Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chapter 6

“No! Jon! I need you! Where is he? Oh God please no! JON!” Veronica jolted awake. Glancing around her bedroom, she sighed and waited for her heart to stop pounding. She rose from the bed and walked on shaky legs to the bathroom to splash cool water on her sweating face. Gazing in the mirror, she fought back tears at the memories bombarding her. Just another week or so and he’ll be gone and you can get your life back. Hang tough Veronica you can do it! It would be a lot easier if it wasn’t for the damn songs he and Richie had written for this album. Every day in the studio was a trip down memory lane and it was killing her. Good memories, bad memories....they were all mixed up together and pounding at her defences like a battering ram. All the feelings that she’d worked so hard for so long to bury deep inside, were suddenly back on the surface, making her short tempered and edgy.

“Okay. That was great. Let’s move on.” Shanks instructed through the intercom. Jon nodded his agreement and turned to speak to the guys.

Veronica hid a yawn with her hand and forced herself to focus on the job at hand. As Richie started the intro, she closed her eyes and just listened.

Welcome to the party
Come on in and disappear
You’re feeling like a stranger
But all your friends are here
Little lines and cracks
Around your eyes and mouth
Something’s trying to get in
Something’s trying to get out

It’s okay to be a little broken
Everybody’s broken in this life
It’s okay to feel a little broken
Everybody’s broken
You’re alright, it’s alright
It’s just life

Her chest tightened so much she could hardly breathe. It was as though he could see into her soul. She opened her eyes and watched the emotion on Jon’s face as he sang. Forcing herself to look away, her gaze caught Richie and stopped. He’d always been really into whatever song he was playing, but something was different this time. He wasn’t as obvious about the emotions of a song as Jon – unless he was singing-, but they were there just the same, and this time stronger than usual. As she listened to the lyrics it hit her that the song was as much about him and what he’d been going through as anything else. Tico had filled her in on everything from Richie’s divorce and custody battle, to his father’s illness, and Teek’s concerns about how much he was drinking. Her heart ached for him. Her eyes filled with tears.

Step into the deep end
Make yourself at home
When you wonder why you’re breathing
Know you’re not alone
It’s so hard to believe
What’s easier to doubt
You’re trying to hold in
What you’re dying to scream out

It’s okay to be a little broken
Everybody’s broken in this life
It’s okay to feel a little broken
Everybody’s broken
You’re alright, it’s alright
It’s just life

Take a look around
Tell me what you see
Is who you think you are
Who you want to be

It’s okay to be a little broken
Everybody’s broken in this life
It’s okay to feel a little broken
Everybody’s broken
You’re alright
Keep on going
Eyes wide open
Everybody’s broken
Everybody’s broken
Everybody’s broken
Everybody’s broken
Everybody’s broken
Everybody’s broken

When the last note ended, Veronica couldn’t hold it in any more. She had to let it out. She rushed out of the control room and into the room with the guys. Richie had just set aside his guitar and reached for a bottle of water when she flew to him and threw her arms around his neck.

“Oh Richie. I’m so sorry. I’m sooo sorry. You don’t deserve any of it.”

Stunned, Richie stared at Jon, wide eyed, as he held the sobbing woman in his arms. Then her words sank in and he understood. “Sssh sweetheart. It’s okay. I’m okay.” He squeezed her and stroked her hair. “Sssh. I’m okay.”

She leaned back to search his dark eyes. “Really?”

He smiled, nodded and wiped away her tears with his thumbs. “Really.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure. Thank you though.”

“For what?”


“Still have that soft spot for the people you care about eh Ronnie?” Jon smiled gently at her.

She shrugged. “Only for those who really deserve it and don’t abuse it.” Her look told him that he was no longer in that group.

“Ronnie, I’m sorry...” He began, but the door was already closing behind her. “Fuck!” He watched her take her chair in the control room, but no matter how long he waited and stared at her, she wouldn’t look at him. He ground his teeth in frustration. Every night he tried to get her to join them for dinner, or at least spend some time with them, but she staunchly refused. She was polite and professional during the day, but as soon as they left the studio she blocked him out and couldn’t get away fast enough. He was running out of patience. He had to find a way to get her to talk to him.

The next day wasn’t any better. Dan Huff had come in to produce a few songs. Jon tried to get Veronica to participate more, but unless she was specifically asked for her opinion she sat back and kept quiet. He kept shooting glances in her direction as he and Dan discussed possible women to sing with him on one of the songs. They kept coming up dry. Everyone they thought of was either too young or not the right voice to mesh with Jon’s.

Jon raked a hand through his hair. “Ronnie? Any ideas? Or are you just going to sit there like a piece of furniture?”

She crooked a brow at him. “You’re the one who insisted I be here. If you’ve changed your mind, I’ll be more than happy to leave.”

“No, I don’t want you to leave, I want you to help!” He sighed and fought to bring his temper under control. Pissing her off wasn’t going to help his cause. “Sorry. Do you have any ideas of who might fit?”

She studied him for a moment. “Leanne.”

Huff’s brows rose and he stared at her. “Of course! Why didn’t I think of her? She’s perfect.” He frowned. “But is she available?”

“She’s in town for a performance at the Opry tomorrow. I’ll see if she’s got a couple hours to spare.” Veronica pulled out her phone. “Hi Leanne, it’s Veronica Watson. Good, how are you? That’s good. Listen, I’ve got a favour to ask if you’re willing and have a couple hours to spare this afternoon. We’ve got Bon Jovi over here at Blackbird recording an album, and there’s a song that Jon wants to do as a duet, and he asked me who I thought would be a good match. Naturally, I thought of you and he agreed. What do you think? Yes, I’ve heard it. I think you’ll like it. It’s a ‘trying to hold on to love’ type song.” She rolled her eyes. “Yes they are.” She grinned, chuckled and looked at Richie. “Yes, but don’t take my word for it. Come see for yourself. Yeah. Ok. See you then. Thanks Leanne, I owe you one.” She snapped the phone shut and pointed at Jon. “And you owe me one. She’ll be here in an hour.” She paused. “And bring in a fiddle player.”

“What is she coming to see for herself?” Richie asked, sure that it had something to do with him.

“She wanted to know if Jon’s eyes are really that blue and if Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome is really as nice as he seems.” Veronica winked at Richie. He grinned. Jon snorted.

After the first run through, Jon caught Veronica’s eye and nodded. Amid much laughter and flirting, they managed to lay down the track. Jon thanked Leanne and waited until the door closed behind her before turning back to the room and pointing at Veronica. “And that is why I wanted her here. Nice job Ronnie, she’s perfect.”

No comments:

Post a Comment