Impossible Friendship

I sat across from a man that I swore I would never see again. Yet, fate has a mysterious – if not a cruel – way of bringing us together, and under rather interesting circumstances too.

My heart is sore.

Your friendship has been impossible to obtain and I want to bury these memories into the cold, damp soil in hopes that they will never see the golden sunlight again.

Someday, perhaps, these tainted memories will blossom into a scarlet rose.

My mind was riddled with these thoughts and even though we picked out a small, private table outside, I still couldn’t breathe.

He was leaving the country in a couple of days and the thought of his feet touching a different continent gave me a nauseating feeling.

Suddenly, I pushed away the dainty cup – while he was in the middle of divulging details of his upcoming trip – and slammed a scrunched up five dollar bill on the round, metal table.

He paused, unsure of what I was trying to accomplish. He never liked my spontaneity because he always thought he had me figured out.

“Good luck. I have to go. I forgot that I have to work on a presentation,” I lied and gave him a polite smile.

“What’s wrong?” He asked, his green eyes searching for mine.

I didn’t answer.

Instead, I hurried out of the café before he bombarded me with questions that I couldn’t answer. I slipped my arms into the pleather sleeves of my bomber jacket and melted into the faceless crowd of strangers that rushed down the sidewalk.

I shoved my clenched fists into the pockets and gritted my teeth.

I left my sunglasses in the car, back in Chinatown, and I couldn’t help but feel stupid as I started crying in public. My tears earned a couple of concerned stares but I kept my eyes pinned to the cracked asphalt as I slipped by the eager tourists that dotted Little Tokyo and hurried down Hope St.

My heart felt like an open piñata, and all of its content was out in the open for him to analyze. I knew it was a mistake to see him and I knew that he’d win this fight – he always knew what to do and say in these situations.

He’d always come out a victor.

And at that moment, I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs and share the pain that coursed through me with the innocent bystanders that stood at the cross section with me and waited for the green light.

I was being selfish and yet, I didn’t care.

I jogged up the stairs to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion when I heard him call out my name. He reached the top, panting slightly, and the sight of him completely out of breath with beads of perspiration on his forehead made me laugh.

He failed to see the humor in the situation. “What the hell was that all about? Why did you run out on me like that?”

He was angry.

“There’s nothing else for me to say. I wished you good luck. That’s all. End of story.”

“Oh, come on! I wanted to leave this country on good terms. Why are you acting like I still owe you an apology? You were warned. You have always been warned about my reputation!”

“I remember. I just—” there were so many words that I wanted to yell in his face but just like the school of silver fish in the ocean, I couldn’t grab a hold of any of them. And, there was an array of emotions that I wanted to run through but I couldn’t identify which one of them I wanted to display first.

Anger? Sorrow? Confusion? Nonchalance? Happiness?

I started to cry again – he had an uncanny gift of bringing tears to my eyes and twisting my emotions into a cherry knot. I stood a few inches away from him and it literally felt as though we were the only two people on Earth.

No one else mattered.

“I’ll miss you, homie. Despite the pain you put me through, I still wish you the best.”

He took a deep, exasperated breath and raked his fingers through his hair. For the first time, I saw a hint of sorrow in his green eyes and that’s when I realized he was hurting too.

He pulled me into a warm embrace. “I’ll miss you too.”

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Impossible Friendship

Dear Cookie

Silence unraveled between us like an old, itchy blanket,
And the distance between California and Maryland grew wider than the Pacific Ocean.
I still remember the night I last saw you – the look on your face I’ll never forget.
Your eyes were distant and filled with eternal sorrow,
And when you spoke, your voice trembled with inexplicable pain.

The memories our hearts exchanged have faded,
And I buried the remnants in the darkest corner of my mind.
Sometimes those memories crawl out of the shadows
And haunt me in the middle of the night.

You left, but fragments of you are scattered all across L.A.
This city reeks of you – sometimes it’s even difficult to bear.
There is no place within this city that doesn’t scream of you to me.

You fled my side, left in the night, to fight the demons in your mind.
I do not blame you for departing,
I’m only puzzled by your absence in my life.

Why have you severed all ties with me?

Dear Cookie

Don’t Speak

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Tears streamed down her face and burned the soft, crimson flesh of her cheeks as she pressed the cool bottle of Absolut to her forehead and studied the cotton-candy clouds that floated across the blue sky outside of her windows. She bathed her listless limbs in the warmth of the morning sun as she lay on a shaggy rug, amidst the broken glass that was scattered across the living room, and rested her feet on the velvet cushions of the tufted, turquoise sofa.

A faint, crackling sound pierced the silence as the needle of her antique phonograph scratched the surface of a spinning vinyl record and breathed life to the legendary voice of Nina Simone. The deep, melancholy Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Hair drifted over the graveyard of massacred paintings piled next to the shattered picture frames, an upturned coffee table with its tapered legs reaching out to the exposed ceiling pipes, two fractured table lamps and a sea of slashed chiffon curtains sprawled across the walnut floor.

Izabel took a swig of vodka and fought back the urge to cough as the clear liquid raped the inside of her throat.

The phone rang.

“Hey, you know what do do after the beep.” Beep!

“IZABEL, what the fuck! Answer your goddamn phone. I know you’re at home, sulking like a lazy cow over this stupid breakup. Try not to commit suicide until after our afternoon meeting with the client -” an angry honk in the background drowned out her sister’s angry voice, “-green means go, you stupid fuck!”

Click.

Izabel closed her eyes and imagined floating atop of a lake. Its placid surface mirrored the steel-grey sky above and matched the rhythm of her deliberate backstrokes to the chirping of the birds that sang among the tall, conifers.

A familiar voice echoed throughout the surrounding boreal forest, spearing the dense fog, and called out her name. It spawned a lonely tear. The crystal drop snaked down her pallid cheeks and melted into her frozen, blue lips. She continued to swim through the cold water. Her lifeless body sailed out of everyone’s reach and drifted towards a place where she could spend the rest of her life in solitude.

Don’t Speak

Crush

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Burning up from the fever that your stare supplies,
I look away, averting the gleam in your dark eyes.
Your stare gently grazes the soft curves of my face,
As you stand across from me and smile.

I flush.

Your stare is intrusive and your smile is wily.
I sneak a peek at your body – broad shoulders, strong arms and toned tummy.
The way the fabric of your shirt stretches across your chest turns me on.
I wonder what it’d feel like to be in your arms.
Your hand is scarred, yet it’s attractive.

Your lips are sweet, yet dangerously captive.
Your voice is deep – a soothing lullaby to my romantic ears.
My mind is racing like a Grand Prix!
I wish you’d kiss me, ignite my fantasies.
I wish you’d hold me, envelop my body with your sexuality.
I wish you’d stop teasing,
Because I’m losing self-control and I wish you’d just ask me.

I’d cave in with a passionate yes!

Crush

I’m Gonna Spit Some Glitter on These Haters

Despite the stupid name, Brass Monkey was an upscale lounge that only catered to the crème de la crème of society. In other words, if you weren’t rich and famous, then your penniless behind was not welcomed here.

The lounge reeked of wealth and power with its palatial Swarovski crystal chandeliers, Chesterfield sofas, tufted leather armchairs and renowned artwork. Well-groomed men in three-piece suits, modelesque women in designer dresses and nose-bleeding heels casually socialized over glasses of expensive champagne and miniscule caviar sandwiches.

Mira looked as though he’d walked out of the glossy pages of GQ magazine in his tailored, Alexander McQueen suit and leather, Oxford shoes. He moved through the room like a natural-born hustler and introduced me, along the way, to artists, influencers and European celebrities.

I’m not the kind of a girl that suffers from low self-esteem but on that night I felt like chopped liver. All of the guests knew Mira – his name would casually roll off their lips – and even despite having more followers on Instagram, I felt as though I was his arm candy and not the other way around.

That kind of, sort of bugged me, actually.

His hand was on the small of my back as he steered me towards our reserved table. It stood by the tall glass windows and offered a breathtaking view of the Parliament and the St. Vitus Cathedral in the distance.

Without bothering to see my I.D., the waiter returned with a bottle of Dom Pérignon and two plates laden with sizzling filet mignon, sautéed mushrooms and mashed potatoes.

“I ordered ahead,” Mira explained sheepishly. “I figured since you eat like a caveman, you’d appreciate my chivalrous gesture.”

I laughed. “That’s very sweet.”

While I stuffed my face with the first, second and third courses, Mira had finally confessed about his connections.

Apparently, he was related to Scarlet Rose – one of the biggest DJs in Europe – and the bejeweled Audemars Piguet watch on his wrist was a gift from his famous, older sister.

Coincidentally, she helped him secure the internship at creativ[un]block and tonight, she was promoting her new album.

“So that’s why everyone here knows your name.”

He nodded his head. “It’s kind of embarrassing, actually. Almost like walking in the shadows of your cool, older sibling at school. You know?”

“Actually, I don’t!” I snorted. “You’ve met my sister, right?”

He didn’t answer right away but it didn’t take a psychic to read the thoughts that floated inside of his head. In fact, I was used to that kind of a reaction whenever I mentioned Julia.

None of my friends believed that we shared the same bloodline, and whenever we had to attend corporate banquets and fundraising soirées with our parents, most of the guests thought she was adopted!

“She’s different…” he finally said.

“Psychotic, anti-social, creepy and ugly is more like it.”

He chuckled. “You don’t get along?”

“I like to pretend that she doesn’t exist—”

Suddenly, the room broke out in applause and Scarlet Rose appeared on a small, elevated platform that tonight served as a stage. She took a bow and blew kisses, before grabbing the microphone.

“I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight. Your support means a lot to me, and since I hate talking in public, I’m going to make this super short and sweet. Thanks to my manager Leni and my marketing powerhouse, Sydney. You’re a bunch of brilliantly crazy mothereffers and I love you for that!”

Scarlet Rose was striking with her large, blue eyes, full lips and razor-sharp cheekbones. She sported a raven faux-hawk, several tattoos and piercings, and her tall, lean body was clad in high-waisted tuxedo trousers and a cropped, muscle tee.

She walked behind the DJ table, pressed the headphones to one side of her head and moved her hands from her laptop to the turntables. Soon, the lounge drowned in hypnotic beats and the guests bobbed their heads and moved their bodies to the music.

Mira gently took hold of my hand.

“You look gorgeous, by the way,” he said with an Oscar-worthy smile on his face.

I wore a black, spaghetti-strap velvet dress and spiked Christian Louboutin heels. I knew I looked like a stone cold fox tonight but the way he looked at me made my heart twerk inside of my chest.

“Let’s go dance.” I grabbed his hand and led him to the dance floor.

We joined a bevy of sun-kissed girls and sexy, muscular guys. Despite their best efforts, some of the guests were sloshed, and their drinks ended up all over their Versaces and Armanis.

I swayed my hips to the EDM music that poured out of the speakers and grinded up against Mira. He wrapped his muscular arms around my waist and his lips were dangerously close to my neck. I could feel his warm breath against my skin.

By the time Scarlet Rose decided to take a fifteen-minute break, my body was glistening with sweat. I grabbed a towel off the waiter’s tray and dabbed it against my chest and neck.

Two glasses of iced water, along with Panna cotta, waited for Mira and I back at the table. I gulped down the water like the runner after a triathlon, and gobbled up a slice of the Italian dessert.

Miroslav!” exclaimed Scarlet Rose and kissed her little brother on the cheek. He turned pink from embarrassment.

Hana, this is Olivia. She’s visiting from California and she’s interning at creativ[un]block as well.”

Scarlet Rose smiled and stretched out her hand for me to shake. I gave it a firm squeeze.

“You were amazing!” I gushed, knowing damn well that flattery will get you in many places.

“I’m happy you enjoyed my performance. And—” her eyes glistened like gemstones when she looked me up and down, “—are you single?”

Er—”

Mira interrupted me with a short answer in Czech, and his sister looked visibly disappointed by his words.

“Enjoy the show!” She called out and returned back to the stage.

“What was that all about?” I asked, confused by her sudden shift in attitude.

He grinned like a Cheshire cat. “It’s getting hot in here. Let’s go outside for a few minutes.”

I followed him out on the balcony.

The air was cool, perfumed with honeysuckle that grew alongside of the railing, burnt coffee beans that wafted from the Starbucks below and foreign food.

Mira wrapped his blazer around my bare shoulders when I gave out an involuntary shiver.

“This is definitely not California. It still gets cold during the summers.”

I watched a glittery boat cross the Prague River and admired the twinkling lights in the distance.

“So, are you going to tell me what you told your sister before she left?”

“Sure. She was interested in dating you but I told her you were taken.”

That’s a surprise!

“I am? Who’s the lucky guy, then?”

“I am.”

He reached out and kissed me. It was hot and sweltering kiss – the kind that could win an Oscar.

I’m Gonna Spit Some Glitter on These Haters