via Flickr - fortherock
via Flickr – fortherock

I can’t seem to control myself. There is an urge that needs to be met and only one way to do it.  I sit at the coffee shop between Hollywood and Vine. A quant little place with vintage seating and the right amount of smooth jazz to calm the soul.

I order a latte and bagel, two to be exact. I watch as couples line up in an orderly fashion and take their coffees to go. There is something funny about Hollywood. You either get those hipster types, you know, the ones that have to wear the fake thick rim shitty glasses and bow ties, or the wannabe blonde hair, big boob starlets who think they will make it in this God damn hell hole of a town.

I watch one by one as they walk in, laughing at nothing in particular or nothing at all. I stuff my face with the now cold bagels and have visions of clarity. “What do I want?” I write down on a paper napkin. I make a list and continue my bird watching. At each passing hour, there is nothing to get excited about. We all know there are different types of birds out there: the humming bird, the delicate cute bird that hovers and does absolutely nothing, or vultures, birds that are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains. I am the vulture and I am looking for that humming bird.

I walk back up to the barista to order another latte and bagel. The young bird makes a face at me, I guess trying to figure out why the hell I am eating so many bagels. She gives me my order, not saying much of anything, and continues on her way. I sit down and look back up at the bird. She was talking to another barista who had the typical shitty ass glasses. She smacked him on the arm and giggled like a schoolgirl. I took another look at my napkin; mentally started checking off everything that was desirable. Could this be it? Could this be my humming bird? Could she have been in front of me the whole time? I take another look at her. She has long straight brown hair, brown eyes, and small delicate features; not your typically Hollywood type. I start thinking she isn’t from around here, maybe from the Midwest? Or someplace like Florida, even better.

I look at my phone, ten minutes to nine, almost time to start. I grab my bag, making sure my secret is close to me, and walk out the door. Around the corner there is a small alleyway, dark enough so you can’t see anything but close enough where I can see everything. I watch as the bird cleans every table, hovering over them, meticulously getting every bagel crumb and coffee stain that was left. She wipes her forehead, getting even the tiny beads of sweat that have dripped onto her black woven spaghetti strap top.

What seem like hours pass. The lights go off in the café. I watch as the two baristas grab their belongings and head out the front door. Bird stops to answer her phone, nods her head a few times, and waves goodbye to the goofy glasses boy. As she turns a corner, I come out of the shadows and start following her. Her hips move to a beat I never seen before, perfectly in line with one of those salsa songs: I wonder if she dances? I think to myself, as I stayed connected to the beat of her hips, arms, and chest. Shaking my head quickly, I clear my mind of anything but her:  I am on a mission, one thing and one thing only. I make sure to keep enough distance. I am a hunter and to get the prey I mustn’t startle it.

A loud ring suddenly brought me back to reality; bird’s phone was ringing again. She stops and grabs the device from her purse. I stayed close to a brick wall in the shadows, invisible. I close my eyes and listen to her voice. The purity, innocence, sends me into a cold shiver. My eyes shut. This is a moment I have been waiting on, the moment where I can release all of my desires.

“Okay…bye” I hear her say.

Opening my eyes, I see her grab a pack of cigs from her purse. That desire turns into something else as my hands ball up into tight fists. She lights one up, continuing walking down the street. I can smell the vile odor from where I stood ten feet behind her. My blood begins to boil at the thought of the poison slowly tearing away her insides. I watch as she took each tiny puff, enjoying every single morsel. I can see the smoke going through her veins ravaging like a fire. I have to control myself; I can’t let these thoughts get in the way, I am almost at the end point. She throws the wicked beast in a pile of bushes close to me. Staying quiet, I can see the smoke rising up from the ashes like a phoenix. I pick up the beast and carefully put it in my pocket.

As I follow her down Highland Drive her demeanor changes. You know when you get that sixth sense that someone is watching you? The hairs on the back of your neck rise up and you get the small sensation of chill bumps on the tops of your arms? Thats exactly what happened. Her pace begins to pick up, not running by any means, but you can see the muscles in her legs tightening up. My heart flutters, knowing I have to make my move soon or i’m going going to lose my hummingbird forever. 

Grabbing a rope from my back pack, I started running towards the bird. I feel like a cat that’s about to jump on its’ prey. She turns around to scream but it’s already too late, I got her. I got her exactly where I wanted. I put the rope around her neck, directing her to the alley way that sits between two, now closed, clothing shops. She is struggling, trying to catch her breath. A smile comes over my face, warming my body. I have never felt anything like this before. I can hear people walking past the alleyway but I don’t care in this moment. The tension that has been building up is finally released. And I feel so damn good.

She finally stops moving. I rub my hand through her soft dark hair, which immediately relaxes me. I have never seen anyone dead before, not even a grandparent or extended family member. When people say it looks like they’re sleeping, they weren’t lying. The bird looks at peace. I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life. I put the rope back in my bag, take one more look at my creation, and head back down Highland.

The air is a lot cooler now. Rain is coming, I guess. Everything seems so still, like someone pressed pause. Taking a look at my phone, the big bold numbers says twelve. I have three missed calls and three voice messages. I don’t listen because I know exactly what they say, “Cindy really misses her daddy, are you coming home soon?” As I take a left on Cypress Drive, that’s when I see her. I stand there watching for a moment, the same feeling sweeps over me like a dust storm. As I cross the street something catches my attention. I bend down, picking up the small dead crow on the side of the road. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Nicole Long

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