Awakenings - SF1

Free Awakenings - SF1 by Susan X Meagher

Book: Awakenings - SF1 by Susan X Meagher Read Free Book Online
Authors: Susan X Meagher
Tags: Romance, Lesbian
her index finger. "And I use it for running and swimming. See, it has two lap counters," she indicated them both. "I also use it as my alarm in the morning, and every once in a while I can get a little nap in at work", she said with a conspiratorial wink.
    What in the hell does she do for a living!!
    Just as Jamie was forming the question a short, pleasant looking middle aged woman appeared from behind the bar. She was heading right for them and Jamie noticed Ryan's face light up in a smile.
    "Ryan O'Flaherty, as I live and breathe!" the woman gushed in a broad, theatrical Irish accent.
    "Hi, Babs. It's good to see you again," Ryan said as she gave the small woman a big friendly hug. "This is my friend Jamie. Jamie, this is Babs Jablonski, she owns this den of ill repute," Ryan teased.
    Babs elbowed Ryan sharply in the ribs as she grasped Jamie's hand in a firm shake. "Any friend of Ryan's is still welcome here," she joked in her normal voice.
    After a few more minutes of banter, Ryan showed Jamie to the bookstore. She was surprised to find the store sectioned off in categories, just like at a regular bookstore. But these categories were a bit different than the ones found at Barnes & Noble. 'Coming Out', 'Lesbian Sexuality', and 'Lesbian Parenting' caught Jamie's eye as she glanced around the small space. She also noticed that there was a section where CD's and tapes were sold. She strolled over to that area and realized that none of the artists were familiar to her.
    "Are these um...'lesbian specific' singers?" she asked tentatively while holding up a CD for Ryan's inspection.
    "That's a cute way to put it," Ryan said. "I would say for the most part these artists are lesbians, but there is a good bit of generic women's music also, along with some self help and spirituality tapes," she said knowledgeably.
    "How do you know so much about this place, and how do you know Babs?" Jamie found the courage to ask, hoping that she wasn't prying too much.
    "When I was a kid, I couldn't get into the bars, even though I thought I looked quite mature," she said smugly. "I read about this place in one of the lesbian newspapers I found in the Castro. I came over one day on BART and I became such a pest that Babs took pity on me and let me hang out on the weekends and earn a few bucks helping out."
    "So you've known you were gay for a long time?" Jamie asked with interest.
    "I'll tell you the whole sordid story," Ryan agreed, "but let's finish up in here first."
    Jamie spent quite a few more minutes looking carefully at the titles that lined the lilac painted wooden shelves. "I must admit, this is all a bit surprising to me," Jamie said with a touch of embarrassment. "I guess I just never thought that there would be a whole cottage industry catering to lesbians like this. Do you think it's necessary, Ryan?" she asked thoughtfully.
    Ryan seemed to consider her question for a moment. She gazed at her carefully as she replied, "Yes, Jamie, I really do. When you think about it, gay people are the only minority group that doesn't share their minority status with their parents. When people come out, many of them are overwhelmed by the experience. Even if their parents are supportive, they don't know how to help. Places like this can be a lifesaver for people who are really struggling. I know it was for me," she said somberly.
    "I can see that it would really help someone who was sure of their preferences," Jamie stated after a moment. "But what about girls who are just confused? Don't you think this could push them into a place that they don't really belong?" she asked with a look of concern on her face.
    "I know you don't know all of the lingo but gay people really prefer to have their sexuality be considered an orientation rather than a preference, Jamie," she said clearly.
    "I'm sorry," she said quickly. "What did I say?"
    "You referred to someone being sure of their preferences," Ryan explained. "It's not a real big deal but

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