“Make sure you call me when you land,” Bruno said as he reached the furthest point he could go in the airport with me. He grabbed my hands as he stopped walking, standing in front of me with a small smile on his face.
“Don’t worry, I will,” I replied with a slight shake of my head.
He looked at me for a few minutes, still softly smiling. “I really need to go,” I said with a small laugh, feeling his hands tightening at my words. “It’s only for a weekend, Bruno. I think you can survive.”
He shook his head, wrapping his arms around my waist, not exactly caring we were in the public eye. “Try not to have too much fun without me,” He said, giving me a parental eyebrow raise.
“I promise,” I said, giving him a small kiss on the lips. “I’ll see you in two days, alright?”
“Two days it is,” he replied, leaning in to give me another, longer kiss. I eventually had to force myself away from him when he lingered longer than expected, clearly forgetting we weren’t alone.
Giving one more goodbye to him and Dre, I made my way through the departing gate.
“Remind me again why I didn’t choose to live in New York?” I asked Ally and a co-worker, Maddy as we walked down a busy street. Everything was so much brighter and bigger than what I was used to. Even in LA there weren’t nearly as many large buildings as I was currently looking at.
“Because it’s cold as shit,” Maddy replied as she tugged her jacket closer around her body. Sure, the weather was a bit more drastic than California at this time of year, but it was actually quite refreshing. It was probably cold enough that it could even snow.
We walked a little further until we reached the building we had been working in earlier in the day, walking through the glass doors. There was a fashion show in a few hours so we were required to be back from dinner early.
Although working on weekends usually sucked, the lineup for the evening proved to not be so bad. Things ran smoothly enough, and our director seemed pretty impressed with everything.
By the time things were finishing up, it was nearly midnight. I walked out onto the street with Ally and Maddy again, holding my arms close to my chest against the brisk weather.
“So, New York,” Ally said as she looked up at some neon signs. “What do you have for us?”
“We could go to a male strip club,” I said as I nodded my head down a street towards a sign, laughing.
“Eh, I think Jake wouldn’t recommend that unless he was one of the strippers himself,” Ally replied with a laugh.
“I’m sure that goes for me too,” I said as I shook my head, walking opposite from the street.
“Shit, we need to find something to do,” Maddy said as she looked around. “It’s Saturday night. We are not going to be in New York and not have something to do on a Saturday.” She stated, biting back her lips in thought.
“Call Josh,” I said, turning towards Ally as I referred to a friend of hers that lived in New York. “I’m sure he knows some places.” Ally nodded her head before taking out her phone and dialing his number.
A half-hour later we were in a very crowded yet popular club downtown, sitting at a high-top table. I stirred a drink with one hand and flipped my phone over on the table with my other.
“You know, this sort of sucks when you’re not single,” I said with a small laugh, sitting across from Ally. She gave me a wide-eyed nod, glancing somewhere off to the side.
“Try having this for two years,” She said, shaking her head whilst laughing.
I smiled as my phone buzzed, causing me to stop turning it over. “Bruno?” Ally asked when she saw me look down at my phone. I nodded my head, bringing it up to my ear.
“Hello?” I asked, covering my other ear with my free hand.
“Hey!” He said in a perky voice. “How’s New York?”
“It’s great,” I said, glancing up at Ally who was watching me. “Cold, but nice.”
He paused for a moment, a small static ringing in my ear. “Uh, where are you?” He asked, hearing the loud noises.
I bit my lips, still looking at Ally. “Uh, we just got done. It’s really crowded,” I lied, shrugging my shoulders at Ally’s confused look. “And what are you up to?” I quickly asked, changing the subject.
He let out a breath of air in thought. “Well, we’re just finishing up in the studio, and I think we’re all going to head out downtown to have some fun!” he said, making a funny voice at the last few words.
“Well don’t sound too excited now,” I said with a small laugh.
“What? I can’t hear you it’s too lou—where are you really, Abby?” His voice returned back to its serious tone as he questioned me.
I shrugged my shoulders, stirring my drink. “I told you,” I said softly, not wanting to lie again.
“It’s too loud to still be at a fashion show Abby,” Bruno stated with a sigh. “Why would you lie about it?”
“Because I know you’d be mad at me,” I said in a tiny voice.
“I wouldn’t have been if you told me,” He stated, sounding slightly pissed off.
“Bruno, I’m not going to do shit,” I said, squeezing my glass tight. “I’m not even drinking,” I lied, glancing up to Ally who had an amused look on her face from my claim.
“That’s not the point though, Abby,” He said with a sigh. “And even now, you’re out of town…”
“I would kick you so hard if I was in touching distance right now,” I simply replied, reminding him of our deal as I ignored him.
“How am I being an asshole?” He asked so matter-of-factly.
“Really?” I asked sarcastically, shaking my head. “Bruno, you’re doing the exact same thing you did a few nights ago.”
“Well sorry for thinking about you…” he replied in the same sarcastic tone.
“Thinking about me is one thing, but telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing is another,” I stated, resting my chin in my hand. “I can take care of myself.”
“I understand that,” he said in an annoyed voice. “But will you just listen to me?”
Ugh, I don’t like talking to him when he’s all pissy, I thought as I clenched my jaw slightly. “I’m not in the best place to be talking about this right now,” I said in a loud voice, trying to hear myself over the music.
“Then leave.” He spoke flatly, sounding even more annoyed.
“No, you know,” I said, lifting my head up. “Why don’t you go off and have fun, and I’ll go off and have fun, and I’ll just talk to you in the morning?” I asked in a lighter tone, temping to hang up before he answered.
“Sure. Whatever.” He didn’t sound the least bit satisfied with my agreement, his jaw clenched slightly as he spoke. He hung up before I had a chance to even say goodbye.
I looked up at Ally with a concerned look. “He’s really pissed…” I said, biting my lip.
She softly nodded her head, understanding. I sat for a moment, stirring my drink as I contemplated whether I should call him back or wait until the morning. After a few minutes, I looked up at Ally again, shaking my head.
“Fuck it,” I said, standing up. “Let’s just have some fun, dance with some hot guys, and enjoy ourselves,” I said with a slight smile, tipping the rest of my drink back into my mouth.
I opened my eyes with a painful squint, the bright light killing my head. How many times do I have to wake up like this? I thought as I rolled over to the other side of my hotel bed. I sat up, the throbbing beneath my eye increasing intensely as I tried to rub the pain away.
I glanced over to Ally who was lying in a bed next to me, stirring in her sleep. I glanced at the bedside clock, seeing it was nearly one pm. Shit, I can’t even remember what time we left, I thought as I shook my head, trying to remember what went down last night.
I flipped my feet over the side of the bed, rubbing my head as I attempted to still wake myself up while going through my thoughts. Shit…Bruno. I thought, suddenly feeling the color drain from my face. I grabbed my phone from the bedside table, clicking the home button. He hasn’t even called me. And he seemed really pissed off last night when he hung up.
I bit back my lips, a little nervous. I need to call him, I thought as I nodded my head, telling myself it was going to be alright. I dialed out his number, bringing my phone to my ear just to take it back down thirty seconds later when his voicemail picked it up.
It’s 10 AM in LA, there’s no way he’s still sleeping, I thought, feeling worried that he might still be mad at me. I rubbed my head one last time, standing up as I decided to take a shower to get my mind off of it.
When I came out of the bathroom, Ally was awake and watching TV while she sat at the foot of her bed. “Have you talked to Bruno?” She asked as she looked up at me when I walked through the doorway.
I shook my head. “I called him and he didn’t answer,” I replied, giving her a concerned look.
She gave me a sad smile, probably trying to make me feel better. “Maybe he’s out of the house and doesn’t have his phone,” she said optimistically.
I shrugged my shoulders. I hope he’s not ignoring me on purpose, I thought as I sat down on the bed, silent in deep thought.
“Why don’t we call up Megan and Maddy and get some lunch? You can try calling him again after,” She said, standing up as she turned towards me with a smile. I nodded my head in agreement. Right. I’ll just try again later.
By the time we were finished with lunch it was almost four o’clock. We casually walked around downtown, browsing through the many shops and stores.
While waiting for the girls to try on a few pairs of shoes in one store, I decided to try calling Bruno again. his phone rang for a long time until he picked up on what seemed to be the last ring.
“H-hello?” he asked in a scratchy voice, coughing to clear his throat.
“Bruno..?” I asked cautiously, wondering if he was mad.
“Oh, Abby!” He said in a happy voice, throwing me off guard.
“Uhh, where are you?” I asked, confused at his tone of voice.
“Out mobbin’ with Philip!” He replied with a slight laugh, Phil’s voice echoing in the background.
“Oh, why didn’t you call me back?”
“Sorry baby, I didn’t realize you called!” He said in a disappointed voice. “So what are your plans for today?” He asked, changing the subject.
I let out a small sigh. Did he forget about how mad he was last night? “Bruno…” I said softly, wondering if he knew I lied to him last night about a few things. “I’m sorry about last night,” I said with a small shrug.
He let out a deep breath as I spoke. He paused for a moment, sounding like he was finally acting normal again. “You know what? Let’s just forget about that. We were both being stupid, and for that I’m really sorry.”
“It’s fine, Bruno,” I said, just glad he wasn’t mad at me.
“No Abby,” he said in a softer tone. “You don’t understand. I’m really, really sorry,” He added, a sorrowful tone suddenly engulfing his voice.
“And I’m sorry for being a bitch,” I said with a small laugh. He didn’t respond to me, silence drawing between us. After a few moments of nothing, I spoke again. “Bruno?” I said in a soft voice. “Is everything alright? You seem really quiet.”
“Yeah, everything’s fine.” He replied in a gentle tone. “I’m just not feeling all that great right now,” he added with a sigh.
I nodded my head, biting back my lip. “I’m sorry, I wish I could be there right now,” I said sympathetically.
“Yeah, I wish you were here too,” He said in the same tiresome voice. I heard him let out a small yawn as he shifted on the other side of the line. “Listen, I’ve got to go,” he said as he recovered himself. “So I’ll see you tomorrow when you get back? Alright?”
I nodded my head to my phone, a little confused. “Alright,” I said, agreeing. “I love you.”
“L-love you too,” he said after a moment of silence between us. “Have a safe flight,” He added before hanging up.
I brought my phone down from my ear, trying to figure out how his mood changed three times in the few moments I was speaking to him. I saw Ally glance up from her spot in a chair as she placed her feet into a pair of high heels.
I walked over there, my face full of confusion. “Was he mad?” Ally asked, giving me a strange look.
I shook my head, wrinkling my forehead in thought. “No…” I said, pondering my thoughts. “I’m not really sure what his emotions were…”
“Come here!” Bruno said with a smile as I walked through the airport’s gate. I walked over to him, smiling as I hugged him, his arms wrapping tightly around my body. When he released me, he looked down at my face before giving me a soft kiss on my head sweetly.
“I’ve missed you so much,” He said, smiling at me.
“Bruno, it’s only been two days,” I said with a laugh. “You’ve survived nearly a month last time.”
“I know,” he said as he muffled his face into my neck, hugging me again. “Mmm,” he said as he took in a deep breath. “You smell good.”
I laughed as I gently pushed him off of me, noticing people beginning to give us odd looks. “Let’s go,” I said, reaching down to grab my suitcase and carry-on.
“Noooo,” Bruno said, reaching to rip my suitcase from my hand. “I’ll take this,” he added with a smile, grabbing my free hand with his other.
I smiled at him from my side, giving him a surprised look at his shocking gesture. He simply winked at me, squeezing my hand tighter as he looked forwards again.
I saw a few paparazzi from the corner of my eye holding cameras, and I noticed Bruno sending a nervous glance towards them as he spotted it as well. “Let’s go to your place,” He said, turning to me again. “I don’t feel like going home.”
I nodded my head in agreement as we walked through the doors of the LAX and back into the bright, warm, sunshine of California.
“So does this mean all of that long-ass time in the studio is done?” I asked as Bruno walked through the door of my apartment behind me, closing the door.
He gave me a grave smile as he walked over to me. “Not quite,” He said with a sympathetic look. “But I believe the most difficult parts are done with, so either way I’ll be spending more time with you,” he added with a smile, touching my cheek lightly.
I looked at him for a moment until I remembered what I’d wanted to ask him. “Can I ask you an honest question?” I said, biting both my lips.
He drew his attention better towards me, glancing up at my eyes. “Anything,” he said with another smile.
“Are you really mad at me from the other night?” I asked, slightly nervous.
He stared at my eyes for a moment before shaking his head. “No, not at all. I overreacted,” he said with a reassuring smile, taking a load off my back as I sighed in relief. “I think I deserve that kick now,” he added with a funny laugh, slightly looking down at the ground. “A nice, painful kick where the sun don’t shine.”
I slightly laughed at his statement, causing him to break out a small smile as he glanced up at me. “How about I just kiss you instead?” I asked, putting my lips on his before he could protest.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and felt his hands resting on my hips like they usually did. His grip tightened as he pulled me in closer to his body, deepening the kiss.
One of his hands slid to the side of my waist, touching the end of my shirt barely until his entire grip loosened completely. He leaned back from me, still only a few inches away. I opened my eyes to see that his were still closed as he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” he said, shaking his head before he peeled his eyes open.
I gave him a concerned look, wondering what was wrong. “I’m just really stressed with this whole music situation and I hate to take advantage of you when I’m not all the way there,” he said, giving me a sorrowful look.
I nodded my head, still a little worried from him. He seemed really stressed. “I understand,” I said, giving him a reassuring smile.
“Why don’t we go eat,” he said, mirroring my smile back to me. “I’m starving.”
I woke up in the middle of the night later that evening, opening my eyes to stare at my bedroom ceiling. I rolled over in my bed, feeling the lack of Bruno’s body next to mine.
I saw the covers thrown back from where he slept earlier, the pillow still indented from his head. I sat up, glancing towards the balcony where I saw Bruno’s bare back facing me. His hands rested on the railing as he tilted his head towards his feet, not moving.
I slowly got out of bed, careful in not wanting to disturb him. I walked over to the doorway of the balcony, pausing before I took another step closer.
“You alright?” I asked softly, startling him slightly. His shoulders tensed at my voice before relaxing again. He nodded his head, still looking down.
“Couldn’t sleep,” he said softly, lifting his head up to look off into the distance. I felt odd standing there, his actions making me nervous.
“What’s the matter?” I asked, swiping my hair away from my eyes.
He shook his head slightly, not making any verbal response.
“Bruno.” I stated, shaking my own head. “Talk to me.”
He didn’t make any move to even consider what I just said. I stood in silence for a moment before turning back into the bedroom, getting back into bed. Something was bothering him, and it bothered me.
I snuggled up in the covers, facing the opposite side of the wall from where the balcony was. I feel so stupid right now, I thought as I felt my eyes beginning to water up. I blinked back a few tears as I stared at the wall, knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep even if I tried.
It wasn’t very long until I felt Bruno slip under the covers next to me again, causing the bed to shift. I felt him moving his body closer to mine as he rested his hand over my waist. I ignored his touch, wishing I could just brush him off for being an ass. But I didn’t move his hand.
“Abigail?” He spoke softly in my ear after a minute.
“Hmm?” I replied almost inaudibly.
“Look at me,” he answered. I hesitated for a minute, but eventually forced myself to turn around to face him. I didn’t even realize I was crying until I saw the expression on his face as he wiped a tear from beneath one of my eyes.
“Ahh, why are you crying?” He asked in a sad voice, his expression matching.
“I feel like an idiot,” I said, telling him the truth. “Why are you acting so strange? You won’t even look at me when I ask you a question.”
He searched over my face with his eyes as he thought for a moment. “I know. I’m just trying to figure out everything with the studio and music, and its stressing me out. I’m not trying to make you feel like this, baby, I just have a lot on my mind and it’s getting to me.” His hand was resting on the side of my head, gently rubbing where my hairline was.
I nodded my head, not knowing if I was up to discussing anything with him right now. “You know you don’t have to be taking this much stress right now. You don’t even have to be working as hard as you have been.”
He nodded his head, still looking in my eyes. “I know, and I think I’m going to take a break from the studio for a while. I just need time to settle before I start going at it again I realize,” he said with a small smile. “Do you think that might be able to work?” He asked in a gentle tone.
I slowly nodded my head at his compromise, but didn’t say anything. “Is there any possibility that you’d be able to forgive me?” He asked in an almost child-like voice.
I gave him a tiny smile. “Yes, I think I can forgive you, Bruno,” I said, giving him a tiny peck on the lips.
“Thank you,” he said as I snuggled in closer to him, his arms wrapped around me as he played with my hair. I closed my eyes, my head pressed up against his chest as I began to fall asleep.
When I almost drifted off, I heard Bruno’s voice breaking the silence once more. “Abby?” He asked in a normal voice.
“Yes?” I mumbled, my voice muffled against his warm body.
“Will you still be mad at me when you wake up tomorrow?”
I shook my head. “I don’t think that’s even possible,” I replied, feeling him let out a sigh of relief. He snuggled himself closer to me at my words, his grip around me slightly tightening.
He rested his head down, his lips slightly touching the top of my forehead as he began humming softly. A sweet melody from his voice surrounded the room as he hummed, causing me to drift off into a deep sleep, feeling much better than I had ten minutes ago.
“Good morning, beautiful,” Bruno whispered as he basically made-out with my cheek, trying to wake me up. I opened my eyes, turning my head away from his wet kiss, scrunching my face as I rubbed my cheek dry.
He laughed as I glanced at him, closing my eyes, wanting to go back to bed. “Noooo Abby,” He whined, nudging me. I let out a groan, trying to fall back asleep. “I made breakfast,” He said in a happy tone, making me open my eyes again.
I rolled over, looking at him as he stood completely dressed, next to my bed with his hands behind his back. I gave him a questioning look as he smiled brightly, knowing I would wake up to the call of food. He pulled his arms out from behind his back, revealing a paper bag from McDonalds.
I had no idea he even left this morning. I rolled my eyes, sitting up. “You’re such a liar,” I said, taking it from him and seeing a breakfast sandwich and a hash brown inside.
“It’s better than anything I would have made anyways,” Bruno said with a laugh, sitting down on the side of the bed.
“Why’d you wake me up so early?” I asked with a yawn, seeing the time read 8 o’clock.
“I forgot I had a photo session today, and I wanted you to come with me,” He said, glancing down at his BlackBerry.
“I think I’d rather sleep,” I said with a laugh, reaching in the bag to grab the sandwich.
“Well it’s been a while since I’ve had a photo shoot, and I thought it would be more than perfect to bring my hot fashion-designing girlfriend along with me,” he said with a wink.
“As long as you let me shower before we go,” I said, taking a bite out of the sandwich. He laughed once more, nodding his head in agreement.
I got ready fairly quickly, and we ended up leaving around 9:30, Bruno insisting he drove my car. We were literally in the car for five minutes when Bruno’s phone started ringing.
He grabbed it from his pocket, making me nervous as he answered while still driving. “Hello?” He said into the phone, looking forward as he continued to drive.
He was silent as he listened to whoever was speaking on the other side. His expression tensed as he furrowed his forehead. “Yes, I understand that,” he said in an annoyed tone, shaking his head.
“No, I’m not.” He said after another small pause. “Yeah, I know the deadline is November 10th, but I’m not going to be able to make it—“ I saw his grip tighten on the steering wheel as he let out a deep breath.
“I just need more time, I’m working on something else right now so I can’t get to it,” He finally spoke again, sounding as if he barely managed to get a breath into the conversation that was being carried on. “What the hell am I supposed to do about it?” His voice suddenly rose louder as he smacked his free hand on the steering wheel, making me jump slightly.
“Well I can’t. I’m sorry but it’s not going to happen,” he said with a final sigh. “Yeah. Bye.”
Bruno ran a stressful hand up to rub his temple as he chucked his phone onto the counsel next to him. “Was that Phil?” I asked, honestly having no idea if Bruno would ever sound so angry towards his friend.
He shook his head. “Some asshole from my contract. I’m supposed to have ten pieces within the next two weeks and I’ve got absolutely nothing,” he said in a stressful manner.
“Well I’ve got some pieces in my closet you could borrow,” I said with a shrug, knowing he was talking about something completely different.
He managed to let out a chuckle, reaching his hand down to grab mine. “Thanks for trying,” he said, bringing my hand up to his lips to kiss it.
I scrolled through my emails as I sat in a large director-style chair in the large warehouse-looking building.
“Abbyyyy,” Bruno called out from across the room. I glanced up, seeing him holding a pile of clothes, waving towards me. “Come with meee,” he said with a smile.
I saw a few of the people who were working on the shoot glance up at his offer towards me. My cheeks slightly felt red when I saw a few of the other girls slightly glance in my direction with disapproving looks. Embarrassed, I hopped up, quickly following Bruno down a small hallway into the dressing room.
“Bruno, I think you can dress yourself,” I said as I closed the door behind me.
“No I can’t,” he said, grabbing my face and kissing me when I turned around. “And I can’t do that out there,” he said as he leaned back, both of his hands cupping my face.
I kissed him back with a smile one more time before leaning out again. “Alright, you need to change now!” I said, trying to hurry him up. He threw the clothes down on a sofa, staring at them.
“I forgot what I was supposed to put on,” he said, staring blankly at them. I rolled my eyes. Of course he’d forgotten.
“Just throw that shirt on but keep the pants you’re wearing,” I said, pointing to a cotton button-up. He smiled at me before taking off his current shirt.
“Button me up?” He said as he put his arms through the sleeves.
“Like you’re not capable of it yourself,” I said, taking both sides of his shirt and beginning to button it. “I’d rather be unbuttoning them…” I said, giving him an upwards glance.
“Maybe later I’ll let you,” he said with a smile, kissing me again as I reached the top button. “And here goes round two,” Bruno said as he leaned back, opening the door to go back to the shoot.
“Long ass day,” Bruno said as we finally stepped into his doorway. He chucked his keys on a small table as he led the way upstairs, not bothering to turn on any of the lights until he made it to the hallway.
I walked in behind him to his bedroom, sitting down on the side of his bed. I let out a yawn while I rubbed my eye, finally beginning to feel how long today reallywas.
“Aww, I think you’re sleepy,” he said in a baby voice. I shook my head, yawning again.
“Noooo,” I said, denying the fact that I was beginning to get tired.
Bruno walked over, wrapping his arms around me and leaning on top of me so that we both fell back onto the bed.
“I loveee youuuu,” he said, muffled against my chest, squeezing me hard.
“Urgh, Bruno,” I mumbled beneath his weight. “You’re hurting me.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, rolling off of me as he laid next to me. He reached over to touch my hair, playing with it with his fingers. “How about I make it up to you?”
“And how will you do that?” I responded, playing with him.
“I can’t tell you,” he said, leaning in closer to me. “But I can most definitely show you.” He leaned in further until our lips met, and he rolled back over on top of me again, beginning to run his fingers through my hair as he kissed my lips.
I opened my eyes the next morning to find myself lying in bed alone. I sat up as I wrapped the sheets around my naked body, seeing if Bruno was in the bathroom that conjoined to his bedroom. Nope.
I got up, throwing on a pair of Bruno’s shorts and a t-shirt as I wandered my way out into the hall, walking downstairs. Where in the hell is he? I thought when I walked into the living room we painted a few months ago. I let out a small sigh as I left the room, walking down the hallway.
I eventually made my way into the kitchen, finding a single post-it note sitting on the counter next to Bruno’s large supply of alcohol. I picked it up, reading his sloppy handwriting.
I went out for a walk. I should be back by ten. Love you.
A walk? Bruno never took walks, that was strange for him. I looked up at the clock on the microwave, seeing the time was a quarter to ten. I guess I’ll have to wait until he’s back then, I thought as I opened the fridge, looking for something to eat.
I had eaten and taken a shower all before Bruno finally did come back, a little later than he’d written on the note. I was sitting at the counter when I heard the front door open, the sound of Bruno’s feet walking into his house.
“Hey,” he smiled at me when he walked into the kitchen. He grabbed a water bottle from the fridge, taking a large gulp before walking back over to where I sat.
“A walk?” I asked as I held up the note, raising an eyebrow. “And since when did you become so outdoorsy?” I asked in a light tone.
He smiled as he leaned on the counter, shrugging his shoulders. “I’ve always liked time to myself to think,” he said, taking another drink.
“Touché.” I said in reply, knowing he did like to be alone sometimes.
He winked at my response before speaking again. “So what do you want to do today?” He asked with a soft tone.
I shrugged my shoulders. “Whatever floats your boat,” I said with a small giggle.
“Whatever what’s my what?” Bruno asked, a complete lost look on his face.
“It’s a saying,” I laughed as I stood up, walking around towards him.
“What is that, some Seattle thing I should know about?” He said, looking me up and down with a raised eyebrow.
I smiled, shaking my head. “Noooo, nevermind that,” I said, knowing it’d be useless to try to explain to him.
“Well we can go float my boat after I shower, alright?” He replied, kissing me softly on my lips for a moment. I nodded my head, allowing him to head upstairs.
“But if you’d like,” He said, turning around halfway up the stairs. “You can join me.” He added with a seductive smirk.
“I already showered, but thanks,” I said, following him up the stairs. He shook his head once before escaping into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.
I sat down on Bruno’s side of the bed, flopping my head back into the pillow. I laid there for a few moments until the buzzing of a cellphone caused me to sit up. I glanced in the direction of the noise, trying to figure out where I last left my phone.
But instead, I found Bruno’s BlackBerry sitting on the bedside table, the screen lit up. Curious as to who texted him, I leaned over, grabbing his phone. And to my surprise, and utter dismay, Sydney’s name popped up on the screen.
I felt my stomach drop when I read her name, clicking to unlock his phone curiously.
Alright, I’ll be there, The message read. Nervous, I scrolled to the beginning of the conversation that began this morning around 8 am. I began reading through their texts, the first one beginning with Bruno:
—Listen Sydney, I can’t do this anymore. This isn’t fair to her and especially after the weekend, I just need a break from everything. I don’t think this whole producing thing will work out.
-You haven’t told her anything, have you? Her message in reply caught my attention, and not in a good way.
—No, and I don’t plan on it.
-You got to say something before she starts making assumptions.
—I don’t feel comfortable talking like this. Could you just call me instead?
There was a break in conversation after Bruno’s last message. I slightly felt my heart rate quicken as I looked up from his phone, taking a small breath. Looking back down at his phone, the next message sent to her was Bruno’s address and a time.
What the fuck? I thought, my head spinning. I exited out of the conversation, clicking on all of his messages as a whole. I scrolled through them starting from the bottom, a majority of the texts from either Phil, Ari, or one of the band members. A few were from his sisters or mother, but nothing else out of the ordinary caught my attention.
I was about halfway up his messages when Sydney’s name popped up again. Several of the messages were studio times or producing things that I didn’t understand. It wasn’t until I saw my name come up when I stopped to open up the conversation again, the first message from Bruno:
—Will your current session be over before 4?
-Yes. I should be done at 330.
—Ok, I’ll only have three hours before Abby’s home from work and I want to be back before she is so she doesn’t worry of anything suspicious.
-k. Suite #231.
I closed my eyes in a stressed manner, shaking my head. How could I have been so stupid about this? I thought as bit both my lips back. I didn’t want to read anymore messages, afraid that I’d read something that would hurt me even worse.
“What are you doing?” Bruno’s voice suddenly filled the room, making me jump slightly. I looked up at him as he scratched his still-wet curls, giving me a questioning look.
“Bruno…what is this?” I asked as I walked towards him slightly, lifting up his phone as I referred to it.
“Why were you reading my messages?” He asked, his tone changing as a scowl covered his face suddenly.
“Maybe because Sydney’s coming over to see you at five…” I said accusingly in a small voice, crossing my arms.
“Calm down Abby,” Bruno said moodily, snatching his phone from my hands. “She’s helping me with a song.”
“Oh really?” I asked, my voice rising angrily. “Then why were you talking about ‘last weekend’ and how it’s not ‘fair’ to me?”
“It’s nothing, calm down,” he replied moodily, putting more emphasis on the wordnothing then was necessary.
“Yeah well it doesn’t sound like ‘nothing’. What’s going on?!”
“Nothing, Abby!” Bruno slightly yelled. “Chill the fuck out. You don’t see me reading through your messages to the people you work with,” he said, rubbing his forehead.
“No, I’m not going to chill the fuck out,” I said mockingly, nearly choking up at his tone towards me. “I’m tired of this shit, Bruno. You keep avoiding things and then act like everything’s fine. I can’t believe you’re the one getting mad at me for reading your messages.”
“Because you’re freaking out over nothing, Abby! I haven’t done anything wrong,” He said, throwing his arms up.
“Yeah? Well I find that hard to believe,” I replied angrily, quickly grabbing my keys and phone from the table and walking towards the door.
“Abby, don’t leave…” Bruno said in a suddenly soft voice, watching me. I ignored his attempted plea at making me stay, brushing past him as I made my way to the door.
I angrily wiped a tear from my eye as I got into my car, a million different thoughts swarming my brain. I could hardly think well enough to even drive down the road properly; I was so angry and confused.
I didn’t want to go home. No, if I went home I would just be even more mad. I squeezed the steering wheel hard, not caring where I went. I just needed to go someplace where I could think, properly.
I drove downtown for a half-hour before I realized where I was headed. My body had made its own decision before my mind could even comprehend it. Several minutes later I pulled into the parking lot, staring off in front of me as I turned my car off.
I opened my door, wondering why I even came here. I needed to be at a place where I could forget and actually think, not where I could reminisce. But, despite this fact, I took a step forwards onto the sandy beach, digging my shoes in the cool sand.
I walked alongside the water, following the same path I’d been with Bruno a while ago. Why the hell does he do that? I thought as I wiped a few more tears from my face.
Eventually I plopped down into the sand, holding my throbbing head in my hands as I tried to sort my thoughts. I hate not knowing things. He makes everything so confusing. I dropped my arms to either side of my body, grabbing large fistfuls of sand, letting it slip through my fingers.
I lifted my head up as I stared across the water, realizing I was sitting near the area Bruno had said he first loved me at. “Fuck this,” I said to myself, chucking some sand at the ground. I pulled my knees up, tilting my head down so that it sat in between them as I let out a loud groan.
I sat in this position for God knows how long until I heard movement behind me. Lifting my head, I turned around slightly, only to find Bruno slowly approaching me.
I turned back around to face the water, resting my chin on my knees as I stared off into the distance. “How’d you know I was here?” I asked in a monotonous voice.
I felt him sit down beside me, pulling his knees up as well as he mirrored my position. “I figured you’d come back here,” he said in a solemn voice.
“I’m not in the mood to talk,” I flatly stated, still mad and confused.
“I know you’re not,” Bruno said with a sad sigh. “But I am. Just listen to me Abby.”
I saw him looking at me from the corner of my eye, but I didn’t turn my head. I continued to stare forward, silently wishing he would leave. “Hey,” Bruno softly spoke out, reaching his hand to touch my jaw. I tensed up at his touch, not moving. “Look at me,” he whispered, gently turning my face towards his.
I saw the sadness on his face as I looked at him, making me feel weak. “Bruno,” I choked, feeling sick. “What’s going on?”
Bruno let out a quiet sigh. “I told you, Abby. There isn’t anything going on between Sydney and I.”
“Then what about all of those messages? How can you tell me nothing is going on when you’re making plans to meet up with her?” I said, defending myself.
“You know she’s a producer, Abby,” He replied with the shrug of his shoulders.
“Oh right, so just because she’s a producer, there’s no worries,” I said as I rolled my eyes, looking off to the side, not wanting to look in his eyes.
“I know you’re concerned, but you’ve got…got to trust me,” he said with a sympathetic shrug. “We’re working out studio times.”
“Yeah, right, in suite number 231,” I said sarcastically, feeling the anger slightly arise in me again.
Bruno let out a small laugh. Why the fuck are you laughing about this? “Abby, baby, that’s the studio we’re in. Number 231. If you don’t believe me I can show you,” Bruno said, giving me a small smile.
Of course it’s just a studio number, I thought, wondering how I couldn’t figure that out on my own. I still tried to ignore this fact. How does he make everything seem like it’s not that big of a deal in the end?
“Then why is it so secretive all the time? You haven’t let me come with you whenever you’re ‘going to the studio’ for the past couple of weeks. I don’t even get an explanation. What the hell is up with that, Bruno?”
Bruno let out a small sigh, running his hand through his hatless curls. He looked as if he were going to say something before he shook his head, glancing down at his knees.
”Bruno,” I said in a pleading voice, wanting him to say something.
“…And you haven’t caught on to any of this?” He asked softly, looking back up at me. I shook my head, a wave of confusion suddenly filling my whole body, his statement making my stomach knot up.
“I hate to tell you this, I really do,” he said with another sigh, making me cringe. “But you know I can’t have you at the studio with me when I’m writing a song about you,” he continued, looking up at me with a small smile.
“Wait, what?” I said, staring at him as my expression suddenly changed.
“Sydney’s new to this whole producing thing, and I thought it’d be best to get help from another girl’s perspective,” he replied, beginning to draw patterns in the sand next to him. “You had no idea?”
I felt the color drain from my face. How did I not know this? Thinking about it now, he had dropped several subtle hints about it when he said things like give me a month or you won’t be disappointed. I let out a small groan, shaking my head as I put it back in my knees, embarrassed. “Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?” I asked, muffled against my legs. “Instead you leave me hanging and worried shitless over this.”
“I know, but I couldn’t have you coming with me if I wanted to work on it.” He reached over, grabbing my hand, which caused me to bring my head up again. “And it would have spoiled the surprise.”
“Tell me that there is nothing going on between you two,” I said with a sigh so that I could feel better about all of this.
“What?” He asked, giving me a confused look.
“Bruno, look me in the eyes and say that you and Sydney have nothing going on,” I repeated, glancing up at his eyes.
He took a small breath as he sat up a little straighter, looking me dead in the eye. “Sydney and I have absolutely nothing going on,” He stated, squeezing my hand.
I let out a sigh of relief, flashing him a sad smile before my face returned to normal. “You’re serious about this then, aren’t you?” I asked gloomily, beginning to get angry with myself for thinking such bad things about him.
He gave me a tiny smile. “Yeah, I am,” He said with a shrug. “I hope you’ll still act surprised when you hear it though,” he said with a small laugh.
I let out another groan, fitting my head back into my knees once more. “I’m such an idiot,” I whined, now really embarrassed.
“You’re not an idiot,” Bruno said, scooting closer to me as he wrapped his arms around my body. “You’re just worried, and I understand that.” He gave me a small kiss on the top of my head, rubbing my arms in a comforting manner.
“I’m sorry Bruno,” I said, lifting my head up. “I just overreacted I guess…I always assume the worst, don’t I?” I asked, giving him a sympathetic look as I met his eyes.
“It’s alright, I forgive you,” He said, kissing my head again. “As long as you can forgive me for yelling at you earlier.”
I softly smiled at him, nodding my head. “Yeah,” I said, giving his hand a small squeeze. “I think I can.”
“Great,” He said with a smile as he stood up, pulling me up with him. He drew me into a hug, wrapping his arms tightly around me as he swayed his body. I felt him let out a shaky breath as he squeezed me tighter, leaning his head into my neck.
Alright so this one’s really long…but I couldn’t exactly make it shorter cause its important…and its set up a bit different too….
ahsklfhs I’m not very happy with this chapter so I’m going to go now..
I leaned my back against the door as I closed it, nearly falling to the ground, my nerves taking over. I stood for a second, catching my breath that suddenly hitched itself from the never-ending thoughts that consumed my mind. I brought both hands to my face, rubbing it in a stressed manner.
I chucked my keys on a side table by the door, walking over to my living room. The second I made contact with the over-sized chair, all of my muscles collapsed, my arms and legs flopping down. What the hell have I done? I thought, knowing far well that I’ve fucked things up far beyond damage repair. And there was nothing I could do to fix it.
Fuck, fuck, fuck. The same thoughts ran through my head. I felt my forehead beginning to sweat. I took a shaky breath, keeping my left hand on my temple in attempt to decrease the pain of my sudden headache. What the hell was wrong with me? My emotions were never like this. I needed to tell someone; I needed this off my chest.
I reached my hand into my pocket, picking up my phone. Dialing the first number that came to my mind, I waited for someone to pick up on the other side.
“Hey!” He said when he finally picked up. “What’s going on?”
I felt a small smile crack on my lips of the reassuring voice. “Not much,” I said in a shaky voice, trying to find the right words to begin.
“Hey are you alright? You don’t sound too well.”
“I’m not doing so well…listen, Phil,” I took another deep breath, “I gotta tell you something, and you’re gonna kick my ass for it.”
“Alright,” Phil replied, not sounding too sure. “Lay it on me, Brunz.” I took a deep breath, beginning from the previous weekend.
I squeezed my BlackBerry tight in my hand as I pushed the ‘end’ button, trying to keep my emotions bottled up. A small wave of heat ran through my body as I tried to stable my anger. “God damn it,” I said to myself, tempted to chuck my phone across the room.
She doesn’t understand anything, I thought as I shook my head angry. And she’s going off trying to tell me I’m in the wrong?
I walked back into the suite of the studio we were in, my head still slightly spinning. Phil looked up when he saw me, knowing that something wasn’t right.
“Are things going good?” Phil asked, causing everyone else to draw their attention to me as well.
I shook my head once. “It’s just stupid,” I said, finally putting my phone into my back pocket. Phil didn’t look like he accepted my answer, but he didn’t question me further.
After finishing things up a half-hour later, Ari seemed ready to get going. “Alright enough of this shit,” he said as he put his guitar down. “Let’s go have some fun now.”
Phil glanced in my direction as I sat in a chair, rubbing my temple. “You sure you want to go?” He asked as he looked at me.
I looked up at his confused expression, my mindset suddenly changing. “Yeah,” I said, standing up. “I think I need to get out anyways.” I wasn’t going to let this get to me. If Abby could go out and have her own night, there was no way in hell that would stop me from having fun.
“Ayy!” I yelled as I watched Ryan beginning to break down into some dance moves, his drink firmly in hand. The lights and music of the club reflected off the many bodies that surrounded me. I took the red-tinted drink I held in my hand, dumping the rest of its continents down my throat in one gulp.
Tonight’s the best night I have to just let go, I thought as I swallowed up my drink. A small cringe of anger filled me as I thought about the conversation I had with her on the phone earlier. I just need to forget about this.
Staggering through the mounds of people, I made my way over to the bar, ordering another round of drinks for everyone. My vision was slightly misjudging me, and a few times I struggled with keeping my balance, but I was still in a pretty stable condition which meant I could handle just a few more drinks.
I made it back to the reserved section of the club where everyone else was, holding some bottles as Phred followed close behind, carrying the rest of them. I smiled brightly, flashing my teeth as all the guys hooted and hollered when we made it over. I scanned their faces, finding a not expected one amongst them.
“Sydney?!” I yelled over the loud music, walking up to her. “I didn’t know you were here!”
She laughed at my words before taking a drink of whatever she held in her hands. “Bruno, we all came here together, remember?” She asked, raising her eyebrow.
I wrinkled my forehead, not really remembering that at all. She must have noticed the lost look on my face because she suddenly burst out laughing again, nearly falling over.
She caught herself from face planting by quickly grabbing onto my left shoulder. Out of reflexes, I reached my hands out, steadying her shoulders. “Come on,” I said, laughing now. “Let’s go dance.”
She shook her head, still recovering herself. “Oh, no, no, no.” She said when she stood up again. “I am far too drunk to be dancing right now.”
“Nonsense,” I said, grabbing her wrist gently, pulling her towards the dance floor. “You won’t kill yourself.” I pulled her out into the middle of the floor, beginning to dance by myself as I faced her. She laughed as I did a few foot movements, swinging my arms in strange ways.
I reached my hands out, grabbing hers as I continued to dance the same way, only shaking her arms to get her to dance along with me. When the song ended, she was laughing again, throwing her head down against my chest as she giggled. “We should probably get back with the guys, I’m sure they’re leaving soon.” She said, leaning away from me.
I nodded my head for a moment, suddenly focusing in on the drink she held in her hands. Leaning forwards, I took a big swig from her straw, looking up at her amused face. “Thank you for that, Bruno.” She said sarcastically as she pulled her drink from me.
“Mmm, that was good.” I said, trying to lean in and take another drink. She pulled it further from me, shaking her head. “Nope.” She said, taking a big drink of it herself.
“Aww come on,” I said, trying to take it from her. She shook her head, laughing. “Nah-uh.”
“Please?” I said five times in a row, begging as I moved closer. She shook her head with a giggle, holding it from me.
“Pretty, pretty, pretty, please—“ I cut off my own sentence as I came in contact with her. My mind rushed with thoughts as I felt my lips press against hers. The sweet taste of alcohol on her tongue told me she was just about as drunk as I was. I heard a few hollering voices around me, but I didn’t pull back. My hands dropped down to her waist, pulling my body closer to hers.
Leaning back, I stared at her eyes that were looking directly in mine. “Change of plans,” I said over the loud music. “Let’s go back to my room.” I lightly grabbed her fingertips, pulling her out of the masses of people, heading out the doors of the club.
I unlocked the door to a darkened hotel room that I just rented, flipping on the lights when I walked through the door. Hearing the door close behind me, the lights quickly flicked off again. “Hey why did you—“ I suddenly felt Sydney’s lips on mine again, her hands beginning to tug at my clothes. “It’s a better effect.” She said as she began kissing my neck, moving down.
Somewhere inside of me, I knew that this situation seemed a bit off. Something about this didn’t feel right. But the way her tongue felt against my now-bare chest made any such thoughts disappear. I leaned my head back as she pushed me down onto the bed, tugging at my belt buckle.
A slight grunt escaped my mouth when I felt her mouth on me, slightly causing me to flinch at the pleasure she provided. Something was different about the way she worked, something that wasn’t always there. I couldn’t figure out what it was that kept my mind drifting from her, as if it should have been someone else. But I couldn’t stop her; there was no way I was even capable of quitting now.
My breathing quickened several minutes later, and I knew I couldn’t take it any longer. I grabbed her hips, pulling her back to my face, beginning to take off her short dress. I ran my hands across her now-naked body, adjusting myself so that I was now on top of her. I gave her a small smirk as I looked down into her eyes, knowing she wanted it just as much as I did.
I opened my eyes to an unbelievably bright sun shining through the window. I squinted my eyes, already feeling the pain of an oncoming hangover. Aw, man, I thought as I squeezed my eyes shut. What the hell happened last night?
I barely opened them enough to see the alarm clock on my bedside table. 12:30pm. I could have sworn I’d slept in later than that, and by the way I felt, I knew I probably should have slept longer.
Movement of the bed next to me brought me out of my train of thought. Who in the hell is that? I thought, praying I hadn’t slept next to one of the guys…that would be awkward. I rolled over to the other side, seeing the back of what appeared to be long hair. I smiled to myself, happy that it was her. I stared for a moment before another thought overcame me; Abby was in New York. How did she get here?
A sudden panic filled through my body, causing me to sit up despite the piercing headache I was up against. I stared before realizing who it really was laying in my bed. Sydney.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, I thought, running my hand through my curls. What the fuck did I do?! I panicked, nearly ripping out my hair as I tried to remember. A few thoughts swam through my mind, filling me with visions that I didn’t want to see. What did I do, what did I do? I blinked my eyes a hundred times, trying to get rid of the images I saw in my mind. But it wasn’t working.
I jumped out of the bed, tossing on a pair of sweats as I began pacing the room. I heard her shift in her sleep, soon opening up her own eyes. She glanced from me to the bed she sat on, the same terrified look on her face as I did. She quickly covered herself, getting up from the bed.
“Bruno, what the fuck happened?” She said, a terrified tone to her voice.
I shook my head, feeling tears beginning to burn in the back of my eyes. “I, I can’t—no.” I said, still shaking my head. I quickly reached over to the table and grabbed my phone. One missed call from Abby. “Oh my god, oh my god, I fucked up.” I said, flopping down in a chair, repeating the same words over again.
I saw Sydney’s concerned look on her face. I wasn’t mad at her; it wasn’t her fault. She looked scared, as if she were supposed to say something, but didn’t know how or what to say. “I think I need to go,” she said as she shook her head, biting her lip.
I nodded my head, resting it In my two hands propped up on my knees. “Yeah,” I said in agreement. “I need to be alone.”
“Bruno, I know it’s hard, but you’ve got to tell her.” Phil said after a long minute of silence between us.
I nodded my head, knowing he couldn’t see me. I had to tell her, she deserved to know, right? “Yeah, but you don’t understand, Phil. I lied to her. I looked her straight in the eyes and lied. How in the hell am I supposed to explain this,” I said, bringing my hand up to my head so that I could tug at my hair until it fell out.
I heard him let out a sigh. “You really fucked up this time.” His words nearly sent my heart rocketing towards the ground, causing me to hold my breath.
“I can’t do it, Phil. I just can’t.” I said, my voice cracking as I did so.
“I understand that its hard, but if she finds out through someone else, you’re really fucked.” Phil said in a parenting voice.
“I’m fucked no matter what.” I said, knowing this was probably the last time I’d be with Abby.
Phil let out another exasperated sigh. “Listen man, I in no way have a right to judge you for your idiotic decisions, drunk or not, but you have got to tell Abby. Just figure out your shit and talk to me when you decide to do the right thing. I gotta go.”
His last words rang in my head several minutes after we hung up. I sat in the same chair for God knows how long, my thoughts taking over my mind completely. I can’t tell her. It’s not like she’d find out, I thought, rubbing my temple with my fingers. As long as Sydney keeps it secret, then there’s no way Abby will know. I looked down at my phone again, scrolling through my address book until I came upon Sydney’s number, dialing it.
I glanced down at my shaky hands once before looking back up at the mirror, staring at my reflection. I took a deep breath, adjusting my hat so it was tilted slightly to the left of my head. I cleared my mind of any unwanted thoughts, and when I decided I looked as normal as I usually did, I finally turned away, grabbing my keys and BlackBerry, heading out the door.
I drove in silence; not even the radio was playing. I never drove without music. But I needed more time to clear my thoughts, to rid them of the images that destroyed my conscious. By the time I pulled in the parking lot of the studio, it was almost nine; the early morning sun was still reflecting off the late October frost that covered the grass.
I saw Phil when I walked through the main doors, talking with several people from the label. I made no note to him when he glanced in my direction, keeping my line straight for the recording room we were in. To my surprise and enjoyment, there was no one else in the studio when I finally did open the door, my nerves relaxing.
I got out a few things I would be needing and set up some of the equipment. A few moments later, Phil walked in, looking like he had a lot on his mind. He scratched his head once and opened his mouth to speak, but I quickly shook my head at him.
“Can we not talk about this now?” I said with the shake of my head, returning back to turning on the lights of the booth.
He nodded his head once silently, giving me a disappointed look as he sat down in a chair, messing around with some keys. “I just think you need to—“
“Yeah well I’m trying to figure this out,” I said in an irritated voice, cutting him off.
“Bruno, don’t do this to yourself,” Phil replied, turning towards me. “You’re only making things worse by holding off.”
I shook my head. No, I knew what I was doing. I just needed time to figure it out. “Let’s start off from yesterday,” I said, pressing a few buttons, ignoring his comment.
Phil let out a small sigh, deciding on dropping the subject. We played with the sound of the current track we were working on, the one I promised Abby I’d have finished come November for the next hour, overlaying sound and adding more instruments.
The sweet melody could finally be called complete not too long after, and day one of recording was ready for progress. I eventually got in the booth, the written lyrics in hand on my blackberry as I put the headphones over my ears.
As much as I tried to focus, I couldn’t bring myself to it. Even throughout the past few days I wasn’t functioning all that properly like I normally did. Phil never said anything to me directly, but I could tell he knew something was up before I even mentioned anything.
I stared at the words in the palm of my hand, unable to comprehend them. A few weeks ago maybe they’d been all true, but now, after what happened, I couldn’t convince myself that any of it was really what I’d thought it had been.
Singing this right now would all just be a lie. A lie with a hidden secret behind it that Abby would never know about, and every time that I’d hear this song I would only think of that. So I choked.
The music continued to play as I shook my head, glancing down. I took a deep breath, telling Phil to start it from the top once more. I nodded my head to the beat, trying to get into rhythm. When I thought I seemed into it enough, I began the first few verses without any issues.
But when the chorus hit, my voice decided to fail to comprehend with my brain. Too many thoughts swamped my mind at once, and I felt blank suddenly. I shook my head, taking off the headphones as I let out a loud, stressed sigh.
I propped my elbows up on a music stand that was in front of me and placed my head in both of my hands, trying to calm myself down. I stood with my face in my hands for several minutes, neither Phil nor I speaking a word.
I took a deep breath, attempting at steadying my breathing back to normal. I clenched fistfuls of hair, staring down at my feet.
“I can’t do this,” I softly choked out after a long silence, not looking up. I set the headphones on the stand, grabbing my blackberry and hat from the floor, walking out of the booth. I intertwined my fingers together, placing my clasped hands in front of my eyes as I took a deep breath, slightly pacing in circles.
“What am I supposed to do?” I asked after another five minutes of silence, glancing up at Phil with a lost look.
“You know what I’m going to say,” He spoke with a shrug, looking as if he didn’t feel sorry for me. Not that he should; in fact I don’t think anyone should put pity on me for my stupid mistakes.
I furrowed my forehead, sadness overcoming my emotions. “But you don’t understand,” I said with the shake of my head. “I can’t break her heart like that. I just can’t.” I flopped down on a sofa, putting my face in my hands once more.
“I don’t care if she never speaks to you again, but you’ve got to say something, man,” Phil said in a calm tone, sitting down in his own chair.
“Yeah well I do care,” I replied in an annoyed tone. “And she won’t understand. She’s had past experiences. There’s no way I can convince her to just forget about it.” I glanced up, placing my hands as a small steeple below my chin.
“Then that’s how it goes,” Phil replied with a shrug. “You can’t exactly do anything about it now anyways.”
I nodded my head, knowing he was right. But even as much as it would hurt, I’d have to tell her. “I guess I’ve really got no choice,” I said with a painful sigh.
We sat in a few more minutes of silence until I heard my phone ringing from across the room. I got up to answer it, seeing from the caller ID that it was Abby.
I put the best smile on as I could manage, answering the phone cheerfully. “Heyyy sweetheart,” I said in a soft voice.
“Hey, so are we still on for seven tonight, or…” She asked softly, sounding skeptical.
“Yeah, uh, I think it’ll be another hour before we’re done though,” I said, half-lying. I knew I wouldn’t get any work done.
“Oh,” she replied in a nearly inaudible voice, sounding disappointed. For a moment I had forgotten that I promised I wouldn’t be spending as much time at the studio. But today I needed some time away so I could get myself together, which ended up backfiring at me anyways.
“You know what,” I said in a slightly optimistic voice. “Why don’t you come over here now and then hopefully I can be done soon? Alright?” I asked with a smile to my voice.
“Really? Are you sure you’re not too busy?” She asked as if trying to not get her hopes up too high.
“Positive,” I smiled, pacing the room. “It’s just Phil and I anyways.”
“Oh…right,” Abby softly spoke back. “Well then I’ll just see you soon. Love you,” she added in a happy voice.
“…Love you too,” I said glancing in Phil’s direction as I hung up. He shook his head, biting back his lips.
“I’ll get to it,” I said in response to the question that played at his mind. “I just need…time.” In fact, I think I needed a lot of time. I shook my head, walking over to grab my guitar, figuring I should work on something else when Abby arrived.
Within the time that I hung up with Abby and her arrival, Ari had already gotten to the studio and we were well underway of breaking out into pointless rhythms and tunes, not exactly in the mood to work.
When the door opened however, I put down my guitar, placing the best ‘I’m happy to see you’ smile on my face.
“Well don’t you look hot,” I said in a voice quiet enough that the guys didn’t hear what I said, referring to the black dress she wore.
“And same to you,” She said with a slightly embarrassed smile as I kissed her quickly. I drew back, dropping my hands from her waist as I walked over to a small table, grabbing my keys and phone.
I took a glance in Phil’s direction as I stood, seeing him looking at me, disappointed. He shook his head once and it was almost enough for me to blow off all of my plans with Abby tonight and just spill everything.
“So how has everything been going with you two?” Ally asked as we stood talking in a large conference room.
I shrugged my shoulders, biting back my lip. I had told her about the argument we’d gotten into the other day and how I was still a bit skeptical about everything. “I don’t know,” I said with a sigh. “It’s all pretty strange still.”
She nodded her head in understanding, knowing what I meant. “At least he’s doing something special for you,” She said with a smile and a wink.
I smiled back, shaking my head at her reaction. “I think that’s what’s stressing him out so much. He’s always at the studio, and apparently he’s got a whole bunch of shit that needs to be done in a couple of weeks,” I said, shaking my head at how hectic everything was.
“Don’t worry,” Ally said in reply. “You don’t need to be stressed over it as well. I’m sure once he’s got everything figured out it won’t be as hard to find time with him.”
I nodded my head, hoping she was right. Throughout the past couple of weeks, I hadn’t spent near as much time with him as I usually did. And whenever we were together, he ended up being called up by Phil or Ari halfway through the day, having to leave for the studio. It was annoying as shit, and I didn’t know how much longer it’d be that I could handle it for.
“Do you want to go out with us girls tonight?” Ally asked after a few moments.
I shook my head slightly. “No, I’ve got a dinner date with Bruno,” I said, giving her an apologetic smile. “Maybe next time though!”
“Nah, it’s alright,” She replied with a smile. “As long as you’re still getting it in I’m happy!”
I rolled my eyes, nudging her as I shook my head. “Ohhh Allyy.”
“Well don’t you look hot,” Bruno whispered in my ear with a smile, making me blush.
I glanced over to Phil and Ari who didn’t seem to be paying attention. “And same to you,” I replied, giving him a soft kiss before he grabbed his things to go.
We walked out of the studio, taking Bruno’s car to a downtown Italian restaurant. After we were seated and ordered our drinks, a small silenced filled the space between us as the waitress left.
I glanced up from the glass of water I had been wiping the condensation off of, seeing Bruno looking at me. He had a small smug smile on his face as he tried his best not to show his teeth.
“What?” I asked softly, feeling my face become slightly warm.
He shook his head, taking a drink of his own water. “You’re just very beautiful and I can’t help but to stare,” he said with a wink.
I smiled shyly, feeling almost as if I were on the first date with him all over again. “You’re so cheesy,” I said, putting my napkin in my lap.
“It took you a few months to notice,” he said with a nervous laugh, shaking his head.
Another silence surrounded us and the conversations from other tables could be heard from across the room. I shifted in my chair slightly, feeling a bit uncomfortable. “Is everything alright?” I asked, looking at Bruno who suddenly looked tired.
He nodded his head, giving me a reassuring smile. “Yeah, I’m fine,” he said, grabbing my hand from under the table.
“You seem really quiet,” I pointed out, tilting my head.
“Would you rather me shout out every sentence like that man over there?” Bruno asked, nodding his head in the direction of a larger man who could be heard from halfway across the restaurant.
“Well then I suppose quiet is just fine for you,” I replied with a laugh, shaking my head at the enthusiastic man.
The rest of dinner continued on as normal and Bruno opened up more as the evening progressed. I never asked him what was on his mind at the time, but I could tell that when I asked the first question that something was going through his head.
After dinner we went to a downtown ice cream parlor for dessert and ended the evening with watching The Waterboy on my sofa.
I sat with my legs stretched out over his on the footrest, sharing a blanket with him as I rested my head on his chest. He drew lazy circles on my bare arm to my sleeveless dress. Halfway through the movie I found myself to be drifting off, my eyes fluttering as I struggled to stay awake.
“I think it’s bedtime for you,” he said with a smile to his voice, knowing that I was going to fall asleep.
I quickly opened my eyes, snuggling closer to him. “No,” I said, shaking my head. “I don’t think any woman should just go to bed when she dresses up like this,” I added, turning my head so that I was facing him.
“This isn’t exactly a romantic movie,” Bruno noted, glancing at the television.
I rolled my eyes with a small smile. “We could make it romantic.”
He gave me a curious glance before smiling mischievously. “Oh, so now suddenly you’re awake?” He asked, raising an eyebrow.
I nodded my head with a smile, probably looking like a little girl.
“I don’t know,” he said, lifting his other eyebrow as well. “I mean I’m really feeling it. I don’t know if you’ll be able to keep up with me tonight…”
“Whatever,” I said, slightly hitting him on the arm. “You’re the one who has troubleskeeping up,” I said in a mimicking voice.
“We’ll see,” he replied, leaning in to kiss me. It didn’t last very long until Bruno’s phone rang, causing me to jump slightly.
“I should probably see who it is,” Bruno softly spoke against my lips, hesitantly pulling back to grab his phone from the side table. He picked it up, looking at it for a second before turning to me. “I’m sorry, I need to take this,” he said, shifting me from him as he stood up. Well that just ruined the mood.
He walked over to the glass doors leading to the living room balcony, opening them as he answered the phone. I stayed on the couch, watching him as he slightly paced back and forth, his usual routine when he was on the phone.
I heard his muffled voice speaking, but I couldn’t hear his exact words, despite the fact that he left the door open. He moved his free hand in a motion, bringing it up to rub his forehead several times. After a few minutes he hung up, walking back into the room, shutting the door behind him.
“Sorry about that,” Bruno said as returned to his spot next to me with a small smile. “No more distractions, I promise,” he added, leaning in to kiss me again.
“Who was that?” I said, cutting his lips off from touching mine.
He paused, only an inch from my lips as he let out a soft sigh. “It was only Phil,” he said, gently beginning to kiss me again.
“Is everything alright?” I asked, breaking apart from his lips once more.
“You ask that question too much,” Bruno said, his lips now kissing my neck.
“Because I never know if you’re telling me the truth when I ask,” I said in a slightly choked voice, feeling the threat of tears burning in my eyes.
Bruno brought his head back up to look at my eyes. He gently stroked my cheek with his thumb, locking his eyes on mine. “Baby,” he said in a soft voice. “I mean it when I say that there’s nothing wrong. You know I’d tell you if something was upsetting me.” He quickly wiped away a single tear that barely managed to escape its way from my eye.
I nodded my head, shaking my mind from negative thoughts. “Yeah, I know,” I said, trying to give him my best smile. “I just worry sometimes,” I added honestly.
“Don’t worry,” he reassured with a smile, “because everything’s fine.” He leaned in to kiss me again, and this time I didn’t hesitate or stop him when he did.
But as much as I tried to draw my focus to the feel of Bruno’s lips touching my skin, descending down my neck, my mind kept going back to the other day when I saw all of those messages he’d received from Sydney. And that made my mind farfrom easy.
“I’m sorry Sydney,” I said as I ran a hand over my face, sitting at a red light.
“No, it’s alright Bruno,” She said, not sounding very upset. “I understand where you’re coming from. I’ll be fine with that.”
I nodded my head against my phone, sitting at a red light. “You’ll still get credit for your contributions,” I stated in a gloomy tone. “I just think it’s best I go about it this way.”
“No, it’s fine, really,” she replied with a sigh. “I think I’ve caused enough drama in your life already. I’m sorry for everything.”
“It’s not your fault,” I replied with a sigh and the shake of my head. “I just need to deal with all of this and,” I let out a loud, stressed sigh, “I really didn’t intend on getting your career into this but I’ve really got no other way to go.”
“No, I get it. I’ve got other things I need to work on. I’m just worried about what this has done for your career…” she said cautiously.
“Well don’t lose sleep over it,” I replied, rubbing my temple with my free hand before replacing it back on the steering wheel. “I’ll just have to get through it.”
I hung up with her a minute later, just as I was pulling into the parking lot of the studio. I had finally gotten a chance to call Sydney back after she’d called me last night at Abby’s. I really hadn’t been in the mood for discussing things while Abby had sat inside on the sofa.
I grabbed my guitar case and a few other things as I got out of my car, seeing Phil’s right across the parking lot, as expected. I made my way down the all too familiar hallway, grabbing the handle to the door and opening it.
Phil was in the studio alone to my surprise. He glanced up from behind a keyboard, giving me a small glance. I dropped my guitar on the ground, giving him a curious look. “What’s up?” I asked, wondering why he was so quiet.
Phil let out a small sigh, running his hand across his face. “When are you planning on telling her?” He asked, shaking his head at me.
“What are you talking—“
“I know you haven’t said anything,” He quickly stated as he cut me off.
“Why does it matter to you anyways?” I asked in an accusing tone, slightly angry at him.
“Because it’s not fair to her!” Phil yelled, his voice suddenly much louder than it was before. “You and I both know she doesn’t deserve this. She’s been putting up with all your bullshit for the past week, and now this?!”
I grew silent at Phil’s words. I hardly argued with him. And if we did disagree on something, it was over something music-wise. It was never something important like this. I’d never seen Phil like this at all.
“I told you I just need time,” I said in a much calmer tone than I had spoken at him earlier.
“Oh right, and how much time do you plan on taking?” Phil asked, tossing his arms up in question. “Or are you even planning on saying anything at all?”
I was silent once more. I intended on telling her…eventually that is. But I don’t think I could wait that long until my guilt ate me alive. And I knew the longer I kept it from her, the harder it would be. I needed to do it soon, but I didn’t know how.
“Of course…” Phil said when I didn’t reply. He began walking over to the sofa, grabbing his jacket.
“Where are you going?” I asked, following him with my eyes.
“Home,” he said, putting his arms through the sleeves. “We’re not going to get anything done anyways until you figure out your shit.”
And with those words, Phil walked out the doorway, letting the door close with a loud bang. I sat down in a chair, leaning back into it as I tilted my head back, staring at the ceiling.
I’ve got to do it.
Later that evening I sat on my couch as Abby laid her head in my lap, holding a magazine out in front of her face. I was flipping through TV stations with one hand while the other subconsciously played with the ends of her hair.
“Do you suppose Beyoncé’s got her voice insured?” Abby asked as she flipped through a few pages of pictures.
“I don’t know,” I said nonchalantly, not exactly paying attention.
“Well you should,” She replied, glancing up at my face.
I turned my head down to face her, giving her a curious look. “And why should I?” I asked, titling my head.
“Because if you’re around these sort of people all the time, then you’d think you would know who does or doesn’t have their voice insured,” She replied in a duhsort of way.
“These sort of people?” I asked, mimicking her. “I don’t believe you should say that when you, too work with these sort of people,” I said, smirking at her.
“All that matters to me is their dress or tux size. So obviously I don’t know about Beyoncé’s vocal cords,” Abby replied with a laugh, glancing back down at her magazine.
I smiled down at her as I watched her eyes scanning over the page. As a few minutes went on, my smile slowly started fading. Oh Abby, I thought as I continued to play with her hair. If only you knew.
I shook my head, trying to rid my mind of those thoughts. But I need to tell her, tonight. I thought, trying to convince myself that it was for the better. I’ve got to tell her tonight.
But even after a few more hours, I found myself still sitting in the same position, not even close to getting the nerve to telling her the beginning of the story. Everything was too peaceful to interrupt.
I finally clicked off the TV, realizing it was beginning to get late. “We should probably go upstairs now,” I said, glancing down at her.
“But I’m comfortable here,” she replied with a smile, moving closer to me. “In fact, I could fall asleep just like this.”
“Yeah well I don’t think I could fall asleep sitting up,” I said with a smile in return. “And you even said you have to work tomorrow so I say it’s time to go.”
Abby let out a groan of disapproval. I smirked, picking her up from the couch as she let out a small squeal, carrying her as a baby as I walked upstairs. When I got to my bedroom, I set her down on the bed, rolling over on the side next to her.
She laughed, rolling her eyes at me. “You’re welcome,” I said, kissing her softly on the lips. I pulled back after a few seconds, rolling off to the side. My mind was rushing with thoughts and I needed to get out and just think for a bit.
Just as I was reaching for my pack of newly opened cigarettes on the bedside table, Abby spoke up. “Aren’t you coming to bed?” She asked, giving me a confused look.
I stopped in mid-grab for the pack, turning to face her. She looked a bit disappointed, causing my heart to sink slightly. After a moment, I dropped my hand at my side, letting out a small sigh. “Of course,” I said, flopping back down on the bed, rolling over to my side as I faced her. I really couldn’t leave her alone, no matter what it was that was on my mind.
Before long I found my lips against hers again, my conscious banging at my mind worse than ever. But I didn’t break apart. I needed this to forget about my problems. And quite frankly, it was working. “Mmm,” I hummed against her mouth, not wanting to break contact with her.
I needed to get my mind off of everything. I didn’t want to see the same look of disappointment Phil had on his face any longer in my head. If I couldn’t bring myself to telling Abby the truth, then I would at least try to avoid any thoughts myself. So I leaned in further, deepening the kiss as I reached down to the buckle of her pants.
I shifted my body over hers, slowly dropping one of my hands to her waist. My mind slowly began shifting courses, beginning to forget about the small, nagging guilt that was slowly forming.
I’ll tell her tomorrow.