Chapter 29

22/07/2011 08:52

She flips her hair and looks at one of her nails. My fists are clenched and all I want to do is attack her face and rip that smile off. "Baby what ha--" Bruno stops in the middle of his sentence when he sees her. She slowly gets up, swinging her long legs over the side of the bed. I know she's wearing that tiny dress on purpose. She crosses one leg over the other and I feel like scratching Bruno's eyes out because I see him look her up and down. "How did you get in here?" he asks, coldly. She makes a pouty face. "Is that any way to talk to me after I paid--" "CLAUDIA!" he yells. I hate the way her name sounds coming out of his mouth. She looks from me to him, than gets a sly smile. "She doesn't know." she says, a statement, not a question. He glares at her. "Get out." he says. She giggles. "Who's gonna make me?" I leap towards her but Bruno catches me. The only comprehendable words that I scream are fuck you and bitch. When I get mad, the ghetto in me comes out, and I can't control it. The commotion brings Ahmity and Phred to the bedroom. Ahmity grabs me and tries to calm me down. Phred and Bruno go in the bedroom and shut the door. I run towards it and kick and punch it screaming at the top of my lungs how much I'll beat the fuck out of her bitch ass. Ahmity grabs my shoulders and shakes me. "Lena, stop getting so heated over a BITCH!" She yells. My face I know is beat red and I'm breathing heavy. "Who the fuck is she anyway?!" I shake my head, and the tears feel hot as they roll down my cheeks. I hate that I cry when I get so mad. Before I have a chance to explain, the door opens and they all walk out. Her face is red, and her jaw is clenched. Phred has her by the arm, pushing her towards the front door. Bruno rubs the back of his head, sighing deeply. I try to jump at her, but him and my sister grab me. "Who knew someone so tiny would be so hard to hold back." Bruno says, wrapping his arms tightly around my waist. "LET ME GO BRUNO!" I scream in his face. "No, not until you calm down." he says. I wriggle and try to get out of his grasp. I try kneeing him in his stuff but he dodges it and picks me up like a baby. I throw myself back and almost fall out of his arms. "LENA!" Ahmity runs towards me and I feel her hands on my shoulders again. Them holding me down is only making me angrier and makes me try to get out of their grasp even more. I start thrashing around so they let me go, when Bruno gets tired of it. He pushes me against the wall. "ALENA! CALM THE FUCK DOWN SO I CAN TALK TO YOU!!" I glare at him, my breath coming out quick and ragged. He's called me Alena maybe twice in our whole lives. That's the only thing that makes me stop. He leans his forehead against mine. Once my breathing goes back to normal, he pulls away. Ahmity watches with so many questions that I know I'll have to answer later. Phred tries to act like he's not paying attention, I know, to put me at ease. "Sit down." Bruno orders me. I swing my fist to punch him. How dare he try to tell me what to do, but he catches my arm. "Lena, sit your ass down or I swear to God..." I rip my arm away from his grip and sit on the couch. Phred lightly touches Ahmity's arm and says something quietly to her. A few seconds later, they both disappear into the bedroom next to Bruno's. I sit there, waiting for him to talk.. "I didn't know she would show up here." he says. "What did she pay Bruno?" I ask him. He closes his eyes for a minute. "My rent Lena...That's all." "She paid your rent and you got surprised that she showed up here? What did you promise her, cause I know she didn't do it out of the kindness of her heart?!" I yell. "" He mumbles something. "One what?" "ONE DATE!" You have got to be kidding me. I stare at him with the dirtiest look I can pull out of me. "I needed the money and there was no one else I could go to! I figured if I took her out to dinner or something, it would seem like she wasn't just handing over the money for nothing." "So a date would fix things with her, but what about me?! Did you think I was just going to be okay with you taking that fuckin slut out like she's your girlfriend or something!?" I hold back the stupid tears that want to fall. "You told me you were done with her." I say. "Babe I am!" "NO! No, you're not! If you're calling her for money and taking her on dates, than you're obviously not done with her!" I yell. He rubs his forehead. "Lena, I'm sorry...But it was my last resort. I didn't know what else to do." "You couldn't come to me?" "Are you kidding me?! I would never ask you pay my rent, or anything for that matter!" "Why not? What's so wrong with that?" I ask. He shakes his head. "It needs to be the other way around. I'm supposed to be the one buying you stuff." he says. I make a face. "You know material things don't matter to me! You know that's not the kind of person I am! Bruno, I would of handed over the money no problem." "No." is all he says. "So now this bitch gets a date with you all because you didn't have the balls to ask your GIRLFRIEND for money?!" He snaps his head up. Yeah, that felt weird. Girlfriend. It's never been said out loud before. It's never been 'official'. "Girlfriend?" he says, with a small smile. "Don't change the fuckin subject Bruno!" "DAMMIT LENA! IT'S FUCKIN DINNER, IT'S NOT EVEN CONSIDERED A DATE! IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL" Did he really just say that to me? "Well you have fun at 'dinner', don't expect to see me when you get back." I say and jump up from the couch. I'm halfway out the front door, when Ahmity grabs my arm. "Let me go!" I try to pull away from her. "Lena stop! You can't just keep running away everytime something goes wrong! It doesn't fix anything..." Her words hit me like a ton of bricks, even though I already know this. Her eyes plead with me. I look at Bruno, sitting on the couch with his head down. Phred is leaning against the doorway, looking anywhere but my direction. "Aqui no puedo quedar...Me tengo que ir." I tell her. "Y que va pasar cuando te vas? Todavia vas a tener el mismo problema. A donde vas a ir?..." she tells me. I look at Bruno. His hands are clasped behind his head, and he's not moving. I know he's trying to figure out what were saying. He's gotten pretty good at it, being around me and my family our whole lives. Plus him being half Puerto Rican, I've told him it's in his blood. "Mama's, please....At least try and work it out before you go running off again. I won't be able to handle it. Were back together, and I don't ever want to lose you, It's happened too many times." How can I go anywhere after that? Even if in my heart I truly wanted to, I wouldn't leave. I close the door, and Bruno lifts his head. I walk over and sit on the opposite couch. We stare at each other. He watches me, expectantly. "You're not going anywhere with her. I don't care what she did for you, or wants to do for you, there will be no 'dates' or 'dinner' or 'little favors'. If I find out any of this goes on behind my back, I will leave and take my sister with me and I promise you'll never see me again." Phred cries out softly "No!" and shakes his head. I stare at him and he puts his hand up like 'sorry' and backs away into the bedroom. "If she shows her face here again, I will fuckin break and you or anyone else will not hold me back." His eyebrows are raised and he's barely breathing. "You told me she was out of your life, so prove it." I say to him. He continues to stare at me. I do the same thing. After a minute, he bolts up from the couch and grabs me. He gives me the most intense kiss I think I've ever felt from him in my life. I don't even try to fight it because it's impossible. His cologne smell, his tongue, his hands in my hair. I could do this forever and never get tired. He pulls away and were both a little out of breath. "Where the hell has 'that' Lena been hiding?" he asks, tracing my bottom lip with his thumb. "You piss her off enough times and here she is." I say, laughing a little. He picks me up and buries his face in my hair. "I'm sorr--" "Please don't say you're sorry." I cut him off. "Just, please promise me that this is the last I'll ever see that wreched women." I say. He laughs. "I promise you my love. You're the only one for me, it's always been you, I'm all about you." He says, rubbing his nose with mine. My life consists of drama filled nonsense that no matter how hard I try to, I can never get away from. But Ahmity's right. I can't just keep running away from it. He puts me down. "Well, that was a nice welcome home present." He says. I smack his arm, and he pulls away, laughing. Ahmity has a satisfied smile on her face. I look at her and roll my eyes. "Don't say a word." I tell her. She throws her hands in the air. "I wasn't going to!" We both laugh and Phredley peeks out of the room. "Bro, she doesn't bite....Well, unless I tell her to." Bruno says, and runs away from me cause he knows I'm going to go after him. He laughs and comes out. Ahmity immediately gets red in the face and she keeps playing with her hair. Phred has this goofy smile on his face as he stares at her. I can see the spark between them so strong. I smile as I watch him say something to her and her whole face lights up as they get into another deep conversation. The all too familiar damn buzzer goes off and makes me jump like it always has. Bruno runs towards it. "What?" I giggle, remembering how rudely he answers it. "Open the door with yo punk ass." Eric's voice fills the apartment. "And if I don't?" Bruno says, with a sly smile. The buzzer goes off and doesn't stop. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! I cover my ears. "Bruno open it!" I yell. He presses the button and makes a face. "Asshole." he says. I laugh, excited to see E. "Was that...Eric?" Ahmity asks. I smile and nod my head. She starts to fidget and mess with her clothes. I look at her strangely. When she sees I notice what she's doing, she stops. The door burts open and Eric strolls in. He walks right past Bruno and Phred and picks me up in his arms. "Hi Eric." I say, smiling. "I told you not to ever fuckin do that to me again kid." He says. "Sorry." I say. "I'm just glad your okay and for that, you get a huge Panda Hug." "What's a p----OH!" He squeezes me with all his might, and I really can't breath. I feel my face turn red. He lets go right when I start to feel dizzy. He ruffles my hair. He starts to say something, but stops. I turn around to see what he's looking at. Ahmity. He slowly walks up to her. "Ahmity?" he says. Her face gets beat red, and she looks like she wants to cry. I look back and forth between them. Like in a love movie, he slowly reaches out and touches her face and a tear falls from her eye. He wipes it away. Phred's eyebrows are furrowed, and he keeps shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "What..What are you doing here?" he asks. "Um....I--c-c-ame with L-l-lena----" She stutters and she sounds like she did after her accident. My heart starts to race. I watch them, waiting to see what happens next. "I thought I was never going to see you again." He says. He brushes a strand of hair away from her face, the way Bruno does to me all the time. I feel his hand on my waist. I look up at him, and he looks just as confused as me and Phred. Eric's phone rings, but he ignores it. "You look....different." He tells her. She tries to look down, but he lifts her chin. Phred's phone rings and he answers it. "Yeah?" he says. His eyes widen. I don't know who to look at, Ahmity and Eric, or Phredley. "Yes sir...I have him right here with me. I apologize sir..... There's no need to raise voices now....Okay shutting up sir." He says, and presses his lips together. After a minute, he hangs up. "Aye bro, that was Mr. Gordy.." he says to Eric. Bruno snaps his head around. "What did he say?" Bruno asks. "He wants you and E to go down there. He sounds.....crazy mad." He says. Bruno sighs, than nods. He kisses me. "I'll be home later baby...YOU BETTER BE HERE WHEN I GET BACK!" He says. I laugh, kissing him back. "E.." Bruno calls Eric. He doesn't move. Him and Ahmity are just staring at each other. "I think you need to go.." Ahmity tells him, softly. He takes one last long look at her, than turns around. The 3 of them rush out the door, slamming it behind them. I slowly turn in her direction. She avoids looking at me. "Explain. Now!" I tell her. She looks at her feet, than finally up at me. "There's nothing to tell.." she says in a high voice. "AHMITY!" "Okay! Okay!...Jeez, don't yell at me." She says. "We had......a thing." She says. "What kind of thing?" I ask, lowering my eyebrows. "Just a thing..." she says. "Ahmity, don't make me ask a million times." I say, knowing my sister. She grins a little. "Alright....When I was 15, I kinda started to have a crush on him. But I never said anything cause I thought he wouldn't like me back. Well, one day him and Bruno were over, like they always were....And you and Bruno disappeared, like you always did." She says, and we both laugh. "He kept staring at me, and it made me nervous." I nod, knowing exactly what she's talking about. "He asked me what was wrong? I told him nothing, he said Than why do you keep messing with your hair like that?" She gets this far away look and she smiles a little. "I told him to shut up. And him being the mature one, said... You shut up." I smirk, knowing that that's exactly what Eric would say. "I told him, Make me and before the words were even done coming out of my mouth, He kissed me." My jaw drops, even though I knew that's what she was going to say. "Lena, I had never been kissed like that before in my life! His lips were so soft, and gentle but at the same time there was this eagerness and passion." I laugh. Wow, him and Bruno even kiss the same. Maybe it's a musician thing. But to be honest, I think it's a Hernandez thing. I smile as she gets the lovey dovey look. "We heard you guys coming down the stairs and acted like nothing happened. We never did anything in public. We kind of had, a secret relationship I guess you could call it......" She pauses, her face serious. "What Ahm?" I ask, cautiously. "I lost my virgintiy to him." She says. My heart beats fast. "Ahm, why didn't you tell me, about any of it? You guys didn't have to sneak around.." She shakes her head. "I know me and Eric weren't compatible as a couple. And I was okay with that. We both kind of liked hiding from everybody, it was kind of like, a thrill." She says, her eyes glowing. I half smirk. They would like that kind of stuff. "We went on like that for a year. I could feel myself falling in love with him more and more every day, but I was afraid to tell him. I thought it would end what we had, and I wouldn't be able to handle that. I convinced myself that the attention and affection he gave me was enough, even if it was behind closed doors." She says. My heart aches. Being in love with someone but not telling them in fear they won't feel the same was my life for years. I hate that she was going through it too. If she would of told me, at least we could've gone through it together. "So what ended up happening?" I ask, in anticipation. "It got to the point where I couldn't hold it in. When I would see him talking to girls or flirting with them, I would go crazy, where before it would bother me, but I would just look the other way and ignore it. I finally broke down and told him." I gasp softly. I don't even want to hear the next part. I don't want to feel the pain she probably felt when he didn't feel the same. "He felt the same." She says. This time I gasp out loud. "Whaaaaaa?!" She smiles. "It was like I was free from these chains that were binding me, I was so happy." I smile with her, my heart feeling light, going through the emotions as she tells them. "So, wait, I don't get it? How come you never told me? Or anyone? I never knew you guys were together." I say. She looks down, playing with her bracelet. "3 days later Papi died." She says, quietly. It's like the whole apartment comes crashing down. The heaviness I feel is unexplainable. I can't even imagine how Ahmity felt. "Ahm--" She shakes her head. "He tried to be there for me, but I shut down. Nobody could get through to me, you know that." She says. I relive those past few days after the funeral, remembering Ahmity being mute, with no expression. "And than you left." I say, quietly. "And than I left." She repeats. Tears well up in my eyes for her, because I know she won't let herself cry. I go to hug her, but she turns rock hard. It kind of hurts me that she won't hug me back, but I understand and I try not to let it get to me. I let go, and she's clenching her jaw. Bless her, she's trying so hard. She closes her eyes for a minute. "He called me everyday. But I would never answer. The only way for me to get over him, was to not see or talk to him ever again." She says. Goosebumps cover my whole body. Wow, I don't think we realized how alike we are. "So you never talked to him, at all?" I ask, not believing it. "We talked once." I hold my breath, waiting. "He pleaded, for me to come home." She bites her bottom lip. "I almost did, but to go back and feel that awful emptiness in our house... I couldn't do it Lena! I couldn't watch my family fall apart, I couldn't be in there smelling Papi's scent knowing he was never going to come back, I couldn't hear you scream anymore!" The tears she's been holding, fall down slowly, and in a way, she looks beautiful. "I wanted to...but I couldn't" She whispers. I don't care if she hugs me back or not, I pull her in my arms and squeeze. Relief fills me, when I feel her squeeze back. "I love you." I tell her. "Te quiero tambien Hermanita." She says. I wipe her tears. After she calms down and gets herself together, she smiles. "He got chunky." She says. I bust out laughing. "But I kinda like it." She says, making me laugh even harder. "Wait a minute, I need to know what's going on with you and Phred! Don't try and deny that you two have something." I tell her. Her cheeks turn pink. She plays with the end of her hair. "I don't know.. " she mumbles. I shake her. You obviously like him, or something about him, don't you?" I ask. She shrugs. "Ahm!" "He makes me feel like a little school girl, all nervous and flushed, with these butterflies in my stomach and my face feeling hot." She spills. "Oh my!" I say, with a smile. "Those dreads, they get me!" she says, her eyes rolling up and she fans herself. Ahm's always been a sucker for dreads. "Well, he loves you." I say. She tries to hide her smile. "What are you going to do about....Eric?" I hesitantly ask. She shrugs. "It's been years, we've changed, things are different. We can't just pick up where we left off...." She says. "I hope he know that." I tell her, thinking of how stubborn those Hernandez brothers are. She doesn't say anything. I hear a low growl, and look around. Ahmity has her hand over stomach and I bust out laughing. I put my arm around her shoulder. "Come on, let's get you something to eat."

* * * *

"Thank you." I say and hand the menu over to the waiter. He smiles at me, but has his eyes on Ahmity. She's oblivious, because there is no guy on this planet that doesn't look at her. I look around the restaurant, feeling a little weird. The last time I was here, I was puking my guts out in the bathroom. But it's the only restaurant I know how to get back to Bruno's from. Me and Ahmity start talking and getting in our own little world like we always do, when 2 tall shadows stand in front of us. Ahmity's cheeks turn pink and I stare up and Phred and Eric. I look behind them. "Where's the little one?" I ask. Eric throws his head back and laughs, but than gets serious. "He's at the apartment." he says. "Why didn't he come with? And how did you guys know we were here?" I ask. "We didn't, we were hungry and stopped in." Phred says. Eric nods. "And Bruno?" I ask again, since they didn't answer me the first time. Eric looks around for a second. "He said he wants to be alone..." He trails off, shrugging his shoulders and sitting down. He keeps his eyes on Ahmity the whole time. Phred sees and sits closer to her, his hand almost on her leg. Oh jeez. I think and roll my eyes. I smell a love triangle. I stand up. "I'm gonna go and see if he's okay." I say. Ahmity looks at me with her eyes wide. I blow her a kiss and run out the door before she pulls a guilt trip and makes me stay. But I know Bruno. When he wants to be alone, something's wrong. And I'm not going to leave him alone, no matter if he gets mad at me or not. The walk seems short, shorter than usual. When I get there, I look up and see him on the balcony, smoking a cigarette. I furrow my eyebrows. "You don't look sexy at all." I tell him, smirking. He looks down and flicks ashes at me. I flip him off and go in the front door, running up the stairs. I join him on the balcony. "What's wrong?" I ask him. He takes a drag of the cigarette and slowly blows the smoke out. Smokers are the biggest turn off for me, but damn him he even makes smoking look sexy. "Nothing's wrong, why do you always assume something's the matter with me if I'm not smiling or joking around." He says. I cringe. What's up with the attitude. I stare at him. He turns. "What?!" he says, his eyes getting big. "Nothing's wrong, but you have an attitude with me, when I haven't done anything." I say. He rolls his eyes and turns away from me. It stays quiet and I rack my brain thinking, Did I do something, did I say something that made him mad? I draw a blank. What the hell is wrong with him? "Can you just talk to me?" I ask, not wanting to fight with him. He takes another drag, than throws it down, watching it fall onto the sidewalk. "I don't feel like talking." He says. I sigh. "Babe, if you talk about it maybe you'll feel better..." I tell him. He stays quiet. "Bruno.." I touch his shoulder. He shrugs it off. "Dammit Bruno, what did I do? Why the hell are you so mad at me?" Again, quiet. "Just fuckin talk, I'm not a stranger, it's me.." I say. "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK IF IT'S YOU LENA, I DON'T WANT TO FUCKIN TALK ABOUT IT!" He storms off into the apartment, slamming his bedroom door behind him. I sit there shaking, from hurt and anger. My eyes get blurry, but I don't cry. I stand up and stomp my way to his room. I hate this, shutting me out and leaving me in the cold. I'm not the only one that has to work on my problems. I open his door, and grab his shirt. "I know I didn't do anything wrong so fuckin talk to me and stop treating me like shit!" He glares at me for awhile, and I glare at him back. He finally pulls my hand off his shirt and sighs. "They dropped me from the record label." he says......