> 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