Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ch. 21

It was early afternoon as Jon lay in his hotel room staring at the ceiling.

His worse fears were realized. He had no voice. Not even a whisper.

He realized it earlier in the afternoon when he decided to call Obie’s room to let him know that he was awake. He held the receiver to his ears and lips, and nothing came out.

He had a show to do tonight and before that a couple of interviews to promote the upcoming Giants Stadium shows.

He had no idea as to what he was going to do. Tears welled up in his eyes.

‘I can’t believe nothing will come out!’ He thought as the panic steadily crept through his body.

All of those people tonight. The band, the crew. Everyone’s dependent on me. I’m supposed to sing in seven hours and I can’t even say a freakin’ word. What the hell am I going to do?’

He continued to run through the events Heather and Doc had planned for him this afternoon. Giants was a dream. It was a real milestone for the band. He never thought for a minute that he’d actually fill every seat, not for one night, but for two. It was a great accomplishment for him and everyone in the organization.

I can’t let them down. Not now…No!’ He thought.

His mind went to the band and to Richie. The panic was turning into sheer horror.

There’s no way the band can cover up something like this. I can’t believe that this is happening now!’

He continued to look up at the ceiling for a few seconds. The more his mind raced, the more it seemed like the ceiling was slowly coming down on him. He looked to his left and then his right. He watched as the walls closed in on either side of him.
He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Everything in the room, was getting smaller and smaller.

Jon’s eyes got huge. His heart began to race. This was all he needed. What would he do? He couldn’t call for help. He couldn’t yell or scream. He felt his breathing become quicker and quicker.

There was a knock at the door. Jon leapt up and opened it. He continued to look around watching the walls and ceiling, close in on him. It was Obie at the door, with coffee in hand.

“Oh good, you’re up.” Obie said. “Good morning. Hey someone tried to call me a little while ago. Was that you?” He asked.

Jon looked blankly at him. He wiped his eyes in disbelief over what he was seeing with the ceiling and walls. Obie had never seen that look in Jon’s eyes before. It was as almost as if he were in a near panic.

“What’s wrong?” Obie asked

The color was out of Jon’s face. Jon was hyperventilating out of sheer horror and frustration. Tears continued to well up as he pointed to his throat.

“Oh no.” Obie said looking shocked. He put the coffee down on the dresser. He put his arm around him and the two of them sat on the bed.
“Can you speak at all?” Obie asked.

Jon nodded his head. He mouthed the words. “No.”

Even mouthing words for him was painful at this point.

Obie took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He began to scan his brain for anything he could to make sure Jon would be able to not only rest his voice, but to also sing. At least tonight.

“Don’t worry. We’ll have someone take a look at you. Richie and the others will do the promo stuff.” Obie said.

Jon covered his mouth as the tears now flowed freely. He continued to look around the room, as the ceiling and walls began to gradually go back to their origins.

Seeing that Obie and Jon were sitting on the side of the bed as she was passing the door, Juanita took a step back and went through it.

“Morning Jonny. I just checked on Trina and-“
She noticed that he was crying. Instinctively, she went to him and gingerly kneeled in front of him.
“Ooh. Getting too old. Kneeling…” she mumbled.

Jon gently touched her shoulder with one hand and pointed to his throat with the other.

“Baby, what’s wrong?” she asked.

Frustrated that he couldn’t tell her what was happening to him, he threw up his hands. By then Juanita had figured it out. She couldn’t help but to be concerned. She had known Jon since he was a child and had never seen him like this before. He appeared tired and hurt. She couldn’t help but to feel helpless. She grabbed his hands in an attempt to reassure him.

Jon loved Juanita. Out of everyone, she was the only one who reminded him of home because of the longtime friendship she shared with his mother Carol. He was gradually feeling at ease as she held his hands.

Juanita grimaced. “It’s all right baby. We’ll get the doctor. Don’t you worry.” She reassured.

She stood up slowly and placed her hand on his forehead. His forehead was very warm to the touch.

“You’re warm darlin. I really think your flu is back.” She told him.

Juanita was angry. She threw up her hands in anger.

“Dammit, I told Dot that you needed more time off! Dammit!” She yelled.

Jon shook his head in disbelief.

'This soooo is not happening! I need to go back to bed and then wake the hell up. This is some fuckin’ nightmare' he thought.

Obie got up from the bed. He walked towards the door.

“I’m going to call the doctor.” He said.

He pointed at Jon.

“You just lie back and relax. Everything will be okay.” He reassured him as he walked out.

Jon sighed. Juanita took Obie’s seat on the bed. Jon put his head on her shoulder.

'He looks exhausted. He can’t keep on going like this.' She thought.
'If Carol knew…Dear God.' he thought thinking of her best friend and her reaction to all of this.

Juanita smoothed his hair back, dampened from his fever.

“Obie’s right Jonny. Everything’s going to be all right. Aunt Juanita will make sure of it. Okay?”

Jon closed his eyes as Juanita’s words drummed into his head with a purpose and defiance he had never heard before.

For the first time in months, he began to relax.


Before Obie told Doc about Jon’s voice, Obie went to Richie’s room in hopes of getting him down to the local television stations to do the interviews promoting the Giants shows. Ally had gone to the hotel’s gym to work out. Richie, groggy from the sleeping pills he had taken the night before, sat on the side of the bed, trying to take in Obie’s words as much as possible.

“So, Jon’s is going to need a doctor man…” Obie told him.

Richie tried to focus on him, but he quickly forgot what Obie had been telling him.

“What does Jon need a doctor for?” Richie asked yawning.

Obie looked strangely at him. He just spent at least ten minutes telling Richie about Jon’s voice and Richie didn’t comprehend a word of it. Wasn’t like him.

“You okay Rich?” Obie asked.

“Yeah. Just need some coffee.” Richie told him looking so sleepy that he could barely keep his eyes open.

Obie rolled his eyes. Now he was the one frustrated.

'Dammit, if Richie couldn’t do this. I have no idea as to what I’m going to do.' Obie thought.

“Jon’s voice is gone Richie. He can’t even whisper. Juanita thinks he may have a fever again. I need your help.” Obie pleaded.

Richie began to slowly get out of the fog that had been plaguing him for the last several minutes. Richie snickered at Obie in aggravation as if he knew of all of the things that had been going on during the tour for the last year.

“It’s those freakin steroids man.” Richie said.

Obie looked at him. He appeared confused.

“What steroids?” He asked him.

“As if you didn’t know. You’re kidding me right? The steroids for Jon’s voice. It stops the swelling, but if you take too much. It can make you sick.” Richie said to him.

Obie was surprised. He didn’t know about this. Not at all. He didn’t know whether to be worried or angry. And at whom? Regardless, Jon was his friend and he needed Richie’s help until Jon was better. He knew that once Richie was fully awake, he would help him.

“How long has he been taking them?” Obie asked.

Richie shrugged. “I don’t know. I only found out after the end of the Slippery tour.” He told him.

Obie’s eyes flared.

“What? It’s been that long?” Obie asked Richie.

Richie leaned back against the bed. He began to yawn again.

“Man, I’m so tired. Listen, I’ll be there if you all need me for anything. No worries. In the meantime, I could use some…more…sleep.” Richie said closing his eyes and quickly drifting off to sleep.

Obie tried to wake him. “Richie… Richie!” Obie said shaking him.

Richie continued to sleep peacefully.

Obie was dumbfounded. He had never seen Richie and Jon like this before. He knew once Richie woke up he’d be able to help Jon. But he needed him now.

Obie had no idea of how to tell Doc that Jon was very sick and that Richie was seemingly on something.

Maybe at least he wouldn’t have to. Not just yet. Obie’s head began to spin. He took one last look at Richie sleeping on the bed and spun of the room.

There was one more person he thought of that could help him. It was Trina.

As he got to the door, he stood there for a moment. His mind quickly went down the list as to why and why wouldn’t she help him. However, the pros outweighed the cons. She has shown loyalty in her stories. Especially in regards to Jon’s voice at the sound checks she went to. Obie thought there were genuine feelings of understanding between Trina and Jon. Not to mention a mutual attraction between them. Because she hadn’t said anything, she had become more than just an employee. She had now become a friend and a member of the inner circle whether she wanted to believe it or not.

He knocked on her door. Praying that he was doing the right thing…


Anonymous said...

This is Miss Sheena! The chapter was great. :) But I did feel like crying beacuse Jon lost his voice, and reading the part when Richie was clearly affected by the drug was a little funny.

Please post more soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, what a heart-breaking chapter. I sure hope Trina can help Jon and someone kick's Ally's butt for giving Richie those meds. I hope he doesn't take anymore.

Can't wait for the next chapter. I hope Jon will be ok.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! toootally hooked! You made my day, thank you!! Ca´nt wait for more. Laura

Sunstreaked said...

Lordy, lordy...reading this chapter while holding my breath! Dang...could feel the panic and frustration inside Jon and then Richie! Idiot! Don't take pills!

What an amazing chapter...the beginning of Jon's claustrophobia and the sheer terror of losing his voice! Wow! Can't say enough good stuff. Amazing, Shell, amazing.

Shelly said...

Awww thanks Sun and everyone for the terrific comments!!!
More is coming!!!!

Only the beginning of the interesting stuff!!!