The Sexual Education Blues
Chapters: Cast | Prelude | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9-31 & Epilogue Available On
PLEASE NOTE: This is a preview of this novel. It is available for purchase in its entirety via
Author's Comment: Some people, when they pick up a book, ignore the foreword, or prelude, if there is one. They want to get right to the story.
Don't do that with this story. The prelude provides critical information for the understanding of the plot.
This is a complicated story, because of the number of characters in it, and the fact that all of them were taking small steps forward at the same time. It may seem disjointed, at first, but, as you get to know the characters, it will get a little easier. I have created a character list that you'll be able to access at any time, via a link at the top of each page of the story. You can use that to refresh you on who people are. The first chapter also provides a snapshot of each character, and his or her background.
Additionally, I have attempted to make it a little more "reader friendly" by giving each chapter a title that will identify the primary characters in it. Some chapters are very short, and some are very long. It was just how things had to be, to present the story in a way that, hopefully, flows well. Thanks for your patience.
Belinda Hampton looked at the pile of papers on her desk and sighed. When she'd taken the job at the State Department of Education, she'd thought she was getting into one of those cushy state jobs, where she wouldn't have to work that hard, and wouldn't have to worry about job security. Everybody said that. State jobs are like the goose that laid the golden eggs. And, during the interview, when she was offered the spot as "head" of the Continuing Education Office, she was quite sure she'd be playing with golden eggs very soon.
So far, though, the goose hadn't laid any golden eggs. The goose hadn't laid any eggs at all, for that matter. She'd been shown to a desk in the Continuing Education office, which sounded important, but was, in actuality, only a twelve by twelve room full of file cabinets and a desk piled high with papers. There was a computer, but all the good sites were blocked.
The previous occupant of the chair she was sitting in had gotten pregnant, and her water had broken much sooner than anyone anticipated. Then there were complications, and she had to be hospitalized. But the business of education insisted on rambling on, which was why Belinda was hired with only a cursory glance at her resume, which was heavily padded. That she had lied about having a college degree was, ironically offset by the fact that they misrepresented things to Belinda as well. There had never been more than one person in the CE office, and there was no one to be "head" over. They were desperate, though. The previous two applicants had wanted to see the office, and promptly walked out when it was shown to them.
Belinda, though, hadn't thought of that. With stars in her eyes, she had stood, smiled, shaken hands, and said she'd be there. Then she'd gone out and bought herself a brand new Mustang, to celebrate. Now, she was trapped. If she gave up the car, it would ruin her barely established credit rating. And so, she came to work every day and shuffled papers, trying to learn the job that she was already supposed to be experienced at.
She picked up a paper off the top of the "important" pile. She had learned it was "important" by not processing the papers in that pile fast enough. As a result, several teachers, scheduled to do continuing education, hadn't been able to do so. That sometimes, she found out, put their jobs at risk, and made a whole LOT of people very angry.
As a result, Belinda had a tendency now, to approve just about anything. What did she care? All those teachers were making more money than she was, and they could even get tenure, which she had thought she'd have immediately, and then found out wasn't even on the table, as far as administrative staff were concerned. She had to complete her probationary period successfully, and could be fired at any time, for any reason, until she did so.
She looked at the paper in her hand. It was for a continuing education seminar for teachers who taught sexual education. She snorted. Who needed continuing education on sex? All you had to do was hang out in a bar for an hour, and wear the right clothing, and you could get all the sex you wanted. Even if you looked like Belinda Hampton!
Her job was to make all the travel arrangements, and book hotel rooms for things like this. The teachers came from all over the state, so that meant she had to see to these details for all nine teachers on the list. That could take hours. She sighed, and then brightened when the description of "The Hall Conference Center" said that rooms were provided at the seminar. That solved THAT problem. She peered at the paper. No address. That sucked.
She got on the internet and Googled "Halle Conference Center". She wasn't much of a typist, and didn't notice she added an "e" to the name "Hall". When only two hits came up she decided it was her lucky day. The one she wanted was obviously the one in Phoenix, Arizona, since the other one had to do with the culinary arts.
She was further delighted to learn a few minutes later, only one flight left Boise that would connect through Denver to Phoenix. All the teachers would get there on the same plane. Now all she had to do was get them all to Boise for that flight, and she could go on to another piece of paper. Of course she had to send the electronic registration and payment for the seminar, but that was the easy part. She could send electronic checks for thousands of dollars with just a few touches to her keyboard. She knew there had to be a way to send herself some of that money, but she hadn't figured out how yet. Somebody, somewhere, checked on that, because she got yelled at for putting in a wrong amount one time.
Now, where was the information on the seminar itself? She looked at the paper, but all it said was "Sexual Education Continuing Education Seminar." Damn. Now she'd have to go talk to Fredericka, which was never any fun.
She clicked a few buttons on the computer, which took her to the Halle Resort and Conference Center website. There was a tab for "Upcoming Attractions". There it was: "Seminar on Human Interaction and Sexual Relations". Why did they have to use such fancy bullshit for "Sexual Education"? It didn't matter. What mattered was that she could register them all right there, on line. She wouldn't have to talk to Fredericka after all.
The only other thing about this application that seemed odd, was the requirement that each participant had to submit a blood sample, a week in advance of the conference, to an address listed on the website. That meant she had to notify the attendees quickly, and that thought pushed everything else out of her mind.
She got to work.
Three weeks later, sixty-one of the expected seventy teachers, from all over the United States, arrived at the Hall Conference Center in Indianapolis Indiana, and took part in an updated series of sessions, for sexual education teachers, that were secretly sponsored by a right to life organization. The emphasis was on teaching abstinence. Sixty-one teachers rolled their eyes at each other, and doodled on napkins while various instructors told them things they wanted to laugh at. They considered the nine teachers who hadn't shown up as being very lucky.
Next Chapter >>