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Old 05-07-2010, 01:23 PM   #1
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A Rhythm Unbroken: Chapter Six

Finally, I've finished this chapter! Time to get to know Miss Kenzie a little better Sorry for any spelling errors, I haven't got spell check, and I'm not a champion speller.

~This is highly fictional~


The ceramic bowl shattered. Spaghetti and tomato sauce splatted all over the floor. I felt very cold, not on the outside, but on the inside. A bombing. Somehow I got from where I was standing to the couch without stepping in broken ceramic or food. I gripped the remote so hard that my knuckles turned white, like those of a nervous driver. There needed to be more information...but I feared knowing.

"...lays in ruins...whole buildings have been leveled, there is chaos in the streets. Preliminary estimates place the possible death toll at over one thousand."

I swallowed. Hard. I thought I tasted vomit. Maybe I did. I didn't move. I waited for something else to be said. I was only aware of a few things; the images of smoking rubble on the TV, my heart pounding in my ears, and raw fear. The anchorman began reading off a list of the missing. A string of unknown names...political leaders and revolutionaries, presumably...

"...and, strangely, twenty-five year old 'Bono', lead singer of Irish rock band U2." A clip of the band at Live Aid last summer played behind the newscaster's heads. "All missing persons are, at this time, presumed dead..."

The room was spinning. I was suffocating. Something was suffocating me, but I couldn't fight it off. I couldn't move. I was tied up...everything went black.


January 20th, 1987


"NO!!!"

I bolted upright. I was immediately aware of my surroundings. It was dark, I was in bed, and my clothes clung to me, damp with a cold sweat.

"Oh, no..." Bono sat up next to me, rubbing his eyes sleepily. "Come here, love."

I crawled right into his arms, trying to catch my breath...but I didn't cry.

"Ok, it's ok Lilly...it was just a dream. I'm here...I'm here." He repeated it over and over, rubbing my back and kissing my hair, rocking me back and forth.

I didn't cry because by now I was well aware that it was just a dream. It had been nearly two months since I'd had the nightmare, but I had gotten used to it. At first, it was almost every night. I would wake up in hysterics, taking nearly an hour to calm down. I had a few sessions with a therapist to try and put an end to the plaguing dream. What made it so terrifying was that it wasn't merely a dream. It was an exact reenactment of a real event that had scared the shit out of me. As time went on, the duration between occurances lengthened.

"Gee Lilly, it's been almost two months. I really thought this was over."

I may not have been crying, but I was still clinging to him for dear life in the aftershock. "I know. I thought I had seen the last one too. I can't imagine why this happened again...out of nowhere."

His chest rose and fell with a sigh. "Well, the therapist said that the repeated occurances could be related to some fear, or a perceived threat..."

"I know, but that's just it- there is no fear, or threat! At least not that I can fathom...everything is going wonderful."

"Who knows what goes on in our subconcious, Lilly...you could be worried about touring again, or anything, really. I just hope this is a one time deal. I couldn't bear to see what happened to you before happen again. It got to the point where I was afraid to get up and use the bathroom in the middle of the night, in case you woke up at that moment and I wasn't laying right there!"

I giggled. "I'm glad you're here right now. And not just as opposed to being in the bathroom. I just..." I trailed off.

Bono hugged me tighter. "You know I'm not going anywhere, Lilly. There's nothing for you to worry about. I've got you."
****************************************************************************************************************

At 10 AM, I was standing outside the door of Kenzie's new apartment with a cup of coffee in my hand for ammunition. I had all but pushed the middle-of-the-night episode out of my mind. Bono was right- I had nothing to worry about.

Kenzie finally answered the door, looking a little stressed, yet unbelievably well put together for someone at 10 AM on their moving day. Was she always like that, I wondered? She hugged me. "Ahh, I'm so glad you're here! The moving truck should be here at any minute. I don't have a whole lot of stuff...you can't take that much when moving overseas!"

She was right. There were maybe a total of ten decent sized boxes full of household things in the truck. It was when we hit the furniture that we had a problem. "Kenzie, you brought a couch? And a...is this TV closet?"

She looked sheepish. "I had them shipped over. I didn't want to have to buy all new stuff. It's expensive, you know...I'm not rolling in dough like you."

I scowled. "I am not rolling in dough!! All I'm saying is we're not going to be able to lift this stuff ourselves."

She looked up at the furniture in the truck, daunted. "We need a strong man."

"Yeahhh...I'm gonna call Bono. He offered to come help in the first place, but I told him no."

I couldn't tell if she was trying to hide excitement, or was pretending not to be flabbergasted that I had told him not to come along, or both, or something else. She just nodded. "Ok, if he could help us, that would be wonderful of him."

"Hello?"

"Hi baby, it's me...eh, Kenzie forgot to tell me she brought furniture. We need a 'strong man' to help us carry it up. I don't really feel like a hernia this morning."

He chuckled on the other end. "Ok, I'll be right over."

When he showed up, Bono had that 'I got ready in a rush' look about him. He was wearing what I knew were an old pair of jeans- snug fitting and frayed at the bottom- and a worn out t shirt, with his heavy leather jacket thrown on top. He was in moderate need of a shave. He had, however, brushed his hair into a neat ponytail. In short, he looked ridiculously sexy, at least in my opinion. I resisted the urge to tell him so, though.

"Kenzie, I think this is really a two person job...all three of us aren't going to fit in the elevator with the stuff anyway," I told her.

"Ok, so...you want me to help him?"

I laughed. "No, of course not! I'll do it..."

She put her hand to her forehead. "I forgot I have to buzz you guys in up there anyway."

She went upstairs, and Bono and I went into the truck to get whichever piece of furniture looked heaviest. "Bono, watch out...lift with your legs!" We lifted the TV closet and hobbled inside to the elevator. It didn't seem very heavy. I assumed Bono was holding most of the weight.

"Stop, stop!!" I was backing into the elevator. "You're going to squash me against the wall. Ugh, now I understand that cliche about the horror of helping a friend move!"

We managed to get the funiture upstairs without sustaining any injuries. Kenzie must have thanked Bono for helping about ten times. I smirked. "What, no appreciation for me?"

"Well, of course I'm glad you helped Lil! We just couldn't have lifted that stuff and-"

I put my hand up. "Kidding, I was kidding!"

"So, can I be of service to you ladies with anything else?" Bono was grinning.

"No, go home!" I told him.

"I'll see you tonight then, Kenzie," he directed at her. He kissed me, his lips lingering on mine for a good five seconds. "See ya when you get home, love." And with that, he went out.

Kenzie looked at me like she was desperately trying to see something that she could not see, like she was confused, or amazed. It made me feel wierd. "What?"

"Nothing, nothing. I really appreciate you helping me, Lil. I hope you don't think I'm an ungrateful bitch!"

I laughed. "Not at all. So, we haven't gotten a chance to really talk. What have you been up to since...well, middle school? What landed you here, anyway?"

"Well," she said in a tone that indicated much was to come after it, "I got a job at Macy's in high school. The one that was by our house. And it was a great job, I did well, and by the time I graduated, I was managing the whole men's department. Then they transferred me to the Herald Square store during my freshman year at Fordham."

"Wow, you must have been really good at your job...and at 18?" Only the most competant people worked in that store. And I had certainly never seen anyone that young working as a manager there.

She nodded. "Yeah, I don't know, I really liked it. I liked being in charge of everything. I got a degree in business, and when I graduated, I guess I'd had enough of the store. I got a job working in the World Trade Center in...oh, '83?"

I whistled. "In one of the towers?"

"Yeah, in the south tower. The one with the observation deck."

I laughed. "Oh, man, I took Bono up there on one of our first visits to New York together- before you were working there, though. He's afraid of heights. I thought he was going to wet himself!"

She shook her head, laughing. "Why would you bring someone who's afraid of heights to the top of a 110 story tall building?!"

I shrugged. "It's part of New York...you can see all five boroughs from up there! I think that fact just freaked him out even more, though. I had to practically carry him back into the elevator. It is insanely high, though...I wouldn't want to work there. Anyway, continue..."

"Well, that's basically where the story ends up. I worked there for about three and a half years, and now I've been transferred over here."

I was ridiculously impressed. She had accomplished quite a lot in a very short period of time. "Damn, Kenzie...how do you manage to get so far so quickly? You're what...25 like me? I've forgotten when your birthday is."

"I'll be 26 next month."

Ah, yes. I remembered it being around Valentine's day. When we were little she seemed to think the holiday stole the thunder from her birthday.

"So you're not yet 26, and you've accomplished all that. Hah, and I...I dropped out of college and got married. Wow."

She gave me a look that was a cross between shock and extreme annoyance. "Did you seriously just say that? Can we- can we just asess Lillian Quinn's life for a second? Shall we? You are married to Bono, lead singer of U2, arguably one of the biggest bands in the freaking world, and you're rich! Problem? Who cares if you dropped out of school?!"

I chuckled. "I wasn't expressing dissatisfaction in the least! I was just laughing at the comparison of what each of us has personally done. And I am not rich! Stop saying it! You left out the most important part, the part where I'm married to the love of my life, and am in the situation where we can spend more time together than the average couple, and that I've gotten to travel all over and see places I otherwise would never have seen."

She looked at me flatly. "Are you done rubbing it in? Ah, I'm happy for you, Lil. I'm jealous too...this 'career success', if you will, comes at a price. It's a cutthroat kind of job. You have to step on people to get what you want, to get to the top."

I cringed. It sounded dreadful.

"You don't make good friends like that, Lil. Sure, you make 'friends'...they'll go out and get drunk with you on the weekends, but they haven't got your back. Sooner or later, one of you is going to have to screw the other one over somehow, and everyone knows it. I'm glad to have you here, Lil. You have no idea."

I hugged her. "Awww, Kenzie, I've always got your back. We've known eachother since our mothers were dressing us!"

She giggled. "Sometimes I think the best friends are made over crayons and blocks."

I wouldn't argue with that. "So, eh...well, no special someone in your life?" I didn't know how to put it, but I wanted to know. She seemed kind of jaded and lonely, and I felt bad.

"No, not right now. I haven't really had the time. Or opportunites to meet a good guy, for that matter. Again, you're lucky, Lil. Bono seems almost like the perfect man."

I wanted to say "he is", but I didn't. "Well, no one is perfect...but he's perfect for me. Everything about him is just loveable to me...even the flaws and annoying things that other people might not like. He's definitely special, I can tell you that." I was getting dangerously close to a huge gushing fit.

She grinned. "Is he good in bed?"

It caught me totally off guard. "W-what??"

"He just has that virile look about him, y'know? Like he would be really good in bed. Is he?"

My cheeks burned in embarassment. "I...well, yes, he is. Very."

She looked intrigued. "Yeah? Like...tender, or passionate, or hot and-"

"Whoa!"

She stopped talking.

"Look, no offense, but I just don't feel comfortable talking about this. Nothing to do with you, but I just feel like it's really private. Between the two of us." That wasn't entirely true. Joking discussions occasionally took place with the rest of the boys. And Edge had once specifically come looking for some sort of...advice. But for some reason, I did not want to share anything with her. I didn't really know her well enough at that point.

"No, I understand perfectly! I'm sorry, I didn't realize. Of course it's a personal subject."

After that, I needed to go home and recover from almost a feeling of being violated. I didn't want her to feel bad, but something about that subject was just taboo.

"I oughta get home, missy. I have to shower and cook and everything! I'll see you tonight, and you'll meet everyone!"

She looked like she wanted to apologize again, but I think she sensed I would rather it be immediately forgotten. "Ok Lil, see ya later."

It felt very good to walk in the door of our apartment. Kenzie's story had disturbed me a little, and made me feel that much more grateful of how my own life had turned out. I could hear the water running, and...singing. Bono was singing in the shower. Giggling fondly, I crept quietly down the hall, as if he would actually be able to hear me. Whatever he was singing was unfamiliar to me, either a song I didn't know, or something he had just made up. I sat outside the bathroom door and listened, the warm fuzzy feeling inside of me getting stronger and stronger.

I startled him when he came out of the bathroom, a towel tied around his waist and his wet hair combed neatly behind his ears. He shouted when he saw me sitting on the floor.

"When did you get home?"

"'Bout fifteen minutes ago." I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed both of his ears, wet and smelling freshly of shampoo. "You're so cute. I heard you singing in there!"

He laughed and nuzzled my cheek. He had obviously shaved. "So how'd it go over there?"

I told him what Kenzie had told me about her job, and how she seemed lonely. Bono looked a little troubled. He was the kind of person who was bothered by other people's pain immensely; highly compassionate, regardless of whether or not he really knew them.

"Maybe we should set her up with Adam," he said, half-joking, half-serious.

"But...Adam has a girlfriend!"

Bono shrugged. "I'd like to see how much longer that'll last."

"Well! That was uncharacteristically pessimistic..."

"I just see him getting his heart broken, Lilly. She's a gold digger."

Poor Adam. He always seemed to get himself into these types of relationships.

"I feel like we have to save him," he said. "But you know he won't listen."

I sighed. "No, he won't. I know he won't. I was actually thinking maybe we could see how she and Edge got along. I'm tired of seeing him all lonely too, ever since what happened with Erin..."

"Poor thing is still reeling from that. You have a good point, Lilly...haha, look at us, playing matchmaker!!"

I laughed and hugged him. "I know! Damn, I'm so glad I'm not in that situation. It seems so horrible. Hearing her story just made me feel so grateful." I had not forgotten what it felt like to be alone. Sure, I had only been nineteen years old, and to be alone at this age was probably much more diconcerting. Still, it did not feel good at all.

Bono brushed his eyelashes over my cheek. "I know, love. What we have is special. I don't give a fuck how cliched that sounds, it's how I feel!"

Later that night, after dinner (a surprisingly successful joint effort between Bono and myself), Adam, Edge, Larry, Bono, Kenzie, and myself sat on the living room floor chatting about nonsense, aided by the flow of wine.

"I think...we should play truth or dare!" Adam exclaimed.

There was a collective laughter. "Adam," I started, "why is it always you who suggests that?!"

We had all played many a game of truth or dare. Depending upon the level of innebriation, they were usually highly amusing.

"I swear, when we play truth or dare, someone almost always ends up naked," I told Kenzie. Her eyes widened and she looked around at everyone.

"Yeah, and 95 percent of the time, that person is Adam," Edge said to her, in an almost rude tone.

Bono and I exchanged glances. We had been shamelessly trying to squish the two of them together all night. Edge was somewhat quiet and reserved, but he always liked people who were more bubbly. I figured that was something that made the dynamic of his and Bono's friendship work so well. Bono was a literal ball of energy. Kenzie seemed to be the kind of person Edge would like; at least how I remembered her. I wasn't sure if I knew her well, or not at all. A person can change a lot in the amount of years that had passed since we'd last seen eachother. And I sensed that Edge was resisting our efforts, whether he was conciously aware of them or not. He just seemed to not be clicking well with Kenzie.

Adam was laughing. "One time Bon got naked!"

There was unmistakeable shock and intrigue on Kenzie's face. Bono saw it, and he seemed to want to salvage his image.

"Hey, hey, I'd had a few that night! And besides, it wasn't totally inappropriate for me to get naked- you've all seen it before," he laughed.

Something about that statement sent me into a fit of laughter.

"But what about Adam?" Kenzie was laughing. "How was that appropriate?"

Larry snorted. "It wasn't! Adam cares little for the concept of appropriate behaviour. We've all seen his private business way more than we'd like to."

Through all the laughter, I got the feeling that I needed to turn the situation around. This wasn't the time for one of our games of truth or dare. Somehow, I just knew that would cause things to go a way I did not want them to go. Adam's "truths" were just as bad as his "dares", and I had already experienced an uncomfortable moment with Kenzie earlier in the day.

Normally, my strategy for breaking up a situation was beginning to nibble on Bono's ears or something, which turned into an awkward moment and the guys would get the hint quickly. When other people were involved, however, the strategy was different. Such was the case tonight. I caught Bono's eye, and then I absently rolled up my sleeve, and then rolled it back down. He immediately quieted down, and after about five minutes of unusually subdued behaviour...

"Ugh, I don't feel so good." He yawned.

I would feel rude saying I was tired and telling everyone to clear out. But this was acceptable to me.

I stroked his hair. "Alright guys, I gotta clean everything up, and he's probably about five minutes from sleep..."

"Do you want me to help you clean up Lil? I feel bad leaving you with our mess..." Kenzie offered. How polite. She didn't take hints well, I learned in that moment.

"No, don't worry about it. I've got it. Besides, Bono's got that look...if he gets sick, you don't want to be here for that," I laughed.

So they all left, all but Edge. I could sense he had something to say to us, just as we had something to say to him.

"Good situation deflection, guys," he chuckled.

He seriously caught that? I raised an eyebrow. "Wow, Edge, you watch us way too closely!"

"You guys are almost scary! You are literally this close to being telepathic," he said, impressed.

"So, Edge," Bono started slowly, "what do you think of Kenzie?"

I put my hand to my face. "Not smooth, baby..."

Edge laughed, but it wasn't a "haha, that was funny" kind of laugh. "Actually, that's exactly what I wanted to talk to you about. I saw exactly what you two were trying to do. I appreciate your concern, but please, just don't."

I blushed. "Look, Edge, I'm not really the kind of person to set people up, but-"

"It's not just that," he interrupted. "Although I would prefer not to be set up, thruthfully. It's just that...there's something funny about her. I can't put my finger on it, but there's something."

I was a little shocked. "What do you mean?"

"I don't quite know. Look Lilly, I know she's your friend. I don't mean anything rude by it. I just get a slightly wierd vibe from her. And I also sensed a little uneasyness on your part...you were clearly wary about where the conversation was headed."

Edge was exceptionally good at reading people, even better than me. Bono sucked at reading people. This made me a little uneasy. "Well, that was because she had asked me this morning if...if Bono was good in bed-"

Bono interrupted with a laugh. "Seriously?! What did you say??"

I shoved him. "Men!"

He was doing that sheepish laugh thing. "Whaaat? Did you say yes?"

Oh God. "Yes, I said yes, I told the truth! But it was embarassing, and then she tried getting into specifics-"

"That's wierd, Lilly," Edge said.

"Well, I wouldn't call it wierd. Remember, you came to both of us looking for advice once...but you're like my brother. I just don't feel like I know her well enough to discuss such a personal matter."

Edge looked troubled. "I could be totally wrong. All I'm saying is, don't try to set us up, it isn't going to work. And just...be aware, that's all. I'm not saying she's bad news, just be aware."

And with that, he left. Now I didn't feel so good, for real.

"What do you think he meant by that, Bono? 'Be aware'? What...does he think she's going to try to steal money from us or something?!"

He laughed and wrapped his arms around me. "Probably! He's paranoid, Lilly, don't worry about it."

"No, Bono, I'm the paranoid one."

"No, you're just paranoid that every time I turn a corner, something horrible is going to happen to me. He's suspicious of people. You and me, we give everyone the benefit of the doubt. And that's good- we trust people. She's been your friend since you were little girls. Don't you think you know her better than Edge, who just met her tonight?"

Ah, Bono. The voice of reason. I nodded. "Yeah, you're right. I've known her for a long time. It's just that he's usually really good at reading people..."

"He is. But he makes mistakes, and he's too suspicious. It's great that she's here, Lilly." He kissed me gently, effectively wiping out any worries. There was no one I trusted as much as I trusted Bono. I would take his word over anyone else's.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:02 PM   #2
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Great chapter! Lol, I didn't like Kenzie from the beginning of this chapter. I wonder what she's up to!
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

BAD KENZIE! BAD!

I kneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew it! I just KNEW it!

beautiful chapter, love.

::walks off huffing::

NO!
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:41 AM   #4
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Ahh, I love it...have to keep your eye on that one

Thanks guys
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:00 PM   #5
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She's evil! I love how you wrote Edge. Can you hook me up with him
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:42 PM   #6
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Sure thing

He's such a good friend, isn't he?

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Old 01-10-2011, 12:09 AM   #7
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Hehehehe Adam...

Kenzie does not seem like good news...
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