John Francis - Chapter 68

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 7:52 PM
She continued to shake her head at him. Was he thinking? Dot did NOT want her around, she had heard. “Jon, Dot does not want me around your kids…don’t you remember? You should be with your family during the holidays.”

Richie stared at Jon, willing him take the leap, to understand what was standing before him and what had been given to him. Jon caught the look and his eyes flashed at Richie, letting him know he understood.

Standing and refilling his cup, Richie announced he was hitting the shower. He left the two alone in the kitchen.

Amanda laughed. “He’s not very subtle, is he?”

“Nah, subtle is not Richie’s strong point.”

Remembering Tico and Richie’s words to him, he started talking to Amanda. “Okay, here it is. I’ve joked and I’ve made what may have sounded like crazy statements, but the truth is that there is no way I am letting you out of my life. You keep saying you’ll stay as long as I want you to. Well, there is no way you are getting away from me. You belong to me and you are going to damn well find out what that means!”

Jon abruptly left the room, leaving Amanda wondering what the hell was going on now.


Running upstairs to Richie’s room, Jon knocked and then entered. His brother had just finished showering and was in a towel, still dripping.

“Sorry, man, you got a minute? I need to talk.”

“Sure, bro’, what’s goin’ on?”

Closing the door, Jon sat on a chair in the room as Richie began dressing.

“I’m gonna ask Manda to marry me.”

Stopping abruptly, Richie turned to him. “It’s about fuckin’ time you came to your senses!”

Jon gaped at Richie then, wondering what his friend had seen that he had missed. “You’re not surprised?”

“Shit, man, that woman is perfect for you. You’d be an asshole to let her get away.”

“I think she’s gonna say no, Rich.”

Richie thought about that. He decided that Jon needed to hear the bald truth and he was going to give it to him.

“Jon, I’m going to tell you some things and it’s only because of Amanda. You can be a cold, demanding, controlling son-of-a-bitch and Dot let you get away with that because she didn’t want to be with you as much as you needed her to and then she had the kids. Amanda is never going to have kids…yeah, she told me…and you’re not the same guy you were with Dot. You’re gonna have to change a bit, bro’, and the only thing that worries me is that you may be so set in your ways that you can’t change.”

Jon looked pained as Richie continued. “If you can’t let that woman into your life, and I mean all the way in, then don’t ask her to marry you. Don’t hurt her like that. She’s a once in a lifetime kind of woman and if you can’t change enough to really let her in, then just keep her until she’s had enough and let her go.”

“Dammit, Rich, I told you there’s no way I’m ever letting her go!” Jon’s face was a thundercloud.

“Then don’t rush this. Let her get used to you, to what being with you means, but stop leaving her out in the cold. Christ Jon! No fuckin’ key! She’s no piece of ass you’re trying to get away from. Let her in or let her go!”

Jon sat there nodding at his friend. “You’re right. Fuck! I am a controlling asshole!”

Looking at Richie with pleading on his face, he asked, “Don’t let me fuck this up Rich, okay?”

“I’ll do my best, but don’t bite my head off when I tell you something you might not want to hear. Got it?”

“Got it…thanks, man…really, thanks!”

Richie grinned. “Jon, you can be a shit, but we’ve been friends for too fuckin’ long…I’ll help, you just listen.”

Nodding his thanks, Jon exited the room, his thoughts whirling.


Amanda had started breakfast for the three of them as she knew these two liked to eat. Omelets, toast, hash browns, and sausage were waiting for Richie and Jon when they came downstairs. She could swear she heard two, or was that three, stomachs growling in anticipation.

“Breakfast!” she called out.

Loud footsteps on the stairs announced the arrival of the ‘children’.

Piling their plates high, Amanda watched in astonishment as the two men put away enough food for at least four grown adults.

“How the hell do you two not look like Good Year blimps with the way you eat?”

They both gave her lascivious grins and she moaned. “Oh forget it, forget I asked, okay?”

Jon gave her a mock disapproval look and said, “I’ll have you know I run and work out!”

Richie grinned, “Yeah, me too…I run from the bedroom to the kitchen and back again…!”

She threw a sausage at him which he caught and ate.


After breakfast Richie helped Amanda clean up while Jon went to make some phone calls he was dreading. Reaching Dot, he asked her about who had let her know what was going on while he was on the road. She was extremely reluctant to tell him, but when he explained a bit about what had happened last night with Matt, she relented and told him it was a woman by the name of Maryann who worked as one of the set up crew. She wasn’t officially a “roadie”, but she was in charge of wardrobe and making sure the rooms were set with items the guys wanted before and after the shows. She was a quiet woman, not unattractive, but rather plain and quite a bit on the heavy side.

Jon then had the discussion with Dot that he really was dreading. He was honest with her about how he felt about Amanda and that he was going much more public with his relationship. He wanted her to feel free to announce her news about Eric at any time she chose, or keep it private, again her choice. He just didn’t want to blind-side her with tabloid info that he was sure would come her way. Dot actually responded a lot better than he expected. She asked several questions about Amanda and he found himself telling her about what kind of woman Amanda was. She listened and was actually feeling better that he had chosen someone more mature, who had been in a committed relationship, and not a woman he had met on the road.

“Dot, as hard as this may be to hear, I’m going to do everything I can to keep her in my life. With the mistakes I made before and what they cost me…I’m not going to make those mistakes again.

“Jesus, Jon! I don’t really know what to say to that.”

“All you have to say is that you will try to accept her in our kids’ lives, just as I am going to with Eric.”

“I’m going to want to meet her…”

His voice was soft. “I’d like you to. I still trust your opinion and I love our kids.”

“Will you give me a few days to think about all this?”

“Of course. I’m not rushing this, but I am going more public with it. You should know that first, you deserve to know that first as hard as it is for me to say.”

“Thanks, Jonny. I appreciate it.” Her voice remained soft as she continued. “You do know Christmas is in five days, right?”

“Of course, there are no changes to our plans. I’ll be there in the morning with you and the kids. I’ll have to see what Amanda wants to do. Will Eric be there?”

“Yes. You know he lives with me. Our wedding is set for January 31st.”

Jon’s voice expressed some of his emotions as he asked, “Is he good with our kids, Dot?”

“Yeah, Jonny, he is. He knows you’re their father. He just wants to be their friend. You will always be their father and I want you involved in their lives.”

“If Amanda agrees, I’m going to ask the same of you.”

Dot’s voice was a whisper. “I know, Jon, I know.”


  1. Opester Says:

    Wow, this was a really powerful chapter! Richie really laid it on the line and he said what had only been subtley showing through in his actions so far- i really liked that he picked up on how even Jon's caretaking of Amanda has a subtle controlling element and how Jon keeps so much still from Amanda. I hope he takes to heart what Richie says and really understands what he meant about letting her in-I think Jon just hasn't gotten that quite yet, but i trust Richie will keep reminding him!
    Also really well handled with Dot and the plan to introduce Amanda-very realistic as I would expect there to be some initial reticence and I like how well you convey Dot's emotional turmoil at seeing someone else getting the Jon she had always wished for-that would be so hard-ouch! Kudos to dot for being so mature!

  2. jovikitn65 Says:

    Wow talk about a hard phone call. Even though they have both moved on with other people the love that Jon and Dorothea shared will always be present in the form of their 4 beautiful kids. Nicely done.

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