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Swing on By - More than Music

Posted Feb. 20, 2024, 10:20 p.m. by Civilian Michael Conrad (Owner- Black Sparrow) (Tony Findora)

Posted by Civilian Kristina Cosgrove (Student, Public Relations Intern) in Swing on By - More than Music

Posted by Civilian Michael Conrad (Owner- Black Sparrow) in Swing on By - More than Music

Posted by Civilian Kristina Cosgrove (Student, Public Relations Intern) in Swing on By - More than Music
Posted by… suppressed (5) by the Post Ghost! 👻

(snip)

Conrad considered her first question about love as she added on to her statement. He grinned with a quick reply. “Duly noted.”

He took a moment to look over the menu as he put his words together. Once he knew what he wanted, he set the menu down and brought his eyes to her own. “That’s quite the loaded question. Have I been in love? Yes. But it was more than just a simple feeling at the time. Sure there was infatuation, and I certainly did care for her. But I would go the extra mile to help her. I was young, early adulthood. She was an orion named Vashki. I was certainly enraptured with her at first. A man certainly didn’t easily turn down a pretty orion who chose to flirt with him. She was the daughter of the commander who had taken my family in as slaves. Her father was the one who fired on our ship, took everything we had, including our lives. But she was different. She wanted to be free of him, and she wanted to see me free too. We loved each other deeply. Or so I thought. I helped get her free and she insured that I could go with her. But her intentions were to keep me bound to her, serving her purposes. She wanted a business of her own. She wanted to keep me as employment. Everything changed when she was finally free. It was a whole new fight for freedom for me, going from one master to someone else. I managed to get out, held my ground and defied them all. Ever since, I’ve never really gotten back into any serious relationships. Most relationships were about what I could get in return. But…that could change.”

It was more than Kristina had expected him to say, and made the revelations that much more intense. had he meant to share so much. Just because he had said he found her easy to talk to and trust didn’t mean he would be an open book with her. But that final statement sent flutters through her stomach.

He gave her a grin before adding. “And what about yourself? Should I be worried about any crazed lovers finding us in a public place like this?” he said teasingly.

-Michael Conrad

She mirrored his grin. “No, not likely. That would have been far more Halai’s life than mine. But first time in love was with Cody Friedman. Human, deep brown eyes and skin. He gave me a ring… made out of knotted grass. We were ten,” Kristina said with a chuckle.

“But I guess I fell in love about eight years ago, before I came to Oed the first time. “Vin Hinton. He was my… rebellious phase. I was going through a lot and aimless. I made some not so great decisions and in the end he broke my heart. I never really let it stop me but so much happened in these last years that there was never really anyone serious. I dated a bunch on Earth before I came back to Oed but no one really felt like they actually cared about me.” Cosgrove shrugged and looked back at the menu.

When the server came around, she ordered the grilled stuffed chicken breast. It sounded divine with the argula, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. The balsamic cream glaze just made it extra awesome. She ordered a side salad with it and looked at Conrad. “Want to split some focaccia bread with me?”

~Kristina Cosgrove

Conrad nodded in affirmation to her question. “Certainly!” He then ordered there specailty grilled salmon with a small variety of other smaller fish from other worlds. The salmon though, was the king for Michael.

When their orders were taken, Conrad looked to Kristina with a mischievous smile. “And what exactly do you call ‘rebellious’ if you don’t mind my asking,” he asked with sincere curiosity and a mix of humor.

-Michael Conrad, Black Sparrow CO

She flushed. “Well, Van himself was heavily tattooed with quite a few piercings. He raced skimmers, partied a lot and wasn’t afraid of experimenting with stuff. And it enthralled me. Me, the daughter of a Starfleet captain and a mother who cared a lot about appearances.” Kristina sighed. “I did anything and everything that they would potentially disapprove of, and I was selfish and didn’t care who I hurt, including myself.”

For a moment, she tapped the side of her index finger against her lower lip, trying to gauge how much was too much to reveal on a first date. But as they had already established, theirs was not a typically start. He already knew a great deal about her. “It did get me into trouble, though thankfully not with the law. But… it wasn’t my most shining era of my life.”

~Kristina Cosgrove

Michael listened carefully to every word, his eyes never leaving hers as she spoke. “Tattoos, piercings, and not a care in the world,” he said with a slight laugh. “I’ve learned that we all have some darker times. But how we come out and what we do after that really shapes and changes us. I’ve known that life before. I’ve taken more risks than I ever should have. Lucky to be alive to be fair, but here I am. As for anything legal, well that depends on whose laws we’re talking about. But, that’s also in the past. I’m curious, how do you feel you came out of that time? How did it change you?” he said with his dimpled grin, clearly very curious as to her answer.

-Michael Conrad

Her eyes dropped to the table, and Kristina wasn’t sure if she was ready to share this bit with him, and yet she also couldn’t find a reason not to. “I nearly died, Michael. Near-death experiences change your perspective. When I woke up in the hospital, alone, and realized that Van wasn’t the person I wanted him to be, and the life I was living wasn’t really as fun and glamorous as I tried to make it, I knew I had no choice but to choose something else. It was then that I packed up and went to Oed that first time, hoping Halai’s would be a more welcome place than running home to my mom, who wouldn’t understand anything I was going through.”

~Kristina Cosgrove

Michael’s features softened. His casual, light-hearted demeanor faded as he knew that feeling too well. Being left to his own devices, alone with nobody to turn to. There were many times he found himself in that situation in various ways. But she did something about it. She changed. He was stuck in some of his old ways. And he assumed it was due to his longing for the more upright work he pursued. Though with moving about so much, people found little reason to stick around. Yet Oed always called him back. It was here for some reason he felt gravitated towards. He wasn’t a fan of believing in destiny, despite how he had been raised. But could Kristina coming back here to Oed at the same time he was be nothing more than a coincidence? He shoved the thought aside as he looked into Kristina’s eyes.

“Sounds like it was a good choice in the end. Some people would get desensitized to that closeness to death and make no changes. I’m glad that wasn’t you.” he spoke to her with a gentle and genuine smile.

-Michael Conrad

She inhaled deeply. “Well, I had caused myself harm and I could either do something about it and grow up, or I could continue to wallow and feel sorry for myself. Trust me I was tempted to the do the latter, but then I had to as myself why? Why was I willing to do that? For Van? For a guy with no worries in his life who didn’t care who he hurt by his actions? I might have been jaded at that point, and naive, but I knew I cared about other people. I just had to stop running away from the fact that my choices were my own, and that I couldn’t blame others, as much as I wanted to.” Kristina wasn’t ready to tell him about the details but the haunting memories were all burned into her body and mind.

~Kristina Cosgrove

Michael nodded understanding. He wasn’t the kind of person to pry much unless it was absolutely necessary. He could feel the hidden story behind it, but let it be. “Certainly an important lesson. Nevertheless, I’m glad it’s in the past.” he said before changing the topic. “What’s been your favorite place to visit? Could be anywhere. Planet, country, city, village. You name it. And I want to know why.” He threw in his classic smile, though it was genuine with her.

-Michael Conrad


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