Tuesday, September 12, 2006

CHAPTER NINE - DOWN HILL FAST

DECEMBER 16, 2004
The Dorchester Hotel
London England
7pm




“Brad are you coming to visit me and mommy?” The little voice spoke into the phone. What did he say? Sighing he gave it his best shot. “Well Mad remember what me and mommy told you? Remember? That when the movie was over we had to all go home? You and mommy live really far from me sweetie. But you know you can always call me, okay?”


The little voice that answered was sadder somehow. “Kay…but…I know… you can do another movie with mommy and we can see you.”


“Ahhhh…Mad, you know…I don’t think so buddy. Mommy has another movie and so do I.” It was breaking his heart, this conversation.


“After that…maybe?” Maddox wasn’t quite prepared to give up. He wanted to see Brad. Maybe if he cried, mommy would take him to see his Braddy.


“I’m sorry sweetie. I won’t be able to.” Once upon a time he would have said, ‘what he wouldn’t give for a son like Maddox. Now his thoughts were ‘what he wouldn’t give to be a father to Maddox.


“Don’t you like me and mommy anymore?” Maddox asked, his little voice, wobbly with tears. He stamped his little foot. No! He wasn’t supposed to cry now! He had to wait for mommy to see, but he was sad now.


The sound of tears in Maddox voice, broke his heart and he felt a lump form in his own throat. “Hey…come on you’re my big boy, remember? You have to be strong for mommy. You’re the man in the house. But you’re still my best buddy right?”


“Ummm…hmmm.” Maddox responded, wiping his eyes with the back of his little hand. He still wanted Brad. But he had to be a big boy. Being a big boy sucked!


Brad sat back on the sofa, making himself more comfortable. “Okay, so where did we leave off?”


“They saw the white whale!” In true primary fashion, Mad’s mind was now on the childlike version of Moby Dick. The story Brad had been telling him over the last week.


“That’s right. So there they were, in the middle of the ocean and..”



~~~~~~~~~



December, 16 2004
Angelina’s Country Estate
Fulmer, England
7pm



“Who’s he talking to?” Colin Ferrell asked watching Angelina’s three year old son Maddox speak in high animated tones into the cordless telephone.


Angelina looked up from her salad. She glanced over at her son, a smile lightening her face when she caught his excited words. Moby Dick…figured. Men and their never ending conquest to conquer nature, their need to force their will on any and all living things was amazing. “Brad.” A simple answer full of so much meaning.


“I thought you two weren’t speaking.” Colin put his fork down and waited patiently for Angelina to respond. When she didn’t immediately, he continued. “Come on Angie, you were a mess when we met at the Premiere. What the hell are you doing?”


Angelina quickly shushed him. “Hey! Watch your mouth around my kid. He may be on the phone, but trust me the boy has supersonic hearing.”


Holding his hands up in surrender “Okay, fine swearing is out. Now answer the question. What are you doing?” Colin asked.


“Nothing is going on. Brad doesn’t talk to me. He just calls to speak to Mad. When shooting was doe, Mad didn’t like saying good bye and couldn’t understand why Brad didn’t come see him. He experienced ‘separation anxiety’. So we decided to wean him a bit slower. Brad calls him and they talk. Sometimes they tell each other stories.” Angelina sipped her white wine, keeping an eye on her son, who sat on his little patio lounge chair, listening intently to Brad’s story.


“He calls everyday now?” Colin had a bit of trouble holding the sudden streak of jealousy he felt at bay. He’d spent three and half months with this woman and she hadn’t so much as batted an eyelash in his general direction. She kept calling him her brother, as if. The longer he worked with her, the more he admired her. She was completely opposite of the opinion the public had of her. She’d given so much of herself, her time and her money for a cause that most ignored. She worked as hard at being a good mother as she did at being an award wining actress. Everything about her was sexual, maternal and compassionate and she would never be his.


Angelina answered, without turning away from her son. “Everyday? No, every two or three days.”


“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Colin warned. He could see she was heading for pain. He’d do all he could to stop her.


Angelina turned back to face Colin. “I know and soon there won’t be any more. It’s just that Mad gets a bit anxious when he doesn’t hear from Brad.”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.” She saw him as a brother, then brother he’d be. “He’s in London sweetheart, minding his wife.”


Angelina’s face paled with Colin’s words. Why was he being so hateful? “I know where he is and I dam…don’t need you to remind me of it.”


“You know where he is and you know what he’s doing, or is that who he’s doin…” Colin didn’t finish his sentence, Angelina interrupted him.


“Don’t…Colin!” She brought her voice down again, realizing Mad do was looking at them both now. “So help me…”


Reaching across the table, Colin pushed a stray curl from Angelina’s face. “Shhhh…I’m sorry baby. You know me. Just getting a rise.” Turning his cheek forward. “Go ahead give me that hot left hook of yours.”


Angelina shrugged it off. “It’s okay. I think that I’m just a bit too sensitive these days.” Nodding at his cheek, she muttered. “Don’t tempt me.”


“Mommy…” Maddox ran over to the table.


Angelina wrapped an arm around the child, drawing him close. “Yeah baby?”


“Braddy wants to talk to you!” Handing her the phone, the little boy ran over to Colin and climb into his lap. “Hi!”

“Hi yourself!” Colin hugged the little boy. Maddox was such a sweet, happy little boy. Angie was doing a hell of a job with this kid. Colin hated to see either one of them get hurt. Perhaps he should pay Brad a visit and find out just what the hell was really going on. He didn’t blame the man for his obsession. Hell! He’d worked with her almost a year ago and he was still obsessed.


There was something about Angie…how did Val put it? She made a man ‘feel’ things. Lord only knew what she’d made Brad feel. But the difference between he and Brad was a wedding band and he’d be damned if he were going to sit by and let this man destroy Angie’s hard earned happiness and stability. No one really knew how bad a job Billy Bob had done on her. Part of her was still afraid of commitment and being chased by a married man damn sure wasn’t helping. ‘Yeah.’ Colin thought. ‘He’d pay Bradley a little visit once they were stateside.’


Watching Maddox draw Colin’s attention, Angelina rose from the table and moved out of ear shot of both man and child, before speaking. “Hi.” She breathed into the phone.



Waiting for the sound of that voice. The voice she knew in her heart she was born to recognize.




~~~~~~~~~~~~


DECEMBER 16, 2004
The Dorchester Hotel
London England
7:20pm





“Hi.” What was he doing? He was in London to talk to Jennifer and here he was pining for just a whisper of her voice.


“I thought we agreed you would only call for Maddox.” Angelina needed to keep them on track. Someone had to. “Why?”


She didn’t need to finish. He knew what she was asking but he had his own question that needed to be answered. “Why is Colin there?”


“Brad…?”


“Answer me. Why is he there?” Brad barked into the phone. He couldn’t begin to explain the searing jealousy that had raced through him at the sound of Colin’s name on her lips. Why was the man there, poaching on his territory?


“He’s a friend and he came over for a visit, that’s all.”


“I don’t like it.” Brad’s voice held all the abstinence of a stubborn child when told to eat his vegetables.


“And I don’t like the fact that you’re married. But I don’t have choice, do I? I don’t like waking up in the middle of the night aching. But how do I stop my unconscious mind from dreaming of something that can never be?”



Brad’s voice raised an octave. “You think I don’t have the same dreams? Do you know how much it’s taking me to sit her and simply talk to you when what I really want to do is get to you anyway I can? Do you!?”


Jumping, Angelina reacted to the sharpness in Brad’s voice. “Brad…this…this is not helping either one us and it damn sure isn’t helping Maddox.” Taking a deep shaky breath she continued. “You don’t need to tell me how hard it is for you…I feel it…everyday…every moment…I feel it too! So don’t tell me how hard it is for you right now.”


Brad heard the anguish in Angelina’s voice. An anguish that was mirrored in his own soul. “Angel…”


“Don’t. You’re here to work out things with your wife. This has to stop. There’s no place for it to go.”


He couldn’t accept that. “Ang…”


“No…no more and you know I’m right.” She made her decision in that moment. “I don’t want you to call Mad anymore.”


“Listen…” She interrupted again.


She didn’t dare give him a chance to wear her down and change her mind. She had to do this for him…Mad…herself. “I said no more Brad.”


“What about Maddox?” He knew that he was hitting below the belt, but he didn’t care. Maybe he was being selfish. But he couldn’t just let her disappear from his life. Mad…Mad, it would likely kill him to let that child go But she was right, he was in London to work thing out with Jen. But did he really want that?


“Maddox will be fine.” She answered quietly. There was only one thing to say. “Go work out your marriage. We’ll be fine.” She didn’t bother to say good bye. She simply hung up the phone.


Brad didn’t call back. Instead he prepared himself to make one of the most important decisions of his life.




~~~~~~~~~~




Angelina walked back over to where her son rough-housed with Colin. Mad glanced up at his mother. “Is Brad gone?”


Angelina held her arms out to the child, who glad ran into them. Picking him up, she let him straddled her hip. “Soooo…are you ready for another adventure?”


Clapping excitedly, the toddler asked. “Where? Where mommy?”


“Well we are going to visit some of mommy’s friends in Moscow and then back to Lebanon.”


“I can see my friends.” Maddox referred to the children who’d befriended him back in August when they’d paid their first visit to the refugee camps and hospitals.


Angelina was happy. The trip would help her keep Maddox’s mind off of Brad.


To bad there’s wasn’t a trip that would do the same for her.



Copyright © 2006 all rights reserved By ‘Rica’

1 comment:

Nedda said...

Fnatastic and so realistic. It really seems like it happened.