Ask me 59
Emptiness, a cold house and a heavy heart were all I could feel when we got in. Ted headed for the TV and I headed for the bathroom for a good cry, shit I’m starting this journey early. I thought the crying would probably click in around the third week. My phone went, it was Con, I was still sniffing when I said hello. He was very down and they had just cleared Australia to head for New Zealand then Los Angeles. I told him the house was cold without him then I babbled my way through the missing you badly stage. I had to put Ted on who was not fussed, this was an interruption to his cartoons he was half watching, half talking. I took the phone and laughed at the thought we won't have to worry about our boy, it was this big boy that had the worries. Con spoke for an hour then I could feel the tiredness in his voice so I said my goodbyes as he sang a lovely verse to me, it was the song we were writing, I laughed and said I would get back to him.
John and Ray came in with our dinner and the table was all set by the time Ted and I got out of the shower, we had dressed for bed...saves doing it later. They were my distraction for a couple of hours and surprise, surprise, Ted asked John to read his story which he did as I cleaned up while making small talk with Ray.
“They will be in New Zealand now refueling the jet,” he said.
“Yes Con sounded tired so I hope they didn’t wake him.” I sort of laughed.
‘You know Brent before you came on the scene he travelled overseas a lot. Every time he took a little bit of our hearts with him but apart from a few drinking binges he came back rather unscathed and full of confidence. We watched that confidence grow in him and were very proud to call him our nephew. It was hard for us to give him up to you but we knew it was the right thing to do. He loves you so very much and John and I know now what Conner sees in you, something we hadn’t given him, something we had missed Brent. He got that something when you arrived, he learnt to love himself, to respect his worth and mainly he learnt humility. All that he got from you, from your insistence he doesn’t spoil you to your will to make people you don’t know happy, for that we thank you.
Beth would have absolutely loved you Brent and you would have loved her, you have so much in common.”
By this time my tears were running down my face. I reached for the tissues and wiped my face, the one thing I did know was I loved him very deeply, not because he was famous and rich but because he was my Conner, my lover and my friend and I missed him so much…shit he’s only been gone for six hours. Again I reached for those bloody tissues.
John came back and made a wise crack to Ray about getting me crying again, Ted had told him I was crying in the bathroom earlier. I said I had better watch that and he said Ted didn’t know why but he thought you might be sad that dad has gone away for a while. He’s more excited about seeing him on TV when it happens. I slept in my son’s bed that night and the next and the next.
Con had arrived to a star gathering, there were photos all over the newsstands and TV and heaps of publicity for the casino gig. The papers were saying he might be there for six months according to their inside information, deals were talked about and big money was to be exchanged. I took it all in my stride. Con didn’t call every night but he tried to be in touch as much as he could. If it wasn’t Con, it was Grant and not really surprisingly Adam or Rob, they assured me that everything was okay. Con was missing us terribly and he spent all his spare time sleeping. Rob laughed when he told me that he slept a lot because he wanted the time to go faster. I sometimes heard Ted on the phone to Con, he was saying he was looking after me and I was no longer sad because he slept with me every night.
Of course while all this was happening I landed in hospital again, just for a couple of nights my bloods were all over the place and I had a bit of a fever. The doctor wanted me in there to do more tests just in case I developed pneumonia, which was on the cards knowing my lousy luck. John and Ray looked after Ted and I had made them promise not to tell Conner, he would only worry. Once again Ted was brought in before school and then after school, he slept in with John and Ray. I answered my phone when Con called the second night and he didn’t suspect a thing...I lied. Oh just puffed hanging out the wash. Teds over at Shaun’s place, no just got a slight sniffle, that sort of lying, but I got through it and was discharged the morning of the second day. The antibiotics were helping and I assured the doctor I would look after myself. He told me it could have been worse but was happy with my progress. I sort of got a telling off because as usual I should have known better, but it didn’t turn into anything serious.
Everybody that mattered was told not to say anything to Con or his entourage, all got better at home and Ted and I were back on track that was until I read the headlines. 'Australian Rock star to marry Las Vegas dancer.' Now you don’t believe that do you? And neither did I, she looked like a lovely girl but maybe she didn’t know Rick Conners was already married to me. If I had gone to the press they would have accused him of bigamy. Poor girl, he bought her a beautiful ring which she showed off for the cameras, must have cost him a bomb, all I got was a party.
The phone started almost straight after the clip on, 'Entertainment Tonight,' no comment, no comment, no comment. I took the phone off the hook, everyone that matters has my mobile number and it stayed silent.
I tried to ring Conner that night but there was no answer so I will wait until he rings me. In the meantime I did my thing not thinking anything was wrong, I went to bed early and slept well, the mucus on my lungs was breaking up, the pills doing their job but the morning coughing fits weren’t the best look.
Ray dropped Ted off to school. I wanted to go and see how Mary was and spent a good few hours with her, she and Tony are going great guns, he adores her and she’s on top of the world. She had nothing but good things to say about Tom and Tan who had insisted she keep talking to him because he doesn’t want to relapse. She didn’t think he would but she went along with it. Later I said my goodbyes and went up to the school.
Ted was sitting by himself, no mates today, he was very quiet when I hugged him and at training he was more than quiet, that was until he lashed out at Bubby, he tried to kick his bum and had his fists at the ready.
“Hey Ted, what’s going on?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said rather curtly.
“I don’t know, ask him.” He indicated Ted.
“Okay enough, time to go home and Ted naughty corner for three minutes when we get there.”
He didn’t speak to me at all just gave me this dreadful look.
I had asked Andy what was going on and he told me he would speak to Shaun and Bubby on the way home, he had noticed something was up.
The phone rang as soon as we walked in the door and it was Con, we talked about his shows and how much he was missed. He told me he was looking after himself and not to believe everything I hear, which I knew anyway. He said the woman was a bit simple and was trying to get back at her boyfriend for leaving her, she was a dancer in his show but not anymore, and in fact the hotel banned her from their premises. He asked about Ted, who had stood in the corner as soon as he got in. I looked over and he was crying, my God why didn’t I notice that. I walked out to the backyard.
“There’s something awfully wrong Con, he’s not himself. I had to punish him but I just noticed he’s crying so I will have to call you back.”
“Okay can you put him on for a minute?”
“Teddy, daddy is on the line, he wants to talk to you.”
“I don’t want to talk to him, I hate him, I hate him,” he yelled at me then ran up to his room, the door slammed.
“Con I am going to have to call you back, he doesn’t want to talk to you.”
“What’s going on Brent, please try to put him on please,” he begged.
I went up to Ted’s room; he was on his bed clutching his pillow.
“Please Teddy talk to dad, he misses you so bad.”
He looked at me then the phone, I handed it over.
“Go away, leave me alone. I’m staying with daddy, you go and get married for all I care and don’t come back either. I hate you,” he screamed down the phone his tears flowing, then continued,
“I don’t have a mummy, I have two daddies, I don’t want Brent to leave, you married him not that girl. I hate you, I hate you.” He threw the phone on the bed, my jaw dropped, he was so distraught and wound up. I fell on the bed and took my boy into my arms, telling him it's all right, I will fix things but the phone was silent when I finally picked it up. Con had gone.
I kissed our boy and started to try and explain how some nasty people are rude to his daddy, that the girl isn’t going to marry dad because he is already married to me and we have a little boy called Ted who we love to bits. He shouldn’t be so upset because of someone’s lies.
“But Bubby said she was on TV last night and said she was getting married to daddy.”
“He did see that but he didn’t see big Rick saying he wanted to get married, just some stupid girl, lies that’s all that was Teddy.” I turned his tear streaked face to mine and continued. “He loves you very much, he wouldn’t hurt you like that or me honey. Dad and I are married and we are not going to go away so try and forget these lies because they are just lies baby.”
I hugged him, he cried more and he held onto me tight and my heart broke when he whispered,
“I thought I had done something bad to daddy and he didn’t want us anymore that’s why I gets upset.” I looked into his bright eyes and answered,
“Why would you think that Teddy, you have always been a good boy and we both love you so dearly.”
It was John's voice coming through the back door that pulled me out of the moment.
“What on earth has happened in here? Con’s on the phone to Ray, who's trying to calm him down, Conner's really very upset.”
“Lies, innuendo and that unseen eyewitness that is always there in the background, and Con's upcoming nuptials.”
“Oh.” He looked at Ted sadly.
“It's all a pack of lie’s Teddy,” John said.
“Teddy please talk to daddy, he’s hurting that you maybe hate him, can you please just say hello and listen to what he will be saying to you, just for a minute?”
He thought about it then jumped off the bed and ran next door, we caught up with him as he took the phone out of Ray’s hands.
“No daddy, Nana says you and Brent will look after me. I gets mad because you getting married, I don’t want her, I want Brent, daddy.”
“Okays, I suppose so.”
“Yes lies daddy. I love you too.”
He talked for the next half hour. I am thinking Con is just telling him how much he loves us and he will be home at the end of next week, or maybe not as he still hasn’t talked about his optional two weeks. But after today I’m quite confident he will be home very soon. John fed us, Ted kept himself close to me and I apologized to him for making him stand in the corner. But in future he is to ask us adults before he makes his mind up about anything like this.
Andy called but it was all over rover by that time. Ted’s
grandies were bathing him and we both are having another early night. I told him what happened and he just told me that Bubby had seen it and asked Ted if he was getting a new mommy. Andy laughed, when he said,
“I set them straight, they seem to grasp it and they will apologize to Ted in the morning.” I told him Ted would apologize to them also.
We said our goodnights and I went to get ready for bed. I think, 'Frozen,' tonight, he will drop off ten minutes into the movie as he’s had a big day, oh so much to load on a small child’s shoulders. I sent a goodnight message to Con,
‘Your son is okay and asleep here next to me, come home soon, we miss you. Oh and get that ring back off that bitch, lolol. Love you.’
‘Sleep well my gorgeous husband, I love you,’ was the reply.
All was good in the morning, our little meltdown was almost forgotten and I had a sober heart to heart with Ted. He understood it wasn’t Bub’s fault and said he would apologize at school. John arrived with breakfast and Ted actually sat with us at the table to eat it, I winked at John.
“Ray has got to go into Go Ship early Brent and I need to shop so can you drive Ted today?”
“Yep, I’ll take my son to school, he’s a happy lad today and that’s the way he’s going to stay.” I smiled as Ted giggled through his scrambled eggs.
We met the boys when we got there and they all hugged and it was business as usual and Ted skipped off with them to play before the bell went. I filled Andy in and then had to get home to do some washing. That night Ted was watching for his dad on, 'World News,' but he wasn’t on so I switched to, 'Entertainment Tonight.' Con was on and he was being interviewed outside the casino. He said he didn’t know the woman and his partner and son at home were very upset, she had made up lies about him. He finished with a, 'I love you babe, I love you even more son.' We went with that, it wasn’t his fault and he didn’t mention our names thank God. Ted clapped…I think his happy face is back. That night he wet the bed again.
I wanted to talk to Mary about it, not that it concerned me; it was just to see if there was anything I could do about it, my nursing skills didn’t extend into a little kid's brain.
“It’s pretty normal Brent, truth be known his mates probably occasionally have these accidents, it’s pretty common. He’s still only five going on six but if he sounds worried about it then bring him to me. I can help him think it’s pretty normal, but medically wise I can't. Maybe mention it to your doctor at your next visit and see if he has any suggestions.” She was concerned but not as worried as me. I was only worried because of what Ted would be thinking and I don’t want him to feel bad about himself.
“There’s also another scenario Brent. Ted has known about Conner’s concerts for a while now, maybe it’s his way of telling you and him he’s not happy that he’s gone away. Has it gotten worse since Con has been away?” I flopped back onto the couch.
“Oh my God, I never thought of that Mary, of course it did. Apart from maybe two or three times after we got him, it's about five times since Marty first brought the overseas trip up. God I feel so stupid, Ted is fretting.”
“Well that’s probably the answer, it was hard for him the other day so his body reacted, lots of hugs and kisses and reassurances that Conner will come home soon I think should see a different little man. Maybe you should insist Con come home as soon as he can and next time maybe take Ted and you. It’s an insecurity thing Brent. He will learn to relax when he realizes nothing bad is going to happen when one of his parents go away.” But I wasn’t totally convinced that it was all nerves and wanted to explore some more.
I thought I would bite the bullet and ask Andy about it, after all he’s been a dad longer than me and he might give me another perspective. He said that Shaun and Bubby have night accidents and they had spoken to Shaun about it, telling him everything’s normal. They didn’t want him to think it was something unnatural so they keep an eye on his fluid intake, which helps.
They had tried to wake him during the night but this made him really grumpy in the mornings, so he said don’t worry so much and Ted will grow out of it.
I thought I would talk to Ted and it turned out that he was worried about it so I told him it was normal for little kids to do that and he wasn’t to worry about it at all. He told me he was worried that he was the captain of a footy team and still wets his bed. I said that I am sure Daniel Lawrence wet his bed when he was his age and he looked at me like I had told him a big fat lie.
That night I rang Cody and asked him to do me a favor. He laughed all through the conversation but then said,
“Brent, Tim didn’t stop having accidents until he was seven and Donny stopped when he was about six so don’t sweat it mate. I will get Dan to ring him, it will be interesting to hear what he will say to him, it's something I don’t know about Dan.” We had a really pleasant catch up I loved this guy.
The next night Dan rang and wanted to talk captain to captain to Ted. His fists were so tight as he took the phone and they had a long conversation about their footy season, he was surprised that Dan knew the final scores and then he started telling him about his medals but the conversation went quiet for awhile, then the grin on Ted's face looked like it was permanently painted on, he thanked Dan and then hung up.
Ted never told me what Dan said but boy was he a happy little kid that night.
“He will be home in the morning baby so clean up your room and put your toys away.”
“But he might not know us anymore dad, we should go now just in case he’s gets there early, we might miss him.”
“No baby, he will be at the airport in the morning, he’s somewhere over the Pacific Ocean at the moment, probably having a nap.”
“But daddy, he might miss us.”
“Ted clean up your room, do your homework, have dinner and a big sleep then in the morning we will go pick him up.” He still didn’t believe me but started throwing his toys into his closet anyway.
At dinner he was whispering to John that he should go and see if his daddy is at the airport, he might be waiting.
“Okay Teddy, I will ring my friend who works there and he can have a look for him.” John got on the phone to god knows who and said to his friend,
“Hello it’s Mr. John here. Teddy Richards is wanting to know if his daddy Rick Conners was at the airport yet?”
“Well can you look for him and ring me back, thank you?"
He smiled and winked at me then hung up.
Ten minutes later the phone rang and Ted's eyes lit up.
“Hello, Mr. John speaking.”
“Yes sir, no sir, okay I will let him know, thank you sir.”
He hung up and looked at Ted.
“Rick Conner's plane is due to land at ten am in the morning and at the moment it is up high in the sky. My friend spoke to Dave the pilot and he told him they were on time so you're not to worry about going out to the airport tonight. You should get a good night sleep and get dad to take you in the morning. Ted was happy with that but I think that’s what I just told him.
He walked through the custom's door into a private lounge and I could see Adam and Marty talking to Grant about the best way to get through the crowds that were there to see Conner. My heart was pounding as Ted suddenly let go of my hand and ran to him. Con picked him up, kissing him and smiled at me, Ted was full on bawling by this time, he was extremely overtired.
"I think you leave me and Brent. I scared you not come home again, please don't go away again, please stay wiv us." He sort of caused a bit of a scene, many of the women in the lounge especially had moved in closer. I know how they were feeling because all I wanted to do was take our little boy home and hold him forever, his little heart was breaking.
"Brent, Brent look, it’s our daddy," he sobbed.
All I could do was smile. Con handed me his backpack and stroked my cheek, tears swelling my eyes.
I spotted a luggage trolley so thought I would distract Teddy from his little boy crisis, Con would be another hour with his media and fans.
"Ted hop on here and dad will take you for a ride, come on baby."
I put the backpack onto the trolley but he wouldn't let go of Con's neck.
"Welcome home baby," I mouthed.
He smiled and sort of leered at me, his blue eyes kick started my heart and I instantly fell in love again, if ever that was more possible.
I eventually pried our son off him so he could do the media and we sat a bit out of the way and watched him. Teddy was on the brink of exhaustion; I suspect he didn’t sleep well last night.
“He did well Brent, there were no problems except he missed you and Ted.” Adam smiled as he sat with us watching the circus.
“That’s good to hear Adam, I was worried he would maybe turn to the bottle with boredom.”
“No he didn’t drink at all. We played a lot of cards and watched heaps of TV and when Rob left, I filled his spare time up with sleeping and seeing shows. I kept him busy, Grant kept him safe, Marty counted the money,” he chuckled.
“That’s good, the reviews were all good here, his shows were amazing from what I heard and I knew they would be anyway.”
“Yeah the only hiccup was that stupid woman but Con fixed that, he sent the boyfriend and her a double ticket to dinner and a show, they seemed to bond again, it’s a bloody crazy place Brent.”
“Lies daddy, lies,” I heard a little boy's voice say.
“Yes son all lies,” I replied as I pulled him closer.
I had brought our car so Grant and some of his Melbourne men walked us to it then made sure we were left alone. We put Ted into his big boy's seat and Con had to sit in the back next to him but managed a lasting kiss behind one of the pylons that holds the car park roof on.
On the way home Ted talked on and off In between crying, he was so overtired. Con and I knew that he would go straight to sleep as soon as we got onto the freeway and probably sleep through the rest of the day. I watched them in the rear vision mirror; they both could do with a good sleep. Conner’s eyes were so fucking droopy and sexy.
“Thank God you turned up at the right time, he’s been up since five this morning, he wanted to go to the airport last night but thanks to John, he waited.”
“I know John called me.”
“So it was you on the phone?”
“Yes baby, I rang back, I figured he wouldn’t believe you.” He laughed and Grant who was sitting in the front with me patted my hand in sympathy.
Ted was making little boy's snores when we pulled up outside the house. Grant carried him into bed and we both kissed him then left for coffee with Ray and John.
Conner talked about his concerts and the hotel, he couldn’t have been made welcomer and it was great they had bent over backwards to accommodate him and the band.
Grant assured me again there was no trouble, that all Con did was sleep and eat, he did do a lot of media but Adam had it covered as Marty started his shit again but only for a few days then he settled down.
“You should get Marty to do your next album Con, he’s more into it than you.” I laughed. It was time to have a nap so the guys left us to it; Grant's replacement had arrived, as he had to go home to sleep. The media will be all over Con on Monday, he has a full day, but for today and tomorrow, he’s all ours.
He showered and crawled into bed where I began our routine again. I gave him head and he thanked me, dropping off as soon as I wiped us both off. A sleepy Ted came in with us about two hours later. I really didn’t want him to sleep the day away but what the hell. I snuggled into him and he was back to sleep in no time.
As it happened Con and Ted had slept that afternoon and early into the night, I had gotten up to eat and talk to John, both my boys came and did the same about an hour later then they both went back to bed again.
I crawled in around ten that was after I sorted out Con's luggage, there wasn’t much washing thanks to Adam; he must have had it all done in Vegas. There were tour guides, used tickets and receipts in one bag, Con must have seen a few shows to kill the time. A little boy mumbled when I got into bed, I thought he said something about his daddy but didn’t quite catch it; I kissed them both and fell asleep.
When I woke the bed was empty, I found them both in front of the TV, Ted was cuddled up to Con who was watching the early news. There was a bit where he appeared on screen at the airport but it was turned down low so I couldn’t hear it. I kissed my man's head and went to put the coffee on, as I turned to get the cups out of the dishwasher a gorgeous rock star grabbed my waist and pulled me in for a full on pash. We stood glued together until the kettle boiled, his head slumped onto my shoulder; it’s the jet lag.
“Never again, that’s it, I missed you both so much, maybe later on when Ted is older but for now, just music. I was asked to write for a few shows so maybe that’s an option. He moaned so I told him to go back to bed but he didn’t do that instead he just dozed on the couch so I had to be super quiet.
“Come on Ted, hurry up you've got play day at Bubbies.”
“In a minute, dad you are gonna be home when I get back aren’t you?” He was torn between going to Bubs and staying with Con.
“Yes son, of course I will be. You go and have fun with your best buds I’ll wait here. Oh by the way I bought them something.” He rummaged through a stack of bags and pulled out a big plastic bag that had Mickey Mouse ears, lollies and toys in it.
“Give this to the boys Ted, it’s not much but you know how I hate shopping.” He then pulled out a bigger bag and then an even a bigger one.
“This, this and this one, for the three of you, I will find Sam and Andy's later.” They kissed and Ted struggled out to the car with his gifts but he wouldn’t let me help, he’s a big fella now.
When I got back Con was face down on the bed naked, he needs a haircut but in the meantime he needs my wet tongue and slicked up cock so I obliged him thoroughly.
“Your tongue has grown since I've been away.”
“No it hasn’t Con, your ass has got tighter.”
“No, I distinctly remember you had a small one.”
“Must be all that exercise it got talking on the phone.”
“I missed you so much Brent, it was hard to move sometimes, when I sang our songs it wasn’t the same with you not there. Adam noticed they were different too. I had to watch that. That dancer I’m engaged to got her wish when her boyfriend came back. I didn’t get an apology but the boyfriend made a comment to the news that I had been dumped for him. Some people are so fucked up Brent, I didn’t do anything but I copped the brunt of it, anyway I’m glad Ted still likes me.”
“You will always like me Brent and if you didn’t I would make you, I would shower you in diamonds and precious gems until you liked me.”
“I would rather Kit Kats and Mars bars Con.” I giggled.
“Okay, can we go again?”
“Yep.” I turned over and my legs were on his shoulders in no time, he royally fucked me until his load had other ideas.