I run my fingers through his soft curls as he lays his head in my lap. He closes his eyes and has a small smile on his face. Just like old times, I think and I know he's thinking the same. I sigh. He opens his beautiful brown eyes and peers into mine, trying to read me. He gives up and asks "What are you thinking?" I don't answer him. I don't have the energy. He stares at me but doesn't ask again. I pick up the sand and let it slip through my fingers. I wish it could be that easy to just slip away from everything and everybody. "I don't have anywhere to stay." I bluntly tell Bruno. He blinks and says "You can stay with me at the hotel." I knew he was going to say that. I don't know what made me think he was going to say something different. I nod. He sits up. I don't look at him. I don't want to. It hurts too much. He tries. I push his hand down when he lifts my chin. I lay down on the sand and let my body sink into the warmness. I close my eyes and picture myself far away, with no problems, no death, no hurt, no bad. I grab the sand in frustration. I feel his hand brush the hair out of my face. I still get those damn butterflies. I want to puke them out. I turn my head to the side and stare at the water. How easy to just walk in, and keep walking and never come back out. I sit up quick and shake the thought out of my head. "You okay?" He asks. I nod. He tries to hug me, but I become stiff and push him off. "Dammit Lena..." is all he says. Without saying a word, I grab my duffel bag and stand up. He takes it out of my hand and leads the way to his car. The drive to the hotel is silent, except for the radio and him occasionally humming to a few songs. His voice gives me goosebumps.
I follow him to the room. He opens the door for me and puts my bag down. I look around. The room is gorgeous. I turn around. He's standing by the bed, his hands in his pockets. I turn my head to the side and look at him. He rocks back on his heels and looks at the ceiling. I can't help it. I laugh. He looks like a lost little boy, just standing in his hotel room. He smiles, showing all his perfect white teeth and adorable dimples. He walks up and stands in front of me. He leans forward, slightly and when I don't object, his lips press onto mine. Bruno's kisses are different from Brendan's. They're gentle and slow at first, than turn eager and passionate, like he can't get enough. I want to keep kissing him, but somewhere deep down, I push him off. He bites his bottom lip and runs his fingers through his hair. He nods and simply says, "Okay." He sits on the bed and lets himself fall back. I walk to the window and look out. Oh god, how was I going to stay here with him if it's too painful just to see his face. He starts to hum again. The butterflies start to flutter. He starts to sing "The very first time, that I saw your brown eyes, your lips said Hello, and I said Hi I knew right than you were the one, but I was caught up in physical attraction, but to my satisfaction, baby you were more than just a face." I grab the curtain. I refuse to turn around. His voice gets closer. "And if I ever fall in love again, I will be sure that the lady is a friend, and if I ever fall in love so true, I will be sure that the lady's just like you" My face is red, from anger because he's singing the song on purpose and because I want to say something back but instead of saying it, I turn around and sing "Do you ever think about me? Do you ever cry yourself to sleep? In the middle of the night when you're awake, Are you calling out for me? Do you ever reminisce? I can't believe I'm acting like this, No it's crazy how I still can feel your kiss...." His smug expression turns to complete shock and awe. We stare at each other. His eyes are dancing back and forth and there's a gleam in them. He looks up, thinking for a second than opens his mouth and sings, "Darling I, I can't explain, where did we lose our way, girl it's driving me insane, and I know I just need one more chance to prove my love to you, if you come back to me I'll gurantee that I'll never let you go..." My heart is pounding. I can't believe I just sang in front of him. He looks at me, raising an eyebrow. Is he waiting for me to sing again? Oh god. No way. His expression is so smug I want to slap if off of his face. "Were not in a musical Bruno." I tell him. He laughs. "I don't care! Where the hell did that come from?! And how come I never knew?" My face gets red. "It's nothing. I'm not even good." I say. "The hell you aren't." He says. "Look, lets just drop it okay? I just want to lay down and not think for a minute, or hour." I tell him. "I won't drop it, but I will let you lay down." I raise my eyebrow. "You'll let me? I don't need your permission." I say. He scrunches his face. "You need my permission to do everything. Like right now, I gave you permission to talk to me like that." He's looking at me with an attitude. "Oh really?" "Yeah! Really." he says. "Do you give me permission to do this?" I pull his hair. He yells and tries to grab me but I run and jump over the bed. He's on the other side, waiting. "Come here Lena." I shake my head. "I can't get a hug?" "I already gave you one." "I want another one." "Later." "No, I want one now!" He jumps on the bed and grabs me before I have a chance to run away. He puts me over his shoulder. Oh god. "Bruno put me down!" "No." Ugh! "Put me down or I'll bite you" "Do it, I'll like it." He probably will. I bite his shoulder and he screams. "Didn't like it did you!?" I ask, smugly. He spins in a circle. "Aaahh! You're gonna drop me! Bruno stop!" The floor looks dangerously close even though it isn't. He stops and it takes me a second to see straight. "Bite me again and see what happens." he says. I bite him. "You little--" He drops me on the bed and tickles me. I can't stop laughing and I'm too weak to push him off. He laughs with me and leans down to kiss my neck. Tingles go up and down my whole body. It feels like old times. Minus the kissing part. I want to forgive him, but I can't. I look at him. He's so beautiful. His brown eyes are glowing with happiness and his lips are curved into a smile. He touches my face. I close my eyes and let him kiss his way down to my stomach. Everything in my mind is telling me to stop! But my body is saying the opposite. The boy has a spell over me. He makes his way back up to my lips and by this time were both breathing heavy. Stop! Stop! Stop! I push the thought out of my head and let him kiss me everywhere. I bite my lip and I know where it's goin from here. He pulls at my zipper, when I hear my phone buzzing. I push him off and jump up. Thank goodness! I hear "Ugh!" behind me and he throws himself back on the bed. I look at the phone. Ahmity. I hesitate, than answer. "Hello?" Quiet. Did she hang up on me? "Mama's.." Her voice is hoarse, like she's been crying. "Yeah?" She breaks down crying. I close my eyes and rub my forehead. "Ahmity, stop crying." She sniffles and tries to catch her breath. "I know you hate me and I'm so sorry! I don't know why I said those things." "I don't hate you Ahm..." "You should. I'm a bitch." "Shut up Ahmity, you're not a bitch. I love you you're my sister." She cries all over again. I roll my eyes. "Stop crying or I'll hang up the phone." "Okay! I'll stop, can you just come back to the house?" My blood freezes. Brendan lives in that house. How do I tell her no without her getting offended. "Mama's?" "Um, I'm actually staying somewhere......with a friend." "A friend? What friend? How could you find a place to live so fast, it's only been 5 1/2 hours." Has it really? Wow, it seems like so much longer. "Just someone." I look back at Bruno. He's laying on his side, tossing his glasses in the air. "So you won't come back?" she asks. I don't say anything. She understands. "You know where I am, whenever you're ready....I love you Mama's." I quietly hang up the phone. I wish, with everything in my soul, that I could take back the last 4 months of my life. I would never have slept with Bruno, I would never have went back to Eric's apartment, I would never have let him let Bruno in, I would have never kissed him, and I would never have ran away. I was miserable before any of that, but nowhere near to what I feel now. Loving him and thinking he didn't love me back is a piece of cake compared to the situation I have myself in at this very moment. I curl up in a ball on the floor and close my eyes, as if magically, I'll be home when I open them. I feel his hands lift me off the floor. He hugs me and I hug him back, never feeling as pathetic as I do now. "Everything's gonna be okay Lena. You're not alone." He says. Than why do I feel like it?
I open my eyes and forget where I am for a second. It's dark out and the soft glow of the t.v. illuminates the room. I look over and Bruno is sleeping. One curl is laying across his forehead. I move it the way he always moves my hair. I stare at him for a minute. How can anyone be so beautiful? I get up and go to the bathroom. I look a mess. No make up, deep circles under my eyes. My hair is curly from being air-dried. I haven't worn my hair curly since Papi's funeral. I've straightened my hair everyday after that til today. I put it up and wash my face. I put on some eyeliner and blush so I look alive. I sigh. I walk back out and Bruno's gone. He's on the balcony. I hear him singing. I sit on the bed and listen. "I've been working hard so long, seems like pain has been my only friend. My fragile heart's been done so wrong, I wondered if I'd ever heal again, oh just like all the season's never stay the same, all around me I can feel a change. Oh I will break these chains that bind me, happiness will find me, leave the past behind me today my life begins, a whole new world is waiting, it's mine for the taking, I know I can make it, Today My Life Begins." Tears flood my eyes. Wow. He never seizes to amaze me. I walk out on the balcony and sit next to him. He smiles at me. "When did you write that?" "When you fell asleep." "It's..beautiful." "It's for you." I look at him. "What?" "Lena, you don't even know how beautiful, amazing, strong, smart, independant, and wonderful you are. I don't know how you don't see what everybody else sees. I know you lost a part of you when your dad died, and I think that's the reason you refuse to see it." I look at the railing. My heart feels a pang of pain. "I want you to realize it. I don't want you to spend the rest of your life thinking you're not worth anything, cause you're worth everything." He's had talks like this before with me, but it's never hit me as hard as it has now. "You're dad wouldn't want you to feel like that." A tear rolls down my cheek. He's right. But I can't undo 5 years, just like that. He reads my mind. "I know it'll take time, but I want you to be happy again. Even if that means being without me." He swallows hard and I know it pained him to say that. "I don't care where you go, or what you have to do to find it, but you need to be happy again. All this pain you have bottled up inside you, will eventually ruin you. And I can't.....He clears his throat. His brown eyes are glossy. "I can't see that." he says, in a low voice. I sit there for a minute, thinking of everything he said. He doesn't look at me. He knows. I stand up and stand in front of him. He stares at the street. I kiss him on the forehead and leave my lips there for a minute. He takes a breath in and it comes out shaky. I grab his hair and close my eyes tight. "I love you" I whisper and walk back in the room. I pick up my duffel bag and head to the door. I stop when I get there, deciding whether I should turn around and look at him one last time. I decide against it. It's too painful. I open the door and walk out. I don't know where I'm going and I don't know how I'm getting there, but one way or another, I was going to be happy...