Yes, it’s a Skaldthetical with a storytelling OP. Possibly a long one, but since I’m making it up on the fly I can’t be sure just yet. If you don’t like these, there’s probably a thread open about the NBA playoffs or something.
Today’s story, set in the early 80s, is about Jack, **Janet, **and Vicki. The first two are teachers at a small, exclusive private high school (Jack teaches cooking and Janet, horticulture); they’ve been friends for over a decade. Vicki is Jack’s wife of about a year. Jack and Janet used to be extremely close, but they had to dial back their friendship after he met Vicki. Ostensibly this is because Janet’s a hot brunette and Vicki’s on the jealous side, but there’s another, more subtle reason. You see, Janet is absolutely no threat to the marriage, as not only is she in a long-term relationship of her own, with another woman. As the school has a morals clause in every teacher’s contract, Janet is forced to be discreet, and so merely lives next door to her girlfriend (whose name is probably Chrissy or Terri or Cindy) rather than sharing a residence.
One night Jack gets a panicked call from Janet. CindyTerriChrissy has just been in a car accident and is in critical condition at a local hospital. Being a mensch, Jack leaps out of bed, tells Vicki where he’s going, and races to his friend’s side. The two of them keep vigil all that night; Vicki joins them the next morning.
Happily, CTC pulls through. But all is not well. A few months after this accident, Jack stops by Janet’s classroom to say hi, only to discover that she’s packing her things. She’s been fired; someone–she doesn’t know who–ratted her out to the headmaster, and the school has judged her in violation of the morals clause. Stunned, Jack helps his friend pack and promises to help her any way he can.
That evening, Vicki notices that Jack is upset. When she asks why he tells her about Janet’s firing. She replies that it’s probably for the best; homosexuals do not belong around children, she claims, supporting her position by telling him about a female teacher who molested her in middle school (something Jack never knew before). Hearing this, Jack is instantly suspicious; he asks Vicki if she was the one who told the headmaster about Janet and CTC. Vicki does not deny it–nor does she apologize. Neither Jack nor Janet ever asked her to keep the secret, she says; in fact, they never even spoke about her relationship when CTC was in the hospital. If anything, Vicki feels betrayed because Jack kept this secret from her. Nonetheless she does feel a little guilty in retrospect; she asks Jack not to tell Janet that it was she, Vicki, who went to the headmaster.
Assuming Janet ever asks Jack this question: should he honor his wife’s request? Why or why not?