John Francis - Chapter 186

Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Amanda had finished her shower quite a while ago, dressing and then drying her hair, putting on light make up, straightening the room – anything to avoid going back downstairs. Taking her time, thinking of what to say, what not to say, what to do, her thoughts whirled. I have to leave. I can’t leave. I have to leave. I CAN’T leave! She shook her head violently, trying to dispel her thoughts, the ones that hurt so much.

Jon sat at the outside table after getting a coffee refill, another cigarette in his mouth. What the fuck happened last night? I remember… And then, like a tsunami, memories hit, the breath nearly leaving him as suddenly everything was so clear – the drinking, his failure, the fight, her anger, making love…and…Holy fuck! I called her Dorothea! He sat there, stunned, sick, and…he suddenly realized…frightened.

Understanding she couldn’t stay in the bedroom forever, Amanda came back downstairs into the kitchen. Jon wasn’t there, but as she poured herself yet another cup of coffee and downed the aspirin she so desperately needed, she saw he was out sitting where she had been. His gaze was distant and…her cell phone was in his hand. She slid the door open, standing watching him, until his eyes moved toward her.

“Jon…? What are you doing with my phone?” She cocked her head as she asked this, taking in the sight of him as if it were an arrow to her heart.

Startled by her sudden presence, he stuttered when answering.

“Uh…I…um…I was talking to Richie…”

Surprisingly, her eyes narrowed at that comment as she looked at him.

“May I have my phone back please? I need to go out for a little bit.” She held out her hand.

He looked at the cell and held it out a bit for her. It hit her then…this was not her cell and the car she was about to ask to borrow was not her car…they were his and…wrong or right…at this moment she felt like one more thing he had bought.

She started to speak to him, but taking in the man in front of her, she suddenly stopped. She saw his bloodshot eyes, the strain in his face, the slump of his shoulders and she knew she couldn’t say anything yet about yesterday and last night. It just wasn’t in her to kick someone when they were down and the man in front of her looked like he was down and had already been kicked and counted out. She couldn’t add to his pain.

She moved to take the phone and he suddenly reached out, grasping her hand in his, bringing her to him. His head dropped forward until the top of it rested below her breasts. He dropped the phone onto the table and his hands grasped her waist, pulling her toward him. He rested his head against her, feeling her warmth, her unspoken acceptance of him, and felt shame at his earlier thoughts. That she would harangue him that morning, verbally castigating him for his faults.

Soft fingers suddenly entwined themselves in his hair. She stroked him as a mother would a child, soothing him. His hands tightened and he just held himself there, against her, accepting her comfort. Tears welled in her eyes as this amazing man held onto her. Let me in, Jon, please, let me in! She silently urged him to do what he had so far found impossible. To trust her enough to really let her into his heart.

She managed to stop the tears and gently pulled back until he let her go. He still sat slumped forward, not meeting her eyes.

“Jon…I need to go out for a while.” She spoke softly to his bowed head.

He nodded at her, but didn’t move otherwise.

“Do you need anything?”

He shook his head back and forth, indicating ‘no’.

“Okay…good-bye…”. She picked up the cell and turned to leave, almost reaching the door before she heard his voice.


She turned back to him, seeing him raise his head to look at her.

“…I do love you…” His voice was a near whisper.

She was silent for a moment, then nodded gently.

“I know…” She turned and left the porch, softly closing the door behind her.


Sitting there unmoving after Amanda left, her parting words reverberated over and over in his mind. I know…I know…I know…I know… Not ‘I love you, too’, but ‘I know’. What did I do to her last night? What did I do to us? What does she want from me? He shook his head; he knew what she wanted. Sure, he had blustered through the conversation with Richie, but he didn’t need a neon sign or a whack on the head to get it. He did get it, he just didn’t know if he was capable of it.

He knew it would be easier if she just wanted what he had already given her – money, access to his lifestyle, his home, his love – but she only cared about one of those things, his love, and that was the one thing he seemed to be unable to give her in the way that meant the most to her.

Returning to the kitchen, he took more aspirin as his head was pounding both from drinking too much and from his emotional turmoil. Could he give her what she seemed to need? He had trusted Dot, but that had failed although he knew he had lost her through his own actions, and he still trusted Richie with his life. But taking that final leap with Amanda was something he had not done…and somehow she knew it.

Amanda drove aimlessly once she left the house. She had no real plan, nowhere to go, but the idea of staying in the house with so many things unsaid between them had seemed unbearable. Leaving the gates of Jon’s driveway, she had not noticed that a car was following her. She drove around for a while and then stopped at a small diner to get something to eat, hoping that was what her churning stomach needed. The car following her also stopped in the parking lot and took several pictures as she left the car and entered the restaurant.

Taking a seat in a booth by the front window, Amanda ordered a small breakfast and an ice tea, her stomach rebelling at the thought of more coffee. She wished she had brought one of Jon’s cigarettes as she desperately wanted something to do with her hands. She took her cell phone out and looked at it. She knew she could call her mother, but wasn’t sure she wanted to tell her what had happened or what seemed to be happening. Richie came to mind, but she knew that Richie would always be Jon’s friend first and foremost no matter how close the two of them might ever grow.

Turning the phone over and over in her hand, she remained unaware of the photographer in the parking lot who was still able to shoot through the window. The news about Dot and Eric’s wedding was out. Someone had talked and the media were mobilizing to swarm. The man taking the photos had been instructed by his newspaper to follow Jon or his newest girlfriend and see what he could dig up. These photos showed an obviously troubled woman who soon was seen wiping away what could only be tears. He took several more shots and made some recorded notes.

Sitting inside after eating, Amanda again picked up her phone, turning it over and over in her hands. Unexpectedly tears hit and she used the back of her hand to wipe them away, turning toward the window away from the other people in the restaurant. She was able to stop quickly as anger closely followed whatever had made her start to cry. We have to talk. Will he ever be able to trust me enough?


While visiting his mother, Richie’s mind was on both Jon and Amanda. He knew there was more to what was happening than either had told him and after his conversation with Jon yesterday he was starting to question the depth of Jon’s feelings. To his knowledge Jon had never really discussed the divorce with anyone in any great detail and he felt this was beginning to become a real problem – both for Jon and for his relationship with Amanda.

He didn’t know what he could do to help either one of them unless they were willing to talk to each other or to him or anyone, just talk. He was distracted from this line of thinking as his mother asked him a question.


Amanda felt better after eating, leaving the diner to continue her travels. She had no idea of where she was going, taking road after road, until she realized that somehow she had ended up along the beach. The ocean beckoned to her – it felt like home – and she pulled into a parking spot so she could walk along the edge. She moved over the loose sand, glad of her flat shoes that day, as she began to just walk. She stared at the rolling water, hearing the waves break on the shore, unknowingly providing more photographs.

The photographer didn’t know what had happened but his experienced eye saw a woman with problems, someone who needed to think, and he wondered what else was happening in the life of Jon Bon Jovi.

Almost two hours had passed by the time Amanda realized she was getting really cold. The day was bright and sunny, but the temperature was still New Jersey in the winter. It was a little after noon when she returned to the car. Her thoughts had calmed and she felt more in control. She had made her decision.

As his headache receded, Jon busied himself with business calls for the next few hours in an effort to distract himself from his problems. Losing himself in business allowed the time to pass, but the effort was a waste, as he never forgot for even a few minutes. He rubbed his stomach subconsciously, feeling a knot of tension that refused to subside. It took him a little while to figure out what he was feeling, but when he did he felt a sense of peace come over him.

He had made his decision.


  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for another chapter. Just wondering what their decisions are...


  2. AliceFayeNC Says:

    maybe i was a little harsh about jon and his screwing up the second best thing to come into his left...but he has a long way to go and trying to handle business not bright the Bon Jovi.

    Love the chapter you can almost feel the pain radiating from both of them.


  3. Jan Says:

    oh the photographer had definately gotten some good shots. Now, let's hope he doesn't make up some story and print it with those pics!!!

    Both Amanda and Jon have made their decision? hmmmmm
    Hope they are the same -- to stay together and work this out.

  4. i loved the way you had her comforting him, his head against her belly, almost maternally. He needs her to heal him. Hopefully he can grow up enough to realize it.

    Nice job Sun.

    Faithfully yours,
    The Fiction Mistress

  5. Romaine Says:

    Oh come on now? don't let us wait too long!! Please :-) I have to know how this is going on....Great chapter by the way!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Ohoh, I fear that she will leave him for good. And the same for him, because he cannot love her the way she needs it. I fear this is THE END for them both....

    Don't keep us waiting too long, pleeeeaaaase!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Wow you do a really great job of conveying their pain and emotions. Call me a hopeless romantic but I still think they can make it. Jon needs to see what's right in front of him and if he can do that (and soon) I think Amanda will always be there for him.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    BTW it's Chris/Rutpop who is the Hopeless Romantic - I just forgot to sign my previous post.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Really nice job, sunstreaked - "everybody is broken ... sometimes" ... it is almost 11 p.m. here in Germany and i 'm still waiting for more...

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