I couldn’t tell you what I felt if I wanted to.
Everything was just so…unreal.
So motherfucking unreal.
I glanced around the hotel room, my vision in vertigo due to the glass of Jack I just forced down, despite the bitter alcohol taste it left on my tongue. I never did like the taste of alcohol, just the result.
I undid the zipper on my black boots and threw them aside, putting my face into my hands and sighing. My feet were sore, my cheeks ached, and I was coming down from being beyond shitfaced. My phone buzzed and I groaned, knowing I had to answer it.
“Hello?” I said, my voice grumbled and tired. I cleared my throat and tried to sound more cheery, “Hello?” I repeated.
“That’s more like it.” He said.
I dropped the phone and clutched my chest, all of a sudden every emotion I could feel came soaring back into my body, and it was all too much. I heard his laugh from the dropped telephone, he heard the clunk as it hit the wooden floor. I scrambled for the phone and hesitantly put it back to my ear, my body shaking.
“Y-You can’t be alive. I-I w-watched you die.” I shook my head slowly, glancing at the caller ID, the number unrecognizable. Someone was pranking me, they had to be. “I watched the life leave your eyes.” I caught a sob in my throat before it could escape my mouth.
“Then I just–how did you–I’m still drunk.” I grabbed a handful of my hair and closed my eyes, when I felt a cool whisk of air brush my shoulder. I sat up straight and looked around frantically, I had never felt so scared in my entire life.
“I’ve always loved the color red on you.”
I slowly looked down at my dress, tight fitting, ribbed, and bright red, a contrast against my butterscotch skintone. I threw my phone down at the floor and let out an ear piercing scream. There was a clatter of fists against my door and it only caused me to scream louder.
“Roxanne?! Roxanne! Open the door, it’s me!” My assistant, Dave said on the other side as he furiously tugged at the doorknob, I stood up and flung the door open and fell into his arms, sobbing hard. “What the fuck is going on?”
I sobbed, unable to speak for a moment as fear ran through me. Finally I took a deep breath and looked at Dave, “It’s him.”
“Who?!” He asked, confused.
“Bruno. He called me, he’s here Dave.”
Dave squinted at me, “Bruno’s been dead for two and a half years sweetheart…I think you’ve just had a little too much at the afterparty.” He patted my shoulder, but I knocked his hand away.
“I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH HIM AND HE KNEW WHAT I WAS WEARING! HE’S ALIVE!” I argued loudly. Dave glanced around in the hallway and shoved me into the hotel room, closing the door behind him.
“Bitch you are gonna wake up the whole damn floor! Let me see your phone.” He stuck his hand out and I picked up the phone and handed it to him. Dave looked through my recent calls and smirked, showing me the most recent incoming call was from him. I clutched my face, on the verge of an anxiety attack.
“Look, you need to forgive yourself for what happened cause obviously it’s still in the back of your mind and therapy hasn’t helped. You couldn’t help what happened. Stop blaming yourself.” Dave tried to comfort me, but I was still too on edge and jittery for comfort. The events of that horrible night were crystal clear as they replayed in front of my eyes as I felt my anxiety attack come on full force…
... Two And A Half Years Ago ...
“You looked amazing on that stage tonight babe.” Peter Hernandez, better known as the singer Bruno Mars, said to me as he kissed my cheek. We had been dating for a little over a year after meeting at an awards show. I was still fresh in the music industry and he was like a mentor to me, not to mention a bestfriend and a kickass boyfriend.
“I guess MTV thought so too.” I giggled, holding my moon man award from the VMAs. I had won Best New Pop Artist and I was ready to celebrate. Suddenly I heard a ruckuss across the street and a gaggle of girls were screaming over at me. I frowned up my face, trying to make out what they were saying amidst the crazy Los Angeles six-lane traffic.
“Shit.” Bruno said, grabbing my waist and trying to turn me away.
“No! What are they saying?!” I fought against him and saw one of the girls flip me the bird. “Oh hell no!”
“Babe come on please, don’t do this. Don’t let them ruin your night.” Bruno pleaded.
“Fuck that shit, I’m not about to let some bitches come at my neck wrong, I’m not too Hollywood to cut a bitch!” I shoved him off me as he fought harder to hold me back.
“Stupid ass wannabe white bitch! You didn’t deserve shit tonight!” One of the white girls yelled.
“They’re drunk, leave them be.” Bruno grabbed my face and looked into my eyes, begging, trying to get through to me but my anger had always been my downfall. It’s like a snake that coils inside of me ready to strike when it’s provoked. There was no stopping me at this point.
“FUCK YOU GROUPIE ASS HOE, NOBODY KNOWS WHO THE FUCK YOU ARE ANYWAY BITCH!” I screamed, darting across the street. I had three lanes blare their horns at me and stop their cars abruptly as I stalked across the rest of the lanes, posessed by my rage.
“OH YOUR TOUGH HUH HOLLYWOOD?! SELL OUT ASS BITCH!” The girl came for me too, but stopped in her tracks as she heard the loud blaring horn of a sixteen wheeler that was coming full-force down the highway. I was in a daze by the headlights that were zooming in my direction, at a loss of common sense when a force shoved me into the closest parked car. All I heard was a slam and then seconds later, another thump. And as I leaned against the BMW, my eyes closed tight, tears were already behind them. People were screaming and dialing 911, and I didn’t want to look, I didn’t want to see. But I did. I ran to where the stopped sixteen wheeler was and slowly crept out to see the body that lay crumpled upon the asphalt.
“Oh God…” I gasped, tears streaming from my face as I threw myself upon him, upon my lover, my everything, my bestfriend, my rock. He opened his eyes and I wiped the blood off his face as much as I could, out of the way of his mouth and his nose, hoping he could somehow find a way to breathe, even though I could feel his broken ribs and everytime he gasped to breathe, I felt the jab of pain in my own lungs.
“You can make it babe, right? You’re gonna be fine, yeah? C-cause your a guy a-and g-guys are really tough r-right?” My sentences started to become littered with gasps as I tried not to cry. I knew I wasn’t making any sense. It just wasn’t logical, he was 5’5″, 145 lbs, and that sixteen wheeler was a fucking ton going at least 40mph.
His bright eyes, chocolate brown, were beginning to fade.
“Y-your freaking me o-out. P-please Peter–” I used his birth name, “Sing me a song? Just like you do when I’m upset…please…tell me you love me just the way I am, I’ll agree this time.” I rambled on, trying to get through to him, but the more I went on, the more his eyes faded.
The corner of his mouth lifted up in a little smile as he spoke, he didn't have the energy to even sing. “I……love….you…..just the……way……you are.” He said, taking in painful breaths between each word.
“Oh Peter…” I kissed his lips, ignoring the blood from the gashes on his face. The ambulance siren whirred loudly. “The ambulance is here and they’re gonna fix you and as soon as they do we’ll have you out the hospital in no time, and we’re gonna get a real nice house in Arizona okay? I know I said I’m too young for kids and you wanted some, but hey, 19 isn’t so bad right? It’s the age of the teen pregnancies anyhow!” The more his life left him, the more I babbled on, waiting for him to crack a joke or agree with me, or show some sign of the strong man I had fallen in love with.
My jaw trembled, “But I can’t do that unless you stay alive, so please don’t leave me….please.” Reality was beginning to come across in my mind as the EMS workers surrounded his body and tried to gently get him onto a stretcher, they placed an oxygen mask over his face, taking him away from me. “No!” I ran after him, but a police officer stopped me.
“Ma’am, only family and spouse are allowed in the ambulance.”
“I’m his wife!” I desperately yelled, lying for the sake of a few more moments with him. I had a feeling he wasn’t going to make it to the hospital. The police officer gave me a stern look, showing he didn’t believe me, but he let me pass anyhow and I rushed into the vehicle, taking a seat next to the stretcher as I took my lover’s hand. He managed to turn his head to look towards me and he pressed my hand against his pocket, which had a lump in it. I quickly dug inside and pulled out a small, black box. I opened it to find a brilliant diamond ring inside, the band covered with diamonds as well. My hand flew to my mouth as fresh tears escaped my eyes. I could hear the gasp of the EMS worker as she watched.
He grunted and struggled to lift his chin, and I placed the ring on my finger and hurriedly followed his body instructions and I lifted the oxygen mask just a little.
“Music.” He said in a whisper, “We…..created…..music together.” He heaved again, “That…..is eternal.” Another heave and the EMS worker took the mask from me, to place on his face but he turned away,
“Never stop….what God blessed…..you with………I love you.”
The heart monitor gave me the worst sound my ears have heard to that day, a long, steady, unyielding beep. EMS workers surrounded his body, trying to revive him but as his hand released mine, that little bit of life in his eyes was gone and I turned away, curled up in the seat and closed my eyes tightly, trying to wake myself up from the nightmare I swore I was in. It wasn’t real, it hadn’t happened like that, the one time I found someone who loved me for who I was, crazy and all, was gone. After I spent my life being hurt by boys, I had a man who promised me a long life together. And he was gone.
Dave forced cold water down my throat and my breathing began to slow down and my focus shifted back into the hotel room I was on the floor of. Sweat was pouring down my body and I felt like I just went through labor, I hated these attacks. I hated those memories and how vivid they were.
“Oh boo, I thought I lost you.” Dave exhaled in relief as he helped me to sit on the bed. “You need to rest.”
“I can’t sleep.” I clutched his satin bathrobe, “I’m too freaked out Dave, you’ve gotta believe me…he called me, I can’t make this shit up.”
Dave gently removed my grip from his clothes and patted my hands. “If…and I’m saying IF…he’s somehow alive.” I could hear the disbelief in his tone, “Then he’ll come again. The next time you hear from him, come get me alright?” He was speaking to me as though I were a mental institution patient. I felt stupid, and I laid down in my bed, facing away from him.
“Goodnight.” He said, leaving the room. I laid there, staring at the window, trying to focus on the lights, but there was no way sleep was gracing me with it’s presence after that episode. I sat up, on my way to the bathroom to wash the makeup off my face, when my phone started ringing again. Quickly, I grasped it and answered.
“I thought you would be happy to hear from me.”
It was him.
I tried to stay calm as I looked around the room, edging towards the door. I was proving this to Dave once and for all, I was perfectly sane and my dead boyfriend was calling me.
Yeah, perfectly sane.
“I–I am it’s just…you’re dead….so this is all new to me.” I tried to stall as I worked the locks of my door.
“I don’t think it’s any of Dave’s business about what goes on between us right now.” He said. I froze and looked around the room, but nobody was there, from what I could see.
“How did you–”
“Because I can see you. I want to hold you, but I’m afraid baby. I’ve watched you for nearly three years now, wanting to finish where we left off but I saw how driven and determined you became…I didn’t want to stop that passion you had going for your music.”
“I rebuke you in the name of Jesus, because you are not real, you are Satan messing with my sanity.”
I heard him sigh on the other line, “I knew this would happen. But I am real babe, maybe not as real as you and Dave, but I’m real and I’m here. But I won’t show myself if you’re afraid…I don’t want to scare you, I want desperately to be with you.”
I clutched my phone, my eyes darting all over the room.
“You know where you’re at, right?” He asked.
“Four Seasons Hotel in Vegas.” I stated.
“There’s a spot you would love, it’s a summit called nine star, and it’s a full moon tonight. I want to take you, it’s better if we talk there.” He explained.
I fidgeted, curling my fist at my side as my stomach flopped with the idea of my lover somehow being alive and taking me to see the moon atop a summit in Nevada. Certain parts of Nevada were very much like Arizona in that it was nothing but desert and land.
“Is it far?”
“I’ll drive you.”
“I didn’t know ghosts could drive.”
He chuckled, “I wouldn’t be too sure about that myself.”