This work is fictitious, and any similarities to any persons, alive or dead, are purely coincidental. Mention is made of persons in public life only for the purposes of realism, and for that reason alone. Certain licence is taken in respect of medical procedures, terms and conditions, and the author does not claim to be the fount of all knowledge.
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A Quick Drink.
Sheena was excited. Being an attractive girl was fine, but when one is attracted to other girls, and one's parents are old fashioned, it is so very hard to live a double life.
She'd found Mark, a gay male friend, at a party about a year ago. Mark came from an equally repressed background, and had an awful time keeping himself in the closet. Naturally promiscuous and with a steady boyfriend, he was terrified of his bank manager father finding out.
She and Mark came to an understanding. To their respective parents, they pretended to be going out together. Initially this had worked brilliantly, but as time went on, pressure to get married started to be brought to bear. They lived totally separate lives, in different flats, using each other as alibis for meeting their real lovers. In order to ease the parental pressure, they'd started sharing a flat together.
This had proved a wonderful compromise, until Mark's boyfriend, Andy, moved in with Mark. They all got on famously, and on those occasions that Sheena brought someone back, the atmosphere was great.
However, mothers started ‘dropping in' and the evidence of boy on boy and girl on girl was quite clear, unless one took special trouble to eliminate such evidence.
Stress was the inevitable result, and Andy had given Mark an ultimatum – come out or he was history.
After nights of tears, he'd bitten the bullet and come out of his closet, telling his mother he was gay.
She was upset, but her first remark was, “Oh my God, have you told Sheena?”
He couldn't tell her that Sheena was a lesbian, so he said he had and that it was all over between them.
He and Andy kept the flat, so Sheena looked for a small single bed place. Her own mother, devastated by the news, would spend time with Marks mother trying to see if it was curable. Still she retained her own secret, and it was becoming a heavy burden for her.
Her last relationship ended when she found Marcia cheating on her with a boy. She had resigned herself to a life of celibacy when she saw Katie.
The girl had brought some work to HR, as they were actively recruiting abroad and required multi language application forms. She'd first seen her on her first day, and every now and again she'd see her about the building. She approached her once, and made it plain she was interested.
To Sheena's delight, Katie hadn't dismissed her out of hand, as so many did. She said she wasn't interested, but seemed to leave a door open. She'd bided her time, and after seeing the girl rebuff all the men in the office, she'd gritted her teeth and gone in to make her interest very plain indeed.
She came away disappointed, for Katie admitted she had a relationship with a man. However, she did accept her offer of a drink and a chat. Now Sheena was confused, as she believed she was getting mixed signals from Katie.
At a little after five she made her way to Katie's office. She stood looking at the girl as she worked on her computer terminal. She was really beautiful. She had an air of power and strength that Sheena hadn't seen before, and she felt herself tingle with excitement at the possibility of becoming close with her.
Katie turned and saw her watching, waving her into the office. Katie's cubicle was quite small, or snug, and she sat close to the girl as she finished up. She could smell her fragrance, becoming almost heady with lust.
Katie finished up, closed down the computer, and put away her papers.
“Ready?” she asked.
“Just a bit,” Sheena replied with a smile.
Katie stood up, took her jacket off the hanger and put it on. Then she took her bag from the small cupboard and slung the strap over her shoulder.
“Let's go. Just a quick drink, okay?”
The girls left the building, saying goodnight to the security staff on the door.
“Where are we going?” ‘Katie' asked.
“Scene or non-scene?”
“Do you want to go to a scene or a non-scene place?”
The penny dropped. Sheena wanted to know if he wanted to go to a gay bar.
He smiled, as this could prove interesting.
“I'll try anything once, how about scene?”
Sheena's grin increased.
“Okay, are you sure?”
“Yeah, but, just a quickie.”
Sheena had her car, as she lived in a flat overlooking Victoria Park in the East End. It was a fifteen-minute drive, through the traffic, to a small pub off the Whitechapel Road.
As soon as they entered, Rob realised that he was the only male in the place. This was as scene as they come, and after a brief glance, most women who looked at him, glanced away, satisfied she was one of them. Two or three remained staring, hoping, no doubt, he'd return the stare and this could lead to other things.
Rob played it cool, and met no one's eyes as he and Sheena approached the bar.
“What would you like?”
“A half of lager shandy, thanks.”
Sheena bought the drinks and they found a table in a small booth.
“What do you think?”
“I'd hate to be a bloke and just walk in off the street.”
Sheena laughed and moved closer.
“I'm so pleased you came.”
“That's okay. I may not be in the market, but I'm open minded.”
“This person you've found, is he nice?”
“I think so,” Rob said, taking a sip from his drink.
“Have you ever been with a girl?”
Rob spluttered his drink.
“Yes, yes I have,” he answered, quite honestly.
“So, is it really better with a man?”
“Have you been with a man?” he asked, changing the subject.
“Sort of. I was abused by my father's business partner when I was fifteen. I know that's not really counted, but it sort of spoiled things for me.”
“Shit! That's awful, did you tell anyone?”
“I told my mum, but she thought I was making it up. She saw the blood and then believed me. She told Dad who pretended it never happened. I ran away and told the police. It made a right stink, as he was married and had children. I was made to feel so bad about it all. I refused to go to court in the end.”
Rob took her hand.
“I'm so sorry. It must have been awful for you.”
“I left home as soon as I could. He's still working with Daddy and grins at me every time he sees me, the bastard!”
They continued to chat, and one drink led to two and then four.
Rob found himself on the small dance floor, holding Sheena in his arms. They started kissing, and his sticking plaster started to pull.
Shit! How the fuck did this happen? He thought to himself.
It was eight o'clock, and he knew he had to get out before things got too hot.
He broke away from her. It was surreal, all these women, and no men. Women kissing and fondling each other, openly and without any inhibitions.
“I have to go!”
“Yes. I have a million and one things to do before tomorrow.”
“Can we do this again?” she asked, putting one hand round the back of his neck.
“I don't think it would be a good idea.”
They returned to the table and collected their coats and bags. Sheena accompanied Rob outside. They stood close together. Rob found her very attractive and he was aroused.
“Look, Sheena, I feel sort of guilty about this. I do find you attractive, but to be honest, my life is so complicated just now; this is one complication I can't cope with. I also need to sort myself out. It's nothing you've done, but I need to know which side of the fence I am.”
He wanted to tell her the truth, but knew that was impossible.
“I promise I won't have any expectations,” Sheena said. She desired Katie so much, and she was willing make any compromise if the girl would be willing to go to bed with her.
“It's not a matter of expectations. It's a matter of truth and integrity. As I said, if we went to bed, or even started a relationship, it is doomed before we start, so unless things change, I have to stop here. I appreciate that this is difficult for you, but it has to be. I promise, that if I find myself on your side of the fence, I will come to your door.”
Sheena had tears in her eyes, and Rob felt so bad.
“I did say a quick drink, I thought this might happen.”
“Why did you come, then?”
“I'm not sure, and that's the truth. Sheena, I'm as screwed up as you are, if not more so. Don't hate me, please?”
“I don't. I think I'm falling in love with you.”
Rob found tears in his own eyes.
He kissed the girl.
“This has to be, I'm sorry.”
He turned and walked away, leaving her standing on the steps of the pub.
He hailed a cab and sat watching the rain as it started to put a real damper on the evening. The streetlights made weird shaped on the glass of the taxi, and Rob found himself even more confused than ever. He had wanted her, as a man wants a woman, and yet, he wanted her to want him as two women.
He thought of Letty. The guilt and confusion threatened to overwhelm him.
“What am I?” he asked himself.
“Sorry love?” said the cabbie, and Rob realised he had vocalised out loud.
“What am I?” he repeated, silently this time.
“I'm a man.”
“You don't look like one!”
“This is pretend. I'm a man.”
“You don't think like one.”
“You act, sound and live like a girl.”
“That's all pretend.”
“Who are you trying to kid?”
“No one. I want to be me.”
“Who are you?”
“I don't know anymore.”
“Who do you want to be?”
Rob thought long and hard.
“I don't care, I just want to stop pretending.”
“The operation is easy these days.”
“I'd still be pretending.”
“No one would know. You're attractive enough.”
“Who do you want to be?”
The cab pulled up outside Elm Park Gardens. Rob paid the fare and walked up the steps. The others were having dinner. He noted that Pru was dressed as herself again.
“Are you joining us?” his father asked.
“I'm not hungry,” he said and started going up stairs.
After a few moments Pru followed him, finding him face down on his bed, crying.
“Oh Rob, it's okay, sweetie, it really is okay!”
“What the fuck am I, Pru?”
“You're my baby brother, and I love you.”
They held each other for a long time. Eventually Rob went for a shower, removed everything that was Katie and slipped into bed stark naked.
Pru went down stairs and sought her father.
“This stops now!” she said.
“No, Daddy, now! That boy is at the end of the road. Do you realise what he's been through?”
“I can imagine.”
“No, you can't. We had a conversation very like this back when that big Australian tried to rape him. You had no idea then and you still have no idea what he's going through.
“That boy doesn't know his arse from his elbow. He doesn't know if he's a boy or a girl, straight or gay. He is so fucked up by your bloody plans and intrigues that he hasn't a fucking clue as to what planet he's on. It has to end tonight.”
“That's impossible, I promise no longer than next week end.”
“He might not last that long. On your head be it.”
She turned and walked out, leaving his sitting there, alone.