"Ricky." I tossed the drumstick at him and he caught it.
"Eric," he replied, hitting his bass drum steadily. "Why do you always call me that?" I smiled. Eric was like...like my mentor in life. Ever since we met back in Brooklyn, what? 5 years ago? Well, since then. He was there visiting, doing a few gigs here and there. I lived there for a while, and we met. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have been where I was. He meant alot to me.
"I call you that because no one else does", I said simply, poking him with my converse. "It's called unique-ity."
"That's not a word."
"Says who? Says you. Hell, if I want to be a boy, then I shall be a boy." Eric smiled at me and stopped playing.
"Well then, you better be hoping that Bruno's gay, cause I cut him off.“
"Woh, settle down sailor! Who mentioned Bruno in all of this?"
"Just saying, K." I sat back.
"How is Bruno anyway?" Eric shrugged.
"He's...good. Getting better", he told me, and we both looked down towards him. It had been two weeks since that bitch Tay had left his life. We were all glad, but we didn't want it to hurt him like this.
"Gonna go talk to him, Ricky. Be back in a sec." Eric nodded and I got up and walked across the room.
"Hey," Phil said. I sat down and looked around at each band member. They were all doing their own thing, which we did every morning.
"What's up?" I said, looking at everyone. They all looked as if they were having fun...with the exception of Bruno. I frowned.
"Nothing," Phil said, "Just listening to this Joy." I laughed a little. Bruno was sitting, quietly listening to our conversation.
"Bruno Mars." He looked up at me.
"That's my name", he said, adjusting his hat. "You need something?"
"Just wondering why you're being so quiet all of a sudden", I said. This definitely was an improvement from last week, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't worried about him. I was sure everyone was - but why was I being like this? I mean, everyone else was worried, but they could get on with their day. Me? I spent it thinking about Bruno, and how he was doing, and what he was feeling, and why oh why he was feeling this way. Then I had an idea. I got up. And grabbed Bruno's sunglasses from his shirt.
"Hey, don't be at that! Those things are expensive!" I grinned.
"You want them? Come and get them!" He stood up and slowly walked towards me. I kept my feet planted.
"Jam!" I called. "Think fast!" He looked up and caught them.
We continued this, throwing them back and forth, until I got them back. Bruno lunged at me playfully. I dived under the table and came out the other side, continuing to outrun him until about ten minutes later, out of breath, he dived at me and we fell to the ground
"Damnit", I said, landing on top of him and letting go of the glasses. Laughing, he rolled out from under me and stood up. He saw them and kneeled down to pick them up.
The door opened, and in stepped a familiar face, with an unfamiliar face.
"Aw, just come in babe", Tay said, stamping in. The man stood at the door. "Oh, Bruno. On your knees for me as usual. What's new?"
I felt myself go red with anger. This wasn't the time for her to barge in. Hell, there WAS no time for her to barge in. She wasn't welcome here. And to say something like that? I wanted to slap that grin off her face.
"Why would he be groveling over you?" It was Kenji. I had never heard him speak up.
"I'm not here to talk to either of you," she said, looking from Kenji to Bruno. "I came for my things." I remembered that she had kept some things here, that was OK that she came to get them, but seriously, the remark she had pulled had just got me overly annoyed.
"They're just there", Bruno said quietly, pointing to a box of things in the corner. She took the box.
"Hopefully my big, strong new man will carry them." She turned to her guy. Oh my God, was she asking for a smack? I was sick of hearing about her, to be honest.
"Get out." She turned to me.
"Oh, you could say that. Is that what your dad said to your mom when he left?" I felt my face fall. I started to slowly take in what she had said to me.
She didn't just go there.
I tried calming myself.
It didn't work. I took a deep breath. I wasn't going to let her win.
"I don't know, why don't you ask him? I heard you get around, so you've probably know him."
"Because I can actually get a man?"
"No, because you're skirts shorter than my belt."
"I'm proud of my beauty, thanks."
"I'm sure you are. How much do you charge? 50 cents?" I felt myself laugh out of pure spite or her. God, that look on her face. Bruno wasn't looking at her. He slipped his sunglasses back on and looked at the ground. I kept my eyes locked on her. We stared each other out for a while, because it was only fair we did it women to women. Sure she had a man at her side, hell, I had 5 on mine. But unlike her, I wasn't fly. If she wanted to act like this, we'd do it, just the two of us.
She started to walk out after this.
"See you all. Don't miss me too much."
"Trust me, we won't."
"Hopefully not as much as you miss your dad after he went off!"
Another of these remarks? This was my worst memory. It was also the one that angered me the most. My mom and dad split up when I was 12. I missed him so.
How she could remark about him I did not know. I was the type of girl who cared for her family. Maybe this was why I was so angry.
That was it. I lost it.
It wasn't long before I was on top of her. I started kicking at her, yelling, shouting, everything was just a total blur because the rage filling me.
"What the hell is wrong with you?!" I yelled at her.
She had had the absolute nerve to come in here and lecture me, tell me about what my father did? How did she even know about it? It struck me then that Bruno must have told her. I didn't have time. I wanted to beat her until all my anger went away, all the anger because of what she had said, what she had done to Bruno.
I felt arms pulling me off her, and I fought against them hard.
"K, sit down."
"The hell I'll sit down! She needs taught a lesson or two!" She got up off the floor and I pushed forward. Strong arms were keeping me back, and it killed me to know that after all she did she could just get up and walk out.
By this time the door had clicked closed. Eric sat me down. I was shaking.
"How could she bring something like that up-" I stopped myself from talking. I didn't want to talk any more.
"I'm sorry." I turned to Bruno, who was still kneeling on the floor. "For telling her."
I was so mad at him too. How could he?
...But at the same time. I wasn't even mad for him doing that. The real reason I was mad was because of her. Because of my parents splitting up. Because of what she had put us through for 2 weeks, with more to come. I wasn't mad at Bruno, was I? How was Bruno supposed to know she would have come and did that? He was probably a lot more hurt.
"It's OK, Bruno." I stood up and went over to him again. For the umpteenth time, I wanted to hug him, kiss him, help him get over her and not care about her, to tell him.
"It's not OK", he said, looking up at me. I crouched down, took the sunglasses from his eyes, and smiled.
"It is OK. It's all OK. New start. Away from her. You'll be OK. Got it, Duke?" He nodded.
Maybe it would be OK.