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Saudade

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Chapter 1 - Boulevard of broken dreams

 

Saudade - a Portuguese term, that describes a state of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia for a person or a thing that is absent or never was there

 

New York City, New York

Dear Elena,

NY is perfect. I can't get enough of all the excitement and acceleration this town works on. I am so happy and glad to be experiencing all of this. The city that never sleeps has its charms working on me constantly. The brilliant and modern structure of the architecture with such fine note of long history makes me think how small Mystic Falls actually is. One street in NY is the size of the entire MF. The urbanism works constantly making the people literally move in sync with time. Here everybody has their own goals and achievements, and nobody sticks their noses into other people's business. It's fun and normal to be just an everyday person, a number in one of the biggest and most alive cities in the world. It's exhilarating to stand in the middle of the Grand Central Station and feel the rush and noise of every day's journeys people take and feel such calmness and historical tranquillity. Or to absorb the stillness and gallantness of the Guggenheim and simultaneously enjoying the burst of attainments, skills, and sagacity. This is definitely my type of enjoyment.

I just wish you were here too, so that we could enjoy it together.

Your dearest friend,

Bonnie.

 

She sat in her hotel room, with a writing pen in her hand and the journal opened widely in front of her, determined to write everything she was doing and where she was going, so that one day her friend would have the insight in her life, that she didn't have the ability now.

She closed the journal and stood up from the desk, walking slowly over to the window. Her feet were barefoot, brushing against the soft carpet beneath her, calming her legs that were tired from all the walking. She has spent the last two days walking around the city, exploring and sightseeing.

She sighed heavily, crossing her arms over her chest, as she looked out of the window at all the bright lights and heavy coloring of the night town.

New York.

A transitional point. It's all it was suppose to be. Just a temporary stopping point where their flight was supposed to depart to take them to their next location.

They were supposed to buy the tickets and the next day embark on the flight. That was the deal four days ago. Before Damon decided to turn a 6-hour drive to New York, into a two days long drive by stopping at almost every bar, drinking all the bourbon they had and passing out at the local cheap motel rooms.

Never the less, they manage to get to New York somehow, but the plane was something that was the last thing on Damon's mind. Tonight, he took Alaric at some bar and they were once again repeating the travel routine through.

Bonnie wasn't so keen on spending her first time in New York getting wasted so that she couldn't remember anything. She was on vacation and it was time to relax. Of course, that was inexplicably hard when you had all the burden she had on her soul.

It couldn't escape from her mind, that she was the blame on all of this, and how everything could've easily be fixed if she would just simply - die. But, that was something no one could do or say out loud. She was aware, what a burning image she must've been to the people who preferred Elena instead of her in place.

She had always been, Bonnie, the best friend. She was always second best, the sidekick, the one in the shadow of the girl who was everybody's first choice. The truth of the matter, Bonnie welcomed that kind of existence. It gave her the ability to blur out into the background, not to be noticed by the world. And she could have lived all of her life in her best friend's shadow and be happy. But, now, she was forced to live without that person constantly overshadowing her and she learned she didn't need that person to keep on living. Sure, she still didn't know who exactly she was or what her limits were... but she wanted to find out, she wanted to learn, she wanted to thrive in it.

Something kept stopping her in it.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the vibrating sound of her phone. She turned around and walked back over to the desk where her phone was. She unlocked it and saw there was a new text. She sighed hard reading the drunk-ish blur of her friend.

SOS bON Bon...bar NOOW?& XoOXo Damon ;)


"Are you kidding me with this Damon?" She asked him exasperated looking at the scene in front of her and the wasted vampire standing beside her. "This is why you called me?"

"Who else am I suppose to call?" he slurred drunkenly.

She looked back at the man who was passed out laying down on the floor of the bar with a bourbon bottle in his hands hugging it like a child would hug his favorite teddy bear. The rest of the bar was empty, except for the redhead bartender that was wiping the bar with a towel, not minding them at all. Bonnie wasn't sure if she was compelled or maybe she was just used to the kind of situation, with passed out costumers on the floor of the bar.

"What do you expect me to do?"

Damon shrugged his shoulders. She rolled her eyes and shaking her head, walked over to the sleeping Alaric, taking the bourbon out of his hands and disapprovingly looking over to the blue-eyed vampire.

"Com' on, help me get him up. We need to get him to his room." She told him. Luckily the hotel they were staying at was just a street away.

"You do understand we are all supposed to be at the airport in less than five hours? I am not rescheduling our flight once again because you two can't seem to lay off the booze for a couple of hours." She told him as she was holding Ric under one of his arms over her shoulders while Damon held the other one. They walked out of the bar and started walking towards their hotel.

"Relax. We'll put him in a bed and he'll sleep it off and be good as new in the morning." Damon responded casually.

That was easier said than done. Bonnie wanted to believe Damon, but unfortunately, these past few days, she learned just how unreliable he was right now.

The moment they laid him on the bed, he started snoring. Alaric didn't move from his spot as they settled him under the covers. Bonnie observed him, as he made sounds of a peaceful sleep. He was dead drunk and it still couldn't make her mad. This guy had lost so much, it was uncanny how he ever found the strength to wake up every day and get up from bed. There was sadness, bitterness, and resentment written on his face, sometimes so intense, that it hurt Bonnie to actually look at him.

They all lost a lot, Bonnie herself had experienced the bitterness of the tears from losing someone you love, but it was a burden from the supernatural aspect of their lives. Being a vampire, a werewolf or a witch, you should've known death would follow you around. But, Alaric could have stayed out of it. He could have left Mystic Falls so many times and maybe find himself a new life, where his potential family had a chance. The potential family that was cold bloodedly murdered by a psychopath that she indirectly triggered.

"Wanna go grab a drink?"

She turned in the direction of the man who asked her that question, with a raised eyebrow. He stood at the doorway, his body practically dangling and his eyes in a drunken haze.

Was he joking?

Probably not.

If there was one thing she knew surely, it was that Damon never joked about alcohol or drinking.

"No." She said shaking her head incredulously. "I'm not going to that filthy old bar from where we just dragged our unconscious friend."

"Well, I wasn't thinking about that bar. It's way too far, my legs wouldn't work for that long. Let's go downstairs. There's a bar at the hotel." He said almost flatly.

"No, Damon." She snorted irritated. "I'm not letting you try to drink me under the table like you just did to Ric."

"Don't be so dramatic. It's one drink." He rolled his eyes at her.

She shook her head at his ridiculous behavior and turned her back on him, setting her eyes back on the sleeping man in the room. She ignored that he stepped inside of the bedroom to stand next to her.

"Come on, Bon Bon. You know you want to." Damon poked her in her shoulder jokingly.

"We can't leave Ric alone in his state." She said looking at the guy passed out on the bed.

"He'll be fine. He'll sleep 'till morning anyway." He said waving his hand dismissively. Bonnie turned her head in the vampire's direction, who was looking at her amusingly. Judging by his face expression, he was quite sure she was going to say yes.

And she was. But how the hell did he know that?

"One drink." she promised.


She watched the liquid in her glass. The beautiful brown and golden notes glimmering in the light. The hard, brisk smell of alcohol coming out of it. She neared the glass slowly to her lips, the liquid entering her mouth, feeling the sharp taste of it on her tongue. She kept it in, squishing it around and slowly letting it pour down her throat.

A loud knock of another glass on the table filled her ears. She looked over at the man sitting on her opposite. He had a slight drunk stare and his eyes were glossy. He didn't say anything. She didn't either. A soft jazz music was playing in the background. They were sited in an empty bar in the lobby of their hotel. It didn't seem important now that they had a flight to catch in about four hours. He filled their drinking glasses again with the expensive bourbon he took from the bar. He downed his in one large sip, while she slowly savored the taste of hers. He poured another one to himself, downing it instantly.

Then, he stood up suddenly, surprising her by offering her a hand.

"Dance with me." He said casually.

She frowned, looking at his hand questioningly.

He wanted to dance? Now? At 4 o'clock in the morning?

He shook his hand at her again, speechless asking her to dance and after a beat she hesitantly accepted.
He took her hand, bringing her closer to himself. He looked at their joined hands, putting his other hand on the small of her back and letting the music lead their feet.

A shiver run through her when his hand touched hers, one that she decided to ignore and setting her other hand on his shoulder. Their bodies were not pressed against each other, there was still space between them, so she felt a need to fill in that blank.

"Why are we doing this?" she asked him silently.

"Shhhhh." He shushed her softly and pulled her body closer to his.

She gave in, going along with the soft, quiet music. They let the notes and lyrics of the song lead them along. They moved in subtle, slow steps. For the first time, since Elena's absence, Bonnie felt close to him again. Ever since that day, they've been so distant, not letting the subject of the linking lives come up. They both felt hurt like there were some big gaps in their hearts, ones that no one other could fill in.

This was a place where they came to terms with each other, where they accepted their lives, that seemed to constantly intertwine with one another, even if they wanted it or not. Like some consolation prize, they got while the winning lottery ticket kept slipping away through their fingers. They were messy and lost and scared from so many different things, but in the end, they made a perfect fit. Crippled by other people, by themselves alone, they couldn't seem to escape each others company.

She was the girl that would stay with him, the girl he needed and the one he got. He was the guy that stayed with her, the guy she needed and the one she got.

With all the complications entering constantly their lives, embarking them like shadows above their heads, they managed to find peace with each other. Here, in some hotel bar, on their way to a journey of their lives, with bourbon and slow jazz rhythm, they finally found themselves again.

And it was final, and it was peaceful. And it was simple - They were not some burden people, with worries and problems constantly overlapping them. They were not scared or broken. Not tonight. They healed themselves with nothing but a song, some sweet fleeting touch of a hand and no words necessary. They were simple, because they were not simple at all.

But, they were Bonnie and Damon. And nobody knew it better than they did.


Moscow, Russia

Man, were her feet killing her. She was walking through town for the longest time. She noticed a bench on the side and dragged herself over there. When she sat down she sighed hard.

Looking around herself Bonnie smiled softly. She was in Moscow. Finally. After a 10 hour flight over, she was finally in this historical huge city. She took out her journal and pen from her purse, crossing her legs over, she settled as comfortably as she could, to write down her thoughts.

 

Elena,

I can't believe I am in Moscow. Right now, I'm sitting in one of the beautiful big parks, on a bench, surrounded by green grass and colorful flowers. Everything is so huge around here. The streets are too long, the buildings are enormously huge, it's ridiculous how small I feel right now. But, I am loving it. Very much. The 10-hour-long flight over was definitely worth it. As you can imagine, Damon and Ric spend those 10 hours sleeping and curing their hungover with vodka and bourbon shots at the plane. It was Damon's bright idea, because apparently 'you fight fire with fire'. Anyway, I call that 'their loss, my gain'. They are stuck in a hotel room, sleeping with a headache, while I am out, exploring the beautiful offerings of this unforgettable town, with nobody to bother me with stupid questions. I think I found a part of my peace, here in this place. I just hope I won't lose it again.

 

She punctured a dot at the end of her writing, raising her head up, so she could look around. What she didn't write to Elena, was how that newfound part of peace wasn't actually because of some old historical city, even though it did bring a certain happiness and brightness to her life. It was the calmness and warmth she felt from last night's dance with Damon. She didn't want to admit it out loud, how much it meant to her, how much it opened her point of view and just how much it affected her heart.

It seemed wrong to write it down like that, because she was afraid Elena could take that somehow differently, or somehow wrong. Which was...ridiculous, because it's not like there was anything to read wrong into it. It was just a simple dance, between two friends, who have both lost so much and were on a journey to find those lost pieces, and it was just so funny that maybe they didn't need to be on the other end of the world for that. In a way, they were each other's lost pieces and they were standing beside each other, all this time.


Paris, France

Dear Elena,

I am writing you from the most romantic city in the world, Paris, France. It's true what they say about this place and its entire country, it is magical. And it means something coming from a witch like me. (insert evil witchy chuckles ) It has the ability to make you feel special, even though you're just another number, namely a tourist number, but still. The beautiful parks, streets, and people around me are the biggest treasure this country can offer you. So many sights in this town and I honestly can't decide which one I like the most. The Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, the everlasting Eiffel Tower or the National Museum of Modern Art. Those are just some of the unavoidable places you simply have to see.

It's true, I feel a little sad that I am sightseeing alone, not to mention being single in Paris, but I guess that's just life. Alaric is still having a hard time dealing with everything and Damon is with him constantly keeping an eye on him and being a good friend. Even so, that's not exactly the company I've been hoping to have... I have to honest with you, Elena. I'm lonely. And longing for love. It's been a long time since I had anyone and it's-

 

She stopped. Her writing pen lingered above the paper as she observed the last words she wrote. It felt so weird writing this to somebody who is going to read it in about sixty years. And if she is even going to read it, at all.

I mean, let's be honest. When Elena wakes up the first thing she is going to do is reunite with their friends ( well, the ones that will be left off) and with Damon. And she is going to be reuniting with Damon for a very loooong time, trying to make up for the lost time. The last thing Elena is going to want to do, is read about her sad thoughts and feelings. Realistically, she is going to have Caroline tell her absolutely everything she missed on, and the later is going to do it with great details, so she won't even have the need to read the journals Bonnie would leave to her.

She could almost see it now. Elena and Caroline talking at the boarding house over morning coffee, while the Salvatore brothers would be sleeping and recharging their energies. They will be laughing and catching up, revealing the truth which one of the sleeping men is better in bed. Going shopping together and planning trips for a romantic couple's retreat, having brunch at the Grill and maybe occasionally visiting her grave. At first, at least. Then later, they will forget about it, because they will have bigger things to do, like save Elena from her week's trouble or hostage swaps. All the while her journals, the ones she keeps writing so passionately, gather dust at the Salvatore attic storage.

She ripped the page out, jamming the paper and leaving it on the small table next to her cold coffee and half-eaten croissant.

She rewrote the first half as previous, and leaving an optimistic, but not in the least her thoughts in this moment.

As Audrey Hepburn would say: La Vie En Rose. It is the French way of saying, 'I am looking at the world through rose-colored glasses.'


Flash forward, 5 years later

Garry Wilson was his regular customer. He came in daily and it always fascinated him. The man was 39 years old, yet he looked like he was in his mid-twenties. He had style, class, and charm. He had the best wardrobe in town, only specifically chosen brands could be found in the man's closet of choice. He had swagger in his walk, something that turned everybody's heads around. He had the ability to take notice wherever he stepped inside.

Thomas, himself, was different. He was in his early 30s, and sometimes he felt like he was in his 60s or 70s. He had exactly two suits in his closet, and the rest of it, were sweaters and shirts and comfy pants, all of which was bought by his girlfriend. He felt awkward and weird in almost everything he did. Like he didn't belong here, like he was only doing things because somebody else expected him to do so. There were no things he wanted, things he had no desire for.

But, strangely enough, he was happy. He was satisfied with his life. He knew he had reached his peak and he was fine with it.

And yet again, he felt like something was missing. Something he shouldn't miss, something he shouldn't want.

It was like when you buy yourself a French vanilla ice cream flavor when you really wanted Russ „Digs" Roseberry flavor. The French vanilla tastes fine and you will be full after eating it, but you just know you would have more fun with the Russ ice cream. And Thomas had a feeling he was living a french vanilla kind of life when he craved for some Roseberry mix up. And the worst thing about it, he was conflicted, conflicted with the guilt that kept creeping inside of him, for even thinking how he could have something more.

He already had all he wished for. A great job, a great girl, a great house, and a great life. He had no right wanting more. But, still, there it was...in the back of his mind. Showing up at times, whispering little words into his ear, like:

"You can have so much more. You can be so much more. You can live so much more."

It drove him crazy. The voices, the faces of the people he didn't know, but somehow did all together. Especially, HER face. The woman who haunted his dreams again and again. The face and the voice he started to listen and look for when he fell asleep. The foreign smell of strawberries in her hair, the golden spots in her discolored eyes, the curve of her unfamiliar neck, the feel of her never touched by him skin. She was a goddess, that would appear, just as a silhouette and even though he had no idea who she was, somehow he knew exactly who she was. She was his savior. The escape from the boring reality. The only possible safe place for him where his all dreams come true. And how ironic it was, that he could only see her in his dreams.

His attention was brought back to Gary and a woman he was talking to. They had a drink and now he was pulling her by the hand as she shyly placed her palm in his and let him lead her to the jukebox. He played some soft jazz song and they took a stand for dancing. He held her around her waist, not too tightly, she had her arms around his neck, and there was a polite distance between them. Still, there was a flame burning between them, something that everybody noticed. A warm, hot tension, that only raised with the more they moved to the music.

Thomas watched them dance slowly in the middle of the bar like there was nobody around them. It was like they were all alone, and in truth, they were, alone on the dance floor. But, there was something in that dance, something in their moves, faces, touches. There was some certain intimacy between them, some privacy only the two of them understood. He swayed her easily around, looking at her like she was the only woman in the room.

Thomas didn't understand why he felt so uneasy watching them. Why did he feel like he was missing on something, like the connection the dancing pair shared was a reminder of some unfamiliar part of him. He danced with his long-term girlfriend Danielle before, but never like this. There were so many emotions in this dance, it made him feel jealous. Jealous, of the people he knew only from passing along, it was ridiculous. But he wanted that, that deep feeling of bonding with someone that goes beyond anything else. He wanted that kind of chemistry. And the strangest part..he didn't exactly want it with Danielle. He wanted it with someone else. He wanted it...with HER.