John Francis - Chapter 104

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 6:24 PM
Turning to Amanda, smiling, Dot said, “It’s okay to call me Dot, Amanda. It’s what I’m used to.”

“Thanks, I will. I’ve always been Amanda, but lately I’ve been everything from Manda to Mandy and of course my best friend has always called me ‘Mands’.” She laughed a little then. “Guess that means I answer to about anything!”

They set about making the coffee and Amanda waited for Dot to bring up whatever was on her mind. Setting out the sugar and cream as Dot directed, they finally sat down with their drinks.

“While you’re here, I’d like you to give Jon and his mother some time to talk. Carol has been a little…difficult with regard to you lately.”

Amanda then gave Dot a very abbreviated version of recent events, expressing some of her worry about Jon’s mother. She then asked what specifically Dot was referring to.

“Carol can be a pretty good person, but she has blind spots and one big one is Jon. Since he’s her son, she feels she knows him best, but of course that’s not true and hasn’t been since he’s been an adult.” Dot then continued. “It helped me so much to meet with you prior to listening to her. After Maryann I took a hard look at myself and the information I had been getting…it’s really hard for me to admit that I allowed someone else to sway me so much.”

Amanda expressed her understanding. “I think Maryann blind-sided a lot of people.”

Dot nodded, “Yeah, but right now Maryann isn’t the problem, Carol is.”

Amanda spoke hesitantly, “Dot, do you know what her problem is with me?”

After a long silence, Dot nodded. “She doesn’t understand why you left your life after only a few days to be with Jon.”

Looking at her with a burst of understanding, Amanda said, “But you do, right?”

“From what you said, Amanda, you didn’t really have a life to leave. You were still recovering from your husband’s death and in what seems like pretty deep mourning.”

Nodding back at her, Amanda acknowledged the truth in Dot’s words. “I think I had pretty much stopped living any type of normal life that entire year. It was so devastating for me. I never expected to lose my husband. God, Dot, I loved him so much! When the business was sold after his death and I received his life insurance, I just pretty much existed. You are right about one thing, I didn’t have a life to leave.”

Her look now a bit analytical, Dot continued. “You know that Jon and I will always have our children in common and our past history together? You going to be able to deal with that?”

Smiling softly at her, Amanda replied, “How could it be any different? If Jon was a man to walk away from his children, he would not be someone I would want to be with. He loves you for many reasons, although both yours and his love has changed, and he adores the children. Of course I will deal with his care of his family in whatever form that takes.”

Dot was silent as she thought about what Amanda had said. Her eyes were downcast as she deliberated, but she brought them up as Amanda spoke again.

“Dot, I do have one thing to ask you, though. If there is something you hear or want to know about me, will you ask me? Can we start to have a friendship of some sort?”

Looking at her, a strange but ultimately accepting smile finally crossing her face, Dot answered her. “Well, I have all my girlfriend’s cell phone numbers!”

Amanda laughed and gave Dot her cell number and received Dot’s in return. Her spontaneous hug surprised Dot for a moment, but she was coming to realize that Amanda was generous with her affections, as well as honest and kind, and she hugged her back.

Jon walked into the kitchen to see the two women embracing. His surprise showed in his eyes as both turned to look at him.

Dot had a bit of a wicked smile on her face. She couldn’t resist.

“Jon, I’d like you to meet a new friend of mine, Amanda.”

Amanda played along, “And, I’d like you to meet Dot, a new friend of mine.”

To say Jon was amazed would have been the understatement of the year. To say he was pleased, thrilled, astounded, and so happy to have these two women reach an understanding was the second greatest understatement.

His smile at the two made his eyes sparkle and both women grinned back at the irresistible Jovi grin. Shaking her head and laughing softly at her ex-husband, Dot turned to Amanda.

“He does that on purpose, you know!”

Amanda laughed. “I am coming to learn that, yes.”

Bringing the coffee into the living room, the three found that the kids had scattered to their respective after dinner activities and Carol Bongiovi was sitting alone.

Amanda greeted her pleasantly, although her manner was a bit cautious as Dot and Jon both observed. “Hi, Mrs. Bongiovi, it’s very nice to see you again.”

“Hello Amanda. Did you have a nice time in Tahoe?” Carol’s voice was pleasant, but without real warmth.

“Yes, ma’am, we did. I’ve never been anywhere that far west.”

Serving coffee, Dot made small talk with Jon about the kids, including both Amanda and Carol in the conversation. Amanda learned a great deal about Jon’s kids just from listening to the stories, but could feel Carol’s eyes constantly returning to her.

Jon made an eye gesture at his ex-wife and she took the hint.

“Amanda, I’ve heard that you do quite a bit of gardening. Would you like to see my greenhouse?”

“I’d love to! Will you both please excuse me?” She looked first at Carol and then at Jon.

Jon answered, “Go ahead sweetie, Dot has a real green thumb.”

They went then and once out of earshot, Amanda whispered, “He wants to talk to his mom, right?”

“Oh yeah, think we’ll stay at the greenhouse until one of our cell phones ring!”


After a few minutes of sitting over their coffees, Carol spoke.

“Well, Jon, I see what I said before didn’t make much of an impression on you.”

When her son turned his eyes toward her, she was a bit taken aback at the ice that coated the blue.

“Actually mom, it made a very big impression, so big that I almost lost her. Actually, I did lose her, but she gave me another chance.”

Carol gave a bitter laugh. “Of course she gave you another chance! I told you…”

Jon’s interruption of his mother was a bit harsh.

“You were wrong.”

Her mouth dropped a bit at his tone.

“I listened to you and lost her because I kept waiting for her to fulfill what you thought was the truth. It wasn’t the truth. She is exactly whom she seems to be and even more that I haven’t learned yet. It took Richie to get me to see what I was doing to her and how I had caused her to leave me.”

At her surprised look at that last, he nodded. “Yeah, mom, she left me. Not because I didn’t spend money on her, or because she wanted things I wouldn’t buy her, but because I treated her like shit!”

He stood and started pacing now, a sure sign of his agitation.

“Mom, I love you, but I also love Amanda and I’m not going to lose her again. You are going to have to learn to accept her because she’s a part of my life now and…she’s also my future.”

Carol recovered a bit and started again, “Jon, I still think…”

Again he interrupted her. “Mom, you’re wrong about her and you’re wrong about me if you think I’m not smart enough to protect myself. I’m not a little boy anymore and as much as I love you, I’m not going to allow you to hurt her in any way.”

He sat beside her then and took her hand. “I know you have my best interests at heart, but Amanda has my heart. You have a choice to make, mom, accept her and continue to be a large part of my life, or don’t accept her and have a smaller role. Amanda is here to stay.”

Carol looked at her son and knew he meant every word he said. He had made his choice and was now giving her what her choices would be.

Taking a deep breath, she nodded. “I’ll try, Jonny.”

He kissed her cheek then. “That’s all I wanted to hear, mom, the rest will come.”

He left his mother then, quietly sitting on the couch, a bit amazed at the ultimatum her son had given her, but knowing that she would never allow herself to be relegated to a sideline role. She had some thinking to do; it was not in her nature to be thwarted.


  1. Mishna Says:

    Sun I love your writing and I am very happy that you made Dorothea and Amanda friends. It gets tiring reading Dorothea portrayed as an evil bitch all the time. I am enjoying your story and am new to find it just recently. Please keep writing and I will keep reading.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    great chapter, full of real emotion.
    you've got such a talent for writing. glad Jon stood up to mommy dearest!

  3. lilith Says:

    it's great the way u picture dot being such a nice person. good that she and amanda are friends now.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I love the mommy Dearest angle. Will Maryann be hooking up with her?

  5. Sunstreaked Says:

    I'm glad you all like that Dot is turning out to be a nice person. It never felt real to me that she and Jon would have been together ALL those years and with four kids and not have some genuine affection for the other, even if they are "divorced" in this story. Glad to see others feel that way too!

  6. Opester Says:

    I like Dot too and also portrayed her in a positive light in my story as it's pretty hard for me to imagine her as anything but pretty awesome given that she and Jon have been together for so many years. I love the Mommy Dearst comment too-and the angle. The story is very believable and really captures my imagination and interest!

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