Hope Gap (2019) Script

When I was a child, we would go to this cove under the cliffs called Hope Gap.

When the tide was out, these little rock pools appeared.

And in the pools were tiny sea creatures.

My mother would sit on the rocks and wait for me while I explored.

I never asked myself what she was thinking or if she was happy.

You don't, do you?

A lonely impulse of delight is it Gary.

How is that?

Oh, it's you, Grace.

It's a poem, WB Yeats.

Always with the poetry, eh, Grace.

Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, nor public men, nor cheering crowds, a lonely impulse of delight drove to this tumult in the clouds.

Oh, bollocks.

I balanced all, brought all to mind.

The years to come seemed a waste of breath.

A waste of breath, the years behind in balance with this life, this death.

Good day?

Uh, much the usual.

How was your day, Grace?


Oh, yeah.

I did our walk to Hope Gap.

I haven't done it for ages.

Remember how Jamie used to love going there?

Yes, of course.

Sometimes I miss him so much.

Did you make me a cup of tea?

I thought you had one?

It's gone cold.

Why is it you only ever drink half your tea I wonder.

I wonder that, too.

Ah, I suppose it's because I don't like things to end.

You're a non-completer.

Oh, am I?

Are you a completer?

Up to a point.

Can one complete anything up to a point?

I don't think so.

Well, I do wish Jamie would come home.

It's been months.

He's got his own life.

Well, of course, he has, but why doesn't it include us?

Are you Wiki-ing?


You never complete that.

You can't complete Wikipedia.

Napoleon marched 450,000 men across the Neman.

Less than 20,000 came back.

The surprisingly large number of the officers kept diaries.

Over 150 have survived.

Remarkable, really given the conditions on the retreat.

As the men dropped in the intense cold, they were stripped of clothing by their own comrades and left naked in the snow still alive.

It was a kind of survival strategy.

In extremest, men can be cruel.

Is that wrong?

Do we blame them?

Would any of us have behaved any better?


I wouldn't have stripped them.

You'd have left them to die with their clothes on?


Out of compassion or modesty?

It's really hard getting people's clothes off.

So it is.

Well, it's been a while, and I was thinking.

Oh, thank you, Jamie.

Are you sure you can manage?

I'll tell Grace.

She'll be so pleased.

Some time after lunch on Saturday.

When men were wounded or frostbitten and men could no longer walk, orders were given to carry them on the baggage wagons.

This slowed the wagons down, of course, and reduced the chances that the baggage train would make it to Smolensk.

So the wagon drivers looked out for especially rotted ground and then drove fast over it so that the wounded would be jolted off the wagons without anyone noticing.

Once left behind on the road, they froze to death.

This was understood to be an accident.

Nobody looked back.

Nobody looked back.

I have been here before.

What's that?

My anthology, that's what I should call it.

The idea is whatever you're going through, someone's been through it before you, put it into words.

It's the first line of a poem by Rossetti.

What is?

I have been here before.

Jamie's coming for the weekend.

Jamie's coming?

Some time after lunch on Saturday.

How do you know?

We spoke on the phone.

He rang you?


To say he was coming.

Why did he ring you?

I don't know.

He does sometimes.

Does he?

When was the last time Jamie came home?

April was it?

He's got his own life to live.

Hi, it's Kelly.

I can't come to the phone right now but please leave me a message and I'll call you back as soon as I can.

Hi, Kelly.

It's Jamie.

I'm away over the weekend.

I'll be back by 6:00 on Sunday.

If you're around, it'd be great to see you.

OK, bye.

Hello, stranger.

Hello, Mom.

Hello, stranger.

Hello, Mom.



Jamie, Jamie.

Thanks for coming.

How was your journey?

Not bad.

I got the 3:46.

Running late.

Only just made the connection at Lewis.

Can't trust the trains these days.

I'll just... I'll drop my stuff off.

Do you think he's happy?

I think he's happy in that flat of his.

Do you?

All on his own?

Well, there's that, of course.

But he has it the way he wants it.

No washing up to speak of.

You use a plate, wash it, and there it is ready to use again.

You do not run out of milk because you're the only one drinking it, so you know how much there is left in the fridge.

Just little things, I know, but they have value.

Well, you sound as if you envy him.


Well, I don't think it's good for anyone, hiding in a hole, having everything always be the same.

Jamie, are you going to be long?

Not long.

Let's have candles to celebrate Jamie coming home.

Yes, why not.

Next week, we'll have been married 29 years.

Yes, I suppose we will.

Do you have something in mind?

What do you mean?

Well, where we go out for dinner.

If that's what you'd want.

No, it isn't.

It isn't?


All right, then we won't go out.

Oh, for God's sake, Edward.

Did I say something wrong?

Well, I say will we go out for dinner on our anniversary and you say if that's what you want and I say it isn't and you say then we won't.

But I do want to go out for dinner on our anniversary.

Why do you think I suggested it?

Then why say you don't?

Because I don't want to do it because I want to do it.

I want to do it because you want to do it.

So do you want to do it?


So will you book somewhere?


Not that awful place you chose last year.

Maybe you should make booking.

Do I have to do everything?

Will you be coming to mass in the morning, Jamie?

Mom, you know I don't do that anymore.

Why not?

Have you stopped believing in God?

More or less.


Is it because of all the suffering in the world?

That's a part of it, yes.

But don't you see, that's exactly why there has to be a God.

If this world was all there is, how could we bear it?

Edward, explain why God allows the suffering.

It's, um... it's about free will, isn't it.

Jamie knows all this.

No, no, go on.


I do know the arguments.

No, but if you understood properly, you'd believe.

Look, as far as I can see, the world's a frightening place where things happen that aren't fair, and there isn't really any meaning to any of it.

And in the end, we all get wiped out.

We can't bear that, so we invent God and heaven to reassure ourselves it'll all work out in the end.

I don't think that's a bad thing to do.

I just happen to think it's not true.

You're wrong.

Tell him, Edward.

Tell him what?

That God exists.

You can't tell people a thing like.

God's not information.

God's a conviction.

It's like love.

You don't tell love.

You feel love.

That's right.

That's just how it is.


Yes, I'd like that.

I can't bear to think you're unhappy, Jamie.

I'm not unhappy.

I'm fine.

No, all on your own?

I'm fine, Mom.

All right.

Fine isn't the same as happy.

Well, who's happy?

Fine's fine.

No, we're happy, aren't we, Edward?

Yes, we're fine.

I hope you don't mind, but I'm under big pressure at work.

I thought I'd give it a couple of hours before I call it a night.

Whatever you want, darling.

I don't think I'll make mass tomorrow morning.

I've got all the coursework papers to mark.

I'd rather get it done while I'm fresh.

We are happy, aren't we?

Why wouldn't we be?

Sometimes I think we don't really talk.

What do you mean talk?

You know, talk the way people do.

It's like magic, isn't it?

You see, we don't talk.


I say things.

Why don't you say things?

What do you want me to say?


Whatever comes into your head.

Well, I've become fascinated by the eyewitness accounts of the retreat from Moscow.

Ugh, that's not talking.

That's Wiki-ing.

I mean talk, you and me.

Is this what you want?


If this isn't what you want, then what is?

I know I annoy you sometimes.

No, that's about how I feel.

I want to know how you feel.

Feel about what?

What would make you happier?

I suppose if you were happy.

No, no, talk about you.

I don't want anything special.

But you do want something?

There's something two people can have that we haven't got that you wish we had.


What is it?

I don't know how to explain.

Well... think of a word, any word, the first word comes to your head.



It's only one word. There's others.

All right give me some other words.

I don't want to do this. Why not?

I'll only make it worse.

How will it make things worse?

Because whatever I say will be wrong.

Well, it can't be wrong if it's true.

Or not enough.

What do you mean not enough?

I think you want something I haven't got.


I always somehow feel that I'm in the wrong.

I don't care about who's right or wrong.

I just want you to be there. Here.

I am... I am here.

No, you're not.

I am here.

No, you're not.

It's like somehow you've sneaked away when I wasn't looking.

I don't know how else to put it.

What are you doing?

I'm putting out the breakfast things.

Put that down.

Look at me.

You say you don't tell love.

You feel love.

But how am I to know if you never say it.

It's just assumed.

It's just there.

Even so, just to help me, please say it.

I can't now.

It wouldn't mean anything.

Why not?

I'd only be saying it because you asked me to say it.

I don't mind.

This is childish, Grace.

Say it!

Why are you doing this?

Why are you making everything into a problem?

This isn't anything to do with me.

This is your problem.

Don't ever say that to me again.

You're part of this.

You're involved whether you like it or not.

Do something.

Say something.

If you hate me, say you hate me.

Say you want to leave me.

Say you want to kill me.

Tell me something real.

I'm tired.

I want to go to bed.

We'll talk about it in the morning.

What happened?

I did it.

Were you going for him again?

He should fight back.

Is that what you want, a fight?

I want a reaction.

I want a real marriage.

What is he so afraid of?

Why does he walk away from me?

Because you go for him.

Oh, I don't go for him.

But I did hit him just now.

Oh, Mom.

What else am I to do?

How else am I to get through to him?

I feel like if I can only give him a big enough shock, he'll wake up.

Well, hitting him won't help.

What do you think I should do?

I think you should be nicer to him.


You sound like Edward.

I think you should stop going for him.

You said that already.

You don't listen, do you?

Yes, well, we've all seen what a great success you've made of your love life.

Oh, I'm sorry, darling.

I'm sorry.

I didn't mean it.

Actually you didn't know anything about my love life.

Don't I?

Have you got a secret wife somewhere?

Secret children?

You don't have to have a family to have a love life.

You must admit there's something odd about you living alone in that flat at your age.

Lots of people live alone.

Edward envies you, you know.


Yes, he'd love to live in your flat and do the same thing at the same time every day.

It's what I rescued him from.

Don't try rescuing me.

I do worry about you.

I worry about you.


Because Edward and I have these little rows.

I'm just trying to keep well out of the line of fire.

You know I love him, don't you.

Doesn't mean anything if we quarrel from time to time.

Oh, throw the breakfast things around?

Well, I tipped the table up.

Had to do something.

I thought maybe you'd thrown them at him?

No, wouldn't do that, not cutlery.

I'm relieved to hear it.

I would have cleared it up if you hadn't done it.

Well, it's was done now.

Thank you, darling.

Thank you.

I'll see you in the morning then.

I think I may go to early mass.

You want me to wake you?


No, let me sleep.

All right then, darling.

Good night.

Good night.

Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace is a peaceful of good will.

We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you.

We give you thanks for your great glory.

Lord God, heavenly King, oh God almighty father, Lord Jesus Christ...

Only God himself, Lord God...

Lamb of God, son of Father, you take away the sins of the world.

Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us.

When do you have to go?

After lunch?

Right away after lunch.


I don't suppose you could stay on a little longer?

I'd rather not really.


It's just that things are coming to a head.

I thought it might be better for Grace if you were here.

What do you mean coming to a head.

Well, I suppose you heard last night.

She's not that all the time is she?



Better that I'm here for what?

I'm going to leave.

I'm sorry.

I can't make Grace happy.

I've tried, but I'm the wrong person.

Also, ridiculous as it may sound, I've fallen in love.


It's not what I expected either.

Jesus, Dad, how did this happen?

Her name's Angela.

She's the mother of a boy at school.

He's been having problems, and I've been helping him.

Oh, God.

Sorry, I didn't mean it like that.

Only what about Mom?

She'll be better off without me.

I don't give her what she wants.

I didn't realize until I got to know Angela.

With Angela, it's easy.

The way I am seems to suit her.

With Grace, everything I do is wrong.

I'm nervous and clumsy.

I annoy her.

Does she know anything?

Not about Angela, no.

So it'll come out of nowhere.

Well, hardly nowhere.

It's been getting worse and worse.

Several times, she's talked about separation.

She doesn't mean it.

Then why does she say it.

She feels there's something not real about her marriage.

Well, you she could be right.

But I don't think she wants to be right.

That's why I was hoping you could stay on a bit longer.

Why didn't you change your mind?

I'm sorry.

It's all gone too far.

Oh, God.

She'll still have you.


I don't know that I can do this.

Well, I have to tell her soon.

What will you do, move out?



Well, the plan was soon, very soon.

Well, you don't mean today.

Angela felt why drag it out.

No, you can't.

You have to break it to her more gently.

How do I do that?

She'll be back from church soon and I'm going to tell her and then I'm going to leave.

You can be with her for a while and still be away by 4:00.

I know the trains can be very slow on Sunday.

This is why you asked me to come down.

Have you packed a bag?

Just the basics.

So it's already happened.

How long will it take?

I don't want to be here when you do it.

Give me half an hour.

Half an hour then.


Ha, Jamie not up?

He's gone out for a walk.

A walk by himself.

He never goes for a walk by himself.

A cup of tea?



You know how we say in the mass, Lord have mercy on us.

I found myself counting.

We asked for mercy 17 times.

Nine times in the curia alone, of course, three times in agnus dei, and it kept popping up everywhere else.

I think it may have a sort of hypnotic effect, all that asking for mercy.

After a while, it begins to strike you maybe you need it.

I know I go for you sometimes.

I'll try to stop.

Really all I want is reassurance.

All right.


Just to know that we're going through this thing together.

It's not really working is it?

What did you say?

It's not really working.

Thank God.

You do see it.

What's happened to us?

I think what you said is true.

I've been walking away.

I've been avoiding things.

Thank God.

You're saying it at last.

I suppose I felt I can't give you what you want, so I felt like I'm not very useful person really, for you at least.

I seem to annoy you and do things wrong.

That makes me feel, well, not much good really.

So I try not to talk about it, which only makes it worse.

Thank God.

You understand.

I've been praying for this.

I think the truth we're different kinds of people.

It may just be that we don't work very well together.

But we can.

If we understand each other and are real with each other and if you... if we have the will to make it work, it'll work.

I know it.

I'm not sure I have that will.

Well, you have to.

Marriages only work because both people want them to work.

I'm not sure I want that.

You're not sure you want our marriage to work?

Edward, listen to me.

This is terribly important.

You must will or marriage, or it'll die.

There's no in between.

It's either alive, or it's dead.

What if it's dead?

Then we go our separate ways.

No one can live in a dead marriage.

Maybe that's what we should do, go our separate ways.

But it isn't dead.

Do you think it's dead?

Well, I don't.

It's not dead for me.

I'm your wife.

You're my husband.

You can say anything you want to me, anything in the whole world.

I want to leave.



Leave to go where?

There's someone else.

Someone else?

I'm sorry.

How can there be some... someone else?

What someone else?

A parent at school.

You don't know...

What parent at school?

Her name's Angela Walker.

I didn't mean it to happen.

It was an accident, but it's happened.

An accident?

How was it an accident?

I met her to talk over her son's problems.

She told me about the situation at home and that the boy's father left a year or so ago.

She became quite emotional.

And I said what I could, and that's how we became close.

Became close?


How close?


I don't want to hear it.

When did this accident happen?

About a year ago.

A year ago?

And you went on just the same?

I should've told you before.

But it's not an accident.

You're doing it.

You don't have to do it.

You can stop doing it.

I'm sorry.

I can't.

You're not free?

Don't you realize that?

This woman may have lost her husband, but that doesn't give her the right to take mine.

Edward, this is ridiculous.

You must see that.

Or are you just doing this to give me a fright, make me behave better?


Does Jamie know?

Some of it.

I told him at breakfast.

You told Jamie?

I know this is all a shock.

But I do truly believe you'll come to see it's for the best.

For the best?

I'm no good for you, Grace.

I didn't give you what you want.

You don't give me what I want because you're not even trying.

You found a way to sneak out of it.

Well, I won't let you.

I'm sorry.

I've made up... I've made up my mind.

Well, you'll have to unmake it, won't you?

This decision involves me.

You have to consult me.

Don't do this, Grace.

It'll only make it worse.

You can't just walk away after 29 years.

You have to try.

I have tried for 29 years.


Don't say that.

You don't mean that.


No, I don't mean that.

But you know how it's been.

I... look, Edward, we had Tunbridge.

We... when Jamie was little, those years at Tunbridge, they were good years.

You mustn't take it all.

You mustn't.

You'll kill me.

When Jamie was little, they were good years.

Come here, darling.


All right.

You win.

I'm sorry.

I won't go for you ever again.

Just don't leave.

You know it won't work.

Yes, it will.

We'll make it work.


I just want a chance to put things right.

That's fair, isn't it?

You owe me that at least.

Sit down.

Finish your breakfast.

I have finished.

It's me.

I'm on my way.

He won't leave, will he?

He's just doing this to frighten me.

I think... I think he'll leave.

Can you tell me something else please?

I don't know what to say.

Say it won't happen.

Say there's something I can do.

Darling boy, tell me what it is I'm to do and I'll do it for you.

It's all right.

I'll be all right in a minute.

That forecast much of the country, plenty of sunshine around...

Lush patchworks of green, mesmerizing shades of blue, hills, dales, rivers, and streams.

Our countryside is rich in landscapes just waiting to be explored.

Very unusual, Jamie.

That's rather precipitous.

Work up an amor for Jamie?



So how are things with Kelly?


Not good.

She's acting kind of elusive.


That's not good.

I don't know what it means.

It means she never shows up.

I mean it, Jamie, you deserve better.

I wish.

Can I give you a tip?


OK, sometimes you can come across as like unreachable, like your clothes.

What's that about?

I'm tired.

This thing with my mom.

She's having a hard time and I'm going home every weekend.

My dad walked out on my mom, I'd kill him.

I hadn't thought of that.

Look, what I'm saying about Kelly...


Is... Kylie... maybe... maybe you just went there for her enough.

When did you last see her?


How was she?

Not good.

Does she know you're meeting me?

No, but she wanted me to see you.

She has a message for you.


I am to say you owe it to her to give her another chance.

You did this out of the blue without consulting her or warning her, and there it is.

I'm sure you know.


She wants you to go back for a trial period, and if it doesn't work out...

I can't.

I've gone.

I'm not coming back.

I'll do anything I can to help, but I'm not coming back.

I'm sorry.


Do you want a tea or a... or an ice cream?


I might have a Cornetto, something about being by the sea.

One of them please.

That's two pounds.

Two pounds?


Thank you.

I hardly ever use cash these days.

Why ever not?

It's all contactless now.

It's all contactless now, yes.

Well, there it is.

Thing is I really don't know how Mom's going to make it through this.

Both Angela and I think the less contact I have, the sooner she'll move on.

Yes, well, of course, that doesn't mean I won't do everything I can to help.

That's the part I really don't understand.

You seem to care for her so much and now not.

Yes, it's not easy to explain.

There was a time, wasn't there?

Yes, yes, of course.

I always thought you were rather proud of her.

She is remarkable in her way.

I suppose I was half dazzled by her in the beginning.

She was quite dazzling.

You looked happy in all the old photographs.

You were happy.

I suppose we were and then not.

You know what she calls my Wiki-ing?


If you make a mistake in a Wikipedia article, you can do what they call reverse it.

You just click history, and then you just click undo.


By the way, I should have said I've changed my phone number.

I had to.

Is she calling?

Every day.

Saying what?


She never spoke.

I recognize the sound of her breathing.

You recognize...

I'll give you the new number if you...

Just text me, Dad.


You won't...



I should be getting... going.

She'll be waiting for me so...

Well then keep in touch.


How long have you been sitting here?

I have no idea.

Just like Edward.


Making tea so you don't have to talk.

We get our tea, and then we talk.

You've seen him.

Alone or with her?

Just him.

I never met her.

I'd have told you.

Did you give him my message?


Says he can't come back.


What's this?

What does it look like?

And in the knife drawer.

And on the phone message pad.

And... and in the pocket of his coat.

What for?

I don't know I suppose because while I was writing them and hiding them in all the places where he might find them, it made me think it really could happen.

He really would come back.

And then when he found them, he couldn't go away again.

So he told you he won't.


What did you say to that?

Well, what could I say?

You could say you bastard, you murderer, you home wrecker.

Well, I didn't.

Why not?

Do you think he's entitled to do what he's doing?

That's not for me to judge.

Why not?

If you saw a man beating a woman to death in the street, would you walk on by, say that's not for me to judge?

That's not how it is.

This is a murder, Jamie.

Just because there's no blood, don't think it's not a murder.

He's murdering a marriage.

Marriages don't bleed, but it's still murder.

I don't think it helps to talk like that.

Tell me how to talk so it does help.

Marriages break down.

It happens all the time.

Nobody wants it to happen but it does, and we have to live with it.

Oh, what sort of talk is that?

Children are starving to death all the time, but it doesn't make it all right.

But we live with it.

Not if it was my child.

Not if it was you.

If it was you starving to death, I'd let myself die first to save you.

Do you doubt that?


Well, this is my marriage, and I'll do anything to save it.

And I'm asking you to help me.

It's what he does.

He won't look at me.

I'm not him, Mom, all right.

Well, you're walking away just like he did.

He actually walked away.

Trot, trot, trot down the road.

Stupid suitcase.

Have you got a suitcase?

I'm here, aren't I?

But you want to walk away.

You do, don't you?

I can't.

Why not?

'Case something happens to me, you feel guilty?

Nothing's going to happen to me.

That's what I can't bear.

When you're alone, things stop happening.

That's because you stay in.

I wish you wouldn't.

I should go out more, should I?

Join a book group.

It beats sitting on the stairs.

What was that about?

I was going up or coming down.

I don't remember.

I just thought what difference does it make.

I might as well just stop here.

Where you can see the door?

Yeah, it's rather clever of you, Jamie.

Is that why you don't go out?

Because you think maybe he'll walk back through that door?

He might.


Come on.

Let's get you out of here.

He told me he's decided you can have the house.

Oh, has he.

I suppose he thinks that makes everything all right.

Think he really wants to do what he can.

So he told you I could have the house.


Well, he hasn't told me.

He wanted me to tell you.

I don't care what he wanted.

If he wants to make arrangements that affect me, he can come and talk to me himself.

I won't have him using you as a messenger boy.

Can't stand the way he does all this without consulting me.

Why isn't it working?

He's changed his number.

He's changed his number.

He told me.

So he's got a new number.


Have you got it?


Don't be silly, Jamie.

Of course, you have.

I could always tell when you were lying.

I can't give it to you.

Why not?

He asked me not to give it to you.

Well, I ask you to give it to me.

I'm not going to, all right.

I don't see why you always have to get your own way.

Get my own way?

You think I get my own way?

I think it'd be a bad idea to give you his number.

Well, that's not for you to judge as you're so fond of saying.

I'm grown up.

I'm not a criminal or a lunatic.

I wish to be able to contact my husband.


I think you'd better go.

Go on, leave.

It's what you want.

You can't help, so why don't you just go?

You're no use to me.

You've taken his side.

You've left me already just like he has.

Well, if I'm to be alone, I'd rather be alone and not have you dangling about pitying me and patronizing me.

Go on leave.

Why do you do this?

Do what?

I've not done anything.

I've not left him.

He's left me.

Go and tell him not to do this.

I can't bring him back.

You don't know that.

Have you tried?

You go on seeing him.

That means you let him think he has your approval.

Mom, he's in love!

What you need is a sugar high.

There, life flooding back?

I should feed one of these to my mom.

She still in a bad way?

It's bad what your dad did.

Oh, he... he wasn't happy.

I knew that.

They must have loved each other once?

Yeah, way back.

We used... we used to do this thing when I was little where we'd stand in a line, and I'd be in the middle and then my mom would hold one my dad would hold the other... and they'd swing me between them.

All moms and dads do it.

Their kids, they just swing... swing me along between them.



You know me.

If I cry, I'm crying for myself.

I just didn't care enough about anyone else.

That's not true.

You got me at Krispy Kreme.

So what's up?

Is this about me?

I'm not the one who's crying.

I'm not the one who's been left.

Aren't you?


Still seeing your mom every weekend?

Until she can cope on her own.

When do you stop going?

Not so often anyway.

How is she going to feel then?

Not great.

How are you going to feel then?


Jess thinks you're still holding on.

Am I?

It's some papers I'm supposed to sign.

I don't know what.

Jamie, I'm not going to do it.

No... he can ask me himself.

He can come here, and we'll sign together.

Yes, I'm coping.

Sunday then.

30 years ago, I was standing on a platform in Charing Cross Station waiting to get on a train to Tunbridge.

And I saw a man walking down the platform who I thought was my father.

And I raised my arm and called, father.

And with my arm still in the air, I remembered that my father had died four months earlier.

The man, a complete stranger, walked on by.

The train came in.

I got into a carriage, and the train left Charing Cross.

The other person in the carriage was a young woman.

She was looking at me as if she was sorry for me.

I realized I had tears on my cheeks.

What is it she said.

Oh, nothing I said.

I mistook a man for my father who's dead.

And she said you must want to see him again very much.

My father was a reserved man.

I don't remember him ever embracing me.

Somehow when this young woman said these words to me, I knew that all my life I'd wanted his embrace and that now it would never come.

I began to weep, continued weeping I should say.

And the young woman recited some lines from a poem I'd never heard and never forgotten since.

Stay for me there.

I will not fail to meet thee in that hollow veil.

And think not much of my delay.

I am already on the way.

It's by Henri King on the death of his wife.

How did that young woman in the train know what I was feeling?

It was your mother.

Of course, it was Grace.

And I was on the wrong train.

It was the fast train.

It never stopped at my station.

We were halfway to Dover before I realized it.

The truth is I made a mistake about Grace right at the beginning, and she made a mistake about me.

We thought we were like each other, and we weren't.

I didn't know it.

I did my best to be who she wanted me to be, but I didn't know who I was myself.

All it took was Angela's hand on my arm, her touch.

It was me she touched.

No demands, no expectations, just love.

All those years ago, I got on the wrong train.

I've always liked your flat.

Does it still suit you?

It does the job?

Why do people have to have such big houses?

One needs so little really.

Mom says you want her to sign something.


It is better to have things sorted out.

She wants to do it with you.

She says you'll sign the papers if you do it together.

She wants to make a scene, but I won't be drawn in, Jamie.

There's no point.

She says she'll behave herself.

If she wants us to sign together, it had better be the solicitor's office.

But it's the last time.

Tell her if you can.

The last time.

Come on, puppy.

They shall grow not old as we that are left gold.

I shall not wear them nor the years come down.

After going down on the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

We will remember them.

Oh, hello, Jamie.

You've come.


Who are you?

Isn't he adorable.

He's so affectionate.

Oh, he does me more good than all my tranquilizers.

What's his name?



Come here, Eddie.

Come here, boy.

Mother, you can't call him Eddie.

Why not?

His name is Edward.

Just... well, it's such a give away.

What does it give away?

Look, I'm training him.


Stay, Edward.


Mom, it's so embarrassing.

Oh, good boy.


I'm not embarrassed.

Why should you be embarrassed?

Have you gone back to your anthology?

Oh, no.

I'm not doing that anymore.

That's a pity.

Thought it sounded good.

No, you didn't.

You thought it gave me something to do.

Well, we all need something to do.

There's no disgrace in that.

So how are you?

How's your love life?


Uh, so you're still on your own.

Lunch is going to be very basic.

Wonder why.

Why you haven't found anyone.

You look perfectly normal.

This isn't about me.

Yes, it is.

If you're no good at making people love you, that's my fault, isn't it?

Or Edward's fault for being such a sneaking sniveling excuse for a man.

I wish you wouldn't do that.

I wish he wouldn't do that.

Maybe I should take some of this post to Dad.

It looks quite important.

If he wants them, he can come and get them.

It was Remembrance Day service today.

It was very moving, you know.

I found myself thinking about the two wars and the wives and the mothers waiting at home and the telegrams from the war office telling them that their husbands and sons were dead.

I thought how terrible that must have been.

And yet it was somehow easier to bear than losing Edward the way I've lost him.

And then all at once I saw it.

This is our war.

This is what makes widows and orphans nowadays.

Only there aren't any graves or Remembrance Day services.

We're not allowed to mourn.

So you see I'm not really coping after all.

Come on, Eddie.

Come on.

Let's go, Eddie.

Come on.

There it is.

Good boy.


Let's go.

Come on.

Mrs. Axton, Mr. Whitacomb's expecting you.

Has my father arrived?

Not yet.

I'll take you through.

We don't allow dogs in the office.

I'm so sorry.

How sorry?

I'm sorry?

My goodness.

You are sorry.

Never mind.

It'll pass.

If you'd like to follow me.

Thank you for coming in.

Oh, I'm... I'm Peter Whitacomb.

I'm acting for your husband in this matter.

Mr. Axton wishes everything to be done properly.

Do take a seat.

You may be able to do everything legally, but I don't see how you can do it properly.

Mom, you promised.

All right.

I'll behave myself.

I'm so sorry.

Am I late.

Oh, who's this?

Come, Edward.


Not you.


Come here.

Come here, boy.

Good boy.

Good boy.


Good boy.


Good boy.

Hello, I'm here, too.

Hello, hello, hello.

How are you, Grace?

Fine, fine, fine.

Thank you for this, Peter.

Shall we proceed.

By all means.

This is the summary of the financial agreement.

This is the deed signing over the house into your sole name, Mrs. Axton.

This is the application for the decree.

All you have to do is sign by the yellow tags.


What happens if I don't?

Then this agreement is set aside, and we start again.

But I have to see in your interest that this is a very good settlement.

No court would give half as much.

You get the entire value of the family home.

Stop it.


How can he sit there and say that I get the entire value of the family home when the entire value of the family home is precisely what's being taken from me.

I knew this wouldn't work.

Yes, it will.

I'm being business like.

No more references to sneaking two-faced marital treachery.

So this settlement you and Edward come up with, do I get more than I'd get if he died?

If he died?


Well, no.

As things stand, if your husband died, you'd get the house, your joint savings, and a full widow's pension.

And if we get a divorce, I get less?


So it would be better for me if you were dead?

But I'm not.

It would be better in every way.

If I have to manage without you, I'd...

I'd rather be a widow.

A widow has so much more status than a left woman.

I could put flowers on your grave and remember all the good times we had and look forward to seeing you again in heaven.

Reunited as they put on the gravestones.

Only as things stand, there's no grave.

You've poisoned all my memories, and when we meet again in the next world, they'll be bloody Angela clogging the place out.

Angela was right.

I shouldn't have agreed to this.


Fuck Angela.

Sorry, Mr. Whitacomb.

He makes me do these things.

It's the way he walks away.

It drives me mad.

Is there any point going on with this?

Is there any point?

Yes, there's a point.

Look at Jamie.

He's our son.

He's part you and part me.

We made him.

We joined together, and we made him.

Now you know as well as I do that the church says marriage is a bond.

It cannot be dissolved, and that's why it makes people.

You can get lawyers to put whatever you want on paper, but you're still my husband and Jamie's father.

And you will be until the day you die.

I know your view.

This isn't a view.

This is how it is.

For you.

No, not just for me, for everybody.

You can't invent a private reality.

Nor can you.

Mine isn't a private reality.

Well, then nor is mine.

Yes, it is.

Isn't it, Jamie?

Don't ask me to take sides.

Don't ask you to take sides between reality and madness?

That's what it is, deciding when you're married when you're not whenever it happens to suit you.

It's madness and chaos.

If you're not going to sign the papers, I might as well leave.

I'm sorry about this, Peter.

Everybody keeps saying they're sorry, but none of you are sorry, not one bit.

Mom, you're making a mistake.

Am I, darling?

Tell me what I should do?

I think you should sign the papers.

You still don't see it do you?

No one sees it.

Maybe I... maybe I do live in my own private reality.

I don't care about any of this.

I don't care about money.

It's really very simple.

I... I love you, Edward, whether I want to or not.

And I never thought in a million years you'd stop loving me.

I just... now I feel...

I don't know... hurt.

You understand?

I know you do.



I hate this.

I hate hurting you.

I'd give anything not to have, but I can't help it.

I'm sorry.

It's happened now.

It's just... it's just happened, and I'm sorry.


Grace is right.

There's nothing to sign.

I'm so sorry.

Your turn to say you're sorry, too.

Actually, I regret that we've not been able to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.

That's what I'm here for.

A mutually satisfactory agreement?

Yes, where possible.

Who are you, Nelson Mandela?

Mom, time to go.

Yes, it's time to go.

That's what time it is.

Time to go.

Come on, Eddie.

Let's go.

Once left behind on the road, they froze to death.

This was understood to be an accident.

Nobody looked back.

By abandoning the weak, the strong survived.

It may seem brutal, but what's the point of everyone ending up dead?





You all right?

Can we... please.

Let's do the old walk down to Hope Gap.

I used to love coming here.

It's like my secret world.

Why you look at me like that?

Trying to think how I can help you.

Oh, I'll be all right.

You'll be fine.

That's what we say.

Let's not say that anymore.

What's the point?

Let's not pretend.

Neither of us are all right, are we?

Not really.

What is it?

There are one or two things going wrong for me in a minor sort of way.

Is it work or the other thing?

It's the other thing.


What is it?


It's what you said.

Seems I'm not very good at making people love me.

How could anyone not love you?

I think I'm a bit un-forthcoming.

Like Edward.


You must get over it, darling.

You must forth come.

Well, it doesn't seem to be very easy.

But you do want to.

I want all the usual things, and it doesn't happen.

There was someone, but it doesn't seem to have quite worked out.

It seems I'm the problem.

Like me?


I shouldn't be talking about myself.

No, it makes a change.

Would you mind if I prayed for you for things to work out?


If it works, will you start believing again?

If it doesn't, will you stop?


I couldn't even if I wanted to, which I do.

If I could only stop believing, then I could get out, which I longed to do night and day.

Please don't get out.

Well, I really just want to fall asleep, Jamie.

No more waking.

It's the waking that hurts so much.

That moment coming out of a confusion of dreams and you think maybe it's not true.

Maybe he's lying there after all.

You turn your head on the pillow, there's no one there.

I know I should say come and live with me...

No, it's all right.

I don't want to.

I think I'm just a bit frightened.

Of my unhappiness?


It frightens me, too.

I wanted to do it, you know.

You won't?

Can't make any promises.

In that horror the solicitor's office, that was my last shot.

If you did, would you tell me first?

I don't know.

Do you want me to?

Well, I'm the one who'd have to clear after you.

Oh, yes, I suppose so.

Hadn't thought of that.

Now I want to say something different.

I want you to know that I do understand.

After all, suppose it was cancer and you were in unbearable pain and dying only too slowly, what... then I'd say end it now wouldn't I?

Out of my love for you.

So if your life hurts you so much that you want to end it, I won't stop you.

Out of my love you, only just tell me.

Don't let it be a surprise.

Give me time to say goodbye.

You must've known some sad dark times to say that to me.

I can't ask you to live for me.

But we each have to carry our own burden.

You're like to explorer.

You're further down the road.

You've gone on ahead.

So if after a while you don't go on anymore, then I'll know that the road is too hard and for too long.

I'll know that in the end, the unhappiness wins.

But if you do go on and bear it, terrible as it is, then I'll know that however bad it gets, I can last it out because you did before me.

My darling boy, how you've grown up.

This is very grand.

I'm paying.

I'm not even sure I know what any of this means.

What's brandade?

What's kimchi?

Have the lamb.

You don't think I should be a bit more adventurous?

Two of the Welsh lamb please.

All right, yep.

Thank you.


How is she?

She started volunteering for something called Friendline.

It's for people who reached the end of the line.

The end of the line, dear God.

She's doing all right.

You didn't have to worry.

Or feel guilty.

I didn't think any of us have as much control over our lives as we pretend.

Angela says Grace and I weren't suited, and I should have left years ago.

Why didn't you?

It never really seemed an option.

Do you think I should?

I think if you were going to leave now, you should have left earlier if you see what I mean.

I didn't know.

If I had to blame you for anything, it would be that.

For not leaving earlier?

For going on being nice and making cups of tea and letting her think that you were happy.

For not getting angry when she went for you.

For not telling you what you really wanted.

For not letting them know what it felt like to be you.

Oh, Jamie, you don't know how hard that is.

Don't I?

But I think she knew even so.

I don't.

Right up until the day you left, she thought you adored each other.

It's complicated, you know.

You can love somebody and want to leave them at the same time.

When you say she adored me, no, that wasn't me.

That was someone she invented, the Edward she wanted.

And she never really forgave me for not being him.

It made me feel like I was always in the wrong... in the wrong but innocent.

Now I feel what I've done is right, but I feel guilty because I'm happy and she isn't.

That's my crime.

What's that?

That is the lamb's fry.

Lamb's fry what?

Yes, go on.

I'm still listening.

That's OK.

That's what we're here for, yes.

So not only did he walk out on my birthday, taking the bottle of champagne I brought to celebrate my birthday, he also left me for Jeffrey, who was the first boyfriend to walk out on me.

Typical men.

I mean, what was he thinking?

Men don't think or feel.

They have no feelings at all.

I'm still listening.



No, I really do want to hear it.

Oh, the cliffs.

I've been into all that myself.

They look vertical, but they're not.

They have bumps sticking out, and you hit them as you fall.

Well, exactly, it isn't fair, is it?

Do you know what's even more unfair, at least if you believe what I believe?

Your life is so unbearable you decide to end it, the next thing you know you've gone to hell.


My friend on the phone lines is gay.

Turns out he's been left just like me.

So we talk about what it's like and how men are all selfish pigs and how is one to cope.

Oh, and I told him all about you.

He said you're probably gay.

He did.

You're not, are you?

No, not as it happens.

You could be refusing to admit your true nature.

Do you want me to be gay.

Oh, I just want you to be happy.

There's a good boy.

Let's show him your new trick.

Die, Edward, die.


There, isn't he clever?

Wouldn't it be something if I could get the real Edward to do that?

What, make him die?

Well, roll about on the ground a bit.

Oh, there's my beautiful boy.

Is this dog your husband or your son?


Are you jealous?

No, this is an improvement on the way you were talking a few weeks ago.

And how is I talking a few weeks ago?

All that stuff about getting out.

Oh, yes.

Yes, well, I've moved on from that.

The thing about unhappiness is after a while, it stops being interesting.

Did I tell you I've gone back to my anthology?

See I've been collecting the poems under headings... feeling lonely, death of a loved one, that sort of thing.

Only really good poems, of course.

No greeting cards nonsense.

Marriage breakdown, that's a big one.

And feeling you're a failure.

That's huge.

Can I?

What do you plan to do with this?

It's a sort of constellation system.

Something bad happens to you, you look it up in my anthology.

Right, I...

I get that.

I mean, how are you going to get people to know about it?

Well, it's going to be a book I hope.

This should be a website, Mom.

It's perfect for the internet.

You could have a search bar, and you could type in feeling lonely.

And then it would give you links to poems about loneliness.

How would it do that?

Well, that's easy.

That's what I do every day.

The hard part is this, is building the database.

No, it's not a database.

It's an anthology.

Can you expand it?

You want more?

Much more.


I know more poems if that's what you mean, hundreds more.

What are you going to call it?

I'm thinking of calling it "I Have Been Here Before."

That's rather the point, you see.

Others have been through these things before us.

I don't know why that should be comforting, but it is.

Because they survived?

Some did.

Some didn't.

It's the first line of a poem by Rossetti.

Do you know it?


Do you want me to say it for you?

Yes, I'd like that.

I have been here before.

When or how, I cannot tell.

I know the grass beyond the door, the keen sweet smell, the sighing sound, the lights around the shore.

You have been mine before.

How long ago, I may not know.

But just when at that swallow saw, your neck turned so some veil did fall.

I knew it all of yore.

Has this been thus before, and shall not thus times eddying flight still with our lives, our loves restore in death's despite and day and night yield one delight once more?


It's so dull.

What are you doing here, Grace?

Is this really how you want to live?

This is at Angela's house.

Yes, Angela.

Where is she?

I don't want a row.

Grace, I won't stand for it.


I don't want a row either.

I came to bring you these.

But maybe you don't want them anymore.

So all along, you wanted to live like this.

Why didn't you tell me?

You must feel all those years with me were another life, another planet.

We did have a marriage, didn't we, on that other planet?

And now you're living a different life.

You must be Angela.

Yes, that's right.

She just walked in.


I don't think I really believed you existed.

Please sit.


Not staying.

What did you think you were doing?


I mean, what gave you the right.

That's enough.

It's all right, Edward.

I can speak for myself.

I think I thought there was three unhappy people.

And now there's only one.

Yes, I see.

Grace, Grace, can't we... can't we be friends?

Friends, uh, no.

I don't think so.

It all went on too long, didn't it?

I wish...

You wish we'd never met?

No, of course, not.

I do.

I do.

I wish we'd never met.

I'd wish I'd never loved you, but we did and I do...

I did.

And now I have to try and let you go.

Don't think too badly of me.

I try not to think of you at all.

I'm getting quite good at it during the day.

But at night, I dream about you.

Unfair, isn't it?

All right, so it's called "I've Been Here Before."

You type into the search bar.

Anything... love, life, death, anything you like.

It turns out someone else thought it long ago.

You're not the only one, so maybe you can make it through after all.

That's what I want to hear.

How I can make it through after all.

You want hope, we've got hope.

"Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth."

It's my mom's favorite.

Say not the struggle nought availeth.

The labor and the wounds are vain.

The enemy faints not nor faileth.

And as things have been, they remain.

For while, the tired waves vainly breaking seem here no painful inch gain far back through creeks and inlets making come silent flooding in the main.

And not by eastern windows only when daylight comes comes in the light.

In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly.

But westward look, the land is bright.

I began by thinking I could save you, but in the end, all I can do is honor you.

My mother, first among women, my warmth and my comfort, my safety, my pride, you're the one I want to please.

You're the one I want to applaud me.

My father, first among men, my teacher and my judge, the man I know I will become.

You grow older now.

You'll still ahead of me as you'll always be forever further down the road.

Forgive me for needing you to be strong forever.

Forgive me for fearing your unhappiness.

As you suffer, so I shall suffer.

As you endure, so I shall endure.

Hold my hands and walk the old walk one last time then let me go.