“Let’s go home,” suggested Luigi to Cody, after they’d finished helping with the clean up after breakfast.
Home? thought Cody. Where is that? But he didn’t speak.
“Your medical certificate might have come. The doctor said he would send it to my address.”
“Maybe I should just … resign. I dunno that I can face them if the truth comes out.”
“Is it a good job? Pay and stuff?”
“It’s all right. Not a fortune. But enough. Phillippa”— he swallowed and looked away—“she … the house was given to us by her parents … so we …. There was enough money. Even though I didn’t earn a lot.”
Luigi wondered how to put what he was going to ask next. “Will she ask for maintenance?”
“She’s very … yeah.”
“Will you fight that?”
“No. Not for the kids. My kids. I … I want to be …” He broke off, unable to speak.
Luigi waited, patiently.
“I want to be part of their life. Just because …. You know … and I love them. And … well … maybe I can trade, you know, maintenance for access.”
Luigi was quietly angry. Not against Cody. Against society. Cody had a right to see his children, to love them. Just because Cody was gay, didn’t mean that he’d lost that right.
“Well, let’s go and see whether the medical certificate is there and then we can think about phoning your work. One step at a time. We’ll make it.”
Taking Cody’s hand he led him through to where Eleanor was sitting.
“Mrs Cumberledge, we’re off now. Thank you for the party last night and breakfast this morning.”
“Oh, do call me Eleanor, Luigi. ‘Mrs Cumberledge’ sounds so formal.”
He smiled at her. “All right. Thank you. And thank you for … your support.”
Cody looked at her and said, all at once overcome with shyness, “Yes, thank you. I … it helped.”
She took the hand Luigi wasn’t holding and squeezed it. “Do come again, Cody. Soon. You’re very welcome here.”
Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter