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Old 10-16-2010, 12:45 AM   #1
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Mysterious Ways - Chapter 6

Oops. Forgot to add that this is fiction based actual events - much like Law and Order.

A few hours later, the band and crew members mill about the lounge at the airport while the crew of 360 Air did their final prep for the flight. Gloria and Paul were huddled around schedules by the bar. Bono would cast a glance over in her direction every so often. He was still feeling a hangover from the morning.

“Hey,” he motioned Adam, Larry and Edge closer. “It’s Gloria’s birthday on Friday. We should do something nice for her.”

“That’s right....” Edge scratched his beard. “We have a show. I guess we could take her out the night before.”

Larry shifted his feet. “I might be in Dublin.I have some things to take care of at home.”

“Is everything okay?” Edge asked. He noticed Larry’s mood was particularly sour.

“Yeah, just need to take care of some family business,” he mumbled.

“We could do something after the Helsinki show,” Adam suggested.

“I wish there was a way to surprise her,” Bono stroked his neck deep in thought.

“Pretend like we forgot it,” Larry shrugged.

“That could work,” Bono said. “Say nothing all day....then sing to her during the show.”

“Hopefully she has a good sense of humor about that type of thing,” Adam mused.

Paul and Gloria walked over to the huddle.

“Plane’s ready, guys,” Paul said.

Everyone filed on to the tarmac. Gloria fell in step beside Larry. He’d been very quiet this morning.

“Sorry about this morning. I overslept,” she apologize.

“That’s okay. I didn’t run. In fact, I think I messed up my back. I’m heading back to Dublin after the show to have it checked out by my doctor. Until then, no long runs for me,” he lied. He couldn’t look her in the eye.

“You should definitely have that looked at. Will you be okay for the shows?” she asked.

“Oh yeah. It’s when I stand for too long - and you know - the running,” he shrugged.

That was the end of the conversation. He bounded up the airplane stairs. Gloria sighed heavily. She was having a hard time remembering the Larry she was in love with. He was full of fun and life. This Larry was all over the place. One moment, flirty and coy. The next, brooding and surly. She shook her head. Larry sulked in a seat far away from everyone. Gloria chose a seat beside Bono to go over the next two weeks meetings. They talked about his up coming meeting with Russian President Medvdev. There would also be dignitaries at both Helsinki shows that wanted an audience with Bono. Everyone wanted a piece of him - and if he felt they could be an ally in his cause - he let them have it. Gloria was there to make sure he didn’t give too much of himself. Meanwhile Brian was there to make sure fans didn’t try to take too much.

The Danish shows were the first of five back to back concerts scheduled. Bono was concerned if his back would hold out two nights in a row. The morning of the second show, he felt a bit stiff. By the end of the second show, Gloria could see the strain on his face. An interviewer was hitching a ride to Dublin with the band. Bono, freshly showered, sat with his back pressed against the leather airplane seat as yet another journalist wanted to the hear the story of how Bono supposedly fell off his bike in Central Park. Gloria sat across from them and watched Bono’s face. He was trying to be gracious. The guy wouldn’t let it drop. Finally, she leaned forward.

“Thank you very much,” she interrupted. “He’s tired and we’ll be landing soon.”

“But I....” the journalist started.

“I think you are done. You might want to take your seat up front,” she smiled sweetly.

Bono extended his hand the young man. “Sorry mate. She’s right. We had a few early days. We’ll continue later.”

With a pout, he moved to the front of the plane with the crew.

“Thank you,” Bono smiled. “I was starting to lose my patience with him.”

“Are you in pain? Do you need the doctor or therapist?” she asked.

He shook his head. “No, just some sleep and a day off.”

She glanced at her watch. “You have about 20 minutes. Close your eyes for a bit. I’ll stand watch.”

“Ah, are a savior,” he sighed with a grin. His heavy eyelids closed and he leaned back in his seat.

She looked up at him startled. He hadn’t called her Glory in years. Not since, she tried to think back. Not since Zoo TV. That was his pet name for her. She laughed it off. He was tired and most likely on some pain medication. She glanced back at Larry. He stared out the window - his face stone. What happened to him? Was there trouble at home? Were one of the kids sick? She couldn’t figure out what made him shut down so abruptly. Gloria made the decision right there that there was no future for them. She felt sorry for Ann if this is how their relationship went.

Larry gathered a surprised Ann in his arms when he walked into the kitchen of his London home.

“Was it a rough flight?” she asked.

He held her away from him to look in her eyes. “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” she said.

“How was your appointment? What did they say?” he asked in rapid fire.

She motioned to the kitchen table. “Dr. Gavin felt around the breast and she felt the same thing I did. It is very small. In 2 weeks, I go for a mamogram so they can see how dense it is.”

“2 weeks? Why so long?” he frowned. Didn’t they know this was serious?

“If it were larger, they might have moved it up, but that’s when I could get in,” she shrugged. She squeezed his hand. “Larry, you are getting worked up for nothing. Nothing changes anything.”

“We have to think of the kids....” Larry pressed.

“Not until we know what we are dealing with. I don’t want anyone to know about this because you are already stressing me out,” she hissed.

“I’m sorry,” he looked down at the table. “I’m just scared.”

“I can’t be scared yet. I have to think positive and be strong,” she said. “If I get bad news, then I’ll be scared. Then I need you to be strong for me and the kids. Until we get that news, I want to go on as before. I don’t want to live every day like I’m dying.”

Larry knew she made sense. He was terrified to lose her. His fear would drive her crazy if he didn’t control himself. His hands were tied. He wasn’t free to love Gloria. He couldn’t be scared for Ann. He was trapped in a state of limbo.

“How’s the tour going?” Ann changed the subject.

“Good. Bono’s back seems to be holding out,” Larry said. “That’s good. We were so worried that first night. He was in some pain on the way home. I think 2 shows in 2 nights will be tough for him.”

“How’s Gloria?” Ann asked.

The color drained from Larry’s face. “Fine. Bono’s keeping her busy with his schedule and meetings.”

“Larry, please don’t let this hold you back from what you want,” she said.

He stared into her blue eyes. “I’m right where I need to be. Now where are the kids?”

The morning of her 39th year, Gloria laced up her sneakers, plugged in her iPod and pounded the pavement around the Finnish hotel. She had flown into Helsinki the day before to check on all arrangements. Would Larry and Bono have a place to exercise? Would Edge have internet access? Was Adam’s meditation area set? She checked the list of invited dignitaries. She chose 2 local magazines for interviews with Bono and Edge.

The band arrived directly from the airport to the venue for soundcheck. She was a little disappointed that no one even wished her a happy birthday. Meanwhile, her phone was being drained hourly from birthday wishes on voicemail, email and text. Everyone seemed in good spirits - even Larry. Well, Larry was even keeled. He wasn’t scowling or lashing out. Lately, that was all anyone could ask for.

The pre-show dinner was mellow. Gloria did not join the band at their table. She ate over her laptop as she finalized the meeting in Moscow and started working on a meeting with the President of France.

“She looks sad,” Bono glanced over her shoulder. “I feel bad. Maybe we should say something.”

“I thought we were waiting until after. That was YOUR idea,” Larry said.

“Yeah, but it seems a bit cruel right now. I think she’s mad at us and that’s why she’s not eating with us,” Bono said.

Edge looked over. “I think she’s just working. We have the lounge to ourselves after the show. You made sure all her favorite foods are there, right?”

Bono nodded. It was placed in his hands to plan this party and he was a little nervous. He became obsessed with Gloria’s party being a success. With the long hours she logged, she deserved it.

It was a beautiful day in Helsinki. A clear blue sky melted into oranges and pinks - and eventually indigo. Gloria watched the show from her usual spot behind the stage along the rail. Sometimes, she moved down by Brian after the photographers left. She loved watching the band come together on stage. The little wordless conversations they had with one another. A whole sentence could be spoken with just a look of the eye. She filled with pride in those moments where the joy overtook them and they could only smile or laugh at one another. She almost felt as though she was infringing on a secret meeting.

Bono took a long swig of his water. “We want to thank you all for coming tonight and being so patient while I was put back together.” The crowd roared. “So many amazing people make all this happen.” His hand motioned all around him. “We want to thank Razorlight for coming out to play with us.” More cheers. He smiled. “They were good, eh?”

Larry settled back in his seat. He had no idea how long this introduction would take.

“If you will indulge us for a moment, we want to honor a person that also helps all this come together. It’s her birthday today,” Bono’s eyes searched for Gloria behind the stage. “Gloria, are you back there?”

The smile faded from Gloria’s face as she stood in the hallway.

Edge’s guitar sang the opening chords of Mysterious Ways.

“Oh Gloria,” Bono called as he danced across the stage to beckon her closer.

‘No’ she mouthed and shook her head. She could not believe they were embarrassing her on such a colossal level.

“Gloria, you move move in mysterious ways,” Bono sang.

If it was possible for blood to turn from liquid magma to ice, it happened to Gloria. She watched him move across the stage - one eye on her and interacting with the audience. Why this song? she wondered. Not many knew, maybe the band, that the song was written for her and about her. The explanation the world understood was that it was about love in general and God. But Bono was expressing his fascination with the young girl that followed him around during the Joshua Tree tour. The young girl he never touched, but still haunted his dreams long after the tour. He had said that when they finally did come together during Zoo TV that it was like song coming true. Every night that she was in the audience - he sang it to her. Gloria had heard it plenty times since that tour. It was still her favorite song. The poignancy lessened over time. Yet tonight, Bono sang those words to her as he extended his hand to her - beckoning her closer. Bono felt that same rush and the song took on its meaning again. His heart raced as she inched carefully towards the stage.

During Edge’s solo, Bono bounded down the back stairs and wrapped his fingers around hers. She shook her head. He gave her his most winning smile telling her it would fine. He led her up the stairs to the front of the stage. He pulled her closer and danced with her. She saw a sea of jealous eyes glaring at her. Edge and Adam laughed at this silly display. Larry did not seem as amused. He led her to bridge as he sang:

”One day you will look... back
And you'll see... where
You were held... how
By this love... while
You could stand... there
You could move on this moment
Follow this feeling....”

They danced again. Edge joined them on the bridge. She laughed. No one ever wished her a happy birthday like this.

“Happy birthday, love....Happy birthday, girl,” Bono sang over the end. “Lift my days, light up”

He hugged her. “Happy birthday Gloria.”

She hugged Edge tightly. Bono led her back to the main stage. He kissed her cheek. Giving Bono the ‘I’ll kill you later look’ - she turned to kiss Adam’s cheek. Larry stood at his drum kit and offered an awkward hug. Being that close to her just pained him too much.

As she descended down the stairs, Dallas offered her a high five. It was the most exhilarating and embarrassing five minutes of her life. And after the show, she would strangle Bono.

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Old 10-16-2010, 01:34 AM   #2
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"And after the show, she would strangle Bono."


Great chapter, GR - glad you're on a roll.

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Old 10-16-2010, 06:40 PM   #3
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Love it. Don`t keep us waiting so long for the next chapter............
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:21 PM   #4
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Loved it!
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:50 AM   #5
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the last sentence was full of win! and i like how you gave a background story on MW. lovely.

and is it horribly selfish of me to want Gloria and Larry to be together? bono is off limits. lol!
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