John Francis - Chapter 175

Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 11:21 AM
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The guests mingling in the living room were engaged in lively conversations, some regarding the day, others in meeting soon to be new relatives. The kids were now downstairs and Jon, conscious of his daughter’s feelings this day, drew her to his side as he talked. Stephanie looked particularly lovely and so grown up today. In fact she had grown up a bit today, in the way that all children of divorce and remarriage do, when they realize that they don’t control their own little universe. Talking with her dad had helped and she knew that no matter what both he and her mother loved them all very much.

Jesse was also hanging around his dad, but his grandmother had asked him to watch out for Romeo and to keep him as clean as possible, so he spent a little more time wandering away to get his brother and trying to return him to the area where his dad and Eric were talking. Jesse had already met Eric’s brother Michael and soon they were talking about Jesse’s chances of making first string on his football team.

Jacob was playing with his GameBoy while sitting on the couch and for the moment was the quietest of the children as he was fully engrossed in getting to the next level of the game he was playing.

Amanda was now talking with some of the women guests, all clearly gushing about the decorations and some wondering at what Dorothea would be wearing. Although she had seen the gown, Amanda refrained from speaking about it, not wanting to spoil the surprise. Richie had been roaming from group to group, joining in ongoing conversations easily. He was the one who heard the doorbell ring and opened the door to Tico and Alejandra, and Hugh and Kelli arriving for the festivities. David was also there, but without Jen as she had a prior commitment. she couldn’t avoid.

“Hey! There you all are! Come on in and meet everybody!”

Richie urged the group in with the ease of a natural host and the benefit of longstanding friend-and-partnership with the five new arrivals. Amanda also saw the five arrive and excusing herself went over to say hello. Warm hugs were given and trying to be helpful, both Richie and Amanda got drinks for their friends at the bar. Jon saw the rest of the gang arrive and gave a smile and a nod ‘hello’, but didn’t go over yet as Eric was still talking to him. Eric’s dad, Mark, had joined them and Jon was pleased to see the good relationship the two men had as it boded well that Eric and his father were also good friends.

After helping the recovered nanny get the kids ready for the wedding, Carol Bongiovi returned to the living room. She went over to talk with Tico, Alejandra, David, Kelli and Hugh, speaking animatedly with the group she had known since they were young men.

Richie and Amanda returned during this time with drinks and joined the group, although it was apparent to both Tico and Richie who knew Amanda best that she was now rather quiet. Catching Richie’s eye, Tico asked a question with his eyes and at the slight head dip from Richie toward Carol, Tico gave a small nod of understanding.

Dividing the group just a little by her presence, Carol started talking to Alejandra and Kelli about the wedding decorations and the food that Dot had ordered. The men started their own small talk, but it was soon apparent that while Carol was speaking quite pleasantly and cheerfully to the two wives, she was not including Amanda in the conversation.

When Alejandra quickly realized that Amanda was standing there listening but not participating, she tried to include her but found her efforts going to waste as Carol simply dominated the conversation by directing her questions and comments only to Alejandra and Kelli.

Tico and Richie were keeping half an ear directed toward the women’s conversation and were aware of what Jon’s mother was doing. Both had been told directly by Jon what his mother had said before and what problems that had caused in Amanda and Jon’s relationship. Tico had talked with his wife about some of this as he wanted her to like Amanda and as such she knew a bit about the problem of Jon’s mother. He raised an eyebrow at his wife, who gave a small nod in return.

“So Amanda…” Alejandra interjected during a pause in the monologue, “…I heard you both kept the kids last night so Dot could have a “mommy free” night. How did that go?”

Answering with a warm smile, Amanda replied, “It was wonderful! The kids were great and I think Dot appreciated having a night off before the wedding today, so it worked out for everyone.”

Winking at her, Alejandra shot back “And whose idea was that?”

Grinning at her friend, Amanda replied that she had thought of it, but Jon had wholeheartedly agreed.

Turning a little at that, Carol shot Amanda a look. “You arranged to have the children there last night?”

Wondering where this question was going, Amanda politely replied, “No, I just suggested it to Jon and then when he agreed, we asked Dot if the kids could stay over.”

Her words were a bit measured as she spoke as she could just feel Carol was looking for something to chide her over.

Shaking her head in what was clearly feigned repugnance, Carol restated what Amanda had done, making it sound devious and manipulative.

“So once again you presumed to know what my son would want done with his children and then imposed your ideas on both him and Dorothea?”

Narrowing her eyes a little, as Tico, Richie, and even Alejandra edged a hair closer for support if such was needed, Amanda looked directly at Jon’s mother.

“No, Mrs. Bongiovi, I did not presume or impose my ideas on anyone. I made a suggestion, they both liked it and agreed. Surely you’re aware that Jon does not take manipulation well?”

Her voice was innocent sounding, but she and Carol both knew to what she referred. Knowing there was no good outcome to be had from this verbal sparring, Amanda immediately excused herself, stating she had promised Dot the day before to check on the caterers.

All present in the group saw the slight hesitation in her step and the barely visible stiffening of her body as Carol’s voice responded with a cloying sweetness that was all the more offensive for the implied insult it contained.

“Why don’t you do that, dear? That would be something useful.”

Hugh, Kelli, and David were a little too far back to hear, but Tico, Alejandra, and Richie were not. All three made wide eyes at the other as Amanda continued on as graciously as possible, although internally she felt as if she was vibrating with anger.

Moving into the kitchen, she did check again on the progress of the caterers and saw they were utilizing the kitchen as their base with practiced ease. Thinking she would take a few minutes to get her rising temper under control, Amanda helped herself to a glass of wine.

Continuing her conversation with Alejandra and Kelli as if nothing untoward had occurred, Carol didn’t notice that both women had become rather quiet and were simply nodding in response to the words directed their way. Tico saw the change in his wife and moved over to her, leaning into her arm as he started talking to Jon’s mother to give his wife a much-needed break.

The others also joined in and much reminiscing, mostly by Carol Bongiovi, was engaged in, the others offering appropriate stories when they could. Jon’s brothers were the next to arrive and they joined the group. Richie soon excused himself but the others were talking and laughing too much to do more than wave him off as he made his way to the hall bathroom.

During almost the same time, when the others were all talking, Carol caught her oldest son’s eye, motioning for him to follow her. Jon nodded to the men he was talking to, inclining his head towards the bathroom, and left them to meet up with his mother in one of the rooms by a hallway bathroom. Entering the room after her, he closed the door at her motion to do so.

Richie had just finished using the facilities and stepping back into the hallway he heard voices coming from behind the closed door of a room nearby. Pausing for a moment he could clearly make out Carol’s voice. It didn’t take more than one sentence for him to realize who she was speaking with.

“It’s still not too late, Jon, she hasn’t married him yet.”

Jon faced his mother, hardly daring to believe what she was saying.

“Mom, what the hell are you talking about?” Jon’s voice rose a little more than he intended.

“You still love her. You have four beautiful children. Just tell her, Jon, and you can have your life back. She’s the mother of your children. You can stop this just by telling her!” Carol’s impassioned voice also rose as she tried to convince Jon.

“Why can’t you understand that my marriage with Dot is over! She’s marrying Eric today. For god’s sake, mom, they love each other and I love Amanda!” Jon was slowly getting more and more furious with his mother.

“Why are you so stubborn? Amanda is nothing compared to your family and Dot is the mother of your children!” Carol laid her hand on her son’s arm and was encouraged when he allowed it to remain there.

“Jonny, please, don’t let her go. You have so many years together. Go talk to her. Just try, for the sake of your happiness and for the kids.” Carol pleaded with him. He looked at her then and sighed.

“I’ll talk to her, mom.”

Still standing spellbound in the hallway Richie stiffened in astonishment. Realizing then that the door could open at any second he quickly left, moving back into the living room, his eyes automatically seeking out Amanda.





Jon and his mother left the room, Carol moving back into the living room with a small self-satisfied look on her face. Amanda had rejoined the group now that Carol had gone off somewhere and was standing with her back facing the hallway, talking once again to the others. Richie had been anticipating Carol’s return and saw her give a narrow-eyed look at the back of Amanda’s head as she passed through the room. He also saw Jon turn and head towards the back of the house and the stairs.

Moving slowly up the stairs, Jon wondered what he was doing. He had said he would talk to Dot to placate his mother, but on more honest reflection he realized he did want to talk with her. What he didn’t know was what he wanted to say.

Knocking on a closed bedroom door, he greeted his ex-wife’s long-time friend.

“Hi Melissa. How are you?”

Melissa was surprised to see Jon and stammered just a little in response.

“F…fine. How are you, Jon?”

“Good. Would you ask Dot if I can talk to her for a minute?”

Eyes widening, Melissa could only nod ‘yes’ and closing the door she went into the dressing room and approached Dot.

“Dot…Jon’s at the door. He says he wants to talk to you.” Her eyes widening a bit at that herself, Dot told Melissa to let him in and then please give her a few minutes.

“I’ll call you when I need you,” she informed her friend.

Melissa returned to the door and let Jon in, excusing herself as she did so. Jon entered the room, calling out “Dorothea?”

“In here, Jon.” She answered, emerging from the dressing room, fully made up and gowned for her wedding.

Jon’s eyes brightened in appreciation and his smile flashed as he looked at his ex-wife.

“You look beautiful.” His voice was soft and his smile warm.

“Thank you.” She replied, her eyes suddenly dropping down, away from the face of the man she had loved for more than half her life. They both stood in silence for a few moments and then their eyes met.

Without conscious thought each took a step toward the other and as natural as breathing, moved into each other’s arms.

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11 comments

  1. Romaine Says:

    Oh my God, I hate his mom right now! I hope he does nothing stupid!! He loves Amanda, doesn't he? And Dot love Eric! So please.....

  2. Anonymous Says:

    OMG. And while he's doing that, what is mama going to be downstairs saying to Amanda?

    Linda

  3. Anonymous Says:

    HOLY crap! Don't leave it there.

  4. Sandy Says:

    OMG...so on the edge of my seat now!

  5. lori Says:

    You didn't! You couldn't! OMG don't make us wait too long!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I actually like the idea of Jon and Dot getting back together ... perhaps not the popular opinion here, but I love it.

  7. Jan Says:

    OMG -- Poor Amanda!

  8. OH WOW!! I am sure they are going to be fine and are just bidding one final "goodbye" to each other.

  9. Shelly Says:

    okay....hmmmm...i need to read more...but omg...

    maybe it's just a good-bye???

    Okay...off to read more..

    omg....

  10. jovikitn65 Says:

    Please just let it be a final goodbye. Oh if Jon hurts Amanda I am going to be very pissed.

  11. jovikitn65 Says:

    I almost forgot about the photo..my fave : )

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