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Old 03-27-2010, 10:32 PM   #1
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Adrift-Chapter Eight

Whoo, ok Ladies (any gents out there), this is the last one for today and maybe for awhile. It's back to work tomorrow. Thank you again for all the wonderful replies!

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Except for the computer in which I had written this on.

Chapter Eight

“Goodnight, New York!”

Bono’s voice echoed throughout the arena from backstage. Once the show was over, I was being carried away by another bodyguard in a black jeep and taken to a hotel in Times Square. I was told that it would be too dangerous to go back into the crowd so I would be brought here to wait for the band.

A half hour later, Edge came storming through the room, red faced and distraught. Bono followed on his heel, the other two members sulking behind them. It was almost as if they didn’t see me, or they didn’t care that I was there.

Edge turned to Bono and threw his hands up above his head, his voice louder than I had ever heard. “Would you please explain to me what that was all about? What in bloody dooms of hell were you thinking? First you pull some bullshit like that, changing up the set list, taking us all by surprise then you pull her,” He pointed to me, “into it? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?”

“Calm down, please, she’s right there.”

“Bono, I’m speaking to you not as a band mate and not even as friend, but as man to man. What are you doing with this girl? She’s eighteen.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Edge.”

“Don’t play dumb. I saw the two of you kissing the other day. Explain to me what’s going on.”

“It’s…it’s nothing. It’s just infatuation.”

“Did you ever stop to think that maybe it’s not infatuation to her? I see the way she looks at you. It’s not the way a fan looks at you. It’s not the way a groupie looks at you. It’s the way a woman looks at a man. Did you ever stop to think of what this could turn into. Kissing, sex-”

“There is no sex happening. I promise. I couldn’t do it. Physically I wanted to, mentally I couldn’t.”

“Because of her age?”

“No. Because I love her.”


“I KNOW SHE’S RIGHT THERE! SOMEONE HAS TO STICK UP FOR HER! Do you know the consequences she could be paying for because of you? I’ve had enough of this! For six years you didn’t write, you didn’t call, you didn’t do shit! You let her suffer! If it wouldn’t have been for me she would have been in the dark.”

Uh oh…

“What?” Bono’s voice went low. “What do you mean?”

“You really are thick aren’t you? I wrote to her because you were too selfish to do it yourself!”

“You know nothing about this situation!”

“I know enough!”

Adam and Larry sat on either side of me on the bed. Adam took my hand and Larry put a arm around me. They both smelled of sweat and New York City air. Bono walked back and forth between Edge and the door, grabbing his hair, pacing, pacing, pacing…

“I knew it,” He spat. “I knew you were going through those letters! What right did you have?”

“I had a right because there was a young girl so hung up on you that she couldn’t move on with her life! Do you enjoy doing that to people, Paul?”

Adam hissed. “Ohh, the ‘P’ word…”

“You know NOTHING, DAVE!”

“This is not going to end well,” Larry mumbled. “Let’s get you out of here.”

I remained seated. “No. This is about me. I will put a stop to it if it gets out of hand.”

Larry nodded.

“Then, please, enlighten us while we’re all in the same room.”

Bono shot a look at me and then back to the Edge who was waiting for a response, stomping his foot a few times impatiently.

“I…I…” Bono tripped. “I…I fucked up, ok.”

“You fucked up? That’s all you can say after all these years?”

“You’re putting me on the spot, Ed!”

“YOU PUT HER ON THE SPOT TONIGHT! IN FRONT OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE! That, to me, is not a fuck up! That is an action made a power tripping, arrogant, conceited, man who-”

It happened like a flash of light, Bono had his hands on the collar of Edge’s shirt and was slamming the guitarist continuously against the wall. Larry and Adam got up instantly, trying to pry the two men away. It was impossible. They were on the floor now, Edge on Bono, his fist landing loudly on the side of his cheek. Bono’s glasses went flying across the room, one of the lens cracked in two.

Adam and Larry were still trying to pull the two away but Bono overpowered and punched Edge in the stomach and fell sideways, clutching his chest. Over and over Bono slapped and punched and kicked.

“ENOUGH!” I caught Bono’s flying arms in my hands and pulled him away.

Pushing him aside, I helped Edge to his feet. Both of their shirts were torn and Bono was wiping the blood away from his nose. I stood between the two of them, Larry behind Bono and Adam behind Edge.

“Look at yourselves! Pathetic! You are supposed to be friends, not enemies. And tonight neither of you are men! You’re nothing but boys! Little boys! I am not one to be fought over! What I do is my business and what Bono does is his business! Edge, I love you, you are like a brother, but this has to stop! You can’t protect me forever. I’m almost twenty-three, not eighteen like you remember. You both make me sick! Bono, in the bathroom now before you faint!”

Wide-eyed, he left to the bathroom without a second glance to anyone. Edge looked rightfully ashamed, adjusting his torn shirt. I gave him a hug and a kiss. He hugged back before I left to follow Bono.

He sitting on the bathroom counter, his eyes to ceiling and holding a tissue up to his nose. I adjusted his shirt, buttoning back the buttons that had come undone during the brawl. Crossing my arms, I leaned against the doorframe and sneered.

“Are you ok?” I asked and he nodded. “You have a cut by your eye, you know. Your glasses must have cut you.”

“Oh…so that’s what that pain is.”

“Stop trying to be funny. It never works. Where’s the first aid kit?”

“In the cabinet over there.”

I found the box and rummaged through it, taking out a band-aid, peroxide and cotton swabs. Standing between his legs, I guided his head to the right position and took the tissue from his nose.

“It stopped.”

While setting to work on his eye, his gaze deepened and then drooped. Hissing at the sting of the peroxide, I apologized and blew on the white bubbles.

“I feel I owe you a deep apology,” He spoke. “What I just did there was irresponsible. Edge is my greatest friend and I would never want to hurt him. But what he said was true and I couldn’t admit it to myself.”

“I can’t disagree.”

“And what I did to you tonight was even more irresponsible.”

“No,” I corrected. “What you did tonight was stupid. It’s going to be everywhere tomorrow. Newspapers, magazines, television. Actually, it’s probably already on TV.”

“I doubt that. I’ve brought up girls on stage before.”

“Did you kiss them?”

“Sometimes.”

“Did you mean it?”

“Never.”

“Did this one mean anything?”

“Yes.”

Sticking the bandage to his eye, I stepped back to the doorframe. “This is such a mess.”

“Yes,” Bono agreed. “Yes it is. And I know that I’m the main cause.”

“Don’t. Don’t do that. I’m just as guilty as you are. I left with you that night at the bar. I kissed you back on the stage. And all the while I’m telling you to stay away from me.”

“Do you really want me to stay away?”

Did I?

“A part of me wants you to, yes,” I breathed in hard, smiling to hide the tears. “I never knew how I would react if I saw you again. I’ve thought about it. What would I say, what I would do. My teenage part of me wanted to run into your arms and stay there for all eternity. The woman in me…well, wanted to slap you.”

Bono snickered. “I see the woman overtook the teenager.”

“Yeah, sorry about that. But really, the rational part, not the woman or the teen, wants to runaway from you. You’re too much for me. You’re too much celebrity and too much man. I mean you still can’t give me a true answer to your actions towards me. You embarrassed me before millions and you knew exactly what would happen. You knew I would surrender.”

“I had to get your attention. I had to apologize.”

“That wasn’t the way to do it. I’m going home now. I’m running away for good now.”

Halfway out the door, Bono grabbed my hand and, with my back towards him, he whispered into my ear, “Are you going to keep running away for the rest of your life?”

“Things are different now,” I stretched my neck to the left. “The circumstances are different. So, yes, I am. You have outdone yourself tonight. So I guess I am.”

That night, I dreamt of the stage scene, reliving the whole experience in third person. I saw myself on the stage, frightened and embarrassed. Bono was holding me in his arms, singing, hugging, caressing. The song played in sub-conscience, echoing in odd overlay of melodies. Our lips inched and a ringing in my ears made me cringe.

The ringing was my cell phone. I had fallen asleep, yet again, on the leather sofa in my office. Checking the caller ID, Brookes name flashed.

“Yes?”

“Turn on channel eight.”

Searching desperately for the remote and finally finding it underneath the couch, I flicked on the news. I already knew what would be on the screen but I had to see it for myself.

“Last night U2 gave a stunning performance underneath Brooklyn Bridge for the many fans of New York. It was meant to be a surprise and although that part of it failed, the fans were in for a big treat when the lead singer, Bono, brought a local photographer on stage to sing with him.”

An image of myself being brought up on stage by the bodyguard showed for a split second. The female broadcaster continued:

“This is not an unusual ritual for the singer. He has brought up hundreds on people, including women, on stage with him to sing or dance. What shocked the nation was the choice of song, a song that the band has only played live a handful times, and the kiss to the girl at the very end of the song. She is seen crying, possibly from the shock of being on stage with the likes of Bono. The fact, however, is that he knows the girl and announced at the beginning of the song that she is a local photographer.

“She is identified as Jessica Stewart of Focus Photography International, an uprising company in the making. She is reported as the youngest photography at the company. There are no sources to confirm if Bono and the photographer are having an affair, but there is reasonable doubt.

“Stay tuned for the weather.”


Statue. That’s what I’ve become.

“Jessie? Are you still there?”

I brought the phone to my ear. “Er, yeah.”

“You’re so screwed.”

“Tell me about it.”

As if my morning couldn’t get any worse, Lucy was now at the door of my office. “In my office. Now.”

She was fifteen steps before me, her fast paced heals clicking against the floor. This must be what prisoners felt like on their way to the jail cell…

“Sit,” She pointed to a chair in front of her desk. She sighed heavily. “Would you care to explain what happened on that stage last night?”

“It was a stunt. That’s all.” LIAR!

“Hm, I see. Well your little ‘stunt’ just cost me a months worth of clients.”

“What?” I yelped. “How does that affect your company in a bad way? If anything you should have clients lined up for the next year and a half!”

“Managers do not want their bands in midst of gossip. It ruins their sells.”

Slouching into her computer chair, Lucy’s eyes saddened. “Jessica, you are the best photographer I have had here since…I can’t even remember when. You’re fresh, young, you have a good eye for realism.”

“Lucy no. I love this job! Photography isn’t just a hobby, it’s my life! I beg of you do not do this.”

“I’m sorry, Jess. I’m truly sorry.”

Sorry, sorry, sorry. That’s all I hear anymore.

“I’m going to have to let you go. You will finish out the next two days, editing the photos from last night’s show and give you time to collect your things. This is the hardest professional choice I have ever had to make.”

“I understand, Lucy. It’s been a pleasure working for you. Good luck with the company.”

Brooke was waiting for me in the office and when she saw the look on my face, she raised an eyebrow. “She didn’t?”

I nodded. “She sure did. I finish out the next two days and then I’m done.”

“She’s using you!”

“No she’s not.”

“Yes she is! She was probably just waiting for an opportunity to fire you, to keep those photos for herself because she has lost her touch with old age and gain the profit from them!”

“I don’t know if that was her exact motive, Brooke. Apparently I cost her six months of clients because of last night.”

She snorted. “I highly doubt that. This sucks. If your not my partner than I quit.”

“Don’t be stupid. This is a good paying job and it’s fun. You worked hard for this.”

“So did you.”

“I really don’t want to talk about it anymore. Can we just…finish this stupid project before I go insane?”

Edge and I took a stroll in Central Park later that day, enjoying the soft twilight of the night, the sun sinking adoringly behind the high sky scrappers. We found a pleasant spot in the circle of Strawberry Fields, admiring the IMGAINE mosaic tribute in honor of John Lennon. It was a peaceful spot. I explained to him about Lucy and her decision to let me go. True heartache, true, blazing, weighing down heartache is not losing an old flame. You can move on from that in time. True heartache, I discovered, was someone taking away a part of you, yanking it straight from your soul and stomping on it. Photography is just as much a part of me as my very skin.

“She’s using you!” Edge said after listening humbly to my story.

I bumped my arm to his. “Don’t you start, too. She’s not using me.”

“This whole thing blew up way out of proportion. We ruined you.”

“Don’t blame yourself, Edge, or the guys. I mean, everything happens for a reason, right? I will find another job. No worries. How’s Bono doing with all of this by the way?”

“Needless to say Olivia was not thrilled.”

“Suspected that much.”

“She’s still staying with him, though, convinced that it was all planed. That he brought up an obsessive fan on stage.”

“How…very kind. And of course Bono didn’t stick up for me?”

“I don’t know the whole story,” He was lying. I know he was. That was ok, though. I needed to be lied to right now. After all, I lost my job, my everyday life, my studios and darkrooms. Lying was the best thing Edge could do.

Two days passed in seconds. The editing ended in the early morning and after dropping them off to Lucy, Brooke helped me box up everything from the office and walked me home. She threw the box she was holding down on the kitchen counter and sighed, looking at me.

“Don’t give me a pity look,” I smiled. “I’ll be fine. You have to get back to work.”

“You will be fine. You’re a great photographer and someday the whole world will see that. Even Ross Halfin will be jealous.”

“Please, don’t make me gag.”

Promising to still meet up for Starbucks every morning, we embraced and she shut the door quietly. A pit in my stomach grew while I glanced over my old and now new home: a flat screen that will never be turned on, a stove that will be used every once in awhile, bare cupboards and a bedroom with a bed that will never have the experience of holding a man.

This is my life. This stuffy, quiet, lonely apartment was my life.

…now what?

Let me know what you think!
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:21 PM   #2
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1) I hate Lucy. A lot.

2) I am so frustrated with Jessie, because I know she loves him. I just know it!

This literally gets better every chapter
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:32 PM   #3
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mmm, yes, I hate writing about Lucy. hahah!
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:02 AM   #4
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whoo hoo!
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:20 AM   #5
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Here's hoping Jessica spent those last two days sabotaging the photos somehow. Lucy's evil plot needs to backfire. That bitch.
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:35 AM   #6
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hahah! you're all awesome! the next chapter will be up tomorrow night. i will write it after work

thank you everyone!
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:57 AM   #7
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Great! That's the only word to describe this fan fic
It was cool to have all those chapters and read them in a row


^ Yaaaay!!!
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:58 AM   #8
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Wow.........

Love this story. I saw it for the first time this morning and read all the chapters in one go!

Please find time to continue. I`m intrigued to see how it can develop......
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:34 PM   #9
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great great stuff - you've no idea how much I can empathise with this story right now
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Old 03-28-2010, 10:57 PM   #10
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whoo! just got done with a bad night of work but i come home to wonderful posts! thank you all so much! ::heads off to write another chapter!::
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:02 PM   #11
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That's what I like to hear.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:41 PM   #12
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yay eagerly awaiting
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:47 PM   #13
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Read all the chapters this evening... (also nine and ten) please write more!


And Lucy is a real bitch.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorinde View Post
Read all the chapters this evening... (also nine and ten) please write more!


And Lucy is a real bitch.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:09 PM   #15
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THAT ending left me speechless. Utter despair, I name thee!
But regardless of all the problems of how the hell will Bono ever be able to gain back her heart, I'd still want to be in Jess's fictional shoes
*Goes off to read more*
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:47 AM   #16
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aaaaaaugh, Lucy. I do not like her whatsoever.

Interesting that she's more upset about her career—or shocked. It makes sense...we usually forget what we love most can be something taken away...
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