Another waitress, a younger waitress, brought them their drinks. This waitress stopped in shock
and stated, “¡Marla! En realidad! ¿Que? Oh…that’s so rude. I’m sorry. Oh my god…ummm.
nevermind. I’ll send Marta back out here.”
“Oh my…” Marla stated in shock. I’ve never seen that happen before.
He laughed an infectious laugh that gave her butterflies. She hadn’t felt butterflies since high
school He took her hand from under the table and laughed more.
“Listos para ordenar?” Marta came by and asked if the two were ready to order.
“Oh…no. Not yet…” Marla had planned on ordering for the two of them and having a quick
dinner. But she felt, now, that things may have to change.
She took her hand away from his for a second and explained what several things were on the
menu. She didn’t want to control the dinner too much by telling him what to order.
“But what are you getting?” he asked her after she explained everything.
“I always get El Jibarito. It’s my favorite.”
“Then I’ll have that.” he said in a matter of fact tone.
“El normal?” Marta came back up to the couple.
“Dos de estos por favor…” Marla replied.
“I hope you’re not going to kill me with that stuff…” he laughed.
“I’ll have to take you to the hospital because you’ll be in a food coma, Bruno.” Marla laughed.
“Oh dang. I don’t think I’ve been in one of those in a long time.”
“Be prepared. It’s amazing. Emphasis on amazing.” she giggled.
Two hours later it was clear that they were not going to mini-golf that evening. They ate their
dinner and talked about anything and everything until they were the only ones left, aside from
“I think we need to go….” Marla said.
Their plates were gone and table was clean. He stood up next to her and took her hand. Marla
went over to Marta and spoke to her for a few minutes. She thanked her for being so kind and
waiting for them. She knew she could have told them to leave, but Marta was nearly another
mother to her, which Bruno now knew. She kissed Marta on the cheek , waved good-bye and
headed back to Bruno. He had written his name on several napkins for the girl that
hyperventilated when she saw him. He handed it to Marta and thanked her for her kindness and
told her that he would be back.
He led Marla out the door and clenched her waist tightly.
“Even when you’re not trying you look beautiful…” he said to her quietly.
“You need to stop flattering me…Bruno.” she told him.
“That won’t stop happening..” he squeezed her butt. She was shocked by his audacity but was
also intrigued by it. She was starting to get nervous. She told herself she wasn’t going to get
nervous. She had made speeches in front of million dollar donors, was the president of a student
caucus, but this one person was driving her crazy. On the other end of the spectrum, Bruno was
also nervous. He didn’t know what he was going to do next. Was he going to just take her home,
kiss her good night and not see her for three weeks? Or what was he going to do? He had no
idea. They reached the end of an intersection near a bustling building which appeared to be a bar,
still open on late Sunday night. Marla stopped walking and made her move.
“I’m going to kiss you.” she told him.
“I’m not going to stop you.” he told her.
She pushed him against the wall and gently pressed her lips against his. She didn’t remember his
lips being as soft as they were at that very moment. He tasted like cinnamon. It was her favorite,
and he didn’t even know it. His fingers went through her hair slowly and gently. Before his
tongue reached hers he stopped.
“You showed me your world, now I’ll show you mine…just be patient…” he smiled.
**This one is a little explicit**
I’m not sure what that means…she thought to herself as they drove to her house.
“Come with me….” she demanded as they arrived at her apartment.
It wasn’t too late, but late enough for her to know better. She didn’t care.
He followed her toward the door. He didn’t care either.
She rummaged through her enormous purse. “Really? Now? Where is my key?” She mumbled to
“It’s in your hand, Marla…” he looked at her.
“Oh…” she grabbed the key…opened the door and grabbed his hands.
“I need to feed the cat and go to the bathroom. Give me two seconds.” Marla told him. “Sit
down, pleaseee.” She pleaded.
Marla went into the restroom grateful she had taken her boss’s advice, as she already had on the
pinky lacy undies. She popped a Yaz, her Topamax, vitamins and put a condom in her pocket for
later. She flipped her hair a little, put on some Burt’s Bees lip balm (she didn’t want to overdo
anything…he said overdoing it killed it for him) and went out the door. She added a handful of
Fancy Feast to a small cat bowl watching her fuzzy black cat eagerly eat the food she presented.
He turned around from his position on the couch watching her feed the cat, took off his hat,
which uncovered the curliest Puerto Rican hair she had ever seen (wow!) and gave her a serious
seductive face. He took her hand and led her towards his warm body. He pushed her long hair
toward one shoulder and started kissing her neck gently. “Oh please, don’t stop…” she told him.
“Never…” he replied moving his hand under her shirt to unhook her bra gently. “Is this okay?
We aren’t moving too fast?” he asked in between his kisses.
“Just don’t stop…” she continued. By the time her pink lingerie was the only thing he saw her in
she decided it was time for them to go into her bedroom. She led him into her bedroom by a belt
loop forgetting that she had textbooks all over her bed. She pushed them off her bed.
“Don’t lose your spot, you’ll hate yourself in the morning.” he smirked.
“Not if you’re laying next to me.”
“Well played…” he laughed.
She started to unbuttoned his blue and green shirt, unzipped his pants and felt him with every
inch and space of her body.
Marla rolled over and they finished and covered herself with the blanket that had fallen off the
bed. “I don’t….do this….ever…never…”
“You don’t do what?” he asked.
“I don’t hook up. Like for real. I’m that girl that doesn’t put out until the 5th date….never…..”
she stood up with the blanket covering herself headed toward the bathroom.
She put on her first place shirt from earlier in the morning and sweatpants.
“Bruno….I think you need to go.”
“Whatever. It was dumb.” Marla explained to her best friend Whitney.
“Yeah, it was dumb. Why the hell would you actually sleep with him? Like really? Just because
you haven’t gotten laid since you started Grad school doesn’t mean you need to fuck the first guy
that comes around. If you wanted that we could have gone to Le Deux.”
“You‘re right. I’ll just say I fucked up. It still doesn’t make me feel any less dirty. I mean, it’s
like now I’ve slept with all those hoochies that he’s slept with. That I think is the worst part. It
just grosses me out. “
“He hasn’t called you either?”
“God, no. He hasn’t called me. Please.”
“Well, at least you can say you slept with him.”
“Brunnnnoooo.” Phil screamed at his best friend.
“Yeah? I’m sorry. I was asleep.”
“Well, that’s why I was yelling in yo faccccceeee!”
“Okay, for real, dude. What happened with you and Marla?” Phil sat down on the edge of his
bed. “You’ve been outta it since you two went out after K’s thing….”
“Oh…I liked her a lot. She didn’t return the feelings. She said school was more important that
anything to her. That was it.”
“She didn’t say that, bro.” his older brother chimed in on the conversation. “You’re a bad liar.”
“We had a great night. And then she told me to leave. I haven’t called her since.” he told the
“We’re going to be back there next week, dude, call her.” Phil pleaded.
Bruno got up from his bed and grabbed his phone. He made a phone call quickly. Everyone
looked at him in wonder. “…Yes, and just put the number 39 on the card. “
Marla sat at the desk of the international disaster relief charity for the last week. She had come to
enjoy the organization and was sad to see her time end.
As she typed up donation request letters for the next fiscal year, she caught a flower delivery
truck drive by quickly. She sighed heavily. Angie knew that the flowers weren’t for either of
them and sighed along with her intern.
“You’re not getting an A in your internship, Ms. Gonzales. You weren’t able to find Mr. Right.
Last three interns found Mr. Right doing this. I don’t know what the deal is with you.” Angie
Renee came in with a vase of a dozen roses in her arms. “These are for you Marla. There’s a
note, but all it says on it is “39.”
“Oh…oh….ummm….Thanks.” Marla picked up the flowers and set them on her desk. “I’ll be
She walked out of the office and sat on a bench in the shade away from the noise of the highway.
She didn’t save his phone number, so she had to flip through nearly 3 weeks of phone calls.
Usually, it wouldn’t be many calls – her mother, father, brother, a few friends, but she had been
working on papers and studying with many different people. She wasn’t sure if she even still had
“Damnit.” she scrolled faster through her phone. “Oh..there it is.” She dialed.
“Did you get item 39?” He didn’t even say hello.
“I did, thank you. “ she replied. “So, I might have freaked out a bit that night…”
“It probably wasn’t the best first date….” he responded.
“No, the date was fine…everything was fine…it was just….I overreacted. I do that.”
“I’m not going to be home for some time…but I really like you, Marla. Te prometo.”
“Aww, see that’s too cute.” she responded.
“It’s true!” He told her over the phone. He wanted to touch her. It was impossible. He was in
Spain and she was in Los Angeles.
“Call me when you’re close.” she said through her phone. She hung up and hurried to jump in
the shower. She was sweaty and probably not in the best shape to be meeting Bruno on such
short notice. But, if she was going to try her hardest to make this work, it was going to have to be
It was four months later and the two had seen each other a handful of times. There was no sex,
just lots of talking, laughing and learning. There was no commitment. She made that clear that
she knew that there were indeed “beautiful girls all over the world.” She rolled her eyes every
time he suggested that she was the only one he really thought of. She never held her breath at the
thought of monogamy. However, she never really dated anyone either.
There was a knock on the door. “Damn. He didn’t call me.” Her hair was still in a towel. She was
wearing a high school track shirt and shorts. She had moisturizer on, but no make-up. “Oh, thank
you Sephora…” a birthday pack of lip glass sat on her side table. She grabbed it and swiped it on
before opening the door.
“You said you were going to….” Oh my god…what a babe. Like I want to get into his pants now.
Like no joke. Skinny jeans, red v neck shirt, straightened hair, rimmed glasses and no hat.
Seriously how can he do that to a girl?
“I like to keep it fresh.” he smirked. Dimples, white teeth, brown eyes. He stepped inside and
took her hand.
“You ran today?”
“But heart didn’t start racing until you walked in the door.” she joked.
“Ha! That was funny!” He laughed at her
“I wasn’t kidding…” she felt the butterflies in her stomach the same as she did during their first
date. She pulled him in toward her, this time realizing that their eyes were at exactly the same
place. They looked at each other, so close that she melted into his brown eyes and he slowly
melted into her lips. He wrapped his arms around her waist while she moved her arms to his next
to rub her fingers through his hair. It was so straight, so different than the way it was the last
time. The last time. No. They weren’t. This can’t happen this way. He has to make her feel
special…but he does…in every single way. The way he touches me, the way he talks to me, the
way he makes me laugh…and cry…so very special….and the cinnamon.
He ran his fingers through her damp hair and kissed her neck gently before he pulled back.
“Come with me.” he took her hand and led her out the door toward his car.
She stalled not wanting to lose him to anyone or anything, knowing that she was being selfish.
“Not dressed like this…no.” she pleaded.
“Yes, like that…” he drug her out of the house and closed the door. “Wait, you have your keys?”
“In my hand,” she replied.
They pulled up to a small building that Marla had never seen before. She was a native Los
Angelino, but had no idea where they were. It made her a bit nervous.
“What are we doing?”
“Don’t worry. Just be patient.” he calmed her down.
“How can I be patient if I have no idea what we’re doing or where we are?”
“Trust me.” He took her hand from the other side of the car and squeezed it tightly. It helped a
They got out of the car where he led her into the small Spanish style building. It was a recording
studio and amphitheater.
“Close your eyes.” Marla did as she was told. He led her in the room where she felt instruments
and familiar sounds. They’re all here…so cheesy. She smiled.
“What?” he asked her.
“What are you singing to me? I know they’re all here. I am in MENSA.” she joked.
“Just sit down Marla Gonzales, MSW, in progress. Miss Smarty pants. Don’t even think about
opening your eyes. It’ll ruin everything.” He said. Then he got really close to her and whispered,
“I might cry if you open your eyes.” She jabbed him in the side knowing that wasn’t true.
“Owww, owww, my side. I’m dying. And wow. Amazing aim for having your eyes closed.”
“I’m an athlete too, Mr. Mars…
“Okay…okay…” a guitar started with a familiar tune, but that wasn’t his. She couldn’t put her
finger on it, but she knew exactly what it was, but she knew she loved the song. “Abre sus ojos,
mi amor.” he said in a flawless accent.
Cada que te veo pasar,Me ponen a delirar,
Tus bellos ojos.
Sólo tú me haces temblar,
Me estás haciendo volar,
Me vuelves loco.
Sólo una vez más,
Y despertarme siempre a tu lado.
Vuelvo a respirar,
Estás aquí en mi mente,
Todo el día presente.
He continued the Spanish song as she slowly melted into her seat. He smiled throughout the
song. She felt his joy as he sang, but also his ridiculous talent.
“Es todo…” he finished.
“Fue lo mejor del mundo, senor Hernandez.” she clapped for him and walked toward the stage.
The band headed out the room, but she knew they wouldn’t be far away, listening to their
conversation. She smiled shyly and danced toward him.
“It’s all true.” he explained.
“Really? After four months? You decided this?” I don’t believe you.”
“Why?” he moved her closer so his brother and bandmates wouldn’t hear them.
“Because, you’re, you’re…you’re Bruno Mars. I still am having a hard time wrapping my head
around this whole thing. I know I say this every single time, B. But it’s just weird.”
“You have to trust me, Marla. Trust in what I say. It’s the only way.” He kissed her forehead and
squeezed her tightly.
“Come with me.” He grabbed her arm and ran with her to his car.
“But, Bruno…I look like crap…I can’t keep running off looking like this…if you’re taking me
places I have to at least go home and change…” she pleaded.
“Quit it.” He pushed her against the car and started kissing her to make her stop talking about her
appearance. If she only knew I was going to take off her clothes in 10 minutes. He thought to
himself as he put his cinnamon lips on her strawberry lips. He adored that she always put on
different lip gloss. It was an adventure. He never knew which one she would have on when he
got there. He kissed her with all the passion he could, taking both their breath away. “Sorry.”
“It’s quite alright.” she breathed.
“Get in the car…” he smiled. He took her hand while he drove to his house and touched it ever
so gently. It was just enough to make her tingle all over.
“What are we doing, Bruno? Your surprises drive me fucking crazy.”
“I know, that’s why I do it.” He laughed and kissed her on the cheek as he came to a stop at a
stop light. He knew that it was a long light because he turned her head around toward him and
kissed her gently before he realized there were teenage girls in a driver’s ed car next to them
staring at him. He blushed and turned to look at the street.
“I was going to tell you those girls recognized you as you stopped the car…but I didn’t have a
chance to stop you…I enjoyed your embarrassment.”
“Oh…you’re so getting it when we get home!” he grabbed her side as she jumped.
“Or are you?” she asked.