Lovers 3 finds them on that self same cloudless summer Sunday morning.
This is chapter 29 from A Family Affair by Bernard Preston.
Meanwhile, on that self-same cloudless summer Sunday morning, Santie and Janet were battling it out against a strong westerly wind. Kitted out in the bright colours of the Wheelers Club, their white, yellow and pink shirts looked particularly fine to the motorists passing them, their heads well down in the tight peloton making up of the leading eight women. Janet was the star swimmer and was in first position at the end of the first leg, despite her condition, but Santie’s powerful legs were pedalling her to the front of the line of cyclists. Happy not to take on the wind, she tucked in behind the leader, letting her do the extra work. Their thoughts weren’t about God that Sunday morning, but they were enjoying God’s creation and straining their week-long tired bodies to greater heights of fitness. Janet failed badly in the third leg of the triathlon, not relishing the jogging, and they ended up finishing together in joint seventh place.
Normally both women were highly focused, at work and at play, but they were anything but focused that fateful morning. Janet’s thoughts were about her child who delivered his first few butterfly wings that morning. Seeing Madonna give Britney Spears that very sexy kiss had shocked them both, along with the rest of the world, though in quite differing ways.
A family affair is a trilogy about two young women who've been hurt, and find solace in each others arms.
If you enjoy Lovers 3, then it's definitely time to spend your 99c and buy the final version on your tablet.
Lovers 3 has Janet and Santie enjoying a triathlon, and another less than pleasant encounter.
After the brief awards ceremony, they started piling their bikes on top of the car, when two young men crossed the car park to where the Mazda was parked. Both were tall, like most serious cyclists. Santie eyed them with distaste. Clad in their cycling gear, the lads looked like a couple of humming birds in bright plumage; they weren’t bad looking, Janet was thinking.
The blonde with slightly receding hairline introduced himself, smiling at Janet, whilst only barely glancing at Santie: ‘Hi, I’m John Tittlestad and this is my friend Mark. Can we give you a hand putting your bikes up?’
‘Do you think we look feeble? Too weak to lift a titanium bicycle?’ said Santie sourly.
‘Of course not,’ said Mark, winking openly at John. ‘Just trying to be friendly. We’ve enjoyed watching you compete over the last few weekends, so we decided it’s time to introduce ourselves.’
‘Thank you, but it's not necessary. We can manage,’ said Janet hesitantly, less sure but taking her cue from Santie, as Mark made to lift her bike. She shouldered it herself and fitted it on the roof rack. He helped tighten the locks in any case.
‘See you next week,’ she finished lamely, climbing behind the wheel. John and Mark weren’t that easily deterred; they carefully closed the girls’ doors.
‘Till next week then.’
The lads had been eyeing the two girls for a couple of months, and were irritated at being kept continuously at arm’s length. They scowled as Santie and Janet sped off, with a squeal of tyres, as if to make a statement. ‘Friggin’ icebergs,’ said John.
The young women stopped for an icecream at the Dairy Den on the way home, a luxury they allowed themselves only after a hard ride, and enjoyed sitting outside on a terrace under an umbrella. ‘Not bad looking guys, hey Santie. I wonder if I will ever trust a man again. Perhaps we should have them over some time for a braai. At least give them a chance to prove they are different from the likes of Jan Jansen.’
Santie didn’t answer. Finally she said: ‘Perhaps you should think of Anton first.’
Janet was silent. ‘I heard the other day he is engaged.’
‘Really. Not me Janet, but you are welcome to try. They do look nice, I must say.’
Janet blurted out: ‘You’re so lucky, Santie. You’re much prettier than me but the guys don’t fall over each other, bothering you, like they do with me.’
‘Oh, go on Janet! You love it when they pay you compliments,’ exclaimed Santie.
‘No, I do not! Not any more. Do I exude musk or something?’
‘It’s true, Janet, you do have a magic potion.’
‘Really! You too, Santie. Remember the first day we met at J,T&H? I wouldn’t admit it but, even then, you had me mesmerized. It’s those Spanish eyes!’
‘Oh, go on Jan, what twaddle,’ said Santie exasperated. ‘I have no desire to be bewitching.’ They said nothing for a few moments, concentrating rather on the bits of chocolate that were beginning to melt, and threatening to fall off their Magnums. Santie’s black mood passed quickly. Looking shyly at Janet she said: ‘It’s not pheromones that attract me to you.’
‘Oh, what is it then?’
‘I feel safe, Janet, when I’m with you. Outwardly I try to give a big show of bravado, but deep down, for the first time I think since my mother died, I actually feel sure of myself. I still hate myself though when men are around. I feel such a wimp because they make me feel so anxious. I know it’s ridiculous and I try talking to myself all the time, but it doesn’t help. I can’t get over it, but when you’re there, that fear seems to evaporate! You make me feel right, whole. Does that make any sense?’
‘Don’t let that go to your head now. You’re beginning to look like the cat that’s been at the cream!’ said Santie.
They laughed, relaxing. The mood had been tense since the two young men had accosted them. ‘We must be careful not to become neurotic, Santie. We’ve both got our reasons but let’s try keep a sense of proportion. I know what you mean, though. I’m also very happy when I’m with you. Comfortable if you know what I mean but, like it or not, you really are pretty sexy.’ She laughed. ‘Even your flashing, angry eyes turn people on!’
She peered closely into Santie’s eyes, coming right into her comfort zone, before remarking, ‘You’ve got little gold flecks in those black iris’s. Very sexy.’
Santie jerked away. ‘Don’t spoil it, Jan.’ After a few moments she went on. ‘It’s not hormones that struck me when we first met. You were so confident, strong, and sure of yourself, until that bastard Jansen got hold of you.’
Janet reacted as though Santie had slapped her. ‘Please don’t even mention Jansen’s name unless it’s strictly business. Even calling him a bastard.' She went on: ‘St Catherine’s did that for me. They made us feel so special. Like most of my friends, by the time I left school, I felt I one up on the world. We weren’t of course, they just made us feel that way, and then we became what we thought we were, I suppose.’ She cocked her head, letting her honey blonde hair fall forward over her face, questioning, the sombre moment gone.
‘Of course. I’m sorry I mentioned Jansen. Thoughtless of me.’ She continued, ‘I left school feeling three steps behind in life.’
‘Courtesy of the shit start you had, Santie. Don’t blame yourself and you’re not to start asking where you went wrong. Your mother died of meningitis. Mine’s still alive and loving me unconditionally.’
‘It’s time you told them about the baby.’
Janet nodded. ‘I know. I just don’t know how to go about it. How do you think I should do it?’
‘You have also nothing to be ashamed of, Janet. You were raped remember. Just tell them the truth.’
‘I suppose so. And the baby? What do I say about that?’
‘It was your decision not to terminate this pregnancy, Janet. It’s still not too late.’ Santie decided to back off.
‘Please Santie, let’s not go down that road again. I’ve made my decision, and I feel sure that’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to throw off that awful depression. For better of for worse, I am going to have a baby.’
‘Well, I hope it’s not for worse. Anyway, you should tell your parents. Soon.’
‘Mm, okay,’ replied Janet, unconvincingly. ‘Where did you go to school, Sant?’ she continued, abruptly changing the subject.‘Boksberg High. Until I had to leave.’ She never finished her sentence.
‘Exactly. And St Catherine’s is a school for rich kids and they attract the very best teachers. That’s what did it for me, Santie. Great home, wonderful family, fantastic teachers. Just the opposite of what you had.’
Santie leaned forward putting her hand on Janet’s arm. ‘See what I mean. You put it so nicely. I know I had a shit start, but I do keep blaming myself, as though it was my fault!’ It was her turn to look deeply into Janet’s eyes. Her friend didn’t avert her gaze. Finally Santie said: ‘I’m getting cold. Come, let’s go home before we catch pneumonia.’
Bernard Preston is a semi retired chiropractor, living in a small village in the KZN Midlands of South Africa.
His first three books are anecdotes from the Chiropractic Coalface.
This yarn, A Family Affair, was inspired by a profound dream in which the whole book was laid out. It took ten years to write and publish.
It's available as a trilogy, for 99c each, from Amazon. These freebies, including Lovers 3, are an early unedited version. You can have the Bostonians for only 99c in about one minute on your Kindle or tablet.
Interesting links @ Lovers 3
A Family Affair
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