Mr. Bolero caught sight of Miss Beverly Kum one late afternoon in the shade of the Hilton as she was trying to negotiate the heavy traffic on foot with a stream of never-ending cars. It was a battle of will and a curious mix of sheer courage and irresponsible craziness as she darted past cars, slowed them down with an upturned hand and stalked past the blaring horns. It was also starting to rain and the elements were against her from the word go; the wind, whipping her dark dress around her slender but incredible legs, and the rain, forcing her to cover her head with her hands as it pelted her relentlessly. But she made it across and successfully hailed a taxi. Mr. Bolero watched Miss Beverly Kum from the rain-speckled window of Starbucks with interest and memorized the number plate of the taxi she slid into; expertly pecking at the Apple’s lighted keyboard, engaging the system with an inquiry on the taxi owner, his passenger and the GPS lockdown of the vehicle’s destination. He smiled. Made it just in time, didn’t you? Mr. Bolero thought.
He found her out and proceeded to communicate with her. A simple text message, “Are you free for coffee?” he asked. Miss Beverly Kum replied, “Yes. But you better be either rich, or hung like a horse.” Mr. Bolero chuckled and sent, “Yes to both.” Her non-response meant that she agreed.
It was the next day; the late afternoon sun caught the dust motes in its golden rectangle as it swirled madly when Miss Beverly Kum walked through the door. Her entrance briefly raised the heads of the patrons who were otherwise deeply engaged with their own glowing screen. She found Mr. Bolero sitting in the shadows smiling patiently at her as he stirred his coffee.
“Miss Kum,” he said, “you’re right on time.”
Beverly Kum lowered herself gently on the seat in front of Mr. Bolero and said, “Mr. Bolero, you’re early.”
“I’ve ordered ahead for you, I hope you don’t mind,” he said.
“I’ll let you know when I see it,” he said.
“Okay,” he said.
“You know, you look exactly like how I’d imagine you’d look,” she said.
He took a sip of his coffee, placed it carefully on the saucer and shrugged.
“Really, now. I’m glad to know you have a mental, visual opinion of myself. And that you deduced it correctly from those few words I sent you. Either that or you’re just saying it to please me because you see me as a potential client.”
Beverly Kum picked up her purse, opened it and took out a compact mirror. She studied her face, adjusted her eyebrows and returned her gaze to Mr. Bolero.
“Client is such a strong word, Mr. Bolero,” she said. “I prefer to use “good friends” instead.”
Mr. Bolero chuckled but said nothing. His smiling eyes followed her eyes.
“What do you do, Mr. Bolero?” she asked, breaking free from his heavy stare.
“I made a machine that’s currently making me a lot of money. I don’t work but I travel a fair bit. Not unlike you, I’d imagine. You look the seasoned traveler yourself, which is quite unusual seeing that you’re still very young.”
“Age has nothing to do with it, Mr. Bolero. You should know that. You made your first million at 14.”
Mr. Bolero smiled broadly, “So you did do some homework on me. I’m flattered.”
“You’re not the only with system engagement on the net, sir.”
Mr. Bolero looked at her and sighed. He removed his fedora and placed on the armrest; his hair a shock of grey and black, matching his thick moustache.
“You’re very handsome,” Miss Beverly Kum said.
“You’re very beautiful,” Mr. Bolero countered.
The food came and to her surprise, it was exactly what she wanted. They ate, spoke and explored each other’s stories out, checking for untruths. Moments passed and the end of the meal both man and woman were locked down to the level of familiarity, which bordered on professionalism and friendship; it was as if they had known each other very well in a previous life and were reacquainting themselves.
“Lets take a walk,” Mr. Bolero suggested.
“It’s getting late, I’d rather not,” Miss Beverly Kum said.
“Before you leave, tell me your real name. Please.”
Miss Beverly Kum stood up and smiled down at Mr. Bolero.
“Maybe the next time, sir. And I expect you to tell me your real name too.” She walked out the door, leaving in her wake several turned heads and gaping mouths. Mr. Bolero leaned back and placed the fedora back on his head.
It was late at night when Mr. Bolero’s phone purred and glowed. It was a message from Miss Beverly Kum, “Can we meet tomorrow?” Mr. Bolero answered, “Lets make it tonight.” They met at a small coffee shop straddled atop a highway; it was 215am and the only other patrons at the fluorescent-lighted establishment were a young couple with a sleeping baby. They looked tired but relieved possibly after battling it out with the small child.
Mr. Bolero smiled when Miss Beverly Kum entered the shop. She smiled when she saw him and immediately sat down in front of him, grabbing his hands.
“I can’t stop thinking about you,” Miss Beverly Kum said.
“Me neither,” Mr. Bolero answered.
“Let me take you to my place, I have this incredible urge.”
Mr. Bolero left his car at the shop and went with Miss Beverly Kum in her small but expensive red car. Mood music was gently playing in the car as they reached raced across the highway. Mr. Bolero observed Miss Beverly Kum closely; the steady and confident style of driving. They made it to her apartment in silence, Miss Beverly Kum revealing her nothingness beneath the plastic raincoat she wore. Mr. Bolero whistled in surprise. His hand was clutching and unclutching the small balisong in his right pocket.
“Please, sit,” Miss Beverly Kum said, motioning him to her small living room. It was a neat ensemble of thick leather jobs and a clear glass construction, which carried small pieces of animals carved out of ivory. Somewhere in the group was a worn out Mickey Mouse.
“I’m going to clean up,” Miss Beverly Kum said, “don’t go anywhere.”
Mr. Bolero smiled and sat down, stretching out his legs. He picked up the Mickey Mouse and pocketed it. Miss Beverly Kum appeared shortly after wearing a short housedress, and smelling of scented orange. Mr. Bolero stood up, and reached into his right pocket. Miss Beverly Kum reached behind her and grabbed the handle of the machete, which was held in place by the thin belt around her waist.
“Hello soul mate,” Miss Beverly Kum whispered in Mr. Bolero’s ear. The balisong was expertly swished open and placed razor side along the nape of her neck and the machete was pointed up straight beneath his throat. Both of them giggled.
“I stole your Mickey Mouse,” Mr. Bolero said.
“I had your car stolen just now,” Miss Beverly Kum said.
“Nice,” he said.
“Yes, very,” she answered.
The police kicked the door down after half an hour of knocking. The immediate neighbors had called them to attend to the strange knocking sounds, which lasted for several hours and ended with a scream. It sounded unnatural and very unsettling.
The police found them in the bedroom, covered in blood but resting perfectly in each other’s arms. Both had a gentle smile on their faces; both clutched at their weapons of choice. It was a joint murder with both murderers and victims checking each other out. Mr. Bolero had his throat slashed, and Miss Beverly Kum had a balisong lodged in her sternum.
“How the hell do I write this out?” thought the investigating officer.