I finished that short piece I was working on and thought I would just post it here so that those of you who read the first part could see the whole thing. It's short, but I think it's finished just the same.
JOHN AND SEAN
by Angel Godiva
John Lennon was sitting beside a tree in a remote place, watching a small stream rush past him, enjoying the tranquil setting in which he found himself. The sun was warm upon his face, filtering through a labyrinthe of leafy branches, and he looked up, marveling at how blue the sky was on this particular day. Somewhere in the distance, an animal of some sort began to make an odd wailing sound, and he peered past the tree trunks in the direction that the sound seemed to be coming from.
Suddenly, something grabbed his shoulder from behind and began shaking him violently! The wailing increased in volume, and as John twisted his neck around to see what the hell had hold of him, the world darkened and everything seemed to disappear.
"John! Wake up! Sean is crying," said Yoko, giving her husband's shoulder another shake. "Go see what he needs; I need to get up early in the morning, and I need my sleep!"
John opened his mouth to protest; he needed his sleep too, after all, but he closed it again and groped on the nightstand for his glasses. He had promised to be the one who got up if the baby needed anything at night, and by the sound of the plaintive wailing coming from the crib near the foot of the bed, he currently needed something quite badly.
Locating his glasses at last, John put them on and sat up slowly; he was not quite awake yet, and it was kind of dark in the room. A bit of light filtered into the room from the bathroom, where there was a night light burning. With a sigh, John hauled himself to his feet and padded across the warm, thick carpet to stand by Sean's crib.
"Just hang on for half a tic," John whispered, "I'm here, I will be right back to take care of you." He disappeared into the bathroom and in less than a minute, he was back. He lifted the child from the crib, astonished as always by how light and small his son was. He held the baby close against his shoulder, rubbing the tiny back gently, turning his face towards Sean's head, touching his nose to the silky hair, breathing in the intoxicating scent there. Fully awake now, John grabbed a couple of diapers and a box of baby wipes and carried his son, still wrapped in his soft, blue blanket, into the kitchen.
One of the cats opened its eyes and watched John pass from its sleeping place on one of the deep windowsills. After determining that all was well, the cat put its nose back into the curl of its tail and went back to the business of sleeping.
In the kitchen, John switched on the light over the sink and carried his son to the table. He spread the blanket out and placed the baby upon it, carefully removing Sean's legs from the light green onesie he was wearing and removing his son's very wet diaper. He cleaned the baby's skin with a wipe and re-diapered him with practiced ease. If anyone had told him a year ago that he would be able or even willing to do this, he would have said that they were daft. It had been a bit hard at first, but now, three weeks into it, John was a pro. He slipped Sean's legs back into the legholes, adjusted the garment around the tiny feet, wrapped the blanket back around him, and lifted the child to his shoulder once more.
"That's the outside," said John quietly, "Now the inside."
Holding the baby wth one hand, he opened the fridge and extracted a prepared bottle of formula. He popped it into the bottle warmer and sat down to have a little talk with his son while they waited together for it to be ready.
John cradled his son in the crook of his arm, feeling the warmth of the baby against his middle.He bent his head to breathe in the scent of his son again and wondered what it was about that smell that made his heart feel too big for his chest. He knew that he would do anything for this little boy, just anything.
"Your Daddy loves you, you know," he whispered into one tiny, shell-pink ear. "And he really thinks that you are the most amazing person he has ever met."
Sean opened his tiny mouth and yawned, and his little eyes were intent upon his father's face. The bottle warmer emitted a shrill beep and John smiled at his son.
"Soup's on," he said softly,"Let's see how hungry you are." He rose to get the bottle, and carried the baby into the living room,and settling down on the floor in front of the couch, he cradled his son in his arms again and smiled gently as he watched him begin to feed.
Once the bottle was empty and Sean was sweetly sleeping again, John carefully placed the baby in his crib once more and crawled back into bed, kissing his wife's shoulder. She mumbled something unintelligible, and he put his glasses on the table and settled down to sleep again.
When John awoke again, sunlight was streaming in through the window, but the baby was quietly sleeping. As much as he hated to get out of bed when he was so warm and comfortable, John put his glasses on, lit a cigarette, and got up. If he was lucky, he would have time for a shower before Sean woke up and demanded his attention.
When John emerged from the shower,he could hear his son just beginning to fuss. He dried himself off quickly and pulled on a pair of jeans, then went to get a fresh diaper for Sean. He changed him, wrapped him in a soft blanket, and carried him into the kitchen to get his bottle ready.
Holding the baby to his shoulder with one hand, John prepared the bottle and popped it into the electric warmer. Two cats wound themselves round and round his ankles,trying to convince him that they were near death from starvation with loud, piteous cries. John poured some dry kibble into their communal bowl and sat at the table to wait for the bottle to warm.He lay his son upon the table in front of him, leaning forward to take one little pink hand in his own long, graceful fingers. The little hand gripped John's index finger with a strength which amazed the man; it was as though the child's very life depended upon his father, and the baby knew it. John bent his head forward a bit more and kissed the tiny fingers lightly and lovingly. He felt his heart swell with emotion, and he was astonished as always by how terrible and strong his love for the little boy actually was, just as fresh and new as it had been a month ago when he had first had his son put into his arms at his wife's hospital bedside. From the very first touch, the very first look into the unfocused little eyes, the first breath of that intoxicating new baby smell, John had known that he would do anything within his power to protect this tiny creature, flesh of his flesh, from any harm. The beep sounded and John retrieved the bottle and went into the living room, holding Sean against his bare chest. As was his habit, John seated himself upon the floor, his back against the front of the sofa. He cradled the baby in the crook of his arm and held the bottle for him as the child suckled hungrily. While his son was enjoying breakfast, John thought of his older child. It disturbed him that he had missed all this with Julian. He had been all wrapped up in his work and his touring, the band rocketing to world fame and little time to think about much else,when Julian had been this age. He had left the care of his first child to his wife and her mother, seeing him now and then, but never getting to know him in this intimate fashion. Along with his guilt over not taking an active part in his oldest son's life, John felt a fierce determination not to let the same thing happen this time around. He would be there for this child, and he would know him as well as he knew himself. He was making some progress in that area with Julian; he had begun to try to make amends when he was staying in Los Angeles with May. Julian had been there to spend some time with him and the gentle girl who shared his life, and John had begun to see his son as an individual in his own right,a real person with astonishing maturity and an amazingly creative mind for a ten-year-old boy. He wished that he could see more of him, and he promised himself that he would do that once Julian was old enough to spend more time away from his mother. But for now, his main concern was the nurturing of the tiny child he now held in his arms.
The bottle was empty now, and John lifted his son to rest agaist his shoulder, gently rubbing the strong, little back until he was rewarded with a satisfactory belch. He got to his feet and went back into the bedroom. John put the baby on his tummy in his crib and looked through the drawers for something to dress him in for the day. Once he had the clothes laid out, he ran a warm bath and washed his son with sure, gentle hands. It was an amazingly warm day for early November, nearly eighty degrees. Once he had the baby dressed, John decided to take his son for a walk in the park. A day so warm was freakishly rare this time of year, and weather like this might not come again until May or June; he thought he should take advantage of the unseasonable warmth and get some fresh air for both of them.
The park was not as crowded as John had feared it would be on such a beautiful day; of course the children were in school and most others were at work during this time of day. A few older people sat on benches and strolled about, taking little notice of the handsome, jeans and t-shirt clad man in the dark glasses pushing a baby carriage. He was recognized by a couple of joggers, and a young man asked him for an autograph; neither of them had paper or pen, so both were borrowed from an old lady seated on a nearby bench. As the noon hour approached, John decided to get home so that he could avoid being recognized by any more fans. On a day like today, the park would fill up during lunch time.
At home once again, John changed and fed his son again, then put him down for a nap in the carriage, which he placed near an open window so that his son could continue to benefit from the warm breezes and sunshine softly filtered by the white lace curtains. John took some rice and fish from the refrigerator and warmed it in the countertop oven, then sat at the kitchen table to eat while he looked at the mail and listened to the radio. The voice of his friend Paul came over the radio and filled the room, and John felt a wave of sadness and loss; he had not seen his friend for some time, and he missed him, but there had been bitterness and trouble between the two, and each man was too proud and too stubborn to be the first one to admit that he was wrong--even though both of them were at fault for the rift that had occured between them. John had to admit to himself that the song, something about an impending rock show, sounded pretty good. The song ended, and John returned his attention to the mail. There were several letters from friends he'd made in California, and the message in each was essentially the same-- don't you miss making music? To his surprise, John did not. He still jotted down lyrics now and then, but it had been a while since he had seen the inside of a recording studio.
He didn't really feel like cooking, so John called a nearby restaurant to arrange for the delivery of the evening meal for himself and his wife. She would be home soon, and he thought that he would pass a little time with the book he was currently reading until she arrived. After a few sentences, he was fast asleep. Soon, Sean would be awake and needing his attention again, and John would be up to the challenge. He was now, first and foremost, a real father.
Paul is still alive.
[This Message Has Been Edited By angelgodiva On October 11, 2002 10:59 PM]