Marla went on to work that day rarely speaking to Jamie and her co-workers. Jamie just plainly stated that she knew Marla wasn’t feeling well and they carried on with their day. They did the same for the next two weeks with Marla getting small notes from Bruno. She cried at them and then yelled at them and then threw them in the pile with the rest of them. She knew, though, that soon she would have to face him and what had happened head on. The day he was coming back was a Thursday in late August. As Rosalia was getting older they had more activities to do- Thursdays were for ballet and then Daisies. They had just signed Rosialia up to the Girl Scout program before Bruno left and this was the first meeting. As they hurried out the door she grabbed a piece of paper writing a note to put on the fridge
We’re at ballet and then going to my parents’ house. Be back.
”Come on Rose…let’s go dance…” Marla said to her daughter dragging big bag with her out the door.
”Mama…vamos a ver daddy tonight?” she asked.
”I think so, mi amor.” Marla answered flatly driving down the residential street.
”Mommaaa…why are you sad?” Rosie asked. ”Mommy…I can hug you…” she told her mother. ”They always make things better.”
”When we get home, okay?” she asked her daughter.
”Promise?” Rosie asked as they walked into the dance studio.
”Yeah, promise.” she answered.
Bruno pulled into the empty driveway with his stomach in knots. He finished the short leg of his tour putting the things that had happened in the back of his head. He had started writing again and was ready to get into the studio while he was home for a month. But, he also knew he needed to be with Marla. Shit. Where are they? He thought to himself seeing Marla lime green Porsche missing in the driveway/He drug his suitcase up to the door opening the door dropping his things in the middle of the living room. He looked over the pictures they had left in the hallway running his fingers along one that took right before Rosalia was born. I’m sorry. He thought to himself seeing a piece of paper on the refrigerator. No. She’s not going to her parents’ house….no…she’s not letting this happen….no…he said to himself. ”No, Marla…this will not happen. I’m going to fix it….” he said taking his phone out of his pocket to call her. ”Marla?” he asked in a soft voice hearing her pick up the phone.
”What’s going on?” she asked him. ”We’re at ballet still..it’s 6…” she informed him.
”You’re not going to your parents’ house, Marla. Please come home.” he asked her.
”Bruno…what are you talking about? We’re just eating dinner over there.” she answered confused.
”Wait..you’re not like leaving?” he asked her.
”Bruno…I’m not leaving you.” she told him forgetting that there were other mothers around that didn’t know them or that Rosalia’s father was Bruno Mars. ”Give me a second…” she said to him. She walked out of the dance studio making sure no one was around them. ”We’re going to talk about t his when I get home…which we will be, Bruno. Just chill the hell out. Geezus.”
”Okay…okay…” he answered.
”We’ll be home at like 8…okay?” she asked him.
”Okay…I’ll talk to you tonight.” he said hanging up the phone. Marla walked back into the building seeing the girls running out the door. Rosalia jumped on her mother.
”Mommmaaaa…is daddy home?” she asked.
”We’ll see him after we go to Abuelo’s house…okay?” Marla replied walking out the door with her daughter.
They finished the night with Rosie falling asleep in the back of the car after singing her heart out to a Kid’s Bop version of some of her father’s older music. She thought about what she was going to say to him. Am I going to yell? Am I going to cry? What in the world is going to happen? She turned off the car hearing Rosie make noise. ”Mommaaaa..I want to see daddy…” she said. ”Help me get out…please….” she asked politely. Marla move slowly to get her daughter out of the car. ”Hurry mommy!” she heard Rosalia scream. She undid the seatbelt seeing her daughter run as fast as she could to the front door.
”Be careful!” Marla exclaimed seeing her daughter run in a zigzagged line to the door. She left the door open seeing the dog start to run out the door. ”Tippie! Get over here!” Marla yelled running in her flats to grab the dog. ”Come onnnn….” she drug the 70 pound dog toward the house.
”Tippie! Get in here!” she heard Bruno yell at the dog holding Rosie in his arms. He smiled at Marla as she walked by the door trying to reach for her hand but she slid in the door before he could do anything.
”Did you eat yet?” Marla asked him as he put Rosie down to play with the things he had bought her.
”Yeah. I did. I ate some of that stuff you had left over.” he said pointing to a pile of dishes.
”Oh..okay…” she answered with no emotion.
”Mommmaaaa…I forgot to hug you!” Rosie exclaimed running to her mother wrapping her arms around Marla. ”Now you can be better.” she said running back to her toys. Marla turned on the water washing the dishes that Bruno had used ignoring him. He walked into the kitchen to talk to her. I want to do exactly what Rosalia did to her…he thought to himself as he got closer to her.She smells so good…and she’s so beautiful… he said to himself as he reached behind her to hug her. She wiggled out of his arms going into the laundry room. He followed right behind her.
”What are you going to do? Corner me? Because that’s really not okay, Bruno. It’s not. I’ll talk to you when I’m ready to talk to you, okay?” she said pushing him out of the way from where she had grabbed some towels to take to the bathroom. ”Rosie..let’s go take a bath so you can go to bed. You have school tomorrow…” she told her daughter.
”I want daddy to help me…” she said running into the bathroom. ”Por favor?”
Bruno looked at Marla for a response. She shrugged her head handing him the towels. She finished the dishes and cleaned up the mess that Rosie had left in the living room. She walked by the bathroom watching Bruno dry his daughter’s messy hair. She went into their bedroom changing into shorts and one of Bruno’s t-shirts that laid on the floor. She laid down in the bed after taking her medicine that was sitting on the counter in the bathroom. She left the light on closing her eyes facing the wall. I don’t even know what to do. She thought hearing him come into the room. She felt him take off his clothes to get into the bed with her. He laid his body on the bed wrapping his arms around her. ”I’m sorry.” he told her.
”Why Bruno?” she asked him not turning around to look at him.
”I was mad at you that night. I couldn’t do anything right for you. She said that I was doing the best that I could and that she respected me for it…and then she kissed me…and I kissed her back…and then our clothes were off…” he told her.
She turned herself to face him with tears in her eyes. ”I just don’t get it. Why didn’t you talk to me about it? Why didn’t you just say I was being a bitch or that you were trying or…anything…anything but that…” he looked into her eyes touching her forehead pushing hair out of her face.
”I don’t know Mar…I tried. You just kept yelling at me saying that I was being a bad husband and to fix it. I didn’t know how to fix it.” he told her.
She shook her head unsure of how to answer. ”I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. Even if I can’t remember. I know it wasn’t just your fault, Bruno. If she knew what was going on she took advantage of you. You wouldn’t have done it had I not been a bitch.” she answered. ”We both could have been better.”
”I didn’t have to do it, Marla. I didn’t have to do any of it. It was my biggest moment of weakness ever. And I regret every single moment of it.” he told her.
”Bruno….I know you do. I know you’re sorry and I know you want to fix this. I just don’t know what to think.” she responded feeling his arms tighten around her kissing the tears off her eyes. ”I don’t know….” she started to say taking a deep breath. ”what I would do without you in my life….” she laid her head on his chest closing her eyes feeling him rub her back to a familiar rhythm. He started singing if perfect’s what you’re searching for just stay the same to her.