PART 2 Chapter 33

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Vyola decided to make "No es bueno" her first solo, single release. The final two girlRulz albums had been hugely successful. The single, "Baby babe," a retro-disco hit, stayed at number one for eleven weeks, and "Give It," the title track of the second, final album, for nine. They had so much material, they went beyond their original agreement and did the second back-to-back with the first. Expectations for the former lead singer of the hit band were high. Perhaps it was her hurt pride at Patience and Jjeni panning the piece without even hearing it or that she so believed in it, which in her heart she felt was true, that she forged ahead with it. She shopped around and quickly entered into a one-record agreement with Brunt Media, a production company that had wowed her with their support and enthusiasm for the project.

And Vyola needed a win. There had been so much sadness recently in her life. Her mother passed away just as girlRulz completed their final album. She was so grateful that Patience and Jjeni were still so fully in her life when it happened. A few weeks after her Mom's funeral, when she and the girls parted, rather than sell her Mom's big house on the water as planned, she moved into it, feeling oddly secure in the house in which she had experienced so much sadness and danger. Her Mom's presence was so strong there, and so comforting. That, and immersing herself into the song's production had helped her cope. Leading up to the drop she felt happy once again.

A huge premiere was planned, not just of the song and video but of Vyola as a solo artist. She had a new look, platinum blonde roots and a cascade of wavy hair blending from brown to black and red at the ends. She was so excited for the video and although she had not seen the final product as it rushed through editing, she was promised it powerfully portrayed the raw pain of a broken heart conveyed by the lyrics of "No es bueno."

The song had played itself in her head all day:

It's not good

You make me feel

It's so bad

To be this real

No es bueno

No es bueno

It's so bad

You're in my blood

It's not good

My blood runs hot

No es bueno

No es bueno

Es muy, muy mal.

My blood boils

My head feels hot

Feeling good

Is what I'm not

No es bueno

No es bueno

No es bueno

A spike runs

Through my heart

Blood gushes

In the rain

No es bueno

No es bueno

No es bueno

When Vyola sang it at the release party, as the video played behind her, the crowd went crazy.

By the next day the video and song had been shared around the world was a disaster, a bomb, a nightmare. From her new look, to the lyrics of the song, to the video, she was slammed. The comments online were vicious, hateful. Viola was jeered by radio hosts and the made the subject of late night talk show monologues.

Jimmy said: "What's with Vyola's new look? Did you see this - her hair? It looks like she shaved her former band mates and glued their hair to her head. All I can say is, no es bueno. Es muy, muy mal."

The other Jimmy joked: "What is this song? Is she trying to tell us she has a disease? The words good and blood only rhymed in Shakespeare's plays. One of my staffers told me she never heard a white person mangle such a simple Spanish phrase so badly." They spliced the sound of a cow mooing into the 'muy, muy mal' lyric.

Even her old "friends" at Z111 got in on it, "I don't know what Vyola was thinking," and "Shouldn't a Spanish song have a Latin beat?"

When Howard said her video looked like "menstruation gone wild," it was about all she could take.

Her social media accounts were bombarded with people accusing her of changing her look and style to imitate other artists. Her old fans called her a traitor, others called her a Latina wanna-be and poser. People seemed to jump on the bandwagon just to be hurtful. Vyola had never experienced this much venom towards her music. girlRulz had been criticized at times but she had her friends with her then and it rolled off her back. Now, she was alone.

When she reached out to Burnt Media for advice, she could reach only the administrative assistant there who told her to sit tight. Before she knew it, there was a spokesperson for the management company (a person she had never met!) on "Hello, New York!", distancing his organization and claiming Vyola had insisted on releasing the song against their wishes. Thinking the show was pre-recorded, Vyola called and fired them. The show happened to be live and he played her voice message on air over and over. It was a messy recording. She was crying, hysterical, and accused them of stabbing her in the back in a high-pitched squeal of anger. It instantly became a vine, spliced into the video of the song. Vyola was called a whiner, a bitch, and worse.

There were a few who had her back. Taylor tweeted at her, "Let the haters hate. They'll get theirs."

Sangrya defended the song on her vlog, "Vyola, girl, you are okay by me. You keep taking risks, hear? I'm giving you a big shout out and I will be reaching out to you."

But no one called. Vyola could not blame Patience for simply texting, "K?" since the girl was to be married in just a few days. But not hearing from Jjeni infuriated her. Jjeni had released her premiere solo single just a few weeks prior and Vyola not only called to congratulate her, she shared Jj's song on every media platform she had. Personally, Vyola didn't care for Jjeni's new song or her new style, both were too tame by her tastes. But friends supported one another, didn't they? Jjeni was upset at the cool reception for her new music from her fans yet it was a critical success. Rolling Stone wrote a short piece on Jjeni's "musical transcendence." Ugh.

Vyola downed a whisky and cancelled her flight to Florida. She poured another shot and tipsy-texted Patience she wouldn't be attending the wedding. Her phone rang almost immediately.

"You cannot, not come to my wedding."

"I'm not up to it, Patience." Vyola was on her bed with a cold washcloth pressed to her head.

"That is bullshit, Vy. This is my wedding. My w-e-d-d-i-n-g and you are my best friend. You have to be here."

"I'm sorry, Patience. Besides, you're not thinking rationally. It would be a circus."

"No, Vyola. You are not thinking rationally. It's a small ceremony at a private residence and no media will get within a half-mile of the place."

"I just can't right now."

"Fine. When can you?"

"I don't know. Wait," Vyola was buzzed from her drink, "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying, Vy, that if you're not coming, I'm postponing my wedding."

"Oh, Patience! You can't. Your whole family is there already. Ethan will hate me."

"I won't get married without you here."

Vyola put her phone to her chest. The girl was so stubborn. She wiped her tears from her swollen face with the washcloth.

"I'm still here," she heard Patience say.

"Okay, okay. I'll be there," Vyola shouted into the air. As she disconnected, she heard Patience yell something about "insurance."

Within four hours, Gus was at her door.

Before she had a chance to speak, he hugged her tight.

"Did Patience send you? How did you get here so fast?"

"She called me but I was already on my way."

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