2007-03-22: What is the River?

Starring:

Namir_icon.gif Tamara_icon.gif

Also Starring: Fahd Dayan

Summary: While having coffee with his brother and discussing recent events in his life, Namir spots Tamara. Fahd leaves, and Namir and Tamara chat a little. Namir thinks he's figured out a piece of Tamara's ongoing riddle.

Date It Happened: March 22, 2007

What is the River?


Common Grounds

Since its destruction some weeks ago, Common Grounds has been making a comeback. This late afternoon, it's seeing a bit of a lull in business, but this promises to change within the next few hours as people start to get off work. Namir and his brother, Fahd, have managed to get in at just the right moment. The pair are seated at a table against the wall speaking in low voices — and by the look of things, it's not an entirely pleasant conversation. Fahd Dayan is similar to his brother in general appearance, though he is a few inches shorter in height and leaner, and he's dressed in a business suit. Namir himself has opted for a more casual approach: a dark brown button-up shirt and black slacks suffice. Aside from the two Muslims, there are a few college kids sitting in the lounge area and an old man sitting at a table in one corner reading.

The bell on the door jingles faintly as Tamara pushes it open, stepping into the shop. Most customers head for the counter to place an order when they walk into a place like this - usually, so does she. But today, she hovers just a little ways into the building, her hands tucked loosely in her pockets. Head tilted slightly, the girl seems to be studying the menu boards - or maybe the barista behind the counter, who looks back at the teen only long enough to determine she's not ready to order yet.

"You're going to kill her." Fahd's voice is briefly audible as he raises it slightly from the low growl he was using previously. "The way you are living your life now, you are going to be the death of her." For his part, Namir maintains a cool and collected demeanor, watching his brother impassively from across the table. He shakes his head in a dismissive fashion, but any verbal response he had lined up is delayed when he spots Tamara near the door. "Judge not, Fahd," he utters to his brother before he signals an end to the conversation by offering the girl a smile and a small wave.

Perhaps it's the conversation. Perhaps it's the wave. Distracted from the menu boards, Tamara turns towards the corner. She gives Namir and his brother much the same regard as she had the boards - a tilted head, a thoughtful, assessing look. The girl returns neither smile nor wave, but she does abandon her scrutiny of the shop's offerings in favor of coming over to their table. "You're very quiet," is her observation, blue gaze flicking between the two Muslims.

Fahd doesn't look very thrilled when the conversation is brought to such a halt, and he glances over at Tamara with a frown before reaching into his pocket for his wallet. A few bills are dropped onto the table. "For the coffee," he tells Namir. Then, he takes up his jacket and leaves the shop. Namir watches him go before returning his attention to Tamara, smiling again. "We were just having a discussion about some private matters," he tells her casually. "That's why. How have you been?"

Tamara watches Fahd depart with the same thoughtful expression, blue gaze tracking him until he leaves the shop and disappears down the street. Only then does the teen turn back to Namir. "Things that matter. What matters?" Her remarks seem more rhetorical musing than directed queries. In Fahd's absence, she perches in a chair of her own. "Something wrong?" As for herself, well, presumably the girl's fine; a slight shrug is her sole response to the question.

"Not really; just a matter of familial disagreements." Namir's smile twinges upward a bit painfully. He only told his mother that the woman he's seeing isn't Muslim, and Fahd was angry. He can only imagine the response if and when they discover that Sam is Jewish. Still, these are consequences he's willing to accept, and he knows his mother, at least, won't judge him for it. "Have you rescued anyone from wayward skaters lately?" The attempt at a subject change is light and joking.

Tamara tips her head quizzically. "Lately?" she echoes. She thinks about that for a moment. "I don't… think… so…" But it's not a very convinced statement at all. The girl shrugs again, offering Namir a lopsided smile. "The skaters are going ways and after people? Might, if they did." Her attempt at carrying on the subject is not a very good one; Tamara knows that, but she does try. That counts for something, right?

Regardless of how unwell Tamara attempts to continue the subject, it still gets a grin from Namir, and he chuckles softly. "Well, I don't suppose they do it on /purpose/, really. They just happen to move a little faster than the people around then and sometimes people get in the way." Fate, chance, what-have-you. "It's all a matter of accidents."

The girl folds her arms on the table. "Accidents. Ripples within ripples. They matter a lot," she agrees, nodding a couple of times. "Sometimes. If they move faster, do you move slow?" Tamara asks curiously.

"I certainly move slower than someone on wheels," Namir laughs, "but no, I don't move slower than them on purpose." He bobs his head toward the girl. "You, apparently, move much faster than they do. You saved Sean and Claudine from being run over last time we met."

Tamara blinks at Namir, then smiles faintly. "Your ghost." After a moment more, she shakes her head, disagreeing. "Not fast. Plenty of things were faster." The girl hooks her hair behind her ears, then props her elbows on her table, resting her chin across folded hands. "Just don't be where they were. Sometimes first. Sometimes it's not moving."

More riddles! Namir tilts his head inquisitively, trying to piece things together and drawing on past conversations with Tamara. "What isn't moving? The river?" And what's this about his ghost?

Tamara blinks, then /peers/ at Namir. No, no. "River's moving." She looks down at the table, twists around in her seat to glance out the window towards the street. "Always moving, always changing. Goes just fine. Maybe too well, but it didn't listen to much." She shrugs, apparently not much bothered by that.

And neither is Namir — but then again, it makes zero sense to him, so he really shouldn't be troubled by it. He does glance out the window when Tamara does, however, raising one eyebrow. Hmm. "So it would appear," he intones, deciding that this 'river' is perhaps a metaphor for the flow of life and time. "Hard to stop the river, hmm?"

Turning back to face Namir, Tamara chews on her lower lip for a bit. "I don't think it did stop. Not really. Shadows can, but shadows get cast; cast into the water." Her attention turns back outside, and she pushes herself to her feet, more as if just for the sake of the activity than with intent to leave - right now, anyway.

If the river is a metaphor for life and its constant movements, then what are shadows? And what is the mirror? Namir's mind works hard, trying to put it all together. "Shadows are … individuals?" he inquires. "Individuals following the river?" It does and does not make sense.

Tamara considers that for a minute. "Maybe." She doesn't seem entirely convinced. "Shadows aren't always from people. And they can't all be followed. That would be /more/ confusing," she says, shaking her head. "Better not." Abruptly, she looks to the street. "Shifting. Time to go." Tamara glances back at Namir. "You, too." And then she heads for the door.

Namir doesn't get the chance to really say anything — and it seems there's no need. He grins and states what he was /going/ to say anyway (and what has already been answers): "Be safe." He'll remain in the coffee shop a few more minutes before heading home.

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