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Love Gone Sour

A Bruno Mars fan fiction-follow La's journey as she meets Bruno, discovers her own talents and falls in love <3
May 13 '13

Chapter 64-Let’s Get This Show Started

Chapter 64

I wake up when I feel dragon get up from my side and shuffle downstairs which must mean that Bruno’s home. I can hear him talking to Dragon as he comes upstairs. I love the way he loves our dog, it’s the sweetest thing and it makes me love him even more. He quietly comes into the room and puts Dragon on his doggy bed before heading to the bathroom I can barely see him in the dark but I know that he comes out in his boxers. He tries to move slowly into bed so that he doesn’t wake me up. “Hi boo” I whisper and I feel him jump which makes me laugh so hard. “I didn’t mean to scare you” I laugh out as he snuggles in close. I can smell the alcohol on his breath. “I’m so glad I’m finally in bed with you” he says into my neck “me too” I say as I play with his hair. “Did you enjoy yourself?” I ask the dumb question, I know he had a good time. He’s living out his dream, why wouldn’t he have a great time.  ”Yeah. It could’ve been better if I got to spoil you on your birthday the way you deserved to be spoiled” I smack my teeth “but you did. I loved all of the pictures, they were amazing. Honestly they were the best part of my night”. I hear him let out a laugh “what’s so funny?” “The best part hasn’t happened yet" I can feel his smile on my cheek as he gets in close to kiss me. The smell of rum on his breathe is overwhelming but I ignore it as he makes love to me. We fall asleep quickly after and are woken up at noon by a text from Lily. Our families are leaving tomorrow so we plan on spending all day with them at the beach and then a party at Eric’s.

Sadly, the time flies by and our families have all headed home. It’s so hard not to feel depressed even though we really haven’t had time to stop and process that their time in Cali is over. The next two weeks are jam packed with rehearsals. The fellas are basically eating, breathing and sleeping this music in preparation for the tour. Thankfully he’s got a great group of guys with him so it makes the rehearsals bearable.

 The label is letting me tag along until New Year’s because slightly after that the guys will take their show overseas. I won’t get to perform at the majority of the gigs I’ll be at but right about now I don’t mind because at least I’ll be there. I haven’t seen Bruno this excited since we got this deal but really, I haven’t seen him much at all. He’s blowing up just like I always knew he would which means he’s super busy. I am beyond proud and happy yet at the same time worried because he’ll be overseas for a while and I’ll be Bruno-less for too much time. We made sure we talked about it all though and promised to stay in constant contact-phone Calls, texts and Skype as much as we can. One night after rehearsal as we lay in bed he brings something up that I wasn’t expecting. “Bee, when I come back from this tour, let’s start looking for a house. I think it’s about time that we live together” I smile because I agree. “I like that idea, it gives us a whole year to dream up our perfect place” I say as I kiss his cheek then lay my head on his shoulder. “When we get that place I want another dog” I add before kissing his chin. He smiles his classic beautiful smile “anything La wants, La gets”. I love, love, love when he says that-always have and always will. “Once we get that house can we work on changing the finger you’re wearing that ring on?” he says as he rolls over so that he’s propped up over me. I can’t help but smile along with him “I like how you’re thinking Hernandez”

Two days before the tour starts I’m going nuts packing for the both of us while Bruno is as calm as a cucumber. Why does it always happen that way? I’m freaking out and he acts as if he has not a care in the world? I’ll never get it. I change my train of thought by daydreaming about what this leg of his tour is going to be like. All the shows from now until he goes to Europe are at small venues which I really appreciate. I know what it’s like to be a fan and small venues are intimate, fans like intimate. Then my mind goes to how close each show is to one another and having to live out of a suitcase for the next few months. The only bit of relief we’ll have is a little more than two weeks between our Boston and Honolulu shows and then again from the Kahului show to his New Year’s Eve show in NYC. This means we’ll spend Christmas with his family in Hawaii and then my family will come out to be with us in New York City on New Year’s. Then I feel panic again because that means I’ll have to do Christmas shopping on the road. He must see the conflicting thoughts and emotions running through my head all over my face because he stops me from packing. He helps me stand and then walks me over to my bed “what’s going on in that pretty little head of yours?” he raises an eyebrow as pushes me down and then sits next to me. “You know me…my thoughts are everywhere. The next few months are going to be crazy hectic and then I’ll be away from you for a good 7 months…this is all moving way faster than I expected it to but it’s exactly what I wanted for you…I’m not complaining…but I am. I’m happy but I’m nervous and sad and scared” I start rambling and he stops me with a kiss. “sssh” he whispers onto my lips “Bee, stop. I know you and I feel the same. I’m happy but nervous and sad that I won’t be near you for so long. I don’t like that one bit, but we’ll stick to our plan and everything will be fine. I promise. Plus Dragon is going to hold down the fort, everything will be ok. He’s the only one allowed to sleep with you until we’re back together” he says with that smirk of his.

The night before the first gig we split up into two separate tour buses and head to San Francisco-not far from home. We arrive but before we can get settled or even think about going out we have a meeting with the entire team-Aaron, Brandon and his gang, Shaun (the tour manager) and his whole crew, the instrument technicians, musicians, lighting, sound techs, Dre (the head of security/bodyguard and his crew)-put it this way, if they’re involved with any aspect of the show, they’re here. We do a quick run through of the set list and the guys talk to their techs about how they want things to be done. Aaron lets me know that I’m not allowed to perform with the guys on opening night because they want to gauge how the audience responds to Bruno and the gang (who he calls his Hooligans) on their own-without a female. I get it, and at this point I’m just thankful that I’m allowed to travel with them for this leg of the tour. It’s whatever and really I’m content with singing and dancing along from backstage or some other area of the venue. Before leaving for the night Shaun tells us that we’re expecting a sold out show and that we need to bring things to the next level for these fans. That makes me nervous but I can tell that it’s just fuel to Bruno’s fire and another reason for him to want to go out and celebrate. We get ready and then head to a club near the venue and dance the night away. I feel like a mom but I make sure that the guys don’t get too drunk seeing that we have to be at the venue early to sound check. When we return to the hotel I have a little buzz and I can tell that Bruno is still buzzing too. We undress, lie in bed and fall asleep quickly. I wake up the next morning to the room phone ringing “Hello” I say groggily “wake up call.” Ugh Shaun would set up a wakeup call for us. After showering, I fight with Bruno to get up. He’s lucky I’m getting up at all-I’m not performing so I really don’t need to be there early. By the time I get this boy to get up and get ready we are the last people to get to the lobby-I’m sure it won’t be the last time. At the venue the guys joke and act a fool as the techs tune their instruments. They sound check and run down the set list once again. They let me in on a quick jam session which I am so appreciative of. Aaron looks at me and shrugs as if saying he wishes there was something he could do in order for me to be able to open the show with them and I just shrug back. After rehearsal we all chill for a bit.  As the hours creep by me, the ladies and Dani busy ourselves with laying out the fellas outfits for the night before heading back to the hotel and getting ourselves ready. I plan to look amazing and I know with Lily and Cindia’s help I’ll accomplish just that. We all wear our Doo-Wops and Hooligans tees to show support and head back to the venue. We pass the time before the show tossing back a few drinks and just bugging out.

When it’s almost time for the guys to take the stage I can hear the crowd starting to chant “BRUNO BRUNO BRUNO” and it gives me goose bumps. I’m so proud of him, so happy for him. We huddle up, arms around each other for a quick prayer and pep talk. “You lead it La” Bruno says and I want to punch him but I do it anyways because I love him and I love these guys. “Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the opportunity to live out our dreams. Please let us have a great show and give the fans what they deserve. We are so grateful and we know that is only because of you that we’re able to do what we do. In Jesus name we pray” and everyone says Amen in unison before Bruno starts getting all sorts of crazy and getting the guys pumped up. He gives me a quick kiss before I’m whisked off to my seat by security. They set us up by the sound guy. It’s the perfect spot because we’re not near the chaos of the crowd but we can see everything. The crowd is buzzing and I’m a nervous wreck. In a way I’m super glad that I won’t be on that stage with them tonight because my nerves would get the best of me. The boys take their place on the stage and the buzz grows into a full roar. All of a sudden they start the intro “it’s better if you don’t understand….” And I’m on cloud nine. The crowd is wild. The fellas take their places on the stage and the sound is deafening. I can’t imagine how the guys are feeling because I feel electricity run through my veins just watching. When Bruno takes the stage I feel overwhelmed with joy. I feel a single tear run down my cheek-a happy, proud tear. I take my eyes away from the stage only to look over at the ladies. They are in a zone, dancing, singing, smiling. Our boys, our loves, the guys who we’ve watched fight for this dream are lighting the stage up. The crowd loves every moment of it. This is something I’ll never forget, history in the making.

The first show went amazing and set the perfect tone for the rest of them. The response from the fans was better than we could ever imagine. The label was pleased and Bruno was over the moon with joy. Life on the road was crazy hectic. Especially when he had to do interview after interview before heading to gigs. He put on a brave face but I know it was taking a toll on him. The break he had was welcomed and we laid low except for some occasional Christmas shopping. Then it was back to touring. The last shows for the year were in Hawaii and were extra special. Seeing Bruno perform to a sold out arena while his family and friends bore witness was epic. It moved me to happy tears. My boo made it. The mayor even declared a Bruno Mars day! Christmas was even better- it would have been perfect if my family was there but that’s what New Year’s was for. The day after Christmas we ended up meeting my family in New York. The guys were hired to play a private gig at a hotel and we rang in the New Year jamming. I couldn’t kiss him at midnight but he made up for it in our room that night. We stayed a short time with my family in New York before returning home and making preparations for the European leg of his tour. While he and the band are gone, Ari and I will be working with various artists at Levcon studios. I wish I were going with the band but since I can’t, staying home, making music and holding down the production end of things is the next best thing.

May 13 '13

Anonymous asked:

I miss this story...I really reallllly do :(
are you going to stop writing?

No, I have a lot written already, just got to get to re-reading, editing and posting!

May 13 '13

Anonymous asked:

please update soon, the chapters dont have to be super long, but i want to know how it continues.

you’re right, they don’t have to be long but that’s how I like them lol

May 13 '13

Anonymous asked:

It's been over 3 months now since the last chapter, are you not finishing this?

i’m trying to write, I promise

May 13 '13

brunoppi asked:

Where are youuu :( I miss that story!!

I’m trying to write…Life happened…and I got a big person’s job now BOOOOOOOO

Jan 3 '13

Anonymous asked:

How long have Bruno and Laila been together?

that’s a great question..the way i tried to write it was so that they had been together a few years before Nothin On You came out. So far in the story we’re at the album release (2010) so I would say since 2007ish…I have neglected this story and must read over my notes to give you a more accurate time frame…sorry

Jan 3 '13

Anonymous asked:

I'm sure I've said this once or twice before but that pic of Bruno up there from IWR is sooo perfect! His hairline, those EYES, his perfect little nose, THOSE LIPS!!! His shoulders, his chest, his neck... just all of it. Good god, he's fabulous!

now if only he would bring that look back

Dec 3 '12

Anonymous asked:

i am glad you're back <3

thanks…the next chapter is in the works

Nov 21 '12

Chapter 63-HOE LEE SHIT

While we lay in bed Bruno has to do some phone interviews. It sort of takes away from our time but its part of being a star whose album just dropped. He has about ten of these calls to make and the questions are so repetitive. You’d think these people could get creative with what they ask but they don’t. I try so hard to hold my laughter in as he rolls his eyes and makes faces when the same question is asked again in the third interview. Eventually, one of these DJs asked him where he was and when he says that he’s in bed still it throws their questions into overdrive. They ask him if he’s in a relationship and hearing him say ‘no’ and that if he ever was he’d keep it private stings a bit. It’s part of being the girlfriend of a star who is on the rise. He squeezes my hand and looks at me apologetically and all I can do is fake a smile and squeeze his hand back. By the time the last interview is over he exhales loudly “I wish these people would ask some unique questions or at least listen to my other interviews and understand that I’ve answered the same question about fifty times already”. All I can do is shrug and say “I know”. A little after the last of the interviews is finished the crew comes over. They’re all hyped, loud and have their Doo Wops & Hooligans in tow. “Have you guys checked twitter lately?” Urbana asks. I know I haven’t since this morning. “No, why?” Bruno asks because his technically handicapped butt doesn’t check his account unless he has someone to help him. “You are trending and so is the album name! Check it out!” she basically screams which makes me scream. This is huge. Finally, all of the hard work is paying off. Bruno’s dream is coming true which means that OUR dreams are coming true. “It’s never too early to pop some cham-pag-na” Ari says as he pops a bottle of don perignon. I don’t even know where he got the bottle from-it just seemed to manifest into his hands! “Who needs a cup?” he says sarcastically before he chugs some down then passes the bottle around. Success had turned these men into savages! The bottle reaches me and I say “what the hell” and take my turn chugging-you only drop your first album once. This goes on until it’s time to head to radio stations for interviews. They allow me and Ari to tag along with Bruno and Phil for this round and I’m excited but nervous as hell. What if they ask about our relationship? What if they don’t like me like half of the chicks on twitter? What if they don’t even know who the hell I am? All of this crosses my mind as we get into the van that the label sent. “Don’t start now Bee” Bru says as he squeezes my leg. Damn him for knowing me so well. I shrug and nod my head yes. I’ll be fine! At the first station they don’t even acknowledge anyone but Bruno on the air and I’m not mad. The second station lets us talk and even asks us to sing a little something. Bam, done! The next station actually lets us introduce ourselves. One DJ takes it upon himself to ask me questions and Phil squeezes my hand under the table which gives me a boost of confidence. “So Laila, how you doing doll?” he says and I try to be as witty as the guys…I can hold my own…I think. “Hey, call me La and I’m absolutely fabulous!” I say with a smile. “So we were stalking your twitter a bit earlier and we saw that you were out there buying some copies of Doo Wops and Hooligans. Does the label not give you your own copy?” that makes us all laugh. “Yea, I was out there. Gotta support our team! Those copies I bought are for my family. I bought myself one too, although I had even better…I was there when it was all being thrown down.” I laugh “Yea, I guess that does trump a free album” the DJ laughs along. “So, it seems like the girl you ran into was happy about meeting you” he continues “yea, she was really sweet and actually caught me off guard. I was surprised that someone recognized me” I confess. He follows that up by saying “It seems like there’s some confusion and mixed reviews on twitter when it comes to your role in Bruno’s career…what do you say to that?” DAMN why would he ask something like that. We were asking for different questions and we sure as hell just got different. “Well…” before I can answer Bruno jumps in “La is a part of this team! This album wouldn’t have happened without her help and input. Just like it wouldn’t have happened if Ari or Phil weren’t involved. I trust her better than I trust myself-she helps create and produce what you guys hear and is talented beyond belief. Let there be no confusion. She IS a smeezington” he says with conviction. “Why thanks B” I smile “there you go world, from the mouth of Bruno Mars!” the DJ smiles. God that could of went wrong quickly but thank God Bruno is good with improvising. I high five Bruno from across the table and he gives me a wink. I breathe a sigh of relief when that interview is done and we move to the next and final one for the day. “Thanks for the save boo” I tell Bruno as we get into the van. “Anything for my Lala” he says with a wink. The last interview goes great. No questions are really thrown my way other than asking if we’ll sing along with Bruno-no problem there. This station takes some calls for Bruno and some girl comes out and asks if he and I are dating. I want to do a “face-palm” but I have to keep my cool. Thank God that B is quick with it “Listen here people…Laila is a beautiful and talented woman, but she belongs to a lucky, lucky man already. My heart belongs to music and I think me and music are going to have a long term monogamous relationship” I follow it up with “it takes a special man to love this kind of crazy” which makes the DJs and the fellas laugh. Oh God, I wonder what the label is going to think about that. They drop that there and they end the interview talking to only Bruno. Once we’re off air the DJs try to prod around in hopes of getting the real answer but we stick to our story. One of the female workers nudges me and says “your crazy man has some good taste if he gave you that rock” as she points to my right ring finger. “Of course he has great taste, he’s with me” I say sarcastically and she smiles. When we leave and are in the safety of the van Bruno starts laughing. “What’s so funny?” Ari asks him “I am crazy for loving you huh Bee?” I smirk and nod my head yes, but it goes both ways.

When we get home it’s around 9 pm and we made plans to go out and celebrate VIP style at one of our favorite spots. Everyone gets ready and we get the party started in the living room of the lab. I plan on taking it easy on the drinks because too many will get me loose and I need to “watch myself” around Bruno in public. This is getting old quick but I’d do anything for him. We use a car service to get to the club and when we get there we’re bombarded by flashes. I can’t believe that there are actually paparazzi out here for Bruno but then again, he is a star on the rise and this is only the beginning. Lily grabs one of my arms and Bruno grabs the other as we form a chain to work our way to the door. I feel like I’m blind for a minute and once we’re inside it takes me a good few minutes for my eyes to adjust. “That was crazy” I say to Lily who agrees. We’re treated like royalty at this place and the DJ shows mad love. He starts playing JTWYA and I find it to be an awkward song for the club but the crowd is rocking with it. Bruno actually takes the mic and sings along. We spend the night dancing and joking around. I’m sure to only have one motherfucker and sip on water or soda for the rest of our time there. I wish I could go all out like everyone else but I have to watch my ‘behavior’ or I’ll get in trouble with the label. So I spend the night getting my kicks from watching my crew get wasted. Before we can leave Bruno is stopped by a group of girls asking for pictures and he’s polite enough to take a few with them. They ask Phil, Ari and Eric for some too and I’m surprised when they ask me. The car ride home is live and everyone is still on their album release high. The car service drops everyone off at their places while Bruno and I head to my apartment since Ryan decided to bring some chick back to the lab with him. B uses his key to open the door and I instantly kick my heels off. “What a day” I say to him as we make our way upstairs. “I know…I always imagined what a day like this would be like but I never dreamt it would be this good” he says as he flicks the light on in my room. I stop him and wrap my arms around his neck “I’m so proud of you boo” I say as I plant a kiss on him. “Proud of us” he corrects me and I nod my head yes. He lets me go so that I can change into my pajamas as he takes Dragon out. When he comes in we lay down and talk about the week to come until we fall asleep.

The following morning we’re up earlier than we want to be but it’s only because our families are flying in. Our birthdays are in a few days and the album release party is this weekend so we figured they could make a mini vacation out of it. We force ourselves out of bed and get ready to get Bruno’s family first. The label was kind enough to make accommodations for all of our families at a nice hotel by the venue and also arranging transportation for the time they’re here. Jamie, her boys, Eric, Cindia and Liam are all at the airport when we get there and it’s not long before we see a big crowd of Filipinos headed our way. Bernie makes her way over to Bruno first while I get hugged and kissed by everyone else. There’s so many of them that I lose track of who I’ve greeted-I’m sure I’ve hugged and kissed the same person more than once. To think we have to do this again later in the afternoon with my family, but it’s only my mom, brothers, niece and nephew coming on my behalf. After the luggage is collected and loaded up into the vans we all head to a diner for breakfast before the family goes to settle into their hotel rooms. There’s so much conversation going on at the table during breakfast that it’s hard to keep track of who is saying what to me. Bernie, however, is sure to thank me for caring for her baby boy the way that I do. If only she could understand that I’d do anything for him. Once breakfast is done and paid for, the vans take the family to their hotel and we go home to rest up before my family gets here. We’re supposed to have a barbeque at Eric’s tonight as a ‘welcome to Cali’ dinner. All of those times that they promised they’d visit never happened and this is their first time out since we’ve been to see them. It’s been too long. When we get home we lay back down for a bit. “I’m excited” I tell him and he gives me a shy smile, I like his smile way too much. “I’m beyond excited bee…I’ve waited for this day forever. My family, your family, our album dropped, our birthdays, release party…pinch me because this can’t be real”. It does seem like a lot but it’s all good and for once I feel positive about everything. We stay in bed watching TV and napping until my alarm goes off. It’s time to go and get my family and I get a burst of energy. I haven’t seen them in so long and my babies have got to be so big. I can’t wait to scoop them into my arms and love on them. We get to the airport just in time to spot them at the baggage claim. Naia spots me first and comes running “titi!!!!” she jumps into my arms and I try my best not to cry. Mami is not too far behind and is hugging me and Naia all at once. Naia is a traitor though because she scrambles out of my arms to go into the arms of “Tio B” the moment she realizes he’s there next to me. After my mom lets me go I make my ways to my brother and take my nephew from his arms. “Hi titi” he says as he gives me a kiss. Brandon wraps his arms around me and kisses my forehead “PIGEON HEAD” he screams and if I didn’t have the baby in my hands I’d shove him. Carlos moves in to hug me next before he and Brandon get their luggage off of the carousel. In our excitement I hadn’t noticed that the kids have on homemade tees-it’s their picture with Bruno from the last time we visited, with the words “go and buy my Tio’s album” on the back. Too cute. I give my mom kudos for that. I’m sure to snap a pic of Bruno with them and tweet it out. The van people are there and we follow them to where they are parked on the curb. I’m caught off guard when I hear “Bruno, this way” then see a flash. HOLY SHIT, more paparazzi? This is awkward. Especially since Phil or Ari are not with us-the label probably is not going to like this. Bruno talks to the paps just so that they stay civil but I see my brothers getting annoyed with it already. “This is only the second time that this has happened” I tell Brandon. My family loads up in the van and Bruno and I agree that I should ride with them so that it doesn’t look too bad. We figure the paps are going to follow him and why give them anything more to write about. “AY mija eso no te molesta?” my mom asks me if this doesn’t bother me. “Of course mami, but it’s what we have to do for now” I shrug. “I think it’s stupid” Carlos adds. “You and I both!” I agree with him. We head to their hotel and they put their stuff in their rooms before freshening up quickly so that we can meet my “in-laws” and the crew for lunch. Bruno calls and tells me that he’s going to ride with his family to lunch and we’ll just meet there. We head to some spot that’s not far from Eric’s place that was large enough to accommodate all of us in a private setting. I feel a little nervous because it’s the first time our families are going to be together. Our van gets there first and I help unload my niece and nephew before going in to confirm our reservations. Lily, Ari and Brody show up soon after. My mom is ecstatic to see Lily and happy to finally meet the guys she always hears me talk about. Soon, I hear Ryan’s big mouth so I know that Bruno and his family have arrived. Ryan comes and hugs me “yo, there was paparazzi outside” he says shocked. You have got to be kidding me I say to myself as I sigh. I say a quick prayer that they don’t find a way to snap pictures of us during lunch. I leave those thoughts there and introduce Ryan to my family. “Ryan this is my mom and my brothers Carlos and Brandon”. He hugs and kisses my mom and then slaps my brothers up. “Oh, you’re the one she’s always beating in everything” Carlos laughs. Ryan looks at me and rolls his eyes. “I don’t know about all that” he laughs “it’s ok. We know how she is, it’s ok to say she beat you” Brandon tells him playfully. I can’t hear any more of their conversation because Bruno is at my side before his mom gets to me. Before today, I had played this scenario out in my head a billion times but now that it’s here I ask myself ‘How do I do this?’ ‘mom this is mom?’ that’s just weird so I shake it off. “Mami, this is Bruno’s mom, Bernadette” is what I manage to get out and Bernie has my mom in her arms before I can finish the sentence “call me Bernie” she says and they go off arm and arm to sit and chat. Introducing everyone seems like it takes forever. I’m relieved that everyone sits in random seats and isn’t divided by who belongs to what family. They are all getting along wonderfully and the conversation flows effortlessly. I also love seeing my niece and nephew playing with Jaimo, Marley , Zyah and Nyjah while little Liam rests in his mom’s arms. It dawns on me how much I really miss my family and wish they were near. I’m zoned out, lost in my own thoughts when Bruno asks me something “huh, sorry boo I was daydreaming”. “Really? About what?” he asks. “What it would be like to have our families around us constantly. I love this right now. Look at everyone, they get along so good. This is better than I expected”. He kisses my cheek “yea this is amazing. What I was asking you was if the paparazzi were here when you got here?” I shake my head no-this is the last thing I want to be thinking about but leave it to Bruno to bring it up. “I called Abs up and he said that it’s only the beginning. He also said it’s not a big deal if we’re photographed together as long as there’s no PDA” that gives me a little relief but it’s still not what I want to hear. I can’t wait until they tell us that Bruno’s established enough so it doesn’t matter if the world knows that he loves me and I love him. We drop that conversation there and continue to enjoy the company of our family. Somehow in the mix of conversation it was established that the ladies will be shopping for album release party outfits. I sigh but I’ll go along with it because it’s not often we do this. Also, it gives me a chance to get Bruno’s birthday present and ask for his family’s input, cuz seriously what do you get the man who has it all? I kiss Bruno before we even get close to exiting the restaurant but I do hug him like I hug the rest of the guys when we make it outside. The flashes are still there-God that’s annoying. The ladies load up in the van and the fellas take the kids with them. As the van takes us towards the shopping district the conversation goes to what everyone thinks they’re going to wear to the release party-I’m the only one who is clueless. I figure they’re all going to fuss over me anyways so I’ll just let them do it. While we drive I gaze out of the window and daydream as the girls continue with their talk about who knows what. I realize that a car is following us and low and behold whoever is in the passenger seat has a camera. Why are they following us? Bruno isn’t with us, so it makes no sense. When we pull over at the curb in front of the first store we plan to visit, they do too. I look at Lily and she shrugs. We all kind of have this confused look on our faces except for Presley who thinks this is awesome. I pull out my phone to text Bruno when the guy with the camera calls my name. I look up and he takes a picture which I am sure is going to be unflattering. “Hi” I say politely because I want some information from them. “So…why is it exactly that you’re following me?” I try to ask as nicely as possible. “Well…you are Bruno’s girlfriend right? That is his family with yours, right?”. I panic inside but try to do what Bruno does-think on my toes. “Yea those are our family members and as far as relationships-yes I’m in one and Bruno has repeatedly said that he’s in love with his music”. He shrugs and then says “sorry, just doing what we’re sent out to do”. I can’t get mad at that because I’m doing what I was told to do…lie. When we’re in the shop I call Bruno. “Bee…did they bother you?” he asks concerned. “Well they did say I was your girlfriend and mentioned something about our families being together but don’t worry I told them I was in a relationship and that you’re in love with music” he chuckles a little but I know that he can hear it in my voice. I’m tired of having to play these games. “I’m sorry bee…hopefully they leave before you guys do” “Yea, I hope so…but let me let you go boo. Your sisters are anxious to get started” I sigh. “Ok, make sure you buy something sexy” he whispers probably so that my brothers don’t hear him. “I’m shopping with Lily…you should already know what the deal is” he laughs “love you bee” “love you more boo” I say before hanging up. I hear Presley making gagging noises and that snaps me back to reality. She is too much but I can’t help it-I love the hell out of this man. She grabs my hand and drags me towards the back of the shop where most of the dresses are located “we need to get you looking amazeballs for my brother” she smiles. “Amazeballs?” I question because I never heard anything like it before and she just nods. Before I know it all of the ladies have their hands full with dresses to try on and have managed to give me more dresses than I can hold to try on as well. Everyone chooses their dresses first, even our moms before they make me give them a mini fashion show. After trying on about ten dresses they all agree that this off white dress with a lace back is the one I need to be wearing. IT IS SHORT as hell and I know I’m going to be uncomfortable but it’s only one day for a few hours. Bruno left me his new credit card to pay for everything and when the cashier tells me total I almost die. I’ll be paying for the shoes because this is ridiculous. I text him about the insanity that was the bill and he texts me back “we’re balling now bee” with a smiley face. UM…no! We head to the next shop down and I’m relieved when I notice the paps are gone. Shoe shopping was way easier than dress shopping in my opinion and I’m excited that now all I have to focus on is buying Bruno’s birthday gift. I ask his sisters for their opinion and I’m shocked when they all agree with Lily-Lily always suggest the same thing every time. I guess I’ll go to a music store later and browse until inspiration hits me. We get dropped off at their hotel so that they can put their things away and get refreshed for dinner. B and Ryan are there waiting for us and I ride home with them. “I can’t wait to see your dress” he winks my way. “I look like a hoe! These girls picked out the shortest piece of fabric in existence” “you’re going to look like HOE-LY SHIT” Ryan laughs and I reach behind me to punch him. “So what did you guys do?” I ask them because he really didn’t call or text me while we were gone. I still get nervous about my brothers being alone with him-they can get a little unruly and need to be put in their place from time to time. I’m hoping that they behaved. “We played basketball at Eric’s” Ryan answers which cracks me up because I can NOT imagine Bruno’s short self playing ball with my brothers who are both over 6ft. “What’s so funny?” he asks but he already knows why I’m laughing and pouts. “How bad did you get schooled boo?” he playfully shoves me from across the center counsel. “It was bad” Ryan answers as we pull up to my house to get Dragon. Bruno runs in to get him and I wait in the car with Ry. “So Ry…how was your company last night?” I ask because that is what nosey sisters do. “Wish you were there to kick her out in the morning” he shrugs. “That’s what you get for bringing club bitties home” I say as I roll my eyes. “Yeah, yeah,. I won’t learn though” he smirks and I laugh because I already know it’s the truth. Bruno comes out holding Dragon close to his chest and hands him to me when he opens the door. The short ride to the lab is filled with me and Bruno cracking jokes on Ryan and his questionable choice in women. When we get to the lab Ryan calls dibs on taking a shower first and we don’t fight. Bruno wants to see my dress anyways and that just gives me time to model it real quick. When we’re in his room he closes the door behind us and sits on the edge of his bed with Dragon by his side. I take the dress out and hold it up “different…but let me see it on” I undress quickly with my back facing him because I know if I look at him we’re both going to get the wrong idea and end up doing something that we have really no time to do. I slip it on and ask him to zip me up before I turn around. “Wow” he says as I study myself in his full length mirror. “Ehh…not too bad” I shrug “other than the fact that I won’t be able to bend or move quickly without my ass hanging out” “mmm. That ass” he smiles before getting up to hug me then unzip the dress. I hang it back up and then throw on my clothes. He lays down with Dragon while we wait for Ryan to finish. He bathes like a chick-literally it takes him 45 minutes which he usually blames on his hair. In the meantime, I sit on the floor and take Bruno’s guitar from its stand by his closet. “You going to sing for me bee?” I shrug “if you want me to” he nods his head yes. I stop to think about the last song I heard then tune the strings real quick.

“You only stay with me in the morning…You only hold me when I sleep…I was meant to tread the water…but now I’ve gotten in too deep…for every piece of me that wants you…another piece backs away…you give me something that makes me scared alright…this could be nothing but I’m willing to give it a try…please give me something,…cuz someday I might know my heart”

I sing the rest of the James Morrison song to him and he has the cutest smirk. “You truly are something else Miss DeJesus”  “As are you Mr. Hernandez”. When Ryan is done making himself beautiful, Bruno and I take turns getting ready. We don’t need to dress fancy because we’re going to some Mexican restaurant that Ryan keeps talking about. When we get there, our family is already there and has ordered their drinks. Dinner was amazing and during that time I decide that tomorrow I’m going to take my brothers to Charlie’s gym with me. They say they can’t imagine me boxing, but they got something coming. Plus, I’d love to see them whine and complain through one of Charlie’s workouts-they’re brutal. Ryan says that he wants to tag along as well-the more the merrier. Lily agrees to do some more shopping with Bruno‘s sisters and Bruno sets it up so that our mothers can have a spa day. Cyndia’s parents agreed to stay with all of the kids and I’m more than thankful to them for that.

The next day Ryan and I get my brothers from the hotel bright and early then head to the gym for our workout. I introduce them to Charlie before we get set up for our drills. I can’t help but laugh when they start complaining like I expected them to. “This is no joke” I remind them. Brandon gets to spar with Charlie first and I love hearing Charlie taunt him. “:Let’s see if you’re any good”. I’m in hysterics when he tells him that he has some ways to go in order to catch up to me. “Told ya so” I say as I stick my tongue out. It pretty much goes the same for Carlos and Ryan. I’m up last and I show them why I like boxing-because I’m actually pretty good at it. “This is what you fellas need to be doing” Charlie says as I throw a jab at his padded hands. “Keep showing off” Ryan taunts me. “Hush boy…you don’t want none of this” I say in between breathes. After we shower, change and thank Charlie I drop my brothers off at the hotel and Ryan and I go in search of the perfect birthday gift for Bruno. Tomorrow we’re having a big party at the lab to celebrate both of our birthdays with the family. We head to this music store called “mikes” that I know Bruno likes. I think this is where he actually got my Clyde from. I browse for a while before deciding to drop a pretty penny on a Fender Road Worn Player Telecaster. It’s his favorite color and I know he’ll love it and he’ll be able to take it on tour with him. I thank the shop owner then head out with Ryan when I see a flash “you have got be fucking kidding me” I murmur. “They’re here for me” Ryan smiles and I can’t help but laugh. “So Laila is that for Bruno?” I hear the photographer say. I don’t answer the question but smile politely as I load the guitar in my back seat then drive off. “That is so annoying” I say with a sigh. “Girl… I told you…they’re here for me” Ryan says as he flips his hair. “You are too much Keomaka”. Thankfully, they don’t follow us as we drive away. We stop at my place to leave the guitar hiding then head to the lab where Bruno and the rest of the fellas are. “How was boxing?” Uncle Johnny asks. “Great…I showed them all up” I laugh and Ryan gives me the side eyes. “That’s my girl” Bru says as he pulls me into a hug. We get ready and head to rehearsal after that-we have to perform at the album release party and Bruno has his tour coming up. With our help, he’s picked some guys out for the band who are phenomenal. On bass he has this kid Jamareo who won Diddy’s making his band. The guy is a genius and is so funny and humble-such a pleasure to be around. On guitar there is a sweet, sweet man named Kenji who has the cutest little girl ever. He is sick with it and I make sure to get some pointers from him whenever I can. On keys and as the musical director we’ve chosen Phredley who is a force to be reckoned with. He can pretty much do it all and has an amazing personality that mirrors his talent. They make rehearsals go by so smoothly so that they’re actually fun to be at. At some point in the night Uncle Johnny, who tagged along, squeezes me and tells me how proud he is of the progress I’ve made as a musician. That right there makes me so happy because he saw me at the beginning of this journey when all I did was question myself and now I can run the show if I needed to.

The next morning I get up early and do some running around with our mothers and Bruno’s sisters for this party. We have a lot of cooking and prep to do. It’s not going to be too big-just our families and some of our closest friends but still, Puerto Ricans and Filipinos go all out when the word “party” is thrown out there. When we get back to the lab Bruno is still sleeping and it’s probably for the best because if he was awake he’d be in the kitchen picking at all of the food which would drive me nuts. Jamie and I stay in the kitchen to help with the food while the rest of his sisters along with Lily decorate the place. Eventually Bruno gets up and straggles to the kitchen. We all scream out HAPPY BIRTHDAY and I wait until everyone is done giving him a hug before I can get to him. I squeeze him tight and give him a big kiss. “Happy birthday boo…how does it feel to be 25?” he shrugs “hmm…I don’t know yet, but you’ll find out for yourself tomorrow”. We’re getting old, but I don’t mind aging as long as he’s by my side. It’s going to be a good journey and I’m up for it. My moment is interrupted by B’s sister “Do me a favor and take this woman out of here…she can’t be in here when the party is for her too” Tahiti tells Bruno and so he takes me up to his room, but not before getting some food first. “Bee let me shower and get dressed…I have to take you somewhere before the party”. “Where are we going?” I know it’s useless asking but why not try. “Surprise” ugh! Here he goes with the damned surprises again “What should I wear? What do I need to bring with me?” he’s got to give me some type of hint. “You’re dressed just fine and you just need to bring yourself”. I roll my eyes and he gives me a cheesy ‘you can’t be mad at me’ smile. It’s his freaking birthday so why is he surprising me? That’s just not right. I head back downstairs while he showers and get yelled at all over again for trying to help so I just go back to his room and play with his guitar. I play around with Chrisette Michele’s “Mr. Right” while I think about the past few birthdays we’ve had together. They were much more low-key than our first birthday as a couple and this one. We just exchanged gifts over dinner and then went out with the crew to our favorite club-Third Room. Leave it to Bruno to want to surprise me now. I keep strumming until he walks in the room in only a towel. “HELLLLLOOOO sexy” I say as I raise one eyebrow. “LAILA…my family is downstairs and so is yours” he says in a sassy voice which cracks me up. “Plus we have to go before they kill us”. Yeah, yeah. After he’s dressed and smelling delicious we head downstairs to say we’ll be back later. “Have fun” Bernie says with a wink and a smile. I wonder what she knows. In the car he talks to me about everything but what we’re about to do. “You know you’re killing me right?” I say as I pout and cross my arms. “I know” he says with his slick smirk. Soon enough we’re pulling in to a parking lot next to a sports store. That’s confusing. “This is random” I tell him and he puts his finger up to my lips in order to make me stop talking “sssssssssssh” he says playfully and I want to smack his arm but stop myself. He comes to my side of the car and opens my door and offers me his hand-such a gentleman. He keeps my hand in his and walks me into the store. “May I help you” a young man asks from behind the counter. “Yeah, I called and spoke to Todd. My name’s Bruno” “Oh, yes. Right this way” he says as he leads us towards the back of the store. I look at Bruno and he smiles. I’m lost until I see what’s in the back-the boxing equipment. “I figured you’d like some custom gear bee” he can’t stop smiling. “Really?” I ask stupidly because I already know he did the damage without me knowing-in typical Bruno fashion. The guy starts opening packages and bringing stuff out. I see a lot of purple which I love already but I can’t believe that he would go out and do all of this. “Stop thinking that” he says and I just shake my head. He knows what I’m thinking without me having to say a thing-that’s love. The sports store kid holds up the trunks first-they’re purple Nike shorts and the waist band is black with “Bee” in white letters and a little graphic of a bee above the last e. The sleeveless tank matches the shorts with a small bee above the Nike logo. He got me plain compression shorts and a purple chest protector with the protective bra too. The boxing boots the kid pulls out are DOPE-they have a crazy black and purple pattern that I just love. He takes out a purple mouth guard and tape as well as PURPLE gloves. I’m ecstatic! All of this is perfect but when he pulls out the headgear it’s like a boxing crown. It’s black and purple and has white silhouettes of bees all along the sides. I just look over at Bruno shaking my head. “Do you like it bee?” “Why would you do this for me on your birthday though?” I answer his question with a question of my own. “Um, maybe because your birthday is tomorrow” he says sarcastically “and I know if you stayed home you would want to help with the party and our family might kill you”. He’s right. “So do you like it?” what kind of question is that? “Of course I do. I love it. You always do the most thoughtful things for me” The young worker is staring at us so I just leave that where it is instead of doing what I really wanted to do-give him the biggest hug and kiss. The kid carefully bags everything up in this huge purple gym bag for us and even carries it out to the car although I insisted that we could carry it on our own. When we’re in the safety of the car I tell Bruno that I love him and he tells me that he loves me too. “So where to now? Please no more surprises! Is it safe to go home?” I want to know. “Well, I have to pull over somewhere so I can do this phone interview real quick” how could I forget. Of course he would be doing phone interviews on his birthday, UGH! He pulls into some parking lot and dials up a number that he had written down on a receipt. I can’t hear what they’re telling him but he says “uh huh….sure…yup” then he mouths to be that they’ll be live on air in a minute. I sit there patiently scrolling through twitter on my phone while I listen to Bruno talk about the album. I hear him say “Thank you! Actually, Laila’s birthday is tomorrow so our families are having one big party for us tonight” Silence and then “I’m actually with Laila, we just picked up her early birthday present. Say hi La” oh God this can get bad if we don’t play it right. “Hi” I say loudly so they can hear and then he puts it on speaker. The radio host tells me happy birthday and I say thanks. He then asks what Bruno got me-God these people are nosey. I look at Bruno who nods his head yes-giving me approval to divulge this info. “I’m really into boxing so Bruno hooked me up with some custom gear-really nice custom gear” “Boxing? Who would have thought…So what did you get him” a female co-host asks “I can’t say…he’ll get his gift at the party tonight” I smile and wink at him. “Do you always exchange gifts?” the host asks and Bruno leaves it to me to answer. “Yeah, we’re like one big old family. We exchange gifts on holidays and birthdays” I say which they follow up by asking what the best gift he’s given me is. I cannot answer that truthfully because if I did I would tell them all about our relationship and the promise ring he gave me a few weeks ago so I answer with a semi true answer “Bruno actually bought me my first guitar and between him and his uncle taught me how to play. So I owe my musical career to this group of guys I’m with” “Nice” is what the DJ says before asking Bruno what the best gift I gave him was which he’s going to answer generically too “Well, Laila actually bought me a very nice ukulele one birthday. It’s the one I use on stage”. “So a guitar and a ukulele…go figure” the DJ says and he leaves me alone there before asking Bruno a few more questions and ending the interview. “That could have went a completely different direction you know. You have to be careful when mentioning me in interviews” I tell him even though I wish he would say eff it and tell the world about us. “I know bee…but it went well and it is true. We were out getting your early birthday gift” he says with his classic Bruno smile. He has another interview to do in a few hours and that’s it for work on his birthday. “So where to now?” I ask because it’s still early and if we go back home I might get in trouble for trying to help.“One more stop and then we can go back” It’s about four in the afternoon and the party is supposed to start at 6. We both still need to shower and change. “You’re not going to tell me either huh?” he shakes his head no and pulls away from the curb. Wherever it is, it has to be some place that is quiet and he’s comfortable at because he has to do another phone interview in about an hour and a half.

During our car ride I want to take my mind off of these damned surprises so I figure it’s a good time to ask about how he truly feels about everything that’s going on. I know I am weirded out by all of the extra attention that comes our way when we’re out but he hasn’t said much other than addressing what we should and should not do according to the label. “I don’t know about you, but I feel weird when the paparazzi are out there trying to get pictures of us. I understand why they want pictures of you, but I’m not so sure why they keep popping up at places when you’re not with me. It’s like they’re reaching hard to try to make a big story” he thinks for a second before answering “it is weird but I guess it comes with the territory. I don’t like that they followed you when you all went shopping and I really don’t like that they’re trying to get information from you. What we do is between us-even before all of this-our lives are ours. I’m going to play it nice and keep them at a friendly distance because what they do can help or hurt our careers or us. The last thing I want in this world is for something as stupid as paparazzi to get in between what we have. I’m glad you brought it up though bee. Talking about all of this kind of stuff is the only thing that will keep us sane and together.” As I’m getting ready to answer back I notice we’re heading towards my apartment. “Why are we going to my place?” I ask instead of responding to what he just said. “Surprise”. “I don’t want it” I flat out say “It’s YOUR birthday so let’s stop doing things for me and start thinking about YOU” I cross my arms. He smiles and I want to punch him. “It’s for both of us bee so stop”. When we get to the house he runs over and opens my door then grabs the bag of boxing stuff to take in. I walk into the house and start looking around-trying to figure out what in the world he could be talking about. Everything looks the same-nothing out of the ordinary. He takes my hand and leads me upstairs to my room and it’s the same too. “Surprise…I just wanted some time alone with you before we’re surrounded by a million people in a few hours” I smile and breathe a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness boo. Here I thought you did the typical ‘you’ thing and went all out. I was about to have a titty attack. Thank you for the simplicity boo”. Now I can finally pull him into my arms and give him the hug and kiss I have wanted to give him since the sports store. He pulls away for a second but only to say that this is just what he needed. Things have been crazy lately with the album release and all it entails so our quiet time together is usually when we’re getting ready to go to bed and when we get up in the morning and that’s probably what it’s going to be like from here on out. He starts to kiss me again and eventually we end up on my bed making love and covered in sweat. I’m out of breath when he tells me that we need to hurry and get showered because we have to go to our party. I get up and wrap myself in my robe then head to my closet while he showers. When I open the closet door there’s a single red rose and a birthday balloon with a card attached. I shake my head because he keeps doing this and he doesn’t have to-especially on his birthday. I unfold the small card “Before you get mad-remember that I love you and we’re celebrating both of our birthdays. There’s an outfit for you laid out on Lily’s bed. Can’t wait to see you in it” and it’s signed with his name. Before I can even go and look in her room, I open the bathroom door and he stops singing. “You think you’re slick huh?” He peeks his head out “who me?” “It’s YOUR birthday, not mine….so stop this shit now”I pout. “Exactly, it’s MY  birthday and if I want to spoil you on MY birthday I will. SO stop yelling at me”. He has a point-I don’t need to be yelling at him on his birthday. “Sorry boo…I just want the day to be about you. I was supposed to take YOU out and give you your gift” he puckers his lips for me to kiss him and then invites me to shower with him. Why not? It gets me to stop the arguing-he wins. We shower quickly and he wraps me up in my robe before wrapping his towel around his waist. “Do you like your outfit?” “I haven’t even seen it yet” I confess. I’m praying to God that he didn’t let his sisters pick it out because then I’ll be next to naked. I’m pleasantly surprised when I see a pair of black skinny jeans, grey sequined tank top and grey heels. “Thank God for no dress” I smile before I kiss him. “Lily helped”. I bring the clothes back to the room with us and then head into the bathroom to get ready while Bruno gets dressed and does his second and last phone interview for the day. I apply light makeup and leave my hair down with its natural waves, spray myself with my Bruno made perfume and get dressed. “You look delicious bee” Bruno says when he sees me. He looks mighty fine himself in his red pants, black tee and fedora. “not too bad yourself Hernandez” I say as I smack his ass then walk towards the staircase so that we can leave. In the car he asks me if I’m excited. I am but at the same time I feel guilty that we left our families at the lab slaving over the things left to do for the party. “I feel bad that I didn’t help more” he rolls his eyes. “Of course you would feel that way” he says as he rolls his eye some more. “It doesn’t help that you spent your birthday trying to surprise me and doing all types of stuff for me” I add to it. He starts shaking his head and saying “no, no” jokingly as a way to get me to stop. “Stop bee…anyways, there’s still tomorrow for more surprises” “NO!” I say louder than I had planned to and it makes him jump a little bit. “Sorry” I apologize as we pull up. I see a bunch of cars lined up down the block and that makes me happy! Our family and friends are all out to celebrate us-our birthdays and success- and it feels so good. He pulls the car into the garage and opens the door for me. “Are you ready?” I ask but I know that he’s born ready…and really how ready do you need to be to party? “Of course” he says before quickly kissing me then grabbing my hand and leading me to the door. When we open the door to the house the party is already in full swing and there is a bunch of cheers when people realize we finally walked in. Lots of hugs and kisses happen so quickly that we’re kind of stuck in the same spot for about ten minutes. When we can make our way to the living room we see that Karaoke has been set up courtesy of Presley-that is going to be interesting after a couple of drinks. The dining room is set up with tons of food and drinks as is the kitchen. From the dining room I see that the kids are in the yard playing under Cindia’s supervision and I go out so I can hug and kiss them all. They’re all too busy playing with each other to be bothered by me. When I go back in Bruno has a drink in hand for me. “Cheers bee” he says as he hands me my drink and we clink glasses. Before we can go in on full party mode my mother makes us sit and eat. His mother serves us a plate with a little of everything and it’s all delicious. I’ve missed my mom’s cooking like crazy and although I make some of the same things as she does, they don’t compare to hers. The party goes on and is jumping. Eventually, they bring out two cakes for Bruno and I then sing happy birthday. I try to be slick and smear some cake on B’s face but he grabs a hold of my hand and stops me. I see a bunch of flashes and for once it doesn’t bother me because I know it’s the flashes of my family’s cameras. Before everyone is too far gone with their drinks they’re sure to give Bruno and I gifts. I get red in the face because I wasn’t expecting a thing. Having our families with us is the best gift I could get anyways. Bruno starts opening up some of his stuff from his sisters and the label. I’m stunned by the beautiful watch that Mr. Janick and Mr. Caren sent him-but he’s their star. As he keeps opening stuff I manage to slip away to get his gift from Lily’s car. He stops when he sees me in the door with the case and just shakes his head. “Happy birthday boo, I hope you like it” I say as I hand over this hard case with his new baby in it. He takes it from my hands and lays it down on the floor in front of him. I watch nervously as he undoes the two latches and lifts the lid. I don’t even know why I’m nervous because surely he’s going to love it-he has to. “Wow” is all he gets out as he lifts it out of the case and places it in his lap to examine it. “Damn” I hear Uncle Johnny say from behind me. “This is ridiculous” he says with a smile that could light up the darkest night. “So…you like it?” I smile. He puts the guitar down in its case and gets up and squeezes the life out of me. “Baby, it’s perfect. I can’t believe you would do that for me” I just kiss him. The silly boy should know by now that’s I’d do anything for him. Bruno starts strumming at his new toy and completely forgets about the clothes and hats his sisters bought him. They’re just like us-they don’t trust his fashion sense and feel the need to guide him into a better direction and I love it. His sisters start handing me packages and we argue for a few minutes because I say that I’ll open them tomorrow when it’s actually my birthday. They’re not having that though. “Just open them! Your birthday is in an hour anyways” Jamie tells me and I know that there’s no point in arguing any further. I wish the kids were up at this point but they’ve been knocked out in the extra room for a while now. They could’ve helped me rip the wrapping paper- I guess I’ll have to wait until Christmas for that. These kids could protect me from the craziness that is their aunts/mothers too! I look to Bruno for some help but he’s too busy playing with his guitar and showing it off to Uncle Johnny to even try to save me. “Here” Presley says as she shoves a bag into my hands. I’m so relieved when I open it and it’s a Victoria’s Secret Buffalo Bills sweat suit and not some barely there ensemble. “I LOVE THIS” I say with a big smile because I really do! “I figure you could wear it to and from the gym or even around here. Your team sucks though” I laugh because she’s absolutely right then hug her. “For a second I thought you were going to give me something that was barely there” I confess and she smiles “trust me, I thought about it”. Next, Tahiti hands me a box and inside it has a framed picture of me and Bruno with the boys from the barbeque the other night. I didn’t even know that the picture was taken which makes it even more special. “This is beautiful” I tell her before she hands me a card that the kids scribbled in that has a gift card for the nail shop I usually go to. Tiara got me a cute bag and matching wallet and Jamie hooked me up with a bunch of oils and things from her new charity group she helped found. Inside of a card is also a picture Marley drew me which is phenomenal-the kid has talent. After I open their gifts I convince my mom and brothers to leave the stuff they got me for tomorrow at lunch and they don’t argue which I appreciate. After the gift exchanging everyone goes back to the party. Once midnight hits I get surrounded by a crowd of family singing happy birthday and everyone tosses back a shot. The party continues like this for another hour or so and then everyone disperses their separate ways. I’m thankful when it’s finally quiet and we can head to bed. Tomorrow is going to be crazy-Bruno has interviews in the morning so the girls scheduled a mani/pedi date. Then, we planned lunch with our family and at night we have the album release party. As the last of our family leaves Bruno locks up and grabs his guitar as we head upstairs to his room. “Happy birthday bee” he says as he puts his guitar down by his dresser and brings me into his arms. “Thank you boo. Did you enjoy your birthday?” “Best birthday ever! And you went all out with that sick guitar bee. You are nuts” “Over you” that makes him smile. By now we’ve both sobered up which is surprising because I feel as if I had an alcoholic beverage in my hands at all times. He seems sober too which is beyond surprising. “Bee, what are you thinking about? Your forehead is so wrinkled” “are you saying I’m old Hernandez?” I snap. “No, silly woman. Just curious as to what you’re thinking” “I’m thinking that it’s a miracle that we’re sober” I say with a smile. “I know, right? Since we’re up and sober…are you up for an adventure?” I look at the clock then look at him like he’s crazy. “Trust me” I always do, so I shrug. “Grab a sweater and put on your sneakers” so I go into his closet and take a hoodie. I throw it on and follow him downstairs where he grabs my purse and camera. What the hell does he have in mind? We lock up the house behind us and head to his jeep in the garage. He opens the door for me and straps me in before jumping in on his side. I know better than to ask where we’re going because I know he’s not going to answer me. “Oh shit, I forgot something…I’ll be right back” he says as he leaps out of the door. Ok, I guess I’ll wait. When he comes back he throws a duffle bag in the back seat and we’re off. We ride in silence until I realize where we’re heading. “The beach, really?” He shakes his head yes. We haven’t been here in a long, long time. When we get there, he parks then opens my door and grabs the bag from the back. He takes my hand and leads me to our spot. He opens the bag and pulls out a blanket for us to sit on then lays it down. I sit and he snuggles up next to me so that I can put my head on his shoulder. “I like this adventure. We haven’t been here in a long time” I say into his neck. “It’s been too long! Happy birthday baby girl” “thank you! Happy birthday to you too boo”. We sit there quietly for a few minutes-he lets me appreciate the sound of the waves crashing on to the beach, his breathing, his scent, his warmth-it’s almost too much to bare. He breaks the silence “La, I want to give you your birthday present” I lift my head with the quickness and am ready to spit fire. He already did way too much with the boxing gear and now he’s talking about giving me a gift…pfffft this boy is tripping. “NO” I say a little too loudly. “Too bad. I got you something and you have no choice but to take it and love it. That’s that. End of story. I win” he says with a neck roll and a snap. I let out a huge sigh and just put my hand out because fighting is futile and no matter how much I fuss he’s going to do whatever the heck he wants in true Bruno fashion. He places a small box in my hand and I tense up because small boxes are always complicated. “Open it fast bee” he requests, so I open it painfully slow. It’s my birthday; I’ll open however I want! When I finally get it open I see something that makes me smile from ear to ear. “Wow, I wasn’t expecting this…it’s been too long”. There are two gold charms-a boxing glove and a bee-he hasn’t gotten me anything for my charm bracelet in a long time even though I always wear it.. “I know, sorry babe. We gotta start getting back to basics” he’s right but that’s going to be next to impossible with all that is going to be coming up. Rehearsals, tour, shows, appearances-lots of time apart. “I like basics” I say as I fiddle around with my bracelet trying to put the charms on. “I do too. Basics are what is going to save us from this crazy lifestyle we’re about to take on” Once I have my bracelet back on and my head is on his shoulder again he starts laughing. “What’s so funny punk?” “Promise you won’t get mad?” oh lord! “I can’t promise anything Hernandez” he’s up to no good. He lifts his hand and there’s another small box. I’m starting to have a love/hate relationship with small boxes. “I don’t want it’ I fuss some more. He pushes it on me anyways. “You’ll want this” he smiles. God, I want to strangle him. I take my time opening this one too-let him suffer. He starts smacking his teeth and I smile as I take my time. When the wrapping paper is finally off the box, he snatches it from my hand and opens it facing him. “Ready?” I shake my head no but he turns the box so that it faces me anyways. All of the times I didn’t want to punch him flash through my mind as I take a nice swing at his arm. “OUCH, what the hell”. I feel bad, but I don’t at the same time-he deserved that. “WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU DO THAT HERNANDEZ?” I say and he pouts “because I love you” “I love you too, that’s why I punched you. I don’t know if I can accept this from you” I say seriously and he smacks his teeth even louder while looking me up and down. “You can and you will” he says as he hands me the box. I take it and hold it close to study it under my cell phone light. This boy went ahead and got me the earrings to match the ring he gave me. “You can wear them to the album release party” I stay silent. What can I say really? I bury my face into his neck again because I don’t know what else to do. “Laila?” I shoot my head up because that caught me off guard. “Well…?” “I love them Bruno…it’s just that you always do so much…more than you should sometimes” He laughs and I look at him seriously. “I still owe you a lot remember. There have been times when I haven’t been the best boyfriend, so I’m making up for my past debts”. He sure does have that right. “You are absolutely right” I say before finally cracking a smile. “This is going to go on for a lifetime” I say in between yawning. “That’s ok with me Bee. Let’s get you home though-we’ve had a long day and we have another long one ahead of us” he helps me up and shakes the blanket off before folding it and putting it back into the bag. He takes my hand and we walk to the car in silence. He opens my door and straps me in before getting in himself and it’s not long before I’m asleep. I realize we’re home when he’s opening my door to try to carry me in. “Stop silly, I can walk in myself. He takes my hand anyways and leads me upstairs. I don’t even know how I make it because I’m beat. He helps me undress before undressing himself and getting into bed to hold me. I fall asleep to him humming happy birthday.

In the morning Bruno’s alarm goes off way earlier than I’d like it to. It’s about 8 am and he has a bunch of radio stations to visit. Thankfully, I don’t have to tag along and I can lay down for a little longer before having to get up and meet his sisters and our mothers for a girls day at the spa. He turns his alarm off and then pulls me in closer to him. ”Happy birthday beautiful” he says into my neck and it gives me goose bumps so I snuggle in closer to his warmth. “You’re going to want to make me stay here all morning instead of going to work” he smiles and honestly, I wouldn’t mind. “Get up boo. You can’t leave anyone hanging”. He hugs me tight and kisses my forehead before heading to the bathroom to shower. I fall asleep again but wake up when I hear him going through his closet. “Wear the red pants with a black tee and the black fedora” I mumble. I love those red pants on him. “Whatever La wants, La gets” he sings and my heart melts. I stay cuddled up in bed and watch him get dressed-he looks and smells amazing. “Go and get em’ tiger” I say as he leans in to hug me. “Aye aye captain” he says after kissing my forehead. “Have fun Bee. I’ll see you for lunch” and he leaves. I fall back to sleep but wake up to my alarm. I don’t really want to get up but I have plans with my ladies. I drag myself out of bed, shower and get dressed in some jeans and a white tee. I leave my hair down and wavy and apply some light makeup before jumping in my car to pick up Lily and head to the hotel. Our families are in the lobby waiting for us and I’m all smiles when I see each of the kids holding a birthday balloon for me. I take turns hugging and kissing them each. I then get attacked by my brothers and mom then his sisters and his mom. They’re all riding together to Eric’s to drop off my brothers and the kids and pick up Cindia and Urbana at the same time. When all of this happens we go to the nail shop to get pampered and prepared for tonight. As I’m sitting in the chair for my pedicure Tahiti puts a tiara on my head and Tiara gives me a birthday girl sash. “Do I really have to wear this?” I ask semi embarrassed. “YES” they all answer at once as if it were rehearsed. As we sit there, Lily streams Bruno’s first interview from her phone. He’s hilarious as always and nails it. I blush like an idiot when he and Phil wish me a happy birthday and I’m tempted to call in to the station to thank them. “Go ahead and call…what can it hurt?” Bernie says and I trust what she’s saying so I do. “We’ve got Laila on the line” the male DJ says “Hey hey hey. How are you guys doing?” I ask and all of the radio personnel say something or other. “I’m just calling to thank the fellas for the birthday shoutouts-you have two of the nicest human beings in your presence right now, just so you know!” I tell the on air crew. “I can definitely tell that much…they smell good too” a lady personality says. I can’t be mad at that because it is the truth. “What’s good La? Happy birthday giiiiiiirrrrrl” Phil says into the mic and it makes me smile. “Happy birthday Bee” Bruno let’s slip out and my heart races. ”Bee?” the male personality asks and I can feel the blood drain from my face. I know I shouldn’t worry because a nickname shouldn’t be a big deal but I know how people can twist things and turn them into something larger than life. “Yea…” I can hear Bruno’s smile as he explains why he calls me ‘Bee’. “La boxes. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee…you know? She’s badass…can I say badass on air?” a round of “oh’s” before I jump in. “It was nice talking to you all. I just wanted to say hi to my fellas and thank you for the birthday love. If I don’t get back to my pampering session I may just be murdered by a gang of women” they all say bye and I hang up with a sigh of relief. The girls look at me confused because obviously Bruno’s slip up isn’t a big deal in their eyes but if only they knew that every time Bruno and I are mentioned together it could be a disaster for our careers and that’s the last thing I’d want. They try to help me relax though and once my hands and feet are up to their standards, we leave to meet with the guys for lunch. We’re all at Eric’s place again and I spend my time playing with the kids while we wait for Bruno and Phil to come home. I’m busy playing chase when I hear him call my name. “Hi boo” I yell back and it makes the kids laugh-they must think it’s a lame attempt to scare him instead of a nickname. “Nice save this morning” I say and he smiles. “So what if the world knows I call you Bee…that’s all they know. You’re my bee…that’s all they need to know”. After lunch, I open up a few gifts from my family which are simple-they know me all too well and it’s comforting. Eventually, the kids leave with Cindia’s parents and the guys and girls split in order to begin the process of getting ready for the evening. The guys are going for haircuts and I’m going to be tortured by a slew of fashionistas-life’s unfair. When I get home I’m in awe at the amount of flowers and gifts waiting for me on the dining room table. There are flowers from the label, our attorney, Sean Kingston and so many other people. There are a few cards and I take some time to open them as Lily shows the ladies to the bathrooms. Creed management sent a beautiful arrangement with a card that read “La! Happy birthday-we’re so proud of the work you have done. We know that this process hasn’t been easy so we want to give you some time to relax-how’s a weekend at a spa sound?” Inside of the card is a gift certificate for a full expense paid weekend at a spa about an hour away. PERFECT. There’s a bottle of Chanel perfume from Dani along with a card of a wiener dog with a birthday hat on which is too cute. Mr. Caren and Mr. Janick also sent a beautiful arrangement along with a box that contained a bracelet encrusted with diamonds-too extravagant for me but I can’t tell them to take it back-they’re the bosses. I feel so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love that I’ve received from so many different people that I got teary-eyed. “See mijita…people are finally able to see what I’ve known since the moment you took your first breath. You are wonderful”. That sends me over the edge and I cry a little-happy tears. I sit and gossip with everyone as I await my turn to shower-I love this time with the girls-it’s rare that I’m around all girls and sometimes it can be overwhelming but right now it’s perfect.  We take turns having our hair and makeup done by Urbana’s friends Tania and Shelly. Tania gives me a smoky eye with nude lips and my hair is down with soft waves. I relax in my robe snapping pictures while everyone else gets their hair and makeup done. We’re passing drinks around and singing along to the music on the radio and I have to admit that this is the most relaxed I’ve felt around Bruno’s sisters in a while. My phone rings and its Bruno checking in on us. I leave the room to be able to hear him over the commotion of females getting ready “Hey beautiful…how are things going on over there? Are you okay?” “Surprisingly, yes. How about you guys?” I ask even though I know they’re probably having a good old time. “Bee, you should know that we’re okay already! I just wanted to see if you guys were all okay…happy birthday again and I’ll be over in like 30 minutes” “Thanks boo. I can’t wait to see you” I head back to the room to start getting dressed “ladies, step on it. The fellas will be here in half an hour” they roll their eyes but surprisingly they actually speed things up some. They all looks so beautiful and I sit and I zone out admiring everyone’s beauty. My mother looks stunning and so happy-it’s been a while since I’ve seen her like this and it’s enough to put tears in my eyes. “Que te pasa mija?” she asks what’s going on. “You look so beautiful” I say as I hug her “So do you” she says as she zips the back of my dress up. Lily helps me fasten my necklace and new bracelet as I put on my earrings. She starts to give me a pep talk. I don’t know how she knows that I need these things when I do but she’s awesome at it and I love her for it. “It’s your day. Your birthday and something you all have been working so hard for. I want you to enjoy yourself. Don’t overthink things and go with the flow. You are so good at what you do and I’m so glad that other people are going to see it for themselves. Let go, be free and do the damn thing.” She’s right. I’d been so focused on everything else, especially performing tonight that I kind of forgot about just enjoying the moment. I hug her and at that moment I can hear the guys coming in. I want to fly down the stairs but Presley grabs my arm “girl you forgot to put on perfume and your shoes”. Perfume I can deal with…I don’t need shoes just yet but I know they want me to make an entrance. So I go back to my room with her and spray myself with the perfume I got from Dani and sit at my desk to put on my shoes. She inspects me once more before deciding that my look is Presley approved and letting me go downstairs. I walk down the stairs nervously because I feel so uncomfortable in this dress and these shoes. I smile though when I see the fellas all dressed in their matching suits and black and white checkered vans. Bruno’s eyes widen when he sees me. “HOE LEE SHIT” Ryan beats him to the punch and that makes me smile. Bruno gets to the bottom of the stairs and extends his hand for me to take. “You look…phenominal…wow” “Thank you…boo…that hair! I love it” I say as I admire him. His hair is blown out into the pompadour he’s been wearing as of lately and I love it. I really do think it’s the sexiest hair style he’s ever had although it’s a pain to make happen. I hold him back at an arm’s length and study his appearance for a minute. “You look delicious” I whisper into his ear when he finally pulls me in for a hug. I can feel his smile against my cheek and I see a flash go off-there’s Lily with my camera (lifesaver as always). We take a bunch of pictures and pregame it but not too much. We still have a “red carpet”, interviews and a performance to conduct when we arrive at the venue so we can’t be too sauced up.

Being in this house, with our families all glammed up, excited and enjoying each other’s company before our big night is my ideal way of spending a birthday and I’m so thankful they are here to share in it all. I know the rest of the night is going to be crazy and we’re going to be pulled in a billion different directions so I enjoy this while I can. Eventually, it’s time for us to get moving. The label provides us with transportation to the night club but they advise that Bruno and I should arrive separately as to not create unnecessary drama, buzz, or attention. It sucks because not only is this our night collectively as a team, but it’s also my birthday and if I had my way, we’d all show up as one mob because that’s how we normally roll. We do what they tell us to do anyways. The car that I’m in with my mom and brothers leaves before the rest meaning that I’ll be the first one there to represent us. I am a ball of nerves and if I were smart I would’ve had a couple more drinks before leaving. “You got this sis” my brothers both try to reassure me, so I put on my brave face for them while inside I die a little as we get closer to the club. It’s not long before we arrive at the venue and all I see is a large crowd of photographers eagerly waiting to see who is going to emerge from this car with tinted windows - here goes to disappointing them. The SUV we’re in comes to a halt at a red carpet and someone opens the door so that we can get out. My brothers exit one at a time. Brandon offers my mom a hand as she gets out and Carlos offers me a hand and some coverage as I slide out of this car trying to avoid showing off body parts that don’t need to be seen. Stupid short dress- I don’t know why I let these girls talk me into it. I thank my big brother for having my back and for once there are no smart remarks but rather a smile. I can actually see the pride and the need to protect me in his eyes. He puts his arm out and I wrap mine in his as we walk through a slew of photographers. “LAILA this way…over here” is what I hear so I take the time to stop and pose with my family for a few photos until we reach the real “red carpet for photos”. I’m surprised these people actually care enough to try to get my attention and a short interview. This is intimidating. When we finally move on to where I think we’ll enter the building, there is a whole new row of photographers and reporters waiting to take my picture or ask me questions against a backdrop featuring the album cover. I really wish Bruno was at my side to answer these questions instead of me-he and Phil are so much better at this than I am. Again, I pose for pictures with my family then take some alone. As crazy as it sounds I actually feel really pretty and the pictures don’t bother me …it’s the questions. Some of them are easy like “what’s your favorite track” and then there’s questions about the creative process that are a breeze. The questions that always throw me for a loop are the ones in which they ask me how I fit into the equation. I try to answer them in a way that I think Bruno or Phil would answer the question for me which is hard because you never know what is going to come out of their mouths next. “I just do” isn’t a good enough answer for these people so I modify Bruno’s answer from before “if you think of our team as one giant brain, I’m the frontal lobe where reasoning happens” I laugh. “I hold my own with the guys. I write, sing, play and produce just as they do. This album was our collaborative effort in getting Bruno’s style and voice heard” I say before being asked who my date for the evening is by another journalist “I have my mom and my brothers with me. I couldn’t imagine this moment without them here-why bring a date when I have the people who love me the most at my side?” Before I can be asked anything else I notice that Ari and Lily are walking down the carpet my way. I excuse myself from the questioning so that I can greet them. Yes, we were just all together but these people don’t know that so we have to pretend that it’s the first time we’re seeing each other for the night. I pose for pictures with Ari then move towards my family as he does his thing. Dani is there and pulls me aside to tell me to stay with her until the rest of the fellas show up. I guess these people are going to want group shots or whatever. As we wait, she has someone escort my family in to the VIP lounge so that they don’t have to be bored by the technicalities that come with being part of the artist’s crew. While we wait we talk and she wishes me a happy birthday “thanks! I’m wearing the perfume you got me, it’s lovely” I answer quickly before giving her a hug and asking her how the night is going to play out. Pretty much it’s a big ass party but there are some important people we have to mingle with first. She also says that when the rest of the crew and Bruno get here, we’ll have to take some group pictures and to keep it nice and civil- of course. Bruno’s slew of uncles show up next and I greet them all as they file into the club to meet with my family. The the band arrives and then I see his sisters hamming it up as they make their way down the line of photographers. Presley is in all of her glory. She really is a trip to watch. I only stop watching when Mr. Janick approaches me. “Happy birthday Laila. You look absolutely stunning” He says as he hugs me tightly and kisses both my cheeks. “Thank you, and thanks again for that beautiful bouquet of lilies and my bracelet…they’re gorgeous!” I say as I hold up my wrist to show him that I’m wearing it. “You don’t have to thank me. You work hard and those flowers are a small token of my appreciation for what you do. I know it’s not easy but you’ve been kicking butt and I, for one, am proud of you” that statement right there makes me smile. He understands how crazy this all is-the pretending and lying. So why can’t he do something about it? My thoughts are sidetracked when I hear the crowd getting louder. That could only mean one thing-Bruno’s here. I stand there with Mr. Janick and Ari as Bruno takes forever to get even close to where we’re at. I could’ve been inside with our families while he did his grand entrance but I stay put and wait for pictures. Phil is at our side and soon Dani’s directs us towards Bruno. When we reach him, we position ourselves side by side-arms around each other for a few pictures then bust out some silly poses for some more. These boys want to jump for another shot but if I jump, my dress may fall apart if I even attempt it so we skip that one. After pictures, we’re finally allowed inside and I make my way towards my family as Bruno and the guys make their way to the flock of people waiting to meet us. “¿Todo bien?” I ask and my brothers and mom shake their head yes that everything is fine. I check on his family and his sisters are on the dance floor while his dad, mom and uncle’s hang out in the lounge area. Everyone is fine and doing their thing so I guess I have to go and do mine. When I start to make my way towards the guys I am snatched up by Brandon. “Happy birthday beautiful! Did you get the gift we sent you?” He smiles. “Uh yea! Thank you so much! You are crazy but I love it can’t wait to go and relax”. “You deserve it kid” He walks me to the bar and gets me a drink and a shot. “Cheers to you, your hard work and your birthday” he says before we toss our heads back. He then leads me to where the guys are talking to a group of people. “There she is” Ari says as he puts his arm around me. I shake hands and make pleasantries with everyone as I hope that this part of our duties goes by quickly. After we do business we head back to our families and finally party a bit before we have to get ready to perform. I love watching our families dancing together and having a blast. It isn’t long before Bruno gets pulled away though and I can’t lie, it bothers me that I have to pretend we’re nothing and can’t even spend good time with him on my birthday and this landmark of a night. I try to occupy myself with the good company I do have though. After a bit, I meet up with the guys that are part of the band before we are set to perform and they crack me up in our backstage area with random jokes about me. I don’t think we could have picked a better bunch of guys to make up the band. The gigs that they have done with Bruno have been amazing-the chemistry is perfect and they execute each song perfectly each time. When it’s time to do the dang thing we light up the stage. It was the most free and fun performance that we’ve had to date and I’m so thankful that I was allowed to actually perform instead of sitting it out on the sidelines. I think that the label took pity on me because it’s my birthday. Just when I think we’re done with the business and can relax, we have to answer a billion questions about performing and what not before being able to go to our VIP area. Bruno and Phil get stuck in the crowd but the band and I make our way back. Sometime before midnight Bruno returns and it’s only because the venue staff is wheeling a cart with cake my way. Our bosses, managers and family surround us as the cake makes its way closer. Bruno comes in close to me and whispers “happy birthday beautiful” in my ear. That’s all he can do right now. Before we can blow out our candles the DJ gets everyone’s attention and has the entire place sing us happy birthday. It’s a dope feeling but when we get to the “dear” part all I hear is Bruno’s name from the crowd-which is to be expected-not many people tend to know who I am and what my role is. After the cake is wheeled off to be cut Bruno manages to steal a moment to sit with me. Before we can get to talking I see many flashes go off. The hired photographers ask us to pose so we do but all I want to do is talk to him. They leave and he leans in close “having fun bee?” I give him the so-so hand gesture and he gives me a confused look. “I wish some of the situation was different and that we got to spend some more time enjoying this together” I say truthfully and he nods I’m agreement. “I’ll make it up to you…I promise" he says as he squeezes my hand. "That list just keeps growing" I try to smile. Don’t get me wrong, the night has been amazing-our work has come to fruition and is being recognized in a grand way but its bitter sweet. We’re surrounded by people who love us and whom I love that but I can’t really be with the person I love the most. I snap out of my thoughts when Bruno asks me to dance. "But…everyone’s watching" I warn him. "Fuck it…it’s our birthdays why can’t we dance?" True! He takes me by the hand and leads me to where our family is dancing already. They form of a protective circle around us and for a minute we can lose ourselves in each other to the beat of the music. When the song is finished I squeeze him and kiss his cheek "I needed that" I smile genuinely "so did I" he confesses. We separate some and go back to mingling so that no one becomes suspicious. The rest of the night is a blur and that’s due to excitement and slight intoxication. My family and I leave a little before the party is due to be over and Bruno says he’ll meet me at my place. I promise my family that we’ll meet tomorrow as the van leaves them at their hotel "I love you…thank you for being with me tonight. It means the world" I say before hugging them each. I sit in the back of the van alone quietly until we get to my place. I thank and tip the driver as he closes the door behind me. "Congratulations and happy birthday Miss DeJesus" he smiles. "Thank you. Get home safely" I say to the guy who has been driving us around for the past few days. I unlock my door and am welcomed by a happy Dragon. I flick on the lights before stepping in and closing the door behind me. I can’t help but smile when I look at my dining room table. It’s covered in pictures of me and Bruno from this week-all pictures that must have come from our family’s cameras. Before I can begin admiring them, I notice that there’s a card so I open it. "My beautiful bee…I know these are the moments you live for. Tonight was probably tough but remember this is what we’ll always be about. Thank you for loving me even though it hasn’t been easy…happy birthday my Lala. I love you" it’s signed 'your boo'. How he pulled this one off after we left is beyond me but it’s just what I needed. I gather up the 40 or so pictures and take them upstairs so that I can study them once I change out of this stupid dress. Once I’ve washed my face and thrown on some sweatpants I cuddle in bed with Dragon and study the pictures one by one. Bruno smashing cake in my face, us with the kids, singing together, band rehearsal, me resting my head on his shoulder in the lab. I fall asleep as I cherish these moments, replay the night in my head and wait for him.

Oct 24 '12

d’oh

I just realized that there was a chapter missing that must have never gotten posted. IT ABSOLUTELY SUCKS because since my harddrive crashed I can’t even post what I had written. So i’m going to to try to remember what it was and sum it up…so here it goes:

Chapter 48.5-Lost Chapter

La had been nightmares and was feeling like pure crap because of what her gut instinct was about the whole showcase/etc. So somewhere in that day Lily had told her that a co-worker had been going to this boxing place and had invited her to go and Laila decided to tag along and give it a shot. Apparently she was good at it and surprised even the instructors. Lily had taped when Laila was doing some sparring in the ring with the instructor (Charlie) and then when they got back to the lab kind of blew up La’s spot with the guys who apparently don’t like when she does anything dealing with violence. That’s why in the beginning of Chpt 49 they’re passing around the phone and like wtf

obviously this was a nice well put together chapter stored on the other hard drive before it went BOOM….so that was pretty  much what was supposed to happen.

oh yea and Laila had been nagging Eric to bring his lady friend over for dinner….he had disclosed that he met a girl blah blah and was scared to bring her over