Extract: ‘Sun, Sea and Sex’, by Greta Horwood

As part of the Sun. Sea and Sex blog tour, Greta has kindly provided me with a few short extracts from her novel to whet your appetite, if contemporary women’s fiction is your thing.

For Zeeta this was an experience she would never forget, her home life was rigid, full of rules.  Her brother came first in all things. There was no laughter in her life. Being part of a loving family that had fun, was wonderful.

What a wonderful afternoon.  I got to know Ben well that day, he was not the dry stuck up boy I had taken him for.  We laughed a lot and collected many baskets full of blackberries.  We were packing up to go home when I twisted my ankle and fell in a huge puddle of muddy water.  Ben laughed, with him getting told off for doing so.  There was I, sitting in a puddle splashing mud at him.  His mother joined in and soon we were all plastered in mud, laughing our heads off.  Andrea’s mother was nothing like mine.  My mother would have told me off for falling and I would have been severely admonished for getting muddy and then throwing mud at Ben, well I hate to think what she would have said!  His mother joining in, well my mother would have never done that!  It was a fun day.  One I will always remember.

Zeeta was given no sex education, so hearing how her best friend Sheila got pregnant filled the gaps which the older girls had told them.  Life is all about learning about life.  For Zeeta it was a shame her friend had become pregnant, but she had warned her to run away should a man change shape.  Sheila did not listen and paid the price.

Hearing how she got pregnant was the greatest shock of all.  I knew she was interested in boys, but she did not seem to be that silly that she would allow them to go all the way.  This was one of the things we talked about, in our girly chats.  Something to be avoided in friendships with boys. Mind you neither of us had a sex education.  I did not know what ‘all the way was’ and I did not know if Sheila did either. My parents had told me nothing.  Some of the older girls at school had said things and I suppose we learnt from them.  In my house my parents walked around naked, so I knew what a man looked like.  I had told Sheila, in case she did not know.  I remember my father showing me, one Sunday, how by stroking it, it changed in shape.  I was told if I saw a man like that I was to run away.  I told Sheila and she was fascinated and wanted to try that on one of her dates.  I said best not, my father said run away, because if it became like that it would be almost too late for a girl.  A man had needs.  What this meant, I had no idea.

With Armaan, Zeeta realised she had feelings she could not explain.  She wondered if they were love.  Armaan going away hurt, but she got renewed feelings when he came back.  She was happy that he had married, he was happy.  Life for him changed as well, his wife was expecting his child.  His father would be pleased.  Zeeta hoped it would be a son.  Their friendly chats increased her feelings for him, these were not to change throughout her life, she will always love him.

Armaan was back.  I can’t explain my feelings in seeing him.  I was overwhelmed by them.  Yes I missed him, but what I was feeling was more than that.  We continued with our easy friendship and he said he was delighted to be back.  He was now married and his wife was expecting their first child.  He was a different person now, I think the worry of not having a wife was bothering him, but now he was married, life had suddenly became enjoyable.  He said he enjoyed my company and although he was 14 years older than me, I was not empty headed like the gigglers.  We continued our friendship and I often felt he was preparing me for the life I would eventually lead.  He said my blue eyes and personality would attract many man, but I would know who was right for me.  He said beware of false promises, men will say they love, but often it is a way to easy sex, so beware of false promises.


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