'this has to work, this has to work...' i repeated this over and over in my mind like i was the little engine that could. i sped back in the direction of the studio that bruno was in but i knew he wouldn't be there; but this was still part of the plan...
i was about an hour away when i noticed someone following me; the eerie black car would stay a few cars behind mine, but was now dirctly behind me. i braced myself for another episode with william as i pulled into the nearest gas station; my blood was running cold as i stepped out of my car and onto the wet asphalt. my heart was racing as i thought of all that could go wrong...my mind and body were weak from the emotional and physical strain i put myself through these past few days, worrying and planning...orchestrating the most monumental point in my life, and it could all go up in smoke with one blow, even one word. then...only i could make this all go right... i had so much control and yet no control; if i had the choice...
a tall man got out of the car. i stood as confidently as i could, hoping to send the message of not being intimidated easily. the man's face was shadowed by a hood on his jacket. i watched the theshadow, hoping to find some type of recognizable face, and hoping not to at the same time. the man took his hood off and looked me...with my eyes...
'david...' i breathed. he smiled and opedned his arms wide. i ran into them, welcoming his warm embrace. i was so overcome with happiness, with relief, i couldn't stop myself from crying. 'what changed, david? what changed?' i sobbed.
' danny, remember what you would say to me every night back home,when everyone was asleep and you would sneek into my room 'cause something about the barn would always scare you? you would say to me, "david, if you had any sense,you'd leave like i am; to a place without fear, no doubt, no worry. when we left, we'd be as free as can be, no matter where we were. david,-"
'-if only you could see it' i finished. i recited those same words every night like a prayer. but what would make this change his mind?
' yep. i didn't understand then what you meant, only that you were leaving and that i didn't want you to.it felt like you didn't care about me at all. then you left and i was so angry at you. i saw you in new york and that just...it pushed me over the edge. but i came home...'
'i realized what you were saying the whole time. i went back home without you and i realized that i couldn't go on with life the same way without my sister. i knew you would feel the same, then it hit me- you always wanted me to come with you, didn't you?' i nodded my head silently. it was a comfort for him to understand after all of these years what i wanted so long ago, my brother by my side.
'you trusted me to understand...but i didn't.i hurt you too, when all i did was get mad at you like everyone else. i was hurting so much after i realized that you never wanted to hurt me, or even leave me.'
'it's okay, you understood the fact that i need my big brother with me... but...'
' how the hell did you find me? i've been on the road for the past week!'
'simple. i tried to find you in new york, then someone your building told me you'd be in L.A., i went there and found your friend phil, who pointed me in the direction you left in, and i went from there'
'oh. guess it was simple. but another thing...'
'what?' i looked down at the ground sheepishly.
'i kinda have to leave...again.' david just sighed and rolled his eyes.
'what for?' i explained everything that happened since i had arrived in L.A., from the 'other woman', to william, to me running away, the only thing i seemed to be good at.
'well at least i left michael in good hands.' david remarked sarcasticly.
'sorry. but that's why i have to leave, so he'll be with me...for good this time.'
'fine. but i'm coming with you. i'm not gonna leave you to run around and get into any more trouble...'
i rolled my eyes. 'what trouble?' he sighed and we got into our seperate cars. we drove on for another hour into L.A.; david stayed close behind, not knowing for sure where the studio was. we pulled up and saw phil standing outside.
'where's bruno?' phil looked up and saw me and my brother, side by side, and a smile crept up onto his face.
'wow, you two really do look alike. bruno's at the hotel with michael, but i wouldn't go there quite yet; he seems pretty upset...'
'great; another reason to hurry up and leave; c'mon david.' we drove for what felt like an eternity to the hotel; i told david to stay in the lobby as i slowly made my way to the elevator. my heart was pounding harder and harder with ever step i took, my feet feeling like lead. i lifted my hand to knock on the door, when it suddenly flew open.
'bruno...' bruno was standing in the doorway, dressed only in his boxers, hair a total mess, looking at me in shock and almost...anger.
'danielle, this isn't the best time-'
'look, gimmee a minute.' bruno looked towards the back room, then back at me.
'fine. but let's keep things quiet; uh...michael is still asleep.'
' i'm just here to get michael.' i heard someone stumble around in the back...
'bruno, come back to bed babe,' the woman he was with on the beach emerged from the back room in nothing but a bra and her underwear. she took one look at me and scoffed.'who's this?'
'a friend. babe,get back to bed.' the girl deliberatly smiled at me and switched back down the hallway.
'i just want my kid.' i said, trying to hold myself back from slaughtering the tramp. bruno just looked at me, then, to my relief, went in the opposite direction of the bedroom the woman had come from,and reemerged with sleeping michael in his arms.
'you should know that...i'm sorry; for everything. i'm so happy to have ever met someone like you...who understands me like you do. you'll probably never see me and michael again, and maybe it's for the best...' i glanced down at michael and smiled. 'i just hope you understand that i never,for a moment doubted that you loved me...it was just my own insecurities about myself getting in the way.i cursed myself the morning i came back that i would never stop feeling about you the way i do now, but you're blessed enough to where you're strong enough to move on. maybe i can learn to move on in my own way too. maybe i'll be lucky enough to not screw up so bad next time.' i looked at him and smiled, then kissed him gently on the cheek. 'i love you.' i whispered. i left him standing in the doorway as i walked downstairs to meet my brother in the lobby
'mommy, where's bruno?' michael asked. why did his first words when he sees me have to be about bruno? we were in the car on the way to the airport. my brother promised to visit more once things got settled better back at home since mom died, but still had to go home in the next few days. i took whati could get.
'baby, bruno is...he's... uh...' i started to shake my head, hoping that the tears wouldn't show, that no sound would come, but they came anyway. i told my brother to drive the rest of the way while i collected myself. if things didn't go right i would be stuck loving bruno while he moved on with life...
'danny, there's no more you can do...just make the most of the time you have with with your son...with me...' he looked over at me with pleading eyes. he didn't want me to waste the time i had with him moping over some guy who had just dumped me. but what he didn't understand was that bruno...was all i had in a long time that meant something to me. i had a few people that i've loved and now that one of them was potentially removed from my life for good...the pain was all i knew at the time...
'david, try to understand that i'm hurting- bad. i'm trying as hard as you can but you have to help me out and just let me...cope.
'didn't need this much coping when mom died.' he mumbled,
'damnit david you don't know what happened! you left!' he looked at me with sad eyes and regretted ever saying that.
'sorry danielle. i guess i'm still coping too.'
'david, it's not that i didn't love mom-'
'i know. we go through these things differently.' he took my hand and tried to smile,but the pain that he tried to conceal still showed like black light.
'we'll do this together.' i said. a single tear slid down his cheek as he nodded in agreement. we needed each other now more than ever...
i let my brother take michael and explain things to him back in new york. it was my job to do the unpacking and getting settled back in. i couldn't, though, bear to step into my own home. i called a friend of mine who i've met at one party or another and she,(as only glamour girls can) in a stern voice insisted that i meet her at a popular club downtown where we can both drown our sorrows in drinks served in ridiculously small colourful glasses. apparently, she had also been through a bad episode with her current love interest.
'i have a trunk full of clothes in my car though.'
'we'll just take mine; it looks better than yours anyway,' she giggled and hung up the phone. i groaned. i would have to get extremly intoxicated to be able to even tolerate, much less enjoy, that for a whole evening.
we arrived at the club at around eleven that night, both scantily dressed and acting as slutty as we looked. great. going from one man to the other, flirting with them and having them buy us drinks the night started to fly by like a blur. in an instant it seemed, i went from being being surrounded by dozens of "unique' individuals to only being able to see one: bruno. i turned in endless circle asking, 'are you bruno?' and, 'is your name bruno?'. some men laughed and replied, 'i'll be whoever you want me to be babe,' i stumbled away from these men with extreme distaste. all i saw anymore was brown eyes and curly hair and fedoras everywhere. the worst part of it all was i continued to drink. i was like a well you would fill with martinis and other various coctails. eventually, i forgot basic things like who i came with, where my car was, what my name was. i realized my sorry state and began to cry silently, then i stumbled outside where i sobbed uncontrolably. the world around me began to spin and i wobbled back and forth in one spot. before everything went dark, a figure in the dark seemed to see me, stop, then broke out in a full run to catch me before i hit the concrete.
'bruno?' i asked. i got no response as the person picked me up and carried me off.
i woke up the next morning with the hangover of a lifetime. i couldn't even move; everything took so much effort, i just layed there and waited for someone to open my bedroom door. it wasn't long before the door opened slowly and my brother peeked around the corner.
'you up?' all i could do was groan in response.
'great.' he came in and turned on the lights. i shouted some unitelligable mess of words and he immediatley turned them back off. he placed a hot drink on the nightsatnd next to me and sighed.
'if you just don't want michael around...' i turned my head in his direction as quickly as i could manage.
'hey! i love my son, and there isn't a thing in the world i wouldn't do for him.' i sighed, reflecting on my past few week's behavior. 'i know it doesn't look like it, but i really want him in my life. all of this stops now, i promise.' david just sighed and began to walk out of the door. i remembered the figure from last night...
'who found me last night?' he was silent for a moment, then looked at me with a strangely sad look before saying what i knew was the only answer.
'bruno.' i shot out of bed, only to be brought back down by the heaviness of my tired body.
'where is he?'
'downstairs. he wanted to make sure you were okay...' so many questions, so many emotions. he had found me, but how? and why would he want to find me? i had to hurry before he was gone for good...