John Francis - Chapter 86

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 8:09 AM
Jon and his mother were having a completely different discussion. Carol had pulled her son into another room to speak with him privately.

“Jon, I’m only saying this for your own good.”

“Mom, she is as nice as she seems. You just need to spend more time with her and you’ll see.”

“What I see is that this woman left her life for you after only a few days. Son, you and I both know the way women respond to you. You tell me you love her, but how can you even know her? Anyone can put on an act for a length of time. How do you know enough about her to be sure why she’s with you? Jon, I don’t want you to rush into anything. I’m really concerned that she would just walk away from everything. Does that mean she expects you to take total care of her?”

“Mom, there are things you don’t know…”

“I’m sure there are and I don’t want to know about those things. What I want is for my son to protect himself from someone who might just be along to take advantage of him. Dot was with you when everything started, when you were an unknown, now you’re an international celebrity. So, you meet a woman and she drops everything to follow you to your expensive house, your private jet, your known generosity, and most likely your money.”

Jon felt that his mother was wrong about Amanda, but the demon that had grabbed hold of him earlier in the kitchen with Dot, dug it’s claws in deeper.

“Mom, I’ll be careful. I’m taking things slow. After all these years I know what to watch for and I’ll be watching.”

“That’s all I want honey, don’t let yourself be used by someone. From what you told me about her, she has no experience with anyone like you before. Even the best person can hold a dark side.”

Nodding at his mother, Jon left the room, more troubled than he cared to admit, even to himself.

~~~

The afternoon was otherwise a success on all fronts. Even Matt seemed to get over his embarrassment with Amanda and had greeted her warmly. After Jon had spent some extra time with his kids, having a talk with them himself about Amanda, multiple good-byes were made and the three returned to Jon’s house. Jennifer excused herself to rest for a little while. Amanda asked Jon for a glass of wine and they both enjoyed the quiet after the noise of the morning and afternoon.

Amanda had been waiting to give her gifts to Jon until they were alone, as had he. They both gave the other their gifts, Amanda asking Jon to open his first. There were two. The first was the necklace she had found with the two hearts intertwined. The second was the platinum bracelet she’d had engraved for him. On the underside was written:

Cherish the past.
Embrace the future.


Jon looked at the bracelet and couldn’t speak. He couldn’t look at her as there were tears in his eyes. She sat there silently, wondering if she had made a mistake, when he finally raised his head. Then she was the one who couldn’t breathe. His eyes were so filled with emotion she felt tears spring to her own. He crossed the couch to her, pulled her into his arms and held her. She returned the warmth of his embrace. At this moment, he had no words that seemed adequate, so he just held her. I want so badly to believe she is who she seems to be.

He finally released her and then sat beside her while she opened his gifts. She was overwhelmed at his generosity and the beauty of the items. She loved that the choker matched the bracelet and told him so. She wanted to say she didn’t need such lavish gifts, but remembered he had asked her to just let him do what he wanted in that area and she refrained.

Did she expect something like this? Is that why she didn’t tell me I shouldn’t have spent so much? Jon kept hearing his mother’s voice, forgetting what he had told Amanda about letting him do what he wanted in that area.

They talked a bit about how the meeting with the kids went and he asked her why she had seemed to hold off a little in that area.

“It was a big day anyway and I thought adding myself to the mix would just be too much. They’ll need time to get to know me and I figure you’ll be the best judge of that.”

He nodded at her, still a bit overwhelmed at her gift, but understanding now why she had not made more of an effort with the kids.

They decided to call Richie and wish him and Ava a Merry Christmas. He answered on the third ring.

“Hey bro’! Merry Christmas!”

“You too, man, how’s Ava doing?”

“Great! It’s been really good this year. Nice change.”

“Hold on, Amanda’s here,” he handed the phone to her.

“Hey sweetie! Merry Christmas!”

“Hi darlin’! How did it go with the big bad Bongiovi’s?”

“It was a great day, Dot was wonderful and so thoughtful to include my mother and me.”

Richie laughed then, “…and Jon’s parents?”

“Well, a little more reserved, but then again somebody did just spring me on them the other night, so they didn’t have much time to get used to the idea.” She scowled at Jon as she told this to Richie.

In the background Richie could hear Jon’s voice, “They like her!” Mom? Was she right?

She laughed. “Apparently they liked me.”

Richie responded with, “What’s not to like?”

“Thanks honey. How’s your daughter?”

“Growing faster than ever and more beautiful by the day!”

“Well, enjoy the rest of your holiday. When will you be back?”

“Tomorrow as Heather has a trip planned with Ava that I knew about a while ago. In fact, I think I’m coming in about the same time as your mom is flying out.”

“That’s great! See you tomorrow. Oops! Jon is motioning for the phone. Bye!”

Jon took the phone back and smiling at her walked towards his office chatting inconsequentially about getting together at his studio for some new songs. When he got inside his office, his tone changed.

“Rich, can you talk?”

“Yeah, Ava’s taking a nap. What’s up?”

Stumbling a bit with his words, Jon tried to convey what seemed to be almost unease about how ‘perfect’ Amanda was. He did not tell him what his mother had said.

“And your problem with that is?”

“Rich, nobody is this perfect. She’s kind, sweet, generous, thoughtful, caring…shit, she’s amazing!”

“So, what you’re saying is that somehow she’s conned you, me, Teek, Linda, and Dot for Christ’s sake, and now you’re waiting for the ‘real’ Amanda to come out?”

Having it put that way made Jon feel a little ridiculous, a feeling he did not experience very often.

“No, you asshole, I just mean…she seems almost…”

“Too good to be true?” Riche finished for him.

“Yeah, that.”

“So what have you seen that makes you feel she isn’t who she appears to be?”

Frustrated now, Jon almost shouted, “Nothing dammit!”

Cussing into the phone, Richie said, “Jon, please call her a bitch right now so I can knock you to the floor when I get in tomorrow!”

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Nah, not going to get into right now, you’re having a stupid moment. We’ll talk tomorrow. Just don’t fuck things up with her between now and then, got it?”

Shaking his head even though he knew Richie couldn’t see it, Jon shot back. “I have no intention of fucking this up!” I think I’m waiting for her to.

A chuckle was all he heard, then, “Sounds like you’re giving it a pretty good shot right now.”

“Sambora!”

“Jon, shut up, just shut up. We’ll talk tomorrow, okay?”

“Alright, alright. See you at the airport at 6:30. Her mom leaves at 6 tomorrow evening and we’ll hang there for you.”

“Good! Now go enjoy the day AND your lady and don’t make me punch you again!”

“Fuck you, Rich!”

“You too, man!”

Both hung up their phones. In California Richie was grinding his teeth in frustration at Jon’s denseness and self-defensive pose, wondering why all of a sudden he seemed determined to find something wrong with Amanda.

In New Jersey Jon was glaring at the phone as if Richie could see him. How stupid does he think I am? I am not going to screw this up! But even as he thought that, old devils were riding him hard and his thoughts were troubled. He really thought she wasn’t with him for his money and he was pretty damn sure she wasn’t with him for his fame. So why I am thinking of all this. Why now?

Dwelling on the talk with his mother, his mind kept conjuring up the women he had been with previously and no matter how good it started out, something always happened. Somehow their true nature showed itself. So who is the real Amanda? The one I’ve been with these past weeks or is there another Amanda waiting to come out?

3 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    When it got to this line,

    "...but the demon that had grabbed hold of him earlier in the kitchen with Dot, dug it’s claws in deeper."

    I was actually yelling at the computer screen "No, talk to Richie!!!" and was glad when he did. Though, I hope Richie can talk some more sense into Jon when they meet. And I really hope Jon doesn't go back to the bottle again... Why did Dot and his mother have to put more doubt in him? :(

    I hope he can learn to do what that bracelet Amanda gave him said and just let go:

    "Cherish the past
    Embrace the future"

    So true!

  2. Opester Says:

    Loved this chapter! I think it's realistic for Jon to have second thoughts and question things-to slow himself down and not evaluate. i think Jon can be very cognitive at times and probably is very used to seeing hidden motives in everyone he meets. I can see this happening-his mother encouraged it, although I don't think Dot did so intentionally.

  3. jovikitn65 Says:

    I will hold my tongue on Jon's stupidity for now. The gifts were beautiful, I love the inscription on the bracelet. Wish I could see a photo of the jewelry Amanda received. Now if you are done speaking with Richie in your office Jon go enjoy the rest of the holiday with the woman that loves you even when you are being stupid.

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