“So. Excited about meeting Roger?” Artie asked, sucking down the last of his mojito. He loved showing off his successes. A “career reinventor”, Artie wouldn’t just discover the color of your parachute, he had enough hot air to blow it up and send you on your journey.

“Frightened, actually. That scar under his eye looks like DIY with fishing line.”

“It was, but that was only the before photo. And please, when did you join the face fascists? You dated that albino carnie for almost a year.”

“Casper,” I sighed. “Those little pink eyes would light up a dark ….”

“Shh, here he comes.” Artie bolted up and waved across the room. “Remember, he’s not mean, just misunderstood.” A raven-haired, 6’ 3’ Adonis waved back. Smoldering hot, even with the parrot perched on his shoulder.

He swaggered towards us. Getting closer, I discovered it was more of a limp, hearing a subtle thwamp each time his left foot hit the floor.

“Ahoy mates,” he said, smile gleaming almost as much as the silver claw he extended across the table. Was I supposed to shake the hook or merely acknowledge it with a light touch?

And that’s how I met Roger, my ex-pirate boyfriend.