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Once upon a time, in a land they call Hayward, California, a baby was born. It took her almost 24 hours to enter this world. She took her sweet time, just like she takes her sweet time doing anything now.

She grew up watching Villa Legre on PBS and sleeping on her Snoopy sheets. She enjoyed elementary school, winning spelling contests and playing on the monkey bars. Summers were the best times of her life. She had three months off, spending everyday at Loard's Ice Cream Parlor, causing them to run out of Raspberry Sherbet Freezes.

Junior High and High School were extremely difficult for her. She was definitely not beautiful. She had braces, big hair, and bad skin. She was pissed off a lot because some of the mean kids made fun of her.

She poured herself into academics, and it paid off for her. She won numerous awards, including Best Overall Sophomore English Student and Outstanding Biology Student. Her high school graduation was one of joy and terror. She was the Salutitorian, which filled her with joy, and she had to give a commencement address, which filled her with terror. She made it through OK, and her daddy was really proud of her.

She decided to go to a small community college first and transfer later. Friends and family thought she was crazy, but she didn't care. She worked hard and was accepted to the University of California, San Diego. She had a great time there, partying and studying hard. She had a nice, but anal-retentive roommate her first year, and a really cool one the second year. She still keeps in touch with the latter roommate.

She finally got out into the real world, after graduating from UCSD. She didn't know what she wanted to do, so she did some temporary receptionist work. The jobs were easy and the money was pretty good. At one assignment in the Silicon Valley, she met a nice gal named Grace. Grace was not your average grrl, but she was very sweet to Cheryl. They went to happy hours together, had dinners together, and even drove to work together. Grace made her laugh and smile.

To some people's dismay, Cheryl fell in love with Grace. She didn't quite understand why she fell in love, but she rationalized it this way to her friends:

"Grace had all the qualities I wanted. I just wasn't gender-specific."

Some people still didn't get it, and they freaked out. This made Cheryl freak out, so she ran away with Grace to live in this dumpy city called Hollywood. It was the yuckiest place on earth, and they didn't have a lot to eat. By the time they had enough, they weren't eating and had no electricity. Both were really depressed and headed for the Bay Area.

They spent the last few years since Horrendous Hollywood rebuilding their lives. It hasn't been easy. She's independent of her parents and wants to keep it that way. However, she still knocks at their door for her daddy's sinigang. She brings a million loads of laundry with her.

Things are going well for her. She obtained a Technical Communications certificate from De Anza College. She has a kick-ass portfolio, and she works as a technical writer. In-between contracts, she works as an administrative assistant or receptionist. She's working on her personal goals, and things are falling into place. She has grown a lot spiritually. She hears Mass more often now, and may become a practicing Catholic again. She practices ritual candle-burning/prayer and reads the Tarot. Five years after she came out to everyone, she's solid as a rock and has found peace with God.

I can't end this story with the usual, The End, because it really has just begun.