Title: How We Began
Authors: Alexis Hall, Amy Jo Cousins, Annabeth Albert
Delphine Dryden, Edie Danford, Geonn Cannon, Vanessa North
Genre: LGBTQ+, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: November 9, 2015Summary:
How does love begin? A glance, a gesture, an unexpected offer of help from a stranger…or from a good friend. A smile across a counter at a coffee shop or video store. A secret revealed in a song from another place and time. Or in a love ballad crooned at a high school dance.
In this anthology of never-before-published sweet LGBTQ+ stories, seven authors explore the beginnings of love between young and new adult couples. All proceeds will support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
Extinction Level Events by Geonn Cannon
Cassandra loved the town; it seemed as if everywhere else on the North American continent humans set up camp and reformed the land to make it “better.” Then settlers reached the Pacific Northwest and decided to leave everything alone as much as possible. She turned right so she could drive past the waterfront. The landmass visible across the water was Canada, meaning she was feet away from where America ended. She was moving to Savannah to attend the College of Art and Design. Savannah was another coastal city, and when she arrived she planned to stand on one of the most eastern extremes of town. That way she could say she had bookended the American continent.
Natalie thought it was crazy she had chosen a school on the other coast, but it was a calculated decision. SCAD was her dream school, yes, but she also felt she needed the distance. She needed to find out who she was beyond the confines of her life so far. Everyone in town knew her, had a picture in their head of who she was, and she knew shedding their preconceived notions would make it harder to explore any new avenues. She needed a fresh start, and leaving everything behind was the best way to do that.
She knew she shouldn’t be scared. Yes, this was a big change, but change was second nature to her. Throughout high school she had changed her name so many times that, on the first day of senior year, one of her friends jokingly gave her a blank name tag and told her to “fill it out at the beginning of the day, just to make things easier on us.” She’d been Cass, Cassie, Sandy, Sandra, and C.K. In some places online she was CassFromCascara, just because she liked the way it sounded. Her naturally blonde hair had turned red, black, maroon, back to red, back to blonde, then cut so short her mother scolded that she might as well have shaved it. She hadn’t gone to that extreme, but she did seriously consider it for a few weeks.
Her mother was supportive of every experiment Cassandra tried. “High school is your fitting-room stage. Try on everything and see what fits. Otherwise how will you know who you really are?”
Of course, her mother didn’t know the major conclusion she’d reached at the end of all her experimentation. Cassandra had ended up with shoulder-length hair in her natural blonde, and she’d decided her birth name was just fine for her. Friends could call her Cass or Cassie, but for all intents and purposes she was Cassandra. She was blonde. She was a high school graduate. She was gay. She liked soccer. Only one of those facts wasn’t common knowledge.
Amy Jo Cousins