You knew Anna was not going to tell Owen about her deal with Phelan, the one that got Owen out of Phelan’s debt if not the bank’s. You knew something always was going to happen just when she had steeled herself to tell him the real terms of Phelan’s agreement to let Owen and Gary off the hook. A secret nearly but not quite coming out is ‘soaps law’ but, this time, I almost hope she keeps it to herself.
He is not going to understand. She realized that when Izzy, Gary and Katy, all three upset, barged in just as she was ready to do it and he was ready to listen. Izzy told them she had borrowed from the charity money and got caught before she could return it. She got no sympathy from her father. There are lines that cannot be crossed no matter what, Owen told her. Anna recoiled as she realized that her sleeping with Phelan in order to get her family out from under servitude to him was likely another uncrossable line.
It was a nice oblique way of bringing the two stories together. Izzy has been going out of her mind with worry and guilt since she started dipping into the donation funds in order to pay bills. She is an honest person and this has been a difficult choice. Similarly, Anna is essentially an honest person and her guilt about Phelan has been more than she can bear. It is affecting her life with all her family, and especially Owen who believes that his business failure must be the reason she is so distant with him. What else could it be? The only way to convince him it isn’t is to tell him the truth, which is an even worse option.
A burden shared
She almost told Roy and I was half hoping she would. Surely Roy would understand and give good counsel, and at least it would be told. A burden shared is a burden halved and all that. But Roy has a clearly defined sense of morality and little experience in the grey area of situational ethics. What if he didn’t, couldn’t, understand? She would feel even worse, and it would be out there and likely always come between them.
Izzy might be a good choice for confidante, I’ve thought. She knows Phelan was coming on to Anna so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise. But she is Owen’s daughter and would her loyalty to him trump the compassion and understanding she has for Anna? Plus this whole situation resulted from Gary winkling out from Izzy what she knew about Phelan and Anna. Izzy isn’t very good at keeping secrets and if Gary knew this one! Too much of a risk.
My advice to Anna is see a professional. Go to a counsellor and get it off your chest. He or she may have good advice on how to deal with this and, if not, would at least be duty-bound to keep your secret. Going on as she has been is not viable, but there are not a lot of options for confession either.