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Old 01-27-2016, 09:35 AM   #1
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Innocent Experience - Chapter 2

Note: This is not true. Not true at all. Only typos and possible grammar mistakes are true. Not an English native speaker here... doing my best, though. Feedback and comments are highly appreciated. Thanks to jeevey and GraceRyan fro friendship and support. And thanks to anyone who takes some time to read this. Hope you enjoy chapter 2.

Chapter 2
Seen It All Before”

I don't wanna do this by myself,
I don't wanna live like a broken record
I've heard these lines a thousand times
And I've seen it all before.


The Gemstone was a three-star restaurant owned and operated by Donald Stone, himself a New York native. Located on 67th St, the restaurant had been destined for success since its opening in 1996. The Gemstone was Mr. Stone’s first solo restaurant and the one that made him world-famous. A burgundy red theme predominated, coupled with leather and polished metalwork. The Gemstone was a regular for many celebrities who liked to relax and eat well.


Oddly enough, Bono had never been there before. He had heard Edge mention it countless times. But he was too lazy to pick up the phone and book a table three months in advance. Or maybe he was too busy. At the end of 2013 he toyed with the idea of taking Ali there. But by then, she was the busy one. Finally, he decided to book a table for two for early September. As the date approached, he was glad to have Jordan around. Lately, he didn’t get to spend as much time with her as he wished. He was anxiously waiting for that night. It wasn’t until they both were sitting at the table that he could finally breathe.


Jesus,” he sighed, “I thought we wouldn't make it.”


Dad, you’ve got to relax,” Jordan said with a concerned look.


I’ve had my sights on this goddamn restaurant for a year,” he took a deep breath and leaned back on the chair. He finally smiled at his daughter. “But now we are here. You look beautiful.”


Thanks,” she said as he tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, “Thought you'd been here before.”


No, I hadn’t. Edge never stops talking about it. But I was too lazy to book a table,” he motioned to the nearest waiter.


A pale, red-haired man in his thirties approached the table. With a grin he greeted them.


Good evening.”


Good evening,” Jordan and her father said at the same time. Her voice was lower. She could sense his excitement when he spoke next,


We'd like to order some drinks first.”


Of course,” he waited for Bono’s answer. He didn’t seem to give it a lot of thought.


I’d like a bottle of Cheval Blanc 1947.”


Right away. Anything else, sir?”


Not for now. Thank you very much.”


They watched the man walk away. Bono pulled out his phone and turned it off. He didn't want to be bothered by anyone. They looked through the menu. Jordan was wearing a little black dress. As she watched her father, her crimson colored lips showed a slight smile. They had always been very close. She had been born on his twenty-ninth birthday. His first child. She knew he missed having her lie on his chest like when she was a baby. He wished he could always protect her. Be there for her.


Have you been sleeping these days, Dad?” she asked. “You look tired.”


I am. But I needed to spend some time together. I haven’t been around for you in a while,” his voiced almost cracked. He sighed. “Let's drop the sentimental talk now. I'm a rock star.”


When he smiled, Jordan noticed the wrinkles in the outer corner of his eyes. He had aged in the past few months, she realized. The worst thing was he didn't care. For her it was terrifying. She couldn't stand thinking about how the time they could spend together passed by. The traveling. The singing. All the things that kept them apart. She wanted more time. She wanted her daddy always by her side. The thought of losing him crossed her mind. Waves of regret flooded her conscience. Regret for all the times she said she was too busy. His hand caressed hers.


Babe, what's the matter?” he saw melancholy drawn all over her face.


Dad, I love you so much,” she said, fighting the threatening tears.


I love you too,” he extended a hand to brush her cheek. “That's why I need you to light up this night for me with your beautiful smile. We're together now.”


She grabbed his hand and kissed it. She was smiling when he heard her speak next.


We're gonna have a blast.


Girl, you know me!”


The waiter brought the wine. Then, the food. Bono and his daughter were immersed in their conversation. He wanted to catch up on everything he had missed these last few weeks. She didn't know how, but they ended up talking about her boyfriend and her friends from New York.


It's funny... do you know who owns this restaurant?” she asked him.


Donald Stone.”


Do you know who he is?”


He's famous, Jojo. Of course I know who he is. Haven't met him in person yet, though,” he sipped at his wine.


I mean he is Florence's father-in-law.”


Really?”


You can't even imagine how close Florence was all this time. She is your friend's daughter's painting tutor.”


Jojo, I have thousands of friends.”


Mr. Hammond.”


Oh! So Florence frequents Henry's place?”


It was my idea. She is quite an amazing artist.”


She’s very Bob-Dylanish,” he stared into space rubbing his chin. “Reminds me of one of his songs.”


Images of Florence’s drawings were embedded in his mind. He found himself humming, She's got everything she needs, she's an artist; she don't look back. His words were inaudible to Jordan.


It's a shame she is with that asshole.”


Bono's thoughts spread like smoke blown by the wind when he heard her daughter.


What do you mean?”


Her boyfriend's an idiot. You know, the kind of person who can't stand other people's talent. I've actually seen him putting Florence's work down like he didn't even care,” she took a bite of her food.


She looked very in love to me,” he stated. “You know, she cut me off in mid-sentence this afternoon because she had to meet her boyfriend.”


She sipped from her drink. Bono rubbed his chin again.


She loves him. She is very passionate about her values,” she explained, “I've tried to make her realize he's an ass. But she won't listen. I've opted for not saying anything else.”


He's gonna have to bite his tongue once she starts working with us.”


With? Thought you were gonna hire her to work for you.”


I've another plan. She is too good just to work for us. I want her side by side with the band. I was going to ask you... Do you have a number where I can reach her?”


I do have her number, but it's private. She's really angry at me because I gave you her drawings.”


I understand. I'm sorry I got you in trouble with your friend. Can you at least give her my number?”


Are you sure?” Jordan eyes opened. His father never gave out his own number. He always had people contact his assistant, unless it was a matter of life or death.


Do you trust her?”


Her answer was a resounding “yes”. Her friend had proved her responsibility and commitment. Jordan knew she wouldn't get her in trouble if she gave Flo her father's number.


Then I trust her too,” he said and called the waiter for another bottle of wine.


You're gonna get drunk Da.”


Then I'll crawl out of the restaurant on all fours,” he winked at her.


They changed the subject a few minutes later. He drank more wine, and she had just water. They didn't even notice when their plates got empty. Bono ordered peach and mint mousse for dessert for both of them.


I'm glad Eve's not here,” Jordan joked, “I can't stand another flourless chocolate cake for the sake of her gluten-free diet.”


Don't be so harsh on your sister,” he scowled. Jordan rolled her eyes.


I was only joking, Dad.”


Well, what do you think if we keep celebrating? Let's watch a good movie.”


Sounds good.”


***


Fourteen hours later Edge plopped on one of the chairs in the control room of the studio. He had blood shot eyes. He arrived earlier than the rest of the band looking for silence. Unfortunately, Adam was eager to start his day. He was eager as a puppy when he popped up in the room. He wore a white shirt and linen trousers, and had spiky white hair. He put his cup of tea on the first flat surface he spotted.


Hey Reg!” he said turning on the lights.


Jesus! Weren't you supposed to be curled in bed with your wife?”


Someone woke up on the wrong side of bed today,” he raised an eyebrow; “Morleigh isn't home, is she?”


California,” he said. His eyes were still closed. “I wasn't coming, but Bono called early.”


Is early four in the morning?” Adam sat in the floor. His back pressed against the wall, “I'm getting used to it. He's done the same thing to me twice this week!”


I'll kill him if he doesn't show up in five minutes.”


Kill whom?”


Bono spoke in an easy-going manner. His voice made Edge raise his head. When he swiveled his chair to face him, Bono's eyes opened at his friend's murderous gaze.


Jeez, Edge! What happened to you?”


Nothing important. Just a crazy friend who woke me up at four in the morning.”


Wonder who would that be. I bought some muffins on my way here,” he placed the bag next to Adam's cup of tea.


Adam got up and grabbed one from the bag. “Good!”


Where's Larry?” Bono asked.


I haven't talked to him since we left the studio yesterday,” Edge replied.


He better gets here soon. I want to show you something before we start the day.”


I'd rather go to home and spend the day in bed. I feel like shit,” Edge stretched until he felt his joints crack.


What happened to you last night, Reg?” Bono asked him.


You really don't want to know.”


Adam and Bono exchanged astonished looks. Edge was acting weird. Maybe it was the pressure. He had been going crazy for the past four years. He thought they would never finish the album; feeling that everything was getting more frustrating as time passed.


The band tried too hard to marry the message, the melody, and the sound and they kept forgetting to enjoy themselves. Larry was the one questioning Bono's decisions when he felt the band was going nowhere. The drummer had agreed with Jimmy Iovine when he had told Bono that he had to go back in time and ask himself some hard questions. He needed to figure out whether he was ready to write the kind of songs they were interested in. At first, Bono was reluctant to look back. The past was a place he didn't like to visit. Larry kept pushing Bono because he knew he could do it. Adam and Edge agreed that maybe it wasn't the best way to encourage him to look back.


After many arguments, Bono budged a little. He went back and revisited his childhood memories from the north side of Dublin. It started out like a voyage into early memories. Journeys of all kinds: California. Car bombs. Sex. Rock and roll bands in full flight. Friendship and love. But there was a place he wasn't ready to go yet. And he knew he had to do it, he just couldn't find the strength or the courage to crack his heart open and talk about his mother's death. As he struggled with his inner demons, the rest of the band felt that energy pulling them back to where they started like the burden of a broken-down 16-wheeler.


Adam mostly waited patiently in silence in a corner while Bono and Larry argued. Sometimes he flicked through his phone, or answered calls from his wife who hated that his husband spent days locked in a studio, only going home from two until eight in the morning. That left Adam with another problem to take care of. After giving up a little on putting an album together, Edge began to agree with whoever ended the arguments between Bono and Larry. The sessions with producer Danger Mouse had helped but they hadn't been enough. The band finally decided to appeal to Ryan Tedder and Paul Epworth, who had had great success producing Adele's 2011 album, and things started making some sense again.


Morning everyone!” Larry's voice echoed from across the hall. Bono and Adam knew he was getting closer. When he entered the control room he found two faces staring at him. Edge couldn't give a damn about the time, he just wanted to sleep.


Did you get lost, Larry?” Bono raised an eyebrow.


No, boss. I had a little accident this morning. Thanks for asking, I'm good myself.”


What happened?” Adams asked with concern.


Someone almost hit my car.”


Glad you're okay.”


Oh, muffins,” the drummer frowned. “Who brought these?”


Calories Hewson,” Adam giggled.


Christ! You're gonna die, Bono.”


We're all gonna die, Mullen,” he said calmly, “some from fat, others from a car crash,” the singer made a face at Larry. He couldn't believe the drummer was starting to be an ass so early in the morning.


I've just had a very healthy breakfast and I am happy, by which I mean, you're not spoiling my day.”


Okay, enough with the childish behavior!” Edge yelled opening his eyes.


Before Bono could say anything else, he was interrupted by the recording crew. They had to start working as soon as possible. Bono's little surprise had to wait until they were done in the studio. On the other hand, he had started writing the song he was looking for. He wondered what would the band think of it.


***


The day had passed almost in time lapse. When Florence hung up the phone with sorrow in her eyes, she looked through the window how shades of pink and mauve took over the sky. Brian had called. He had to spend the night in the building. Heather Hammond had scheduled an interview with Jimmy Page and he had to cover it. Unfortunately, the guitar player was only available after 9:30 pm before getting on a plane to London at midnight. That meant Florence was going to be alone in her apartment the whole night.


Florence’s one-bedroom apartment was like a haunted house when she was alone. She was terrified by the thought of sleeping on her own in the bedroom. Before she met Brian, she split the apartment with a friend from who needed a place to stay. She was happy to sleep on the couch as long as she had someone in the apartment during the night. When Sylvia had to leave, Florence freaked out. She spent three months sleeping on the couch until she met Brian and he started staying most nights with her. When he wasn't around, Florence would always go back to the old couch habit.


After thirty minutes of channel surfing, she turned off the TV. She had avoided the thought of being alone, but now she had to push her inner demons away. She was about to call it a night when she spotted her iPhone on the dining table. Curiosity bloomed in her as a flower in spring. She didn't know anything about U2, and she had been wondering all day long what made her drawings remind Bono so much of his music. It didn't take long to have twelve albums downloaded. She picked randomly an album and a song.


Tomorrow


The timeless uileann pipes grabbed her from the opening notes. She listened as if her life depended on it. She listened the way she had listened to Bono when they had met. A voice sang with a touch of grief mixed with anger. She knew that feeling. She had lived with it for years. It struck her like a knife to the ribs.


It was the same feeling. The same pain tearing their hearts. She didn't know his story. She didn't know if it was real. But he cried out as she had the night her mother had died. The song took her to an uncomfortable place she hadn't been to since leaving Florida. The ache was unbearable. But she couldn't stop his voice. She wanted to listen to what he had to say. She realized he was right. Through his music, she could hear what her paintings wanted to say.


The room was poorly lit as she sat at her drawing board. She turned on the lamp. She was afraid of what might happen if she pressed her pencil against the paper. She hadn't been driven by the feeling of loss, anger, and despair for a while. But she realized that the wound hadn’t healed, and it never would. Her fingers warmed the wood as she spun the pencil between them. She needed to do this. A charcoal dot marked the beginning. Lines and curves shaped a room. Tiny, like a box. There was a broken guitar on the bed and a knife sticking in the door. A teenager was perched on the windowsill looking at the bare street. He was ready to jump from the edge and join his mother.


Florence was crying when she stopped drawing. Breaking the pencil in two, she threw the pieces into the wastebasket. She needed some sleep. Listening to that music was an intense experience. Bono was a driving force, even through the headphones. There was no doubt that the pain she had seen in his eyes was real. It was there. Miles away from his smile, but for someone like Florence it was more than obvious.


The room was dark. The cool sheets felt good on her body as she lay on the bed. She wasn't aware she'd walked into the bedroom until the song was over. But she didn't care. His voice gave her the courage to face her ghosts. Staring at the ceiling, she heard a new melody. It evoked the sea and the night, reminding her of home. A peaceful sound, like waves lapping the shore beneath the moon. In the stillness she heard more. She sensed his lips parting before his voice caressed her ears. She had been there too: under a bridge in a rip tide that had taken everything she called her own. She had found someone who could actually tell her life through songs. Someone who was as wounded as she was. Florence didn't know if it was pain or joy that she felt that moment. As her eyes slowly closed, the voice kept saying she was one step closer to knowing.
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Old 01-27-2016, 09:36 AM   #2
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Sorry... dealing with formatting is never easy. I apologise for the mess above... if anyone knows how to correct it... help me please... I need somebody's help!
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Old 01-27-2016, 09:37 AM   #3
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Sorry... dealing with formatting is never easy. I apologise for the mess above... if anyone knows how to correct it... help me please... I need somebody's help!
Ugh! I managed to solve it on time
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Old 01-30-2016, 09:02 AM   #4
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Very intriguing. Looking forward to the next bit.

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Old 01-31-2016, 08:07 AM   #5
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im working on it, needs some edit first. glad you are enjoying
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:07 AM   #6
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this chapter needed some edit before posting, but patience is not one of my virtues
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:12 AM   #7
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its really good!!! keep going!!!
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:37 AM   #8
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Thanks!
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:09 AM   #9
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Very intriguing. Looking forward to the next bit.

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I should get it finished tonight, meaning I will post it tomorrow. I am really glad you are enjoying it. Thanks very much for commenting to both you and philly
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:11 AM   #10
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Can't wait

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Old 02-02-2016, 08:16 AM   #11
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can't wait

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!!
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:42 AM   #12
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Sorry... I know I said I'd have ch 3 by today, but some sort of problem has all my attention. I'll try to post tomorrow
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:27 AM   #13
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I am catch ng every day for your post. I hope everything is well with you.

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Old 02-08-2016, 07:38 AM   #14
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Everything is well, I haven't been able to get a proper edit, I think I'll get something later this week. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:01 AM   #15
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I am sorry, I have been dealing with A LOT, and I haven't been able to properly edit and post. I think I will have something by the end of the week, hopefully.
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Old 04-10-2016, 02:35 AM   #16
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I love this story! I really hope you will update soon
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:44 PM   #17
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I love this story! I really hope you will update soon
Thanks kuroshi. I really can't keep promising that I am going to update within the current moth, but I am definitely going to update.

It's a bit difficult since my editor is very busy and I have no one else. He wants to do a good job. Thank you so much for waiting so patiently.

Florence and Bono will sort things out eventually.

I'd like to know what you all think of the characters. This is my first time posting anything I have created and I's like to know your opinion. Feedback and comments are always appreciated.

Thanks to everyone who stops by and takes some time to read the story. Luv y'all!
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:02 PM   #18
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getting there... slowly... but getting there...
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:31 PM   #19
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I like the characters. I especially enjoyed the humanness of the way you are writing Bono.

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Old 04-21-2016, 12:10 PM   #20
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I like the characters. I especially enjoyed the humanness of the way you are writing Bono.

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Oh, thank you so much dragonfly .

It's pretty much the way I picture Bono. I mean, yes, he is a rock star and probably if I see him in person one day, the first thing to cross my mind would: "Eff! This man is a legend." But deep inside he is a human being who makes mistakes, and has flaws.

I have a friend who lost her mother when she was young, so I am trying to capture that feeling, because it doesn't matter how long since a parent is gone, your soul always will have a hole. I try to wear a similar pair of shoes here: how would I feel, and react?

I listened to Iris, Tomorrow and I Will Follow when I wrote these chapters.

I am really glad you are enjoying the story. It means a lot to me.
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