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Breath Deep

Short Story

Breath Deep

I had decided to defer a year from heading straight off into college. I’d visited San Diego once before as an adolescent and I fell in love with the warmth in the atmosphere, the smell of salt water in the air, the vast luminous sky, and array of distinct personalities. I currently reside in a quaint, intimate, two story duplex alongside mission beach. Mission beach, coincidentally was the first tourist site I’d visited in San Diego all those years ago. Love it here, I absolutely love it. Powder blue walls surrounding the living room, white carpet encompassing the living room floor, glass coffee table, plush white couches, home sweet home. What’s on the agenda for today? Lunch, and coffee at café 20/20, sounds great to me. Ride my bike along the beach? Of course, I will. I can’t forget to take Mojo on a walk once I return. The last time I did that, the stench of "oops I couldn’t hold it mommy" hit me before I opened the front door. 3 year old German Shepard lab mix, with a shiny black coat, big brown eyes, and stands about two feet on all fours. That’s my mojo, the current love of my life. I bought him from a couple online about a year ago. I saw his picture and my heart melted like molten lava.

“Excuse me, coming up on your left!”

“Thank you sir.”

“Sorry ma’am.”

If it wasn’t for the amazing view of the lucid ocean, or the brilliantly radiating sun in the clear blue sky, I wouldn’t be riding my bike down this crowded walkway. By the sound of my stomach I’d say it’s about time to make a pit stop for some food. I guess I won’t be eating at Café 20/20 after all. Let’s see, I’ve got the wonderful variety of hot dog stands or taco stands. Well the obvious choice would of course be tacos. My obsession with tacos, started at the age of… to be honest I have no clue. I just know that I’ve always loved them. The variation of amazing spices, and the texture of the soft tortilla, combined with that of the seasoned meat and beans. Tacos aren’t just food. They’re art. Tacos are life. I’m kidding, they’re just food. Just amazingly delicious, food. With that being said, I was in love with this food. So much that it was made to be my nickname amongst close friends in high school. From junior high until today, I’ve had a very close friend, named Lisa. Lisa was and is my personality doppelgänger. She and I were very close as teens. As was her family and I. Every now and then at Lisa’s house her parents would ask us what we’d like to eat for dinner. Lisa being an aspiring culinary specialist would respond with some well garnished delicious sounding 4 course meals, while I’d simple recite “Tacos.” It was her family that gave me the nickname. Yes Tacos can’t get enough.

But I digress…

“May I please have two tacos de asada?” I ask the older gentleman taking my order. “Thank you, have a nice day sir.” I respond as he hands me my lunch. The smell of freshly grilled asada, feels my lungs with much joy and anticipation. I’m going to enjoy this! I search past and through the crowd of people. Looking for a spot to park my bike, sit and chow down, “Ow!” I exclaimed after, my left shoulder is collided into by a seemingly clumsy stranger.

“Are you ok?!” he asks concerned, and in need of reassurance.

“Yea I’m fine,” I reassure.

“I’m so sorry about that, I hope I didn’t hurt you.”

“Ha-ha no you’re good. As long as my tacos are good, you’re good bro.” I jokingly respond.

“Ha-ha got to protect the tacos,” he jokes back.

“Yes of course!” I say to put an end to this senseless banter.

I stop for a second to take a good look at him. Let’s see here, nice build, dark complexion no facial hair, and nice haircut. He has an impressive lineup, and waves to top it off. Sheesh, I’m damn near getting sea sick just by glancing at them. Well hello there clumsy stranger. “My name is Eric.” He introduces himself as he reached his hand out to meet mine. When his lips parted to speak those words, his lips full and voluptuous, caught my attention. Perfectly straight voluminously white teeth gleaming for behind those parted lips.

“Hello Eric. My name is Rina,” I reply.

“Nice to bump into to you Rina.” He’s funny, and cute.

“Ha-ha,” I giggle trying not to smile to hard.

“Well where were you stumbling off to Eric?”

“A friend of mine is a having a birthday get together at Cabo Cantina, so I’m on my way there now.”

“Oh sounds like fun. Well enjoy yourself, and try not to push any one down on the way ha-ha,” I joke back

“Ha-ha will do, it was nice meeting you Rina,” he proclaims with a smile.

Oooh man that smile and those deep chocolaty almond eyes of his, could make me melt like a Hershey bar in the middle of July in Georgia. “It was nice meeting you as well Eric.” I respond before I turn my bike the opposite direction, and continue looking for a place to sit and eat these still steaming hot tacos. I get about 8 feet down the walkway when, I feel a light tap on my shoulder. “Umm I hope I’m not being too forward, but I’m afraid of the embarrassment I’ll feel later thinking back on the moment we part and wondering how I could possibly be such an idiot and not get your number.” He speaks words of nervousness from a nothing less than confident looking man.

“That’s not too forward at all. Here you go.” I hand him my phone.

“Put your number in.”



He hands my phone back to me with his phone accompanying. I stop his hand from continuing any further.

“I’ll text you or call later and then you’ll have my number.” I taunt.

“Hahaha ok, I guess that’s cool,” he replies with a wide grin.

“Have fun with your friends Eric.”

“I will. You have a nice day Rina.”

Finishing the last bite of those finger licking, mouthwatering tantalizing tacos, I continue my bike ride further north. Not much of anyone up here, I think I’ve lost the crowd. “Finally no more obstacles,” I say to myself in relief. As the air blows over and past me, I pedal harder and harder. The strong aroma of ocean water fills my nostrils. Intoxicating. The chill of the air began to conjure up a sinus headache so Instead, I’ll breath through my mouth. My lungs expand being filled with the burning cool breeze. Headphone, ear buds release the musical vibrations of The Orwell’s, Coldplay, and Gregory Alan Isakov. I’ll call it, my chill out playlist. I make a sharp right turn around this bend. “Ahhhh” I sigh as I let go of the handle bars one hand at a time, attempting to center my body in an effort to keep balance. I’m picking up speed as I roll down the decline if the dirt path. I slowly lift my arms, reaching my hands up towards the endless blue sky, and breathe deeply. Letting go of all stress of Yesterday, today, and what is to come of tomorrow. An amazing sensation travels through my back, up to my shoulders. Chills through the insides of my arms move upwards through my fingertips. Oh man oh man, what a feeling it is. Fearlessly free.

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Duchess Howlett
Duchess Howlett

Hello reader! Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Duchess. I am a young 20 something pharmacy technician residing in sunny SoCal. I discovered my passion for writing in high school. I write short stories and memoirs. I hope you enjoy!

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Breath Deep
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