She was the most beautiful I had ever lain my eyes on
She was the sun, the moon, the stars, and the rain
She was lacking in my past, idolized in my present
How could I knew she would become my future pain?
I hum her name, I hear her voice
I think of our games, of the special days
I still feel the same, nothing has changed
How could I knew you wouldn't stay?
404 an error found
like all the roads before
I'm hitting the ground
how do you run?
patch up the hurt
like all the times before
give up on being first
how do you return?
en route 303
404 can not be found
i torched the highway
it's the ground
whereupon I now can stand
en route 303
a new road, another try
on and on it goes
i can't find the road for me
maybe some dreams aren't meant to be
i don’t want to be you
some might say i'm imitating you
what else is there for me to do
when i love your voice and the way that you talk
i'm a mirror, a chameleon, this is what i do
i don't have dimples, such a bright smile
i wouldn't act like such a child
but i love your spirit, your guts, and your laughter
i'm a mirror, a chameleon, at least for a while
trying to find the me i am destined to be
someone who won't be rattled at the slightest disharmony
i want to be the girl sparking life
not this awful version i have to call me
i don't want to be you
just a little bit more like you
Honestly, I shouldn't obsess like this
No one's perfect, I shouldn't have to be
Worrying so much about being what no one ever can be
I say live your truth, your peace, your dream
I scream it to myself, but instead I stay in this hell
Despite the motivation, I don't know how to free myself
Honestly, I can't be the perfect person
Not the daughter, writer or friend
Is it a wonder I wish for the end?
I don't believe in perfection
Yet I try to be exactly that and nothing less
Everyone only wants, don't deserve, my very best
Bonnie & Clyde
Written by: Chacko_Stephen + GLD
Loud warning sirens lost the sound battle against thunderous claps of lightning and gushing torrential rain. From two different directions, two souls raced down sidewalks, past dark buildings. The two different streets fused together at the corner, right at the door of the aged bookstore.
Miss Lee would still be awake, would hear the loud clanging of the bell hanging over the door. Or she would hear the consistent banging. Sometimes she seemed to have psychic hearing. She would at least provide shelter from the storm.
He reached the bookstore first, raised himself onto his toes and knocked his fist on the bell, sending a jangle down its line – unheard outside, but annoyingly loud indoors. He slipped inside as soon as the door opened, and shut it behind him at the exact moment the other soul rounded the corner of a building and raced towards the golden lights of the bookstore.
She banged on the door, too short to reach the bell. Miss Lee turned around from ushering her first guest to the backroom. She opened the door, rushed her second visitor in.
“I can never understand why people venture outside when dangerous storms are predicted a week ahead of time,” she grumbled. “Come to the backroom, Bonita.”
It was a cozy bookstore, despite its size. The front room was a large space filled with bookshelves, the books placed out of order on the shelves. If you knew your way, you could stroll through the bookshelves and find the fireplace, to the left of the room. Two armchairs in front of it, blankets draped over their backs, on the floor a faux Siberian tiger’s rug.
Miss Lee and Bonita reached the back of the room, passed through the heavy door into the backroom. It served as Miss Lee’s living space. The backroom housed a kitchen and living area. A narrow hallway from the living area led to a bathroom and bedroom.
To the left of the room was the kitchen, a counter separating it from the dining table for two. To the right of the room was the living area – two sofas opposite each other, a coffee table between them.
A tall figure sat on the sofa, his back to them. He had his feet propped up on the coffee table, his boots and socks underneath the table, his drenched clothes clung to his frame. Two glasses and a bottle of wine stood dangerously close to the table’s edge.
Miss Lee bustled around the kitchen counter and peered in her pot. The scent of chicken hung in the air, along with far too many herbs.
“Clyde, pour some wine for Bonita, and none for me, please.”
His shoulders shook at the name, but he turned his head calmly. She had her back to him, standing at the kitchen countertop, fumbling inside her backpack. All he saw was long, dark hair matted against the back of a leather jacket. A cardigan was pulled from the depths of the pack.
“Do you want a towel, Bonita?” Miss Lee asked, without turning around.
“No, thank you.”
The voice was familiar. A little older, scratchier, harder.
She turned around, her eyes and face colder and harder than he remembered them. Shock flitted through her eyes when she recognized him. Just as quickly as the recognition registered, it was replaced with anger.
“Miss Lee, are the towels in the bathroom?”
Clyde rose from the sofa.
“Bonnie, let’s not be angry. It’s been twenty years.” He stepped into her way. She sucked breath through her teeth.
“Get out of my way.” Physically pushing him aside, she stormed to the bathroom.
Miss Lee turned around and frowned at him. “So, you’re the one who broke her heart?”
“That was twenty years ago, Miss Lee.” He turned around, filled one of the glasses.
“Pour me one as well, Clyde. It seems I’ll need one tonight, after all.”
He waited patiently for Bonita to return. Miss Lee puttered around in the kitchen, mothering her pot of chicken broth, or whatever she was cooking up.
Could this evening be any more eventful? He thought.
The raindrops knocked against the windowpanes, as if asking permission to visit the interior. It was as if they longed to know how the cold evening would proceed in altering the destiny of two lost souls in love.
Clyde yearned for something to mend that which was torn apart by time. His mind swished and swirled through all their memories.
He was never one to boast about an intact memory. Yet, his mind had stored away every speck of moment spent with her. He could paint a million canvases with their memories. An entire museum for the moments they had spent together. He could walk its corridors for the rest of his life and never complain.
Her return from the bathroom broke him from his reverie.
Hair rinsed, a soaked leather jacket over her arms, the cardigan holding her in a comforting embrace. She avoided his eyes. He wanted to say her name, call her Bonnie and feel that dizzying rush that zoomed to his head whenever he did. Things were not the same as they were decades ago; he understood it, but yearned for the past.
It had always been tough for him to read her. She was always juggling a thousand thoughts at once, while he could barely handle two. She seemed to live in many diverse realms at once, inhabiting a different life in each, while he just barely managed his own. They were as different as an ocean would be from a bustling town – but whenever their fingers interlocked one another, their worlds seemed to fit together like the center pieces of a jigsaw. Everything made sense, even the stars seemed to be within their reach.
Bonita sat down on the opposite sofa, scooted into the corner of it. She had picked up her glass of wine and now sat quietly, her small hands wrapped around the glass. There was a faded scar on her right hand, stretching from her wrist to her fourth finger. She’s had it since childhood, a bicycling accident.
Despite the invisible fence between him and Bonita, it felt cozy and warm in this room, the three of them together.
Clyde motioned at her cardigan.
“I remember that one. It was a gift from my grandmother one Christmas. It has to be really old now…twenty-five years, isn’t it?
She slowly lifted her head. Her slit eyes studied his face. Before answering, she took a small sip of wine.
“Twenty-two.” She hesitated. “How is she?”
“Refuses to die.” He grinned. “She has threatened to live for another twenty years, no matter what.”
“She might end up attending your funeral then,” Bonita replied dryly. He chuckled heartily.
“Impossible. I plan on seeing my nineties. I want to taunt people, make them think I’ll see an entire century before they lay me in my grave.”
He waited for her to reply, to say something, to compare him to his grandmother, the way she used to. She stayed silent.
“Only twenty-two years,” he mused. “Let’s see…we were eighteen then. Oh, I remember that Christmas!” He brightened.
“It was the last Christmas we had before our trip, before we graduated. I remember how excited we were about that. Do you remember that wait at the airport in June? Ah, I thought we were never going to take off. Our flight was late, remember?”
“That was the airport in New York.”
He frowned. “But there were airport issues at the start of our trip…Didn’t you forget some luggage?”
“You forgot your suitcase and passport at home. We had to return and collect it, missing our flight. We waited six hours for the next one.”
She corrected his story with a cold tone, but with every ‘we’ he could hear warmth fighting to gain control of her voice.
He glanced at Miss Lee, found that she was looking at them. She picked up her glass and savoured the poison. He returned his focus to Bonita, decided to continue the conversation. She’ll warm up soon enough.
“Personally, I most enjoyed our time on the western coast.” Bonita stiffened.
“Remember that small town and its quiet beach? The little ice cream shop? Remember our first there?”
“No,” she said curtly.
Clyde’s path leading to nonchalant conversation came crashing to a standstill. No. One word. Two letters. It always seemed to hold much more power than one would expect of it. A single syllable which could crumble dream worlds built affectionately over the years – a leash that would choke you right before you reached what you pursued your entire life – a door that refused to budge.
He locked eyes with her, she looked away.
“I do,” he continued. “You made me fall for your tricks all the time, somehow convincing me into buying the ice cream every time.” He chuckled sincerely. His eyes glinted, caught in the sea of fond memories.
“What are you trying to do?” Bonita’s reaction was sudden, unexpected. “What do you think will change?”
Miss Lee removed the ceramic pot from the stove.
“You’re still a killer, and you got away with it.”
The pot smashed in pieces on the wooden boarded floor. The broth splashed against cupboards, stained Miss Lee’s dress.
“I think there are a couple of things we really don’t remember similarly, Bonnie,” he replied softly.
“Between the two of us, my memory has always been the better. How did you miss the prison sentence? Or did you go back and serve it after all?”
He poured himself another glass.
“I didn’t do any time, because I was innocent.”
She jumped from the seat, swore loudly.
“Bonita, sit down and listen,” Miss Lee instructed. She stepped past the mess of food on the floor and joined Bonita on the sofa. “I think,” she said, with a slightly shook voice, “there are some things I need to be told.” She faced Clyde.
“Did you kill someone?”
“No,” he replied softly.
Bonita swore again, jumping from the seat once more.
“How can you lie so calmly? So coolly? Where were you that Saturday night?”
He drained his glass, then held it with two hands between his legs, staring at its bottom.
“Bonnie…I’d like to know where you were that night.” Pain laced his voice. “Because I was exactly where I should’ve been. At the beach. The first beach we visited on that coast. You’re the one who never showed up, not until they brought you into the police station.” He hesitated at her sharp intake of breath.
“Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have asked. I trusted and I loved.” He looked up, straight at her. “Why do I keep getting the blame? What about you? Don’t you think I took the blame for a reason?” Desperation overrode his calm nature.
“Where were you, Bonnie? Why did you lie to the detective?”
“How dare you excuse me!” She fired back. “You’re the one who lied! Where was I? I was at the beach. I waited for two hours, until the police found me there. They dragged me to the station. I saw you sitting there,” her eyes glowed violently and she backed up, “and I thought we’d walk out of there soon enough. It was all just a big misunderstanding.”
He jumped up from his sofa, grabbed her shoulders before she crashed into the large pot behind her. Hissing, she pushed him away, waved her finger accusingly as she continued.
“I didn’t want to believe it. But everything fit so perfectly.” Her voice broke. She took a deep breath. “How dare you accuse me? You even confessed.”
“I did not confess!”
“They arrested you – told me I could go home!” Her was voice was switching into screaming mode. He only every experienced it once – back when they were teenagers, when they first started dating. She had thought he was seeing another girl behind her back.
He saw the same distrust and anxiety in her eyes, at this moment, twenty-five years later.
“They arrested you,” she continued, “and then two days later released you. All the evidence was stacked on your side, but they released you. And you have the audacity to return and tell me you are innocent?! Now you have the audacity to try and frame me? I was on the beach, waiting for you to arrive!”
“No, you weren’t.” He reminded himself mentally to remain calm, tried to keep overly emotional words from his speech. “I waited for you. You never arrived.”
“What the heck are you talking about?!” She wasn’t just screaming anymore, she was crying as well. “I was on the beach, waiting for you! You weren’t there! Don’t you think I remember it? I remember everything better than you. Everything! You weren’t there. You ditched our date,” she stopped abruptly. Miss Lee had placed her hand on Bonita’s arm, urging her to sit down.
“Stay calm. You can’t figure out anything in anger and disappointment,” she admonished.
“Why is it always so difficult for you to believe me? What have I ever done to betray your trust, Bonnie? I don’t – I don’t understand.” He cut himself off. Whatever he had to say at this moment would contribute little to the argument. Instead, he shrunk back into the sofa.
Miss Lee stood up from beside Bonita, returned to the kitchen and retrieved a mop and dustpan. She started cleaning the floor.
A silence settled over the room – words hanging overhead, caught by the stubborn refusal to speak first. A heaviness in the chest, lifted only by freeing the emotions confined, clung to their ribs, leaking only into the regrets already bottled within.
“You know,” Miss Lee finally spoke, her eyes solely focused on the mess at her feet, “I was so smitten in love with this guy when I was in high school.”
Clyde and Bonita looked at each other for a fraction of a second, before breaking free of the eye contact accidentally made.
While in confusion or a mindless dilemma, we tend to look towards the ones we love to achieve some sense of clarity. Perhaps it was this realization that made them both look away, unable to accept that a part of them did care about the other, despite everything in the past.
“He was tall, like you. But, much more handsome.” Miss Lee chuckled lightly at the accomplishment of a good joke, her words aimed at Clyde. “Ah, I fell so hard – day in, day out, I couldn’t think of anything else. Scribbling our names together everywhere, doodling his cute, chubby face. And my grades, which Pa and Ma believed couldn’t be any worse – well, I surprised them, didn’t I?” She picked up the remaining shards of ceramics and arranged them on the dustpan in the shape of a heart.
“But, I was shy. And afraid. I couldn’t face him for the life of me. But, one day…it was a rainy Friday, the last day of school for the week. It was raining so hard.” The corners of Miss Lee’s mouth formed an adorable grin. “July 9, 1976.”
“He forgot his umbrella. I had one, but I didn’t take it out.” She chuckled, turned and winked at Bonnie. “He sat there beside the big doors to the office. Hong Lou Meng in his right hand, his left arm resting on that beige leather shoulder bag. Hong Lou Meng was my favourite, you see? So, I knew it was my best chance.”
The floor was clean again. She put the mop and dustpan away, walked to them and held her hand out to Bonita. Bonita took it reluctantly. Ignoring Clyde, she focused on Bonita only.
“Love is the most magical thing in the world. If you let it in, even the most mundane days turn whimsical. A fairy tale. You will find colors in this world that you never knew existed.”
“But, love is not without its tests. Tricky ones. And we often don’t realize how simple the answers are till much, much later. What most people miss out on is that – however far you have gone on different paths – if your heart desires something, someone, else, it is never too late to turn around.”
“Let me go clean up myself.”
They sat in frozen silence, Clyde studying Bonita’s lowered face.
“Sometimes, I don’t understand what she says,” he started up the conversation carefully. “But, I do know that we still have that something special, Bonnie. There…there is something wrong in the past. Something missing. Something doesn’t add up.”
Her jaw clenched tighter. She was bent over, shaking ever so slightly, her arms wrapped around her abdomen.
“Bonnie…you were at the beach that night?”
“Yes.” He had expected her to stay silent, or to whisper a reply, but her voice was loud and clear.
“So was I.” She suddenly jumped up and he hesitated.
“I can’t stay here with you, Clyde.” It was the first time she had even uttered his name this whole evening. She rushed to the kitchen counter, grabbed her backpack. He wanted to grab her, felt torn in two between reacting and not.
“Things don’t make sense.” More words tumbled from her mouth, jumbled, a mess. He couldn’t make any sense out of anything she said anymore; or maybe she wasn’t even making sense at all.
She rushed from the room, leaving him alone. He thought he heard the store’s door, and then suddenly Miss Lee was back.
“Where were you that night, Clyde?” It was a simple question.
“At the beach. The first beach we visited on that coast.”
The storm had subsided to a light rain. She marched all the way back to her apartment, as if to violently force his image from her mind. It was easier to forget about him, to hate him, not to think about him, when she thought he had committed the crime of murder.
Something seemed wrong now. There was something wrong about the entire situation. After twenty years, it didn’t even matter to her who murdered her far-off relative.She wished they had never even visited the insufferable man that day. All that mattered right now was that something felt completely off, completely wrong
She reached her apartment. The answer did not come to her, not even after a warm shower, a cup of coffee, not even after an hour of rolling around in bed. Then, as her mind drifted into the world beyond, she heard his words from afar:
“At the beach. The first beach we visited on that coast.”
She lay suspended in the state of half-asleep, half-awake, unable to fall deeper as the words repeated themselves. Over and over. With each repetition, she found herself more and more awake, until finally she lay on her back wide awake, staring at the ceiling.
“At the beach. The first beach we visited on that coast,” she whispered. But...that wasn’t…She sat up straight.
He wrote Christmas Cove…But the first beach we visited was Victoria Beach.
Stunned, she in the darkness staring without seeing anything. She broke free from her trance only when tears spilled from her eyes.
“He’s such an idiot,” she blubbered, untangling the covers from her legs. The clock on her bedside table said it was two in the morning, but was she going to call Miss Lee right now. If Clyde was still at the bookstore, they had to talk. And if he wasn’t, Miss Lee would know how to contact him.
He waited at the park bench, beneath the sole functioning streetlamp in the entire lane. He had never been afraid of the dark, but the long path that seemed to lead into some dark void did tingle his inner fears a bit on this night. Three in the morning. He mumbled about how anything that popped up at such a time in the morning could probably wait a couple more hours until the sun rose. What on earth came over her, wanting to meet now? She was the one who chose to leave, only a couple of hours ago.
The chilly winds carried the dead leaves from the dark left to the right. The streetlamp flickered, for a fraction of a second going dark. It would be a lie to say that it had no effect of him. In fact, he visibly jumped. He shoved his hands deep inside the pockets of his puffy jacket.
In the distance, faint purple crept into the night sky over the treetops. For a moment, he understood why people believed in good omnipotent beings, for only the sight of something inexplicable yet so simple could whisk away the fears of his mind. At the end of the day, we are all simple creatures desiring freedom from our worries, something impossible. Perhaps believing in something which we cannot understand, which promises to keep us safe, is all we ever need.
“Yup, I need to get some more sleep,” he mumbled to himself aloud, as a reassurance that there was nothing to be worried about. The peace did not last long. A strong wind swept up all the leaves and swirled them around. He gulped, straightening his posture as if to assert dominance.
Faint footsteps. He checked his watch. Is it Bonnie? He squinted in the direction of the sound. It was too dark to notice anything. He had recently read up on many serial killings and binged several shows about a psychopath on the loose. A memory of him shouting at the victims on the TV to act with more logic played in his mind. And here he was, waiting for his suspicious ex-girlfriend, once a murder suspect, on a park bench at three in the morning. He finally understood and related to those victims. Curiosity never failed to kill the cat.
Steady footsteps. Firm and picking up pace. He had the overwhelming urge to walk away. What if it isn’t her? What if it is?
“Oh, boy.” He looked in the opposite direction, amassed all the bravery he could muster from the heroics of stories he had read and watched, hating the idea of facing the footsteps.
The attack was sudden, half unexpected and yet expected. Of course, to the head. They all die the same way. But whatever smacked him was not an iron rod or a piece of wood.
“You idiot!” Bonnie’s voice resounded in the night air, desecrating the quietness. She’s strong. I should’ve seen this coming.
“Wrong beach!” Many killers had patterns or phrases they would enact in the killing scene. ‘Wrong beach’ sounded weird, but to each their own.
He tried to turn around, bat away the purse as she repeatedly smacked him.
“Can you ever get one thing right? Huh!” Her voice cracked. He got hold of her hand, and suddenly she was in his arms. She was crying. Maybe he was analyzing everything from the wrong perspective. After all, why kill him?
She clung to him, cried against his shoulder.
“Which beach did we first meet on?” He thought he heard wrong, but she repeated her blubbering question.
“Then why did you write Christmas Cove on the card, you idiot?”
What card? He stood motionless for almost an entire minute. It finally dawned on him.
She smacked him again, tackled him to the ground. He wanted to laugh, but the pain of her attack stole the wish from, along with the realization: a small blunder bereft him of twenty years with the love of his life.
Bonita gave up on her attack, dropped down on the ground beside him, looked up at the sky.
“Idiot,” she murmured. They started laughing at the same time. Laughed and cried until there was no more strength to do either. They lay there, until the sky turned mellow pink, welcoming them to a new day.
Honestly, I'm a hopeless romantic
However I'm anti "modern romance"
How could this life every be romantic
When magic has to compete with technology?
I just want something that does not exist
Not even romance, when friendship is what I crave
Nothing is as beautiful as two people who stand together
Who are happy, crazy, dangerous together
Is there something like a soulmate?
Or is it a mere wish that my soul makes?
Because I know so many beautiful souls
Yet I'm still so fucking lonely
Can I use this and this and this
To create something magical, memorable?
If I wrote a song, would you sing along
Or shut me down 'cause it's too honest?
I guess I'm just guessing
When I decide how you'd react
But if I wrote an honest song
Would you like it and sing along?
If I wrote an honest poem
Would you set me free
To follow my own road?
And if I wrote my own song
Would you let me go where I belong?