Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chapter 12

Keira carried the memory box into the living room and set it on the coffee table, amidst the forgotten Chinese food. She opened it and took out the top photo, the one of her and Jon at the beach. She handed it to Molly and waited.

Molly held the old picture with both hands and studied it. After a minute, she shrugged and said, "Okay, so...?"

Impatient now, Keira said, "Molly, look a little closer."

This time Molly tilted her head and squinted at the photo to get a better look. Suddenly her eyes flew open and she looked at Keira, then back at the picture, then back at Keira. "Nooooooooo," she said slowly, shaking her head in disbelief.

Keira reached for another picture from the box, this one a strip of four poses taken in a photo booth on the same day as the previous photo. These were close-ups, and even though he was 17 years younger in them, there was no way that Molly wouldn't recognize Jon.

"What the fuck??" she shrieked, diving for the plastic bin to look at more photos. She proceeded to sputter for a few minutes, unable to find the proper words. Finally she settled on, "How -- why -- would you keep this a secret from me?"

Keira stood calmly and folded her arms across her chest. "Exactly because of this," she said. “This reaction that you’re having right now. I just didn’t want to deal with this, and I honestly didn’t think I would ever have to. I never imagined that he would resurface somewhere along the line."

Molly gave her an incredulous look. “You can’t be serious. How am I supposed to react? This is kind of a big deal!”

“No, it’s not,” Keira insisted, calmly. “It really isn’t.”

Confused now, Molly fell silent. She’d known Keira for a long time, but this was uncharted territory and she was smart enough to realize that she was treading on thin ice. She didn’t want to say the wrong thing. She thought about it for a few minutes, then said cautiously, “Okay, Keira. Can you at least give me a little of the background story?”

Keira squeezed her eyes shut and spread her left hand over them, massaging her temples with her thumb and middle finger. She was quiet as she considered where to start and how much to reveal. Her silence stretched on for so long that Molly began to get worried. Finally, she said, “My real name is Kathryn, I changed it to Keira when I started writing under that name, about a year before I met you. Jon and I went to the same high school. I was a year behind him, but I was attracted to him from the minute I saw him. He played hard to get, but I was persistent, and we started seeing each other. I guess you could say he was my first boyfriend. We had a lot of the same friends, so most of my high school memories involve him. He was in a band even back then, and played a lot of clubs. He was a real "free bird" type of kid who could do whatever he wanted, but my parents were really strict, and I had a 10 PM curfew, so I just couldn't keep up with him. Unfortunately -- or maybe, fortunately -- that took its toll. He could never understand why I didn’t just stand up to my parents. And then he met Dorothea, who was much more available than I was, so we broke up. Teenage love, you know?” she said, smiling ruefully. “He was hard to get over. We were on and off for awhile after that – he and Dorothea would fight, then he’d come back to me, then he’d get back together with her. I was trying to build up the courage to walk out on him for good, but I couldn’t get him out of my head. Then his song Runaway became a hit, and he got Bon Jovi together, and then they just started to take off and I knew there was no place for me in his life. I wished him luck and I walked away, and before long I heard that he’d married Dorothea.”

Keira looked up and saw that Molly’s eyes were misty. "My God, Keira, how did you get over him? Especially with him being in the public eye for all these years?"

"It was no big deal; I just shut him out. He came on TV, I changed the channel. His song came on the radio, I shut it off. It wasn't as hard as you'd think."

Molly couldn't even begin to imagine it. The two women were quiet for a long time, each lost in their own thoughts. After a few minutes, a thought occurred to Molly and she piped up, "Why in the hell did you ever let me convince you to come backstage with me?"

Keira attempted a smile, but it didn't reach her eyes. She answered truthfully, "At first I told myself that I just didn't want to disappoint you...but now that I've had a couple of days to think about it, I think that deep down I just really wanted to see him again."

For the third time that afternoon, a silence fell over the two friends; Keira reminiscing while Molly simply tried to keep her opinions in check. After a few minutes, and in typical Molly fashion, she let curiosity overrule common sense and burst out with, "You are going to call him, right, Keira? His phone number's on the card that came with the flowers."

No matter what the situation, Molly could always make Keira laugh, and this was no exception. "Honestly," she began, "I don't want to call him. His life is so extraordinarily different from mine -- I really can't see any reason to call him. We have nothing in common."

Molly had heard enough. Facing Keira, she put her hands on her hips and said authoritatively, "Dammit, Keira, I read you the card -- the man has sore eyes. Call him."

Keira burst out laughing. "He always did have a way with words, that bastard," she joked. Sitting down on one of her dining room chairs, she studied the two vases of flowers that adorned the table: one filled with a breathtaking display of roses; the other overflowing with beautiful, fragrant lilacs. Softly, she murmured, "Why lilacs, I wonder? Most guys send roses, or carnations, or tulips. I don't think I've ever heard of a guy sending lilacs before."

Molly, who had been sitting on the couch looking through more old photos, suddenly gasped and leapt to her feet. Keira could practically see the cartoon lightbulb flashing over her head. "Different flowers have different meanings, you know!" she told Keira excitedly.

Keira rolled her eyes. "Oh please, Molly, Jon probably handed his assistant 50 bucks and said 'go order some flowers for this chick'. You can't seriously think that he took the time to research the meaning behind each flower."

Molly blocked her out. "Is your computer on?" she asked, already walking in that direction. Keira nodded and reluctantly found herself following her friend. Molly sat down in front of the computer, went to Google, and typed in "lilac meaning". She clicked on the first link that came up.

"HA! And there it is," she announced smugly, gesturing toward the computer screen and leaning way back in the chair with a 'cat who swallowed the canary' smile. "Man, he's good."

Keira approached the computer desk and leaned in to look at the screen. Next to the word "lilac" was a simple, two-word definition:

First love.


SoulGirl said...

Ohhhh so we hear the background at last, Molly's reaction was priceless! A BIG SHOCK.

I can't wait to see if she calls him, I bet Molly will make her.

And aww Lilacs.. you know I could seriously see Jon doing that too, putting that thought in.

Anonymous said...

I love the story line of your fiction. The part about different flowers having different meanings was great. Hope to read more soon.


Sunstreaked said...

Lilacs = First Love

I am ooh-ing and aw-ing all over the place so thank god I'm alone right this minute.

Really super story here and I hoping there will be LOTS more chapters.

Wow, really, really good!

Lori said...

Man is he good allright! I wish they came this way in real life! LOL! Just loved this chapter!

Daydreamer- said...

Thank you all for your sweet comments! I've had a really busy week with my kids so I haven't had a chance to write the next chapter yet, but as always I have a bunch of ideas floating around in my head.

So what do you ladies think -- should she call him? Or let him come to her? I'm pretty sure I know how this is all going to "go down" but I'm curious as to what your ideas are. Maybe I should turn this into a "choose your own adventure" type of book - do you remember those? :)

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Lori said...

She should call him because she can't get him out of her head. And also to thank him for the flowers of course.

JillianneK said...

Just took some time to check out your story. I just want to say this is well-written; so much fan fiction is more about fan's fantasies and not character development, etc. Which is fine, mind you, and I realize that is what a lot of people want to read. But for me a good story is much more important than reading someone else's sexual fantasies about a rock star--and I have no patience for poor writing. I think you are doing a good job. Don't rush it; take your time and let it come to you. (If you don't mind that little piece of advice!)

Daydreamer- said...

Thank you so much, Jilliane. I really value your input because I'm in the middle of reading your story The Layover right now and I'm completely awestruck by it. I'm nearing the end of it now, and I can tell it's going to break my heart, but I like that because it's very realistic. I really hope you write a sequel someday. (I know many other people hope so too!)

I really appreciate you stopping by and leaving me a comment. Advice is always welcome!

JillianneK said...

I know you're reading my story because I've been seeing your comments, which brought me to your story! :-) I felt the least I could do is drop a note!

Daydreamer- said...

So...are there any plans for a sequel? I noticed that your story ended in 2007, so I wasn't sure if you were ever planning to write again. Sorry to be pushy. LOL :)

JillianneK said...

Well, I'll admit there has been a sequel in my mind for a long time. But I don't know that it will ever happen; I wrote most of The Layover while I was on a "sabbatical" of sorts from my career. Life has gotten busy again and as of yet I haven't found time to write much of anything. Fan fic was really just a way to "test the waters" and not something I really expect to continue. But yes, my characters still live in me and they make noise once in a while. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I ws so glad I was informed that there was a new writer in the bunch.

thanks to Sun I got here and I am enjoying your story!

I have a feeling once old Robbie boy is gone her writers block will be gone too!

take your time! Perfection can't be rushed!

Alice Faye

Opester said...

I have to agree with Lori's comment-if only guys were this thoughtful in real life! Aaahhh, but that's where the fantasy comes in for us all! It's all about the romance ... and the dance ... I'd like to see Jon have to work for it here. Seems fair if Keira pursued him the first time around that now the shoe should be on the other foot!