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Lesbian Fiction: Life in Post World War II NYC

08 Nov Posted by in • Robin Lowey | Comments
Lesbian Fiction: Life in Post World War II NYC

Oh jeepers! I was wearing a red dress. I’d forgotten that everything in Sardi’s is red or maroon. The walls, the banquettes, the seats, the menus, the awning outside. As I worried about how to get out of my red dress without being noticed, Juliana came through the door, stepping feather-light on Sardi’s maroon carpet. My heart literally leapt up. She wore a mink jacket over a black linen afternoon dress and a matching wide brimmed hat sloped over her forehead. The tuxedoed maitre’d met her at the door and led the way. She stepped toward me, her dark hair bouncing around her shoulders. “Well,” she said, standing behind the chair, smiling at me. “It’s been a while. Hasn’t it?

The maitre’d helped her to remove her coat and guided her into her chair. He bent close to her ear and whispered, “I enjoyed your last show so very much.”

“Thank you, Sidney.” He bowed and left us. “You look very good, Al. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you in red before.”

“I clash with the room.”

She laughed. “I don’t think anyone else would ever think to say that. I’ve missed you.” She slid off her gloves, keeping my gaze the whole time. Could there be anything more joyful than to look into her eyes? But, of course, we couldn’t touch.

We began with a sparkling burgundy wine. Not having had breakfast it went straight to my head, and I had visions of her and me—well, you know—so it was hard to concentrate on her funny stories of Chicago and L.A. When she reached across the table for the salt—“Oh, let me,” I said. Our hands met for one lovely moment, both holding the shaker; we stayed that way, looking into each other’s eyes, forgetting the danger. Then remembering, we quickly let go, and the saltshaker fell spewing salt all over the table.

Sydney hurried over with a crumber. “Allow me,” he said. He’d been watching us. Eyes were always watching Juliana. Probably everyone in the place had seen us drop that saltshaker.

“Thank you, Sidney,” I said as he left. We couldn’t allow ourselves to forget to be on our guard at all times.

“Did you read this contract?” Juliana asked, taking us back into the real world. She slipped it from her purse and laid it on the table.

“I read all your contracts.”

“Then you read the morality clause.”

“Oh, that.”

“They want me to be ‘clean’ in my personal life. I can’t do anything that would embarrass their audience.”

“Everyone signs that.”

“They can look into my personal life, Al.”

“It doesn’t mean they think you’re, you know …. They don’t know about that. They’re looking for communists.”

“Only communists? I know you’re not that naïve. I’m not so used to boldly lying, signature and all.”

“You’re not lying. You’re not immoral—exactly.”

She smiled and took a pencil from her purse; she licked the end and scrawled her flowing signature at the bottom of the page. “This will get easier, won’t it?” She replaced the pencil in her bag. “Lying.”

Find out more about VANDA at vandawriter.com.  Olympus Nights on the Square: Book 2 of Juliana Series  by VANDA is available HERE.

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