Lovers I finds Janet and Santie drifting into an easy relationship.
Chapter 26 taken from a novel, A Family Affair, by Bernard Preston.
This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 1 January, 2019.
It was one of those unusual days when there were no deadlines at the offices of Jansen, Thomas and Hansen. Time seemed to pass as slowly as an autumn afternoon with none of the mellow fruitfulness that the bosses were looking for. But everyone was enjoying the quieter day. There would, no doubt, be bedlam again tomorrow.
A few structural changes threw up an interesting new conflict. Because of her interest in constitutional law, Santie had moved over to share a suite with Mr Thomas, who would soon be retiring, whilst Samantha Starling became Janet’s secretary. Oddly the new structure worked. Jansen stayed away from both Janet and Santie, and slowly but surely Janet regained her equilibrium. It was only four months to the end of their articles and she had decided to make a go of it, though she knew she would scream if Jansen approached her in private again. As Santie pointed out, fortunately he also knew it.Santie stifled a little yawn and meandered down the hallway to the photocopy room, and on the way back, stopped at Janet’s office. The door was open, and she peeped in. Janet looked up with a smile.
‘Got a moment?’ Santie asked.
‘Yes, of course. Is it as dull at your end of the corridor as ours?’
Santie glanced at the other occupant of the office and got a frozen glare. She ignored Sam and whispered something inaudible in Janet’s ear. They both giggled. As she left Janet gave her friend’s shoulder a little squeeze but there was yet some excitement to be had before Santie reached the door.
‘Do you two sleep together?’
Lovers I also has self righteous Sam having too much to say.
A Family Affair concerns two young women who've been hurt, and ultimately finding their fate in each others arms.
The question hung in the air; both Janet and Santie were startled by it. Janet had not yet announced her pregnancy, though a few discerning eyes were curious. She didn’t think Sam had yet noticed. How was she to answer? Santie was the first to give an initially furious and then more measured reply: ‘What has it got to do with you, may I ask?’‘So you don’t deny it?’
‘Santie asked what business it is of yours, Sam. I’ve never asked you who you sleep with. That’s your affair, and it’s no concern of yours whether we sleep together or not!’ Janet’s tone was irritated but not particularly angry. After sharing an office with Samantha for several months, she was used to her sniping questions and pious remarks.
‘It’s a sin, you know. It’s so unnatural!’
‘Who says so, Samantha?’ Santie was angry, a little red spot beginning to glow in the centre of her forehead. Janet read the signs; there was about to be an explosion. Normally her secretary was ‘Sam’ to them both but, if Santie used her full name, it meant trouble.
‘It says so in the Bible. So does our minister.’
Beating Santie to it was important. She would tear into their colleague and it was time for some damage control. Janet interjected quickly: ‘Sam, you know we are not Christians, or Jews for that matter. We’re under no obligation to follow your code of conduct.’
‘But it’s so obviously wrong,’ replied Samantha.
‘Oh, shut up Sam. You’re spoiling what was a lovely quiet day. The Moslems say it’s wrong to drink alcohol – does that mean we can’t enjoy a glass of wine?’
‘It’s not different at all. If you aren’t a Moslem then you don’t have to follow their edicts and, if we aren’t Christians, we don’t have to follow yours,’ Santie said angrily. ‘In any case, mind your own damn business!’
‘It is my business. When you work in a large firm like this, private lives are everybody’s business. In any case, I’m trying to save you both from the bottomless pit of fire and brimstone.’‘We don’t believe in your Christian hell,’ said Janet with a laugh. ‘Eat, drink and be merry! Come on, Sam, lighten up. This is going nowhere.’
‘No, I don’t agree, Janet. Samantha has started this, now let’s finish it once and for all.’ Turning to Sam she said: ‘Just because you think our private lives are everyone’s business is exactly why it is none of yours. Rumour on the eighth floor has it that your friend Shannon has been sleeping with the boss for the last few months. What have you done to keep her from your bottomless pit?’
‘It’s not right, that’s true, but it’s also different. At least it’s natural.’ Samantha was warming to her theme, and spoke with more enthusiasm again.
‘Oh, so that’s how it is, is it?’ retorted Santie, with a gleam in her eye. ‘An adulterous relationship with the boss is okay because it’s natural, but if we two live together in a faithful relationship, then it’s a sin.’
Sam had no answer to that. Janet finished off the conversation: ‘Didn’t your Jesus say something about he who is without sin casting the first stone?’
‘Yes, of course, that’s why I am trying to help you. I don’t sleep with my boyfriend, or the boss, or my girlfriend,’ she said glaring at them both.
‘Yes, but as you know I
do the telephone accounts every month, and your bill is nearly double
anyone else’s because you phone the boyfriend you don’t sleep with, and
you do it on company time, and at the company’s expense. Every
international call is separately listed, and I see your calls to him in
Namibia. When you’ve got your house in order, then you can start picking
on us. And just for the record, we don’t sleep together.’
Bernard Preston writes his fascinating tales of interesting and thought provoking people; in the case two young women in love.
Lovers I Are you finding A Family Affair by Bernard Preston titillating? Then perhaps forward Lovers I to a fellow bookworm.
This is the first unedited draft of Book I, The Bostonians. Having read
this far, you're obviously enjoying the plot. For only 99c you can
purchase the fully edited, nicely set out version and download it
onto your Kindle, smartphone or tablet.
Women in love may not be a subject of your choosing; that's okay. It wasn't one of mine, being happily married to one woman, until I had the most profound dream.
And so the great debate continues; do men and women start "batting for the other side" because it's in the genes, or are they pushed into it like Janet and Santie?
Certainly there's nothing new about homosexuality. Whether it's Michelangelo and partner, or Oscar Wilde or those two elderly spinsters who lived so innocuously together all their lives.
Is homosexuality wrong? You'll have to make your own mind; make it for yourself only, and let others decide for themselves too.
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Book I: The Bostonians
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