Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chapter 116

They were finally on their way home – or at least the right continent. The noise level of the plane had tapered off. Dinner was finished and people were starting to settle in to read or nap or listen to music or whatever their chosen mode of relaxation was.

Jon and Veronica were still sitting at the table where they’d eaten with Jake and Romeo who had now curled up in their seats with their hand held video games when Stephanie joined them. Setting her laptop down on the table, she glanced back and forth between them.

“What’s up Steph?” Veronica asked.

Stephanie debated how to word it. “I was surfing around the net, checking out music sites, and...well....have you ever heard of Aldo Nova?”

“Sure. I even met him a couple times years ago.”

Stephanie glanced at her father, but he was checking his e-mail and only half listening to their conversation. “Umm...did you know that Dad worked on an album with him back in the early 90s?”

“No, I didn’t. Was it any good?”

Stephanie looked at Jon again and wondered if he knew what she was getting at. Now she had his full attention. Suddenly, awareness widened his eyes. She raised a brow slightly, silently asking if it was alright to continue. His hesitated, then his lips twisted into a chagrined smile, and he nodded once. “Well, there’s one song you might find interesting.” She clicked a key, then turned her laptop towards Veronica.

Veronica gave Stephanie a bemused look, but obligingly turned her attention to the song.

She was 19 I was 25
When I saw her for the first time
I met her at the station
She was working overtime
Just a pretty tomboy pumping gas
When I asked her name she smiled
She said, they call me Ronnie
So we sat and talked awhile

Well we laughed and joked
And spoke of dreams
Again and again
It was more than love could have ever been
Baby you were my friend

Hey hey Ronnie
We were wild as the wind
Me and Ronnie
We’ll be together till the end
Two beautiful dreamers
But the dream it had to end in the end

The summer nights they had to fade
And the winter came on strong
But even on the coldest nights
Our love would keep us warm

Well we had to scrape to pay the rent
Working too hard to hold on
Nights with you were heaven sent
It was the days that all went wrong

We were tough
Just a little too proud
Too pack it in, to walk right out
So let it fade let the movie end
Forever friends

Hey hey Ronnie
We were wild as the wind
Me and Ronnie
Swore that love was everything
Somewhere we got lost
And now I miss you my friend

So when you’re out there
In the cold cold world
Ronnie girl think about me

Well, ain’t it funny how the years go on
True love never dies
My dream of being Elvis
All but passed me by

Well I wonder if she’s pumping gas
I bet she’s doing fine
Hey Ronnie if you’re out there
I could use a friend tonight

Hey hey Ronnie
We were wild as the wind
Me and Ronnie
Swore that love was everything
Hey hey Ronnie
We were wild as the wind
Me and Ronnie *

Veronica looked at Jon and raised a brow. The ages were wrong, as were some elements to the story, but there was enough there to make her wonder – she’d even worked at a gas station when she was in high school and Jon knew that.

Jon shrugged, but met her gaze. “Did you really think I’d just walked away and forgotten you? You know me better than that....or you should. Even I’m not that much of an asshole.” He paused. “I thought about you from time to time.” He glanced at Stephanie. “That doesn’t mean I loved your mother any less, it just means I didn’t deny my past and what Ronnie went through.”

Stephanie studied his face for a moment, then nodded. “I get it, but I wouldn’t tell Jesse if I were you. He won’t understand.”

“Hey Ronnie?” Jesse called as he walked up the aisle from the back of the plane. “When we get home will you make spagetti for supper?”

“No, that stuff she made for Daddy’s birthday.” Was Jake’s choice.

“Cookies!” Romeo added.

“Maybe roast beef.”

“Only if Ronnie’s cooking, not Dad.”


“What about turkey?”

“No, pork chops.”


“Gee, do you get the idea that they’re a little hungry for some home cooking? Or maybe just Ronnie’s cooking.” Richie asked David who was sitting near him. “Although I’m with Romeo on the cookies. Hey little girl, do you think you might bring some to Sarnia?”

Veronica listened to the conversation, a small smile curving her lips. She was pleased that the kids appreciated her cooking, but she didn’t know how to answer them. There had been no discussion about where she was going when they got back stateside. Between the tour, Tom, Brad, Vince, the kids’ arrival, and Romeo’s accident, there really hadn’t been time for her to even think about it.

“I’ll tell you what. The next time we’re all together, I’ll cook and you guys can pick the menu. And yes, there will definitely be cookies.” She assured Romeo.

“Aren’t you coming home with us?” Jessie asked.

“Well, I hadn’t planned on it.” Before she could say anymore, her phone rang. It was Lori. “Hey girlfriend!”

The kids all exchanged looks, then looked at their father. Jon studied Veronica’s face, a frown forming on his. The more his listened to her conversation, the darker it got.

“Hey there! How’s the tour going? Where are you?”

“Tour's going well. We’re somewhere over the Atlantic at the moment on our way home.”

“So...are you going to be home for the Fourth? Mom asked me to find out.” Like a lot of families, Lori’s had a huge annual barbeque on the Fourth of July.

“The Fourth? Yeah, as far as I know I’ll be home. Does your mom want me to make the coleslaw?”

“Dad, do something!” Stephanie murmured.

Lori was surprised. “Are you sure? You’re not going to be somewhere else, like...say...New Jersey?”

“I don’t think so.” Veronica met Jon’s look head on. She saw the temper building in the cobalt depths, but ignored it. “I haven’t been invited anywhere else.”

With a low growl, Jon’s patience snapped and he grabbed the phone out of her hand. “Sorry, Lori. It seems my girlfriend wants to be stubborn and deliberately dense about her place in my life. Tell your mother, I’m sorry, but Ronnie will be in Jersey for the Fourth. You’re all welcome to come too if you like.” He glanced at Veronica’s face and snorted. “Nice try at a stink eye sugar, but you’re dealing with the master here, and that just doesn’t cut it. You want an invitation? How’s this? Call Vince, tell him you’re transferring to the New York office, give notice to your landlord, pack up your stuff and ship it to Jersey. Is that clear enough about where I want you or do you need it engraved in gilt letters on heavy linen?” His tone was a mixture of exasperation and frustration, with a little dash of venom....and cut like a knife.

Lori winced. “Uh, Jon....don’t....”

Veronica narrowed her eyes at him, on the verge of tears. “You’re an asshole!” She hissed the words at him, stood and walked towards the galley at the back of the plane. Vicki took one look at her face and tactfully pointed out the tea and left her alone.

Jon blew out a breath. “I’m sorry Lori, but I’m sick to death of her denying her feelings – and mine! The woman has thicker walls than Fort Knox and more of them, most of them unnecessary.”

“She has her reasons Jon. Romeo...”

“Isn’t an issue any more.”

“Really? What happened.”

“An accident. I’m sure she’ll tell you all about it.”

“Oh, okay, but there are other issues. She’s afraid of being hurt again.”

“Well, that won’t be a problem, she won’t let anyone get close enough to be in a position to hurt her!” Jon sighed and made an effort to bring his temper under control. “Sorry Lori, you don’t deserve me venting at you.”

“Not a problem. You and I know her better than anyone. Who else are we going to vent to that will understand? She’s the most stubborn person I’ve ever met. I know you’re frustrated, but whether you believe it or not, you are gaining ground with her...well, until now. But if you push her too fast, she’ll push back....or walk away. You just have to be patient.”

He snorted. “That’s not exactly my strong suit.”

Lori laughed. “Why doesn’t that surprise me? Just try your best. I’ll let you go and try to smooth things over. Tell Veronica to call me when she has a chance.”

“Will do. Talk to you later Lori. Bye.” Hanging up he found his two oldest staring at him, disappointment and anger in their expressions.

“Way to go Dad.” Stephanie shook her head in disgust. “You just can’t help but screw up can you?”

“Yeah. Is there anyone else you want to introduce us to so that we can get to like them and you can push them away?” Jesse added. “Ronnie’s right. You are an asshole!”

“Is Ronnie leaving us?” Jake’s frown was a copy of his father’s.

Fuck! Forgot the little ones were right there! “No Jakey, she’s not.” Jon looked at Steph and Jesse. “I’ll fix it.” He stood up. “I will!”

They watched him go, but didn’t look convinced.

(* Author's Note: Hey Ronnie (Veronica's Song) written by JBJ and Aldo Nova - and no, I didn't know about this when I started the story...CatteSambora came across it and let me know....spooky huh? LOL)


  1. VERY cool coincidence with the song!!!

    Frustrated that Ronnie still isn't getting where Jon's mind is at, but I'm loving that he obviously wants her in the middle of his world. And the kids. Great progress there!

    Wonder how she'll make him do penance this time... ;o)

  2. That's my favorite song on the aldo cd. Love the chapter. The teenager/ duh dad bit is great.

  3. Ooohhh!
    Poor Johnny!!!! No matter how hard he tries, he always ends in the doghouse!!!!!
    Nice story, by the way. Congrats and .... it's very soon to ask for another one, please???!!!

  4. and now...??????

    please ............

    need to be continued ;-)