Photo by Pac
|No. 4 – Williamsburg Minutemen|
|Species||Albino Wolfbat ( Canidae/Pteropodidae )|
April 4, 1994|
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||180 lb (82 kg)|
|School||Connecticut Canid University|
|FBA draft||2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 13th overall|
|Selected by the Williamsburg Minutemen|
|Pro playing career||2014–present|
|Career highlights and awards|
|2020 Salary||$6 million|
|(IC) Agent||Aida Manchester (female sooty albatross)|
|(OOC) Usage||Ask me before any use|
Mikaylah Caoimhe Marley is a professional FBA basketball player playing for the Williamsburg Minutemen. Primarily a shooting guard, she was drafted 13th overall in the 2014 FBA Draft. She is currently dating fellow 2014 draftee and Minutemen teammate Rebecca McCloud.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Stories
- 3 Images
High School (Joseph O'Connell High [Dublin, Ireland: freshman-sophomore]) - 31.6 pts, 9.1 reb, 7.8 ast, 4 stl, 3 blk, 5.5 tpg, 2.5 TO, 53% fg, 48% 3pt, 75% ft
High School (Advanced Anthro Academy [Manhattan, NY: junior-senior]) - 28.4 pts, 6.9 reb, 6.1 ast, 3.3 stl, 2.1 blk, 4 tpg, 4.1 TO, 45% fg, 40% 3pt, 79% ft
College - freshman (Connecticut Canid University - 1 yr) - 25.5 pts, 5.7 reb, 5.5 ast, 3.1 stl, 1.4 blk, 3.6 tpg, 2.7 TO, 48% fg, 44% 3pt, 84% ft
The Albino Wolfbat: A Scientific Marvel
Mikaylah is a unique case of overwhelming unlikeliness. Her conception in itself was an oddity, given that her father was a bat and her mother was a timber wolf. Generally speaking, it is rare for healthy offspring to result from parents of differing biological orders (interordinal hybridization) but it is [in this world] possible. Not only is it surprising for Mikaylah's parents to have achieved conception at all, but given that her father's alleles (variables that control the traits of certain genes), are recessive when compared to her mother's dominant alleles, there was only a 1/4 chance that Mikaylah would show any physical appearance of being part bat at all. With most heterozygous hybrids (possessing two distinct alleles, one from each parent) the traits contained in the dominant allele (wolf) are more likely to overtake and mask the traits of the recessive allele (bat), except in cases where the recessive alleles line up perfectly or the dominant allele is not present in the gene. The extent to which those characteristics developed was even more impressive. Given the complexity of the genes which produce wings in bats and their recessive nature when mixed with more dominant genes of another (wingless) species, Mikaylah basically had to hit the genetic jackpot to develop natural sized, functional wings using the genes of just one parent (granted, they are not full-sized and cannot support her body weight in flight, but they are otherwise physically normal).
Even more surprising is the fact that Mikaylah is fully albino, despite her parents displaying none of the traits themselves. Her paternal great-grandfather was an albino bat, and there have been no albinos introduced to the family lineage before or since. No other known family members, not even ones descended from her great-grandfather, were visibly affected by the albinism genes. The albino alleles, which are quite recessive, were quietly and unnoticeably carried and passed on by the bat side of her family for two generations. Mikaylah's grandfather and father both carried the albino genes, but neither displayed any signs of albinism. Mikaylah is only the second known member of her family to fully exhibit the physical traits of albinism. It's also extremely rare that the albino genes would carry over to a child whose dominant form (in this case, wolf) did not originally possess them. Only a handful of albino wolves have ever been recorded, and it is probably safe to say there has never been another combination of wolf/bat that was fully albino and lived past infancy. The family believes, however, that there may be albino genes present in the mother from a distant ancestor (perhaps a non-wolf) as albinism alleles usually must be present in both parents (even in minuscule amounts) for a child to be born albino.
Mikaylah has oculocutaenous albinism, which results in a complete lack of melanin (pigment) in the eyes, skin and fur. As a result, she has had vision problems her entire life through adolescence, and doctors gave her a 50/50 chance of being completely blind before the age of 2. She has since had corrective surgery to assist with her foveal hypoplasia (affects focus) and astigmatism. She still has mild photophobia (sensitivity to light) and wears darkened sports glasses when she plays. She is fortunate enough to have 20/20 vision now through laser surgery, although lack of melanin in her irises make it essential to avoid prolonged exposure to any bright light. She also must wear 50sph sunscreen daily to avoid burning, even in low sunlight, as her skin cannot properly guard against UV rays. As a result, she commonly plays with 4 sports sleeves (2 arms, 2 legs) or full length Under Armour to save her from any unnecessary exposure.
Her "Lucky" nickname relates to many things. She is very lucky to be alive after being born 4 months premature and being raised in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for 6 whole months. During that time, her parents were cautioned that she may not survive due to complications from underdeveloped lungs and heart, and that if she did survive, she may be blind due to her albinism. Thankfully, she was able to be cared for constantly until her organs developed to be naturally strong enough to support her, and she now carries no lung or heart related deficiencies. Her vision was very poor as a child, but she wore extremely strong prescription glasses until she was old enough for corrective LASIK surgery (which she had at the age of 15, a risk due to her young age and continuing physical development). She has had other eye surgeries as a youth, including surgery to correct mild Amblyopia in her right eye at the age of 4, and surgery to correct foveal hypoplasia and increase visual acuity at 6. At the age of 18, right after graduation from high school, she underwent her final LASIK procedure to account for intentional undercorrection of her vision from her first procedure at 15, which was done to allow for more complete ocular development (maturation).
The procedures (controversial at such a young age) were approved for the then-15-year-old due to her professional athletic ambitions, and due to the fact she was already garnering national attention for her talents as a sophomore in high school. It also helped that her father was a well known neurosurgeon in Ireland and her mother a real estate agent (funding the surgeries was not an issue).
Born in Galway, Ireland, at 5 she moved to Dublin with her parents because they had better hospitals with more advanced procedures for corrective eye surgeries as well as special care in general for the delicate cub. There also was a better job outlook for her professionally minded parents, and her father got a job within the hospital where Miklaylah received most of her treatment.
Sadly (but unsurprisingly) Mikaylah was teased relentlessly in grade school because of her albinism and for being a mixed breed (they also teased because of her bulky glasses and studious nature). Because of this, she never was very outgoing, and instead took the most pleasure in pursuing her own hobbies and crafts. Her favorite pastime, and one that would eventually garner her respect from even the most ill-natured of classmates, was basketball.
Basketball was always a passion for young Mikaylah. She loved watching FBA games (her favorite team was Plymouth due to the somewhat Irish-tinged aesthetic) and she aspired to become a professional basketball player. Her parents were in complete support of her goals as long as they did not interfere with her academic pursuits. They hired a trainer for her at the age of 8, and from then on, the cub had access to state-of-the-art indoor facilities (important for a cub so sensitive to sunlight) and training. She happily worked nonstop on ball-handling, shooting, and agility. Her favorite activity, like many young players, was shooting 3 pointers, and over time she became quite good at them. Due to constant training and practicing at all hours, Mikaylah became a world-class shooter by the age of 12, winning multiple age-based shooting competitions easily. She even won an all-ages shoot-out when she was 14, beating amateur adult athletes from all over Europe. Due to her training and dedication to her craft, she excelled in youth leagues and was accepted as a walk-on for her high school varsity basketball team her freshman year. It wasn't long before she was made captain of the team and college scouts (both national and international) were starting to stop by out of curiosity to watch the enigmatic albino athlete do her thing.
During her sophomore year at Joseph O'Connell High School in Dublin (one of the most renowned high schools for athletics and academics in Ireland) she averaged a national record for a high school student in points (35ppg) and treys (6 3pt/gm) and had games of 44, 50, 56 and even 70 points, despite games being played in 8 min quarters. Being the standout star of her team, her coach would at times permit her to shoot from 3 every trip down the court until she missed, and her highest scoring output saw her can 15 three-point baskets. She also would typically play the entire 32 min game due to her seemingly limitless energy. The competition was clearly below her in Ireland, and she easily won National High School Player of the Year as a sophomore, becoming the youngest to do so.
Moving To America:
One day during her Sophomore year, a gutsy American high school coach (Coach Johnny Smith, Scottish Terrier) hearing such high praises from talent scouts, flew to Dublin to watch Mikaylah play, and he was blown away by the girl's skills. He took her parents out to dinner after the game and offered to bring Mikaylah over to NYC to allow her to attend a gifted and talented high school in one of the most athletically competitive regions in the world. After a lot of discussions and time spent with Coach Smith, as well as a couple of sit-downs with their lawyer, Mikaylah's parents agreed to give the coach temporary guardianship of their daughter until the age of 18, allowing him to house her in his own apartment, bring her over to the US on a student visa, and enroll her in the high school where he coached, Advanced Anthro Academy in Manhattan. Her parents remained in Dublin to continue their professions and monitor their child's progress from afar, as well as offer financial and moral support.
Under Coach Smith's tutelage, Mikaylah's skills blossomed. Her scoring prowess carried over to the US (she averaged 28ppg, 6apg and 4 treys/gm) and her defense and basketball IQ greatly improved. Things like focus, will-power, work ethic and leadership skills were engrained in her from his training. She was challenged with guarding the opposing team's best perimeter player each game, which improved her quickness, footwork and timing for steals to near elite levels. In her senior year of high school, Mikaylah was invited to the High School All-American game and shined on a big stage for the first time nationally, finishing as runner-up for MVP honors (she did, however, win the High School All-Star Three-Point Shooting contest). She was also able to maintain a 3.5GPA while additionally training with the track team in the offseason. Mikaylah also formed a close bond with Coach Smith and began to view him as her second dad. He was extremely hard on her as far as discipline and training, yet he showed a great deal of compassion and a natural parenting sense. The two maintained a strong bond even after Mikaylah turned 18 and moved out to attend Connecticut Canid University in Cromwell, CT.
Trouble in Paradise and a Tragic Ending:
Inevitably over time, and due to the distance and time zone difference, the relationship between Mikaylah and her parents slowly dwindled. They never had a real falling out, but the obligations of school, basketball and life overtook Mikaylah's schedule, and her parents were left further and further out of the loop. This lead to a bit of resentment towards Coach Smith, the man Mikaylah's parents allowed to raise her for her last few teenage years, and questioning of that sacrifice that they made for their daughter's career.
At some point after Mikaylah moved out (and perhaps because she was still seen quite often in public with Coach Smith), rumors got to her parents that the coach had been having sexual relations with Mikaylah from the age of 16 on, while she was living with him in New York. The rumors were nasty and baseless, but the parental rage had set in. Mikaylah's father filed a statutory rape and molestation case against Coach Smith.
When news got out of one of the nation's brightest prep hoops prospects possibly being in an illegal intimate relationship with someone 30 years her elder, the national news media exploded. Suddenly, the paparazzi was in full swing, and the questions being lobbed at the collegiate athlete were no longer hoops based. She started getting negative attention, even hatemail, from moral detractors who condemned such a relationship. But there was no evidence proving such a relationship existed, and both Mikaylah and Coach Smith vehemently denied the rumors. Throughout it all, Mikaylah pushed the distractions and snide comments aside, using her iron will and focus skills gained from Coach's teachings to ignore the hullabaloo and continue excelling at basketball.
However, despite her continued excellence throughout her one and only year at CCU, it was possibly the worst year of Mikaylah's life. She completely denounced and shunned her father for creating this mess based on hollow allegations and insecurity, and her mother was reduced to a middleman, trying desperately not to take either side. Her relationship with Coach Smith, the only parental figure and mentor she still had, was still strong but now very strained. Yet through it all, Mikaylah was able to take her team to the Elite Eight, win AAC (Atlantic Anthro Conference) Player of the Year honors and be named to the FCAA College Basketball All-American First Team with averages of 25.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and a conference leading 3.1 steals per game.
But the worst was yet to come. Mikaylah's father had a stroke hours before her Sweet Sixteen contest versus Two Points University. He was placed in critical condition, and the news got to her right before tip-off. Devastated, Mikaylah asked coach to take her out of the starting lineup, and she grieved in the locker room and shared an emotional phone conversation with her mother until halftime. She was able to pull it together for the second half though, as she stormed out more focused and hungry to win than ever, in honor of her father who had originally given so much for her to be successful. Her team down 12 at halftime, she spearheaded a comeback with a half-game performance line of 20 pts, 5 reb, 2 stl and 4 treys. Her final made shot was a tiebreaking floater in the paint with 3 seconds left. Despite the devastating events, she had taken her team to the Elite Eight. She broke down in the arms of her college coach after the game, and later with Coach Smith in the parking lot.
Mikaylah then hopped a plane to Ireland the next day to see her parents. She saw her father in the hospital for about an hour and was able to have a short, soul-clensing conversation, clearing the air of all the toxic feelings and making amends. Her father apologized for all the trouble he had caused, and gave Coach Smith his blessing to continue looking over his daughter. The two exchanged a tearful hug, and Mikaylah thanked him for everything he'd done for her and told him she loved him. Everything finally felt right for once, and despite her father's still weak physical state, things seemed to be looking up.
2 hours later, while Mikaylah and her mother were out having lunch, Mikaylah's father suffered complications from the first stroke and had a cerebral aneurysm. Doctors couldn't stop the bleeding and he passed away soon after, before Mikaylah and her mother could get back to the hospital.
Mikaylah tried to perform in the Elite Eight game days later against Pack Territory University (against her coach's advice), but despite her powers of concentration and determination, she couldn't make it through the whole game before breaking down. She played smatterings of minutes throughout the game, but could not find a rhythm, and her team was bounced from the tournament. In a showing of good sportsmanship, the entire Pack Territory University team received permission to meet Mikaylah outside her team locker room and offer their hugs and condolences after the game.
Despite all that has happened, Mikaylah is submitting her name into the 2014 FBA Draft. When addressed about her decision, she says (in a very pronounced Irish accent), "Dere's no reason ta stray from our initial goal dat we've worked so hard for, and for which Ma and Pa sacrificed so much. Ta quit now would be a complete tragedy and a slap in de face of dere effor's, and ta my dear Pa's memory. I owe it to em to reach for de stars."
The lawsuit against Coach Smith has been dropped.
She Got Game (Playing Style, Strengths, Weaknesses):
College - freshman (CCU) - 25.5 pts, 5.7 reb, 5.5 ast, 3.1 stl, 1.4 blk, 3.6 tpg, 2.7 TO, 48% fg, 44% 3pt, 84% ft
Mikaylah's a top-notch shooter and scorer, arguably the best pure shooter in her class. For someone who takes as many shots outside of 15 feet as she does, her percentages are outstanding. She holds the record for made and attempted 3pt FGs in her conference, and lead the FCAA in those categories this past season. As was mentioned, she won the High School All-Star Three-Point Shooting contest her senior year of high school and has won many shooting competitions in Ireland as a youth. Her left-pawed jump shot is wet as they come, and in other words, the girl can flat out stroke it from deep at nearly 4 3pt/gm and 44% from distance. She can shoot from anywhere, any angle, and her range is pretty much limitless. In fact, the further away she is, the better she shoots!
Inside the arc, she is still deadly, although she finds it more difficult to get shots in from the painted area amongst much larger players and with contact. She can slash to the hole on occasion, and she has mastered a good deal of "evasive" shots closer in, such as teardrops, floaters, fade-aways and double-pump lay-ups. But at 180 lbs and relatively frail, she is more suited to perimeter shooting (not to say she is a spot-up shooter exclusively. She can get a shot herself from anywhere, and does). If she does take the ball inside, she will either drop a floater or draw contact and go to the line, where she is an 84% free throw shooter. Otherwise, it's a quick 3 in transition, a quick 3 over a defender on a kick-out, a dribble-drive to a step back 2, or a stutterstep spin to a one-legged fadeaway. Her arsenal of offensive shot-getting tricks is quite impressive.
As for other areas of her game, she is an adequate rebounder with good instinct for the ball, and she is on the tall side for a lot of shooting guards (her natural position) which helps put her in better position for rebounds that bounce outside the restricted zone. Being able to play at small forward has its perks too, as her speed and length helps her on both sides of the ball. A flap of her wings may gain her an extra couple of inches if done immediately after launching off the ground. She has a high basketball IQ due to her years of training as a youth and from her time with Coach Smith, and she doesn't usually make a lot of mental mistakes. She makes good decisions with the ball and crisp, clean passes, never anything too fancy. Her court vision is good enough to let her see an open teammate across the court or spot a hole in the defense so she can hit a cutter with a bounce pass. Though she shoots a lot, she does share the ball as well, and a lot of her assists are a result of making that extra pass when the defense collapses on her. Her assist numbers are also probably a result of high usage rate on offense, as she either scored or made a pass that resulted in a score nearly 40% of the time.
Defensively, Mikaylah is a premiere perimeter defender. She can easily defend positions 1-3, and can act as an irritant to a 4 through sheer effort (and she uses her wings a lot to block vision). She has very quick feet and hands, and is adapt at observing her opponent's dribbling techniques and knowing when to stick her paw in and poke the ball away. That, plus her ability to read telegraphed passes while playing off the ballhandler, allows her to snatch passes out of the passing lane often. This talent lead to her leading the AAC in steals per game at 3.1 spg. She is a great tool for guarding ball-handlers, due to her length and tenacity, plus the ability to spread her wings out to block her opponent's court vision. She struggles with guarding stronger players though, and is a poor post defender. She's not quite as physical as other good perimeter defenders, but instead tries to use her speed and instinct to give her an advantage. Blocks tend to come in the flow of the game, either from behind the shooter, or because she uses her awareness to not bite on pump fakes. While she has a decent vertical (plus a couple inches with a good flap of her wings), she doesn't get many blocks from sheer verticality so much as she gets them sneakily, when the shooter does not know she's around or if she jumps faster than they expect.
She is also a very good ball-handler as well. She did play a little bit of point guard in the beginning of her high school career due to having a very sharp handle and passing skills, but she was moved to shooting guard to play to her shooting strengths better. Dribbling was her second favorite activity behind shooting when she was training growing up, so she knows a lot of "And-1" style dribbling techniques and can handle the rock ambidextrously. She is, however, unable to dribble with her wings, as they can do little more than flap and spread. That is a good thing though, as having that ability would have likely disqualified her from the draft under the 5-limb rule.
As far as temperament and intangibles go, one of Mikaylah's strongest assets is her focus. That is one thing drilled into her by Coach Smith and her college coach. She has the ability to focus and ignore distractions on the court, and she never gets into mind games or talks trash with her opponents. When she's out there, her focus in fully on the court and the task at hand. The hospitalization/passing of her father in college showed just how strong her focus can be, and also where her limits are. She is also a very strong leader, usually choosing to lead by example rather than words. Very professional on the court and rarely ever complains about calls, always coachable and holds herself and teammates accountable. It's very difficult to make her lose her cool in the midst of a game, though she will stand up for herself or her teammates without going overboard. She has exceptional stamina and seems to play at 100% energy all the time. She will likely need to learn to pace herself in order to withstand the rigors of the FBA schedule.
She does have a few weaknesses, however. One would be her weight and strength. She's not really one for the weightroom, choosing to add lean muscle mass through natural basketball activities like running, jumping, yoga and aerobics. She isn't strong enough to back down or match up with most players on a physical level, and she certainly isn't too comfortable in the paint (unless she's trying to get fouled). She tends to shy away from contact, and the one way to really get her off her game would be to get physical with her and try to overpower her off of her spots. Another thing is she does tend to put on the blinders sometimes if she gets hot from the field. While many times this results in exciting basketball and a lot of points scored, it does disrupt team basketball, and the coach will need to keep reminding her to move the ball. She is prone to heat checks (taking a bad shot after making a few to see if you're "feelin' it") and when she is having an off night, she can shoot her team out of the game instead of changing up the game plan and getting others some shots. Also, though she has very strong focus, that doesn't mean she is not emotional. She just can control it pretty well. However, it's true that she's an emotional person in general, and with enough diligent prodding (or pushing the right buttons) it can throw her off her game. This also proves to be the case off the court, where she tends to be a little oversensitive at times (since she's not in full focus mode). Some GMs still harbor concerns over her eyes (due to previous medical history) and injury-proneness (due to her perceived frailty, despite having no previous serious injuries), but these concerns lean towards overcautiousness and are not very viable currently. It also will be interesting to see if she can handle a non-starring role just as well as she's handled being the star throughout her career.
Strengths: Amazingly pure shooter, especially from deep. Great focus and leadership qualities. Talented perimeter defender with great quickness and instinct. Skilled ball-handler. High basketball IQ.
Weaknesses: Physical strength. Tends to shy from contact. Not as efficient scoring in the paint. Poor post defender. Heat checks and ISOs. Concerns over vision and frailty. Highly emotional.
Mikaylah has been described as a very sweet person, kind and caring. She would much rather make friends than enemies, and is a great sportsman. Super nice, almost to a fault. She does not do well in highly social situations and usually prefers the company of a few close friends or being alone. Shy at first until you get her out of her shell. She has a great sense of humor, occasionally dry and witty, sometimes silly, and loves making others laugh. Modest on the outside and doesn't like to brag, but secretly enjoys being "the best" and outshining others. A little oversensitive and emotional at times, which can make her moody occasionally. She has been known to be passive aggressive but never confrontational. Does genuinely enjoy seeing happiness in others, though not at her own expense. On the court, she is all business, and normally does not say two words during a game. Cool, calm and focused, she keeps her emotions at bay during the game and is highly competitive. She has very high expectations of herself and has a tendency to get down on herself if she isn't doing well. Still obviously very torn up over her father's recent passing, and likely will be for a long time. A very supportive teammate and an overall happy, cheery individual. Wants nothing more than to win and make her mother and Coach Smith proud, and to bring honor to her father's name. Knows how lucky she is to be healthy and playing basketball as an albino, and she tries to never take her opportunity for granted. Proud of her uniqueness and her heritage. She also has a soft spot for feral animals and loves children, despite the fact that as an interordinal hybrid she is sterile and cannot have kids. Hopes to adopt one day down the line.
-Sometimes gets called "Dracula" (specifically as a youth, meant as an insult), due to her vampire-like appearance, bat wings/fangs, and aversion to sunlight. She doesn't particularly enjoy that nickname. A certain few people can get away with calling her "Mickey" (Coach Smith is one of them) but she doesn't like being called that unless she is really close to the person. Another name she's been called is "Angel". Only her parents have ever called her that.
-Shoe size is Women's 14 (Men's 12.5) although she prefers not to wear shoes on hardwood. She will wear shoes for purposes of accessorizing, or for formal events.
-Lucky's lucky number is 4. She was born on 4/4/94. She also collects memorabilia relating to the four-leaf clover, a traditional Irish symbol and sign of good luck. She has worn the #4 on her jersey in every level of competition she's played at, from middle school on through college.
-Her favorite FBA player is Cheeto Wolfote, for his game, his career-long presence on the Taproots (her favorite team) and the fact he's the first hybrid she remembers watching as a pup. One of the things she's most looking forward to about being in the FBA is meeting her idol as well as some other players she's looked up to in her youth.
-Her middle name is Caoimhe. It is derived from Gaelic 'caomh' meaning "beautiful", "gentle", or "precious". The Irish pronunciation for the name is Kee-va.
-Her wings are more troublesome than they are helpful. Shopping for clothes is always problematic, and her jersey has to be specially fitted and tailored to allow for her wings to stick through. In college, her jersey was tailored with two vertical slits in the back for her wings to slip through, and the flaps at the bottom of the slit would be pulled together to close up under her wings using a little velcro. She's tried having them bound or turning and tucking them into her sides or against her back, but it's too uncomfortable to play an entire game with them in that position. She can only get maybe an inch or two of lift at most on the court, as they aren't big enough to support her body weight. They can also allow her to glide for an additional second sometimes, if flapped at just the right time. She has also started spreading them out when guarding on the perimeter, to make it more difficult for players to see the floor. For this reason, she is often used for guarding opposing point guards as well as inbounds passers to impede their court vision.
-As mentioned earlier, Mikaylah always plays with darkened sports glasses due to her photophobia (sensitivity to light), a result of lack of melanin in her eyes due to her albinism. She also plays with either 2 full armsleeves and 2 full legsleeves, or a long-sleeve Under Armour top under her jersey, to avoid overexposure to light (her pigmentless skin cannot deflect UV rays at all).
-She is very intelligent and did extremely well in school. Favorite subjects were biology, astronomy, algebra, writing and social history. Would probably have become a biological engineer if not for basketball. Says she would like to go back to college in between seasons and finish her degree for just that purpose.
-She describes herself as Protestant, though is not active in the religion.
-She DOES have an Irish accent, although it's not as hard to understand as it once was, due to living in America for 3 years. It's still fairly thick though.
-Has her tongue pierced. Mom freaked out when she saw her in the High School All-Star Game on TV and she stuck her tongue out on camera during the game. There was a very lengthy message on Mikaylah's voicemail after that game.
-Loves orange juice. Drinks it every single day. Gets grumpy if she wants orange juice and doesn't have any.
Likes: Orange juice, pop/dance music, traditional irish music, some rock music, sci-fi books/movies (Harry Potter, Star Wars), science (biology, astronomy, geology), dancing, yoga, running, slumber parties, shopping, pets/animals, children, winning and positive attention, volunteering, piercings, corned beef and cabbage (it's an Irish thing), collective four-leaf clover souvenirs, traveling, Olde English and Gaelic poetry/stories, strawberry shortcake, Pepsi
Dislikes: Losing, sunlight, bright indoor lights, camera flashes, comparisons to vampires, the Twilight saga, beets, crowded places, bars, poker, drugs, hypocrites, politics, bullies, "macho" attitudes, whiny attitudes, traffic, spiders (feral), snakes (feral), public speaking, rap music, country music, spicy food
Show Your Colours
Mikaylah participated in the Show Your Colours camp held in Hawaii, July 2014. The event was co-hosted by the Hawaii Kahunas and the Alaska Arctics.
During the tournament part of the event, 16 teams were formed comprising of draftees, D-League players, current players and former players. Mikaylah played on Team Six, also consisting of Adam Tevela, Sebastian Kosciusko, Kyle McLeod and Brent Challenger.
Team Six was eliminated in the 2nd round, but Mikaylah took home some individual recognition, including Top Offense Runner-Up in the tournament and #3 on "Wilmer's Top 5 Players" list.
| The Jackal's Gauntlet (Patrick Suarez Interview - 5/26/14)|
Written by Patrick Suarez/Mikaylah Marley [Furballer]
© Patrick Suarez/Mikaylah Marley [Furballer]
| Interviewer: Patrick Suarez (jackal)
Interviewee: Mikaylah Marley (albino wolfbat)
Monday, May 26th, 530pm. Rookie Combine, Huntsville, AB.
Patrick Suarez: (standard handshake offer) Thanks for taking the time on this holiday for this interview, I'll try not to keep you too long.
PS: Well, as I do have other interviews today, this will be somewhat quick. First off, and please don't be offended, but you are certainly one of a kind, and so there's going to be a lot more expectation for you to stand out. Would it matter much if your professional basketball career ended up being mediocre?
PS: Do you believe that, despite your game, you may still be treated differently by your peers or even your fans?
PS: (Now it was my turn to chuckle.) Sorry. So there's only one other player in the league with vestigial wings that aren't a part of their arms, and that's Otto Okkonen, who just happened to become a father recently through adoption. Given your unique genetic makeup and potential health risks, do you believe you will have to follow the same route?
PS: My apologies if I've touched upon a rather personal topic, but your answer does lead into my next question: there are many charitable organizations out there that help children in need and could use a role model like yourself. However, would you feel that spending time with those less fortunate would hinder your game?
PS: Okay, during a time-out, the relatively new head coach for your team is calling for a specific play to be run, but you have a trusted teammate who's worked with the players on the court for a long time that wants to run a different play. Neither are willing to budge, so whose side do you take?
PS: So would you feel more regret, disappointment, or anger if the chosen play didn't yield the expected results?
PS: Now the lifestyle of a professional basketball player is full of never-ending attention and public scrutiny. How have you prepared yourself for the possibility of losing your privacy?
PS: All right, last question. What are some things you can take away from this experience at the Combine that you could probably apply outside of basketball?
PS: Well, thank you for your time Ms. Marley. Good luck with the rest of the Combine as well as at the draft, and hope you have a pleasant Memorial Day. Perhaps we may meet again.
She gave me this wide smile when she stood up and shook my paw once more. I could tell she was going to make an impact on the league.
| Dear Diary... It's Me, Mikaylah! - (6/15/14)|
Written by Mikaylah Marley
© Mikaylah Marley
| ((OOC: Welcome to Mikaylah Marley's Diary! This is meant as a private journey into the mind of the wolfbat and not a blog written for the public. All the information contained in this blog are considered private IC, as in the rest of the FBA world is not privy to this information unless mentioned elsewhere by Mikaylah herself.))
Well now, the dead arose and appeared to many, haha! Right, I should have started this yoke ages ago, but with the end of FCAA playoffs, the combine, and me whole life spinning 'round me head so fast I can barely tell me arse from me elbow, I simply haven't had time. To put it lightly, I'm bloody feckin' exhausted!
There's one main reason I made this Diary though, and I'll be gettin' to that quite shortly. First, I'm gonna try me very best to recap a few thoughts from the last couple of months. God knows if I don't do this now, it's bloody likely I'll not be finding the time at all at all. Now c’mere ’till I tell ye - I says to nobody in particular - and hear me story, condensed so much as I can make it.
I amn't sure I have much to really say on this. I've pretty much moved on past me disappointment. Aye, granted, it would've been grand to have left collegiate sports with a trophy to me credit, but it wasn't in the cards. And two to one I'll never really know how the tournament would have gone had it not been for me family simply imploding before me very eyes at the worst possible time. Not that there's a right convenient time for ye Pa to pass away... God love him... I... I can't speak on that yet. I've got a lot else to say, and I'll get to it.
That whole yoke was the most stressful time in me life, for the reasons I'm right after hinting at. Really, it left me gobsmacked, and I just cried for days. I cried because the most important man in me life left us for Heaven way too soon... the tournament... I focused as best I could, and I wanted to win it, for him. I really did. But I was jaded and broken at that point. We got smacked out of it by Pack Territory and left rubbin' our arses from the spankin'. But I gotta say those lads were some of the nicest, most sportsmanlike fellows I ever did see. Even after handing us our bollocks, their whole bloody team came back to the locker room to console me after hearing of me loss... it was so heart-wrenchingly decent of 'em, I couldn't even look 'em in the eye proper. Too much pain, and far too touching. I was a sobbing, miserable mess, paralyzed by the kindness of the gesture and the weight of me own heart. I couldn't even stop blubberin' long enough to tell 'em how much it did mean to me, but I hope they figured it out. The whole team are some good skins, they are.
Ah now, Lord give me strength...
Right after crushing losses in the tournament and me own world crumblin' for a time, I had hardly a moment to grieve and recover before it was time to be thrust face-first into me impending basketball future. The combine came at me like a locomotive and hit like one, to be sure! Despite me being drained from recent traumas, I did know how vital this whole yoke was, and dear Coach Smith made sure I was well prepared for it. In fact, I think I was training in the gym the day after we lost and I broke down sobbing in Coach Smith's arms in the parking garage. Kind man, he is, but damn if he isn't stubborn! Ah, but really, I thank him for it.
Anyways, the combine was a fierce amazing experience to be sure! I did a million interviews, and I had so many photographs taken that me eyes were about ready to melt outta me sockets! So many flashes... Wearin' me dark glasses the second day helped, but not completely. Hey, this lass still has sensitive eyes, so! Not that the media knew or cared. Ah well, it is what it is. They're doin' their jobs, they are.
I met some right lovely folks during me stay there, namely the "FBAngels!" Rebecca, Aurora, Amelia, and Tanya are a lovely bunch of lasses, and I couldn't be happier to call them me friends! Aside from basketball (and beatin' the bottoms off the lads in the Girls vs. Boys scrimmage!), we did a lot of bonding and hanging out. It really made the whole yoke a lot more bearable! I've never much been a social butterfly, and in fact, I was right terrified at the start of it. But these lovely lasses really helped me feel a lot more comfortable in me own skin, and that made the media blitz a wee bit less traumatizing.
In fact, I did a bit more bonding with one than I did the others... See, we all had to share a King size bed in the room, and I was coddin' with Becca [McCloud] about giving me cuddles if she felt so inclined (we were all packed in there like sardines in a can, so a bit of contact was inevitable). I didn't actually expect her to DO IT though! And more to the point, I didn't expect to like it so much as I did...
Ya see, from the time I came to understand what the word meant, I've always fancied meself a pansexual lass. I become attracted to the individual regardless of gender. Well, before now it's only been a declaration of me own mind, as I amn't experienced with either sex in any real capacity. I was too much of a recluse in Ireland due to the bullying, and way too busy with me own agenda since moving to the States. I didn't even go to Prom, for Paddy's sake! So em... needless to say, these were all new feelings and experiences.
We did cuddle, or more like we spooned a bit. Just a little at first, as I was just getting used to feeling the touch of another fur, and at that point a simple embrace was more than enough. But then me brain kind of... switched gears. I amn't sure what came over me, but I got a little bold and started to let me paw explore a bit. Nothing too drastic, just running along the fur on her thigh, caressing her arms as they held me. Something about that lass... I didn't really decide for meself that I would do that, it just sort of... happened. And if that weren't the kicker, she started to caress me in return!
This didn't happen all in one night. Sometimes we'd get in bed at different times and wake up at different times. But I started lookin' forward to her touch at night, and being able to caress her once again. It's a strange and disorienting feeling, and I don't claim to understand it fully. Part of me even still thinks I shouldn't feel that way about another woman, like me attraction has to be me body's desperate plea for affection of any sort. But... I don't think that's the case. I do feel an attraction. And I think... I think she feels it back. In fact she confirmed on Twitter not long ago! And she wants to room with me again at the Las Vegas camp, and Hawaii as well.
So em... I'm wondering if maybe more will happen. I think I'd like that. But we'll see. I can't let it be a distraction, plus, me Mum would flip her shite if I did wind up with a girlfriend. Oh dear Lord in Heaven, I think she'd disown me for sure! But I'm letting me thoughts trail. That will never happen... the girlfriend part I mean. It even sounds a bit naughty. Plus, I think Becca's probably just enjoying the affection. Nothing wrong with that, right?... Ah well, nevermind it. I'm lending too much thought to it. Me heart will do what it does, but I will focus on basketball. That's what I'm here for, and these camps are a huge opportunity for me, as a non-Top 24 finalist, to show what I'm made of.
Speaking of which... I didn't mention so much on Twitter, but I'm pretty crushed over the whole yoke 'bout not being Top 24. Not like I think I'm one of the best at the combine or anythin'. But, ye know, I thought I was at least first round material. And some of the ones who were picked ahead of me... I dunno... I can't help but feel I've been a letdown in some way. I feel like I'm good enough, but maybe there's too many question marks and red flags around me. I've got these bloody red eyes and little, useless wings that I flap around as if they're doin' much good. It's just... I try to stay confident, but that was a real kick to the bollocks, it was. I KNOW I am skilled, and I know I can help an FBA team! But maybe the others are just... better than me. Sigh... but I can't be havin' any of that thinking. That sort of negativity is like a poison that flows throughout one's body. It would cripple me if I let it. And that's if Coach Smith didn't cripple me first after hearing it! I'm just slagging with ye, Coach Smith wouldn't do that. But Jayzus would he be pissed!
Sorry, Diary, I just have to let it out sometimes, ya know? And as fun as Twitter is, that's certainly not the place to be giving out about me shortcomings and how I didn't make some guy's list and blah blah blah. I'm just going to have to try harder to impress at these camps. And I feel like I will at least impress SOMEBODY! I'll just have to train even harder and show 'em this lass means business!
And I kinda went careening off topic for a spell... Sorry sorry sorry! I should be movin' on, nobody wants to hear me ramble forever about inner feelings and some such rubbish. Good thing nobody will be reading this, oh trusted Diary! ^^
So I feel quite privileged to be meetin' a lot of legends lately! I met Li Ho Fook at the combine. I interviewed with the one and only T. Matt Latrans, as well as Patrick Suarez and Chrys Bourgeois! I trained with Valencia Zeraus in a workout in Newark before the combine started! And I met me heroes, the Plymouth Taproots, after their game against the Tides in the first round! The one and only, the legendary Nina Lime herself messaged me with tickets to give me! I swear it, me face turned red and I gave out this embarrassing squeal in me room upon seein' this! I likely woke up Coach Smith in the other room with me ruckus! But I couldn't help but get all fangirly at the prospect of meeting THE PLYMOUTH TAPROOTS! Ye know, me favorite team whom I followed since I was a wee pup? Aye, I was one excited lass!
Even though they lost that game, the players were still absolutely wonderful! Nina was a dear, as I knew already. Cheezburgerz was kind of cool yet reserved. KY was adorable and blunt, yet polite. And Cheeto... Jayzus... I nearly melted when he shook me paw! It was a dream come true for me to meet one of me idols growin' up! He said "What's up, Girl?" and me throat turned traitor on me and refused to speak! I think me animated smiling and nodding gave him the idea I was either mute or a wee bit "special!" But I relaxed a couple of minutes later and we actually had a really nice conversation. He gave me some really brilliant words of encouragement and advice. I have to say after meeting Cheeto, I admire him even more! Although I'm sure he won't be so friendly if we see each other on the court, hehe.
Ah now... the reason I started this Diary entry on today of all days...
I wanted to make a little memoriam for me dear, sweet departed Pa, Dr. Michael S. Marley. This is the first Father's Day I've ever endured with him gone... He died only a few months ago, yet so much has happened since that it seems like forever. And... ohh... Pa...
I miss you. I love you. I can't believe you're gone... Not a day goes by I'm not fighting back tears at some point, just in thinking of you. I'm even crying now... and there's no way I can stop the tears, so I let them flow, as a testament to you, dearest Pa. As a show of appreciation for what you've done for me. I would not be where I am without your assistance, encouragement and sacrifice.
Ye hired a trainer for me at the age of 8, setting me on the path to me dream job as an FBA player.
Ye paid for special provisions for me. Special prescription sports goggles. The LASIK surgery. The private schooling. The registration fees for shooting competitions and youth leagues. Ye even went so far as to allow Coach Smith guardianship, so he could help make me dream come true. And ye told me to never stop believing, to never give up the dream. Ye did all that for me...
If you're seein' this from up above, dearest Father, I hope ye know how much I appreciate everything you've done. I know it wasn't easy, and I know you had to make some decisions that weren't in your own best interest. But ye never faltered in providing me every opportunity to succeed. And I'm about to do just that.
I know we've had our trouble in the past, even right before your untimely passing. But I respect and love ye every bit as much now as I ever did. Ye truly are an inspiration to me, Pa. I love you and I hope I can make you proud of me. Every minute of me FBA career is dedicated to you.
I'll always be your little 'Angel.'
God be with ye, and Happy Father's Day.
| An Angel's Love, Part 1 (featuring Aurora Goldshine - 6/21/14)|
Written by JTigerclaw
| Saturday, June 21, 2014
Under most circumstances, she would have been looking for Rebecca McCloud, her roommate for the Las Vegas invitational and fellow FBAngel and friend. But Mikaylah Marley had a special reason for coming up to the room this time. Much to her relief, that reason was seated on the bed with her muzzle buried in a book about "spirituality and its relationship with nature", waiting patiently as she said she would.
"Hi Mikaylah." Aurora Goldshine said with a smile as she adjusted her familiar rose-tinted sunglasses and lowered her book. The snake flicked her forked tongue slightly, tasting the energy and emotion in the air, sensing a bit of tension in her friend.
"What's wrong, dear?" she asked Mikaylah, her head tilting with concern.
The wolfbat entered the room with hesitation, shutting the door behind her. Walking towards the cobra, Mikaylah paused in the narrow hotel room corridor by the bathroom door, glancing around the room quickly to make sure her tall fox friend was not around. Fortunately, at least this time, she wasn't.
"H-Hi dear, how're ye?" the wolfbat asked instinctually, a small stutter disclosing her nerves before attempting to field the cobra's question.
"Well, I... em..."
Her red albino eyes darted around the room, avoiding eye contact with Aurora. The gold snake sat still and watched patiently, allowing her friend all the time she needed to come out with whatever she needed to say. However, being quite the perceptive one, she had a pretty good idea already about what was on the wolfbat's mind.
"I need to talk to ye about something that's... that's stirrin' me up pretty fierce," Mikaylah began, this time staring at the painting on the hotel wall to her left. "I need your advice, and... well... ye always are so good at keeping calm and making others feel the same, so..."
Mikaylah couldn't stop herself from blushing profusely, which was extremely obvious given her pale white complexion. She was never one to share intimate details about herself or her private matters, and she started to have second thoughts about sharing them now, even with a trusted FBAngel.
But it would be far too difficult to turn back now.
Aurora, sensing her friend's trepidation, scooted over on the bed and softly patted the spot next to her.
"Sit down, dear," the snake offered. She gazed upon Mikaylah with kind and comforting eyes, watching as the wolfbat shuffled over to the bed and sat down.
"Now, take a deep breath," Aurora instructed calmly.
Mikaylah obeyed. Her chest rose slowly and deliberately, then receded just the same as she exhaled. With the release, she did feel calmer, though none the more brave. Her face was still flushed. Her mannerisms remained submissive and reserved. Her eyes darted around the room still.
Aurora placed her hand up to Mikaylah's chin, stroking gently. The wolfbat finally turned to face her, albeit with a sideways glance.
"I appreciate the compliment," the cobra replied warmly. Her voice had a nurturing tone to it. It managed to sooth Mikaylah's nerves a bit, at least until the part that followed.
"Now, tell me all about what's got you stirred up with Rebecca."
Mikaylah's eyes widened quickly before blinking hard, a sharp sting reminding her of the sensitivity of her eyes to too much light. Aurora gave a chuckle as Mikaylah looked back at her with a greatly befuddled expression.
"Am I wrong?" she asked gently, her hood wobbling a bit, feeling the heat from the flush.
Mikaylah's eyes returned to a spot on the floor as her blushing deepened even more. Her jaw opened as if to speak, but no words would come out.
"It's okay, dear," she assured calmly, placing her hand gently on the wolfbat's shoulder. "You two have been spending a lot of time together. I made a guess from observation."
Mikaylah hadn't realized it before, but her friend was right. Spending time with Rebecca came quite naturally to her after all, ever since becoming close friends at the Combine. Ever since they started cuddling up to each other in bed during that week, originally due to lack of bed space as they had to share one King sized bed with two other FBAngels, Aurora included. However, this weekend in Las Vegas presented no such issue, yet they still remained attached to each other. And last night, Aurora witnessed the closeness of the bond for herself, mentioning that the two seemed to hardly ever leave each other's arms during the night. Mikaylah blushed more as the memory of being playfully "called out" by her friend came rushing back.
It's no wonder she knew. Everybody probably did.
But how much did they know?
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to embarrass you," the cobra interjected as Mikaylah's thoughts swirled beyond her control. "Please, continue."
Mikaylah took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Her friend obviously already knew about what had been going on between the two girls. Might as well get on with the story, which she hoped would lead to understanding and perhaps some helpful words of advice.
"Em... well... you're right. It is Becca," the wolfbat admitted, still feeling quite uncomfortable with the confession. "I... well, ye probably are well aware by now. I like the lass. I always have. But..."
Mikaylah hung on her breath, struggling for the proper words to explain what was going through her mind. Aurora squeezed her friend's shoulder and smiled up at her gently, silently prodding her to continue.
"It's... I... em..."
The wolfbat was visibly shaking now. Still, she continued, revealing her not-so-secret feelings a little deeper.
"I think I... well... me heart and me body are fighting with me mind..." she confided, seemingly with some shame. "I just... I feel a bit more than just friendship with her... and... Jayzus, look at me!"
Mikaylah raised her arm up to the side of her, about chest high and parallel to the floor. Her paw was shaking badly. Even her wings were shivering uncontrollably.
"Am I supposed to feel like this?"
The cobra hugged her friend gently from the side, smiling softly as she tried to calm the wolfbat's frayed nerves.
"It's okay. Breathe with me."
Mikaylah again did as instructed. The two girls breathed together, slowly, deliberately. Mikaylah felt herself relax slightly as the repetition of the breathing slowed her fluttering heart. As she inhaled and exhaled slowly, she started to realize that she had chosen the perfect person to share this delicate information with. Aurora was not only sweet and understanding, but very good at soothing and relaxing the mind and body. Mikaylah relaxed a little more, feeling more at ease with her decision.
Finally, after another minute with nothing but the sounds of breathing, the snake spoke.
"If it's love, I think you are," she explained. "I haven't found my soulmate yet, but I think if I were to do so, I'd act like you. However..."
The cobra released her embrace and stood up from the bed as Mikaylah's eyes shifted to focus on her actions. She began to head towards the bathroom door.
"You have to dissect the emotions from the environment. It's part of a scientific method."
The sound of water running out of a sink faucet filled the air as Mikaylah pondered that last sentence. Dissect emotions from the environment? What did that have to do with what she was feeling? Did the excitement and pressure of the combine week bring her closer to the red fox? And what about these other emotions? The ones stronger than the kind of friendship she shared with Aurora and the other FBAngels?
Her thoughts were interrupted as Aurora returned with two glasses of water, handing one to Mikaylah. The wolfbat looked stoically into the glass of water as the cobra elaborated on her statement.
"The two times you really met Rebecca, you were at a combine or some other FBA draft-measurement event. Am I right?"
Mikaylah idly moved the glass in small circles, swirling the water within. What direction was her friend going with this?
"Em... it was, aye," Mikaylah admitted. "We met up when she picked me up from the airport for the combine. And then there was the night in the hotel room, where the whole lot of us had to squeeze into the same bed..." The wolfbat started to blush again at the memory, her eyes fixed on her watery distraction.
The cobra nodded and took her seat next to her troubled friend. "Do you think... that the excitement of possibly being in the FBA could have flown into other emotions, heightening them?"
Mikaylah swirled her water more.
"I... honestly can't say for sure if it was that, or what other things contributed to me feelings..." She paused, staring blankly at her glass as the cobra observed. "But all I know for sure is I didn't pursue these emotions..." Aurora tilted her head slightly as she listened, her hand softly rubbing her friend's shoulder.
"Becca did cuddle me that first night," the wolfbat continued, blushing deeper yet again. "and... I was just gonna let that go for what it was. I didn't think much of it. But... well... me body liked it. Me mind liked it... but yet, it didn't feel... like... I dunno..."
Mikaylah struggled to find the right words to describe her conundrum. It wasn't simply a crush she was dealing with. That would have been much easier to accept.
After a few seconds, the wolfbat turned to look Aurora in the eye, her own red eyes beginning to glisten with the beginnings of tears as she came out with it.
"Why her? Why a lass?"
Aurora blinked a couple of times. Perhaps this part of the conflict had caught her slightly off guard, though she hid it well.
Mikaylah turned away again, embarrassed at the nature of her dilemma. The tears pushed harder at the backs of her eyes, though she resisted as hard as she could.
Aurora remained silent for a few seconds, appearing deep in thought. A wolfbat sniffle echoed through the silence. Finally, the cobra turned toward the wolfbat, placing her hand under her friend's chin and gently guiding it up to look at her. Her soft smile and caring eyes, gazing through those familiar rose colored sunglasses, offered some comfort in anticipation of a far worse reaction.
"There is love that is immediate, and there is love that is borne from repeated bonding," the snake explained, sounding like she could do this for a living.
"There is also love that stems from hormones, cognitive dissonance of the brain putting meaning to what the body is feeling."
Mikaylah felt a pang inside her chest. She almost could've taken offense at the idea of her attraction being no deeper than a mixture of hormones and physical desires, and with another woman at that.
She listened on.
"In each of these scenarios, though, the conflict stems from the negative energy caused when your mind and your heart don't meld. You may have been brought up with one set of beliefs, but left to your own devices, you are finding your own path that deviates from what you knew."
Mikaylah nodded softly as Aurora took her hand in her own, smiling gently.
"That's called learning, dear. You're forging your own path, acting on your own feelings. You're not letting someone dictate them for you."
Aurora paused a second, as if trying to get her own conflicting memory out of her head. Shaking her head a bit, she continued.
"Do you know how Rebecca feels about it?"
Mikaylah was starting to feel more comfortable in sharing herself with Aurora. The jitters over the intimacy of the conversation had finally started to dissipate. She trusted her words. She sensed her sincere desire to help and comfort. Mikaylah squeezed the cobra's hand softly.
"She... well, she hasn't shown any opposition," the wolfbat admitted. "Though I've not a clue how far she would want to take this. After all, maybe she just likes the affection?"
The wolfbat shrugged. "I figured that is why I kept on with it as well. It felt good to be close to someone. But..."
Mikaylah hesitated at the next part, although only for a moment. Aurora really had done a wonderful job making Mikaylah feel comfortable.
"As the nights passed..." Mikaylah continued, with caution, "I started becoming... lustful."
Back to blushing and diverting eye contact.
"And with that came feelings of attachment, and..."
Then she turned and looked right at the cobra, admitting probably the most personal information she had spoken of to this point.
"Aurora, I've never truly had any sort of experience, sexually or otherwise, with anyone at all at all," the wolfbat confessed.
"I don't know how to feel about what I really want to do with her... what I want us to be... I've got so many things to consider. Me career. Me Mum..."
Then her face seemed to somehow get even paler, her eyes widening again, this time in fear.
"Oh God! She would never allow it! If this became something more, she'd... she'd..."
Mikaylah's face fell into her free paw with a heavy sigh. While Mikaylah considered herself Protestant, she was still flexible enough in her beliefs to allow them to grow and develop as she did. Her mother, however, was full on Irish Catholic and none too keen on compromise. That, of course, complicated any matters relating to her daughter and whom she may love.
Aurora tilted her head slightly as she took in these new details. She realized now that the issue went far deeper than just a simple crush. Her friend may still be learning about herself, and that would take time, but needing to appease a disapproving parent was another thing entirely, and a particularly touchy subject for the cobra. It appeared this one had no quick solution, but would have to be treated like a puzzle, solved bit by bit over a period of time.
Aurora then guided Mikaylah's paw up and across her own body, and in putting her own arm around her, leaned into the wolfbat for a warm embrace. Mikaylah's head came to rest on Aurora's shoulder, which calmed the jostling emotions in her head, if only for a few moments.
"That's the wisest thing you can think, that you don't know how to feel," the cobra imparted, her forked tongue flicking gently in front of her. "If you did, I'd be suspicious, because you're still learning about yourself."
She then pulled the wolfbat's face up to hers, smiling softly, a sage look behind those rose colored glasses.
"Intimacy goes hand in hand with friendship, and it's very easy to misconstrue a feeling from an action, especially when there's all this energy from the combine and the invitational. I think you can table this, just for a little bit, until after the swirling vortexes leave your aura calmer. Then you can re-evaluate your feelings without feeling pressured or overwhelmed."
The cobra then smiled as she pulled her hand away from Mikaylah's chin, giving it a friendly stroke in the process.
"And if you ever need an ear or a shoulder, I'm just a phone call or a messenger video chat away."
Mikaylah looked into the cobra's eyes. The compassion her friend had shown her in her time of need was genuine and touching. Her words full of sincerity and wisdom. A confusing storm of emotions put into perspective with a simple bit of advice.
Give it time.
Mikaylah wiped a tear from her red, misty eye, overwhelmed by the kindness her friend had shown her. "Ah, God bless ye, lass... ye are wise beyond your years, ya are!"
The wolfbat sat up straight on the bed, her actions exuding much more confidence than when she first walked in. "I guess really, there's no reason to rush this. And at the same time, there's no reason to feel guilty or dirty. It simply... is what it is."
Aurora gave a firm nod of approval as Mikaylah continued. "And if Rebecca would have it," she fantasized aloud, a smile growing across her muzzle, "it may become even more!"
While a lot of questions still remained, it was clear to both girls that there was an attraction there. An attraction that went deeper than just physicality. Just how deep it went, that part wasn't yet clear. But there was something there. And most importantly, there was time to figure it out.
Give it time.
Mikaylah's heart felt peace at this thought. There was no rush, and everything would play out in a matter of time. She smiled and leaned in to hug the cobra warmly.
"Thank ye dear, for your help. I may be takin' ye up on the offer for another conversation. I think I have a lot to learn about meself in the near future."
There was indeed a lot to learn. But the learning process, Mikaylah realized, was a journey all unto itself. It wasn't something that needed to be solved right away, but simply... allowed to proceed. And whichever direction it ended up going, and with whatever destination it reached, that could be dealt with using the knowledge and experience gained along the way. There was no commitment needed either way, simply a mind and heart that was open to possibilities, regardless of what others thought.
She just needed to know there was nothing wrong in exploring, and discovering, what those possibilities were. And in confiding in her good friend, she found the reassurance she longed to hear.
No more guilt. No more shame. She would do whatever felt right. And she'd live with the results.
Aurora beamed from the wolfbat's shift in attitude, letting out little hisses of happiness as the two hugged. "Anytime, dear. I'm very glad I could help center your storm."
The cobra then released the hug, smiling. "That should help with your 1 on 1 trial, which, I think, is coming up, isn't it?" she asked curiously.
Mikaylah nodded to the affirmative. "It is. And I think focusing on me matchups will be a lot easier now!" She then smiled slyly, blushing more again. "Though I'll be quite honest, I am looking forward to spending the rest of the week getting to know Becca a bit better as well."
Then she gave a cute little giggle, almost like a schoolgirl would after receiving a passing glance from her crush. Aurora chuckled as well at Mikaylah's adorable reaction.
"We Angels have to know each other quite well in order to work together," the cobra replied as she stood up, helping Mikaylah to her feet. "Now go give 'em hell, dear! I'm doing yoga in the morning again, if you want to join me. Might help with maintaining your focus."
Aurora then leaned in with one last hug, hissing softly.
"And good luck!"
Mikaylah blushed as she embraced her friend, her new thoughts excitedly swimming in her head still. "Hehe... and same to ye, sweetie."
With that, the wolfbat turned to the door. With one obstacle faced (or at least tamed, for now), the 1-on-1 trials with the Wildcards players awaited. Walking to the door, Mikaylah grasped the doorknob, turning back one more time as she pulled open the door.
"Thanks again hun!"
And into the hallway she went, full of optimism and smiling proudly.
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