The clock above the small and crowded waiting corner slowed time down. My heavy eyes watched as the clock ticked away the seconds.
Exactly 3 hours since we'd heard Bruno had been taken to hospital.
The whole band were crowded into the small area of about 10 seats. My legs were crossed, sitting on a lone chair. Nobody said anything to me. I wasn't entirely sure why, but then again, I felt like exploding.
I closed my eyes, but I knew I wasn't sleeping. Instead, the sounds from the open window and the cool breeze took me back to when I was just 21.
"Eric." I said his name aloud. Nobody turned around. "Damnit." Adjusting my guitar case and small shoulder bag, my eyes wandered to their own accord. Where was he? This was annoying. My boots tapped against the grey pavement as I trudged on, the energy I had earlier slowly draining away.
It couldn't be any simpler; meet Eric Hernandez in Brooklyn, on 3rd Street, outside a shop.
There was 26 shops on 3rd street. My eyes darted from person to person, car to car. I was on the verge of giving up on this Eric, my heart heavy. I needed this job. "Eric, where are you? Somewhere in Brooklyn." My leather jacket felt heavy as I began to walk away.
"She was here somewhere." a voice from the crowd. I turned around, twisting my ankle in my Nike high tops and tripping. Straight into everyone. Piping hot coffee in my gloved hand. My breath came out as a cold mist in the snowy streets, and people moved out of my way as I fell.
Warm hands caught me midfall. Someone grabbed the slipping drink from my hand, and my good leather and gold jacket was saved. I breathed a sigh of pure relief as I stood up straight limping as I turned around. "Miss, are you alright?" I looked up at the two men in front of me.
Two sets of chocolate brown eyes. Brothers? Maybe. They were both wrapped up warm, but underneath the older brother's jacket I could see a panda. I grinned.
"Um...what's she grinning about?" the younger one whispered rudely. Panda shoved him.
"Bruno, shut up and be nice," he said, pushing the smaller man. Bruno. He was small enough, with wide, alert eyes and very short hair. "Bruno, and I'm Eric." He put his hand out to shake.
My utter exhaustion got the better of me and with another wash of relief I hugged him tightly. He awkwardly shifted against me, patting my back. "Erm..." I burst out laughing as I realised he didn't know who I was.
"I'm Kalina," I said, pulling a face as I stepped back from him. "Weird name, I know. Most folks call me Kay. I've been waiting here for hours, wandering about this street. For you, I guess. Eric Hernandez? And is this your brother?" I gestured to Bruno, who had his hands in his pockets. I suddenly felt a little self conscious and tucked my earphones back into the pocket of my jacket. I could still hear the hip hop playing from them. Eric nodded.
"I'm here to pick you up," he said. "I'm managing my little brother here. Bru, shake her hand." Bruno looked a little hesitant, but my hand shot out. He took it and shook. I smiled. "He's 21, and he's beginning his own production. And band. We can take you on if you like." Bruno suddenly cut in.
"We saw you earlier but we lost you. We thought you were running away from us. It was pretty unfair seeing as we've been here for a while." Bruno stared. I coughed. He began a beat.
"She was covered in leather and gold..." Oh my God. His voice made me melt. "21 years old..."
"I lost her in the cold," I continued for him, mustering up something that remotely sounded like his melody. "It's unfair, she's out there..." He blinked. His shaped face and furrowed eyebrows indicated he was considering something deeply. Then he suddenly walked off, and I hurried after him, still limping.
"So you're Bruno Hernandez?" I asked him. He shook his head.
"My stage name's Bruno Mars," he clarified, shoving his cold hands in his pockets as Eric strolled along beside us. "My real name is Peter Hernandez...PETER HERNANDEZ..."
My eyes flew open as I heard the nurse calling his name. Everyone had fallen asleep, but I was just in a daydream. I jumped up, tripping over my own chuck and falling to the floor. I picked myself up, and the nurse winced at my face.
"Sweetie, should I wake up one of these guys? You look exhausted," the kind nurse said, but no. I couldn't leave Bruno.
"No, he hates hospitals," I said to her. He hates them so much and I can't leave him because whenever he needs me I promised him up and down I'd be there for him, and if I break that promise now then I wouldn't be a very good friend, Bruno-" I realised I was babbling. Nobody would take me seriously if I babbled like an idiot. I closed my eyes, taking a very deep breath. "I know he needs his rest, but I'd like to see him."
10 minutes later, my stomach dropped. It didn't look like Bruno. He had oxygen and tubes running up his arms, and the bed sheets looked so uncomfortable. I rushed into the room. His hair was matted against his head, hi face twisted into a painful grimace. The beeping of the hear monitor made me all he more nervous. He got his blood pressure taken as I stood shaking, but he was still sleeping, dark bags under his eyes. I sat down in the hard plastic seat and made do, tentatively taking his hand.
I waited until the doctor left before smoothing out his soft curls. I longed to see his chocolate brown eyes open and alert as per usual, smiling at me. I looked around. No one was here. My train of thought led to Tay, and how he was hurt, how it had hurt me. How it was all my fault.
A single tear hit his hand. Then the water works came. I was sobbing onto the bedsheets, shakes wracking my body as I drained every inch of energy from me. So much so that I didn't notice Bruno moving his hand to stroke my hair.