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The meeting went on further still & Michelle arrived at The Rovers for last orders, to find a grumpy Ciaran sat at the bar. She did her best to make it up to him, saying they could still make the most of what little time they did have left but he was having none of it, annoyed that she had put business ahead of him. Ciaran took his sulking too far, however, when he insulted the job she was doing and Michelle reminded him, that it was he, who was swanning off on a cruise and she hadn't behaved like that when he dropped that on her. She stormed out of the pub having told Ciaran to stop acting like an overgrown school boy. Ciaran caught up with her outside and the pair carried on the conversation, where their insecurities of being apart came to the fore - Ciaran believed that being wined & dined by clients would turn into something more. Michelle hit back, pointing out the chances of women flirting with him and how tempting that would be. Both insisted each other's fears wouldn't come true but neither of them would back down from their own view point. Michelle wasn't going to stop doing the job and all it entailed as she believed she was bettering herself. The argument was never going to reach a resolution and Ciaran walked away, with an air of finality.
The next morning, however; discussing his situation with Lloyd in the cafe, his mate told him he'd regret it if he left things the way they were between them, saying he should talk to Michelle and make it up. It gave Ciaran food for thought...
Meanwhile, Michelle was relaying her side of the story to Carla, she was giving out about Ciaran being jealous over a client but softened when recalling it was his last night. Carla who had initially agreed that all men were 'like that' & stated she'd be better off without him, encouraged her to ring him when she saw her slight change of heart. Michelle stayed stubborn about that, though; saying he should be the one to ring her. Just as she said that, Ciaran came bounding into the factory office - Carla left them to it, to talk. Ciaran apologised for his behaviour the previous night, blaming his jealousy on the fact he was madly in love with her; she returned the sentiment and he suggested she go with him on the cruise. Michelle thought he was mad, she didn't think it was easy to just up and leave but Ciaran was doing his best to make the idea sound as attractive as possible, saying he could get her a job singing. He left Michelle to think about it, telling her he'd be waiting for her...
Michelle spoke to Carla about what Ciaran had said & her first reaction was to laugh; seeing Michelle wasn't joining in, she realised it was a serious suggestion. After originally going along with her employee's thoughts that she couldn't just go like that, Carla suddenly changed her mind and told her life was too short to play it safe.
Ciaran was sitting in the taxi cab office with his bags packed, ready to go. He was putting it off a little, hoping Michelle would walk through the door any second. When Eddie; one of the drivers was ready to take him, he'd resigned himself to leaving alone but he reached the taxi to be greeted by a smiling Michelle, who was already sat in the back. Seeing her, his face changed immediately; breaking into a broad smile. He rushed into the cab to be with her and the couple kissed passionately, as they were driven off to the airport.
Fast forward to ten months later; a black cab arrived on the cobbles; it contained an excitable Michelle & a downbeat Ciaran (who'd rather have still been where they'd just come from.) The two of them were on their way to Ireland, to tell their families of their impending wedding, but decided to stop off in Weatherfield on the way. They made The Rovers their first port of call, where they discovered new landlady; Stella Price. While introducing themselves and getting their drinks; friend and factory worker, Sean Tully walked in and was pleased to see the couple had returned. Michelle could tell there was something wrong, however, and Sean explained that Carla had, had a meltdown and closed the factory. Michelle was puzzled as to why she would have done that & was looking for answers. Sean was surprised to realise Michelle hadn't been told what had happened in the last few months, but felt it was best she heard it all from the lady herself.
Michelle & Ciaran went over to Underworld to find Carla drinking Vodka. The two of them were incredibly concerned as to what was going on. Carla was glad they were back but struggled to tell them what had happened. They slowly managed to get information out of her; eventually finding out what the rest of the street knew - She'd been raped by Frank Foster. It was a name, of course; they both remembered.
Ciaran and Michelle did their best to support a very depressed Carla, who was determined to drop the charges against Frank, feeling unable to cope with any more. Michelle persuaded her to go away to clear her head in LA for a few weeks, and not make a decision about dropping the charges until she got back. Michelle also told her not to worry about the factory, as she would run it for her while she was away. Carla didn't know if she was doing the right thing but Ciaran gave her encouragement & said she was. She left shortly after, as they managed to get a flight at short notice.
Ciaran, although concerned for Carla's well-being, was also concerned about how long she'd be away for, considering they were due to get married on a beach in the Bahamas in two weeks. Michelle reassured him Carla would be back by then & their big day would still go ahead as planned.
Written & Researched by Leonie Stevens
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