John Francis - Chapter 185

Friday, October 17, 2008 at 9:07 AM
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Richie looked at the dead cell in his hand in confusion and astonishment. In all the weeks he had known Amanda, he had never heard her speak so harshly or so angrily, even after finding Carrie in Jon’s room. He wasn’t able to get enough information out of her to really know what had happened, but he was sure there was more to the whole situation.

Sitting at his mother’s house, he replayed yesterday in his mind. He suspected that Jon had not really dealt with his divorce, he had simply buried it – in booze, late nights, and anonymous women. From what Jon was saying and not saying the day before, he thought his friend might have issues that were coming to the surface regarding the divorce and his new relationship with Amanda.

Jon had told him very quickly after meeting Amanda that he wanted to marry her, that he was in love with her, that she was “the one”. He remembered cautioning Jon about letting Amanda in or letting her go and it seemed this was the source of one of Amanda’s main complaints. She felt shut out and with Jon being as closed-mouth as he was, playing his emotions so close to the vest, Richie foresaw major problems.

~~~

After hanging up with both Susan and Richie, Amanda sat drinking coffee and having a few more cigarettes until she realized that they were making her feel more sick than she already did. Crushing out the last one in disgust, she pushed the pack away. Sitting, thinking, her mind working overtime on everything she had heard, seen, and felt over the last few days, she realized she simply didn’t know what to do.

The last thing she wanted to do was leave him. She had only given her heart once before and it had nearly killed her to lose that love. Not literally, of course, but she had felt dead inside in so many ways for an entire year afterwards, only coming alive again because of Jon. It wasn’t a choice any longer – how she felt or didn’t feel, she loved him and that colored all her thoughts.

She had gone through the entire pot of coffee and went inside to put another one on. Opening the door from the enclosed porch, she almost dropped her cup when she saw Jon standing at the coffee pot, waiting for it to brew. She stopped immediately upon seeing him and the opening of the door combined with that suddenness drew his attention. His eyes were deeply bloodshot this morning, his hair still wet from a shower. She turned toward the sink to rinse out her cup, taking a few moments to do so.

Jon had been standing, waiting for the coffee, willing his head to stop its incessant pounding. He felt sick this morning with the after effects of the alcohol he had consumed and his stomach was churning with acid. He heard the door from the porch open and saw Amanda come in, see him, and stop suddenly. Her eyes had widened and then she had turned from him to the sink, washing a coffee cup.

Vestiges of memories of last night came to him and he winced at her back, hoping she wasn’t the type to start a fight first thing in the morning. He winced again at that uncharitable thought and despite the pounding in his head, made himself speak first.

“Good morning.”

Without turning, Amanda answered. “Good morning.”

There was silence then as Amanda moved from the sink to the cabinet where there were aspirin. Taking the bottle, she shook out three for him, setting them beside the coffee pot. She put the bottle back without a word. Moving past him then, towards the living room, he heard her softly call out that she was going to take a shower. There was quiet in the kitchen after she left the room, the gurgle of the brewing coffee the only sound.

Finally getting his first cup, he moved to the door leading to the back to see where Amanda had been. A few items on the table caught his eye and he went out to see what they were. He saw his cigarettes and an ashtray with five butts in it. He picked up the pack then glanced back toward the kitchen. Amanda didn’t smoke. But she had been out here, his cigarette pack and some obviously smoked ones were present, and he hadn’t been out here last night.

What the hell? Was his first thought as he continued to look almost stupidly from the cigarettes to the door and back again. She was smoking? She doesn’t smoke! His head hurt and this wasn’t helping. He took a large drink from the cup and then lit his own cigarette, the smoke making him cough. I know we fought…why?…what the hell happened? He struggled to remember.

Upstairs, in the shower, Amanda hung her head allowing the warm water to run over her. She had already done everything necessary, but the water and the solitude were wonderful. Jon wouldn’t join her this morning, she knew. She doubted he remembered what had happened, although he would retain the memory of something being wrong. Thinking for so long had left her with her own pounding headache and she wished she had taken some aspirin herself.

Downstairs Jon continued sitting outside, unknowingly mimicking Amanda’s position of a short time before. He saw her cell phone, a bit to the side of a plant in the center of the table, an item he hadn’t noticed at first. Out of more of a sense of something to do with his hands than anything, he scrolled through her last calls. He saw that one was to Susan at a little after seven that morning and then one from Richie a little after nine. Damn! She was up early if she called her friend around seven. Wonder what Richie wanted?

Richie’s cell rang and he saw it was Amanda. He quickly answered and started talking.

“Hey darlin’, I’m glad you called back. Manda, don’t hang up again. I know you’re pissed, but I’m sure Jon will…” He was interrupted.

“This is Jon. What the fuck is goin’ on?” His hangover made Jon’s voice harsh.

“Why are you callin’ on her phone?” Richie asked, confusion evident.

“Cause it was here and I looked at it and saw you called, so I called to see what you wanted.” Jon explained a bit defensively as he knew what this looked like – invasion of Amanda’s privacy.

“I called to see how you were doing. What the fuck did you do, man?”

“What are you talkin’ about?” Jon was immediately on the offense. “We had a fight. She told you about it?” He could feel himself getting angry at this, believing Amanda had complained to Richie.

“Not much, she didn’t want to talk. She was pissed. Never heard her quite like that before.”

“Yeah, well you should have heard her last night then you wouldn’t be surprised.” Jon grumbled, feeling both self-pity and disgust over what he could remember of the night past.

“Jon, I can hear it in your voice. You’d better talk to her and find out what happened first because you probably don’t remember it the way it happened.” Richie counseled wisely.

“I don’t remember much, I know, except we fought over something.” Jon admitted.

“You had way too much to drink bro’, it was like the bad old times that aren’t so old, ya know?” Richie asked, trying to remind Jon that his drinking had been a problem for almost a year.

“Shit! So fuckin’ what? I had too much to drink! Big fuckin’ deal!” Jon was again taking an offensive position.

“I ain’t the one with the problems this morning, man, so you tell me what’s the big fuckin’ deal?”

Richie’s voice now reflected his own growing anger and exasperation of dealing with Jon in one of these moods.

Silence for a few moments, and then, “I don’t know, okay? I don’t remember most of it! I think she’s pissed about the drinking and…” his voice trailed off.

Richie thought for a few seconds, then took the plunge.

“She did say one thing, Jon. She asked what you needed her for.”

“What? What does that mean? What do I need her for?” Jon’s voice was filled with confusion and traces of residual memories.

“Yeah, she asked what you needed her for, said it wasn’t to share your life ‘cause you weren’t doin’ it.” Richie responded softly.

“Jesus Christ!” Jon’s voice exploded into the phone. “I share everything with her! My home, my money, my life – everything!”

“Maybe you’d better find out what her definition of ‘everything’ is.” Richie again encouraged, considering his conversation with Amanda that morning and his friendship of many years with Jon.

Silence again filled the line as Richie waited for Jon’s response.

Finally, a tired, husky voice filled his ears.

“Yeah, okay…I hear ya…” Jon answered.

“Think about it, man, that’s all I ask.” Richie quietly urged.

“Yeah…later…” Jon hung up Amanda’s cell, sitting again quietly, lighting another cigarette.

Thinking.

6 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    UGH!!!Jon you are being thick as a fucking brick!!!! She doesnt care about your home or your money and as far as sharing your life well not so much!!! Get your shit together or cut her loose. You dont get to have it both ways no matter who you are.
    Chris

  2. AliceFayeNC Says:

    taking a rolled up newspaper and smacking the shit out of the back of his head...You stupid Fuck...pull your head out of your ass and think really hard what you did last night.

    It also ain't all about the material aspect of what you think you give her...it is more the emotional issues you need to work on buster. Move away from the vest and become an open book...man you act like you have PMS...permant Male Stupidity!

    AF

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Me thinks he forgot how relieved he was on New Years Eve when she came back to him...

    Linda

  4. Anonymous Says:

    PMS... that's the hit... haha
    Nice story, yesterday I read for almost four or five hours - now I can't wait for more ...
    Best wishes from Germany,
    Heike

  5. Kay Says:

    Jon, you need to step out of your body and mind and look at this objectively.

    Either that, or you need good slap upside the head.

    And Alice--PMS! Hilarious!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    i love this story great writing!!!! If i was amanda i would have been out of there on the 1st thing smoking back to FL. Thats what Jon needs for amanda to be gone and not be so availible to him.

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