I Am Writing – 22/8/21 – Prelude to Love

His mother had always been a bit on the passive-aggressive side. Meeting a problem head-on had never been her style. After Joel left home, it had taken her years to contact him directly, and even then she’d never talked about why he’d moved out. Joel suspected his sister had set up that first meeting, but she’d never admitted to it, and Joel hadn’t asked.

Although he usually preferred to know where he stood, this was one of the few circumstances in which ignorance was bliss.
Jill had stayed clear of the argument between her husband and son too. Joel often wondered why she’d never stood up for him, but then she hadn’t taken her husband’s side either or voiced her opinion of the situation.

Joel had never discussed his sexuality with his mother. Every time he’d mentioned Reed, she’d changed the subject or referred to him as Joel’s friend. They’d never met. Reed hadn’t bothered to make the effort, despite Joel’s nervousness about making contact with his mother again. In hindsight it was another clue that his and Reed’s relationship wasn’t working as well as Joel wanted to believe it was. Two brunches in, and Joel was single again, giving him one less awkward conversation to worry about.

“Joel!” Bernadette called his name from the doorway and then stopped to exchange a few words with Wendy before sitting down opposite Joel. He’d chosen a table inside the café, rather than out on the pavement, which he did usually. The café was quiet at present, but got busy closer to lunchtime. A music shop had originally stood at the location, and the themed mural on one wall of the café depicted notes and various instruments against a backdrop of the harbour.

Joel found it relaxing, and he suspected Bernadette had chosen the location because of their shared love of music. She had played viola years ago, but while Joel pursued music as a career, Bernadette studied business. She still owned her instrument but hadn’t touched it

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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