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.