'no! i refuse to get caught up in your silly games! besides, i don't think three month olds are allowed in bruno mars concerts.' i pouted at the thought of mellie not being able to come with me to my very first bruno mars concert. but i guess being the fanatic that i was had led me to overly wishful thinking... i've been needing nothing but bruno mars fixes for the past few months; fanfiction, underground music, fanware... my mind was clouded with thoughts of him. but this woldn't stop me from using a thorough thought process to decide to perchase meet and greet tickets online; there was no way i could go another day without seeing this man in person...
"but i thought billy absolutely hated bruno mars...' i watched the expression on her face darken as she thought of billy's reaction to my attending this concert. dana was right. billy wasn't at all fond of bruno for reasons i wasn't aware of. whenever the name was mentioned he got this strange expression on his face that resembled nausea, then it would turn red and he would excuse himself from wherever he was. a meet and greet with his knowledge was inconcievable. i sauntered over to dana, hoping she would anticipate what would be coming next and be on my side with the matter.
"which is why i need you." i said plainly. "just convince him it's something else for a few hours while i sneak into new york, then sneak back out home. oh- have him run a fool's errand for you or soomething! he seems to be in love with you lately!' i laughed at the thought, but dana grew quiet and her face was drained of all color. i rolled my eyes ather to ease her unusual tension and she accepted the gesture and returned to normal. dana put her hands on her hips. but this wasn't her defensive pose, oh no. believe it or not, this was her thougthful pose. i felt hope rise inside of me and explode when she slumped her sholders and gave me her puppy eyes. she had given in. i jumped up and ran to her, embracing her tightly and swinging her back and forth in my arms.
'hon...you keep squeezin me like this...you're gonna have to find someone else to be your decoy' i giggled and let her go. i definetely couldn't find a replacement for a concert that was the next day...
"danielle? danielle, where are you going so dressed up like that?' it felt strange having billy be concerned about something that had to do with me; he hadn't been for a long time. Which is one of the main reasons i resorted to chaneling my love for billy to bruno... the lonely nights were filled with bruno's music, the heartache soothed by his voice. there was just something about him...
'i'm meeting an old friend in new york; it shouldn't take but a few hours.' i sat at my vanity waiting for his response, trying my best to keep up my poker face. dana just had to keep the fecade going be recieving 'calls' from me every few hours updating them on when i'd be home. billy looked at me, his penitrating grey eyes scrutinizing my face, seeming to be checking for signs that what i was saying was simply part of a rouse, then, just shrugged and walked away. i sighed deeply and continued to slowly put my makeup on. i didn't know why at the time, but i felt so uneasy around billy; he seemed almost...dangerous. inside i was going insane, afraid of what might happen. it was strange...
i got into my car. placing my purse next to me and setting up my blackberry for navigation. my heart was pounding at the prospect of meeting the man who's made me feel so whole since me better half has all but abandoned me. i looked around at my house before pulling out and noticed that all of the staff seemed to be staring out of windows at me as i pulled off; their glares sending chills down my spine all the way until i left the extensive driveway. i shrugged it off because i'd never been this far from home before...
i pulled into the parking lot of the venue and stepped out of my car slowly, knowing that my nerves made me clumsy; i had never been so excited to be anywhere in my life. i watched as crowds of people crowded in. i made my way to my third-row seat and chatted with some fans about the songs he would sing, when the band, starting with phil and ending with phredley grouped onto the stage and started adjusting their equipment, waiting for bruno. my heart was pounding so loudly i thought anyone could hear it over the huge crowd. this was the moment i'd been waiting for for what seemed like my whole life. then, before i knew it, there he was. it was such a rush; between him and his interacting with the audience, his voice, his charm, i couldn't take it in fast enough.
'good thing i'll have more time to take things in during the meet and greet...' i thought to myself as song after song he wowed the crowd.
he ended the show with talking to the moon. i watched him as he slowly made his way to center stage where the microphone was. he seemed so...serene. after all of the dancing and fun with moments like this being far and in between, he took the time to make this one very special.
"you guys...i just wanted you to know, that this song is for someone special...someone that's been lost to me for a year now, and i just want them to know... that i know they're still out there...that im gonna find them...someday." he started the song softly and sweetly...
"i know you're somewhere out there...somewhere far away...i want you back...i want you back..."
i drank in every word he sang. whoever this person was that he was singing to, they must've really touched his life...he sang with a pain in his heart that i was...deep down inside...all too familiar with. that's why i identified with his music....it was me. he knew the same kind of happiness and grief that i did... dealt with life like i did....i could feel it all in his music. his eyes were scanning the crowd...one side, to the other. then his gaze fell upon me. my heart stopped. it was fortunate for him that it was the part of the song where the background could carry most of the song, because bruno wasn't saying anything. i felt....not the way i expected. instead of excited, happy, elated, i felt...relief. relief mixed with bitter fear and anguish. i felt a knot form in my stomach as he continued, reluctantly, to sing the song. before i was ready for it, the song had ended. he stepped back silently from the microphone, paused, then walked off stage.
"he usually doesn't do that," someone said to me.
"maybe he really meant it this time..." i said offhandedly.
i was sent to a room backstage to wait for bruno. i had recieved an e-mail saying that, although he usually does meetings with fans before shows, due to personal reasons, he would do this one with me afterwards. i didn't care, especially now that seeing him stirred up all of these strange emotions, i had to know why...
i sat back and waited for fifteen minutes before hearing someone outside of the door- phredley.
"you gotta do it man. you can't just not show up"
"oh yeah? watch me." i was becoming unnerved. he was thinking about not meeting me. "look, i could've possibly dragged my ass through another meeting just to leave yet another fan dissapointed, but.."
"i thought i saw her tonight...in the crowd. i thought i saw-" i heard bruno's voice get thick with emotion. "i just don't know... but you're right man. i'll get straightened up and do the damn thing..." he gave a weak chuckle at this along with phred.
"good. cause the fan you're meeting probably heard everything we just said.
"hmm? and how's that?"
"she's right this door." i heard nothing after that, just footsteps. then the door opened slowly. i quickly stood up and watched as bruno slowly stepped in.
"hey bruno i’m-"
"danielle" he breathed. something in me stirred when he said my name, i smiled and took a half step forward before bruno rushed over to me and took me in his arms for a long and hard embrace. what was he thinking? did he treat all of his fans like this? when he loosened his grasp a half a millimeter i pulled away from him and stared with my mouth wide open.
"i'm sorry but...what exactly was that for?" i asked, slightly short of breath. burno looked confused as i backed slowly away from him; i sat down and prayed that he wouldn't try something like that again....i didn't think i'd be able to take it very well.
"danny, what are you talking about? don't you miss me? don;t you want to go home?" i started to want to go home. bruno seemed to have gone insane and i was ready to leave when he slowly came over to me and looked deep into my eyes. his large brown eyes boring into mine was both making my body become cool and stiff with fear, and melting me insoode all at once.
"you really don't...remember me....do you?" i shook my head slowly and he sat down in the seat opposite of mine, burying his head in his hands. "i'm sorry...i thought....i thought you were someone else." i could hear him sniffle as the tears began to stream from his eyes. i slowly stood up, not wanting to provoce any sudden reactions from him, and crossed the room to get down on both of my knees in front of him. i gently took his hands away from his face. he looked at me... like he really knew me, and somehow i knew him. i wiped the tears from his eyes.
"my name is danielle. danielle flynn. but my maiden name was miles. what was her name?" bruno looked at me, like the answer was printed in my eyes, then put his head down.
"her name was..." he siged heavily. "gracie" i looked up with a small smile on my lips.
"hey...that's my daughter's middle name. well, one of her middle names-"
"wait...you have a daughter?"
"yup. just made three months old last tuesday." he stared at me in wide-eyed disbelief. i couldn't help but giggle at his expression.
"would you like to see a picture of her?"
"sure" i reached into my pocket and pulled out a recent picture of melodie. i handed it to bruno and watched the expression on his face change slowly from mostly composed to pure shock.
"something wrong?" i asked.
"i have a daugh-... i'm a..." he said in a voice just above a whisper.
"what i meant was. i have a kid too. a son" my smile grew wider at the thought of bruno mars being a dad. i sat in front of him on the floor with my legs crossed like a little kid. i had to hear more.
"what's his name?"
"michael." i could see the fondness he had for the child in his eyes as he said his name.
"may i see a picture?" he pulled a crumpled picture from his pocket and handed it to me. i stared in wonder at the beautiful child in the picture. his large green eyes shined in the light of the setting sun on a beach as he made a muscle pose for the camera; his two front teeth missing from his big grin. his light brown skin was shimmering slightly; he must've just gotten out of the water. he was just so adorable...
"how old is he?"
"just turned five last month."
"is the woman you're looking for....is that his mom?" bruno nodded. i wanted to know...why i remind him so much of her?
"what...what was she like? your..."
"she's my wife." i glanced down at his hand to notice that he was, in fact, wearing a silver band around his finger.
"what's the bottom stone for?"
"just a reminder"
"of..." he laughed. i guess he thought it was funny that i need things this thoroughly explained to me...but i did.
"just to remind me...that she was different. our wedding bands weren't the same and i made sure that they weren't. 'cause she's different and that's why i love her."
"how was she different?" i pulled the chair from across room next to his and sat down. i had a feeling we'd be talking for awhile...
"when i met her....i was used to what kind of girls fame would bring me. the flamboyant, out-there type, or the "i'm just a deep girl. always." type, y'know? and then, here she comes, this open, opinionated...not filtered whatsoever...just...really wanted to know....me." he sounded so amazed by her like he just met her. everything he described about her was wonderous and amazing to him.
"she seems like a really nice person."
"she was...but you know what i miss the most about her?"
"what?" i asked softly.
"how every morning, she would turn over, look at me, and smile. every morning. even if we had a fight the night before. and i miss...her voice, her laugh. but mostly, her touch. not the all that rubbin' and feelin' each other and stuff but just simply...her touch. when she held me...it was like nothing mattered; like everything was cured when she put her arms around me...i'd give anything...anything to have that back." i reached over and held his hand; now, more than ever it seemed like he would need an understanding person....a comforting touch.
"where is she?" he sighed and gave my hand a slight squeeze.
"she was taken....the night we were married. she wanted this shotgun wedding in vegas more than anything, so we went. when we came back, we had to take our son to the hospital for a leaukimia scare-"
"scare? so he's okay?" he smiled at my sudden concern. i blushed; my reaction seeming to be a bit much for me.
"yeah. michael's fine danielle. it was just a bruise he'd forgotten about from awhile ago."
"oh...sorry, go on."
"that night, when we came home from the hospital...someone that had been stalking her just...broke in and dragged her out of our home."
"and you didn't try to find her afterwards? did you even fight?" why was i so mad? it might not've been his fault...
"i tried...but the guy that took her...he wasn't alone. he couldn't have been, to find his way there."
"so who was with him?"
"why would her brother...do something like that?"
"he never wanted us to be together. he hated the thought of her always with me, especially seeing that we had gotten married....he threatened to kill me if i ever tried to find her. but i still tried."
"what happened?" he chuckled dryly and looked out at nothing in particular....
"what do you think? i got my ass kicked. i was searching everywhere. i was heading to a place she might've been, when i was ambushed by a bunch of guys who damn near killed me. they threatened me again that if i tried one more time, there would be no almost; i'd be killed without a doubt."
"so you haven't seen her since?" bruno shook his head. i felt so sorry for him. it seemed so unfair for such a good guy to be put through all of this.
"i'm so sorry... maybe my husband could help you find her someday..."
"yeah. his name's billy."
"billy... wait. william?!?!?!" i sat up and back aways from bruno. his reaction made me jump as he said billy's full name. what was so bad about it...?
"yeah...you know him?"
"kinda...and i definetely don't want his help." he calmed down and put his head in his hands again; i wiggled my fingers into the palm of one of his hands and held it. he looked up at me, then, strangely enough, leaned in to kiss me. i didn't stop him. i ran my fingers through his hair as he held me close to his warm body. what was making me do this? what compelled me to let this man get to me this way? i let these questions wander off to another part of my mind until bruno pulled away from me. a single tear fell from his eyes as he stepped away from me and opened the door; our time together was over.
"it was nice meeting you danielle." he said softly.
"same here." and with that i walked slowly out of the door, leaving bruno alone in that room.
i raced home after i left the concert and realized that it was eleven thirty. i was supposed to start calling dana at nine forty-five; but dana wasn't calling to check on me, so i started to worry even more. at twelve i pulled into the garage after i saw that all of lights were out and i started to tip toe into the back door. it seemed like where ever i stepped was creaking louder than usual, clicking clacking, shifting...as an alarm for my arrival. i stepped into the hallway and thought i was home free, when i heard a voice behind me...
"where have you been danny?"
i slowly turned to face billy, fully dressed like i saw him this morning, and prayed that it would all just dissapear.
"i said, WHERE, HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!" he yelled, shaking the whole hallway. my eyes were darting around the area, searching for a means of escape, when i noticed a small form behind step aside and into the dim light.
"i'm so sorry danny..." dana sobbed as billy gave her a silencing glare.
"he was gonna hurt us if i didn't talk..." she sobbed. billy shoved her into a wall, holding her there by her throat.
"didn't i tell you to shut up?!?!?!?!" he screamed. she cried harder but said nothing else. i watched as she sank to the ground in tears.
"wait billy- who's us?"billy said nothing, but i watched dana in horror as she put her hand protectively on her stomach. my heart stopped as i realized who 'us' was.
"billy...how could you?" i felt the tears well up in my eyes. it didn't take a genius to figure out that billy was the one to get dana pregnant. i was hurt; i felt more alone now more than ever, but now...the anger sank in-deep. i stormed over to billy and slapped him hard across the face. he slapped me back without hesitation. i held the afflicted cheek and gasped. he shrugged and walked over to where dana was and gently helped her up.
"why wouldn't i danny? why?! she wouldn't go behind my back to buy damned bruno mars tickets behind my back! you saw him, in person, didn't you?!?!?! what did he say to you?!?!"
"nothing! it was ten god-damned minutes and you're mad at me for that! i love you billy and you go and do this to me?!?" i stormed into my room without the sound of steps behind me. i cried myself to sleep that night. i woke up about two hours later to the sound of someone knocking at my door. i gave no answer. i heard the door open and heard someone step next to my bed.
"im so sorry sug." i said nothing as she took my hand and held it tight. i knew this wasn't her fault. billy could get into anyone's head easily. i know she meant what she said. i turned over and smiled.
"it's fine babe. but i think... i need to be alone right now." she nodded her head, but before turning to leave, reached into her pocket and took out a ring.
"billy wanted me to get rid of it when you first got here, but i thought someday you would need it." she placed the ring in my hand and closed my fingers around it.
"i think today's the day." she left me alone and the lonliness i felt inside was to great to bear. i got up out of bed, but on a pair of beat-up jeans and a sweatshirt and walked out of the house to go to my car. before getting in, i looked up at my grand home. no, not my home... my prison. i was kept here a prisoner of my emotions and billy knew it. i couldn't stay anymore. i decided to take a drive to clear my mind and figure out how i would tell him...that i was leaving.
i drove for awhile down familiar winding roads; past huge expances of forest and plain open fields where i occasionaly took melodie to get some sunshine. melodie...the only remnant of the love that billy and i once had...i drove on thinking about what billy could be doing right now...alone in a house with the daughter he knew he could never love. i saw so much pain in his eyes when he looked at her....what would he do with me not there to protect her? my heart raced at the thought of billy taking his pain, frustraction, and anger out on my daughter. i could take no more; i made a sharp u-turn and hit the accelerator. i was just too afraid for my child's life. my mind was racing, spinning, making my whole world a blur. i tried to squint my eyes to make the lines of the road more defined, but nothing worked. i began to swerve and swivel, until i saw headlights coming my way...straight towards me.
"oh god no. please-"
all i saw...was light.
"mrs flynn...mrs.flynn can you hear me?"
i woke up to the sound of beeping machines and someone calling my name. i slowly opened my eyes to see where i was. i was definetly in a hospital; it was extremly bright and...sterile. a doctor who was fairly young for his practice, was standing over me with a clipboard in his hands. i started to sit up, and saw that a needle was in my arm, connected to a bag of clear fluid.
"ah, i see sleeping beauty has woken up; not that you were out very long." i shook my head, trying to remember how i got here in the first place.
"you were in a car crash; everyone's fine though. just some minor cuts and scrapes. the only reason you were kept here, though, was because it was technicly your fault that the crash happened we had to make sure you were....physicaly stable."
"so.... am i stable?"
"see, that's the thing mrs. flynn. we did a tox screening to make sure you weren't under the influence of any drugs that might have caused you to lose control and crash...and we found something very...disturbing."
he told me about how they found a drug....an illegal drug in my system. it was some sort of memory suppressant. considering that it was only sold on the black market and used on kiddnapping victims so they don't remember who they were or where they came from, it was quite the enigma as to how i got so much of it in my system.
"so what you're saying is...the life i know...may not be the life i had? what is my memory gone forever?"
"no, not in the least. the only good thing about this drug is that it's... it treats your brain like a computer. but, instead of letting you view your files, this medication hides them, making a sort of 'fake-space' for new memory...even though the old files are stll there. do you understand?" i slowly nodded my head. he smiled.
"but don't worry. a few days of detox and you should have your old memories back. this drug is very much in it's infantile stages of development and isn't very resistant to modern medicine, but, mrs. flynn, this drug has been given medical exceptions legally for those who've been through extreme amounts of trauma in their lives. so if your mental health records clear with us, would you want to start the detox?" i couldn't take anymore; no more secrets, no more lies. i would know everything.
"Ready when you are doc." he nodded turned to leave the room. i reached out to grab his white lab coat.
"wait. could i ask you a favor?"
"sure mrs flynn, anything."
"dont...dont tell my husband...about this."
"sure mrs.flynn i understand." as he left the room, i reached down into my jeans that were balled up in a chair by my bedside and pulled out the ring that dana had given me the night of the crash. i remembered that pattern of stones from somewhere...
"bruno..." was he a part of this? i sighed...only one way to find out.
let the healing process begin...
"now mrs. flynn-"
"please ms. miles for now."
"okay...ms. miles... how long back can you remember your...life...in general?" i thought for awhile...all i remember was billy...talking with him...laughing with him...but there must be more...
"i see that it's too soon to start psychological evaluation...we'll try again in a few more days. i nodded my head; nothing could describe my eagerness to escape this nightmare...
"i think i'm starting to feel a lot better. i remember... i live in new york...in an amazing apartment...
"that's good that's very good, ms. miles. now-"
"wait..y'know what else i remember?"
"what is that?" i glanced down at the lovey ring that adorned my finger, its red, black,, and single diamond shining brightly under the flourecent lights. i smiled at my most recent memory.
"my son and i were pretty fond of bruno mars..."
"now are you sure you're ready to go home ms. miles?"
"i've never been more ready to do anything in my life."
"well, when you're ready for the police to get involved..." i had prepared myself for this; billy was a psychotic criminal-officialy, for what he had done to me. there where police and lawers ready to jump at him and shut him down. all i had to do...was act like nothing had happened.
"just get your daughter, and get the hell outta there." i nodded my head. i walked out of the hospital triumphantly- i had won. now all there was left to do...was get my baby.
"please have the same number...please have the same number..." i jumped into my repaired car and snatched up my phone. after dialing, it rang for what seemed like hours, then someone picked up...
"hey! phil it's-"
"danielle?!? where the hell are you?!?"
"look, you can't know that...right now...just know that i'm okay...and tell bruno...i'm coming home..."