John Francis - Chapter 21

Friday, April 18, 2008 at 6:25 AM
The ride home was quiet except for mild business chatter between the three. Amanda didn’t mind, though, she was still thinking about Jon’s insistent nod of “yes” during the song and her answering “yes”. She overheard Tico starting to apologize to Jon for what had happened at Feelgood’s and Jon saying there was no way Tico could have known.

“I gotta get my guitar down here,” Richie groaned, “can’t believe I forgot it! Had some ideas for some songs.”

“Me too, bro’, been feeling that itch again” Jon replied.

“I’ll bring it when I come back” Richie acknowledged. “Hey, Teek, you still gonna be able to take me to the airport tomorrow morning?”

“Yeah, I won’t be heading out until mid morning after I get back.”

“How early do you fly out Richie?” Amanda inquired.

“Got a 10:30 AM flight straight through,” he answered. “Be good to see my girl again.”

“I hope she deserves you,” Amanda replied without thinking and then slapped her hand over her mouth. She turned to Jon and asked, “Did you find my brain yet?”

They all laughed and the tension of the recent events disappeared.

It was close to midnight when they got back to Tico’s home and Amanda was ready to turn in. She asked Jon if he minded if she excused herself to take a shower before bed.

“No problem, babe, gotta settle a few things with the guys before they take off. I’ll see you soon.”

She tried giving him a quick peck on the lips in front of the other men, but he swept her into his arms and kissed her thoroughly. Flushed, she grinned a silly smile, rolled her eyes, and went up the stairs.

Jon returned to the couch in uncharacteristic hesitance. This conversation was long overdue and he wanted to get it right. The other two men just looked at him and took sips of their wine, waiting until he was ready to talk. Jon refilled his wine glass and tossed if off in two quick swallows.

“I’ve been doing some hard thinking these last few days,” he began. “I want to apologize to you both for being such an ass for so long.” They nodded and grinned at him, acknowledging that, yeah, he had been an ass. “I’m also gonna talk to Dave and Hugh but I want to do it face to face.”

Richie laughed, “Ooh, can I be the fly on the wall for that!?”

Jon shot him a grinning scowl. “No fuckin’ way, you’d enjoy it too much!” Richie’s grin was answer enough.

“There’s no way I can say thank you enough for sticking by me during all this. I got hit harder by the divorce from Dot than I ever thought possible and, well, I know I took it out on everyone around me.”

Tico rumbled back, “Jon, we’ve all been there and you were there for us when we had our bad times. Why didn’t you let us in for you?”

A big sigh was his answering response and he forced himself to say, “It’s a lot harder to be doing it than to see it and only now am I realizing how far down I had fallen. I need to know, though, how much got out in public?”

Richie cleared his throat, flinching inwardly as he had been dreading just this type of question.

“More than you would have allowed under other circumstances, bro’. Sorry.”

“Enough to hurt my kids?” Jon made a wincing face.

“No, just that you were drinking a lot, and you’ve been, well, pretty shitty to some of the media people who were digging for a bit of dirt on you.”

“Did any of my, uh, uhm, sexual encounters make the news?” he grimaced when asking.

Richie shook his head. “No, there were some rumors, but nothing that was printed as fact.”

There was silence for a few minutes as Jon looked down at the floor, digesting the information he had been given. Richie and Tico looked at each other and Richie raised his eyes briefly with a smile as both men knew that Jon had finally turned the corner on his depression. Unspoken was also the clear knowledge of who had caused that to happen.

Jon finally raised his eyes and looked at the others. “I’m keeping Mandy” his tone of voice allowing no argument.

“Does she know that?” Richie asked with a raised eyebrow.

Tico’s voice was then heard as he began slowly, “Jon, you can’t just…”

Jon interrupted, “Yes I fuckin’ can.”

With his hand held in the air, Tico demanded to be heard. “Jon, listen, that woman deserves the best life can give her. Shit, man, she’s no groupie, no piece of fluff that can be thrown away when you feel an urge to…sorry…but bang someone on the road.”

His voice clear and undeniable, Jon replied, “Teek, I know that and there is no way I’m gonna lose what she has given me.”

“What did she give you that you haven’t had before?” Tico cocked his head as he asked, wondering if Jon would admit what he and Richie were realizing was beginning to happening.

“She gave me…no, she made me someone new.” He answered hoarsely.

Neither man joked or made light of his response, but as usual it was Richie who cut right to the chase.

“You’re falling in love with her, aren’t you?”

Jon startled briefly at the directness of the question and felt a moment of panic. Then he thought about Mandy and how he felt when he was with her and all his doubts just vanished.

“Yeah, man…” his voice dropping even further into a whisper, “except I’m done falling, I’m there.”

Quoting Amanda now, Richie responded soberly, “I hope you deserve her”.

Looking his friend straight in the eye, Jon spoke clearly, “I’m gonna make sure I do.”


  1. Lori Says:

    Great story so far! I just loved the line "I'm done falling...I'm there."

  2. Sunstreaked Says:

    Thanks, Lori - so nice to know others are reading this as it is my first attempt!

  3. Romaine Says:

    Wow, this is an amazing story! I love it! Can't wait for the next chapters.

    Thanks for posting it!

  4. Opester Says:

    So many great comments here-hard to choose a quote-I agree with Lori but I also really liked "I'm keeping her"-just sorta cute and funny and hints at Jon's possessive nature. The guys are right, tho, and I'm glad they are good enough friends to tell Jon what he needs to hear!

  5. Leigh Says:

    Good grief sunstreaked...if this is your first attempt I feel seriously self concious now about my first attempt LOL

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