The rain was pouring on a cold January night in 1994 and pat and Frank were watching Tele in their living room. Frank had been married to Pat for five years and though they were very happy as they had been childhood sweethearts they had also undergone alot of problems such as his nervous breakdown and his mother dying. Pat had also done a six month prison sentence for driving under the influence and killing a teenage girl. They hoped that this year would be the year that they would regain their luck but somehow Pat was already having doubts. Only a month ago she had been present at the funeral of her ex husband Pete Beale who had been killed in a car crash and who was the father of one of her son's. She had no feelings for him but couldn't help but feel sad when she thought about him. As she put the kettle on she could hear the rain hitting the Windows and sighed heavily while Frank was watching the telly. She smiled to herself and was about to serve the tea When there was a knock at the door.
Pat was surprised. It was quite late at night.
"Whose that?" Frank called out from the kitchen. Pat shrugged and went to the door.
"Probably someone selling something or maybe they have got delivery address wrong." Pat suggested as she opened the door. Her eyes widened when she saw who it was.
It was Pats son David standing there, dripping wet and sporting a friendly smile on his handsome face.
Pat stared at him for a few moments not be living that the son whom she had not seen since he was sixteen was standing in front of him.
"Are you not gonna let me in?" David asked as the rain got heavier and Pat nodded parting away from the door to let him. David sat in the living room,
"So what's been happening?" He said casually and Pat suddenly lost it,
"Now just hang on a minute!"
Frank came into the living room and was shocked to see David sitting on the sofa not knowing who he was.
"I'm sorry David but when I last saw you you were shouting abuse at me before you left. You never wrote phoned or kept in contact. I didn't know you was alive till now!" She shrieked and Frank put his arm around her,
"I was only sixteen mum. Why didn't you come looking for me?" David asked as Frank gently led Pat to the sofa.
"Calm down darling. He's here now. How about a cup of tea?"
Pat nodded and this gave her and David a chance to talk.
"How long you been with him for?" David asked rubbing his hands together.
"Five years." Pat responded and then she asked, "you seen...?"
"No." David responded quickly, cutting the conversation. Frank arrived with three cups of tea on a tray and as he passed David his cup, Pat asked,
"Where are you staying?"
"Well I'm not staying anywhere mum. I'll find a hotel don't worry about it." David said in a low voice. Pat and Frank looked at each other and then Frank suggested,
"Well you could always stay here till you find somewhere."
"Yeah I think I'll take u up on that offer. Only as a last resort eh."
The next morning Pat was at work while David decided to make himself some breakfast. The rain had cleared up and David smiled. He wanted to repay both Pat and Frank for taking him in tonight even though the past had been so rocky. He went into the living room and sat on the sofa watching a random cartoon that came on the telly. Later when it was finished he went back into the kitchen.
David sat at the table while pat was at the Vic cleaning. He hated the fact that he couldn't do anything due to lack of money. He hated being skint and not having a leg to stand on. It made him feel useless. He looked at the small mirror on the fireplace and gave a small smile before he frowned again.
Then there was a knock.
Three long taps then three quick ones.
David was surprised. Surely Ricky hadn't forgotten his key and Frank always came round the back so who was at the door? David didn't know but he was going to find out. He opened the door and his mouth fell open.
There was a man standing there. He was the same height as David but looked more menacing, he wore a long black coat that went above his knees and underneath he was smartly dressed in contrast to David's jumper and jeans. His hair which was dark like David's was gelled back and made him look like a gangster. David didn't know how to react.
"Hello Charlie" he said in a small voice and Charlie scowled and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck.
"I'll give you hello Charlie!" He shouted just as Pat was coming home.
She dropped the shopping bag in shock as the man turned around to face her. He looked equally as shocked as she did.
"Charlie?" She asked bewildered.
"Mum?" He asked in the same tone. Charlie was the eldest of Pats children. Unlike David Charlie always had contact with his mother when he left home but that ended four years earlier and since then Charlie and David had worked together until only a few weeks ago when David had fled with two grand of his money something of which angered Charlie as he felt the money was his. David and Charlie walked into the house, barely speaking to each other as they sat at the table. Pat sat in the middle of them sensing the animosity between them. Finally she broke the ice,
"Listen I know something as gone on between you two and I don't care what it is. After all its your lives but I think you need to clear the air. Now that I have you both back I'm not prepared to see this family fall apart again like it did all those years ago."
Charlie and David looked at their mother and then at each other. Deep down they still resented her for the life she had given them. She was barely around when they were growing up and wasn't aware of certain things but when something major happened, only then did she become a mother. But they had to admit she was right. Their feud was meaningless after all they had been so close growing up and shared things together. Smiling at each other David reached over and shook Charlie's hand and Pat was relieved to have brought her two elder children together.
Towards the end of the week Pat arranged a family night for all them where they could be a proper family for once. David was setting up the living room, Ricky had turned on the telly and was browsing for films and Charlie was pouring alcohol into glasses and pop for Janine as he took it into the living room. As Pat was taking the pizza out of the oven she looked at a picture of Simon. She smiled sadly. He lived in New Zealand now and she hoped he was very happy as she hadn't given him a good time while he was in Walford. Just as the night was beginning, there was a knock at the door and Pat went to answer. She nearly had a coronary.
Two police officers were standing on the doorstep but it wasn't them she was looking at. Behind them was an adolescent boy of about seventeen with dark hair standing sheepishly behind them. He was wearing a leather jacket over his blue hoody and jeans. He looked very handsome just like all of her son's.
"Mrs Wicks?" One of the police officers asked,
"Mrs Butcher actually and what are you doing with my son?" She asked firmly, removing the boy from their grasp.
"He was caught shop lifting in a shop centre near here this afternoon. I've tried contacting the people who have looked after him but they have instead given me your address."
After a while, the officers left and Pat dragged the boy into the living room where everyone's eyes focused on him.
"Now then Terry I think you've got some explaining to do!" Pat said sternly and Terry kept his head down. He was the youngest and had lived with his father's relatives for the past ten years. Unlike his brothers he didn't resent Pat as he was too young to understand her instabilities as a mother.
David in particular was shocked to see him as Terry had only been three when he had left home and he felt proud at how attractive and growed up Terry was. Terry smiled at everybody before protesting to Pat,
"It weren't my fault mom. Johnny made me. He's been hanging around some older gang recently. I didn't wanna do it."
Pat sighed heavily and then addressed everyone else.
"Family night is cancelled. I've had a an eventful week and I'm worn out. I'll arrange another soon." She then turned to Terry, "You can sleep in Rickys Room for the time being but I'm gonna call your uncle first thing in the morning. Now go to bed now!"
Terry went upstairs and Charlie and David soon followed, both shocked by the appearance of their youngest brother.
But Terry's reappearance was going to open a can of worms for the family. Though they didn't realise it yet, their lives were gonna soon change forever.