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12th chapter

A Novel Idea - a Soap

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chapter 12


“Well you have no one to blame but yourself”  T.J. said to himself as he drove away from where Joelle and Rupert were strolling down the street hand in hand.  “If you had not been such an idiot, and made an effort early on with the girl.  Instead no you had to go and flirt with every one who wore a skirt.”


He was more, angry with himself for his foolish behaviour since working with Joelle, than with Rupert.  He thought to himself that if there was even the slightest chance that he could still get her then he would find a way.




Mildred and Xavier were in the middle of a meeting, when Amy, Mildreds’ secretary buzzed through an important call she had been waiting on. 


“Sorry for the interruption, but this is the call you have been waiting for.”  Amy apologised as Mildred answered the phone. 


“Thanks Amy, Xavier will need to be in on this anyway.  Put it through.”  Replied Mildred.  “Mildred speaking.”  She said she turned the hands free talk button on.


“Hello Mildred, Its Errol here.”  Errol had phoned with some major research news, he was currently overseas in Europe at a conference, and had managed to obtain a rather important load of documents for the Universities Special collections.


“Hi Errol, what new have you got for us, Xavier is her also, Xavier this is Dr Errol Finshin, he has been in Europe and has found some missing documents that were stolen from here 20 years ago.”


Hello Dr Finshin, nice to talk to you.”  Xavier stated,


“Please call me Errol, everyone does.”


“Thanks Errol, so what can you tell us about the papers.”


Errol went on to fill them in on how he had stumbled across the research documents that were stolen from the Agriculture faculty office 20 years before and how it proved a theory that several of the staff at the Wattle Grange University had been surmising all along.  Back in 1984, they had discovered a series of genes that controlled disease in certain plants.  The researchers then, had started their reports, with them at the time was a visiting Professor from the small University of Matchfield from a small European nation.  The University had folded not long after the missing document incident.  It had been discovered that a number of their staff had been plagiarizing numerous publications.  Xavier and Mildred were most pleased to have these originals back in their possession.




Joelle and Rupert had been dating now for several months, TJ had resigned himself to the loss of the only woman he thought he would ever truly love. 


“It’s the happiest I’ve ever been”  Joelle told Mildred as they were shopping for an anniversary present for Mitch and Tiffany.  They had been married now for almost 2 years, and everyone was giving them a large surprise party.

“Yes I can tell” Mildred replied with a smile and a wink.  “Rupert has been on cloud nine, I’m so happy things are working out for the both of you.”


They continued the shopping, it was getting a little confusing with all the choices they had for buying Tiffany and Mitch.  They seemed to have everything.


“How about this”, asked Joelle as she held up a Table cloth.


“No they have lots of them”  Mildred replied, “What do you say to a spa day for the two of them, a get away from the kids, You and I can look after the kids, and they can have the day to themselves.”


“Hey, I never thought of that.”  There is a new spa just opened 10 minutes out of town…


They both headed off to the Happy Thoughts Day Spa to organise a Gift voucher for them.





Errol had arrived back from his trip to Europe with the research papers that had been stolen all those years ago.  He was quite proud of himself.  The head of the department was also very pleased to have them returned, as his Father was one of those who had worked on the paper and only had disappointment when it was stolen.


Making a stop at Mildreds office to drop off the papers.  He caught up with the latest news, and Arranged with her to catch up later that week to go over the party preparations with Josh, who was booked to cater for the surprise 2nd anniversary party for Tiffany and Mitch.


“You know”  Errol said “Josh is so very excited about the party, he really thinks the world of Tiffany.” 


“Yes he sure does, and I don’t think Tiffany would be happy unless Josh did the catering…..  that’s is she knew about it in the first place..”


They bid farewell to each other and continued on with the work of the day.



Xavier’s family had settled in nicely, after the little glitch in the beginning with the children not adjusting to the move as well as they had hoped.  His wife Tasha had settled into her job nicely, their  children, Zack, Bobbett, Gus, and Joann had finally made friends at their schools,  Joanna had found a nice boy to date.. Bobbett had joined a Guide troupe and both boys had joined the Scouts so they had plenty to keep them occupied during the weekends with camps, excursions   Xavier was happy with his job, he liked the people was working with.  He made a special effort in getting to know the lower level staff.


“They are the ones who keep the library running.”  He often quoted to everyone he was making comment to about the functioning of the library.  “If it were not for them, there would be a heck of a mess.”


The staff noticed how much different things were under Xavier’s leadership, meetings were now interesting to attend, everyone got a say.  Should they choose to give a presentation they were more than welcome. 


Yes since Xavier Tahala arrived things were certainly looking up.




Mildred had decided that she was going to take her long service leave finally, she had not taken it the last time she was due, so she had 6 months of holidays to herself.  Today was the first day, she was sitting at her window seat, gazing over her garden.  It had been drizzling for most of the morning.  She sat reflecting on the last few years that had passed.  She had lost her parents, discovered her adoption, and a twin brother, and his boyfriend was as wonderful as Errol was.  Her friend Tiffany had married happily to a lovely man.  Tiffany had also been kidnapped,  Joelle and Rupert had just announced their engagement in a phone call to her half an hour earlier.  Everything seemed to be going well for everyone else except, she felt something was missing in her life.


‘Some people just have all the luck,’  she thought to herself.  ‘I wish I had met someone special, I would love to have had children’.


Mildred had longed for a family of her own, she had her pets, but they were not the same.  She was happy for her friends that they had found fulfilment in their lives.  But why could she not find someone to settle down with.  Just as she was drifting off in a world of deep thought she was bought back to reality with a loud crash.


Coming to her senses she noticed a large branch of the tree in her front yard had fallen onto her front wall.


“Oh Great!” she sighed with exasperation.  “That’s all I need”


She got off the window seat and went to find her phone book to call a tree surgeon and also someone to come and repair her wall.  The Tree company sent someone around that afternoon, and the people from the Masonry company would be around for a quote in 2 days time.


“Maybe its time I took myself off overseas for a few months” she said out loud, “ill be back in time for Joelle and Ruperts wedding.” 


After all she had the time and the money and there was nothing, and more to the point no one keeping her here.

She got into her car, after the Tree surgeon had finished removing the tree branch, and headed down to the travel agents




Rupert and Joelle were in the middle of planning their wedding, they had it all figured out in no time, they would have the wedding in the garden area of the Library that Rupert had built.  They would honeymoon on the French Riviera.  Joelle was going to rent out the house she owned.  They would move into Ruperts new apartment that he had just purchased.  He had decided that it was time to stop all the travelling rounds he had been doing with his job and base his office in the down town Centre that was just under construction and was due to be finished in 6 months, 


Of course it was his own design, so what better place to have an office than in his own creation..


Joelle was going to continue working until the birth of their first child and then stay at home and raise the family she had wanted for some time.


They were still to decide on where the reception was to be, but they still had 3 places to look at, they had thought of having it at the same location that Mitchell and Tiffany had had their wedding. But thought it would be nicer to have an out door reception since the weather in spring time when they were going to marry was just beautiful.  There was that new Park land that was being completed. Up in the hills with children’s playground and some lovely shaded areas and a brook running through it.


Just then the phone rang, it was Mildred informing them that she had booked herself on a 3 month trip to Europe.


“What a great idea’ Joelle said  “You really do deserve having the time off. After all you have been working so hard.”


“Ill be back in time for the wedding don’t worry about that”  Mildred assured them.  “but if I don’t take the chance now to travel, ill be old and too infirm to travel and see the things I want to.”


“Oh come off it Mil. Your only in the prime of your life, its not as though your 60 or something.”



Mildred was due to fly to Europe in 3 weeks time, she had managed to book herself on a tour that had had a person cancel.  Everyone came to the airport to see her off, 


Once she was on the plane, and settled in her seat, she pulled out a book she had bought at the Airport bookshop.

She was just settling into reading it, when she was interrupted.


“I do beg your pardon Miss, but I believe I have the seat next to you by the window”


Mildred looked up into the bluest pair of eyes she had ever seen.  “ Oh Sorry, just one moment”  she marked her page in the book and got up to allow the gentleman into his seat.


“Thanks “  he said smiling at her, which seemed to make his eyes shine all the bluer. “My name is Mark, Mark Holman”


“Hello, Mildred Mansaw”  she replied blushing.


“So your off to Europe, is it for business or pleasure”  Mark enquired.


“Pleasure,” she smiled and felt quite as if she knew him some how “ I am pleased to say, I’m on long service leave and I’m heading on a Tour of Europe for the next 2 months, then heading to the Greek island taking a much needed rest”


“Same here, isn’t that amazing” Mark chuckled “which tour exactly are you on”


“Historical Europe tours”  Mildred answered


“Your kidding!! Me too.” Mark shook his head in surprise.


They both fell into conversation about their expectations of the tour and the places they most wanted to see, to their surprise, most of what they most wanted to see was the same.


The plane took off just as the sun was rising on a new day



Josh and Errol were sunning themselves on the beach, they had taken the weekend off from working and decided to take a pick nick down to the beach for a bit of relaxation.


The day had turned out to be a little warmer than they had anticipated, but fortunately the sea breeze had come in earlier than normal, so things were starting to cool of.


They were in the middle of eating lunch when Errol’s mobile rang 


“Hi Errol”  It was Mildred calling from the Greek islands. 


“Hi Mil, how are thing, did you enjoy your European tour”  asked Errol


“Yes thanks, did you get the post cards I sent, there should have been 10”


“Yes, thanks they looked great, we are green with envy.” He passed the phone to Josh for Josh to have a quick hello.


“So what are the islands like.”  Josh asked.


“Oh they are wonderful, I’m having such a great time and the people here are fabulous”


“when will you be home, “

“We fly out Saturday morning” Mildred said with a small snicker,” how are things there” 


“The wedding plans are going well, and Joelle, will be happy once things have finished and the wedding is over, I don’t know who is more excited the bride or groom” Josh filled her in on a few other details and handed the phone back to Errol


“So Josh and I will pick you up on the Sunday morning then, “  Enquired Errol


“Yes that will be great and I have a surprise for you”




When they had ended the phone call, Josh asked Errol what Mildred meant by “We fly out….:”


“I have no idea,” Errol admitted very puzzled, “she did say she had a surprise for us”


“You don’t suppose she has got herself married do you”  Asked Josh jokingly,


Errol sat and thought for a while and said, “no, no I don’t think that is likely, Is it?”


“Suppose we will have to wait until she flies in on Sunday”  He shrugged and went back to eating.




Mildred could hardly contain her excitement.  She and Mark had found that they both enjoyed  each others company so much they had decided to marry and had found a nice little English speaking church in Greece who were more than happy to do the honours.


Sunday morning arrived, and everyone was at the airport to welcome Mildred home.  The plane had been a little delayed and they were all itching to find out what the surprise was that


As the passengers started filing out of the arrivals gate, Errol and Josh were craning their necks to try and find Mildred in the crowd.  As the crowd started to thin, He caught sight of her and she was holding the hand of someone he had never seen before.


His jaw almost hit the floor.


“Errol, Josh, I would like you to meet my husband Mark” Mildred said with a huge grin and gazing into Marks eyes.


“Wwwwhat? Your who? I don’t get it”… stammered Errol


“You heard Me this Is my husband,” she replied sheepishly, “I told you I had a surprise, are you surprised’


“How did this happen”:  Josh gushed, “When did this happen,”


Mildred explained how they met on the plane on the way to Europe and how they had fallen in love while walking among the Historical ruins of some of the most romantic places and how Mark had proposed at sunset

At the Fontana de Trevi , or better known as the Trevi fountain.  She described how beautiful it was at sunset, the music that was playing.  She mentioned how well they got on and how they had so much in common.  She explained how they had found a quaint little church in Greece, and the people from the tour group were all there in attendance. 


Mildred could not wait to tell everyone else.  She was just so happy, just when she had given up all hope of finding the prince of her dreams, there he was sitting next to her on a flight to Europe. She was glad that she had not cancelled the trip like she was going to at the last minute.  Otherwise they would never have met.




On Mildreds first day back at work, she arranged a special morning tea for all her friends at the library and told them the news of her marriage.  Everyone was in total shock, they were equally as happy for Mildred, and said that it was about time someone made an honest women of her.


Joelle Rupert were the most pleased, they organised a belated reception for them, Everyone adored Mark and told Mildred how Happy they were for them both… 


“So you had the Honeymoon first hey, then the wedding”  Rupert joked.


“Why not” Mark replied with a sheepish grin “got to keep you all on your toes”.




Five weeks later Joelle and Rupert said their vows, the wedding was lovely, the weather could not have been nicer.  Everyone said that Joelle made a stunning bride, and that Rupert looked like he was about to burst with pride when Joelle was walking down the isle.


The reception was a smashing success, Joelle and Rupert had organised some Dances to perform medieval dances and to teach everyone else.  It was such a riot watching everyone try the steps. 


They jetted off on their honeymoon to a secret destination, they had decided not to tell anyone where they were going.


It seemed to everyone that things were all turning out for the best for everyone,  Joelle and Rupert happily married, Mildred and Mark, Tiffany and Mitchell.. and of course Errol and Josh were just made for each other Things could not have been happier.




Mitchell and Tiffany were celebrating their 2nd wedding anniversary. They had just let Marcy the baby sitter in to watch the children as they were going out to dinner, and were spending the night at the Sheraton hotel in the next town.


“Now the children must be in bed by, 8pm at the very latest.  Edward has an assignment due next week so he can stay up until 9pm to finish it, but to bed no later than 9.15.   Do you hear me Edward?” Tiffany instructed


“Yes Mum” Edward replied.


“Now there is a list of instruction on the table, and the children’s and your dinner is getting delivered, they The money for the delivery man is on the table here… “ Mitchell informed Marcy


“Ok, thanks Professor Hills.:”


“Now you kids behave for Marcy wont you.”


“Yes Mum”  Came a chorus from all the children.


Mitchell and Tiffany left, feeling happy and content, Marcy herded the children into the lounge room for a game of monopoly, the 2 youngest twins were content to draw at their table.


The bell sounded a the front door, it was the food delivery it was Pizza and pasta and salads, Marcy paid for the food, and set it out on the table.  They happily ate and joked and told each other funny stories.


At the appointed time Marcy herded the children off to their rooms.  Then she settled down to watch the evenings movie.  At around 10pm the phone rang, Prof. and Mrs Hills always called at this time to check on how the kids were.  Just as Marcy headed to answer the phone, a special news bulletin came on the television.


The reporter announced. “A special update bulletin…. It has been reported that there has been a break out at the State Mental institution.  Several of the inmates have been recaptured but one is still at large.  Walter Manning is not to be approached he is considered dangerous.  You may remember we brought you the story 2 years ago of his kidnapping Tiffany Hills, the wife of Professor Hills who is connected to the Wattle grange University.  More information will be presented as it comes to hand.”





©Colleen Hunter 2004

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