Bruno and Evie picked Lucy up –who was sound asleep on the floor of her parents’ living room floor with her cousins- and put her to bed easily. He sat down on the couch looking at her fold some clothes and clean up her books. He grabbed her arm as she walked past him. ”Eve….”
”What?” she turned around to look at him.
”Sit down and talk to me…” he moved his eyes over to the empty space on the couch still not letting go of her hand. She sat down next to him trying to figure out what to say. He reached over to her wrapping his arms around her kissing her on the top of her head.
”I don’t know where I would be without you, Bruno.” she whispered.
”I don’t know where I would be either, baby.” he told her.
”You’d be fine, Bruno. I know you would. I would have just been a girl at the wedding and you would have found another one.” she looked up at him smiling.
”You’re full of crap, Eve. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.” he looked at her trying to figure out what she was thinking.
”No. You’ll be fine without me.” she answered. Oh. Oh. I get it. No. He thought to himself.
”Geneva…I can’t make you stop thinking those things…but every time you think them it breaks my heart into small little itty pieces….” he told her looking into her eyes seeing the sadness and frustration in her heart.
”Oh thanks…now I feel bad for making you feel bad.” she answered him.
”Eve…I didn’t mean it that way..I didn’t mean it that way at all…..It does hurt me…but I want you to be happy…be the Evie I remember meeting at my cousin’s wedding. The happy Evie that I remember when we went bowling with Lucy the first time, the happy Eve I remember when you were singing Britney Spears at the studio…the Eve I remember. I know it’s not easy for you, baby. I know it’s hard and nothing is ever going to make everything that has happened to you go away. It’s always going to be there….but you have to move on, baby doll.”
”I don’t know where to find her.” she sniffed.
”Come home with me. We’ll find it there.” he said with a smile. ”I know I’m leaving during your finals…but come when you’re done. And then we can go to Vegas….”
”Bruno! That means being gone during Christmas! And Lucy…I can’t leave her during Christmas…” Evie said concerned.
”She comes with. It can be a new tradition.” he answered her.
”Are you serious?” she responded confused.
”Marla…everyone loves you. Tiara and Pres said they adore you. Tahiti…well..she takes a while. But she’s getting there. And you and Lucy are kind of like having Peanut butter without jelly. ”She let out a slight laugh smiling at him. ”See….there’s my Evie.” he said to her kissing her forehead.
”I’m trying Bruno.” she told him.
”So you’re coming?” he asked her in a giddy voice.
”Yeah. We’ll go.” she answered hugging him tightly. ”But Bruno..I’m going to miss you when you go to Chile.”
”I’m not even thinking that far ahead, baby. Let’s think about tonight.” he said yawning.
”All you’re doing tonight is sleeping.” she told him taking his hat off rubbing his curly hair placing the hat on her head kissing him.
He shrugged his shoulders taking the hat from her placing it on the couch. ”That’s okay with me, Eve.” he followed her into the bedroom watching her take off her shirt putting on one of the many shirts she had stolen from him slipping off her jeans putting on cotton shorts. She knew she was driving him crazy so she went extra slow putting her hair up going into the bathroom brushing her teeth pointing to his toothbrush. He started to bush his teeth trying to talk with the toothbrush in his mouth. ”You drive me crazy.” she laughed at him going to lay in the bed, ”I’ll be there in a second baby.” he told her as she turned around to fall asleep. He looked at himself in the mirror sighing digging his hands in his pocket feeling a small box around his palm. What am I doing? He thought to himself throwing his jeans in the pile near her clothes. Don’t forget those. He thought to himself putting the pants with the box underneath his hat that laid on the floor near his pants. He got in the bed next to her wrapping his arms around her burying his head in her hair. ”I love you.”
”Mommmm…is Bruno gonna teach me how to surf like dad did?” Lucy asked her mother throwing things toward her mother who was packing for them.
”Well, honestly, Lu-lu…I don’t know what we’re gonna do there. We’ll swim..I know that..but otherwise I don’t know.” she answered her daughter honestly. He didn’t give her any hints as to what they were doing when they landed.
”Mom…he’s gonna ask you to marry him. He told me.” Lucy told her mother.
”Lucy…you’re like the boy who cried wolf. No one believes you anymore. You said he said that this summer on your birthday and guess what?” she held up her hand with no ring on it. ”There’s no ring yet, silly!”
”But mom..I know he’s gonna do it this time! I swearrrr.” she whined.
”Okay Lucy. Okay. Where are your books? They told me you need to read during break.”
”Mommmm…why do I have to go to a new school? I don’t want to.” Lucy harrumphed handing her mother her favorite books.
”It’s too far baby…it’s too far to drive when we’re living here now.” Evie told her.
”Mom…why didn’t he just move to the apartment? He liked your bed.” Lucy asked her mother.
”Oh Lucy…” her mother hugged her tightly. ”I know it’s hard living in such a big house with all this extra space and rooms and fun stuff like drums and a pool..your own pool..and a big couch and a fireplace…but Bruno and I did this for you too. You’re going to be going to school with lots of fun people who have fun mommies and daddies like you do.” Evie explained to her, for the hundredth time why she and Bruno decided that they should live together. It happened over Thanksgiving and it was very quick- it might have even been too quick for Evie as she was still stressed about the boxes and finding where things belonged. Bruno said that he wanted to fall asleep next to her for the rest of his life and he couldn’t do that with her in one place and him in another- even if they were in the same city. It all just made sense. It wasn’t like they just randomly decided to do it. They had been together long enough. Or at least that’s what she was telling herself.
Evie leaned over to kiss Lucy on the head as they flew over the ocean starting to land in Hawaii. She whispered in her daughter’s ear. ”Lucy..look…” she picked pu her daughter’s hand pointing to a volcano.
”Mom..that’s the one we read about!” she exclaimed seeing some people turn looking at her.
”I know. That’s why I told you about it.” she laughed.
”Mom…when do you get to see Bruno?” Lucy asked.
”After we get off the plane. He’s waiting for us.” she told her daughter who suddenly sat up picking up her blanket throwing it at her mother.
”Okay..I’m ready.” she told Evie.
”We have a little bit longer, Lu-boo.” Evie told her handing her back her book.
”Fine. But I get to hug him first.” Lucy told her mother.
”Not if I don’t get to him first, Lucy.” Evie laughed.
About thirty minutes later they walked down the long terminal covered with leis and flowers in their ears. Wow. This is so different from the last time I was here. This is just so weird. And what if she is right? What if he is going to propose? Oh god. What do I say? What do I do? Oh god. She thought catching Dre’s eye as they walked toward the front. Lucy ran toward him hugging him leaving Bruno’s arms wide open. Evie walked over to him slowly smiling at him hugging him. ”I missed you.” she whispered in his ear.
”I missed you more.” he told her kissing her on the cheek. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt, green cargo shorts, flip flops and had no hat on. When she looked around the airport he surprisingly blended in the way he was dressed. Lucy held onto him tightly as they drove down the road dropping their bags off at the small house his mother owned walking down the road with Lucy to the beach.
”Bruno…I thought you bought a…” he held up his finger telling her to be quiet.
”Shhh. No one knows. And not with ms. blabber mouth in the car.” he told her as they started walking down the beach.
”Okay…but….” she started.
”Just shush. No one knows about anything that’s happening other than you and I intend on keeping it that way.” he laughed at her.
”Okay..okay…” she said watching Lucy dig through the sand holding seashells in her hand. She had so many in her hand that she struggled. Evie handed her hand out to hold her extra ones suddenly becoming over burderned herself so Bruno took her handful and carried the rest as Lucy continued handing her mother sea shells without talking.
”Mom…I wanna take these home.” Lucy said stopping in her tracks.
”You wanna take all of these home?” Evie asked holding her hands up.
”Lucy..you’re a terrorist. No one is going to allow all of these on the plane.” Bruno told her. ”Those are weapons..” he poked Evie in the side with one thathad a sarp edge.
”Ouch!” she faked dramatically.
”See?” Bruno asked.
”Fine…but if I put them back in the ocean can I go to the beach at home and find them all again? If I put my name on them…and put our address…would they find me?” Lucy asked.
”Well…” Evie said thinking critically.
”Yes, Lu-lu. They’ll find you. It might take some time but you’ll find them. So..why don’t you pick a couple good ones to take back to the house and we’ll leave the rest here to find you in Los Angeles.” Bruno responded.
”But I want to make something with them…” she said to them.
”Okay…come over here..I’ll show you what we’re going to do…” Bruno said sitting down in the sand holding the seashells. ”We’re going to write our names in them….”
”Bruno…it’s getting late…” Evie said yawning.
”It’s 7 o’clock…and there’s light behind us and you’re on vacation. Sit your pretty butt down and do this with us.” he told her.
”Moommm…come on…” Lucy pulled her mothers’ hand dragging her to the sand. Evie sat behind Lucy leaning against Bruno as Lucy rearranged all the seashells writing their names.
”Bruno….this is what she needs.” Evie told him quietly.
”What does she need?” Bruno asked.
”A father. Thank you.” she answered feeling his arms wrap around her kissing the top of her head.
”Mom…mom…mommmm….what are we doing today?” Lucy asked while they sat at the kitchen table with his family for breakfast. Lucy pushed around the bright citrusy fruit not quite sure what to do with it. Evie cut up some pieces whispering to her that she needed to be polite and at least try it. Lucy wrinkled her nose at the idea but then saw Bruno eat a piece of pineapple smiling at her making her finish everything on her plate. Lucy helped Bruno’s mother and his nephews with cleaning up the dishes while she took a shower and got dressed for their trip to the mall that she was dreading. She stood behind Bruno brushing her hair looking at his eyes that she hadn’t seen that bright and rested since last December.
”Bruno..what are we doing today?” she asked him.
”We’re Christmas shopping. It’s not a hard concept to understand, baby.” he said turning around wrapping his arms around her leaning in to kiss her. ”Plus, I’m gonna leave at like 3 with Dre to finish the whole surprise thing for my sisters.”
”Oh. That.” she raised her eyebrow smiling at him.
”Be patient. You get yours when we get home.” he told her taking her hand leading her to the living room where everyone was playing Rock Band.
”Bruno..I can beat this one now!” Lucy exclaimed singing Nothin’ on You.
He laughed at her picking her up taking her out to the car with everyone else. ”Let’s go buy you presents.” he told her as she wiggled in his arms he held on to her tightly. ”And shush. Don’t ruin the surprise for your mom.” he said putting her in the backseat of the car.
”Bruno! I didn’t tell her about the beach! No, no, noooo…” she told him.
”What about the beach?” Evie asked sliding into the car next to Bruno.
”We’re near the beach. That’s it.” he shrugged his shoulders feeling her pinch his side. ”You could make my side bleed, Eve and you wouldn’t get it out of me.”
”Ugh. Fine. You know I hate surprises.” Evie sighed.
”Mommm…he’s gonna ask you to marry him. Duhhh. On the beach. And he’s gonna sing to you…and you’re gonna cry…and I’m gonna…”
”Lucy! God.” Bruno responded.
”Yeah Luc…be quiet!” Tahiti exclaimed. ”Now your mom has to wait even longer.” she winked at Evie making Evie’s stomach turn knowing that the things her daughter was saying were probably closer to the truth than they had ever been.
They got out of the car with Lucy and Evie following behind the large group not knowing where they were going because it was their first trip to this mall. Evie caught Lucy staring at the line for Santa. ”Lucy….we’ll go later when the line isn’t as long. Okay?” she told her daughter.
”Mom…remember when me and dad did this?” Lucy asked.”I liked that. Momma…when
””Lucy….” her mother stopped her sitting on the bench waving them all off to go to the next store. ”Do you remember the story that I told you about me not having a dad?” Lucy nodded her head a little trying not to cry. ”And then Mimi and Papa showed up and were my mommy and my daddy?” Lucy nodded her head again. ”I cried too, Lu-lu.” Evie said hugging her daughter. ”We’ll find you a dad soon.”
”But mom…I want Bruno.” she told her mother.
”Well, maybe one day…when he proposes to me on the beach and I cry.” Evie laughed leading her toward the next store where Bruno was holding onto several large toys for Lucy. Her eyes widened and she ran to him completely forgetting about her upset feelings. Bruno handed her a toy walking back to Evie holding her hand tightly. ”You make her so happy.”
”And you make me happy.” he whispered in her ear making her blush.
”Stooopp.” she whined as they left the store carrying large bags.
”Come on…come with me…” Bruno said pulling Evie away dragging Lucy with him.
”Where are we going?” Evie asked.
”Right here….” he said cutting in the line for Santa speaking to someone he had obviously spoken with before to get them to the front of the line. Bruno pushed Lucy toward the Hawaiian Santa. ”Go tell him what you want…” She shyly went over to the man while Bruno put his arm around Evie listening to Lucy talk about wanting every single thing he had just bought her.
”And what about your mom and dad? What do they want for Christmas?” the Santa asked.
”Well…my mom…she wants an engagement ring…and my dad…he….” she looked over to them seeing them talking about something else. ”Well…I think he wants to be my dad.” she said seeing him kiss her on the cheek.
”I think that will happen soon, Lucy…” the Santa told her getting the attention of his assistant to get Bruno and Evie to come stand with them for the picture. The assistant quickly snapped the picture printing the digital picture. Evie took the picture from her daughter seeing Bruno’s genuine smile and her daughter starting to laugh in the picture. She ran her fingers along the picture putting it in her purse carefully.
”It’s perfect, Bruno.” Evie told him.