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Old 11-23-2010, 07:12 AM   #1
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The Fourth of July - Chapter 12

Hello again Posting now since I may not get time tomorrow night.

Someone please post some other stories, I feel like I'm spamming the place...

Apologies if the internet got the Irish translations completely wrong, I don't know any Irish at all.

Disclaimer: If you think this is real, I have a bridge in Sydney to sell you...





-----
Chapter 12
-----


Bono started awake in a cold sweat, and felt Ali shaking him. His eyes gradually focussed on her worried face.

"What's the matter? Was it a nightmare? You've been thrashing around and muttering," Ali said, leaning back on her elbow.

Bono lay back down and rubbed his face with his hands. "It's just that dream again, love," he sighed. "I'm sorry I woke you."

"What dream?" His wife looked puzzled.

"You know, with the plane crash... or was it the card game? And the faces on the cards are the people in the plane, except sometimes they're all one person's face, but she's not on the plane... " Bono frowned as the details slipped away from him. Wasn't it always the same dream?

"You've never mentioned this before," Ali said.

Bono sat up. "I must have, I've had it... well, often. I think. Certainly lately... it's been every night for ... I don't know how long."

"You've slept soundly enough this last week," Ali said, still looking puzzled. "Weren't you telling me something about a dream with a submarine the other day?"

"What?" That seemed like a year ago, but when Bono thought about it, it had only been a night or two before. He'd made a note on the pad beside his bed about submarines, gasoline and sexy boots. It had made sense at the time.

---

Later in the day, however, dogged constantly by déjà vu, Bono's dream came back to him, and the fear it had inspired. All through the ride to the airport, his nerves had wound tighter and tighter, until he saw a severe-looking woman at the airport he both recognised and didn't. That was the last straw; in a fit of eerie paranoia he cancelled his booking and arranged to go to London on a later flight.

Still shaking with the force of his irrational reaction, Bono hung around in the airport, and tried to explain his decision to an irate Bob Geldof over the phone.

"Listen, Bob, I'll still be there in plenty of time. ... Because I didn't want to, all right? I just had a bad feelin'. I've had a bad feeling all day and I just acted on it. Yes, I know I'm being ridiculous, but I can be feckin' ridiculous if I want to. If you could see me, I'm shakin' like a leaf..."

There was a muted boom, and an array of alarms and sirens began to go off. Airport personnel started running in all directions. Bono's phone was making impatient noises, but he didn't hear it.

---

That day, Natasha was testing her Irish vocabulary in her flat when the news came through. She heard her neighbour's television announce the plane crash, and raised her voice, trying to drown the news out.

"Door – doras... window – fuinneog… house – teach... roof – díon… floor – urlár…"

But it wasn't the same news. The newsreader said there had been only twenty-three people on the plane, instead of twenty-five. And he made a point of the fact that Bono had escaped certain death by changing his booking at the last minute.

Dumbfounded, Natasha flicked her television on and watched it for the rest of the day. The evening news showed a clearly shaken frontman dodging away from television cameras for what must have been the first time in his life, unwilling to explain his actions. At the press conference with Bob Geldof, which he had finally reached, Bono was plagued with as many irrelevant questions as Bob usually was when Bono had been killed.

He remembered, Tasha realised. All on his own, Bono had realised what was going to happen, and saved his own life. Maybe her interference had been unnecessary, maybe now time would resume. Maybe it was about him, and not her at all.

Natasha could handle the blow to her ego, if only she would wake up to the fifth of July tomorrow.

*****

But the next day it was still the fourth, and Bono's foresight failed him and he died in the plane crash again. Natasha's newly burgeoned hope was crushed.

She was furious. He had remembered once, why not again? She looked around her, at the Irish language textbooks she'd been buying every day for the last week, at the CD player where a CD was reciting a list of Irish vocab. What the hell was she doing? What was the point of learning Irish, or any language, if she was just going to live one day over and over and nothing was going to change? What was she going to do, drive out to the depths of Donegal and find an Irish-speaker to have a conversation with? Every day? And then what, learn Russian and fly to Moscow every day?

If Bono could remember, there was hope, and Natasha could not waste any more of eternity learning unnecessary languages.

*****

"Something's not right, Reg. I can't put my finger on it, but something's off."

Edge and Bono watched the car pull up outside the house on the television monitor, and went outside to meet it.

"I know what you mean," Edge replied, sharing a puzzled look with the singer. "All this déjà vu, and I had this dream last night..." The guitarist shrugged. "The whole day feels out of kilter. Like the whole planet got out of the wrong side of bed."

The young female driver got out and opened the back door for Bono.

"What sort of beds to planets sleep in, eh?"

"Big ones," Edge replied with a half smile. "Safe flight." He waved as the car pulled away.

In the car, Bono wrestled with his seat-belt, and the anxiety that had spiked suddenly. He finally looked up to see a pair of determined brown eyes watching him in the rear view mirror. His breath caught, and a flood of intense déjà vu made his head spin.

"Remember me?"

His dream came back vividly. A circle of people around a card table, all with this woman's face. Each holding a card bearing Bono's face, except it was contorted by a scream of genuine terror. Or grief, or denial. Or all of them.

"N..." The name was on the tip of his tongue. "I've seen you. I had a dream, and..." He shook his head, hearing how insane he sounded.

"We've seen each other a lot since this all started," the driver said. "My name's Natasha. Usually I met you at the airport, but I drove you once, too, like this. That time I saved your life."

Bono's head was still spinning. "Since what all started?" Her name had set off a fresh rush of déjà vu, and Bono felt in no condition to try to argue how illogical this all was.

"Since the fourth of July started repeating. At first I thought I was the only one who remembered, and I tried to warn you. That plane is going to crash, Bono, and I'm not going to let you die again."

Bono opened his mouth, but nothing came out. The other part of his dream surfaced, the part with the flames and falling and screaming. He shuddered, and kept shaking.

Natasha took a turning away from the road that led to the airport. "You remembered once before, all on your own," she said, almost pleading. "Why can't you remember every time? Why can't anyone remember except me? It's lonely, being the only one. It's like I'm the only conscious human being left on Earth. Everyone else is walking around in a daze, completely oblivious."

"It was just a dream..."

"It's not, Bono! It's not a dream. Do we have to wait for the plane to crash again before you believe me? I can tell you the lotto numbers, the winning horses at Galway, or anywhere else for that matter. I can tell you anything about today because I've lived it a million times. I started learning Irish just for something to do. I don't want to live forever if it's going to be like this."

Bono could hear tears thickening Natasha's voice, and she was silent for several minutes. Bono was too, unable to think of anything to say.

He remembered, but he didn't. He believed her, but he didn't. The déjà vu was real, but it wasn't. This was a day like any other, but it wasn't. He remembered how he'd clung to Ali before she'd left, terrified that he'd lose her. He remembered that she had clung to him, that she had been scared too, and nearly started crying before she'd pulled herself together.

He also remembered her laughing at him, brushing off his fear, and walking out of the house with a smile on her face. The two contradictory pictures of Ali were both true, and could not be reconciled.

"Natasha," he said faintly. "Take me..."

"You're not going to the airport, Bono," Natasha said firmly.

"Take me home," he finished, as he had been intending to. He couldn't read the expression that filled Natasha's eyes in the mirror.

"Call your family and friends," she said, slowing the car and turning it around. "Tell them you're not taking that plane, and you're okay. Then we can work out why you're not important enough to make time resume its normal course."

---

Bono's two sons were still at their uncle's house when the news came through. This time Natasha was sitting on one of Bono's couches, with the rock star himself and his wife watching the television, horror-struck, from another.

"... there were twenty-two passengers and crew aboard the plane..."

Natasha frowned. "It should be twenty-four. It was twenty-five the first time, and every time after that... as far as I know. But the other day it was twenty-three without you, and yesterday it was twenty-three, including you. Maybe they got the numbers wrong in the news room...?"

Bono's wife was staring at Natasha. "How can you talk like that? My husband would have been on that plane! Those twenty-two people still died! Their families and friends are grieving now!"

Tasha had the grace to blush. "Sorry. But I've seen it so many times... I guess I'm desensitised."

Bono was staring at her with a disconcerting blue gaze. "It should be twenty-four? But it was twenty-five the first time, except you decided I shouldn't die. You thought that would stop your day repeating. Why me?"

Natasha opened her mouth, and closed it again. Somehow she didn't think 'Because you're Bono' was the right answer.

"Because... because of the things you're doing, for Africa and poverty and everything. Because you're making more of a difference to the world. Because without you doing all that, maybe more people would die...." She trailed off uncomfortably.

"Because you thought I was more important," Bono said bluntly, challenging. "Because I'm famous."

"Well..."

"I am not more important than anyone else, Natasha. You don't know what the other people on that plane were doing with their lives, or could have done. There were probably some very powerful, influential people who died today. They could have funded research that cured cancer, or HIV, or cured it themselves. They could have had children who would cure it. Just because they're not household names, it doesn't mean they're less important. It doesn't even matter how powerful they were – no one's life is any more or less valuable than anyone else's. None of them should have died, Natasha! It should be none! You have to stop that plane from taking off, not just me from getting on it."

Ali Hewson's lips were compressed in a tight line as she regarded her husband. Natasha wondered if she couldn't decide whether she could justify being upset with him (for even appearing to believe Natasha's outrageous story) so soon after she'd seen him escape death. She apparently decided to remove herself from the situation, because she stood, gave Bono a quick kiss, and left the room.

Natasha was staring at Bono, digesting his speech. He was absolutely right. How could she have been so blind, so callous? How could she have ignored the fates of all the other passengers, just because one of the victims had been famous Bono? Just because she had once been a U2 fan?

Bono's phone was ringing again, people who had seen the news making sure he was alive. While he reassured them, Natasha was starting to panic again.

"Why me?" she asked, when Bono's phone finally fell silent. "Why not you? You remember now, right?"

"Not really. I believe you," he added, when Natasha started to splutter in protest, "but all I really remember is that dream, and little bits and pieces. You said that this has happened so many times, I'll probably wake up tomorrow and do everything the same again."

"But... why didn't you get on the plane the other day? Why did you remember then but not now?"

"I told you, I don't remember..."

"Come on! Something stopped you getting on the plane. It wasn't me, so what was it?"

"I told you, I've been having déjà vu like crazy. Maybe that time it got too much, I lost my nerve. I don't..." Bono's eyes unfocused suddenly.

"What?" Natasha leaned forward.

"I saw a woman in the airport that I'd seen in the dream. Her hair was tied back tightly, she was in a dark grey suit, she looked as rattled as I felt." Bono spoke slowly, his eyes still staring at something only he could see. "That brought the dream back, and I... I got scared. I couldn't get on the plane."

"You remembered!" Natasha crowed, triumphant, but Bono was shaking his head.

"I didn't, not really," he said, still partly dazed. "Not consciously. But seeing her brought my unconsciousness back..." He sharpened his gaze on Natasha. "How do you deal with it? Having different memories of the same day? I can't believe I can remember that, it's not what happened... Time doesn't work that way."

"How do you kn-- we've had this conversation before," Natasha said, stopping herself. "It doesn't matter. Time is a mystery, I can't explain it."

Bono was staring at her again. "I was writing a song before," he said. "I'd wake up with a song in my head, and I felt like I'd been working on it for weeks, but I didn't have any notes or anything. Then these nightmares started..."

"What song?"

Bono sang. "I know a girl, who's like the sea, every day she changes something for me... I know a girl, hole in her heart, she said Infinity's a great place to start... Time is irrelevant, it's not linear... Anna part atun yah da-dah... Something like that."

Natasha knew a bit about Bongolese, and supposed he would find words that fit later on. "It sounds like you've got time on the brain," she said.

Bono nodded, half to himself.

"How am I supposed to stop a plane?" Natasha blurted.

Bono looked at her and smiled a crooked smile. "You've made me remember things that never happened," he said. "This should be easy."


*****



((Stay tuned for chapter 13 (lucky for some?), in which Natasha commences Operation Stop The Plane From Taking Off... and gets arrested a lot.))
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:41 AM   #2
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Great chapter. I just saw the trailer for Source Code (because it has Jake Gyllenhaal my other celebrity boyfriend). Was this story sort of inspired by that?
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:59 AM   #3
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I'm loving this quick update! Bono DOES remember. He's just being modest.

And I love how you're tying in the NLOTH lyrics into this!!

...and I guess this hasn't happened in awhile:



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Old 11-23-2010, 04:03 PM   #4
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Can't wait for the chapter where Natasha's getting arrested alot. And when they're trying to stop a friggin plane.
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Old 11-23-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
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FINALLY we're getting somehwere. But why would SHE have to stop the plane? Isn't Bono much more influential than her? I mean, he's fuckin' Bono. He can stop a plane if he wants to!
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 11-24-2010, 02:06 AM   #6
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It's SuperBono! Able to leap moderately sized buildings! And stop planes in their tracks!

You might be right, GG... I plead artistic licence.
Mind you, I don't know what your average airline would say if a superstar told them they not only wanted you to stop a particular plane on a given day, but take it apart looking for a problem that hasn't shown up on regular inspections...

Besides, Natasha's the one who can remember everything, Bono's recollection is still patchy and unreliable.

I do take your point, though.

GraceRyan: I haven't actually heard of Source Code! I've mostly copied Groundhog Day. Plus I started writing this over two years ago, so Source Code wasn't around to inspire me. I just looked it up, sounds like an interesting film!
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Old 11-24-2010, 04:59 PM   #7
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OMG. I've been reading this for a while and trying not to comment, but I can't avoid anymore! Such a cool story!
I can't wait for the next chapter- it sounds really awesome to me.
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:28 PM   #8
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Why would you not comment? I Authors love to hear feedback. Especially good stuff
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:41 AM   #9
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Yes, please don't feel shy about commenting!
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Old 11-25-2010, 08:41 PM   #10
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Well done Love.
This is kind of like a movie I don't want to end but yet I'm yelling at the TV telling Natasha to scream "there's a bomb onboard to get everyone off."
But wait! even though it's delayed they get back on and it blows up anyway.
What now??
It's all up to the writer. That's why I can't wait till the next chapter.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sue4u2
Well done Love.
This is kind of like a movie I don't want to end but yet I'm yelling at the TV telling Natasha to scream "there's a bomb onboard to get everyone off."
But wait! even though it's delayed they get back on and it blows up anyway.
What now??
It's all up to the writer. That's why I can't wait till the next chapter.
Crazy
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