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Old 07-16-2009, 06:34 PM   #1
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Stranger in A Strange Land: Chapter 3

Okies, Chapter 3 is here. I'm so happy you guys are reading it I can't believe I'm writing so quickly Chapter 4 is going to be

~The following is purely fictional fictiontastic fiction~


My heart was racing, and I felt like my whole body was on fire. "Bono...oh, Paulie...baby..." Our hands were tangled in eachother's hair. He made soft little sounds as we kissed, and as he pulled away he breathed hotly down my neck. I leaned back...

Crack!

My head hit something hard and I awoke with a start. I spent a moment in utter bewilderment and I grabbed the back of my head. It hurt like hell. I blinked a few times. I was on the floor of a phone booth, on a streetcorner, and it was light out. I groaned. Damnit, it was a dream. I must have hit my head on the glass. Why, why did I have to wake up, I asked of no one in particular. I looked at my watch...8:35. Then I remembered Bono was coming to meet me in 25 minutes. I scrambled out onto the street. There didn't seem to be anyone around, but I still went behind a nearby tree to brush my teeth, using a water bottle I had brought on the plane. I could only imagine how weird it would look, a dishevelled looking girl standing on the sidewalk brushing her teeth. And spitting. Looking around again, I quickly changed my shirt. I would have to find a laundromat later. That was, if they even had them here. I peered at my reflection in the glass of the phone booth. Well, I thought, it could be worse. My hair was a bit messy, but then again, it usually was.

He hopped off the bus at 9 o'clock on the dot. I figured the buses were the punctual ones, not him. It was a little warmer today, so he wasn't wearing a coat...just a snug fitting pair of jeans and a heather grey crew neck sweatshirt. "Top o' the mornin', Lilly!" He laughed and hugged me, lifting me off my feet a bit. I thought I felt...something. A sensation like an electric shock started in the pit of my stomach and spread through the rest of my body. "I've always wanted to say that, y'know?" I squeezed him back. "Morning Paulie!!" And as soon as I had said it, I wanted to snatch the words back. Oh my God...I had called him that in my dream, and in past little fantasies! I was mortified that it had just come out of my mouth, as if that would reveal that I had been having thoughts about him. He let out a belly laugh. "WOW, I don't think anyone's called me Paulie since I was ten years old! Me dad is the only one that even calls me Paul..." I bit my lip. "I'm sorry...that was weird. I have no idea where that came from." Yeah, right. He shook his head. "You're apologizing again! Nah, it wasn't weird...well, it was unexpected, but in a good way. I don't mind if you call me that...kinda like a pet name!" A pet name? Did that mean something? I was reading into things again.

"So, were your aunt and uncle angry that you snuck in at 2 AM? I'm assuming they found out..." We were holding hands again. I sighed. "About that...we have some talking to do. Actually, I have some explaining to do. There are some things I need to ask you, too, but first I want to reverse the lies that I told you yesterday." He raised his eyebrows. "Aha, I see. I sensed that something wasn't right. I do sort of have a brain, you know." He was saying it playfully. Good. "Well, it is sort of a long story...but, there is no aunt and uncle. I made them up. I slept in a phone booth last night. That one over there, in fact." I pointed. A look of utter horror came over his face. "You SLEPT in a damn PHONE BOOTH?? Are you mad? That's dangerous, and..." Suddenly his face softened, and he put his arms around me. "Oh Lilly...you poor thing. Why?? You must have been so cold, and uncomfortable..." He stopped stroking my hair to look at me. "You have any idea how confused I am right now, about this whole situation??" I nodded. "I know. I'm going to explain everything, as soon as we...wait, where are we going??" We were standing at the bus stop. "I figured we'd go back to my house, for now...especially now, so you can get rid of this bag." His eyes widened. "That I just realized is the only posession you have with you?!" I nodded. "Yeah. I, well, when we get back to your house."

We spent the hour long bus ride chatting about other things. Yesterday had been their last show for two months, and then they would be 'off to America' for a whole bunch. Another obstacle in what was already an incredibly uncertain future for me. At some point, a very pregnant woman got on the bus. She walked by a few rows of full seats, and I tugged on Bono's sleeve. "Get up!" We both slid out of the seat, and she sat down, thanking us several times. He practically pushed me back into the seat. "Sit! You didn't think I was going to let you STAND?" Ohhhh boy. Now I had to look straight ahead, because if I turned to look at him, I was just eye level with his nether region. Well, more like his waist, but still awkward. I allowed myself to sneak a glance out of the corner of my eye. There was that electrical shock again. Impressive. Not that it mattered...he could be as anatomically correct as a Ken doll and I wouldn't care. But still, impressive. I snorted at the mental image of a naked Ken doll. He tugged my hair gently. "What?" Although I had a feeling he might think the truth was funny, I answered, "Uh, definitely nothing."

I felt a strange sort of happiness walking into his house again. He pointed at the couch, and I sat. He went off into the kitchen and came back with a plate of breakfast baked goods. I hadn't realized before then that I was starving. He sat down on the couch facing me and held the plate between us. That caused me to feel like something was tugging on my heart. "Ok love, tell me the story. And eat!" He pushed the plate at me. I swallowed hard and took a bite of something frosted with strawberry filling. For some bizarre reason, the sweet taste brought me even closer to tears. Maybe I was going to get my period or something. "Wait, before you start...let me get something straight. You're here all alone?" I nodded. "And you slept...in a phone booth, BECAUSE you're all alone and have no where to stay?" I nodded again. "It's not like I was planning to do that for a long period of time...I was going to look for a job and a place to stay. I also sort of have a brain." He smiled a very tender smile. "Go on." I took a deep breath. "Well, I guess I'm sort of like a runaway. Except I'm not a child, and my parents knew I was leaving. I didn't tell them I was flying to Ireland yesterday, but they knew that I was leaving." He swallowed a bite of food."Why?"

"I left for a lot of reasons, all of which I guess can be put under the umbrella of needing a new start, a clean slate. After I graduated high school, things just started to...go down hill. You won't have noticed it, because I've been acting very unusual, but I have problems dealing with people." I realized that made me sound like some kind of sociopath. "Don't get me wrong, I have friends, ones that I've had for years. But I sort of keep to myself, avoid social situations, am afraid of unfamiliar situations...I spent a lot of time sitting in my house. That caused a lot of problems between me and my parents..." He was looking at me curiously. "You're afraid of unfamilar situations...yet you left home and got on a plane to another country, all alone, with no plan at all. I don't mean that to sound sarcastic. It's incredible..." I nodded. "I have an adventurous spirit, although my parents would believe otherwise. But I was never a member of the 'average' in my age group, ever. My parents want me to be happy...but they want me to be happy being the person THEY want me to be, not the person I am. They're not bad parents at all, they just have problems accepting me as the adult I became instead of a child they're raising. So I felt like the best way for me to establish myself as an adult and a person, was to leave for a while, and be on my own. Not so strange in essence I guess, just that I did it abruptly, and sort of dropped out of school."

He was chewing and thinking, and swallowed again. "Can I ask...why you decided to come here? I mean, instead of moving to another part of the country...you must know that America is fecking HUGE! Why did you decide to come here instead?" I almost choked with laughter. "Two reasons, really. No, three. Being in another country, across the ocean, makes me feel more on my own. I picked here for two reasons. I've always been fascinated by the culture...my mom's family is Irish. The second, well...the sentimental value of this being the hometown of my favorite band, who's music has not only recently become the soundtrack to my life, but spoken to me in ways I never thought that music could." Damn, his eyes were huge. He was just looking at me with what I discerned as deep compassion. He smiled. "Would that band by any chance be us?" I had to roll my eyes. "Duh!" He wiped his mouth on his sleeve and held out his arms. "Come here."

I sort of crawled into his arms, and clung to him almost like a child. It was a different kind of comfort and happiness than I had ever felt before. I didn't want to let go of him, ever. He stroked my hair. "I still can't believe you slept in a phone booth...that's just..." He laughed disbelievingly. "You'll stay here, won't you?" That would mean I would't have to leave, I would be with him all the time...nothing had ever sounded better. I sighed into his hair, which smelled freshly shampooed. "Of course. Thank you, Bono..." I looked up and grinned at him. "Paulie!!" He chortled. "Me? Don't thank me...I want you to stay here with me. I like being with you...a lot." We both blushed.

"So what's this about you acting unusual, or having problems relating to people? Because you seem like a gregarious and sort of uninhibited girl to me...and I feel like we have a special connection already." He had said what I had been feeling, and wondering if he had felt too. "So do I. See, Bono...I tend to have problems getting close to people. And showing emotions. It makes me feel vulnerable, so I make myself safe by keeping my distance...emotionally and physically. I take care of myself, and I don't want to need anyone else to take care of me. But...it's so strange to me...I like being close to you. Just sitting close while we're talking makes me feel warm inside. And...I don't mind feeling vulnerable. It's like you have a spell on me or something." He chuckled. "I'm pretty sure you almost cried before, Lilly. Why?" "I'm not sure...I've been feeling a ton of emotions I'm not used to. You seem concerned, like you care about me. And then...the plate of food...and..." I didn't even try to hold it back. I blinked and big fat tears fell freely. He gathered me into his arms. "Shhh, don't cry, love, I've got you. And I DO care about you." I cried harder. "I'm not upset, I promise. I don't really know w-why I'm crying. I th-think it's just s-sensory overload or something! Maybe it's getting to be that time of the month." He laughed and kissed my hair. "You're a little bit crazy, Lilly. I love it. I'm crazy too...it's perfect!"

I sat up, and he wiped my eyes with his sleeve. There was a wet spot on in his shoulder. "Oh, baby, I got your shirt all wet...you look so cute in that shirt." I added the last part quietly and hesitantly. He blushed under his freckles. "Ehh, you think I look cute?" I snorted. "You're...how should I put this...drop dead gorgeous?" His face matched my crimson nail polish. "I've never thought of myself as particularly attractive." I kissed the top of his head. Mmm, soft, fluffy boy hair. "Well, then maybe you should consider buying yourself a mirror." He stuck his tongue out at me. "Well, then I guess it's appropriate to tell you that you're the most beautiful and...sexy...girl that I have ever seen." I raised my eyebrow. "You don't have to compliment me back, you know." He stomped his foot. "DAMNIT, I've been wanting to tell you that since yesterday! I didn't want you to feel weird, though. Now you went and made me look like I said it as a return compliment." He crossed his arms, and I laughed my head off. "I was only kidding...I believe you. And thank you. You're the first person to ever tell me that."

"Now you know my story. Well, at least the part that brought me here. It's your turn to talk now. There was something that was bothering me yesterday that I need to ask you about." There were two things I wanted to know from him, but I had figured a way to sneakily disguise the second question so it didn't look like I was actually asking it. I hoped he could give me some insight into why their manager had acted the way he had towards me. There must have been something I was missing, because I hadn't done anything that could have possibly rubbed him the wrong way. Bono stood up. "I'll tell ya anything you want. Why don't we take a walk, though? It's such a nice day. You have to savor days like this here...it could rain for the next week!"

He was right, it was a perfect day for walking. "Bono, I don't know if you noticed the way Paul was looking at me yesterday. I know it sounds dumb, but I swear I just got the weirdest vibe from him. All I did was introduce myself, and he sat there in the pub with us yesterday looking at me like he was very annoyed with my presence. And then when we were leaving together..." He nodded. "That doesn't sound dumb, he WAS being a crab. I noticed it. And you can be sure I'm going to make it clear to him that I didn't appreciate it, but I have a good idea what his problem is." "He's sort of the mistrusting type. He really looks out for us...we're very young in this 'business' and can easily get taken advantage of in all kinds of ways. He makes sure we get paid, and that we get to play the gigs we're promised, all that. But like I said, he tends to be mistrusting. And he seems to be especially wary of groupies...I don't know why, because no girls would ever be chasing after us I'm sure!" I laughed. "I wouldn't be so sure of that...you'd be surprised." "So I'm pretty sure that was the red flag that went up in his mind yesterday. When he gets to know you and sees that we're friends, he'll love you." I nodded. "Ohh, so he probably think's I'm trying to use you somehow. I understand...it's nice that he looks out for you like that. I thought maybe, you know, he figured that your girlfriend wouldn't appreciate you hanging out with me or something."

Oh man. That had certainly not come out as smoothly as I planned. In fact it seemed very obvious. He stopped walking. "What? I don't have a girlfriend. Did he tell you I did? Because I swear, if he..." "No no no...he didn't tell me anything." A ridiculous amount of relief washed over me. At least I hadn't made a fool of myself by hanging on him and cooing all over him completely in vain. "Oh. You just assumed?" "Well...not really. That was just my 'discreet' way of asking you if you did. I failed in making it discreet, though." He seemed to think that was quite funny. "Well, since we're not being discreet, do you have a boyfriend?" He had a very tight expression on his face. I shook my head. "Nope." He grinned. "Good. Because I think he probably wouldn't be happy about us holding hands like this!" I giggled and squeezed his hand. "No, the only relationships I left behind at home are...ones that will always be there. My parents will always be my parents, my brother...will always be my brother..." "You have a brother??" I nodded. "Yes, but...that's a story for another time." He didn't say anything more about it, and looking at him, he seemed very content. The sunlight sort of danced in his hair as the breeze blew it gently. It was a lovely day in Dublin city.
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:55 PM   #2
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:10 PM   #3
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:06 PM   #4
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Yay thanks! Looking forward for the next chapter.
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:43 PM   #5
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So happy she stopped lying to him! That would've caused them some trouble quickly.
Of course, "Paulie" is always trouble, but we like good trouble!
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:51 PM   #6
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Yes, lies always get people into trouble!
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:40 PM   #7
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Oh more. I love this story, i seem to say that a fair bit, but its true. More!
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:59 AM   #8
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Paulie..

I wonder if anyone has ever actually called him that...
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:06 PM   #9
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:03 PM   #10
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CUTE!
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:01 PM   #11
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Paaaaaulie! Best nickname ever.

I have to say again, I'm in love with this story. In love. Ahhh.
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