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Comment > Through Paige's Eyes by Carol Ann Wood

Not necessarily my opinion, maybe not yours. But Paige sees it differently...

"Hey, listen up, guys. I know this is going to sound bad, but I did kind of want my birth parents to be together. The thing is, when I first came to Ramsay Street, I was undercover, cos I had to make sure they really wanted me in their lives. And when Iíd worked out who they were, I saw them hug and I honestly thought they were still a couple. They looked so right, so natural.

When I realised that Brad and Lauren were both married to other people, I was surprised, and yes, I admit, a bit disappointed. All I had ever wanted was to have two parents who loved each other. I know what itís like to not be in a loving family, trust me. Iíd always known I was adopted, but I had no idea it wasnít strictly legal. My adoptive mother thought she couldnít have kids. Then Ethan was born, and I felt unwanted. Oh, they splashed money around, sure, but it doesnít make up for feeling unloved, does it?

..

When I found out the whole truth of my birth and how Kathy had me adopted out, I was hurt and angry. How could she do that, deceive her own daughter? And then there were the Ďwhat ifsí for me, and for Lauren and Brad. Well, I call them Mum and Dad mostly now and it feels good. Anyone could see that Brad wasnít completely happy with Terese. Sheís too controlling, too full of career prospects. My dad is creative and he needs to feel he can try new things, not be stuck in a classroom beholden to Susan Kennedy, on top of being bossed about at home. Yea, I know, he and Terese have been married for twenty years, but that doesnít always mean anything. Like I said, I should know.

Terese wasnít very nice to me when I was getting to know the family. I think she blamed me for the fact that Mum and Dad bonded again when they found me, but I was only trying to have the relationship I should have had with my birth parents all along. Iíve been deprived of that, and she didnít seem to understand. Oh, she said I was Ďwelcome in their house.í Yea, right, about as welcome as a bad smell. She only smiled at me with her mouth, not her eyes. She was so cold. Matt wasnít always happy about me being around either, but at least he did chill a bit, and he would have done anything to make Mum happy. Till near the end, anyway. He had this stupid pride about owning the house, and it all got messy. I felt guilty too, as it was my lap top Bailes used to chat to that girl who stole the money. I shouldíve been more careful, but it happened, and I didnít make Matt go and work for Dimato to get extra cash, so they canít blame me for that.

Iím not sure Mum ever loved Matt in the same way as she loved Brad. Sheís hinted as much, and I once overheard Matt say so when they were having an argument. Iím sorry that Matt died, it was such a horrible thing to happen, and I feel for my brothers and sister, but Mum has to move on in whatever way she needs to now. Iím avoiding Terese, as I know she blames me for my parents hooking up for the night. She thinks Iíve helped engineer it; she once even read my text from Ethan asking if Iíd managed to get Lauren and Brad together yet. It was just a random remark, Ethan wasnít even being serious. I get that Terese would be upset, but she shouldnít have read my message. She even read Mumís journal once, AND she tried to get my birth mother to tempt me to go away with her. Bit nasty, donít you think?

..

Mumís told me a lot about when she and Dad were young. How he eventually went and married Beth, even though he clearly didnít love her. And thatís why I donít think he truly loved Terese either: There was something restless in him because he was still in love with Mum, even though he might not have admitted it, or realised it. And Mum, she obviously married on the rebound. Nice as Matt was, kind and steady, he was never going to be Brad. I think Mum had always had that thought at the back of her mind, about Dad being the love of her life.

I suppose Iím going to be seen as the bad guy here, for not blaming my parents. But I didnít say to Dad, hey, go and spend the night with Mum, you know you want to. Dad chose to. And he chose to because Terese was getting impossible. She nagged him constantly, and she didnít trust him. She drove him away with her paranoid ways and then he had to deal with her drinking. Oh, she said sheíd get help, but she even lied to him about that and said sheíd been to the AA meeting when she hadnít. And yes, I know what happened with Ezra that time was awful for her, but she only went to his hotel room out of spite because she was still sulking about Dad kissing Mum once. You know, when they were searching for me. Terese just wouldnít let it go.

..

Then there was Nick. Dad saw through him a lot quicker than Terese. She thought the sun shone out of his backside, and to be honest, he was pretty nasty to Dad while he was here, boasting about his wonderful career and making Dad feel rubbish. Well yea, look how that career turned out! He deserved to be locked up. And still Terese was making excuses for him after what he did to Paul! Sheís so deluded sometimes.

I donít know what will happen now, but I donít want Dad to get back together with Terese. Mum makes him happier. And sheís coming out of her shell too. I hate to say this, but when Matt was alive, she didnít do things she loved, very much. Look, she only got back into her art properly after I arrived and she discovered that I loved sketching and designing too. Sheíd kept that sketch of Dad for a reason, I know it. I think that when she started drawing again, she also started to question her life with Matt. Now that sheís widowed, she deserves to be happy. Itís always sad when people get hurt, but sheís not some wicked person here, sheís a warm, loving person, and she didnít plan any of this. I hate seeing Dad so tortured. Iím not going to let everyone in Ramsay Street slag off my folks. I know itís a weird situation all round. Who else has a half-sister on their mumís side whoís pregnant by their half-brother on her dadís side? Crazy. Itís a mess. But life is messy, right? And in the end, people have to follow their hearts. I know thatís all that my parents want to do. You canít blame anyone for that."

This article originally appeared on Carol's website, Levelling The Playing Field

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