IMAGINE

            Sophie wears her rainbow lettered SBNN pin like a medal.  Straight but not narrow.  Her mother has warned her many times not to display it so openly on her jean jacket in case a homophobic bigot harasses her.  Sophie does get occasional stares or whispers of "Is she gay?" at school, but she doesn't care.

"You have more gay pride than I do," Jeremy says.  Sophie has known Jeremy since sixth grade, and he has known that he was gay since seventh.  It is his four-year coming-out day when he tells her this. 

"But wasn't that amazing?"  Sophie says.  They are in Central Park after participating in a rally.   "There were thousands of people standing up for equality in marriage.  Amazing."   

"It was," Jeremy admits.  "And I got four phone numbers."

They are sitting on a bench by the John Lennon memorial.  There is the familiar circular mosaic, shades of gray and geometric shapes.  In the middle is just one word: Imagine.  Several flowers lie there, probably gifts from tourists who had always wanted to visit Strawberry Fields. 

A group of Beatles look-alikes, dressed in their early suits, finishes "Love Me Do" and starts singing "I Want to Hold Your Hand."  They have fake wigs.  One of them (for none can be identified as one particular Beatle) has blond eyebrows.  A crowd has gathered to hear them play.  They sing and clap along happily.  Sophie notices many of them have come from the rally as well.  There are several rainbow flags to be seen, on T-shirts, on socks.

Sophie swings her legs; she's short and her feet don't touch the ground.  She is wearing sneakers that she and Jeremy have doodled on with magic markers.  A yellow smiley face peers up at her from her left shoe. 

"It's such a feeling that my love, I can't hide," the crowd is singing.

"I can't hide, I can't hide!" Sophie and Jeremy sing along, gripping each other's hands.  When the song is over, The Beatles impersonators pack up their guitars.

"I'm invigorated," Sophie says, bouncing a little.  Jeremy leans his head against her shoulder.

"I'm tired," he says.  "We're always fighting."

Sophie continues to grip his hand.  "But we're making some progress.  Gay people can get married in Massachusetts now."

Jeremy's angular shoulders shrug up, then down.

Two women with their arms around each other step up to the Imagine mosaic.  One of the women has curly brown hair that turns shiny red as she steps into the sunlight, while the other's is short and black, framing her round face.  Sophie watches as the two smile sadly and drop a black-eyed Susan on the memorial together, a silent prayer in their eyes.