‘Wha…what are you…what the fuck are you doing here?’ Roland just walked into the kitchen to see Brodie sitting at the counter, looking out the window into the snow filled landscape.
‘Morning.’ Brodie smiles at his friend, Roland’s face is just as he pictured it would be.
‘You are a fucking crazy man!’ both of them man hug. ‘I thought you said you weren’t coming. What happened?’
‘I had dinner with my dad and we talked.’
‘Yeah? And he told you to get in your car and drive here?’ Roland grabs a box of cereal from the pantry, two bowls from the shelf, spoons from the drawer and milk from the fridge.
‘No, but he made me realise we do need to talk, if for no other reason than to know I didn’t do anything wrong and if I did I need to know what.’
‘So you’re not here to win her back.’ Roland joins Brodie at the breakfast counter, passing him a bowl of cereal.
‘Thank you. Are you saying I don’t have the right to know why she did what she did?’
‘You do. You absolutely do, but I’m more concerned if what she has to say will be worth the drive down or not? It might not be what you want to hear Brodie.’
‘I know, but either way I need to hear it.’
Roland nods, he cannot begrudge his friend that. ‘For what it’s worth, I’m glad you decided to come.’
‘How is she?’
‘Between the two of us? She’s not cool with what she did and she knows she ought to talk to you about it.’
‘Why change her number then?’
‘That is a Blu conver-’
‘What the hell are you doing here?’ Dada walks into the kitchen, she too has the same reaction Roland had upon seeing Brodie.
‘Stranger. Don’t give me that.’ Dada goes to give him a hug. ‘How are you?’
‘Tired after a long drive.’
‘I thought you weren’t going to come. The boys said they failed to convince you. I mean more like they didn’t try hard enough…’
‘They did, but you know me, stubborn as they come. It took everything not to turn around after every five miles though.’
Dada smiles seeing the man who should have been her in-law, she loves Brodie, he and Blu made such a lovely couple. They were happy together. Good for each other. ‘You here to win her back?’
‘I asked him the same question, he’s only here to talk and after that-’
‘You came all this way to talk?’
‘She changed her number, so I figured Mohamed and mountains.’ Brodie shrugs.
‘And who’s who in this situation?’
‘Does it matter?’ Roland asks Dada and she laughs.
‘So you didn’t want to show up at her house in London, presumably you know where she now lives, the boys could’ve gotten you there, but you drive what some fifty miles to see her?’
‘A hundred and twelve actually.’
‘But you’re not here to win her back?’
‘I just want to talk. We need to talk. Don’t you agree?’
‘I agree, but…’ Dada considers but chooses not to say anything more, love has a way of making people do crazy things, ‘it’s good to see you though.’
‘It’s good to be seen after our last encounter.’
‘One day soon we will look back on it and laugh.’
‘Let me know when that day comes.’
‘Ho-ly shit look what the cat dragged in.’ Basil, Simi, Maya and Adam just walked into the kitchen to see their friend and it’s the same reaction all over again. Questions about his arrival and intentions, but they are all so happy to see him.
‘So the big question remains, where is Blu?’ Brodie asks that question the moment Blu and Seamus walk into the kitchen from the back door with stacks of wood.
‘Fucking hell.’ Seamus is just as stunned.
Blu stands frozen to the spot, the logs she carried scatters all over the floor as her arms go numb from weakness of seeing her ex-fiancé who still had that look on his face from the last time she saw him, moments before she bolted from the altar, where she should have taken her vows to be with him forever. She is not prepared for this moment, she’d rehearsed it several times in her head but no matter how many times she did, she is not prepared to face Brodie.
‘Hello Blu.’ Brodie stands to look at his fiancée or what is he calling her now.
Blu’s mouth bopped open and shut sure we she said something but no sound came out.
‘I didn’t come here to start anything I simply want to talk.’
Again she opens her mouth, and no sound comes out.
‘Blu.’ Dada jolts her cousin out of her trance. ‘Say something.’
‘Hi.’ That voice does not belong to her. She needs to take one breathe at a time, ‘hi Brodie.’
‘Hello.’ Brodie has to fold his arms to protect something because he is close to coming undone at seeing the woman he loves, the one whom he was planning to spend the rest of his life with.
‘Ah Brodie’s here.’ Franny walks into the kitchen to break up the moment. ‘Hi Brodie.’
‘Hi Francesca.’ Brodie doesn’t take his eyes off Blu.
‘I guess the bet’s back on.’
‘Francesca could you not!’ Blu snaps now fully in control of her cognitive senses.
‘What bet?’ Basil asks, everyone is still standing around, eyes on the couple but interest peaked by said bet.
‘There’s no bet-’
‘Oh come on Blu. In case you haven’t noticed everyone is walking on egg shells around you, because they think you’re so fragile.’
‘Francesca!’ Simi rounds on her gobby best friend.
‘What? It’s true, we are all just trying to be cautious around her.’
‘I never fucking asked you to. You dragged me down here, I didn’t want to come.’
All eyes now on Franny and Blu.
‘Because we thought we could take you out of your funk. Bully for us for thinking that.’
‘Sorry to bring the tone down, I was perfectly fine being in London without you interfering in my life but you simply couldn’t live well enough alone could you.’
‘Ladies please.’ Basil tries to stop whatever collision is about to happen because Blu is not one to mess with in this mood and Francesca is a button pusher.
‘No, no don’t please us. Blu should hear the truth because we’ve not been honest with her.’
‘And what truth would that be?’
‘What you did to Brodie was awful. That truth.’
‘Francesca she told us why.’ Dada looks wide eyed at her friend. Where is this coming from?
‘Regardless of what her reasons were, it was still an awful thing to do.’
‘Oh really? You’re suddenly on Brodie’s crusade now. He doesn’t like you. He tolerates you because I make the case for you.’ Blu has never been so mad at anyone in her life.
‘We get on perfectly fine.’
‘You call that getting on.’
‘Don’t segue from the issue.’ Franny slammed the fridge, ‘Brodie you want to know what the bet is?’
‘No I don’t.’ Brodie is beginning to regret his decision to come out here.
‘Francesca stop it.’ Simi warns.
‘I won’t! I’m sick and tired of everyone trying to make her feel better about what she did-’
‘You are a bitch!’ Blu takes steps forward but Brodie is quickly in her path, he knows his girl she will tear Franny to pieces given half the chance.
‘She is meant to tell you she is still in love with you Brodie. That’s’ what the bet is about!’
‘You stupid bitch!’ Blu is about to fly at her friend but Brodie, won’t let her past him. That look in his eyes gets Blu.
‘Say the one who ran from the man she supposedly loves? I’m the bitch?’
Basil is standing in front of Franny, trying to protect her from the wrath of Blu who looks about ready to maul her if Brodie hadn’t stood in her way.
‘All you do is meddle in shit that is none of your business. Fuck you. I don’t care what the fuck you do with this place, sell, stay, just stay the fuck out of my life from now on. All of you.’ Blu heads upstairs leaving behind a stunned group.
‘What the hell is your problem?’ Roland asks his wife.
‘She needed to be told the truth. Regardless of what Leila Sterling said, Blu needed to know it did not make anything okay.’
‘And you’re suddenly the patron sight of such enlightenment.’ Basil challenges Francesca.
‘What has my mother got to do with this?’ Brodie asks Francesca.
‘Why don’t you ask your runaway bride?’
‘Sometimes I don’t believe I know you.’ Maya who’d been too stunned for words aptly relays her disappointment before they all disperse.
The mood in the house is sombre, after the fight, the women drift to their bedrooms and the men sit with Brodie in the living room, watching the rugby in silence, and nursing cans of beers.
‘Sorry about that man.’ Roland feels the need to apologise, most of the mess was on his wife therefore on him.
‘At least I know it wasn’t something I did.’ Brodie cannot shake any of it. That look on his mother’s face comes back to him. What could she possibly have done?