This is the story of a man called Ingelbert O’Brian. He has a wife, Alba, and three kids: Wallace and the twins Nora Irene and Sara Irene. Sara Irene left home a while ago, but the others are still there.
Ingelbert’s marriage isn’t doing too well – in fact, Alba threatened to leave him three years ago. He promised her everything she asked for, and in the end she thought to herself: “I’ll be in a heady position because I looked like walking out, but decided to give things one last go.” However, as soon as Alba gave in, he reverted to his old ways, and she isn’t happy at all at the moment.
The biggest problem for the O’Brian family is that Ingelbert has decided to quit his job and go freelance. He fondly remembers how he used to have a great career when he was young, selling all sorts of junk to developing countries, and he’s thinking he could do the same again. Perhaps even branching into selling them tea and innovative jam. Lots of people – including Alba – have been telling him the world has changed, that his old customers won’t be overly pleased to see him again, and that he’d be much better off keeping his well-paid job as the finance director of a large company.
However, he just won’t listen. “I’ll make so much more money, and it’ll be really exciting too,” he keeps saying to his family. To show them how great it’ll be, he’s even painted their house red, white and blue to match the merchandise he’s planning to be selling.
Two days ago, Alba had had enough and told Ingelbert that she was again thinking about leaving him, given he’d broken all the promises he made last time. He wasn’t having it, though, repeating over and over that “now is not the time!” Alba asked him what happened to his promises of their marriage being a partnership of equals, and when would be good time to discuss a divorce, but he just stormed out and slammed the door.
The very next day, Ingelbert then handed in his notice to the MD, Mr. Tusk. In the past, he had often threatened to quit and in that way got a lot of special benefits that the other employees didn’t get, but to his surprise, the reaction was rather cool when he handed in the letter. He had expected them to offer him a great freelance contract on the spot, but instead they just told him he owed them a great deal of money, which he’d have to pay soon. They also made some noises about employing Alba instead, and they made it quite clear that his special benefits would be gone if he ever applied to rejoin them and that he’d be an ordinary employee like everybody else.
Nevertheless, he went home and told his dubious family that everything would be great and all he wanted to do was to build a more united family. Alba was not convinced, and even Nora Irene looked like she was thinking about moving in with Sara Irene instead.
What happens now? Will Alba and Nora Irene leave Ingelbert? If they do, will Wallace then want to leave, too (given that he’s always been close to his dad but also has benefited from the protection of his mum and his big sister)? Will Ingelbert manage to make a success of his freelance career, or will he end up under-employed, living in a bedsit, and trying to find the courage to go back to his old employer and beg them to get his old job back? Will Alba become the new finance director, and will Nora Irene and Sara Irene move in together? Watch this space!