We can't Both Exist
Bonnie and Clyde Barrow were driving through a back road on their way to Rowena to visit their parents. Clyde looked over at his beautiful wife who was sitting in the passenger seat, about nine months pregnant. He smiled at her as he gently grabbed her hand. He remembered how he felt when Bonnie had first come out and said she was pregnant. He was worried and scared and remembered not wanting to keep it. He remembered the conversation well.
"Bonnie Babe, I'm sorry but we can't possibly keep this child." He said when she told him.
"What? Why?" She asked. Tears starting to form in her eyes.
Bonnie gave him a disappointed look that was breaking his heart. He always wanted to give his Bonnie everything she wanted but this was just out of the question. He tried to stay firm. "Because Bonnie babies are a lot of work. Plus they cry…a lot! We're wanted in just about every state in the u.s. we can't be on the run with a cryin' baby all the time. We'll get caught."
"Is that all you care about Clyde? Bein' on the run?" She asked with a trembling lip.
"You know it isn't baby but it's not just bein' on the run. We can't give this baby all that it deserves?"
"What do you mean?" Bonnie asked softly.
"Don't you want this child to have its best possible chance at life? Don't you want it to have everything it could ever ask for?"
"Of course I do!"
"Well, how are we gonna be able to provide all that if we're on the run. Babe this child deserves better than us. We're wanted criminals. We're criminals that are wanted for dead! We can't give this baby a good home or put it through good schooling, or any schooling for that matter this baby deserves so much better than we can provide for it. It deserves good, honest parents that can provide a good home for it to grow up in. Besides, what if…what if we should be killed Bon, what would happen to the baby then?"
Bonnie looked down at her flat belly. Of course she knew everything Clyde was saying was true but that didn't stop her from wanting to raise her own child. She was fully crying now. "Clyde, I know what your sayin' is all true. I know we can't provide this child with as much as another couple can but we can provide it with a whole lot of love. Please Clyde I'm beggin' you I haven't wanted anythin' this much since I met you. Please Clyde we'll make it work I know we we'll. Trust me."
Clyde looked into her pleading eyes full of tears. He could tell she wanted this badly. He couldn't find it in him to say no to her. He held her in his arms comfortingly and wiped her tears away as he kissed the top of her head. He whispered, "Ok Bonnie Babe, if this is really what you want then I support it. We'll make it work."
Bonnie looked up at him and smiled before kissing him. "Really?! Oh Clyde thank you so much. I swear you won't regret it." She said hugging him tightly.
Clyde still couldn't believe he had agreed. But to his surprise, as the days went by his fear left a little bit every day to be replaced by excitement. He was actually excited to be a dad. He was still afraid he'd fail his son or daughter or that they'd hate him for whatever reason but he was excited. He hoped the baby would be healthy. He also secretly hoped it'd be a boy though he wouldn't tell Bonnie. She had adamantly expressed that she'd hope they'd have a girl and she wanted to name her Clara after the actress Clara Bow. It was a silent drive when Bonnie let out a pained scream. He stopped the car. "Bonnie, Are you ok?" He asked concerned.
"Cl-Clyde? It's time."
Clyde's face went pale. "Wh-What do you mean it's time baby?"
"The baby, It's coming now!" she yelled as another contraction coarse through her body.
"What?" Clyde asked. Neither one of them thought about what they would do when the time came. He saw a sign that said they were about a mile away from Rowena. "Just hang in there baby we're almost to your mama's house.
Bonnie screamed again. "Clyde, It hurts to be sittin' like this." She said crying from the pain of it.
"Okay baby, it's ok." He said as he pulled the car over. He got out of the car and helped bonnie to lay in the backseat. He got a blanket out of the trunk and wrapped Bonnie in it. He got back in the driver's seat and sped toward Rowena as fast as he could as he reached in the backseat so Bonnie could squeeze his hand whenever necessary.
A few minutes later Clyde pulled up at Bonnie's mother's house. He picked Bonnie up as she felt another contraction and screamed. "Shh, it's okay Bon, we're at your ma's house now." He soothed.
Hearing the scream Bonnie's mom rushed outside to see what was going on. She immediately got worried when she saw Bonnie in Clyde's arms. "Oh my lord what happened? Is she alright?" She asked frantically holding the door for Clyde to carry Bonnie in.
"She's in labor now Emma. The Baby's comin'! Where can I put her?" Clyde exclaimed.
"Oh my lord! My grand baby's comin' I'll call a doctor to come over you put Bonnie in her room where she'll be comfortable!" She called back going toward the phone.
"What? We can't call a doctor Emma He'll call the cops!" Clyde yelled.
"Don't you worry bout that Clyde Barrow I wouldn't put my daughter in harms way!" She yelled giving him a quick look that said 'unlike some people.' Which Clyde returned with a quick glare before Emma continued, "No, I'm callin' an old friend of the family who's a doctor. He won't turn her in now make yourself useful and put my daughter in bed and make sure she's comfortable!"
Clyde didn't argue. He brought Bonnie upstairs and laid her in the bed. "You comfy babe?" he asked.
Bonnie squeezed his hand hard before answering, "As comfy as I'm gonna get." She said through gritted teeth. She was sweating up a storm.
Just then Emma came up with a cold rag to dab Bonnie's head with. "The doctor will be here in a few minutes honey, you just hang in there."
Clyde knew he should let his family know what was going on. "Emma, do you mind if I use your phone to invite my parents and brother and his wife over here too?" He asked. Emma nodded and he went over to the phone. He told his family what was going on and they agreed to be there as soon as they could.
Ten minutes later the doctor arrived. "Thank you for comin' so quickly doc." Clyde said shaking his hand.
"It's my job. Where is she?" The doctor asked.
"She's upstairs." Clyde told him showing him up to the room. The doctor nodded his thanks and told Clyde and Emma they had to wait downstairs. Emma went into the kitchen to make some tea and snacks for the coming guests. While Clyde stood in the living room and paced while he waited for his family and some news from the doctor as to what was going on.
Soon there was a knock at the door. Clyde opened it and saw his parents, Buck, and Blanche.
"Hey, there Clyde." Buck said hugging him. Since going straight he was constantly worried about Bonnie and Clyde. Especially when he heard that Bonnie had gotten pregnant.
"How's she doin'?" Clyde's mom asked.
"She's doin' good. She's in with the doctor now." Clyde told her as she hugged him tight.
"Hello Clyde." Blanche said coldly folding her arms. It was no secret that she was no fan of Clyde or Bonnie.
"Clyde honey does this mean that you and Bonnie are goin' to settle down now?" His mother asked.
"Mama you know we can't do that. Me and Bon are wanted criminals. We can't just decide to settle down."
"But how are you goin' to keep runnin' and hidin' with a baby?!"
"I don't know but we'll figure it out. I promise."
Back upstairs the Doctor took a deep breath as Bonnie let out another scream. The baby was almost here. "Ms. Parker…"
"Barrow." Bonnie corrected through gritted teeth. "And please…You've been with us since I was born. Just call me Bonnie."
The doctor sighed then nodded. He didn't know how he was going to tell her what he needed to tell her. But it was imperative that she know in time to make the necessary decision. "Alright Bonnie but there is something you need to know." He said walking over to her.
"What? What's wrong? Is the baby okay?" She asked worriedly.
The doctor put his hand on her arm and said gently, "You or the baby will survive. Not both. I'm sorry."
Bonnie felt her heart fall to her stomach as another contraction course through her. She was getting closer to delivering. "Get Clyde!" she said through gritted teeth.
The doctor nodded and hurried downstairs. "Mr. Barrow?" he said a little hesitantly.
Clyde stood up. "Yeah, is everythin' okay?"
"Just come upstairs with me please. Hurry." The doctor said going back upstairs.
Clyde immediately followed him up and saw Bonnie crying. He rushed over to her side and grabbed her hand. "Bonnie babe what's wrong?"
"Clyde honey, only me or the baby can live. not both of us." Bonnie told him.
"What? No! there has to be something we can do. Anything!" He yelled looking at the doctor with pleading eyes.
"Im sorry there isn't anything. I've tried everything. You two need to decide now cause the baby is going to be here soon."
Clyde looked back to Bonnie who was still crying and screaming. "Bonnie, I don't want to lose you. You're my everythin'." tears starting to slide down his own cheeks.
Bonnie looked up at him and tried to give him a smile. "Clyde, I've had enough time on this earth. Our child hasn't even experienced anythin' yet. I want our baby to live. I want him or her to know all the great things in this world."
"But, Babe…I love you. I need you Bonnie. You can't leave me."
"I love you too Clyde. But I also love our baby. I have to go but before I do I need you to promise me something."
"Promise me you'll take care of our baby Clyde. No matter what happens, And promise me you'll go straight Clyde please. I don't want anythin' to happen to him or her or have to worry about wether you and him or her will die the next day. Please Clyde, I need you to promise me this please." She begged squeezing his hand.
Clyde nodded as more tears fell. "I promise Baby I promise." He said squeezing her hand back.
"I love you so much."
"I love you too Bonnie Babe." He kissed her passionately one last time before she let out another scream. It was time. The doctor went over to Bonnie's legs and told her to push. Clyde held her hand throughout the entire delivery until Bonnie's screams were replaced by the cries of a baby and Bonnie's hand fell limp in Clyde's. Clyde was fully crying now.
"It's a girl." The doctor said softly. Clyde looked at him and walked over to him. He saw his daughter in his arms. Small with a little bit of Bonnie's red hair on top. "Would you like to cut the umbilical cord?" He asked. Clyde nodded and took the scissors the doctor handed him and cut the cord. The doctor then cleaned her off, wrapped her in a blanket and handed her to Clyde. "Congratulations and I am so sorry for your loss. I'll get out of your hair now." The doctor said; and with that he was gone.
The baby girl started crying. Clyde looked at her. "Shh little darlin' it's alright. I know you want your mama, I do too." He sat down in a chair. Already the girl reminded him so much of Bonnie. He wiped his eyes and rocked the small child in his arms. Suddenly a song came into his head. A song Bonnie sang to him once on the way to see their folks. She had read him one of her poems then sang it to him. It felt right now to sing it to his daughter:
"Seems you get to live your life just once
If that's how it's gotta be
Then I'd rather breathe in life than dusty air
Dyin' ain't so bad
Not if we both go together
Only when one's left behind
Does it get sad
But a short and lovin' life…
A short and lovin' life…
A short and lovin' life, that ain't so bad."
During the song the baby fell asleep. Clyde gave her a small, sad smile as he continued to rock her. "I promise you sweet heart that I'm goin' to keep my promise to your mama. I'm going to go straight, I'll get a good, honest job, I'll get us a nice home for you to grow up in and you'll need never know of the things me and your mother did. I promise Clara Chestnut Barrow." Clyde wasn't sure how he was going to keep his promise but he was. He had to for Bonnie and for Clara.