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Old 08-01-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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Dancing With The Devil ch. 36

And here's where things get weird.

This story is a work of fiction and any resemblance to real people, places, or things is entirely coincidental.

The Zoo train marches on, passing Leeds and moving on into Cardiff. U2 performs Babyface at Leeds for their third time, but leave Zooropa out of the setlist. I feel the need to protest this. Bono takes me aside and gives me a few words- “Zooropa is too difficult to manage live. We gave up on it. I’m sorry Marieke… but New Year’s Day is never leaving the set, is that fine with you?” Of course it’s fine with me. By now I can even play the song by myself.
Bono has Manchester on the mind in Leeds. He tells me all about Sellafield, a nuclear power plant that is destroying the life around it with its dubious means of getting rid of waste. U2 participated in a concert protest last year against Sellafield, and even went further in their efforts by working with Greenpeace on a special mission. In MacPhisto’s speech for Leeds I manage to make a connection to the protest and tonight’s concert- “I should come up here more often, you’re so very kind,” MacPhisto says, swaggering about the stage. “I think the people of the North are so generous. I mean, you’re given the nuclear waste of the world- and you take it! My goodness, you take the nuclear waste of the world. What a generous thing to do.” He proceeds to call England’s Minister for Environment.
Tonight is Cardiff, and MacPhisto has a new object of attention on his mind. “They’ll all be here to meet me…” he sings softly. “I love that one. How many of you are called Evans here tonight?”
A good few people call from the audience, letting the presence of Evans be known.
Mock-disappointed, MacPhisto cries, “And I thought The Edge was such a special name! Can I just introduce you to my guitar player- this is, after all, his home-away-from-home.” The entire crowd claps, and Edge smiles softly.
“I must say I love to be up here, and Wales is so generous, I just love this place,” MacPhisto announces. We all know he’s just gearing up for the real speech. “I love to go shopping here, actually. I like to shop in Cardiff. I have a friend who likes to come shopping in Cardiff. She actually grew up in a grocer’s, actually, in England, and later when she became the Prime Minister…”
Suddenly everyone in the stadium knows who MacPhisto is talking about, and I sense a rumble of unease along the crowd, the simultaneous “I knew it” feeling. This doesn’t faze me. We’ve gone through pretty bad crowds before- take Oslo, for example!
Surprisingly, MacPhisto, normally the most collected man in the room, fumbles a bit with the low roar he can feel. “…She… she got very good at shopping.”
The fans begin to boo.
MacPhisto’s mouth forms the shape of an O, his eyebrows pulling up in a
well-I-never expression. “This is a friend of mine you’re talking about! She had a wonderful idea, actually- she decided to run the whole kingdom like a shop, and she put it on sale.” The audience laughs.
“And she sold the railways!” MacPhisto fires, getting into it. “And she sold the coal industry, and she sold water, and she sold… What a great shopper- LADY THATCHER!”
Instead of the instantaneous applause that MacPhisto expects, he gets a long round of booing.
“I know you love her,” MacPhisto says dismissively. “Shall I give her a telephone call?” He’s already picking up the phone as the audience shouts their assent.
“I do miss the old girl, don’t you?” he asks as he dials.
A woman’s voice drifts from the audience- “Bloody old bitch!”
MacPhisto handles the phone easily, tells the crowd, “It’s not local.” They laugh again. MacPhisto starts to sing- “Laa la la…”- and drowns out the woman’s voice on the other end as she answers.
“Good evening!”
“Hello, is this the House of Commons?” MacPhisto asks, a grin on his face.
“Yes, speaking.”
“Hello…” MacPhisto says, eyeing the crowd, and I can swear he looks like he’s flirting with the telephone. “I’d like to speak to Lady Thatcher, please.”
The woman is stiff. “Well, I am sorry, but the House is in the summer recess at the moment- you’ll have to write in to, uh, Lords or Baronesses at the moment. You have to write to them.”
As the fans boo and the woman adds, “The House isn’t sitting until October,” MacPhisto runs his fingers through his tousled black hair and laughs. “I, I understand- um, no, you think I’m an ordinary person! I, I actually know her personally.”
The woman’s voice is scathing. “You know her
personally.”
“Yes. My name is Mr. MacPhisto,” he says matter-of-factly.
“Yes?”
“And… I was just wanting to- I, I wanted to let her know where I was. I’m in a place called Cardiff- I was wondering, has she heard of it?”
The fans like this very much, and make it near impossible for the woman on the other end of the phone to get herself heard. When the sound dies, she can be heard saying, “But the thing is, you see, you can’t get in contact with her. You have to write a letter to her, here at the House. You can’t contact her during the recess.”
The audience boos. I glance at MacPhisto with the appropriate expression-
I’ll write that letter to the House, if you wish. Unfortunately MacPhisto fails to look my way. He’s agreeing with the woman- “I’m sure she’d be very upset. Um, could I leave a message?”
“Well, I’m afraid the House is in the recess, so you can only post it,” the woman points out huffily.
“I just wanted to say that…” MacPhisto blinks and breaks into song. “I just called to say I love you… I just called to say how much I care…” All that trouble for the sake of two little lines.
After the phone call everything proceeds in the same way as usual. MacPhisto sings Ultraviolet, something I can never get tired of. The next performance is With or Without You- like that’s a surprise- and Love Is Blindness slotted next to last. I watch MacPhisto choose a girl from the audience and try not to feel envious. He spins around with her, clinging on tightly. And for the first time in a while, I spot his mouth moving against the woman’s ear, whispering to her- probably she’s a clingy, fondling type. MacPhisto is Bono for a second as he tries to help the woman maintain her dignity.
It isn’t until Can’t Help Falling In Love has ended and I’m backstage that the truth comes clear. “That was some dance,” Bono states as an aside, his blue eyes daring me to ask more.
“How so?” I ask, taking his bait.
“You wouldn’t believe what she was going on about!” he chuckles. “She was some kind of evangelist. I’ve seen the type. All she did was scold me about associating with the Devil. True fan indeed.” Bono rolls his eyes.
I wince. “Oh, bad choice. What did you tell her?”
“I had to mention the Screwtape Letters- have you read them?” I nod. “Anything to help her understand. She got it in the end, I think. We’re not trying to promote anything satanic- we haven’t gone that far into rock and roll. We’re not consorting with the Devil- if there is one,” Bono smirks. “Like Salman said, real devils don’t wear horns.”
“MacPhisto is more of a reimagining,” I suggest. “He’s less like the real devil than a character based on the Devil. Like-“
“Like a historical fiction novel- a book with both created characters and personages from history who had real lives.” Bono has hit the nail on the head. He continues, “I always knew that there would be fans who take a look at MacPhisto and the Mirrorball Man and jump to the conclusion that U2 has gone to the dark side. That’s a load of bullshit.” I laugh, glancing at once around the room at the faces of Jack, Edge, Bill, Eric, Adam- my comrades in Zoo, who are having their own conversations, letting me and Bono be. I thank them in my heart for that.
“What say you to going out and having a few drinks?” Me, I’d rather take one, but I’ll agree to anything.
***
Dear Marieke,
I have to be frank in this letter. Your holiday hours have expired. KLM requires your services in Rotterdam. You must quit your job on tour and turn in.
I scan the page, skipping down to the last sentence. My boss is all talk for nothing- she uses too many words to prove her point.
Failure to arrive in the allotted time slot will bring consequences.
She’s controlling my life! I never, ever wanted my job to control my life. My eyes cease to see the paper in my hands, instead flashing back to the millions of times I’d taken calls at the airport- a job where the only relief was that it brought enough money to get by. Lina’s own job as a secretary would have provided twice as much. Until the night MacPhisto called me, being the phone girl was a dead end street.
Without anymore reasoning than that, my mind is made up. I dial my boss’s number, not caring what the time is. She answers in a peaceful tone, and I barge in on it with, “I’m quitting my job.”
“Who is this?” she asks, and I realize that working at KLM really does mean nothing. My own boss doesn’t recognize my voice.
“Marieke Lang- I’m quitting. I’m giving up. Go hire someone else.” I’ve never spoken this outright to her, and it feels both glorious and relieving.
She starts to say something else, but I hang up mid-word. The phone won’t ring again- she doesn’t know my number. The letter was three days old anyway.
***
The next logical step, of course, is to tell everyone about my triumph. I spread the news around the entire entourage as we pack up to leave Cardiff. Soon everyone who works on Zoo TV knows that I’m free before we’ve even gotten on the plane.
Eric’s reaction is obvious- he joins in on my exaltation. We hug and high-five together, and Eric exclaims, “You’ll never have to leave us!” Well, not true- I still have to go home when the tour ends, but I’ll leave Eric to his delusions.
Jack is more reserved when he hears of my joy, and is the first to focus on the practical side- “What will you live on when your job here ends?” I shake my head, not ready to look that far into the future. Lina would probably be able to support me- but what if her low productivity that Herman told me about causes her to get fired? I can’t judge well enough because I’m the last one to know what’s going on in Rotterdam.
Other crew members suggest certain jobs that I can take on with the band when Zoo TV shuts down. I tell them that it all depends on how many speeches Bono is planning to make next tour. Morleigh is laughing at me, saying that they might not have use for a belly dancer on the next tour either. “But none of us know if there’s to be another album- it’ll all go off of there,” she reminds me.
Bono has mixed reactions on Marieke’s release. He’s happy that she’s free of all unpleasant obligations, but at the same time he’s a bit worried. She could run into debt- the money she receives for each speech isn’t nearly enough to keep her afloat. And there’s a far more pressing problem- what will she do after the tour ends? Will she insist on getting a proper job with the band, one that isn’t just limited to Zoo TV? There’s no telling what she could ask for- and what she might be granted. Bono is counting down the days to the break between tour legs. He can’t wait to get his mind free of Marieke.
As the band flies back to London for two more tour dates, Bono pushes thoughts of Marieke away. It’s time for yet another issue to be brought to mind. Bono’s anniversary with Ali is coming up, coinciding with the first London show. With hope she’ll be flying out from France to see him and attend the show. Bono is excited to see her.
The atmosphere is hardly tense inside the Zoo Plane. Those small remarks made to each other are even better than average conversation, Bono decides. He chatters happily, without a care in the world. Bono doesn’t even realize that his ears are pricked for certain names until someone mentions it… “Marieke.”
Bono disengages himself from the current conversation he is holding and jumps into Adam’s- “What was that?”
Adam shrugs. “I’m just saying that she’s becoming a really great bassist. It’s as if the instrument was made for her.”
“Stuart has taught her well,” Larry agrees, and Bono notices his eyes sparkling.
“So when are you gonna make a move?” Adam asks, nudging Larry.
Larry looks surprised. “What kind of move are you talking about?”
“The one with Marieke, of course!” Adam laughs.
Bono doesn’t realize it but he’s straining to follow the exchange, anxiously awaiting Larry’s response. Larry says, “I’m not making any kind of ‘move,‘ Adam. I’m still in a relationship-“
“Which woman do you want more?” Bono interrupts.
Larry scratches his head. “Ah, why’d you have to go and ask that? It’s nothing, okay? There will be no ‘moves’ made.” He twitches two fingers on each hand, forming quotation marks. “Nothing will stay nothing.”
“It better stay that way,” Bono mutters to himself. Once again, strange, choking jealousy rises in him against Larry.
Edge happens to jump in at that time- “What do you have going on for August 21, Bono?” All attention is turned to the latter man, and Adam murmurs, “Ali!” with a note of rejoice.
“She’s coming to London, no doubt about that,” Bono answers. “I can’t wait to see her.”
“Hey, it’s only a matter of days,” Edge points out. He’s pleased that Bono will be spending some time with his wife. Anyone could tell that they need to see each other.
Bono rubs his hands together, thinking about Ali. He’s heard her voice on the phone many times, and she sounds like she’s doing okay. In fact, if the tour continued forever Ali probably wouldn’t be too affected. Bono feels a twinge of worry that maybe she doesn’t need him around- But no. He’s gotten too many false alarms about that. She must be as excited to see Bono as Bono himself is to see her. August 21
st, 1993 will mark the 11th year that the Hewsons have been together. Bono wishes for many more years- he has no idea how long this love could last.
***
For me, London does not disappoint. I’m spent after a day of writing the perfect speech for MacPhisto, playing the bass guitar, and helping assemble the stage. Wembley Stadium is all ready for its third U2 show on Zooropa by August 19
th. Tomorrow the aforementioned band will take the stage amidst thousands of fans. No different from any other night, but somehow it feels extra-special.
And on the 20
th, Eric and I freak out backstage trying to get everything ready. We bump into each other and other crewman as we prepare to perfection, and smile whenever we pass by. Finally U2 is safely onstage playing Zoo Station, and I grab Eric and we bounce around, reverting to children for a few seconds. This, we can tell, is gonna be good.
Wembley is the most elegant stadium I have ever seen. Until the two shows a week ago, never did I dream I would be here, when I’ve only seen it before on TV. I welcome it back like an old friend. The whole band is on fire. Bono bounces around the stage with excitement, hanging onto Adam or Edge at times. The guitar heroes jam, Edge slaying every song and Adam providing a consistent heartbeat below the foreground noise. I raise my eyes towards Larry cautiously, and he’s beating away at those drums, face concentrated but arms showing his joy rather than eyes.
The set quiets down. U2 performs Angel of Harlem and Stay. Now is the time for that gorgeous cover song of Bono and Edge’s- Satellite of Love. Adam and Larry are waved back to the main stage, where I get a a clear view of them drinking water and fiddling with their instruments. Bono grips his microphone.
“This is a Lou Reed song,” he murmurs, and the fans cheer. We are bound to him by the music and our love, and ready for him to lead us on. “He wrote us an arrangement… this is Satellite of Love,” Bono finishes, giving a telling glance towards Edge. His hands slide across the strings of the guitar, beginning the piece. Bono lets his leather Fly jacket fall to the ground and breathes into the mic.
“The satellite’s gone into the sky,” he hums melodically. “Things like that drive me out of my mind…”
Bono’s eyes close, and he takes a step forward. Edge hovers at his side, his own view on his guitar. “I watched it for a little while- I love to watch things on TV…” He caresses the higher falsetto notes with a smile, and opens his eyes. “Satellite of love.”
Being closer to the main stage, my attention has been turned to the screen behind Adam and Larry. It flickers with a gray, fuzzy light. Bono continues his blissful song, lost in the music- “Bom, bom, bom…” The image that the screen is desperately trying to convey finally comes clear. Lou Reed’s face is projected up there, and he sings back to Bono, “Satellite of love…” prompting a cheer from the audience. Bono gazes into the screen, and sings in falsetto again. The two men finish in perfect timing- “Sat-e-llite of love.”
“Lou Reed,” Bono exclaims, gesturing, and sits down to watch the original artist sing.
“I’ve been told that you’ve been bold… with Harry, Mark, and John. Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with Harry, Mark, and John.” For a moment the screen flickers, snapping me out of my enraptured senses. Lou Reed sings, “The satellite’s gone into the sky…”
Click. The image is lost to us.
Bono fortunately takes over in a dreamy tone. “Things like that drive me out of my mind.” He shrugs himself to his feet, staring at the screen as if willing the image to come back. “I watched it for a little while… I love to watch things on Zoo TV.” My heart gives a little flutter, like it always does with Bono’s improved lyrics.
“Satellite of love,” he sings, and Lou Reed’s face returns for one last moment- “Satellite of love.” The singers seemingly gaze at each other, and end the song in unison. “Sat… e… llite, of love.” Edge finishes up with a lullaby of notes, and the crowd cheers as the screen dims.
The whole night is gearing up towards the encores, and I can barely believe it‘s time when Pride finishes and Bono changes clothes. MacPhisto storms the stage with his accustomed waves and bows, and I struggle against what I know is right and my longing to join him on the stage. The band runs through a rip-roaring version of Desire, and MacPhisto makes his speech, calling the Archbishop of Canterbury. His expressions are overdone, but I love him all the same. If I were only in the audience tonight… My fingers itch to hold the hand of the Devil, to brush his hair behind his ears. I long for my Devil to touch me, keep me wrapped tight in his arms. By the time Love Is Blindness starts I am so overcome with love that I have to leave before the dance starts. I’m also saving myself from an overabundance of tears, I suppose. Eric seems as if he wants to follow me, but says nothing.
Later tonight, my mind is turning and I think of Lina. I’m still finding it hard to comprehend that my absence could inspire so much pain in her. What is wrong with her in Holland? I must learn in good time.
I slide myself into bed and try to picture her face. Past the blond hair, I see nothing. It’s more like hearing a description of a woman and trying to imagine what she’s like instead of recalling memories of the woman herself. I know Lina has green eyes and blond hair, but what else? No description can tell the minute details of a person that only a close friend would know- a seven-year roommate, perhaps.
And rightly, that would be me. Except it’s not me. I want nothing more than to renew my memory of Lina, blossoming into the real thing. I want nothing more except-
Except there is something I want more, and he’s lying in a bed a floor above me, hopefully dreaming of the performance he put on tonight and feeling damn proud of it. The man I love, who can so easily become the man I love even more with nothing more than a change of clothes. Both men invade each other’s lives, warring with their conflicting personalities- and charming me even deeper with every move they make.
There are other reasons here to keep my life on its current path. A ginger with misguided but good intentions drifts off on the same floor as me- a great friend who’s been with me through this whole ride. There’s the serious, dark eyed Scotsman who has been my keeper, ready to steer me in the right direction if I ever travel down a darkened way. The kind American dancer who surrendered her hair curler to me springs to mind as well as the skilled bassist who knows more about the instrument than the band member does.
Which reminds me of more things I want more than Lina. There’s the band itself- its calm guitarist, rowdy bassist, and enigmatic drummer who wants something of
me. The tour itself is something to want, with all its flashing screens, and the job- using a writing talent I didn’t know I had to pull out speeches for a charismatic Devil.
And then there’s the music. My God, that music is good.
I miss Lina, but everyone I’ve met on tour are enough to make up for her loss. I’m in far too deep, and I know it- I love Bono more than I’ve loved anyone else before. But it’s a matter of the heart- something unpredictable- and I swear that as soon as the tour reaches a break I will go see my best friend.
***
Ali arrives early in the morning of August 21
st, and Bono is the first person in the entourage to properly greet her. He feels his heart leap as she walks into the hotel, looking quite demure in her own way, but walking with self-assurance. Only a few steps and Bono has caught Ali in his arms, kissing her with zealousness. He has no care in the world, only thrilled to be next to her at last.
“Hey- I’ve missed you,” Bono says, stepping back.
“Same, love,” she tells him, tucking one piece of hair behind her ear. Bono is struck by how casual she looks, as if she could hardly care about her husband standing right in front of her. He knows it’s just a front. A few touches and she’ll melt, just the way he wants her.
“Did you bring the kids too?” Bono asks as the couple steps back and surveys the lobby. Ali shakes her head- “They’re at home, with your brother’s family. I thought it made more sense for a day trip…” She stops talking as Bono strokes her hand. “Happy 11 years, Alison Stewart,” he chuckles. “This is no day trip. Stay the night.”
“I could change plans,” she assures him, and they walk out to breakfast.
My eye is caught across the dining hall, fastening on a woman sitting next to Bono. The fork in my hand rests on my plate, and I drum my fingers against its side, ho-humming in disapproval. So Ali’s flown out here- but why? Is Bono okay?
Their heads turn in sync, and though I loathe the woman I have to admire the uniformity. Bono’s knee bumps Ali’s, so subtly and yet so intimate. Their hands even brush away black hair at the same time. It’s shocking, really, how the two are like puzzle pieces.
When Bono’s eyes fall on Ali, a memory pops into his head-
“Are you trying to be like me or is this a rockstar thing?” Ali asks perplexedly as Bono shows off his newly dyed black hair. He still isn’t used to the color, and keeps feeling it gingerly as if to make sure it’s real. “Ah, you know, new album, new tour that might require new look,” Bono sighs. Ali laughs- “You’re a long way from that, Paul.” He loves it when she calls him Paul. She is the only keeper of his real identity.
Bono shakes the memory off and lets his gaze slide over, onto- Marieke. The woman is staring back with unabashed blue eyes, almost with a challenge. He’s seen those eyes many times- bright eyes, closed eyes, eyes framed by lashes, eyes full of tears. The contact breaks with a simple blink, and as Marieke looks down again Bono spots the silver bracelet, flashing in all its familiar glory.
Anger overwhelms me, and I stand up and walk away. I can’t be in the same room as Ali. Coexistence is impossible.
***
“Doing okay, Marieke?” I nod in response to Eric’s question, and answer, “I’m fine.” He grins and attempts to slip an arm around me, but I shrug it off. “Eric… no. I need to think.” He understands. Eric has been sympathetic to my ordeal, treating me excellently when I really need it. Everywhere I go I see Ali and Bono, always out of the corner of my eye but always THERE, as if they’re trying to prove their love. Everything that I thought I had with Bono has disappeared. He never once looked me in the eye, not even when we wrote the MacPhisto speech.
At least there is still the promise of my man, MacPhisto. I back into the wall to let him by, and he dashes onstage to sing Desire. My heart eventually lifts, and a breeze tugs at my curls as I watch the band perform.
“What a guitar player! What a city! What a night, what a show! ZOOROPA! ZOOORROPA!”
I chant it in time- “MYYY ZOOOOORRROPAAA!”
And MacPhisto sweeps the headgear from his head. “Off with the horns, on with the show!” He laughs and tosses them to me. I smile and thumb him up. “What an evening. What a theater, Wembley Stadium! All the history of this place. Live Aid. The FA Cup. The 1966 World Cup when England won!”
Cheers erupt. These were my exact thoughts while reflecting Wembley Stadium. I’m glad the crowd likes it. MacPhisto goes on, “They haven’t been winning much lately, now have they?”
“Nooo,” sing several dejected fans.
“What’s happened, this noble country?” MacPhisto asks, beckoning upwards. He loves Britain very much, as well all know. “We lost the Test… almost out of the World Cup… The Smiths have split up… there’s only one man who can save us. Shall I give Graham Taylor a telephone call?”
Oh dear. I start laughing despite myself, and the audience rumbles, “Yeah!”
MacPhisto laughs, moving towards the phone- he’s always a step ahead. “Let me see now…”
He dials the first half of the number, makes an aside (“When you’re famous, people give you their telephone number, it’s true), and dials the rest. MacPhisto shushes the audience and we listen to the phone ring for a bit before abruptly stopping.
“He… hello?” MacPhisto says, catching himself.
“No one is available at the present time,” the answering machine responds. “If you would care to leave a message, please leave one after the tone. Thank you.”
“Hello…?” MacPhisto begins, not ready to get his hopes up. “I’m sorry, there must be some mistake. This is Mr. Mac… Phisto…”
The tone sounds.
MacPhisto, as always, has a comeback. “Walk on, with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone…” He points the receiver to the crowd.
“You’ll neeeeever walk aloooooone!”
You’ve got to love Britain.
After the show I enter Bono’s dressing room as usual- the door’s ajar- and find him oddly distracted. “Marieke, can you get out of the way for a minute?” he asks. “I’m taking Ali out tonight- I don’t want to-“
He doesn’t finish his sentence but I know when I’m not wanted. “Okay, I’ll see you later then. Have fun with Ali!” The words are choking me, but they crawl out sounding sincere. Bono waves goodbye to me. He watches Marieke leave, his mind clouded for a few seconds by her.
I make it outside, out of the stadium. Fresh air cures my lungs. I start off walking, ready to turn in earlier than I usually do, and someone’s voice catches me by surprise. “Marieke, wait up!” I slow but do not turn around, and Eric keeps pace.
“Are you going to bed or do we have time to explore London?” he asks me.
“I’ll leave the exploring to you,” I say. “I’m tired.”
We keep walking as the cars stream past, buffeting my hair gently. The hotel isn’t even in sight yet before Eric stops me on the sidewalk. He turns my head towards his face with a stroke of the fingers.
“Stay with me,” he whispers, his green eyes burning.
I don’t know what to say. Eric’s voice is low and sultry in a way I’ve never heard. He takes my arms and grips me securely, refusing to look away.
“Marieke…” It takes a long time for him to say it, but eventually the confession is out there. “Marieke, I love you. I have since the day we met.”
My breath starts up. “I…”
“And… and I was too afraid to mention it, but after telling it to an audience of thousands I know I can tell it to you now.” An audience of thousands- his Zoo confession must have been about me! “I know you’re devoted to Bono right now, but I’m sure you can get over him. I love you.”
Finally words come- “Eric, I don’t love you in that way,” I gasp, shocked.
“But- but you could, couldn’t you?” He still hasn’t released my arms. “We’ve spent so much time together.” Oh God, don’t let this be happening now…
“My heart belongs to another man, Eric.” Never mind how foolish the infatuation is.
Eric says not a word, just angles his head. Before I know it he’s kissing me, awkwardly at first but stronger and surer as he continues. I can’t make myself break away, though lord knows I want to. Eric’s movements become more and more passionate, and he kisses more hungrily, a moan rising in his throat. Blood slips from my face, and I try to push him off. Finally Eric needs to breathe, and I tear myself free.
“Get away!” I cry, wiping my mouth, and Eric comes in for another kiss. I stop him with my fingers, though, and hold my hand against his mouth. He presses his lips fervently to my skin, closing his eyes. I wait until he gets it all out of his system, and remove my fingers.
“You’re the one who took me home in Rome, aren’t you?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You were in my bed. You told me that you loved me.” I cross my arms, more sure of this than anything else I’ve been sure of in my life.
Eric shrugs, but his eyes convey the truth.
“You’re
SICK!” I turn away, wanting to hit something or someone, but I can’t move much farther from the sidewalk. “Eric- I will never love you! I hate you!”
“Come back,” he pleads, and the tone of his voice makes me want to throw up.
“NO!” I turn back to him and run. It’s only a matter of moments before I’ve put him behind me and am heading at top speed in the direction of the hotel. My mind consults itself on what to do next. Should I tell someone that Eric kissed me without consent? No one I can turn to… would even care about this… My feet continue to pound the ground, and I realize that I can’t depend on Bono to help me. After the way he’s behaved with Ali today, and the fact that he wasn’t after all the one in my bed, I know that there’s no way he can possibly love me.
What should I do? I could go to the club and catch up with everyone and drink a load of alcohol to forget what’s just happened- but no! Alcohol will make me sensible. I need to stay on this feeling of out of control. Split decisions will take me where I need to go.
The hotel is in view. I need to find someone, anyone... My breath comes raspingly, but I don’t slow my pace as I enter the hotel. Inside the elevator I don’t even sag against its walls, instead standing hyper-alert and trying to stay that way. When I get to the right floor, I sprint out and search for a room. Maybe- my desperate mind is made up, maybe if I wait for Bono he’ll come back to his hotel room and- and seeing that I’m so needy of him, he
will take me in, despite what he thinks of me.
But- no, tonight is the anniversary of his marriage to his wife, as I constantly need to remind myself. Bono will have better things to do than comfort a distraught woman. I’m not going to catch him alone in the hotel.
So I turn and run down the hall to another room, not caring who‘s in it.
Larry has turned in early from the club, preferring to stay by himself than hang with his friends. He holds a book in his hands, ready to read until lights out. Adam had teased him for leaving- “What, can’t handle the fun?”- but Larry only replied that he was tired. That is part of the truth. He’s sick of watching Bono and Ali interact, and didn’t want to be around for much, much later activity.
Larry is about to hop into bed when he hears a knock at the door. He cocks his head and listens again, and the knock comes again- less prim and more like someone is slamming his or her palms against the wood. Who could it be? Larry sets his book down and goes to answer the door.
And standing there, right in front of him, is none other than Marieke. She looks chased, hunted, shell-shocked- and ravenously hungry. Her eyes stare at Larry as if he’s a piece of meat and she can’t wait to tear into him. Even at a worse time, she looks gorgeous.
“Marieke, what are-“
She leaps on him, closing the door with her foot. Her lips are on his, kissing with a fervor. Larry isn’t just shocked, he’s- God damn him!- pleased. He wants Marieke to keep kissing him until the world ends. She’s very good at it.
“Make it go away,” Marieke hisses in Larry’s ear. He staggers backwards and switches off the lights. Is that what she meant? No, she’s whispering more words- “Make me forget this night. Larry, please- do something for me…”
Larry replaces the word “for” with “to” and likes that prospect more than he should. All thoughts of Ann slip from his mind. Suddenly the two are on the floor- how did that happen?- and Marieke rips Larry’s shirt off. His breathing nearly stops, and Marieke’s lips are over his mouth again, doing absolutely nothing to help him.
 

The scene continues... but only in the reader's mind...
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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Ugh, the font's way off. Sigh.
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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Wow.
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Old 08-01-2011, 05:09 PM   #4
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How many of you are called Evans here tonight?”
I wonder if Edge is related to all of them?

Bono and Ali are cute together :3 Marieke seems really, really bothered by Ali though...well, of course she is...

OH SHIT, ERIC NO. D: Get away!

...well, Larry's a good replacement...Marieke's going to be such a wreck though... Even Faith's doing better with Larry and we know that's not going to last.

I feel like there's going to be a lot of emotional turbulence in the next few chapters...
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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Wow is a good word for it.

For some reason I really, really like Bono's dialogue in this chapter...

Those last two lines, Katie, have hit the nail on the head. Especially the last one. I guess this chapter is an example of Marieke getting out of control, which she tends to do, but this time it brings consequences.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:18 PM   #6
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Consequences? Darn. I thought it was all for good fun
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:38 PM   #7
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:44 PM   #8
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Well yeah. If she loves Bono, but sleeps with Larry, and Larry loves her. And Bono has something going on for Marieke.....

Well, it sounds like something I'd write.

Interesting points now that I have 5 seconds to comment - Marieke thinks Eric was the one that declared his love. But I have a feeling it was someone more important.

Larry didn't want to watch Ali and Bono. Did he have eyes for Ali once? Thus creating a bit of a trend.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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Oh shit. If Larry likes Ali, this is going to be such a confusing quadrangle...

Grace, this situation is starting to remind me of Please a lot.

I wonder if we all accidentally sort of pick up on each others' plots through reading each others' stories?

And I did always assume it was Larry who took Marieke back to her room, for some reason. It feels kind of icky for it to be Eric.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:52 PM   #10
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Well, if it was Eric wouldn't that give you even more reason for you to hate him?

I swear, the original plot was going to have nothing to do with Larry, then... um, stuff happened in my mind and I was thinking "Great, this is too much like Grace's stories" but I didn't stop myself from including this.

At lest I can say the confusing quadrangle probably will not happen... but your other point, Grace. Hm.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:58 PM   #11
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Yes...but...he's such a creeper! You made him creepy really well, without intending to at first, I believe. (Right? I think I remember either Grace or myself commenting about it and you were kind of surprised XD)

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I swear, the original plot was going to have nothing to do with Larry, then...

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but I didn't stop myself from including this.


May I point out your stories are completely different in characters/setting/etc. Grace's got an entire band playing with U2, and you have Marieke helping with speeches and learning some bass along the way. Your Bono is hopelessly attached to Ali (as he should be...*guilt*) and hers was left by Ali. Your Larry seems to be having a much briefer connection with Marieke than Grace's with Faith. And...I don't know, it's hard to explain...everyone's versions of U2 as characters always seem different to me. Like, if we put your Bono and mine from Out Of Control in a room together they'd be weirded out by each other. Makes sense, though, since it's strange to try and be too true to the actual people even when that's one of the points of fanfiction...

Oh wow, I'm confused. Didn't Marieke tell Bono she loved him? I don't think he told her, though...
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:12 PM   #12
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Yeah, I wasn'tr trying to make Eric creepy at first but it happens to some charactr- they get out of hand. Once I saw that that was his personality (pointed out by my readers, thank you) I started adding in some creepy personality, and then I didn't have to anymore because I just wrote and the character came out that way. The mechanics of writing are hard to explain, you know!

There actually aren't similarities to the stories, now that you bring it up... and OOC Bono might be kind of a downer for DWTD Bono! "God, I'm glad I'm not like that anymore..."

She did tell him, but she said it in Dutch. Which is something like "Ik hou van je." I just didn't feel like translating it.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:23 PM   #13
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It just ended up...working so well. With this chapter especially. I'm kind of scared of him.

Hahah...yeah, for some reason, there was no way my Bono could get un-angsty. He was always angsty in some way. He just didn't seem quite right if he wasn't. I guess angst makes characters more human? Mine would probably be like 'hey, dressing up as the devil? Silly but...looks like so much fun...'

Haha...I guess the English sounds more romantic.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:30 PM   #14
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. I guess angst makes characters more human?
I believe that when I read it!
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:32 PM   #15
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Good XD otherwise I'd have had a lot of unnecessary nights lying awake thinking of plots
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:56 PM   #16
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Yeah, I never felt Please or MW was being copied. And if I inspire some Larry lust.....all the better. I think these stories need some kind of angst. Most of them are fans living out some kind level of fantasy. The tough part is not make it too Mary Sue gets her guy, you know?

As for who brought Marieke home......it could be someone in the band - but who? And I didn't think Larry was in love with Ali, but more of - what if long ago he did like her and was jealous? This thing with Marieke is history repeating....
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:58 PM   #17
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And if I inspire some Larry lust.....all the better.
Yay XD

Yeah...I keep feeling when writing U2 fic that I have to go and ruin everyone's happiness just to make it realistic D:

Grace, I like that idea there....
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:04 PM   #18
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The tough part is not make it too Mary Sue gets her guy, you know?
I used to be afraid that's what I was doing. I don't think it's like that anymore. But the beginning of this story was definitely me living my dream.

 
This chapter was SUPPOSED to be the moment where it's revealed- it was Eric, not a band member, not another crew member, who brought Marieke back to the hotel that night. I was surprised you thought otherwise. Now I have to consider if I want it to go a different way or not.


^Spoilered that because if it stays the same way, I don't know if you want to be kept in suspense for longer or if you want to know right away what I'm talking about. (I feel like I'm not making too much sense as I type, so sorry.)
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:10 PM   #19
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It's weird, Blue...I automatically expected for Marieke to get Bono cause that's what usually happens. But I'm almost kind of glad she hasn't (though it would make for good chapters). He just seems so much better being faithful to Ali. I keep kicking myself for letting him be unfaithful briefly. You're on a better path

Ehh, not that much of a spoiler. It felt like it was revealed, to me. Your choice entirely whether you want to make that what happened.

Isn't it weird how the stories are set at first and then they totally change with feedback?
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:15 PM   #20
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My brain just broke and all I can think is "I want to write. " (I don't have the document on this computer.)

But you are right. Feedback shifts a story when you know who you're writing for. I compare posting my chapters to album releases.
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