What am I doing, what am I doing, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. This shouldn’t be happening. I’m going to regret it when he’s gone. Rachel will kill me. Oh my god, oh my god…but it’s so right…oh my god..Arissa thought to herself as Bruno ran his fingers through her hair touching her ever so gently on her back bringing her in closer to him. ”Bruno…we need to put him to bed…” she told him walking over to pick up Christian, his curly blond hair matted on the floor. She picked him up gently holding him like a baby walking him to the other side of the house. Bruno walked behind her to see how she was going to get 40 pounds of a little boy into a bed without waking him up. She held him against her chest with one arm using the other to push the blankets down. She placed him gently into the bed against the wall so he didn’t roll out of the bed. She leaned down kissing him on the cheek. ”Good night, moon.” she said turning around to see Bruno watching her.
”I love that story, Arissa. I read it to him too.” he said taking her hand walking back to where they were she stopped at the couch sitting down where they were earlier in the evening.
”Sit down, Bruno…” she told him. He let go of her hand sitting down facing her. ”We can’t do this. It’s too much. One of us will get hurt. It’s just too much. Too much..too much to…” in the middle of her sentence she saw Bruno leaning in toward her touching her wet cheek wiping the tears away.
”Shhh…Arissa….just shut up. You’re doing what you always do…you talk your way out of things because you get scared. Baby…please…can we at least say we tried? Please?” he pleaded with her. ”Riss?” he asked watching her tap her feet thinking about it.
”I don’t know…” she said to herself. ”I just don’t know, Brunz…” she said looking up at him. ”I still hurt..I still can’t deal with what you did…I mean…oh my god. I think about it every time I see you on TV, hear you on the radio…happen upon a magazine with you in it…and especially when I see one with you out with some random D list girl who was on Dancing With the Stars…Bruno…why do you do that and then come back to me saying that you want us to be a family?”
”Arissa….those girls…they…they…filled a hole that you created when you left. I tried to fix it. But, I know now that the only way to fix it is to have you and Christian with me. I’ll never let you go again, Arissa…ever…” he said taking her hand playing with her fingers. She closed her eyes wrapping her free hand around his.
”You can’t hurt me again. And if you break my son’s heart by not being there for him, I’ll kick your ass all the way back to May 17, 2011.” she told him. He nodded his head agreeing to her terms. He pulled his hand out of her hands reaching over to kiss her gently.
”I love you, Arissa…so, so, so, so much.” He pulled away watching her hesitate.
”I can’t tell you I love you until you show me, Bruno.” she responded. He let the comment slide off his back kissing her again touching her waist making her squirm.
”Bruno…stop. That’s not fair…” she said between his kisses.
”It’s not fair that I haven’t touched you like this in five years, Arissa.” he said leaning in to kiss her jaw moving down to her neck and collar bone.
”Oh…Bruno…” she sighed. She started to stand up running her fingers through his curly hair wrapping her legs around him to get as close as possible as she could. She pushed him against the wall returning the kisses he gave her. ”But not too loud…you’ll wake up the baby…” she told him letting go of his ankle leading him toward her bedroom. He moved in toward her wrapping his arms around the back of her waist kissing her back and then moving to her neck again. She spun herself around facing him to kiss him again. He wrapped his arms around her laying her gently on the bed. She looked him in the eyes watching him bite his lip trying to decide what to do next.
”Arissa…I’m nervous…” he told her.
”Shut up, Bruno. Don’t be dumb.” she said sitting up.
”It’s like..like…I’m seeing you for the first time all over again.” he admitted to her.
”Well that’s sweet, but right now all I need is you to get naked.” she replied. His serious face turned to shock and then he started to blush. She started to take off her shirt waiting to see what his next move was. ”The nervous bit is my deal…” she told him standing up to kiss him running her fingers gently on the buttons of his shirt. She could tell she was getting to him as he pulled her in toward her kissing her as deeply and as passionately as he did before they were married. After clothes finished flying all over the bedroom he placed Arissa gently on the bed kissing her all over her body. She ran her fingers through his hair pulling it when things got too intense. ”Ohh….Bruno….oh my….” she said trying not to react in the way she did in the past.
He looked up at her in between kissing her stomach almost starting to laugh. ”Shh, you’ll wake the baby.” he told her. She pulled him up to see his face seeing several beads of sweat near his hairline.
”I like it when you get all sweaty like that..it turns me on.” she told him.
”Well you turn me on, period…” he told her.
”Oh my god….Bruno……” she bit into his shoulder screaming in her head. Holy shit. I’ve missed five years of this. I should have kept him just for the sex…woah.
”Arissa….you are so amazing…..” he breathed heavily into her ear. ”I can’t even….”
”Describe it….” she finished for him as he rolled over onto the side of the bed.
”That.” he told her.
Arissa turned facing the clock seeing that it was 5:30 in the morning. She had to be up in 30 minutes. She turned around in the other direction stretching out on Bruno the same way she used to.
”Baby….” he whispered to her.
”Yeah?” she asked.
”Stay home today…I want to hang out with you and Christian. Please?”
”I’d like that….” she answered him.
They went back to sleep until Arissa’s alarm went off. She snoozed it several times until she heard Christian’s voice.
”Mommmmm….” she heard his voice coming from the door. ”Mom? Dadddd?” he sounded shocked by the sight of them together.
”You don’t love him, mommy.” she heard him saying walking toward them. Bruno kept his eyes closed waiting to hear what she was going to say. She got up hitting Bruno’s arm to talk to her son.
”Of course I love him, sweetie. He’s your dad. Without your dad I wouldn’t have the greatest little man evvverrr….” she said pinching his cheeks.
”Mommy….you said you hated him when we were at soccer practice…” he responded to her.
”Mom was angry. Sometimes mommies and daddies say things they don’t mean when they’re angry. And why were you listening to me then? You were suppssed to be playing soccer, Christian.”
”Daddy told me to protect you….” he told her. ”From mean people…and he’s mean to you, mama…” he answered her. ”He makes you cry…and you told me people cry when they’re sad and angry…and you cry a lot…”
”Oh, Christian…” she said hugging him. ”You are the sweetest little boy that the world has ever seen.” Bruno sat up as she hugged him tightly.
”Daddy….are you going to hurt mommy again?” he asked him.
”No, Christian. Never again.” he said wrapping his arms around Arissa and his son. He kissed Arissa on the cheek picking Christian up and twirling him around.
”Come on..let’s go make your beautiful mother some beautiful pancakes…” he told his son.
Bruno spent the rest of the week with them, leaving early that Sunday to go home. Christian cried when Bruno drove away while Arissa felt a tear come down her cheek.
”He’ll be back, Christian…” she said taking his hand leading him back into the house.
”Mama….” Christian said after the walked in the house. He dug in his little straight leg jeans to pull something out. ”Daddy wanted you to have this…” he said handing her the emerald and diamond necklace he had bought her so long ago.
”Oh, that’s beautiful…” she told him setting it on the kitchen counter.
”But mom, you have to wear it. That’s what dad told me. He told me that if you wear the necklace it means that you’ve forgiven him…and that we’ll be a family forever…”
”Christian…we’re already a family. You don’t need a daddy to be a family, sweetheart. You and me…we’re a perfect family just the way you are.”
”But mommmmmm….” he whined starting to throw temper tantrum.
”You have to wear it…you have to. Daddy said. Mama……” he started to scream at her taking the necklace from the counter. ”Mommy…you have to. He said he wasn’t going to hurt you again…don’t you believe him?”
”I….Christian..how old are you?” she asked him.
”Four….” he said holding up 5 fingers.
”You’re too smart to be 4…are you sure you’re not thirty?” she asked him.
”Eww…mom…30 is old…” he responded.
”Come on…I will think about wearing the necklace. But until you’re thirty you can’t tell me what to do….” she told him picking up toys as they walked back into the play area of the house.
”He wanted me to give you this too…but I don’t know what this is…” he said handing her a green USB stick.”
”I’ll look at this later, baby…what do you want to do today?” she asked him placing the stick on the coffee table.
”I want to play the drums….” he told her.
”Go for it, just don’t get the neighbors upset, okay?” she said handing him the drum sticks glancing at the hat that Bruno had left. ”And don’t forget..you have to wear your hat when you play the drums….” she said placing the white fedora with a blue feather on his head,
Late in the evening Arissa glanced over at the coffee table n the family room seeing the green stick. I might as well look at it…if we’re going to make it work I have to at least try….she thought to herself grabbing her laptop slipping the usb into the port. She waited for the computer to read the stick watching Itunes open. She clicked on the first song. She heard familiar voices in the background, her sister, her friends, his family…it was their wedding day. Arissa settled into her seat waiting to hear what song he had put on the CD….the song he played her as she walked down the aisle. It was followed by the song he played for her after they arrived at the tent and then the one he had written for her after her hit Robert at the Ivy. Then they stopped being familiar. She was confused. She understood the relevance of those songs, but then it stopped. She listened to four songs all written about her and how much he missed her. Misery, pain, sadness, anticipation that he would win her back…were all feelings she felt throughout the songs. I told him not to write about this…but I guess…he didn’t release any of them…she finished listening to the last track in tears. She sniffed wiping them from her cheek. She checked to make sure everything was done…no….there was always something at the end…his voice came on with 10 seconds left in the last track. ”I’m sorry, Arissa.” he said. ”That’s…that.s…it.” he said in a quiet voice.
She played with her phone trying to decide if she should call him or not. She wasn’t even sure if he was home. She hit the button to call him.
”Hi, Riss…” he answered the phone
”Bruno….” she said quietly. ”That was the most…most…most you thing you’ve ever done for me. Thank you.” she told him.
”You’re welcome Arissa….” he told her.
”Brunz…I want this to work. It has to. I don’t know what I will do if it doesn’t.” she told him sniffing away her tears.
”Arissa…please, please..don’t cry, baby. Please.” he told her.
”I can’t not cry, Bruno…come back, please. We need you…” she told him.
”I’ll be there tomorrow….” he told her. I have to. I have to do this. If I want them in my life I’m going to have to make tough decisions. And, even though this should be a tough decision…it’s not…he thought to himself.
”Thank you, Bruno….” she told him.
”Anything for you, Arissa. Anything…” he told her.
Arissa walked Christian into his preschool class stopping for a second to talk to his teacher.
”His dad is going to pick him up this afternoon…” she told the older teacher.
”Oh…Wes?” she asked.
”Oh…no…no…his dad….” she answered.
”We don’t have his information on here…” she said.
”Oh…I know you don’t. But I’m going to give it to you…hang on…” Arissa took the form from the teacher filling out what she could remember, birthdate, full name, phone number…she flipped to her phone writing it down. She had it memorized at one point in time, but had long forgotten it. Oh, driver’s license number..I don’t remember that…she thought to herself. ”Give me five minutes I’ll get you the last bit…” she said texting him. He answered her within thirty seconds. She filled it in handing the teacher the form.
”Oh….okay. Thanks Miss Henderson…” the teacher said taking the card from her.
”I thought Henderson was your married name, Arissa?” the teacher said.
”Oh, no. He didn’t get that pretty skin from me…” she laughed. ”His dad is Puerto Rican and Filipino…” she answered.
”Oh, like Bruno Mars…right?” the younger assistant came over to them to see the form.
”Exactly like Bruno Mars…” she laughed.”Y’all have a good day…Christian!” she yelled at him. He ran back to her. ”Dad’s gonna pick you up today, k?” she reminded him.
”Okay, mama. I love you.” he told her hugging her quickly running back to his friends.
”I love that kid…” she said to herself turning around.
Arissa finished up at work at bit later than usual. She was usually one of the first people to leave the office. A female co-worker poked her head in the office seeing Arissa still at her desk with papers all over the place.
”Is Christian with your mom and dad tonight?” she asked her leaning against the door frame.
”No, his dad is here. They’re at home…” Arissa answered.
”Oh…I thought that you two were completely over. After last year when he showed up at Christian’s birthday party I thought you two would never get along…like…we wondered how y’all even lasted a month together.”
”We’re working on some things…” Arissa told her friend.
”Alright then.” her co-worker answered walking out the door glancing at the picture Arissa had on her desk of Christian and Bruno in Hawaii.
Arissa opened the door to the house quietly at 8:30 at night. She hoped that Christian was already asleep, but had no expectations. What she did see, though, was Bruno picking up blankets and moving chairs back into the kitchen.
”What did you two do tonight?” she asked him after she put down her purse grabbing a chair moving it back to where it belonged.
”Leave that there. I’m going to get it…” he said as he walked back towards her taking the chair from her hands. ”We made a fort. It was pretty bad ass. The four year old in me was jealous that I never made a fort that bad ass…” Bruno said grabbing his phone to show her the picture he took of their son in the middle of the fort. She saw Bruno’s chubby cheeks with her long nose and Bruno’s deep eyes mixed with her messy blonde hair. Their son’s big smile made her melt.
”Aww…that’s too much, Bru…” she said taking the phone from him to look at all the pictures.
”Ohh…and here…” he said leading her to the kitchen. ”I made you your favorite…” he said pointing to two plates full of the meal he made her the night he proposed to her for the first time.
”Oh, Bruno…that’s so sweet.” she said kissing him on the cheek sitting down.
”I couldn’t find one thing..but I don’t think it ruined it…” he told her.
”No…it’s perfect, Bb…” she told him tasting it. Oh my goodness…this is so good. Arissa thought to herself. ”Everything is just perfect, Bruno.”
A few months later
Arissa woke up next to Bruno touching his hair as she got out of the bed.
”Ewww….” she said to herself going into her bathroom. She turned on the water to take a shower feeling nauseous. ”eww…I’ll have to go out and buy a pregnancy test…” she told herself after getting out of the shower.
”Cami…come with me to CVS….” she spoke to her sister on the way home from work.
”Why, Ris?” she asked.
”Because I think I’m pregnant.” she told her sister.
”Risss…how much sex have you two had?” she asked her.
”Too much…” she told her sister. ”I guess we had to make up for all the time…” she answered.
”God, that’s gross. My divorced sister is getting more ass from her ex than I am from my husband..” her sister answered.
”Don’t hate the player, hate the game, Camille…” Arissa answered.
”Okay…let’s get you that test.” she told her.
Later in the evening Arissa followed Cami and Natalia into her bedroom while Bruno played with Christian and Natalia’s 2 year old Pilar.
”Pee on it, Riss…I’m so nervous….” Natalia told her from behind the door.
”I t doesn’t help that I haven’t been on the pill since Christian was 3….” Arissa said through the door.
”You what?” Cami asked. ”Yeah…I just stopped. It was a complete waste of twenty dollars when I wasn’t getting any…” she said flushing the toilet putting the three tests they bought on the counter.
Cami put her timer on jumping on the counter watching them. Arissa started biting her nails and Natalia started pacing in the small bathroom.
”What are you going to do, Arissa?” Natalia asked.
”I don’t know..I mean…we’re doing so much better..but there are still so many questions…” Arissa told her.
”The first one’s done…” Cami said picking it up. They huddled around the stick.
”Oh my god…..no way…” Arissa responded holding the stick.
”Yeah…and the other two too…” Natalia said picking up the other two.
”Riss…you’re having more Bruno babies…” Cami told her.
”Oh my god..more Bruno babies….” she gasped.
”Will you watch the kids for a second y’all?” she asked holding the tests in her hand.
”Of course…Natalia and Cami said in unison. They followed Arissa into the living room.
”You don’t have any clothes…” Bruno told them. They all shrugged their shoulders.
”Bruno…come talk to me outside…please….” Arissa told him.
”Dude…you better not be in trouble…” Diego told him.
”I’m not in trouble am I Riss?” he asked her with a smile.
”Naw…” she said opening the sliding door behind him. He sat down on the patio chair taking her hand.
”Riss..why are you shaking? Are you okay?” he asked her.
”I’m...I’m….I think…fine…” she told him. ”But, Bruno….” she put down the sticks on the glass table.
”Arissa!” he said the same way she had earlier when she looked at the tests. He glanced over to the inside of the house seeing the girls look away quickly. He saw her eyes starting to water up. ”Riss…There is no reason for you to cry, baby. No reason at all…” he said leaning over the table to wipe the tears from her cheek. ”I’m right here. I’m not leaving your side. I won’t…”
”But, Bruno…we just finally started to figure things out and now this” she said frantically.
”Arissa…if I told you I was happy would you be upset?” he asked her.
”No…because I knew you would be….” she told him.
”Good..because I know you’re scared and nervous and worried and all those things you shouldn’t be…” he slid his chair next to her. She laid her head on his shoulder not sure what to think. He squeezed her tightly reassuring her that he would be there for her.
”Bruno…I love you.” she said through her tears.
”Those better be happy tears, Arissa Eve…” he told her lifting her head up to look into her confused eyes.
”They are, Bruno…they are…” she leaned in toward him as they met in the middle kissing each other. After they kissed they turned around looking into the house where they saw Natalia, Diego, Cami and the kids clapping.
”Oh my god.” Arissa laughed with Bruno.
”I think we’ll be alright, Riss…” Bruno whispered in her ear.
”I know we will, B.”
Official THE END
And they lived happily ever after with their two freaking adorable babies.