Bruno opens his mouth to sing, but closes it. His face is red. My blood freezes. Eric stands up and talks to him quietly. Bruno nods. "Sorry about that sir. I guess I'm just a little nervous." he says. "That's alright. Don't be nervous, relax.." Mr. Gordy says. He clears his throat again and sings
Hands over my head, thinking what else could go wrong?
Would've stayed in bed, how can a day be so long?
Never believed, that things happened for a reason
But how this turned out, removed all my doubts Oh believe
That for you I'd do it all over again
Do it all over again
All I went through, led me to you
So I'd do it all over again, for you
Who ever thought a day gone so wrong
Would turn out so lovely?
I'm so glad I found you
Even though the day went so wrong
I wouldn't change a thing
Oh I'd do it
I'd do it all over again
Do it all over again
All I went through, led me to you
So I'd do it all over again
Who ever thought a day gone so wrong, could turn out so lovely?
Eric has this proud, satisfied smile on his face. Bruno is looking at me, and I can't breath. I stare at him back in utter amazement. I've never heard him sing like that before. Mr. Gordy has his chin in his hand, studying Bruno. "You write that yourself son?" He asks. Bruno turns to look at him. "Yes sir." he says, taking a deep breath. Mr. Gordy nods. "You play any instruments?" "Guitar, piano and drums sir." He says without hesitation. Mr. Gordy nods again. "You have a very different sound, your voice is unique..." He sits there, contemplating. "Sing me something else." he says. Bruno's face is priceless, I almost want to laugh. Eric balls his fists and I know he screaming in his head, 'I told you!' Bruno recovers quickly though. He snaps his fingers and grooves to a beat that's in his head.
I know girl when you look at me you don't know how I feel
Cause I'm usually so nonchalant, my feelings I conceal
But I want you to know, Oh I want you to know
I must admit I've felt this way for more than quite awhile
But I can't hold it no longer when I, see that pretty smile
Can't wait no more, No I can't wait no more, oooh
Girl, to tell you the truth, it's always been you
I'm all about you
Oh girl, no one can do me the way you do
It's always been you, I'm all about you
Maybe I'm a fool for speaking up but I don't mind
Cause a girl like you will come around like
Once in a million times
So what do I do, tell me what do I do?
And the look that you are giving me gives me hope to believe
So for you baby I'll change my ways
I'll wear my heart on my sleeve, got nothing to lose
I've got nothing to lose
Oh girl, to tell you the truth, it's always been you
I'm all about you
Oh girl, not one can do me the way you do
It's always been you, I'm all about you
Girl when you smile, there's not a place I'd rather be
Just stay for awhile, and you'll see that you should be right here with me
Cause I love everything you do
That's why I had to take this time baby to tell ya
Oh and now you know..And now you know
Mr. Gordy stares at Bruno, than he turns his gaze over to me. I dart my eyes back and forth. He makes me nervous, I can imaging how Bruno feels. "Are you his girlfriend?" he asks. I don't know what to say. "I---- Yes sir." I say. Bruno is looking back and forth at me and Mr. Gordy, his eyebrows down in a worried expression. "I can see where you get your inspiration from son." he says. My face gets red. Bruno smiles, beaming. He looks at me and I can see so much love in his beautiful brown eyes. Mr. Gordy stands up. "It was a pleasure meeting you, all of you. I'll give you a call." he says. My heart kind of breaks. That didn't sound good. Bruno and Eric look like they're thinking the same thing. He walks out and Bruno collapses next to me. He leans over his lap. I run my fingers through his hair. "I told you! But you're stubborn ass was sooo confident!" I glare at Eric. "Stop yelling at him! You weren't the one up there singing your heart out and having somebody judge you!" I'm shocked at how that came out. I've never gotten mad at Eric, let alone talk back or yell at him. He's shocked too because he shuts up. I can feel Bruno shaking. I lift his head up. "Are you okay?" I ask him, worried out of my mind. "He hated it." He says, looking into my eyes. Now he sounds like me. I shake my head. "Bruno, you can't think like that." He sighs. "I should've just sung where he wanted me to." he says. "Why didn't you?" I ask. He shrugs. "I didn't think I could do it without you there." he says. This is exactly what I was talking about. Everything goes wrong because of me! Instead of confirming to him what I've been saying since I got here, I stand up. "Come on, sitting here's not gonna do us any good." I pull his arms and he stands. Eric looks afraid to talk. Bruno drags his feet. Eric is looking at Bruno, than he stops him. "Look bro, I'm sorry for being so hard on you. I know I get carried away, but it's because I know your talent is huge and I don't want you to waste it." Bruno looks like a huge weight is lifted off his shoulders. Eric pulls him into a quick hug. Bruno smiles, and Eric pushes him. Bruno pushes him back and they start wrestling. I yell at them and they look at me like they're 10 year old boys that are in trouble with their mom. We walk out quietly. The secretary at the desk smiles at us and says "Have a good day!" After walking out of here? Yeah right. The whole way home, Bruno stares out the window. I know he's killing himself, thinking what he could've done different. When it comes to his music, he's a perfectionist. Something could always be better in his mind. Phred is waiting on the steps. "Tell me something good!" he says with a huge grin. Bruno walks past him, shaking his head. Phred's grin disappears. "They said they would give him a call." I say, quietly. Phred makes a face."Oooh that doesn't sound promising at all." My eyes widen and I smack his arm. Bruno doesn't even respond. Eric walks up to Bruno and shoves Phred on his way past. Way to put your foot in your mouth Phredley. "When one door closes, a better one opens. Don't let this get you down bro. It just means we have to work harder and have something bigger to strive for." He says. Bruno nods. "Besides, we don't even know what he's gonna say when he calls." I tell them. They all laugh. My face gets red and I furrow my eyebrows. Bruno touches my chin. "He's not gonna call, that's just their way of saying they're not interested." he says. I cross my arms. "I don't believe that." I say. Eric smirks. "We love that you have so much faith Lena, but Bruno's right. We've been through this enough times to know." I stand my ground. "Not by the way he was looking at Bruno." I say. Bruno hugs me. "This is why I love you so much." He kisses my forehead. Something strong in me just knows they're wrong. But it's no use arguing with 3 stubborn gorillas. I feel my phone vibrate. I wait until Bruno gets distracted talking to the guys to pull it out. My heart races. Brendan. I shove it back in my pocket, but it won't stop vibrating. I tell them I have to go to the bathroom and I run upstairs. "Hello?" "Hi babe." His voice, it feels like I haven't heard it in years. "Hi Brendan." I say, not sure how to feel. "I miss you." he says, sounding sad. I gulp. "I miss you too." "When are you coming home?" he says. My hands are shaking and I almost drop the phone. "Um, I don't know yet..." He stays quiet for a minute. "How's your mom?" he asks. I make a face. "W---what?" "How's your mom..And Joe?" I look at the phone as thought it's going to fix my confusion. "Brendan, you know that I'm not in Brooklyn...What are----" "Oh, so you guys went out of town for the day or something?" I throw my hands in the air. What is he talking about?! "Brendan..You texted me, sayi---" I hear shuffling and moving around and than Adrian's voice comes through the phone. "Lena, How are you doing? How's Brooklyn?" his voice is extra loud and sounds fake. I don't even know what to say. The whole family's gone luney tunes. After a minute, his voice gets low. "Hey Lena, I'm sorry about that...Brendan hasn't been himself for a few days...We’re trying to get him better." Why does he keep saying that? 'Brendan hasn't been himself' From what I can see he's right and Brendan's gone crazy after he texted me pissed off cause he found out I'm in L.A. and now he's acting like that never happened. "What's wrong with him? Do I need to come home?" I say. "NO!" Adrian yells. I jump. "Sorry...No, you don't need to come home. Just...enjoy yourself and don't worry about anything over here. Have fun!" Click. I stare at my phone. I don't even know if I want to go back at all now. Not to a family that belongs in the looney bin. What's wrong with them? I hear the guys coming down the hall. I sit on the couch and turn the t.v. on and act like that's what I've been doing the whole time. Bruno throws himself on top of me and Phred and Eric plop down on the other couch. "Bruno.." I say muffled. "Hmm?" "I can't breathe." I say. "Mhm." he says, and doesn't move. "Bruno!" I scream, kicking my legs. He laughs and gets up. "Don't hurt your inspiration!" Eric says, in a girly voice. Bruno throws a pillow at him. My face gets red. Damn Eric, why did he have to bring that up? Phred laughs. "Shut up Phred!" I yell, and throw Bruno's shoe at him. "What?! I didn't do anything!" he yells. Eric laughs, and Bruno throws his other shoe at him. "What the he---" he gets up and grabs Bruno and Phred grabs me. We’re all laughing and messing around, and for a minute we don't have any problems or disappointment in our lives. I wish that minute could last forever. We all end up in different spots than before. Eric in a chair, Phred on the other couch, and me and Bruno on the floor. He lays on his back, hands behind his head. "So what now E?" Bruno asks, referring to the whole record label meeting. Eric shakes his head. "I don't know yet, but we'll figure something out, we always do." he says. I go to lay next to him, but my mouth starts to water. I get up and run to the bathroom, puking my guts out. I feel someone pull my hair back. I know it's Bruno. "You okay babe?" He asks. I nod, and wipe my mouth. What was that? I haven't even eaten anything. Bruno looks worried. I brush my teeth cause I still feel like throwing up. "I'm fine Bruno." I tell him. I touch his cheek. I stare into his big beautiful brown eyes. I see so much when I look at them. I see all our memories. I see our past. I see our hurt. I see our love. I look away so I don't cry. We sit on the couch. I feel weird but I don't say anything. He keeps looking over at me. "Bruno, I'm okay. It's probably because I haven't eaten all day." I say. "Well let's go get something to eat." He pops up from the couch. "I'm not hungry." I say. He pulls my arms. "Well we are, and you need to eat so let's go!" I groan and reluctantly get up from the couch.
* * * *
"I want that!" Eric says, pointing to a picture of a huge cheeseburger on the menu. Bruno flips to the same page. "Hell yeah! That's what I'm getting too." He says. There's a gleam in their eyes. Boys and food. Phred is still looking over his choices. I have my nose covered. All the smells of the food are making me nauseous. The waitress comes by to take our order. When she gets to me I tell her "Can I just have a 7 Up and crackers?" Bruno stares at me. "You on a diet or something?" he asks, eyebrows raised. Phred and Eric laugh and I throw a pack of sugar at him. "No, I just feel like throwing up." I tell him. "Still?" He asks. I nod. He immediatley gets a worried expression. "I just have an upset stomach or something. I'm fine." I say. She brings us our food and my 7 Up. After I eat the crackers and drink the soda, I start to feel tons better. "See?" I tell him. He doesn't look convinced but he stops looking so worried. Halfway through their meal, my mouth starts to water again. Oh no. I run to the bathroom. I puke and puke and keep puking. I lean against the stall. I feel weak. I get a text from Bruno. 'Are you okay? I'm coming in there!' I text back. 'No Bruno don't come in here, I'm coming out now.' I come out of the bathroom and bump into him. "You need to stop worrying, you're gonna get wrinkles." I tell him and run my fingers through his hair. He rubs his thumb across my cheek. "I'll never stop worrying about you, whether your in my life or out." he says. He leans down to kiss me but I push him off. He looks at me hurt. "I just threw up, I don't think you want all that in your mouth." I say. He makes a face. "Ugh, definetely not!" I push him and laugh. We walk back to the table. "She's alive!" Phred says. Bruno punches him and sits down. "Owww..." Phred says softly, holding his arm. The rest of the meal goes on as usual, the guys rippin on each other, laughing, shoving food down their throats. I sit there, not really talking much. I just want to lay down. When we got back to Bruno's, I lay on his bed and curl up under the blanket. He lays on top of me, kissing my neck. His hands start to go up my shirt but I push them back down. He tries again. "Bruno stop, I really don't feel good." He rolls onto his back. "Ugh." he says, mad. I don't care. That's the last thing I wanna do right now. My stomach flips and turns. A knock at the door makes me jump. A bang is more like it. Bruno hops up from the bed and answers it. I hear another man's voice. He sounds mad. I can hear Bruno, but can't make out what he's saying. I don't want to eavesdrop but I can't take it. I tip toe to the doorway and peek out. Bruno has his head down, rubbing the back of his neck. The man he's talking to is tall, with a very unhappy expression. "I gave you 2 weeks Hernandez. You said you would have it." "I know, I'll have it, I just need a little more time." He says. He's talking quietly and I know he doesn't want me to hear. "If you don't have it by Friday, you're out." The door slams and Bruno rubs his eyebrows. I run back to the bed and pretend I'm asleep. It all hits me. He really is going to lose his apartment. It's not that I didn't believe him, but being with him makes me forget all sense of reality and it takes something like this to bring me back. He lays down next to me. I feel his arms wrap around my waist and he buries his face in my neck. His breath tickles me. After a minute he says, "Lena, you can stop pretending now." My eyes fly open. I turn to look at him. His brown eyes are twinkling, but I can see the sadness behind it. "I wasn't pretending." I tell him, unconvincinly. He smirks. "Yeah and your eyelids weren't fluttering either." He says. I laugh. "Okay I was pretending." I say. He kisses me. "How are you gonna get the money?" I ask him. He buries his face in my neck again. "I don't knooowww." He has his eyes closed. His grip around me tightens. "It doesn't even matter..As long as I got you. That's all I need." he says. That should make me feel on top of the world. So why doesn't it? I feel my mouth water. I run and make it to the bathroom just in time. After I'm done puking, I lay on the bathroom floor. I don't want to move. I feel myself drifting off to sleep.
* * * *
I open my eyes and look around. I'm back in Bruno's bed. It's starting to get dark. Did I just sleep the whole day away? I get up and search for Bruno. I hear him singing. I follow his voice and find him on the balcony. "At night when the stars light up my room, I sit by myself, Talking to the moon, trying to get to you, in hopes your on the other side, talking to me too, or am I a fool, who sits alone, talking to the moon" I almost don't want to walk out there, I feel like I would be intruding. He stops playing and turns around. He smiles, showing his gorgeous dimples that make me weak in a second. He reaches out his hand. "Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you." I say. He makes a face. "Lena shut up and come here!" I slowly walk out onto the balcony. He pulls me towards him and sits me on his lap. "Do you feel better?" he asks, moving the hair out of my face. I shrug. "I guess, I mean I don't feel like throwing up at the moment." I say. "Maybe it was like a one day flu thing." he says. I agree. He stares at me, with this look in his eyes. My face gets red. He used to do this all the time, but when I would look at him he would look away. "Bruno, stop staring at me." I say, and try to cover my face. "No." he pulls my hands down. His eyes peer into mine. "Why can't I ever just look at you?" He says. "Because..Why would you want to?" I say. He lets my hands go and backs away from me. Now I did it. He shakes his head. "I can tell you til I'm blue, purple, green with stripes and poka dots, and you just won't believe me. I can't understand why you don't see that your amazing just the way you are." I don't respond. I never know how to respond when he says things like that to me. "I'll make you see one day, don't worry." he says, lifting my chin. He stares in my eyes for a long time, than kisses me. He leaves his lips close to mine and softly sings "Cause you're amazing, just the way you are." I get weak and those butterflies start fluttering in my stomach. Without saying a word, he picks me up, kissing me the whole way to his room. He lays me down on the bed, and for the first time, I let him have all of me with no objection in my mind, no internal battle, no thinking....Just me. As he breathes in my neck I hear him say "I love you." "I love you too." It comes out effortlessly, and I mean it with all my heart and soul. In the middle of all of this, my phone vibrates somewhere on the bed. "Just leave it baby." he says. I find it with my hand, and instead of looking at it like I always do, I throw it. He smiles and kisses me more eager than before. "Can we pretend this is our first time?" I say in his ear. He looks at me. "Why?" I kiss him. "Just go with it." I whisper. He licks his lips and smiles. "And I will go real slow with it." He breathes....