Bruno felt something touch him in the middle of the night…”Oh..I’m sorry…” he said quietly moving so the nurse could check her IV. He watched her put more medicine in the clear bag. ”How much more of that does she need?” he asked.
”She’ll need it for a bit longer…maybe 2 days…” she answered.
”But she’s okay right? Like her body is okay?” he asked still scared.
”Yes, Mr. Hernandez. Her body is recovering. She still has a bit of a ways…her heart is still beating fast and her….”
”Her brain…” he answered.
”Yes…I believe she has an MRI scheduled for tomorrow morning. After her EEG…” she said looking at Marla’s folder.
”Oh…yeah. Okay.” he answered feeling Marla move her arm against his. He rubbed her hand making sure she was okay. He looked down at her eyes seeing them look at him.
”Who are you?” she asked him.
”Marla..that’s your husband….” the nurse answered her raising her eye brows. ”Cute huh?”
”I….I’m not married.” she said turning over not paying attention to him.
Later in the morning Bruno got up from his chair stretching. He made an audible noise waking Marla up. ”I’m sorry.” he answered her.
”Ummm..it’s okay.” she answered him still confused. ”I know I’ve asked before…but who are you and why are you always here? My parents aren’t even here….I’m not really dead and you’re not like Jesus or something guiding me through all the mistakes I made and all that crazy creepy metaphysical crap..right?” He almost burst out laughing at her comment. ”I’m serious.” she answered.
”No Marley…” he answered her. ”No…you’re alive and I’m just some guy. Some guy that said he’d spend the rest of his life with you. Some guy who said that he would love you forever and never leave you…and to love and to cherish and to protect and to hold and to never let go…” he said sadly.
”Oh…that’s really romantic…but I have a boyfriend…” she answered. ”I didn’t cheat on him did I? Because you’re cute and all…but he was really good in bed…”
”Oh God…Marla!” he responded shaking his head trying not laugh.
”I don’t know why you keep laughing at me…I don’t even know you…” she answered him. He walked over to her hand sitting down next to her again. He held her hand playing with the ring on her finger. ”What is that?” she asked him looking at his hand.
”It’s my promise to you that I’d never leave you Marla.”
”Aaron and I broke up, huh? I bet he hooked up with one of those girls in DC…what an ass…” she told him. ”But who are you?” she asked him looking into his eyes. He looks familiar. But who is he? She thought to herself.
”Marla…” he took a deep breath trying to figure out what to say. ”I met you in 2010…and I fell in love with you…”
”So…wait…it’s not 2007 is it?” she asked him.
”No baby doll…” Ugh. He’s cute. Can I kiss him for no reason? she thought to herself losing herself in his eyes. ”It’s 2015…”
”Holy shit! Am I like sleeping beauty? That’s some weird shit…” 2007 Marla is funny…he said turning around trying not to laugh.
”Marla…did I ever tell you that you make me laugh?” he asked her.
”I don’t think you’ve told me a lot, Mystery Man with a hat…” she answered. ”Are you like the prince that kissed me and woke me up?”
”Naw…I just held your hand…” he told her.
”Mystery man…what’s your name?” she asked him.
”My name is Bruno….” he said.
”That’s not your real name. That’s too weird.” Marla answered him.
”Okay, Smarty pants…it’s Peter…” he replied.
”Peter…you have very beautiful eyes…I think when I remember all of this I’ll remember that I’m very lucky….”
”Mrs. Hernandez…we need to prep you for your MRI…” a nurse came in holding her chart in her hand.
”Peter Hernandez…” she said under her breath. She nodded her head. ”Okay….and Peter…or Bruno…or whatever…you need to take a shower.”
”How is she?” Whitney asked Bruno sitting on their couch holding Rosalia’s hand.
”Not while she’s here…Rosie…go play with the dog…” he asked her handing her a ball.
”Okaaayyy…” she sang to him running out the back door with the dog behind her. He moved to sit across from Whitney so he could watch her out of the window.
”She doesn’t remember anything after 2007…I thought she was going to come back last night…she said she was trying to remember….but then she woke up and we went through the same thing…”
”Oh…Bruno…I’m so sorry…” Whitney said standing up hugging him.
”I have to go see her….” Bruno said standing up. ”Rosie….” Bruno went out the door to watch his daughter.
”Daaaddd….is mom coming?” she asked.
”Soon. Rosalia.” he said hugging her. ”Dadddd…hug her. It will make it better.” she told him.
”I will, mama…” he answered hugging her.
”Oh…there’s the boy I was telling you about…” Marla said pointing to Bruno as he walked into the room. She pulled her hand back looking hurt.
”Wait…don’t move…” he told her running to her arm moving the IV the same way he had yesterday. ”Does that feel better?” he asked her.
”Are you like an undercover doctor?” she responded.
”Ha…no, Marley.” he answered her.
”Wait..have you met my family?” she asked him.
”Yes, Marla…” he answered.
She leaned down asking him to come toward her.”Do they like you? They didn’t like Aaron.”
”Yes, Marla. They like me.” he replied kissing her on the cheek.
”We’ll be right back…” Fiona said standing up. ”Did Whitney get you something to eat when you went home to see Rosalia?”
”Yeah. I ate. Thank you, Fi.” he answered her. Hug her, daddy. It will make it better. He suddenly remembered.
”Marla…” he turned around facing her.
”Yeah?” she said.
”Nothing…” he shook his head. She doesn’t know me yet..
”Tell me your story, Peter…” Marla asked.
”Where do you want me to start?” he asked her.
”Start from the beginning…” she asked him. I just want to hear his voice. ”But Peter..I’m tired..I’m sorry if I fall asleep…”
”Well…Marla…” he paused taking her hand rubbing the inside of her palm.
”There once was a hula dancer and a drummer…and they loved each other and had a family…and one of their kids was like this little Elvis dude..he was a bad ass.”
”A little Elvis? What are you talking about?” she asked him.
”He dressed up like Elvis…and he danced like Elvis…”
”You can sing and dance?” she asked him perplexed.
”I get down…but so do you…” he answered.
”So…keep telling me about this little Elvis…” she pressed to get him to tell her about himself.
”And after he graduated from high school….he went to Los Angeles…and then he met the most beautiful, amazing, stunning, intelligent, fantastic girl…and she apparently thought the same about Little Elvis…and they had the most beautiful, smart, funny, adorable little girl…”
”Wait..we have a daughter?” she interrupted. ”I want to see her….”
Bruno pulled out his phone showing her the same picture he showed her yesterday. ”She’s 3….her name is Rosalia…and she is just like you.” he told her softly.
”She’s just like you said, Peter…she’s beautiful. She has your eyes. They’re amazing…” Marla answered in a shocked tone.
”Am I a good mother?” she asked him.
”You’re the best mother and best wife, Marla. The best.” he answered. ”Well..you yell at me sometimes when I leave for New York…but I get over that.”
”I’m sorry I did that.” Marla answered looking away the same way she always did when she knew she had done something wrong.
”Marla…it’s okay.” he told her touching her chin bringing her back to face him.
”Yeah?” he asked her.
”Will you kiss me? Maybe I’ll remember if you kiss me.” she asked trying not to blush. He didn’t answer her. Is she for real? That’s ballsy. He thought leaning down touch her lips gently touching her cheeks with his hands feeling her smile against his lips. He pulled away from her looking into her lost eyes. ”No…I don’t remember.”
”It’s okay, Marla. You have the rest of your life to remember.” he answered her holding her hand.
”I like you.” she said. ”Hopefully I’ll remember you tomorrow.” she said flipping over to fall asleep.
”I hope so too, Mar…” he said kissing her head.
The same nurse came in later that night. Bruno jumped up watching her put in Marla’s medicine. Marla started to pull her arm away letting out a small cry. Bruno moved her arm quickly making sure it didn’t poke her.
”Thank you, Bruno…” she whispered.
Bruno walked into the hospital room carrying a tray of Marla’s favorite breakfast food watching her looking at the tv. Please be okay today, please be okay today, please come back Marla…please…he thought to himself walking in the room.
”Good morning.” she smiled at him.
”Good morning.” he said sliding the food in front of her.
”Do I like this?” she asked him.
”You only like it because I make it…” he told her smiling as he handed her a fork looking at her arm seeing the IV gone. ”Does your hand feel better?”
”Yeah..it hurt like a mother fucker when they took it out.” she answered watching him run his fingers along the small band aid on her hand. For a second everything was perfect. He felt like everything was back to normal and he was just taking care of her.
”Peter…” she looked at his hand.
”Tell me about your tattoos…” she asked him.
”Oh..umm….” he ran through the background of six of them stopping her before he talked about the last one. ”And this one…” he said pointing to a small on his back. ”Matches yours…” he said pointing to her ankle.
”When did we get those?” she asked him.
”We got them last June…before the wedding.” he told her touching her bare feet making her smile.
”Tell me about our first date…” she asked him again.
”Hmmm….do you want to hear about the bad first date or the real first date?” he asked her,
”Tell me about the bad one.”
”We went to your favorite restaurant…you ate the fish…and I ate the same thing….and we talked for hours until they closed…”
”That doesn’t sound bad. It sounds beautiful.” she responded to his description,
”You didn’t call me after.” he finished the story.
”I don’t know why I wouldn’t have called you back…it sounds like it was a nice date…” she told him looking at the doctor walking in the room.
”Mrs. Hernandez..we have your mri right here…and your eeg here…” he said sliding a chair near them. Bruno held onto Marla’s hand squeezing it like he always did when something scary was coming her way. She pulled her hand away not sure how to react.
”Do you see that white spot there?” he asked pointing to a small region at the top left of her brain.
”Yeah…that’s not good…is it?” she asked.
”No ma’am…that’s the area that was most damaged recently..it’s just about burned out. And this part at the bottom…” he pointed to another white spot toward the bottom of her brain stem. ”This is what we’re most worried about…this is where all your deep seeded emotional memories lie…”
”And that’s white too….” she said in a sad tone.
”It’s quite remarkable that these are the only two areas damaged…” the doctor said.
”Will it get better?” Bruno asked.
”With lots of work.” he answered him. ”Lots of cues and lots of family to help your wife remember she should regain most of the memories…”
”I’d like that.” Marla answered.
”And we’re going to keep you here for a few more days to make sure your medication levels are safe…” he told her.
”Can our daughter see her?” he asked the doctor.
”I want to see her.” Marla told him. ”I want to see her….”
”Yes…” the doctor answered. ”There is no reason to keep you from any of your family…” he told them. ”Anytime they want to come.” Bruno followed the doctor out the door.
”I’ll be right back, Marley..” he reassured her. ”Can I ask you a question, please?” he inquired as they both walked out the door.
”She remembers me today..is it going to stay that way? She completely forgot yesterday..am I going to have to tell her who I am every single day? Because I will…” Bruno admitted.
”Mr. Hernandez…she is not in a lucid state at the moment. She seems to be slowly improving. Our goal is to make sure that she is fully functional when she leaves. We will have a hospital social worker come over and help you by the end of the day.”
”Do you know who that is? Because she knows…knew a few of them and it might help her remember…” Bruno told him.
”We’ll have to see. I’m not sure if that’s quite ethical or not. But we can review it, okay?” the doctor said trying to assist him as much as possible.
”And bringing people to see here…how much is too much? Everyone is worried…” Bruno asked again.
”Move slowly. I understand that there are quite a few people in your immediate family..I believe that starting with children and family she sees on a regular basis would be the best place to start.” he informed Bruno.
”Okay…Thank you.” Bruno answered still concerned.
”And take her for a walk. It might make her remember familiar smells and places.” the doctor left with one last bit of advice.
”Marla…come with me…” Bruno said holding his hand out for her.
”Where are we going, Peter?” she asked confused.
”I want to take you for a walk. We’re going to go outside…” he told her.
”But it’s cold..it’s always cold in March…” she said looking at her sleeveless shirt and shorts.
”You can wear my shirt…” he told her wrapping her in his bright blue plaid shirt.
”I don’t get you sometimes.” she replied.
”That won’t be the first time you’ve said that.” he said taking her by the waist leading her out of the room. She pulled away from his embrace quickly. It smells smoky..she thought to herself as she breathed in his shirt.
”Peter..why do you smoke?”
”I….umm…it’s a bad habit.” he answered her.
”But why don’t you stop? You don’t smoke around Rosalia do you? She could get asthma.” she responded.
”No, Marla..I don’t. Outside, when I’m on tour and when I’m away from you.” he told her.
”But you’re neither outside nor on tour right now..unless you don’t wash your clothes.” she confronted him.
”You got me. I’ve smoked like 5 packs since you got sick.” he admitted in a sad voice. ”Please don’t hate me.”
”I don’t think I could hate you, Peter. Be upset but not hate. And if you’re going to kiss me again you need gum. Big Red for sure.” she smiled at him watching him lead her to a bench looking out at the street. Bruno dug in his pocket to pull out the one piece of gum he always carried when he was always with her.
”I gotchu.” he said making her laugh. That’s Marla. I need to keep her like this.
”Peter…tell me what’s happened between 2007 and now. Everything.” she asked him.
”Hmm….where do you want me to start?” he asked her.
”Like who is president? Did Prince William break up with Kate Middleton? Did P Diddy change his name again? Did Justin Timberlake ever release another cd? Is Britney Spears still crazy? Who won American Idol? Did we ever find out who Ted’s wife is on How I Met Your Mother? Would I have likedTwilight?”
”That’s a lot of stuff to go through. I don’t know if your pretty little brain will remember it all.” he told her.
”Hey!” she nudged his side. ”Just tell me, damnit.”
”Okay…okay…well…let’s see….Barack Obama was President from 2008 to 2012…it was a big deal because he’s Hawaiian.”
”I thought he was black.” she answered him.
”Well he is. But the biggest thing is that he’s Hawaiian.” Bruno answered trying to influence her opinion/
”Umm..okay…and did he win reelection?” she asked her next question.
”No…Mitt Romney won in 2012.” he told her. ”He’s not that great.”
”Bruno…is Osama bin Laden still alive?” she asked him changing the subject.
”No…I don’t remember exactly when…well…it had to have been 2011 because we were in Washington when it happened….and…yeah. It was 2011.” Bruno answered not noticing how she referred to him.
”Oh…well that’s good.” she answered him.
”So like all that is done with? The terrorism and bombings and being afraid to fly?” she asked him.
”Naw..not completely..but it’s a little better…” he told her. He continued to answered her questions getting lost in her voice and telling her all the things she wanted to know.
”Peter…I’m kind of tired…can we go back upstairs?” she asked him after he told her about the final episode of How I Met Your Mother.
”Yeah…let’s go, Marley…” he said taking her hand walking her back to her room.
”Can I see one of your videos, Bruno? I want to see how talented you are…” she said settling into her bed.
”What do you wanna hear, babe?” he asked her.
”You choose…” she told him.
”Okay….” he went through his phone finding a recent performance of a cheesy love song he had written about her. ”This one…” he handed her the phone. Oh please like it. Please remember it. He watched her eyes go back and forth between his face and his fingers on the guitar trying to make sense of the words.
”Who is this about?” she asked him.
”It’s about you.” he answered her. ”Well you and…no…just you.”
”Peter…you are even better than I thought you would be. When I get better will you sing to me?” she asked him a bit nervous.
”I can sing to you whenever you want me to.” he told her taking the phone away from her kissing her head.
”I want to remember why I like this…” she told him as he pulled away. Her attention was suddenly moved over to the door where she saw her mother walk in with a curly haired toddler carrying a giant frog in one hand and a book in another.
”Mommmmmaaaaa…..” Rosie ran up to her jumping on the bed.
”Oh….oh…Rosalia…oh my goodness…” she gasped through her daughter’s embrace.
”I’m gonna take you home momma…let’s go….” she said falling off the bed into Bruno’s arms trying to drag her out of the bed. ”Now, momma. Let’s go.” Bruno cringed at his daughter’s energy not sure what Marla was going to do. He and Sylvia watched her start to cry uncontrollably as her daughter pulled her hand. ”Now…let’s go….Tippie misses you. You need to tell me stories and we missed Yo Gabba Gabba….” she pleaded with her mother not noticing her tears.
”Rosie..hang in there, baby girl…we’re just visiting mom today..she’ll be home soon.” Bruno said trying to decide who was more distressed. Sylvia sat on the other side of Marla’s bed running her fingers through her daughter’s hair rubbing her shoulder.
”It’s okay, mi amor…it will come back.” she told her daughter through her own tears.
Marla shook her head feeling a rush of feelings come over her. She felt her daughter and the feelings Bruno had told her she had the day she found out she was pregnant at the salon. And the feelings she had when Rosie was born. And the feelings she had just weeks ago on her birthday. She felt them for a split second and then they were gone. They were all gone as fast as they came. ”I can’t remember…” she whispered to her mother.
Marla looked over at Bruno hugging Rosalia wiping the tears off her chubby cheeks.
”Peter…come here…” she asked him. ”What do we call my mom?”
”She’s Nana…” he answered her.
”Rosalia…come here…” she patted her bed after wiping her own tears off her cheek. She watched her daughter look up at her still crying. ”Come here…I wanna tell you something.” Rosie slowly walked over to her mother sitting on the edge of the bed. Marla wrapped her arms around her daughter leaning down to whisper to her. ”I love you, Rosalia….”
”Momma….let’s go homeeee…” she asked her mother again.
”Do you remember how Nana forgets things sometimes?” she asked her daughter.
”She forgets where the car is…and where I hide her keys…” Rosalia answered.
”But she remembers later on, right?” Marla asked her daughter.
”Yeah mama…she remembers when I tell her.” Rosalia answered.
”I’m like Nana…I forgot where some things are and I need your help remembering. Can you help me with that?” she asked her daughter. ”Can you help me remember how amazing you and your dad are?” Marla watched her mother hand Rosie the book that she brought it the room with them.
”Mamaaa…we made this for you…” she said opening the book. The first page was a grainy cell phone picture of Marla the day of the 2012 Grammy’s. She read the small caption at the bottom running her finger along the edge of the photo. She read it out loud to Rosalia who pointed to the next one. ”And that’s me…I had curly hair even then…” Marla continued to read through the captions catching herself try not to cry through the scrapbook. She read the captions out loud feeling Rosie fall back on her closing her eyes to her mother’s voice. Marla stopped herself halfway through the book.
”Is she asleep?” she asked them.
”Yeah..she fell asleep…you do that to her…” Bruno told her picking her up off the bed. Marla watched him hold her tightly kissing the top of her head. Sylvia took Rosie from Bruno and sat down at the other end of the room.
”Peter….these pictures really help….” she told him. ”And the descriptions…they just make me want to cry…”
”My sister is making more for you…” he told her. ”Ones of us…of your friends…”
”I can’t wait to see them.” she answered him.
”Marla…do you feel okay?” he asked her looking at her white face dripping with sweat.
”I’m a little hot…but I’m okay…you look sick, Peter…you face..it’s all white…”
”Mar…stay awake…please…” he said standing up leaving the room quickly.
”She’s going to have another seizure…” he ran to the middle of the floor to tell the nurses. ”Help her…please…” he begged.
”Bruno….we’ll be there in a second…just go back with her…” the evening nurse told him.
”Please…hurrryyy…” he pleaded going back into the room holding her hand like he always did. He saw Fiona in the room walking out holding Rosie.
”She’ll be okay, Bruno..she’ll be okay…” Fiona repeated trying not to cry herself walking in the opposite direction taking Rosalia back to her house.
He felt her hand twitch and fall and her legs start to move the same way they always did. Please let it only be short. I can’t do this again. I can’t do this again. Marla..please…please wake up…he laid his head on her hearing her heart slow. She’ll be okay. He started to lift his head up feeling her hands go toward his hair.
”Bruno?” she asked him. ”My head really hurts.”
”I’ll get you some medicine, baby…” he told her standing up hitting a nurse as he turned.
”Oh…here, Mar…” he handed her the medicine that she was holding.
”Thank you…” she told him handing him the small bottle of water back. ”Peter…who is Rosalia with? She needs to stay with one person..it’s too much for her moving all over the place. I confused her enough…”
”She’s right…” Allison came in the room to talk to them. ”Hi, Marla..I’m Allison..I’ll be working with y’all until you’re discharged in…about a week.”
”It’s nice to meet you.” Marla answered not remembering that they were very close friends.
”Mar…you went to school with Allison…” Bruno told her.
”Oh..I’m sorry I don’t remember.” Marla replied.
”It’s okay, Marla. What I’m more concerned about is your and your family’s safety. You are right about Rosie. She needs to stay in one place. Who is she with now, B?” Allison asked.
”She was going with Fiona tonight.” Bruno answered.
”And she was with your sister the past few days right?” Allison inquired.
”Was there a reason why she didn’t stay with her tonight or today?” Allison inquired.
”She had a fundraiser..she couldn’t have all three of them…” Bruno answered. Allison turned to face Sylvia.
”Could she stay with you?” Allison asked.
”Well…we offered…but he said Jamie said she would take her…” Sylvia answered. ”And she was with us when Marla was working and Bruno was gone…”
”After tomorrow I think that’s the best option. Remember, I can’t enforce anything, it’s just a suggestion…” Allison told them.
”Will you take her, mom? It’s just that I don’t know anyone else…” Marla asked.
”Yes..tomorrow…” Sylvia said.
”And Bruno..you look really stressed out. You need to go home.” Allison told him.
”She’s smart…” Marla answered. ”Please go home…” Marla told him.
”I will..soon.” he answered her.
”Okay then..and I will see you all tomorrow…good night.” she replied walking out the door.
”Bruno…please go home…you look so tired…and I don’t even know you..” Marla told him.
”I will. After you go to sleep.” he told her.
”I am really tired…” she told him. A few minutes later she was asleep with the scrapbook Rosalia had brought it with her next to her head. Bruno took a piece of paper sitting on the table and a pen from the other side.
Yesterday you had a good day. You found out that we went out for dinner on our first date and that Barak Obama won the election in 2008. He’s Hawaiian, which automatically makes him the best president ever. You found out that Justin Timberlake still hasn’t brought sexy back. That’s a disappointment because you always said you would leave me for him. But, the thing is, he doesn’t have a Grammy and I do. But that’s not the point. The point is that I hope that when you wake up tomorrow that you remember how much I love you and how much you mean to me and everyone else. We need you. I need you. I hope you know that.
I love you,
”Bruno…which one do I start with?” Marla asked holding up a handful of dvds.
”Hmm…” he thought to himself. ”I’d start with this one….” he told her pulling out a bright yellow concert dvd. ”I think this one is the best to start with.”
”But I won’t regret it will I?” she asked him smiling.
”No…this is where you need to start…” he told her handing her the remote. ”I’ll be in the back…you just sit and watch..” he told her.
”Okay…okay..I’ll watch it.” she said sitting on the couch with the remote in her hand. She clicked on the backstage title wanting to see the extras before she watched the actual concert. After his second album he decided to put together a concert dvd. He had never watched it all the way through and she had only watched it once…right before he released it to tell him what she liked about it. She said the backstage part was her favorite. She didn’t even remember that it was her favorite. Bruno walked away from her humming a tune in his head.
She watched him say a prayer with his band talking about having a great show and then starting to laugh uncontrollably. Oh my god. His laugh makes me melt. She thought to herself caught off guard by a sudden flash to someone in the band holding onto her watching everyone laugh. I don’t remember this…I should remember this..it looks like we were having so much fun…she paused it yelling for him to come into the room. He stopped his fingers against the piano walking into the room. ”Why was I laughing so much? I thought we met in February…and this is February…”
”Oh…oh…no, baby…” he sat down next to her on the couch to tell her the story. ”It was in June..and you came backstage after the show…and you told me my breath smelled bad after you kissed me…and then you ran away from me and Phred caught you for me.
”We look so happy…” she told him.
”You always make me happy, Marla.” he replied looking at her trying to decide what he was going to do next. It had been a week since her last seizure and the doctor’s assured them that she would remain stable on the medication they had put her on. She was slowly remembering their house and their family and the things that she did in the past. She could remember the dates and stories they were telling her. But everyone knew that they were just facts to her. She had no emotional attachment to any of the things she was being told. It hurt Bruno to know that she still was trying to find out why they were married and why she loved him. There were pieces that she was very attracted to, his laugh, his smile, his undying devotion was sexy…but it was more of an infatuation than anything for her at that point. She felt his soft hand touch her cheek making her start to cry. ”Don’t cry baby…please..” he asked her watching her hand come up to take his. She looked at him trying to figure out what he was thinking. Before this she would have known exactly what he was thinking, that he wanted to kiss her. He just wanted to know that she was there. And she would have kissed him without him even making a move. She leaned in near him waiting for him to move in close to her as well. He touched her lips gently feeling the small beads of tears hit the side of his face. She opened her lips wider so he could kiss her the way he wanted to. She could feel that he needed to kiss her. I need to kiss him. I need to figure this out. She thought through small flashes of memories. She saw her old apartment and books flying on the floor, she saw a small performance and could hear herself saying that he was amazing in Spanish. She could see him holding her hand tightly at an Awards ceremony. She felt herself dancing with him in their empty house. She could see him holding Rosie and singing her to sleep as she cried. She felt everything that meant something to her. And then it stopped. He stopped. She pulled his face back towards him after taking a breath to continue to kiss him. The memories continued to flash of her graduation where he held onto the biggest pile of flowers she had ever seen all while holding their daughter in his arms. She saw him laugh at her as she tried to carry a huge bag of groceries into the house. She saw him singing in front of a huge crowd of people- all singing back to him. Oh my god. He’s amazing. She thought to herself feeling him move his lips to her ears to whisper something in her ear.
”Does that help you remember?” he whispered. She nodded her head feeling him move his head back to her lips to kiss her again.
”Please keep going…it really helps…Bruno…please…” she repeated. He pulled her toward him wrapping his arms around her waist. No. We can’t do this yet. He thought to himself pulling away from her.
”Watch the movie..it will help you, Mar.” he said standing up knowing that he could get himself in trouble if he kept kissing her.
”It was all there, Bruno…all of it…and now it’s gone…it’s all gone. I want it back. I want to know why I was laughing and dropping groceries..I want to remember what it was like to see you sing to all those people and all those people singing your songs..I can’t get it back…I can’t…” she told him.
”It will come back.” he replied bending down to kiss her on the head hugging her the way Rosalia told him to. She took the remote back from the couch pressing play again getting lost in the memories they had all told her about.
Marla slowly regained her memory day by day. Bruno continued to write her letters telling her about the day before trying to help her remember the days before and the memories she created each and every day. She cherished those notes not because they helped her remember, but that he continued to write them day after day and didn’t seem to get sick of them. They had Rosalia back in the house and she always tried to help Marla with things. Marla laughed at every single thing she did. Bruno started to go to the studio every few days to get out some of the things he was feeling. Phil was always there for him filling in the gaps and making things right for him. Marla started asking him about what he was doing but he always said it was a secret. She took him for his word continuing to do whatever she was doing- cleaning, looking at pictures, writing, watching old movies…whatever it was. She had even started working with his sister’s charity making herself feel useful, even though she was just going through the motions based on what everyone was telling her she was good at. But, at least she was good at it.
Late one evening in early May, after Marla had gotten Rosalia to fall asleep, she sat down next to her computer trying to remember everything about Bruno. She knew she liked him. She was close to falling in love with him again. He was doing little things like the notes and the kisses on her hand and the notes on the fridge telling her she was beautiful…she was falling. But she still didn’t know who he was. So, she went online and typed in his name. She found a list of his singles. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do with all the information but she was going to do something with it- after she read over his personal life on Wikipedia
Bruno married long time girlfriend Marla Gonzales in May 2014. They have one 3 year old daughter, Rosalia Diane. Gonzales is currently attending the University of Southern California to get her Masters degree in Social Work.
Hmm. You didn’t help me any Wikipedia. She thought to herself going back to his list of songs. He told me not to watch them…but there’s so many…she went to youtube typing in the most recent single. She moved her head to the dance-y upbeat song released in early 2014. I like it..I like it a lot..but …she started humming little pieces of the song still trying to figure it out. She moved on to the next song that he had played for her in the hospital months ago. Aww. I like this one. She watched the video of him playing the piano in an empty room full of pictures of his video past. She looked up at the wall where they had put tons of pictures on the wall to help her remember. She walked up to the wall touching their wedding picture with small flashes of the flight to Hawaii and dress shopping in her head. She vividly remembered Rosalia throwing a temper tantrum on the plane. Oh god. What a drama queen. She thought as the song ended. She ran to the computer to find the next song..and the memories that went along with it. She sat in front of the computer trying to find the things that made her happy. More small flashes or her spending time with her family before Bruno and even her breaking up with Aaron came back to her. Hmm. Well that explains that…She looked up at the clock seeing it was almost one in the morning. Shit. He’ll be home soon. I have to hurry…she thought to herself hearing the dog get up from her corner of the house where she slept running to the window waiting for Bruno. ”Shit…shit..shit…close….close..close…” she yelled at the computer waiting for it to close. ”Hi…” she said looking at him walking into the house.
”Why are you still up? It’s late…” he said watching her walk up to him.
She wrapped her arms around him smelling his shirt. ”I had a good day today..I just wanted to let you know.” she told him. Maybe it will all be closed by the time I get away from him…He walked over to the couch about to close the laptop to go to bed with her.
”What were you doing? You were totally watching videos on youtube!” he laughed at her.
”I know you told me not to…but I couldn’t help myself.”
”Well, now we have to finish…you’re almost done…” he said looking at the screen shot of It Will Rain.
”I was going backwards…” she told him.
”Come on…let’s finish watching them…maybe they’ll help…” he told her sitting down where she was on the couch earlier.
”Okay….” she answered sitting on his lap pressing the play button laying back into him to watch it. She laughed at him flipping the table.
”We had to get a stunt double..it was too heavy…” he told her.
”Shut up! You did not!” she told him watching it not remembering anything during that video.”What’s next?” He typed in Lighters and pressed play. ”Oh damn…there’s that bug. He’s been pissing me off all day…” she told him standing up grabbing a piece of paper to hit it. As she followed the bug around for a few seconds she started to move to the beat of the song singing Emienem’s part flawlessly. She hit the bug and turned around still humming it to see him looking at her in shock.
”Marla…” he paused the video getting up to hug her. She felt so much coming back to her at that very moment. She felt the day they met, the food they ate, the food he burnt, the trips they had been on, the troubles they had had, the tears they shared…everything came back during the song. She felt it all sink in this time. It was the best feeling she had had since Rosalia’s birthday. She fell to the ground as the song continued grasping her head with her face.
”B…it hurts…my head….” she told him. He bent down holding her the tightest he ever had before. ”oh…ohhh….okay…okay…you can stop now. I think it’s better now…” she said trying to stand up not hearing anymore music. The music had ended but all the memories were still there. She walked over to the pictures on the wall touching a random picture of them in London during his last tour. ”That was a good day…and that one too…all of them…” she said touching several. She stopped at one where all three of them were wearing sunglasses and hats. ”They were gonna get us that night…” she said to herself turning to see Bruno sitting on the couch still stunned by the things she was saying.”Bruno…everything is beautiful. Why did we never put these pictures up before?” she asked him.
”You never asked…” he said grabbing her by the waist kissing her head. ”Marla…I love you so much. Do you know that?” she twisted around in his arms to face him smiling against his lips the way she used to.
”Yes.” she said kissing him the way he had been waiting for. The way that only someone who had been kissing him for 5 years before could. ”I missed you so much, Bruno.”
”Marla…” he pulled away from her. ”Please don’t ever leave me again…”
”I won’t, Bruno…I won’t…I won’t do that to you…” she told him hugging him tightly crying against his chest. She felt a tear fall down his face onto the back of her t-shirt as she started to pull away from her. Nope. Can’t do that. She thought to herself continuing to remember exactly why she loved him….there are no words to describe why I love him. Nothing can come close to describing how perfect he is…she thought to herself feeling her tears against his shirt and his tears falling on her shirt. They stood there at least an hour just holding each other. He told her how much he loved her and how much he needed her in his life- how he was broken and she always puts the pieces back together. She told him she was sorry for everything. She said she would never leave him over and over and over again. She said she missed him and everything that she had forgotten. ”Bruno…my legs..they’re gonna fall asleep…” she told him after some time.
”Oh…sorry…” he said pulling away. He took her hand leading her into the bedroom. She watched his every move as he changed from his jeans and t-shirt into his pajamas. ”Wait…” he stopped what he was doing going into the kitchen. ”Take these…don’t forget..” he handed her pills.
”Oh..yeah. I don’t want to forget those…” she said swallowing the pills placing the bottle of water on the table. She continued to watch him remembering that she always watched him. He never knew…she thought to herself flipping over where she had always slept before. She hasn’t slept like that since she’s been home…he thought to himself moving her arm to get into bed laying her hand back on his chest. She pressed up against him wrapping her leg around his leg not saying anything to him.
”I love you, Marla…” he said kissing her waiting for her to fall asleep before he got out the bed to write her.
You said you had a good day today. I did too. I wrote a song about you. But you can’t hear it yet. Today you came back to me. I don’t know if you’ll be back tomorrow or not…but I had you for at least 2 hours…and it was perfect. I’m sorry I cried. It was kind of weird. I just want you to know that I will love you always and forever- even if you don’t remember the day before.
”This is kind of weird…” Marla told her brother watching her niece and nephews sitting on the floor with Rosalia.
”Why is it weird, Mar?” he asked her.
”I don’t know…well, no. I know. It’s just that you all are saying that we do this every year…but I don’t remember it at all. I’m remembering a lot of things, but not this yet. I just wish it would all come back.” she told him.
”Yeah…I know. But maybe one day you’ll remember it…” he told her.
”Marla…” Bruno reached over taking her hand. ”Don’t worry…”
”It’s just a lot..there’s so much going on..there’s music, and presents, and kids running around like crazy, and I just don’t know where to be looking…” she told him.
”Look over there…” he pointed toward Rosalia dancing with her oldest cousin Zach.
”Aww…she’s so cute.” Marla said leaning on him.
”Hey…you still want to go to the show tonight?” Bruno asked her.
”What show?” she wondered out loud.
”The little one at Molly Malone’s…the…oh…nevermind.” he said in a defeated tone.
”I was kidding! Yes, I want to come.” Marla answered.
”Don’t do that to me, Mar! It scared me…” he responded.
”I’m sorry..I thought I was getting better.” she replied.
”Mommmmm….watch!” they heard Rosie yell from across the back yard. She sat on the swing waving her legs. ”I’m flying!”
”Oh god…” Marla laughed.
”I’m flying without help!”
”You’re such a big girl!” Marla responded walking over to her daughter to push her.
”Make me go higggghhhh!” she screamed with joy. Marla smiled at Bruno finding herself remembering that these were two of the most important people in the world.
”Bruno…go over there. We’ll take a picture…” Lisa told him showing him the camera. He didn’t say anything walking up behind them placing his hat on her head making her jump.
”Hey!” she exclaimed moving away from Rosalia careful not to be hit in the face by Rosie’s flying feet.
”What?” he asked looking into her eyes that were still in shock.
”I don’t know…it just…I don’t know…” she told him.
”I didn’t mean….”
”Keep pushing me, mommm!” Rosalia interrupted their awkward moment.
”Ugh…okay…” Marla turned to push her daughter feeling Bruno come behind her leaning in toward her ear.
”I’m sorry.” he whispered. Damnit. He thought to himself going back to where he was sitting.
Marla put down her purse looking at her phone at the table of the small bar. She looked up from her phone hearing the drums being played. Hmmm..She saw Eric hitting the drums and Bruno off to the side bending down to plug something in. She watched every single step he took trying to remember exactly what he did to get ready for shows. She sat next to Eric’s wife who was also playing with her phone.
”Are you okay today, Marla?” she asked her.
”Yeah..today just hasn’t been the best day. I know things are coming back but it was just kind of fuzzy at Travis and Lisa’s. Like I could see the edges but not the middle…I think I pissed Bruno off.” Marla explained.
”No…I don’t think you upset him. I think he’s still confused.” she answered Marla.
”Hopefully that’s it.” she replied looking up at him getting lost in his little dances on the stage trying to test the sound.
”Bro…” Eric walked up to Bruno as he tested the sound.
”Is everything okay?” he questioned.
”Yeah…I just…she’s not having the best day…and I feel bad that I couldn’t tell…like…I thought she was doing so much better that I went up behind her today and Trav and Lisa’s…and she was just like what the fuck are you doing?”
Eric paused trying to figure out what to say to his little brother. ”Moi goi…you have good days and bad days. She had a lot of good days…it will get better.”
”I hope so.” he said going back to a mic tapping it. ”We’re good.” He pointed to someone in the back to turn down the lights and to introduce him. Everything got very quiet.
”Mar…this is your first one…are you going to be okay?” Eric’s wife asked her.
”Yeah..I should be.” she answered.
A single white light hit the stage catching everyone else off guard. Marla just looked at it knowing that he was thinking of her. But there’s usually so many more….everyone else was thinking. Marla heard the familiar sounds of his older music playing making her feel even worse for the way she reacted earlier in the day. He continued to sing the way he did before he was famous singing covers and laughing at his band. He even took a break to play the drums. He looked at Marla throughout the whole show trying to figure out where her head was. I can tell she’s trying…she’s trying to remember everything…the last song he sang was one she had forgotten, but it was one very close to her heart- he would sing it to her when he was on tour on the phone as she fell asleep. She felt the heaviness of the memories sink in quickly. She tried to keep her eyes on him through the small drops of tears forming in her eyes. She felt the past flood back to her through his words and the sounds. She felt all the hurt she felt when he was gone for a year in 2013…she felt the joy of his arms falling on her in the middle of the night. She felt the ecstasy of the nights he was there and his lips telling her good bye and that he missed her already. He saw the tears in her eyes midway through the song telling everyone to stop. I have to tell her I love her…he thought to himself jumping off the stage putting the mic on the edge of the stage. I never do shit like this..this is so embarrassing…but I have to…all eyes moved toward their side of the bar. She looked up at him as his fingers touched the tears on her cheeks. He looked into her eyes sitting down in the one empty chair next to her. She looked at him shocked at what he was doing. It wasn’t the shock that he was used to, it was her normal shock the what the fuck are you doing, you idiot shock. ”I love you, so much….” he said to her.
”I….I….Bruno….this is stupid. Why couldn’t you have waited?” she looked around all the people around her staring.
”Because I don’t know if you’ll remember me later….” he answered kissing her.
Today I sang to you for the first time since all this happened. I stopped in the middle of my set to tell you I loved you. You didn’t like that. After the show you told me it embarrassed you. I told you that I wouldn’t stop embarrassing you. You shook your head laughing at me. When we got home you kissed me and told me you loved me. Marla…I love you too.
THE MIDDLE IS PURE SEXINESS. SKIP IT IF IT FLIPS YOU OUT
”Bruno…we need groceries…” Marla said with her head in the refrigerator digging through the leftovers take out boxes they had.
”Well…let’s go get groceries then…Rosalia…come on. Get your shoes…” Bruno told their daughter who was sitting at the kitchen table coloring.
”But I don’t want to go…” she looked up at him pouting.
”You’re not big enough to stay here….” Bruno told her.
”I’m 3! I can do it!” Rosalia told him.
”No mama….you need to come with us. We’ll get you some ice cream if you come with us…okay?” Marla persuaded her daughter.
”Okay..but it has to be the pink one.” she answered talking about strawberry ice cream that she loved.
”Well..let’s goooo…” Bruno sang dancing with Rosalia.
They got in the car turning the music up ridiculously loud. Bruno started singing to Marla and Rosie making each of them laugh.
”Wait…” Marla said hearing a song on the radio. ”I know this one….dance, dance, dancceeeee….now make that hammer timmmeeee….” she sang loudly out of tune this time making Bruno laugh with Rosalia.
”Mama…you can’t sing at all.” Rosie told her.
”I know.” Marla answered giving Bruno a sad face. ”That’s your dad’s job. My job is to….”
”Mom’s job is to be amazing just like her daughter.” Bruno said touching her nose and then reaching behind him to kiss Rosie after he parked the car.
They walked through the store picking up the items Marla had made a list of without anything exciting happening. Rosie ran up and down the aisles making people give Bruno and Marla dirty looks. ”I don’t care..she’s not hurting anyone…” Marla told him steps behind her as she grabbed onto a box of huge candy bars.
”I want these..I’ll eat them all…” Rosie told her parents.
”Rosie…you have your whole life to eat all those. There’s no need to eat them all now. You’ll get sick.” Marla told her taking a hold of the box.
”Nooo…I want them…” she yelled back. Marla took the box handing it to Bruno to put back on the shelf. Rosie watched Bruno put it back on the shelf grabbing it again.
”Rosalia….that’s not nice at all…come over here now…” Marla told her daughter. She sat down in the middle of the aisle holding the candy bars in her hand.
”I’ll get her…”Bruno told Marla.
”No..you’re too soft. I’ve got it.” Marla answered him. Oh shit…Bruno thought. She’s back today…he watched Marla get down on her knees talking to Rosalia. ”Rosie…I need you to get up right now. Or else we’ll find you a little spot over there…”Marla pointed to the back of the store by the milk. ”to think about it for a little bit…” Rosalia shook her head holding onto the candy. ”Well…let’s go then…” Marla said picking her up with the candy in her hand kicking her legs crying making a big scene in the aisle. I don’t care. Marla thought sitting down with her daughter near the milk and yogurt. ”You need to stay there for 3 minutes, okay? We’re right here…” Rosie stuck her tongue out at her mother as Marla picked up the candy handing it back to Bruno to take back to the shelf.
”Shoot..will you come over and teach me how to do that?” a mother walked past Marla.
”It’s not easy…” Marla answered watching Rosalia kicking a free standing freezer with her feet.
”I hate you!” she screamed starting to sing the same hateful song she sang months ago. Bruno came back from the aisle without candy in his hand looking at Rosie singing her song.
”Does she even know what she’s saying?” Bruno asked her.
”No..she has no idea…one day she’ll figure it out….” Marla said walking back to her daughter sitting on her knees getting down to her level again. ”I need you to say you’re sorry, Miss Rosalia.”
”I’m sorry, momma. I’m sorry. I love you.” Rosalia said hugging her mother the way Marla had taught her. Through her daughter’s light hug she felt memories of Rosalia and her by themselves in the house without Bruno playing with Barbies and dolls and dress up. She remembered the feelings she had when Rosalia was just born. It was one of the best feelings she had ever felt. Those motherly feelings that she had lost were suddenly back. And they were back for good.
Later in the evening Marla stood in the kitchen watching Rosie continue to color on a bi piece of paper they had bought at the grocery store. She heard the piano in the background where Bruno was playing some unknown tune. He started singing making her remember the times he sang to her in the past. I don’t know how to react to that. It’s like he’s doing it to get to me…she thought to herself. ”Rosie…come on baby girl…let’s get you to bed…” Marla told her daughter picking up the crayons lying on the floor. ”Come onnnn…” she pleaded watching Rosie pick up some of the crayons about to fall asleep.Hurry up you slow poke…Marla thought to herself trying not to clean up for her daughter. Rosie finished putting the crayons in the box.
”Carry me mommaaa…” she whined holding her arms up.
”Fine…let’s go say good night to daddy, okay?” she asked her daughter who shook her head turning her body to see Bruno sitting in front of the piano. ”She wanted to say good night.” Marla told him.
”It’s earl….oh…okay…” Oh…that’s what she used to do..Bruno thought to himself. This is going to be a good day. Bruno thought to himself. He turned around kissing his daughter on the cheek. ”Good night, mi amor.” Marla smiled at him turning back around to put Rosie to bed.
”Mommy….” Rosie started to talk to her mother. ”I’m glad you’re home. I missed you. I love you.”
”I love you too, Rosalia.” Marla told her. ”Buenas noches, que sueñes con los angelitos, mija.” she turned off the light leaving the door cracked like she always did. Marla glanced back into Bruno’s room where he had his head down writing. I can’t forget this..Marla thought to herself walking up behind him wrapping her arms around him from the back leaning down near his ear. ”I love you.”
”I love you too, Mar.” Bruno responded feeling her touch his ear gently. Oh…she’s for real…Bruno thought scribbling something down quickly turning around to look into her eyes. That’s her…”Marla…”
”What?” she let go of him standing in a defensive pose.
”You know what I want…but….Marla…I don’t…” he stuttered standing up to hold her in his arms.
”Bruno…I remember all of it. Please…just…can we go back to then? I really miss that…” she told him. He paused trying to figure out what he was going to do next. He held onto her tightly touching her cheek brushing a piece of hair out of her face. He smiled at her the way she remembered their first date. Oh god. Just do it, Bruno. ”Just do it, Bruno…geez..” she told him. Damn..I wasn’t supposed to say that. He touched her lips lightly waiting to see what she would do next. She put her arms around his neck brushing her hands lightly against his hat watching it fall. ”Whoops.” she told him running her fingers through his hair. He returned her touch running his fingers through the slight curls at the bottom of her hair. He moved his head down to her bare collar bone against the sleeveless shirt she was wearing on that late July evening. ”I loveeeee youuuu…” she whispered in his ear kissing his ear lobe gently as he moved his hands along her back towards her denim shorts. She grabbed the waistband of his pants trying to get him closer to her. He tried to do everything so gently, remembering everything but lost himself in the moment pushing her against the wall kissing all over her. It’s just been too long…He hesitated knowing that he might have been moving too quickly for her. ”Don’t stop, Brunz…don’t do it…” she said breathlessly. He picked her up kissing all over her neck bringing her into their bedroom laying her on their bed. She looked up at him biting her lip in anticipation of what was to come next. She felt herself remembering the first time they had done this in this house with no furniture and just the pictures he had framed of them to propose to her. She tried not to cry remembering the these things as moved toward her returning the same look. He laid in between her legs kissing her lightly yet passionately making himself remember the same things that were flashing through her mind. Somehow they could tell that they were each thinking the same thing because there was some type of spark between them at that very minute as he lifted up her shirt continuing to kiss her. She held on to his pants the way she used to turning him on even more. She pulled off his shirt as he moved down kissing her body lightly and gently. ”Oh..Bruno…don’t stop….” she said again breathlessly. ”Pleaseeee…” He ran his hands along her thighs working up to the button of her shorts pulling both her pants and her underwear with them. He made a mental note of the orange pink color of her boy shorts continuing to kiss her. Through his kisses she moved her hands down to take off his pants. He pulled them off making his way in between her hips. He felt her legs tense as they wrapped around his back and her hands ran through his curls. It was these things that he found so annoying- like the itsy bit of stubble on her les that ran against his back that turned him on even more that night. ”You might want to hurry…” she him moving her legs against his hard body.
”No…this is gonna be good, baby…if you remember anything today it’s gonna be this…” he responded moving his tongue against her body making her moan a way that made him smile. She felt his smile against her body making her start to laugh.
”Oh god, Bruno….” she stopped starting to laugh. ”Oh my….”
”Mar…am I doing it right?” he asked her.
”It’s amazing…” she said grabbing his shoulder to bring him up to her face to kiss him again. ”Bruno…I need you…..Bruno…” the soft repetition of his name made him remember the way she would talk to him when he was on tour. He didn’t want it to stop but he wanted to make her happy. He pressed himself into her making her scream his name. Oh shit. He thought to himself moving his body to her heavy breathing. He felt her stop breathing gasping for breath between his movements the way she used to. Yeaaahhhh….He gave himself a mental pat on the back as he kissed her neck and chest. He cringed as she grabbed his back digging her nails into him.
”Marlaaaa…oh my…I….oh fuck. oh shit. oh my god….holllyyyyy….” he called out to her falling on her chest feeling her fingers move up to his hair. They didn’t say anything to each for quite some time catching their breaths.
”Holy shit, Bru. Why didn’t we do that before?” she asked him.
”You didn’t ask.” he answered her.
Today you put Rosalia in time out for the first time since you’ve been back with us. I tried not to laugh at you. I’m sorry. I’m not good at being mean. You’re pretty good at it. But there are other things that you’re good at too. We also made love today. You started it. Don’t ever tell me that you’re not the one in charge in this relationship, because I will call bullshit. I love you. I hope you have a good day tomorrow.
Marla woke up in the middle of the night feeling a tug at her shirt.
”Mommmaaa…I can’t sleepppp…” she heard Rosalia tell her mother in a quiet voice.
”Come over here…” she motioned picking her up squeezing her daughter next to her body. ”Tell me what happened, mi amor…”
”Mommmm….you were gone. Another lady was my mom. It was scary.” Rosalia told her.
”That’s not going to happen…I’m right here.” Marla told her hugging her daughter kissing her on the tip of her curly head. She closed her eyes falling asleep again waking up to Bruno’s hand hitting her on the side through his tosses and turning. She glanced at the clock seeing that it was almost 7 in the morning. Even if it was a Sunday she decided to get up taking the piece of paper Bruno had written on the evening before reading over it. I remember that. It was good. She thought to herself. I need to do this too…She took a piece of paper like the one he had written on beginning to write to her husband.
Last night was perfect. Thank you for bringing all the memories back to me, even if they were just there for a moment. I will try to remember them all for you today. Today will be a good day, just like yesterday. I love you too.
She left it on his side of the bed underneath his phone where she knew he would look first. She went into the kitchen getting breakfast ready- cinnamon rolls and orange juice. She put the rolled up cinnamon rolls in the oven grabbing a small cup of coffee sitting in front of the TV. She flipped to E! news to see what they were talking about. She told herself she was going to avoid it, but also knew that there were occasions when they would talk about people she supposedly knew. Those stories sometimes brought back memories for her. Suddenly she heard his name mentioned…”Bruno Mars has fallen off the radar recently. Rumor was we would have album number 4 by the end of this year…but recently personal struggles have taken over. Here’s Kristina with the story…..” Oh my god. What are they going to say? How much do they know? A picture of the two of them at that year’s Grammy’s talking about his success. She stated, ”He’s amazing. He does everything. He deserves everything and more…” they interrupted her statement by moving onto the actually story. ”Bruno’s other half, Marla, has been by his side since 2010 and the couple has one 3 year old daughter. The couple has always been open about Marla’s struggles with epilepsy…” they cut to a clip of her speaking at a national Epilepsy Foundation fundraiser. ”The key to making it is surrounding yourself with people who will remain by your side no matter how good or bad things are. Great parents, great kids, great spouses…” they cut her off again. ”Marla’s struggles took over the family’s life recently when she suffered a life altering seizure placing her in the hospital for more than a month suffering severe memory loss. They went to a neurological expert who she didn’t know. ”Seizures lasting more than 5 minutes can cause brain damage. Without knowing the background…” fuck, you don’t know shit. She thought continuing to listen to the doctor. ”she could have suffered memory loss as short as a few days to as long as several years. The key to recovery is support and cues.” We contacted Mars for comment on Marla’s health and have not received any comment back. We wish the Mars family well and hope to hear good news from them soon.” Kristina finished her statement.
”Turn that shit off, Mar…”Bruno said to her coming up behind her kissing her head. ”Good morning, beautiful.”
”Bruno…you didn’t tell me that they asked about it…” she confronted him at the kitchen table where he sat. He looked up at her through his thick glasses.
”Marla…I just didn’t think you wanted to talk about it…” he told her.
”It’s not about talking about it..it’s about the awareness. Of course it’s hard to talk about it. But if there’s even one other family going through this it will help. ” she said diplomatically. Shit. That’s old Marla. He thought to himself. She always makes sense….
”I just….I…” Bruno wasn’t sure how to answer the question.
”B…I know you like your privacy. I do too. I don’t need to be all crazy press whore…that’s not what I was saying…and I think you took it that way….” she stood up hearing the timer go off taking out the cinnamon rolls. He didn’t start talking knowing she wasn’t done talking. ”But you…” she stopped herself trying to find the right words. ”There are so many people that care and genuinely just want to know and are curious….you just….I’m totally going to be a therapist right now…” she took a small plate with a cinnamon roll on it handing it to him. ”Here…” he took the plate from her not taking a bite yet. ”Bruno…you never tell me how you feel about this. I can tell it hurts you. When I pull away…or when I do something I didn’t before…or when I get mean for no reason…I need to know what you feel about all of this. I know we used to talk…Whitney told me that she could never get me to shut up about the things we would stay up late at night and talk about…that you could pour your heart out…aside from you telling me that you miss me and want me better…I don’t know what’s going on in your head….I need to know, Bruno…” she said putting her head down. ”I’m sorry if that was mean.” she said quietly.
He moved her head up looking into her eyes. He looked at her trying to find the right words. ”Marla…I…I’m sorry I haven’t been talking to you. I just don’t want to bombard you with everything I’m thinking…”
”But, Bruno..what do you want to do?” she asked him.
”Marla….I want to go back to the day before your seizure. I miss everything about that. We thought having Rosie was the hardest thing ever…Marla…after you go to sleep…I replay the whole day in my head trying to remember exactly what happened and how I can make it better for you…”
”Bruno…how would the day be better for you? You get lost in trying to make things better for me. They’re perfect. Sure, there are days where I can be horrible…but everyone has days like that. I know I had days like that before. What about you? What are you doing?”
”Mar…I have so much written down about this…so much…” he started.
”Tell me about it…” she replied. ”I know it’s scary Bruno…”
”Like before this…Marla…I felt like everything happened for a reason. You, me, my career, the way it all happened..there was a plan. Even if things were shit…it was okay because things would get better…but this..there’s no reason for anyone to go through this. I hate it. I hate waking up every single day not knowing if you’ll remember what we did yesterday or that you said you loved m…or that Rosie sleeps with her frog and not her horse…and that she has to take her medicine at exactly the right time…I don’t know why this happened. I struggle every day with answering the question…why? Why you? Marla..why does this all happen to you…to us…
”Bruno…why did your outlook change? What’s different about this than any of the other things?” she confronted him.
”Everything Marla. Everything…you…us…it’s everything…I want it back to normal. I just want to wake up and have it all go back to the way it was. I want to be in the studio not worrying about you. I want to be performing. I want to come home late at night to find you by the tv checking your e-mail…or walk into the bedroom to see Rosie taking up the whole bed and you against the wall…I don’t want it this way.”
Marla turned her head away from him to make sure he didn’t see her cry. She shook her head at his last comments standing up walking toward the other room. ”No…no…I’m gonna tell you exactly how I feel about this, Peter…exactly how I feel…I try every single fucking day to make it better. You have no idea how hard this is. I wake up to your notes. I wake up to you trying to recreate every single memory. Hey..guess what? Maybe I don’t want to remember that Rosie cried herself to sleep or that the doctor said that I wasn’t getting any better..or that I was mean…you don’t know what I’m trying to remember. I’m trying…I’m trying every single fucking day. Even right now. I’m trying to remember what would happen after we got in a fight. But..I don’t really give a shit because…because…I won’t remember tomorrow why I was mad at you. I’m trying to remember if I cry when I get mad at you or if I just let it slide…but now…this Marla…she’s so angry that she doesn’t even want to see you. I don’t want to hear about how hard this is for you. Go to the studio. Go on tour. Do what you used to do. Leave us…come back and say you’re sorry for leaving and that you’ll never leave again and that you won’t ever leave Rosie’s side..especially when she needs her dad. Or say that you’ll never leave me even though I need you to tell me you love me and that I’m beautiful…just leave..go do what you want to do. I’m not stopping you. I never was.” she finished yelling at him closing the bathroom door behind her. She slid down against the wall sobbing.
”Shit.” Bruno said under his breath putting the breakfast she had put on a plate for him back on the baking sheet. ”Marla…please talk to me…” he said leaning against the bathroom door. She didn’t answer him. ”Marla! Come on! At least tell me you’re okay…”
”I’m fine.” she snapped at him. This is bullshit. I knew this was going to be a mess. She thought to herself standing up from the wall looking in the mirror. You’re stronger than this. He hasn’t broken you yet; he’s not going to break you now.
Bruno looked into their bedroom seeing Rosalia still sound asleep stretched out in the middle of their king sized bed. He sat down next to her covering her up glancing at his phone. He saw piece of paper that she had left him. He moved himself to the edge of the bed reading it. ”Good day my ass.” he said to himself putting the note on top of the pile she had created of his notes. He looked at his sleeping daughter again picturing Marla in her place. I fucked up. I shouldn’t have told her that….He stood up from the bed sitting in front of the bathroom door waiting for her to come out. Just seconds later the door opened. She turned her feet opposite the direction he was sitting deciding not to talk to him. ”Marlaaaa….” he stood up following her watching her turn back around hitting him on the side.
”Just give me a little bit Bruno…please.” she said softly turning around to tell him what she needed. ”Just please…”she pleaded with him. I wouldn’t let her get away with this before. It’s not happening now..he thought to himself grasping at her hand. ”Didn’t you hear me, Bruno? Geezus. Stop it.”
”No, Marla. I wouldn’t let you walk away before…I am not letting you walk away now.” he told her stepping right behind her so she could feel his heart against her chest.
”Bruno…stop. I can’t think straight right now and you’re making it worse.” she begged trying to pull his hands off of her waist.
”Marla..I’m sorry…I’m sorry I said that stuff.” he told her.
”No. It’s the truth. It’s what you think. And I needed to know that. Sometimes it hurts to know that stuff. But, B….” she turned around to look at him. ”I really am not stopping you from doing any of that. You can go to the studio…you can record all those things you’re thinking of…you can do whatever you want. I’m not stopping you. If I ever was…Bruno..I’m sorry I’ve held you back….”
”Mar…you’ve never held me back. You never have done any of that….” he told her.
”But you make it sound like that. Like all this is holding you back from doing what you want. I want you to be happy. And I’ve never seen you happier on stage and singing…you need that…”
”Mar…I need you more. I need to know that you’re okay…that you are here…that…you’re everything before I can do it again….” he told her.
”Bruno…I will be fine. It’s almost been six months.” she told him wiping a tear off of his cheek. ”Don’t cry, silly.” she smiled at him. He wrinkles his nose like Rosie when he cries. She noticed touching his nose. ”Will you do that for me, please?” I’m going to regret this next thing I’m going to say. ”Bruno…finish your album….and show everyone how amazing you are again so they don’t forget. Please. Do it for me?”
”I do everything for you, Marla.” he told her.
”Oh my god. Stop!” she pushed him. ”Stop being so fucking romantic and caring. What happened to the Bruno that would stay in the studio until 4 in the morning and fly all over the world and tell me that he had the most amazing experience and wished that I was there? Where’s the Bruno that would drink so much that he fell over and his sober wife had to hold him up? Now let’s talk about what Imiss. I miss the Bruno I’m starting to remember. The one that made me laugh…and the Bruno that could make everything better by just being there and make the worst day in world better by just falling asleep next to me? Or make his daughter stop crying when she scrapped her knee on the beach by telling her she was going to be a pro surfer? Bruno..I want my Bruno back…I want the one that can just turn me on by walking in the room…and the one that turns all the girls on by singing one note or playing one chord….the one that calls me out for over thinking the simplest things…I need you as much as you need me, Bruno. I need that Bruno to remember everything..and I’ve lost him in his thoughts…and his desire to make everything right..and to protect the things that he loves. Bruno….” she sat him down on the couch sitting down in front of him. ”Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for trying to find my memories. Thank you for telling me you love me everyday…thank you for not getting upset at me when I turn around and don’t want you to touch me….but what would make everything better is ifyou came back, Bruno. I need you. I need you so badly. The person I had last night…who didn’t stop himself from pushing me against the wall…the one who told me what to do to make it better for him…I don’t know where I lost him. But now I know that’s what I need and I don’t know where to find myBruno…” she looked into his eyes searching for him. She wasn’t sure if she had gotten to him or if she had just rambled on about how she missed him.
”Marla…come listen to this…” he picked up her hand leading her into his studio. They looked in the bedroom seeing Rosie still sound asleep. She squeezed his hand as he led her in the room. ”Sit…” he said pointing to the edge of his chair. She sat down looking at him picking up a piece of paper. ”I started this the night before your seizure and finished it the day after…I had to call Phil to have him write it down for me before I forgot it.” She watched his hands hit the piano moving gracefully for almost 2 minutes. He cleared his throat starting, ”When you wake up next to me I see your soul. Your heart, your eyes…” as he finished the song they heard a noise in the back and a bark. Rosalia walked in the room holding onto a dog toy.
”I’m hungry.” she told them.
Today I talked to this smart lady about us and how I’ve lost myself since all this has happened. She told me to do what I want and that you’ll be okay with my decisions to finish this album. She also fed me. She makes amazing cinnamon rolls. I think you know this lady very well. Marla, I’m sorry I yelled at you today. Please forgive me. I love you.
Bruno spent lots of time in the studio for the next few weeks and even started trying to wrap his head around how exactly he felt about her memory loss. It was better every day but there were always small pieces of the past that she could not remember. As her memory came back she asked him if he would be alright with her talking about what had happened. Even though he was slightly nervous about it he agreed and she began to talk to lots of people, even appearing on a pre-taped segment on the Today Show. She had also started running remembering that it had always been a dream of hers to run a marathon. The time was perfect. Getting the support of her family, fans and others she decided that she would run the Los Angeles Marathon raising funds for the Epilepsy Foundation.She told Bruno he was running a half marathon with her.
”Bruno…get your damn shoes..I bought you the pretty ones…so come onnnn….” she whined putting her hair up in a pony tail placing bobby pins in her hair watching him struggle to get up off the couch.
”Mar..do you really think I can do this?” he asked her. ”It’s a long way…13 miles is like…13 miles…” he told her.
”Bruno…you can walk a bit of it. It’s okay…you were running like 6 before…I’ll be with you…I’m there pacing you.” she told him grabbing his hand helping him off the couch.
”But Mar…it’s embarrassing…you’re kicking my ass…” he told her.
”It won’t matter…just that you do it…” she responded. ”Come on..those shoes were $150…”
”If only to use the shoes…” he sighed following her out the door watching her put on her headphones. ”Mar…how are you gonna pace me if you can’t hear me?”
”B…listen…” she gave him an ear bud.
”Oh…it’s not loud…did you always listen to it that low?” he asked her.
”I listened to it loud when I was running next to someone on the treadmill…but otherwise…naw.” she answered starting to run on the sidewalk. ”Come on, Bruno Mars..I gotchu.” she smiled at him.
An hour and 8 miles later Bruno stopped dead in his tracks as they neared a hill.
”Bru….come on…we’re almost there…” she turned around putting her hands on her head catching her breath. ”You know..that’s not the best way to rest either..don’t you feel your body like….”
”Like telling me to stop and die?” he asked her through his water bottle.
”Well…” she glanced at her ipod to see what time it was. ”You’re more than halfway there…you can do it…” she encouraged him.
”Okay…but when I die you better say something nice about me at my funeral…” he said running up next to her.
”You’ll make it, you drama queen.” she said pushing into him as they made it up the hill.
An hour and a half later Marla threw herself on the grass in front of their house. ”Holy shit…” she looked up at her ipod to see how long they took. 3 hours and 12 minutes….He is so much slower..this was nothing…but I have to show him it was hard..she thought to herself. ”Bruno…I can’t feel my legs..” she told him watching him fall next to her dripping in sweat.
”I don’t even think I have legs left, Mar..” he told her.
”Okay..come on..let’s go take a shower..” she told him taking his hand pulling him up feeling him falling toward her. ”Bruuunoooo stoppppppppp…” she exclaimed feeling his sweaty body falling toward her. ”Ewwww…” he rubbed his head on her shoulder getting the sweat on her. He pushed her toward the empty house thanks to her brother who had taken Rosie with them to Disneyland that day. ”Stooppp…I’m sweaty enough…come onnnn…” she laughed feeling him rubbing the sweaty shirt all over her running top. She wiggled out of his arms to take off her shirt. She knows exactly what she’s doing to me…he thought to himself watching her then bend down to take off her shoes throwing them toward the tv. She raised her eyebrows at him walking toward their bedroom. He took off his shirt throwing it at her back as she stopped against the door frame taking off her running shorts leaving herself just in a pair of pink boy shorts. ”Are you coming?” she asked him watching his eyes move all over her body.
Today I ran 13 miles with you. I need help finding my legs. I think I lost them somewhere between mile 7 and the shower. That shit was hot, baby. We need to do that more. There’s a month until your marathon and you are going to kick so much ass. I hope you remember that every single day. If there’s anything you remember about today, I hope it’s that you’re determination, strength and beauty astounds me every single day. You leave me breathless, not only when I run but even watching you sleep on the couch drooling on the pillow. Marla, I love you.
”Mar…I still can’t feel my legs..” Bruno rolled over the next morning whining about his run.
”Go take a shower in really hot water and take some of that vitamin c I have..it’ll help. That’s all I can say, boo.” Marla told him kissing him on the cheek watching him get out of the bed.
”I’ll do that after I get Rosie out of bed.” he responded wobbling out of the bedroom with his hurting legs. She started laughing at him uncontrollably.”Hey! That’s not nice!”
”I’m sorry!” she yelled back at him stretching out to get out of bed. She followed him into the bedroom watching him wake Rosie up with ease. She wrapped her arms around his neck putting her legs around him watching his face.
”Good morning, beautiful girl.” he said sweetly to her.
”Buenas dias, daddy.” Rosie answered.
”I’m teaching her Spanish.” Bruno told Marla.
”Yo veo. Está hablando muy bien. Y tu, también…” she told him walking into the kitchen with them.
”Mar..you’re doing more fundraising today right?” he asked her.
”Yeah…and my mom is going to come and get Rosie.” she told Bruno about all the plans for the day which included him being at the studio for most of the day and her out promoting the event she was running in.
Bruno came home late in the evening seeing Marla lying on the couch sleeping with Rosie curled up on her sound asleep as well. He picked Rosie up kissing her on the head not waking her up. She slept as soundly as Bruno did.”What….Brunoo…” Marla woke up squinting her eyes to see him walking away.He’s got her. She thought turning in the other direction to fall back asleep. After falling asleep she felt his arms around her picking her up to put her in bed. She kept her eyes closed pretending to sleep taking in the smell of the drink he had had at the studio. ”B…how much did you drink tonight?” she asked him.
”I had like 2 drinks. That was it.” he told her covering her up. ”Go to sleep. When I brush my teeth you won’t even remember it…” he answered her.
”Mmmmk.” she answered laying her head down falling asleep quickly. She felt him slide into the bed turning to lay on him. ”Bruno…”
”What are you going to write about tonight?” she asked him.
”Shhh. It’s a secret. I can’t tell you.” he answered kissing her head. ”Go to sleep.”
”But Bru….” she begged.
”That’s not even going to work…” he said.
”Fine..I’m too tired.” she answered burying her head in his arms. Bruno waited for her to fall asleep to get up from the bed to write her note. He turned around from the small space he had created to write his notes to her hearing her start to talk.
”Mar?” he asked. ”Are you okay? Marla!” he looked at her body not moving in the normal ways they did. She flipped over in the bed throwing her arms mumbling something in her sleep. He touched her face gently trying not to scare her out of her dream. ”Wake up, baby…” She turned around again stretching her arms out.
”What? I was asleep…” she said quietly not turning to face him.
”You were having a bad dream..that’s all.” he told her kissing the back of her head.
”Quit being such a baby, Bruno. It was just a dream. Geez.” she told him facing the opposite direction forgetting about what had just happened.
Thank you for taking care of me this morning. I don’t think I would have been able to move with the vitamin c you gave me this morning. I still don’t understand how you can run so far. Everyone says I’m the rock star…they don’t know I married one, though. But maybe we can keep it a secret because I don’t think I’d like it if you had groupies. I love you, Mar.