Chapter 39

16/12/2011 16:17

"How you doing Ahm?" I ask into the phone, looking both ways before I run across the street to 'Bruno's' truck.  I called it 'mine' one time.  Big mistake.  She sighs.  "I'm doing okay." She says.  For once I actually believe her.  It's been 6 months since her and Eric broke up, and he moved back to Brooklyn.  I still don't know exactly everything, but they talked for 5 hours the week before he left.  He said he loves her, and he always will, but things don't feel the same with him.  And he's not gonna hurt her by staying in a relationship knowing he's not happy.  Now my reaction?  Slap! But Ahm's, shocked the hell out of me AND Bruno.  She was starting to feel the same.  She said she will always have love for him because of the history that they have, but that she wasn't in love with him like she used to be.  They were both afraid to say anything, because they didn't want to hurt each other.  It was hard for her, because she was with him for a year and they lived together, and in the beginning, they did love each other.  But I guess it was one of those, things changed, and were different people than we used to be, that made their relationship fizzle out.  Eric said his reason for moving back to Brooklyn was because he was starting to feel like a different person.  And not in a good way.  He said he wanted to go back home for awhile, to get himself together, and remember where he came from.  I can respect that.  The last thing I want is for Bruno and Eric to change and become different people.  I don't know what I'd do if that ever happened to Bruno.  He says fame will never change him.  And I hope he sticks to that.  As much as I love him, I will leave him in a heartbeat if he gets a big head, or starts to act like he's too good for certain people or things.  

"You leaving work?" she asks me.  I turn the truck on.  "Yeah, I just got off.  You know it's Mami's birthday in a week right?" I ask her, pulling off.  "Uh duh! How could I forget that? And yours is today!" she says, excitedly.  I roll my eyes.  Don't remind me Ahm.  I think.  I don't respond.  "You want me to pick you up, so we can go look for a gift for Mami?" I ask her.  "Yeah, but I have to shower and get dressed."  I look at my phone for the time.  "Ahmity! It's 5:30!" I tell her.  "I'm aware Lena." she tells me in a stern voice.  I sigh.  "Okay, just call me when you're done.  I'm just gonna run home and change out of my work clothes." I tell her.  She says okay, and we hang up.  I don't wanna go home.  I spend as much time away from there as possible.  Bruno's never there.  He's always at the studio, and if I'm not at work, than so am I.  Our apartment is always empty except to shower, change, and sometimes sleep.  I park and run up the stairs.  I swear it's these stairs that make me lose weight.  I definitely don't eat right.  Ask anyone.  I love food.  But for the past couple weeks, I've been shedding pounds like crazy.  I can't explain it.  I open the apartment door, and I don't know why I expect it to be any different when I walk in.  It's always empty and dark.  I miss when when the guys would come over, and make a mess that I would not so happily clean up, and make noise, and laugh and joke.  Them days are pretty much gone.  This whole producing thing has take off really fast.  Faster than I expected it too.  I try not to think of him as famous.  But in all reality, Bruno is the youngest well known producer, across the United States.  This past year, he's written and sold and produced countless songs.  He's moving on up so fast, it kind of scares me.  I thought people were bad when he was with Mo Town, but it's ridiculous now.  I've learned to ignore the stares and smart remarks.  Thank God cameras aren't involved.  I drop my purse on the couch and turn the kitchen light on.  "SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!"  I jump so high, my head almost touches the ceiling.  I hold my chest, as I see Bruno, Ahm, Phred, and Phil appear out of nowhere.  They all have huge smiles on their faces.  Bruno walks up to me.  He busts out lauging.  "Babe, are you alright? Breathe." he tells me.  I stupidly let out my breath.  I didn't realize I was holding it.  He kisses me on my lips, which just takes my breath away again, so I'm back to where I started.  Ahm runs from around Bruno and attacks me.  "HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIL SIS!!!" she screams, squeezing me.  I laugh hugging her back.  My face is red.  It's only 4 of them, but I hate attention.  "Babe, don't do that." Bruno says, touching my face.  I look into his eyes, and they sparkle.  "If I could turn it off I would." I tell him.  He laughs and hugs me.  "You wouldn't be Lena if you didn't have a tomato face, but it's just us." he says.  Phil and Phred both hug me.  Phil hands me a little box.  "Just a little somethin something from you boy, you know.." Phil says, poppin the collar of his shirt.  I raise my eyebrow at him, smiling.  I open it, and my jaw drops.  I snap it shut, and hit his arm.  "Owww!" He says, laughing and pulling away.  "I told you dawg." Bruno says, laughing.  "What is it?!" Ahmity says, snatching the box.  Her jaw drops too.  "Is it real?" she says, holding it up.  Phil furrows his eyebrows.  "No, I got it from the candy machine at the grocery store." he says.  We all bust out laughing.  "Phil, take it back." I tell him.  He walks up to Ahmity and snatches the ring out of her hands, frowning at her.  She covers her mouth and giggles.  "If you won't wear it, I'm throwing it in the garbage." He tells me.  "Nooo" Ahmity says, softly and desperately.  We look at her and she pretends to be interested in the counter.  I sigh and glare at him.  He grins and takes my hand.  "Whoa now." Bruno says, standing up straight.  Phil smirks and gets down on one knee.  Bruno tackles him and we all start cracking up.  As they wrestle on the floor, I smile and my heart feels like it's going to explode.  Phred shakes his head, and stands next to me and Ahm.  "I didn't get you nothing." he says, bluntly, pushing back his long dreads.  Ahm smacks his arm and he laughs.  Her cheeks are pink and his eyes are twinkling.  "I'm just messing." he says.  Before he has a chance to give me his gift, Phil grabs my hand, out of breath.  He slips the ring on my finger.  I stare at it.  It's a heart.  A diamond heart to be exact.  With 3 little ones around it.  "The big one is you, and those 3, are us." he says, pointing to himself, Phred and Bruno.  "We all love you, in different ways.  You're part of our hearts." Phil says.  The tears well up in my eyes, and everything gets blurry.  I blink them away.  I give him the biggest hug I can squeeze out of me.  He kisses my cheek.  "So now I officially have 2 more big brothers.  Great." I say, rolling my eyes.  Bruno smiles, playing with my hair.  Ahm and Phred are pushing each other, walking towards me.  She stans in front of him and grabs the counter, pushing him back with her butt.  "She's my sister!" she says.  Phred is not so discreetly staring at her ass, and says. "I'm her brother.. You heard her." he says.  He ducks down and her arm is around his shoulders.  He picks her up and she screams.  He puts her down, but before he can walk, she grabs his dreads.  "Aaaahh!" he yells.  He can't turn his head, so he's blindly reaching for her, as they go around in circles.  I laugh at the amusing scene.  "Can I know why they're fighting now?" I ask Bruno.  He rolls his eyes.  "They both got you the same thing." he says.  I stifle my laugh and go back to watching them.  He finally gets a hold of her, and spins her around.  She's yelling and punching him, which doesn't phase him at all.  They both end up getting dizzy.  Ahmity recovers first.  Before she can start walking, Phred grabs her and turns her around.  He plants his lips on hers.  I see her whole body go weak.  He pulls away, smiling, than runs to me.  "You cheated!" she screams.  He flips her off.  She does it back.  "Just tell me where." he says, winking.  I shake my head, laughing.  He pulls out a small blue satin bag.  I open it and a bracelet falls in my hands.  One end has a small blue butterfly and the middle says 'Stay Preeshed'  I smile.  Ahm pushes him out the way with her hip.  He backs up, looking at her biting his lip.  "Mine's better." she tells me.  I laugh.  She pulls out the same blue satin bag.  The bracelets ARE the same.  But Ahm's has a heart instead of a butterfly.  When I see what the middle says, the damn tears flood my eyes again.  I try to hold them, but I can't.  "It says iBelieve." I say, and squeeze her, crying my eyes out.  I'm pretty sure my make up is ruined now.  "Alright, enough! I don't wanna cry anymore!" I say.  They all look at Bruno.  He's leaning against the doorframe of the balcony.  "What?" he says to them, raising his eyebrow.  "Present?" Ahm says.  I speak for him.  "He didn't get me anything.  He never does." I say, looking at him.  I don't mean that in a bad way.  I told Bruno a long time ago that as long as we were best friends, not to get me any kind of present for any occasion.  He looks at me back, his brown eyes peering into mine.  "You really didn't get her anything?" Ahmity says.  Ahmity's like me with not caring about material things.  That's how we grew up, but when it comes to birthdays or christmas, she expects people to get gifts up the fuckin wazoo!  Bruno smirks.  "Of course I did." he says.  I glare at Bruno.  What?  He just smiles at me.  Ahmity has a satisfied expression.  He walks to the closet and takes out his guitar.  My face instantly turns into a tomato.  Ahmity squeels.  He pulls my hand and sits me on the couch.  He sits across from me.  He looks down for a couple of seconds, than starts to play.  I watch his hands fly across the guitar strings.  Phred and Phil start harmonizing behind him.  Bruno opens his mouth and sings,  


"Oh her eyes her eyes, make the stars look like they're not shining

Her hair her hair, falls perfectly without her trying

She's so beautiful, and I tell her everyday

Yeah, I know I know, when i compliment her she won't believe me

And it's so it's so sad to think that she don't see what I see

But everytime she ask me do I look okay? I say


When I see your face, There's not at thing that I would change

Cause you're amazing, Just The Way You Are

And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for awhile

Cause girl you're amazing, Just The Way You Are


Her lips her lips, I could kiss them all day if she let me

Her laugh her laugh, she hates but I think it's so sexy

She's so beautiful, and I tell her everyday

Oh you know, you know, you know, 

I'd never ask you to change

If perfect's what you're searching for than just stay the same

So don't even bother asking if you look okay, 

You know I'd say


When I see your face, There's not a thing that I would change

Cause you're amazing, Just The Way You Are

And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for while

Cause you're amazing, Just The Way You Are


The way you are, the way you are

Girl you're amazing, Just The Way You Are

The way you are, the way you are

Girl you're amazing, Just The Way You Are


When I see you're face there's not a thing that I would change

Cause you're amazing Just The Way You Are

And when you smile baby, the whole world stops and stares for awhile

Cause girl you're amazing, Just The Way You Are

Girl you're amazing, Just The Way You Are"


He runs his thumb slowly across my bottom lip.  I stare at him with tears in my eyes.  "What was that?" I whisper to him.  He smiles.  "I told you, one day I'm gonna make you see it." he says.  This feeling.  It's strange.  He lifts my chin.  He stares in my eyes for a minute, his eyebrows raised.  Than he smiles.  "Mission accomplished." he says.  The butterflies that are always in my stomach, multiply and run up and down my whole body.  I feel like I'm glowing, and I can't stop smiling.  I hear a loud, high pitched scream.  I turn around and Ahmity has her hand over her mouth, tears streaming down her cheeks.  Oh my gosh.  I hold in my laugh.  She fans her eyes.  "I'm sorry, I said I wasn't going to cry, Get it together Ahmity." she says.  I love her.  Bruno grabs my face and kisses me gently.  "Happy Birthday Lena." 


* * * *


Ahm kisses Mami on her cheek.  "Te amo muchisimo mija." Mami tells her.  I smile, loving how our family is back to normal.  It was a fun week back in Brooklyn.  We tried to do Mami's birthday up big, but all she wanted was for the family to all be together and spend time with each other.  I can't blame her.  We've been living in L.A. for almost 2 in a half years and we've only visited her a handful of times.  She was so happy to see us.  But sadly the week has come to an end, and it's time to go back home.  She squeezes me tight.  "Mi mijita, tan grande ya estas." she says, holding back her tears.  "Mami, I'm only 20." I tell her.  Her tears roll down her cheeks, and I start to see blurry.  Great.  "Andale ya! Ya no quiero llorar!" she tells me, hitting me on the butt.  I give her one last kiss and walk out the door so I don't prolong this hard goodbye.  As me and Ahm lug the 50 suitcases she brought, plus my 1, I see someone walking towards me out the corner of my eye.  When I hear Ahm clear her throat, it confirms who I think it is.  I turn.  Eric smiles at me.  He brings his hands foreward.  Purple orchids?  He makes a face.  "Uhm, these are for uhm, you." he says, looking over my shoulder.  Ahm's face is red, and she's pursing her lips together.  She slowly walks over and takes the flowers.  "Thank you." she says, softly.  "I saw them, and I thought of you, knowing you were gonna be here this week and yeah.." he kicks something on the sidewalk.  She touches the orchids softly.  "You remembered." she says.  "Yeah." he says, putting his hands in his pockets.  She smiles and he smiles back.  But it wasn't an 'I miss you' type of smile.  It was an 'i'm glad we can be friends' smile.  You can see the love they have for each other, but in a different way.  "I didn't forget you kid." he says.  He pulls something out of his pocket.  It's a kid's drawing.  But it looks old.  The paper is yellow.  I take it gingerly and look at it.  There's a stick figure with curly hair and another one with long black hair.  There's a heart above them and they're holding hands.  I stare at it.  "I found it when I went through some old boxes I had in storage.  I remember that day.  After he drew it, he threw it in the garbage because I sneaked up on him and saw it.  I guess Mom took it out and saved it.  She probably thought it was cute that he had a crush on you at 8 years old, so she kept it." he says. He gives me a hug.  "Happy belated birthday kid." He says.  I squeeze him and a tear fall down my cheek.  Leave it to Eric to give me something this, precious and unique.  He'll always be my big brother.  "So you guys leaving now.." he says, more like a statment, instead of a question.  "Yeah, Back to our lives." I tell him.  He nods, looking thoughtful.  "How's he doing?" he asks.  I smile a little thinking about Bruno.  It's only been a week but I miss him so much.  "He's doing.. Amazing." I tell him.  Eric gives me a satisfied, and relieved smile.  I know he's worried about him.  He's always been by his side when it came to the whole music thing.  "But he does miss you." I say.  Eric tightens his jaw.  "We all miss you."  I'm not telling him that to make him feel bad or come back home.  I'm telling him to reassure him that we all still love him and always will.  He ruffles my hair.  I make a face and push his hand away.  "He has you, that's all he needs." he says, than kisses my cheek, waves to Ahmity and walks off down the sidewalk.  He won't be gone for long.  I know it's only a matter of time before he comes home.  Ahm has her nose to the purple orchids.  "They're beautiful." I tell her.  She smiles and nods.  "I thought seeing him would set me back, or make me miss him somehow.  But it didn't.  It settled those nervous and unsure feelings that I still had.  I know just saying it out loud doesn't make it sound convincing, but I feel it.  I love him dearly as a friend and that's it.  And I'm okay with that.  I know he is too." she tells me, and she looks like the old Ahmity.  The sassy, look at me, Miss Diva Ahmity that didn't give a shit what nobody thought, and knew she could pull every guy in the country if she wanted to.  I missed that Ahmity.  I hug her around the neck.  "I love you, have I told you that lately?" I say.  "Nope, nope, I don't think you have." She says.  We laugh and get in the car.  "But I love you way more so it doesn't matter." she says.  I make a face.  "Please! I definitly love you WAYYY more!" I tell her.  "I'm older, I win." she says, smugly.  I bite the inside of my cheek, glaring at her.  She busts out laughing and turns the car.  "I love Mami, and this place, but I'm so ready to get back to my Preesh!" she says.  My eyes bug out, and my jaw drops.  "YOUR Preesh??" I ask her.  She smiles, and her cheeks are rosy.  "Well slap me with a racoon! When the fuck did this happen?!" I say.  She busts out laughing.  "It's a long story."  "Bullshit!" I say.  "Okay, whatever, But you know me, I'm gonna put major details to drag this story on." she says.  I smirk.  "How else would an Ahmity tale be told?" I say.  We laugh, and on the long drive to the airport, she begins her fairytale.....................................................