Now & Forever ABCs (Sally)

Salencia Lily Constellino

12 June 1996
Theist

Sally was born in Toronto, but moved from there before she was four so barely remembers the place — though she still holds Canadian citizenship due to not being an adult and thus unable to apply for US citizenship and unable to inherit it from parents who have not, themselves, applied.  Through quirks of law in her parents’ birth countries she also holds citizenship, or at least a right to it, in France and Italy.  Sally is aware of these details and finds it funny — she belongs to three countries she has never lived in, but not the one in which she nearly always has.

Sally has always been mesmerised by horses.  Her favourite animals at the zoo were always the equines, and as early as two she would happily watch horse racing and equestrian competitions.  Oddly enough, however, she has never liked Westerns — despite their plethora of horses, many of which she will happily admit are gorgeous animals.

To Sally, home is and in many ways will always be Glade Falls.  She does have something of a love-hate relationship with the little community, but that is because the small rural town is a lovely example of conservative rural America.  The average person did nothing to directly insult or upset her, though they could be highly frustrating, as it was not unheard of for them to treat her with a certain caution in certain situations (showers at school, sleepovers, etc.) or in efforts to be ‘helpful’.  Some disgusted and angered her, not a majority, but Sally is too good with numbers and the realisation that twenty people in two hundred is a rather more significant figure than twenty in, even, a thousand.  The ones outright hostile or rude to her, though, were countered by those who were kind, supportive, and/or understanding.

She had never been, always, the most popular of people in the town.  Her sense of humour and tendency to speak her mind and damn the consequences put many a bit off.  Sally never means to insult anyone, she simply has no concept of reverence; to her God happens to other people, whether or not any deities exist (something she’s fairly certain is true as she can think of no alternate logical reason for the existence of the universe) she sees no reason why they should be treated any differently than other people — in fact she feels that, should God manifest before her, she is in full right to demand He be willing to answer for a good chunk of the last few thousand years of human history.

To compound her relationship with those around her, Sally’s rather broad-minded approach to the universe left her outed as a lesbian at nine years old in a small school populated, primarily, by Christian conservatives.  It had completely passed her by that ordinary people could take issue with someone being attracted to the same sex; she sincerely believed such people stood out and always made loud speeches while wearing buttons or t-shirts with really stupid slogans on them — and also had an impression they all spoke with bad southern accents or had shaved heads & dressed in camo.  She was friends, through Hrithrik and Theresa, with many different sorts of people — not to mention the members of her own family including someone who is transgender — from a gay couple to a polyamorist family of three men and five women, from Atheists to Zoroastrians.  She simply wasn’t prepared for the reaction her little note asking the little Miss Vivian Canadien, who sat beside Sally in Science class, if the two could be girlfriends would receive.

Sally was heartbroken by the reactions of her classmates, angered beyond words by the reactions of her school’s faculty, and stung deeply by the reactions of the parents of various of her friends (or, after this, in several cases former friends).  Until this point Sally had called herself Catholic under the logic that she attended a Catholic school, worshipped — if infrequently, and only when told she had to go — at a Catholic church, and was part of a primarily Catholic family … Sally’s relationship with God went from casual and indifferent to hostile, church and the Christian divine stopped being quite so amusing to her.

The friendships that held on remained strong, however, and the love and support from both her family and those friends that stuck by her helped her through; she even, eventually, made a few new friendships from the ashes of the old — people who saw how some treated her and offered their sympathies leading to a discovery of common interests.

The move to Washington was a devastating blow to Sally, though she remained philosophical enough about it to not become clinically depressed about the fact.  She didn’t want to leave her beloved mountains and horses, to leave behind cherished and deep friendships to try to forge new from a crowd of strangers in unfamiliar territory — the only time she’d ever been in Seattle had been a stopover at the airport while en route to visit a little village in Siberia.  Still she was not so naïve she couldn’t see that, even in a city like Memphis or Atlanta, the odds improved steeply that she might be better accepted (or at least tolerated) and might even meet some nice girls willing to date her.  She focused on the positives — getting to see her mother more often, more open minded populous, proximity to the ocean — trying to will herself to accept the move.

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