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Rhapsody in Bohemia

Author(s): Zaku Aka

In 1976 romantic love was between a man and a woman.  Women who loved women could never admit their desire.  For two young women who were best friends but knew in their hearts they were so much more, life was far from easy.  In their town, in their world, two girls together was not acceptable.  Prejudice relating to race, ethnicity and religion was rampant in their community.  But no one spoke of sexuality.  No one used the words gay or lesbian.  Those people did not exist.  For Mira and Bridget, what begins with simple kisses ends when Mira goes to college and Bridget travels to New York City.  When Mira graduates, she spends a weekend with Bridget who introduces her to a lesbian club, and it is then, in 1981, that the two young women realize they must decide if they are willing to live a lie or embrace an unconventional life disdained by their heterosexual counterparts.
 
Excerpt:
Her statuesque silhouette was visible against the backdrop of the snow-capped mountain.  Glistening in the afternoon sun, her wavy auburn hair bounced as she approached.  Our eyes met; hers were green like oak leaves in spring.  She reached out her delicately strong fingers to caress my face, and then she placed her warm subtle lips to mine.  I was reeling with delight as she…
 
“Mira, it’s time to get up.”
 
What was that dream about? Mira thought as she slowly opened her tired blue eyes.  She rolled out of bed, placed her feet onto the warm wooden floor while stretching to turn on her new Queen record, then began to sing along as she chose her outfit.
 
******
 
They were sitting on the edge of the bed holding hands and without thinking, Mira leaned over and kissed Bridget on the lips.  It was their first real kiss.  It was more than a kiss between friends, and Bridget’s body became electrified.  Mira placed her hands on Bridget’s face as the kiss continued. 
 
“Wow, Mira, I never felt anything like that before,” Bridget said with a smile.
 
“Me neither.”
 
“I’ll see you at work tomorrow?” asked Bridget.
 
“You can count on it.”
 
Bridget walked Mira downstairs and watched as she walked down the steps and across the street to go home.  Little did she know what lay ahead in their relationship.
 
“Bridget, don’t you have any other friends, friends more like you?” asked Bridget’s mom.
 
“Mira’s my best friend, Mom.  She gets me.  I would think that would make you happy,” Bridget said in an angry tone.
 
“You two just seem a little too close, is all.”
 
Bridget froze and didn’t know what to say to that.  She felt scared again.  “I’m tired, Mom.  Do you mind if I go to bed?”  The feeling of fear was growing inside of Bridget as she lay down to sleep.  What if her mother found out that she was kissing Mira?  What would she and her father think?  She felt scared and alone and wished Mira were there with her.
 
A few days later when Bridget arrived at work, Mike and C.J. were also working.  They started teasing her about Mira holding her hand on the rollercoaster.  Had she made light of it, they may have stopped, but the look of fright on her face was just what they needed to keep going.  The more upset and scared she appeared, the more they needled her.  When C.J. called her a lesbian, it was more than she could bear.  She turned and said, “I’m not a lesbian.  I’ll prove it to you at your apartment Saturday night if you want.”
 

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-1-6184-5230-6
Genre: GLBT
Date Published: 09/06/2013
Publisher: Beau to Beau Books

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