”Hey, let me hold my babies….” Isela said holding her hand out toward her step sisters who were holding the twins.
”It’s going to be hard to rip us away from these ones, Sel…” Sarah told her gently rocking Stella as she handed her to Isela.
Bruno walked up behind Isela grabbing Xaver from Lola.
”Hey! That’s my baby…don’t steal him from meeee….” Isela whined.
”Don’t worry. You’ll get him back, Isela…” he responded holding Xavier tightly as he looked up at his dad. He walked into their kitchen full of boxes from their recent move. He pushed one aside using his other hand to take two bottles out of the fridge.
”Lola..test these for me…” he said handing them to his sister in law to have her see if they were warm enough.
”You’re going to slowly kiss your children with ridiculously warm milk…” Lola mocked him. ”They’re fine, B….”
”I was scared I was going to them with the warm bottle..Lola…” he answered her.
”Oh, shut up…give me the bottle, Bruno…” Isela moaned taking the bottle from his hand holding it for her new born daughter.
Lola and Sarah left soon after they started to feed the babies. They exchanged hugs with Lola agreeing to babysit with one of her friends a few nights later.
Isela laid her head on Bruno’s shoulder looking at the babies sleeping. He ran his fingers through her unshowered hair kissing it lightly.
”Iselita…” he whispered in her ear.
”Que?” she asked him.”Go take shower..your hair isn’t fun to play with anymore…”
”Oh….” she touched her head to see how gross it really was. ”Ewww...you’re right…” she jumped up from where she was half sleeping walking toward their bathroom. ”Brunz…” she paused looking in his eyes through his thick black glasses.
”Yeah?” he asked her.
”Don’t kill the babies…” she smiled. Everyone knew that he was going to be an amazing father, so joking about his inabilities was just beyond funny for everyone to do.
”Go take a shower, stinky…I got this…” he responded directing his eyes towards the sleeping babies off to the side of the room.
”Ugh, fine….” she said slipping off her shirt closing the door behind her.
Isela spent almost 45 minutes taking a shower ignoring the world around her. Even if she said she didn’t need the break, she really did and it felt good She got out of the shower putting a towel around her hair slipping on sweatpants and a sweater.
”Hey mama…” Bruno welcomed her back from her shower kissing her while holding Stella.
”She is going to be the loud one…book it…” Bruno said kissing her on the head while rocking her back to sleep.
”What do you want to eat, B?” Isela asked opening the fridge bending down sifting through the Mexican and Filipino food both families had made them. As she pulled her head of the fridge she heard her phone buzz.
”Hasselbeck is leaving the View…they want you…”- JENN
Isela paused looking at the text message. Oh my goodness. What does this mean? A thousand thoughts ran through her head. She brought her phone over to Bruno handing him the phone
with the text message open.
”Where’s my food?” he asked her with a laugh. ”Oh…oh…oh my…” he told her looking up at her standing in front of him with a shocked face.
”Well you gotta at least call Jennifer to see what the deal is…”
”But, Bruno…I would have to be in New York…and you’re here…and the babies…” she said looking over at their sleeping faces.
”Baby…I will go wherever you need to be….music isn’t exclusive to LA….” he reassured her aspirations.
”But….” she started to think running her fingers through her hair messing it up confused about what to do.
”Isela…just stop thinking. Just do it….” he told her.
”B…it would be different if we didn’t have the babies…but this is a big change. Like huge. I mean…I only go to New York when I have to…” she rationalized saying no to her manager.
”Iselita….” Bruno motioned for her to sit next to him touching her legs as she sat down on the side of him. ”We’re going to be traveling a lot…it would be easier for you to be there, anyway.”
”That’s for right now…what happens in a year when you’re done with this?” she asked him.
”You sign a contract for a year and then we’ll figure it out, Isela. How long has it been all about me?” he asked her.
”Well….I mean…I don’t know…”
”Sweetheart…I want you to do amazing things too. You’ve been where you are now since 2010…come on. You can do it…”
”I’m glad you have so much confidence in me….” she said standing up holding her phone in her hand to dial her manager.
Isela sat in front of her manager’s desk while she flipped through some papers. She heard Stella crying in the room next to them where the babies were supposed to be playing with the secretary.
”Go get her…geez. Or both of them…because I can’t have one without the other…” Jennifer sighed.
”You’re right. You can’t have one without the other…” Isela laughed leaving the room for a few seconds bringing in two three month old babies in her arms.
”Okay, love…so here’s everything. They want you to do a few fill in shows and then there will be the horrible suspense as to whether you’ll be joining the show or not…and then right before the season starts we’ll announce that you’ve graciously accepted the full position. No need to talk about how you only want to do it for a year to see how it works…” Jenn handed her a pen to sign the papers.
”Done…yeeeahh!” Isela danced in her seat with the babies who were smiling at her.
”So, you start on Tuesday…” Jenn told her.
”Tuesday?” It’s Friday right now…” Isela responded.
Isela threw her purse on the bed of the apartment they had found over the weekend. It was in a very cute area of the city, near friends that she had met through her work. They had even found a nanny, Luisa, for the babies with the help of some friends. Although Isela would keep the kids with her for most of the day, she did need to make sure they were safe. She felt incredibly guilty having a nanny, but everyone reassured her, even Bruno, that it was okay. That was the life they had. Isela had made a long list of things for Luisa to do with the babies. It was a good thing Luisa was going to NYU because it was a lot of stuff. Isela wanted to make sure they had enough to do, were changed, ate exactly the right thing, and ensured that they were safe.
After Isela had a mini anxiety attack leaving Stella and Xavier with Luisa she walked into the ABC building to get ready for her first show. She arrived at 7:30 in the morning wearing an old Bruno shirt, jeans and heels. She introduced herself to the few people she didn’t know and sat down in her make-up chair next to Sherri.
”Isela! We are sooo happy you are here today. It’s going to be so much fun. We’re totally going to ask you way too many personal questions, though. So, just keep your head up.” she smiled at Isela who now, suddenly started to feel nervous.
”Ahahaha. Just don’t ask me about my sex life…” Isela laughed.
”Oh, girl..I can only imagine…” she responded with a smile.
Isela laid on the big cushy bed with her laptop in front of her. She heard a sudden ding realizing that Bruno was trying to call her. ”Oh crapppp….” she said to herself putting her hair in a ponytail and licking her lips before opening the call.
”Hey mama…” he said sweetly.
”Hey babbbyyy…” she answered him.
”How was your day, Iselita?” he asked her.
”It was amazzinnnngggg….” she smiled at him. ”But I heard about Liz…I’m so sorry, Bruno.
She was so wonderful…I can’t even believe it…” Isela comforted Bruno. An up and coming producer he had worked with on a few tracks had died in a car accident that evening. She was going to be a star- which was why Bruno was working with her. Isela saw his jaw get tense. He was really upset about it. ”I want to hug you, Bruno!” Isela told him sweetly.
”I want you to hug me, too Isela. I don’t even understand it….” he said starting to tear up.
”Bruno…” Isela paused him while he finished talking about a magazine shoot he was doing.
”Xavier is crying…I have to go…”
”Babbbyyyyyy……” he whined. ”I miss you.”
”B…it hasn’t even been 24 hours. You can make it…I love you.”
He made a sad face wrinkling his nose. ”I love you too. Kiss my babies for me.”
”I will kiss them hundreds of times for you, Bruno. Have a good day, mi amor..” she told him.
”Good night, Isela…” he blew her a kiss closing the call.
Isela walked out onto the stage to applause. She took her seat on the right of the table. She smiled at the audience welcoming them to the show.
”So, guys…you know they all come in threes…who do you think is next? It is so sad that President George Bush is gone now….”
”Of the few superstitions I have…” the oldest host started ”This is the one that I am always afraid of. I just don’t even want to get on a plane…” she answered eyeing Isela who automatically thought of Bruno.
”What?” Isela asked. ”You’re looking at me like I’m death…” Isela laughed.
”Well…you are the only one of us that flies on the regular…”
”I just like planes. When the babies can’t sleep I just run to JFK and take a quick flight to Boston…it works!” she joked.
”But don’t you worry every once in a while because Bruno is always flying?” the other guest host asked.
”Ehh, only when I know the weather is going to be bad. Planes are safer than living in New York on any given day…”
”I see what you did there…Isela….” they all laughed.
Isela picked up her phone as she held on to her purse tightly walking out the door.
”Brunooo….” she started to call him. He was in Brazil, so he was only a handful of hours ahead of her.
”Hi, love…” he laughed at her.
”Did you just wake up, Brunz?” she asked hearing a lag in his voice.
”Yeah…I was writing last night with Phil…..”
”I want to hear it!” she exclaimed catching the people walking behind her look at her. She shrugged her head looking at the people behind her.
”Not yet, not yet…but it’s good, babe.” she could hear his smile through the phone.
”Bruno…..” she started to get a bit shaky.
”Do you ever get nervous when you fly? Like the world could end when you’re on the plane? Like someone will have gotten through security and have a bomb or something?”
”Where is this coming from, baby?” he asked her.
”I don’t know. Maybe it’s because we’re doing the distance thing again. It freaks me out…a lot. Like one day I’ll wake up and you’ll be gone forever. I can’t do that….”
”I’m always going to be here, Isela. Come on. Quit letting New York get to you….” he reassured her.
”Ugh..this city, Bruno. I don’t know if I like it…”
”I’ll be home tomorrow night, Selly.” he responded.
”Overnight…you’ll be able to be on morning baby watch and then you’re leaving again…” she said sadly.
”I know. But the first thing I’m going to do when I get home is kiss you.” he told her.
”I wouldn’t stop you…” she laughed opening the door to their building.
”Is he going to be here for your anniversary?” Yuli asked her sister holding her daughter Audrey in her arms bouncing her.
”He’s coming home that night. He’s going to be here for the whole next week. It’s like I haven’t seen him in years…but it’s only been 2 weeks.” she giggled.
”Oh, I know it. You talk about him as if he hasn’t been here in months…”
”It freaking feels like it,,,” Isela responded picking Stella up as she started to cry.
”You are the biggest drama queen, Stella…” Isela responded to her daughter’s tears wiping them from her cheek. She saw Xavier laughing at the reaction he got from throwing a nerf ball at her. ”And you, my little monster…” she pointed to him. He covered his face knowing that he was in trouble.
”He smiles like Liam does…” Yuli responded.
”They have that Hernandez charm, I’m telling you…” Isela laughed.
”Isela! It’s your anniversary tonight..what are you and Bruno going to do?”
”I don’t know…maybe sleep…” she responded to the personal question.
”Shoot, that is a good idea…” one of the girls answered.
”Well, I was kidding…maybe he’ll sing Just the Way You Are to me….and then I can go aww, my husband is so sweet…”
”Well, if that isn’t original…”
”Ha, I know…” Isela laughed. They went to a commercial. One of the producers came up to Isela in rushed pace.
”Isela…you need to come with me…” the female producer rushed with her to the back of the greenroom past the scheduled guests.
”What’s wrong?” she glanced at the TV where CNN was on blasting Breaking News.
”Wait….London to JFK” isela stopped dead in her tracks.
”Isela….” Yuli came running into the room with Xavier in her hand Luisa trailing behind her with the girls.
”He’s not on that plane….he’s not on that plane…he’s noooottttt…..YULI!!” Isela started to cry as her sister hugged her. ”No, he’s not on that plane…he was coming home tonight…not this morning….noooo, noooo, nooooo. Yuliana…please tell me he’s not on that plane. ” she grabbed her cell phone from the producer that was holding it. She noticed a voicemail. She took a deep breath looking at everyone who had gathered around her. She hit the speaker button not caring what he had said to her.
”Isela….it’s our anniversary, It's our anniversary, anniversary, it's our anniversary, anniversary, It's our anniversary, made for you and me, All I really want to say my darling today is a special day we call our own so take me in your arms and hold me and tell me you love me and I'll be there for you do you know what today is do you know what today is it's our anniversary…it's our, it's our special day anniversary do you know what today is it's our anniversary made for you and me…” he sang into the phone. She sat down on the blue couch behind her listening to him sing a cheesy early 90s love song to her. ”Babbbyyy…..” he suddenly switched to his normal voice. ”I can’t wait to see you tonight. I’ll see you when you’re done taping. I love you and the babies.” Isela looked at her sister with no words coming out of her mouth. Yuli sat next to her sister not saying anything. ”Oh, and check your dressing room. Mahal kita, Iselita.”
”Nooooooo, nooooo, nooooooo, nooooooo.” Isela started to scream. She picked up her phone waiting for Bruno to pick up. It went straight to his voicemail. He never turns off his phone when he flies..he never does.. She buried her head into her hands to cry. By that point everyone in the room was standing in shock. Isela looked up at the TV which had been turned up for everyone to hear. She watched TJ Holmes report on the events, what the suspected causes of the accident were, how many people were on the plane, what had been said before the flight.
In and out of the conversation Isela heard”And all amazing love stories have tragic endings…”