John Francis - Chapter 45

Monday, April 28, 2008 at 11:33 AM
They spent the next hour touring the house and grounds. He talked a lot about his kids and what they would do in this area or that and she just listened, learning more and more about the man behind the myth.

“Your home is really so welcoming and comfortable, Jon. It must be hard to leave it sometimes.”

“Yeah, but I have to admit it’s a lot less lonely right now.”

She smiled sweetly at him and linked her hand in his.

As they approached the front of the house from the grounds, a large car entered through the gate and Jon could see it was Dot and the kids. Amanda quickly let go of his hand and made a move to go inside the house. He started to stop her.

“Jon, I shouldn’t be here right now. Come get me if you want,” her smile was warm, “I’ll be right inside.”

He nodded at her, surprised at Dot just coming over with the kids, even though he had told her he was home. The doors to the car opened and three kids came out to see their father. Dot was getting Romeo out of his car seat, however, Jon had been reading her body language for years and knew she had seen Amanda and she was not pleased.

Jake and Jesse gave their dad hugs, although it was more of a man shrug from Jesse as he was moving a bit past the “hug dad” stage. Stephanie waited until her brothers were done and moved into her dad’s arms. Finally, Romeo was out of the seat and running to his dad as quickly as he could. Scooping his youngest son up, Jon swung him around and then kissed his still baby cheek. He eyed his ex-wife, a small smile on his face.

“Hey, Dot! Thanks for bringing the kids over so soon. I really missed these monsters.”

There was a slight tone in her voice as she answered him. “Hi, Jon. We’re on our way out, but the kids wanted to come see you. Did we come at a bad time?”

“Not at all. I want to see them as much as I can while I’m home for a bit.”

The kids moved into the house, each either using a bathroom, getting a drink, or retrieving a previously forgotten item from their room. Jon and Dot came in, but Amanda was nowhere to be seen. He tried unobtrusively to look for her, however, Dot had also been reading his body language for years.

Speaking quietly so as not to be overheard by the kids, she asked “So, who is she, Jon?”

“I met her in Florida, near Tico’s. Her name is Amanda.”

“Is she going to be here long?”

“Dot, this is one of the things we need to talk about, but not now, with the kids here and time so short, okay?”

Almost harshly, Dot whispered, “I do not want your latest piece around my children!”

Jon responded in the same tone. “They’re OUR children and she’s not like that, dammit! She’s almost my age, Dot, and …”

“Dad! Dad!” They heard Jesse calling from the kitchen.

Walking to the kitchen, they found the kids getting drinks from the fridge and talking to Linda. Jon saw again that Amanda was nowhere in sight.

“What’s up, big guy?”

“Linda’s making a roast and says there’s enough for all of us. Can we stay? Mom? Can we have dinner here?”

The three adults in the room exchanged a look. Jon was torn between wanting to be with his children and finding out where the hell Amanda had gone. He made a decision.

“Linda, if there’s enough, let’s get the table set for us all, okay?

She nodded at Jon as the kids let out “alrights!”.

Turning to Dot, he asked her if she had a minute to talk to him. She followed him from the kitchen and they entered his spacious office. Jon closed the door, but both barely entered and neither sat. He knew he had to have this conversation with her, but didn’t think it would happen quite this soon.

He gave her an abbreviated version of the events of the last week. She nearly vibrated with anger, most of it to do with another woman around her children. He tried to explain that this wasn’t just an extended one night stand, that Amanda really meant something to him, but the thought that this woman was here, in her former home, with her children there, made her a little less able to listen to reason.

Trying for a conciliatory gesture, Jon reached for her shoulders.

“Don’t you fucking touch me!” she ground out.

“What is wrong with you?” he demanded.

“Don’t you think I know, Jon, that I ALWAYS knew!?” She looked at him with scorn.

He looked at her, wondering where her venom was coming from after all this time.

“Dot, I didn’t lie to you…” he started.

“No, of course you didn’t. You evaded, you changed the subject, you assured me that you loved me. Do you really think I don’t know how much you fucked around on the road? Don’t you know there was ALWAYS someone who felt the need to call me or email me and tell me you had some twenty-something back in your dressing room? Or that you left the after-show party with some groupie? Did you really think that the ‘brotherhood’ extended to ALL the members of your crew?” Her voice was hoarse with her anger.

He shook his head slowly. He had never realized the depth of her rage.

“Look at me, Jon,” she demanded, as he raised his head to her. “I had two, TWO, lovers during our marriage. One that lasted only a short time as I realized he only wanted to fuck Jon Bon Jovi’s wife and the second is Eric. He doesn’t care who you are, he only cares who I am. Can you say the same?” She pointed at him.

“Not only do I doubt it, I know!” she shot at him. “You have never been able to keep your pants zipped for any real length of time and now you are bringing them around our children! I won’t have it! You aren’t my husband anymore, so you can screw around all you want, but DON’T bring your current whatever around our kids!”

Jon’s anger at her words was rising. “Dot, this isn’t like that! I have never brought anyone around our kids before and you know it!” He raked his hand through his hair and turned again to her.

He tried to soften his voice as he spoke to his ex-wife. “Dorothea, I know what I did to you and to our marriage. I know what I lost by my own actions. There aren’t any excuses I can give you. I can only say I’m sorry. I am so damn sorry.”

“I’m sorry too, Jon,” Dorothea’s voice was softer now, “I really did love you, but it was all too much. I needed someone with me all the time and there was no way you could do that and still be who you are. It’s my fault as much as yours, but it’s done now.”

She asked again, “Who is that woman to you?”

“Dot, she’s going to be in my life and I’m gonna want her to meet the kids. I wanted to tell you first, that’s why I said we needed to talk.”

She took a sharp breath at that, but then managed a wan smile. “You never could stand being alone, could you?”

“I’ve been alone for a long time,” he said softly and at that Dot herself winced. “I almost destroyed myself after our divorce. She brought me back.”

“If that’s what you want, Jonny,’ she nodded softly, “then you should go and be happy. I’m sorry I called her names. I was hurting and trying to hurt you.”

“Oh, Dot, we have to make it work for our kids’ sake. Let’s just do the best we can, okay? I’ll accept Eric and you accept Amanda.”

Dot’s anger seemed to leak away as she really looked at her ex-husband. Over the last several months since their divorce she had seen how he had closed himself off and she had been kept abreast of his destructive behavior. Now, his eyes were bright and there was a look in them that she had not seen in his eyes for her for a long time. She felt a true sense of loss that he would never look at her that way again, but also a strange sense of peace, as if she could put some of her hurt and anger behind her and begin her life with Eric without the larger-than-life shadow of Jon hanging over them.


  1. Opester Says:

    Such a sad chapter, really. Even tho Dot reacted badly, I can understand where she was coming from and I really felt sorry for her at the end-that has to be so hard when you realize you've lost the ability to put that sparkle in someone's eyes, especially after being married that long and having 4 kids. I hope she finds peace in her new life too.

  2. allina_90 Says:

    Opester did exactly say what I intended to write... I've got nothing to add but

    -> It was an amazing chapter, in all aspects <-

  3. jovikitn65 Says:

    It is always sad when you realize that a relationship is truly over, especially one that has produced children. Great chapter.

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