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.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Chapter 9

Colleen watched him drive off, something wasn’t right.  Things were going so, well right, then boom.  Jon’s actions or lack of Action were like a steel door closing her out.  If they had stayed at the shore, maybe things would’ve turned out different.  Thinking back on all that had happened, the kisses on the beach, the feelings that she was starting to feel for Jon, then sitting at the park looking out over the river all felt wonderful but now things had changed.  Would he call, she hoped that he would.

Colleen walked around the room, picking up the writing assignment.  From the looks of some of them, they really needed two days to write.  Some were written in pencil and only taken up half the page were really bad, then some of them had promise, printed out from a computer and taking up the whole page.  This seemed to be a trend for each of her classes.  Shuffling the papers she began to pass them back out to the class.

“I’m not going to read your work, your class is.”  She went back to her desk and sat down.  Looking at her students, she noticed some of them were not too happy with having their papers read out by the class.  “Do not tell me the name, we’re going to see how well you know your classmates.”

The first two read aloud were not very original, she watched to see who slumped down in their seats. She too was trying to figure out who write the poem. A few were so funny that they got   Lots of laughs.  A very small few of them were very good and those she thought really took their time to write great poetry. 

Then the next one read brought her to attention, looking around the class she zeroed in on the author of the poem.  If he got down any lower, he would be under the desk.  After the first line of the poem she was back on the beach, she could almost hear the waves crashing into the shore.  If he didn’t call her, after this assignment, she would be calling him.  She called an end to the reading in class to give an assignment.  She collected the papers and made sure Jake’s was on top.  She had planning next period, this would give her time to read and research Jakes writing. 

Pulling out her laptop she fired it up, as it booted up to the wifi that gave her time to think.  When the news came out and the pictures from the concert, the teachers who has been to Poly Prep longer, thought it was their job to inform the new teacher know  about her dating a parent.  Since they hadn’t been in the news anymore then they have left her alone. If they ever found out about the coffee dates and the dinner at the beach, they’d be back on her case.  Google was her new best friend, she pulled up a lyric site and then typed in Jake’s “supposed” poem.  A few seconds later, she had the song from 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit matched perfectly down to the punctuation with the Jake’s poem, to the very last word.

She closed her eyes and let her head drop back. “Ah shit.”  She thought, looking back at the screen she hit print.  This was brushing really close to plagiarism.  If she turned him in, the Code of Conduct would be a major black mark on his spotless record.  She could let Jon know, make a plan of action to see what he thought.

She thought about this call the rest of the day, and all the way home.  She should’ve called him during her planning period, but this was not something that anyone at the school needed to know about.

Tossing her bag on the table she went to the kitchen with a debate in mine, wine or soda? This was going to be a wine call, she thought as she pulled the bottle of wine from the cooler.  Uncorking and pouring a glass she went into the living room, and curled up in her chair.  Pulling out her phone she thought text or call?  She should really call but what If he was busy working, he wouldn’t want to be interrupted, so she decided to text him.

Colleen: Jon, if you’re not busy, can you call me?

Jon was working with David on a song that popped in his head on the way home from Colleen’s.  He had felt like an ass, the way he left Colleen.  He had picked up the phone to call, but the moment was lost when David called, he needed help with a song. They had been closed up in his office, only coming out for food and bathroom.  He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. Pulling it out he had to smile, she had texted him.

“Hang on Lemma I have to handle this.”  He sat his guitar in the holder and paused the laptop.

He went into his directory and pulled up her number, she answered on the first ring.

“Were you sitting on the phone?”  Jon laughed.

“Actually, I was about to take a sip of wine.”  She told him, not wanting him to know she was staring at the phone, willing it to ring.

“Wine, this early in the afternoon?  Bad day in the trenches?”  Jon leaned on the wall outside the office door.

“You could say that, are you busy?”  She took a fortifying sip of wine.

“David’s here, he needed help with a song.  He called me on the way home Friday night, he’s been here since then.”  He said hoping she would understand why he didn’t call.

“So you’re working, I hate to interrupt you, this can wait.”  She was stumbling over her words. They had talked about his work and the fact that he thought he was ready to write again.

“We’re going to stop for dinner soon, I’ll call you tonight.”  He should’ve known that something was up when she called, but the thrill of working again, had given him that natural high he was missing.

“Sure that’s fine, we can talk then.”  She said, sort of glad that she had time to work out how she was going to tell him, because how do you tell a dad, his son had stolen the lyrics from one of his songs.

As he ended the call with a promise, once again, that he would call her tonight.  Going back into the office, something started nibbling at his brain.  She had contacted him, for the first time, she had initiated the call.

The longer they worked, the more David noticed, Jon just wasn’t that into the song anymore.  Ever since he got the call, his mind just wasn’t into it.

“Everything okay?”  David asked Jon.

“Yeah, sure” Jon said as he looked at what they had so far. 

“Steph and Jesse okay?”  David asked as he turned around from the piano and looked at Jon.

“Yep.”  Jon said as he picked up the guitar from the holder and strummed what was showing up on the computer screen.

“Romeo and Jake okay?” David watched him and could tell, Jon was struggling with something.  He had just played the last eight bars in the wrong key.

Jon slammed the guitar back into the holder and looked up at David.

“What’s with the twenty question interrogation Lemma?”  Jon asked with a huff.

“I only asked two, but since I have eighteen to go,” David tried to lighten the mood.  “You seemed to be off since you got that call.  Are Mr. and Mrs. B okay?”

“You remember when the boys and I went to clean out Dots stuff at the Hampton House?”  Jon grabbed his water bottle off the table and took a deep drink.

“Yeah, you came back with a smile on your face.  The guys and I waited for you to come to us, just like after the last tour, when Richie up and left.”  David picked up his bottle, got up and walked over and lowered his tall lanky form into a chair by Jon.

“I met this girl.”  Jon told him.

“You met a girl?”  David was shocked, he know what Jon and the kids had been through with Dot and the fact that it had been going on for years till it came to a head. He had read rumors, but he figured one date does not a romance make. 

“Yeah, she was tending bar in the Hamptons.  I hung out one night, cooked her breakfast and thought that was it.”  Jon took a swallow of water, giving him a moment to think back to when he met Colleen.  “The kids thought it was time for me to date, after Stephanie caught me talking to Colleen on the phone one night.”

“So you took her to Southsides show, yeah I got an email from Hugh that you made TMZ.”  David chuckled and sipped his water.

“Yeah, got the business from Jakey, seems my Colleen, is his Miss O’Sullivan.” Jon gave a tired laugh.  “After spilling the beans to Ma, and getting my ass chewed, he comes around.” 

“That’s good isn’t it?” David asked wanting to understand what got Jon writing again.  She needs an award for rescuing the Kidd.

“Yeah, but I dropped the ball.  We went to the beach for a picnic then went to Crazy’s for Ice Cream.”  Jon looked off remembering the kisses on the beach and how they laughed getting the ice cream.  “It was crowded, so we went down to the park.  I saw the house across the river and something went cold inside.  I immediately took her home and I hadn’t called until she just texted me.” 

“Well that could be expected, you never cleared out the house after Dot died, and that has to be impossibly hard.”  David remember going out to the house after the memorial, Jon had walked around in a fog.

“I thought I had gotten past it all, but it came back to me, like it was yesterday.”  Jon told him.

“Give it time Kidd, give it a little more time.”  David tossed hs empty bottle in the trash.

“But, that was her on the phone, something isn’t right.”  Jon got up and went over to the sheet music on the piano.  That is when it hit him, this the first song he didn’t write for Dotty, it was for Colleen. Reading what he had written about the way they met, “They’re putting up the chairs to close.  She let me settle up my tab.”  The working title was Real Life, it was a good start.

“Then call her, I can tell this is bothering you,” David said as he watched Jon pace the floor like a prospective father.

Jon pulled his phone out of his pocket and looked at it. Should he or shouldn’t he.

“Fuck, would you call already, you aren’t going to be worth a damn till you know.” David rolled his eyes at Jon.

He flipped the phone open and hit redial, it was ringing.

“I didn’t expect you to call back this soon.”  Colleen answered the phone.

“I wasn’t getting anything done, till I called back.”  Jon gave David the stink eye, waiting on him to leave. All David did was give him the Jersey salute.

That made what she had to tell him even harder.  “I really wanted this to be a social call about how great the day was going, but I couldn’t.”  There was a pregnant pause before she spoke again. “You remember I told you about the poetry assignment, the one I gave the kids?”  Colleen told him, even though he seemed to have a bad time after they got the ice cream.

“Yeah, I remember,” He remembered the good parts but not the drive home from dropping her off.  The kisses were the best memory of that night.  He smiled a little and David rolled his eyes.  Once again he gave David the one finger salute.

“I had a problem come up, seems someone copied a song, word for word.”  Colleen hinted.

Jon stopped smiling and sat down.  It was like she didn’t have to tell her who did it.  He picked up a pen and wrote one word on the paper, all in caps, J A K E with about fourteen exclamation points following.

“What song?” Jon asked as he added another exclamation point.

“The Price of Love, you know the song you spoke to me at the beach.”  Colleen reminded him.

Jon didn’t need any reminders. He was going to kill his son.

“I’ll come to the school tomorrow and take care of my son the Plagiarist.”  Jon told her.

They decided to meet after her second class, Jakes class was the third one that day, so they could figure out how to take care of him.

When he hung up the call Jon looked at David.

“Is it bad?”

Jon looked at David and held up his fist, then turned down his thumb.

“Jake used one of our songs for his poetry homework.”  Jon told David.  “That is just the sprinkles on top of what he did.”

“The sprinkles?  What do you mean by the sprinkles?”  David was stumped.

“Well, the cherry on the top of this whole fiasco,” Jon put his head down on the desk.  “It’s the song I told Colleen, in a very romantic fashion, holding her close on the beach.”

“Oh Shit.”  David tried not to laugh, but failed.

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.