Chapter 223

Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 8:26 PM
In a hotel room in London, Jon sat in disbelief, his cell phone clutched in one hand after he had absently-mindedly closed it.

What he had just learned did not seem possible. He had heard what Dorothea had said, what she had seen and found, but the hard knot in his stomach was filled with denial. Shaking himself out of his stupor, he quickly made arrangements to fly out late that evening.

The hours spent flying back to Jersey on a commercial jet dragged interminably as he called Amanda’s cell again and again and again, even as every call confirmed that her phone was still off.

The cab ride to his house seemed longer than the flight and he barely paused when they reached his home. He threw some bills at the driver, grabbed his bags, and was in the house with a single-minded purpose.

Jon climbed the stairs in two’s as he raced to the bedroom. He threw the door open and stepped inside, seeing what he knew he would see - an empty room. He slammed the door and strode quickly downstairs to his office.

The envelope was on his desk, right where Dorothea said she would leave it.

He approached his own desk as if there was a coiled snake waiting to strike with a poisonous bite.

He had to see for himself.

Reading the note Amanda had left, Jon half slumped, half fell into the heavy chair behind his desk.

Jon,

Something’s happened and I’m leaving for good.

I can’t tell you this to your face, but I lied to you.

When I saw you, I saw a way out. I needed money so badly and there you were. You
just fell
for everything I gave you.

You chased me like I wanted you to. And you kept throwing jewelry and money at me.
I got
caught up and let this get too far.

I can’t marry you.

I’m still married.

Amanda


He read the letter again, residual shock and grief changing over the next several minutes into burning anger and then rage. Jumping up from the desk he ran back through the living room and up the stairs into his bedroom.

Opening drawers at random he ransacked the room in a barely controlled rage, throwing Amanda’s clothes through the air until the garments fell like bright splotches of rain to the floor. Slamming the drawers closed, he half stumbled down the stairs into the living room.

And fell straight into a bottle.

~~~

The insistent ringing of her cell phone woke Amanda from a fevered sleep. She opened her eyes to find herself in an unfamiliar room and sat straight up in bed. This brought on another bout of nausea and after nearly crawling back out of the bathroom her phone had stopped ringing. She looked at her missed calls and saw it was Jon. She wasn’t sure how long she stared at his name, but eventually she put the phone down as another wave of dizziness rolled in.

Again and again her phone rang, over and over until she finally turned it off. Her resistance was weakening with each call and she knew she couldn’t answer. She had to let him go.

For three days Amanda lay in bed at the hotel the cab driver had taken her to. She ordered soups and teas from room service, took aspirin, and finally on the third day realized she was going to live.

She had taken the folder with her, but during the last several days had been too sick to do more than glance at it occasionally. She couldn’t face what was inside until the thought of doing so stopped causing somersaults in her stomach.

On this third day, sitting with coffee for the first time since she had gotten sick, she opened the folder and started reading. By the time she was finished she had a flight to California for late that night.

~~~

For two straight days Jon sat in front of the television, watching nothing, hearing nothing, drinking until he passed out at night, more often than not spilling the bottle he was drinking as he did so.

One call to his main assistant, Sharon, to hold or cancel everything until further notice took care of his upcoming business meetings, however, her information that there was nothing scheduled for at least a week since he had returned from London early was all he needed to hear.

Linda had arrived back from her week off early Friday evening, surprised when she walked in to see Jon sprawled on the couch, TV blaring, bottles and glasses helter-skelter around the room. She approached slowly.

“Mr. B…?”

No answer met her question, unless a soft snore was supposed to equal a hello.

She looked at him for a moment longer, shaking her head softly. There had been a time when this was a scene she could find on any given day, at least until he had pulled himself out of the depression he’d been in after his divorce.

Tightening her lips, she gathered up the dishes she could carry and quietly left the room.

~~~


Richie rose from a sound sleep to the ringing of his cell. Scooping it up quickly before Patricia could awaken, he saw it was from Jon’s home. Answering, he heard Linda’s voice.

“Hey Linda! What’s going on, darlin’?”

Although at the back of the house, Linda kept her voice low.

“Richie, there’s something wrong here. I’m not sure who else to call.”

Immediately Richie was wide awake, swinging his legs off the bed and standing to walk into the other room.

“What’s wrong?”

Listening as Linda described the last two days, Richie grew increasingly concerned at what he was hearing.

“Where’s Amanda?” He asked, surprised again to hear that she wasn’t there and Linda had no idea where she might be.

“Okay, listen, I need about an hour and then I’ll be there. And, Linda…you did the right thing. Thanks.”

Richie hung up to her grateful response and hurried into the shower. Patricia woke while he was in there and came in to join him. He gave her a brief but warm hug and quickly explained what he had learned. Trish urged him to go, asking only that he call her when he got a chance. Dressing quickly, hair still dripping, he kissed her, agreed, and was out the door at a run.

Richie arrived in far less than the hour he had projected and used his key to enter the house. He didn’t have to come in far before he saw Jon sprawled on the couch on his stomach, shirt off, barefoot, and the TV blaring.

He approached, expecting to see his friend awake and watching

… Ice Road Truckers? Jon?

However, he quickly saw Jon was asleep, a bottle of Jack held loosely in one hand. He left Jon as he was and moved to the kitchen to talk to Linda.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t anymore Linda could tell him and after asking her to start some strong coffee, Richie braced himself to confront an obviously drunk and unpredictable Jon Bon Jovi.

Setting the coffee on a low table in front of the couch, Richie moved some papers lying there when a handwritten note caught his eye. He read Amanda’s note. Looked from the paper to Jon, then back to the note.

“… I’m still married …”

What the fuck?!

“Jon … man … bro’ … wake up!” Richie called out, his voice getting progressively louder. Stirring, the bottle started to slip from Jon’s hand, but it was caught by Richie and set on the table.

Jon rolled over on the couch, staring at his friend with deeply squinted blurry eyes.

“… Rich …? What’s goin’ on? What are you doin’ … here …” Jon’s voice trailed off as pain hit him so hard his eyes closed and he turned his head away.

He looked at Richie and saw the note in his hand.

In a voice filled with rage, he asked his friend. “You see that? Did you read it? She fuckin’ played me, PLAYED ME!”

Richie shook his head, re-reading the note and then looking at Jon.

“This ain’t right, man…something’s not right…”

“No shit, Sherlock! What’s not right is that I’m a fuckin’ fool who believed someone who was never who she pretended to be!”

“Have you called her?” He crooked his head at Jon as he handed back the phone.

“Have I called her?!?! For fuck’s sake, that’s all I did on the plane back! It rang at first, but then went straight to voice mail. She turned the damn thing off!”

“Did something happen while you were in England? Did Carrie…?” Richie didn’t think this was possible, but he had to ask.

“No! Nothing happened. I talked to her and everything was fine. She was still sick as hell, but she sounded okay otherwise.” His voice trailed off, then rose again.

“And what the FUCK does any of that matter when she’s fucking married!”

Jon took another swig from the bottle of Jack as he finished yelling that last.

Richie was quiet for a few minutes, although he did move the coffee closer to Jon, who completely ignored it.

“Jon, I’m tellin’ ya, something just doesn’t sound right about this whole thing…” He was abruptly interrupted by a harsh bark of laughter.

“She took the jewelry, the cards, and the ring, Rich…she got what she came here for.”

“You can’t mean that, Jon.” Richie spoke softly, really looking at his friend.

“I damn well do mean it.” Jon took another long pull off the bottle of whiskey and his eyes seemed to glow with a fierce light as he looked at Richie.

Standing up, Jon finished the last bit of Jack in the bottle and moved towards the stairs.

Richie watched as his friend made his way through the room.

“Jon…” He stopped when he saw Jon’s raised hand.

His back to Richie, Jon spoke, his voice low, heavy, and final.

“I never want to hear her name again.”


********************************************************************************


Happy Birthday, Heike!

7 comments

  1. OMG Mrs. B you are in so much SHIT when Jon finds out what you've done!!!! Great story I get so excited when I see you've posted new JF!!!

  2. Sandy Says:

    Hope Richie keeps believing that something isn't right and gets to the bottom of the whole thing! Love this story!!!!

  3. Heike Says:

    Thanks so much for this birthday present :-) Keep on writing, I really love this story... but - what the hell are you doing here - this is the third chapter with an horrible end - I will get a heart attack if you go on with those endings - ....

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Wow! I thought Jon's mom was bad in The Sauna!

  5. Heike Says:

    ... and I thought MY mother-in -law is scheming....

  6. Anonymous Says:

    WOW!!! Can't believe what's happening. Carol is too coniving! I hope Amanda finds out what she needs to in
    California and
    Richie pushes enough to find out what Carol has done.
    Just checked in and realized you were writing again. Glad to have the story continue! Can't wait for more!

  7. Rike Says:

    OMG. what a story. Can you believe I read 223 chapter the last 4 days?

    I so hope Richie won't give up find out the truth.

    and I hope we get a new chapter pretty soon

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