Absolutely Absolute: The Condo Complex
Based on characters created by Bare Lin and posted on WoL. Continuing the adventures of Kimberly Tanner, her husband Jerry Tanner, their college age twin daughters Tammy and Marla, and the work associates at Mary Jerkins Real Estate
Kimberly Tanner, age 42, Realtor
Jerry Tanner, age 43, CPA
Marla and Tammy Tanner, age 22, college students
Brad Benton, 23, college student/Marla’s boyfriend
Kirsten Lovett, 22, college friend of the twins
Mary Jerkins, age 48, employer of Kimberly and Kirsten
Shirley Stevens, age 28, Kirsten’s co-worker
Jan Riley, age 26, Mary Jerkins administrative assistant
Andrew Adams, age 44, Kirsten’s co-worker
Mary Jerkins had been delighted that Marla Tanner had agreed to become her part-time on-premises representative for the Absolute Arms condo complex.
Perhaps 'complex' was a bit upscale for what ‘The Arms’ was in actuality. The four interconnected buildings formed a sealed square, with sundecks on each roof top and a swimming pool and hot tubs in the otherwise empty center of the square. The balconies for each apartment faced the inner courtyard and swimming pool. What had started life as a hotel, with twenty-five units per side, one hundred units in total was now studio, one, and two bedroom apartments. Ten two-bedroom apartments in one building were reserved for families with children. Two other buildings held fifteen one-bedroom units each. Twenty-five studio units, basically refurbished from the hotel suites, occupied the final building of the four building complex and were reserved for single adults and newlyweds or same-sex couples without children.
One of these studios was Marla’s as part of her live-in manager’s position. Andrew Adams, who was both a licensed plumber and electrician, occupied another unit. Andrew had worked for Mary Jerkins as her properties inspector and had done some sales work as well. With this venture, Mary had decided his skills could be best employed as the on-site handyman.
Mary had even hired Marla’s boyfriend, Brad, as the water safety instructor/lifeguard for the pool and hot tub area; a job that included maintaining the pumps, filters and deck areas. Brad had started a ‘fishies’ program for three to six year old children living in the apartments. Monday and Wednesday after school and Saturday morning from eight to eleven Brad had fifteen squirmy naked children in the shallow end of the pool teaching them how to breath, float, kick and do simple swim strokes.
The parents were not allowed on the pool deck while lessons were held, as the tikes tended to look at Mom or Dad or show off instead of listening to Brad. Most peeked through the curtains of a window or sat on a balcony to watch, and all agreed they felt much more at ease with their children near the water as Brad taught them survival floating and swimming.
Marla had a cocktail waitress apron tied around her waist as she walked the grounds, and though this was technically a violation of the sign outside the complex,
ABSOLUTE ARMS IS A NUDITY ENFORCED RESIDENCE. All visitors, guests and residents shall be nude on premises.
it had been agreed by the association of owners that Andrew would be allowed a tool belt as he performed his tasks and Marla was allowed an apron to hold her sales brochures, contracts and cell phone while touring the complex with prospective buyers. She reached into a pocket and pulled out her buzzing phone. The ring tone told her it was her mother, Kimberly Tanner.
“Hi Honey,” her mom began, “I have a couple on their way over to see a one bedroom unit. Be careful with them, I get the sense that they are members of the anti-absolute movement and could cause problems. They are Bill and Lynn Parham; I gave a letter of referral to them from me to you. Talk to you later, lovely one.” With that her mother clicked off the phone.
“I apologize to you for the interruption,” Marla told the couple to whom she was showing a corner single bedroom unit, “another agent wanted to let me know a referral was on the way for a tour. How do you like the place? Would you like to see an inside unit?” It was an offer she always made once prospective buyers realized the corner units had two walls of windows facing the public streets.
The two women, holding hands and sneaking looks at each other as only lovers can, both shook their heads and said, “No,” at the same time. Susan’s eyes drifted to the pool area, where Brad had the children lined up on the wall practicing their kicks. Sheila looked at her life partner lovingly and responded to Marla, “We’ll take this one, I’ll write you a check for the full sale price and the first month’s grounds fees and we can go to contract.”
Watching Susan longingly watch the children, Marla asked, “Perhaps you would like to see a larger unit, in the event you should decide on children in the future?”
Susan turned the wistful expression leaving her face and spoke, “No, neither of us can bear children and our finances won’t allow us to adopt. The most we’ll ever have is a puppy.”
“Well, one small dog or one cat is allowed in each unit, try to keep the dog at less than thirty-five pounds adult weight. We have a dog run and a doggie wading pool behind building D and I’ll remind you now that dogs are not allowed in the pool or hot tub area for everyone’s safety.” Marla finished that portion of her scripted sales pitch automatically.
“Susan was a competitive swimmer in college and enjoys children, would your lifeguard possibly need a helper with them?” Sheila asked.
“After we sign off the contracts.” Marla wondered why the couple had opted to not go to lawyer review, but it was their choice. “Why don’t we walk over to the pool area and ask Brad that question?” She smiled and directed the couple to her office for the formalities.
When Sheila opened her large purse and offered Marla a business card for the spelling of her name and Susan’s as well, it became obvious why they had opted to not use an attorney. Both were lawyers themselves. Sheila Smythe and Susan White, attorneys at law, practiced anti-discrimination law specializing in gay, lesbian, transgender and absolute law.
Both women had participated in a clinical trial of 'New Woman', a once-every-four-month birth control device made by VitaPharma Corporation. Fifteen hundred women participated and of those over eleven hundred had found themselves permanently sterile following the trials. A long series of law suits and appeals later, each woman had been awarded a structured payment of fifty thousand dollars a year for twenty-five years.
For Susan and Sheila this meant that college and law school had been paid for and now this year’s award had purchased them their condominium. Neither had been attracted to women before the trials, but during the counseling and other events following the bad news they had begun to comfort each other and eventually that comfort turned into a loving supportive relationship.
Papers signed, keys turned over, and hugs all around were followed by Marla opening the French doors in the rear of the unit serving as her office and asking Brad’s permission to interrupt his class. Brad had the children sit up on the side of the pool and continue kicking exercises. He came over to the three women and asked, “Hi, Hun, what’s up?”
“Brad, meet our newest residents, Susan and Sheila,” Marla began.
Brad interrupted her, blurting, ”You are Susan White! I saw you swim the four hundred meters at the Olympic trials, what an honor to meet you.” Marla now felt like an idiot, she should have picked up on the name and the interest in swimming and put the pieces together herself.
“Yes, I am, and thank you for your kind remembrances. I actually wanted to ask a favor of you. Could I perhaps sit in on your classes and assist the children? But, please, if I am recognized I will admit to who I am, but please don’t publicize that fact.” Susan smiled as she said this.
“Agreed,” Brad said. “We have class Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. That’s for the three to six year olds. The parents of the older children are asking if I could have a class for seven to ten year olds when the need arises. I sure could use help then and will welcome it now.”
Sheila and Susan left to call the moving company holding their furniture in storage to arrange delivery to the new address.
Marla barely had time to spread a towel on her office chair when the couple about whom her mother had called earlier buzzed the outer door for admission. Bill and Lynn Parham were textiles with an attitude. The look of distaste on their faces as they read the sign, 'ABSOLUTELY NO CLOTHING ALLOWED BEYOND THIS POINT', had them motioning to Marla to step outside her office onto the lawn edging the parking lot.
“You are to provide us with a tour of the property,” Bill Parham told Marla Tanner, presenting her with the letter of referral provided by his real estate agent and Marla’s mother, Kimberly. “We would appreciate your dressing properly,” he scanned Marla’s nude form up and down with a sneer that suggested she made him ill seeing her body exposed as it was, “also all who we shall come into contact with should also be clothed.”
Before Marla could respond a group of the swim class children came barreling through the front door grabbing excitedly at Marla’s hands to drag her toward the pool. One of the girls screeched, “Edna finally did it, come see, come see, Brad says you have to,” tugging at her until Marla almost lost her balance.
“Shameful and shameless,” Lynn Parham screeched angrily, looking at the naked boys and girls jumping up and down and tugging at the equally naked Marla. The Parhams turned on their heels with Bill shouting, “You shall be hearing from our attorney.”
“Oh, well,” Marla thought, “I’ll call Mom once I see what Edna has done.”
The three year old was happily splashing about in Brad’s arms as the children and Marla approached. “Look at me, look at me,” she screamed gleefully as Brad release his light hold on her and she doggie paddled from his arms to the side of the pool five yards away, head out of water and a smile splitting her face Edna touched the edge of the pool, gulped a quick breath into her lungs and turned around to swim the five yards back to Brad under water frog kicking the whole way.
All the children in the class jumped into the pool to congratulate Edna on her achievement and Marla joined them. She asked Brad how he had convinced the three year old to face her fear of putting her face in the water.
“I told her that any one who couldn’t hold their breath and swim under water had to wear a bathing suit and sit on the edge of the pool so people would know they are non swimmers,” Brad grinned, “the very thought of having to wear a swim suit did it.”
“To think, when we began in the absolute program in high school, everyone we knew was ashamed to take off their clothes. Now it is like telling kids the boogie man will force them to wear clothes if they are naughty,” Marla giggled.
“Speaking of getting naughty,” Brad whispered into Marla’s ear, “what do you have planned for lunch? The kids are on their way back to their parents and I have ninety minutes until I need to flush the filters before family swim time.”
“Well, that gives us half an hour to eat and an hour to wait until you can go back into the water, I wonder what we can do for an hour?” Marla wrinkled her nose at Brad, smiled and added, “Last one to the apartment makes the salad.”
Part 2 of 5. To be continued...