John Francis - Chapter 246

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 6:42 PM
Morning sunlight filling the bright white of the interior rooms of the villa was what woke Amanda. She stretched out on the clean sheets, enjoying for a brief moment the sensation of blankness until where she was and why she was there came rushing back and she froze. Closing her eyes in an effort to shut off her thoughts worked and she got out of bed, throwing the covers back up as she did so.

An hour later found her outside where Mrs. Christopoulos was enjoying her morning coffee on her own terrace.

“Good morning.”

A bright friendly smile greeted Amanda as she walked onto the patio.

“Good morning, αγαπητέ.”

Smiling herself at the woman’s words, Amanda cocked her head in puzzlement.

“What did you say?”

“I say ‘good morning, my dear.”

Amanda’s smile widened as Mrs. Christopoulos motioned for her to sit at the table.

Sitting in comfortable silence in the morning light, overlooking the blue of the sea hundreds of feet below them, the two drank the deep, rich coffee.

More awake this morning, Amanda was able to fully appreciate the beauty of the island, at least the side she could see. There was so much to do here and she knew a scooter was the preferred method of travel. She felt sure her hostess would be able to provide any information she needed. A voice broke through her thoughts.

“Market now, yes?”

Turning from the view of the ocean, she met the woman’s warm eyes.

“Yes.”

They both rose and started the walk in to town.

Amanda tried very hard to convince herself she really was on a vacation.

~~~

John and Carol pulled up to Jon’s house as Carol tried to reach Richie’s cell phone once more. She shook her head at her husband when he turned an inquiring eye toward her. The phone had again gone to voice mail. She admitted to herself that she had wanted Richie here when she told Jon, if nothing more than to help rein in her son’s famous temper a bit.

The senior Bongiovi’s got out of their car, Carol with reluctance slowing her down. John crooked an eye at her. A small look of peevishness crossed her face and threaded through her tone.

“I’m coming, John,” she said, then stopped, a look of surprise on her face.

She hadn’t realized until just that moment how furious John was with her. What she had just seen on her husband’s face was a look that had never been there before. For a moment she was truly frightened. Her eyes dropped for a moment and then rose as she called his name.

“John?”

He turned toward her and she winced again at the look he wasn’t bothering to hide.

“I’m sorry. I know how wrong this was,” she said.

John looked at his wife, holding his jaw tightly clenched for a moment before slowly nodding at her.

“You’re going to make this right, Carol.”

She nodded at him, swallowing hard as she struggled to get the words past a suddenly tight throat.

I will, John. Somehow, I will.”

They walked to the door and John raised his hand to knocked as the door shook, sending both the senior Bongiovi’s stepping backwards as the door seemed to vibrate in its frame. They looked at each other wide-eyed as the sounds of glass breaking came from inside the house.

Carol stammered, “John?”

John tightened his lips as he pounded on the door.

“Jon!” he called, pausing only long enough to ring the doorbell in-between hammer-like blows.

Carol added her voice. “Jon! Open the door!”

She fumbled for her keys at the moment John reached for the doorknob and turned it. He signaled her to stay behind him as he opened the door and stepped into the living room of his son’s house. Carol had no intention of being left out and hurried behind her husband, nearly slamming into him as John came to a dead stop.

An overturned couch, at least three lamps crashed to bits on the floor, dirt from a large plant ground into the carpet … John and Carol blinked in disbelief before grunts and blows drew their attention from the disarray to the two men crashing back into the living room from the direction of the kitchen.

“Get the fuck off me, Jon!” Richie ground out between clenched teeth.

“You knew! All along you fucking knew!” Jon’s voice carried all the Jersey he had left behind so long ago.

Jon swung once again at his friend, alcohol and anger over-riding the caution years of friendship should have brought to his mind. He missed, then stumbled as Richie’s fist caught him in a sharp direct blow to his stomach. He stood stunned, reeling, gasping for air. He heard a woman’s voice.

“Jon?” Carol called out softly.

He turned to see his parents standing in the doorway.

Jon squinted, clutching his stomach, as he tried to make sense of a world that seemed to have gone mad.

Then he threw up.

~~~

It was midnight in Greece on the same day that Jon’s mother started her talk, when Amanda rose from the bed and moved out on her terrace. She had tried to sleep, but after an hour of restlessness, she knew no sleep would be coming for some time. Opening a bottle of water, she wrapped a blanket around her shoulders, tucking her feet up on the chair and underneath the warmth.

The sea around her was relentlessly black the further out she looked, with only the sparkle of a few boat lights to give the sense of something out there instead of empty space. She thought back to dinner that first night with the family who owned the villa, relishing the time off from her thoughts as she asked and answered questions.

Santorini was definitely a tourist destination in some areas of the island, but time and news seemed to travel a little more slowly, at least in her own little corner, and no one had recognized her or asked any questions. She had moved around freely the entire day, a hat on her head for shade, and sunglasses for the sunlight reflecting off so many white buildings. She soon saw there was no need hide who she was.

Mrs. Christopoulos had introduced her to several of the market stall owners and she had added a few words to her previously non-existent Greek vocabulary. She now knew ‘hello’ and ‘good-bye’, as well as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. She had added a phrase or two by the end of her first week on the island. Her days were quickly settling into a routine of sorts. Every morning she had coffee with Mrs. Christopoulos, then one or both of them went to the market, and then she would take off on the scooter, visiting a different area every day, usually ending with a trip to one of the beaches. Dinner, other than the first night, was alone.

Sitting outside that night, she swore silently as once again she converted the time in her head to what time it was in New Jersey. Five p.m. When would she stop doing that? When would she stop turning in a crowd when a certain shade of hair caught her eye? When a baseball cap on a male tourist stopped her in mid step. It had been almost a week and she was still looking for him.

You need to stop this. He doesn’t know where you are and even if he did, he’s not coming.

Tears still refused to fall.

Until she finally slept.

9 comments

  1. Rike Says:

    you can't stop there. what happened with Jon and Carol? is he listening to his Mother? and how is Richie?

  2. Bayaderra Says:

    OMG!!!
    How did I miss 2 chapters?!?!?

    I'm with Rike, Is Richie OK?
    And Mrs. B better start her confession!

  3. mue03 Says:

    How long will it take till Jon will find her? More please
    ;)

  4. Anonymous Says:

    OMG! Poor confused Jon! He needs to hear the truth right now so he can go find Amanda. But, how will he find her? No one knows where she is, do they?

    This is so good. 2 new chapters and I'm hooked again! More please!

  5. foxli Says:

    Thank you so much for bringing this back. Can't wait for more !!

  6. Anonymous Says:

    This one brought tears to my eyes..

    newbee

  7. Anonymous Says:

    so glad you are back as your story has really been missed! can wait for the next update!

  8. rutpop Says:

    Really glad to see that this story has been resurrected, always enjoyed it and seems as though we will be able to continue to do so. Thanks for bringing it back.

  9. Y Says:

    So glad to see 2 new chapters, of course now we want more.
    Trish talk to Richie he is not taking over its just his way of taking care of you and doing the 'right thing'. Nice to see this old fashioned trait.
    Jon, ok so now you have taken your temper out on Richie (not that he deserved it but he understands) calm down and listen to everyone. Read the evidence, go over what Mark told you and then go and get her.

    More please........

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