I stood in front of the full-length mirror of the dressing room, adjusting my tie one last time. I took a deep breath, shifting my hat at the right angle on my head. I turned around, seeing Phil facing me, looking ready as can be.
“You ready to go?” He asked with a nod.
I let out a breath. “Yeah, I think so.” I replied, slightly nodding my head. He must have seen the nervous look I had in my eyes because he walked over to me, grasping my shoulder for a second. “You’ll be fine.” He said with a reassuring smile.
I tried my best to believe him, nodding one last time before stepping out into the hallway, meeting Dre at the door who led the two of us to the entrance. I felt slightly nervous; this was the first time I was going for a public event ever since I nearly got myself killed in December. It had been a while. But I was feeling confident about the evening, and for once, I actually felt excited to perform on stage tonight.
We stepped out into the cool winter air, walking down the directed pathway leading to the red carpet. Passing through a couple of gates, we stepped into the beginning of the long line, the entire carpet lined with cameras and people.
I put on a smile to prove to the world that nothing was wrong. To show my mother at home who’d probably tuned into the TV only moments ago that I’ve improved since she last saw me. I smiled to show my fans that yes, I was back on track, and that everything was going to be alright. And this time, it wasn’t a smile that disappeared the minute all cameras were from my view. It was a real smile. A genuine one. I guess I really was feeling good.
But most importantly, I wore the smile for Abby. I knew she was presenting tonight. And if in the event that she saw me, she’d know that I’m doing pretty damn good. It covered for everything I’d been through and what I was really feeling; she wouldn’t see me like the real depressed drunk I’d been only a couple of months ago. She’d see me for how I really am; or at least how I’m supposed to be.
I glanced in the vanity mirror one last time, directing a few strands of hair away from my face. I took a shaky breath, slightly nervous for the evening laid out in front of me. People hustled around me; I was used to the amount of people behind scenes at award’s shows.
I’d left my own dressing room only minutes before, and I was getting a few ‘touch-ups’ from the makeup and hair crew before heading out onto the red carpet. Looking in the mirror, I saw the outline of Brad through the few people that stood near me.
I turned around, giving him a smile as he walked up to me. He nodded his head, looking sort of hurried, holding a clipboard in his hands and headphones around his neck. He let out an exasperated sigh when he got to me, looking frustrated.
“I’m really sorry,” He said shaking his head. “I really, really hate to pull you this on the last minute, but I’ve got no choice.” He continued, giving me an apologetic look.
I crooked an eyebrow at him, confused. “What on earth are you talking about?”
“We got a last minute cancelation and everything’s all fucked up, so you’ve got to present for Favorite Male Artist with Kim Kardashian.” He said almost too quickly for me to comprehend.
I stared at him in slight shock, shaking my head. “I—no.” I said, still shaking my head. “I really don’t want to present that category.” I felt a small knot building up in my stomach, suddenly not feeling too well.
He gave me a sad look. “I know, Abby. I’m sorry, I can’t do anything about it.” He shrugged his shoulders; I know he wanted to help me.
“Couldn’t they switch someone else around, I mean as much as I’d love to present an award to my ex, it doesn’t appeal to me so much.” I said, crossing my arms sarcastically, now feeling slightly angry at whatever idiot made this decision.
He bit his lips back, slowly shaking his head. “I’m sorry, I can’t.”
“Yeah, well if you can switch me around, then it sure as hell can’t be that much harder to switch someone else.” I said moodily, looking off behind him.
“It doesn’t work that way, Abbs. You know I’d change for you, but I can’t.”
“What time do I have to be backstage by?” I asked flatly, changing the subject.
Brad looked down at his clipboard, flipping through a few pages. “You’re not on until halfway into the show. Someone will come and get you.” He said softly. I knew he felt bad for putting this on me; he looked sorrowful when he glanced back up at me.
I nodded my head, slightly looking down. “Are you going to be able to do this?” He asked after a moment of silence.
I glanced up at him, nodding my head once more. No, not really. “Yeah, I’ll be fine.” I said in a pissed voice. I gave him a soft smile, letting him know I wasn’t mad athim.
“I’m sorry.” He said one last time. “It wasn’t my decision. Just show him you’re much sexier now and then you won’t need to worry.” Brad added with a wink, making me laugh, before he headed back in the direction he came.
I stood by myself for a moment, still pissed about this decision. After a few minutes, I saw another producer walking my way.
“Abigail Midley!” She half-yelled, motioning for me to come towards her. Well shit, I forgot I was supposed to be on the carpet five minutes ago. I quickly walked towards her as she led me to the doors heading outside.
Well, it’s time to face the world.
”Presenting for Favorite Male Artist, bringing us to the stage is model-actress Kim Kardashian and fashion designer Abigail Midley!”
I took a deep breath, smiling as I walked on stage, being careful as to not trip on my way to the microphone stand. Kim held the little envelope in her hand, the name of the winner printed neatly on the inside. I smiled towards the cameras, knowing that somewhere out in the audience was Bruno, sitting right next to Phil, and I knew his eyes were on me right this second.
It’s a strange feeling having thousands of eyes looking at you all at once, but only feeling one pair staring at you. I could almost feel the presence of Bruno at the moment; the thought nearly sending chills down my back.
We each recited the cheesy intro to the nominees, both of us smiling towards the audience. A small clip played on the big screens, announcing the Artist and the song in which they were up for. I felt my stomach clench when I heard the voice say Bruno’s name, but showed no signs of even hearing his name on the outside of my body.
When the small clip ended, my heart felt as though it were about to fall into my stomach. “…And the Favorite Male Artist is…” I glanced down at the envelope as Kim spoke aloud, my nerves taking over.
Please be Eminem, or Blake Shelton…hell, make it Justin Bieber for all I care.
I stared at the card when she opened it, complete shock settling in. “Bruno Mars!” She said cheerfully, looking up. Music filled the stadium; thousands of hands clapped at once. An immediate panic swarmed through my body. Deep inside, Iknew he was going to win, but apparently I had to hear it for myself on order to fully believe it.
Disregarding the fact that I wanted to throw up and run off stage, I forced myself to smile as my eyes followed the spotlight that found Bruno in the audience as he made his way to the stage. When he stepped up the stairs, I saw a few people in the first few rows exchanging glances and commentary. I knew they were talking about us. It didn’t occur to me until now of how awkward this really was.
I glanced over at him as he leaned over to give Kim a quick hug. I wanted to kick him, yell at him, scream in his face until the months of everything accumulated was finally torn from my mind. It was now that I realized I really wasn’t doing as well as I thought I was. There was still so many things that I wanted to say or do, but couldn’t.
My stomach clenched when I realized he was taking a step towards me. I forced myself to smile back at his happy face, avoiding eye contact on purpose. When he leaned over to hug me, I felt his hand gently touch my lower back, chills shooting throughout my entire body as I was brought back to so many memories with this man.
His head came in on my left shoulder, away from the views of the audience or the cameras. “You look more beautiful than ever, Abigail.” He said gently in my ear, no one else in the room hearing what he said. And just as fast as he leaned in, he drew back from the hug, taking a step to the microphone as if nothing just happened.
I stepped aside as he made his speech; my mind far from easy. I wanted to get out of here, now. My emotions were going to take over any minute now, and if I had to stand behind him much longer, I might end up tackling him off stage.
And that’s what he says? I thought as I tried not to glare at him. After not speaking for months, and the first words out of his mouth are acting as if he never did anything wrong?! I felt anger boiling beneath my skin the longer I stared at him.Ugh, he needs to wrap this up before I chuck my heels at him.
They cut to commercial break as soon as Bruno accepted the award. I quickly dashed backstage, knowing that he was probably coming back here since he had to perform soon. I walked through the many crew members quickly, trying to settle through my thoughts.
I made it back to an open dressing room for use of anyone who needed it at any given time, walking into the bright room. I paced for a few seconds, feeling tears beginning to burn in my eyes.
“Fuck.” I sniffed, trying not to let myself cry. I succeeded for a few seconds before I felt one tear fall from my eye. Rubbing it away angrily, I sniffed again, trying not to cry so I wouldn’t mess up my makeup.
A sudden voice stopped me dead in my tracks. “Abigail?” I heard his familiar voice coming from the doorway. I slightly jumped in shock, not expecting him of all people to be at the door. I wiped away another tear as I turned to the door.
andddd leeggoooo! (lol wut?)
“Eric?” I asked, seeing his saddened face in the doorframe. He gave me a sad smile, stepping in the door.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, hiding the fact that I was about to have an emotional breakdown.
“We’re performing tonight.” He said with a tiny shrug.
“Oh, right. I forgot.” I said, gently crossing my arms. He gave me another sad look, probably seeing the look in my eyes.
“Come here.” He said, opening up his arms. I hugged his entire body, burying my head into his chest, tears willingly falling now. I knew there was no point in acting with him; he always knew when things were up with people.
I just held onto him for a few minutes, letting the tears silently fall. He didn’t say anything, he just patted my back soothingly. Oh god, I love Eric so much. Why can’t his asshole of a brother be more empathetic like him?
I finally leaned back, wiping the water from my face. “I take it things aren’t going too well for you?” He asked, a soft look to his face.
I shrugged my shoulders. “I’m better than I was a while ago. But I assume by the way I look now, it doesn’t look like it, does it?” I asked with a sad smile.
Eric mirrored my expression, his eyes scanning over my face like Bruno’s did. He’s so much like his brother, I thought as I watched him. He shrugged his shoulders in response, gently squeezing both of mine. “I miss you, Abby.” He said, looking back to my eyes. “It’s not the same without you.”
“I know,” I replied, rubbing away a few more tears. “And I miss all the guys too.” I felt fresh tears threatening to fall from my eyes again, causing my voice to crack. I leaned back into Eric again as he wrapped his arms around my smaller body, trying to comfort me.
“I hate this.” I said, muffled in Eric’s shirt. He squeezed his hug tighter, and I felt him shaking his head in thought.
“What the hell did he do to you, Abby?” He asked, almost more of a statement to himself. “You’re never like this.” He said softly, rubbing my back. I tried to steady my breathing, but too many weeks of holding everything in finally broke loose, and I wasn’t going to stop until I let it all out.
“He’s an asshole Abbs,” Eric said in the same calm voice. “let me be the first to tell you…” He shook his head again. I pulled back from his grip again, carefully trying to wipe my eyes where a few tears had managed to fall.
“I just don’t get it,” I said in a weak voice. “Here I am, barely managing to hold myself together, and then whenever I see him, he looks so happy. It’s like he doesn’t give a shit about anything; like he just walks around as if nothing ever happened. Like he doesn’t even care about what he did to me.” I continued, my thoughts pouring out all at once.
Eric nodded my head as he listened to me, taking in my words. After I spoke, he glanced at me. “It’s all just an act, Abby.” He said, shaking his head. “Bruno really hasn’t been off so hot either.” Eric looked down at the ground, as if thinking about something, making me curious.
“I think he’s finally starting to figure things out again.” Eric said, looking back up. “You know, with everything going on with the media and the controversy with the whole Jameson thing—”
“What happened?” I asked cautiously as my stomach did flips of his name being mentioned in the conversation.
Eric glanced up at my eyes for a moment, looking as if he didn’t know what to say. After a few seconds he shook his head, looking at the ground. “He got in a fight with him after he left your house that night…”
I felt my forehead wrinkle up in deep thought as I softly shook my head. So Mom was right, I thought, Eric’s words coming at a shock to me. But I had no clue it was with Jameson. And it was right after he left my house? Right after he made all of those threats? I felt my stomach clench again as I pictured the same drunken Bruno I witnessed that night, and the amount of damage he could have caused due to the severity of his anger.
I took a hard swallow, trying to shake my mind from the thought.
“So things have been going pretty shitty for him?” I finally asked in a small voice, taking another shaky breath.
Eric shrugged his shoulders, looking quite tired. “I mean, from November through December he barely went a day sober,” He continued, shaking his head in disappointment as sadness took over his eyes. “And he was even hospitalized around Thanksgiving for nearly getting himself hit on the streets one night.” Eric shook his head again, scratching the back with his left hand.
I stared up at his face suddenly, a horror-stricken one suddenly plastered on mine. His statements completely shocked me; I had no idea of any of this. It almost scared me to think about it; I mean, Bruno never seemed like that. He always seemed to handle stressful situations in a healthy way. Although thinking about it, getting himself arrested for punching Jameson wasn’t exactly a healthy way to relieve stress, either.
Eric shrugged his shoulders as I stared at him in disbelief. “It’s hard to get through to him; he’s so stubborn, thinking he’s always right. You know, as much as I disapprove of his decisions, it’s still hard watching my baby brother suffer through all of this.” Eric said, taking a deep swallow and scratching his head again.
I nodded my head, trying to put myself in his position. “I’m sorry you had to go through this, Eric.” I said, looking at the ground.
“Oh, no, no, no.” He said, gripping me by the shoulders. “It’s not your fault, Abby. You didn’t do anything at all. You hear me?” He said, lifting up my chin to look at him. “And I mean you did nothing to no one.”
I nodded my head, still feeling like complete shit. Eric gave me another hug, but this time I didn’t let anymore tears fall. “I hate to do this to you, but I’ve got to be on stage in a few.” Eric said, still holding onto me.
I nodded my head against his chest, understanding. “Hey Eric,” I said, muffled against his chest. “Could you do me a favor?”
“Yes?” He asked.
“Will you punch Bruno as hard as you can when you see him next?” I asked, dead serious.
“Sorry Abbs,” He said with a small laugh. “But I covered that one a couple of months ago.” By the way he said it, I couldn’t tell if he was being serious or just kidding.
“Can you hit him again? From me this time?” I asked, letting go to look at him.
“Sure thing.” He said, squeezing me one last time before bidding his goodbye.
I stood in the room alone now, my mind full of completely new information that I didn’t know about Bruno before. How can he just mask himself like that in public? I thought as I remembered everything Eric just told me. From the way I’ve seen him, I never would have guessed he went through all of that. I shook my head as I stared off in a daze, trying to comprehend him.
I can’t believe it.
I was still in shock when I finally decided to head back out to the audience.
I flicked on the lights to my apartment, lighting up my dark home. I kicked my heels off in the hallway, too lazy and tried to pick them up. I walked into the kitchen, grabbing a water bottle from the fridge before walking around to the bar, sitting down in one of the stools.
I propped my elbows up on the counter top, resting hands on the sides of my head as I rubbed my temples. Too many things to be worrying about in just one night, I thought as I shook my head. Just take a deep breath, Abby.
I took a hard swallow of water from the bottle, taking deep breaths on order to keep myself from stressing. I tend to overthink things, I’ve realized in the past few years. And all it did was stress me and give me headaches over nothing. It was ridiculous.
But now, I don’t think I was stressing over nothing. I mean, I learned so much tonight that I’d never known the past few months. And quite frankly, it was strange. It was like I felt sympathetic for him. And I shouldn’t be.
I glanced up at the clock. It was only eleven. I refused to go to the after party, knowing fair well that Bruno was always one for those kinds of events and I wanted to avoid him at all costs. Things at the awards were already awkward enough; I didn’t need something else to further damage things.
I let out a small sigh, standing up. I walked down the hallway to my room, slipping out of my dress. I threw on a t-shirt and some sweats, throwing my hair up into a high ponytail. Although I was extremely tired, I didn’t want to go to bed yet. I still had so many different thoughts and feelings I needed to sort out. There was no way I’d be sleeping tonight.
I eventually flopped down on the sofa, turning on the TV, hoping there was something on that could take my mind off of things.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t.
“I want to leave,” I stated as I stood next to Phil, scanning over the happy people that surrounded around us. I set my glass of champagne down on the table, ready to get out of here.
I don’t know why I even wanted to come to the after party. I wasn’t even in the mood. And now, staying here for only a half hour, I was more than ready to be done.
Phil nodded his head. “You sure you don’t want to stay?” He asked as he turned to me.
I nodded my head. “I’ve got too much on my mind anyways,” I said, shaking my head at the last few words.
“Alright,” Phil said, slapping a hand on my shoulder. “Nice work tonight,” he said with a smile. I smirked back at him nodding my head. “Take care, alright?”
I nodded one last time before I turned from him, quickly making my escape from the other celebrities and money makers around me.
By the time I’d made it through a back entrance, a small headache was beginning to form. “Please not again,” I begged myself as I got into my car, closing my eyes softly as I tried to stay calm.
I pulled out onto the street, mumbling numerous songs under my breath as I was determined to keep myself from stressing.
Ever since I laid eyes on her tonight, I couldn’t get my mind off of her. She was sogorgeous I couldn’t handle it. And I saw the look in her eyes when I walked up on stage. I knew she was furious. But to the average viewer, she appeared to be happyfor me. But I knew better than that.
I shook my head, humming louder to myself as I drummed my nervous fingers on the steering wheel. Don’t do it, Bruno, I thought to myself. Don’t you dare even think about it.
By the time I had turned around from the audience, Abby was well on her way making a beeline straight backstage. Of course, I had thought at the time. I should have known she’d avoid me. But I felt a strange urge to find her, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that I was due on stage in twenty minutes, I knew I probably would have ended up tracking her down backstage.
I bit back both of my lips nervously, feeling a small sweat beginning to break out on my forehead. I took off my hat, throwing it aside in the passenger seat as I pulled up to my house. I slowly parked the car, sitting for a few moments before actually deciding to get out.
I unlocked my front door, turning on the lights of my dark, empty home. I wish someone else was here, I thought as I began walking to the kitchen. I need someone to distract me before I end up doing something stupid…
I knew where my mind was heading. And as hard as I tried, the longer I stood alone in the middle of the kitchen, the more and more I thought about Abigail.
I thought about her more than I had ever in the past three months. The last time I remember having this many thoughts about her was the day we broke up. Never has it been this severe. Until now, that is.
Before I knew it, I was pacing the kitchen, throwing my arms above my head as I let out deep breaths. I shook my head over and over again. Don’t even think about it, I scolded myself, knowing where my thoughts were drifting. You’ve fucked things up far too much lately. You don’t need to damage things further.
I tried singing. I sang at least a dozen song snippets as I still paced the kitchen. Butno, nothing helped. No matter how hard I tried, or how much effort I put my voice into each of the lyrics, my mind wouldn’t budge.
Fuck, I thought as I began pacing faster, heading back down the hallway.
“No, no, no, no, no,” I said over and over again, squeezing my eyes shut. I can’t. I just can’t.
…But no. I had to. I had to do it, and it had to be tonight.
I reached my hands up to squeeze my head tightly, stopping my pacing momentarily. Don’t you fucking do it Bruno, I tried to burn into my mind. Don’t you do anything you’re going to regret in the morning.
I fought with my mind, torn between what it told me to do, and what I told myself to do.
And the way things were looking now, it was winning.
I love her, I thought as I suddenly stopped pacing completely. I’ve got to talk to her.
I drew my hands down from my head, slowly opening my eyes. I stared blankly at my living room before glancing down at the palms of my hands. Shit, I continued to think, knowing it was now pointless to try and retaliate. I’d clearly lost out against my subconscious. I’m not even drunk right now and I’m thinking the same thing I did in November.
I shook my head one more time. And from that point forwards, I knew my mind was made up.
It’s never too late, I thought as I reached for my keys, quickly running out the door to get into my car once more. And I’m really going to do it this time.
I jumped suddenly as a large echo filled the room, causing me to open my eyes that were beginning to drift off. What in the hell? I thought as I sat up from the sofa, reaching for the remote.
I turned the TV off as I listened for a few moments, wondering where the noise originated from. And after a few seconds, I heard a similar noise. I stood up from the couch as I realized someone was knocking at my door.
It’s nearly one in the morning, I thought as I glanced at the clock, standing up to walk down the hallway to the door. Who in the hell would be so rude?
I quickly made it down the hallway as the knocking continued. “Calm down,” I grumbled to myself as I reached for the doorknob.
I swear to God, if it’s Ally—
I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks as I swung the door open, my throat immediately going dry. Holy shit, I thought as I slightly panicked, seeing Bruno standing outside my door.
He had a nervous look in his face as we briefly made eye contact. Several beads of sweat had formed on his forehead, and his hatless head sported messy curls. He was breathing quickly, and he played with the ring on his right finger as both hands were slightly shaking.
I glanced up from his body to his face again, unable to speak. He met my eyes once more as his filled with sadness, shaking his head over and over again.
“Bruno…” I finally croaked out.
“I can’t handle this anymore,” He said in a cracked voice suddenly, shaking his head. “I’m going insane right now.”
I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out. I was in shock. I stepped back from the doorway a bit, not realizing I’d just allowed him to take a few steps into my house.
His lower jaw quivered slightly as he wrinkled his forehead. “I don’t know what to do anymore.” He spoke almost as if talking to himself. He clasped his hands over his head as he stared at the ceiling, slightly pacing in the small space he had. “Every day I wake up with the same mistakes playing over and over in my head,” he continued in a scratchy voice. “I try so hard each day to tell myself to move on and to get over it, but I can’t. No matter what I’m doing it’s always on my mind. I can’t sleep or think, and hell I can’t even hardly sing knowing my conscious is eating me alive.
“You know, I thought I’d be fine after everything. I thought I could handle it, be mature and accept my mistakes. But my mind is still holding on to that November night.” He paused for a moment, taking a shaky breath as he tipped his head back stressfully. He looked as if he were about to cry. “I’ve been complete hell these past two months, Abigail. There are so many nights that I can’t even remember, I’ve been so bad.” He shook his head with disappointment at himself, pondering for a moment.
“…and there were so many things that I even considered doing.” His voice dropped quietly as he continued on with the next sentence. “You have no idea how close I was to doing some things,” he continued, shaking his head as his forehead wrinkled up. “Things I promised myself I would never do again. But I was desperate.”
I took a hard swallow as I gently crossed my arms. I shook my head softly at him, feeling sorry for him. I couldn’t believe the words that were pouring from his mouth. I couldn’t comprehend it.
Eric was right. He was only good at putting on a show to the world.
Bruno shook his head once more. “I’m so sorry Abigail. I know you’re not going to listen to me, and I know I don’t even deserve to be standing here right now—“ No, you sure in hell don’t deserve to be here. “But this whole thing is killing me.” He finally finished his final words, letting out a large, but not relieved sigh.
I stared back at him. I didn’t know what to say. In fact, I didn’t want to say anything. As shitty as I felt for him, I knew he well deserved all of this.
Sadness overtook his eyes once more as he locked them on mine. He gently shook his head, not breaking eye contact. “Please say something,” he said in a tiny voice, almost as a whisper. “Hit me, yell at me, scream and spit in my face, Abby! At least do something. I can’t stand this silence from you anymore. It’s literally killing me.”
I felt a sudden surge of anger run through my body. I felt my body temperature slightly rise as my eyebrows pulled together. “Say something to you?!” I yelled, throwing my arms up. “Oh, so I guess it should be me that fixes things—“
“No, no!” Bruno quickly cut me off, shaking his head. “I never meant it like that. You shouldn’t have to apologize for anything. I just—it’s just that I’m dying inside knowing that things between us are like this,” Oh jeez, I wonder why?! “And I haven’t spoken to you in two months. I just need something from you.”
I crossed my arms again, the same cold expression on my face. “You’re the one who never talked to me! I haven’t spoken to you in weeks and you come here thinking you can just make things alright in one little speech?! You always claim how much you love me; why did it take you that long to say something?”
“That’s why I’m here now, Abby,” Bruno said with a soft expression. “I know it’s late, but I needed time. I wasn’t ready just yet; I was so unstable. And I couldn’t just expect you to fall right back in my arms from piecing together some words. I knew you needed time too. How could I try to talk thinks out with you after what I put you through? You needed your space and I needed my own time to cool off; to sort my shit out.”
I was silent for a few moments, trying to take in his thoughts. I kept my arms crossed as I glanced at the floor. “And what about Sydney?” I asked, the one question I had wanted to ask for two months finally leaving my lips.
“What about her?” Bruno asked defensively. “I thought you knew I was done with her?”
“Well obviously you weren’t,” I stated under my breath.
“You want the truth?!” Bruno asked, his voice slightly rising.
“Yes! Thank you!” I yelled, rolling my eyes. “That’s all I ever fucking wanted. And did I get that?!”
Bruno let out a small sigh. “I know, I should have told you. And yes, I know I’m afucking idiot for not saying anything, you don’t have to tell me that. But no, Abby, there was nothing going on between us. It was one night and I can swear on my fucking grandfather’s grave that that was all that happened.”
“So why couldn’t you have just told me that instead of making it into such a huge secret?!”
“Oh right, cause that would’ve gone down well. ‘oh hey baby, glad to see you’re back from New York. Oh by the way I fucked one of my producers while you were gone’,” he said in a scenario type of a voice.
I shot a glare at him, clenching my teeth at how loose he made everything seem.
“I’m sorry,” he said in a calm voice suddenly. “That was uncalled for. You know I didn’t mean it like that.”
I avoided looking at him. “Yeah well it still hurts,” I said, feeling my eyes beginning to burn.
He gave me an apologetic look. “I know. But you know you were the only one I loved, Abby. You know she meant nothing to me. It’s always been about you, and Iknow you know it.”
I ignored him for a moment, my mind wandering elsewhere. After a few moments of silence, I finally looked up from the ground, staring directly in his eyes. “She cheated on you, didn’t she?” I asked in a surprisingly calm tone.
“What are you talking about—“
“Brynn,” I stated, referring to his ex-girlfriend that he had been with before me. “I remember that first night after dinner you’d said things got complicated between the two of you. It was because she cheated on you, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Bruno said in a sad voice, his tone changing. “She did. And I promised myself I’d never do anything like that someone I loved. And yet here I am, making a complete fool out of myself trying to regain someone back.” He let out a shrug and a sad, pretend smile. “I know you have no reason in the world to forgive me for what I did, but it’ll only kill me more knowing that I never tried.”
“And what if I don’t want you back?” I stated flatly.
“Then that’s it,” Bruno said with a shrug. “You say the words and I’m out. I just gotta know what’s on your mind. It’s literally driving me insane knowing that I haven’t fixed things with you. We’re not even on speaking terms. I can’t sleep at night thinking about you, thinking about us.
“But you gotta tell me. I don’t want to be wasting my time if it’ll just come and smack me in the face again. You say the words and I can promise you I’ll be out of your life for good. I can promise you’ll never see my face again.”
I felt my eyes soften at his expression. “I thought you said you loved me. If you really loved me, then why would you just give up like that? You have to try if you want to keep a relationship.”
“Yeah, but they say that sometimes it’s best to let the one person you love go. Sometimes, holding on only makes things worse,” Bruno said in a sad voice, glancing at the ground.
I felt tears threatening my eyes once more. “I don’t know, Bruno.” I said, shaking my head. “I honestly don’t know what to say.”
He nodded his head. “I understand,” He stated, turning back to the open door. “If you don’t want to do this, I’ll leave.”
I watched as he grabbed the handle, beginning to walk out the door. “Don’t go,” I finally said in a said voice, causing him to stop. He turned back around to face me just as I felt tears beginning to fall from my eyes.
“Bruno, I just don’t know what to do anymore! Every day I tell myself that you’re not worth it, but I keep wishing things were fine.” I shook my head as I myself began to slowly pace the area, tears falling freely. “I say you’re just a worthlessasshole, yet I still feel like I need you back.” I clenched my jaw, angry at myself.
“I say I don’t want you,” I said in a sad voice, stopping my motions to turn to face him. “but I know somewhere I feel like I could still forgive you. And I, I still love you.”
I flopped down into a bench by the hallway, putting my face into my hands as I cried suddenly. “I can’t handle the stress anymore! I just can’t!”
My whole body shook as my hands filled with warm tears. I suddenly felt Bruno’s body around me, and before I knew it, I realized he was sitting down on the bench with me.
He wrapped his arms around my shaking body as he gently touched me, swaying back and forth as he tried to calm me. “What have I done?” He spoke softly to himself in a sad voice, rocking from side to side.“Shh,” He said in a soft, soothing voice.
And from then I knew I was going to be alright. So much emotion that piled up in the past months finally spilled over. I needed to let it all out. And the longer I felt Bruno’s arms around my shoulders, the more complete I felt. Was it wrong that I broke down that easily to him? I don’t know, but I did know that his touch made me forget everything that had gone down between us.
It was as if he were himself again.
“I’m so sorry Abigail, I’m so sorry,” He repeated over and over again, kissing the side of my forehead as he continuously wiped my tears. “You never deserved any of this.”
for real this time…I swear!
I let out a shaky breath as I leaned out from Bruno’s arms. I bit back both my lips, no more new tears falling from my eyes. I wiped them off from under my eye, shaking my head.
“I’m a complete mess,” I said, a bit ashamed.
“And it’s all my fault…” Bruno replied in a soft voice, pushing my hair behind my ear as he scanned his eyes over my face.
I shook my head, taking a hard swallow. “I’m sorry, this is just…” I continued to shake my head, embarrassed as I tried to hold myself together.
“Oh no, no, no,” Bruno said quickly, shaking his head with sadness in his eyes. “You have every right to be mad right now. I wouldn’t blame you if you hated me.”
“But that’s not it,” I said, allowing myself to look at him. “I don’t hate you. And I should, but I can’t help but to still love you.” I felt a few more tears fall down from my eyes once more, and before I had a chance to turn my head away from him, I felt his hands rest gently on my cheeks as he looked into my eyes.
“What are you thinking about?” He asked with a soft expression as he ran his thumb beneath my eye, wiping away the tears. “There’s something you’re not telling. And I’d rather have you say it now then keeping it to yourself.”
I bit my lips, peeling my eye contact from his. I closed my eyes for a moment while I took a deep breath before glancing back up at him. “It’s just,” I began, letting out a small breath, “When I look at you now, I know I should be angry and furious, and want to just hit you and scream and yell, but it’s not like that.” I took another deep breath as I locked my eyes on his. “And right now all I want is for you to hold me, and touch me, and tell me that everything is going to be alright. I want to just kiss you like nothing even happened and make things how they should be; how theywere.”
Bruno let out a small, sad smile. “Is that all that’s bothering you?” He asked as he rubbed my cheek gently with his thumb.
I nodded my head. “You probably think I’m crazy for wanting you after all of this,” I said with a tiny shrug.
“I think you are,” Bruno said softly as he rested his forehead against mine, still looking me in the eyes, our lips only inches from each other.
“Can I ask you for one thing?” I softly whispered, keeping my eyes on his.
“Anything,” he replied with a just as quiet tone.
“Can we—just for tonight at least—pretend like nothing ever happened?”
“And what do you want?” Bruno replied, his eyes slightly lighting up.
“Kiss me,” I breathed out in an almost inaudible voice.
I could feel the small smile on his lips as he finally pressed them against mine, the lack of their touch finally ceasing after two months. He placed both his hands on the sides of my cheeks, gently kissing me, as if he were afraid to hurt me.
I reached my arms around to the back of his head, entwining my fingers in his curls. I pulled him closer to me, not wanting him to stop. My heart nearly skipped a beat when I felt his tongue slip into my mouth, the kiss becoming more passionate.
After a few minutes, Bruno pulled back, his forehead pressed against mine again as we both attempted to catch our breath. “I’m afraid to go too far,” he said, out of breath.
“Don’t be,” I replied as I glanced at his eyes. “Right now’s not the time to be worrying about those kinds of things,” I said in a soft voice. “Right now,” I continued, closing my eyes for a second before opening them to him once more, “Right now, all I need is you. All of you.”
Bruno took a hard swallow as he gently nodded his head before leaning back into me. He kissed me with more passion this time, his hands drifting around my head as he ran his fingers through my hair.
He picked me up from the bench we were sitting on, gently wrapping his arms beneath my waist as he carried my body, still not breaking contact. He carried me all the way into my bedroom before he finally put me down. It wasn’t until this point that he broke away from my lips again.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” He asked gently, giving me a soft, questioning look.
I bit my bottom lip, nodding my head. “I think I’m going to be alright,” I said with a sad smile.
He nodded his head once before reaching his hands out to touch my arms gently. I felt him hesitate before his lips touched mine once more, moving softly. I kissed him back with all the passion I had in me, my hands resting against his chest as his breathing began to quicken.
I drifted my hands to the collar of his shirt, slowly unbuttoning the plaid flannel. His own touch sent chills down my spine as he gently lifted my shirt off over my head. By the time I had gotten his shirt onto the floor as well, I could already feel the desire burning in the room as we neared the bed.
He wrapped his strong arms around my bare back as both our naked chests pressed together, not once breaking lip contact. His hands lowered to my backside, gently tugging down the seam of my sweats as they fell to the ground as well.
I pulled away from him just enough so I could unbutton his jeans. Soon enough they were among the discarded clothing, leaving the two of us in just our underwear.
I hesitated as I reached for his boxers for a second, contemplating if I really wanted to do this. I mentally nodded my head at the thought, allowing myself to hook my fingers beneath the elastic cloth, slowly pulling them down.
Bruno rested his hands on my lower back as we came to the foot of the bed. He gently leaned over me, allowing me to lie down on my back. His hands rested on both sides of my body, leaving a large gap between us as he hovered above.
He pulled his lips back one last time, causing me to open my eyes. I looked up at him as his necklace hung down from his neck, barely touching the skin of my chest. A soft look played in his eyes as he didn’t break the concentration he had on mine.
“I want to take it slow,” he gently whispered against my lips. “I want to make this feel right.”
I took a deep breath, nodding my head once. He still kept eye contact as I felt his hands drift down to my hips, gently hooking his fingers around the elastic of the small piece of fabric lying between us, slowly pulling them down and off.
I softly opened my eyes to be greeted to the bright sun shining through my bedroom window. I stared as the sun cast small shadows into my brightened room, lifting the overall feel to the room. A beautiful January morning.
I gently rolled over beneath the sheets, coming to face Bruno’s sleeping face. His face was relaxed as his eyes were softly closed, and he looked extremely peaceful beneath his mound of messy curls.
I smiled to myself as I stared at him, feeling more stress free than I had been since I could remember. I felt genuinely great. And even though last night the two of usdidn’t get much sleep, it was still the best night of sleep I had had in a long time.
Bruno’s arm was draped over my hip, flopped lifelessly over the side of my body. The longer I stared back at him, the more and more it dawned on me of how insanemy life was.
I went through so much trouble all because of him, I thought as I looked at his soft features. And never in a million years did I believe I would ever find myself back like this again, but here I am.
You know, it really is crazy what you’ll do for the one person you love. In fact, it’s crazy what you’ll go through just to find yourself back with that same person.
I know I wouldn’t change a thing that happened between the two of us, thinking about it now. No, it most definitely wasn’t the best time of my life, but there were moments that I never wanted to let down, or forget. And I think this truthfully didmake me an overall stronger person.
Was I a complete idiot for taking him back like that? I have no idea. And really, only the future could tell with that one. I had no idea where my life would take me weeks, months, or years from now. I didn’t know if in ten years from this date, I would wake up the exact same way, seeing his same sweet expression as he slept by my side, holding me close to him. Would this even be worth my while?
Maybe it was just one big waste of time, but I didn’t care. It didn’t matter to me what the future could bring with us; all I knew was that I had him now. It didn’t matter if I had no idea if we would live the rest of our lives together, just as happy as we had been this last fall. Because really, the only thing that affected me now was the present.
The two of us each had our own share of hell this winter, and I knew it still could be a while before my trust could finally re-stabilize for him. But it would be worth it in the end, right? I loved him and that’s all that really mattered. Wasn’t it?
I let out a small sigh as I noticed Bruno stirring in his sleep. His face slightly scrunched as his body shifted, a small groan escaping his mouth as his body began to wake up.
And looking at him now, I knew that was all that really mattered. Everything I went through, everything I did, and every tear I cried for this man was worth it. Because sometimes, things that seem to be so wrong and not going well at all can turn out to be fine in the end. In the end, it’s all a matter of who’s going to be there when it’s all over.
I really am crazy for getting myself into this, I thought as I still watched him. The same smile remained on my face as his eyelids fluttered. But I love him so much.
And even though he made a mistake, I know he loves me just as much. And I realize that now.
Bruno gently opened up his eyes, blinking them as he stretched his body. He shifted his gaze over to me, my smile widening bigger as he made eye contact. He shifted his body closer to mine, wrapping both his arms around my waist as he pulled me in tight close to him.
He leaned his head against mine as he reached one hand up to my face, moving my hair away from my eyes as he tucked it behind my ear. A small smile broke out on his lips as he made eye contact, even his eyes smiling as he opened his mouth to speak.
“Good morning, beautiful.”
Except for one big thank you to each and every one of you guys!
You guys really made this entire thing pretty good for me. I’m still a little in shock that I’m actually done with this story. In all honestly, I never even thought people would have any type of will to actually read my story, but I’m thoroughly shocked.
So thank you to all 142 of you who actually enjoyed reading this. Wow, I still can’t believe the number of people interested in one little story…And another thank you to everyone who read it from the very start, and stuck it out until the end.
And because of you all, you’ve made my very first fanfiction to be a great success. The feedback was unbelievable from you guys (although I think half of you are afraid to ask non-anon..) and so it gives me great pleasure to know that people didn’t just read it, but they actually liked it.
And so, with that, I leave you, my fellow readers from this great journey (baha what?).
And with the closing of this story, I’d just like to say that I’ve started a new one, “All At Once” in which you can find on my other blog here: https://allatonceff.tumblr.com/ or on this site here: https://brunomarsfanfiction.webnode.com/stories/all-at-once-by-krysantiem/ So if you don’t mind checking that one out, that would be lovely!
So thank you again everybody! I love each and every single one of you! And don’t be afraid; Please tell me your thoughts overall, I really want to know everyone’s opinions!
Until next time!