John Francis - Chapter 196

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 9:09 AM
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Monday morning found Amanda and Jon waking to a bright clear day with mounds of snow still present. Both were entwined with the other and when one stirred the other woke. Beautiful blue eyes gazed into equally lovely dark brown ones as they shared a kiss that moved slowly and lovingly into shared passion.

After dressing for the day and heading downstairs for coffee and breakfast, Jon stopped her on the last step.

“Did you forget something?” He asked with a twinkle in his eyes. He once again slipped the ring on her finger and drew her in for a burning kiss.

“Jon, we still have other people to…” she began as he finished, “…to tell, I know, babe. But I want you to wear this. Remember, I told you I was keeping you!”

Amanda laughed then and with joined hands they entered the kitchen to find Linda readying breakfast.

“Well, good morning you two, you’re up early today.” Linda smiled at the happy laughing couple who went immediately to the coffee pot.

“Yeah, it’s gonna be a busy week, Linda, and it starts today.” Jon answered as Amanda grabbed plates and silverware for the table.

They sat down to eat and at Jon’s request Linda joined them. Going over his schedule with her a bit so she would know about dinners and such, he was in the middle of a sentence when Linda gasped, jumped up out of her chair, hugged Amanda and then him. Both were open-mouthed at her actions until she began to beam at them.

“I’m so happy for you two! When did this happen?” She asked Jon, wondering why she hadn’t seen a ring on Amanda’s finger before.

“Last Sunday, but we needed to talk to Dot and the kids first and we did that last night.”

“And there are others who need to know too, Linda, like my mom and…Jon’s parents.” Amanda didn’t mean for the slight hesitation to enter her voice, but Linda picked up on it.

“Well, it’s not my place to say…” she began, then glared at Jon as he dared to snort with suppressed laughter, “…but since you two are adults and you make each other happy, then that’s what counts.”

Jon nodded at Amanda. “See? Listen to the woman! She hardly ever gives her opinion, so I think we should…” he tried to maintain a straight face, but broke up into laughter at the glower he was receiving from Linda.

~~~

“Hey mom! How are you?” Amanda smiled as her mother answered the phone.

“Good sweetheart! How are you?” Jennifer’s voice was enthusiastic hearing from her daughter.

“Everything’s great, mom, really going well. What’s new with you?”

For the next several minutes they chatted about every day things, with Jennifer relating that she had joined a dance class where she had met several people her age. In fact, her big news was that she had gone out to lunch and dinner several times with a man from her class.

“Mom! That’s so great! It’s about time, you know!” Amanda teased, happy her mother was doing something she liked and that she had met someone to spend some time with.

As Jennifer was winding down a bit from telling her daughter what was going on down in Florida, she started asking questions of her own.

“Actually, mom, I do have some news…” Amanda started and there must have been something in her tone as she suddenly had her mother’s full attention.

“What’s wrong, honey? Did something happen?”

“Mom! Nothing’s wrong, in fact, everything is right. I’m engaged, mom.” Amanda smiled as she relayed her news.

“Oh honey! Jon asked you to marry him? When?” Jennifer was more than a little stunned.

“Last Sunday, but we needed to tell Dot and his kids first, and you, of course, so that’s what I’m doing.” Amanda sounded so happy that Jennifer pushed her doubts to the background for now.

“Amanda…are you sure, honey? I mean, Jon seems like a wonderful man, but are you ready for his…”

“…crazy life? Is that what you were going to ask?” Amanda grinned into the phone.

Laughing now herself, Jennifer replied, “Yeah, I guess that’s what I’m asking.”

“I know I love him. The rest will come, just like with anyone.” Amanda’s voice sounded sure and again Jennifer resisted voicing her concerns.

They continued their conversation as Amanda shared her excitement.

~~~

The other half of the happy couple was having a completely different conversation with his parents. He had them both on the line as he relayed what he had done and how the talk with Dot, Eric, and his kids had gone.

John Sr., although knowing this before Jon’s call, expressed his good wishes and congratulations as if hearing it for the first time, while Carol remained suspiciously silent throughout the conversation.

Jon tried again. “Mom, I love her and I want her to be my wife. Can’t you just be happy for me?”

“You can’t be asking for my blessing for this…this…thing you want to do?” Her voice expressed her simmering outrage. “Of course she said ‘yes’, Jon, she hit the jackpot with you!”

Jon gave a sigh at this, feeling anger and resentment bubble to the surface. He directed his next words to his father.

“Dad, I’ll let you know where and when if you’d like to come. I just wanted to tell you before it hit the papers. I have a lot of public appearances this week and Amanda will be with me.” He paused, then, “And dad, thanks, your support means a lot.”

“I love you, son, and Amanda seems to make you really happy. Of course you have my support.”

Carol spoke up then, her son’s words registering. “John! What are you saying? You know how I feel about this!”

“Yes I do, Carol, you’ve made it very clear. But you aren’t the one getting married. I’d like to stay in my son’s life. What do you want to do?”

There was silence then as Carol fully realized she had neither her husband nor her son’s support.

“I guess there’s nothing else to say then.” She finished a bit huffily.

Jon’s voice was quietly firm as he answered her.

“Not if you’re going to continue with what you’ve been saying, mom.”

And, on that note, the conversation was over.

At least as far as Jon was concerned.

~~~

Amanda’s call to Susan went a little differently than the one to her mother. She had caught Susan at her office as it was Monday and her friend kept her voice quiet in that setting.

“Mands, are you sure? I mean after the phone call on Saturday I thought…well, I thought things were over between you two.”

“Oh Suze, I know I sounded awful then, it was hard having Jon not turn to me when he was so upset. I did a lot of thinking though and realized that I was expecting him to be Jeremy when what he and I had developed over a lot of years.”

“What did he say about what happened?”

“We talked and both apologized. I love him, Suze, I really love him. Can you understand that?” Amanda’s voice softened as she urged her friend to accept what she was saying.

“I do understand, I just can’t help worrying about you and what your life is going to be like now.” Susan had herself followed the band for years and Janet, the Jovi nut in her office, was a permanent fount of information.

“My life is going to be spent with the man I love. What more could I ask for?” Amanda knew what Susan meant, but to a certain degree she had still been somewhat sheltered from the media as she had not followed the band as a fan and actually knew less about what was sure to happen than Susan did.

“Oh Manda! I just want you to be happy.” Susan breathed out in a near whisper.

“I am happy, so please be happy for me too, okay?”

“Well, girl, then I guess congratulations are in order!” Susan imposed cheerfulness into her voice. She really did love Amanda as her dearest friend and she wanted her to be happy.

“Yes they are! I’ll call you when you’re not at work, okay?” Amanda smiled at Susan’s small laugh.

“Yeah, I just barely managed to shoo Janet away a few minutes ago!”

Amanda groaned theatrically. “Oh lord! No spilling the beans, right?”

Again Susan laughed but a little louder. “Sure, as if these beans aren’t about to spill from here to Australia!”

“Okay, okay, I get it!” Amanda laughed again at her friend’s description of upcoming events.

Susan thought no, you don’t GET it, honey, but you will as she said out loud that she had to go.

The two women hung up, one filled with joy, the other with worry.

~~~

The talk the night before with the children had gone reasonably well. Dorothea and Jon had answered their questions, reassuring when needed, and again, as with Dot and Eric’s decision, the two parents presented a united front.

Before returning downstairs, Jon and Dot had stopped for a moment in one of the guest rooms to talk privately.

“You okay, Dot?” Jon asked, reaching for one of her hands. She gripped his tightly for a moment and then let hers drop away.

“Yeah, Jonny, a little surprised, I guess…but then again, not really.” She looked at him and gave a small smile.

“I do like her and she’s good with the kids, not pushing herself on them, just letting them come to her.”

“She really likes them, Dorothea. She’s always encouraging me to spend whatever time I want with them, even if that time doesn’t include her.”

“You know things are gonna get crazy for a while, don’t you?” Dorothea asked, having lived that life with Jon for so many years. “You think she’s ready for it?”

Shaking his head, Jon grimaced a little. “I don’t know, but no matter when it happened, the damn media are gonna do what they do.”

“Yeah, follow you and her and write anything they can. I saw those photos from last week, her crying and then walking on the beach. What happened?” Dot knew what the papers had said, but wanted to hear it from Jon.

“We had a fight…my fault…I was pretty much an idiot after your wedding and I took my feelings out on her.” Jon admitted this while looking at the floor.

“Do you remember what you said to me when you left the room?” Dot asked softly. Jon cocked his head as he had thought and said so many things that day.

“You told me to be happy…now I’m telling you…if you’re sure she’s the one, then be happy.” Dorothea smiled a little wistfully as Jon just looked at her.

“Don’t…don’t give her a reason to regret this, Jon. I think she really loves you and I don’t think she’ll…accept certain things…like I did for so long.”

“Damn, Dorothea, I really am sorry…” Jon began as Dot put a finger against his lips to hush his confessions.

“I don’t need to hear this anymore, Jon. I accept your apology, but I don’t want to hear anymore about what happened when I wasn’t around.” Dot’s voice held the barest hint of anger then, as well as regret for what they had once had that they didn’t any longer. She made her voice more even as she continued.

“We’ve managed to stay friends. Don’t say things that might change that somehow, okay?”

Jon gave her a weak smile and slid his hand along her cheek in a comforting, yet strangely regretful gesture.

“Thanks, Dot. I really am happy for you. I think Eric’s a great guy and you deserve that.”

“Yeah he is and yeah I do…so let’s go downstairs to our futures.” A genuine smile crossed both their faces then as they did just that.


2 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:

    That was a great chapter. I'm glad that Jon and Dorothea are presenting a united front for their children!

    Linda

  2. Anonymous Says:

    "so let’s go downstairs to our futures.”
    I loved that sentence.
    Great writing, one of my very favorite FFs.

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