Carla and Anna in Hayley and Roy’s room, afterwards. Their shock, realizing Hayley is dead. She lies curled in Roy’s arms. He isn’t aware they’re even in the room. They see the glass on the bedside table, used. They know what happened although they say not a word to each other or Roy.
Anna takes the glass and washes it. She didn’t hear the stern warning Hayley gave Roy: don’t touch the glass, this was my action alone. Anna finds Fiz at the Rovers and breaks the news to her and all in the pub. (In the pub tableau of small groups assimilating the news, especially poignant was the thought-filled sadness of Emily, Rita, Dennis, Norris and Deirdre. They all know first-hand how it feels to lose the person closest to you.)
When Fiz goes to Roy’s, you see the differences in how people handle crises and who might be actually of more help. Carla and Anna knew something was up even before Hayley took her fatal drink. Both felt Hayley had acted oddly the last time they had seen her. Anna had some warning; Roy had told her weeks ago that Hayley planned to kill herself. So let’s focus on Carla and Fiz. Neither of them knew Hayley’s intentions.
Carla had an uneasy feeling from when Roy wheeled Hayley in to the factory for an evening visit. Just out to take the air, Hayley said, but Carla knew something was up. With Fiz, Hayley specifically asked her to come with Tyrone and the children. Fiz came in her lunch break, Tyrone had to stop a job he was in the middle of, and they hauled the kids out of daycare. Baby Ruby had a sniffle so they didn’t want her near Hayley. Hayley had to shout give me that baby, an unpleasant scene that Hayley felt bad about after. Despite these uncharacteristic actions, Fiz saw nothing worrisome.
Seeing Hayley so unexpectedly dead, Carla put two and two together very quickly. She and Anna stood quietly with quick looks at each other as if communicating how best to deal with Roy and what they knew, and with Fiz. Fiz howled about how upset she was, if only she’d known, what she’d wanted to say, she’d thought there was time, etc. Roy felt compelled to say “sorry” to Fiz. As if her comfort was more important than his, even Hayley’s.
In the aftermath, Carla was there, mentally organizing what needed to be done and carefully watching Roy. She stood quietly, spoke of practical matters when warranted, touched Roy only briefly when it seemed appropriate. Fiz followed him like his shadow. Glommed to him, saying what can I do to help, I’m so upset, and on and on. Not for a second did she back off, listen to Roy or even truly look at him, or stop imposing her needs and wishes on him.
The irony of this is that it is Carla who is believed by others, and herself, to be no good in an emotional crisis and to lack empathy. Fiz is thought by others, and herself, to be the epitome of caring and sharing, in tune with the emotional life around her. Especially with Roy and Hayley, it is Fiz who has the longer and closer history. But in a crisis of these proportions, I know whom I’d want around me, and I think Roy would agree: Carla. Fiz would make me want to jump off a cliff.