Mysterious Ways - Chapter 24 - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-18-2011, 09:46 PM   #1
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Mysterious Ways - Chapter 24

This is a little bit that I've been working on in between Please. I wanted to post it so the story didn't get swallowed up.

Fictional character in fictional times....

Adam opened the door to Larry. He looked anxious.

"How do I look?" he smoothed down his white shirt.

"You look smashing," Adam said.

He uncuffed and cuffed his shirtsleeves nervously. "How do you think I'm doing?"

"Fine, just relax," Adam said.


"You've made it perfectly clear that you are unattached," Adam said. "I think she caught on that you are interested in starting over...let it happen naturally. It did before, right?"

Larry nodded. "Until I was too scared to see it through."

"It's a massive adjustment and not one to be taken lightly. Do you think there is something still there?"

"Maybe, if I haven't put her off too much," He thought back to the beginning of the summer. Gloria had asked him if it was something she had done. She was convinced that he hated her again. He had to prove to her again that she was very important in his life.

"Just take it a day at a time," Adam clapped him on the back. "Don't force it. It'll happen."

Adam knew how much in love they were once. How much could have changed from that?

Larry smiled. “You’re right. I haven’t done this in....well I’ve never done this. Ann and I just sort of happened. We were kids.”

“As someone who has been in the game for longer than I’d like, you can’t force it. If she’s not ready, you being ready won’t make up for it. Just let her know you are there,” Adam said. “You’re going to do fine. Look at you. You are the best looking one of us.”

Larry frowned. “Maybe, the girls always went for Bono though.”

“Not anymore,” Adam referred to the past, or what he believed to be past. “C’mon. You want to be the first to pay her a compliment.”

Somewhere in the middle of getting ready for the night, Gloria remembered part of the conversation with Bono. He said that Larry had confessed about their affair. Was it just to Bono or to everyone? Panic shot through her body. Did everyone know? She thought she might die right in her room of shame. Maybe she could hide in there for the night - or the tour. With cell phones, she could do her job without ever seeing them again, right? She had to know for certain.

"Can I talk to you a minute?" she asked as Bono opened his door.

"Sure," he stepped aside.

"You mentioned that Larry confessed our affair to you. Was it just to you...or the room?"

"Well, the room. But apparently Edge and Adam knew already," he said.
"They knew?"

He nodded looking annoyed. "Yeah, I knew because you told me, but they knew. I'm still a bit pissed at them to be honest."

"Did you tell him I told you?" she asked.

"I said you told me right before we made love," His face was serious. He smiled as the panic hit her eyes. "No, I said nothing of the sort. That's our business."

She sunk down in a nearest chair. "Dear God. I feel like an ass. I swear I'm this close to leaving the tour. But then I'd have to explain to Andrew and why...and I'm not sure which is worse."

"Hon, no one is judging you. We'd be on the stand too," he moved closer.

She shook her head. "I am a terrible person. When it was in my own head it was easier to ignore how wrong it was. But now that it is out there. I feel like a truly vile person."

He knealt in front of her placing his hands on the arms of the chair, careful not to touch her. "You are not vile. I love you, and I wouldn't love someone terrible. They sorted it out based on Larry's actions. I think we all know that love is a very complicated thing. Please don't leave."

She looked unconvinced. "They must think I'm awful."
"Adam and Edge? No," he offered a crooked grin. "They might think you have terrible taste in men." She chuckled softly. "There...that's better."

He stood and offered his hand. "Come on. Everyone in this band loves varying levels," he smiled. He pulled her to her feet. “Let’s get some dinner.”

It took Gloria two glasses of wine to feel relaxed. After a few drinks, it was like old times again - before Larry told her about Ann - before Bono and Gloria reignited. The group of six grew to a group of 15 as crew members joined. It took all Bono’s strength to ignore Gloria, or to not gravitate towards as he normally would. Larry was working extra hard on playing it cool too. It took most of the evening before he slid in the seat beside her.

“So, what’s your training like?” he asked.

Bono glanced over to find them engrossed in conversation about cross training and running. Larry inched closer. Bono couldn’t hear what Paul was saying. He ordered another white wine.

“Can I train with you?” Larry asked. “I need someone to push me.”

She nodded. “Sure, if you want. I’m up early to do my runs.”

“I need it. I’ve been lazy and I can feel it in my back,” he said.

She shrugged. “I could use the company. Maybe you can help my pace.”

He flashed a brilliant smile. “I’ll see what I can do.”

Bono’s dinner turned in his stomach. Was he going to have to spend this whole tour watching this? It was his fault. He sanctioned this torture on himself.

After dinner and some after dinner drinks, a club was suggested. Gloria declined. Tomorrow was a busy day with soundchecks and interviews.

“Will you be okay getting to the hotel yerself?” Bono’s eyes were glassy with wine. “I could share a car with you.”

Wouldn’t you just like that, she thought. “NO, you go out and live it up like a rockstar. I’m just an agent and one that needs her beauty sleep. See you all at breakfast.”

“I’ll head back with you,” Larry chimed. “Are you running in the morning?”

“I should,” she said.

“Then I should head back too,” Larry said.

“Not even for one?” Bono asked, nearly pleading.

“Tomorrow night. I’m a bit knackered,” a small smile resting on his lips.

Edge watched Bono die a thousand deaths as Larry and Gloria slipped out the door, his hand on the small of her back.

Gloria laid awake waiting for a knock that never came. She was relieved and sad at the same time. Her alarm blared at 6 in the morning. Slowly, she pulled herself out of her bed to dress in her running clothes. The sun peeked in the horizon. It was an awful night of sleep. She tossed and turned, her dreams haunting her. One dream had Larry, the next Bono. Raiding the mini-bar of its bottled water, she opened her hotel door to find Larry walking down the hall in her direction in his running shoes.

“Wow, I didn’t think you’d actually take me up on that,” she chuckled.

“I told you I wanted to train with you,” he said. “Are we to the gym or outside?”

“Let’s go outside. It’s a nice day and I loathe the treadmill. Do you have water?” she asked.


“Don’t worry, we can share this one,” she tossed her bottle to him. “Is five miles too much?”

“Maybe?” He ran maybe 3 miles at a time.

“We’ll do four and see how you feel,” Gloria enjoyed seeming more fit that the ultra ripped Larry. She was sure his body fat percentage was in the single digits. And he was worried about running five miles?

Gloria ran a little slower than her average pace. She made sure that she and Larry could carry on a conversation so she didn’t push him too hard. They talked a little about nutrition. He asked if she considered becoming a vegetarian. He explained his exercise regimen. After the second mile, Larry’s legs were tired. Gloria looked as fresh as when they started. He was happy to listen her to talk about her love of running in shorts burst of breath. He considered bringing up Ann and the fact that it was really over. He didn’t want to her second guess anything. Now was not the time for a deep conversation like that. Adam’s words echoed in the back of his mind. Just relax and let it happen. The morning was beautiful and he was with her. For now, that was enough. By the third mile, their footfalls were the only sound. They ran in perfect cadence, their breathing even and together. Periodically, they passed the bottle of water between them.

Larry was never so happy to see the hotel about a quarter of mile before him. Sure, Gloria had her GPS watch, but he wondered if they were going to run forever. A few hundred feet from the entrance, Gloria slowed to walk. His legs burned as much as his lungs. She was fast. The last mile, he had a hard time keeping up with her, but there was no way he was going to ask her to slow down. His t-shirt clung to him not one part dry. He nodded breathlessly as she handed the water to him and he finished it in two large gulps.

“Are you okay?” she smiled over at him as she stretched her calves.

“’s been awhile since I’ve run. Little winded,” he huffed as he mimicked her moves.

“How do you feel?” she asked.

“Tired,” he admitted. “But good. Thanks for letting me tag along. The last few months have been tough and I haven’t been as good about keeping up with my health.”

“Of course. It makes sense,” she hoped he didn’t start talking about Ann or their break-up.

“I’m starving,” he patted his flat stomach.

“Let’s get breakfast,” Gloria straightened. “We earned it.”

“I might eat some yolks,” Larry chimed.

A continental breakfast was set up in the same boardroom as lunch the day before. Various members of the crew milled about picking through the buffet. Gloria spied Edge and Bono at a table near the coffee station. Bono was hunched over a plate loaded with enough grease to lubricate an airplane engine. His face was flushed and pale at the same time. Larry walked over. Bono picked up his eyes looking past Larry at Gloria as they approached.

“Jaysus, B,” Larry exclaimed. “You look rough.”

His blue tinted sunglasses couldn’t hide the bloodshot eyes behind them. He mumbled a few swears before shoveling some fried potatoes in his mouth.

“What did you do to him?” Gloria asked Edge.

Edge smiled mischievously. “You turned in so I found a new drinking buddy.” He patted Bono’s shoulder.

Gloria had seen Bono on plenty of rough mornings. Rarely did a hangover dampen his mood. He looked like death. She sat across from him.

“Do you want me to get you some eggs and maybe a bagel?” Larry asked her.

She nodded,. “Yeah, thanks....”

That small exchanged added a few more lines to Bono’s face. He took a large swig of his coffee. It felt like a large saw was slicing into his skull. The plate before him made his stomach lurch. He wanted to crawl back onto the bathroom floor and lie
naked on the cool tiles.

“Are you okay?” Gloria peered closer into his face.

He stared at her for a moment and the world stopped. Over her shoulder, he saw Larry happily fixing a plate for her with a goofy grin on his face. His weary eyes turned back to her face filled with concern. He wanted to toss everything off the table and yell that he was dying inside. He wanted to tell her that he stood at her door last night for several minutes until Edge led him away. He longed to take that face in his hands and kiss her in front of everyone. Suddenly, he wanted to the world to know his love for her.

Bono held her gaze seriously. “Do not let me go drinking with Reg again.”

Gloria smiled in relief. She saw a storm raging behind his eyes. “I told you it’s not pretty. We only have a soundcheck today. Get some rest.”

He smiled weakly. “I know. I will.” He pushed his plate away as Larry placed a full breakfast before Gloria. “I’m going back to bed for awhile.”

Gloria watched him walk away with slumped shoulders. She couldn’t help him. Yes, he was hurting. She was too. But he had made this decision for the both of them. Pushing him out of her mind, she turned to Larry who beamed at her with hope. This is what Bono wanted, she told herself.

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Old 02-19-2011, 01:25 AM   #2
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Aww poor B.
I'm so glad to see this story again, thanks so much! I love it

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Old 02-19-2011, 02:57 AM   #3
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Yay, a new chapter! Love Larry's eager nervousness, and poor clueless Adam. Somehow I get the feeling Bono's going to break
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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Ooh, that was NOT a pretty morning. I like the chapter though!
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:36 PM   #5
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It's funny how your characters take on their own life and almost write themselves. When I first envisioned the whole Australia tour, I first pictured Bono as being more flirty and challenging. Like he was still trying to get on with Gloria and chapters would be filled with flirty banter. I also had it where Gloria was pissed the entire tour at Bono and fought with him. But I wrote their emotions for one another so deeply that it made sense that despite all odds and everything that was happening, they still really cared for each other. Their interactions have been sad and sweet.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:31 PM   #6
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Ouccch, hangover...

It's painful for Bono, but I feel like Larry really deserves to be with Gloria...though that says nothing of whether she wants to be with him or not. I wonder what'll happen...

Interesting It means the characters have a strong part in the story/reason for becoming different...
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:09 PM   #7
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Bump for historical reasons. Mainly, I don't want to compile it all

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