Neb is in The Hive doing some pretty excellent pottery. Creativity is seeping from his stubble as his hands manipulate the clay into something amazing. “I hope Vee likes this,” he says to himself.

“What’s that mate, a tagine dish or something?” asks Kyle who just appeared.

“Yeah, it’s a tagine dish for Vee’s Christmas present. I hope she likes it. I need to make things up with her.”

“You two still going through a rough patch, are ya?”

Neb, turns off the potter’s wheel and spins on his stool. “Yeah, she hasn’t quite forgiven me for sending out videos of me… you know, while sitting on a cake.”

“Ah, she’ll come around,” says Kyle.

“I hope so,” says Neb. “Anyway, what do you want?”

“Just a mate coming to visit,” says Kyle, scratching at his arm through his thick checked shirt. He looks like he’s got something to ask.

“Come on, out with it!” says Neb with that smile.

Kyle, his inhibitions vanishing, is suddenly animated. “Okay, but promise me you’ll keep this quiet.”

“My lips are sealed,” says Neb. At that moment Roxy appears at the door to The Hive. Neither Neb nor Kyle see her even though she’s right there. About three feet away.

“I want you to make me a ring,” says Kyle.

“A ring?” says Neb. “Things are getting serious,” he smirks and nods.

“Yeah, it’s serious,” agrees Kyle. Roxy backs away looking concerned. When she’s around the corner her eyes go from side to side and then she starts to smile and then hurries off.

Harlow is sitting in Harold’s. She’s poring over textbooks and taking notes when Roxy comes in. “Harlow!” says Roxy, excited.

“Hello,” says Harlow before immediately going back to her books. Roxy sits down next to her. She’s visibly excited. Almost bouncing in her chair. Harlow tries her best to ignore her and continue learning stuff and she leans further over her books. Eventually Harlow can take it no more. “Can I helpuuu….” she asks in that voice of hers, the one that just trails off.

“Can you keep a secret?” asks Roxy. It’s obvious she’s going to tell her anyway.

“Look, Roxy, no offensebuibusandInee……”

“I’m getting married!” squeals Roxy, clapping her hands like a seal.

“Oh, wow,” replies Harlow in that voice which sounds sarcastic. “When didnebpropoo…..”

“I think he’s going to ask me at Christmas!” Roxy is beaming. Harlow tilts her head and smiles. On the next table that guy. The guy who turned up with Roxy when she first got to Erinsborough, well he’s there. Sitting on the next table in the small cafe. After Roxy gets up and leaves he slowly takes off his sunglasses.

Paul Robinson is in an office at Lassiters, limping around the room, flipping between being a complete cunt and a loving family man. Terese looks disappointed.

“Do ya… do ya think I should… I should get her some… some flowers or something?” Shane asks Toadie. Shane’s a mess.

“I think you should just give her time, mate,” says Toadie.

“She… she’s got to forgive me for her having an affair, right?”

“I’m sure she will, Sonja and me, we went through-” Toadie pauses, panic spreads across his face.

“What… what’s wrong?” asks Shane.

“I’ve just remembered,” says Toadie. “I own a garden centre!”

“That’s right, you do,” agrees Shane, shivering. “You… you better get down there.”

“Will you look after the kids?” asks Toadie, putting on a jacket.

“I haven’t seen them for weeks, they’re probably staying with somebody,” says Shane.

“They’re probably with your dog,” says Toadie and he hurries out. Shane only now notices the racehorse standing over in the kitchen bit. He looks to the horse and then to his handful of pills. He shrugs and eats the pills.

“Hey Boo,” says Aaron to David. They’re in the reception of the hospital ward where everybody in the entire hospital works. David was looking at a clipboard. The page under the top page, to be exact. He drops the top page.

“Oh hey,” he replies.

Aaron shakes the paper bag at him “I brought you some lunch.”

“Oh, you’re a life saver,” says David and his shoulders go all limp.

“No, you’re a life saver, Boo,” says Aaron.

“It’s been hectic today.”

“Well you’ve got to take time to look after yourself or you won’t be able to look after anybody else,” scolds Aaron.

“I guess you’re right,” sighs David.

Karl walks in. He’s also looking at the second page of a clipboard. “Have you two got kids yet?” he asks.

“No, adoption is a long process. Why do you ask?”

“I just know how much you want them, and kids are a damn good way of cementing a relationship,” says Karl. He notices the bag of food on the counter and wags a finger at it. “Not that your relationship needs strengthening, by the looks of it!” Everybody laughs although Nicolette’s laugh doesn’t last as long.

Vee and Levi are walking and wearing police uniforms. “I. think. that. it. might. be. time. for. you. to. make. up. with. Neb. because. it. is. Christmas.” says Levi.

“He really broke my trust.”

“Give. him. a. chance. it. took. me. a. long. time. to. forgive. Sheila. for. what. she. did. but. now. we. are. a. family. again.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right. Wait there then,” says Vee and she goes into The Hive because they were walking right near it. “Neb!” she shouts but he’s not there. She doesn’t check the office. She sees something on the workbench and goes over. It’s a box you get a ring in which Neb had somehow made with tools he somehow had. She lifts it and opens it and gasps.

“Vee!” shouts Levi and Vee puts the box down.

“What is it?” she asks when she gets to outside.

“There’s. been. a. 12-22. at. Sonja’s. Nursery!”

“Let’s go,” says Vee and they start walking one way. She’s still thinking about the ring. She stops. “Actually I think it’s back that way,” and they turn around.

Susan is behind her desk doing work even on Christmas Eve because she’s so conscientious. She’s wearing a drab cardigan and looks overly concerned.

Vee and Levi arrive at Sonja’s Nursery. Toadie is there with one of his meaty hands held against his forehead. “It’s gone, it’s all gone.”

“What’s gone,” asks Vee.

“The plants, there were about ten plants here seven months ago but they’ve gone.”

“Okay, calm down,” says Vee, taking out her notebook.

“I. will. look. around. the. perimeter,” says Levi.

“If Sonja could see this… I’ve let her down.”

“Don’t worry, Toadie. We’ll find the perp,” says Vee, talking like a real cop.

The doorbell goes and Roxy answers it. It’s Kyle. “Will you come with me?” he asks, sheepish.

“Where are we going?” asks Roxy, her hands clasped behind her back.

“Just come with me.”

“Nothing,” says Levi.

“Who would do this?” asks Toadie, his voice quite high-pitched.

Kyle and Roxy walk up. “Can we get a Christmas tree?”

“Ah, I don’t know, if they haven’t been stolen.”

“I. saw. some. Christmas. trees. I. will. get. them.”

All the other residents of Erinsborough turn up. MacKenzie. Hendrix. Bea. They all wants trees and luckily Levi found loads of them. Neb comes up to Vee and she pounces on him. “Yes, Neb, I will! I will marry you,” she says and throws her arms around Neb’s neck. Toadie is wide-eyed in amazement.

“What are you talking about?” chuckles Neb.

“I saw the ring!”

“That was for Kyle! I made you a tagine dish.”

Kyle and Roxy are right there. “Aw, mate, you ruined my surprise!” says Kyle.

“Yes!” says Roxy, flinging her arms around Kyle’s shoulders. He has to bend down so she can reach. He’s happy though. It’s short lived, because that guy. The guy who was in the cafe earlier. He rides up on the racehorse which was in a storyline for a few days.

“I want to marry Roxy!” he says and everybody gasps.

“Back off, mate,” says Kyle, shielding Roxy protectively as the man climbs confidently off the horse.

“I want to marry you all!” he adds.

What?” asks Paul Robison.

“I’m a celebrant now.”

“Susan won’t like that,” says Jane. Karl nods.

“She’s stuck at work,” adds Karl.

“Sorry, Northern Star here ate your flowers,” says the man.

“That explains that then,” says Toadie.

“I’ve come back to marry any of you guys who want to be married,” says the guy. “To make amends for my behavior last time.” The man looks at Roxy. “I’m glad you found somebody,” he says and he means it. He’s so reformed. “And ask me for anything else. I’m a fully certified celebrant.”

While a proper licensed song plays, maybe even an Adele one, Kyle marries Roxy. Vee marries Neb. Harlow marries Hendrix (Paul looks pissed about that until Terese elbows him in the ribs). MacKenzie marries whatshisname. Shelia marries that doctor. The horse marries the dog and we think, fuck this, that’s enough weddings. Then Shane comes shambling along. “Where’s Dippy? Dippy!” he shouts like Rocky Balboa.

“I’m here Shane,” she says as the crowd parts to reveal her. Dippy’s boobs are nearly busting out of her wedding dress.

“I’m sorry you had an affair,” says Shane, falling over again, but this time just to his knees. He takes Dippy’s hand.

“I forgive you,” says Dippy and they both cry and get married again and there are Christmas lights.


for laura