The envelope tucked under Keysa’s door caught her attention from a distance. She walked up to it and gracefully bent over to retrieve the letter. Whoever addressed it had a beautiful handwriting, she thought as her mind calculated the likely surprise that awaited. She opened it with a smile.
And the words slapped her hard.
“Dear Ms Keysa,
Everybody loves you. I love you too. You have been a valuable addition to Cyragon. I don’t honestly think I could have written this to any other person but you seem really open-minded and understanding. It would be nice that you read this with an open mind. Gregg and I are lovers. We met a few months ago when he joined the company and even though we were both initially skeptical about office romance, we were drawn to each other and Cyragon is large enough anyway. It has not been a totally smooth ride with us given the general attitude towards our kind of relationship. Of course I have noticed your relationship with Gregg. He seems really into you and you are obviously interested in him.
For Gregg, it’s simply a cover. He feels the need to keep up appearances and I respect that but it is affecting what we have. He speaks a lot about you and rarely hangs out with me anymore. Even phone calls are rare. It hurts to lose him. And even though I think you are an amazing person, I met him first and he would not be with you if we were a normal couple. Gregg does not know that I have written this. He would be angry if he found out because he is very careful about protecting his image, but like I said, you strike me as open-minded. Kindly consider.”
Frank (Finance and Accounts)
Keysa stood stiff. It took a while to process the new information. Gregg? But it made sense. This must explain his continued silence about romance. He had joked when she asked the other night at the cinema. During the ride home, he manoeuvred his way out of every attempt she made to continue the conversation. It was unlike him to be dodgy so she decided to let it be.
This was quite informative. She felt pity for him and wanted to run over to his office and give him a hug. She was in the United States when she formed her opinion about same-sex relationships as a University fresher. She had gay friends back in the States and “they are really cool” she tells people here when they shudder at the idea. Poor Gregg must be going through a lot of confusion pretending and keeping up appearances.
When Gregg walked into her office at lunch break, she jumped out of her seat and ran around the table to hug him.
“Gregg my husband!”
The hug was long.
“What’s with you?”
“How do you mean? I’ve missed you all day”
“We came to work together. We were at the gym this morning. I am always a ping away. You cannot miss me all day. So tell me what you have been drinking”
Over lunch, Keysa told stories of friends she met in the United Kingdom during a brief academic exchange programme.
“Kelvin and George were lovely souls, really intelligent men. I hear Kelvin is with IBM now and George is doing some work in South Africa. They got married shortly after the programme.”
“Ain’t they both men?” Gregg asked
“Yes they are” Keysa said
“Men marrying men, that’s just wrong”
“You don’t honestly believe that”, she said, subtly studying his reaction.
“I am not surprised that you see nothing wrong with these things. You have been brainwashed by the years you spent schooling in the West.”
They argued throughout lunch and on their way back to the office. When Gregg began to talk about something else, Keysa drew the conversation right back to the topic. He did not understand why she was so drawn to it. Perhaps it was her being relentless as usual, bent on convincing him.
“You know Gregg, it is difficult to be one thing and claim to be another, to consistently have to keep up appearances so that the people you love, your friends and family and society will respect and accept you. It’s really hard. These people are what they are and they are not any less human than the rest of us.”
“That is a solid gay rights activist perspective. Can we drop this matter now?”
Keysa rode the elevator to the Finance and Accounts Department on the ninth floor. She asked around for Frank and someone pointed to a man walking down the corridor. He swayed as he walked.
Oh him! Of course! Keysa thought. Gregg always greeted him warmly and they always shared jokes like close friends. But it was always a passing remark. They never hung out, just lobby greetings.
He smiled and waved at her and appeared surprised when he realised she was there for him.
“Hi Frank. Can we talk somewhere private, your office perhaps?”
Frank hesitated before leading her further down the hallway to his office. When they got in Keysa went straight to the point.
“I believe you know why I am here. Listen, about Gregg, I did not realise. I had my questions but I had no idea what the deal was until today. We are just friends, you can be sure of that. And yes, you were right, I am open-minded and I support you.”
“What? Are you sure you are speaking to the right person? I don’t follow any of this” Frank said
“I got your letter this morning. Listen, I know how rough it must be but Gregg is really into you Frank. We are just friends and he never talks about romance, I guess it’s because he is protecting what you have. ”
“Gregg is into me? What are you talking about? Did Gregg ask you to say something to me?”
He looked really confused and Keysa thought he must have been confused about the possibility that Gregg told her everything. She had to reassure him.
“Yes Gregg told me to say this. He cares about you and you have no reason to believe he does not or to see me as a threat. I honestly had no idea until today.”
“I don’t understand this.” Frank said, his eyes were darting about all over Keysa. “You said you got my letter? What letter? Keysa don’t play pranks with me. We are a little too old for that.”
“I’ve got to run. I have a meeting in ten! Let’s talk about this later!” Keysa said before she made for the door and clicked it shut behind her.
The Business get’s finished in a bit. Look out for UNFINISHED BUSINESS SEASON 2
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