Just a short chapter but longer ones to come, I promise.. ;)
Deborah had gone shopping for a few hours to get souvenirs and chat, leaving the men alone to chat and relax. What had started out as a week of polite chit chat and harmless flirting had developed into something a bit stronger and all four were in need of some desperate rest and relaxation.
“You don’t even know her, bro. I just don’t get why you can’t just spend a week fucking her then say your goodbyes and go home.”
“Cause I ain’t you Rich.” Jon drawled, taking a drag on his cigarette.
Richie raised an eyebrow, his mouth drawn into a thin line.
“Nice to know what you think of me.” he said tightly
Jon sighed, he was missing Deborah and she’d only been gone 30 minutes.
“Look Rich, what ever you do, however you wanna live your life I don’t blame you. After what you went through with your divorce I don’t blame you for being like this. For not wanting to get involved with anyone ever again but I ain’t like that. I need to have someone in my life, someone to be there for me, someone I can be myself with and depend on and I think it could be Debs. I know we’ve only just met but there’s something about her that makes me wanna take care of her and look after her, protect her from the world and from men like you…” Jon laughed at this last bit, making Richie smile.
Richie’s smile faded as Jon’s words hit home. It was true; he didn’t want to get involved with anyone, preferring to just play the field. His heart had been broken too deeply and he wasn’t sure he could risk even the smallest scratch on it again. He admired Jon for being able to be open and honest about his feelings and needs as he’d never been one to open up fully to anyone. It had been partly this that had caused the divorce in the first place. He wanted desperately to find the courage to open up with a woman and be himself but every time he felt it happening a door would slam and he’d clam up. To everyone around him he was just happy go lucky Richie, the infamous King of Swing, the one the ladies fell over backwards, and sometimes straight onto their knees for, but to Jon he was still the deeply sensitive, deeply insecure artistic man he’d first met all those many years ago.
Jon watched as Richie got lost in thought and sighed. He’d love nothing better than to see his brother happy but until he learnt to open up he would just continue to go round in the same destructive circles.
Jon smiled as he thought of Deborah and how just knowing her had made him see what he was missing in his life. Even if, as Richie was predicting, it didn’t work out he knew they would both leave the other a better person. He turned to Richie.
“So what about Jen? Is it just another week long fling with the King of Swing?” he chuckled as he realised what he’d said.
“Something like that.” Richie grinned, “Don’t get me wrong man, I like her, I like her a lot, she’s great company, pretty, intelligent and man she could suck a watermelon through a hosepipe..” he stopped, unsure of how to continue.
“But you still can’t open up to anyone let alone a woman and tell her how you really feel for fear she’ll hurt you.” Jon finished the sentence. He’d never told Richie how much he could read him like a book as no-one likes to be told where they’re going wrong in their lives, even less so if they’re just not ready to hear it.
Richie sat back in his chair and looked at Jon, a pained expression across his handsome face.
“Richie, not everyone is going to hurt you so sometimes you need to tell ‘em how you feel. I ain’t saying you’re never gonna get hurt but it’s a risk you just have to take cause when you meet the right one it’s so worth it man. Imagine if I hadn’t told Deborah that I loved her and we just parted at the end of this week.”
Richie looked over the balcony as a solitary pigeon flew past, thinking over Jon’s words. He was quite amazed and a bit upset at how transparent he was to Jon. He sat up with a start and looked back at Jon, a look of complete bafflement on his face.
“You told her what?”