John Francis - Chapter 164

Friday, August 22, 2008 at 12:07 PM
Amanda found the mall easily and parked, grabbing her bag and locking the car. She entered and started roaming. During this last year she had spent a lot of time doing this same thing. It relaxed her and let her mind wander as she browsed through the different stores. She hadn’t talked to Jon about his mother, but she felt that Carol was going to continue to be a problem. The other day she had purposefully not brought up the subject, changing it to Richie as they had left Dot’s as she felt the timing wasn’t right. She decided to grab a coffee and call Susan.

“Hey Suze!”

“Mands! How ya doin’ honey?” Susan answered her friend’s call enthusiastically.

“Pretty good. You busy or can you take a few minutes?”

“Nah, I can take a few. What’s going on?”

Amanda told Susan about Jon’s mother, both what she had heard and what she had suspected and asked her friend what she thought.

“I’m not sure I understand, Manda, I mean it sounds like she hasn’t even tried to get to know you.”

Amanda realized she was shaking her head ‘yes’ in agreement, but that Susan couldn’t see her. “Yeah, I do know what you mean. It feels that way to me too. I don’t know why she’s so set against me when she knows so little.”

“What does Jon say?”

“He says he’s the only one who can get through to her and that he will.”

“What about everyone else?” Susan asked, curious as to how Jon’s ex-wife had been.

“They’ve all been great. Dot and I are actually forming a bit of a friendship and the kids seem to be fine with me. I haven’t been pushing, just letting them talk when they want to. And Eric is a really nice guy. Even Jon’s dad is sweet. It’s just his mom who seems to have such a problem with me.”

“Just from what I saw the few days I was there, I think I would go along with what Jon is saying about him handling his mother. Manda, there’s no way you could even begin to know their history, the true stories anyway, and this one sounds a bit like walking through a mine field.”

Amanda again indicated her agreement with what her friend was saying. “Thanks, Suze, I was leaning that way, just wanted some sensible advice and some confirmation that it was the right direction.”

“No problem sweetie, call anytime. I want to talk to you too, but not here at the office. Can you call me at home soon?”

“Sure. Anything wrong?” Amanda asked with concern in her voice.

“No, just some girl talk, okay?” Susan answered a bit evasively, both because of where she was and what she wanted to talk about.

“Alright hon, talk to you soon. Love ya!”

Amanda put her cell back in her bag and looked around. She began walking and browsing a bit more and found herself in front of a Barnes & Nobles bookstore. She went inside and started looking at the new magazine section. One of the cover stories caught her eye. In bold black type it read: “Jon Bon Jovi’s Newest Love Interest”.

After a quick glance around to see if anyone was watching her, she took the magazine to a chair and sat down to read the article. Within a few paragraphs she could see that the author of the article had done his homework. Inside were details about her life, from where she had worked, to a long section on her husband’s death, information on her mother, and where Amanda had been spotted with Jon, to some rumors and a bit of speculation as to her place in his life. There were multiple photos of her, most with Jon, but a few alone.

The article stated that “Jon Bon Jovi in two separate interviews has denied any marriage plans with Ms. Matthews, stating only that they are in a ‘committed relationship”. The article ended with Dot’s upcoming marriage and reminisces about Jon and Dot’s previous marriage. Amanda closed the magazine and put it back. There wasn’t anything damaging in the interview and the reporter seemed to actually have stuck to pretty much the truth about everything. She wasn’t used to being written about, however, and it did give her a strange, almost surreal feeling.

A woman who appeared in her late 30’s or possibly early 40’s sat down in the chair next to her, glancing and then staring at Amanda.

“You’re her, aren’t you?” The woman asked quietly, a copy of the same magazine in her hand.

The question startled Amanda a little as she had been thinking about what she had just read. She turned to the woman. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

Her voice still quiet, the woman repeated her question. “You’re her, Jon Bon Jovi’s new girlfriend, right?”

Seeing the magazine in the woman’s hand, Amanda didn’t try lying. “Yes, I’m Amanda.” She answered, her voice also quiet.

“I just read the article. I’m sorry about your husband.” The woman seemed sincere and this sincerity along with the unexpectedness of the kind remark had Amanda looking at her a little more carefully.

“Thank you for saying that.” Her response was warm.

“I lost my husband six months ago. Cancer.”

Amanda instinctively reached out to touch the woman’s arm. “I’m so sorry. That’s awful.”

“Yeah, it really was. He was so sick at the end.”

“I can’t imagine going through that. I’m really sorry for your loss.” Amanda gave a small smile and removed her hand.

They were quiet for a few moments and then Amanda made a movement to get her bag so she could go.

“Can I ask you a question?” The woman looked at her, smiling softly.

“I’m not sure I can answer, but okay.”

“Was it…did you…” She paused, seeming to struggle a little in what she was saying. She took a deep breath, then continued. “…Did you feel you were doing something wrong by falling in love with someone else?”

The question surprised Amanda and she wasn’t quite sure how to reply. She finally took her own deep breath and answered her. “No. I wasn’t looking for it and didn’t expect it, but if it had been me who died instead of Jeremy I would never have wanted him to go through the rest of his life alone.”

“Thanks for telling me that, Amanda. I don’t care about Jon Bon Jovi, I just wanted to ask someone who had lost their love and then found another how they felt about it.”

“It’s okay…” She paused and the woman supplied her name, “Maureen”. “It’s okay, Maureen, every loss is so hurtful. I guess we all just get through it the best we can.”

Maureen nodded at her, rising from her own chair. “It was nice to meet you, Amanda. Good luck.”

“You too, Maureen, take care.” The women parted and Amanda continued on her way. She felt for Maureen, it would have been unbearable to watch Jeremy linger through that kind of death. Although the article had caused it, she actually felt a sense of normalcy after having spoken with Maureen and having the conversation not be about Jon. She laughed at herself. Get used to it, girl! That kinda talk is going to be the exception not the rule! She wandered out of the book store and was drawn into a perfume shop.

Taking her time in this store, Amanda decided she would treat herself to a perfume she would make up. There were flasks of essential oils that could be mixed and matched in any manner one could want. There were stores like this where she lived and she had a blend she loved that she hadn’t thought to bring with her. A woman came over to help her and Amanda described what she wanted. The base was Egyptian musk, a few drops of vanilla, and an oil called “Dragon’s Blood”. The three combined together to create a scent that Amanda felt was uniquely hers. The attendant let her create her own combination and then filled the different holding bottles. One large one was for home and a second was a refillable roll-on as oils don’t spray well.

Extremely pleased that she had her scent available to her again, Amanda happily paid for her items. It was a wonderfully seductive scent and she hoped Jon would enjoy it also.

~~

Jon and Richie meanwhile were on the phone most of the afternoon and then in the studio for the remainder when they just couldn’t take one more call. They were both in a good mood and the music for their new album seemed like it was going to be more uplifting that some of the poignant songs on “Lost Highway”.

They were at the ‘having a few beers stage’ now, relaxing after a busy day. Jon had brought his cell into the studio with them and every once in a while would check it to make sure it was turned on.

Richie finally started chuckling. “Why don’t you just call her, ya dumb ass?”

Jon scowled at him because he had been thinking of doing that very thing.

“Nah, don’t want her to feel like she’s on some kinda leash, but damn, she’s been gone a while, hasn’t she?”

“Yeah, about four hours. Hey, you know women and malls. You might not see her until tomorrow!”

“She’s not like that though, Rich, she’s not much of a shopper.” He then told Richie about the money, ATM, and credit cards he had arranged for her. “I think she spent a all of $75.00 total the whole time we were in Europe!”

“So, she’s definitely after your money then, right?” Richie laughed and Jon joined in. “Yep, Kidd, she’s a big spender alright!”

“Aw shut up, man, I made that mistake once. I am trying to learn to be different, ya know!” Jon groused at Richie as his friend continued to laugh softly.

Laughing harder now, Richie cocked his head at Jon and asked with a wry grin.

“How’s that workin’ out for you by the way?”

6 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Its good to see Amanda relax and to know where her head is at with the whole Jon's mom thing..

    Even as I'm reading, though, I find myself concerned about everyone around her (who might have overheard the conversation with Susan, who is this woman in the bookstore). I can't imagine having to live that way for real, always guarded with what you say and who you meet! Yikes!

    Great chapter and I love the way Jon is always concerned about her!

    Linda :) Have a great weekend everyone!

  2. Lori Says:

    Wow, I thought this was a really good chapter. Loved Amanda's reactions to the article about her and Maureen.

  3. Opester Says:

    Glad to see Amanda getting out on her own a bit more and not reacting so strongly when she sees stuff in the news or in print. Nice female bonding there with Maureen.

  4. Nice moment in the bookstore with Maureen! I love this chapter with the two of them doing their own things but clearly still thinking of each other.

  5. Shelly Says:

    I love this chapter.

    It's really showing how Jon and Amanda are turning into a real couple. Him, doing his day-to-day routine and her, getting used to her surroundings and beginning to feel comfortable about the whole situation.
    I couldn't imagine seeing myself written about when you didn't know and then have someone come up to you out of the blue and share their experience. Pretty surreal indeed.
    The interaction between she and Maureen was great.

    Great chapter Sun

  6. Daydreamer- Says:

    Loved the poignant moment with Maureen, and I'm curious to find out what's on Susan's mind.
    Thanks for the new chapters!

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