Turn Stop

Discovering the roller derby could have been by accident.
I say it was by design.
I’ve always lived in the shadows of my overachieving parents.
Crushed by the weight of their expectations.
I’ve also done everything they wanted.
Complacency turned me into a shadow of who I should be.
Until the night I walked into Banked Track.
The moment my parents’ dreams and my submission shattered.
Every time I put on skates, another piece of my soul slides into place.
But my shame grows with my secret.
Each lie by omission creating a divide only I can see.
And every night watching Jilted Jett Wade perform is salt in my festering wound.
The way his family supports him—no matter what—pierces my heart.
Public betrayal has him hiding out here, with only his acoustic guitar for company.
Oh, and women, they’re keeping him company too.
Lots of women.
The pretty rocker has it all, but that’s not enough.
Now he wants me too.
His fake girlfriend. A temporary thing.
But I know I’m meant to be more than a prop for someone else’s show.
And I’m going to prove it.

Yeah, the look in Zara West’s eye says she’s got some feelings about me.
Lethal feelings.
Good thing I’m not proposing or anything.
Been there, done that, and the scars of betrayal are still fresh in my heart.
What’s left of it.
Nah, I’m not proposing anything permanent.
I just need a buffer.
Songs—I’ve got em’. Talent—got that too.
Inspiration born of unfaithfulness? Yeah, I can practically taste it still.
But what good is any of it when I’m adrift, my passion lost in the distrust I can’t shake?
Thousands of musicians would kill for the chances I’ve passed up.
And yet, I can’t bring myself to reach for a single one.
Something’s broken in me.
Something I need to fix.
But yearning spikes in my blood when Zara’s near.
The first real thing I’ve felt in a long time.
I just need to hold on long enough to resurrect the man I was.
And let go before I go and do something stupid … like give Zara the power to bring me to my knees.

The Series