Erin woke up in Chleo's guest room, the sun was beaming in through the curtains filling the room with summer warmth. She rolled on to her back and stretched, feeling Chleo's silk pjs straighten with her, she could hear the kids out in the garden playing and smell a fry being cooked downstairs. She smiled, all her senses were happy. Then the memories of the night before flooded back. She remembered the cupboard with Josh, then being with Chleo and Billy, then Jane. Erin felt tears building up. She felt embarrassed all over again, she felt ashamed of herself, it had taken her years to get better and then in one instant she felt all the feelings of worthlessness and loneliness come back. She patted around for her phone. She found it and checked for calls, nothing. Not even a message from Josh. She wanted to call him, ask him what happened after she left. Erin dialled his number, knowing that she was being stupid. It rang for a while and she thought he wasn't going to answer.

''Hello?'', he croaked, obviously still in bed too.

''Hi'', Erin said quietly.

She heard him moving around in his bed, but he didn't speak.



''Are you ok?'', Erin asked.


''What happened when we left?''.

She heard him sigh.

''Nothing Erin'', he said, ''you left, then I left''.

''Are you there with her?''.


Erin was quiet, why was he being so snappy?

''Did I do something wrong?'', she asked him afraid of what he was going to say.

''No Erin'', he sounded sad, ''you didn't do anything wrong''.

''Do you want to meet up later and talk?''.

''I don't think that's a good idea'', Josh answered, ''I'll ring you later ok?''.

''Oh, ok then'', Erin replied.

Josh had hung up, no bye or anything. Erin sat up and pulled her knees to her. She didn't understand what was wrong. Maybe it had been a bad idea, what she and Josh had been doing. Whatever that had been. She heard Chleo coming up the stairs, calling down to Dan about something breakfast related. The bedroom door opened slowly and Chleo's head poked in. She smiled at Erin and came into the room, shutting the door behind her. She got onto the bed and crawled up beside her. Erin rested her head on Chleo's shoulder. They didn't say anything to each other, they just sat together. Silent tears ran down Erin's cheeks. Chleo wrapped her arms around her and rocked her slowly.

''It was a mistake'', Erin whispered, ''You were right when you didn't tell me he was home''.

''Aw Chicky Poo'', Chleo said sadly, ''there are so such things as mistakes, only lessons''.


Dean hadn't come home that night, but Billy didn't care. He didn't care about anything that Dean did anymore. He thought Dean could change, but obviously he couldn't. Seeing him act the way he did last night not just towards him but towards Josh, Erin and Chleo gave Billy the wake up call he really needed. He hummed happily as he made himself some coffee, he didn't feel angry or sad, he felt lighter. He opened the sliding doors leading to their little balcony and stood out there, looking out at the harbour. He heard the door open and close behind him, but he didn't turn. Dean was going to have to come to him.

''WHAT THE FUCK?'', Dean yelled.

Billy smiled to himself but still didn't turn. Dean stormed through the apartment and to the doors.

''Why are all my things in bags?'', he asked Billy, his hand on his hip.

''Because you're moving out'', Billy said happily as he brushed past him into the apartment, ''I rang your Mam, she's coming to collect you at 1''.

He looked at his watch.

''Wow that's like 15 minutes away'', he smiled.

''You can't just kick me out'', Dean exclaimed, panic all over his face.

''No, I think you'll find I can'', Billy said, he couldn't hide the delight in his voice, ''I pay the bills and I pay the rent and the apartment is in my name''.

Dean was speechless, his eyes darted around the apartment as he attempted to look calm.

''Well...'', he said still looking around, ''I want my...Scrubs box set back''.

''It's already packed'', Billy said calmly, washing his coffee cup, ''you should probably wait for your Mam down at the kerb, yknow she doesn't like to climb the stairs''.

Billy smiled triumphantly as Dean stormed into their bedroom, dragging the bags out of the apartment.

''You'll regret this'', he snapped, slamming the front door behind him.

Billy sat down on his couch and looked around, the place already seemed to have a happy glow about it. He felt just the way he had felt when he left hospital all those years ago, a different person, a free person.


Josh pulled up outside departures. Jane sat silently beside him in the passenger's seat. They had barely said a word to each other since he collected her that morning. He didn't know what to say to her. She turned to him as she opened the door.

''I'll ring you when I land'', she said quietly.

''Sure'', Josh said staring straight ahead.

''Ok then'', she said getting out.

She opened the back door and grabbed her suitcase, before turning towards the doors of the departure lounge, as Josh pulled away he looked back into the rear view mirror. Jane was still standing at the side of the path, staring after him. He would talk to her later, when he didn't have to look her in the eye.

The End

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