How did I get to this point? Torn between two worlds. Both are as promising as frightening. Pulling in me in opposite directions. Like an internal tug-of-war. I can’t seem to make up my mind, which way to go. Both come with wins and losses. All I want is the best outcome. If I chose path A, I will have to sacrifice everything I’ve known for a potential more vivid future. If it’s all a mirage, I’ll lose everything in pursuit of a pipe dream. However, if I cling to what I known on path B I’ll miss out on an opportunity that might only come around once in a lifetime. However, things are starting to pan out, but still aren’t where I want them yet. This monotony with the same-old-same old routine is tiresome. Something’s got to give? Yet I’m fearful of acting rashly. Familiarity brings comfort with certainty. Yet my longing for change grows by the day and I’ve outgrown this waiting period where I stand at this mental crossroads indecisive.
Oh future where are you? Who are you? Why are you ever changing? What factors am I partaking in that will lead me to you? You are always on the run fleeting no matter how clever, well planned I am you are always one step ahead. Oh why do I spend time obsessing over you when in reality we will never catch each other even on my death bed there is eternity which I cannot fathom because its outside the parameters of time. Then there is you past, you always catch up to me, you always follow me. It seems you define me. I can’t ignore you and pretend you never happened, but what good is that? If it were not for your occurrence, face it who would I be now? Sometimes you’re my best friend that makes me content then you are my enemy, reminding me of what could have been? But is that really so or do I take you for granted since I believe everything happens for a reason. Then present you are by far the most complex and trickiest. You get neglected and ignored, pushed to the side and taken for granted. Who are you? Who am I? We are always together we are soul mates until the day I leave this earth. Its like a marriage to death do us part . Through my trials and errors you are always there as a reminder time hasn’t stopped life goes on. You are my alibi and my mirror. Where I go you are there whether I want to face you or not, we are one. You sometimes feel like a gift and other times a curse, but either way like a film I’m watching for the first time you bring out all my emotions and deepest thoughts. We aspire and grow by the second. Time is a conundrum that is overlooked, misunderstood and taken for granted its not linear. No humans are linear beings.
“We made it.” I smiled at her.
“Thanks.” Her mouth curved into a grin for the first time.
“You’re welcome, and good luck…?” I paused as I realized I hadn’t bothered to learn her name.
“Angel,” she said, closing the door behind her. I watched her plod away, and I wondered what would become of her. Just as my hand reached for the gear shift, the screech of tires caused my eyes to tear upwards.
A car with tinted windows was right beside her. She didn’t seem to notice as she meandered along with headphones in her ears. The windows of the car rolled down, revealing a group of masked men with guns drawn. A cry rose in my throat as the sound of gun shots led to her collapse.
The car sped away, and hot tears filled my eyes as I rushed out of the cab and took her limp body into my arms. There was no response as she bled out. My head dropped as I muttered.
“You were almost free.”
A breeze rippled my copper waves, and even with the bomber jacket I wore I shivered as the smell of burnt tires filled my nostrils. Sirens wailed with me as a swarm of police cars encircled the crime scene.
A soft hand enclosed around my broad shoulder and I lifted my head to see a female police officer dangling her badge in my face.
“Horus Isles, I’m officer Mays and you are under arrest for the murder of Angel Rogers.”
“What?” I shook my head, confused as tears streamed down my pudgy face.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have read to you?”
“Yes,” I nodded as she handcuffed and ushered me to the back of a police car.
As I sat there, my eyes met the officer May’s hazel eyes. Her lips pressed into a tight line, and I tore my eyes away from hers.
* * *
When we arrived at the police station, I was taken in for questioning. They asked if I wanted to make a phone call, but I declined, figuring just like I had managed to talk myself out of trouble for rigging poker games with weighted dice, I could do so here.
I clasped my hands on the table as I sat across from officer Mays. Now that I directly faced her, I could see the bags under her eyes. Based on her sallow complexion and wild dark, hair, it looked like she hadn’t had a decent sleep in weeks. If I selected my words carefully could work to my advantage.
“Horus, what was your relation to Angel?” she said.
“I was her cab driver,” I answered.
“If you were only her cab driver then why were you clutching her corpse?”
“I panicked. The poor girl was alive one minute and dead the next. She just wanted to clean up her life, and these heartless thugs killed her.”
“Clean up her life?” She narrowed her eyes.
“She was a drug dealer”
“Is there more?”
“What more do you expect me to know?”
“How about her connection to Paradise Road?”
“What the hell is that?” I scratched my sweaty forehead.
“A drug ring stemming from the dark net,” she said. I leaned back in my chair, causing a creak and folded my droopy eyelids shut, as I pondered on what all she had spoken.
“She said she had been a drug dealer for five years, and wanted out.”
“Why now? Officer May’s voice dropped a few octaves.
“She was tired of the lifestyle”
“It’s strange Angel would tell a complete stranger so much information if she was on the run. Don’t you think Mr. Isles?” officer Mays folded her wide arms over her chest.
“I guess she had to get it off her chest somehow,” I sighed.
“What happened with the criminals that killed her?”
“When I dropped her off, a black car full of masked men pulled up, shot her and sped off.
“How many of them were there?” “I don’t know; I’d say about four.”
“What type of car were they driving?”
“A Ford Focus.”
“When you were driving Angel, were you under the impression she was being followed.” She leaned forward.
“She seemed paranoid when she got in the cab.”
“She kept glancing behind her as if she were waiting on someone.”
“Did she tell you someone was expecting her?” “No, she said she was supposed to deliver six pounds of cocaine”
“Very odd, there were no drugs on her when we searched her possessions”
“That’s what she told me, at least,” I rubbed neck.
“If she wanted out, why didn’t she go to the police?”
“A state trooper pulled me over for driving with my fuel door open, and I advised her to tell him about her situation, but she refused.” My voice cracked, as another whimper burst from my lips.
“Did she say why she refused to get help if she were in such danger?”
“She said something along the lines of “the less I talk the safer I am.” I brushed a tear from my lazy eye.
“That’s unfortunate. Well, Mr. Isles, I’m sorry you were caught in the middle of such a horrific event. You’re free to go,” officer Mays said, staring at me as I stood.
“Thank you officer Mays, and I hope you find whatever scumbag did that to that poor girl.”
“Likewise, have a good evening,” she grinned, then instructed another officer to escort me out. From a distance, I could overhear officer Mays speaking to another officer.
“You really think he’s innocent?” a male voice asked Mays.
“He seemed sincere enough, but the forensic evidence will tell the story.”
“I don’t trust the guy.” he said. Mays chuckled.
“Most cab drivers are oddballs.”
Their voices grew faint as I breathed in the evening autumn air and the pink sunset captured my eyes. Everything that occurred in the past couple of hours raced through my mind: Angel, her killers, and the police. In a matter of seconds, I had been thrust into the middle of a crime scene.
I smirked to myself, as I slipped my hand into my faded jean pocket, retrieving my keys. One of my old weighted dice rolled onto the dusty pavement. It was never my intent for Angel to die, but when she failed to deliver for Paradise Road-the website I founded. Her fate was sealed the minute she opened her mouth. The hit I ordered on her didn’t go according to plan. My henchmen acted faster than I anticipated leaving a trail I was unsure I’d be able to dodge. I would’ve been better driving away, but it was too late for regrets. For now, I’d enjoy my last days cruising the crowded streets as an unassuming cab driver.
I am many things, but good is not one of them.
If you knew the monster that resided behind
These bright eyes you would run and hide.
But instead you believe he can be tamed,
Failing to understand he origins of
such a miscreation.
There’s no need to pretend that what we are is
Normal let alone natural. It would be better for you
To die than to love me, but you do because
A breeze gusts over the rows of empty fields lined with untrimmed grass obstructing his path. He plows through until a light comes into view. Burning bright consuming the village he once called home leaving it in charred ruins. From afar, he sees the outline of an army of mighty men brandishing swords and breast plates pillaging the remains. He pivots around sprinting away, but the edge of blade meets his chin. His eyes move upwards to meet the face of a man glaring.
“There will be no survivors.”
I used to say, “he was magnificent
even in his rage.” Eyes like fire and
a smile like a dagger. You’re going to
be the death of me, but I love every
second of it because I’m an emotional
masochist and you’re my end. You’re
my infatuation and mitigation. No one
gets us because, what are we? Something
that never should of been.
Lingering stares and silence
Stirring up internal violence.
Never a word uttered but the
Gaze always spoke.
Like gentle strokes
All the nonverbal cues
Made me think my dreams were true.
I awoke to a nightmare that was
Too much to bear, realizing
I was in a cruel position.
That was never my mission.
You’re in love with my ardor
But could care less about me.
I watered your wilted Ego until
Your roots swelled yellow.
Brag to your friends you
have a fan. That she will stick
Around through the drought she
Is your rain yet you take her
For granted. Chasing after weeds.