Beverly and Bonnie

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic


Beverly and Bonnie is the story of two friends whose friendship comes to an end. But after eight long years, Beverly receives an urgent call from Bonnie, delivering the most profound revelation to
both herself and Bonnie.


I arrived home from the hospital, exhausted, reeking of spewed scat and infant vomit. Too weary to tackle the stack of papers on my tiny, chestnut desk, I popped a frozen dinner into the microwave and poured myself a glass of wine. I hovered over to my cassette player, searching for the small button marked ‘play’ and pushed it. Instantly the comforting words of Audery Velmonte, an award-winning motivational speaker resonated throughout my empty one-bedroom apartment.

Twenty minutes later, I was fast asleep.

The phone rung twice before waking me up, and for a long second, I didn’t bother to move or open my eyes. On the third ring, I rolled over, flicked the light switch and picked up the telephone. It was a little after midnight and the sounds of tremendous crackles of thunder and lightning ensued from the heavy down pour outside.

“Hello.” I croaked into the phone.

“Hello. Hello, Beverly? Beverly is that you?” She spoke quick and nervously. Her voice was full of freight, sounding as if her nostrils were full of sand.

“Yes, this is Beverly. May I ask whose calling?”

“Beverly it’s me… Bonnie,”

My heart sprang to my throat, and I paused. Physically, I couldn’t move or speak, but my mind and heart were racing. She went on to say that she and her boyfriend had had quite the fight and that she had been staying at a motel a few miles outside of Wayward. Through a series of sniffles, I managed to gather the motels address, scribbling it down onto a sticky pad and grabbed my keys.

My heart propelled at the huff of my cars engine as I rolled out of the driveway, my life re-winding eight years. Suddenly I felt eighteen again and nothing had changed. Bonnie and I were sitting on that old, sandy rocker on my front porch, talking about boys and the mean girls at Charlton High. Her radiant smile and boisterous laugh stopped every passerby, capturing quite the audience (including me), bringing us to her perfect knees. She was everything. Witty, erratic, stormy, kind and beautiful. My best friend since the age of nine, sisters in our own right and now she needed me.

She sounded strange over the phone, lost somehow and I drove frantically through the storm to find her.

* * *

I pulled into the parking lot of a rundown motel across from a vacant diner where the windows were boarded from the outside, shards of broken glass were scattered across the pavement, the signage was gone. It appeared as if no one had set foot there in years.

I rolled into one of the many empty parking spaces and double-checked the address. 618 Blyncherry Lane, Wiggin Lodge motel.

The lights in all the units were off. In fact, had it not been for the dim office light glowering through dark grey curtains, I would have turned around and went home, considering that maybe this was all some sort of sick joke. After all it has been eight years since the last time I saw or even heard from Bonnie. I thought back to our last conversation, the one we had before she left town. It was two days until the Charlton High graduation commencement, Bonnie had realized that she missed too many classes to graduate and would have to repeat senior year, and instead she decided to leave town to pursue her dream as a singer. And I cried. I cried like a lost child in a shopping center looking for its mother. She took pieces of me with her when she left, the more exciting and fulfilling remnants of myself, leaving behind scrapes and bits of a human. And now outside of this motel, I couldn’t hope but think that even the slightest flush of a smile could whip me together, for old times sake.

I got out front, leaving the engine running and headed inside the motels office.

A bell chimed as I entered. The stench of old books, cigarette smoke and mildew greeted my nose as I quickly approached the reception desk. An old man, sat behind it, concentrating in the folds of a newspaper.

“Sign your name to a room, grab a key. I’ll collect the money tomorrow…If you decide to stay that long.” His voice tone was low and rough, and he didn’t bother to look up.

“That won’t be necessary,” I cleared my throat and continued.

“I’m looking for a friend, maybe you could help. I spoke to her not too long ago and she told me that she had a room here.”

“Name?” His voice grogged with restiveness and annoyance.

“Bonnie…Bonnie Joy.”

He flipped another page of his newspaper and breathed heavily.

“There’s no one here by that name.” He retorted.

“But you didn’t even look.”

“No need.”

I felt a surge of vexation race through me as if my veins were on fire. With everything I had endured tonight, I couldn’t fathom this a blank trip, especially when my gut gnawed in concern for Bonnie. I had no desire to turn around and head back home without so much as an explanation.

I rummaged through my handbag, just in case something like this would happen and triumphantly pulled out an old photograph. It was creased down the center from being folded too long, and water stains faded the tiny picture, but there we were, Bonnie and I holding hands, leaning against a large oak tree.

I slammed it down on the counter.

The man lowered his newspaper and threw me a hard look.

“Don’t be bringing me any trouble woman.” He blustered.

“I don’t want to bring you any trouble. It’s late, I’m tired and I just drove through a storm to get here. If you could just put that paper down for five seconds and take a look at this picture, I’ll be on my way.”

I managed to push everything out in one breath.

He squinted up at me in the dim light, then focused his eyes over the photograph.

“She signed under the name Stacy, checked out about thirty minutes ago.”

“Did she say where she was heading?” I asked with agitation.

“Nope, but she started walking that way.”

I thanked the grouch and hopped back into my car, speeding further down the dirt road in the direction of his crooked finger.

As I drove further into the darkness, I spotted someone walking along the sides of the dust path. They carried no bags, nothing of value and wore a dark colored hoodie over their head like a shield from the pitter-patter of rainfall. Then I noticed their legs, how they strode along nonchalantly as if unaware of the orchestra of droplets occurring around them. I’d know that stride anywhere.

I sped the car, as clouds of smoke rose upon the windshield and stopped beside her. I lowered the window.

She glanced up and pinched her mouth together, forcing a smile to her bruised lips. Her face was painted with so many red and purple bruises I could hardly muster an appropriate expression of my own.

Without a word I opened the door for her and crept silently behind the steering wheel, deeply unease. Then we embraced. We hugged for a long time and Bonnie sobbed quietly. She hid her face within my white cardigan sweater, and cried. I kept my arms around her until she was finished, then I drove us back to Wayward county, where I knew she’d feel safe again.

* * *

I took the day off to spend the day with Bonnie. I cooked breakfast, gathered some clothes mostly, socks, pants and a few clean tops. I washed and folded her tattered jacket and bottoms worn from last night and prepared her favorite medley soup for dinner.

She played over the soup for a while, before finally admitting that pizza was her food of choice these days.

After that we ordered pizza for a week straight, made margaritas at midnight, danced to an old Ella Ray song that we used to love so much and binged heavily on our favorite movies from teen-hood. We spent so much time together that we picked up each other’s mannerisms. And my quiet, dreary chamber became a home that I no longer hesitated to come back to anymore.

“Let’s watch the one with that sad girl who meets the guy on Hans lane or something like that.” I suggest to Bonnie while brushing her hair from one end of the sofa.

“You mean Love at Hanah Drive,” she rectified. “We’ve seen that movie at least a dozen times when we were younger, and you still can’t remember what it’s called.”

“An hour and thirty minutes and I’m supposed to remember a title displayed for three seconds, yeah right.”

“The main characters name is literally the title, Hannah, Love at Hanah Drive.”

I giggled lightly, wrapping a scrunchie around a bundle of her damp hair, then tossed the brush onto the sofa as well as myself.

I fixed my eyes on Bonnie.

Though I could feel her eyes on me, I couldn’t look away from the healing scars on her face. My heart flinched at the sight of her delicate skin covered in a rainbow of dark, sordid colors and I was instantly overcome in disgust for the monster who had painted them there.

Even more upsetting, she began to speak, excusing his behavior and blaming herself. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, and I wouldn’t allow her to continue.

“Don’t Bonnie, don’t do that,” I said. “Don’t make excuses for him.”

“William is a great guy. You know him Bev, he’s just different and our life is complicated.”

“Complicated? Loneliness is complicated, working at a dead-end job, losing weight and burying a father drowned in debt with no life insurance is complicated.  But deciding to leave a man who beats you… Bonnie, that’s not complicated. You just pick a place and leave.”

“Leave and go where?”

“Here, Bonnie I’ve always been here.”

I sat on the floor beside her, and held her hand.

Her face looked tired, and sad and for a long while she said nothing.

“I thought I was in love,” she spoke with a faint smile. “We had sold out gigs together, had a beautiful loft in the city, nice clothes. Everything felt perfect. Until William started drinking. He would have one beer after each show, then one became two and two became three and I lost count. We started to lose gigs, money, everything. And that’s when the anger started.”

Her jaw tightened, and I could tell she didn’t want to say anymore. So instead, I pulled her closer and wrapped my arms around her.

* * *

I spent my entire lunch break the next day searching the web for spring vacations. Somewhere far, warm and sunny for Bonnie and me to escape to. A long overdue girls trip, filled with laughter, fun and a bold freshness to wake us from the wretched slumber of dreams deferred. A place that felt like home without the obligation, forlorn history and familiarity with everyone within a one-mile radius.

After much deliberation, I decided a trip to Acapulco, Mexico could do both Bonnie and I some good. With its warm powdery sands and clear, blue water. I found a quiet resort with an exceptional beach view perfect for relaxing and printed copies of the brochure to take home to show Bonnie.

When I arrived back to my apartment, the front door was unlocked. The entire place was immaculately clean, and the clothes I had lent her were washed and folded inside of a laundry basket. Everything was intact, but Bonnie was nowhere to be seen.

Then I found a note on the night stand next to my bed. My heart sank as I unfolded it, hoping that it was a bill slip or errand, scribbled and forgotten here during the week. Until I noticed that it was Bonnie’s handwriting, it read:

To my sister, 

You have been my angel these past few weeks and I love you more than you’ll ever know. You are strong, kind and so much more than you give yourself credit for.

William will change, and I cannot leave him when he needs me most. Please don’t worry about me, I’ll be okay. I’ll call when I can and visit you soon. Everything’s going to be okay, you’ll see.

Bonnie.

I never heard from Bonnie again, but I learned something that day. Something I’ll never forget.

Broken-winged birds can’t fly no matter how badly you want them to.


Submitted: March 01, 2018

© Copyright 2022 Joneisha Taylor. All rights reserved.

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