Monday, November 13, 2017

Chapter 16

“I didn’t interrupt your girls night, did I?”  Jon picked up his wine glass and took a sip.  “How was the movie?”

“Half way through, they fell asleep.”  She laughed softly.  Climbing out of the bed, she pulled the door to not to wake the girls.  “Still trying to figure out where they had room for popcorn and soda, after the dinner they put away.”

“They’re kids, if the girls are anything like my three boys, they can eat all day, and still be hungry.”  He drained his glass and got up and headed to the kitchen. 

“I just hope they’re easy to get up and get to church.”  She climbed back into the bed.  “They had a blast today with your kids, it’s all they talked about on the way back.”

“Yeah, I know Jake enjoyed the girls being there, too.”  He put the glass into the sink and added water.  “Ro I’m not so sure, he’s a little shy at times.”  Jon remembers the one time Romeo wasn’t so shy, but that was before Dot got in such a bad way.

There was that silence that always happened. 

“So when are their parents picking them up?”  Jon wanted to see her tomorrow and thought about asking her to join him and his kids, at his parents, for lunch. 

“I have them till Monday after school.”  Colleen leaned back on the pillows and smiled, she was glad he called. 

“Well, my parents have a huge family lunch tomorrow. Dad’s working on some new sauces to sell, and he uses us to test it on.”  Jon laughed a little, as he left the kitchen and headed upstairs to his bedroom.  “You think you and the girls would like to come eat and be guinea pigs with the rest of us?”

“I can ask them when they get up, I can call you.” Colleen hoped they said yes. “I'll call you.” 

They hung up so she could get some sleep.

Jon was passing Jake's door when it opened.

“You asking Miss O’Sullivan to lunch tomorrow?”  He followed his dad into his room and climbed onto the side of the bed.

Jon walked into his closet to change, grabbing his sleep shorts off the floor.

“Yeah, is that okay with you?”  Jon headed to the in suite bathroom.  He wanted Jake to say ‘sure no problems Pops.’  But he knew that might be pushing it.

“She going to bring Leslie and her sister?”  Jake asked.

“Yeah, she has them all weekend.”  Jon told him, not holding his breath, but thinking that might make Jake’s decision for him.

“Yeah, I guess so.”  Jake mumbled.

Inside his head, he just jumped in the air and did a fist pump, like he did on stage.

“Does this mean you and Miss O’Sullivan and going”  Jake asked.

His inner jump just landed wrong and fell off the stage.

“I want to, if it’s okay with you and Roe.”  Jon never moved to the doorway after starting the shower to warm up.

“Steph and Jesse talked to Roe and me about you two dating. How we should let you, you know, start dating again.”  Jake inspected the toe of his shoe, not looking up to where his dad was standing.

“How do you feel about that?”  Jon wasn’t really sure he wanted to know the answer to that question. But he couldn’t take the words back now.

“I guess it’s okay, I like Miss O’Sullivan, she’s a neat teacher and she saved my as, I mean butt.”  Jake finally looked up to where his dad was standing. 

There went that stage jump again inside Jon.

“She did do that,” Jon said from the doorway.  “She’s going to ask the girls tomorrow when they get up, so I’ll know tomorrow if they’ll be coming to lunch.” 

Jake got up and headed to the bedroom door, as far as he was concerned, this talk was over with his dad.

“Okay dad, good night.”  Jake said as he left the room, closing the door.

Jon finally took a deep breath, that meant three of his kids were okay he was going to start dating.  That left Romeo, after he showered he would go and talk to him.  His inner stage jumper, held up for that final leap.  Jon smiled and hummed the whole time he showered.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Chapter 15 Another Raw Chapter

Jon had to smile, he knew that Colleen, was loving every minute of the girls being there.

“I was sneaking into bars, playing with any band that would let me sit in.”  Jon remembered many nights not getting home before he went to school. Many days, just changing clothes and a swish of mouth wash, and heading to school.  If it hadn’t been for Dorothea, he would never have graduated at all.

Colleen watched Jon’s smile slip off his face.  Whatever that memory brought up, seemed to close him off. She started to say something, when the kids came back to the table, all talking over each other.  Jon seemed to snap out of his damaging memory, till it was time to head home.

They had gotten to where the cars were parked, Jon walked Colleen and the girls and waited till they got in.  Colleen rolled the window down and Jon leaned in, and promised to call her later.  He had wanted to give her a kiss, but they were being overly watched.  He watched her drive off, then turned to his car, where the kids stood watching.

“What,” He rolled his eyes, “Get in the car.”  Shaking his head as he watched them laugh and pile in.

Back at Colleen house, she went to take a bath, while the girls made popcorn and picked out a movie.  Pizza, sodas and Italian ice and they still wanted popcorn, she sighed as the water flowed around her tired body.  Thinking back over dinner with Jon’s family, she could feel then watching her. They seemed to be taking notes on how she and Jon were getting along.  She wanted them to like her and maybe trust her.  It was all she thought about on the ride home, what did they think of her?  Did they think she was right for their dad?  Getting up out of the tub, all she thought was, call Jon.  The more she dried off, the more she heard the girls talking, so calling Jon was not going to happen tonight.

By the time Jon got back to the townhouse, the kids scattered and he made it to his office, the door had barely closed when someone knocked.  Taking a deep breath, rolling his eyes, which of his kids was daring to knock on his door.

“Dad?”  Stephanie asked.

Well that answered that question. He watched the door slowly open.

“Come on in Steph.”  Jon called to his daughter.

Stephanie was followed by Jesse, they settled into the club chairs, and looked at each other.

He watched them trying to see who would talk first.

“If you two are going to just give each other the stink eye, do you mind if I fix a glass of wine?”  Jon said as he got up and went to the wine fridge. 

“Stephanie wants to tell you something.”  Jesse finally said, much to his sister’s dismay.

“Thanks Jess,” Stephanie rolled her eyes.  “Pop’s we want to tell you, we like Colleen.”  Stephanie looked over at Jesse.

“Yeah, we give our approval, you know, if you want to see, you know date or something.”  Jesse kinda looked uncomfortable.

“Date or something hum?”  Jon tried not to laugh at his oldest two.  Granted, having them approve of Colleen and him seeing each other, made things a little easier for them.  Now if he could get the other two on board.

“Yeah, we think you’re ready to go out and have a life again.  You haven’t written anything since Uncle Mookie split.  Then Mom, well you’ve been doing great for us, and the brothers. It’s time to get back in the world, you know, live a little.”  Stephanie elaborated on what Jesse had said.

Jon thought about what she was saying.  Yeah, since Richie turned his back on Bon Jovi, and broke up the brotherhood, he hadn’t written anything.  He never even finished the song he started writing since he met Colleen.  The only one, of the remaining band members, that knew he had met someone was Lema.
Later as Jon sat in his office, strumming his guitar.  The words were right on the edge of his brain.  He had the first few lyrics, he just couldn’t get the next lyrics to pull together. He toyed with his phone, damn he wanted to just hear her voice.

Somewhere during the movie, both girls fell asleep on the sleeping bags on the floor.  Colleen got up and cleaned up the popcorn and the empty cups, turning off the movie, she went into her room.  Curling up in the big bed, she set her alarm, she had to make sure the girls got to church.  She sat the phone on the little bedside table, just then the light on her phone lit up. Who would be calling this late?  Looking at the Caller ID she smiled.

“Hi Jon.”

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Chapter 14 Raw unedited,please be nice.

The stands would be packed, but football at a private school, was a big thing.

Colleen dropped the girls off at the gym, then went and parked her car in the lot for the football stadium.  Some parents were already out tailgating, those were the parents of the players, and they had to get here early.  As always, some of them would be feeling no pain before halftime.

Colleen had drawn the adult concession stand.  She hated this stand, the parents that worked it, stood around and gossiped instead of working on serving the customers.

Bottles of wine were being opened to breath, hot dogs and hamburgers are on the grill.  The dads or male friends of the mothers were minding the grill, the wives or girlfriends of the fathers were supposed to be waiting on the people that came up to the concession stand.  Supposed to be, was the operable word for the day.

Colleen had started opening the wine to breath, by the last games stats they sold more Pinot than the red or chardonnay. She had asked several of the women to make sure they knew to check Id’s and no matter how much they say, it’s for my mom or dad. The answer was always no. They looked like it was too much to ask of them. How dare she think their students would lie, just to drink wine?

Next time she was going to take the students concession stand, it would be half the work.  The games had started and she had barely had time to breath.  The moms were still standing there talking, like a bunch of hens, trading gossip of the week.  Then the twittering got more excite, she looked up when she heard one of the mothers say Jon’s name.  Sure enough there he was, looking like he just go up and tossed on his clothes and slammed his ever present blue ball cap on his head.

Jon was laughing at something Jesse said, about the women falling all over themselves when he came into view.  Jon scanned the concession stand for Colleen, she had told him she would be at the parents stand, and then he saw her and smiled. 

Colleen smiled at Jon, but she wasn’t going to fight to get to the counter through the gushing women.  She poured his glass of Pinot, and waited to hear what, she assumed, were his older kids wanted.   

“Hello Jon, what can I get for you?”  The buxom blonde mother asked.

Jon had to dig deep into his memory, to think of her name.  Hell after Dorothea died, and it made the news he had so many of the mothers at Polly Prep hit on him.  The names all didn’t seem important, at the time.

“Hey Mrs. Greenburg, how is Michael doing at Rutgers.”  Jesse asked the blonde.

Saved by his son, thank God, they showed up to save his sorry ass.  Now he remembered Jane Greenburg, Michael had played Lacrosse with Jesse and dated Stephanie at one time.

“Hi Jane, Pinot for me and whatever those two want.”  Jon said looking at Colleen, taking in her Polly Prep shirt and her hair up in a simple ponytail.  Compared to the other women, she was a ten in a field of fives.

“He’ll be home for homecoming, I’ll tell him you two were here.”  Jane told Jesse.

Stephanie looked at her dad and thought better of trying for a glass of wine or a beer, so they would play it safe and order two cokes.

Colleen came up with the two cokes and the wine, being a barmaid came in handy.

“Here you go, Jon” Colleen handed the cup of wine to him and held out the cokes to the kids.

Jesse and Stephanie watched their dad looking at Colleen.  They nudged each other and moved away so their dad could have a minute with Colleen.

“Did you see the look he was giving her?”  Jesse said as he popped the top off his Coke.

“About the same look she was giving him.” Stephanie laughed. 

They headed back to their seats, without waiting on their dad to join them.

“The girls are excited about going out for pizza with Jake, I think Leslie has a little crush on him.”  Colleen said as they were finally left alone, even though some of the mothers stayed in hearing range, without appearing to listen to every word they said.

“Jake was playing it cool, but I think he was excited that the girls were joining us.”  Jon said as he leaned on the counter. 

They stood there chatting a few minutes, then half time came and the stand got busy. They planned on meeting in the parking lot after Jake got changed, then they would head to the pizza parlor.

The girls were really hyped, after the game, Colleen was blitzed.  If it hadn’t been the fact that it was dinner with Jon and his kids, she would’ve been tooling her bug back home.  They got at the pizza parlor about the same time, Jon had reserved a table for them in advance.  The owner met them at the door, and then ushered then to the back private room.

The Jesse and Stephanie made her feel at ease, once the pies had arrived at the table, it got quiet.

Jon watched how Colleen got along with his kids, even Jake seemed to have fun.  It didn’t hurt, Polly Prep had won their games. Once they were done eating, Jon broke out his wallet and sent all six of the kids to the game room.  This gave Colleen and Jon some alone time.

“I don’t know how those girls did it?  Colleen asked Jon as they sipped their wine.  “They were up giggling all night, I think they were on the phone all night and then got up and cheered this game.”  Colleen took another sip of her wine.  “Were we like that growing up?”

Saturday, August 19, 2017

(yes I am sure it is 13 LOL) So here is Chapter 13

Now I know it's been late in coming.  I am doing something that makes me very uncomfortable, I am posting an un edited.  So be kind and remember  never took the Composition (writing English) till I was in College.  Enjoy

Jon had breakfast ready and on the table, he didn’t want anything to go wrong today. He hadn’t told the boys that they would be joined with two of the cheerleader, just that Colleen was joining them.  Restrictions ended this morning and all Jake’s electronics sat at the end of the table. 

“Hey Dad?”  Jake called from upstairs. 

“Yeah Jake?”  Jon went to the bottom of the stairs.

“I can’t find my phone.”  Jake went to the top of the stairs.

That meant he was either going through his office or his bedroom.  When was that boy gonna learn to stay out of his office?

“It’s on the table, get your brother and get down here to eat, or coach is gonna have your ass for being late.  Or do you like to run laps?”  Jon asked as he headed back to the kitchen. 

He needed caffeine, he and Colleen talked into the wee hours of the morning.  The girls finally settled down on blow up’s in the living room and she knew they were asleep, before she called Jon.

The boys had finally come down for breakfast, when the door opened and Jesse walked in.

“Got enough for me?”  Jesse loved the shocked look on his dad’s face.  He and Stephanie decided to go to the game to meet Colleen.

“Box is on the counter, milk in the fridge, coffee in the pot.”  Jon said with a laugh.  “Coach know your home?”

Jesse grabbed a bowl and made him a bowl of cereal and grabbed a mug of coffee.  He was just about to answer his dad, when Stephanie came in the door.

Okay what’s going on, Jon thought.  Both his older two here on a Saturday?

“Got enough for me?” Stephanie laughed.

They all told her, ‘Box on the counter, milk in the fridge and coffee in the pot.’

When she joined the family at the table, Jon finally asked.

“Okay, what’s going on?”  He got up and filled his cup and started a new pot.

“I wanted to come see my little brother play his first starting game.”  Jesse said between bites of cereal.

“I wanted to see my family.” Stephanie smiled at her dad.

“This wouldn’t have to be a sad attempt to meet Colleen?”  Jon looked around the table at his family.

“No,” Both Jesse and Stephanie said in unison.

“Want to try it again?”  Jon gave them the stink eye.  “This is the fifth game of the season and,” He turned and looked at Stephanie, “You were just home last month.”

Jesse looked at Stephanie and both broke out laughing.

“Guess we’re busted pop’s,” Jesse laughed.

“Yeah, we wanted to meet Miss O’Sullivan.”  Stephanie finally admitted.  This was the woman that brought their dad back from the edge.

Jon didn’t know what to say to his oldest.  Should he warn Colleen that the whole Bongiovi troop was coming to dinner?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Chapter 12 Oops my bad.

Jon about dropped the phone and spit out the swallow of wine he had just drank, did she say she was in the tub?

“Hey, you still here Jon?”  Colleen asked

“Yeah, I must’ve misunderstood you, did you say you were in the tub?” Jon coughed the wine that he choked on.

“Just me, Pandora and a bottle of wine,” she told him then laughed pausing a little for effect, then dropped the bomb. “In my old fashioned bathtub, with bubbles.”  She giggled.

“How much wine is still in the bottle?” Jon tried to get more comfortable in his desk chair.  Damn thinking about Colleen in a tub with bubbles had his mind whirling, and his body telling him it had been too long since he had been with a woman.

“Actually I’ve had about two or three glasses, but I’m not so far gone I can’t get out of this tub.”  She told him proudly.

Over the phone he hears the sound of water sloshing in the tub.

“Ta Da.”  Colleen laughed into the phone.

Jon laughed, this was a side of Colleen O’Sullivan he had never heard and he wished he could see it.

“Congratulations.”  Jon said as he sat his wine glass and phone on the desk and applauded. Picking back up the phone he heard her laughing

“Thank you, Thank you.”  Colleen laughed as she rinsed off the remaining bubbles.  “You weren’t too hard on Jake were you?”  She had put her phone on speaker and toweled off.

“Very good.”  He laughed along with her.  “He’s on restrictions, no electronics and house arrest until Saturday.”

“Hang on a second.”  She said as she put the phone on the tub tray. Stepping out of the tub, after she had stood up to prove she wasn’t drunk, she quickly toweled off and pulled on her old beat up bathrobe.

Jon didn’t even get a chance to tell he ok before he heard her, faintly in the background moving around.  She must be drying off, that image popped in his head and he had to down the last of his wine.  Damn I need to get laid, he thought.

“No bread and water?”  She laughed.

“Nope then we would all be on bread and water.”  He laughed with her.

She grabbed up the bottle off the floor and put it on her bath tray, then pulled the plug on the tub.

“How is he doing his homework with no computer?”  She knew, in today’s world, no one hand wrote their homework anymore, not at Poly Prep.

“He sits in my office with me so I can make sure he isn’t playing computer games or chatting with his friends.” Jon told Colleen.

“So, in other words, you’re both grounded.”  Colleen said as she exited the kitchen and headed to her bedroom.  Setting the phone down on the bedside table she pulled off her robe and pulled on her gown.

“Yeah I guess I am, I’ll just work on some new lyrics.” He thought about the punishment and didn’t really think about being punished himself. It would put him more into Jake’s life, even if it was just for four days.

“So you’re working on a new album that sounds interesting.”  Colleen said.  She knew from her googling the band, that things with Bon Jovi has really done a three sixty, in the last three years, since Richie had left the band.

“Yeah, Dave came over and we got one song almost done.”  Jon was proud that they had got one song under their belt, granted one song didn’t make an album.  Well maybe there was two songs just about done.  He was actually calling Phil Xenidis to work on the ballad, which might not work, he was not like Richie for sure, and no one would ever be like Richie.

“That’s great, your fans will be happy.”  Pulling out her lotion she started working on her arms, when she noticed how quiet the conversation got.  Maybe she was stepping into where she shouldn’t go, but she was being supportive.

“Yeah, I guess.”  He tried to sound happy, but after what the band went through after Richie’s departure on top of Dorothea killing herself, the past three years were hell.

“Hey, is Jake playing on Saturday?”  She changed the subject.

“Yeah, that was why I called you.”  Jon was wondering how to approach her going out for Pizza with the boys.  “We always go out for pizza after the game, I want to see, that is, would you like to join us?”  There he’d done it. This was harder than the other times he had asked her out. This time, the boys would be there.

Colleen was shocked.  He had almost asked her in the parking lot today, but had stopped.

“Pizza with your sons?”  Now she wished she hadn’t agreed to have two of the cheerleaders for the weekend.  Their parents were going to be out of town till Sunday, she was shocked that when they asked she said yes, she had no plans at the time.

“Yeah, we had a discussion tonight, By the way, Romeo hopes you’ll be his teacher next year.”  Jon told her with a laugh.

“So, they approved us dating?”  Colleen asked him.  When he said that Romeo hoped that she was his teacher next year, made her smile really big.

“Yes, even my older two also approve, so you have the full Bongiovi vote of approval.”  Jon told her proudly.  Even though they had been dating for two months, getting their approval, meant no more sneaking around for coffee dates.

“Would you mind two more at dinner?”  Colleen asked him.

Jon was taken back at the question.

“I didn’t know if we, well if we would go out this weekend.  So I sort of took on two of the Cheerleaders for the weekend.”  Colleen cringed.

Would she think that what happened after the meeting, did she think he didn’t want to see her again?  Granted it took Jake getting in trouble for her to call him.

“I’m sure the boys won’t mind you three ladies joining us.”  Jon smiled, Jake for one, might like the idea of the Football player and two cheerleaders at his table after the game.

 “So it’s our third official sanctioned date.” She smiled.  Maybe this won’t end the way the last one did.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chapter 11

At the sound of Jake’s voice, Jon looked over at his sons shocked face.

 “It’s not like you two haven’t gone out before?” Jake asked still standing in the doorway.

“Yeah, we’re becoming friends, we’ve seen each other for coffee and a couple of dates, but I’d like to see her more.” Jon said, waiting on world war three to break out.  “But I want to make sure if it’s alright with you guys first.”

Jake looked at Romeo, it wasn’t like they hadn’t talked about their dad dating again. But he wanted to date my teacher, Jake thought. “You didn’t ask us before.”  Jake mumbled and looked down at his feet.

“Is she the lady you took to Uncle Southsides concert?”  Romeo asked. He remembered what Stephanie had said, it was time for his dad to start back dating, and Miss O’Sullivan was really pretty.

‘Yes she was Romie, we’ve gone out for coffee a few times, and we went out last week.”  Jon looked pointedly at Jake when he referenced the date to get him out of the house, so Jake could steal his song lyrics.

“Well I’m okay with it, I sort of hope I get her for English next year.” Romeo told his dad. 

That left Jake to give his opinion.  She was the reason he was on restrictions, well that wasn’t exactly the truth, he was the reason he was on restrictions. He did like Miss O’Sullivan, and his dad seemed different in the past few months since his mom had died.  He was happy.

“I guess it’s okay.”  Jake grudging gave his approval.  His friends would have a field day, his dad and Miss O’Sullivan, shoot me now.  Jake shrugged his shoulders and headed back to his room.

Jon was shocked it was that easy to get his dating approved by his youngest.  Better talk to the older two now, he thought.

Romeo, headed to his room and Jon closed the office door and pulled out his phone.

Colleen finished grading papers and looked at her class blog that the school made each teacher post.  If the parents had questions or students needed help, this was supposed to help.  It was just more work for the teacher, or so a lot of the older teachers thought.  After fielding homework questions, while she ate a sandwich and washed it down with a big glass of soda.  She needed the sugar, after not sleeping much the night before, worrying about how the meeting would go with Jon and Jake.

Shutting down the laptop, she was officially on her time. “Coll, you deserve to treat yourself to a big glass of wine or a bubble bath?” Colleen said out loud to the empty house.  Thinking back to her meeting with the Bongiovi men and the outcome.  She could see they were just like two peas in a pod. Not just only in the looks department.  Looking at the clock, it was earlier than she expected.  “You can to both Coll.” 

She laughed going to the kitchen for her bottle of wine.  Taking her bottle and glass into her bathroom.  Soon she had some tunes playing on her phone, beside the glass of wine on her bathtub caddy, with her bottle of wine, within refill distance on the floor.  Her brother had teased her when she had the glassed in shower stall removed and the claw foot tub put in.  But before moving into the private school, working in the public school sector, she needed this tub after each day of school.

She had loaded all of Bon Jovi’s albums on her iTunes, and putting it on shuffle, she never knew what tunes would come up.  Slipping down into the hot water and bubbles, she pulled the caddy close enough to reach her glass and slipped down with a deep sigh.

The water was cooling down when she got a call.  Drying her hands she reached for the phone, it was Jon calling.

“Hey.”  She smiled.

“Hey, you aren’t busy are you?”  Jon wished he had a glass of wine.  But after getting the go ahead from Jesse and Stephanie, he didn’t want to wait to call Colleen.  Then it hit him the music he heard in the background, she’s listening to Crush, he thought with a smile

“Nope just relaxing in the tub, with my iTunes and a glass of wine.”  Colleen laughed, why did she tell him she was in the tub?

“Jon, are you still there?”  Colleen asked.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Chapter 10

So far nothing unusual had happened, two days letter he got called to the office.  He waited outside the office to be called in.  Miss O’Sullivan walked up and knocked on the door and was asked to come in.  He tried to see who was in there besides the dean of students and Miss O’Sullivan.  Did this have anything to do with the poem, or something else?

Colleen and Jon had talked, about the problem. Should they let the Dean of Students handle this or should they handle this.  They had hatched a little story that just might work.  Jon arrived at Polly Prep, a few minutes after he had put the boys on the bus, giving them time to get to class and not see him.

Colleen didn’t have a first period class, so she met Jon at the Dean of Students office.  Jon sat with his back to the door, so Jake wouldn’t know he was there. They had made a deal, with the dean of students, that they would handle this, without hurting Jake’s academic standings.  If it wasn’t for all the money Jon had raised for the school, Jake would be in deep shit.

“Whatever you do, don’t laugh.”  Colleen told Jon right before she called, to have Jake brought in.

“I know, put on my proud dad face.”  Jon told Colleen, which was going to be hard. This was the first time, which he knew, that any of his kids had been caught cheating. 

Jake was brought into the room, it wasn’t till he sat down, and that he noticed that there was just Miss O’Sullivan and his dad in the room. ‘Oh shit, what’s going on?’ Jake thought as he sat down in the only other chair.

“Hey Jakey,” Jon smiled at his son.

“Hey Dad.”  Jake answered quietly.  What’s daddy doing here? He didn’t say anything as me and Romeo got on the bus. Jake was nervous. He didn’t know where to look, so he looked at the floor.

“Jake, I asked your dad to come in to hear this news.”  Colleen said as she looked from Jake to Jon. 

“News?”  Jake sat down in the other chair beside his dad.  Looking between Miss O’Sullivan and his dad.

“You remember the poetry assignment?  I submitted a few to a local contest, and you’re was chosen as one of the top in the State.”  Colleen had the certificate she had made, it looked legit, thanks to Microsoft Word.

Jake took the certificate from Colleen and looked it over.  Great the one time in my life I cheat, I win a contest for something I stole from my dad. Well isn’t that fucking wonderful?

“Jake I am so proud of you.”  Jon turned and looked at his son.  I should get an award for this performance. 

“I was just about to read your poem to your dad, but now that you’re here you can read it.”  Colleen smiled at Jake and then Jon.  Which one would break first?  She handed Jake the paper.

Jake looked at the paper from his teachers hand. Looking at it like it was the first time he had seen it. I should admit it now I stole it from dad’s office and take my punishment like a man, or I could just throw up now and get out of this.  Jake cleared his throat and started to look a little green.

“Maybe I can read it for you.”  Jon told Jake, never once taking the paper out of his hand. Reciting the words, which he had said to Colleen on the beach.

“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,” Jon sang softly like he did to Colleen that night on the beach.

Jake’s heart went to his feet, he was in deep shit and was it going to be suspension or expelled.  He knew he had broken the honor code, depending on what Miss O’Sullivan did.  He knew what his dad was going to do to him was going to be one hundred times worse than what the school did.

“I can explain,” Jake started to say, but the look on his father’s face stopped him cold.

“You stole a song out of my office and submitted it as your own, your last name might be Bongiovi, but Jon is not your first name.”  Jon was trying to stay calm, but the Sicilian in him was boiling under the surface.

“I tried to write a poem, but I su, uh I was terrible. I panicked and thought I could borrow one of the songs, no one would notice.”  Jake explained. 

“You owe Coll, Miss O’Sullivan, an apology for not doing the assignment. She went to the Dean of Students to keep this from going on your record.”  Jon took a deep breath to keep his cool. 

“I’m sorry for what I did.”  Jake said as he turned to speak to his teacher.

“You will receive a zero on this assignment and you will not be allowed to make it up.  This is a warning, Mr. Bongiovi, the next time this will be handled by the Dean of Students and it will go on your record.”  Colleen looked between Jake and Jon.  “You can go on to your next class, I will see you later in class.”

Jake got out of the room before he was expelled.

Colleen waited until the door shut and Jake was away from the door. Colleen put the paper back in her file.

“That was harder than I thought it would be.”  Colleen told Jon.  “From his record, he’s a straight A student, top of his class, then this.”  Colleen sighed and looked at Jon.  “That’s why I didn’t want this to mess up his record.”

“You were too easy on him.” Jon looked at Colleen.  “My teachers in school would’ve suspended me or kicked me out for plagiarism.”

“Jake’s a good student and he panicked.  I had a professor that bent the rules for me once, I panicked on a test.  My parents had died and my brother and sister were doing the best to keep us together. I got a zero on the test and didn’t get a makeup, but I didn’t get booted out of college.”  She put the papers back in his file and dropped them in her briefcase.  “When I asked him why he didn’t throw me over to the student court?  He told me that, one day I was going to see a great kid, do something stupid, and I am going to remember, that a teacher gave me a second chance.”

“And you saw that in Jake?”  Jon asked her as he stood up.

“I saw a kid, who is a straight A student, that panicked when he came across something his dad was great at, and that he couldn’t be the same writer.”  Colleen came around the desk and they walked out of the office.  “When I heard those same words read out allowed in class, I knew what he did.

“Yeah, when you read his paper to me, at first I thought he might have gotten the words off liner sheets in an old cassette or lyric site online.”  Jon chuckled a little.  “I never thought he would go into the office and go through my files.”

“I guess you’ll lock the door from now on?”  Colleen laughed a little.

“Yeah, I got one more son to get out of this school one day.”  Jon finally laughed.  He didn’t think Romeo would ever do anything like this, the kid was so honest, and he would get an F before cheating.

Colleen walked with Jon through the halls and out to the parking lot.

“I was gonna call you later to see if you have plans for Saturday night?  I know its short notice.”  Jon leaned on his car, looking at Colleen.

“I’m working the football game, I have the home concession stand, but other than that, my night is free.”  Colleen said as she stood at Jon’s car.  Reminded her of High School, standing at her boyfriend’s car.  But was Jon her boyfriend or just a man who was her friend?

“I’ll be at the game, Jake is playing, and we always go out after the game.”  He said then he stopped.  Was he ready for her to go out with the kids?  Granted it would just be Romeo and Jake. He should ask them before he surprises them with her.

“That’s great, I hope you three have fun.”  Colleen told Jon, letting him off the hook.  She knew by the look on his face he was back peddling just like the night they had ice cream.  “I better get back in, looks really bad when the teacher is late to class.”  She smiled at him.

“I bet, listen I’ll call you tonight.”  Jon laughed a little at the teacher being late to class.  He watched her turn to head back to the building.  He would talk to the boys in the next couple of days, if they would let Colleen join them for dinner.

Jake kept his head down in class, and Miss O’Sullivan didn’t call him for any answers.  He was not looking forward to going home.  His dad was really pissed, he knew going home today was going to hear his punishment.

The rest of the day went smooth, it seemed to Jake that the ride home was shorter.  Daddy was waiting at the bus stop, there was no sneaking into the townhome today.

“Hey Guys, how was school?”  Jon smiled at the boys. He noticed Jake trying to sneak into the house.

“Great, I passed my math test and my science test.” Romeo told his dad proudly.

“That’s great Roe, I know you really studied and showed that you really tried hard.  I’m really proud of you.”  Jon tasseled Romeo’s hair.  They made it off the street and into the foyer of the building.  He noticed Jake hung back some as they got to the elevator.  “Get your homework done as fast as you can, I thought we’d have Pizza tonight.”

“Extra pepperoni?”  Romeo asked as they rode up to their floor.  “And Garlic knots?”

“You got it buddy, we’ll celebrate your two tests tonight.”  Jon said proudly looking at his youngest son.

Jon watched Romeo head to his room, Jake sort of hung back finally.  Waiting till Romeo’s door shut behind him, Jon pointed to his office and went to the door waiting on Jake to enter.

He let Jake sit there while he called in his order for deliver and then, once off the phone he counted to ten, then counted again.

“I don’t know what to say.”  Jon said softly, trying to remain calm.

“I panicked, I just couldn’t write a poem.  I tried for hours and nothing was coming to me.  I looked on line and I listened to songs.  You can ask Roe, he read some of them.”  Jake explained.

“Why didn’t you come to me and asked for help?” Jon asked Jake.  “Instead of asking for help, you used my friendship with Colleen, to get me out of the house.” That brought up Jake’s head fast enough to give him whiplash. “Did you think I wouldn’t put two and two together to come up with you using one of my songs?”

“Dad I panicked.”  Jake told him again.  “Have you ever felt like nothing was right?  The words, just weren’t there.  I never thought Miss O’Sullivan would catch it.”

Jon wasn’t going to tell him how she knew, that was between Colleen and him.  Jake was just preaching to the choir about what had happened over the past three years, about nothing coming.  First the defection of Richie, who was like a brother to him, his brother from another.  Topping that with Dorothea’s suicide, it was a wonder, he hadn’t crawl into a hole and pull it in on top of himself.  But that didn’t excuse Jake stealing his song and turning in as his own poem.

“You are grounded till Saturday, you will come right home, and do your homework.  I will be checking it, so no more borrowing from anyone else.”  He told his second son.  “If I ever hear you cheating again, you’ll lean to hate the color of your bedroom.”  He watched his punishment wash over his son.  “On yeah I forgot. Give me you cellphone, tablet and laptop.”

“But I use my laptop for research, I’ll need it for my homework.”  Jake was shocked he was going to be tech punished.

“When you need it you can use it. Then it comes back to me and to make sure you don’t cheat, you’ll be doing your homework in the office with me.” Jon said

Jake cringed at the cheating reference, which hurt less that his father losing faith in him.  Why did he ever think he could get away with stealing his father’s song?  Standing up he pulled his cell out of his back pocket.

“Ok, go get you tablet and your laptop, then you can get your homework done.” Jon watched him walk out of his office.  Slumping down in the seat he took a deep breath.  How did his wife deal with this? 

Dinner that night was a mix of one son bouncing on all fours and one that was like on death row.  Jon toyed with asking the boys about Colleen joining them Saturday night, Romeo would be an easy yes, but he couldn’t see Jakey saying yes.

Jon and Jake went back to the office, Jake needed to finish his homework.  He looked at the time and toyed with his phone, he promised to call.  Jake finally finished his homework. The laptop was closed and left on the corner of the desk.

“Good night dad.”  Jake said as headed out the door.

“Goodnight Jakey” He listened till he heard Jake got up the stairs and his door close, he turned to Romeo.  “Can I ask you something?”

“Is it about Jakey using your song for his poem?” Romeo kind of looked anywhere but at his dad. “Am I in trouble too?”

“I wish you two had come to me, instead of lifting my song.”  Jon started.

“I wasn’t in there with him, I told him not to get caught.”  Romeo told Jon.  “Yeah that wasn’t a smart move, I guess.”

“Well not only did he get caught, Miss O’Sullivan save him from being expelled.”  Jon leaned back and watched the news was over his youngest.

“Wow, I hope I have Miss O’Sullivan next year.”  Romeo smiled.

“But, you won’t cheat, or borrow any of my songs for an assignment.”  He laughed then got really serious.

“No way daddy.”  Romeo looked at his dad and saw that his father wasn’t smiling.

“Can I ask you something Roe?”  Jon asked and waited for Romeo to acknowledge the question.  “Would it bother you if I started dating?”

Romeo thought about what his father was asking.  He noticed his father was slowly being his old self again.  He laughed more, and he wasn’t using pills to sleep anymore.  The big thing was, he was writing again. In religion class, they were talking about rebirth.  That’s what his dad was doing. 

The door opened to the kitchen and Jake stood there. “You want to date Miss O’Sullivan?”  Jake asked with a shocked look on his face.