I lay in bed, looking at the ceiling. I can hear Bruno and Phil in the living room. Laughing, joking, singing. After a minute, I get up and stand in the doorway, watching them. His smile still, and will always make me weak. Bruno bobs his head and starts beatboxing. Phil breaks out freestyling. It ends with him running out of things to rap and both of them laughing hysterically. "Alright bruh, we gotta finish this song, No more procrastinating!" Bruno says, pointing his finger at Phil. Phil sits up straight and salutes. I laugh softly. Bruno turns his head. When he sees me he smiles, than gets up. "Ay ay! You said no procrastinating!" Phil says to him. Bruno waves his hand, and grabs my face. He kisses me for awhile. His kisses will forever make me melt. I run my fingers through his hair, and he leans his forehead against mine, smiling. We hear "AHEM!". I try to hide my laugh. Bruno rolls his eyes. I grab the collar of his shirt before he turns around and kiss him. He moans quietly, his hands squeezing my back. I pull away and push him, laughing. He throws his head back, and I see his throat move as he gulps. Phil throws a chip at him. Bruno whips around and throws the whole bowl at him. Phil gets up and tries to tackle Bruno, but they just end up turning in a circle, holding each other. I shake my head. "Just so you know, I'm not cleaning that up." I tell Bruno, with a face. "Yes you are." He says, out of breath, picking up Phil and slamming him on the ground. The living room floor shakes. It still amazes me how someone so little can be that strong. And not even just physically. Everything about him is strong, his sense of humor, his personality, his love. All wrapped up in a 146 pound, 5'5 package. Phil jumps up and grabs Bruno. He tries to pick him up, but Bruno wraps his leg around his ankle and trips him. "No I'm not." I say, while Bruno has his foot on Phil's chest. Phil has his arms spread out, and his eyes closed. Bruno throws his hands in the air, in victory. "Yes you are." he tells me. "And if I don't?" I say. He looks at Phil, than at me. "You see what happened to this guy." he says. Phil still has his eyes closed, but when I look at him, he opens one and winks. I hide my smile. "You won't touch me." I tell him. He raises both of his eyebrows. "Oh no?" he says. "I'll lay your ass on the floor." I tell him. He gets a devilish smirk. "I like the sound of that." he says. I laugh, and all of a sudden Phil leaps up from the ground and grabs Bruno. Bruno's guard is down and he's taken by surprise, he doesn't have time to react. Phil slams him on the ground and throws his body on top of him. "Aaahh!" Bruno says and just lays there like Phil was. "Victory is mine!" Phil yells. "Lena, you're dirty. You're supposed to be on my side." Bruno manages to breath out. Phil's not a huge guy, but he's bigger than Bruno. "You shouldn't of told me I was gonna pick up YOUR mess." I say walking away. Phil says something smart and Bruno punches him. I'm about to hop in the shower, when I get a call from Ahmity. "Hey mama's" I answer. "Hey hermanita.." I can tell by her voice that something's wrong. "Que te pasa?" I ask her. She stays quiet for awhile. "Ahm?" "Me and Eric broke up." she says in a shaky voice. I close my eyes and sigh. Oh no. "What happened?" I asked. She doesn't say anything, than I hear her sniffle. "Oh Ahm.." I say, heartbroken. "Ahorita llego." she says, and hangs up. I race to the bathroom and take the quickest shower of my life. When I come out, Bruno and Phil have stopped goofing around and are taking the song serious, like they were supposed to in the first place. I stop and smile at the concentrated expression my boyfriend has on his face. He goes into a whole different mode when he's writing. He stares at the notebook in front of him, than the corners of his mouth twitch up into a small smile, and I know he got it. He strums the guitar and Phil gets the same smile on his face. Different dudes. Same brain. I snap myself out of my trance and run to the room to get dressed. Right when I pull my pants up and button them, I hear the buzzer. "Who it it?!" Bruno's voice travels downt the hall. I shake out my wet hair, walking towards the door. "It's my sister." I tell him. "Tell her to stop ringing my damn buzzer!" he says, but I know he's playing around. They love to pick on each other. I roll my eyes. "I'll tell her." I say. I press the button and a minute later, she comes bursting through the door. She walks past Bruno and smacks him on the head. He looks at her crazy. "I don't know what you said cabron, But I know you said something." she tells him. He smirks and blows her a kiss. She smacks his hand down and he bust out laughing. I roll my eyes. Brother and sister.. Straight up. She looks at me with sad eyes. I take her arm and guide her to mine and Bruno's bedroom. We both sit crossed legged on the bed, hers on top of mine. I wait for her to start talking. She stares at her hands for awhile. "Am I ugly?" she finally asks. Did she really just ask me that? Without thinking, I reach out my hand and slap her across her face. She keeps her head turned. Than she nods. "Okay, that answers my question." she says. I rub her cheek. "I'm sorry mama's, that's just my natural reaction to a STUPID question." I tell her, widening my eyes. She stares at me, than we both bust out laughing. "Okay, I guess I should've explained why I asked that." she says. "Uhh, yeah!... So you gonna start talking. Or should I go beat his ass first?" I say. She holds my hand and sighs. "I love him." she says. "But?" I say. She winces. "I'm not in love with him." I throw my hands in the air, than cover my face. Did she really just go movie on me?! "Really Ahm?" I say, looking through my fingers. She covers her face too and laughs histerically. After we both calm down, I look at her seriously. "What happened?" I ask softly. She bites her lip. "I don't know.. For the past few months, he's been really different." she says. "How?" I ask. "Well, first of all, he barely comes home and I never see him." she says. I hold back from cringing and my heart skips a beat. I know exactly what she's talking about. "And when he does come home, he's mute. He won't talk to me, about anything. And the more I try, the more closed off he becomes and I can't deal with that. We tell each other everything." she says. I nod, completely understanding. Brothers alright. "Yesterday, I told him, if he wasn't going to talk to me, I would find someone who would." I hold my breath, scared to hear what the answer to that was going to be. As hard as she tries, I see her lip quiver, and a single tear manages to escape the corner of her almond shape, light brown eye and roll down her tan cheekbone. I wipe it away. "He told me he didn't care." she whispers. I close my eyes in pain for her. I pull her into a hug and she squeezes me with all her might. "I'm sorry mama's" I say, stroking her wavy hair. She shakes, but she doesn't cry. She's too strong for that. She sighs. "So that's it, he didn't explain why or anything." I ask. She shakes her head. I sigh, angry. What's his problem, and why would he do that to my sister? I stand up and walk to the living room. Bruno's in the kitchen, making a poptart. I smirk. There's real food in the fridge, but we both know that I'm the only one that touches the stove in that kitchen. "Hi babe." he says. "What's your brother's problem?" I say, bluntly. He furrows his eyebrows. "What's that supposed to mean?" he asks. "Him and Ahmity broke up." I say. "What?" he says. "Apparently he hasn't said a word to her in years, and now they're broken up. What the hell is his problem?" I ask. His poptart pops up from the toaster. He puts it on a plate, blowing on it. "Has she tried talking to him?" he says, taking a bite. He spits it back out. "Hot." he says, his tongue hanging down. "Jeez Bruno, I don't know.. How bout YEAH!" I say. He makes a face. "Babe, I burned my tongue." he says. I stare at him. I swear he has ADD sometimes. He fake cries. "Make it feel betterrrr!" He says, burying his face in my neck. As hard as I try to keep a stern face, him kissing my neck and tickling me makes me crack, and I start laughing. I hit him and push him away. "Seriously!" I yell. He rolls his eyes. "Babe, what do you want me to do? He's my brother, but were 2 different people." He says. "I don't know, talk to him, find out what his problem is. Something!" He sighs. "It's not just some random girl anymore. It's my sister." I tell him, looking in his eyes. He rubs his forehead for a minute, than grabs his keys. I smile. "Can't even finish my damn poptart." He mumbles. I pull his shirt and kiss him, sucking softly on his tongue. He moans a little. "Feel better?" I say. His eyes are a little droopy, and he licks his lips. "I'm leaving, before you get me into trouble." he says, kissing the top of my head, and walking out the door. I watch him until the door closes. I love that boy with everything I have in me. Ahmity comes from my room. She digs in the cabinet. She pulls out one of the many bags of beef jerkey. "Teriyaki." she says, and smiles. I walk up and snatch a piece. "Duh." I tell her. She laughs, but her eyes are still sad. "Why don't you go lay down?" I say. She shakes her head. "What for?" she asks me. "Cause I know you, and I know for as long as this little tif with you and him has been going on, you haven't slept." I say. She looks at me, chewing her jerkey. I stare at her back, chewing mine. "Fine." she says, not bothering to argue with me. As soon as her head hits the pillow, she's out like a light. I shut the door and let her sleep. My heart hurts for her. She really doesn't deserve that from him. But than I stop. Eric wouldn't do that for no reason. Something has to be going on with him that he's not telling anybody.
* * * *
It's almost dark when Bruno comes home. Me and Ahm are in the kitchen, eating double chunk chocolate chip cookies, a tall glass of milk sitting in between us. She looks at him with questioning eyes. Bruno looks tired, and a little distraught. "Come on Ahm, I'll take you home." he says. She looks from him to me, worried. I smile to reassure her, and she kisses me on the cheek before she walks with Bruno out the door. I drink the rest of the milk and plop down on the couch. The suspense is killing me. It seems like years before Bruno comes back. He sits next to me on the couch, rubbing his eyebrows. I curl my legs up and scoot closer to him. I stare at him, waiting. He opens one eye and looks at me. "Can I help you?" he asks. I smack his arm lightly. He moves a strand of hair out of my face. "Did I tell you today how beautiful you are?" he says. I feel my face turn red. "You tell me that everyday Bruno." I say, quietly. He smiles. "Just checking." He kisses me lightly. I grab his curls, and breath in his cologne smell as he leans his forehead against mine for awhile. He pulls away. "Dad called Eric." He finally says. My heart drops to the basement. "Oh no." I say. "Yeah." Bruno says. I wait, anxiously, but patiently for him to start talking. "He called to say he was sorry." "For what?" I ask. Wrong thing to ask. "For what?! For cheating on my mom! For leaving his kids! For disappearing off the face of the Earth! For all the BULLSHIT he put me and my family through!" he yells, his face turning red. I touch his arm, and he's shaking. "I'm sorry.. I shouldn't of said that." I say, softly. He takes a deep breath, and holds my hand. "No, it's okay. I'm angry at him, not you. I'm sorry." he says, and kisses my forehead. I want to ask if that's why he stopped talking to Ahmity, but I'm scared to open my mouth. "Well, that's part of the reason he's not talking.. To anybody. It's not just your sister." he says, reading my mind, like he always does. I swallow. "And the other part?" I ask. He leans his head back, staring at the ceiling. His adam's apple moves up than goes down, as he gulps hard. "He's moving back to Brooklyn." he says. "WHAT?!" I yell, jumping up from the couch. "Why?!" I ask. "To be honest Lena, I don't even know." he says. He looks at me, and I can see hurt and sadness swimming around in his warm chocolate brown eyes. "He didn't tell you?" I ask. "It was like moving a brick wall trying to get him to talk. He barely told me about our dad, I had to piece the shit together like a damn puzzle." he says. I sit back on the couch, my head in my hands. I wanna ask him why, but he doesn't have the answer. Bruno's always had Eric there, with him through whatever. Except that short amount of time, when Bruno moved here and Eric stayed. I wish I could crawl inside his brain and find out what he's thinking and what's wrong. Why is he deciding to leave, when he's making money, has a girlfriend, his friends, and family here? Bruno sees me killing myself thinking. "Babe, don't. He'll talk when he's ready. Forcing him will push him further away." he says. I sigh, and lay my head on his chest. He plays with my hair. "Everything's gonna be fine." I say. I hear him say "I hope." under his breath. I hope too.
* * * *
I tighten my grip on Bruno's hand as he pulls me down the hall. A tall guy turns the corner and gets a big smile on his face. "Hey man!" he says, and shakes up with Bruno. "What's up dawg?!" They talk for a minute. Something about beats and arrangements. I have no idea what they're saying. They say bye and we keep walking. I can hear Phil singing from where I am, and I crack a smile. "Oh my.. just stop.. right now." I hear another voice tell Phil. My heart flutters. Phred. Bruno opens the door. The room intimidates me. It looks exactly like the studios in the movies. I don't know what else I was expecting it to look like. "Lena!" I smile as Phil and Phred both jump up from where they are. They get to me at the same time. Phil pushes Preesh. He pushes him back. They both reach for me. Phred starts girl slapping Phil, and he does it back. Bruno shakes his head. "Stop fighting over MY woman." he says. Phil wins, and hugs me. When he puts me down, Phred hugs me tighter and spins me in a circle. I bust out laughing. "First of all, why does everything have to be a competition with ya'll, and second, why are you both acting like you haven't seen me in years. You gorillas were at the apartment yesterday!" I say. They all start laughing. Bruno comes up from behind me, and kisses me. He slips his tongue in my mouth and than starts laughing. He looks at Phil and Phred. "I win niggas." I bend over, from laughing so hard. I love all of them. I can't imagine my life without them. Bruno pulls me to the couch and kicks back. Phil's texting on his phone. Preesh is playing around on the keyboard. I look at all of them. Nothing's different from what they do everyday, except were at the studio instead of the apartment. "Shouldn't you guys be.... uh working?" I ask. "We are working." Bruno says. Phil looks up to nod, than looks back at his phone. Phred starts to play "My Heart Will Go On" Bruno gets a far away look in his eye. Phil looks up slowly from his phone, with the same look. "Every night in my dreams, I see you, I feel you." Bruno sings to Phil. "That is how I know you go on." Phil sings back. "Far across the distance and spaces between us." Bruno sings. "You have come to show you go on." Phil sings. "Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on!" Phred sings. Are they really doing this right now? I try my hardest to hold in my laughter. They can't even get to the chorus without busting out laughing. I laugh with them. "Phred back off my man alright, find your own boy toy!" Bruno says angrily to him. Phred pretends to cry. "I'm just so alone!" "Guys, it's okay, There's enough of PhilSmeeze to go around." If i thought they were stupid before, they're ridiculous now. I'm crying from laughing so hard. "Seriously though, this has been in my head for days now." Bruno says, breaking up the laugh-fest. "You know that oldie 'You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)?" We all nod. "You spin my head right round, right round, when you go down when you go down down." Bruno sings. I bet all our faces are priceless. Bruno pushes Preesh out the way and starts playing the keyboard. "Hey.." Phred says. He plays and sings, and Phil starts bobbing his head. Phred does the same. He sings it over and over, than Phil busts out with "Hey, hopped out that house with my swagger, hop in there with dough, I got places to go, People to see, time is precious, I looked at my cotty, are ya out of control, Just like my mind where I'm going no women, no shawties, no nothing but..." He stops. "I lost it." he says. "The fuck you did!" Bruno's face is lit up and they all look excited. "I think we got something here." Phred says, smiling. Phil throws a paper cup at him. "Who is we? Get your ass on that keyboard and lets see you rip out what Bruno just played, THAN we'll see if it's WE." he says. Phred rolls his eyes and pushes Bruno. He cracks his fingers, and starts stretching them out. We all moan and groan. "Good Lord!" I tell him. He laughs, and BOOM! Rip it out like Bruno? Dare I say, he played it better than Bruno. Faster, and with his own little Preesh style to it. I smile. "So I repeat, I think WE got something here." Phred says, smugly. It's true. Even thought the lyrics are a little.. bold, it's stuck in my head and I start singing it. They all look at me. I freeze. Dammit. "Carry on." I say, trying to distract them. Yeah right. "Lena?" Phil says, looking at Bruno. Bruno's staring at me. I'm turning into a tomato by the second. "I had no idea." Phred says, putting his hands in the air. "I don't sing, okay?" I tell them. Bruno stands in front of me. "Do that again." he says. "NO!" I say. "DO IT AGAIN!" he pleads. "Bruno, I can't." I tell him. "Lena, it's me." he says. "And them." I say, pointing. He rolls his eyes. "Come on Lena, the old you refused to do this." He says. Now he got me. Damn him. I feel like I'm gonna throw up. What the hell is wrong with you Alena Michelle?! It's just singing. And it's just 2 lines. It's not like it's a whole song. And you've been around Phil and Phred enough. I shake my head. Stop thinking. I sit next to Preesh. He smiles, and I smile back. He plays, but nothing comes out of my mouth. Bruno rolls his eyes. "You spin my head right round right round, when you go down, when you go down down." He sings, looking at me. I close my eyes, and sing it back to him. "FUCK YEAH!" Phil yells, dancing around the studio. "That sounds perfect! It needed a female voice!" Bruno's beaming, and he can't contain himself. He grabs me and kisses me over and over. "I love you." he says. I laugh. "I love you more." He lets me go, and the three of them get to it. I look at them and smile, like a proud mother. It clearly shows on their faces, that this is what they truly love to do. To them, it's not work. It's like breathing. Music is in their heart, mind and soul. I've always known this, but to actually see them creating something that the whole world can't live without, music, is truly amazing. I feel blessed that Bruno brought me today. This is the side of Bruno that I believed in when nobody didn't. This is the side of Bruno that was being held back by people who didn't have faith in him. This is the side of Bruno that the world is going to see, and love.......................................................................