The Autobiography of Solange Boas
By Leslaureate (aka Amy G.)
©2003-2005 All rights reserved. No part of this work may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author.
A NOTE TO MY READERS: I'm BAAACK. For those of you who have read and recently sent encouragement for my prior works "All Or Nothing" and "Memories of Love", I thank you. It's been about 2-1/2 years since I last posted. Much has happened in my life in that time period. All I can say is, I'm very glad to be back.
This piece has taken longer to complete than I anticipated. One major reason is that I've tried something new for me – a different voice than what I am accustomed and it's out of my usual comfort zone. It is complete in three Acts/Parts. I'll have Acts Two and Three posted in a few days/week of one another. Please bear with me and wait until you read the entire work before you send comments/feedback. This was a challenge for me and I hope you enjoy it.
I need to give a big THANK YOU to Linda – who was unwittingly roped into becoming a sounding board and who encouraged me in the final process. Your feedback and comments were invaluable.
Now, on with the show . . .
I don't think I've led a particularly eventful life, although others may disagree. I grew up basically untraumatized by my family, went to school, worked, and fell in love along the way. I've had more experiences than some, and certainly less than others.
I heard somewhere that even the most ordinary person has a "story" in their life. The farmer in Nebraska who battled cancer; the otherwise anonymous Manhattanite who changed lives by a simple letter written to Oprah; even the child who unselfishly gave of herself to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for her local zoo to build new animal enclosures. I know many of you are too young to know who Oprah is, but she was like an inspiring guru to millions of people 25 years ago; a pop culture icon. You'll just have to look her up in your history books.
My story that is not near that charitable or grandiose. While I hope my words and actions have been a positive influence on at least one person during my lifetime, I think my story may be in my orientation and love life. You see, I think it's more like a country song I heard Garth Brooks sing many years ago (ok, look him up as well in your history books – Gawd! I'm dating myself!). I guess only you may be the judge of that.
Ah, I may be putting the cart before the horse. Allow me to first introduce myself. My name is Marie Solange Boas. I was born 60 so odd years ago in San Diego, California, USA, where I still live with the love of my life. We've been together almost 40 years now. I can't imagine living my life without her. Although our hair is now gray and wrinkles prevail where there was once smooth skin, she's still is as beautiful to me at this second as she was the moment we first met.
Don't think that entire time was absolute wedded bliss. To the contrary, we had our ups and downs. But for the grace of our higher power, it's been mostly up, for which I am eternally grateful. I think my story comes out of our down times and my personal history leading up to that point. I admit I probably didn't act particularly graceful at the time, but it was one of those times in my life that I call a "light bulb moment". A moment in time when a person has an epiphany and makes a life altering realization or choice. Like I said before, my story doesn't involve a world history changing event, but it was crucial to my personal history – for without it I wouldn't be who I am today or where I am in my life today.
My friends and partner are always telling me I should write my memoirs because I'm so full of it (I do take that as a compliment looking at the sources). But I've never wanted to share that part of me with the world, my personal side.
But now, I see how precious life really is and if one person can learn from my mistakes or my story in general, what the heck - I've done what I set out to accomplish. So be kind my dear readers . . . I'm not Reverend King or Nelson Mandela, espousing profound words of wisdom to ensure world peace – I am but an ordinary woman with an ordinary life, but with, what I think, an extraordinary love.
Alrighty then, with that said, I guess I should tell you more about myself.
As I said earlier, I was born in San Diego California, over 60 years ago. OK, to be honest, in 1962, the tail end of the baby boomers. I had a relatively uneventful childhood in a "normal" dysfunctional middle class family. There were my parents and four of us kids, two girls and two boys. I was the baby, preceded first by my sister and then by my two brothers.
While I think we were "ordinary", we were unique in some ways. For example, our names. My Mother, Clarisse, named the girls, and my Father, Frank, named the boys. My Mother was very progressive for the time and by her deeds and words she was considered a feminist, which was a bit shocking in the late 1950's – early 1960's. Mom also had a passion for female French writers. My sister, who was born in 1954, was named Colette Claudine in honor of Mom's favorite author and the title character in a series of her books. Me, I was prophetically named after George Sand's female lover and also George's daughter, Marie Solange, but I've always been called either Solange, Sol, or Sollie. I think if I had been born a boy, Mom may have usurped Dad's area and would have insisted I be named Frederic, or Chopin, or even after the bard herself, George. I'm very thankful she didn't get the bright idea and go with it as a female name.
The boys had another fate. My Dad named them after his favorite baseball heroes. My oldest brother, who is six years older than I, was named Jackie, in honor of Mr. Robinson. My other brother, who is three years older than I, was penned Sanford Ted, but has only been called Sandy, after Dad's favorite pitcher, Sandy Koufax, and also after the hitting master Ted Williams.
I can assure you that we were the only family around that were named after bisexual women and racially ground breaking males. Despite how obvious it is to our family, few others outside of the family have understood the meaning behind our names.
Unlike now, when kids have to be closely supervised for fear of abduction, we freely roamed the streets and rode our bikes everywhere. I guess we were also what used to be called "latchkey kids", both of our parents worked and we came home to an empty house without parental supervision. Back then that was fairly unusual. When I was very young my Dad was an insurance company executive in claims and fraud, but opened his own business when I was in junior high. He became a "hired gun", an expert witness who was paid to testify for parties in litigation. He had some weird cases, but most of the time we wouldn't listen when he tried to tell us about them.
Mom had her own business for awhile as well, a printing business. She sold that when I was about five and did various jobs until Dad started his business. She then managed his office.
I definitely was not raised religious. I am told we were Jewish, but I can't remember the last time we went to a synagogue. I do remember one time we went when I was about eight years old and I thought my uncle, who was sitting in the row in front of me, was resting his head on his hand sleeping. He gave a low volume cheer at one point, which is when I discovered he was actually listening to a baseball game on his watch radio. He always had the coolest and most recent gizmos.
We did somewhat celebrate the main holidays, Hanukkah and Passover, but never the traditional ceremonies or practices. To this day I have never been to a traditional Passover Seder. To be honest, given the long time they take to eat, I'm sort of glad about that. But our immediate family did have unique holiday traditions, especially for Hanukkah. It was one that made my orthodox cousins cringe and pray for us heathens. Every year Mom made shrimp tempura and potato latkes, along with matzo ball soup. When Mom passed shortly before Hanukkah one year when I was in my forties, it sort of lost its appeal and it took a few years for my family to revive that tradition.
When I wasn't in elementary school, I was constantly trying to keep up with my brothers, exploring the canyons around our neighborhood. They tolerated my presence knowing they didn't have much of an alternative. Our parents made it very clear that the boys had to watch me while they were at work. My sister usually wouldn't have anything to do with us. She was in high school and was a girly-girl and we were nothing but nuisances to her. She had an after school job and partook in all of the social activities and social scene of high school that she could.
I was, and basically still am, a tomboy. I hated playing with Barbie dolls and instead took over my brothers G.I. Joe dolls and Tonka toys. My parents didn't care; they tried to encourage each of us to be whom we wanted to be. I guess I was pretty lucky in that regard.
My school friends didn't get it though. While they had long flowing tresses, I kept my dark brown curls fairly short for the time – above my collar. This, in addition to wearing jeans and T-shirts and my propensity to excel at sports, sealed my tomboy status.
In elementary school I hung around with the "cool kids". But I soon learned that because I was a little chunky, most talked behind my back and some to my face. Kids can be cruel. I have to admit, my self-esteem was shattered. My sister and brothers were all skinny, so they couldn't relate to the taunting I received about my more stocky build. My brothers, as boys are apt to do, participated in the teasing.
But that changed in junior high. I started playing more sports and watched what I ate. I've never been petite, but I was thinner and solid. My brothers soon learned I was no longer a pushover. Whenever they tried to pin me down to tickle me, the tables were turned and more times than not they were at my mercy, the scrawny, unathletic boys they were.
By Ninth grade I had grown to as tall as I would ever get (5 ft. 6 inches) and was a lean, mean, fighting machine. I still wore my jeans and cords and surf shirts (although I couldn't surf, yet alone swim; my P.E. teacher told me I couldn't float or swim because I was "big boned"). I didn't wear make up and although pictures of me at the time showed I was quite pretty, I still felt large and like I was a dog. (This was a slang term of the time meaning "ugly". Thank God I never considered myself "butt ugly" or a "bagger" – meaning have to put a paper bag over your head because you're so ugly.)
Looking back, I was very confused about some things, especially my sexuality. I did have crushes on boys, but I also had feelings for certain females, especially certain teachers. I think it's pretty funny that four of the five guys I had crushes on or dated also came out years later. Birds of a feather I guess. And I did know the labels for the feelings - bisexual, lesbian, dyke, lesbo, lezzie, homosexual – but I just couldn't admit to myself with any degree of certainty how different I was. That is, until my senior year in high school. That's when my world was rocked and the course of my personal history went radically on course.
PART ONE/ACT ONE
You know, it's not easy to review and relive your life. Especially adolescence. I could write my personal history of that period when everything was so static from the perspective of a 60 plus year old woman, but that would not serve my purpose, nor would it do my life justice.
But as I now sit and reread my journal entries from my teenage years, I realize there's so much I didn't write down. I had so many more feelings; there were more events; and there was much more dialogue than I memorialized on paper. I also realize in hindsight that I often didn't make any sense; that there was a lot of contradictory chatter and emotions. Things that are so trivial now, were life and death depressing situations then. I thought I was SO intellectual and insightful. But in rereading my own words, perhaps my precociousness bordered on narcissism. Maybe that's just part of being a teenager.
The memories have flooded over me as I read the escapades of my youth, but I also wonder how many of those memories are real versus imagined. Although I would love to spare you from my actual fractured and disjointed ramblings, this is why I guess it's best to use my own words from that actual period of time.
October 6, 1977, Thursday
Well, I guess today's the day to start. I've heard that every writer should keep a journal, so I guess I better as well. I've been meaning to start one for a long time anyway. I guess I should also say where I am in my life so that when I read this when I'm old and thirty I'll have a frame of reference. I'm a sophomore in high school.
Today has been a long day. Everything in my life seems to be changing. I've begun to realize that some of the changes are probably not that good. They say you should write down what you feel. But what I feel, I can't really write down. It's a combination of fear, love, hate, disappointment, anxiety, and depression.
I've recently realized that I have a lot of love in me, but I don't give it to anyone. When I do give a lot of love (to family, friends, etc.), I feel empty.
I'm running out of time tonight, so I'll try and get it all down tomorrow. Writing in this journal, I feel like a combination of John-Boy Walton, Anne Frank, and the Alice chick in "Go Ask Alice". Got to go now, bye.
October 7, 1977, Friday
Today was probably one of the most embarrassing days in my life! I started helping my English and PE teacher, Ms. Stevenson, cuz I can't do PE anymore cuz of my knee.
I was in her office and was looking up at the clock and then looked down and I saw (by accident) her taking her sweatshirt off! I just looked away and got up and left the room. I was SO embarrassed, but she didn't close the door or nothing!
But I felt more than embarrassment. I just can't say or describe what is, cuz I just don't know myself.
I am supposed to go to some dance tomorrow night with my friend Brenda at her synagogue. I know Brenda means well, but it sounds like a complete waste of time. I might meet a fox who's blind enough to like me (a dog!).
Either I'm changing or everyone I know is. Half (three-fourths) of the people I know (mostly my friends) are SO immature it's pitiful. I feel pushed back mentally and scholastically because of it. They are so illiterate and out of it, it's pitiful. If these kids are going to run the country someday, we're in trouble. I wish I went to school with older people.
October 10, 1977, Monday
I can't seem to look at Lorraine (Ms. Stevenson) the same way since I saw her on Friday. I can't stop thinking of her. She is so pretty. But not beautiful and she's a little chubby, not firm. But she does have beautiful long blond hair (I think it's dyed) and big brown eyes.
I think I can say I'm the only person I know that has a friendship with a teacher. But I don't think of her like just a friend. I've suddenly realized what I am and the way I feel. I MUST stop feeling that way. I don't know for sure why, but I should. It's just not normal. I should be thinking of a guy this way, not my teacher.
Mom made us watch a re-run of a mini-series on PBS about my namesake of sorts, George Sand. I think in some ways I'm like her, or at least would like to be. In the mini-series, it was either her publisher or agent who said that she was 100 years before her time. Maybe I'm before my time too – but no way 100 years though.
October 19, 1977, Wednesday
Today was a real bummer. You know, after I've given the matter great consideration, I've decided to give up on Lorraine (Ms. Stevenson). Like I had a chance with her in the first place. I have a feeling she's going to get engaged in the near future.
November 1, 1977, Tuesday
Stacy, Brenda, and I had so much fun in French today. We just couldn't stop laughing. No matter what we said, we'd just start cracking up. I feel sort of a connection with Stacy. We met in 7th grade, but just started hanging out some this year. She's about my height, maybe an inch or so taller, with brown hair and green eyes. I think she's really pretty. After today I wouldn't be surprised to find out she is one. I don't know, it's just a different feeling I get when I'm around her. I do REALLY like her. I sort of feel like I do with Lorraine, but it's a little different.
November 14, 1977, Monday
It's been a few weeks since I last wrote. The friendship between Lorraine and I has really changed. I was out a couple of days last week with the flu and I didn't miss her at all. I thought I kicked some of that stupid feeling. But when I went back today, I realized I didn't kick it after all. But it's weird. As we're growing apart and not as close, she suddenly seems to have a lot of boyfriends. It's strange.
Oh, I got a referral today. My French teacher, Mrs. Griffin, gave it to me. I can either get suspended or detention. This can really screw up my record. You know something, I try as hard as anything to stay out of trouble and "wham!", I get into trouble for a very, very minor thing (at least I think so).
All I did was shoot a rubber band back at Stacy after she shot it at me. Mrs. Griffin had her back turned to us and was at the chalkboard writing verb tenses and Stacy got me good on my left arm. All I did was shoot her back. But, unfortunately, I did it as Mrs. Griffin turned around to face us and I got busted big time.
After class Stacy felt really bad and kept apologizing and thanking me for not turning her in as well. She promised to make it up to me somehow. I told her she owed me big time, but to treat me to a movie would do. We may go this weekend.
November 18, 1977, Friday
Lorraine's been giving me the weirdest looks this week. I can't figure it out. She told me she has a new boyfriend, John. He's 6'5", has black curly hair and white pearly teeth. He's probably a dog.
I feel terrible at the moment. I'm in that time of the month. I wish it were the men who had the babies, because I find it a pain in the ass every month.
I'm finding myself looking too far into the future and it's scary. I seem to have my life all planned, but I don't have any idea if any of it is going to come true. I'm going to have to make it all come true. But maybe it won't. Maybe it's all a childhood dream a person has that never comes true. Even though I see all, at least most of the reality that built itself into a barrier, which is probably going to prevent me from getting what I want out of life – I ignore it. I just look straight through it and see my Shangri-La. There might be hope, there always is, but dreams are only made by people who want to get ahead in the world.
November 30, 1977, Wednesday
I guess today's a sad day. I really long to hear someone, other than my family, tell me they love me. Am I that terribly ugly that no one will say, "Hey, I like you"? There are plenty of girls at school that are uglier than me and they have boyfriends.
I just realized I don't like Lorraine anymore. She's ok I guess, but God, she's not even a good teacher.
December 8, 1977 Thursday,
I had 3 substitutes today. One in English, one in math, and one in Speech. My English sub was Mr. Diehl, I had him as a sub in Social Studies and English last year. In Math, I had Mr. Goodhartz for the third consecutive day. He looks like Mr. Kotter, but sounds like Horshak. In Speech there was Ms. Booth. She turned out to be a really good teacher. In fact, I think her technique is much better than Lorraine's. The one thing that got me about Ms. Booth is that I think she's gay, but that doesn't really matter. Who am I to talk?
Oh, Lorraine will be out for awhile. The klutz got out of her VW and tripped and fell over a piece of cement. She cracked a couple of ribs.
Softball tryouts start soon for school, over the holidays. I can't wait to start playing again.
December 19, 1977, Monday
I saw a movie last night and it got me thinking AGAIN about my lack of a love life. The one boy, Mike, I used to like, stopped becoming close friends with me when he was probably going to ask me out. Now I see him twice a week and all we do is say "Hi".
The truth is, I'm thirsty for love. All I ask for is one good relationship. Is that too much to ask for? Maybe it is because I always wear pants and mostly T-shirts and don't dress like a girly-girl. I'm telling you, I'm about ready to ask to see a shrink, a woman shrink. I don't have anyone to talk to that's close enough and who wouldn't laugh at me and who's dependable. And God forbid I could talk to anyone in my family. All I need is someone I can trust and depend on.
The other day I heard a talk show host say how dangerous diaries could be. Anyone who's read mine (and that better be no one!), may also get the wrong idea about me. I refer back to George Sand. She loved a lot of men, I've loved none, but we both, in a way, think the same. She thought if you love ANYONE, you should show it in one way or another. That's what I think too.
January 16,1978, Monday
We started a new semester a few weeks ago. I don't have advanced math anymore. Regular math is so easy, I can't stand it, but I wasn't getting good grades in the harder class. I'm also taking Arts & Crafts. The teacher is Miss Hunsaker. Not "Ms.", but "Miss". Man is she cold! But I would like to warm her up! Whoa! I don't know why I just said that!
Right now I feel completely empty. I feel boxed in. I want to be older, be around older people. I wish I could talk to someone close to me, someone whom I trust, but there's no one.
April 1, 1978, Saturday
I know, I know. . . it's been months since I've written.
Softball season ended. I played third base and outfield, which really pissed me off. I hate playing the outfield. I wasn't first string, but at least I was on Varsity and not on JV. There's no doubt in my mind that I'll be a starter next year.
I also think I'm still going through an identity crisis. I don't know who or what I really am inside. I want to act one way, but yet I can't. I should drop what few friends I have, but the only person I'd be hurting is myself. I'm going to try to stay away from Stacy. She really gets me mixed up in the head. I feel weird things about her, like I did with Lorraine, but stronger. The weirder part is sometimes I think she may feel the same way, but then treats me like shit.
April 30, 1978, Sunday
Since the semester started I've been feeling very strongly towards this TA that's not even my teacher. Her name is Theresa. If anyone finds this, please don't let this get out. I can't help the way I feel. I just don't like a guy right now. In fact, I haven't liked one guy since the beginning of the year.
I dreamed about her 3 nights in a row and then 4 nights afterwards all I had were nightmares. I'd like to send an anonymous letter to her, but I don't want to feel like a pervert. I think she's noticed me, but I don't know for sure. It's weird. When I'm around her, I've been acting just the opposite of how I'd like to act.
I don't know. . . I don't seem to know much of anything anymore.
July 10, 1978, Monday
Man! I seem to have fallen into the black hole of writing for the last few months! Goodness! It's already the middle of summer school!
There's this guy in my World History class, Kurt. I didn't know who he was until about three weeks ago. Now he's all I can think about. He's a few inches taller than I am, I guess about 5' 10" and longish brown hair that comes down to below his collar. His eyes are REALLY blue. I think he's really cute.
Last Saturday, the class went to the beach for a cookout. Kurt & I spent practically the whole day with each other in the water. I didn't realize it, but at one time my bathing suit slipped down and one of my boobs was sort of hanging out! I thought no one saw and I quickly pulled by suit back up, but I was sadly mistaken. At least 4 people, including Kurt, saw it. George, a good friend of Kurt's, told me later that day that Kurt goggled at it! I was SOOOOOO embarrassed and completely humiliated!!!!
The problem is that George wouldn't shut up. He announced to the whole class that Kurt and I like each other. So now the whole damn class is kidding us (me mostly). So now, our relationship is so casual it's pitiful. It hurts. This is the first time in almost a year that I've really liked a guy. Right now my insides feel funny.
August 22, 1978, Thursday
My relationship with Kurt is really weird. The week after the cookout he only said about 5 words to me the whole week. The week after that he was as warm as anything. In fact, the rumors about us started flying again.
On the last day of summer school, George and Kurt went to the beach. Now all my friends suspect that there's something going on between Kurt and I, but I couldn't get anyone but Stacy to go with me. We got there and didn't find the guys, so we just laid in the sun for two hours.
Then, finally, I saw them. They were flirting with Jeanne King and Patti Minevar of all people. I could care less about George, but Kurt, that's totally different. If I could have only seen the expression on my own face. I was actually jealous!
Later that night a bunch of us were maybe going to go to the movies. It was my job to call everyone to see who was going to go. Everyone changed their minds and decided not to go, so I called Kurt to let him know. We talked for over an hour and he was really sweet and warm. His step-dad started yelling at him so he had to get off of the phone.
The next night I called him to see if he wanted to go to the movies. He was really cold to me. Instead of playing the hot/cold game, I wrote a letter telling him how I felt about him and delivered it to his house with another nice card, leaving them with his Mom. It took a helluva lot of courage to tell him how I feel.
I expect to never see him again. At least I don't think he'll speak to me for a very long time. Of course I hope he will, but I guess my head is pessimistic, but my heart is truly optimistic.
August 24, 1978, Thursday
The past two days I've been really nervous. It's all because of Kurt. I know he has read the note, but then again his Mom may not have given it to him.
Every time the phone rang I wondered if it's him and what I'd say if it was. My head knew he wouldn't call, but my heart was really hopeful. Unfortunately, my head was right. I know he left today for Hawaii on vacation with his family. Who knows, maybe I'll get a postcard.
August 30, 1978, Wednesday
You'll never guess what I got in the mail today! A postcard from Kurt!
But now I realize how stupid I'll feel the next time I see him. I feel like an absolute ass!
His post card read:
Hi! The arrow over that hotel [on the front] is where we're staying. The weather is really sunny. Yesterday we went to a luau & the pig was stringy & tasted like soggy bologna. Those cards you gave me – it was really nice of you to do that. But on most part of that letter I'd like to forget. Why don't we be plain friends.
I must say it took me at least 3 times reading it to figure out his writing. I also must admit I'm disappointed (I could say crushed, but I won't). This crush (I'd say it was stronger) proved something to me, but now I think it really is true. My faith in myself was crushed also. I really didn't think this postcard was going to come. I must say that not only was my faith in myself crushed, but so was my faith in most men, and I suppose, in God also. I'd like to know who said the saying "God helps those who help themselves," because they need to know a bit more reality than they know.
I fulfilled whatever honesty thing there is, but I think it hurt more than helped me. I think the next time I see Kurt, I'll try to avoid him. I just pray that he won't be in any of my classes. Now, I think I'll stick with my own kind and see if N.O.W. will take me to join in the fight for freedom.
September 3,1978, Sunday
Not much has been going on. I've been having some strange dreams lately. Out of all the dreams I remember when I wake up, I've been, as I've stated before, "different". I guess when you're my age, you usually have to come to terms with your sexuality. But me? Well, I'm not sure. You know, the way drugs were big in the 60's, I hear bisexuality's big in the 70's.
I've also been doubting myself in other ways. Like, I'm afraid of failing in school. This time if I start feeling like I'm trapped or boxed in, I'll immediately do something about it. I feel closer to PE teachers; especially women PE teachers. I guess I just feel closer to women teachers, period. I guess all girls may feel that way.
Maybe I'll check out a book on Freud and/or dreams from the library. Maybe it will tell me what my dreams really mean.
September 12 , 1978, Tuesday
Well, it's my junior year in high school. It's gotta be better than last year. My classes are ok, basic same 'ole, same 'ole. Guess who's in Stacy's Graphic Arts class? None other than Kurt! He even asked about me. He wanted to know why I don't say hi. I'm going to tell Stacy to tell him to think real hard and figure it out himself, that I already made an ass out of myself once, and that he can say hi just as well as I can!
September 24, 1978, Sunday
I cannot believe what I did last night! I got kissed! Not a peck, but A KISS! I went with Stacy and her older sister, Terri, to Knott's Berry Farm yesterday. After we went on all of the rides, we went to a dance that started at about 8:00 pm. We stood around for awhile and drank rum and coke. Terri snuck a bottle of Bacardi in with her. For the longest time no guys came over to ask us to dance.
This guy Dale finally came over and asked me to dance. We ended up dancing 4 or 5 dances in a row, took a brief rest stop to drink a bit of the rum & coke, and went back dancing. During one dance, he pulled me towards him and we kissed. After a dance or two more, he tried to take me outside, but I didn't want to (I didn't feel comfortable), so we walked back to where Stacy and Terri had been standing. By that time, Stacy had met this guy named Tim.
We all danced and drank more rum and coke and I was getting sweaty. Stacy and Terri were still dancing, so Dale went outside with me. I had thought Dale was really nice, but when we got outside and we started kissing, he kept trying to play with my boobs. I froze up and although I really didn't want to, I kept kissing him, but was really anxious. He finally stopped when I said "No" for the umpteenth time and left him standing there when I walked back into the dance pavilion to find Stacy and Terri and get the hell outta there.
I felt really manipulated and misused. I now know what it's like to be a sex object. I felt disgraced and disgusted.
About my sexuality, all the dreams I've had lately, I've still been, different. After I got home early this am, I fell sound asleep and I had a really weird dream, with a lot of female movie and TV stars in it. I dreamt I made out with (or tried to) with Candice Bergen.
I thought I was over this type of stuff, but evidently, I'm not. I like guys, but from what I've heard, that doesn't mean anything nowadays.
September 28, 1978, Thursday
.Guess who called about two hours ago! Kurt!
These past few days I realized how much I still care for him. He just called to talk, I guess. But he acted so funny! I really wonder why he called in the first place.
It was funny because every time his sister picked up the receiver to use the phone, he'd tell me "Don't talk! Don't talk!" Right now I realized what a comical relationship we'd have if we ever had one.
November 22, 1978, Wednesday
Kurt's been giving me a mischievous smile lately. We don't speak much to each other, but I think I still like him. I'd still like to go out with him, but I don't know what my friends would say. He's now known as a geek and a goon. I have less than two years of high school left and I hope something happens fast.
My, ah, perverted feelings haven't gone away. I might have strong feelings, but I can't believe that I might be gay. How can I be? I like Kurt for God's sake! I can't picture me doing that sort of stuff with a girl. A guy yes, but not a girl. It's too unnatural and perverted. I still keep my eyes open though (even though I don't know why).
I am SO glad that I have the next four days off from school, but I'm SO bummed that I have to spend it with my family. Colette and Jackie are coming home from college for the holiday. It should be interesting for all of us to be under the same roof for 4 days. That hasn't happened for awhile.
January 12, 1979, Friday
I haven't written for awhile, sorry. Back to school, made it through all of the holidays.
In math, there's this guy named Alan who I really like. He has dark black hair, has a lot of hair on his chest and he shaves. To me he's a real fox, but to my friends he's just cute. He's about six feet tall and not too skinny, but well built.
Softball practice started over the holidays and I'm still on varsity. We have a really good team this year. I think I have third base full time as a starter, but I think Coach Brady wants to move me to first. There's a sophomore named Mary that's has a hot bat and who's also trying to get third.
February 9, 1979, Friday
Man! Many events have taken place since my last entry. Alan and I went to the movies and saw "Every Which Way But Loose", with Clint Eastwood and the orangutan. He didn't really make any moves other than put his arm around me. I'm sort of glad he didn't. He called me for a date to go to the beach, but I couldn't go because of softball. The next day I felt a strange sort of feeling in my insides about him when I thought about him. He grossed me out, I felt as if he were horrid and I despised him. It was really weird. It was as if guys don't turn me on sexually. Emotionally, yes; but physically it's repulsive. I just don't get it, how I can be one way one minute and another way the next minute? It's like I freeze up as soon as I even think of kissing him.
April 20, 1979, Friday
Well hello stranger! Softball is over with. I mostly played third, but also played shortstop and first. I kicked ass at the plate this year and I only made a few errors. At one point, I was Player of the Week, and I did get the trophy for Best Overall Player of the Year. I was stoked!
But I don't seem to have many friends anymore, at least friends I feel really close to and can tell them anything. As close as I once felt to Stacy, I just don't feel that way anymore. I don't know, I just don't seem to fit in anywhere. I don't feel part of any group anymore and all of my old friends seem to be immature and just bug me.
September 10, 1979, Monday
Well, I am perfectly inconsistent in making entries into this journal.
Today marks the first day of my Senior Year in high school. A year of transition, or so I'm told. I just want to be out of here and fast. No matter how hard I try, I just don't feel like I fit in. I have friends and all, but I just feel I'm missing some connection with them. I just feel different.
I realize that I haven't written in almost six months and I won't even try to fill in the blanks of that time period. It's better that I start from scratch. I've reread my entries over the last two years, and to say something was lacking is an understatement. I sounded like a complete psycho dork. I'm going to try to improve both on the quality and quantity of my entries.
I ran into Gretchen Torgenson in my Sociology class. It also turns out we have English together. For a soc, she's ok. In our few prior interactions since we started high school she's always tries to make me feel comfortable and is very open. Way different than when we were in junior high. Then, but for the fact we were on the same Bobby Sox softball team one year, she wouldn't have anything to do with me. She wouldn't even acknowledge me when I'd say "hi" to her in the hallway at school. She really seems to have changed. She was always pretty, but she's turned into a real beauty. Guess that's how she became head cheerleader – but she does have brains too – she is ASB President and is also in the Honor Society as I am.
She asked me if I wanted to be study partners. She said English and classes like Sociology and History, basically social science classes, are her weakest subjects and that she would probably need some help. She offered to help me in Math or Chemistry if I needed it in return for helping her. I think I may have to take her up on that offer. I suck at math.
September 30, 1979, Sunday
Gretchen and I have been hanging out a lot together, mostly studying, but also going to the movies or to the mall a few times. I really like hanging out and doing things with her. She makes me feel so comfortable. With football season she's really busy with cheerleading, in addition to her ASB duties, but she seems to try to find time to study or do other things with me.
My schedule's pretty insane as well. I'm on the badminton team and have started my science fair project. I wasn't going to participate in the Science Fair this year because it wasn't mandatory, but I figured I made it to the City Science Fair three years in a row, I may as well try for a fourth time, this being my senior year and all. I doubt I'll make it to the City finals though, I haven't yet. I'm doing another psychology/sociology project and the City judges never think those types of projects are "real" science.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a complete geek and can hold my own with the soc's, but I'm not at Gretchen's level, that's for sure. I'm more at the periphery, accepted by most groups and popular in my own way. People know who I am because of sports and my quasi class clown status (let us not forget my stellar academic performance as well). But Gretchen is in a different league than I am.
I'm kinda scared though. I've been having those feelings again when I'm around her. Hell, just when I think of her. I know she'd freak out if she even suspected I thought such things.
My friend Stacy has been calling a lot. Although we were pretty close the last few years, we seem to have grown apart. Now, I don't know, she just bugs me. I think she's upset that I'm not spending as much time with her – but I can't handle her when I do. I was hoping she'd get the idea by me not returning her calls, but I can't keep ignoring her, can I? Wouldn't that be rude?
October 9, 1979, Tuesday
I can't believe I'm writing this down – but Gretchen Torgenson is the most beautiful woman in the world and I think I love her. There, I said it and I know it sounds pretty juvenile and sophomoric. If that makes me bisexual or a lesbian, so be it. It's how I feel.
I got through badminton practice early and sat watching her at cheerleading practice. We were going to study afterwards and it was silly for me to go home to only have to come back to pick her up. She doesn't have a car yet.
As I sat there, all I could do was watch her pony tail of long, sandy blond hair bop and also admire her gorgeous Nordic features. Not to mention her strong, shapely legs and cute butt. When she did some cheerleading moves, her skirt went up. OK, so I may have it bad, but what can I do about it? Unfortunately, not a god damned thing!
I do find boys cute, so I must just be bisexual or simply at that stage where I'm open to experimenting. Considering I haven't really done anything with a boy yet, I guess anything would be called experimentation.
Well, after her practice was through, she pointed over to me as she spoke to her cheer mates (I guess that's what you call them), and I saw an odd exchange pass between her and a few others. When she eventually came up to me, she looked pissed off at something. I asked her if anything was wrong and she just walked past me and said, "No. C'mon, let's go."
I drove to her house. She changed into a T-shirt and pair of sweats before we started studying in the family room. She seemed distant and preoccupied, so I asked her again if anything was wrong and if there was anything she wanted to talk about.
She stared off, looking out the window to the backyard and I could tell she was debating whether or not to say something.
"Lori just said something that really pissed me off. Never mind, let's study." She evaded the question as she opened her books. Seeing the look on her face, I didn't press further.
I wonder though, what was said to make her so angry. Not to be paranoid or anything, but I think it happened right as she pointed over to me. Oh well, I guess I'll just see how she is later. Maybe she'll explain more.
October 21, 1979, Sunday
Well, it's certainly been a bizarre weekend. Gretchen came over to study yesterday and Sandy wouldn't leave us alone. He kept finding reasons to go into the kitchen or living room and bug us while we studied at the dining room table. After about the fourth or fifth time, and his questions always pointed to Gretchen, it finally dawned on me. The schmuck has a crush on her!
Exasperated, I quickly gathered my things and told Gretchen to do the same, that we would study in my room where we could get some privacy. I said that loud enough for Sandy to hear so he'd get the point. Once we were settled on my bed surrounded by all of our books and papers, I apologized for Sandy's interruptions. She said "no biggie" and went back to what she was reading. I couldn't concentrate though. I wondered if she had figured it out and I desperately wanted to know how she felt and what she thought about that.
"He likes you, you know," I said looking at her.
"I know," she said continuing to read.
"Do you like him?" It took most of my courage to ask that one.
"He's ok. He's not my type."
I quickly debated with myself as to whether or not I should go there. "What is your type?" I asked, both curious and afraid of the answer.
She looked over at me and was silent a moment before answering. "For one, he's way too old for me. I'm really not into college guys. Two, he's your brother. Three, he's just not my type physically or mentally. Don't get me wrong, Sandy's a nice guy and all, but I'm not interested in him like that."
A wave of relief passed over me, but I was afraid she could see or sense it. It was then that I realized that we had never discussed guys or our interactions with the opposite sex. We pretty much discussed school, movies, world events, but nothing much of a personal or sexual nature. I guess I've been just plain afraid to discuss such things with her.
But, I figured, I was in waist deep, I might as well go in further. I took a plunge. "Are you interested in any guy? You've never really mentioned anyone."
"I'm not interested in a guy right now," she answered sitting up and crossing her legs. "Are you?"
"Me?" I asked, surprised. "No, no guy I'm interested in," I responded nervously. It was true, I wasn't interested in any guy, but I sure as hell couldn't say I was interested in a female, namely her!
"Sol, one of the things I love about our friendship is that we don't talk a lot about guys and that we talk about so many other things. I can talk to you about books, movies, and so many other things that I can't talk about with Lori or any other those other girls. All they want to talk about is boys, cloths, gossip, makeup, cheerleading - shallow things. With you I can pretty much be myself. I can't with them," she looked me in the eye, the honesty blatant.
In for a penny, in for a pound. "I have to admit I've been wondering why you've been hanging around with me. I'm not exactly part of the in-crowd," I said softly looking down into my lap.
"Oh Sollie! Puh-leeese! You're fun, intelligent, talented, sweet, attractive, kind, gentle, and so many more things. Who wouldn't want to hang around with you?"
I was speechless at first. I looked at her to see if she was playing me or she was being sincere. The only thing I saw on her face and in her eyes was sincerity. "Lori and those guys?" I finally answered her seemingly rhetorical question.
"Be thankful of that! If I didn't HAVE to deal with them, I wouldn't."
"Really?" I asked surprised.
"Really. I so can't wait to get away from all this high school crap, it's not even funny!"
"Wow! I never would have expected you to say anything like that. I thought you were really into it and that's why you did all the popular stuff."
"I do it because it's what expected of me by my parents, peers, teachers, and because it will look great on my college applications."
"You don't enjoy it at all?"
"No, I do enjoy the actual act of cheerleading and student government, but not the trappings that come with it. That includes the shallow and narrow-minded and judgmental people that surround it. Sol. . ."
"I'm basically a geek. I'd much rather read and go to foreign movies with you than to ASB Balls or Proms."
I was seeing a side to Gretchen I never expected. That seemed to make me nervous and when I'm nervous I often revert to bad humor. "So, you're calling me a geek?" I asked, smiling. I ended up with a pillow in my face.
We returned to studying for a couple of hours and then went out for pizza and a late movie. Afterwards, I dropped her off at her house and went home and immediately crashed.
But this morning as I write this entry, I'm blown away by the talk we had. It wasn't until I put pen to paper that I realized what she said: that I am attractive, fun, smart, and all the other nice things she said. Be still my heart! Am I reading too much into it? Probably. I still can't tell her the truth though. No way in hell am I ready to go that far yet.
October 31, 1979, Wednesday
Happy All Hallows Eve! I had a blast today!
Gretchen and I got all dressed up in costumes for school. I can't believe she wanted me to dress this way!
She dressed as a pirate and I dressed as a/her wench! Only a few people who saw us together got it, and boy, did we ever get looks then! It was all her idea and I can't believe I agreed to go along with it.
I wore an old-fashioned night gown and shower cap we picked up at a thrift store last week, with a wide red ribbon tied around my waist. It was a bit low cut and she made me wear a push up bra to "show my ample assets" as she said. (And don't think that comment got by me – I latched onto it like a life raft!)
She wore an oversized shirt with a red belt, an eye patch, a red bandana, and black stockings. She had black stuff all over her face like she had a five o'clock shadow.
After school we did our homework and then went to a party at Kristin's house (a friend of Gretchen's). Most of the people there were Gretchen's friends, so I felt like a fish out of water. Kurt and Reenie showed up with David Jones, aka DJ, so I at least had some friends to talk to. Kurt and I have become friends again. Reenie's on my badminton team. I don't think Kurt and Reenie are dating, they're just friends. I do wonder about those two. I wonder if they're both gay. Despite my prior feelings for Kurt when we were sophomores, I just think he may be one. I don't know, maybe it's just these admissions I've been making to myself lately and I'm completely wrong about them. But I do wonder.
November 18, 1979, Sunday
Last night I went to the Homecoming Dance with Alan. I tried to tell him I would just go as a friend, but I don't think he heard me very well. He picked me up at 6:45 and for dinner we went to a steak house over by where the dance was being held. My stomach was upset, so I just ordered a salad, which I could barely eat. We then went over to the Al Bahr Shrine's Temple for the dance and met Kurt and Reenie and also DJ, and his friend Michele.
Neither couple was a couple, they all just went as friends. I don't know if I've mentioned DJ before. We've known each other since we were freshman and, until recently, were acquaintances more than friends. But this summer we got to know each other better in summer school. He's an absolute sweetie. He is the classic theater geek and has starred in all of our school productions for the last 3 years. He really is very talented.
Anyways, back to the dance. Alan and I danced until I finally needed a break because my knee started to hurt. I had seen Gretchen with her date and when we went back to our table, she came by to say "hi" to me. She asked if I was having a good time and I said "Sure, I'm dancing a lot. How about you?" She said she was having fun as well, and to save a dance for her.
I watched her walk away and I was bummed. I wanted to follow her and just hang out and have a good time with her, not Alan. I was pulled back to reality when Alan asked me if I wanted to get some air. As I heard the question and watched Gretchen's back disappear into the crowd on the dance floor, I froze. Even though I really needed the air, I declined.
We soon went back onto the dance floor for a slow dance. And as hard as I tried, I couldn't feel a thing for him. If I was really gone on him I would've at least felt SOMETHING emotionally, but I didn't. Not one damn positive thing.
I was ready to leave soon after that. I said my good-byes to Kurt, Reenie, DJ, and Michelle and then sought out Gretchen. She was across the room standing with the other cheerleaders and their boyfriends. She saw me approach and left the group and came to meet me. I told her I was leaving and to have a good time. She looked at me curiously and said "So soon?"
"Yeh, I'm wiped and my knee's starting to bother me a bit. Can't have that with the CIF Tournament coming up."
She hugged me good-bye. "Rain check?" she asked. I looked at her not understanding what she meant. "I didn't get that dance you promised me, so do I get a rain check?" she smiled at me mischievously.
I must have had a look of panic or something on my face. "Hey, are you ok?" she asked, a look of concern fell over her face.
"Yeh, my knee's just hurting." I lied.
"I'll call you!" I heard her holler as I turned around to go find Alan and leave.
On the way to my house all I could think about was the goodnight kiss I knew was expected of me. Somehow, from the time he asked me to go to the dance to now, this turned into a date. Well, when we got to my house, we got out of the car, he ran over to my side to help me out of the car. When I got out, he leaned in to kiss me and I guess our signals got crossed because he had opened his mouth to French and I didn't, so our mouths met awkwardly and our teeth clashed (DISASTER!). That was SO awkward and embarrassing.
I guess my awkwardness and discomfort were readily apparent. Alan hasn't spoken to me since the dance.
Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1979, Thursday
Thank God no school! I cry with glee as does every other student in the U.S. I'm stuck at home all day with family coming over, but Gretchen and I are supposed to spend most of the rest of the weekend together, playing and studying. I know she's going to spend at least one night over here and I'm going over there Saturday night cuz she has to baby-sit her little sister. Even though her sister's only 4 years younger than us, her parents don't like to leave her unsupervised.
I really have had to keep my feelings in check lately. I really do like Gretchen, and I know I proclaimed my love for her earlier in these pages, but I don't really know if it's just as a friend or what. I mean, like she's not gay and neither am I (I don't think). So I'm going to do my best and stay cool.
November 26, 1979, Monday
Man! I'm wiped! What a whirlwind weekend!
Gretchen came over on Friday and we finished all of our homework, and I even got some work on my Science Fair project taken care of with Gretchen's minor assistance. We then went to the movies. The mall was insanely crowded, everyone taking advantage of the after Thanksgiving sales and buying Christmas presents.
After the movie we went to the ice skating rink in the food court and sat in the bleachers and watched the skaters.
"Do you skate?" she asked.
"Heck no! I'm a Southern California girl!" I answered proudly.
She looked at me and laughed. "Well so am I you goof, but I can!"
"Your family's from the frozen tundra of Minnesota! That's different!" She laughed at me again.
After a few minutes of watching the skaters in silence, she popped up and grabbed my arm. "C'mon! Let's go!" she ordered as she pulled on my arm to try to get me to stand up. But I wasn't budging.
"Go where?" I asked skeptically.
"Skating", was all she answered as she continued to pull on my arm.
"No way in hell!" I answered emphatically, digging my butt in so she couldn't pull me up. After a minute the pulling stopped and she just stood in front of me with a pouty look on her face.
"C'mon, I'll teach you. I won't let you get hurt," she said gently, apparently realizing the terror that must have been on my face and in my voice.
I looked at her skeptically. But I couldn't resist the sparkling blue eyes and pouting lips. "Promise?" I asked as I stood up and saw a wave of glee spread across her face.
Although she was a more than capable teacher, I was not a worthy student. I can skate like crazy on roller skates in a roller rink, but I couldn't seem to be able to get the hang of ice skating. She kept telling me it's all in the ankles, but I guess I just have weak ankles. Every time I seemed to be on a roll and not be grabbing her or the side of the rink, I'd literally fall flat on my ass, or worse yet, on my face, actually my chest. After at least a half dozen falls both ways, I couldn't take it anymore and was in pain. Ice is hard, or so I learned.
Gretchen led me off the ice, where I stumbled onto the nearest bench to take off the torture objects off of my feet. Gretchen made sure I was ok, and went back onto the ice. I turned the skates in, put my shoes back on, and sat on the bench to watch Gretchen. Man, she can skate! I would've never guessed she was a Southern California girl! She gracefully glided around the ring, artfully dodging errant skaters like myself. There was a look of pure joy on her face. It was obvious she was having a good time.
After about twenty minutes, it was announced that open skate would be over in fifteen minutes. She was the last person off of the ice.
"Is there anything you don't do well?" I asked teasing as we walked to my car in the parking structure.
"Plenty! Badminton and history to name only a couple," she laughed.
"Where did you learn to skate like that? You're really good," I complimented.
"Thanks, I do ok. I guess it's all the vacations to the 'frozen tundra' and Mom and Dad taking us ice skating all the time. When I was in elementary school, I took lessons for awhile. But by the time I got into junior high I was over it and wanted to play softball and do cheerleading and other things instead."
I unlocked the passenger door, opened it for her, and walked around to the driver's side. "I guess that explains your ability to jump and stuff."
"Partly," she said getting into the car.
We spent the night at my house. The next day I was bruised, sore, and stiff. I felt worse than I had from any sports injury I've experienced, including a jammed jaw. My butt hurt to sit down and my boobs were sore from the bruising from falling forward onto my chest so many times. We ended up basically watching TV all day, once I could finally find a comfortable way to sit on the couch.
She called her Mom to check in and was reminded she had to watch her sister for a few hours and that she was expected back by no later than 4:00 pm. I almost canceled going over so I could be by myself in misery, but she begged me to come over. So I packed some stuff in my sport's bag, kissed Mom and Dad good-bye, and drove us to her house for the night.
DJ, Michelle, and Kurt somehow tracked me down at Gretchen's and called to see if we wanted to go for a drive up to Mt. Soledad to Munchkin Land. I explained about watching Gretchen's sister, but that her folks should be home before 9:00. By 9:10 Gretchen and I were in the backseat of DJ's VW Bug headed towards Pacific Beach to pick up some beer and then head up to Mt. Soledad.
Munchkin Land is such a trip! I wonder if it looks the same in the daytime? You drive by these houses and they look really short, like munchkins live there (duh! the name, Munchkin Land). Then Gretchen gave directions to DJ and guided us down some narrow streets I've never been on. We ended up at the end of a street where there were no houses, but this cool HUGE stone bridge. She said it's named Troll Bridge and gave us some half-cocked story about it. I don't remember what she said though because between the warm beer I drank, my sore body, and my fatigue, I couldn't concentrate on the story. I just stared at her and watched her beautiful lips move. It didn't matter to me at that point what words were coming out. I just seemed to be fascinated by her moving lips.
We drove around some more and then we were dropped off at Gretchen's house. We had started chewing a bunch of gum and we prayed her parents were in bed because we didn't know if we still smelled like beer breath. We lucked out, all were in bed when we went in. We made a beeline to the bathroom to brush our teeth and use mouthwash. She went to her room to change while I used the potty and then we switched when I was done.
I was laying on the floor in her sleeping bag when she came back into her room, closing the door behind her. She crawled into bed, pulled the covers up over her, and turned out the light on the bed stand.
"Night Sollie," I heard.
"Night Gretchen," I answered.
"I had a really good time with you this weekend. Thanks."
"Me too Gretch. I did with you as well."
The last thing I heard was "Sweet dreams Sollie," as I went out like a light.
December 22, 1979, Saturday
School is out until next year! YEA!!!!! I managed to make it through exams, in part with Gretchen's help. I HATE math. I pulled a B-, I hope. I just can't seem to get it no matter how hard I try.
As happy as I am to be out of school for Christmas vacation, I am sooo depressed and sad because Gretchen will be in the "frozen tundra" for basically all of vacation. She's going to her grandparents for X-Mas and then skiing for a few days in Idaho. She's not due back until after New Year's.
She's not leaving until tomorrow, but I miss her already. You know, I still have absolutely no clue as to why she REALLY hangs around with me. I know she still gets a ration of shit from her cheerleading friends about it. Of course she hasn't said anything to me about that, but I have eyes and ears.
She's not really even dating anymore. I know she's gone out with Steve Mueller on rare occasion cuz she told me, but she also says it's very casual and there's nothing serious going on, that they're definitely more friends than anything. Still, when she told me, I got a weird feeling in my gut.
I know I don't completely monopolize her time, but I still think it's weird that she does more stuff with me than with anyone else.
And mind you, I'm NOT complaining one bit. I know my feelings for her are more than friendship – I know how I used to feel about guys and teachers, but these feelings don't compare. I know I've written a lot about my "sexual identity" and my confusion, but this time I cannot deny I'm falling (ok, maybe I've fallen) hook, line, and sinker for Gretchen.
I know I can't let her know. Sometimes I wonder if I'm hiding my feelings at all when I'm with her. I guess I am, because otherwise I'm sure she'd freak out and never talk to me again.
I'm just very glad that I have my science project to work on, the CIF's, and am doing some work for Mom and Dad over the holidays. I'm hoping it will keep my mind off of Gretchen.
We did get together earlier tonight to exchange presents. I'd been wracking my brain for awhile trying to figure out what to get her. Then she mentioned a couple of books she really wanted, but couldn't find. I had spent a couple of afternoons after school rummaging through used bookstores in Hillcrest and North Park and was able to find two of the books and then special ordered the other one I couldn't find.
When she opened the package she got all excited and hugged me and thanked me, so I guess she was pleased.
She got me this beautiful gold colored ID and charm bracelet and, as a joke, a travel brochure for Minnesota. For some reason the "frozen tundra" thing has stuck with both of us. I almost cried when I saw the ID bracelet. It has a beautiful Star of David etched on it.
When she went to leave she gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek and told me to be safe and have fun. I told her the same.
Well, I'm wiped. Later.
January 4, 1980, Friday
Happy New Year! This was a scary one!
I've really missed Gretchen, but have tried to stay busy. At the beginning of break were the CIF finals for badminton. I didn't do well. I went to the movies; worked for Mom and Dad doing some deliveries and office stuff; and worked on my science fair project a bit (it's almost done YEA!!!). I thought about her all of the time though. I think I was even jealous of her family because they were with her and I wasn't. Stupid, huh?
Her flight home from Idaho was yesterday, she was due to arrive at night. On the news they had a teaser that a plane crashed in Idaho killing 17 people. You can't imagine how scared I was! I was freaking! I needed to hear her voice to make sure she was ok. I almost burst into tears when she called me as soon as she got home. I was a lunatic all day before then.
January 20, 1980, Sunday
Oh my GAWD! You'll NEVER believe this! I spent the night at Gretchen's last night and we shared the same bed! I almost died! She said it was silly for me to sleep on the hard, cold floor when there was plenty of room in the bed. I've always just slept on the floor in a sleeping bag, as she did when we stayed at my house, so her offer was a complete surprise. I wanted so very much to lean over and kiss her, but I didn't. I scrunched up against the wall so she'd have as much space as she needed and so we wouldn't touch. But when I woke up, she was laying on her stomach with her arm draped over my stomach and using my arm as a pillow.
I don't think she knew how she was lying because she was sound asleep. I really had to pee and her arm was putting pressure on my bladder so I gently moved her arm, while also extricating mine, and slowly slid down to the foot of the bed so I wouldn't wake her and got up and went to the bathroom. When I got back, she hadn't moved at all. I sat at her desk with the chair turned facing the bed and read a book I had brought. I did occasionally look up and watched her sleep. She looked like an angel.
As she slept, I have to admit I wondered to myself, yet again, why she hung out with me. I guess I'm just really insecure about that. I know studying is one thing, but we've become pretty inseparable as well. Hell, we even talked about what colleges we were going to apply to and they were the same ones!
I wish I could be honest and talk to her about things, ok – the way I feel. I know there's no way in hell she could feel the same as I do, but I don't think talking about it is a risk worth taking. I value our friendship and spending time with her way too much to take that risk. So unrequited love it shall remain.
She soon woke up and acted like nothing was going on, so I can only assume for her, nothing is. Her Mom made us breakfast and then I went to leave for home. I thanked her for a fun evening and she gave me a hug. As I walked to my car I turned and waved. Once I got into the driver's seat, I had to sit a second to come back to earth. I was reeling from the hug.
I'm glad Sandy wasn't around when I got home. As dense as he can be at times, he sometimes can read me and I'd have gotten a ration from him. He would have known something was up with me, so I was grateful he was gone for the weekend.
January 24, 1980, Thursday
Gretchen's been a bit distant all week. When I spoke to her in class today she said she was sorry, but she's been extra busy with all of her extracurricular activities. We made plans to get together on Saturday to study and then do something. I wish I knew what was going on in that head of hers.
January 27, 1980, Sunday
Well, Gretchen and I did study yesterday, but not much more. She seemed like she was on another planet; just really far away. At times I caught her staring out her bedroom window or at me. It's obvious something is bothering her, but despite my questions she won't say and keeps saying there's nothing wrong. I just don't get it.
January 31, 1980, Thursday
Basically SOS at school. I haven't seen Gretchen except in classes this week. I just got off the phone with her and she seemed more of her normal self. I really wonder what happened. I know the ASB Ball's coming up, but she didn't have that much additional responsibility to stress her out. I'm just glad she seems to be her usual self now.
February 10, 1980, Sunday early am
I'm miserable, depressed, and I can't seem to stop crying. Thank God everyone was asleep when I got home a little after midnight.
Tonight was the ASB Ball. DJ and I decided to go together as friends. Gretchen went with Steve Mueller. Although she told me well in advance that she was going with him, actually seeing her with someone killed me. I mean, I hid the hurt when she told me and tried not to think about it before tonight, but hearing and seeing are 2 completely different things.
I was so jealous I just wanted to leave from the moment I first saw her there. She was so gorgeous in her blue strapless gown, which set off the color of her eyes. And of course they were voted king and queen. How couldn't that happen to the most popular male and female at school?
Although I was proud of her being elected queen, I hated her at the same time. Every time I saw them slow dance I wanted to throw up. I wanted it to be me dancing with her, not him.
DJ sensed something was wrong with me, but of course I couldn't tell him what. Poor guy, I danced his ass off, only letting him rest during slow songs. Gretchen danced over to us a few times and I forced a smile onto my face as she playfully danced with me. I couldn't seem to relax and take things in stride. It seemed like she was having a great time and nothing was wrong. Why shouldn't it be for her? She doesn't feel the way I do. She doesn't love me the way I love her.
Maybe I should just stay away from her for awhile until I can get my emotions into check. After tonight I don't think I can be around her anymore and it NOT hurt. The realization of how deep my feelings are for her is just too much for me right now. I am in love with her, not just love her, but am IN love with her. I just can't handle the thoughts of her being with a guy, or anyone else for that matter. I can't tell her the truth, I can't risk it. So, I think my only alternative is to stay away.
February 14, 1980, Thursday – Fucking Valentine's Day
It's really hard to avoid someone when you have two classes with them!
I've lied to her. The few times we've spoken I told her I haven't been feeling well so I haven't been talkative or wanting to do things with her the last several days. When she's called I told whoever answered to tell anyone who called that I can't come to the phone. I feel like a jerk, but it's self-preservation baby!
I have missed her these last few days, but I must stay strong. . . .
Be right back, someone's at the front door.
February 17, 1980, Sunday
I can't believe it's been three days since I've written! SO MUCH has happened since then!
The knock on the front door was Gretchen. I opened the door and she was standing there looking sad and cold. She was wearing a sweater, but had her arms wrapped around herself to try to warm herself from the cold and wind. I quickly let her in so she could get warm. Everything seems so cloudy, but here's my best memory of what happened:
"Hey," I greeted, realizing who was at the door.
"Hey," she said back sadly.
"Come in. You look like you're freezing." She came in and I offered her something to drink. She wanted hot chocolate, so we went into the kitchen and I put water into the kettle and put it onto the stove to boil
"What's up?" I asked turning around. She sat on a bar stool on the other side of the breakfast bar. I leaned back against the kitchen counter next to the stove to face her
"That's what I'm here to ask you."
"What do you mean?" I asked trying to play innocent.
"Don't give me that bullshit Solange. Ever since the dance last Saturday you've been avoiding me and I want to know why," she stated pointedly, staring me right in the eyes.
I looked down, not able to look back into her eyes. "I told you, I haven't been feeling well."
"You've been feeling well enough to go to school and to make your softball practices. What is going on with you?"
I was temporarily saved by the tea kettle whistling. "Hold on a sec," I said and turned the stove off and took the kettle and placed it on a cool burner. I turned and pulled two cups from the cabinet next to the stove, opened an airtight container on the counter and pulled out 2 packages of instant cocoa. I opened the packages and poured one into each cup and then picked up the kettle and poured hot water into each cup. Grabbing a spoon from the drawer, I stirred them. Turning around with the two cups in my hands, I stepped the short distance to the other counter and reached up to the breakfast bar and handed her a cup. "Marshmallows or whipped cream?" I offered.
"No thanks, Sollie. I just need to know what's going on. Why have you been avoiding me all week?"
"What, it's ok for you to ignore me for a week or more and not tell me what's going on, but I have to explain myself to you if I do the same thing?"
"I'm sorry about that Sollie. I will explain when I can, but I can't right now. But you're intentionally avoiding me Sollie – when I call your family tells me you're unable to come to the phone, like they're your freaking secretaries or something. What have I done to upset you? What . . . is . . . going . . . on?" she looked at me pointedly.
I've never lied well. My body language and facial expressions always give me away, so I knew I had to tell the truth. I hesitated to answer. I ran my fingers through my hair and looked down at my cup on the kitchen counter. "It's not you . . . it's me," I finally stammered.
"What do you mean?" she asked still looking directly at me. I looked up, down, around – everywhere but at her. I knew this was my moment of truth and I was scared shitless. "Solange – what do you mean it's you and not me?" she gently prodded.
"The dance . . . I was jealous," I finally admitted.
"Of DJ? What did he do? What happened?" she asked thoroughly confused with me and greatly concerned.
"No, not of DJ."
"Of who then?"
I looked up into her eyes. "You". She held my gaze, but I could tell by the look on her face that she was still confused.
"I'm sorry, I don't understand. Why were you jealous of me?" she asked softly.
"I guess it wasn't you as much as it was of Steve." The perplexed look stayed on her face. It terrified me, but I knew I had to take that last step. "I was jealous that it was Steve holding you and dancing with you, and not me." I had to look away. I couldn't stand to see the anticipated look of disgust on her face as I dropped the bomb.
"Oh," was all I heard. It seemed like an eternity before I heard anything else but my own heart pounding.
"It's about damn time," she said calmly once my admission truly hit her.
I wasn't sure I heard her correctly. "Excuse me?"
"You had no clue how I've felt and do feel about you?"
"No, other than as a good friend."
"Remember that night you slept over?"
"Yeh, all of them," I answered, the smart ass I am, not knowing where she was going with all of this.
"The night you first slept in my bed, you goof ball."
"Of course I do."
"I knew exactly where my arm was all night. I put it there on purpose," she admitted.
Again, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. She MEANT to hold me in her sleep? I was bewildered and in disbelief. She never acknowledged that had happened and I never brought it up to her. "Didn't you know how I felt about you?" I asked.
"I suspected, but I didn't want to assume. I was so afraid of being wrong, that I held back more than I guess I should have. Sollie . . .," she looked away as she gathered her thoughts, "Sollie, this is why I was so distant a few weeks ago. I was trying to cope with my feelings for you and whether or not I should risk our friendship in telling you how I feel." She looked me in the eye.
My brain still didn't fully comprehend the situation. "So what does this really mean?"
She slid off of the bar stool and walked around the kitchen counter and stood in front of me, her back leaning on the counter.
"It means, Marie Solange, that I wanted YOU to be holding and dancing with me and NOT Steve."
Before I knew it I felt her soft lips against mine, gentle and warm, then I felt her arms go around my neck pulling me toward her. I was in shock, but instinctively put my arms around her and kissed her back. I felt sensations I never felt when I kissed a boy. I felt her lips open and soon felt her tongue on my lips. Oh my God! I can't believe we French kissed! And I didn't freeze for one second!
I honestly don't know how long we stood there kissing, but we eventually had to come up for air.
"Wow!" Was all I could say. I glanced at the clock and saw that it was almost time for Sandy to get home from his afternoon class. I told her as much and suggested we go to my room. We grabbed our now cold cups of cocoa and rushed back to my room, shutting the door behind us. If I could have locked it I would have.
We each placed our cups on top of my desk and stood there looking at one another. I was afraid she'd bolt, regretting what we just did. The look in hers eyes showed a mixture of both fear and love.
"Hi," I said, taking a step toward her.
"Hi back," she smiled. "Ummm, Sollie, are you ok with what just happened?" she added, as concerned with my feelings as I was about hers.
"Surprised, but a welcomed surprise and VERY ok. How about you?" I asked nervously.
"I'm the one who kissed you," she smiled shamelessly.
"Well, then I guess I better show you how much I'm ok with it." I don't know where the courage came from, but I stepped and closed the gap between us, put my arms around her and kissed her with a lot of passion.
After awhile we somehow landed on the bed, still kissing and holding each other. What seemed like a sudden knock on the door startled us, and brought us back to reality.
"Hey Solange, dinner's ready in fifteen!" I heard my Mom's voice yell through the door.
"Ummm . . . ok . . . Gretchen's here. Can she stay?" As I asked Gretchen shook her head emphatically, making me laugh for some reason.
"Sure," my Mom said and apparently walked off. I was surprised that over an hour had passed since we entered my room.
"Sollie, I can't stay," Gretchen claimed as she wiped a curl off of my face. "I'm too embarrassed. I don't know if I'm ready to sit down and eat with your family after making out with you."
"I'm a bit embarrassed too I guess. I'd like you to stay, but I understand. It would be a little weird, huh?"
"Yeh, it would. Sollie, we need to talk about this though, ok?" she asked softly, looking directly into my eyes.
"I think so too . . . and Gretchen?"
"Just so you know, I've wanted to do that for a really long time. Kiss you I mean. I was so afraid you'd freak out, that's why I haven't said anything."
"I know Sollie, that's what I figured, and I did as well. But I couldn't wait any longer for you to make the first move," she smiled and leaned and gave me a quick kiss on the lips.
"Gretchen. . . Happy Valentine's Day," I said kissing her back.
"Happy Valentine's Day to you too, my dear Sollie. Can I call you later?"
We stood up and hugged and gave a lingering kiss before we opened the door and left the sanctuary of my room. I walked her out to the front door and after she left I ran straight into the bathroom to wash up and try to compose myself.
Yes, I am definitely in love with her. And you know what the best part is? I think she's in love with me!
February 15, 1980, Friday
Tonight was the Basketball Homecoming, so Gretchen had to go cheer at the game.
We did talk a bit last night. We both agreed we wanted to continue as we started, but that we would have to keep it a secret. God knows how progressive my parents are, but I think they'd shit a brick if they found out about me – us. I may not be a lesbian, but all I know is that I sure love Gretchen.
February 18, 1980, Monday
Gretchen and I were able to spend time together last night because we have today off for President's Day. We went to the drive-in, but didn't watch much of either picture. We mostly made out and talked.
Given the major shift in the relationship, we both have a lot of questions for one another. One question we both wanted answered was whether either of us ever kissed a girl before. I told her about the conflict I've had over the last few years, but that she was the only girl I had actually kissed.
Her answer was rather unexpected and really surprised me. She told me she had met this girl at cheerleading camp last summer and they hit it off and spent all their time together. They ended up making out, but nothing more.
I was jealous and I guess a little hurt that I wasn't her first in that way, like she was mine. She assured me that it was never very serious, that she hasn't had any contact with the girl since. She assured me that it had gone no further than kissing and that they did not sleep together.
I should have known better, but then I asked if she'd ever slept with a guy. She hemmed and hawed, but finally admitted she had, once, in 10th grade with a guy she'd been going with for about a year. She said it had been a mistake, but not one she regretted. She swore she hasn't slept with anyone else and admitted she hasn't wanted to, until now, and that person is me.
In between kissing we agreed that we didn't want to rush the physical side of our relationship because we were scared and everything was new and different for both of us. All I know is that it sure feels good kissing her!
March 9, 1980, Sunday
Wow! That's all I can say is WOW! Gretchen and I are still dating, but it really hasn't gone much past kissing. We haven't been able to spend a whole helluva lot of time together without other people around. Between my practices and games and all of her activities it seems like we've hardly been alone. We've talked and seen each other almost every day though. But it's weird at school. I want to hold hands with her and kiss her like all the other couples, but it just isn't possible and it pisses me off.
We were finally able to spend most of this weekend together. Friday, after the basketball game, she came over and we went and saw a French film at The Cove Theater in La Jolla. We then came back to my house and got ready for bed. I played a record of Brahms on the stereo and laid next to the wall on my back on the bed. Gretchen laying next to me, on her stomach. We laid there listening to the music with our eyes closed. I soon felt her arm on my stomach. She began to slowly move her hand, caressing me. I started running my fingers through her hair. It felt really good and relaxing. I opened my eyes and saw her looking at me.
"What's up?" I asked.
"You know something?"
"You're a really good kisser," she complimented as she propped herself up on her elbows and moved toward me and kissed me, opened mouth and full of passion.
"Thanks," I finally said coming up for air. "You're pretty good yourself," I said kissing her again.
After a while she nestled in with her head on my shoulder and my arm around her. I could tell she was falling asleep, her body was slowly getting heavier and heavier.
"Sollie?" I heard her whisper.
"I love you."
"I love you too Gretch." I don't know if she heard me though. I think she fell sound asleep.
I'm scared shitless! Oh my God! This goddess of a woman, the woman of my dreams, loves me! I don't know what to do or how much farther I should go physically. We haven't even progressed to heavy petting yet, so the thought of making love with her, as much as I want to, scares me for whatever stupid reason! I guess I'm self-conscious. Will she find my body attractive? Will I know what to do? HELP!!!
March 12, 1980, Wednesday
I had the afternoon off from softball, so I went up to the library at UCSD to return some books and do some research for a paper I have to write for English. I decided to explore a bit and found a book, "The Joy of Lesbian Sex". I was way too embarrassed to check it out so I found an empty, isolated corner and sat and read most of it. I was embarrassing myself just reading it and would've died if anyone saw what I was reading. I did learn some things though, just in case we do go further.
I guess today was my day for courage. Before I went to the library I called the Gay & Lesbian Center. I had seen an ad in the personals in "The Reader" and that's how I heard about them and got their phone number. The guy told me that there's a rap group for young lesbians that meets on Tuesday nights at a coffee house in North Park. I don't know if I'm ready for that, but I'll tell Gretchen about it.
The guy also told me about an underage dance bar that caters to gays and lesbians under age 21. That sounds like fun, to be able to go and dance and hold and kiss Gretchen without everyone gossiping or being afraid of getting the shit kicked out of us.
She's coming over in a little while to help me with my Math. I'll talk to her about it then.
March 18, 1980, Tuesday
What a day! Even though we have only 3 months to graduation, I found out that Kurt dropped out of school a couple of weeks ago and is going to take the equivalency test instead of graduating. I know I haven't spoken to him in a while, but what was going through his head? It's only 3 months for God's sake!
I tried to call him, but his Mom said he wasn't in and she didn't know when he'd be back. She was pretty cold, like there's something more going on. The more I think of it, I don't think I've seen him since the ASB Ball. I hope he's ok.
Gretchen did come over last night, but we didn't get much studying done. We mostly made out.
I did share with her what I found out from calling the Gay & Lesbian Center. She was pretty surprised that I actually made the call. I didn't tell her what I "learned" at the library. I'm still blushing from that.
Anyways, she said that she's also not ready for the rap group thing, but she did like the idea of going out dancing together. We're going to try to go over Easter break.
I know I haven't mentioned it before, but we did apply to all of the same schools for college. We did that way before our relationship changed. We agreed that we'd choose from the schools that accepted us both. But, to be honest, she has a better chance of getting into most of the schools than I do. I do have good grades, but she gets almost straight A's. Between that and all of her extracurricular activities, she's a shoo-in anywhere and everywhere. I don't want her to not go to the school of her choice because of me. I don't think I could live with that, it's just not fair to her. I don't want that type of responsibility hanging over my head.
Which leads us to another thorn. Even though it's almost two months away, we did start talking about what we're going to do about the prom. I don't want to go. I'd rather we spend the time alone. But, I do understand her point that because of her ASB and cheerleading status she is expected to go and needs to go to fulfill certain duties. All I know is that the thought of her going with anyone else, especially a guy, makes me crazy. We'll figure it out though.
March 30, 1980, Sunday
Wow! A lot has happened in the last few weeks!
Now that softball is over I'll have a lot more free time. Gretchen does as well. We're on Easter break this week.
Last night we decided to head to that dance club I was told about. It was scary going in because a) we didn't know what to expect, and b) it's located in a scary part of downtown in a warehouse area.
We got there about 8:30 and were tightly grasping each other's hand as we quickly walked from the parking lot to the entrance. I paid the cover charge and we held on to each other as we walked through the door. The place was HUGE! It had a large wooden dance floor set up towards the rear with a wall of mirrors and a HUGE disco ball.
It wasn't very crowded at all. Maybe 20 other people were there. We decided to get some drinks and grab a table off the dance floor. When we ordered our sodas and some water, Gretchen asked the bartender if it was going to get busier and he told us it should pick up in about an hour.
We claimed a table and got situated. A few good songs came on so we got up and danced. By the time we stopped to take a break more people had come in, and by 10:00, the place was getting packed. I'm so glad we got there a little early to get a table, because they went fast once people came in.
We sat for awhile and watched the odd assortment of people. It was mostly guys, but there were some girls too. We both laughed at the wide range of people - some of the guys were in drag, which neither of us had really seen before and it was a trip, while many of the girls looked like guys. We made a game of trying to figure out if she was a he or she and if he was a she or he. It was definitely a trip and very interesting.
The music was great! The D.J. played a lot of really good songs. A lot of Donna Summer and The Village People. When he played "We Are Family" everyone danced in a circle around the edge of the dance floor. It was really cool!
We danced for a long time and then some slow songs started to play. To be able to slow dance with Gretchen was unfucking believable. Because I'm a little taller, well, only by an inch, she put her arms around my neck and I put my arms around her. I don't think either of us led; our bodies seemed to melt and move together. We couldn't get close enough to each other. We soon started kissing and we still couldn't get close enough.
I can't put into words how horny I was and how my body felt like it was fire. All those years that I was afraid that I would never feel anything for anyone in this way seems so silly and wasted energy. She felt SO good in my arms and up against me. It was almost like it was more intense than when we're alone in one of our rooms. Maybe it was because we were finally in public and I could show the world how I felt about her. I don't know. All I do know is that I'm getting excited just thinking and writing about it.
When the fast songs started playing again we went back at sat at the table and wet our whistle and ended up making out again.
I can't believe how free and comfortable I felt at that place to be able to do that! I never imagined feeling I could kiss her in a public place, yet alone actually doing that.
We were kissing when I heard a familiar male voice.
"Well, if it isn't the closet queen herself!"
Gretchen and I instantaneously separated and looked up surprised to see Kurt standing there with a shit ass grin on his face. We were more surprised than he was to see each other.
He grabbed a chair from the table next to ours and sat down and joined us. I interrogated him on what was going on and to where he had disappeared.
He explained that his stepfather had found out that he had a boyfriend by coming home early and walking into Kurt's room and finding them kissing. His stepdad wanted him out of the house immediately so he decided to drop out and get the hell out of Dodge. He went and moved in with a cousin in West Hollywood (I guess that's a big gay area in LA) and got a job at The GAP. And, of all things, he's been dancing on American Bandstand! Who woulda thunk????
When Gretchen left to go to the bathroom, he told me he wasn't surprised to see Gretchen and I there together. He said he figured me out a while ago and knew my feelings for her at the Homecoming Dance and confirmed hers when we went on the drive around Mt. Soledad. I asked him if we were that obvious and he said "only to another family member".
It's nice to know someone else that understands, although it is weird that it's a guy I thought I was in love with. Although he's in LA, we exchanged phone numbers and promised to call one another and I told him at least I may come visit sometime. When Gretchen got back to the table, we all three danced to a few songs. Kurt excused himself, gave us hugs, and went to "find a man".
We danced for a little while longer, but it was after midnight and we were exhausted. So we left and went back to Gretchen's, holding hands the entire trip. It's getting harder and harder not to want to do more when we sleep together, but the thought of "doing it" scares me shitless, especially with family in the house.
I'm wiped. I'll write more tomorrow.
March 31, 1980, Monday
OK, where was I?
Oh yeh, back at Gretchen's after dancing.
When we got back to her house everyone was asleep so we very quietly went and got ready for bed. Despite our fatigue, our simple good night kiss turned into a passionate exchange. I couldn't touch and feel enough of her and it seemed like she felt the same. We're definitely getting braver. Our hands roamed under our T-shirts to explore bare skin. I cannot describe in words the electricity that jolted through my body when our bodies were pressed together, even though we were both wearing T- shirts and shorts. I wrote how horny I was during the dance, but that now paled in comparison.
I can still feel the sensations just thinking about it!
I just found out that Mom and Dad have to go out of town tomorrow on business and won't be back until Thursday morning. Sandy is out of town for Spring Break. Know what that means???? Yep! Gretchen and I have the house to ourselves for 2 whole nights! No parents, no siblings, no one but the two of us. Hot damn! Hot time in the old town tonight!
April 4, 1980, Friday
I don't know where to start. The last two days have been so amazing it almost seems like a dream! I guess it's always good to start at the beginning.
Mom and Dad left early Tuesday morning. Gretchen was to come over and stay with me while they were gone. I promised the folks no wild parties and that Gretchen would be the only one over and we had to check in with her parents, so they let me stay unsupervised while they were gone. I am 17 for God's sake! I'm old enough to do that anyways!
Gretchen came over at about 5:00 p.m.. Before then, I made quiche, had the dining room and living room lit with candles, and lit a fire in the fireplace. I also got her red roses and had them in a vase. I "borrowed" a bottle of wine from Mom and Dad as well. I wanted this to be the most romantic night possible. We both knew that tonight would be "the night" and I was terrified, but I wanted everything to be perfect.
We did have a pretty relaxing dinner, but I could tell Gretchen was nervous too. After we cleaned up the dinner dishes, we took our wine glasses and went and sat on some pillows I put in front of the fireplace. She complimented me on a great dinner and how beautiful everything was, including the roses.
At first we just sat quietly, sipping our wine and staring into the fire. She looked at me and I looked at her and before I knew it we were kissing. We ended up laying down on the pillows without parting and our hands started exploring under our T-shirts. I rubbed against her nipple through the material and heard her moan and she did the same to me. I looked at her and without speaking, we both sat up and threw off our shirts.
Our kisses and exploring became more heated and soon the bras came off. She laid on top of me and I thought I would die from the pulsating and wetness I felt between my legs. I could feel her heat as well. After a brief while, we knew we had to get into the bedroom and fast.
She laid on the bed as I lit candles in my room. I could feel her eyes searing through me as I walked around.
I cannot describe in words the sensations I felt nor can I put on paper everything we did to one another without somehow cheapening the experience. Suffice it to say, I couldn't imagine a more pleasurable, exhausting, or emotional "first time".
Sometime in the wee hours of the morning we laid on our backs. I think the romance novels describe it as being completely satisfied and spent. Gretchen had her head on my shoulder and I had my arm around her, holding her tightly to me. I was in the gray zone between complete bliss and sleep. I felt Gretchen squeeze my hand.
"Where did you learn to do some of that stuff?" she asked in wonder. I sheepishly explained about the book I read in the library. "I gotta buy you that book."
We both fell into a deep sleep.
January 2, 1984, Monday
God, as I sit here reading all these entries, I realized how long it's been since I wrote any journal entries. I do remember journaling much past the date of that last entry, but I can't seem to find that notepad. I'm fairly certain that volume covered through my freshman year in college. How do I fill the entries for the last 4 years? I feel that a very important part of my life seems to be missing.
I don't know how far I'll be able to get with this today, but I want to start writing again and memorialize my life in some manner. I'm not sure why it's important to me, but it is. So maybe it's best I write as much as I can to get the ball rolling.
As a preface, and for my own personal history, per se, here's an update on who I am and where I am in my life right now.
I am a senior in college majoring in history with minors in English and Women's Studies. I did start with a psychology major but soon changed when I discovered the program at the University was more experimental than clinical (working with patients). Gretchen and I are still together and still madly in love. We've been living together since we started college.
The last two months of our senior year in high school were a whirlwind. After we made love that first time, there was no going back. We were completely and totally in love with one another. It became increasingly difficult to hide our feelings from friends and family, especially our parents.
We were "outed" to our families in a rather embarrassing way. Both sets of our parents were usually rather respectful of not coming into our rooms without knocking and receiving a response. Unfortunately, one morning after a rather exhausting night of lovemaking, we were in a deep sleep, dead to the world. My Mom needed to talk to me about something and decided 11:00 am was late enough for us to sleep in. I guess she knocked and knocked and not getting an answer she opened the door and found us buck ass naked with our bodies entwined.
Needless to say, things blew up and were rather intense for awhile. Our parents really didn't know what to do with us. They didn't know whether to accept us, keep us apart, or what. They went through the typical, 'Where did I go wrong? Why are you like this? Why can't you change? Why? Why? Why?'
I guess they (our parents) got together and consulted someone, because the next thing we knew I was in counseling with my parents and Gretchen was in counseling with hers. That lasted about six weeks and that was it. It was extremely uncomfortable in the beginning, but we all survived. Gretchen and I had to promise not to do anything sexual if we spent the night at the other's house and we sort of kept that promise. Well, we did intend to keep it but had to give into temptation. What momma doesn't know won't hurt her, or something like that.
Before it all settled, it was time for the prom. Amongst all the tension of what was going on with our families and basic teenage life, we fought over what to do and whether I would even go. The prom still wasn't important to me. I was uncomfortable getting all dressed up in formal attire and all that went with it. I refused to wear a gown and a tux was over the top, even for me.
As much as Gretchen wanted me to go, she finally understood how "dangerous" it could be for "us" if I did. Although there were rumors about us, we still hadn't "come out" at school and had no intention of doing so. We had no political statement to make. We were just in love, that's what mattered to us.
My God, I almost forgot another important component!
Shortly after that Spring Break, we decided to go to the Young Lesbian Rap Group I had learned about. That was scarier than going to the dance place! It was one thing to admit to ourselves and to go dancing where we pretty much hung out by ourselves, but it was quite another thing to go "search out" and talk to other young lesbians. I don't think we labeled ourselves yet, but we were on that path.
At that first meeting we went to, there were about 10 college aged women, 18-22. We were the youngest there, both still 17. They all tried to make us feel comfortable and welcomed and afterwards a few of the women exchanged phone numbers with us. We also learned of an "older" group that met on Thursdays, SDLO (the San Diego Lesbian Organization). A few of the women were planning on going for the first time that week and invited us to join them. After a brief discussion, we decided to go.
That was even scarier! We arranged to meet a couple of the girls we met on Tuesday outside the house where the meeting was held so we could all go in together for support. We were forewarned to tell everyone we were 18, because the "older" women were afraid of jailbait coming to the meetings and that they'd somehow get into trouble.
I don't know from where or how we got the courage, but we were talked into trying to get into a lesbian bar that night after the meeting. Apparently most of the women who went to the meeting usually went to the bar afterward. Through multiple use of someone's id and a paid off bouncer, the 6 of us "youmg lesbians" who showed up managed to get in. Oh my God we were so nervous and scared!
Someone bought Gretchen and I a beer and guided us to a table seating a bunch of women from the meeting. We were both so nervous that we downed our beers so fast I was quickly up to buy us each another one.
The jukebox music was blaring – we could barely hear anyone at the table. Gretchen had grasped my hand and I wasn't going to let it go for the life of me. A good song came on, so we pushed our way onto the small crowded dance floor. We danced one song, then another, then another, then taking a potty and air break on the back patio.
When we pushed our way back to the dance floor, I looked up and froze. Standing, or rather dancing, right in front of me was my softball coach, Ms. Brady. Yes, it's true! There's no way I'd make that one up! Our eyes met, we silently acknowledged one another, and I quickly pulled Gretchen to the other side of the dance floor. I almost died as I told her who I saw. We weren't surprised she was gay, but for God's sake, who wants to sneak into a gay bar for the first time and run into their PE coach? Gretchen and I later discussed what would happen if Coach Brady told on us, but we figured our secret was safe because then she'd have to tell how she knew we were there, and it definitely wasn't, and still isn't, a good thing to be out as teacher. It was right near the time there was that whole proposed Proposition 6. "The Briggs Initiative", that tried to outlaw gay teachers in California. And I think she knew we wouldn't say anything for fear of getting in trouble. So there was an unspoken mutual understanding.
OK, back to the prom. . .
We finally agreed that she would go to the Prom and would meet me later in the hotel room we reserved. In our various excursions into young gay San Diego we also happened to run into the star player of our school's boy's soccer team. He was a popular guy and needed a "cover date" for the prom as well, so he and Gretchen decided to go together.
Our plans worked out well that evening. Gretchen satisfied her obligations and had some fun and then we both had lots of fun when she got to the room. I had decorated the room so it would be a romantic setting when she got there around midnight. All I'll say is that was the best prom night (after morning?) that I could have ever hoped for.
We were both accepted to UCSD and talked our parents into letting us get an apartment together. It took some wheedling, but they finally agreed. We would be out of their hair, so to speak, and it was still cheaper than if we went away to school.
That first year transition was hard. Between living away from home for the first time, living with a lover for the first time, and going through the first year of college all at once, I'm really surprised we didn't kill each other, yet alone ourselves.
We continued to go to the Tuesday and Thursday night meetings and managed to get fake IDs so we could go to the bars on Thursdays and some weekends. We also became active in the Women's Center and the Gay & Lesbian group on campus. I met my best friend (other than Gretchen of course), Barb, at the Women's Center. She's an English major and is wild and crazy. I think that's why we get along so well – we're polar opposites, in some ways pushing or keeping the other in check.
Gretchen didn't spend as much time at the Women's Center as I did. I seem to be a bit more politically inclined than she is. I've been active in pro-choice and gay rights politics and help with rallies, while Gretchen just goes to them in support. Like in high school, we have tried to maintain some independence. I had Barb and Gretchen had her friend, Wendy, who she met in one of her classes. I've always gotten along with Wendy, and Gretchen's gotten along with Barb. We all 4 do things together, but having our own friends separately was important to us as well.
Although I no longer play softball, I have played some intramural flag football. Ever the cheerleader, Gretchen stands on the sidelines leading the cheers for our team. Then there's always Sunday football in a little section of Balboa Park where the lesbians hang out. The gay guys have their own section down the street. The problem with playing football at the park is a) it's full contact, b) the women are a lot bigger than I am and it's like running into a brick wall, and c) after a few beers it doesn't seem to hurt that much. There have been many Mondays when I could barely move because I was so sore and bruised. Gretchen would tend to my wounds, but she always asks, "And you want to play next week . . . why is that again?"
I'm wiped. I'll pick up again tomorrow.
January 3, 1984, Tuesday
I have a little extra time, so I figured I'd continue the update.
Our families have been really cool about accepting "us" as a couple and our orientation. My folks treat us no differently than they treat Colette and her husband or Jackie and his wife. Because I am the proud aunt (and it seems like built-in babysitter) of 2 nieces and 1 nephew, I don't get the pressure from my folks to produce grandbabies. But because Gretchen's the oldest and her sister is too young to be expected to reproduce, her parents do get a little wistful and drop a few hints when they hear us speak of my nieces and nephew. But, they are realistic and would prefer us to first finish school and have careers before we start a family. That's one concept I really don't know about. As lesbians, do we really have that option to start a family?
Gretchen and I both turned 21 last year, so we were finally legal to go to the bars we had been frequenting for the 3 or so years prior. I wanted my party to be at the first bar we had snuck into and still went to occasionally. I guess I thought it was a rite of passage in some bizarre way. I had become friends with most of the bartenders and lied to them about my age, but they weren't surprised I was turning 21. They've known, apparently forever, that I was underage, but knew I had an ID to cover their asses if vice came into the bar.
And the vice did come in, sometimes quite often. Nothing like it was back in the 50's and 60's though, from what I've been told by my SDLO friends. From what I've experienced and been told, the vice cops have been turning the "screws" on "queer" bars on and off for the last several years, trying to catch people underage and trying to make sure everyone is clothed and not doing the nasty. Basically, they come in with all their machismo just to give everyone a hard time by their presence. And it's not like they don't stick out like sore thumbs when they come in. Be real, how many men in cheap suits come into lesbian bars and walk around without a drink?
When they came in Gretchen and I usually stuck to the middle of the dance floor or into the women's rest room. They hassled a few of my friends one time for being underage and my friends were about 25!
We've also run into some familiar high school faces over the last 3 years. A few PE teachers (no great surprise there!); a few female jocks who I always suspected were gay, including Reenie. We even saw Alan at one of the men's bars! That was a trip! Go figure. You just never know!
Once, we ran into one of Gretchen's cheerleading friends. Apparently she's had an off and on again affair with her best friend, which started in junior high, and despite the fact that they both have always had boyfriends and her friend is currently engaged. Gretchen was sworn to secrecy as to the identity of the friend, including not telling me. But I can be very persuasive at times and I charmed it out of her that it's Lori.
Speaking of Lori, rereading my entries reminded me of something. Before Gretchen and I got together and when we were just becoming friends, Lori said something to Gretchen after cheerleading practice one day that royally pissed off Gretchen. Gretchen eventually told me that Lori was bad-mouthing me and asking her why she was hanging around with "that dyke". So, I wasn't being paranoid after all. And boy, wasn't that very hypocritical of Lori as it turns out? Hell, she got laid by a woman before I did.
We have a cute little apartment. It's a one bedroom and it's sort of small, but it's inexpensive and suits us fine. The only bitch is that the bathroom is part of the bedroom. So if one of us sleeping, the other can disturb her by brushing her hair or teeth or doing anything in the vanity/sink area. Thank God that at least there's a door to the bathroom and shower area! But as I said, it has suited us just fine for the past 3-1/2 years.
As for work over the last few years, I've basically just been working for Mom and Dad over vacations. Their business has really expanded and they have a shitload of employees right now! Dad is really sought after as an expert. I also worked in a bookstore for a while. I did really enjoy working there, but I couldn't get hours to meet my class schedule so I had to quit.
Gretchen's had a bunch of jobs ranging from waitressing to a delivery driver for an auto parts chain. But this year she's interning at an advertising/PR firm. She really enjoys it and has decided to go to grad school and get a business degree and to get into PR and marketing. She said she really doesn't need the graduate degree, but it would help give her a better leg up because it is such a competitive field.
Me, I'm going to go to grad school in History. I know I'll basically only be able to teach with that type of degree, but that's ok. I thought about law school, but quickly decided I didn't want the headaches. I just have to figure out whether or not I want to get my doctorate or whether I want to get a teaching certificate and teach at the public school level. The "ivory tower" is an attractive idea, but I'll figure it out eventually. I have time.
March 4, 1984, Sunday
Well, I haven't started off very well in keeping my promise to make journal entries on a daily basis. Between my regular classes, trying to work on my Honor's thesis, studying and taking the GRE's, and just trying to maintain my relationship with Gretchen, I have been a tad bit busy.
Right now I don't feel a pressing need to fill in the holes of my personal history of the last few years. My present is much more important.
Over the last few months I've felt a shift in my relationship with Gretchen. At first it was really subtle. But now, it seems it's becoming a struggle. I've been feeling like she's more distant, less attentive.
One thing we've prided ourselves on in our relationship is our ability to communicate. But that seems to have gone out of the window. I've asked her what is wrong and she shrugs it off saying it's just stress from being a senior, applying to business school, etc. I can understand that, hell - I'm going through the same thing, but I'm not taking it out on her. I know we've been lucky, in all the time we've been together, we've rarely fought. From the beginning I knew she was my soul mate. I guess I'm just not used to conflict with her. We've always gotten along, even during the first eighteen stressful month we were together.
I really don't know what to do. Barb thinks I should just ride it out for awhile, that it is probably just the stress. I guess we shall see.
April 2, 1984, Monday
Well, things haven't gotten any better over the past month. I'm seeing a side of Gretchen I've never seen and I never imagined seeing. She's been pretty grumpy and has been, to put it lightly, a real bitch. Hell, at times she's been just plain mean! I can't seem to do or say anything right. I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. I've tried to talk to her about what's going on and my feelings, but she either apologizes and blames it on the stress or denies there's anything wrong.
She's also been spending more time with Wendy, claiming she needs more space and that they're working on a project together. At one point she actually accused me of being too dependent on her.
She's so schizo and unpredictable, I'm even starting to doubt myself – maybe it's me. I don't really see it, but at this point, I just don't know.
I'm not a religious person, but dear God, I love her SO much, she is my everything. This is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with. Please help us work things out.
June 20, 1984, Wednesday
Well, I'm a college graduate as of last Saturday. BFD! What a royally fucked day that was! I may appear to be calm, but I'm not. The tears are dripping onto the paper as I write.
Graduation, or rather Gretchen at graduation, was a farce! Both of our families were there and threw a party for both of us afterwards. All sorts of family and family friends showed up for the grand occasion.
All day, starting when we woke up, all we did was bicker. I wasn't getting ready fast enough; she had a zit that wouldn't cover with makeup; I was doing this wrong; I wasn't doing that right. She's been fucking Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!
We managed to survive the ceremony and then went to the party, held at her parents' house. Both of us were drinking, but Gretchen was in rare form. At least I didn't bear the sole brunt of her wrath. No one was immune – she was indiscriminately rude to everyone. I don't know who wanted to smack her more, me or her parents (even my folks for that matter). At one point, even my prissy, and extremely non-violent, sister wanted a shot at Gretchen.
Barb had spent most of the afternoon with her family and came and joined us as the family party was winding down. She was going to drive us down to the bar where we were going to meet our friends to celebrate. Barb isn't much of a drinker so she volunteered to play taxi for us. We figured we'd just pick up Gretchen's car from her parents' house the next day.
By the time we left to go to the bar I was pleasantly buzzed, but Gretchen was at least two sheets to the wind. I asked her if she'd rather go home, but she insisted we still go out to the bar. Despite my tipsiness, I was both pissed and hurt by her behavior all day. This was one of the most important days in our lives and she certainly made it memorable, but in the worst of ways. The daytime drama was only the tip of the iceberg.
When we got to the bar, a bunch of other friends were already there partying, including Gretchen's friend Wendy. Barb and I got ourselves and Gretchen a drink. I handed Gretchen our drinks and gave her a kiss on the cheek before Barb pulled me through the crowd and then onto the dance floor. After a few dances I went back to where I had left Gretchen and saw nothing but my drink sitting on the ledge next to where she had been standing. Not really thinking much of it and figuring she was either dancing or using the bathroom, I stood and talked to a few friends and went out and danced with them. By the time I got back, Gretchen was standing there with Wendy. It was impossible not to notice a) they were both very drunk, b) the sexual energy between them was electrifying, and c) their hair was very messed up. Seeing the two of them standing there together, things began to fall into place in my head. Many of the unanswered questions now had an answer, and it wasn't a good one.
I felt (and still feel) like someone shoved their fist into my chest and pulled out my heart. I was suddenly very sober. I looked over to Barb and saw she had a sad and concerned look on her face. She saw what I saw and she knew that I knew. I think she was afraid I'd explode and quickly ran interference when she saw me step toward Wendy. The next thing I knew Barb quickly told me to stay where I was and she was then at Gretchen's side and took the drink out of her hand. I couldn't hear what was said, but Gretchen was not a happy camper. They stood head to head speaking directly into the other's ear to hear over the blaring dance music.
After many heated words I saw the expression on Gretchen's face soften. Barb took her by the elbow to guide her towards the front door and Barb motioned with her head for me to join them. I very quickly said goodbye to my friends, glared at Wendy, really wanting to beat the crap out of her, and trotted to catch up with Barb and Gretchen.
I was pissed off, hurt, mortified, numb, and in disbelief. We walked to the car in silence and once there poured Gretchen into the front seat where she immediately passed out.
I sat in the backseat staring out of the window. Barb got into the driver's seat, pulled out, and drove us home.
"How are you doing?" she asked when we were about halfway to my apartment.
"I don't know. . . numb, in shock I guess," I answered softly. She must have heard me, I saw her nod her head.
"We could be assuming the worst," she said softly.
"And pigs fly. You saw what I saw," I whispered harshly.
We drove the rest of the way in silence.
She pulled the car into our parking space in front of the apartment complex and got out to help me get Gretchen upstairs into our apartment. We were able to wake her enough to where she could walk with minimal assistance. We somehow got her up the stairs, into the apartment and then into the bedroom. We laid her on the bed and I took her shoes off. She was out like a light. I threw a blanket over her and walked into the living room, closing the bedroom door behind me. Barb stepped over to me and gave me a bear hug. The tears I had been holding back began to flow freely. I don't know how long we stood there, she holding me and me bawling my eyes out.
I finally stopped crying and pulled away from her.
"You want anything? You want to talk?" Barb asked concerned.
I shook my head. "No, I need some time alone I think. Go back and have a good time. I'll be ok."
"Yeh. Go back to the bar, just don't do or say anything to Wendy if she's still there. Please?"
She promised me. I hugged her and thanked her for everything and walked her to the door. I locked the door behind her and went and laid down on the couch. I couldn't seem to do anything else but cry and pray. I know I'm not at all religious and my faith or belief in a God is questionable, but I didn't know what else to do. 'Please God, please not have it really be what I think it is. Please give me the strength to get through this. Please have her love me enough, because I love her more than anything and don't know what will happen if I lose her.'
I begged God to give me what I wanted and to make me happy again. After at least a half of an hour of tears, I fell asleep from pure exhaustion.
The next morning I woke up to an emotional and physical hangover. I managed to get myself up and off of the couch and into the kitchen and I started a strong pot of coffee.
I quietly opened the bedroom door and saw Gretchen sprawled across the bed in a deep sleep. I stepped over to the dresser and pulled out clothes and underwear from the drawers and then stepped into the bathroom to wash away the emotional dirt I felt covered me.
I soon stepped into the living room showered, dressed, and with clean teeth. Gretchen was sitting at the kitchen table looking miserable, her now short hair disheveled and eyes bloodshot. I turned around and stepped back into the bathroom, opened the medicine cabinet, and grabbed the bottle of aspirin. I walked back to the table and placed the bottle on the table in front of Gretchen. She glanced up and softly mumbled thanks.
I noticed the full cup of coffee sitting on the other side of the table and thanked her for preparing it for me. I seemed to be on autopilot. I didn't feel I was consciously making moves on my own initiative.
We sat there in silence. Part of me wanted to yell at her and smack her silly, and the other part wanted to just sit there and cry. She opened the aspirin bottle, poured two aspirin into her palm, and popped them into her mouth, washing them down with a sip of coffee.
"What the fuck is going on?" I finally asked.
"Was I as drunk as I think I was?"
"Was I as big of a jerk as I think I was?"
She sat still, looking down at her coffee cup. "I'm sorry," she finally said softly.
"For what? Being a drunk or for being a jerk?"
"For both. For everything . . . ".
I sat looking at her. I could tell she was in pain, both from a hangover and from whatever internal demons she was battling.
"I'm sorry for everything, including being a bitch the last few months."
"What is going on Gretchen? I've asked and asked and all you keep saying is 'nothing'. After last night I sure as hell know it is something."
"Do we have to do this now?" she asked looking up at me. "No, I know," she raised her hand, and answered herself before I did. "I do love you Sollie, I always have. You're my best friend. . ."
"The proverbial but is coming, isn't it?" I interrupted.
She paused before continuing, a mournful smile on her face. "But . . . I don't know how it happened or why, but I think I've fallen in love with Wendy."
My heart fell to the ground.
"You were my first Sollie. I will always love you and you'll always be special to me. I don't know, I guess the first love thing wore off and I fell out of being in love with you."
"But you usually talk to me! That was one of the strongest points of our relationship. We've always agreed to talk to the other about anything and everything! Why didn't you talk to me?" I growled.
"I know. But how do you tell the person you love most in the world that you're not in love with them anymore? I was a chickenshit and didn't have the courage to talk to you about anything, especially when I wasn't absolutely sure what was going on with me. I thought at first it was just a phase that would soon pass."
"So you treated me like a bitch instead?!" My anger was festering.
"I know I did. I took what I was feeling out on you and I'm really sorry about that."
"Have you slept with her?" I spat. I didn't receive a response. "Have you slept with her?" I asked again, louder.
"Yes," she admitted softly, not able to look at me.
"What happened to the woman I fell in love with? The one who insisted that we talk about everything and ALL of our feelings precisely so this would NEVER occur? The woman who would have broken up with me before making it worse and cheating on me? What's the matter, you can talk the talk but not walk the walk?" I yelled.
"Things got out of hand and then I didn't know what to do. I was afraid," she tried to explain.
"But you're the one who let them get out of hand." I again didn't get a response.
I couldn't stay there and try to pull things out of her. The one thing she made perfectly clear was that we were through. I stood up and stormed into the bedroom. I grabbed a bag from the closet and tore through the room throwing cloths and underwear into it. I went into the bathroom and grabbed a new toothbrush, my hair brush, and my travel kit, also throwing them into the bag.
I quickly put on some socks and tennis shoes. When I walked out of the bedroom, she was still sitting at the table, with her head facing the table resting on her hands. She was crying. I managed to grab this journal and a couple of books on my way out. I stomped over to the front door.
"Gretchen, you did the one thing to me you promised you'd never do. You cheated on me and lied to me. I'm going over to Barb's for a few days. I want you out by the time I come back." I didn't wait for her to answer. I threw open the door and slammed it behind me.
June 24, 1984, Sunday
I went over to Barb's and didn't hear from Gretchen once while I was there. When I came home yesterday I saw she had respected my wishes. Most of her things were gone.
She left a note saying that she was sorry for everything that happened and that she hoped we could salvage our friendship. She left the number of where she'd be staying (I recognized it to be Wendy's). She also said she'd call to arrange to pick up the rest of her stuff.
We never really discussed what would happen if we broke up; who would get what item; who would be the one to move out. That was not an alternative we ever imagined. We both thought it was for forever. We loved each other too much for it not to be. Or so I thought. When it came down to it, all I wanted that day I left was for her to be out of our apartment and out fast. She's the one who fucked around on me, so that was only fair.
I still can't seem to stop crying. Barb's been really sweet, even though she's been pretty distracted. After she went back to the bar that fateful night she met a woman named Judy. They've been seeing each other since that night.
I'm still in shock and can't figure out what, exactly, has happened. Now I guess I really know that love is never enough. I've been doubting and second guessing myself in my head, but I know it wasn't me. But that doesn't seem to lessen the pain any.
I told my family that we've broken up and they've all been very supportive. It must be weird for them as well. Mom and Dad and Gretchen's folks have become pretty close friends over the years. I can't help but think they'd all play sides with their kids. There are no sides though. Gretchen fucked up and she fucked up good. Even her own parents won't make any excuses for her to my folks.
But I know that I can't stay in this apartment for long. We shared our life and love here, and I think the memories will be too overwhelming. I almost wish I could have the memories of her extracted from my mind. Then, maybe, the incomprehensible pain would go away.
Sometimes I do truly wonder if there really is a God. I never asked for anything but for Gretchen to love me and that we be together forever, including working through any hard times. If there is a God, how can he be so cruel and cause so much pain? Now, instead of praying for us to work, I only pray for all my sadness to go away and to get some semblance of happiness back.
I'm so tired. I'm falling asleep. Til later.
Continued in Part Two/Act Two
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