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Old 07-12-2009, 05:26 PM   #1
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New story!! 'Stranger in a Strange Land': Chapter 1

Here it is, my first attempt This begins in early March, 1981. The first chapter or two are a little slow, bear with me, I promise it will get more interesting!

*This is of course a 100% fictional product of my very active imagination*

I admitted to myself that I was slightly terrified as I trotted through the Dublin airport. I was alone in a foreign city with no plan beyond the next few hours, nowhere to go. As the others from my flight filed towards baggage claim, I wiggled through the crowd towards the exit. I had no bags to claim. All I had was the backpack I had carried on board with me. At least I was on the ground now, in one piece. That made me feel a little better. The plane had not crashed, which had been my main concern. My next concern was finding Phoenix Park. I knew my way around the city about as well as I spoke Hebrew...with my luck, the place could be on the other side of the city. I made my way outside and got on a bus, hoping they would be nothing like New York City buses.

There were lots of people milling about on the grass when I got to the park. It was not a pleasant day...cloudy, no more than 55 degrees, and threatening rain. Most people would say it was not a great day for an outdoor concert, but I guessed they were used to it here. I didn't come to Dublin to see a U2 concert, but I had timed my arrival so as to be at this one. I had discovered this band only a few months earlier, but their music had quickly become the nearest and dearest thing to me. I would never forget the day I had gone to the record store to talk to Jack, my friend who worked as a cashier there. He told me that his cousin in London had sent him something that I just had to listen to. He presented me with an LP featuring a wide-eyed little boy on the cover. "They're this young band from Dublin...and I mean young, around 19 or 20. This is their first album...it's a hell of an album. These guys are going somewhere, I just know it. Take it home and listen...and tell me if it isn't the greatest thing you've ever heard. This isn't released here till sometime during the winter." I had Jack to thank for changing my life that day. It had brought me here, today.

I worked my way up to the front where the stage had been set up. I was small so it was easy to meander around people. My heart rate picked up as they took the stage. I had such a ridiculous crush on the singer...who wouldn't? I thought about how he wasn't more than a year or so older than me...he had sure gotten a lot more accomplished than I had. During 'Out of Control', Bono wandered out onto the railing as if it were a balance beam. Stupidly, I braced myself to catch him if he fell. As I was laughing at myself for that, he wavered a bit and instinctively, I reached up and grabbed his hand. Holy crap, I thought...what is HAPPENING? He grinned at me, a slightly crooked smile that was laced with relief that he hadn't fallen flat on his face. Suddenly, I couldn't hear anything. I knew there were people yelling all around me, but I couldn't hear them. I could only see this beautiful boy smiling at me, and could only feel his warm, strong hand grasping mine. It was a very strange moment...the only other thing I was aware of was my pulse, which sounded so loud that I felt like I was going to tip over. A blonde haired roadie in tight shorts scurried over to help poor Bono out of his predicament, and the show continued. I was left reeling, trying to figure out if that had actually just happened. A girl in a purple sweater, whom I had just realized standing next to me, grabbed my shoulders and shook me. I think she was saying something to the effect of, 'ohmigosh he touched you', but I couldn't hear. I managed a weak smile, but I spent the rest of the show trying not to pass out.

The crowd dispersed quickly after the band left the stage. I walked around in a circle, replaying the moment in my mind over and over again. I knew I was being a ridiculous teenage girl, but hey...couldn't I have this one moment? I had spent most of my teenage years being an adult...I deserved to be a teenager for once! I felt miffed because a small riot had broken out in front of the stage, which Bono had tried to quell, but for most of the show there was a group of people who were more interested in pushing eachother than the music. For this I felt the sudden need to find them and tell them how much I appreciated their music. I didn't quite know why, but then again, I didn't quite know what I was doing alone in Dublin, either.

I wandered over by the platform that had been used as a stage...and Bono was sitting by himself, eating an apple. Oh shit, should I go talk to him? Why would I do that? But then again, why not? I scowled at the ground as the mental war raged. I had never been good at talking to boys. So I never really bothered. The only male friend I had was Jack, and we had been friends since childhood. As I stood there dithering, I heard a very tentative sounding 'Hi'. It sounded almost like a question. I looked up abruptly and Bono was staring at me. Not smiling, just looking. Somehow, I managed to not do anything stupid. And then he grinned that lopsided boyish grin. There was something magical in that smile. Because suddenly, I didn't feel terrified of speaking and making a fool of myself. Instead, I felt comfortable, and compelled to stand closer to him, as if there was a magnet between us. I smiled back. "Hi...I saw you eating over there, I didn't want to bug you, but I did want to tell you how much I enjoyed the show...and then probably launch into a long-winded tale of how much your music means to me. I'll spare you, though." He chuckled a surprisingly deep laugh. "Well, I wanted to say thanks for saving me from a humiliating fall! Not that it hasn't happened before...I fall on me arse all the TIME! I'm Bono, by the way...well, my real name is Paul David Hewson, but everybody-" I interrupted him unintentionally with a laugh. "I KNOW who you are! I'm Lillian Quinn." My hard-wired American instinct extended my hand, but he ignored it and hugged me. Tight. Slightly shocked, I wrapped my arms around his waist and tried to register a million thoughts and feelings. He smelled heavenly. His shirt was obviously clean and smelled as such, but his hair was still sweaty and he smelled like a mixture of that, leftover shampoo and cologne. He was stronger than he looked. Barely taller than me. I could feel his heart beating, and it seemed to be beating awful fast.

He smiled at me apologetically. "An Irish greeting. I heard Americans don't, well, they're not as touchy-feely. I hope I didn't startle you..." He was almost whispering. For such a loud and passionate singing voice, he spoke with a surprisingly soft and velvety voice. I hugged him again, unable to get enough. "No, it's nice...I haven't had anyone hug me in a while." He put his finger under my chin. "Well, it's nice to meet you, Lillian Quinn." And he kissed my cheek. I immediately felt the color rising in my face, and I knew that my cheeks and ears were bright red. He grinned slyly. "Hmmm, you're blushing..."

I had known he was cute, but looking at him up close, cute was a gross understatement. His eyes were like big blue crystals, and they were sparkling in the sun that had recently broken through the clouds. He had freckles sprinkled over his face like pepper, and there were more on his left cheek than on the right. His hair was halfway dry, and hung over one eye. The locks near his ears were more wavy than the rest. And his ears stuck out a little. I had a compelling urge to touch them. We walked around a bit, and at some point, he took my hand in his and held it. He didn't pause and his expression didn't change, but there was something very tender about the gesture, something that I just felt in his soft hand holding onto mine.

"So, Lillian...I really like that name. Do you prefer Lil, though?" I shook my head. "No, actually. Everyone calls me Lil, but I'd rather they didn't." He nodded. "You haven't told me what brings you to Dublin city! Other than the fact that it's a lovely city..." He winked, and I thought my knees were going to give out. I sighed. "Wellll...it's a long story. A very long story, actually." He motioned for me to sit next to him on the steps leading up to the stage. "Well, I've got a long time to listen. You don't have to tell me if you don't feel comfortable, but..." The funny thing was that I DID feel comfortable. I leaned into him. "This might sound crazy, but I feel completely comfortable telling you anything. I just feel this strange sort of thing, like I've known you for a really long time or something. I don't know what it is, but I feel comfortable with you even though in reality I've only known you for an hour." He laughed and scratched his head. "I feel that too, that's why I asked-" "Hey Bon...where ARE you?" Someone's irritated yell interrupted him. His eyes got big. "Oh no, I've gone and pissed off Larry, he'll probably beat me up!" His sarcasm was hilarious, and he mocked Larry as he shouted at him from up on the stage. I ruffled up his hair. "Hey, I want to meet him!" Bono grinned. "Are you sure? It might be best not to confront him when he's mad...it's a bit like trying to pet a dog when it's eating." Nonetheless, he stood up and called to Larry, who who came storming over with the other two following.

Larry immediately dropped the angry thing and turned into a shy kid. I figured he was about my age, but he looked like he was 12. Adam's bizarre appearance shocked me a little in-person. I couldn't figure out exactly what was on his shirt, and he had a necktie wrapped around his blond 'fro. Edge was by far the most shy, but he had a very mild vibe about him that made it seem like he would be very easy to get along with. Ok, so it was sort of a European thing...they all gave me little hugs, but they were the cordial, 'nice to meet you' one arm cuddles that people give. They certainly didn't cling to me for half a minute like Bono had. I didn't want to get too excited wondering what that meant, though.

I noticed a strange shift in my behaviour. Normally when meeting new people I hang back and don't say much, and it's usually very awkward. But there was something about this situation that made me act differently. For example, instead of mumbling "Nice to meet you, Edge" I yelled, "Ahhh! Guitar hero!!," and ran up to him. I didn't know what had gotten into me. After a few minutes of chatting and telling them where I was from, how old I was, etc, Bono put his arm around me and scowled playfully at his friends. "Hey, back off now...I saw Lillian first!" I tried not to look delighted, or shocked. He seemed to be joking, so I was sure he didn't mean anything by that. Still, I was flattered. He grinned at me. "We're going to go grab a bite to eat...you'll come, won't you?"

Grabbing a bite to eat turned into all of us talking and laughing around a table at the pub for more than three hours. Well, almost all of us. Their manager had shown up and sat down, obviously a good ten years older than them. After we had been introduced, he sat there not saying much and looking at me with what I could only describe as disgust. I was bewildered, as I hadn't said but three words to him and was very polite. More polite than Adam, who sat there belching loudly and attracting stares. I mean, I did laugh, but Adam's behaviour didn't seem to bother Mr. McGuinness at all. It was just...me. After about five minutes I pretty much ignored him. The other four were the most wonderful boys I had ever met. I'd never interacted so easily with anyone before, let alone a bunch of boys. They felt like old friends.

It was Larry who noticed how late it had gotten. Although he was the youngest, there was something more mature in his behaviour than the others. "Bleedin' SUN went down, guys!" I had to laugh...and I had lost count of how many times he had said the word bleedin'. For the first time I felt a bit panicky. I remembered that I was alone, had nowhere to sleep, and limited money. But as far as they knew, I was there on vacation and staying with my aunt, uncle, and five cousins. I had abandoned my 'long story' for a short lie. It disturbed me a little how easily the lie had flowed out, and how I had made up these imaginary family members with a fair amount of detail. Mr. McGuinness suggested we all go home and got up to use the bathroom. An uncomfortable moment passed between the rest of us. Bono brushed my arm gently. He looked like he was going to say something, and then changed his mind and instead said, "I ehh...don't have a car." He looked embarassed about that. "But Paul M can give you a ride to your aunt's house. I'll ride with you" He smiled, sensing that I was uncomfortable. Ha, I thought. 'Paul M' looked like he would rather give a ride to an armed robber! No way was I going to ask him for a ride. I shook my head. "No, it's ok...it's uh, kind of far. I'll just take the bus back." Now Bono shook his head, vehemently. "Nooooo way. Absolutely not. You're not getting on a city bus alone after dark. That's asking for something bad to happen. ESPECIALLY if it's a long ride." I was a little surprised at how strongly he reacted. He told me NO, as if the decision was up to him. But, it was, because I decided to listen to him...I couldn't resist the way his strange protectiveness made me feel. "I live five minutes from here...if...if you want, you could take the bus WITH me to my house..." He looked like he was waiting for me to slap him across his face, and seemingly reluctantly added, "And when me dad gets home, I can drive you to your aunt's house in his car." This plan was infinitely better than a ride to nowhere with a man who seemed to loathe my presence for no apparent reason. I got to spend more time with Bono. Alone. At least it would give us more time to talk. I loved talking to him. Impulsively, I hugged him again. "Sure, that's a great idea. Thanks." Again he gave me his radiant lopsided smile and reached into his pocket. "Here's some change...you wanna call your aunt?" Oh yeah, my fake aunt that would be wondering where I was.

He followed me to the pay phone by the door. Damnnit, I was going to have to make this look real. I dialed a random number and in a stroke of massive luck, the machine picked up at wherever I had called. Perfect. "Hi aunt June...yeah it's me...oh it was great, yeah...mmhmm...I know, I'm sorry, I was just hanging out with my friend that I met..." He was watching me with an amused look on his face, but I didn't see any doubt in his eyes that I was actually having a conversation with someone. "It's a long bus ride from here, so I'm just going to stay at his house until his dad comes home with the car...yyyyessss...oh please, I'm 19 years old...not at all...yes,very, really sweet...probably late...ok, thanks. See you later...bye-bye" I hung up, laughing in my head. For my first fake phone conversation, I felt that was very convincing. Bono snickered. "Lemme guess, she asked if I was a boy?" I laughed. "Yup! And if you were drunk, and if you seemed nice!" He snorted. "Drunk, ha! I was wondering why you said 'really sweet'...I thought maybe you meant it in that slang way Americans use, when they mean something was great." "Noooo, I don't say that." I just looked at him. "You are really sweet, you know that?" His cheeks flushed a little and he looked at his feet. His way of saying 'awww shucks', I supposed.

I hugged the other three goodbye...I wasn't sure if I was going to see them again or not. I had no idea what was going on at all. I was just going minute by minute. Paul came out of the bathroom and Bono waved at him. "I'm taking her back to my house, and I'll drive her to where she's staying later when me dad gets home with the car." I noticed he regularly said 'me dad'...how adorable! I also noticed that now Paul was looking at both of us with distaste. What was this dude's major affliction? He put a hand on Bono's shoulder, gave him a dissaproving look, and said "See you later, then." The two of us exchanged confused looks, and then he put his arm around my shoulders. "C'mon girly, the bus will be here in a few minutes." We walked outside, and I put my arm around his waist. It was very natural, with him being so small. We must have looked like a couple walking like that. It was impossible for me to tell what he was thinking. His behaviour was very hard to read, but I was enjoying it nonetheless. It had gotten colder outside, and neither of us had coats. I shivered involuntarily and he pulled me closer. "We have to huddle together for warmth!" And at that moment, I kind of hoped the bus would never come.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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Im lovin this! This is great so far .. when's the next chapter up?
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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i kind of figured that edge would be described as shy.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:36 PM   #4
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Great beginning. moooore
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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Thanks! I didn't realize it was so long until I posted it, sheesh. I'm sort of nearly done with the second chapter
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:56 PM   #6
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This has the makings of being a really good story!

We don't have too many BabyU2 stories here.

I loved your description of Bono..it was perfect.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:55 AM   #7
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good job....
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:14 AM   #8
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I'm really liking this already so far No slow starts, it's interesting enough already! The detailed descriptions really take you into the story. Continue your writing
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:44 PM   #9
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I picked this era mostly because it looked like there weren't too many stories about it. Finishing chapter 2...
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:04 PM   #10
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this is great so far!
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by philly80 View Post
this is great so far!

i like it that was so funny.

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Old 07-19-2009, 09:21 PM   #12
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OMG! I didn't know u were gunna start posting ur story! I'm gunna read it right now!
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:54 PM   #13
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I just saw this, haven't been on in a while. I'm loving it so far though! Off to read the rest!
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:59 PM   #14
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barely catching up and it very cute so far!! I know that not many stories get wriiten about baby U2 I had started a couple of them but never finished. I might just have to pick up where I left off

Now on to chap 2
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:37 PM   #15
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They're this young band from Dublin...and I mean young, around 19 or 20. This is their first album...it's a hell of an album. These guys are going somewhere, I just know it. Take it home and listen...and tell me if it isn't the greatest thing you've ever heard.
Love! Love! Love!

I am in love with this story already...Bono is adorable in it and damn attractive. Plus I'm a sucker for the early 80s and this is veeery early (and Adam's hair is all poofy and Larry's awkward and shy! heehee)

Going to go read the next chapter now
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