By Sam Dubiner
An unrequited love from all those summers ago.
A memory you wish could be forgotten now seems almost impossible to ignore.
Sitting across from you, outside Balzac’s; the disgraced former mascot of Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU)—Eggy the Ram. The one who abandoned you here on that hot summer night many years prior.
This was supposed to be a relaxing coffee break between classes, why the hell did they have to show up?
“The tasteful thickness of the coat, oh my God, it even has a ram patch”
“So I heard you settled,” the musty beast laughs. “How’s that cherry bird treating you?”
“I’ve moved on,” you announce confidently. “And by the way, their name is Falcon.”
Eggy watches as you shakily sip a freshly brewed cappuccino.
“‘Falcon’ is just a replacement for me,” says the two-horned ram. “They’re so new, they don’t even have a real name.”
You put your coffee down—the drink’s milky sweetness turned bitter from the mascot’s overbearing arrogance.
“Good for you, really,” the jerseyed behemoth continues, wiping away an embarrassingly large amount of froth from the corner of your top lip with their furry trotter.
You try to slap their four-fingered pad away from your mouth but immediately realize your mistake as the back of your hand sinks into that familiar soft, synthetic fur.
“What was that for?” you ask.
“You were growing a moustache,” teases the mascot, wiping their hand on the leg of a passing student.
You angrily get up from your seat. “Did you really sit here just to be a condescending prick? What do you want, Eggy?” you say, frustrated and confused.
Suddenly, it’s silent. The not-so-distant sounds of sirens and the idle chatter of students becomes white noise, making the pregnant pause seem longer than it really is. Finally, Eggy speaks.
“Y/N,” they begin. “If you truly want to know, I came here to apologize. I’m sorry about how I treated you.”
You stare into their large beady eyes, bewildered.
“I told you already. I’ve moved on. Things aren’t like how they used to be. I’m happy.” Suddenly, the tall, furry mammal stands.
“But I missed—no, I miss you…”
Your heart stops for a moment. As they tower over your frame, you can’t help but wonder if the ram grew since you last saw each other.
Their broad shoulders and enormous, muppet-like arms make the bur-fab buck appear larger than life.
You take a deep breath. Forgiveness is not for everyone, you remind yourself, taking solace in looking at the ground and staring at your salt-covered Timberlands.
“God, I hate winter,” you mumble, fiddling with your TMU beanie, anxiously avoiding the waiting ram barely an arm’s length away.
“What did you say?” Eggy asks, gazing into your soul.
The darkly rich, dual orbs that cemented your infatuation so many years ago still sparkle brightly like the North Star.
Eggy was your Polaris—a guiding light adorned with beautifully crafted fabric horns. Those damned eyes…
“But I missed-no, I miss you”
“I hate winter,” you repeat, regaining your composure. “Falcon worked hard to get these boots for my birthday and they’re already stained with Toronto filth.”
Eggy’s gaze hardens as he begins to pick up his belongings, dissatisfied with what you just said.
“Must’ve taken Falcon quite a while to save up for those shoes on a mere mascot’s salary,” they taunt while donning a hardshell Arc’teryx jacket.
The coat’s elegant form and subtle blue colour scheme sculpt the mascot’s figure, awakening some latent sexual response that causes you to blush and take off your beanie in embarrassment.
Eggy sees your wriggling and takes the opportunity to move closer to you. You try to contain yourself as heavy condensation escapes the horned hunk’s breathing holes.
The last time we were this close, you think.
Eggy interrupts your thoughts.
“It’s Gore-tex,” they say smugly. “What do you think?”
Something about the way the jacket envelops Eggy’s body has you at a loss for words. The tasteful thickness of the coat, oh my God, it even has a ram patch…
“Something wrong, Y/N? You’re sweating,” they say.
If the ram was capable of facial expressions, you know they would be sporting a huge shit-eating grin.
“You look like roadkill,” you remark, avoiding lecherous eyes.
The ram draws even closer to you. “And you, the car that ran me over.”
“What are you talking about, Eggy?” you ask in a resigned tone.
Tracing his seductively big fingers across the side of your face, Eggy stares into your eyes and asks: “Do you think that love can bloom, even in a place like this?”
Unsure of what to say or do as you stand in front of a crowded coffee shop filled with sleep-deprived students, you stumble backwards. But instead of falling onto the hard pavement, you’re enveloped by the wings of your personal Horus—your very own falcon-headed saviour.
Your heart is quickly soothed by the aroma of clean laundry, mint isopropyl alcohol and the fluffiness of soft feathers.
That’s right, you think to yourself, if Eggy was my Polaris, then Falcon is both my Morning and Evening Star.
“If watered, a rose can bloom even in concrete,” the Falcon says. You’re too overwhelmed with emotion to understand what’s going on.
As the world around you begins to blur, you faintly see Falcon and Eggy glaring at each other.
“Y/N, is this thing bothering you?”