Chapter 44-50

15/01/2012 13:50

Chapter 44

IT’S BACCCCKKK…I know some of y’all had already read all of it at but here’s the bit I said I might bring back when it ended the first time.

”Come here, sunshine…” Marla said sweetly to her daughter holding out her arms to hug her.  

 ”Mama…I love you…” she responded wrapping her arms around her mother.

”I love you too, Rosie.” she answered rubbing her head picking her up to put her in the kitchen chair. ” need to eat this…” Marla said taking the plate from the counter spreading out the green beans, macaroni and chicken.

”I don’t want that.” she said making a gross face that made Marla laugh.

”I know. But when you eat that you can have some graham crackers and nutella.” she said pointing to the other side of the kitchen where she had prepared her daughter’s favorite snack.

”Okay!” Rosie answered taking her small fork from the table. Marla turned around to finish washing the dishes taking a break to take everything in. Bruno was gone, again, but just for the two weeks that they always worked through. Never more than two weeks. She thought glancing at the calendar on the fridge seeing the next day circled. He’ll be here tonight…

”Rosalia! What are you doing?” Marla exclaimed seeing her daughter dropping the food on the ground right next to their German shepherd mix dog named Tippie. ”Tippie! Go lay down…” Marla told the dog. She turned around with a disappointed face laying down in the corner to watch them. Marla took the fork from her daughter’s hand. ”Baby doll..who taught you that?” she asked.

”Liam…” Rosie laughed the same infectious Hernandez laugh that filled their house on a daily basis.

”Oh dear.” Marla said bending down to pick up the chicken on the floor. ”We’ll have to talk to your aunt about that…” Marla said. Rosie continued to laugh at her mother who was picking up pieces of green beans off the floor. Suddenly she felt a big cheesy piece of macaroni fall in her hair. This child.She thought to herself.  Marla picked up her daughter not saying a word. She could see the tears starting to form in Rosie’s cheeks. Oh my god. I’m the worst mother in the world. I’m going to hell, now…no…’s just time out. Just time out. For two minutes. She rationalized.

”Mammmaaaaaa…nooooooooooooooooooo.” her daughter screamed. ”Mommmyyyyy….nooooo….” Rosie got up from her time out spot to sit in the chair she was in to eat.

”You can eat after your time out…” Marla told her frankly picking her daughter up to place her back in the bright yellow, red and blue chair.

”Mammmaaaaaa….noooooo….I hate you.” she said stomping her feet loudly. ”I want daddddyyyyyyy…..daddddddyyyyyyyyyyyy…..saveeee me from mama…she’s sooo meaaannnn…” she started to scream. She continued stomping her feet singing ”I hate my mommy. I hate my mommy…” Marla went into the kitchen to clean up dinner trying to block out her daughter’s unknowingly hateful song and dance.  She turned around a few seconds before the timer went off not hearing any noise from her daughter. Marla saw Rosie laying on the bench next to her chair playing with a drum stick. She twirled it around smiling up at it.

”Mammmaaaa…” she started to cry again. Oh, now that I’m paying attention she’s going to cry.Marla thought to herself.  Marla walked over to her daughter taking the drum stick out of her hand.

”Rosalia…I put you in your yellow chair because you’re not supposed to throw food. And this is your food…not Tippie’s. Okay?” Marla explained in a soft, yet stern, tone of voice. 

”Lo siento, mommy.” her daughter said knowing that she needed to hug her mother after their conversation.

”I love you, Rosie…” Marla said picking her up to walk her into the bathroom for a bath.

Marla washed her daughter’s matted curly brown hair placing her in a little pink shirt and blue bottoms for bed after playing with the rubber duckies in the bathtub.

”Come on…let’s go to bed…” Marla said placing her daughter in the bed kissing her on the cheek good night.

”Mommyyy….daddy will be here tomorrow right?” Rosie asked.

”Yes, Rosalia. He will be home tomorrow. He’ll make you breakfast.” she told her daughter turning around to face the door. ”The faster you go to sleep the faster you’ll wake up and see him.” Marla told her closing the door slightly as she walked toward the living room to watch some trashy entertainment news before going to bed.  Marla trudged into the master bedroom about an hour later to fall asleep. She rolled herself over into the same spot she always slept in when she knew Bruno was going to be home.

”Mammaaa….” Marla heard a soft voice pulling at her arm only seconds after the lights were turned off.

”What’s wrong, Rosie?” she asked.

”I had a bad dream, mama…” she said through her little tears.

”Oh…honey…come on. Come sleep here. I’ll protect you…” she said lifting her daughter into the big cushy bed. She has me wrapped around her little finger…Marla thought as she wrapped her daughter in the small blanket kissing her head good night.


Bruno dropped his bag on the bench his daughter was laying on during her temper tantrum early in the morning. He saw a piece of paper stuck to the fridge. I love her notes. He thought to himself reading it.

            Te amo.

He took the pen that was sitting on the edge of the built in desk to write on it.

            I love you more.

”There. Perfect.” he said as he walked toward the laundry room dropping his plaid shirt and socks in the dirty laundry. He walked slowly and lightly into the hallway where the bedrooms were located. He glanced into Rosalia’s bedroom to see her empty bed and blanket. Of course she’s in our bed. She is such a princess. Bruno smiled walking at the same slow pace into their bedroom to see his two and a half year old daughter stretched out across the bed with his wife pushed against the wall. He picked his daughter up kissing her on the cheek placing her in a small space between the two of them. After making sure she was in a safe position he walked over to Marla to kiss her good night. ”I love you, Marla….” he said kissing his sleeping wife on the lips gently before squeezing into the bed to sleep next to the two most important women in his life.

Chapter 45

This is my go to sappy romantic story. For serious. These two gross me out they’re so cute together. Right?

Marla felt a little hand on her chest early in the morning. She moved the hand squinting her eyes to see that it was only a few minutes before her early alarm was going to go off. Ugh. I guess I’ll get up at 4:57…three minutes won’t kill me. She moved her daughter’s hand to turn off her alarm seeing Bruno stretched out the same way Rosie was. Aww. I love them. She got herself dressed running down the stairs in about 30 minutes taking a hold of the piece of paper Bruno had written on earlier that morning.

Love you times infinity and beyond. Oh, and I’m going for a run. I’ll be back before y’all get up.

She wrote on the paper squeezing the last bit on the paper. She opened the fridge, grabbed a bottle of water, slipped on her ipod and started to run in the morning sunlight. She rounded the hill facing their house at 6:47 beating the pace she wanted for the half marathon she was training for by 12 seconds. She let out a huge sigh falling onto the grass by the door.  

”Rosie…get give this to your mom…” Bruno said glancing out the window knowing she was going to be coming around the corner any minute. He pushed his daughter out the opened back door holding a bright pink rose.

”Mammmaaa….” Rosalia called her mother from the porch.

”Oh, Rosie..a rose! Where’s your dad?” she asked her daughter who looked still half awake.  The two year old pointed to the backdoor where Marla saw Bruno smiling at her with his hair all over the place wearing sweat pants and a red t-shirt. Marla took her daughter’s hand walking her back toward the door to meet Bruno. She kissed him lightly walking back inside. He turned around grabbing her waist kissing her on the neck. ”Stop.” Marla told him softly.

”Five minutes…she’s watching Dora…” he responded holding her even tighter.

”I do have to take a shower…” she responded in the same soft tone he used. He hugged her from behind kissing her neck again leading her into their bedroom.

”Rosalia…watch Dora…” Bruno yelled at his daughter turning around to see her laying on the couch almost asleep.

”We’re horrible parents…” Marla told him lifting up her tight fitting running shirt pressing herself against him as he pulled off his shirt. He moved his hands along her waist quickly pulling off her shorts pushing her against the wall of their walk in closet all while kissing the sweat off her collar bone. ”Hurry, B..just…I need you, Bruno….” she said in a fast paced voice.

”Marla..she can’t tell time…” he said continuing to kiss her neck slowly moving down to her chest.

”Ohhh….I knooowww…” she responded to him pressing himself into her at the same time he kissing her shoulder. She pressed herself into the wall so hard that she could feel herself bruising instantly as he continued to press himself into her.

”Marley…I love you.” he told her pulling away from her.

”I love you too. Now let me take a shower, Bruno.” she laughed at him as he checked out her naked body. ”Stop it!” she yelled at him running toward the bathroom holding her outfit for work.

Marla walked out into the living room to see Rosie sitting on Bruno’s lap watching Yo Gabba Gabba.She clapped her hands to the beat laughing.

”I’ll be home by 7…” Marla said leaning down to kiss Rosie. ”I love you, mija.” Marla said kissing her daughter.

”But…what about me” Bruno asked.

”I love you, too, Bruno.” she said rubbing his head. ”I’ll see you later tonight.”

”You can thank me for that later, Marla.” he flirted with her as she walked out the door patting the dog on the head.

”Quit being gross, Brunz.” she answered blowing him a kiss as the door closed.


”I have to get hooommeee…” Marla whined typing on her computer.

”Marla?” she heard one of the case managers’ cracking voice. Shit. No. No. No drama tonight…Marla thought glancing at the clock 6:15…make it snappy….

”Tiffany is going to be evicted..and she has the kids…and Michael is..he was…arrested…” Alana, the case manager with one of the toughest caseloads said sitting down in the big cushy chair.

”Well let’s get this taken care of…” Marla answered going into her computer to look at the family’s file. She bent down to text Bruno.

Crisis at work. I’ll be late. Love you.


Bruno wiped off the flour on the counter after breading the fish he was baking for the three of them. His phone buzzed. He washed off his hands hoping to see it saying that she was coming home early. ”Well, Rosie…it looks like you’ve got a hot date with your dad tonight…” he told her handing her a small water bottle with Cinderella on the top.

”And Tippie, daddy.” Rosie said hugging the dog.

”Yes..and Tippie…” Bruno said sitting down to pet the dog with his daughter.

He made them both dinner placing a small portion into the fridge for his wife. He put his daughter in her bed after reading her The Very Hungry Caterpillar watching her fall asleep to his voice. He kissed her daughter good night, turned off the light leaving the door cracked. ”I love you, my rose…” he said walking out the door. After cleaning up the blankets they were laying on and putting away the dolls they were playing with Bruno flopped onto the couch flipping to ESPNI don’t even know what’s going on anymore. But it’s not that bad… he thought to himself seeing Marla’s headlights shine through the front window. ”Shh….Tippie…don’t bark…it’s just Marla…” he reassured the dog as she turned around to see Marla walk in the door holding a Starbucks cup in one hand and the mail in another. The dog ran up to her making her drop the mail.

”Shit…” she said looking at the mail drop.

”Babbbyyy….” Bruno said taking the cup from her hand along with her purse and extra bag full of case files.  He placed them on the couch turning to see tears coming down her cheek. ”What’s wrong?” he asked her.

She shook her head not sure what to say. ”It was just a long day.” she said walking into the kitchen to get a bottle of water.

”I cooked for you…” he said wrapping his arms around her taking out the plate.

”Oh…Brunooo…” she answered with tears still coming down her cheek.  ”I’m not hungry right now….” she told him walking back toward the bedroom with her water bottle.

”Marley….” he whined laying down next to her on the bed where she had spread out on her stomach with her eyes closed. ”I’m sorry you had a bad day, baby…” he said kissing her back rubbing her back softly until she fell asleep.

Chapter 46

”How do you two even have time?” Fiona asked her friend sitting across from her at the big bright outdoor table.

”I wish I knew…we haven’t…” Marla started glancing over at Bruno on the ground with his daughter and nephew. He got up walking away from them for a second.

”No!” Fiona exclaimed.

”Yes!” Marla answered with a sad face.

”No. She’s wrong…” Bruno said taking a glass of water from the table.

”You don’t even know what we’re talking about, Brunz.” Marla answered him.

”I’m all knowing…” Bruno nodded his head.

”Shut up.” Marla answered with a laugh taking a sip of her water.

”We’re herrreeeee…” they heard Phil walk through the back gate carrying one of his kids with his wife behind holding their other child’s hand along with a big bag of food.

”Oh…here…” Marla responded taking the bags from Urbana’s hands to go inside.

Bruno and Phil stayed outside watching the kids not moving a muscle for their significant others.

”Thank you, Mar.” Urbana answered taking out a handful of side dishes and red solo cups.

”You stay classy, now.” Marla responded to the cups.

”They’re only the best…and after the kids fall asleep….” Urbana answered.

”Well, true. She actually needs a nap…look at her throwing shit…” Marla said pointing at a flying block hitting Bruno right in the face. Marla watched the event unfold through the window hoping that he would pick her up and bring her inside. He just laughed at her throwing the block in her direction making her laugh.

”God, don’t you hate it when they fuck up the system?” Urbana asked. ”I mean…I’m trying so hard to be firm and he walks in not giving a fuck at all.”

”Welcome to my world…” Marla replied not moving from her spot at the window. Bruno turned to face the house going to get a drink from the table. He waved at her making her melt. Oh god. We aren’t doing that…again. Marla thought to herself taking a huge handful of chips from the bowl on the table.

”Hey…fatty…stop eating my chips.” Bruno responded to Marla’s handful of chips taking some from her hand.

”Those were mine…” she said with her mouth full.

”I married them.” he said kissing her forehead walking back over to the other food they were making. Marla followed him toward the food picking up Rosie who looked as though she was about to fall asleep sitting up.

”Are you ready for a nap, Rosalia?” she asked as her daughter’s head hit her shoulder heavily. Marla stopped midstep feeling all 35 pounds on her daughter fall on her shoulder. Marla ran inside as fast as possible looking at Fiona with tears in her eyes. Fiona followed her into the house faster than she could say Doo-wop. ”Where did she go?” Bruno asked turning around.

”I don’t know…” Phil answered.

”Brunnnoooo!” they heard her scream from the inside of the house.  Bruno dropped the food in his hand, a hard task for him at that moment, seeing the dog sitting next to his wife trying to reach Rosalia who was visibly shaking on her right side with her eyes closed tightly.

”Oh no.” Bruno said quietly to himself as his sister followed in behind him holding her son’s hand.


Chapter 47

”We have to go…” Marla looked up at Bruno with tears in her eyes.

”I know…” he said to her coming to sit down next to his wife.  ”Stay here…I’ll get her frog and blanket…and the car…” he said in a calm voice.

”Okay…okay…” she trembled.

”Will you come with, Urbana?” she asked Phil’s wife.

”Yeah. Of course….” she said handing a child to Phil.

”We’ll stay here and cook for you. We know you’re going to need it…” Tahiti told her.

”You just want to eat our food.” Marla laughed.

”Well, yes…but you will need it, Marley.”

”You’re right.” Marla responded seeing Rosalia’s eyes starting to open. She burst out crying the second she could see what was going on. Marla ran her fingers through her daughter’s hair leaning down to whisper to her. ”Shhhh. Everything will be okay. It will be okay.” she picked her up struggling to stand up. Bruno walked into the room seeing Marla holding their daughter tightly.

”Come on…” Bruno said to her opening the door holding the frog and dirty crocheted blanket in his hands. ”You should sit in the back with her, baby…” Bruno told her with the same concerned tone he had earlier handing Rosalia the frog. ”Don’t cry, you’ll make dad cry, baby doll…shhh. It will be alright.” They buckled her into her car seat driving as quickly as possible to the hospital. ” you want me to drop you off ?” Bruno asked.

”No. I can’t go in by myself…I need you to come with me. ” she responded.

”Okay…I’ll park close…” he responded puling their small SUV into a middle parking spot.. They parked in the middle of the parking lot an equal distance from the front door and the street. Urbana and Phil parked several spots away from them running up to be with them.

”Did you call the doctor?” Phil asked.

”Yeah. I called the pediatric neurologist that was referred to me when she was born…doctor Reisch…” she answered holding Rosalia in her arms watching her start to cry again. ”Rosie..I know it hurts, sweetheart. I know it hurts a lot…we’ll make it better.” Marla reassured her daughter wiping the massive amount of tears from her eyes. ”Hold on to froggy…”

”Marla….they’re ready for us….” Bruno told her readjusting his hat and sunglasses.

”Take off your sunglasses, B. You shouldn’t care who sees you right now.” Marla said in a mean tone. He did exactly what she told him knowing there was no way to win the argument at the moment. ”Thank you.” she told him looking into his eyes so scared she was shaking as they walked. Rosalia started to squirm around in Marla’s arms.

” you want to walk?” Marla asked putting her down.

”Nooooooo…..” she started to scream. Marla shot Bruno a confused look stopping to react to the cries.

”Come here, baby doll…” Bruno said picking his up.

”I wuv you…” she said putting her head on her father’s shoulder closing her eyes with the frog in her hands.

”I love you too, my rose.” he answered her kissing her head turning the corner into the room they were going to be seen in.

They sat in the room interrupted by nurses wanting to take Rosalia’s blood pressure and a bit of blood.

”Mammmaaaaaaa….” she screamed as the nurse poked her into the arm.

”Look, Rosie…it’s Dora!” she distracted her daughter holding the band aide in her hand hoping that seeing the cartoon character would help her through the process.

”And look, Rosie…froggy doesn’t want you to be sad…” Bruno started to distract her making him dance and sing. The nurse almost lost her grip on the needle catching Bruno’s voice.

”Please be careful…” Marla asked seeing the nurse come back to where she needed to be to complete the blood work.

”This will only take a few minutes…” the nurse said walking out the door.

”God, Bruno. You’re married and you still make them crazy.”

He laughed at her response making Rosalia laugh with them.

”Oh..I see things are going well here?” the young neurologist walked in smiling at the family.

”Well, right now…” Marla explained what had happened as well as her family background.

”Okay..let’s do a quick little somethin’ somethin’…” the doctor said to them. He could not have been older than 32, dark brown hair, with a light complexion and deep blue eyes. ”Can I see your arms, Miss Rosalia?” he asked.

”It’s okay, baby doll…” Bruno said taking her tense arms from her side.

The doctor touched them in a couple places making notes on his pad of paper.

”Is she going to be okay?” Bruno asked as the doctor played with her legs.

”I think so….” the doctor said. ”We obviously need to do an eeg, preferably a 24 hour one, and then an mri.” he told them. Marla squeezed Bruno’s hand to reassure him that things would be okay.

”She’s getting tense again…” Marla said in a scared tone feeling her daughter’s hands clench and her legs squeeze together.

The doctor picked her up laying her on the small child sized bed in the corner of the room as she repeated the same motions as in the house earlier in the day. Marla followed him touching her gently. ”It’ll be okay….Rosalia…we’re right here….it’ll be okay…” Marla repeated.

”We need to keep her overnight…” Dr. Reisch told them. ”Just to make sure they don’t go into status….”

”Oh my god….” Marla gasped. ”No. It can’t….” she said putting her head into her hands. Bruno moved his rolling chair over to them touching Rosie as she started to loosen up rubbing Marla’s back at the same time.

”It’ll be okay…” he tried to fake a smile through his words.

”No, Bruno…it’s okay to be scared.” she told him seeing the same tenseness Rosalia had coming over Bruno’s arms.


Chapter 48

”We’re going to have her here….” the same nurse who had been swooning over Bruno pointed as they walked toward the children’s wing of the hospital. Rosie was awake and walking next to them looking at the murals on the wall. She stopped for a second in front of an open room where a large family was standing visibly emotional.

”They sick momma?” she asked.

”Yes, honey. It looks like they’re sick.”

”Hug them to make it better? Please?” she asked taking her mom’s hand walking into the door.

Bruno quickly picked her up trying to keep her from entering the room.

”no, baby…they’ve got enough hugs…” he said to her sweetly.

”No such thing as too many hugs.” Rosalia answered kicking her legs.

One of the adults in the room turned around to see what the noise was looking shocked at Bruno and Rosie.

”We’re really sorry…she just wants to make sure everyone is okay…” Bruno responded shyly.

”Let her come in….” they heard a soft sick voice answer.

”No…we couldn’t…” Marla answered.

”Mom…is that Bruno Mars?” the sick teenager asked.

”Yes, sweetheart.” he answered her.

”Oh…my god…noooo…way!” she exclaimed coughing after she finished her sentence. ”And your daughter Rosalia? She’s so precious…” the girl tried to sit up with the assistance of her father.

”Please…” the girl’s mother asked.

”Go with her…” Marla leaned in whispering to Bruno. ”It will be good for her.” Well, she does know her shit. Bruno thought to himself. Masters of Social Work…Marla stood outside watching Bruno talk to the girl named Leah. They found out she had suffered from some broken ribs and subdural hematoma after getting in a car accident only hours after passing her driving test.  He is so amazing, even if I can tell he’s nervous he is so sweet to them. This is why I married him. Marla smiled at them knowing they could care less about his wife.

”And when you’re better you can come to the studio.” Bruno told her.

”Okay…thank you.” Leah answered struggling to smile.

”But I want you one hundred percent okay?” she nodded her head answering him.

Rosalia threw herself on Leah giving her a hug as Bruno finished talking to her. ”Better now?” she asked.

”No, not yet, Rosie…” Bruno answered her. ”But when she’s better you can play with her..okay”

”I miss you Leah!” Rosalia told her.

”Come on, Rosie…we have to go…go to your mom…please.” Bruno said pointing toward Marla.  Rosie started running toward her mother stopping in the middle of her run sitting on the ground.

Marla ran over to her quickly taking her out of the room calling for the nurse they were with earlier. ”It’s happening again…” she told her.

”Follow me..quickly…” the nurse answered walking quickly to the room they were assigned to. Marla held onto Rosalia laying her down on the bed rubbing her arms to calm her down. Marla looked up to the clock counting the time in the same way the nurse was. She remembered waking up to her mother doing the same thing when she was younger. ”We need to get Dr.’s been 7 minutes…” Marla told the nurse, Holly who was already out the door.

”Mar?” Bruno came into the room seeing her sitting on the edge of the bed next to their daughter trying to hold back her emotions. He sat on the other side of the bed placing his hand on Marla’s not saying a word. Rosalia woke up starting to cry in the same shrill tone as she did in the house. Make it stop, make it stop. Marla thought to herself as she picked up her toddler soothing her. Bruno took Rosalia from Marla soothing her through her tears. He started to sing the song he had written about her the year before in a hushed tone. Bruno paused feeling her tense up again. ”Where is he? She needs that stuff….” Bruno said in a scared tone speaking about the Ativan they had given Marla one night to make her stop seizing.

”I don’t know, Bruno…but…she needs it….” Marla said through her tears.

”Here…” the doctor came running in the room. ”Let’s get her calmed down…” Bruno placed her on the bed turning his head as the doctor placed the needle in her arm. ”You can turn around now, Mr. Hernandez. It’s all done.”

”Oh god. Thank you.” Bruno sighed responding the needle.

”We’re also going to get her on some medicine…I will be back in a few minutes….” he told them. After the doctor left Bruno slid the extra chair over to Marla wrapping his arms around her.

”It hurts, baby. I know it does…”

”But, Bruno…it’s like anything. Until you experience you can’t express how badly it hurts. I just wish it was me…I just wish I could trade places with her…she can’t go through this….” Marla responded placing her hands on Rosalia who she could see was starting to wake up.

”I don’t want either of you to go through that, Marla. No one deserves it…” he told her kissing her on the cheek. ”’s should sleep.” Bruno told her squeezing her tightly as she pulled her legs up underneath herself.

”I can’t sleep.” she told him.

”You need to. I’m right here if anything happens.” Bruno answered her. ”Marla? Oh, can’t sleep my butt.” he said to himself as he watched his daughter’s eyelids flutter while she slept.


Chapter 49

Marla felt Bruno move from underneath her in the middle of the night. She squinted her eyes to see what he was doing careful not to have him see her. He was just so perfect with Rosalia when he thought no one was paying attention to him. He sat on the edge of the small bed putting his hand on her forehead. His touch made her turn but tense up as she moved reacting to the IV fluids going through her veins. He moved her back toward him so she didn’t hurt herself.

” are my everything. Without you I don’t know where I would be, baby doll. You are going to get through this. It hurts. I will always be there for you my Rosie.” he said quietly laying his head next to her. He was waken up a few minutes later seeing the nurse checking Rosie’s monitors.

”She’s okay, Mr. Hernandez. She’s scheduled for an eeg tomorrow at 8.”

”Thank you.” he responded in a sleepy voice.


”Mar….what do they do?” Bruno asked watching the nurse place small sticky nodes on their daughter’s matted hair. Bruno sat next to her holding her hand knowing he was going to sit next to her through the event.

”They’re going to let her sleep for a little..which is all she’s been doing because of the medicine…and then they’ll wake her up and flash all the lights at her.”

”And what happens when she has a seizure?” he asked her.

”They’ll monitor it for length and intensity. If it gets really bad they’ll stop it. But if it’s small they let it go. They want to see where the activity is.”

”Length and intensity?” he asked her. ”I don’t have a masters, baby.” he smiled at her.

”How long it is and if it gets bad like it did last night.” she answered. ”It’s not that hard to understand, Bruno.” she laughed at him. ”I’m sorry I can’t be there.” she said in a soft tone finishing her laugh.

”She won’t know the difference.” Bruno told his wife.

A few minutes later they walked down the long sunlit hallway toward the room. Marla stopped at the door bending down to kiss her daughter.

”But mama…why aren’t you going too?” Rosie asked in a grow-up voice.

”I can’t, mama…I have to wait here. Dad will take care of you. If you need anything you know he’ll be there.”

”But mommmyyyy….” she started to cry which made Marla want to cry.

”It will be okay, Rosie…you’ll make it.” Marla answered trying to hold back her tears.

”Rosie…it will be okay. I’ll be right there, okay?” Bruno said stepping next to Marla.

”But….mommy’s always there…you leave, daddy.” she answered them.

”Not anymore, Rosie…not anymore…” Bruno said kissing her head.

”I’ll be waiting right here, mamacita…” Marla told her kissing her cheek as they walked away.

Marla sat down on the rigid ancient leather chair in the waiting room. She pulled out her phone texting one of her friends who worked at the hospital as a trauma case manager.

            Allison…I need to talk to you. I’m waiting for Rosie’s eeg.

Not two minutes later Allison came walking up to the room wearing jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt with her badge showing in the front.

”I’ll come and wait with you.” she told Marla taking her hand.

”Thank you. No one else could come.” she told her friend in a sad tone.

”You know…it’s okay to cry even if you know she’s going to be okay…” Allison said grabbing the tissue sitting on the table next to her.

”I just didn’t want to cry in front of him.” she said through her tears. ”I’m the strong one. The one that gets through everything. I have a tough heart because of all the things we’ve been through..this is nothing…” Marla spoke. ”You’re going to therapy the shit out of this, aren’t you?”

”I can…or I can just be your friend who has known you from the time you met your husband to right now who sees that he knows your heart is breaking just like his is…maybe even more.  You’re staying strong for him and he’s staying strong for you. You both just need to break.” Allison said pulling a pencil out of her pocket breaking it in half with ease.

”Oh god.” Marla sniffed. ”You’re right.” she said walking toward the elevator. ”I just need to cry…and cry…and cry more….” Marla answered.

Allison hugged her friend telling her that she was there for her before Marla ran out toward the elevator. ”Let’s just sit down and wait for them to finish. It shouldn’t be too long, Marley.” Allison said directing her back to the chairs they were sitting in.

Bruno came out holding Rosie who was sound asleep a few minutes later.

”How did she do?” Marla asked.

”It wasn’t good.” he told her. ”Mar…” he touched her face with his free hand. ”She’ll get better. You know that…we know that….”

”But when?” she asked him as another nurse led them back to the room.

”I don’t know, baby.” he answered placing their sleeping toddler back in the bed watching her arms twitch.


Chapter 50

Later in the day the doctor came in the room. He sat down in the empty chair from the other side of the room moving over with his big file in his hands. Marla sat as close to Bruno as she possibly could as Rosie colored like crazy in a coloring book.

”So…here are the results of the test…” he said unrolling a piece of paper with lines moving up and down. Oh god. Marla thought to herself. This is not good. Not good at all. ”And so…right here is where it was the worst…”

”Wait where?” Marla asked coming out of her daze.

”Right after the photosensitive portion. That means she’s not photosensitive – but that the lights do affect her. It’s the moments after that get to her.”

”So if that’s what is the biggest problem why did it happen while we were outside?” Bruno asked.

”It was most likely stress. How many people were around her at that time?” Dr. Reisch asked.

”Um….” Bruno counted in his head.

”There were at like 10 playing with her then….” Marla answered.

”Liam, Zadah, Lilly, Marley……Phil….Jaimo….Heidi, Makayla….and you…” Bruno said reassuring himself that he could remember.

”It sounds a lot like me…” Marla stated.

”Yeah…the stress…and after the lights…but why so bad now?” Bruno asked.

”Well…there’s really no explanation for that. We’ll just have to treat it and see if there is anything else we can find if she does have the same reaction. She’s been stable since the eeg, which is a good sign.” the doctor answered. ”She’ll need to continue with the current medication. We’ll discharge her after we finish up here and we’ll see you all in my office in two weeks. Okay?”

”That’s good. Thank you so much.” Bruno answered.


Marla stood by the fridge writing down her schedule on their calendar. ”Shit.” she said to herself looking at the day she needed to circle for Rosalia’s follow-up doctor’s appointment. ”Brunnnoooo…” she called out waiting for him to come in the room. She took the calendar off the fridge laying it on the big brown island in the middle of the kitchen.

”Yeah” he asked her.

”Why didn’t you tell me you were going to New York next week?” she asked frustrated.

”I did…I put it on the calendar…” he pointed to the note he had written.

”But you know I only check this when I’m writing my own stuff down….Bruno…your second day is the day of Rosie’s appointment. You said you’d be there.”

”Take Lisa or your mom, Marley. I had to reschedule it once already because you had your audit thing and couldn’t be home…”

”Bruno! Recording is more important than your only daughter? Oh my god.” she said leaving the calendar on the island waiting for him to erase it like he always did when she yelled.

”Marla..I can’t…I want to…” he replied sitting down across from her at the kitchen table.

She didn’t say anything to him choosing to walk away from the argument. ”,Mar…baby…please don’t…can we talk about this?” he asked following her toward the cabinets where she was pulling out medicine for Rosie.

”No….Rosalia…come over here…” she yelled. Rosie came running in with her curly brown hair bouncing all over the place. Bruno picked her up placing her on the counter.

”Here, Rosie….” Marla handed her the small yellow pill and a glass of water.

”No.” she said trying to get off the counter. Bruno held on to her making sure she didn’t fall of the counter.

”Look….” Bruno said taking a small vitamin from the counter, ”mmmm. It makes me feel better.” Rosie started laughing at Bruno holding the pill in her hand. ”Are you ready to feel better?” Bruno started singing to her.

”Yessss…” she sang back to him putting the pill on her tongue. Marla handed her a small cup of water watching her swallow the pill.

”Come on, Rosalia. Let’s get you ready for bed…” Bruno said taking her off of the counter. ”Mom’s in a bad mood.”

”Shut up, Bruno.” Marla snapped walking out of the kichten behind him. She stuck her tongue out catching Rosie’s eyes.

”Mama, no!” Rosie exclaimed making Marla laugh.

”Quit being mean, Mar.” Bruno told his wife.

After Rosalia was asleep Marla sat on the couch on her laptop checking her e-mail.

”Babbbbyyyy….” Bruno sang to her sitting next to her. ”Please don’t be mad at me.”

”I’m not mad. I’m sad. I’m sad that you haven’t realized that she doesn’t understand why you’re here one second and gone the next. She cries the first night you’re gone…every single time. And then you come in here and say you’ll never leave her. Do you even remember saying that at the hospital, Bruno? Whatever. Hagas lo que quieres. No me importa.” she closed her laptop placing it on the table in front of her. ”I’m going to bed.”