A minute passed.
I yawned again.
5 minutes passed.
"Should we...should we start without him?" I turned to Phil, who was playing with a drumstick. "Stop playing with that, you. Eric'll take a hissy fit." Phil laughed. We tried to forget how late Bruno was.
Lately Bruno had been acting off with us two. I had known them all for 3 years. I joined as Bruno's guitar player a while ago. I joined the boys on tour for 2 months, so I knew them. And then, of course, Phil was Bruno's best friend. So he knew too.
It all started about last week. Every morning we met at 7AM for rehearsals; me, Phil and Bruno. We got there early so we could just chat. Eric, Kenji, Jam and Phred showed up at 7:30AM.
However, after last week's rehearsal, I stayed behind for a while.
"Baby...don't..." I overheard Bruno, but I said nothing. As much as we got on, why should I invade his personal life? I continued to strum my guitar.
A while later he walked out from the adjoining room, dropping his Blackberry at my feet.
"Bruno, you dropped your-" He frowned.
"I know what I fricking did!" he snapped, shoving it in his pocket before storming out, almost knocking Phil over, who was returning with coffee.
"I guess he doesn't want any then..." Phil sniffed, staring down the hall after Bruno. I was still surprised at his tone of voice.
Ever since then he hasn't talked to me.
"You OK, shawty?" Phil teased in a imitating voice. I laughed so hard I almost dropped my guitar. "Aww yeah, I'm feeling super sexy today." We went on like this for a while.
Suddenly, amidst our teasing, the door clicked open. It was 7:30AM, but today none of the other guys could make it. I was surprised to see Bruno coming in looking more tired than usual, less upbeat, and without his guitar. I spoke for the first time in a while, asking him if he was OK.
"No," he admitted with a long sigh, sitting down on the stool facing me. "It's been a bad week." I tilted my head curiously. Phil put the drumstick down.
"I...don't wanna talk about it," he said, replying to our expectant looks. I tried to think. I got it.
"Bruno, are you and Tay...?" Tay was Bruno's girlfriend. He loved her more than anything, but she despised both me and Phil. The look on his face when I mentioned her name said it all. "Aww, Bruno, she broke up with you, didn't she?"
Then he did something that startled me. He put his arms around me and started crying on my shoulder and gripping me tightly, heaving.
"There was this guy, this guy she liked, she said, she told me...and left..."
"Did she cheat you, man?" Phil asked him. I could feel him nodding. I closed my eyes. I was selfish to think of how his body felt against mine, how he smelled when he was so close to me, how his arms around me felt, but I loved him. He was all I could think about. I wanted to tell him, to let him know. But...he was crying.
How could someone reduce such a wonderful person...
"Oh God, I'm so sorry..." he said, starting to calm down.
"Whatever for?" I said, softly smoothing out his little curls with a sigh. His hair was so soft to touch. "For ignoring you like I did."
He tightened his grip around me. It was nice to have his strong arms around me like that. I wrapped my own arms around his torso. I wanted to stay like this forever.
Suddenly Phil started tapping his tambourine in a steady beat against the piano, and playing a simple tune with the other. I smiled.
"It's OK Bruno." He sat up, and I wiped his eyes, looking into them. They were a beautiful brown.
"What would I do without you guys?" He asked, smiling for the first time.
"I dunno," Phil replied, winking at me.
"But with us, well." I smiled, and began singing in time with my own guitar.
"If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea...I'll sail the world...to find you."
We continued like this for a while, all laughing and having fun. I watched Bruno. He looked a little but more upbeat.
And, as we finished the song, I started to think that one day, maybe, he would realise how much he really, really meant to me.