SHORT STORY | The Crown

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The Crown by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers.
The Crown by Phillippa Yaa de Villiers.

Fiona checked over her shoulder and quickly closed the Women’s Ways magazine open on her screen. It felt weird to worry about Van Reenen, her line manager at the workstation Hamish had setup in the spare room. A cloudy light made it past the thick ugly curtains, adding to the surreptitious atmosphere. It felt like the beady eyes of the surveillance cameras at Gordonson Insurance had followed her to Kublai Khan and were staring down at her from the painting of Paris in the rain, above the bed. 

"Working from home" used to be shorthand for dodging some inane sector meeting or software training or something. It was never a proper thing, well at least as far as Fiona was concerned. Now it was a proper thing, thank you sweet jesus because Hamish was starting to get on her whatsits. Ouch, and each time she thought that, her tooth started paining, like it was punishing her for even thinking anything bad about him. 

The computer had been delivered by courier the Monday after Ramaphosa’s announcement. Its looked bigger than she remembered, and reassuring – or rather, Hamish’s face, finally registering that she did actually go to work, and the impressive size of the machine somehow made it real. Suddenly he was cool with her wanting time on her own, so she could get at least eight hours per day when she was legitimately not focusing on him. 

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