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Old 03-27-2010, 07:38 PM   #1
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Adrift-Chapter Seven

Wow, am I really at chapter seven? If you would like me to slow down I can.
This chapter is a bit longer than the others so if there are a lot of mistakes please excuse them. I hate re-reading what I wrote...Thank you for all your comments!

Disclaimer: I own the dream of being on stage with Bono. Unfortunately I do not own the man himself.

Chapter Seven

Opening the envelope, I removed the two small tickets from inside and studied them. Two VIP tickets to a U2 show underneath the Brooklyn bridge? What show? And why did I have them?

Brooke was on her laptop in the office and she looked up at me with concern. “Are you ok?”

“Do you know anything about these?” I handed her the tickets. She shook her head.

Just then Lucy entered the room, a large, satisfied smile on her full, red lips. “I have great news for you. I have another project for you. Paul McGuinness was extremely pleased with your photos and he would like for the two of you to go to the U2 Brooklyn Bridge show on Thursday. You will be in the pit where the bodyguards are to take pictures.”

Damn! Is there any end to this!

“But Lucy.”

“What is your problem, Jess? No more excuses. You obliviously enjoy the band. If you didn’t you wouldn’t have been out all night with them getting drunk, right?”

Nothing flies by her…

“Yes, ma’am. We’ll be there. I thought they weren’t touring anymore?”

“They’re not. It’s a surprise for the New Yorkers. What a wonderful band.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah…

The rest of the day I spent in the darkroom, developing and sizing photos, Bono’s figure coming alive on reels and reels of film. Just wanted I wanted to get him out of my life, just when I was finally starting to get him out of my life, he reappears, like a ghoul in the night to disturb any chance of sweet dreams.

I hung the photos on a cloths line to dry and stared up at the images, spacing out, day dreaming. Remembering the Bono I knew six years ago compared to the Bono he was now. What a dreadful weight to carry, seeing a celebrity and their true colors, to be brought up and let down in one lifetime.

“So what’s it like being on stage in front of millions of people like that?” Lynn, Jessica’s mom, asked Bono.

The three of them sat at the kitchen table having conversation over coffee. Bono seemed to think for awhile, trying to find the right words to say. He’s been asked the same question thousands of time. This situation just seemed different for some reason.

“To be honest, it’s exhilarating. I mean, most people would think that it’s scary, but from the first time I stepped onto a stage I knew I belonged there. Some people are comfortable behind a camera, or an empty canvas. I was comfortable on a stage, in front instead of behind. Does that sound big-headed?”

Lynn shook her head. “Some people are made for the entertainment business.”

“Don’t you ever get sick of people following you around though?” Jessica asked.

“Of course,” He said. “But it comes with the job. I try to be as private as I can. Except for when I’m on stage. That’s the only time I allow the population to see my personal life because if I’m not that person, then I’m just another performer: emotionless, dry, money hungry. I don’t want to be that kind of artist. I want to inspire people. I want people to remember me as someone who didn’t change through fame but grew through fame.”

“What do you mean?” Lynn asked.

“He means,” Jessica answered. “That he wants to be heard, not labeled.”

Bono grinned. “Exactly.”


I took a particular photo from the line to study it. Although it was a black and white image, it couldn’t hide the major features of the man on the paper: his eyes we’re covered by sunglasses, blue in life, a light grey in the photo. Behind the shades were perfectly, rounded eyes, surrounded by peaking laugh lines that would deepen with age. His nose was somewhat wide, perhaps a bit long, but it fit perfectly on the soft, square face. His jaw line angled only slightly, covered by straight strands of neck, length hair and his lips were barely parting, white teeth sneaking out for attention.

Looking at the picture six or seven years ago, I would been that giddy U2 fan that I once was, sneaking into my step dads CD collection to fall asleep to the Joshua Tree. For years I studied their music, fell in love with every lyric, every beat of the drums and skillful guitar riffs. I had never expected my world to change so drastically that fatal and cold winter night.

“Bono, we’re going to have to stop sometime soon. The snow is getting worse and worse.” Edge warned his friend, becoming more and more worried with every passing second.

“We wouldn’t be in this situation if SOMEONE wouldn’t have given our driver a vacation.” Larry shot.

“Don’t be so shallow,” Bono snapped. “It’s Christmas. He has three kids and a wife. It’s not fair to have a father and husband drive thirteen hundred miles during the holidays.”

“You’re already a bad driver as it is!”

“Will you let me focus, please! Good God!”

Adam was the only member remaining quiet, not caring who was driving or where they were, just as long as they made it through alive. He could understand everyone’s worries, though. None of them had ever seen a snow storm this horrid before. Although the snow was soft, it was getting difficult for the tour bus to push through the height of snow. The lights were flickering and you couldn’t see past the windshield.

“We have to stop, Bono.” Adam spoke up.

“I’m trying to find a place, Clayton. We’re in the middle of fucking no where. What state are we in anyways?”

“Ohio,” Larry rolled his eyes.

“That explains a lot. Look, lights! Is that a driveway?”

“Who cares, just pull into it.”

Bono took Larry’s advice for the first time that night and turned left into the long drive. Just past the snow flakes on the window, the four members cheered and hollered at the sight of a large, two story house. The front porch was covered up to the rail with white powder. Bono turned the bus off and sat back with a deep sigh of relief.

“Alright, let’s go knock!” Larry proclaimed, grabbing his duffel bag.

Bono stopped him. Larry could be so eager sometimes. “You idiot, it’s three in the morning. It’s rude.”

“This is a crisis! Besides, I’m sure a fourteen year old girl lives here and once she sees you she will become your slave.”

“I’m dying of humor.”

Edge grunted, irritated. “Come on, mates. Relax. Bono, Larry is right, I’m afraid. We can’t stay in the bus all night. Eventually the battery is going to die because of the cold. And if we sleep in here we’re all going to get ill. I’m sure whoever lives here will understand our situation and we can offer them money to let us stay.”

The singer was convinced. “Alright. Get your stuff, mates.”


The next two days dragged on like years. Funny, you would think I would have been more nervous doing a private photo shoot than a concert. Inside my gut, a knot formed, twisting and turning, stabbing and puncturing.

Brooke and I spent hours upon endless hours retouching, layering, resizing, mounting, retouching again, layering and layering and layering. Even she, despite her teasing, stayed the night in the office. There was just too much work to do and not nearly enough time in a day to waste. When satisfied with our work, we handed the portfolio over to Lucy who would then send it off to Paul McGuinness.

The night before the show, Edge called me to check up on the photos. His voice was strangely deep on the other end of the receiver but it was nice and comforting to hear his voice. He invited me out for dinner and we agreed to meet at the Hard Rock Café, labeling it an appropriate place.

We met up at seven and I noted how he looked chilled in his beanie and white t-shirt. Before dining, we walked around the museum, enjoying each others company and talking about music, guitars and art. He had a certain way with words and charm. His best quality, however, was how he could make anyone around him feel at ease. Adam was good at that, too, but not like Ed.

We ordered our drinks and meals before setting off into a conversation that I was not at all interested in, no matter how unavoidable it was.

“Bono knows were out tonight,” He said.

So?

“What did he have to say about that?”

“He thinks that there is something going on between us,” He chuckled. “He can be blind sometimes.”

“Only sometimes? I beg to differ.”

“I heard you two got into it the other day.”

“Yeah, well, that’s been happening since I first saw him at Starbucks. You were right about everything, Ed. I should have listened to you. And even if I still had the same feelings about him that I did before, nothing would happen anyways. Now that he’s engaged, that is.”

“Adam told you, huh? I was going to but he got to it before me.”

Stabbing a fork into my steak, I shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. What’s done is done, right? When did he ask?”

“A few days ago. I can’t say that I agree with the engagement.”

“Why?”

“You know, she’s the typical ditz. She’s gorgeous, sure, but all models are supposed to be. It’s so strange for him to be attracted to all beauty and not brains. If he can’t carry on a decent conversation with someone he will normally walk away. You know how he is. But this girl is so…”

“Stupid?”

“Thank you. Yes, stupid. They’ve only been dating for three months, too. It’s so unlike Bono to jump the gun like that. Sure, he’s not always the smartest hammer in the tool box, but he should be smart enough not to fall into a trap like that.”

I was confused. “Trap?”

“She’s going to cheat on him eventually. She’s in her prime of modeling. She’s going to discover a lot of thing along the way. In my opinion, she’s only with him for fame, to give herself a bigger name. Jessie, I know I’m talking harshly, but I call it as I see it. She’s not right for him.”

“Let him be the judge of that. Let him make his own bed. You can’t always be at his rescue, Ed.” Reaching across the table, I placed my hand on top of his. “You’re a wonderful friend. I never got to thank you for writing me back in the day. You helped me to get over everything.”

“I must have failed miserably.”

“What?”

“You’re not over it. If you were you wouldn’t have ran away from me the other night. Do you understand what could have happened that night? You would be more messed up now than you were six years ago.”

“I was drunk.”

“No excuse and you know it. Don’t think low of me. I’m trying to protect you. I don’t want to see you get hurt by him anymore. It’s not right.”

“Thank you. But like I said, it’s too late now for anything. He made his choice. Now I think I can move on for good.”

“We’ll see.”

-------------

The news of their concert leaked out quicker than the band could say “surprise.” Brooke and I had our cameras ready, strapped around our necks, up to our eyes ready for action. It was a perfect night, clear and cool with a soft breeze from the west. The stage wasn’t as bad as a normal venue, then again it was under a bridge.

Number of people on the other hand? I would say all of New York was crammed together like a can of sardines, waiting to sing along and catch a glance of the worlds largest band. It was exciting, I had to admit. There was never a dull moment in the City.

At eight exactly, Larry started off with a catchy dream beat and the crowd went wild, screaming and jumping. Followed was Adam, more screams, then Edge, the crowd got even louder. When Bono ran onto the stage, the crowd went off the wall crazy. Girls were crying, kids were being put on the shoulders of their fathers and cameras went off like strobe lights.

Brooke and I captured every moment of the opening. They started off with “Where the Streets have no Name.” A perfect song for New York. Nighttime photography is one of the hardest to tame so I set aside the manual for the night and settled for a digital. Adam saw me first and walked over to center stage, looking like a Greek statue with his bass, nodding his head to the music and smiling at his co-workers.

Bono soon noticed and spent a little too much time in front of my camera. Since the opportunity was there, I took over seventy different photos of the front man alone. Bono is the object that many magazines crave, after all.

The set list was simple: Where the Streets have no Name, The Fly, MLK/In the Name of Love, Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Years Day. I was told that News Years Day would be the last song of the night so I clicked as much as I could, capturing the crowds, the stage, bridge, the helicopters, the cars that stopped on the bridge to watch. I’ve never seen a band stop a whole city in it’s tracks before.

“Thank you for coming out, New York,” Bono sounded out of breath, wiping away sweat from his forehead. The crowd was going insane. “It’s always a great privilege playing for such a wonderful city. You have all been so very kind to us over the years and we thought a free show would be the perfect gift.” He waited for the cheering to die down. “We have one more song for you tonight. It’s not one that we play live very often but this is a special occasion. And for this special occasion I would like to bring someone up from the crowd and onto the biggest stage in New York.”

Brooke turned to me and mouthed, “what?”

I shrugged, turning my camera back on. Edge looked over to Larry, his expression cross. I’m sure Larry was annoyed as hell right now.

Adjusting my settings on the camera, a bodyguard tapped me on the shoulder and I looked up at him. He pointed from me to the stage, to me and to the stage. Oh my, God. This was NOT happening…please tell me this wasn’t happening. Bono was not pulling ME on stage.

Sure enough, Bono had his arm stretched out to me and I shook my head. No way. No how. Brooke stared with more disbelief than I’m sure was on my face. The body guard lifted me onto the stage against my will and before I could protest, Bono had his arm around my shoulders. Looking over at Edge he put his hands up and gave me that “It’s Bono” look.

“Now this young girl is a dear friend of ours. She is a rising star in the photography business.” Bono spoke into the microphone. From the stage, the number of people in the audience was unbelievable! I didn’t want to be up here. The lights from the flashes of cameras was blinding, and the noise was amplified from a higher altitude.

This is every girls dream, right? To be on stage with the lead singer of U2. Any girl would give her left arm to be in my position right now. Except for THIS girl. This wasn’t my dream. Dear God GET ME OFF THIS STAGE!

“I also happen to know,” Bono continued. “That she can sing as well.”

Oh dear God why the punishment? What did I ever do? I pay my taxes, I donate money to donations, I dress appropriately. This is for getting drunk the other night isn’t it? I WON’T EVER DO IT AGAIN!

“So, will you do me the honors of singing along with me?” He asked me, looking directly AT ME!

He’s putting me on the spot. That bastard! How can I say no in front of all these people? Damn it, damn it, damn it, damn it….just nod. Just nod and get it over with.

“The sea is swells like a sore head.”

Oh, dear Lord…

“And the night it is aching
Two lovers lie with no sheets on their bed
and the day it is breaking.”

“Sing,” He mouthed. I didn’t want to. It was only me and him singing, no music, no thing. The band was completely unaware of this choice Bono made. They weren’t prepared. I could tell. Somehow, maybe it was due to the fact that I was standing in front of millions, I found my voice.

“On rainy days we go swimming out
on rainy days, swimming in the sound
On rainy days we go swimming out
"

The band caught on and entered at the course.

“You're in my mind all of the time
I know that's not enough
If the sky can crack, there must be some way back
For love and only love

“Electrical storm…"


I couldn’t sing anymore. My knees were turning to jelly. I thought for sure I would faint right there, before millions of New Yorkers. Bono, I think, could sense it. He took hand and had me face him. Those eyes. Dear Lord, those eyes, and that face. His smell, his hand in mine.

He had me.

He had sucked me into Bono-like trance. It’s so weak to allow another person have this much control over another…But the crowd disappeared, the lights stopped flashing. All that remained was Bono, me and the music.

And he was singing directly at me.

“Car alarm won't let you back to sleep
You're kept awake dreaming someone else's dream
Coffee is cold, but it'll get you through
Compromise, that's nothing new to you.”


He wrapped his hand around my cheek and bellowed loudly:

“Let’s see colors that have never been seen
Let’s go places no one else has been

“You’re in my mind all of the time
I know that’s not enough
Well if the sky can crack, there must be some way back
To love and only love

“Electrical storm--baby don’t cry.”


On his knees now, Bono wrapped his arms around my waist, laying the side of his face on my stomach. Tears started to roll down from my eyes. This wasn’t a song anymore. This was an apology.

“It’s hot as hell, honey in this room
Sure hope the weather will break soon
The air is heavy, heavy as a truck
We need the rain to wash away our bad luck.”


He held on tighter to my middle during his infamous “aah’s” and "yeah's" and he pulled me down so that I was on my knees before him. My head was hung low, my chin in between his thumb and finger.

“Well if the sky can crack, there must be some way back
To love and only love
Electrical storm
Electrical storm
Electrical storm
Baby don’t cry!”


His finger tips dried away my tears as I gazed at him, my hands in his sweaty hair. When did I do that?

“Baby don’t cry!
Baby don’t cry!
Baby don’t cry!”


Leaning in, our lips met for the first time in six years. He tasted of sweat and tears. Still crying, he broke the moment, running his hands over my face and the crowd came alive again, the screams of millions of different vocals piercing my ears, making me dizzy. Flash upon flash of cameras were landing on us like bombs in the middle of a war.

Dear God what have I done?

::SingingElectricalStorm:: ??
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
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I loooooooove it Very tender, beautifully written.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:00 PM   #3
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I loooooooove it Very tender, beautifully written.
>.< aww, you're sweet. Thank you! x1000
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:41 PM   #4
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It's getting really good Keep the chapters coming, love how you're write so much too
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:53 PM   #5
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It's getting really good Keep the chapter coming, love how you write so much to

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Old 03-27-2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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OMG, that was so good. I do hope they can get back together. Looking forward to the next chapter.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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OMG, that was so good. I do hope they can get back together. Looking forward to the next chapter.


and i love that bono quote in your signature! i've never seen that one before! hahah! that silly man.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:47 PM   #8
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I'm really enjoying this story. Hope you keep posting it quickly cos it's great to read so many new chapters at the same time. Well done!
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:50 PM   #9
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thank you so much!
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:54 AM   #10
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ahhh I wake up to find 2more chapters ! - awesome.

I love the way this one is written
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:51 PM   #11
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Come on Jess, get rid of that Bono character and go for

*ducks*

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Old 09-19-2010, 08:55 PM   #12
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I'm only catching up on this beautiful story months after it has already been posted, but so far it's BRILLIANT!!!
I haven't read a U2 fanfic in like 3 years now so I'm pretty excited. I completely forgot how utterly compelling Bono could be in fanfics (same thing as real life Bono!).

I'm in awe, it's incredibly touching and "real"
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:32 AM   #13
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I love this song! You incorporated it so well and so beautifully. Bono is adorable in this. If I were her, I would almost forgive him
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