John Francis - Chapter 172

Saturday, September 20, 2008 at 8:06 AM
Shaking her head from side to side, Dot began explaining. “Because all the things that broke us up still exist and aren’t going to change. He’s not going to stop touring, stop his involvement with The Soul, stop his charity work, or stop any of the dozens of things he does that take him away from me and the kids. During the 18 years we were married there were times we were more apart than together. I finally reached my limit. I want someone who will be there with me every night and that is never going to be Jon.”

“Do you love Eric?” Amanda asked, then almost slapped her own hand over her mouth. Dot saw her wide eyes and stunned expression and laughed.

“It’s okay. Yes, I do love Eric and he loves me. It’s just that my life is about to really change tomorrow and…well, Jon is…” she trailed off, then made herself finish. “…Jon is a hard act to follow.”

“Dot, I honestly don’t know what to say,” Amanda admitted truthfully. Smiling at her, Dot nodded in understanding.

“You don’t have to say anything. Thanks for letting me talk though.”

“I really do wish you every happiness,” Amanda spoke, reaching for Dot’s hand as she did. She received a warm smile in return.

Before the women could continue their conversation further, they heard a knock at the front door and then the door opening.

“Dorothea! Hello dear! It’s Carol!” Mrs. Bongiovi’s voice was clear as she entered the house.

“In the kitchen!” Dot called back.

Carol entered the kitchen all smiles, carrying some bags, until her eyes happened onto Amanda.

“Hello Mrs. Bongiovi.” Amanda greeted her evenly.

“Oh…hello…why are you…I mean, I certainly didn’t except to see you here.” Carol finished rather lamely.

Dot answered for her.

“She came over to give me a hand when I felt I was drowning earlier! She’s been an amazing help.” She winked at Amanda.

“Well, isn’t that nice.” Carol replied emotionlessly. “Where are my grandchildren?” She asked Dot.

“Oh, Amanda had Jon and Richie come get them for the day. They’ll get them ready for us to pick up on the way to the rehearsal dinner tonight.”

Carol’s voice was a bit petulant as she stated, “Well, I came over to see what I could do, but there doesn’t seem to be anything.”

Before Dot could speak up, Amanda stood. “Actually, I need to get going to finish that last errand, so I should be on my way.”

Rolling her eyes a bit out of Carol’s sight, Dot agreed that she was quite set now.

“Amanda thanks so much for everything! We’ll see you at six tonight to get the kids.”

Moving to Dot’s side, Amanda gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.

“I was glad to help, Dot. Call any time.” She gathered her coat and purse. “See you later tonight.” She called out as she headed toward the front door and out to the car.

~~~

“Well…” Carol’s tone brisk and sarcastic as she turned toward Dot, “…you’d better show me what that woman managed to do to your elegant wedding. Lord only knows we won’t have much time to undo the damages.”

Although it was not in Dot’s nature to be cruel, she did take a rather perverse pleasure in the fact that Carol Bongiovi, no matter how she tried, could not find fault with anything Amanda had done, especially when Dot exclaimed repeatedly just how pleased she was and that she didn’t want a single thing changed.

When Carol had offered her help to her former daughter-in-law, Dorothea had found it hard to refuse. She had known Jon’s mother since she was 17 and although she was now divorced from her son, they had the bond of many years and four grandchildren, a bond that Carol at least didn’t see any reason to alter in the least. She had continued to drop over whenever she was nearby, usually without calling, and it had taken Dot some time to get Eric to grudgingly accept that Jon’s mother would always be a part of their lives.

Dot listened to Carol with half her concentration and considered what had happened today and her talk with Amanda. She had not been lying when she had relayed how her close friend, Melissa, who was to be her matron of honor for the wedding, had just droned on and on about ‘was she sure’ - ‘Jon had been her husband for so long’ - ‘she could change her mind’, and other unwise chatter until Dot, dealing with her own emotions, had finally told Melissa that she wanted some time to herself. After promising to call if she needed further help, she had managed to get the peace and quiet she craved.

That peace and quiet lasted only a short time, however, as the kids’ nanny was sick with a stomach virus and Dot suddenly found her two youngest to have what she always called a ‘wild day’, meaning they had the attention span of a flea and were constantly underfoot. She had recruited Jesse and Stephanie, but after an hour or so knew this wasn’t going to be enough. It was then that the thought of calling Amanda had come to mind.

As Amanda’s help and their subsequent conversation played out in her mind, she found her thoughts again turning to Jon and the past.

~~~

After picking up Eric’s tux which she would give to Dot and Eric tonight when they got the kids for the rehearsal dinner, Amanda drove to Jon’s house where she was met by two rather haggard looking men who acted as if an angel of mercy had just arrived. She laughed at the two of them and told them to get the boys into the showers quickly as it was 4:30 and they had very little time left. She went upstairs and found Stephanie in her room, already showered and trying her hand at makeup.

“Hey hon...” Amanda greeted her as she walked into the room, seeing how heavy-handed the young woman was being with her make-up.

“Steph, I sure don’t know the rules your mom has, but you do. Tonight is really special for her and Eric and I think we should all do our part to help, don’t you?”

She gave the young girl a small squeeze on the shoulder, hearing her sigh and begin removing most of the makeup she had just put on.

After her busy day, Amanda showered quickly and was sitting her robe, hair wrapped in a towel, painting her toenails, when Stephanie knocked on the door. She had on a light lip gloss and very mild blush and smiling at her, Amanda winked.

“I knew I could count on you, Stephanie. Thank you.”

Returning her attention to her few remaining toenails, it took her a second to realize that Stephanie was still at the door. She looked at the girl with a question in her eyes.

“You like my mom, don’t you?” Stephanie asked softly.

“Yeah, honey, I like her a lot.” Amanda replied just as softly.

A quick nod, then “I’m glad” as Stephanie left the room.

Jon entered the room a few minutes later, announcing that he had turned the three boys over to Linda as they were all ready to go when Dot and Eric arrived.

“So what happened today? What did Dot need you for?” He could contain his curiosity no longer.

“Actually, very little…just a few organizational details. I was glad to do what I could and I think it really helped her to get the kids out of her hair for a bit, so thanks for coming to get them.”

He accepted her words at face value and watched as she finished dressing.

“Jon, I was wondering - and if Dot agrees - maybe the kids could sleep here tonight. Let her have the night before her wedding without the responsibilities of being a mom.”

He thought about that for a few moments before replying.

“Yeah, I think that’s a great idea. They haven’t had a sleep over in a bit and I want them to come over when their mom and Eric are on their honeymoon, so let’s start tonight.”

He walked over and kissed her.

“Good idea, babe.”

She smiled as she watched him enter the shower to get cleaned up himself after a day with his boys.

~~~

Amanda’s cell rang as she was putting the finishing touches to her makeup. Looking at the caller ID, she could see it was Dot.

“Hi there!” She answered enthusiastically.

“Hi! How are the troops?” Dot asked, laughing a little.

“Wash, pressed, and ready to march!” Amanda laughed herself at that image. “Oh, I also got Eric’s tux, so it’s here for you to pick up.”

“Thanks, I really appreciate that.” Dot’s voice expressed her genuine gratitude.

“No problem, glad to help…” Amanda answered, playing down her contribution, “…but we were wondering if after the dinner you might let us keep the kids tonight.”

A chuckle then outright laughter met her question.

“You mean YOU were wondering if the kids could spend the night!”

Laughing herself, Amanda answered her.

“Well, I thought of it first, but he agreed of course!”

“Thanks again, Manda, that would be really nice. I can see things are well in hand, so we’ll see you soon.”

Dot smiled as she ended the conversation, thinking ahead to having a night to herself before the “Big Day”.

6 comments

  1. Cathy Says:

    Great couple of chapters my dear. I loved the talk between Dot and Amanda. I also liked the little touch of Stephanie confirming that Amanda liked her Mom.

  2. Opester Says:

    Such great chapters and I love the inclusion of Dot and her own reflections on her life with Jon and her upcoming marriage. Also love the evil "Mommy Dearest"...a good villain is almost as important as a noble heroine!!!!!!!!!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Totally agree, Cathy! But I also find myself looking forward to see what new lows Mrs. B & Co. stoop to next!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    This has been a great week of chapters, Sunstreaked :) Can't wait to see what happens at the wedding. Have a feeling Mrs. B. can't hold on to just using sarcastic little digs to express herself. I see a meltdown in her future!

    Linda

  5. fantastic chapter! I love the emerging relationship w/ Stephanie and also Dot and Amanda's friendship. What are we going to do about Carol??

  6. jovikitn65 Says:

    Last few chapters were very sweet. Wondering how Jon and Dorothea are going to react to each other on her wedding day?!

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