Monday, May 22, 2017

Chapter 8

Colleen and Jon sat on the beach in the fading sunlight.  A picnic basket stood on the edge of the blanket, a bottle of wine was wedged into the sand near to Jon’s side of the blanket.  The basket held the remains of their dinner, dessert was still to come, and he had promised her ice cream. 

“Ahhhhhhhh I needed this.”  Colleen moaned as they leaned back watching the waves come to shore.  The stars were beginning to come out, soft music came from Colleen’s phone.

“Your students giving you problems?”  Jon places his hand over hers, not holding it in a clasp but just touching her fingers.

“You would’ve thought they had never heard of poetry before.”  Colleen sighed and turned to face her.  “I loved poetry and writing it when I was their age.  I tried to tell them that music was a form of poetry and they looked at me like I had three heads.”  She dropped her head back and looked at the sky above them.  “Is this a real life, or is it fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no except from reality.”  She looked over at Jon.

The look on his face, he knew she was reciting Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, then he suddenly saw what his teachers in high school were trying to teach him.  He looked over at her and spoke. “One heart one other, they met last summer, one move she started, Now they love that way. The Pain of pleasure, lying together, You’re at their mercy no one said there’d be nights like this, risk your life for a stolen kiss,”  Man he drug that out of the vault in his brain,  That was from his second album, wasn’t any better than the first, but he and Richie were still growing in their writing.

“See, getting them to see that is what I am having a hard time getting across.  If it’s not set to music they can’t see it.”  She sat up and reached for her glass of wine.  “Enough about my work, let’s talk about yours. Did you write any songs today?”

Jon sat up and took a deep swallow of his wine, letting it mull with his thoughts till he was ready to talk.  He swallowed and sighed. “Not really, I talked to David, Tico, Hugh and Bobby” He turned slightly to look at her.  “Tico has his art now, he’s really great.  Dave’s working on another Broadway hit, Hugh is working in Vegas, doing Rock the Vault with other band members.  Bobby, he has some family problems. Just doesn’t seem right for them to come together and write a new Jovi album.”

“Maybe they’re just waiting on you to call them together to start working together.   They’re probably giving you some time to heal.”  Colleen sat up and crossed her legs Indian style and reached over and took his hand.  “I haven’t been living under a rock. I know Richie’s leaving had to hurt, then your wife, maybe they were giving you time to heal and when you’re ready they’ll be there.”

He really listened to her, he knew deep in his heart she was right, he just didn’t feel it. He hadn’t for a while, it seemed like his world stalled and he didn’t like feeling like that. 

Instead of talking he leaned forward and touched his lips to hers. Now that felt right, maybe his world moved an inch. When he sat back and looked into her eyes he smiled, yeah it moved more than an inch.

“You promised me ice cream.”  Colleen said softly. As she kissed him again.

“Then we better pack up and get you the ice cream I promised you. I know just the place, I used to know the man who owned it.  Best ice cream in New Jersey.”  Jon said as he gave her another quick kiss.

“Sounds like a plan.”  She sat back and wiggled her eyebrows at him.

They packed up everything, hauled up to the car and got it loaded, and then they headed for Rumson.

The parking lot for Crazee’s was packed.  The majority of the people were all locals, high school kids, parents and senior citizens.  They waited in line, Colleen took a look around at the crowed, mainly looking for any of her students.  Knowing it was too far for some of them, but you never know when one would pop up.

“See anything you like?”  He whispered in her ear.

“Yeah, but it’s a little too crowded and public.”  Colleen whispered back over her shoulder.

Jon laughed, it felt so good to laugh, and yep his world is starting to turn.

They got their ice cream and walked out to the car. He had Colleen hold his and he drove down to the park and turned off the car.  They were all alone here.  Jon took his cone and they sat quietly eating.

“It’s really beautiful along the river.”  Colleen said as she ate her Elvis Ice Cream.

Should he tell her about the house he had on the river.  He could take her by and show her.  He hadn’t been there since Dorothea died.  They hadn’t even cleared out her clothes and personal items yet.  He made a mental note to get the kids and come out here and get it cleaned out.

“Yeah it is.” He finally said.  The ice cream seemed to sour thinking about Dorothea.  He tossed the rest of the cone toward the trashcan.  The next time he took Colleen out, they would take a car that they could sit closer.  Bucket seats were not romance inducing.

“It’s still early, we can take the long way back, if you want to.”  Jon said as she finished her ice cream.

“Whatever you want to do.”  Colleen said as she felt how the mood had shifted. Colleen was left wondering what she had said to kill the mood.

When they made it to her apartment, Jon got out and went around to help her out of the car, holding her hand as they walked up to the porch.

“Would you like to come in for some coffee?”  Colleen asked Jon as the came up the steps.  They had hardly talked on the ride to her apartment.

“I better get home, the boys are home by themselves, and I don’t want to come home to a mess.”  Jon hated this feeling, things were going so right tonight, then they had to go to Rumson and then thinking about the house and the fact they hadn’t cleaned it out like they did in the Hamptons, all of Dorothea’s stuff was right where they had left it.  Damn, he’s call Stephanie to see if she was free the next weekend.
Jon leaned in for a good night kiss, it was going to be a quick one so he could head home.  The look in Colleen’s eyes he knew he had fucked up the end of the evening.

“I’ll call you tomorrow.” Jon told her as he headed down the walk.

“I have a teacher’s conference tomorrow, it will be late before I get home.”  She said giving him an out.

“I’ll call.”  Jon repeated as he got in the car and started it.  He didn’t look back.  Maybe he needed to talk to Father Bob.

Colleen watched him drive off and thought about where it went wrong.  It was at the park by the river, must be something family attached to it.  Rolling her shoulder she went in and got on her laptop.  Googling Jon Bon Jovi, she sat it on the desk and went into the kitchen to get a glass of wine and waited for it to completely load.  Scanning the selections she hit on Redbank and Rumson.  Reading as she sipped her wine, she finally understood what might have happened.  One of them linked over to his wife’s Obituary, she sat the glass down on the desk and put two and two together and the pieces fell into place. 


Now all she could do was sit back and wait to see if he called her again.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Chapter 7


Jon sat there and listened to his mother rant and rave how he should learn from his mistakes.  If his mother had her way, his and Dots marriage would’ve been annulled. He would get no backing from his dad, he’d just agree with his wife.  He watched Jake the whole time, he seemed to enjoy his dad’s discomfort.

When Jon finally got a word in, he told his mom that it was one date, she might not want to see him again.  That seemed to brighten his mother’s day, his pain seemed to do that lately.

“I’m glad Dad’s out dating again, he’s happy again.”  Stephanie informed her grandparents.  “He’s over the age of consent, he doesn’t have to ask you guys for your permission.”  Stephanie stood up and gathered her stuff. 

“Young lady you don’t talk to us that way, now apologies to your Grandmother.”  John Sr. told his granddaughter, once again supporting his wife instead of supporting his son.

“No, she shouldn’t, it’s time for us to leave.”  Jon said, as he took his wine glass to the kitchen. The boys followed their dad and sister out to the waiting car.

Matt rushed after them, instead of listing to his parents arguing.

“Sorry bro, I thought they knew, when Jakey told me you were dating his teacher and all the photos online, I just knew Mom and dad knew.”  Matt told his brother as the family got in the car.

Jon looked quickly at his son, who ducked into the waiting car as fast as he could.

“It was bound to come out sometime, you know how mom can sniff this shit out.”  Matt tried to cover for his nephew.  “Don’t be too hard of him.” 

Jon was so mad he didn’t know who to yell at first, so he let his stink eye do the talking.  Not saying a word, he got into the car.  It was going to be one hell of a long ride back to the city.

Jake hunched down in the seat, letting his body show his anger.  He knew his grandmother would be mad and he used that to his advantage.  His dad said not to tell Grandma about Colleen, he didn’t say anything about telling uncle Matty.  Boy did Grandma go off on dad. He had learned a lot more about his mom and dad’s marriage.  There was no love lost between Mom and grandma, he had seen it more as he grew older.

Jon was never so happy to see his townhouse in his life.  He got out and waited on the boys to get out.

“Steph, thanks for watching the boys, I’ll have Davis take you home.”  He leaned in the car and talked to his daughter.

“Don’t be too hard on him Dad, he’s gonna have a hard time tomorrow at school.  His buddies, really gave it to him last night.” Stephanie told her dad.

“But I told you not to say anything to anyone.”  Jon rolled his eyes at how he sounded.

“Dad, you didn’t say that, you said not to tell Grandma, he told Uncle Matty.”  Stephanie laughed.  “Give him some time, he’ll come around.”

“I hope so Steph, I really hope so.”  Jon said as he closed to door and watched as his daughter headed to her apartment.

Going into the townhouse he noticed how quiet the house sounded.  Even when Dot was here, there was music playing and kids laughing and talking.  He went up to check on the boys, stopping first at Romeo’s room.  Tapping on the door he walked in.

“Homework done Roe?”  He watched Romeo put his tablet on the bed.

“Done and Stephanie checked it last night.”  Romeo smiled up at his dad.  His youngest looked so much like his mom, it was sometimes too hard to look at him.

“That’s great.  Sorry you had to hear your grandmother go off like that.”  Jon came into the room and sat on the edge of the bed to talk.  “I didn’t know Colleen was Jake’s teacher when I asked her out.  We had a good time and we hit it off really well.”

“Then you should date her dad, I talked to Stephie and she said we should let you get back to living.” He reached his hand out to touch his father’s arm.  “You seemed happier since we got back from the Hamptons.”

“I was Rom, Colleen and I just hit it off, and we’re gonna see where it take us.  I really like her, right now we’re starting off as friends.”  Jon told his son, not knowing Jake was standing in the doorway,

“You really didn’t know Miss O’Sullivan was your Colleen?” Jake asked. Still standing in the doorway.

“I didn’t even know your teachers names.  I looked at your schedule but not who the teachers were.”  Jon told his son who came into the room. 

“I heard you say you were still going to date her, even if I asked you not to?”  Jake asked his dad.

Jon thought about what his son had asked him.  He liked the way he felt when he was around Colleen, she made him smile and laugh.  Dinner last night, well they talked and laughed, it was the first time, in a long time, that he felt human again.

“I would hope you wouldn’t ask me to do that.”  He looked Jake right into his eyes. “I know you’re gonna have a hard time for a while, but your real friends, will stand by you.”

Jake listened to his dad, then thinking to what his sister and brother had said about their dad.  Lifting his shoulders he left his little brothers room and headed down to the kitchen.

Jon sighed and looked at Romeo. Well, he had three of his four kids on his side.

The following weeks he had talked to Colleen, they had met for coffee, but so far they had been too busy to go out.  Things had calmed down at school just a bit for Jake, true to his dads words, his friends stuck with him. 

Colleen passed out the assignment for the night. The class was to write a poem, which earned some laughs from the boys in the class.

“Come on, I’ve taken it easy on you guys, poetry is all around you.” She walked around the class room as she spoke.  “It’s in the stories you read, the songs you listen to.  I’m sure if you racked your brain, you will start hearing poetry everywhere.” 

They were lucky the bell rang and they rushed to get their phones and out the door.  Colleen shook her head and headed to the teachers’ lounge.  She had to supervise detention this afternoon or she would call Jon to see if he could meet her for coffee.

Jake was messing around with his homework assignment, poetry, he wasn’t a poet, and Hell English was his worst subject.  Ms. O’Sullivan’s words kept going through his mind, movies, books and music.  Hell, he had a whole music library here at home, the only problem it was in his dad’s office. 

His father never threw away any of the songs he wrote. Even the ones that never made it to a record, they were in the file cabinet in his office.  But how could he get in there without his dad knowing.

“Hey Jakey, want to go play Halo with me?”  Romeo stood in his doorway.

“I got to write a poem for Miss O’Sullivans class.”  He wadded up the paper he was writing on.  Tossing it in the trashcan with the other balled up pieces of paper.

“You never had a problem in English. This is must be hard assignment then.” Romeo sat on the end of the bed and picked up a ball of paper and read it.  “This is terrible, how are you going to fix it?”

“Ms. O’Sullivan said poetry is all around us, in movies, television and music.  I thought I would looks at some of Dad’s old songs that weren’t recorded and see if I can get some ideas.”  Jake told his little brother.

“So you’re gonna steal one of daddy’s old songs and turn it in?  He isn’t gonna let you look at his old stuff, he keeps it in his office and we aren’t allowed in there.”  Romeo looked at another balled up paper.  “Man this is worse than the last one.”

“If he doesn’t know I looked at any of them, he’ll never know.”  Jake said with a twinkle in his eye.

“How are you gonna do that?”  Romeo laughed.  “He hasn’t been out of the house on a date since they last one, and you can’t do it when he’s home.”  Romeo laughed.

“So, I’ll tell him it’s okay for him to date Ms. O’Sullivan. He goes out and I get to look in the files for an old song.”  Jake told Romeo rubbing his hands together.

“I just hope you don’t get caught.”  Romeo said getting up off the bed and heading for the door. 

“Oh I won’t.”  Jake said closing his notebook.

Jon watched Romeo leave Jakes room.  Something was defiantly up.

At breakfast the next morning Jake got his chance to talk to his dad.

“Hey dad, I thought about it and its okay if you want to date Ms. O’Sullivan.”  Jake said between bites of cereal. 

“It is?”  Jon was kinda shocked with this little update from his second son.  “I thought the guys were getting on you about me dating your teacher?” 

“It’s not the hot news anymore, so it’s okay.  Stephanie said it at Grand mom’s that you should date now.”  Jake told him, not looking him in the face.

“Okay,” Jon told him.  Looking at Romeo he asked him if it was okay.

“Sure daddy, my teacher is about eighty years old.”  Romeo laughed. “You can ask her out any time you want.”

It was a couple of days before the date was set up.  Jesse was in town with a few of his buddies, so Stephanie wouldn’t have to watch them.


Jake let himself into his dad’s office and went right through his file cabinet.   He went through the lyric sheets, found one that he didn’t recognize and took a picture of it with his phone.  Just to be on the safe side he took another photo of another lyric sheet.  Now to write it, maybe change the title a little and it’s an easy A.  He could turn it in on Monday, and no one will know but Romeo.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Chapter 6

I apologize for being so late. The last few months have been bad for me. I had Dental Surgery in November, December I was busy trying to get my Verizon Discount back on my phone, January  I went on my first cruise since 2007 and February I have been taking orders for my alma mater and helping my friend who had surgery and being sick and my editor being sick, this is the first time we have both been healthy enough to get it done. So Here it is Enjoy.
-----@ ------@ -------@ -----@

Jon froze at the venom coming from his son’s mouth.  What the hell?  All the puzzle pieces were falling into place.  He took a breath, Jake wasn’t upset that he was dating, just that he was dating his teacher

“Jake, you knew I was dating Colleen, you seemed happy about it.” Jon said as he walked into the room, and pulled out the desk chair and straddled it.

“But you didn’t say it was Ms. O’Sullivan, my phone lit up like the fourth of July.” Jake complained as he sat up in bed. 

“Sorry Jakey, I actually didn’t put it all together until you mentioned it but I like going out with Colleen, do you think you can you give us a chance?”  Jon asked his son.   He really did like going out and talking with Colleen, the kiss was just the cherry on top.

“The guys at school are already saying that you’re doing this to mess with me.”  Jake told him.  Just the idea of his dad and his teacher made him want to hurl. “I don’t know Dad.”

“Guess what pal, the world doesn’t always revolve around you!  Now get some sleep, we’ll talk more about it tomorrow.  We have lunch at grand dads and Grand ma’s.”  Jon said as he got up and returned the chair back at the desk, glancing back at Jake.

Jake tried to get comfortable again, but all he could think about was how his friends had ribbed him about his dad and Ms. O’Sullivan, they even sent him a YouTube links to Van Halen’s video of ‘Hot For Teacher’.  Monday was going to be Hell at the Prep.

Jon walked down to his room and noticed the light was on. Both Stephanie and Jesse were in his room waiting, not a good sign.

“You two didn’t need to wait up.”  Jon said as he walked in.  Pulling the wallet and loose change out of his pocket, he placed them in the dish on the bedside table.

“So…Pops, Your Colleen and Jakes Ms. O’Sullivan are one in the same?”  Stephanie asked her father, who ignored her and went into his closet.

“It would seem so.”  Came their father’s voice from the confines of the huge walk-in closet.

“You really didn’t know she was his teacher?”  Jesse asked as he looked at his sister, who shrugged her shoulders. “When did you find out?”

“When Jake confronted me a few minutes ago.”  Jon said as the changed out of his dress slacks and sweater, pulling on sweat shorts and undershirt he wore to bed at night.  Coming out of the closet he headed to his bathroom. 

“He’s not very happy as you can see.”  Stephanie got up and went into his closet and put her dad’s clothes in the hamper, noticing the smell of women’s perfume.  Coming out of the closet she sat on the foot of the bed.

“No really? And I thought the stink eye I got when I went into his room earlier was the look of love.”  Jon sarcastically replied as he washed his face.  Then he remember how good Colleen felt in his arms and how great her lips tasted on his, and forgot his son’s anger.  If they hadn’t stepped apart when they did, he was sure they would have tested out that canopy bed.

“What are you going to do?”   Jesse asked his dad.

“I’m going to keep seeing Colleen, Jake’s just going to have to learn deal with it! Beside, his friends are going to tease him, no matter who I dated.  He’s probably get it worse if I was dating one of their mothers.”  Jon came out of the bathroom and stretched and ran his older two out of his bed.

“Well, I’m happy you found someone to date Dad.  Lunch with Grandma and Gramps tomorrow?”  Stephanie asked as she headed for the door.

“Yeah, He started a pot of sauce and he and Uncle Tony want to try out some recipes on us.   Hey Steph, thanks for watching the boys tonight.” He said as she headed toward her room, waving off his thanks.

Jesse watched his dad, he knew that it was time for him to get back to the real world.  The strain of what he went through with their mom, had worn him down.  He knew he hadn’t written anything in months, and that was so not like hia dad.

“So you had a nice time with Ms. O’Sullivan?” Jesse propped his feet up on the bed from his seat in the chair by his fathers bed.

“Yeah we had a great dinner and then Johnny put on a great show.  We took the coast drive,” he told is son, as he knocked his feet off the bed.  “We had the top down and it, well it was a great first date.”  He sat down on the side of the bed.

“So you think you two will be seeing each other again?”  Jesse let his feet off the bed, crossing his feet at the ankles.

Jon thought about how he had left Colleen, he was pretty sure they might see each other again, He knew he would see her at the games, she would be there with the drill team.  That made him smile.  Maybe he’d get a picnic basket lunch at the deli, give the boys time to get more use to Colleen being around the family.

“I’d like too.”  Jon gave his son and honest answer, “Jake will have to get used to it.”

“Some of his buddies were really teasing him about you and his teacher, I think if they had been out at the park, someone would have had a busted lip.”  Jesse chuckled a little.

“How would you have reacted to me dating one of your professors?” Jon leaned back on the headboard and watched his older boy sweat it out.

“Well if she looks like Miss O’Sullivan I might’ve given you a run for your money.”  Jesse laughed.  “Yeah I looked over Jakey’s shoulder when he got all those calls from his buddies.”

“So he really got ribbed by his buddies?”  Jon asked as he pulled on his glasses and pulled out his iPad. 

“Oh man, ribbed, picked on, the works. I’d hate to be in his shoes on Monday at good old Prep.”  Jesse got up and sat by his dad so he could look over his shoulder.  “Does she know about how nutty some of your fans can be?  She might have a hit on her already.”

“I only have out three restraining orders, so she should be safe.”  Jon rolled his eyes at his son’s teasing.  He pulled up Google first and there they were.  They looked really good together.  The photobomb ones at dinner were funny, he never noticed anyone taking their picture.  Of course the ones at the Pony were the best, he never even noticed he had put his chin on her shoulder at one point. He must’ve been telling her he was going on stage soon.  He didn’t even remember smiling so much.  There were a few that made his smile even bigger.

Jesse watched his dad flip from one picture to another.  Pulling out his phone he pulled up Facebook to see how the “Girls” were handling the news.  Yep there were the faithful few who said it was nice to see him out again. That he needed to get back into the world.  Little did they know, well some of them knew, what hell he had been through over the last few years.  Two years not even writing a single lyric, not even touching the guitar at all.  Maybe this will spark a whole passion in his dad, he could only hope.

“I’m gonna hit the sack, what time is lunch tomorrow? I gotta get back to South Bend, so I won’t miss Monday’s practice.”  Jesse said getting off the bed heading to the door. 

“Lunch at one, don’t get into trouble with Coach.”  Jon said without looking up from the pictures.

Jesse laughed to himself, his dad had it bad.

~~~@

As they headed to his parents place, he had to warn to kids not to tell his Mom about Colleen.  He looked over at Jake who hasn’t spoken to him since last night.

They had made it through lunch and Jesse’s leaving when Matt opened his big mouth and his mother turned on to him.

“Jon Francis!”  Carol Bongiovi zeroed in on him like a heat seeking missile.


“Thanks a fucking lot Matty.”  Jon punched his brother in the shoulder and rolled his eyes.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Chapter 5

Worth the wait I hope.

Alice Faye
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


“Hi” Jon said once his brain reconnect from his dick.  She was beautiful, all that long red hair and those big emerald green eyes, the painted on jeans just added to sexiness.

“Hi” Colleen took in the handsome man standing at her door.  “Let me get my jacket and we can go.”  She told him as she let him in.  “Would you like a glass of wine? I have a bottle out breathing on the counter?”

“I think we have time for a drink.  You might want to add a scarf to that jacket though, it’s such a nice drive I thought we’d keep the top down.”   Jon found the bottle and the two glasses on the counter between the kitchen and the living room.  His favorite vintage, he noted as he poured the glasses and took then into the living room.  The room was radiating comfort, the sofa with the matching chairs and coffee table made up the furniture ensemble aside for the desk that was facing the window.  A total difference from his place, no decorator did this place, but it was one hundred percent Colleen.

“Good, I’ll grab a scarf,” She called from down the hall.

Her voice drew his attention down the hall, where the door was open and he going a glimpse of a canopy bed and a very girly bedroom. 

He watched her come out of the bedroom with a scarf that reminded him of one his wife had, he couldn’t remember the designer, maybe on Kenneth or Vera gave it to her.

Picking up her glass she sipped it, sat beside him on the sofa.

“How was your day, everything what you thought it would be?”  He asked her this about every night they talked.

“Well, the kids seemed to be slower getting out of the summer vacation frame of mind.” She sipped her wine.  “It starts getting harder this coming week.  They will get their first writing assignment on Monday and they’ll have a week to get it done.  I want to see how they do with a deadline.”  She sipped her wine again and though about asking about his son Jacob Hurley.  When the young man came into her class she about forgot what she was saying to her assistant.  He was like a younger version of his father.  Even googling him, on the school computer she wondered what this would do to her dating his father.

They chatted over a glass of wine, about his plan to start writing again, maybe a small tour, to get his feet back on the road.  He checked his watch, as he sat his glass down.  “I made reservations, we better get going.”  She took the glasses into the kitchen and came out to find him waiting at the door.
He helped her on with her jacket and waited while she locked the door.  They got down to the car and always the gentleman, Jon held the car door for her and then went and got in the car.  He actually dropped the keys when he went to start the car.  Starting the car he backed out of her driveway, as she tied the scarf over her head.

Maybe having the top down was a bad idea, because talking was nearly impossible

Colleen took in the sights on the drive heading to Asbury Park.  Once they got off the Garden State Parkway that is.  Thinking of when they were leaving her apartment, she tried not to laugh as he dropped his keys. Was she as nervous as he was?

They pulled into the parking lot, and Jon he turned the car over to the parking valet. He came around to open her door and helped her out.  Grabbing the ticket from the valet he placed his hand in the small of her back to walk her into the restaurant, he felt a small tingle in his fingertips, this felt right.

The hostess walked then to a quiet corner booth, Colleen took in all the little quirks of the restaurant.  From the drippy candles in the wine bottles to the red table cloths.

Their order was taken and the wine bottle placed on the table.  Colleen had never enjoyed a first date before.  They laughed and talked till it was time to go to the show.  Jon took her hand as they left the restaurant. He seemed more assure of himself as the night wore on.

“It’s such a nice night, why don’t we walk down the boardwalk?”  Jon asked as he let her hand go so he could help her on with her jacket. 

“That sounds great, your car will be okay, won’t it?”  Colleen asked him as he took her hand again. 

Jon knew his car was safe, he had always parked at the restaurant when he came down to play with Southside and the Jukes. 

When they got down to the Stone Pony, Jon walked them into the artist entrance.

“Man the world must be coming to an end, the Kidd is here tonight.”  Came the voice of John Lyons otherwise known as Southside Johnny.  “And who is this sexy hot redhead you brought for me to corrupt?”  John took Colleen’s hand and brought it to his lips.

Jon knew this was coming, leave it up to Johnny to make a move on my date.  Jon crossed his arms and gave his mentor and friend the famous stink eye.

“Get your hands off my date Lyons.”  Jon called out, noticing the heads turning and the flash from the camera lighting the backstage area. Well that got it out in the open I have a date.

John Lyons held his hands up and backed away.

“The hands are off Kidd, and welcome back to the living.” 

Colleen watched the mood quickly shift around them, to the point where she was nearly blinded by the flash’s popping off around them.

Shit, way to go Bongiovi, she’ll never go out with you ever again.  Jon watched Colleen look around at the people watching them.  She moved back closer to him.

“Colleen O’Sullivan this loud and obnoxious person is John Lyons, otherwise known as Southside Johnny, my mentor and friend.”  Jon did the introductions.

“Ah, Miss O’Sullivan, welcome to the madness of Rock and Roll.”  He started to reach out for her hand again, but the stink eye he was getting from his friend made him pull back.

“Nice to meet you,” She smiled up at John.  They followed him into the dressing room.

Just the band members were in there, someone pressed a beer in her hand. She wasn’t a beer drinker, she carried around and sat it down. She saw a plant in the room, if the beer returned to her hand, it would be poured into the plant.

John and Jon was talking set list, and when he would be called up on stage. After watering the plant with another beer, they were called to the stage and Jon and Colleen were escorted to the audience standing near the stage.  They stood side by side, until the crowed started moving closer to the stage, Jon pulled Colleen in front of him.

It just seemed natural for Jon to put his hands on her shoulders.  Colleen was a dancer and kept brushing up against him.  Jon stepped back when he started to get aroused. That was all he needed, was for Southside to call him on stage with a boner.  He was actually enjoying being with Colleen, it was different from being with Dotty.

Colleen hadn’t got pissed when people came by the table, she had even taken the picture for the fans.  This was a huge difference between Dotty and Colleen. Dotty would’ve had a sour look on her face and made huffing sounds. Granted the fans who came up, once they got their picture and autograph, they moved on.  Maybe it was all so new to Colleen, she didn’t know this was going to happen every time, and he knew it was Every time they would go out in public.

He noticed that when the paparazzi went haywire when he had called her his date, her eyes had blinked repeatedly.  But she never freaked out or got pissed off.  This was starting out to be a totally new world in his life. He was going to kid her about how she was getting the plant in the room drunk.  He had to hide his chuckle when she had dumped the third and fourth drink in the poor potted plant.

Jon was so into his thoughts of Colleen, that he almost missed his call from Johnny to come on stage. His name had been called twice to the stage before Colleen had nudged him.

“That’s sweet Colleen, get your man up here. Damn Kidd, can you get your ass up here.”  Johnny Lyons laughed as Jon finally made his way to the stage.  “Never had to call your name three times to get you on stage in the past. I think I love your new woman.”

Jon actually blushed a little and he thanked God Johnny had not spoken the last words into the mic.  It was bad enough he had missed a cue for the first time since he started in the music business.

Colleen was really enjoying herself.  She had never been a “fan” girl, but here she was dancing and laughing at a concert.  Her students would be shocked to see her shaking her hips and bopping to The Southside Johnny and the Jukes.

Jon enjoyed watching Colleen enjoy the two songs, and when he got off stage, they left before the last song.  As they walked to where his car was parked, he held her hand.  He really didn’t want the night to end.  On the drive home they talked and laughed, and as they pulled up to her apartment he wondered if she would ask him in, would he like that?  Should he kiss her goodnight at the door? Damn he hadn’t dated in over thirty years.  He got out and went around to help her out of the car, then walked her to the door.

Colleen pulled her keys out of her bag and turned to him.

“I had such a great time,” she watched his reaction.  “Would you like to come in for some coffee?”

“I had a great time too, and I would love a cup.”  Jon smiled and followed her into her apartment. 

As she went to the kitchen, he looked around at the small living room again, taking in how homey it was.  The room was her and very eclectic, the small love seat sofa and the overstuffed armchair looked like it had been handed down through her family, well loved.  Her sound system was top of the line, and she had everything from the fifties to current hits.  Family pictures were everywhere, even a few snapshots of her new niece.  He got back around the room to the sofa, when she came out with two coffee mugs.

“Strong and dark.” She handed him one of the mugs that said, world’s best teacher.  

“The only way to drink it” He took his mug to the sofa and sat down. 

Colleen joined him on the sofa.  This felt right, the two of them.  They talked about plans for the next weekend if he was free of band commitments, there was a Game and would they go together or did unless she’d have to be there early to set up the concession stands. 

Soon it was time for Jon to head home. As they stood on the porch he brushed his hand to her cheek with his fingertips.  “It’s been so long since I dated, do they still kiss good night on the first date?” 

Colleen smiled and leaned into his hand, and leaned forward.  “I don’t see anything wrong with a kiss good night.”  She raised on her tip toes and offered her lips to his. 

His lips brushed hers, his other hand came up to hold her close.  Little nipping of her lips till the opened for his questing tongue. On its own accord, one of her arms went up to slip around his neck the other went to his waist.

They both stepped back to break the kiss.  “I’ll call you.”  He told her as he walked out to his car.  He thought about her and the kiss all the way home.  He liked the way she fit into his arms, and they fact that she didn’t go running when the flash bulbs about blinded them.  He pulled the car into the garage and headed across the street to the apartment.  Thank God the reporters hadn’t been here when he got home. 

Heading into the elevator he waited for it to stop on his floor.  He entered the quiet apartment, he smiled that they had actually kept it pretty cleaned up. Turning out the lamp he headed to his bedroom, he stopped to check on the boys. Romeo, had kicked his covers off. He pulled them up, as he looked down at his youngest son’s face.  Hard to believe he was almost twelve. 

Moving down to Jake’s room, he noticed a light under the door.  Walking in, he found his son giving him the stink eye.


“Are you dating my teacher?”  Jake scolded his dad.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Chapter 4

Stephanie watched her father’s face, she had been right, he was talking to a woman.  He had that look of a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Steph, I was on a business call.”  Jon carried the broken cup into the kitchen and threw it in the trashcan.

“Dad, who are you trying to fool? Even the boys think you’ve met a woman, well Jakey does, Romeo just agrees with him.” Stephanie climbed up and on the counter and watched her father trying to come up with a cover story.

“When have I had time to meet a woman?  We just cleared out the Hampton house and came home.”  He tried to level the ‘I’m the dad’ look at her.

“While they were out one night,” She told him and then ticked off on her fingers “Two coffee mugs, two plates, frying pan and bowl, dad that is your basic quick omelet date, I read all the crap about you and your world best omelet date deals.”  She watched him hang his head.

“Well they are great omelets.”  He laughed a little.

“Okay, give me the deetz.”  She came off the counter and went to the cafĂ© table in the kitchen and patted the opposite seat.

Jon rolled his eyes and gave her the stink eye, but he really made a production about sitting with his baby girl.

“I met her in a bar.” He started telling her how he met Colleen.

“Oh dad, not a bar fly.”  Stephanie moaned.

“Bartender not a bar fly.”  He played with the napkin on the table.  “Her name is Colleen, redhead, green eyed.”  He rattled off all the details about Colleen and made her smile.  Granted, as far as her mother had thought, he had a woman in every state and country in the world, but Steph knew, he had loved her mom till the day she killed herself.

“So have you been having any late at night calls?”  She asked him, there was more to this than he was letting on.

“First time I called her was today, getting back and having the boy’s settled down ready for school, I haven’t had any time to call.”  He looked up in her eyes.  “Uncle Davy and Uncle Teek called about working again, was I told them that I wasn’t sure if I was ready, I haven’t picked up my guitar since we put your mom in the rehab.”

“Dad it’s time, I know Jess would agree with me.”  Stephanie reached across the table and placed her hand on his.

“I don’t know Steph, maybe, I just don’t know.”  Jon smiled and thought about all the times he and Stephanie had talked like this, ever since her mother went into the hospital.  But this time she was acting like the adult and he was the child.

“Well, you have a date don’t you?  That’s a start.”  She laughed and got up and went to the fridge and got a bottle of water.  “Have you decided where you’re going to take her?”

Jon stopped laughing, where was he going to take Colleen?  Once the press got a hold of it, it would be all over social media before they got the seats warm.

“Not sure, got till Friday to decide.  Thought about dinner and a show.”  Jon watched Stephanie reaction.

“Uncle Southside is playing this weekend at the Pony, isn’t he?”  Stephanie sat back at the table.  “You’d blend in down there.  Maybe dinner on the boardwalk?” 

He liked where she was going with his idea of a date. Oh my God he was going on a date.  The last time he went on an actual date was with Dot.

“Sounds good, I’ll call Colleen and see if she would like that.”  Jon told her.

Jake and Romeo came in from the first day of school.  Jon came down to the kitchen as they got a snack from the fridge and sat at the table.

“So how was the first day?”  Jon got a bottle of water and sat at the table with them.

“It was okay, I got one of Jake’s teachers this year.” Romeo sad between bites of grapes. 

“How about you Jake?”  Jon asked as he grabbed a few grapes.

“I got a new teacher, she has this box by the door, and we all had to put our cells in the box while we are in class.  She said that anyone caught with a phone will have the cell taken away till the end of the day.” Jake grabbed a few crackers out of the box. 

“Well that will cut down on the picture of you in class that keep showing up online.”  Jon said as he grabbed the box from his son and poured some crackers out of the box.  “This new teacher, what’s she teaching?”

“English and creative writing, and I have homework already.  These teachers don’t seem to understand, we just got off vacation, don’t bury us in homework.”  Jake popped a cracker in his mouth. 

“Well, get your homework done, Grandpa called for us to come for dinner.”  Jon got up and watched his sons pulling out books to do homework. 

Friday finally came. Stephanie came by with a few friends for pizza and movies with the boys.  Jon stood looking in the mirror, on the floor of the closet were discards of what he had tried on to wear for his date.  He turned at a knock on the door.  Walking over he opened the bedroom door to see Jesse and Stephanie on the other side.

“What are you doing home?”  He asked Jesse.

“I came to see if you were ready for your date.”  He said following his sister into the bedroom.

“You aren’t wearing that are you?” Stephanie asked checking out her dad.  He had on jeans and a polo shirt.

“What’s wrong with what I have on?”  Jon asked his daughter looking back in the mirror.

Jesse went into the closet and went through the pile on the floor and looked at what was left on the hangers.  Stephanie followed Jesse into the closet and came out with a black v necked knit shirt and Jesse came out with a gray jacket.

He stripped off the shirt and pulled on what the kids picked out.  He had to admit it looked good.

“Where are you taking her to dinner?”  Stephanie ask as she climbed up on the bed.

“I thought we’d maybe go to Talula’s, or somewhere along the way down.”  Jon pulled on his boots and stood up for the kid’s inspection.

“Good place for a first date.”  Jesse told his dad.  He looked at his sister to see what she thought of the pizza place for their dad’s first date.

“Sounds good, did you ask her where she would like to eat?”  Stephanie asked her dad.

Jon thought back to the calls he had shared with Colleen. 

“She left it up to me, since I had been down there a lot.”  Jon put his wallet in his pants pocket and put his phone in his jacket pocket along with his keys.

They went down stairs. He checked on the younger two; Stephanie’s friends had arrived and were looking over the movies to watch.  Pizza boxes were on the bar, along with soda bottles and water bottles.  Just as he opened the door, two of Jesse friends were about to knock on the door.

“Okay Guys, don’t tear up the house.”  Jon left the apartment and headed down to the garage.  He had thought about getting a car with a driver, but it was a good night to pull out the Chevelle and put the top down.

Colleen tossed her jacket on the sofa, she had finally settled on jeans and a cold shoulder shirt.  She cleaned up her desk, she had been grading homework, and some of these kids were still on summer vacation mode.  She checked her watch, he was due any minute.  She was actually nervous, the last date she had been on was in a while ago.  She jumped when there was a knock on the door, looking at her watch, right on time.  She brushed her hands down her slacks, just in case her hands were damp.  Looking in the peephole, yep it was Jon.  She opened the door and smiled.

“Hi.”

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Chapter 3

“A little early to be hitting the Jack isn’t?”  She turned around with a smile.

“Yep and I got a long way to drive today.”  He was sad that he hadn’t been able to get back to the bar or to Colleen.  He forgot to get her number and the few times he did call the bar, a man answered.

“So back to the real life, end of summer.”  She poured him a cup of coffee and sat it on the bar.

“Yeah, back to school for the boys, I’ve never taken them school shopping by myself.” He sipped the coffee and sighed, he missed his morning coffee.  “Maybe I can con their sister into taking them shopping.”

“So you have three kids?” She didn’t really google him, she knew the music, and hell the jukebox blared it on Ladies night.

He held up four fingers, as he sipped his coffee.

“Stephanie is the oldest and the only girl, Then Jesse, Jake and Romeo.  Jesse is in college at Notre Dame.” He smiled, talking about his kids.

Colleen saw the sparkle in his eyes, as he talked about his children.  Four kids, he has four kids.  She wasn’t afraid of a man with kids, hell she worked with kids always lifted her spirits

“Where are the two you came with, Jake and Romeo?” Colleen asked him.

“They are actually walking the beach for the last time. Not sure when we’ll be back here again.”  He finished the coffee and pushed the cup to her.

She started to refill it but he waved it off.

“One to go?”  She took out a to go cup and filled it with coffee, handing it to him. “Drive safe maybe I’ll see you next time you’re here?”

“I hope we can maybe get together sometime.” God he sounded like a green kid asking a girl for a first date.

Colleen looked at him and smiled.

“Maybe Blue Eyes, You never know.”  Colleen winked at him.

He picked up the cup and winked back.  He was almost out the door when he remembered that he needed her number.  Walking back to the bar he sat the coffee down. Colleen slid the guest check toward him, written on the guest check was her name Colleen O’Sullivan and her cell number.  He pocked the paper and winked at her.

“It’s been a while,” Jon laughed as he left the bar.

The boys were leaning on the car, it was the first time in months they’ve heard their father laugh. They nudged each other.  The ride back, he was like the old dad.  They both wondered how long it last?


Stephanie had agreed with her dad to go to take her brothers school shopping, so he was off the hook.

“So pop’s was laughing coming out of a bar?  Sure he wasn’t drunk?” Stephanie asked as she added white polo shirts to the cart.  They had gone to the mall, thee with their list in hand they hit several stores for pants and polos. The night before they had gone to the schools website to get the list of supplies they needed, plus their schedules.

“They have a few new teachers this year.”  Jake said as he looked at his phone.  “I got one for English, and for history.”  He tossed the pants he had tried on.  He was getting taller than their father, and he loved it.

“I have a new one too.”  Romeo said as he put his pants in the cart too.  “I don’t think daddy was drunk, he smelled like coffee to me.” 

“I think he had some company while we were at Greg and Max’s house.” Jake said as he pocketed his phone. 

“Yeah, when we left, he was out on the deck watching the waves.”  Romeo told his sister.  “We had gotten back from dropping mom’s stuff at Goodwill.”

“Yeah, he had a bottle of wine and was just sitting there when we were leaving.”  Jake told his sister.

She had been worried when, her father had said they were going out to the Hamptons to clean out the bedroom.  He had held up so well hiding, acting like it was normal to have your wife commit suicide.  He wasn’t that great of an actor, she knew it would be a matter of time before he crawled into a bottle. Their Uncle Mookie had done the same thing when his dad died.

“Why do you think he had company?  How could you tell?”  She checked the tags on the pants and tossed in four pairs each.  She knew they were getting bored and it would be a matter of time before, she would be shopping alone and they would be in the food court.

“Two plates, two coffee mugs, bowls, frying pan.”  Romeo was ticking off a list of the stuff in the drain board. “Oh yeah and one wine glass.”

Two plates hum?  Stephanie thought about all this that the boys noticed. “Maybe dad had company come in for dinner, maybe some football people?”  Stephanie told them as they headed to check out.

“That wear perfume?”  Jake questioned.  Looking up from his phone.

“Perfume, really?  That’s something.”  Stephanie got the boys past the food court, they stopped at the shoe store and then loaded the car and headed home.

Jon was waiting till the boys had left with their sister to pull out the crumpled restaurant ticket from his wallet.  He had thought about calling her every night, but something stopped him, it was called his ever-present sons.

Colleen was in her apartment planning her first day of school, it was always challenging with the end of summer and getting her students back into “Oh God we’re back to school,” frame of mind.  She grabbed another soda from the fridge and tackled her computer list, English was her favorite things to teach and creative writing a close second.  She was looking over her student list and about spit her cola on the screen.  Just then her cell phone shrilled.  She looked at her messy desk, where the hell was her cell?

Jon was about the hang up, he hated leaving a voice mail.

“Hello?” Colleen prayed they haven’t hung up, she hardly ever answered blocked numbers.

“Colleen, did I call at the wrong time?  This is Jon.”  Boy that sounded really mature Bongiovi, Jon rolled his eyes at how he sounded.

“No, no Jon, my desk looks like world war three just blew up, getting ready to go back to work, I needed a break.”  Colleen laughed

You could hear papers shuffling around and a dropped phone and a few words that sounded like Shit and damn then she came back to the phone.

“Sorry about that, I knocked over my soda and then dropped the phone,” She laughed again and Jon smiled at the sound of her laugh.

“I’m leaving this room, it’s like when Harry and the gang went into Greengots and everything they touched multiplied till it about buried them.”  She put her drink by her overstuffed chair and sat down, curling her feet under her.  “Now I can talk. How have you been?  Did the coffee help you get home okay?”

“Home and car unloaded, then for the past two weeks my kids have been driving me crazy.  This was the first time I’ve had peace and quiet.”  He poured a mug of coffee and went into his office and closed the door.  If the kids came home and the door was shut, they knew he was working and would wait till it opened again to pester him.  “Are you an aunt yet?”  Thanks to all four of his kids being huge Harry Potter fans he had an idea how bad her desk was.

“Six pounds, twenty one inches of bouncing baby girl, and she has her daddy wrapped around her tiny little finger.”  Colleen laughed again.  “He wants to set her up in the bar as an oompha loompa, but thankfully her mother said her daughter’s not going to be dyed orange.” 

“That’s a smart mother.”  Jon laughed. “That’s great, I love being an uncle, spoil them and then, send them home.”

“I won’t get to do much of that, they live there and I’m here working till break.”  Colleen sipped her soda.  The name that she had seen on her class list kept popping in her head, should she ask him or just google him later? 

“I meant to ask you what you did beside tend bar.”  He pulled out a pen and started doodling her name.

“I’m an English and a Creative writing teacher, not very exciting, but it pays the bills.”  She told him as she sipped her cola.  “I’m starting at a new school this year, my friends talked me into teaching in a private school.  It’s going to be a huge change for me, not teaching in public schools where you have to go through a metal detector every day.” 

“That sounds dangerous.”  Jon stopped the pen for a second.

“It had its days.  Lock down was the hardest on the kids and the teachers.”  She sat her can down.  “I was lucky though I never had a knife or a gun pulled on me.”


“Damn, good thing your friends got you out of there before that happened.”  He thought about when he and Dot had taken the kids out of public school and placed into Polly Prep.  Here was a teacher who had to go through a metal detector, where kids come to school with guns.

They chatted a little longer and Jon finally got the nerve to ask Colleen out.

“I was wondering if you might like to go out, say Friday or Saturday.  Dinner and a show or something?”  It had been years since he asked a woman out, what did people do now on a date?  He could ask Stephanie or Jesse, but then again, would they be upset if he started dating again?

Colleen smiled, it would be wonderful to go out and celebrate the start of school.

“Sure!  That sounds like fun,” She gave him her address and they set up a time for him to pick her up, before he hung up she got his number and put it in her phone.

He smiled as he hung up, he had a date, an honest to God date.  He got up and headed to the kitchen and nearly walked into Stephanie, waiting outside his door.

“What’s her name and where did you meet her?”  Stephanie asked when her breathing and nerves calmed down.


Jon stopped as he picked up the broken coffee mug.