John Francis - Chapter 1

Sunday, April 13, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Amanda walked down the lightly shaded street, enjoying the beauty of the night as twilight fell. It was a Friday in early December and the ever-constant Florida sun was lessening its grip just a little. The air was less humid and with the cool breeze and evening shadows the walk was just a delight. Sniffing the air and having lived here her entire life, Amanda could tell there would be rain soon. She decided to sit outside at a covered café, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the evening as much as possible.

There were few patrons at the café and she had an outside table to herself…no, there was another person, a man dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt, with a baseball cap and sunglasses. A bottle of wine was on the table in front of him and as she placed her order and waited for her glass, her gaze had drifted enough to see he was pounding back the wine pretty heavily. She hoped he wouldn’t try to drive afterwards as Palm Beach cops were notorious for their “no excuses” rule, except of course when it came to the rich and famous. This guy looked like a regular working stiff and she silently wished him well. Her wine arrived and she sipped slowly, enjoying the growing breeze.

Jon Bon Jovi sat at his table at the café, deeply lost in his thoughts. He steadily poured glass after glass out of the bottle and thinking of how the hell he had come to where he was now. The Lost Highway tour was over for the most part and had been an amazing success. Funny how good at acting he had become over the years. Not long after Romeo’s birth in 2004, Dot has told him that she was in love with someone else. They tried to work things out, but late in April 2007, even before starting the tour, Dot had told him that she could not take this life anymore. She loved him and would always love him, but she was no longer in love with him. She wanted to move on. Jon had gone on the entire tour knowing that his life was falling apart, but he had managed to pull it off.

The guys, however, especially Richie, could see that he was slowly coming apart at the seams. Hell, truth be told he was rapidly dissolving into a “rock star” prick, demanding, unforgiving, and careless of the feelings of others. Tico and his wife Maria had a place on Palm Beach and Richie and he had practically kidnapped Jon to get him down to there for a few weeks of rest. And, hopefully, to try to talk some sense into him before he lost or damaged what he had worked his whole life for. Maria and Tico’s son, Hector, were out of town for several days visiting her relatives.

Ordering a second glass of wine, Amanda could see that the guy at the other table had ordered another bottle. She felt a small flicker of fear… He’s drinking too much. She resolved to keep a close eye on this guy to see how he planned on getting home.

Jon felt himself sinking deeper and deeper into the effects of the wine. Why the fuck not?, he thought, one fucking year divorced today. A limo had dropped him off earlier in the day after Richie and Tico, tired of his black moods and blacker temper, kicked him out of the house for a few hours. They also knew what today was, but Jon had been in such a mood that after getting his promise that he would just take a walk and not try to fly out anywhere, they arranged for him to be dropped off on the main street as the driver was only a cell phone call away.

Sitting, brooding, he thought to himself that he would never have believed he would be almost 47 years old and alone. Christ, he had been with Dot almost continuously since age 17. He felt like a part of him was drowning and he just couldn’t make himself call out for help. Darker and darker thoughts continued to swirl inside his head.

Having paid her bill and requesting ice water, Amanda continued to watch the stranger on the patio. She knew he was paying no attention to her and so she watched while she allowed her own thoughts to drift. One year today, she thought. She felt her breath begin to hitch, but stopped short. She would not cry today. Today she would think about what her life had meant until one year ago. Today she would remember.

One year ago, December 6, 2007, she was in the kitchen of her home, humming along with a compilation CD of some of her favorite groups, The Eagles, Aerosmith, and Bon Jovi, with of course a few Doors songs thrown in as a nod to her husband. She was preparing dinner, singing along off key, shaking her tush during a good groove, and generally enjoying her life. Dimly she heard her cell phone ring and hastily finishing taking a meatloaf out of the oven, she ran to grab the phone. Thirty seconds later her life as she knew it was over.

“Hello?”

“Mrs. Matthews?” a male voice asked.

“Yes, this is Mrs. Matthews” she had replied.

“This is Officer Johnson of the West Palm Beach Police Department.”

Amanda had a quizzical look on her face as she replied, “Yes, Officer, what can I do for you.” As she and her husband owned a business together in the city of West Palm, she starting assuming there had been a problem at the shop.

“Mrs. Matthews, I’m truly sorry to be calling you with this information, but there has been an accident.”

“Who? My mother? Jeremy? Who was…”, her voice sputtered to a stop.

“I’m afraid it’s your husband, ma’am. A drunk driver flipped on I-95, he hit your husband’s car, and…I’m sorry, Ma’am, it was immediately fatal.”

Amanda’s brain had stopped functioning the split second the word ‘husband’ was out of the officer’s mouth and as she felt blackness stealing over her, the last words penetrating her consciousness were “…immediately fatal.”

In truth, she had no idea how she had gotten through the next few weeks of her old life. She actually had parts she couldn’t remember. There were nights of crying so hard she was sick and others of lying on her husbands’ side of the bed just to breath his scent. They had made love the night before the accident and, telling no one, she had taken those sheets, sealed them in plastic, and shoved them under the bed. The first night of new sheets she slept on the couch.

She had sold the business for a substantial sum. A few weeks after Jeremy’s death, their life insurance company had told her that Jeremy had an astoundingly large policy with some kind of double payment for accidental death, which after taxes had left her, both from the sale of the business and the insurance, with close to $5 million dollars. Never having been rich in her life and without her husband, the money meant nothing to her. After finding herself spending days at a time in bed, she dragged herself up and threw herself into getting back into at least physical health, if not some semblance of mental health.

Now, one year later and twenty pounds lighter, she stood at the peak of her own personal beauty. She had always been a pretty woman and time was treating her well. Her glorious hair, mahogany and sunset, fell down her back to the brush the top of her buttocks. Her hair had always been long (as Jeremy liked it, she thought) and it had grown longer in the year since his death.

She had turned 44 a few months ago, but with her height of 5’8”, her toned, trim body, full breasts, and that hair, men still stopped with drinks halfway to their mouth when she entered a room. She, however, only realized that she felt better now that she was moving again and never noticed the stares.

The threatened rain finally began as night fully closed in. The patio was covered enough to protect the two occupants, however, and since it was a true Florida rain, it fell in fat, heavy drops almost straight down. Jon dimly noticed the start of the rain, but the residual splashes from the awning above made him focus a little more. “Shit, gotta move,” he mumbled out loud, picking up his wine bottle and glass and weaving a little he walked further under the canopy. He still had not noticed the other occupant of the café and, trying to focus a little better, finally sat at a table right next to Amanda, falling a little heavily into the chair.

The man’s jolting collapse into the chair had startled Amanda out of her distant thoughts. She realized he had moved to a table closer to her and, seeing the rain hit his previous chair, she let her eyes drift back over to him. He was about three feet away, facing her, and had finally taken off his dark sunglasses. The lights from under the awning, although not bright, could not hide the blue of those eyes. Amanda stopped breathing for just a moment. She knew those eyes…hell, she was a child of the 80’s…those eyes were unmistakable. She found herself staring into the bluer than blue eyes of Jon Bon Jovi.

Jon had finally noticed there was someone else out on the patio besides him. As he took another sip of his wine, he saw a woman with very long dark hair. Trying to focus on her face, he saw dark eyes, high cheekbones, and full pink lips. His eyes traveled down to see breasts with a deep V peeking above a light pink shirt. A crooked grin wavered across his lips and he raised his glass to her.

Finally sucking in a large breath, Amanda realized he was raising a glass to her. She had seen his eyes travel to her breasts, but thought nothing of it. Men were men. She smiled back at Jon and raised her still nearly full glass of wine in response. His eyes drifted from her as he was unable at this point to sustain his blurry vision for long. Since he was alone, Amanda took several deep breaths and murmured to herself, ‘you said you would do it’. She stood up, leaving her bag on the chair, and walked the few steps to Jon.

Jon had dropped his eyes to his boots after his impromptu toast and saw sandals and painted toenails a few inches from his own feet. Slowly raising his eyes, he saw the dark haired woman.

“Mr. Bongiovi…” she began, “I always told myself that if I ever met you, I would tell you how much I loved Lost Highway and especially “You Want To Make A Memory”. She continued a little uncertainly as an almost sneer had started to twist his mouth. “That album and especially that song…well, let’s just say it got me through some really tough times.”

The almost sneer on Jon’s face hardened… “every fucking where I go” he muttered. “Lady, am I on a fucking stage? I don’t think so.” He was slurring so heavily she almost couldn’t get all his words, but the venom was unmistakable. “So,” he continued in an icy tone, “I would appreciate it if you’d get the fuck outta my face.”

So startled was Amanda by his response that her natural instinct was to lash out herself. “Fuck you” she hissed in a whisper. She backed away and returned to her table. Tears of anger filled her eyes as she turned her chair so her back was mostly toward him. She wanted so badly to leave, but she would NOT leave until she saw he wasn’t driving.

Finishing one more glass of wine, Jon signaled the waiter to pay his bill. Already forgetting his outburst of a few minutes ago, he got unsteadily to his feet and started to walk to the back of the building where there was a parking lot. Amanda got to her feet, grabbed her bag, and followed him as surreptitiously as she could. She did not want to get on the receiving end of another of his verbal rants, but she just couldn’t let him get behind the wheel of a car.

The street was so quiet now, the rain having ended only moments ago, and traffic not yet resumed from the downpour. Following quietly and getting closer as she saw how much trouble Jon was having walking, she saw him suddenly trip, turn, and slam backwards into a coconut palm tree. He just stood there a second, stunned. She herself had a split second to act as only the palm branches themselves and the quiet of the night allowed her to hear the falling coconut. She gave one huge push of her thighs and tackled Jon, turning so he wouldn’t take the fall. She had a brief flash of the headline “JON BON JOVI: DEATH BY COCONUT” before the back of her head struck the edge of a low dividing wall and she was knocked out.

Jon, badly jolted by Amanda’s tackle, got his legs tangled up in hers and fell right on top of her. His wine-soaked brain had just enough left to process that his face was firmly planted almost dead center into a pair of heavy breasts, and, moving his mouth deeper and to the center, he promptly passed out…which is exactly where Richie found them both three minutes later.

5 comments

  1. Hathor Says:

    Gotta say, so far, I like it. I can imagine Jon (or any of the others for that matter) being testy like that when they're approached if they're not in the mood to be 'on', and I laughed out loud at what I imagine to be the look on Richie's glorious face when he sees what is laid out in front of him on the sidewalk!!

  2. sunstreaked Says:

    Hathor - Having read your work, that's very high praise - so THANKS!

  3. Opester Says:

    Hey Lady,
    I'm so glad you got this up and started posting so others can enjoy! Awesome story! (And thanks for the reference in your bio-it has been my pleasure!!!!!!!!)This is such a great story and so believable!

  4. allina_90 Says:

    Hi!

    So, I finally started reading your story. Really great job. The beginning sounds quite good. Let's see where the story will lead to ;)

    Alina

  5. johnnajovi Says:

    JON BON JOVI DEATH BY A COCONUT!!! LOL!!! I had to laugh. I really like the story and I do agree no one can be "on" all of the time. Jon is just stressed out the thought of Dot saying it's over had to hurt him very badly. Just a not to Jon alcohol and emotions don't mix!!!

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No harm of any sort is meant to the real people in the story and there is no disrespect intended towards anyone's family.

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