"She…what?” I asked through gritted teeth. Bruno sighed and turned to me and reached out to grab my hand. I blanched and snatched my hand away from his quickly. He frowned and nodded slowly, “Yeah she was. I know this is a lot to take in an-” I held up my hands, “I don’t want to hear it right now. Just drive or else we’re going to be late” I snapped at him. He sighed, started the car again and we pulled out from underneath the trees and onto the highway. I already regret coming to this party. And I was starting to regret coming to Hawaii. I shook my head internally. No, I can’t think like that, we only just got here. I sighed and looked sullenly out the window, wishing I could get swallowed up by a black hole already.
We drove down a steep hill and I could hear music blaring in the near distance. As we drove carefully down, I could see people walking up and down the trail. We stopped and parked with the rest of the cars near Elizabeth’s house and Bruno switched the engine off abruptly. We were both silent as he drummed his fingers awkwardly on the steering wheel. I huffed impatiently, feeling the heat rising in the car, “We should go inside now” I said flatly. He turned to me and clenched his jaw, “We aren’t getting out until I know that your mood has disappeared” I rolled my eyes and made an attempt to open the door, But Bruno clicked a switch near the gear shift and I heard the door lock. I turned my head round sharply, “Bruno stop being stupid and open the door!” I almost yelled. His hand was hovering over the switch and he just glared at me. I give up, I thought to myself, “Fine! yes okay I’ll behave and pretend as if I don’t feel like I have a major hole punched through my chest now will you open. the. door.” I enunciated the last three words and he stared at me as he clicked the switch and the door unlocked. I grabbed my purse from behind me and stepped out into the night time heat. I took a deep breath as I shut the door loudly behind me and I waited for Bruno to disembark from the car to join me. He grabbed my hand swiftly and I shivered a little, feeling as if it had been days since he touched me thought it had only been a couple hours. We walked silently, hand-in-hand down the trail and towards the beach front house. It was pretty big and I wondered if she lived with her parents, but I was too afraid to ask any more questions. I heard Elizabeths cute laugh round the front and she waved at us as she saw us approaching. I did notice that she glanced irritably down at our joined hands and I immediately held Bruno’s hand tighter. He looked me at strangely and I smiled meekly at him. Elizabeth bounced over towards us, “Hey guys! So glad you could make it. Bruno you look hot as always” she gave him a kiss on his cheek and I had to resist the urge to let my mouth hang open as her ridiculously, overly-friendly greeting shocked me. I felt a little sick and I spotted water over on the banquet table. I broke my hand away from Bruno’s a little but he squeezed my hand tighter, almost to the point of pain as his gold rings cut into my skin and I stood still next to him. My ears were ringing as Elizabeth started chatting animatedly to Bruno as we walked down towards the deck chairs that lined the front of the beach. I waved a little at people who were walking in and about the area and we were stopped a few times as Bruno was recognized by some of the guests. As Bruno finally left my side to see some old friends, Elizabeth turned and spoke to me, pulling me out of my inner dilemmas, “So” she said nosily, “Bruno’s your teacher huh?” I looked up at her and stepped back a little. How did she…? She could tell the look on my face was one of horror and confusion and she laughed loudly, “Don’t worry. It’s not the first time…” I frowned and tried to process what she was saying. She wiggled her eyebrows and looked over my shoulder as someone called her name, “Ah, if you’ll excuse me. Party duty calls and all that” I nodded slightly and took a big gulp of air as she sauntered off towards the barbecue. I flopped onto one of the deck chairs behind me and I attempted to regulate my breathing. What did she mean by it wasn’t the first time? I ran my fingers through my hair and I jumped as someone tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up and found Bruno holding two glasses, “There you are. I was looking for you. Here drink this. This should calm you down” I sniffed the glass and recoiled. Ugh, Whiskey. I drank it anyway and I relished the warm feeling it gave my throat. I wiped my mouth and Bruno placed his hand in mine. I didn’t remove it this time, I was already tired of being mad at him. He knocked his drink back and assessed the palm of my hand. He lifted my hand up to his lips and my gaze was suddenly locked with his as kissed the welts caused from his rings digging into my skin. His lips were cool from the drink and they felt so good on my skin and I shivered. All too quickly, he placed my hand back into my lap and he sighed, “Sorry for causing these. I always forget my rings can be a hazard. I just didn’t want you to leave my side and Elizabeth…she’s…” he trailed off, finding it difficult to find the right words. I knew though, “She’s a little too much and doesn’t know the value of personal space?” I asked flatly. Bruno laughed and nodded, “That’s exactly right” I raised my eyebrows and turned to look at the waves crashing against the shore. I was feeling much calmer so I decided to try and interrogate Bruno, “When and why did you and her break up?” I asked softly. He played nervously with his rings and he cleared his throat, “We broke up a couple weeks before my move to New York. And…we broke up because there was so much anger and grief from people we knew and it just wasn’t worth it.” I nodded and shuffled a little closer to him. I closed my eyes and listened to the cool music that was playing behind us and after a while I was beginning to feel warm and fuzzy. “Earlier she said to me that she knows you’re my teacher. And that this, me and you - it’s not the first time. Care to explain?” I asked with a hint of annoyance in my voice. Bruno’s body tensed up and and he turned to me, his face dark, “She what? She said what?” he asked quickly. I looked at him, slightly confused by the anger that was suddenly emanating from him, “Yeah..thats what she said. Hey is everything ok? what just happened?” I asked confusedly. Bruno got up from the deck chair and stood angrily in front of me, “No, just wait here. I’m going to find Elizabeth and after that we’re leaving. It was a bad idea to come here, excuse me.” he said distractedly and I watched him storm off back into the direction we came from.
I shivered hard as the wind started to pick up a little and I sighed as I realized I left my Cardigan in the back of Bruno’s car. He’d been gone for about 25 minutes. I huffed as I got up carefully and I walked back up to the house. The party was in full swing and people said their hellos as I breezed through. I couldn’t find it within me to smile back as a storm of unease raged in my stomach. I walked into the kitchen and I stopped a girl with short blonde hair, “Hey sorry to bother you but have you seen a relatively short man with a mop of curly hair walking around here?” the girl frowned a little and clicked her fingers and snorted, “Right yeah. the short angry man” Her friend giggled next to her and I silenced her with a look, “Yes him. Do you know where he went?” She nodded, “He went down the hall to your right” I nodded, “Thank you” I heard them giggling some more as I walked down the hall and my throat burned a little when I swallowed hard. It didn’t take long for me to find him, I could hear him shouting behind an ajar door that was nearest to the ground floor balcony. I stepped a little closer and I could hear Elizabeth retorting back, “You should of never left Hawaii, Bruno. Despite how me and you got together, we were a good pairing” I bit my lip in anger and I stepped a little closer so I could hear Bruno’s response. “Bullshit! We were never good together. This conversation ends now. And I don’t appreciate you spreading lies to people and my girlfriend!” he said viciously. I blanched at the vehemence in his voice - something I’d never heard before. Elizabeth scoffed, “Girlfriend? Please. You and I both know that you don’t really like her. You’re gonna keep on fucking her and drop her when you’re done” I decided that I heard enough and I threw the door open and stormed in. They both jumped and I stormed towards Elizabeth, “If you’re quite finished. How dare you, you know NOTHING about our relationship. So go fuck yourself and have a nice night” I said angrily. Bruno smirked at me proudly and we proceeded to walk towards the door. Elizabeth scrambled towards us and grabbed Bruno’s arm, “Bruno if you walk out that door…well then thats it. I don’t even want to be your friend anymore” she said glaring at us both. Bruno shrugged at her and I smiled broadly. Her face twisted up and she looked like she was about to cry, “Fuck you!” she spat out at him. Bruno turned over his shoulder as we stood in the door way, “Fuck you too Elizabeth.” We stepped out into the hall way and shut the door behind us, both of us grinning hard. Bruno grabbed my face suddenly and kissed me hard. I could taste the liquor on his tongue and I sighed into his mouth happily. We broke apart as I began to paw at his shirt and he shook his head, “Not here. Car. Now lets go” He kissed me quickly again, biting my lip while doing so and I nodded earnestly as we raced back down the hall and headed straight for the car park.