Chapter 3

30/05/2011 23:26

"What's wrong?" Isabella asked.

"Nothing.. I just.. My chest is itchy, that's all." Bruno said as he scratched his chest. 'What was that?' He didn’t know what he just felt, but it was… Weird.

"Ohh. Okay.." Isabella said as she looked down, then back to the machines. She can't believe that she was alive again. She looked at the machine and started poking it. "This machine really makes weird sounds... I wonder what this is.." She said as she looked at it.

Bruno tried to hide his laugh. 'She's like a primitive woman.' He said. Then he coughed. "You have never seen anything like that before?"

Isabella looked at him. Then she shook his head.

Her eyes were sincere when she looked at Bruno. "Ohh.." Bruno said to himself.

A moment of silence came.  Minutes passed, and no one talked. Bruno decided to break the ice.

"Sooo.. My name's Bruno. Nice to meet you, Claire." Bruno smiled as he held his hand out to Isabella.

'Bruno? I thought it was Peter....' Isabella said to herself.

'Bruno's just his nickname. Peter is his real name.' The spirit rabbit told Isabella.

'Ohh..' She said to herself. "Nice to meet you too, Bruno." Isabella said as she shook his hand.

Bruno then saw the beautiful locket hanging on Isabella's neck. "That's nice.." He said as he pointed the locket.

"Thanks." Isabella said.

A moment of silence again. Then Bruno's phone rang.

"Hello?" Bruno said.

"Bro, where are you? I've been waiting for you here in the studio. You're late." Phil said.

"Well. I accidentally hit a lady while driving. I'm here at the hospital." Bruno explained.

"What?! Man.. Why now? We have to finish this demo fast." Phil said.

"I know, I'm sorry.. It was unexpected.. Don't worry, I'll be there as soon as possible." Bruno said. He then looked at his clothes. They were filled with blood. 'Guess I have to change first.' Bruno said to himself.

"Aight, aight. See ya. And come quick." Phil said as he hung up.

Bruno looked at Isabella. "Uhm.. Claire, I have to go... I have to do something really important. But I'll be back later, alright? See ya." Bruno said as he hurriedly went out of the room.

Isabella sighed. She was alone again. Like always. Locked up inside the room, no one to talk to. "Oh, hey.. Spirit rabbit!" She said. But she heard or seen nothing. "Rabbit?" She sighed. "So you're not coming out, huh? Oh well." She said. She then closed her eyes and tried to get some sleep. Her body was really aching, and she's not used to it. She always had her wounds healed immediately, but now it was different. She can't just heal herself, or people might be suspicious about her. She sighed again. "I'm tired." She then fell asleep.

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"She's going to be living with you?" Isabella heard a woman's voice. 'There are other people in the room?' Isabella immediately opened her eyes. It was the first time she had seen lots of people inside one room.

"Yeah.. You know, she's homeless and besides, she's my responsibility. I hit her, and I should take care of her." Bruno told the woman.

"But Bruno, you know that saying that you shouldn't talk to strangers and yet, you're letting a stranger inside your house." The woman said.

"I know, I know, but she looks harmless. Plus--"

"Hey, she's awake now." A man said as he looked at Isabella.

"Oh, Claire. Hi. Uhm.. How was your sleep?" Bruno asked.

"Fine.." Isabella answered. She was shy in front of a lot of people.

"Oh, by the way. This is Eric, my brother. The woman here is Chanel, and he's Phil, Kenji, Jamareo, Phredley, Brian, Jason and Ryan." Bruno said as he pointed them one by one.

"Hi.. Nice to meet you." Everyone said in chorus.

Isabella gently smiled. "It's a pleasure to meet you all, too."

"Whoooaaa..." Phredley said.

"What?" Bruno asked, confused. "Ooohhh..." He then smiled. He knew what that expression of Phredley meant.

Phredley then looked at Bruno and grinned. Then at Isabella. He then walked towards her. "Hi.. Claire.. Uhm, I'm Phredley." He said as held out his hand to her.

"Uh.. I'm Claire." Isabella shook Phredley's hand. It felt awkward for her, because they both already know each other's names.

Everyone in the room then laughed at Phredley. "What?" He asked.

"Nothing bro, just continue what you are doing." Phil grinned at Phredley.

Isabella tilted her head, confused. "Uhm.. Why are they laughing?" Isabella asked Phredley, almost whispering.

Phredley then looked at Isabella. 'Her confused face.. Cute..' He smiled. "Uhm, nothing. Nothing, really." Phredley grinned.

"Ohh.." Isabella said. She still was confused, but she didn't want to ask a lot of questions. She then looked at the window. It was already dark, but she can't see the stars. The sky was blocked by lots of large buildings and she didn't like it. She sighed.

Phredley then looked at the window, then at Isabella. "What are you looking at?" Phredley asked.

"I wanted to look at the sky and see if there are lots of stars tonight, but it seems that it is being blocked by numerous large buildings.. It saddens me." Isabella said.

"Oh.." Phredley said. Everyone went silent for a moment. They all felt how Isabella feels, even with just that being said.

Bruno looked at Isabella. 'She really is harmless and innocent..' He thought as he smiled.

"Uhm.. Bro, we have to go. It's late already." Eric said. Everyone then stood up.

"Oh, okay okay." Bruno answered as he opened the door for them.

"Bye, Claire." Everyone said in chorus.

"It was nice being with you all. Good bye." Isabella said as she smiled.

Everyone then went out of the room.

"Well. The room's empty again, huh?" Bruno said as he smiled.

Isabella just smiled, then she stared at the window. "It would have been better if I could see the stars or the moon..."

Bruno looked at Isabella. She seemed so harmless, so innocent, so fragile, that he didn't wanna say anything 'cause he was too afraid to hurt or break her.

Isabella looked at Bruno and noticed that he was staring at her. "What is it? Do I have something on my face?" Isabella asked.

"No.. No.. Nothing." Bruno said, looking away. He didn't know why, but he always felt awkward and shy whenever she looks at him. He wasn't like this towards women. He always had that cool attitude. He sighed then looked at his watch. "Uhm, Claire. I have to go now. I'll be back tomorrow. Bye.." He said as he went out of the room.

Isabella didn't even get the chance to say goodbye to him. He always leaves fast. She sighed. She was alone, again. "I just hope everyday won't be like today." She said as she closed her eyes.

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Isabella was going to be discharged today, and everything was set and ready for her. The crutch, her new clothes, her new things, everything. Bruno prepared everything, so it wouldn't be such a hassle. She looked at the crutch. She has always seen that on the well while looking at the humans, but she didn't really know how to use it. She was afraid that she might fall down. She held the crutch and stood up. She almost fell, but Bruno caught her.

"You okay?" Bruno said as he held her arms.

"Uhm.. Yes.. Thank you." Isabella then looked at Bruno's eyes. They were so close to each other. Then she looked away and grabbed her crutch. "Let's go."

They went outside the hospital room and to the car.

"Wow." Isabella said as she looked at Bruno's car. She has always seen this on the well, and she thought they were amazing.

"What?" Bruno asked.

"Nothing... It's just that... I've never held a car before..." Isabella said as she gently touched the car.

Bruno threw a confused look. "You've never.. touched a car before?"

Isabella looked at Bruno then she shook her head as she grinned.

Bruno chuckled. "Well you already held one now." He said as he opened the car door for Isabella and assisted her inside. He then went inside and drove it.

Isabella looked around the car. The seat was soft, and she poked it. Then she smiled. She then looked at the thing that Bruno has holding. It was circle, and Bruno kept turning it to the right and left. Then she looked at the back. "Woowww..." She was amazed by the car. She has always wanted to ride one, but since she was in the 'in between', she never had the chance.

Bruno just smiled at Isabella. 'Is she like from the mountains or something?' Bruno thought as he drove the car.

Isabella then looked at the window and the people that they pass by. Their clothes were too revealing, and so is hers. Bruno gave her jeans a shirt, too different from what she wore when she was alive. But she didn't want to complain. After all, Bruno bought them for her, and she was happy with it. She grinned when she saw a teddy bear inside the shop that they passed by. "Billy.." She said to herself.

"Who's Billy? Is he your friend or something?" Bruno asked, confused.

"No, no. He's a bear that I took care of." Isabella answered as she looked at Bruno, then back at the window.

'B-bear? So she really is from the mountains..' Bruno said to himself. He wondered what that meant. "Bear? Really?" Bruno asked.

"Yes.." Isabella answered.

'You're not supposed to tell him that..' The spirit rabbit said.

"Oh.. Yeah, I forgot." Isabella said as she put her hand on her face.

"What? Did we forget something?" Bruno asked.

"Huh? Ohh, no. no. Sorry. Don't mind that." Isabella said as she curled her lip.

"You know what, Claire? You're mysterious." Bruno said.

"I am?" Isabella tilted her head.

"Yes. I don't know much about you, and you won't tell me anything either." Bruno said.

"Well. You don't have to know anything about me. It's not important. Don't worry, I am not a murderer or a robber. So you can trust me." Isabella smiled at Bruno.

Bruno's heart then melted. She looked so honest, so innocent. He just smiled back.

After a few minutes, they arrived at Bruno's place. Bruno took all of Isabella's things and assisted her inside his house.

Isabella looked around. It was... Messy. She wasn't used to this, since she always cleaned her room and her father would beat her if he saw even just one speck of dust in her room.

Bruno noticed Isabella's reaction. "Uhm.. I'm sorry if it's messy here... I've been really busy that I can't clean the house up." Bruno said as he took some of his clothes from the floor.

"It's okay. I'll just clean all the mess up. Just tell me where to put your things and how to use those machines over there, there, and there." Isabella pointed the gas stove, the oven, the vacuum and everything that she didn't know how to use.

"Ohh. Okay, okay." Bruno said. He taught everything that Isabella needs to know about his house and how to use the machines that Isabella was curious about. It wasn't hard for Isabella to learn all of it, since she has always been observing humans.

"Ohhh... Okay, so you will just twist this thing, and the fire will come out?" Isabella asked.

"Yes, just twist it." Bruno said. He didn't know why Isabella doesn't know how to use these things, but he still taught her everything without asking her something.

Isabella twisted the knob, and was surprised by the fire that came out. Bruno chuckled when he saw Isabella's reaction. "Whoaa... Fantastic!" Isabella grinned as she looked at the stove.

"So, I guess I already taught you everything." Bruno said as he sat on the couch.

Isabella just smiled as she looked around. She can't believe she has already touched all the things that she has seen on the well. She was excited, and happy at the same time.

Bruno looked at her. She was innocent and always curious about things. 'She really is mysterious..' Bruno thought as he looked at Isabella. Then he stood up. "Uhm... Claire... Phil is waiting for me at the studio, and I really have to go now. Is it okay if I just leave you here?" He said as he looked at his watch.

"Ohh... It's okay. When you come back, everything would be sparkling clean." Isabella grinned at Bruno. She was excited to use all these machines that Bruno taught her.

Bruno chuckled. "I'll be expecting that. See you later." Bruno said as he went out of the house.

Isabella then started cleaning everything. It was a bit hard for her, because her foot was aching as she walked, but she still managed to clean everything. She took the bandage and cast protector that Bruno bought for her, and put it on her broken foot, took the necklace off of her neck and took a bath on the tub. This was different from what she used to take a bath to, but it felt very good and comforting. She was grinning while she splashed the water in the tub, then she looked at the locket, hanging on the knob of the faucet. "I still have to find Lawrence. Hey rabbit, do you know what Lawrence looks like?"

The spirit rabbit then went out of the diamond from the locket and floated in the air. "Yes, I know what he looks like. You can see his picture inside that locket, if you wish to see his face." The spirit rabbit said.

"Oooohhh... I see." Isabella said, nodding her head.

"You also still have to find the parents of Claire." The spirit rabbit said.

"Oh... I have to find them too? But... How?" Isabella asked.

"I will help you find them, but you can't do that now. You still have to get well from your broken foot." The spirit rabbit said.

"Aww... Can't I just heal myself? My foot is really itchy. I want to wash my foot right now." Isabella said.

"You can't, Bruno will get suspicious if your foot healed right away. So you can stay like that for another two weeks or more." The spirit rabbit said.

"Ohh... I wish my foot heals right away. I'm not used to suffering too much pain for too long." Isabella said.

"You have to get used to it, if you don't want people to be suspicious of you." The spirit rabbit said.

"Alright, alright. I understand." She sighed. This was hard for her, but she has to get used to everything, she has to endure not just physical pain, but emotional pain too. She then finished taking a bath, wore her clothes and started cooking her lunch. She ate, but left a little for dinner later, so she could just heat them up when Bruno gets home. She washed the dishes and took her toothbrush and tooth paste. "Now, this is really different from what I use before.. This one moves by itself right?" Isabella asked the spirit rabbit.

"Yes, you just have to move it around your teeth, you don't have to do all the work. That tooth brush does it all for you."

"Can you teach me how this works? I've seen it used by other humans many times, but I'm afraid that I might break this if you don't teach me how to use this one." Isabella said.

"You put the tooth paste on the tooth brush first, then put it inside your mouth and you turn it on by pushing this button here." The spirit rabbit instructed.

"Ohh. That's all? I see. Alright, I'll try." Isabella then obeyed the spirit rabbit's instruction and was amazed by how the electric tooth brush worked. She then finished brushing her teeth and gargled and washed her mouth. "That was fantastic!" Isabella grinned at the spirit rabbit. The spirit rabbit just smiled at her and floated around.

"Bruno's place is really good, it just needed a little cleaning." The spirit rabbit said.

"I agree with you." Isabella smiled as she walked with her crutch. She walked towards the large wall mirror and looked at herself. It feels different, seeing herself in a different skin complexion and eye color. She then walked closer to the mirror and took a better look on her eyes. "They're really brown. Claire has beautiful brown eyes." She said. She always wanted to have brown eyes. She sighed as she remembered her father.

The spirit rabbit read Isabella's mind. "You're not Isabella anymore, you are Claire now. This is now your new body. You now have a new identity. So you should stop thinking about your father or your past life. Remember, you are also here to forgive, forget and move on." The spirit rabbit said.

"Oh... You're right. I am Claire now. I should not be thinking about my old family anymore." Isabella said as she looked at the spirit rabbit.

"That is right. You should not think about them anymore." The spirit rabbit said as he hid in the diamond on the locket.

Isabella then smiled and looked at Bruno's keyboard. She walked towards it and sat down on the chair. She felt lonely. She was always locked up before, and now she's still locked up. She then shook her head, trying to erase all the old and bad memories of the past and decided to play Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. She was already in the middle part of the piano piece, when she heard someone opening the door. She turned around, and there was Bruno, with his jaws dropped. Behind Bruno was Phil, Eric, Phredley and Chanel. They were all surprised to see Isabella playing the piano.

"Oh... You're... You're home already. And you brought your friends." Isabella said. She was shy that Bruno and his friends heard her play the piano.

"Wow... That was good." Phredley said.

Isabella then smiled at Phredley. "Thanks."

"If I'm not mistaken, that was a classical piano piece. That was Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. Right?"

"Yes, it's Moonlight Sonata." Isabella nodded.

"Wow Phred, I didn't know you liked those stuffs too." Phil said.

"Well. That piano piece is just so good." Phredley said.

"Yes, it is indeed a fantastic piano piece. It is one of my favorites." Isabella said.

"I didn't know you knew how to play the piano." Bruno said, smiling at Isabella. Isabella smiled back.

"You're mysterious." Chanel said.

"I said that to her too." Bruno said.

Isabella curled her lip. Maybe it was a bad idea that she played the piano. Now, everyone was starting to get suspicious of her. Isabella then decided to change the topic and looked at Bruno

"Uhm... You should have told me that your friends will come so I have cooked more food." Isabella said as she grabbed her crotch and started walking towards the kitchen.

"I'm sorry about that, Claire. But Phredley here really wanted to come visit you, and he asked Eric, Phil and Chanel to come too, so it wouldn't look too obvious that... Oww!" Bruno was hit by Phredley on the stomach. The others tried to stop their laugh as they looked at Bruno and Phredley.

Phredley threw a fake laugh and smiled at Isabella. He then gave Bruno a "stop it" look, then smiled again. "It's okay Claire, we won't be staying for long."

"Ohh... I see. So I guess I wouldn't be cooking more food then. Uhm... What do you mean by 'it wouldn't look too obvious'?" Isabella tilted her head, confused.

"Uhm... That was nothing. Sooo uh... Claire... How are you and your foot?" Phredley asked as he sat down on the couch.

Isabella then walked towards the living room and sat on a chair. "Well. It's kind of hard to take a bath with a broken foot, but I'm doing good. My foot's getting better everyday." Isabella answered.

Chanel looked around. "Your place have gotten clean, Brunz." She said as she sat down beside Phredley. Bruno, Phil and Eric sat down as well.

"Yeah, did you get your place cleaned up before Claire moved here?" Eric asked.

"Actually... Claire cleaned the place up." Bruno said, a little bit ashamed of himself.

"Bruno... That's not so nice. Her foot is still broken, and you shouldn't let her work much." Chanel said.

"Yeah, she's right. Even though she's living her for free, it still isn't so nice to let her clean your place with her foot still broken." Eric said.

"No, it's okay. It's my payment for all the good things that he has done to me, so it's just the right thing to do. And besides, my foot is a bit okay now. It doesn't hurt anymore" Isabella said.

Phil walked towards Isabella and tapped Isabella's foot.

"Oww..." Isabella said.

"Phil!" Phredley said as he walked towards Isabella.

"Phil! Why did you do that?!" Bruno asked.

"Did it hurt?! You know Phil, you shouldn't have done that!" Phredley said.

"I'm okay. I'm okay." Isabella said, gently rubbing her foot.

"Well, that just means that you're still not okay." Phil said as he chuckled a bit. He then looked at Bruno. "Bruno, you shouldn't let her do all the house chores. Her foot still needs to heal, you know." Phil said.

"Okay, okay. I'm sorry. I won't let her do all the work." Bruno said, raising his hands up.

"No really, I am okay. Let me do all this as a payment to Bruno. I don't know other things to do aside from cleaning. So it's my only way of thanking him." Isabella said as she looked down.

"But Claire, your foot is still not okay. You can 'repay' me once you get well." Bruno smiled as he looked at Isabella.

Isabella looked up to all of them. "I've never had this many people who cared for me like you all do. Thank you very much for showing me all your care and concern. I promise, my foot will heal as fast as it can and by that time, I'll do my best to repay all of your kindness towards me." Isabella said as she looked into their eyes.

"Awww, sweetie, it's not that big of a deal. We care for you, not because we want something for exchange. So yeah, no need to repay us, really." Chanel said as she smiled at Isabella.

Isabella smiled sweetly at Chanel. 'She is a great woman..'

Eric looked at his wrist watch. "Well, I think we have to go now. Bruno, you take care of Claire alright?" Eric said as he stood up. Phil and the others stood up as well.

"Yeah, I'll take good care of her." Bruno said as he hugged Eric.

"You better do." Phredley smiled at Bruno.

"I will, don't worry." Bruno said, smiling.

"Bye Bro. See you at the studio tomorrow." Phil said as they walked towards Eric's car.

"Bye Bruno." Chanel said as she kissed Bruno's cheek and hugged him.

"Bye." Bruno said as he did the same to Chanel.

Chanel then walked towards the car and they left Bruno's place.

It broke Isabella's heart. Yes, it was just a goodbye kiss for today's generation. But the way he looked at her. It's different. Bruno's different. 'He's different from Jacob.' She said to herself.

"Uhm... Bruno, what do you do?" Isabella asked.

"What do you mean?" Bruno said as he opened the fridge, looking for food.

"Well... Your work, what is your work?"

"My work? Hmm... I am a composer and a producer, I write songs for other artists."

"Ohh... I see... So you can sing?"

"Well yeah... I do. Why'd you ask?"

"Well, nothing. I was just... curious. That's all." Isabella then looked down then at Bruno. "Uhm... Bruno... About Chanel, is she your sweetheart? Well, I don't mean to interrupt. I just wanna ask." Isabella smiled so Bruno won't be suspicious of her.

"Sweetheart? Oh, you mean, girlfriend? Oh, no, no, no. She's not my girlfriend. Well... How I wished she was, but she isn't." Bruno answered.

"Ohh. So you like her?" Isabella asked.

"Yeah. I like her. I think I already love her. But she's taken. She has another boyfriend." Bruno sadly said as he curled his lips.

"Ohh... That's too bad. You two look good together though." Isabella said, trying to make Bruno feel good.

"You think so?" Bruno grinned at Isabella.

"Yes." Isabella nodded her head.

"You know, I'm planning to confess my feelings to her, soon." Bruno said.

"Really? Well, you really should do it soon. You should do it, before it's too late." Isabella said her last sentence sadly. She never confessed her feelings to Jacob. She didn't know what they were to each other, but she knew that she loved him, but Jacob never knew about it. She then sighed as she remembered Jacob.

"What's wrong?" Bruno asked. He noticed Isabella's reaction.

"No... Nothing. I just remembered someone. Now you go eat your dinner... I will just take a rest. My food is aching a little bit. Good night..." Isabella then went to her room.

"Oh... Okay... Good night." Bruno said as he smiled at Isabella. 'She really is mysterious..'

 

Isabella then realized that everything has changed. Bruno is nothing like Jacob. Jacob can't sing or compose songs. Jacob was a shy gentleman, but Bruno was a funny guy. They only share the same face, but both are very different from each other. Isabella sighed as she sat down on her bed. Then it hit her. Everything was really different now. Bruno is not Jacob. Everything's not the same as before. She has to forget all the things in her past and move on with the present and future in her hands.

"That's right. I have to move on." Isabella said as she smiled to herself. But then, she sighed. 'Is this what I really wanted?' She was now having second thoughts about her decision of coming to the human world. She came here in the first place because of the man who looked like her first love, but it seems that this man, Bruno, already has someone else that he likes. "I shouldn't have done this." Isabella then put her crutch on the side of the bed and laid down. She closed her eyes and fell asleep.

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Hours passed, and it was already 1:35am, but Bruno still can't sleep.

'You should do it, before it's too late.'

Bruno kept thinking about Isabella. "Did she have someone she likes and she wasn't able to confess his feelings to him?" Bruno said to himself as he tossed and turned in his bed. Then he stood up, and went to Isabella's room. He slowly opened the door, hoping not to wake her up. Then he knelt on Isabella's bedside and looked at Isabella's face while she slept.

'She's beautiful...' Bruno said to himself as he gently caressed Isabella's cheek. Isabella moved a bit, and Bruno then ducked down so Isabella won't see him. After a few seconds, he slowly looked up at her. 'That was close.' He said to himself. He again stared at Isabella's face, then stroked her hair. He doesn't know why he's doing this, and he knows that he shouldn't do this, but he felt a strong urge to kiss her. He slowly leaned and closed his eyes, and his lips gently touched hers. Her lips were so soft, so sweet, nothing like any other girl's lips. He pulled away immediately and smiled. He slowly went out of Isabella's room, and went back to his bed.

 

Isabella slowly opened her eyes. "Nngghh... What was that?" Isabella felt something weird on her lips and so she looked around, but she saw no one. She started feeling scared and so she pulled the covers and closed her eye. "I hope it wasn't a ghost..." Isabella said to herself. After a few minutes, she then fell asleep.