"Why do you think I'm lying?" He asks me back.
"Oh com'on. You're such a bad liar. It's the way you look and act... I just know it! So why did you disturb us?" I ask eager looking straight into his eyes.
"Ok, ok. I admit. They didn't REALLY tell me that I should get Ryan back inside, BUT the bar is full and so I assuuumed that they need his help." He grins when he said 'assumed'. Wants this boy make fun about this one word the whole night? Damn it's a normal word, maybe more ranted than 'guess' or 'think', but it's just a mother fucking word. God!
"So you admit that you lied, then now can you please tell me WHY?!"
"I got my reasons..." Holy mother does he wanna kill me???
"And these reasons were...?"
Oh great now he even forgot how to talk... "Yes...?"
"I..." He looks down putting his hands into his pants pockets. He fucking looks like a little boy who get caught stealing a cookie out of the cookie jar. Does he feel ashamed? He holds his head up glancing straight into my eyes with a stern but caring look. "I just wanted to protect you!" He says quietly not taking his eyes off of me.
"Protect me?" He must be kidding me. "Protect me? From what? A good night full of sex?" Wow did I just said that out loud? I press my lips and step back a little. I just wanna end this and go back inside the bar.
"Okaaay, I didn't think you're such a bitch." He says half serious half jokingly.
"WHAT???" I say a little bit louder not believing he just called me a bitch. "YOU DON'T KNOW SHIT ABOUT ME ALRIGHT?! WHO DO THINK YOU ARE ANYWAY? YOU RUIN THE FIRST ROMANTIC MOMENT I HAD IN MONTHS, THEN TELLING ME YOU WANNA PROTECT ME, WHATEVER THAT MEANS AND NOW CALLING ME A BITCH BECAUSE I USED THE WORD 'SEX'??? YOU'RE ONLY A WANNABE-SINGER, DROPPED BY MOTOWN LIKE WHAT? 4 YEARS AGO? ONLY PLAYING IN SMALL BARS NOW FOR NOTHING...BUT THINKING YOU'RE A SUPERSTAR 'CAUSE SOME TEENAGER GIRLS CHEER AT YOU. THAT'S JUST PATHETIC... REALLY YOU DON'T HAVE TO PROTECT ME I'M GROWN! PLUS YOU SHOULD BETTER MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS NOT MINE! DAMMIT!" Wow where in hell came that from? Why do I even yell at him? That's so not me!!!
Before I can get my way past him back to the bar he looks at me sternly and says. "5 years! They dropped me 5 years ago!" He turns around quickly and goes inside the bar again.
I breath deeply in and out and calm down. What the hell was that? I think about why the whole situation turned out that way. Why did I get so upset? I normally never yell at somebody and much less wearing someone out. I lean back against the wall. I really didn't mean anything what I just said, he's truly talented and it's not his fault that he still struggles. Nobody should know that better than me. I went through all this with Tony...
Anyways nobody calls me a bitch! And why did he disturb us? From what did he want to protect me? From Ryan? But it's his best friend! I don't get it...
I so have to talk to him one more time to find out the reasons for his behavior, plus I need to apologize! I take a deep breath again and go back inside the bar straight to the restrooms. After washing my hands with cold water and drying them I touch my face and neck with my palms. The cold feels good on my skin and relaxes me instantly. I fix my hair and go back to the counter sitting down. Immediately Ryan comes to me with a big smile a bottle of wine in his hand and fills up my glass. Luckily he didn't hear any of my yelling outside. I smile back but I'm not in all this flirty mood anymore, I don't even know if I still want him. I first have to talk to Bruno. There's a secret and I want to know it.
I turn my head around looking for him. He sits with the other guys at a table in the corner opposite the stage and talks to Phil. Just in that moment Phil looks into my direction, sees me and smiles. He raises his hand and beckons me over. I turn my head back to the front again and look at my glass. Then Beverly shows up beside me asking me how I find the band who's on stage now. I didn't even realize that the next band was already playing. I listen to them for a second. They're good but nowhere near Bruno's. I tell her that we actually already found the best one and should focus on getting them. She nods and we make our way to them.
When we get there Phil makes room for us on the couch Bruno and him are sitting on. I sit down next to Bruno and Beverly next to me. I feel Bruno tense up a little bit so I smile to him signaling I won't yell at him again. He smiles back lightly.
"So ladies how did you like us on stage?" Phil asks.
"Oh I looooooove you guys! You are all sooo gooooood. Bruno how you hit those high notes... daaamn how you doooo that? And Phiiiiiiil your..." Beverly starts her detailed laudation. If she can do something then it's keep an eye on guys' advantages. Plus schmooze them. Especially Brian gets a lot of compliments. Maybe a keyboarder misses in her 'friends' list? Anyways I'm thankful she takes over the conversation. She really snows them but it works they say they wanna play at the show. We make an appointment right on Monday at the office. Mary is ultimately the one who decides, so we need her yes. They're all pretty happy about the job and wanna all show up.
Nevertheless Bruno seems to not really pay attention. I'm afraid that I fucked up his mood and I feel guilty about it. Only when it comes to suggestions to improve their playing he joins the conversation. I tell my opinion from time to time or simply nod in agreement. I'm not really focused I just wanna talk that out with Bruno. After a while I finally ask him if we can have a personal talk, he is surprised but agrees and we go to another free table.
"So are there any other particular insults you missed out outside and wanna yell at me now or why do you wanna talk to me in private?" He asks half seriously half jokingly when we sat down.
"No! No more yelling, I promise... I wanna apologize. I didn't mean anything I said. You are a good musician and very talented. You do what you love and I really had no right to diss you and yell at you like that! I'm truly sorry, Bruno." I try my best to make it up with him. I honestly mean it plus I need him for the show and I can't afford loosing him because of my issues.
"It's okay, Caro. I'm sorry too. It wasn't right to call you a bitch." Did he just call me 'Caro'?! "It's just I was kinda shocked that you talk like that. I mean you're classy and kinda shy... and then boom this image of you and Ryan. I just..."
"Bruno?" I interrupt him. He looks at me with his big brown heart-warming eyes. It's something about his eyes that make me melt but I don't let this feeling take on me and continue. "You said you wanted to protect me. From what?"
He leans back and takes a deep breath in and breathes out slowly. "You know... Ryan sometimes causes problems... he likes to play around... and... I like you... so I don't want him to break your little heart..."
I laugh a bit. "My little heart? Bruno trust me I can deal with it. It's not that I fell in love with him or something... If he doesn't call me afterwards, I'm totally fine..."
"Yeah maybe, but is that what you really want?" He leans towards me. "I think you deserve to be called afterwards!"
"Hm or maybe you just worried about that if he dumps me you won't get the job?"
He leans back again with a disappointed look. "Caro, you may have experienced a lot of this shit but I'm not like that! I don't kiss someone's ass just for a job!"
I smirk at this comment 'cause I heard it before so many times. But I don't wanna start another argument. "Whatever... I think you and your band are the right one for this show next month. I'm glad you're in!"
He stays silence for a while only watching me. What the hell is he thinking about? He really makes me feeling uncomfortable and awkward. "Can I ask you something?" He finally says flatly.
"Yeah sure." I'm glad he broke the silence because I really got uneasy and I couldn't think of any good question I could ask.
"Why is it so hard for you to believe that I'm interested in you because of YOU and not because of any dumb job?"
Boom there he nailed it. I'm asking me that question every fucking time when someone I met through work tries to contact me on a private level. What I of course refuse because I first don't wanna intertwine work and private life and second avoid to be used. NEVER EVER AGAIN. I swore myself after Tony left me...
"Erm... I don't know... I think because of certain things happened in the past..." I response.
"Hm... I guessed so. I knew some dumb ass broke your little heart. Maybe used you to get his own career working. That's why you're so upstage. But I tell you you're a wonderful person. And you really should stop let your past spoil your present!"
Wow this boy surprises me now a lot. He maybe be young but he definitely has some life experiences to talk like that. There's more behind him than this joking crooner I thought he is until now.
"Well you're right. But it's kinda hard for me to trust someone I just met and don't know..."
"I understand that. But the thing is you never will get to know someone and reach the point that you're able to trust him if you don't give him a chance."
Urgh why does he have to hit me with all this true but annoying facts. I hate talking about my feelings especially with someone I know only for some hours. How can he analyze me that way so fast and be totally right about it. I don't feel comfortable at all and I really got to change the topic. I know my flaws and my fears regarding this but I always try to not think about it. I even know that it's wrong but I can't help it. I face it myself I became a mental unsociably wreck after Tony... I hate him for that! He still has such an impact of my life and I let him. Why can't I just forget all the pain I went through and move on. I just have to give a new guy a chance to do better! Bruno is so right...
"I know that all, Bruno! And I wanna change that as well. It's really nice of you trying to help me, but I got that on my own, ok?!" I say bluntly. I don't wanna get emotional here. Though he's nice and everything and really shows interest, I don't wanna let myself fall for him. He's not that kind of man I need, a struggling 23-year-old singer....
As if he can read my mind he says. "I know you don't take me serious 'cause I'm younger than you, plus I'm broke. But I have a lot of other things to give. And with time you'll see that..." He smirks at me, takes a big sip of his beer and leans back in his chair again satisfied with his speech.
I chuckle. "And what if I don't have that time?" I also take some small sips of my wine.
"Oh com'on Caro you're not THAT old!!!" He responses loudly emphasizing 'that'.
I laugh harder. "You don't know how old I am!"
"Then tell me!"
"Just tell me!"
I giggle. "I just turned 28."
"That's fine by me. So it was your birthday not long ago?"
"2 weeks ago." I answer.
"And you say that just now? We gotta celebrate that!" He jumps up and drags me back to the others.
"Guys I just found out that this beautiful woman turned 28 2 weeks ago and she didn't have a proper party. So let us show her how us Hooligans celebrate a b-day!"
I laugh shyly. It really seems not to be a problem for him to tell them my age, and so it shouldn't for me. I'm still young and free, so why not adding a bit hooliganism wildness to it?
They all say their 'happy b-days' to me and Bruno shouts to Ryan. "Hey bro mix us a lot of dancing juice..."
"Yeah!!" They yell and clap.
I feel I'm gonna have a fun night I hadn't for a long time... and it feels damn good...