Marla walked over to the play area picking up the pieces of her broken phone inspecting her SIM card to make sure everything was okay. Damnit. She thought to herself walking back into the house. She went into the kitchen picking up a box of phones that they had. They had international phones, blackberries and even an old iphone in the house because they both went through phones so quickly that it only made sense for there to be extras in the house. She popped the SIM card in the iphone watching it light up. Well at least it will work. I’ll set it up tomorrow. She went into their spare bedroom where they kept extra pictures and scrapbooks to figure out who the girl he had slept with was. She really had no idea who she was. He knew so many people that they all got jumbled and confused in her head after a while. She still could only remember people she saw on a regular basis. She went into a box of tour mementos pulling out all the set lists and some pictures. On the top of the pile was a picture of a girl with huge blonde hair, several piercings along her body and tattoos poking out of her short sleeve shirt. What a hoe. That’s so trashy. She thought to herself running her finger along her own small tattoo.But that’s not trashy. She flipped over the picture seeing April 2014 written on the back with a heart and Madison written on the back in someone else’s handing. Wow..ballsy bitch, huh? She said to herself going through more pictures. I still don’t know who she is…it doesn’t change that she slept with,….oh no…no way. She found a picture of this Madison girl holding a smiling Rosalia in her arms. Marla reached over to her phone dialing Cristina, an old co-worker.
”Cristina..you’re not on call today are you?” Marla asked her when she picked up.
”Nope. What’s going on?” she asked.
”Do you remember the day before I had the seizure at work?” Marla asked.
”Yeah…a little..why?” Christina responded.
”How were we then? Like me and Bruno?” Marla asked.
”Oh..umm…I don’t think that y’all were perfect then. I mean, you weren’t where you are today..like making me sick because you’re so cute together. He was traveling a lot. And even if you didn’t say it hurt you…I think it did. Y’all might have even had a few fights that you told me about. But I don’t remember the details.” Cristina answered. ”Why?”
”Oh…umm….he just told me something about that time and all I remember is…no…I don’t remember anything.” Marla told her friend.
”Are you going to be okay? Do you want me to come over?” Cristina asked.
”I…yeah…I need to tell someone…” Marla replied.
”Okay, Mar. Give me like 15 minutes.” Cristina said hanging up the phone.
Marla picked Rosie up placing her in her bed waking her up to take her medicine and kiss her good night before Cristina came over.
”Mama…estabas llorando?” Rosie asked.
”I’ll be okay, Rosie.” Marla told her daughter turning off the lights. ”Buenas noches.” she blew her daughter a kiss watching her close her eyes.
”Good night, mama.” Rosie whispered.
Marla sat down on the couch holding a picture she found of her, Bruno and the girl Madison. She ran her fingers along the picture trying not to cry hearing Cristina come in the house without knocking. ”Marla?” she asked seeing Marla crying.
”What’s wrong?” Cristina asked watching Marla hand her the picture of them.
”He slept with her.” Marla said flatly.
”He did not! That girl is a whore!” Cristina reassured her friend.
”No…he just told me. He just…it just all came out tonight…he said it happened when we were fighting..” Marla sniffed. ”How in the world do I react to that? I can’t even remember the girl. I feel like I should be so upset that I leave him….but there are no emotions whatsoever. I can’t remember what I felt then to be upset at him. I mean, yes…I’m so mad at him…that he would do that…but I can’t go back to that time to put myself there to see what I was thinking or where our relationship was…” Marla told Cristina.
”I will go to London and kick his ass” Cristina answered.
”He said it was one time….they just hooked up once. And he feels really bad about it…” Marla rationalized.
”Honey..there’s no reason why he should have done this ever. You can’t justify his actions because you don’t remember…” Cristina told Marla.
”Do you think he stayed because he felt guilty? Like he did all this because we weren’t in the best place when all this happened?” Marla asked.
”Honey…you’re going to have to ask him about that. I can’t answer that for you. ” Cristina replied.
”Like he only stayed because he felt guilty..and all the things he does…the letters, the songs, cleaning the house, the sweet things he says..he just says it because he was an ass then?” Marla asked.
”Mar…I can’t answer that for you. You know that. I hope he didn’t stay just because he was guilty. I think I know him well enough to know that he stayed because he loves you.” Cristina told her.
”I hope so.” Marla responded.
”So what are you going to do?” Cristina asked.
”I don’t know. I don’t know. It was one time. Like we all make mistakes..but not big mistakes like this. I don’t know what I should do. The worst part of the whole thing is that I can’t even remember the girl or if I disliked her or had no opinion of her.” Marla said. ”Maybe it’s a blessing that I don’t remember her.”
”Mar…you don’t have to be an impartial therapist about this…it’s your relationship. You can be angry.” Cristina said.
”But…you know I don’t angry…I….I don’t know….” she shrugged her shoulders.
”I don’t know Mar. Y’all need to talk about it.” Cristina said. ”But I’m here if you need me.” she hugged Marla getting up from the couch.
”Thank you, Cris.” Marla smiled.
Bruno got out of his bed two hours later looking at himself in the mirror. You’re the biggest asshole in the world. You don’t even deserve her anymore. What are you doing? Just stop everything now. Just make it all end….he thought to himself. He shook his head slamming his hand into the mirror breaking it. He walked out of the bathroom watching the blood on his hand drip. Yeah..I should probably take care of that….He picked up a bright white towel laying on the floor holding it tightly against his right hand. He looked down at his left hand pushing it down tightly. ”Never let go.” he said to himself seeing the blood continuing to flow from his hand. He heard a knock on the door knowing that it was Phil. He maneuvered himself to open the door.
”Dude? What the hell?” Phil asked looking at his red eyes and bleeding hand.
”It won’t stop bleeding.” Bruno said.
”Who did you punch? Fucking Omar?” Phil laughed.
”No, dude…I…I…I really fucked up.” Bruno answered watching Phil grab another towel.
”I don’t think this is gonna stop, moi goi. You need to get stitches.” Phil responded.
”Let it bleed. I might as well let it kill me.” Bruno answered.
”What the fuck are you talking about?” Phil asked.
”I…slept…with…Madison….” Bruno said slowly watching Phil go from confused to angry moving his hand to punch Bruno in the face.
”What the fuck, Bruno? What the hell? You’re right. I’ll let it bleed.” Phil yelled. taking the towels looking at his bleeding and bruised hand. He shook his head watching Bruno’s face start to get white from all the blood. Phil pulled Bruno out the door downstairs to the receptionist.
”We need a doctor like…bad…” he told the girl holding up Bruno’s hand.
”Umm…yeah…okay…give me a moment please.” she answered.
”Bro, what the hell? When?” Phil said standing near the receptionist.
”It was a long time ago…a long time ago…” he said.
”I can’t even think of when you were with her without us….” Phil pondered.
”It was in January…remember when we were in the city?” Bruno asked.”I called her when we finished because she said she would listen…and Marley and I had a fight…she was all upset and shit because I wasn’t at home….” Phil shook his head starting to remember when it had happened.
”For real though dude, go fuck yourself. I can’t even believe you did that….” Phil said walking away from Bruno.
”The doctor will be here in a minute…” the receptionist said.
”Tell him I’m in my room.” Bruno said turning around to go upstairs. He fell on the bed closing his eyes seeing Marla’s face the day of their wedding. He saw her eyes and her smile and her reaction when he told the story about Jamie forcing him to do the show they met at. He saw her face the day Rosalia was born and the tears she cried when they both held her in their arms for the first time. He saw her laughing his dances in the house and their embraces when he came home. He saw her reading the notes he writes her and her smile at the end when she reads over the I love you.
I love you.
Marla laid down in their bed stretching her arms out where he usually slept tossing and turning eventually falling asleep to the sound of the air conditioner. Her restless sleep was interrupted by a text message. It’s just them telling me I need to set-up my phone. She closed her eyes again trying to go back to sleep hearing the text notification go off several more times. Fuck. God. Just let me sleep. I have to work tomorrow. She moved herself to the phone trying to turn it off recognizing the phone number as Brandon’s.
Bruno’s in the hospital. Call me.
Call me. I know it’s late. He won’t talk to anyone.
I’m not even going to bother. She turned off the phone going back to sleep.
”Mommmm….mommmmaaaa….mommmmm….” she heard Rosalia calling her name later in the morning. ”Mommmm….Kay-Kay and Pres are here….mommmm…..” she heard her daughter whine.
”Marla?” Jamie came in the room. ”Thank you, Rosie..go hang out with your aunt for a bit, please?”
”Okay..okay…” Rosalia answered running out of the room.
”Why are y’all here?” Marla asked sitting up in the bed.
”You didn’t answer anyone’s messages….we didn’t know if you were okay or what…” Jamie told Marla.
”I’m fine. Tired..but I’m fine.” Marla answered.
”Mar…Bruno is like straight up Charlie Sheen right now. Please tell me what is going on. He’s not talking to anyone…he’s like just sitting there….” Jamie told her.
”And I should fix it?” Marla asked.
”What is going on? Marla….he broke his hand from hitting a mirror and Phil punched him in the face and isn’t talking to him…” Jamie told her.
”Oh. That’s really too bad.” Marla answered. ”It really is. I’ll call him later.” she said standing up to go to the bathroom.
Jamie grabbed Marla’s arm dragging her back to the bed. ”Marla! Tell me what is going on!”
”He…slept..with…some…girl…” she said in the same way that Bruno had told Phil.
”Wait….what?” Jamie answered confused.
”Yeah…some girl named Madison. I don’t know who she is, but I should know who she is. And….” Marla was interrupted by Jamie.
”No! He did not do that!” Jamie exclaimed.
”It’s not like I’m hearing it from other people. He told me last night.” Marla told her sister in law.
”He’s a mess, Mar. You need to talk to him.” she answered.
”And you don’t think I’m a mess? Like really…” Marla yelled back. ”I can’t even think straight.”
”I know…I don’t even know what to say…but Marla…please…you’re the only person he’ll talk to.” she told her sister in law.
”He’ll just have to wait.” she answered standing up again.
”So you’re just gonna leave him like that? After everything he has done for you? Do you really think that he would leave you like that?” Jamie asked.
”Well, after yesterday there are a lot of things I don’t know about.” Marla replied thinking about how immature she was being. But I can. I can do this if he’s going to do that. She looked out into the living room seeing Rosie dancing in circles with her aunt trying to catch up with her. No. I can’t be immature. I can’t. For her. She grabbed the turned off phone scrolling through the text messages calling Bruno. She listened to the rings waiting for him to answer. Come on Bruno. Answer your damn phone.
”Mar?” she heard his broken voice answering the phone. She stood up from the bed grabbing a sweater to go outside. Shit. My feet are cold. She thought to herself grabbing flip-flops as she went outside. ”Marla…I just want it all to go away. I don’t even want to live this way. I just want to take it all back. I don’t even want to think about it anymore.”
”Bruno…did you do all this because you felt guilty?” she asked him forgetting about his state of crisis.
”Marla! No baby. Nononononononononono.” he replied still in a hoarse broken tone.
”Bruno….had I not had that seizure…would you have done it again? Would you have told me? What if I didn’t get sick? What if I actually could remember this girl? Bruno Hernandez…fucking answer me those questions right now or I’ll hang up the phone and let you bleed to death. I don’t even care right now.” she yelled at him. ”Answer me!”
”Marla…I love you more than anything in the world. More than…oh my god. I can’t live without you. I can’t live with knowing how upset I made you. I’m sorry.”
”You’re not answering my questions!” she yelled at him.
”You always tell me not to answer what if because the past can’t be changed, Marla.” he answered her.
”I want to know!” she yelled at him again.
”Mar….all that saved us. It made me see that I couldn’t live without you. I just can’t. It was the worst feeling in the world. It was so heavy. It’s like carrying all the pianos in the world on my back. ” he told her.
”Shut the fuck up! Don’t be metaphorical Bruno Mars.” she snapped at him.
”I don’t know what to do Marla. I don’t know. I just want you to know that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything that I’ve done to you, even if you can’t remember them.” he answered her.
”Bruno…” she started to calm down still crying but not yelling. ”I can’t even remember her. I can’t remember when you were in New York or the girl…or the fight we got in. I know I’m mad at you for doing this…but I’m more hurt that you didn’t tell me. I’m just confused. I always thought you were the one person I could trust to be honest with me. To tell me everything. To tell me the good, the bad….everything. What else are you not telling me? Should I trust in the things you’ve told me? Are you feeding me unrealistic memories? Do I even really love you? Or do I love the person you told me you are?” she poured her heart out to him.
”Everything has been for you, baby. Every single thing in the world. I do it all for you. And even the thought of losing you makes me want to…”
”Break a mirror with your hand?” she asked him. ”That was stupid.”
”You make me do stupid things.” he told her.
”You have to get your shit together, Bruno. It happened. We’ll figure it out. But you can’t go breaking your hands and not letting people talk to you. People will start talking. And I know you hate people knowing your shit. And this…I don’t want anyone to know about.” she told him.
”You’re not going to leave me, Marla? You’re not?” he asked her.
”Bruno…I don’t know.” she answered honestly waiting for him to answer.
”I need you Marla. You can’t do that.” Bruno said returning to his broken tone.
”I’m really hurt right now, B. You know that.” she told him.
”I know.” he replied flatly.
”Please get up and go to the studio, Bruno. Get your shit together. I’ll talk to you later.” she told him.
”Okay.” he responded hearing her call end.
She ran her fingers along the phone hearing okay repeat over and over in her head.
”Mommy….I love you.” she heard her daughter come up behind her wrapping her arms around her kissing her cheek with her curly brown hair falling in front of her face. ”Don’t cry. Daddy will make it better. He makes it better all the time.”