*8 months later*
I lean against the doorframe, staring at the empty spot where our bed used to be. Dust and bits of garbage are what remain of our bedroom. Excuse me, our OLD bedroom. I sigh. I never thought it would be this hard to leave this place. Bruno's hand snakes around my waist, and he pulls me close to him. "You're acting like someone died babe, aren't you glad to get out of this shithole?" he says, with a huge grin. Before I have a chance to respond, he lets me go and walks to the living room, where Phil and Phredley are helping move the furniture out. I don't turn to look at him. I scrunch my face, and hold in my scream. I walk in the room and shut the door, leaning my forehead against it with a heavy heart. Things for him are amazing. Bruno is officially a producer, and he's written and sold so many songs I've lost count. He's known by celebrities, and record labels across the states. This producing thing has gotten him so much more, than when he was signed and doing pittly little gigs at hotels and restaurants. Money is not a problem anymore. Were doing very well. So well, that he found another place for us. Something bigger and better he told me. Everyone's so happy. Except for me. I don't want to move to a 'better' place. I hate being harrassed everyday because I'm his girlfriend. And I hate how all of this has changed him. It's like his feelings and manners got tossed aside as soon as all of this started happening. He hardly ever comes home, and when he does he's drunk. Talking to him is impossible cause he's always busy. I have so much that I want to express to him, but instead I hold it in and suck it up, because I know I sound selfish and I love him and standing by him and supporting him is what I promised to do, no matter where he goes in life. I stare out the window, thinking. I hate thinking. It's all I ever do, all the time. The door opens, but I don't turn around. I could smell his colonge before he even came in. "Let's go Lena, everything's packed." he says. I don't move. "I'm coming." I say softly. He stands there for a minute, than I hear the door shut. His footsteps sound loud on the empty floor. He tucks a strand of hair behind my ear. "You're really that sad to leave this place?" He asks me. I scoff. He furrows his eyebrows. "I can't believe you aren't." I tell him. "This wasn't just an apartment Bruno. This was my home. Our home." I say. "The memories we have here are unreal. This is where we started everything. So yeah, I'm 'that sad' to leave 'this place' " I tell him, sarcastically. "This apartment sucks Lena, yeah we lived here and it was home, but where we're going is so much bigger, and better. Don't we deserve that?" he says. "Of course we do." I agree with him because I know the more I keep on with this, the more likely I am to break down and cry. I turn away from the window. He follows me. His hand grabs mine. "I love you Lena." He says. My fingers lay limp in his hand. I don't look at him when I say "I love you too." I'm trying to figure out if I still do.
* * * *
I pull the blanket tighter around me. The unfamiliar sounds in this new place make me nervous. Being alone definitely doesn't help either. Before he left, he asked if I wanted to go to the studio with him. He hasn't asked me that in a long time. I felt it was more of a pity question, rather than an 'I want you to be there' question. So I told him no, and off he went merrily out the door. It's Tuesday, so I know Claudia's there. All the more reason for me not to go. I cringe at the thought of them together. Lately he's been more in her face than usual, helping her put together her demo cd. I scrunch my nose. Demo cd. I'm not gonna lie and say she's bad, but I'm not going to say she's good either. Call me jealous. I don't give a fuck. Something happens to me everytime I see them together. It's like I can see our flame dying out and theirs sparking up. I curl myself into a tighter ball. I don't understand where or how we went wrong. He can tell me how much he loves me all he wants, but I don't feel it the same. My phone rings. "What?" I say, not bothering to see who it is. "You sound like poop." Ahmity's voice fills my ears. "You look like poop." I say back. "You smell like poop." she says. "You are poop." I say. A small smile creeps across my face. She feels it. "I can feel you need me." she says. A tear falls out of the corner of my eye. "I do." I whisper. Click.
* * * *
She tosses a Pepsi and bag of Teriyaki jerkey at me. "Get up loser." she says. I sit up and rip the bag open. I stare at her, chewing. "What the hell is going on Lena?" she asks, sitting next to me, stealing a piece. I shrug, chewing. "Why aren't you happy?" she says, staring intently at me. "I.. am." I say. "You live in a very, very nice place." She says, looking around. "Bruno's doing amazing! You guys are doing amazing! Life is gravy. But I can see that you're not." Damn her! Why does she gotta feel what I feel? I don't want to whine about my feelings, especially to her. I feel like I've done it too many times, when me and Bruno went through our insecurities and problems. And with us 'doing so well' it would just sound like I'm finding reasons to complain on purpose. I know Ahmity won't think that, but maybe keeping my mouth shut is what needs to be done instead. I try to smile. "I'm just trying to get used to all these changes. It's... different." I tell her. "It.. or him?" she says, prying. I shrug. "All of it." I try to play off. She gets it and backs down. "I would imagine. I can't go anywhere without hearing your names." she says. I raise an eyebrow. "Our names?" I say. She laughs. "Lena, you can't expect to be Bruno's girlfriend and not be known." I'm aware that I'm known, but for it to be said outloud kinda seems surreal. "Mama's, you know that whatever it is, even if you've told me a million times, I'm here to listen, right?" she asks. "Of course Ahm." I say, fingering my iBelieve bracelet on my left wrist. "Just checking." she says. I smile and she pulls me in for a hug. "So we going shopping or what?!" she says, slapping my leg. "Uhh--" She yanks me off the couch. "Sound like a plan!" she says, throwing my coat at me.
I can feel the eyes burning holes in me. I keep fixing my clothes and hair, feeling like something's off. Ahm is wonderful at distracting me. She holds up a zebra print skin tight dress, parading around the store like a model. I laugh. "I'ma try this on! It's sexy!" she says, disappearing into a dressing room. I try to busy myself in a rack of clothes, but my ears keep ringing. I see three girls, toothpicks actually, staring at me. I ignore, and keep looking through the shirts. "She's fatter than I expected." I hear one say. I bite my bottom lip, keeping my composure. "And she's not as pretty as I heard she was." "Yeah, he can do way better." The only thing I wanna do right now is smash those ugly faces into the cement. But what is that going to bring me? I have to accept the fact that people are going to talk, and they're going to hate. Trust me when I say letting them walk away sneering at me was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. Ahm comes waltzing out of the dressing room. That dress is sexy. And she looks damn good in it. I tell her. "I know." she says, smiling. I roll my eyes. "You know, I've never seen you in a dress." she says. Oh no. "Uhm.. Yeah. Papi's funeral." I tell her. Her face falls for a minute. "You were 13, and that's not the kind of dress I'm talking about." I try to walk away cause I know where this is going. She gasps. "Lena! Put it on now!" I cringe. When I turn around, she's holding up a black and turquoise fitted dress. It's gorgeous, but really tiny. "No." I tell her bluntly. She pouts. "Why?" "It's too little. It won't fit." She tries to slap me, but I back away laughing. "Where am I ever gonna wear that dress?" I tell her. "Who said anything about buying it? Just play dress up with me!" she says. I shake my head laughing. Without arguing, I take the dress. I don't know why I thought it wasn't going to fit. It slips on perfectly. Ahmity pounds the door. "Let me see!" She screams. I open the door. Her jaw drops. "Giiiiiiiiiiiiirl!" She holds my hand and spins me around. My face turns red. "Ahm.." I say. "Oh, Oh I am buying you that dress and we will find somewhere for you to wear it, even if we in the house watching movies all day!" Trying to stop her is impossible. We tug on the dress for 10 minutes til I finally give up, but only cause I WILL get her back. I saw those purple pumps she was eyeing. We kinda have this gift war going on. Were always trying to outdo each other. It's not so much the material aspect, but more of the giving and seeing how much joy and happiness it brings to each others faces. While she pays, I turn to see more people staring at me, including the cashier. "You're dating one of the Smeezingtons, right?" she finally asks me. I try and smile, while nodding my head. "Congratulations on his success. You must be proud." she says, with a warm smile. "Thanks, I am." I tell her. "Good luck in your relationship." she says. I return the warm smile. "Thank you." Me and Ahmity walk away. I guess not all the people in the world are bad. I feel more uplifted than I did before I left the house. My smile is real. Ahm puts her arm around my shoulder. "I love you." she says. I lean my head against hers. "I love you too." What would I do without my rock?
* * * *
We walk in the new house, laughing and talking. I feel good. Better than I've felt in months. But it all changes within a matter of seconds. I hear her voice. I immediately curl my lip. "What the hell.." Ahmity says. I glare at her, trying to keep my composure. "Calm it down Mama's.. Calm it down. Breathe." she tells me. I try. We walk in the living room, and there she is, in all her slut-ness. Bruno's sitting next to her, his guitar on his lap. My heart falls. I don't remember the last time he played his guitar around me, or sang around me, or was even around me period. "Hey baby." he says, flashing his teeth. "Hey." I say. Claudia sits there, awkwardly. "I thought you were going to the studio?" I tell him. He strums the guitar. The music sends all kinds of emotions through me. A lump forms in my throat. "We were, but we kinda wanted some private time to work on this song." he says, smirking at Claudia. I can feel Ahmity's anger coming in waves over me, adding to my own. Claudia plays with her hair, doing anything to avoid looking at me. "Oh. How's it going?" I manage to ask. "Great! You wanna hear what we have so far?" he says, excitedly. Before I have a chance to answer, he plays and she sings:
"We've been hanging out all night
Everything's been so nice
Wish I didn't have to go
Feeling sexy in the Bentley
Touching me so gently, but I gotta get home
So many things to tell ya, so long since I held ya
Ooh boy you just don't know, just don't know
So here's my proposition, don't speak boy just listen
Before we go down this road"
She giggles and he has the biggest smile on his face. I swallow. "You guys came up with that all on your own huh?" I say. "Na, That was all Claudia." he says. She hits him laughing. "Shut up, you came up with most of the words." He pushes her hand down, laughing. My stomach turns and I want to puke. I turn and walk away, without saying a word. I clench my fists. Why? Why is that okay?! Why do I have to be okay with that?! I slam my door and pace back and forth, not knowing whether to explode or not. My door opens. I don't turn cause I assume it's Ahmity, but than I smell his cologne. He touches my shoulder. I shrug it off. "Don't touch me." I say. "Lena." His voice sounds sincere. He tries again, and this time I don't object. He holds my face, rubbing his thumb across my cheek. I don't look at his eyes. I don't want to. "Talk to me." he says. His lips brush against mine, and my whole body tingles. It makes me angry. I push him. He doesn't go far. He's so strong for being so little. He grabs my arm and pulls me towards him. "Don't do that. Don't push me away Lena, Talk to me." he says. Now all of a sudden you care?! Now all of a sudden you take notice of my feelings after ignoring me for 7 months?! You're not my Bruno! You changed! You're different and I hate it! I hate what it's done to you! Why is it okay to flirt with someone I hate! Why is it okay to bring her in OUR house and expect me to be okay with it?! IT'S NOT OKAY! I'M NOT OKAY BRUNO! My brain screams, but my lips stay closed.............................................................