Isela held her daughter tightly crying. Of all the crying she had done in the past, about her mother, her health, Bruno, Jaric, Bruno again, her family…this was the worst she had ever cried. She could feel her heart breaking.
Bruno looked up at Trisha who was on the other side of the room caring for another baby. She nodded her head turning around looking at the clock. She scribbled something on her hand walking toward a pile of papers.
Bruno felt Isela’s heartbreak. He felt the same heartbreak as she did. It was the worst feeling he had ever had in his life. Nothing compared to it. But, he had no words to describe it.
“Isela…we need to give her to Trisha.” he said softly. She nodded her head. “Adios por ahora, ni siempre Selena Faith.”
“I love you, Selena Faith Hernandez…” Bruno whispered in her ear as Trisha took hold of Selena.
Translation: Good-bye for now, not forever.
Isela buried her head in her hands crying. Bruno sat in the chair next to her rubbing her back.”This….I’m going to wake up soon, right Bru? This is just a dream. Just a horrible dream. This wouldn’t happen to us…would it?”
“Isela….” he paused not sure what to say. He wanted to wake up from the dream with her sitting on the floor packing his clothes for his next trip. He wanted her to stop what she was doing to tell him to feel Selena kick. He wanted to hear Isela laugh and say Not yet, preciosa. Not yet. But soon. Soon we will see your beautiful chubby face. Not now. “I’m here for you. I always have been. I always will be….” He laid his head on her back crying on her bright yellow shirt.
The couple was comforted by their families as they walked out without their daughter. All the girls were crying and the guys were equally as distressed.
Isela looked at every one of them. “Thank you….” she held herself together to talk to them. “Thank you for being here for us. I…we…don’t know if we could have done this without every single one of you…” Isela tried to smile as she finished her statement.
“We’re going to go home…” Bruno told them. “We’ll be okay…” he said confidently. No, no…no we won’t…but I can’t handle all of these people being with us anymore. I just need Isela…she’s the only other person that understands right now.
Everyone hugged and said their emotional good-byes.
Bruno and Isela drove home in silence. He could hear her crying as she laid her head against the car window. It was almost 2 in the morning when they got home. Isela opened the car door, grabbed her bag that they hadn’t even had a chance to get out of the car when they were at home last, and walked slowly to the door. He walked behind her watching every single move she made to make sure she didn’t pass out. She walked past the kitchen, through the hallway to the room they were getting ready for Selena. There were paint brushes against one wall, a painting a cousin had made against another and a half put together crib on another wall. She touched the dresser they had bought at an antique store just days before that had a pile of pink, purple and yellow onesies sat on the top of the dresser. Bruno stood against the door frame watching Isela touch every single article of clothing. They had put a photo of Isela holding a stuffed turtle on the edge. Lola had bought it for Selena and for some reason it made everyone laugh. It was a quirky stuffed animal. Isela smiled when she touched the frame looking at the turtle laying next to instructions for the crib. She bent down to pick up the turtle then turned around to look at Bruno. “I don’t know what to do.”
He walked over to her running his fingers on the dresser. He took Isela in his arms and started to sing to her. “my fragile heart's been done so wrong i wondered if I I'd ever heal again…” He stopped singing when he heard her stop crying into his green plaid shirt. “Selly?” he asked. “Isela?” he lifted her head up to see she had cried her to sleep in his arms. “Oh baby girl…oh Isela..I love you so much.” He picked her up to take her into their bedroom only a few feet away.
“Bru?” she asked as she felt his arms move her to her spot on the bed.
“Yeah, baby?” he asked turning around. “I love you more today than I did yesterday.”
“I will always love you more, Isela Hernandez.” he responded as he walked to the bed wrapping his arms around her.
“Ouch..that still hurts.” she told him forgetting about her stitches.
“I’m sorry, Selly.” he kissed the back of her head, closed his eyes falling asleep with her in his arms.
The next morning Isela wandered into the baby’s room unsure of what she doing or why she was going there. She sat on the floor sifting through the pile of cards they have received congratulating them on her pregnancy. She stopped looking at one that her aunt Eloisa had sent them.
We love you both so much. We cannot wait to see your little one. She will be the light of your life. When you hear that little one cry for the first time you will fall so in love with her you will not know what the world was like without her. Tio Victor, Laura and Erica and I will happily steal her away from you anytime you want.
Isela started to cry as she finished reading the line about stealing Selena from them.
Bruno watched Isela from the door. I want to make this better. It has to get better. But, I don’t know what to do…He walked over to where she was sitting. She handed him the card to read it.
“It just makes me so sad, Bru. I don’t even know what to do with myself. It’s like she was always there..and now she’s not…but she was never here…”
“Baby….you may never stop crying for Selena. I won’t ever stop crying for her…” as he finished his statement she fell into his arms.
“I don’t know what to dooooo….” she sobbed. He rubbed her back soothing her.
“Bru? Selly? Where are y’all?” they heard Lola and Tahiti calling for them. “Y’all? Where are you?”
Isela pushed herself out of his arms to go see her sister and sister-in-law.
“Oh honey, you are all wet…” Lola said looking at her sister’s shirt..full of tears.
“I know. It’s kind of hard not to…” she shrugged it off. Lola came over hugging her. Bruno walked up behind them hugging his sister.
“Oh..we brought y’all breakfast. I know you haven’t even Bruno…” his sister pointed to a bag full of breakfast tacos.
“Potato and egg..with the extra green sauce…” Lola told her sister.
“You got me the green sauce?” Isela asked peeking into the bag. “I don’t know…I’m not really hungry…” she closed the bag walking to the kitchen table opening her laptop.
“I’ll eat yours, Isela…” Bruno said grabbing the tacos motioning for Loa and Tahiti to sit down at the table with them. Tahiti grabbed a taco taking a bite watching her phone buzz.
“Shit.” she said loudly.
‘What’s wrong, sissy?” Isela asked. Isela had a habit of calling everyone Sissy.
“Umm…I don’t know.” Bruno grabbed her phone looking at the text.
“On the show?” Bruno asked.
“No. no, no, no and no….” Isela said grabbing the phone from her husband’s hand.
“And it was Rob asking? Fuck him.” she spoke of her co-anchor taking a hold of her phone to call him. She walked out into the backyard sitting on the patio.
“Hi, Isela…how are you?” Rob answered the phone.
“How the hell do you think I feel? And then you go and ask my sister-in-law to talk about it on their new show? What are you thinking?! There was a reason why I didn’t want the whole world to know about my pregnancy….exactly this reason….oh my god! I am so upset.”
“Isela…you didn’t even hear what we were thinking of…”
“I don’t care. There will be no talk of Selena on television. I don’t want you all to even mention it. I’m on vacation…”
Well…I….” Rob was shocked by his co-worker’s reaction.
“I’m sorry I’m yelling.” Isela calmed down a bit.
“I just don’t know yet. When do you need all of this?” Isela asked.
“A few weeks?” he answered.
“I’ll think about it.” Isela said hanging up the phone walking back into the house. She took a luke warm taco from the bag taking a huge bite.
“He’s so dumb.”
“Selly, what do you want to do about this?” Bruno leaned over the table to look at her after their sisters left the house.
“I don’t really know what I want to do…I feel some sense of obligation to at least acknowledge it because I do work for the company…but I don’t want this to turn into something as big as a reality show like Maggie’s whole thing is. I value my mystery. What do you want to do, Brunz?”
“I don’t know. That’s why I was asking you…” he smiled at her.
“I kind of wanted you to tell me what to do…” she admitted.
“If neither of us can make a decision then we should probably just wait…. he did say a few weeks.”
“But a few weeks means they’re going to film something about it in a few weeks. We have to decide before then if we want to talk about it. I don’t think I can even think about her without crying right now. I also don’t think I’ll be able to not cry about it in a few weeks.”
“Let’s just tell them we have to think about it. You’re going back to work next week right?” he asked her.
“Yeah..I think next week.” she stood up going into the living room flipping on the TV.
“Okay…so what do you want me to say?” Isela sat in front of the camera in the guest’s chair for the first time ever. “Oh, and yes…this does feel weird.” she told her producer.
“I know it is. But we’ll get it done fast. Where is Bruno?” Brian asked her.
“He’s coming. I think he was stuck in traf….” They heard a large laugh come from outside the room.
“Okay…okay…I’m here!” Bruno danced toward the chair holding Isela’s hand tightly as he looked at the producer.
“We just want y’all to talk about Selena. Whatever you feel comfortable with. It could be a lot, it could be a little. It could just be a few words….” Brian told them.
Isela looked at Bruno with a sad face. “I don’t know if I can do this…it’s still too much. I know it’s been a month…but a month without her….”
“Isela…I’ll talk for you. Okay? It’s my sisters’ show, not yours.”
“Is that okay, Brian? Just him?”
“When you feel like talking go ahead. But we can focus on him, yes….Are you both ready?” he asked
“I guess.” Isela answered. Bruno nodded his head.
“Alright…Isela..do you want to tell us about your struggles real quick?” Brian asked from behind the camera.
“Umm…we are going to talk about that? I didn’t think we were going to talk about that…” she replied.
“Oh…we don’t have to if you don’t want to…” Brian looked at her concerned.
“I mean…everyone knows that I struggle with this stuff already….”
“Selena was a miracle. A miracle that was taken away from us way too early in her life.” Bruno said speaking up for Isela.
“A miracle is an understatement, Bruno.” Isela answered. “She was perfect, in every way. And I miss her every single day. I can see her face right now. Her wrinkly nose and thick hair and your lips…and she was so chubby. I wanted time to pinch her little cheeks. And that was taken away. I’m not the first, nor will I be the last to say that a mother’s love is different than any other type of love in the world. And even when they’re gone the love is still there. I love her so much.” Isela began to explain how she felt about it.
“She was our everything from the moment we found out we were going to have a child. And I…know that she will always be our everything.”
“Where do you two go from here?” Brian asked honestly.
“We don’t know. It would be very easy to fall apart. Just go back to the way things were before this, all the things that we…well I have done.” Bruno said. “But, we’re strong….” he squeezed Isela’s hand tightly feeling her crying. “and we will be able to do all the things we did before. I don’t think we’ll ever move on…but we will be able to turn around and see that life is precious and it is what we make it. It will take some time…no doubt…but…” he felt Isela’s hand let go of his as we rambled on. He turned around watching her run out the door. He didn’t say anything else just got up to go get her.
“I think you can turn off the camera now…” Brian told Taylor.
Bruno walked down to Isela’s office where he found her holding a picture of the two of them at the past year’s Grammy’s. She was just barely big enough to tell that she was pregnant. He stood close to her in his suit pursing his lips next to her face.
“I like that picture, Isela…” he told her from the door frame.
“I like it too. It’s the first one we took after you told everyone…” she turned it around showing him. “I like it because we’re a family in it.”
“Isela…” Bruno walked toward her rolling chair wrapping his arms around her neck. “We’re still a family. “
“But, Bru..a family has dogs, cats, mommies, daddies and babies.”
“Are Ben and Yuli a family?” he asked walking over to get one of her chairs sliding next to her.
“Yeah…” she answered looking into his deep brown eyes full of concern.
“Then what’s the difference between the two of them and us?” he inquired.
“Nothing…” she answered.
“Then that means we’re a family. And no matter what anyone says I like it that way. No, I take that back. I love it that way.”
“Oh, Bruno…” she looked away from him. He somehow knew how to make things right in her life. “I love it that way too.”
“Now, come on. Let’s go home….as a family.” he held out his hand to hers.
“Okay. Let’s go home.” she grabbed him by the waist holding him tightly walking out of the building.