Well I went and did it again. I got involved in yet another interactive fan fiction story. This time, my character was paired with Richie (much more to my liking). That story wrapped in early November 2008, and I had been asked to assemble the "story posts", that is, the posts that tell Richie and Jen's story, in one place for people to read.

So I'm doing it.

I'm having to add some filler as I go, as there were lengthy pauses between the verbose posts I made, but I'm trying to keep the flow of the story going.

The Richie/Jen story is only half of the fan fic project. The other half was a Jon/T story. That is not explored here at all. In fact, very little mention is made. Just enough so it isn't a surprise when T shows up at various points.

If anything is confusing, please let me know. I've been living this character for the better part of the last eight months, and her memories are mine. I forget, sometimes, that you all can't see into my head.

I hope you enjoy the story. It starts here.

~ Hath

Make Up

Monday, March 8, 2010
When Richie’s phone started playing Jennifer’s ring tone, he thought he was hearing things. He hit ‘connect’ before the first stanza of music had gone past. “Jennifer, thank you so much for calling me back. I am so sorry...”

Jennifer interrupted. “Richie, I know you’re sorry. I know you love me. I know you want to fix this. What I don’t know is what I’ve done to make you think I’d even consider not only cheating on you, but trying to do so with your best friend. What I don’t know is what kind of woman you think I am. And I need to know those things before I even think about trying to fix this.”

“You haven’t done anything,” he said quietly. His heart sunk when he heard her call him ‘Richie’. She always called him ‘Rich’.

“I didn’t think so, but I wanted to hear it from you.” She took a deep breath. Now for the tough question. “Why would you call me those horrible names? Do you really think I’m a slut and a whore?”

Richie closed his eyes and his head dropped back against the couch. “Of course not,” he answered.

“Or a liar? You really think I’m lusting for your best friend?”

“NO, Jennifer,” he said vehemently. “I don’t think those things.”

“Then why did you say them?” Jennifer’s color was high and her eyes were bright, and she was glad she found one of the conference rooms that wasn’t all glass.

“I don’t know,” Richie mumbled.

Jennifer sighed, clearly exasperated. “Richie, that’s the answer a kid gives when you ask him why he did something bad. I expect, no, no. I deserve the truth.”

Richie was quiet for a minute, and Jennifer was on the verge of hanging up. How did he say this to her in a way that she’d understand? “I love you too much,” Richie said, then was quiet again.

“What in the hell does that mean?”

“It means that I got scared,” Richie said. When Jennifer didn’t say anything, he continued. “This is not easy to talk about, you know.”

“Well,” Jennifer said unsympathetically, “it wasn’t easy being called a whore by someone who professed to love me, either.”

Richie groaned. “Alright, look. The few major relationships I’ve had in the past, I don’t mean the flings or affairs, but the real relationships, I’ve gotten hurt when they ended. Really hurt. So much so that I know I don’t want to go through that again.” He stopped to take a breath.

“I’m with you so far,” Jennifer said.

“Well, I saw this turning into one of those. The long-term, forever kind of things, and it scared the shit out of me. Aside from Ava and my mother, I’ve never loved a woman the way I love you. What I had with Heather and Denise – that was different. You’re a part of me, Jennifer, a big part, and you have such power over me, I don’t think you understand.” He stopped to take a breath. “I was so petrified that you were going to break my heart, that I was going to go so far deep into the pit that I couldn’t get out, I lashed out. At you and at Jon. I know it didn’t mean anything. I know you were just messing around. In my heart I KNOW that. I will never forgive myself if I’ve ruined what we were building together.”

The silence on the other end of the phone made Richie anxious. He listened hard, and could hear Jennifer’s breathing, so he knew she didn’t hang up on him. He thought she may be quietly crying, but couldn’t be sure until she spoke.

“Rich,” Jennifer said, her voice tremulous. “Do you see how insane that is? A pre-emptive strike on something that’s WORKING? Over something so ridiculously stupid? And to be so hateful...” A discreet sniffle came across the line, and Richie’s own tears started to fall.

“I swear to God, Jen, I didn’t mean any of it,” Richie said, his heart swelling with relief and joy that she called him ‘Rich’ again. “I swear on Ava’s life I wish I could take it back.”

“Well you can’t,” Jennifer said.

“I know,” Richie answered, dejected. “What can I do? Can I even do anything?” He was so frightened that she was going to say ‘no’. He didn’t know how he’d survive it if she did.

“I don’t know,” Jennifer said honestly. “You hurt me pretty badly, you know.”

“I know,” Richie said, “and I’d give anything to take that hurt on myself. Will you give me a chance to try to make it up to you?”

Jennifer was quiet for a minute, composing herself before she answered. “When my husband and I split, I swore I would never be one of those women who take all the abuse her husband or boyfriend or whatever wants to dish out and smile like nothing was wrong. I swore to myself I’d never let anyone hurt me the way Brandon did, and if I did get hurt like that, I’d sure as hell make sure it never happened again. Rich, you hurt me like that. Deep, to the soul pain. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt because I still love you so much it hurts, and I know that maybe the craziness went a little too far.” She was crying in earnest now. “But I never... EVER... want to feel like this again.”

“You’re not giving up on me? You’re giving me another chance?” Richie wanted to be absolutely certain he was hearing her right.

“I’m giving you a last chance. Get jealous all you like. Get mad and rage and stomp your feet if you need to. Yell at me if I do something wrong or hurtful or stupid. But don’t you ever again make me feel like less than a person. Ever.”

“I can promise that,” Richie said eagerly. “Oh God, Jennifer, I can’t promise I won’t get mad but I can promise that I will never make you feel anything less than the woman I love.”

“Alright, Rich,” Jennifer said. “Then I will take you at your word, and forgive and forget. I love you and I want to get past this. You won’t hear me bring this up again.”

“When can I come out and see you?”

“Come this weekend if you can,” Jennifer said. “You have lunch with Cheryl tomorrow; I don’t want you canceling on her. She doesn’t know about what happened, and I’m not going to tell her. When I met her and the other girls in the city, I just told them that things weren’t good between us anymore. I’m not telling anyone what really happened. It’s staying between us, and I’d appreciate it if you honored that.”

“You got it, sweetheart.” Richie was in no hurry to tell the world what an ass he’d been. He was glad Jen wanted to keep it under wraps. “I can’t wait to see you, I will spend all weekend showing you the kind of woman I think you really are.”

“I don’t doubt it, Rich,” Jennifer said. “But I seriously don’t want to talk about this anymore. I mean it. Just thinking about makes me sad, and I want to be done crying.”

“Okay,” Richie said. “I get it. I’m still going to worship you when I see you, though,” he said. “After all, you are a Goddess.”

Jennifer chuckled a little, and Richie’s heart soared. “And don’t you forget it,” she said.

“Never,” Richie promised solemnly.

When she got back, to her desk she sent an email to Jon.

FROM: jemtpetruzo@allegiance.com
TO: frontman@bj.com

It’s over. No, not me and Rich, but this whole episode. He and I talked today, and have mostly sorted it out. He explained some things to me, I explained some things to him, and I decided that ultimately, I’m not ready to kick him to the curb.

Looking at things calmly now, I can appreciate that you didn’t mean for things to get so far out of control. Still, they did, and I hope to hell you’ll think twice before fucking with my life again.

This is the last time I want to have to say this; I said it to Rich, and I’m saying it to you: I don’t ever want to talk about this again. Ever.

I mean it.

~ Jen

PS: I rescind my ban on you coming to my house. Just call first next time.

When Richie hung up with Jen, he knew he had one more plate of crow to eat, and called his best friend.

“What?” Jon said angrily.

Richie winced at the tone of his best friend’s voice. “Hey man. I guess you’ve talked to Jen, then?”

“You could say that. Look, not that you shouldn't trust Jen...because you should. But damn it, Rich, even if you didn't you should've trusted ME.”

Richie sighed and ran his hand roughly through his hair. “I know I should have trusted you implicitly, and you know that I know that you'd lay down your life for me, like I would for you. I was just.... listen, you know that in the past, some of the, uh, 'ladies' I've hooked up with were just using me to try to get to you. And even then, you never bothered with them, so I KNOW in my heart that you would never do that with someone I actually care about. But all that shit you were talking...and you made it sound like she was willing, and I had that minute of doubt man, that minute where I went so blind stupid with rage that if you were in the room with me, I woulda taken a swing at you. So I lashed out and tried to make you feel as shitty as I did.”

“You didn’t just lash out at me, man,” Jon said, unwilling to let his friend off the hook without making him admit what a bastard he’d been.

“I know I called Jen...well...things I should never have called her; let's leave it at that. I'm not proud of my behavior, man. Not by a long shot. I said lots of things I never should have. Look, I can make excuses and offer explanations all day, and it doesn't mean shit. Bottom line is that I fucked up. Again. Can I make it right with you?”

“You just did, bro.” Jon was smiling widely.

Richie chuckled. “Damn, you're way easier than Jen. Seriously though, I came THIS close to fucking that up beyond repair. She's letting me come out this weekend to see her. Damn, I made her cry, man. Worse, I made her say THOSE three little words: I need time. I'll hear that shit in my head forever.”

“Yeah you will,” Jon said. “And it’s not that I’m easier than Jen, we just have more history to fall back on. I know you enough to know that you're truly feeling remorseful. But, let me tell you something. You can say shit about me any day of the week. But disrespecting a woman like Jen that way – well, that wasn’t cool. You do that again, I will personally kick your ass up around your ears.”

“You won’t have to, she’ll kill me.”

Jon laughed. “I don’t doubt it.”

4 comments:

rutpop said...

Oh YAY!!! I say bring on the make-up sex now ;-)

Anonymous said...

I was just about to say the same thing-time for makeup sex. Tough scene, but it had to be done-hope it never comes up again. Great chapter!

Bonnie

JBJBounce said...

Once again you show what an amazing writer you are. Tough love is good for the soul. Glad they made it right and love that Richie acknowledges that she'd kill him if he tried something so absolutely stupid again.

stargazer said...

Hey, So I just came upon this story and fell in love with it! Really well one! Will you be updating soon??? lol I'm hooked now!

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