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Old 04-13-2011, 07:45 PM   #1
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Dancing With The Devil ch. 26

First off- Deep apologies to Grace and her fic Please, I haven't been reading it since I got back from my school trip to Florida, but I don't think you'll care all too much. Just felt weird posting my stuff without reading other's.
Anyway, here's the next chapter, and none of it is basically true...

I step on a plane feeling only half-human and stumble off feeling even less. The Zoo crew has touched down in Switzerland- known for its cheese, watches, and knives. During our stay here I’ll make it a point to find out if these products are superior to the type I have in Rotterdam (or if there’s such a thing as overrating), and explore Lausanne with a careful eye.
By now I’m free from the crew, almost like a separate entity that holds power over itself. There are no demands that I must be in a certain place at a certain time, and I always have enough money if I want to shop. My only real duty is to report to Bono’s specified meeting place at the first chance he’s free to write MacPhisto’s speeches. The income I receive from my writing skills is split and I send half to Lina, though I know the unfamiliar currencies do no good for her. We haven’t spoken in… two days? Is that really how long it’s been? It feels like a month has passed since we last talked, and I’m too apprehensive to tell her about my job’s deadline. The other half of my money I keep for spending in whatever country the tour stops in.
This morning I’m so invigorated that I go for a lengthy walk around the city of Lausanne. For the first time in a long time, I feel the need to exercise. I start out on a slow jog, the morning sun flashing off my silver bracelet. A stirring in me drives me on, a need for the fresh air and the warmth of the sun on my back.
When I return and enter the lobby, there seems to be no sign of the band. I should go find Bono and ask him where to meet up for the writing later today, but truthfully I don’t really want to see him. We haven’t stood face to face since the concert in Paris. That night I’d gone back to the hotel and went to bed early, and the next day I flew here, in a separate plane from the band. The last time I saw Bono I was angry with him, but today’s a new day and my feelings are lukewarm. Now I’m wondering what the big deal was in France and why I continue to avoid him. Until I can remember, I might as well keep away.
So I creep out of the breakfast room in the lobby with a plate in my hands, planning on sneaking my meal up to my room. Food always tastes better in bed anyway… But before I can leave, someone calls my name in a dazzling Irish accent. Damn you, Bono. He must have been invisible.
“Marieke?” I spin and our eyes meet. He’s working his way through a pile of bacon, and has to swallow first before he speaks again. “Where are you going?”
I glance down at the plate in my hands and instantly shove it behind my back.
“No…where…”
He raises an eyebrow at me. I’m caught on the shape of his eyes, uncovered and beautiful.
“Why are you hiding your breakfast behind your back? Not trying to hoard anything, are you?”
I shake my head and set my plate on the nearest table. Three whole seconds- infinity- pass without any more words. Finally I ask, “What time do you need to see me?”
“Afternoon,” he sweetly replies. “Meet in the lobby for lunch.”
I nod and gather my plate back up, feeling his eyes burn the back of my neck every step of the way to a table.
Now that I’m alone, I push food into my mouth and give Bono little sneaky glances. He’s sitting alone as well. I briefly wonder where the rest of the band went, and then consider keeping him company.
He gets up before me and leaves the room. I don’t know where he’s going, and my first instinct is to follow him. Then I stifle that idea- how much more of a stalker can I get? Well, maybe the change would be welcome, seeing as I haven’t spoken to Bono in days… Could I have helped that? The more I think about it, the sillier our distance seems.
I finish my breakfast and return to my hotel room. One hand removes my brown ponytail while the other slides along the record cover of Zooropa. Perhaps the staff in Switzerland will allow me to play my music here.
One elevator ride and ten songs later, I remove the needle from the lobby’s record player before the alarm at the end can go off. It’s a confusing sound, and I’d like more than anything to ask the band why they added it in. Was it supposed to be a statement, or a reference to something I don’t get?
It’s nowhere near noon. There’s nothing else to do while I wait.I flip the record over and set the needle down.
…How many times have I listened to Zooropa today? Are we approaching ten? I’ve pretty much memorized all the lyrics by now, and go to check the lobby clock before setting the record on its eleventh rotation. The staff in the lobby must be relieved. It’s time for lunch- I can feel the tightness in my stomach. I direct myself to my hotel room, carrying Zooropa along the way, and freshen up as quickly as I can before going downstairs again.
Bono’s there, waiting in the lobby. He must have come in while I was doing God knows what upstairs. I cross the room and open my mouth to speak. The words flow into the sunlight- “Good afternoon, Bono.”
“Greetings, Marieke.” He’s not calling me by my nickname. Is that a good or a bad sign? His eyes move over my head, to the location of the clock.
“Am I late again?”
“You never gave me a specific time,” I remind him.
He pierces me with his gaze. “So I didn’t. Come on, let’s go.”
The restaurant is inexpensive and low key, the kind of place that I’m starting to realize Bono likes to eat out. The waitress takes our orders- it’s easy to decide a main course- and Bono produces a piece of paper and a pencil.
“Who are we calling this time?” I ask.
“A few people...” He looks preoccupied, as if his heart’s really not into this writing session. That’s somewhat of the way I feel… only I’m a bit more confused.
“Marieke, are you angry with me or something?”
I stare into his face. He’s looking back at me, unconsciously biting his lip. It surprises me how much he looks like a child- a slightly frightened child, eager to please. I’ve never seen that look on Bono.
“Why would you think that?” I ask.
His eyes dart away. “Well, you never explained why you left in the middle of the Paris concert.” The pause spans several seconds. His voice grows softer- “And you didn’t seem too enthusiastic to see me this morning.”
I smoothly repeat an alibi off the top of my head- “I didn’t feel well and the music was not helpful. I had to go back to the hotel.”
I watch him swallow my explanation without a word. Secretly it feels bad to lie to him- my friend and crush, my favorite rockstar. But I don’t want to tell him about my jealous feelings. It’s so stupid and nothing he would want to understand.
Then he asks, “You weren’t mad because I pulled Celine onstage instead of you?”
All my breath disappears. I struggle for air, and manage to compose myself with- “No, of course not!” He nods, accepting my words. He knows the truth.
“If you hadn’t left… I probably would have pulled you onstage for Love Is Blindness.”
“You… what?”
“Marieke, I asked you for Celine’s description because I was planning on finding her for Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World, because she was near the catwalk. And don’t think I haven’t noticed your fancy for Mr. MacPhisto.” His voice is infused with a chuckle. “I knew you’d appreciate it if I chose you again. You were right there, see…?”
I stare at him, closemouthed but mentally gaping. Why didn’t he let me in on this?
“I wanted it to be a surprise.”
My powers of speech come back- “That’s not fair. It’s not fair to dance with a girl you know. You need to let others have their chances!”
“Hardly fair, I know.” Bono drinks from his cup. “But how can I predict the actions of any woman? I’ve pulled you up twice before. I knew you would control yourself. But I suppose it is quite selfish of me. That’s why I chose Celine for the other song.”
I stare at my hands. The paper spread over the table lies at rest, a script unwritten. My head jerks up. “Bono? I don’t care who you choose!” My voice only sounds loud to me.
He nods, knowing that I do care to some extent, but not mentioning it. “I guess I shouldn’t be possessive of you. If you really don’t mind, Marieke, I don’t think I’ll bring you onstage anymore.”
Half the time it sounds like I’m an open book. Bono finds me too easy to read. He knows I’m jealous, but does he know why? No, not the full story. He’s only selected a few choice chapters from my volume. He’s trying to end what he thinks exists by keeping me out of the Devil’s arms.
“Is this a promise?” My voice shakes- how odd.
“A promise of what?”
“Are you promising not to dance with me again? You don’t have to do that…” Frustrated, I glare at the paper in front of me as if it will give me the words I want to say. If only we all read from scripts! “You’re not the one being unfair by choosing me. I’m unfair. I’ll sit backstage from now on.”
Bono says nothing.
He can’t explain to himself- heavens knows he won’t be able to make this girl understand. The few times she has sat in the audience, he’s felt a magnetic attraction leading his body to hers. It has happened since that very first show in Rotterdam, before he knew Marieke had a name. Bono can throw the bond aside during the main set, but when the lights go down for the encore and he sees her face out there- how can he explain it? He wants her. It’s as if his body is not his own. He wants her up there onstage with him. He wants her in his arms. It’s not something he can fight- it’s just there, an invisible string that connects him to Marieke. And it’s so frightening… He’s considered trashing his persona and seeing if he no longer feels her, but the fans love MacPhisto, especially now that Marieke’s put her own twist on him. Lost in confusion…
“Yeah, stay backstage,” he rushes. “That’s a good idea. I promise, you’ll never get another dance with the Devil.” I don’t want her…
I stare at Bono sharply. Of course I’ve expected him to agree with me, but is he really that opposed to pulling me up?
“Okay?” I don’t want to give in, but I was the one to suggest staying backstage in the first place.
Bono’s hand brushes the paper in front of me. “So, how ‘bout them phone call?” he drawls. Just like that, we’re back to normal.
“You’re silly,” I giggle, and take up the pencil.
Bono watches how deftly Marieke writes, as if she’s figured the whole speech out already. He gives her some background information and tips, and she uses them cleverly, without much more help. At once he begins to feel unneeded.
“Marieke?”
She looks up. “Yes, Bono?”
“Would you- would you like to write a speech by yourself? Do you think you can do it without my interference?”
What is he asking? Is this his way of making up for our awkward agreement on pulling up fans? I stare at Bono, trying to read his mind.
“I would like to try it…” The idea does sound appetizing.
“Of course I don’t mean this one. How about you try out a speech for me in Basel? We’re going there next…”
The way she looks at him! Her clear eyes convey so much emotion in one glance.
“I can try,” she repeats. She’s not going to give him any promises, he can tell. Her hand flashes out, flapping the completed script, and Bono again notices the shiny bracelet on her wrist. She’s so stunning…
“How’s this call?”
He takes the paper from her and reads it aloud, using MacPhisto’s voice.
She claps, and he takes a deep breath. “That was quite good…”
I don’t love Marieke.
Really? Who does he love?
She touches hands with him for a moment as he gives her the paper back, ready to point out what he does and doesn’t like about her words.
I love Ali? Bizarre, but he hasn’t thought of her in days.
I love…
“But I think this would sound better if you changed…”
I love Ali.
Certainty settles over Bono. Whatever he feels for this girl, it’s not romantic love. It can’t be. He’s already pledged his life to another, hasn’t he?
Marieke blinks wide eyes. “You don’t like it? But I thought…”
“It’s good, love, it’s really good, there’s just a small problem with the grammar.”
Her face hardens. “Oh. I’m sorry. I’m not a native speaker.”
I don’t love Marieke.
Even if that statement is true, his onstage connection with her can’t be ignored. If she stays where she belongs- watching the show from the wings- Bono will be less attracted to her. And if she writes all the MacPhisto speeches herself, he will see less of her during the day. Whatever connects the two, Bono needs to end it now before… what?
***
That was the most confusing conversation I’ve had with Bono to date. I feel like we’ve been arguing against each other when both of us know the other one’s right. Due to my hurting brain, the phone call we wrote isn’t my best, either. I’m almost scared to see it performed tomorrow.
How could such a simple conversation have seemed so confusing? Bono almost sounded as if he was making more out of his words than I heard. My memory fails on what our point was, but I can at least figure that there’s something he’s not telling me, and I him.
So now I’m in my hotel room, calling up the basic facts- I’m never going to be pulled onstage again because I’ll never sit in the audience again. And Bono wants me to write a speech all by myself.
I take out a sheet of paper left over from our session and smooth it down over my knees. Can I write this whole call myself? Do I really know the character MacPhisto better than Bono? Well… I did like him before I took interest in Bono. There’s something there.
Maybe I should write a taxi call. Bono has helped me with that one before. I know the company’s reaction. But what about a call to an airport? That’s the experience that landed me a spot on tour.
What is it like in Basel? I start to ponder. If it’s anything like Lausanne, I think I know where to start. Picking up a pencil, I write Off with the horns, on with the show over the creamy paper surface. Then I erase that and write it again in English. Bono’s going to have to be able to read his own speech!
I know every single one of you even better than you know yourself! Last time you saw me I was 5 feet 8- now look at me, I’m gigantic. I smile, imagining the exact way MacPhisto would deliver this line.
It’s lovely to be here in Basel. All the people here are beautiful and speak very good English. I tap the pencil against my lower lip, thinking of what to say next. What would he say- why would MacPhisto try calling a taxi anyway, if he loves Basel so much?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to call a taxi to pick me up. I’m very tired and I want to go home. I frown. The crowd won’t like that. They’ll boo at the prospect. I imagine MacPhisto taking notice, and hear him apologizing, telling the fans he’ll be back soon. That doesn’t seem quite right…
Don’t get me wrong, I love you! But I live in Dublin, and that’s a long way away. I smile. Yes, that is what MacPhisto would say. Then he dials the phone- I do hope someone picks up- and then what? Will they pick up on the other end, or hang up the phone?
My name is Mr. MacPhisto and I’d like to order a taxi to take me from Basel to Dublin. I grimace at his words. They aren’t even on the same continent! But where else does MacPhisto live? Maybe he’ll call a bad number that won’t pick up. That would be an easy resolution, then…
They’ve hung up on me? I scratch that out. Well. Goodnight, then. I insert a PAUSE between those last two lines. Then I read my creation out loud to myself.
It flows well, but could use the smallest hint of revision… I go over the script again, adding little dashes of taste along the way. Now that it’s done, I read it to myself again, testing my fake British accent. I don’t sound that much like MacPhisto, but in turn he doesn’t sound that much like a true British person.
The script is such a change from what I’ve written today that I want to run out to Bono and read it to him. Before I can, however, sense overtakes me. The delicious feeling of a surprise runs up my spine. Yes, let me astonish Bono with my genius. He’s going to love it!
I decide not to attend the show tomorrow. I don’t really want to see how my speech is performed, and besides, the sooner we reach Basel the better.
***
And that day is today.
I was right- Basel is quite similar to Lausanne. I explore the city with Morleigh at my side- one person who had agreed to come with me, since she had nothing else to do. I choose not to jog this time, and we begin a slow paced walk. Morleigh’s body moves gracefully, and I can’t help noticing the way her curls bounce with every springy step.
Along the way we make small talk- “How’s the dancing going?”
“It’s going well, thanks!. Every night I find some way to change the routine. It really all depends on Bono, if he’s going to stick to the choreography or not.” She smiles ruefully. I’ve learned by now that her job of choreographer means that she gets to plan Bono’s every move on stage- which of course he usually doesn’t follow.
“But I’m in a good place now. There’s nothing I rather be doing than dancing.”
“Feels like my job,” I comment. We round a corner, keeping pace. “I have to write for MacPhisto, and he tends to change things.”
“Yeah, Bono’s that sort of person,” Morleigh agrees. “If he thinks of something he likes better, he can’t possibly keep from using it.”
“He’s a… spur-of-the-moment man,” I decide, my voice hesitant on a phrase I haven’t used too much.
She nods, and her hair flies. That reminds me, I need to ask for the hair curler again…
I meet Bono once we get to the hotel and present him proudly with my script. “No arguing,” I tell him, placing the paper into his hand. “Tonight you’re only using my words.”
Bono reads the speech with a guarded expression on his face. Now he lowers it and eyes me carefully.
Something inside me is squashed. “What is it?”
“Wait a minute.” He sits down and reads the whole thing aloud in his MacPhisto voice.
I’m shifting from foot to foot by now. “So…?”
“It’s great, Angel.” He lowers the paper to wink at me. Ah, so we’re back on friendly terms. “I would advise to change one line, though.”
My face falls. “You said you’d let me write without your interference!”
“No, love, don’t get offended. Just remember… MacPhisto and I are not the same person.” He reaches down to point at my line about going to Dublin.
I raise my eyebrow. “Is that it?”
“That’s it.”
“Where does he live, then?”
Bono folds his hands behind his head. He locks eyes with me. “Where do you want him to live?”
I suddenly realize that this script really is completely of my own working. I can make up anything I like, and he’ll go along with it. A dangerous feeling creeps over me. The next time I write I’ll have to be careful about consistency.
“Er…” MacPhisto is from Ireland, isn’t he? Except he seems to live in Britain... As I try to remember Bono’s first explanation of the character to me, a memory hits with strong force- MacPhisto is like Elvis, like The Fly past his prime… playing shows in Vegas when he’s old and fat…
“Las Vegas?” I whisper.
He laughs. “Vegas? That’s… brilliant.” He glances up at me, surprised all at once. “Yes… MacPhisto plays Vegas in his spare time. You remembered.”
“I didn’t remember. I made it up,” I reply with a frosty sort of tone. He rolls his eyes briefly.
“Keep this up and you’ll be getting a raise.”
“Are you serious?” I laugh.
Bono’s eyes smolder. “Would I lie to you?”
I don’t respond. He climbs onto his feet and clutches my body to his.
“See you tomorrow night. We’ll see how MacPhisto sounds with your words.”
“Another test,” I grumble, my face in his shoulder. It would be so easy to lean in and press my lips right there…
He steps back and I nearly fall over. “It’s a test you’ve studied for! Well. See you, Angel.” With one last wink, he’s gone. And I want more!
***
Where am I right now? I’m being a good little girl like Bono wants me to and sitting backstage with Eric, watching the show tonight in Basel. The band is almost finished with their main set.
“In the NAAAAME of love! One more in the name of looove! In the NAAAAAME of love… what more in the name of LOOOOOVE?”
Bono grabs the microphone stand and pulls it upward, energized. Funnily enough, the song moves into a calmer section. He folds his hands behind his back and hums. “Mmmm mmmmm mm, mmmm mm, mmm mmmm, hmmm…
“Early morning, April 4th… a shot rings out in the Memphis sky.” As Bono leans over the mic, the screens above his head bring up matching images of an African American man- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for whom this song is dedicated to.
Bono glances up at the image, and sings seemingly at it- “Free at last, they took your life, they could not take your pride!”
The whole band nearly stops for a moment as the image becomes animated. Edge vamps on his guitar as Larry and Adam watch the screen with Bono.
“Let the King sing,” Bono murmurs. The video speaks.
“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life,” the famous man says, frozen in time. “Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”
“Amen!” Bono declares, and launches back into the chorus with the rest of the band. “In the NAAAAAME of LOOVE! ONE MORE IN THE NAME OF LOOOOOVE! IN THE NAAAAAAAME of love… what more in the name of loooove?”
The audience sings along with Bono and Edge- and Eric and I, but they don’t know we exist. “Oh, oh-oh oh… oh oh-oh oh… oh-OAH-uh-oh, oh OH-wah oh…”
“In the name of love,” Bono sings, more like a contemplation now than anything else. “What more in the name of love?”
He gazes into the audience slowly, and brings the song to a close.
“In the name of love…” Every time I hear him sing this, even now, I hope that Bono will add some “Oh’s” to the end of the song, like the version found on Rattle And Hum. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting.
At last the song is finished. The band exits on our side of the stage, giving a few waves to the cheering fans. The very last one in is Bono, and I grab hold of him and steer him towards the dressing room.
“Hey, slow down, Marieke,” Bono gasps. “What’s the hurry?”
“Just get dressed,” I tell him, rolling my eyes when he gives me a blank look. Someone’s a bit out of it.
Bono brushes on the makeup as I hand him MacPhisto’s outfit. Before he’s put anything on, Bono raises his eyebrows beneath the face paint- “What are you doing so close?”
I realize I’m practically sitting in his seat and back away quickly. “Thank you,” he sighs and finishes dressing. Eric is standing outside the door, watching the video confessionals onscreen. He’ll give us the cue to go onstage when they’re over.
MacPhisto stands up, in need of his shoes. I scan the room and strangely do not locate them. What’s happened to those gold boots?
“Marieke, where are my shoes?” Already MacPhisto is speaking in a British accent. I shrug and dash to the door, ready to start a search.
“Here!” A stylist rushes up holding MacPhisto’s shoes, and I take them, relieved, and promptly hand the last touch to MacPhisto. He instantly pushes the shoes on and leaves the room, with me gawking behind him. I want to ask MacPhisto something- but he’s too far away-
“Lover, I’m off the streets!”
Too late now. I sigh and lean against Eric, needing something to support me but not wanting to shift my view of the stage.
Soon the song’s over, and my heart leaps into my throat before MacPhisto’s even finished the harmonica solo. Normally that would make me scream with pleasure, but I’m too nervous tonight. Will MacPhisto change any of my words in the script? This time I’d really have to hurt him.
“Off with the horns, on with the show…” He times my words perfectly to his actions, reaching up and tossing the horns backstage with a flourish. Those arms… I want those arms around me… Too bad MacPhisto’s never going to let me dance with him again!
“Look what you’ve done to me. You’ve made me very famous, and I thank you.”
“YOU’RE WELCOME,” I call, my voice disappearing in the crowd.
“The last time you saw me I was five feet eight. Now look at me, I’m gigantic!” I automatically wish I’d left in that line about a white flag… or did I? It’s hard to remember now…
“I know you like your pop stars to be exciting, so I bought these!” Oh, whyever in the world did I leave that line in? Maybe I have a weird thing for those glittery boots?
The audience applauds for a long while, and MacPhisto smiles. He looks so pretty out there, the light illuminating everything from the sweat on his forehead to his white teeth, contrasted by the violent red lipstick.
Now he begins my speech, the words that make me so proud- “You have a lovely country here in Switzerland.”
Cue the cheering!
“I and my friends were out on the lake yesterday on a boat, it was lovely.” Thinking of the Ritz Hotel incident, I had decided to make up my own story. I based it on a nice little fantasy I had… surely a day out on a lake with MacPhisto is something worth dreaming about?
“We could drink the water, but we couldn’t swim in it.” Teehee. The crowd laughs too.
“Now I have to take some time out to rest, so I’m going to make a phone call.” Suddenly my words sound… a bit too clunky, fitting like a dress three sizes too small. I cringe as MacPhisto continues, “I want to order a taxi to take me home, cause I’m very tired.” He moves over to the phone and presses the receiver against his ear. At least he’s infusing my words with the right amount of spirit…
The crowd boos.
MacPhisto looks a little abashed, and steps away from the phone to take the mic again- “Don’t get me wrong, I love you! I love you!” The audience rumbles happily to find that the star of the show really does care. MacPhisto gives a slight head nod as he says, “But I live in Las Vegas, and that’s a long way from here.”
What a man! How could I have known when I rewrote those words that they would fit MacPhisto to a T? What a sexy pop star he is! The crowd cheers. MacPhisto raises his arm a bit to call, “Goodnight!” And now, to my utter dismay, he runs back to the receiver- and Ultraviolet begins. What about the phone call?!
Eric notices that I’m steaming, and asks, “What’s wrong?” He sounds faintly hesitant, as if he’s afraid to know what’s bothering me.
That was wrong!” I hit Eric’s shoulder. “He should have called them!”
Eric sighs and tightens his arm around me, sensing that I’m about to leave him. We silently watch the rest of the encore, me fuming like a black cloud has rained on my parade.
Once the show is over and we’re backstage, I take off and barge in on Bono in the dressing room. He blinks up at me, a hazy look in his blue eyes. I see that he’s not done turning back into Bono, but I interrupt him anyway- “I wrote the call! Why did you cut it out?”
MacPhisto/Bono heaves a sigh at me and wipes the white paint off his face. “Wait just a minute, please…” The voice that comes out of him shocks me to obedience, for it’s not quite an Irish accent, nor British. He seems to have spoken unconsciously, using an unfamiliar voice.
I don’t know what else to say to the black-haired, beautiful man as he slowly regains identity- and it’s Bono at last. In his normal Irish accent, he asks, “What do you want?”
Zooropa… Vorsprung Durch Technik…
“Er…” My voice wavers a little, and I weave on my feet. “Why did you cut out my phone call?”
“There’s two reasons for that, love,” he tells me, turning around and giving me a soft smile- that doesn’t appear genuine? “First of all, don’t you think it’s a bit outlandish to say the least? We could have called a plane company and had more of a shot. They’d of flown me to Las Vegas in no time…” So he didn’t like my idea?
“Reason two. The show was in danger of going over, and we really wouldn’t have wanted to cut a song to fit the time limit.”
“Those songs were meant to go together,” I say.
He winks. “You are exactly right. And we wouldn’t have wanted to pay a fine for running overtime, would we?”
I think that MacPhisto couldn’t have cared less.
Bono presses my hand. “Is that good enough for you?”
“Yes.” My voice is quiet, surprising me.
“Then go and meet the creeper behind the door,” Bono says. I frown and breeze over to the entrance- and Eric is standing out here, looking forlorn.
“May I come in?” he whispers.
Ugh. “I’m leaving,” I tell him, and we go together.
Bono stares after Marieke for a little while. She looks so happy to be with that man. Is there anything more going on between them than he thought?
No. From the way Marieke shrugs her shoulder once Eric touches it, Bono can tell that she feels nothing romantically towards him. It’s obvious what Eric feels, however. Will Marieke be able to handle him?
Now Bono groans. Why should he even bother? Marieke can take care of herself. And yet he can’t stop thinking about the show tonight… and how even when Marieke was safely hidden backstage, he as MacPhisto couldn’t help wanting her. That of all things has never happened before. What sort of man is he turning into? During encores, he can barely think for himself. And yet no one is less going through motions than he is.
Suddenly a face appears at the door, and he stares in shock. The Angel is back, to… haunt him?
“Do I get the raise now?” Her lips move fluidly, her hands restless.
“Yes.”
She leaves with double the price.
I go out with Eric for dinner. He doesn’t ask me where I want to go, only takes me to a fancy restaurant and orders a booth for two. God. I’m hoping he won’t make this any more romantic than it has to be. And it doesn’t have to be romantic at all.
We settle down in our seats as a waiter takes our orders. I finger my francs, no doubt with a feverish gleam in my eye.
“Feeling rich?” Eric gives a low chuckle.
“Yes, of course.” My words tumble out like water from a broken dam. “Bono paid me, and he gave me a raise! He gave me a raise because of my speech. It was perfect! He loved what I wrote! I’m a genius at writing these things. I’m the best writer ever!
Eric peers curiously into my hair.
“What are you looking at?”
“Just checking to see that your head isn’t harmed from its swelling.”
We laugh simultaneously, even though I feel like someone has burst my bubble- or maybe that’s the feeling of my inflated head releasing air.
The waiter returns with our drinks, and we thank him and give our orders for food. Eric drinks from his glass and in lowering it says, “Marieke, I haven’t seen you in so long.”
He’s right. I’ve been keeping to myself most days, only seeing Bono if I have to see anyone at all- or, more recently, Jack. I lay my hand against his. “We can change that.”
Eric looks pleased indeed at the prospect, and inwardly I slap myself. Why do I encourage him? My heart belongs to… someone else… My fingers draw irritably against the condensation on my glass. Tonight I’ve chosen water to drink, my mouth unhappy with the tang of alcohol. Eric of course has something strong- he seems to enjoy getting drunk. I don’t.
We talk in low voices for a while, the candle in the middle of our table remaining unlit. I pray that Eric won’t take notice of that and ask the waiter to light it.
Shortly the waiter does return with our dinners. He sets mine on the table and allows Eric to take his meal, winking at me. Oh no, is he staring at… GOD. The nerve of some men. I fold my arms over my breasts, feeling angrier than I should be.
Eric notices this and says something in quiet Swiss, something that I feel isn’t too polite, despite the gentle tone of voice he uses. The waiter glares and walks away, probably off to tell his boss that “A customer was rude to me!” I hope the boss gives him a slap.
Staring out the window, I notice the dark night, the lights from passing cars. And as I slide my gaze onto a smiling Eric across from me, I truly wish that I liked him, felt something for him. He’s been a nice man to me all this time.
But my heart is beating in my chest, beating strongly, voicing its love for another. I know Eric can’t hear my heart, but I don’t want to sharpen his ears. We fall back into a conversation, easy, natural as breathing, and untouched.

...but there is one last thing I'd like to make mention of- the bond between Marieke and Bono is not so much physical as it is internal wanting on Bono's part- wanting for Marieke to come to him...
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:27 PM   #2
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I was off on vacation too and somehow found some sleepless time to read the Please chapters...I don't know how; I was pretty darn busy. Oh yeah, I wrangled the computer away from my brother

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But before I can leave, someone calls my name in a dazzling Irish accent.
Dammit...it's always the accents! ...I think I'm going to get my mom to become obsessed with Larry's, as if doing that to my sister was not enough...ahahah. Yes.

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He’s working his way through a pile of bacon
Can I have him and the bacon? Yes? Thanks.

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“Why are you hiding your breakfast behind your back?
Ohhh that's awkward.

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One hand removes my brown ponytail
D: she's not a brunette, is she? I drew her blonde...damn, damn, damn.

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it’s just there, an invisible string that connects him to Marieke. And it’s so frightening…
Oh man. And he doesn't sound too happy about it either. (This is giving me ideas, you know...ahh. Other people's writing I can always have the excuse of it being sort of 'research' ^^ / getting me back into the mood to write again...)

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“I know you like your pop stars to be exciting, so I bought these!"
For some reason this was IN MY HEAD. FOR NO REASON. As I was lying around doing nothing in my hotel. Definitely your fault it got in my head, I just don't know whyyy...

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the creeper behind the door
BEST DESCRIPTION OF ERIC. EVERRRR.

I like Marieke creating the speeches. I got a sense of accomplishment for her accomplishment for some reason, which means obviously you're doing a good job writing for some reason in this chapter, too, she and Bono both seemed very relatable or easy to get into the character of (I hope that makes sense...)

I think I know why Bono is getting kind of obsessed with Marieke—maybe he feels she understands him way too well? She seemed to sense what he felt even when she didn't really even know him...
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
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I LOVED this -
Half the time it sounds like I’m an open book. Bono finds me too easy to read. He knows I’m jealous, but does he know why? No, not the full story. He’s only selected a few choice chapters from my volume. He’s trying to end what he thinks exists by keeping me out of the Devil’s arms.

I like the fact that we are seeing his side of things. I think it could happen where he could fancy someone that he spends time with. And it's a slow burn, not the moment they meet like what happens in some in stories.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:05 PM   #4
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Okay, so it's not totally an obsession with Marieke, he only wants her when he's onstage... ??? I'm sure that would be a scary thing when you're not actually IN LOVE with someone! Hey, maybe Marieke's finding Bono relatable too, explaining why she knows him so well without being "close" to him. Heh. And hey, I had another thought- basically when Marieke's writing something, it's like I'm writing a charcter who's writing a character... And muahahahaha for getting that stuck in your head. Sometimes I have an entire speech in my head (there's one I have memorized, and I tend to think of it when I think of Ultraviolet). Weee-iiird... Marieke doesn't look blond in the picture you drew, she looks kinda of reddish-brunette, which is KINDA how I imagined it. Good!
Ohai Grace. Thanks, I liked that description too, also this one: Her lips move fluidly, her hands restless. Yeah... Of course Bono could fall in love with Marieke, in theory. Something might be happening, might not be happening- who knows? Also, I think writing about "love at first sight" is a bit stupid...
And even though I said the last show was Strasbourg I have it labeled as Paris here... which would have been the last show before Lausanne, but obviously this didn;t happen after two shows, so I'm just saying poor little Strasbourg never got a Zooropa concert, sorry for the continous changing of it!
Now I'm off to read Please. Katie, we weren't allowed to bring computers on the trip since they might have gotten lost. And my phone doesn't handle Interference all that well! (Maybe it's too cool for it.)
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:26 PM   #5
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Pssh, Interference is too cool for your phone

Maybe it's MacPhisto who wants Marieke.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by BlueSilkenSky View Post

Now I'm off to read Please. Katie, we weren't allowed to bring computers on the trip since they might have gotten lost. And my phone doesn't handle Interference all that well! (Maybe it's too cool for it.)
Cool. Let me know what you think. I'm hoping to get a bunch written tonight.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
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Pssh, Interference is too cool for your phone

Maybe it's MacPhisto who wants Marieke.
That's what I meant!

...and... um, yeah, very likely...
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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Oh no XD Now I'm kind of imagining them having sex on stage...oh god, I really should turn off my brain...
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:58 PM   #9
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-____________- yes, that's exactly what's going to happen.


(Stupid unworking capslock.)
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:59 PM   #10
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That was sarcasm, wasn't it I hope so!
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:01 PM   #11
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Yes. If it'd been capslocked it would have sounded like sarcasm, but this forum doesn't always do capslock. IDK why. -____-
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:02 PM   #12
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You mean it would have read like sarcasm XD

but yes, I know what you mean
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:28 AM   #13
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The forum doesn't let you write a whole post in capitals... if there's one lower-case letter, it's okay.

Sorry I've been a bit absent, I've just caught up with this. It's getting more interesting with the glimpses inside Bono's head, keep it up!
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:41 AM   #14
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Oh now I understand. Thanks Ali!
...and I was kinda wondering where you went. Thanks for the feedback! At this moment I am writing another chapter.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:31 PM   #15
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Cool beans! The last month or so has been pretty hectic for me, I haven't had a lot of time to surf the net and peruse the FFF, although being home sick the last couple of days has helped. *L*
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