The following is an unpolished excerpt from CYBILL UNION’s first chapter. In it, the storyteller shares the tale of when her future wife expressed romantic interest for the first time. The names are changed here but each person’s identity will be revealed in the book.
An emailed request to march in a July Fourth parade on behalf of an aspiring court judge arrived in Katie’s inbox, an invitation she accepted because it meant Sheree enjoyed her company enough to ask her to join her on what became “a cloudy, rainy day where we had the chance to talk a little bit more.”
The fulfillment of this invitation led next to another invitation to join Sheree and her friends at a backyard barbecue hosted by best friend Renae Ogletree, herself a co-chair for Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays and a champion youth advocate.
“What was funny was that one of her friends came up to introduce herself to me, then walked up to Sheree later, saying, ‘I like that woman. Go up and talk to her. But be nice to her, because I like her.’ And then she said the strangest thing. She asked if we’d been on a trip yet, and I laughed.
“We hadn’t even been on a date yet!”
Still, only able to remain long enough at the cookout to enjoy the company of Sheree’s many friends for a brief period, Katie left early to join friends of her own, an act that left many in the backyard to ask Sheree about their relationship.
“The next time we got together, I called her because I knew that she was a big Closet girl,” the glowing storyteller shared, referring to the near forty-year old Chicago bar on Broadway at Roscoe that caters mainly to a gay clientele. “I told her I was going to meet my friend Erin there, and since they knew each other, I asked her to join us.” Also joining Katie and Erin was Cindy, another buddy whose position as roommate and best friend inspired in her all of the protective qualities of a suspicious sibling. Elaborating, Katie detailed how thoroughly Cindy sequestered Sheree, while Sheree watched Katie from across the bar, her eyes growing wider and wider.
“She told me later that she thought, ‘Look at the ba-donk on that girl. She’s pretty darn cute! Maybe I should take a little bit of time…’
“So it was the first time that she really turned on that Sheree Williams charm. And there were a few sparks that evening.”