spiritual and sensitive,
A typical artist. She’s meeting us
Tonight, in fact, it will be a surprize.
Will you pose nude for her? Or maybe more?
So crude! So, what’s this got to do with Clara?
Her nana used to babysit for us
Can you imagine that?
Oh, so you and Clara …?
Without realizing it, yes. In fact,
We are cousins.
Upon hearing this, Eve almost chokes, and splutters out the remains of a Belgian chocolate. Diane laughs and hugs Jacob in disbelief.
I’m stunned. That’s so unreal. There’s me hoping
That you’ll be an item for life.
What a small world. And you were well suited?
Don’t be trying anything on with her!
I’m with Clara’s best friend, Cesca, for lunch.
That’s the banker’s daughter? What a
Fine person to be trying it on with.
I hear Daddy only wants best for his
Baby. That means someone with pedigree.
As you are just an orphan in their eyes …
They’re such a snobby lot.
I remember opening an account
With him. His wife turned her nose up at me
For my casual dress and fur felt hat.
You can be friends, I won’t stop you, but she’s
Been with lots of lads but it got nowhere.
I hear the last one got chucked out on the
Front lawn. With the ice cold sprinklers rolling.
It’s probably why she’s got so close to
Clara. No one suspects that they would sleep
With each other. The only chance she gets.
Now who’s being smutty.
I’m just saying.
She seems to fancy me, at any rate.
You look the part, let’s face the facts, but that
Doesn’t mean she’s the one for you. All that
Money goes to your head. You’re young, I know,
But there’s more to life than than chandeliers,
Caviar and cigars.
You’ve seen their house?
Regrettably, yes, as Cheryl, that’s her
Mother, was preparing for one of her
Garden parties. She hurt her arm, Lord knows
What she was doing but that’s neither here
Nor there. Madame Cheryl, the whining whore
She is, was smooching up to Bob as he
Was treating her elbow. He played along,
But then he was always occupied with
His work, but I slapped her across the cheek
For her troubles. Strangely, Jeremiah,
That’s the big dope in the tight tux you see
Making a guest appearance at his bank
Once in awhile, before turning to mock
Your poverty behind your back, didn’t
React. I guess he must be used to it.
If you see her cleavage it’s no wonder
He married her. She’s got nothing going
For her. He’s got money, of course, but they’re
Both qualified numpties.
What of Cesca?
She’s a mutant, which means, unlike her mum
And dad, and probably her ancestors,
She was born with a brain, but she’s a right
Partygoer. She’s out clubbing til four
In the morning, private functions and less
Reputable watering holes, then out
Chasing so called gentlemen in top hats
At the racing the day after. I don’t
Know where she gets all that energy from.
She’s like chalk and cheese with Clara, right, Mum?
Oh yeah, Clara I’ve met before, she’s a
Patient of Bob’s. She likes exhibitions
Or a fine restaurant. I’m glad she’s your
Cousin, and not Cesca, that’s all I’ll say.
I better keep quiet over lunch, then!
Naaa, she’s alright, a typical student,
She’ll soon get out of it. I’ve been there, though
It was mainly village inns and wine bars.
Maybe you can take me to one of those,
I’ve seen little of the night life out here.
Ooh, when you come over for the weekend,
I’ll take you to a little inn.
There is one more reason for your visit.
Bob and I were thinking, well it was Eve’s
Idea really. We’d like to adopt you.
Jacob is silent and stunned, and walks over to the window, looking out, before turning back, a single tear runs down his cheek.
You’ve always thought of me as your sister,
Well, now, I can literally be that!
You don’t have to make up your mind right now,
But we’ve always been fond of you and just
Wish we knew you sooner, you might
Have had a less … oppressive upbringing.
I wish everyday … and often cry,
When I … oh, if only my parents were
Alive. And yet, you’d be the closest I’ve
Ever felt to having a family.
It’s sad, thinking about it now, that if
It wasn’t for Joseph …
Diane: I know, I know.
So… that’s a yes?
Yes, of course it’s a yes!
Jacob giggles like a child, hugging Diana and carefully hugging Eve.
Thank you so much, thank you, mein Brüderchen.
Bob loves Eve to bits but you’re like a son.
His special son with whom to share a beer,
Watching footy, rugby, or whatever.
I tried to fill the gap. It’s not the same!
Well, it’s changed now. I can come most weekends.
That’s fine, I mean I’m not saying that you
Have to move in with us, but we just thought …
That you lack a proper father figure.
And a mother figure! You were saved from
The misfortune of living with Donna.
Don’t remind me! A Grade-A whore, about
As battered as her cod, as stringy as
Her chips. Well, on that note, my Eve, I think
it’s time we got you home. Cheers for your tea
And chocolates, they were just what we needed.
Bring some with you. What time do you think you’ll …
In fact, come round on Friday night, we’ll make a big
Meal for the both of you.
Friday … at six?
OK, at six.
Jacob gives Diana and Eve one final hug before taking his leave. They wave goodbye to each other.
Mind how you go.
© 2017 AGP