“Hey DownToBuck,” Ricky says as he walks towards me from a great distance.
“Ricky,” I murmur to myself, quietly enough that he can’t hear it, and I know this must be a dream because there is no circumstance in my waking life where I would get to see Ricky Rubio in person. I try to avoid staring at him, so I look at anything else; I’m standing in the central courtyard of a small Spanish village, so I pretend to be interested in the architectural details of the nearby Catholic church.
Ricky reaches me and puts his hand on my shoulder. At some point, his shirt has come off. I look down and am surprised to see that I am similarly bare-chested. The bright sun, unhindered by clouds, warms my exposed skin. “You’ll make a highlight video for me, won’t you, DownToBuck?” he asks, staring me in the face. He says these words in Spanish, but I understand them with ease
When I respond, I look right into his eyes, stunned by how beautiful they are, how deep and expressively brown they are. “Yes. I will make a highlight video for you. Always.”
Ricky suddenly takes me into his arms, and I relax into his embrace, my skinny frame enveloped by the comfortable solidity of his more muscular frame. His beard tickles my forehead. “It’ll be okay, DownToBuck.”
I’m not quite sure what Ricky is talking about. He could be referring to the deletion of my original channel, or maybe other stresses I have been facing in my personal, offline life. “As long as you’re here, Ricky.” For some reason, these sentimental words don’t seem sappy at all. They seem perfectly natural.
Ricky pushes my chin up with his fingers so he can look me in the eyes again. Are faces are so close that our noses almost touch. “Ricky, I-”
I am shushed by Ricky’s finger on my lips. “Shhh. No more words. Only emotions now.”
There are sudden, urgent meows coming from nearby. I look to see if there is a lost or hungry cat nearby, but don’t see one. However, the meows continue, getting louder, and suddenly, the Spanish village disappears and I am back in my dark bedroom.
Japurri’s little face is above me, and he is gently prodding me in the chest with his paw. He’s hungry. Disappointment washes over me, and I yearn to again be held in Ricky’s strong arms, to let our emotions take us where they may.