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Old 04-06-2010, 07:35 PM   #1
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Stranger In A Strange Land: Chapter 25

Only two more chapters after this one!!

~New York is a real, actual city. This story is a product of my vivid imagination~

My mom answered the door, and while she was happy to see me and gave me a proper hug, it was obvious she was more interested in who I had with me. "So this is him?" She held Bono at arms length, studying him for a second or two, and then hugged him. "What an adorable little thing you are!" She kissed his cheek. "I'm so happy to finally meet you." He looked elated. "It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Quinn-" She interrupted him, waving her hand. "Psh, don't you dare! Call me Anne." He chuckled nervously. "Oh, ok..." I felt like my heart was going to burst. I gave my dad a quick hug, eager to have him turn his attention to Bono. I had to laugh as my dad gave him what I had come to call "the American guy hug"- handshake and somewhat stiff one-arm hug. "I'm Pat. We're glad to have you here...uh...what should I call you?" I laughed. "Bono. Only me dad still calls me Paul," he said, making a fond yet exasperated face. "Ohhh, what a cute little accent he's got!!" My mom continued to squeal over him. "Where's-" Killian came shyly into the room. "Ah! Baby, this is my little brother Killian." He smiled and extended his hand. With all the stimulus, Bono, who was normally eager to hug everyone and be in their faces, seemed perfectly content to just shake his hand. My brother was a good five inches taller than Bono. I had never noticed how tall he was. Actually, I thought, Killian wasn't tall. I had just gotten used to the fact that Bono was well below average height. I hugged him around his waist. "You ok?" I whispered. "You look a little overwhelmed." He smiled. "No, I'm good. They seem happy with me!"

Five minutes later, the doorbell rang again. I had barely noticed it, but then my dad was calling to me. "Lil, come over here..." Jack was standing in the doorway. I had all but forgotten that he existed. "Oh my God...Jack!" He grinned. "Hey Lil, your dad called and told me that you had disappeared to Ireland...I was wondering why I hadn't seen or heard from you! Anyway, he told me you were back, and if I wanted to come over-" In the back of my mind, I registered that it was an odd action on my dad's part. But at the moment, I was more interested in showing Bono off to everyone who had been a part of my life. "Oh, Jack, there's someone I want you to'll never! Come here!" Jack's eyes widened. "Bono, this is my old friend Jack. Remember, the one you thought I was dating? If it weren't for him, I don't know if we ever would have met!" "Well, I think I have to give you a hug for that!" he exclaimed, and he hugged him. Jack looked positively thrilled. "Oh man! Wow...I...I'm a huge fan. I mean, you guys are freaking brilliant." I hugged Bono out of a burst of intense pride, and he smiled shyly. "Thanks. That really means a lot. And thank you for introducing her-" Jack nodded. "Yeah. Well, it was really great meeting you. And great seeing you again, Lil...I'm gonna go now. I didn't realize you were having a meet-the-folks session! Good luck to you guys, eh?" And he left. I looked at my father out of the corner of my eye, and he looked uneasy.

After the initial awkward phase had passed, Bono warmed up quickly, turning back into the intensely talkative and gregarious boy that I knew. He told his side of the story of how we met, stories about when he was little, stories of the ridiculous situations we had gotten into along the road, all the while expertly skirting the issues neither of us wanted brought up. Seeing him interact with my family made him seem even more loveable than before, if it was possible. When it came time for bed, the trip-ups began. "Killian offered to sleep out here on the couch, so you can sleep in his room honey," my mom said to Bono. I nearly asked why, at the very last second remembering the idea we were trying to convey. My mom must have seen the momentary look of confusion cross my face though. "What, Lil? Why'd you make that face?" I decided that she was actually probably doing it on purpose, which was understandable. "Nothing. I just...I'll sleep on the couch, he doesn't have to give up his room." I wasn't sure if she was convinced or not, but she let it go for the moment. "Lil, he sleeps in that room every night. You sleep in your own room."

Bono wanted to take a shower, so I took him to the towel closet. Once we were safely down the hall, we embraced. "You're doing great, baby. You're just perfect..." I kissed him hard, and he moaned quietly. "I forgot we would have to sleep separately," he sighed, hugging me tightly. "I know, it sucks. But it's only for a few days, right?" He nodded. "I can handle it," he chuckled. "I love you, Lilly." He was looking at me so tenderly I felt like tearing up. I heard footseteps. I gave him a quick kiss. "I love you. Get in the shower!" I closed the closet door to make it sound like I had been doing something other than canoodling with Bono in the hallway.

Back out in the living room, I confronted my dad. "Dad, did you know that Jack introduced me to U2?" It was a trick question. He didn't know how to answer, thus he was forced to answer honestly. "No, I didn't." I crossed my arms. "Then why did you invite him over here today?" I asked angrily. He sighed. "Look, Lil...I didn't really mean any harm by it. I didn't realize what kind of situation this was...I regretted it the second I heard the doorbell ring." My mouth was still set in a hard line. "Lil, neither of us realized the seriousness of the situation, I don't think," my mom offered. "The two of you are clearly closer than we thought. Your father shouldn't have done that," she said, shooting him a disapproving look. "But no harm was done. It's best to just let it go." I unfolded my arms. "Ok. But no more shit, allright? No more interference."

I laid in my old bed, staring up at the ceiling, unable to fall asleep. This bed had always been empty save for me, so that was no change. But despite the familiarity, it was the emptiness of the bed that was keeping me awake. I closed my eyes, trying to sleep. Eventually, I heard soft, creeping footsteps. Probably my mom, making sure Bono and I were in our respective beds. I felt warm air on my face, and opened one eye. Bono was peering over me, kneeling next to the bed. "Were you sleeping?" I opened both eyes and sat up. "Nope." He sighed. "I can't sleep, Lilly. I'm lonely." He nuzzled my neck, leaving a trail of warm kisses up to my ear, his hand on my tummy. "Can I please sleep in here with you?" I squirmed. "Bono, I have very weak will power, and my resistance to you is practically non-existant. If you want to be sure my parents stay enamored with you, I suggest you go back to your bed, because I can't tell you no." He smiled. "I'm not going to try and do anything. I just can't sleep alone. Just let me lay here for a little while at least?" I turned down the covers, and he crawled right under. He kissed me, prodding my lips with his tongue, and I gave in. When I realized that he was practically laying on top of me, I had to stop him. "Bono..." I put my hand on his chest to distance our bodies. "We're seriously playing with fire here." He sighed and laid down next to me. "I know. Okay, I'll be good, I promise." Despite having gotten excited, with his warmth next to me, I fell right to sleep.

When I woke up in the morning, I was alone in the bed. I got up and went into my brother's room, where Bono was fast asleep. I smiled and kissed his cheek. "Good boy." When I went into the kitchen, my mom gave me a funny look, and then went back to the frying pan. In that instant, I knew she had been snooping around last night, clearly before Bono had returned to his own bed. I rolled my eyes. "Lil, I have to ask you something. And I want you to tell me the truth." "Ok..." She eyed me. "Do you two...have you...well, you know..." I stared blankly at her. "How am I supposed to tell you the truth if I have no clue what you're asking me?" She took a deep breath. "Do you two usually sleep in the same bed?" I bit my lip. "Well, yes." She looked nervous. "And have you...well..." I decided I didn't want to make her say it. "Yes, we have." She went completely ashen. "Oh God, Lil..." she groaned, putting her hand to her forehead. "What?! You asked for the thruth, and there it is. I'm not a little girl." She nodded. "I know, I know. It's not so much that you've taken that step, it's just...what it means. It's serious." I was getting angry. "I know it's serious. I wouldn't do it with just fact, that's the point. I wouldn't do it with anyone else but him."

"That's what I was afraid of. The fact that you've taken that means you've gotten very attatched. Breaking that bond is a lot harder and...well,I wish you hadn't..." I stood up. "What?! I thought you liked him!! You were cooing over him like crazy yesterday!" I felt like I was going to cry very angry tears. "Calm down, Lil. I do like him! I think he's a wonderful boy. In fact, I don't think you'd ever find anyone better than him- he's definitely special, and I'm glad you're happy. But there are plenty of nice boys out there...around here. This is tearing our family apart! You're living on another continent, for crying out loud!" I kicked the chair. "You bug the hell out of me to come home, to bring him here, and this is what you have to tell me? He wants so badly for you guys to accept him as part of the family. It would break his little heart if he heard you say that. You're worried about physical separation? If this is the attitude you're going to have, you're going to create emotional separation between us, and it will be no one's fault but your own. He is my life, and you can either accept that, or not."

I stormed down the hall and into Killian's room, where Bono was tentatively combing his hair, obviously trying to listen to the conversation that had just taken place. I hugged him fiercly, trying not to cry. "Oh Lilly..." He kissed me several times. "I couldn't hear everything, but-" "Let's go." He looked shocked. "Where?" "Out. We're going for a drive. I need to get out of here for now. I just want to be with you. Come on." I grabbed his hand and dragged him out the door, down the stairs, and into the car in the street. He attempted to get into the left side, saw the stearing wheel, and went around. "Who's car is this?" "Mine. Buckle your seatbelt." He did as he was told, quickly, and his eyes were wide and full of uncertainty. I leaned over him and kissed him passionately, my hand in his lap to steady my weight. I felt his arms around me, and I was fighting back tears again. "Don't worry babylove, it'll be fine. And remember, you have me no matter what."

I pulled out into traffic, and immediately there was a long honk from a taxi that veered around me. Bono jumped, but didn't say anything. I drove along Broadway until it crossed with 5th Avenue, and I took 5th Avenue to Midtown. I wasn't sure if I'd ever seen Bono look more terrified. He was hanging onto the "oh shit" handle for dear life, his hand white. I laughed. "Whassamatter?" He looked over at me like I had an extra head. "I thought you were a timid driver! You always stay in the slow lane and travel below the speed limit!" "Psh, that's because I'm not used to driving on the wrong side of the road, in the wrong side of the car. I learned to drive here. I know these roads well." He was about to say something else when I cut off another taxi. More honking. He cringed. "This city scares me a little. Frankly, you're scaring me a little right now. I think you're a little too pissed off to drive." I laughed again. "This is how I drive! Welcome to New York City, my love." He looked out his window. "I think this guy wants to get in." A bus. I shook my head. "I'd like to see him try." For the next three blocks, the bus and I attempted to edge eachother out of the lane. Bono looked positively mortified. "Are you crazy? That bus can crush this car! Let him go!" "No, he'll slow this lane down." I wasn't in a hurry to get anywhere, but Bono's reaction to all of this was so entertaining.

I turned down 48th street and parked the car next to an open meter. "Where are we?" I leaned over and kissed his cheek. "The heart of Manhattan. That's Rockefeller Center, Times Square is a few blocks away...come on." I dumped some quarters in the meter and led him along. Perhaps in the years to come, Bono would know this city well. But he had never really seen it before, and I wanted to show him. As a child, I never understood why people were excited to win a trip to New York on a game show. Big deal. Why did they even give that away as a prize? Hawaii seemed like a much better destination to me. This place was so ordinary. When I would see people standing on the streets with their necks craned skywards, I was confused. There was nothing up there but the tops of really tall buildings. As I got older, it boggled my mind to think that some people had never seen the Empire State Building, and were thrilled when they finally did. It wasn't until my teens that I appreciated the city and its appeal. It was a truly fascinating place, unlike any other place in the world. It was all new to Bono, and watching him look around with wonder was strangely heartwarming. I dragged him excitedly block after block, up and down the avenues, showing him all the things that I had once found completely unworthy of oggling.

Hours later, on our way back to the car, Bono grinned curiously at me. "So, are you still homesick?" The question hit me hard. How to answer it? After only two days, the long stretches of Interstates, unfamiliar towns, and string of hotels seemed ages ago. True, this place was more familiar than any other. I suppose it did feel like I was home. I thought of the little house in Dublin that had become my home when I ran from here. It smelled of cinnamon and warm welcomes. I thought of our walks along the River Liffey, and the docks. All the charming accents. I remembered the morning that we had left, how I felt that I was leaving my home. I felt torn for a moment. Bono had only asked me a simple question, but behind it hid a huge one. Where was my home? When we left Dublin that morning, Bono told me, "It's your home now, too." I believed him. I wanted it to be. Bono was looking at me, waiting for an answer. "Well, I'm not in a bad mood like I was before. I was tired of all the hotels and I'm in a familiar place." He chuckled. "You'll never stop being a New Yorker, Lilly. You might want might not visit for years, you might even lose that ridiculous spunky accent...but it'll always be a part of you. Even if you become a part of someplace else. You'll come back, and it will be like you never left." He was saying it like it was a good thing, which was not how I previously thought of it. "But I don't know if I like were shocked at how I yelled at that lady on the subway, terrified of my driving...maybe it's a part of my identity that's best forgotten." Bono smiled gently. "No way! It's a part of you that's interesting and I like very much, on the contrary." "Well, to answer your question, I still miss home. I miss the house we got to know eachother and fell in love in." The characteristic wind that blows down the avenues in New York picked up our hair, and as he kissed me, I imagined it was the breeze blowing off the Liffey.

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Old 04-06-2010, 09:58 PM   #2
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I love this story. They are so young and so in love.

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Old 04-07-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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::siiiiiiigh:: to fall in love all over again like that. i really this story. It's so cute and lovey. Good job! Keep it coming!
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:20 PM   #4
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*rugby tackles Val*

I. Love. This. So cute.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:56 AM   #6
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