Arrivals & Departures: Ez's Timeline

These pages expand on the synopsis to reveal to timeline for the Ez & Barry's memories. The dates are taken from the original manuscript.

Ez's Timeline


2000: A military airport. Esmé Swain goes to meet her father for a happy family reunion following a successful tour of duty. Esmé is 10, her mother Nadine is 27, her father Freddie is 28.

2002: A military airport. Esmé and Nadine attend the ceremonial return of Freddie's body, having been killed in action. An army chaplin offers comfort but Esmé walks away shaking her head and struggling to control her tears. Esmé is 12, Nadine is 29.

2005: A bus-stop. Esmé steps off a school bus to be met by Nadine who is with Sherwin, a colleague from the Arts Centre where she works. It is implied Esmé has recently made a suicide attempt. Nadine has invited Sherwin for dinner, but Esmé is not interested. Esmé is 15, Nadine is 32, Sherwin is 32.

2006: An airport. Esmé, Nadine & Sherwin are about to depart on holiday. Esmé has obvious issues with Sherwin and Nadine has become increasingly stressed and susceptible to panic attacks. Esmé is 16, Nadine is 33, Sherwin is 33.

2008: Another station. Esmé leaves Nadine and Sherwin to join the army. Esmé is 18, Nadine is 35, Sherwin is 35.

2010: The station. Esmé, now Ez, is on leave and met by Nadine, who has split up with Sherwin after he had an affair with another Arts Centre colleague. Ez reveals she has signed up to the army for 10 years and Nadine doesn't believe Ez is happy to visit her and that she has become cold and never shows emotion. Ez is 20, Nadine is 37.

2011: A barracks. Ez is now on an officer's training course and being chatted up by a fellow trainee, Rob. She gives him a rare smile. Ez is 21. Rob is 23.

2012: A railway station. Ez greets Rob as he returns from visiting her parents. She is stilted and uncomfortable in her responses to Rob, particularly with regard to intimacy. It transpires Rob's parents are rich and he generally gets what he wants. Ez notes Nadine is now in a new relationship. Ez is 22, Rob is 24.

2012: An underground car park. Following an awkward weekend with Rob's parents, Ez admits to Rob she feels the relationship is moving too fast and that he and his parents have expectations of them settling down and her leaving the army. In response, Rob suggests they start sleeping together to ease the tension, at which Ez storms away.

2013: Another station platform. Ez meets Rob's parents, Charles & Hilary following an as-yet unspecified incident. Ez is angry Rob, now her fiancé, has not come with them to apologise, but has been advised by his father to do so would be an admission of guilt. Rob has raped Ez in barracks with two of his friends restraining her, but says he was drunk and he has no recollection of the incident. Charles threatens Ez if she goes to court, she won't have a chance. In response, Ez - who has just beaten a fellow officer as a result of the incident - reveals she is pregnant by Rob and blames them as much as Rob for having spoilt their son. Charles leaves whilst Hilary asks if Ez will keep the child, Ez responds she does not know. Ez is 23.

2013: A London mainline rail terminus. Facing court martial after the incident in which she broke the jaw of the fellow officer, Ez has been demoted from Second Lieutenant to Private Swain and is assigned to mind the civilian witness Barry Hawkins in the operation to capture the terrorist Cerastes.

Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd. Please do no reproduce without permission.