Nina You don’t belong here. I only glance up because I can feel his presence — and see it, too. Half of the salon’s floor to ceiling window is shrouded in the darkness of his silhouette as he approaches the door, its bell chime rendered obsolete as customer and nail technician alike are, like me, already stopped in their tracks to witness the titan’s grand entrance. Standing at the front desk, he gives himself up unwillingly for inspection; dozens of pairs of eyes dart from his patched up work boots, up to his sleeves of traditional tattoos, and rest on his eyes, so bright blue that they eclipse the deep scars on his cheeks.
Avery West, where have you gone? I saw your flyer today, fastened with that thick, clear packing tape to a pole outside of 7-Eleven. You don’t really look like me; for one, I don’t look good in pink dresses. Two, I wish I had your green eyes. Three, I haven’t been 120 pounds since I was fifteen years old. Well, I suppose you are fifteen, so we do have more in common than just our name. Your mom is looking for you, Avery West. She’s a mess without you.