Lovers 2 finds Janet and Santie craving something more something but it's taboo.
This is chapter 27 from A Family Affair by Bernard Preston.
This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 2nd January, 2019.
The story so far...
Santie and Janet’s friendship had blossomed over the three years from simply the convenience of having a flat-mate, to that of two persons who enjoyed each other’s company. Whilst the shock of rape and pregnancy had shattered her self confidence, it was with Santie’s help that Janet gradually regained her sanity. Going to the movies together, dressing up gaily mostly, though on occasion they agreed jeans and a pretty blouse was fine, perhaps with a silk scarf around their necks or tied up in their hair, became the panacea to her depression.
Lovers 2 sees Sam getting a slap on the wrist from her minister.
A family affair is a tale of deceit and deception, and deep hurts after being abused.
For the first time in her life Santie had money to spend, so Saturday mornings they would often wend their way to the malls, hunting for bargains. Neither had ever had a friend who loved to shop. Trying on new clothes in the little boutiques, and even grocery shopping became a gratifying part of their routine. Even more important, both were absolutely delighted to have found a friend with whom they could trust their feelings, particularly in light of the first signs of Janet’s pregnancy. Maternal instincts began to clash violently with intense feeling about Jan Jansen, whom she could not avoid periodically within the confines of the J,T&H.
At a more personal level, there was no invasion of privacy, no unwelcome advances of any sort, only a growing enjoyment of a shared life, soon to be shared by a new unknown quantity. Long afterwards they confided that even then a sneaking realization of what was happening sometimes disturbed their private thoughts, though Janet in particular refused to acknowledge them, or give them substance, vigorously pushing aside any uninvited and unwelcome feelings.
In Santie’s mind, on the other hand, a very definite resolve was forming. Despite sharing a profound distrust of the opposite sex, both were warm, loving girls. They craved something more. Something they both knew was taboo.
Not many weekends after their encounter with Sam they decided to break their Saturday night routine at the movies, and stay at home to watch the Grammy’s. Curled up on the couch after a light dinner with a bowl of spicy ginger and chunky bits of mature cheddar, and a bar of chocolate, the Madonna and Britney Spears revelation was exactly what Santie had been waiting for, but for Janet it was much too close to the bone.
She jumped up exclaiming: ‘I’m going to take an early night with a book, Santie. I think I would like to try a gentle triathlon tomorrow.’ Giving her friend’s shoulder a gentle squeeze she hurriedly made her way to the bathroom, and a very disturbed night.
Santie stayed up late enjoying a fantasy of what she knew was to come. Having fixed her eye upon a star, her resolve set, she relaxed, knowing that she had played the waiting game to perfection. It wouldn’t be long now. Fortunately Anton had finally stopped trying to make contact with Janet.
She wasn’t going to force herself onto her friend, she didn’t need to, and increasingly in her heart she knew that it would not be her who made the first move.
That same Sunday, after church, Samantha cornered her pastor. ‘There are two girls I work with, Father Fred. I’m sure they’re lesbians. I call them the Bostonians.’
Sam giggled. ‘I’m not sure if I should be reading worldly books, Father, now that I am a Christian, but I love old books like Pygmalian and Lorna Doone. I found an old book by Henry James in which two women have a very passionate relationship. That’s where I got their nickname.’
‘Ah, The Bostonians. Yes, I’ve read it.’
‘You have? Did you like it?’
‘I read a lot, Sam. Jesus called us to be in the world but not of it. It’s a very difficult place to find actually, but I don’t think that we’re called to be ostriches. Yes, you can read Henry James but be selective and never forget that a balanced overview of the Bible is what should form your core values, not Henry James or, perish the thought, Wilbur Smith.’
‘Mm,’ Sam nodded, struggling.
‘But getting back to your Bostonians. It must be really interesting having the live situation in your own office. How do you handle it?’
‘I really gave them both barrels on Thursday!’
‘Oh. And what did the left barrel have to say?’
‘That it was a sin.’
‘Really. That may be true but it is, of course, His decision, not yours. Don’t forget that Jesus never had one word to say on the subject. Not that’s been recorded anyway.’ He smiled at his enthusiastic young convert. ‘And the other barrel?’
‘That it is so unnatural.’
‘Well, that’s also true but for some it appears that it’s as strong as if it were natural, and more preferable too. Interestingly, Michelangelo also preferred male company to the fairer sex. It was he who painted the ceiling of the most famous chapel in all Christendom, remember. Did you tell them that God loved them?’
‘No, not really.’
‘Now that is something that Jesus had an awful lot to say about, Sam. Remember Mary Magdalene? Zacceus? Sinners flocked to him. Jesus lifted the burden of guilt from them. People will not come to our churches and find freedom if we double the guilt they already feeling.’
‘But you preached this morning, Pastor, how sin spoils everything.’
‘So it does, Sam. But Jesus took our sin to the cross. He laid condemnation on hypocrites. Those who say one thing, particularly religious things, but do another. For the rest, Jesus welcomed sinners. And still does.’
Sam nodded doubtfully.
‘There are two sides to God’s face, Sam. There is indeed that which nobody wants to hear of anymore, that there is a hell. We divide society into upper, middle and lower class, but God divides humanity vertically: those who are of the World, and those who belong to Christ.’
‘I’m so glad to have stepped across.’
‘So am I, Sam, believe me, so am I. Now, God’s other face is Love. He loves his whole creation. You do believe that He loves those two girls, Sam?’
‘Well, yes, but … .’
‘No buts, Sam, so you must love them too. Remember that Jesus’s command to his disciples is to spread the Good News. That there is a God who may consign them to Hell is not the Good News, is it? That’s the Bad News. Tell them the Good News. Don’t judge them. That’s also God’s prerogative, and of course don’t forget that you and I are sinners too. Forgiven sinners.’
Sam roared off in her new Peugeot, bought courtesy of a recent rise, glad that she could go on reading books of her choice, yet perturbed and angry with her pastor. She had expected to be affirmed for her action, but instead he had popped a proverbial stone in her shoe. A hypocrite?
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Book I: The Bostonians