ONE YEAR LATER
Bruno sat in one of the rooms of the record company with Phil and Ari. Bruno casually strummed at his guitar while the guys played Ping-Pong. They had been throwing around ideas for new songs all day. With the success of Doo Wops & Hooligans, they had a number of people coming to them for songs. They had been racking their brains all day coming up with riffs and lyrics and beats.
There was a knock at the door. Bruno continued to strum lightly at his guitar.
“You gonna get that?” asked Bruno.
“Nope, are you?” asked Phil.
“You guys are fools.” Said Ari, and they all laughed. He went to the door and opened it. A quirky girl with blonde hair was smiling at the door.
“Hey guys, don’t mind me and my boss we’ve got some clothes we gotta bring in here for another artist that’s stopping by here later. Is that cool?” She saw Bruno sitting on the couch.
“Oh my gosh! You’re Bruno Mars!” She nearly squealed and ran over to him. He stood up and shook her hand and she blushed.
“Hey, I’m Hannah. I’m a big fan.” Bruno smiled.
“That’s cool, thanks so much.”
Hannah came back to reality, and introduced herself to Phil and Ari.
“Alright, well my boss is outside and we’ve got a few racks of clothes to bring in. So just keep doing whatever you’re doing. It will be like we’re not even here.” She giggled and hurried away. The guys looked at each other for a moment before chuckling.
“She’s one happy chappy.” Said Phil, in a British accent.
“Why are we talking in a British accent?” Added Ari.
“Because the ‘Oo-Wops and ‘Ooligans is a grammy winning album, my dear friends.” Said Bruno. “Here, let me have a go at Ping Pong.”
Bruno versed Phil, and was doing a lot better than he expected. He bounced the ball lightly on the table and thrashed it towards Phil, and it flung right past him.
“That my friend, is called skills.”
The door opened again and Hannah came back in. She pulled in a big rack of clothes. They were all unique dresses of bright colours. Hannah went back out and pulled in a new rack, and behind her followed her boss.
Bruno froze. The girl walked in and her smile immediately caught his attention. She pulled a strand of hair behind her ears and looked up towards Bruno. She froze too. Bruno immediately recognized her as the ‘Brooklyn’ girl. Phil hit the ball to Bruno and it tapped him on the head.
“Now who’s a sucka?!” Shouted Phil, laughing.
Melody stared at Bruno. He hadn’t changed a bit. She was shocked because she didn’t expect to see him there. She’d done everything in her power to avoid the new star that was Bruno Mars. She’d turn down the radio, change the TV channel. But there was no avoiding him now.
She bit her lip and smiled. Bruno turned and whispered something to the two guys he was with. She felt Hannah next to her and jumped.
“I know! What is the likely hood that THE Bruno Mars would be right here…” They both stared at him together. Hannah knew nothing about the past experiences the two shared.
“Um, Hannah… Could you go get me a coffee please? There’s a place just around the corner that make really nice ones.” She looked to Hannah, who had her usual smile on her face. She was happy to oblige and left. The two other guys left the room too. She wasn’t sure what Bruno had said to them.
The two stood on opposite sides of the room, just looking at each other. Melody was analyzing Bruno’s body language and expressions. Bruno was looking at her – her eyes, hair, lips… she seemed perfect. But he still only knew her as ‘the Brooklyn girl’.
He went up to her. “So we meet again.”
“I guess we do.” Responded Melody.
She turned around and walked over to her clothes. She ran her hand over the clothes to make sure they were all there. Bruno followed her and stood closely behind her.
“You’re still a mystery to me.” Said Bruno. She felt his presence behind her. “Are you a designer?”
“You could say that.” She pretended to be giving him the cold shoulder. Really she had a shiver going down her spine at the thought of him. He made her feel nervous.
“And I still don’t get a name...” Said Bruno. She turned around and they were standing within breathing space of each other. She looked at him, and he was smiling. She sighed. “Melody Stewart. Does the name ring a bell?”
His expression changed. Melody Stewart. The girl from the train station, was Melody? It couldn’t have been. He analyzed her, remembering what she used to look like. She still had the same face shape and big eyes. She had the same lips. She had green contacts on. Her hair was a different colour. She wore so much makeup, he found it hard to recognize her. He remembered Melody from High School. She was one of the girls that crossed his mind all the time.
He didn’t know what to say. She simply smiled and continued looking at her clothes. He looked at the label for a dress – Melody Designs. He smiled.
“I always knew you were gonna be a clothing designer, you know.”
She seemed disinterested in what he had to say.
“I can’t believe I didn’t recognize you that day at the train station. Must’ve been a bit weird for you, hey…” Melody still didn’t say anything. This only made him more determined to talk to her. He walked up to her and grabbed her hand. She immediately looked down at their hands touching, then to him, and they both let go.
“Melody, talk to me. It’s been so long since we’ve talked.”
She bit her lip. Bruno thought it was cute. Melody finally spoke up.
“Care to remind me what happened the last time I spoke to you? 6 Years ago?”
Bruno stood hand in hand with Melody on the beach in Hawaii. The three guys that had approached them were Sean, Brody and James. Bruno had associated himself with the three a few weeks earlier, but stopped talking to them.
“Are you going to tell her the truth?” beckoned Sean. Melody looked to Bruno, who was eyeing Sean.
“There’s nothing to tell. I suggest you leave.”
Brody went right up to Melody, and was in her face looking at her. She took a step back, and Bruno placed his arm in front of her to protect her.
“Go on, tell her.” Said Brody.
“Bruno, tell me what?” Her voice tried to sound calm, but it wasn’t.
“Or do you want me to do the honors, Hernandez?” said Sean. Bruno didn’t take his eye off Sean’s. In that moment, he could have punched him.
James put on a voice imitating Bruno. “Hey guys, I have an idea. I feel so bad for that girl Melody, no one even likes her, I bet you guys one hundred dollars I can get her to go to the dance with me. I mean look at her, shes so nerdy. I feel so bad for her. It’s a shame no guys like her.”
Melody felt her heart sink and her stomach twist into knots. She felt the words attack her. She didn’t want to believe it. She felt tears coming out of her eyes.
“But then I said. Why Bruno? Why do that to her? Hurt such an innocent girl.“
“Bullshit” Said Bruno.
“But you’re not denying the bet, are you?” Said Sean. Bruno went silent. Melody stood there, crying. The sound of her weeping killed him.
Brody handed Bruno two fifty dollar notes. “You win.”
Bruno shoved it back. “The deal was off weeks ago. You know that.”
“Yeah, but she didn’t did she?” Added James.
The guys left, all giving Melody a shove as they passed them. Her mascara had begun to run down her face. Bruno looked at her, and saw the sadness in her eyes. He didn’t know what to say.
“No. Don’t try to explain it, Bruno. I don’t want to hear it.”
She began walking up the beach. He ran up to her and touched her shoulder.
“Do NOT touch me. Don’t talk to me ever again for that fact.” She gave him one last look and walked away.
“Well, Bruno?” Said Melody. He snapped back to reality and saw her looking at him. She raised an eyebrow and Bruno didn’t know what to say.
“Do you wanna sit down?” Asked Bruno. She sighed and took a seat on the couch, so did Bruno.
“Melody, I was a stupid teenager back then. And yes, I did make a bet about asking you out. But then I got to know you and I learnt that you were this weak, amazing girl. So I called it off, I swear. It’s haunted me ever since.”
Melody glared at him. She could see guilt in his eyes.
“Bruno…” She stopped. She closed her eyes for a moment and thought about what she wanted to say. “That day… it changed me forever. I mean, I wouldn’t be the way I am today. I wouldn’t be so obsessed with my vanity. It’s something I’ve always had to live with…” She began drifting off in her thoughts. “I was never a confident person and what was said that day didn’t do anything to benefit me...”
Bruno looked down. He felt ashamed to be hearing her say those things.
“Melody, I always thought you were gorgeous. You still are. Don’t talk like that. No girl, especially you needs make up to make them look beautiful.” Melody smiled a bit. She wanted to stay angry with Bruno – she really did. But she found it hard to be.
Bruno put his hand out. She sighed before shaking hands with him.
“I’m truly sorry, you know. It was a stupid high school boy thing.”
“Okay.” Said Melody. Bruno’s face lit up with a smile and the door opened a few seconds later with Hannah coming back into the room. Melody and Bruno both looked up at her.
“Did I miss anything?” She asked. Bruno stood up and hurried to the door.
“You’re just in time.” Bruno replied and he hurried out the door. Hannah went to Melody and sat next to her.
“What was that about?” She asked.
“Not sure… there is some stuff I should probably fill you in on though.” Said Melody, giggling. Hannah wasn’t just her Personal Assistant, she was also her best friend.
Bruno came hurrying back in and picked up the guitar that was next to Melody. Phil and Ari came back in too and stood next to Bruno.
“What’s going on?” Asked Melody. Bruno smiled at her.
“By the way, these are my awesome friends and producers Ari and Phil. They helped me write this song.” Bruno began strumming at his guitar and the two guys clicked their fingers along with the beat.
She was covered in leather and gold, twenty one years old
I lost her in the cold, it’s unfair, she’s out there…
Somewhere, somewhere, somewhere in Brooklyn,
She’s somewhere, somewhere, somewhere in Brooklyn..
Little miss perfect, sitting at the train stop, red nike high tops, listening to hip hop.
While we were waiting, started conversating, before I got a name, along came a train…
Melody listened and was stunned. She knew the song was about her. Bruno sang the whole song, not taking his eyes off of Melody the whole time.
Oh I wonder, will we ever meet again? I hope we do, somewhere in Brooklyn…
As he sang the last line, Melody began to blush. The song finished and everyone clapped. Hannah stood up.
“That is my favourite song! Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you just performed that.”
Melody looked to Hannah. “Wait, this song’s on his album?” She asked. Hannah nodded.
“Sometimes something inspires you and you gotta write it down. Clearly you haven’t heard the album” Said Bruno. Melody shook her head.
She went up to Bruno and gave him a hug. His arms were wrapped tightly around her and it made her feel safe. He gave her a sense of security.
“Thank You.” She said.
“You’re very welcome. And I’m very sorry.” Replied Bruno.
“I know you are. So was I really that interesting that you had to write a song about me?” Asked Melody. Bruno shrugged his shoulders.
“You were very mysterious that day, I must admit.”
“He didn’t stop going on about you for a long time.” Added Phil.
“Wait, what am I missing here?” Added Hannah. Everyone laughed.
“He was practically in love with the mystery Brooklyn girl.” Added Ari.
“Well, Bruno Mars, as you call yourself.“ Said Melody.
“It’s cause I’m out of this world.” Bruno winked at her.
“Okay, Mr Bruno - I’m so out of this world - Mars, we can forget that one day many years ago ever happened if you promise not to fall in love with me. I mean, you already wrote a song for me so I guess I’m a bit late…” giggled Melody.
Bruno was mesmerized by her smile. Her laugh was adorable. She still had the cute, smart personality she had as a teenager.
“Back to earth, Mr Mars. You promise? I mean, I’m so entrancing and all…” She said sarcastically. Bruno put out his hands and shook his with hers. “Deal.”