I looked around curiously, but Bruno was nowhere to be seen. My apartment door opened, and Dave was standing there, a scarf wrapped around his head. “That was fast.”
“Yeah well, you rushed me.” I said, moving past him into my apartment. “What’s with the Lafayette get-up?” I asked, turning around to him and stifiling my laughter.
“Scuse me? I look fierce OK.” He snapped his fingers and I chuckled. “You got yourself dirty boo.” He pointed to my butt, which still had the grass stains.
“I was getting in touch with nature tonight at the park.” I smiled to myself. More like nature was getting in touch with me.
“Is it bad that I believe you?” He laughed. “Anyway, I’d better get goin’…Kiki has a show tonight at La Chiquita.”
“Kiki? The drag queen from Highlands in New York? What’s she doin in LA?” My stomach grumbled, reminding me I haven’t eaten in a long time. You tend to forget about eating when your always spending your time with someone who never eats. I dug through the fridge and pulled out a Healthy Choice Asian steamer dinner. I popped it into the microwave and grabbed a bottle of water.
“She’s on tour with Ru Paul hunny! Right when she got into town she called me up and we’ve been spendin time together, she says she’s got a friend who wants to meet me, but I don’t know about alla dat.” He waved his hand to dismiss it.
“What do you mean? You deserve love!” I argued, sipping my water. I paused once it touched my lips, noticing I still stuck my tongue in first before drinking. The thought made me grin.
“Ehh I just can’t see myself with anyone but Dwayne.” He shrugged, his mood instantly altering to a slightly sad one. Even when he tried to smile, I could tell he was still fighting his own demons inside. His statement struck up guilt inside of me, so I turned to the microwave to not show it. “But things happen. Change is good.” He added with a sigh as he tapped the countertop, “Let me get outta here before I’m late. Kiki don’t tolerate tardies to her show and I am not about to be targeted in the audience!”
I opened the microwave and pulled out my finished steamer. “Have a good night.”
“You too love. I’ll keep in touch!”
And with that, he was gone.
As I slept, thoughts of possibly losing my good friend and assistant because I couldn’t say anything about Bruno…swept back and forth in my mind. What would he think if these vampires decided to go ahead and reveal themselves to the living world? He would never trust me again. I wouldn’t trust myself if I were in his position. I twisted and turned in my bed all night, and wished I had Bruno here to hold me….
And that was when it hit me.
Why was I beginning to get so dangerously co-dependent on him? I lived my whole life depending on myself for my happiness, and then I met him and I became comfortable with us depending on each other after he proved I could trust him, (and I did vice versa). Then he died, and I became extremely dependent on substances. Not any hard shit, no heroin, and cocaine didn’t appeal to me. Ecstasy every now and again, Oxycodone to help me get through those sleepless nights. Bacardi, E&J when I was feeling classy, Merlot, Jack, Ciroc….you get the idea.
Then I pulled myself together with the help of an intervention from my family and friends, and once again I was sustaining myself. Dave was my assistant, and he helped me to keep my career in check and offer me life advice…but for the most part, I was back to my old self…save for the anxiety attacks that I had my whole life.
Now, I noticed Bruno had been in my life for a little under a week…and already I was listening to everything he said, and spending every waking moment thinking of him…and every sleeping moment dreaming of him. I was becoming obsessed and I didn’t even know it. I was beginning to look like Bella from Twilight…and that was NO bueno.
I turned over in my bed and got comfortable. I was going to have to start taking the lead again. Either this was going to be a good thing, or I was really…really confused.
The next day, I pulled up into The Studios for my tour rehearsal and parked my Range, grabbing my dance bag and going inside. I met up with Laurie Ann and she immediately went to work, popping the CD into the stereo and teaching me the dance steps to my new single, “I Like It How You Like It” It was an uptempo pop song, nothing too snazzy. I saved the snazzy shit for my own listening pleasures. I often spent extensive time composing music that wasn’t “marketable”, only so I could listen to…and enjoy it…myself.
I started banging out the steps, when my thoughts of last night crossed my mind, distracting me.
“Come on! Pick it up!” Laurie Ann yelled, continuing. I had a bit of trouble keeping up after that and she cut the music off.
“You step on four, spin on three.” She hit the movements, did a spin and landed hard. “You got that?”
I nodded. She began to play the music and I danced in front of the mirror again…but the music, it was my instrumental, my own creation. I remember distinctively when I first created it….
“What’cha makin?” Bruno asked, leaning on my chair while I clicked around in FL Studio, my beatmaking software of choice.
“Pop song.” I muttered, too focused on the drum kits to pay much attention to him. I chose a few strings and started playing them on the keyboard, recording the result. “Ugh” I scoffed when I hit the wrong chord.
“You're boring.” He pulled on my chair.
“Bruno I don’t have time for you right now.” I waved him off, trying to replay the chords.
“I’m not twelve, I don’t need your attention but I can’t get a ‘hi babe how was work? damn’” He released my chair.
I growled and turned around. “You want me to choke you out?”
“I want you to try.” He said mischeviously. I turned back to my keyboard.
“You aren’t gonna trick me into that one. Try again.” I turned the volume on the master track up and played along with my current composition. He rolled his eyes and decided to leave me to my work. I worked for hours on end and didn’t even finish the piece, and I hated not finishing work but my fatigue was taking over. I surrendered to it and went to bed. I awoke the next morning and rushed to my computer, only to see the piece was finished.
Curiously, I pressed play, and the most beautifully created pop music song played. It was the best pop I had ever heard. When it finished, I stared miraculously at the screen…had God answered my prayers and finished it himself?
“So what’dya think?” Bruno asked. I turned to him and looked from him to the computer.
“This is you?”
“All me. I knew what direction you were going with it, and I knew what you were missing…so I finished it.” He shrugged as if it were nothing and turned to leave. “I want sex every night.” He added. I ran and jumped ontop of his back, laying a big, sloppy kiss on his cheek.
“Your wish is my command!” I said enthusiastically.
“Miss Roxanne your losing it again!” Laurie Ann said in frustration. Just at that moment, Dave entered the studio.
“Sorry I’m late honeybunches, hey Laurie girl, how’s the rehearsal?” He asked, setting down his bag on the floor and adjusting his scarf in the mirror.
“It was good at first, but now it’s going downhill.” She said, shaking her head. My adrenaline, mixed with how out of breath I was, began to lapse me into a panic attack out of nowhere. I hated when this happened. Usually stress, or my fears made me lapse, but too much was happening at once now. I sat down, trying to catch my breath, which was spiraling out of control. I felt my throat closing in on me, and the room seemed too hot. I could swear there was steam on the mirrors it was so fucking hot.
“Roxy! Roxx!” Dave rushed over to me and tried to force me to drink water. It wouldn’t go down my throat and I coughed it back up, choking now on the water.
“STOP!” I screamed as he tried to force more down. Laurie Ann ran to call an ambulance. “OKAY OKAY!” I screamed, tears running down my face as I wheezed. It was the worst, most chaotic feeling in the world. My world was ending right now, right here. I felt all the walls closing in. Even Dave’s grip on my arm was too tight.
“HE’S A VAMPIRE!” I screamed.
“What!?” Dave let me go and I fell on my back, breathing hard.
“BRUNO IS A VAMPIRE. HE’S A VAMPIRE. THERE I SAID IT. NOW LEAVE ME BE!” I yelled, shoving him off me when he tried to help me up. I was hoping my admitting of one of my biggest secrets would help the guilt to get off my mind and soften this attack I was having. To my dismay, I felt my breath easing up on me. So I kept confessing. Anything to end the panic.
“I TOLD DWAYNE YOU CHEATED.” I choked, “I’M THE REASON HE ENDED IT.” I closed my eyes, feeling my breath let up some more…but it was too late, the ambulance had already arrived, and Dave stood up.
“She takes Alprazolam for severe attacks. She needs help right now.” His voice was faint, I felt a prick in my arm and everything in front of my eyes faded to black.