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"Iris". . . A Novel By Tina Adkins

Chapter 3

Home George!
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Ch 1
Ch 2
Ch 3
Ch 4
Ch 5
Ch 6
Ch 7
Ch 8
Ch 9

Emily and I sat down on the sidewalk where John and I had talked moments before. She couldn’t believe my luck.

"I’d give anything to meet a musician!" she squealed. "And he’s interested, huh?"

"Yeah, I think so. I hope so, because he’s really cute!"

I could here a song start from inside the club.

"Listen," I hushed Emily.

"Come on. Let’s go in," she stood and motioned me toward the doors.

We bot went in. I looked up to the stage and there he was, playing a dark blue Peavey guitar and singing. The band was doing a cover of "A Million Miles Away". My stomach climbed up inside my throat.

"Wow," Emily yelled over the crowd. "They’re awesome!"

Yes, they were. I noticed the bassist bouncing around like a pinball. He looked insane, with his tongue lolled out like a dog and crazy eyes. John looked as if he had been doing this for years.

The song ended and everyone in the place began to scream. A woman threw her bra up on the stage. John picked it up and threw it back at her, hitting her in the face. He said something to her and turned to put his guitar down on the stage.

"Go on up there," Emily said, pushing through a small circle of people. I turned back to her and she gave me a thumbs up.

I continued to push my way up to the stage. John saw me coming and went over to the edge of the stage that I was on.

"That was great," I said in amazement.

"Ah, it was nothing," he gently smiled and brushed his hair out of his eyes. I couldn’t breathe. "Now what?"

"I don’t know. You tell me. You’re the one that doesn’t have anything to do now," I laughed.

"Yeah, you’re right. Let’s go." He hopped down to the floor.

"Where?"

"I don’t know. It stinks in here."

We headed toward the bar. Emily was there once again, only now talking to the bartender. He wasn’t bad to look at either, with long brown wavy hair.

"Hey," I said as we approached her.

"Hey! Who’s the stud?" she gave John a friendly smile.

"I’m John," he answered.

"So, I heard you’re gonna sweep my best friend off her feet?"

"If that’s what you’d call it, yea," he replied. My heart fluttered.

"You leaving?" she asked me.

"Yeah, don’t wait up."

"No problem. Call me tomorrow if you want."

"Alright. Later."

We squeezed through what was left of the crowd and John got his jacket from behind the bar, and we headed outside.

"Don’t you have a jacket?" he asked me.

"No, I didn’t think it would be this cold tonight. It’s June."

"Well, you know how the weather in Buffalo is. Can’t ever predict what will happen."

"I’ll be ok."

We walked around the block and headed down a back street.

"Where are we going?" I asked.

"I want to show you something," he whispered.

I wasn’t sure where we were going. I had always had a bad feeling about that road that we were on. It had always creeped me out. I had to admit that I was a little nervous walking down a deserted road with someone I had just met. But then he took my hand and squeezed it gently. I looked over at him and smiled. His smile reassured me. I wasn’t as nervous anymore.

The paved road eventually turned into a gravel road and out of nowhere, water appeared. I hadn’t ever been here. I didn’t even know this existed. It was some kind of a river. I thought it was a part of the Buffalo River, but I wasn’t sure.

"Oh man," I said in awe. We walked along the bank until we reached a bench and sat down. The moon was out and beautiful. It reflected off the river like in a mirror.

"I come here a lot," he whispered. "It reminds me of my childhood. The good things, or the few good things that there were."

"What do you mean?"

After asking this, he told me about hid whole home life in return for mine. He told me about his sisters, Glad, Kate, Fran, and Phyllis. He told me about how they would call their street corner "Superman Corner" because he grew up by the corner of Clark Street and Kent Street. He told me that his mother made him take accordion lessons and how she bought him his first guitar when he was twelve. He also told me about his father. How he was abusive at times. How he developed pneumonia and died in a diabetic coma at 55, and no more than a year later, his mother died from what he called "loneliness", but in actuality it was from a heart attack right in front of the kids, in their living room, at 53. How he was orphaned my seventeen years old.

He told me about his band, the Love Dolls. How they had been a band for just two years. Lastly, he told me about his best friend, Robby Takac. He said that he sometimes got on his nerves. "He screams a lot. Sometimes he wakes me up in the middle of the night, just screaming like a madman!"

"Wow," I said as he concluded. "Not to be rude or anything, but it’s amazing that you ever survived that."

"Yeah. I don’t tell many people what all happened. It’s just too much for me to explain. You should feel special that I actually made it through the story without breaking down," he said with a slight laugh. He took my hand and helped me to my feet.

"Where now?"

"I don’t know."

We walked along the bank for what seemed like forever. It was so calm and beautiful. We reached another bench and sat down. The breeze started to get cold. It had to have dropped to 60 degrees, and the wind made it that much colder. John must had noticed me shivering.

"Here," he said as he took off his jacket and wrapped it around my shoulders.

"Thanks," I whispered. There was a long silence. I peered out over the river. To break the silence, I told one of my favorite lame jokes. "Man! I should have brought my sun screen!"

"Why?" he asked puzzled.

"Because," I turned to face him. "You could get some serious moonburn out here!"

There was an awkward laugh exchanged. John gazed at me, grinning with his head cocked to one side, then finally put his arm around me. He then turned toward the river and said, "Nice huh?"

I smiled and scooted in closer as he took my hand with his. "I feel a lot closer to you now," he said in almost a whisper and laying his head on my shoulder. The wind blew just hard enough to send the lose strands of John’s hair into my face. I tried to brush it away, but it seemed to be stuck to my face.

"John?"

"Huh?" he looked up.

"Your hair was in my face."

He sat up straight and ran his fingers through his hair. A little fell into his face. He did this several times and finally got it down the way he wanted. It was straight, soft and smooth. Again, I found myself staring. He tucked it slightly behind his ears and grinned.

"I’ve never met a girl like you before," he remarked.

"Is that a compliment?" I asked.

"Well, duh! Of course it is."

"Good. ‘Cause I’ve never met a guy like you before." I smiled kindly.

He blushed a little and brushed his hair back out of his face again. My heart melted. He was so adorable.

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