A/N: I have more of Mary Anne's journal! Just a disclaimer...as many of you probably saw in some of my other stories, I just want to remind readers that Shane Arrington is a creation of Betsy Haynes, not the current author and that Rowena aka, Ran Zak is a creation of L. E. Blair, not the current author.

Oh, and also, if any homophobes happen to stumble here upon this site...there are gay characters in this story, just a warning, so if you're one of those who think it a great "sin" to be gay or are prejudiced against gays, be warned; this story recognizes gay rights and honors gay couples just as equal as a straight couple.

This story takes place in the early 2000, 2004 or so before gay marriage was legalized, so some of the thoughts are expressed pre-legalization.

Soo, as Ann Martin says, happy reading, readers and thanks for reviewing my other stories; I appreciate it!

August, 2004:

Sunday night:

Hi, just got back from the pool. I know it sounds strange since it's eleven-thirty.

Sometimes, after the pool closes, a bunch of us-usually Kristy, Mona, Greta, Wyser, Shane, Ran, and I go for a late-night dip.

I think eight is a little too early to close the pool; I mean, the sun is still up at that time in the summer.

The pool back in the old town closes at nine, but not this one.

Sometimes, we go during the day if we're all free, but it's less crowded at night.

Since it's a city-funded pool, there's never an admission charge for New York City residents.

The fence isn't that high and half the time, the guards forget to lock it, so it's easy to get in; we just scale the fence the few times it is locked.

Occasionally, there're others there dipping. Most of them are college students, but there's this one middle-aged lesbian couple that comes there sometimes too.

We had a good time tonight as usual and the water feels sooo good considering the heat.

Kristy and Shane sometimes strip completely and skinny-dip. Those two are a riot!

Well, tonight, Greta and Wyser joined them and stripped too. It was funny seeing the four of them swim naked.

Sometimes, some of the others who come here skinny-dip too.

Mona, Ran, and I haven't worked up that kind of courage yet; I'd feel weird with my breasts exposed outdoors, no matter how hot it is.

Tonight, we had the pool to ourselves; no one else was there tonight, so we brought a rubber kickboard and played toss with it, then used it to float back and forth.

The moon was out tonight and was soo pretty. It's in its last half now.

Right now, I'm here in my room, feeling fresh from our dip while Mona's in the shower and Greta and Wyser are in their room, probably necking.

Oh, maybe I forgot to mention that they are an item and have been for about a year.

Greta says that she hopes by the time we get through graduate school, more states, including New York will let gay couples be officially married just the way straight couples are.

Right now, Hawaii is the only state that has it in their books, although I've read that individual judges, rabbis, ministers, and priests go ahead and at least have a ceremony and record the union.

Mona could vouch for that, since she's also gay.

I wonder when this country is going to wake up and realize that gays have the same rights as straights and starts recognizing that their love is just as valid?

Many other countries do; why is the States so backward on that? Well, the U.S. is advanced technology-wise, but is sooo backward-thinking on other issues, especially sexuality and domestic issues.

I find it so hard to believe that we're one of the only "advanced" countries that doesn't have universal day-care, doesn't have universal sex protection devices in their schools, and only just recently as of a few years ago, thanks to Bill Clinton, passed the Family Leave Act.

I just hope when we have families of our own, the States catches up or all of us are going to have a lot of battles to fight.

I thank the stars I live up here in the Northeast, actually, they're more liberal and forward-thinking than many other parts of the country, especially down south.

Well, hey, Mona just got out of the shower, so I'm going to go shower, then get in bed with a book.

I'm halfway through Summer Sisters. It's a really good Judy Blume adult novel; she writes a lot of good adult books as well as for kids.

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Thursday:

Finally! A little break in this heat wave! Oh, it's a relief!

It dipped down to the mid-eighties today. It's still rather humid, but at least it's bearable now.

I'm here in the lounge of my work at the campus bookstore on a work break; I have a half hour before I have to go back; today's my day to ring up the sales.

We employees are rotated duty-wise. One day, it's ringing up sales and cashier stuff; another day it's restocking books; another day it may be in the back taking inventory.

Tomorrow afternoon, I have inventory. I like the work; I like being around books and the people here are nice.

Oh, and yes, the assign a person for break coverage for the cashier, so right now, Kim Salvado is covering the cash register for me while I take my break.

In the summer, I work more hours and save up my money, although it isn't quite full-time.

I'm grateful that most of my tuition is picked up by partial scholarship and state and federal aid.

The first two years I was here, Sharon and Dad helped with the bill too, pitching in twenty percent to match the twenty percent I was putting in out of my money.

I have a college fund that I saved up from the all the baby-sitting I did in middle and high school, so I don't have to worry too much about that.

Most of the money I earn here is either put in my checking account or used for rent, my books, and day-to-day expenses.

Now Dad and Sharon don't have to worry about my tuition bill at all since I'm now considered independent.

Last year Uncle Sam and New York State kicked in more toward my bill.

Oh, thank you both, federal government and state of New York!

I'll think of some way to pay them back by doing my part to make this country and New York a better place, make it worth their cash.

I also still baby-sit some weekend nights and over the summer to supplement my income; every little bit helps.

Mona babysits too; she works part-time in the campus variety store and also is getting financial aid.

Soon, I'll have to fill out the paperwork for financial aid for graduate school and look for a job closer to my field; I might have a shot at student-teaching next year.

That'd be swell; real experience before I get out of college, so I'll be prepared.

I've been checking at the career planning office and a lot of the public schools here hire students to work part-time in their offices, either as assistants or for mundane clerical work and the pay would be better.

And on top of that, graduate school at least in my field, would be just maybe two three-hour classes a semester, so I could maybe have two days of classes, three days working, etc, etc.

Hey, I gotta run, my break is just about over and I'm slurping the last of this soda before I run back to the cash register and relieve Kim.

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Saturday:

A quiet weekend night...as quiet as the Big Apple can be...and I'm here at Laurie Levaugh's apartment baby-sitting her three-year-old twins while she gets a break from parenting and goes out with a group of friends.

The twins are asleep now and I have my journal here as well as some of the books I've bought for the upcoming semester here in my backpack.

Classes are just a few weeks away and I'm looking forward to it.

Hard to believe it's my last year in undergrad school.

Our gang...Kristy, Mona, and the rest of us...the night pool gang, come to think of it, are thinking of taking a Labor Day weekend trip to the beach.

The beach isn't too far and we'd go early on Sunday and spend the day there, then come back home that night.

None of us have to work that Sunday, so it sounds like a good day to do it.

We still have to iron out a few plans, figure out what food to bring, etc, etc.

Just went to check the twins; they're sooo adorable. They're twin girls, fraternal twins.

Laurie's actually a student at Staten U. and we met last spring when I saw her putting up an ad that she needed a baby-sitter for her kids, so I offered and it worked and now I baby-sit occasionally.

Laurie must have a lot of courage and is very mature; I know I'm not ready to have kids now.

Laurie's my age, so she had the kids when she was only eighteen.

I'm so glad she's able to continue going to school.

Staten U. has an on-site day care; a lot of colleges now recognize students who are parents and need day care.

Laurie also works part-time doing clerical work in an office, so she uses the day care while she works and goes to school; she also gets financial aid for tuition and day care costs.

It's almost eleven and Laurie's going to be back soon, so talk later.

A/N: More soon! Hope you enjoyed this piece! More on the way!