- bear by the antlers

03/06, Wednesday - The kiddos in our little group of hooligans have decided a girl vs. boy rollerskating competition is entirely appropriate on this sunny afternoon. You decide: what are the stakes?

-

So it had never really been my intention to get involved with a married man. But like I’ve probably said on countless occasions before, when having woken up with a hangover or a broken collarbone or something stupid, sh*t happens. Well, I should probably go back to the beginning – how it all started. I went to that interview for that local-based surfing magazine (having been one noted the ‘one to look out for’ by an infamous national mag) and learned I was to be the first female ever on the cover. Something I hadn’t learned until that very second.

Along with that discovery, I met the man behind the magazine, Johnny Clapp. Conversation with him was effortless and easy and unlike most interviews, the questions felt lively and thoughtful; he didn’t just give that same old, boring crap all sports magazines give any female athletes. ‘What’s it like being considered just as good as the boys?’ No. Stop. If I hear that question one more time, I might just have to vomit.

He was cute too, far cuter than all the annoying boys my age. That’s the thing that comes with the territory of being Ayah Nazari – never have you ever actually liked the people you /should/ like. Never. I guess that’s a simple fact I’ve always come to accept.

But the thing with Johnny was that I just thought it was the age.

He was what, nine, ten years my senior?

But no, Ayah, that wasn’t the only thing.

I should have noticed it really, especially being one of those observant people. I could read my mother’s emotions by simply looking at the back of her hijab as she paced through the house, but I had been too caught up, too wrapped up in the butterflies he made me feel deep in the pit of my stomach.

There was the shiny gold ring wrapped around his left finger.

There was the black and white portrait of him and a dark haired woman sitting pleasantly on his desk.

It was the simplicity of his kindness or his handsomeness or all his amazing traits shoveled into that one entity. He was too pleasant /not/ to be married.

I should have been able to spot little things like that, which being a woman entails. Female intuition. It comes with the territory.

But that’s the thing about boys – they mess with your emotions.

They take lines that were perfectly straight and linear and change them into a big, squiggly mess of shapes, of parabolas and hyperbolas and ellipses. Of unknown vertices and focuses and radii. They take simple math, like 1 + 1, and change into calculus equations, so dire and complex that it takes five letters just to serves as an accurate representation; 8x + 2y – 3z + w – 29v. They’re the reason we pull our hair out and bruise our bodies and burn our skin with the butts of our cigarettes. Boys are the reasons we can’t sleep at night. 

-

It was on my way to that stupid little organized, battle of the sexes rollerskating competition that I ran into one said Johnny Clapp.

I honestly hadn’t had any interest in attending said event in the slightest, maybe made apparent by my cynical attitude, mounting work schedule at Santa Cruz’s very own True Art Tattoo, and the strenuous hours spent in the Pacific Ocean off of West Cliff’s shores, practicing my own talents at the sport of surfing. But of course, my stepsister, Chloè, had forced a very mistaken promise of attendance out of me at 3 in the morning via iMessage when I had also been very drunk.

Drunken iMessaging is /not/ okay.

Especially when promises and swears and attendances to lame events you’d rather really not attend are involved.

I was walking through downtown Santa Cruz, headed in the direction of the skate park a few streets down, when I saw him across the street, heading back in the direction of the old theater. I felt a lump in my throat form nearly as soon as recognition hit; dare I wave my arms, call his name, and make a fool out of myself in order to gain his attention? Or do I let him simply pass, like that scene in the Butterfly Effect where Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart walk right past each other, without even realizing who the other is and all the imminent history there?

Is it possible he could be my Ashton Kutcher?

The person my soul felt so desperately attached to, but in all reality, I could never actually have without facing any dire consequences?

Damn. I watch too many psychological thrillers. That, and I smoke far too much weed.

“JOHNNY!” I finally realized that I was Ayah Nazari and I never gave a sh*t about any way, shape, form, or light I was perceived in.

He paused dead in his tracks and glanced around the promenade before finally settling on me. A warm smile took over his features, causing the crinkle of his eyes and a slight chuckle to eminent from his lips. He waved before glancing around and J-walking straight to my side of the street.

“Hey Ayah!” We awkwardly, hugged, bodies pressed tightly together in embrace.

I bit my lip, unsure of what to say now.

What does one say to the man who keeps her up at night without even knowing so?

“You busy? I was just about to catch some lunch…” His brown eyes met mine warmly, a look of expectation clearly visible.

I didn’t know what to say, until I finally decided to say what I wanted to say.

“No, not at all!”

-

(type 'we're not old at all' if you read it all)
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