"Communication. It's the first thing we really learn in life. Funny thing is, once we grow up, learn our words and really start talking, the harder it becomes to know what to say. Or how to ask for what we really need."
I’ve experienced a couple of weird situations in my life, but someone showing up late to pre booked session – this was new for me. I looked at my watch. It was already 9.10 am and nobody was in sight. Hell, where did Jay drop me off? I sighed and decided to sit on one of the little chairs they had in the waiting room and examined the studio. It was very artless. Besides the countless instruments that were laying crisscross everywhere, there was a little dark green couch in the corner of the studio, next to it a table which was loaded with alcoholic bottles. Thats everything they have here. I’ve never been in such a tiny and simple studio, but I didn’t care about that. The main principle, and that was to record good music, was more important to me than the looks of a studio. I looked at my watch again. 9.17 am. I started to get very impatient and a bit annoyed. I was about to grab my purse and pull out my phone to call Jay and give him a tongue-lashing when I suddenly hear loud noises coming from behind the door. The noises became louder until I saw the door handle going down and three men entered the studio. I looked at them and smiled politely as I stood up from the chair. The three seemed to be a bit shocked, I could tell by their faces. Weren’t they expecting me? I started to believe that I was in the wrong studio when suddenly one of them reached his hand out. He was short, had short brown hair, bright skin and a three day beard. “Hello Ms. Sparks, we’re very pleased to meet you. We apologize for our delayed arrival, I hope you’ll still give us a chance to work with you. Besides that, my name is Ari Levine.“ The nervousness was writ large on his face. I took his hand, shook it and smiled at him, signifying that there’s no need to be nervous and that they don’t have to treat me like I’m some upscale girl. “Hey, nice to meet you too, don’t worry about it. And please call me Lace.” He smiled and his face lit up a bit. The other guy, who had huge glasses on came up to me and said: “Hey Lace, how are you? I’m Phil and the main reason why we arrived late” he looked at me waiting for my reaction. I let out a silent laugh. “Don’t worry about that, it’s cool.” And it was the truth, for some reason I wasn’t mad at them anymore. He looked at me with a relieved facial expression and smiled. “Thank you.” I looked at the third guy. He was tan, had big puppy dog eyes and wore a LA cap. “Hello, my name is Bruno” he let out a slight smile and reached out his hand. “Hey, nice to meet you Bruno.” I took his hand and shook it too, smiling at him. “Alright…” Phil called, with his hands on his waist ..”let’s get a start on this!” At this point I think i was more nervous than they were. The thought of them being ‘musicians’ just to meet me made me feel really insecure. “Okay, so before we get into any kind of business, tell me about yourselves”
We moved into the corner where the couch was. I’m trembling inside, and I don’t know why. I can’t stop staring at her. Lacey is more amazing than what she appears to be on tv. The thought of her being a diva and arrogant disappeard within minutes, she didn’t have a bitchy behaviour and was perfectly fine with everything. The most unbelievable and scary thing was that she reminded me of Amy. Not just her looks, her mimic, her gesture, her facial expressions, even her smile was so similiar to Amy’s. Lacey had long, light brown, silky smooth, straight hair that reached down to her stomach, caramel toned skin and soft almond brown eyes. Fuck, I wasn’t listening to anything they were saying. I wiped away the sweat that appeared on my forehead.
Wow, the guys are so amazing from what I’ve heard of them so far. Phil and Ari are wonderful, Bruno seems a little awkward though. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that we got on very well with each other. These guys are definitely unique, they’re funny but when it comes to serious situations they instantly become serious too.
While Phil, Ari and me were standing in front of the studio booth, I was having all these mixed thoughts. I mean, I’m excited to see what they’ve got, but I’m a little afraid of if it goes terribly wrong. Bruno walks in to join us. He looked down at the floor the whole time and avoided eye contact with me. Damn, he must be really shy and secretive. “So, now we’re all here, let’s get started” Phil broke the silence. “Alright, let’s see what you guys got” I said and crossed my arms. Without saying a single word Bruno grabbed a guitar and started singing, Phil and Ari sung with him in the background. It was absolutely beautiful, Bruno had an incredible voice. I’m not trying to overreact, but the man had the voice of an angel. Wow, I really didn’t expect this, these three have potential. Whilst Bruno was singing he had his eyes closed the whole time until he finished the song. ”..In hopes you’re on the other side, talking to me to - or am I a fool, who sits alone, talking to the moon..” The lyrics were beautiful, they touched my heart with every word he was singing. Bruno was still looking down after he finished while Ari and Phil were looking at me with anticipation. I couldn’t describe how wonderful the song was, I’m not really good at expressing any positive comments, so I was kinda disappointed with myself only saying: “You guys wrote that? It’s beautiful, if you can give me something like that you’re definitely hired!” I couldn’t think of anything else to say. They looked so shocked and didn’t say anything. I didn’t know If I should break the silence or not. “You being for real? Did you really like it?” Phil was the one to break the silence again, I’m not surprised, he’s a confident guy. “In that case, can we book another session for sometime next week?” I said, just to reassure them that I’ll be back.”Yeah sure, what day?” “I need to find out when I’m next free so I’ll have to call you to let you know.” They all just gave me the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen. My phone started ringing. “Can you guys excuse me, I really need to take this call” I stepped out of the room and stood by the door. “Hello?” “Lace, how did the studio session go sweetie?” It was Scarlett, my bestfriend. She always calls at the right moments. I shook my head and smiled, even though she couldn’t see me. “It was really good, I think the Smeezingtons are the ones.” She just bursted out laughing. “The Smeezingtons? Are you kidding me Lace? What’s up with the name?” I couldn’t help but laugh too. “Shut up, they’re really nice and fun” “Sounds like they were, at least you can relax now Lace” She really doesn’t know how to shut up. I took a deep breath and smiled to myself. “I’ll talk to you later Scarly, bye” I went back into the little room, they all turned around. “Hey guys, it was really amazing meeting you today, but I really gotta go, I’m running late” “Yeah sure” Ari replied. “We’ll stay in touch?” Phil asked. “Yeah, we most definitely will.” They all came over to say bye. Ari requested a handshake but I just hugged them all, well except Bruno. He was one of the weirdest guys I’ve met in my life. I’m dying to know if he’s always like that. Well, we will just have to find out next time.
“What the fuck was wrong with you today Bruno?” Phil called, shaking his head and pressing some buttons in front of the studio booth. It’s been 10 minutes since Lacey left the studio, you would think that we should be celebrating right now, but we stayed silent the whole time. “What do you m…” “Shut up dude you know exactly what I mean, why did you behave like that in front of her? We are so fucking lucky that she still hired us, especially after how you acted. You can’t ever act like this ever again Bruno, you better come up with a good reason now!” He looked at me with a serious facial expression, it made me feel like I let them down. I looked down. “Listen I’m sorry bro. I don’t know what got into me today, I probably just got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” Phil sighed. “Stop that Bruno, I know your lying. Just tell me the truth.” I didn’t answer, I grabbed my phone instead and prenteded to be busy with it until Phil snatched it away from me. “Fuck Bruno don’t act like a child and tell me what’s wrong with you now.” He was getting really mad, I understood him though. I’d react the same if I was in his position. Why was it so hard to just tell him the truth? I couldn’t open my mouth and tell him what was wrong and I don’t even know why. He was my best friend, my partner in crime, my brother, why wasn’t I able to tell him this little issue I had? Was it because I haven’t spoken to him about Amy since I came back to the studio? I acted as if she didn’t even exist. I rubbed my forehead and mumbled “Did you see how Lacey acted today?” Phil furrowed his eyebrows. “Uhm, she probably acted like a woman?” “Damn, no Phil” I looked at him. “Didn’t she remind you of..of.. someone? Like..you know.. someone you.. used to know?” I just got the last three words out. Its still really hard for me to talk about her. Phil’s mad look turned into a thinking one, then it became soft and comforting. He sighed and looked down. “I think I know who you mean.” He smiled slightly and lightly touched my shoulder. “Sorry for getting all mad at you bro, I didn’t think about it like that, I should’ve realised something. I’m aware that her death is..” I interrupted him quickly, trying not to hear his last sentence. I didn’t want him to go into detail on Amy’s accident, I didn’t want to feel that anger and frustration inside my head again. It’s bad enough thinking about it every night. “I know bro, it’s okay, at least you understand me. Can we go celebrate now? Because we’re gonna be working for a real celebrity!” I smiled big at him, he smiled too, just then Ari came in with some champagne and turned the music on.
“Guess what?” Ari shouted over the sound of the music. “What dude? Tell us!” I thought I’d respond, especially because I haven’t done much talking today. “Lacey called back, she said she wanted another session booked for Wednesday!” “Wednesday, you being for real? We’ve only got 3 days to prepare” It was like Phil read my mind. We are so blessed to be working with such a big musical genius. I don’t think we will have to do much for her though, considering that she writes her own lyrics. I wonder if she will like our ideas, seems like she loved my latest song, but i don’t want to give that away. It’s very personal and I would never allow myself to give that song away.
The guys were dancing, fooling around and laughing. I wanted to join them, I really did, but something was stopping me. I don’t know if working with Lacey is the best thing for me, what if it doesn’t work out again? I stood up to go outside. Phil nodded. I went out to the front where the car was parked and got a cigarette out. I’m happy, nobody would understand the excitement that was building up inside me, something just doesn’t feel right though and it’s holding me back. I lit up my cigarette and took a few puffs, realising I haven’t had a cigarette for ages. I guess all this madness made me forgot about it.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in this situation before. I haven’t ever called someone back the same day I met them for a studio session. These guys are really impressive, I just want them to come out of their cave. Well for now all I should do is relax. I’ve finally got the whole evening to myself. Just when I slowly drifted to sleep, the ringtone of my phone woke me up. The ringtone stopped before I even has a chance to grab my phone. I looked at the Caller-ID, made big eyes and placed my hand on my forehead in shock. Oh shit, it was Aiden. I haven’t noticed his countless messages and phone calls from today until now. This was crazy, I haven’t thought about him at all today, the meeting with the guys made me forget about him. I’m sure he is mad, real mad, but he has the right to be. Dialing his number quickly, I tried to come up with a good excuse and put the phone to my ear. He picked up after the second tone. “Good thing it only took you 2 days to answer my calls. I called you like… Uhm let me think, 7846 times. Thanks for finally calling me back Lace.” He said in a sarcastic tone and chuckled. I cleared my throat. “Well, hello to you too babe. Look, I’m really sorry I didn’t call you today, but I was very busy. I had a meeting today and it took longer than I expected so..yeah” I replied very fast. “That was lame Lace, I thought you’d come up with a better excuse than that. I was so worried about you, anyway it’s okay.” I rolled my eyes. He was being sweet, I mean I guess he just cares. “Thanks for understanding babe, how has your day been?” I asked, just to lighten the mood, even though I knew he was worried and annoyed. “Nothing interesting, I just had an interview today with a radio station, and that’s about it.” “Awesome!” I said in a high-pitched voice, showing him that I was interested in what he has done today. I started to yawn, I was really tired. “Baby, I think I should get some sleep now, can I call you sometime tomorrow?” “Oh okay, are you sure your okay? Do you need checking up on?” I sighed silently. My eyes are about to close, I was as tired as shit and I didn’t want to make him even more worried. “It’s okay Aiden, you dont have to go through all that effort and I’m fine, honestly.” “Okay, if you say so. I’ll see you tomorrow, don’t forget about our plans, I’ve got a surprise for you. Bye.” He quickly hang up. I threw my phone on my nightstand and laid on my bed, looking at the ceiling. Fuck, I feel really bad now, was I too harsh on him? Hopefully he won’t be that mad tomorrow. He’s so adorable, and I’m just a tired bitch. ‘Drama is the least thing I needed right now, our relationship is running so smoothly. And I’d like to keep it that way’ I thought to myself and slowly drifted off to sleep.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I woke up with the sun rays dazzling onto my eyes and turned around to the other side to sleep a little longer before I had to meet with.. wait, what? I opened my eyes instantly and looked at the clock. Fuck, it’s already 9.00am. Aiden’s going to be here in an hour and I forgot to set my alarm. I ran into the bathroom, brushed my teeth and got into the shower. He’s going to be really mad if I’m late, it’s bad enough that I missed all his calls yesterday. I got out of the shower, wrapped myself up in a towel and thought of what to wear. Once I stood in front of my rack of dresses I decided to put on something sexy for Aiden. I wanted to show him that I do still care. I thought I should put effort into my appearance for ignoring him yesterday. I put on a tight, long sleeved, lacy red dress that was mid-thigh length. I blow dried my hair which was naturally straight, so I didn’t have to make a big fuss about it. Right after I was finished with putting my make up on, the doorbell rang. I quickly put on a pair of stiletto heels, checked myself in the mirror for the last time and opened the door, excepting that it was Aiden. “Hey ba..Jay?” Does Jay always have to show up at the wrong time? He looked at me up and down with a questioning face. “Hey Lace. Geeze why are you dressed up like that for? We’re just going to a studio, not a club.” He let out a little laugh and became serious again. “Sorry about changing the dates for the studio by the way, but as you know Tristan said he wants a sampling by friday! Be ready in 5 minutes, I’ll be in the car.” I just stared at him and nodded until he went out. I closed the door and leaned against it. Shit. Shit. Shit. Fuck. The guys. I thought I had a meeting with the Smeezingtons on Wednesday, I didn’t even get a text from Jay telling me about this change! I picked up my phone to double check. Fuck he did text me. What am I gonna do now? Aiden’s gonna go nuts, I know he will. I was scared to call him, but I just have to. I dialed his number and run my hand through my hair while I waited for him to answer. “Hey Lace.” He sounded so happy, how can I tell him this? “Hey baby, you okay?” I stuttered. “I’m good, what about you? What’s up babe? You sound like you’re upset.” I silently sighed and said “Look Aiden, I..I don’t think I can do this today. I got a meeting with the Smeezingtons, you know I still gotta record my album. Can we meet sometime later in the week? Just a few more days, and them I’m all yours!” I closed my eyes, waiting for his reaction, but surprisingly he didn’t say anything. He hasn’t said anything for 20 seconds, “Aiden? Are you there?” Why doesn’t he answer, I know he’s still on the line. “Aiden, I know you’re disappointed, but..” He let out a loud sigh before I could say anymore. “Lacey, I’m as busy as you are, I’m a singer too, remember? I’ve got meetings, interviews and photo shoots to attend just as much as you do. But I also try my best to make some time for us, so we can be a happy couple. I haven’t seen you in 3 days now and I’m really annoyed about that, it seems like you don’t care at all about..” “Stop it Aiden, I know it’s tough but I can’t do anything about this. Please you have to understand me, I..” “Let me come with you.” “What?” “Let me come with you, to the studio. Maybe I can get some inspiration for my next album or I can help you write a song. Besides I haven’t got anything else planned for today.” I thought about his suggestion. It wasn’t a bad idea, I mean whats the worst that could happen? I don’t think that the guys would mind if Aiden tagged along. The sound of a cars horn interrupted my thoughts, it’s probably Jay. “Uhm yeah, course you can come. I’ll come pick you up in about 10 minutes, be ready!” and with that I hung up, grabbed my purse and rushed to the car.
“Perfect timing, Lace will be here in 5 minutes. Is everything ready?” Phil asked while he went through some papers, checking if everything was there. I sat on the couch cross-legged, playing my guitar and humming to myself. Ari was busy with adapting some cables into the booth. Today I wanna show Lacey some Lyrics of mine which I wrote like a year ago, but I haven’t taken any notice of them until now, to be honest I had completely forgotten about them. The lyrics weren’t finished though but I hope that doesn’t matter since she said that she wanted to write most of her own stuff. After a few minutes we heard some noises from the front door. We were looking at the door, expecting for Lacey to come in at any second. She came in and stood there smiling at us. I noticed Ari’s eyes widen up as he looked at her. I couldn’t blame him though, she looked absolutely breathtaking in that red dress she was wearing. “Hey Lacey, come in. How are you?” I heard Phil saying as he approached her, leading her in. “I’m fine thank you, what about you guys?” “We’re all good here thanks” I answered. Right when I finished my last sentence, another person came in through the entrance. It was a man, he was tanned, with short brown hair and brown eyes. He came in without saying a single word and stood right behind Lacey holding her waist with his hands. Somehow this dude looked really familiar, I’ve seen him before, I just can’t remember where. Before I had time to figure out who he was Lacey took a deep breath as if she was about to say something. “I wanted to ask you if you would mind if my boyfriend hung with us today? I’m sure you guys know him from the music channels and stuff, Aiden Jump.” She grabbed his hand and smiled at us again. Aiden Jump. Yeah, I’ve heard a few of his songs on the radio before and I’ve seen him on TV too. That’s probably why he looked so familiar. I didn’t know he was her boyfriend though. Aiden still stood there looking at Lacey. I looked at Ari and Phil, I’m sure that they will agree with me that he can stay. Just before I was about to open my mouth to answer. Aiden kissed Amy on the cheek and looked at us. “I’m sure you guys won’t mind having me around? It’s only one day, I’ll try not to get in your way.” He turned his head back to Lacey. I could tell that Lacey really wanted to get to work. “Of course, it’s no problem, you can come here whenever you want. It’s our pleasure to meet you.” Phil reached his hand out, waiting for Aiden to accept the hand shake. Aiden grabbed Phil’s hand lightly and shook it, then reached his hand out to shake ours. Lacey looked down and looked as if she felt left out. An awkward silence started to build up. “Okay, I think we should get to work now. Lacey, I’m full of ideas and they just want to come out.” I smiled at her and she smiled back. Aiden looked directly at me. “Okay, well I’m gonna let you guys do your thing, I’ll be over there if you need me.” He pointed at the couch and went over there to sit down. “Well sure dude, just make yourself at home.” Phil replied. Phil and Ari took Lacey over to where the recording booth was. I grabbed my music sheet and went over to where they sat. “So Bruno tell me about all of your ideas.” Lacey seems really impatient to find out what we’ve got planned. I wonder what she’ll think of the lyrics I’ve got, I guess we can always work on improving it though. “Well I’ve got these lyrics that I wrote ages ago, they’re not finished yet I’ve only got the first verse.” “Okay well let me have a look it!” I handed over the music sheet to her. She read it whilst nodding her head “I LOVE IT! Do you mind if I take it home and work on a few things?” “Go for it! You can change it too if you want.” I honestly didn’t think she would like that song. “So Lace do you want us to come up with a instrumental sample for next time?” Phil Suggested. “Urm yeah, that would be perfect. Will you be able to have it done by Friday? I know it’s a lot to ask, but it only has to be like 30 seconds long.” “That’s fine, we’re the Smeezingtons, remember?” Ari said laughing, he thinks he’s so funny. Lacey let out a really quiet giggle. Okay I take back what I said, maybe he’s funnier than I thought. “I’m just gonna go out for some fresh air, I’ll be back in 5 minutes.” “Yeah we’ll be in here if you need us.” Lace walked over to the front door and went outside. “Dude you okay? You know after the whole…” Phil didn’t finish his sentence. I knew what he was talking about, I completely forgot about it. “Yeah bro, I’m cool. Didn’t really think about it till now.” “Oh sorry for bringing it up.” I just smiled showing him that I wasn’t angry. Aiden got up and slowly walked over to us. “Hey Aiden, getting bored?” Phil questioned. “No, not really. Thought I’d come over and get to know you guys better. I mean you are gonna be working with MY girlfriend.” I didn’t like the way he said that, has he got the wrong impression or something? “What are you talking about dude?” I asked jokingly trying ease the seriousness. “Oh, don’t play dumb with me. You know exactly what I’m talking about, you guys obviously like her.” Is he being serious? He does realise we’re just work colleagues, right? “Aiden you can’t be serious? We don’t like Lacey like that, we’re just friends.” Phil replied. “All I’m asking you is to back off, she doesn’t like you guys.” This guy is a total idiot, he can’t talk to us like that. Just because he’s big in the music industry doesn’t mean he can act like a douche bag. My anger got to the better off me. “Dude, I think you need to calm down. We’re not here to cause any trouble, we just wanna make music, so maybe YOU should back off!” “Please, you think your going to make a living by pleading celebrities to give you chance to work with them? Keep dreaming.” Aiden got up and kicked the chair over. Just then Lacey walked in, and stood there, scanning the room. “What happened here?”
“So are you guys going to tell me whats going on here?” I stood there waiting for a reply. They all just sat there looking at the floor. “Aiden what’s going on?” He looked up and looked at me straight in the eyes. That’s not fair, he knows I always melt when he looks at me with his perfect mocha brown eyes. “Nothing Lace. We’re all cool here.” I stayed strong and decided not to fall for his charm. “Then why is the chair half way across the room?” I felt the tone of my voice getting more and more frustrated. “Fine. Do you know what, don’t tell me. Aiden lets go, I better get back home anyway, I have a dress fitting tomorrow.” They still made no move whatsoever. Wait is it something I did? I picked up my purse. “So Lace, We’ll see you on Friday?” “Yeah, I’ll just come and pick everything up around noon. See you guys later.” Without saying another word I walked out of the door. The whole cab ride back was so quiet. Aiden didn’t say anything. Did something happen between him and Phil? That must be it, I mean Phil does talk a lot. We got back to my house and sat on the couch in silence for what felt like hours. If he wasn’t going to put in the effort to talk to me why should I? “Babe I’m really tired, I might just go home.” “You still haven’t answered my question!” “Look Lace, nothing happened, he just made me mad.” I though so, it was Phil wasn’t it? “Who made you mad, Phil?” “Phil? God no. It was the short guy!” “Ari?” I questioned confused. Ari’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with. “No! It was that Bruno guy, he just made me angry, okay?” He said that last sentence blankly, there wasn’t any emotion present on his face or in his eyes. What could he have said that made Aiden so mad? “What did he say then?” Aiden is such a drama queen, he usually over exaggerates about everything. “Just leave it Lace. I’ll see you later.” He kissed my cheek and left. Why do I love him so much? Even after he acts like that, I still love him.
“Okay, that’s it. We’ve got it!” Phil yelled. After listening to and working on Lacey’s “Until now” for the hundreth time since it was recorded we finally had everything made to perfection. We wanted this record to be out of this world and we made sure everything was to Lacey’s taste. We listened to each and every detail of the song, the beat, the instruments and most importantly the vocals with a lot of concentration. We all nodded our heads to the song while we were stood by the studio booth listening to it. Ari and Lacey nodded in agreement. Lacey clapped and clicked her fingers to the beat. “This beat is amazing. I love how you added the guitar solo in it and still managed to make it sound catchy. Great job guys, I love it. The beat and the tempo works perfectly with the vocals. We freaking got it y’all!” Lacey said in enthusiasm. The relief was writ large in Phil’s and Ari’s faces after hearing her saying those words. And to be honest, I was relieved too. Somehow it made me proud to know that Lacey liked how we produced her song and that she’s satisfied with our work. All the sweat and effort we put into this song finally paid off. Especially when she uses the song in her album. That would be more than amazing. My grin got bigger and bigger, I was preoccupied in thoughts and I didn’t notice that Lacey and the guys were starring at me the whole time, until Phil snapped right in front of me. “Wake up, dude! You’re smiling to yourself, whatcha thinking bout? Well you know what, I don’t even wanna know. You creep me out sometimes.” Lacey giggled and I couldn’t help but laugh, too. “Shut up dawg! Lacey, you really liked it? Like, forreal? Like, you’re not lying or something?” I scratched the back of my head. She bursted out laughing. “Of course I liked it, I don’t lie. You know how serious and true I become when I’m writing and recording songs. I’m very critical, but this time, it’s exactly what I wanted! I just can’t thank you guys enough. And this is just the beginning.” She said as she reached out to hug everyone of us. “Aww no problem Lace, you don’t even know how grateful we are to be working with you!” Ari replied. She smiled at us warmly. “Me? I’m nothing special.” She said pointing to herself. “Says the women that has 13 number-one singles.” Phil replied back whilst laughing. Lace is so modest, I never really expected her to be like this before we met. I guess you should never judge a book by it’s cover. “You guys are so nice. I’m so glad we got to work together. You really have that magical touch for music without being geeks. And I can really tell that we weren’t just work colleagues but we became friends too. Well if you think so too?” she asked, almost shyly and blushing. She was too adorable for words. Why did she think that we’re not friends with her? “Aww thanks Lace! And of course we’re all friends here. Come here.” I hear Phil saying and he picked her up and swung her around like a little child. Lacey squealed of laughter and Ari and me couldn’t help but laugh too. After that I turned the music up louder and fooled around with the others while Phil did his free style rapping. Lacey suddenly stopped the music and grinned at us. “Well, now that we’ve finally finished the song and now that we’re friends,” she said between laughs, “I wanna invite you to my house tonight. I have no other appointments or any more work to do today, so it’d be great if you can come over, we can continue celebrating then?” “That’s so nice of you, thanks.” Ari replied. He looked at me and Phil “I think we can go tonight, can we?” I looked at Phil making big puppy dog eyes. “Why are y’all looking at me? We’d love to come Lace!” Phil agreed. I nodded “Yeah, that will be great!” Lacey smiled. “Awesome! I think I gotta go now, but I’ll see you guys tonight around 7.” She hugged us again and left the studio. Right when she closed the door behind her, we all looked at each other dead serious, then screamed out in relief and joy like idiots and jumped around. “Fuuuck yeeeeees we did it, we did it, we did it, we did it, she likes the song, she likes it” Ari was screaming over and over like a little girl. “Yeees and tonight we gonna get them bottles popping, right?” “We sure will man, we sure will!” We kept on dancing and fooling around for the whole time we were at the studio.
I looked at my watch. 6.45 pm. Everything was ready. Alcohol, Food and Music. I took a last look at my living room, my hands were resting on my waist and I nodded to myself. Yup, I’ve forgot nothing. I took one last look in the mirror. I was wearing a tight purple mid thigh length dress with five inch black heels and my hair was wavy. Everything seems to be ready and the guys should be here at any minute. I called Scarlett and Jay to come over too. Scarlett wanted to meet the guys, and this is the perfect time to introduce them to each other. I’m not surprised, I mean I’m talking about them a lot, how funny, cute and talented they are. I’m sure she will like them just as much as I like them. And Jay isn’t only my assistant, he is, next to Scarlett, my best friend, so I also decided to call him to come over. Jay and I have known each other for 15 years.
The last one I invited was Aiden. I know that the guys and Aiden don’t get along with each other from the last time they met, but I just couldn’t not invite my own boyfriend over. I mean, he is my boyfriend, so he kinda has to come. And I told him that he would have to leave the house within seconds if he acts like how he did the last time again. Anyways, he said yes. So nothing bad is gonna happen. The sound of the door bell broke my thoughts and I ran towards the door to open it. I found Scarlett and Jay standing there smiling at me. I smiled back and gave both of them a kiss on the side of their cheeks. “Heyyy, you’re here on time, come in and make yourselves comfortable” “You know you don’t have to say that to us anymore Lace, this is like our second house.” I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, how could I forget?” I said, shaking my head and giggled. “Whoa, that’s a lot, but I like it.” Jay grinned and pointed at the food and alcoholic drinks. I playfully hit his arm and added “Well make sure you’re not getting too drunk tonight!” We laughed again. Jay put on his “what-the-fuck” face and said, “I never get too drunk, Lace. You know that!” I raised one eyebrow. “Oh yeah, that’s exactly why I remember what happened the last time you were drunk. You were screaming at a dog on the street and yelled “Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who? Remember?” I managed to say between laughs. Scarlett and Jay bursted out laughing, I laughed so hard that tears were forming in my eyes, I couldn’t help it though.
After a few minutes the door bell rang again and I headed towards the door to open it. I saw Ari, Phil and Bruno with their big, catching smiles. “Sup Lacey, how are you doing?” Bruno said while he wided his arms out to hug me. I accepted his hug and hugged him back. “Im doing great, thanks boo.” “Fancy seeing you here Lacey, long time no see!” Phil laughed. We laughed with him while I hugged him and Ari. “Come on in guys and lemme introduce you to two of my closest friends.” I smiled and they came in, Ari was the last one to come in and closed the door. They looked around. “Whoa Lace this is one a hell of a place you got, this house is gorgoeus!” Ari called in amazement. Bruno and Phil nodded. “Ari’s right, I love it too!” Bruno added. “Thank you guys, glad to hear that” I replied to their comments and let out a slight smile. Just then Jay and Scarlet came in. “Oh, let me introduce you to Jay, my personal assitant and my best friend Scarlett. Scarlett, Jay, this is Bruno, Ari and Phil.” I said as I pointed to them. They all said Hi to one another and shook hands with each other and then the doorbell rang for the last time today. I opened it, knowing that it was Aiden. “Hey, baby” I smiled at him and he smiled back, then he came closer to me and kissed me. Deep. I felt kind of uncomfortable and pulled away. He held my waist a bit too tight and came in. He nodded at the others and disappeared into the back yard. I decided to stay with the others and ignore him. His behaviour towards other people really sucks. I’m gonna talk to him about that later. I went to the others, put on some music and the tension loosened up.
We were joking around and ate the food which I prepared on a table. And I can tell you, these boys can eat! “Dang dawg, don’t eat the whole Sushi, I want some too!” Bruno yelled, his mouth full of food. “Eww Brunz didn’t yo mama teach you not to speak while eating? And look who’s talking, who ate the whole pizza? Fattieee.” Bruno pinched his forearm. “Say what?” “Fattie fattie fattie” Phil answered while making funny faces. I coughed and laughed at the same time. These guys are so silly. Ari tapped my back “Damn, now look what you did, you made her choke, be careful guys.” he said whilst shaking his head. They looked at me and laughed even harder, I couldn’t help but laugh with them, too. “Oh god Lace you have to taste those egg rolls, I just went to heaven” Scarlett sighed and closed her eyes, like she was in egg roll heaven. “Mmmh and the lasagna, dang I’ll be weighing 10lbs more by tomorrow, thanks to you Lace!” Jay called sarcastically from the corner and smiled.
Aiden occasionally came over to us just to pick something up to eat or to take a bottle of beer and then he left again. I still ignored him, I was so angry and disappointed, he didn’t even bother to talk to anyone. Why did he act like such an asshole? He glanced at me sometimes but didn’t say a single word. I cold-shouldered him and looked at Bruno, Ari and Phil. You could tell that Ari was very drunk, damn how many shots did he have? Phil took Ari’s glass away which he was about do drink. “Stop it Ari, you can barely stand man.” Ari just giggled uncontrollably. “Naah, I’m good man” he hiccuped with a huge grin. He was definitely drunk. I just laughed at the faces he made and his stagger while he was walking. My facial expression changed rapidly into a serious one when I felt a tight grip on my left shoulder. “Lacey baby, talk to me” I shook Aiden’s hand away and still ignored him. “What have I done Lace? I didn’t do anything stupid” I turned around to him “Seriously Aiden? You’ve been acting like a selfish asshole the whole time you have been here and you still keep asking me what you did? We’re gonna talk later, don’t piss me off now.” I replied angry. Everyone turned their heads towards me and Aiden. “A selfish asshole? I’m not a selfish asshole baby, you know that.” He smiled at me and held me by my waist. “Whatever, like I said we’re gonna talk about this later.” I pushed his hands off but he kept touching me everywhere. “Hey, back off dude. You heard her, leave her alone.” I heard Bruno saying. I looked at him, his facial expression was serious and he glared at Aiden. “What did you just say, bastard?” Aiden mocked. “I said leave her alone.” Bruno replied between his teeth, his eyebrows furrowed. “Mind your own fucking business and shut the fuck up, you little shit. Who do you think you are, talking crap like this to me?” “Aiden!” I yelled upset. He didn’t have any right to call him that. Bruno clenched his fists, but his answer was surprisingly calm. “Who do you think YOU are? Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you’re a better person, guard your tongue dude and go learn how to treat a girl right.” Phil whispered something like, “Calm down bro, it’s okay now don’t go nuts”, to Bruno. Bruno just nodded and stared at Aiden. You could really feel the tension build up in the room. Aiden laughed out loudly. “Oh fuck off dude. Learn how to treat a girl right? Go get your ass a girlfriend first, you haven’t even got one and then you can tell me..” “Aiden, it’s okay, stop it now!” I cutted him off. Ari suddenly stood up. He wasn’t sober yet and slurred “What the hell, Bruno and Amy would still be together if she didn’t die..” I furorrowed my eyebrows. What did Ari say? Who was Amy? What happened to her? Phil took a deep breath and pushed Ari back to the couch, then looked at Bruno with an undescribable facial expression. Bruno just stared at Ari. His face showed different emotions. Anger, shock, frustration and sadness. What the hell was going on here? I just watched them and didn’t say anything. Ari rubbed the back of his neck. “Sorry bro, that wasn’t supposed to..you know..” Bruno’s hands were shaking, he looked down at the floor, not showing his face to anyone. He then turned around, whispered “Thanks for bringing it up dude.” And left the room, heading towards the door. I heard Bruno slamming a door from upstairs. Phil and Ari were both looking down, Aiden had his hands in his pockets and Scarlett and Jay were just staring at me. “Phil?” I looked at him, waiting for an explanation. He sighed, pointed to the door indicating me to go upstairs. “I think you should ask him, not me.” I swallowed. Whoever this Amy was, she must’ve been very important to him. You could tell by his face and his reactions when Ari mentioned her name. When Ari talked about Amy he must’ve cut right through him. Even though I was a bit afraid of asking him about her, I was dying to know who she was. I smiled at the others “Aw come on guys, don’t let this situation ruin tonight. There’s still food and drinks. Feel free to do whatever you want, I’ll be back in a bit, okay?” They all nodded and soon started a new conversation. I took a deep breath and went upstairs and stood right in front of the bedroom door.
While reading this chapter we recommend to you guys that you listen to Beyoncé’s “I was here” in the background, just to set the mood.
“Maybe we’re not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we’re thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we’re thankful for the things we’ll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.”
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
It was silent. I entered my bedroom. I found him sitting down on my bed, looking down at the floor, his head in his hands. I approached him slowly and decided to sit next to him. We stayed in a comfortable silence for about 2 minutes, until I finally broke it. “Tell me about Amy.” I said in what sounded like a whisper while I reached out to touch his shoulder. Bruno just looked at me and studied my face for a while, then looked straight back down at the floor again. I assumed that he didn’t want to respond. “It’s okay Bruno, you don’t have to te…” “7am.” “What?”
“It was 7am when she stood behind our kitchen table, drinking her coffee. You know, she was in a hurry because she had a very important photo shoot to get to and she was late. Typical Amy.” He suddenly said. He showed no emotion and still made no eye contact with me. “So, she was a model?” I asked in a soft tone, wanting him to continue. Bruno shook his head. “No, a photographer.” He sighed. “This was the first time that she had a photoshoot with a real model, she usually did photography for weddings and stuff.” He let out a slight smile. “I still remember her glowing, shining eyes and wide smile after her boss called her and told her that she had a chance to take photos of a model, which by the way would have been published in Esquire magazine. You know, her passion to be a good photographer was as big as my passion to become a great musician, she loved what she was doing. And Esquire magazine was a big deal for her, I bet you know that though.” I nodded quickly. His tiny smile faded away, it was hard for him to go on, I could tell by his face. “Well, after she had finished her coffee she looked at the clock, and got really worried knowing that she was really late, picked up her purse and was about to leave when I grabbed her wrist, kissed her and said: ‘Good luck babe, I know you can do this.’” Bruno swallowed. “She just smiled at me and said ‘Thank you’ real quick and left without even closing the door behind her. I remember myself chuckling at her clumsiness as I made my way up to the door to close it.” He suddenly clenched his fists. “And then, just when I was about to close the door I…I heard this loud crash that came from outside and the sound of a car’s horn.” I swallowed and bit my lip. I knew what this was supposed to mean. He suddenly let out a forced little laugh and looked at me. “You know what was crazy Lacey? After hearing this huge bang I didn’t think that Amy would be involved in this at all. I thought it was someone else, but not Amy. I really was sure of it, I don’t know why, but I didn’t expect anything bad to happen to Amy on her big day. I was really curious about what was going on though so I just went out to see where the noise came from. When I saw her body laying there helplessly on the ground,without making a single move, her e-eyes closed..” he stuttered. It was hard for him to find the right words to say next. “..I..I never had that feeling before, I felt as if life pulled out the rug from under my feet, I can’t even begin to describe the horrible pain that I had building up inside me.” He paused, breathed deeply and blinked a few times. Damn, I really felt the pain and suffer in his voice and the words he had said but I didn’t say anything. “She then shortly died in the hospital after the accident.” he almost whispered. “I am so sorry Bruno” Thats all I managed to get out. I wasn’t able to say anything else, I just sat there, my hand still on his shoulder. What should I say? I’m miserable at comforting other people, I usually say the wrong thing and make things worse, so I just shut my mouth before I could said anything dumb and stroked his shoulder. The past year must’ve been hell for Bruno. Loosing your other half when you least expect it must be one of the most gut-wrenching things in life. This boy is so strong and I had no idea at all. It’s crazy how well he covered it all up. Suddenly it hit me. I remembered the first song Bruno sang in front of me, “Talking to the Moon”. Was it dedicated to her? I didn’t dare asking him that, not at that moment, it would have been the worst time to ask a question like that. Bruno looked up at me suddenly and studied my face again.
Just before either of us could’ve said something Aiden’s slurring voice called my name. “Lacey, baby, come here!” He sounded really drunk. I looked at Bruno. He took my hand off his shoulder and said “It’s okay Lace, go.” I let out a tiny smile, maybe he just wanted to be alone now which I completely understood. I stood up and added “Okay, I’ll be back in a while.” I walked out of the room without looking back and closed the door. I went down stairs and saw Aiden laying on the couch. He turned around quickly and walked up to me. He came so close to me that I could feel his breath on my skin. He kissed me roughly and slid his tounge into my mouth, but I pulled away. I wasn’t going to give him what he wanted, even though I wanted to kiss him back. Aiden opened his eyes and looked down at me. “Aiden, a kiss can’t make up for what you just said!” “I know what I said was wrong, but he made me angry!” I just closed my eyes and let out a sigh. Why does he have to be so complicated? “You always seem to be angry Aiden. What’s up with you lately? What happened to the guy I met a year ago? And what did Bruno say, that “annoyed” you so much this time?” He just looked at me and posed a question in response. “What were you two actually talking about?” He asked. “Nothing.” I answered immediately with a strong tone. Bruno trusted me by telling me about his past, and to tell Aiden was the last thing I was gonna do. Aiden looked even angrier, it would’ve made sense for someone to stamp ‘Angry’ on his forehead. “Look, I dont want you to talk to that guy anymore, okay?” He commanded me with furrowed eyebrows, tensed and straightened lower eyelids, and pressed lips. He had never been so angry with me before and I started to get scared of him. It looked like he was about to put his hands on me. I escaped from his grip and ran upstairs without saying another word. Bruno was still in my bedroom, so I just went into one of the spare rooms. I closed the door silently so nobody heard me, leaned against the wall and fell to the ground. I shut my eyes as tightly as I could. Tears were streaming out. I know exactly what Bruno said to Aiden that made him angry, but I’m so weak when it comes down to defending myself. What can I do? Aiden is a great boyfriend and he looks out for me. He really does. Or does he..? I shook my head quickly, no, he is a great boyfriend, there’s no doubt about it. It’s just that he over powers me sometimes and I can’t blame him for being angry at me every once in a while. But if he really was about to beat me a few minutes ago, I.. no, he was just drunk. He’s just a complicated person, that’s it.
I sniffed and suddenly felt someone put their arm around me. I looked up, it was Bruno. I didn’t even hear him come in. He lightly stroked my hair “Shh, its okay. I’m sure Aiden doesn’t think sometimes before he speaks.” My eyes popped out, he heard the whole conversation between me and Aiden?! “You shouldn’t be here, I don’t want you to get involved in this mess. You’ve got your own issues, you don’t need to worry bout me too. Where is Aiden anyway?” I loosened myself from his arms and stood up to fix my hair and make-up. “He left, he didn’t seem happy.” Bruno answered whilst looking at my reflection in the mirror. I sighed and turned around to him. “Did he say anything else?” “No, he just got into his car and drove away. But don’t worry about him Lacey, he’ll call back tomorrow afternoon at the latest, I’m sure of it.” I just nodded slowly and was preoccoupied in thoughts. Aiden won’t leave just because of this little argument we just had, Bruno’s right. I still love him so much, he was there for me when nobody else was, I don’t want to lose him. “And what about the others? Are they still down stairs?” I asked to break the growing silence. He nodded “Yeah, they’re kinda having a party of their own.” I smiled at him. “Well, I guess we should make our way back and join this little party of theirs. Lets go and make the best of what’s left of this evening.” He smiled back. “Yeah you’re right, nothing worse could happen today anyways.” And with that be both went down stairs.