Further Down The Yellow Brick Road 10!!!!!

This story is copyright 2006 by yours truly Paul Walker. You may not copy or post it to any other website without the prior consent of the author. All of the characters are a figment of my imagination and any resemblance to people either living or otherwise is purely coincidental. The mention of various celebrities and famous people is purely fictional and for the purposes of the story. The story contains descriptions of acts of a sexual nature between males and if this offends you, then please leave now.

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From the last chapter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The phone was answered by Amanda on the third ring. I could tell from the way she answered that she was not happy. "This better be important at this ungodly hour," she said.

"Amanda, I'm really sorry about calling you at this time but it really is important," I said.

"Oh, Jason, sorry I was so abrupt but I think I can guess what this is about," Amanda said.

"Yeah, I messed up by telling Chris and Steve that I want them out of the band," I said. "Would you mind waking Chris so that I can talk to him?"

"That would be a little difficult as him and Steve are on their way to see you in Hawaii."

That little piece of information offered me some hope. At least they were making an effort. "And one more thing," Amanda said, "None of us are happy that they took up smoking and I know I speak not only for me but also for Geoff, Howard and Linda when I say that."

"Thank you. I only hope that I can get this sorted out when they get here."

With that I ended the call so that Amanda could go back to sleep.

Further Down The Yellow Brick Road 10!!!!!

I finished my phone call to Linda. Gary turned to me and asked, "So did you speak to Steve or Chris?"

"No but I did speak to Linda. I asked her if she would go and wake Chris so that I could talk to him but she told me that that was not possible as they are both on their way here," I said in reply to the question.

We sat in silence for a moment before Gary turned to me and asked, "Are you Ok Jay?"

"I'm just trying to think of a way out of this mess but at the moment I just have no idea what to do," I said and then took a sip of my drink. I continued by adding, "and I think that my meds are all out of sync with the number of times that we have crossed the International date line in the last month."

That bit was true but Gary was still somewhat concerned and asked if he wanted me to find a doctor. I assured him that I would be Ok after a hot bath. I had been on the medication for depression since the suicide attempt when I was thirteen. The doctor had tried to lower the dosage and, at one point they even tried to take me off them altogether but it just didn't work. Without the meds, I just got really moody and intolerable. Taking them was a small price to pay to be able to lead a near normal live.

Gary and I finished our drinks and went back up to our suite. Once we got there, he ran me a hot bath with plenty of bubbles, which he said would help to relieve all the stress and tension that was building up as a result of the current situation. He was right. I soaked in the bath for nearly an hour and Gary used that time to read and reply to some e-mails. By the time I got out of the bath, I was feeling so much better and I was feeling just about ready to go and eat dinner.

We decided to go and eat at the fish restaurant that we had seen a couple of blocks away from the hotel. For a starter we had a big seafood platter to share between the two of us. It consisted of mussels, lobster, prawns, oysters, crayfish, soft-shell crabs, squid and octopus. Even the octopus was really enjoyable. I had no idea how the chef here had prepared and made it so tender but whenever I had eaten it in the past; I never enjoyed it much as it was always very tough and chewy. The rest of the meal was absolutely fantastic as well. By the time we had finished our coffee, it was getting late so we went back to the hotel and went to bed. I could have stopped at the reception desk to enquire if Chris and Steve had arrived but I didn't as I really had no idea what I would say to them right now. It could wait until the morning any how.

The next morning I was awake and in the shower by 8. 30am. The long soak in a hot bath the night before, a fantastic dinner and a great nights sleep had worked wonders for me. I was soon joined in the shower by Gary, who gave me a long and passionate kiss.

"That as far as you go for now," I said, "I need to find out if Chris and Steve are here yet so that I can start trying to get things sorted out with them."

"That's fair enough'" Gary said.

Twenty minutes later we entered the hotel breakfast room to find Chris and Steve sitting their, already eating breakfast.

"Surprised to see us?" Steve asked.

"Not really. I spoke to Linda and she told me that the two of you where flying out here," I said. "Look guys, I was really hasty with the way I treated the two of you when I called the other day. I don't want to lose your friendship but having said that, we have a lot to talk about."

"Well get some breakfast and start talking," Chris said.

I told them that we would eat and then go for a walk along the beach so that we could talk, just the three of us. Whilst I went for my walk on the beach with Steve and Chris, Gary said he was to take advantage of some the hotel leisure facilities, such as the steam room and having a full body massage. Once we had eaten enough, the three of us headed over to the beach and we walked along for ten minutes in silence. I stopped and gazed at the ocean and watched some early morning surfers riding the huge waves. I turned to my two oldest friends in the world and said, "It's just so beautiful here."

It was Chris who said, "Jason, we haven't flown all this way to just admire the view. We need to try and work things out between us."

I spun round and said, "Do you really have any idea what it is like to be raped, assaulted, find out that your parents are dead and all at the age of thirteen?"

They looked down at the sand, as if they were ashamed or something and they both said in unison, "No!"

"Well it hurts, it really fucking hurts and it just never stops hurting. Sure, I've learnt to live with it, to deal with it on a daily basis but it still hurts. It's something that I have to live with for the rest of my life and unless you've been through something similar, you will never really understand what it's really like."

"But what does this have to do with the fact that we started smoking?" Steve asked.

"Nothing and everything. Did you know that Liam is threatening to leave the band because of you two?"

Once again, my two friends just said, "No!"

"It's because he just can't bear to be around people who smoke. You know how he was always on at his mum to quit but she never listened and look at what happened? When Anne was undergoing the treatment for the cancer, Liam was always his usual, jovial self but that was all just an act, a front to hide what he was really feeling. Inside he was a frightened little boy, a total wreck. Someone who was falling to pieces and just really scared that he was going to lose his mum. The only people who saw that were mum, dad, Gary and me and that was what Liam wanted it. I wanted to talk to you two about all this at the time due to the fact that we have always said that we don't have secrets between the three of us, but I also had to respect what Liam wanted. That's why I never told you about all this at the time." At that point, I paused for breath.

Steve was about to say something but I held up my hand to indicate that I had not finished talking. Once I had regained my breath, I continued, "Anne died on the Wednesday morning. The last time that I saw her alive was on the Monday evening and what I saw was not a pretty sight. Most of her hair had fallen out and she was vomiting a lot. Liam just put on a brave face and held the bowl while Anne vomited. Then he got her cleaned up and helped her back into bed. I wanted to cry but I had to be strong for Liam. In the car on the way home, Liam just sat and cried before he turned to me and asked, `Jason, my mums going to die isn't she?' You know what? I had no fucking idea what to say to him," I said, pausing to take another breath.

Steve wanted to ask a question and so I let him. "But I thought that they were supposed to be making her better?"

"They were but the drugs they use to destroy the cancer cells also destroy the good cells due to the fact that the drugs are unable to distinguish between the healthy cells and the cancer cells. What I saw when Anne was sick was not nice and something that I never, ever, want to see again. So please guys, just fucking quit smoking."

With that, Chris and Steve handed me their cigarettes. I took a pack in each hand and crushed them up and then threw them in a nearby waste bin. I then took the papers that dad had faxed to me out of my pocket and, after explaining what they were; I ripped them up and threw them into the nearby waste bin. As we walked back to the hotel, I told Chris and Steve about how Liam had blacked out on being informed of his mums death. I also told them about what he had said to me when he came around and how creepy and haunting his words had been. I seemed to have given Chris and Steve the wake up call that they so obviously needed.

Once we entered the lobby of the hotel, I was totally surprised by the sight that I was greeted with. Sitting there were Ross, Shane, Liam and Nick. They were sat talking with Gary. It transpired that they had found out that Chris and Steve had left for Hawaii for crisis talks and they decided that they needed to be here too. Ross and Liam had decided that they were going to bring their boyfriends. They had taken the afternoon flight from Manchester to San Francisco, stayed there overnight and then taken the early flight from there to Honolulu. Chris and Steve, on the other hand, had taken the morning flight to LA and then caught a connecting flight within a couple of hours.

As we entered the lobby, Liam had glanced over at me and he did look too happy. I think that the fact that Chris, Steve and me where all laughing and joking as if nothing had happened had a lot to do with it. I indicated for him to go and sit at a table in the corner and I told the other two to go and join everyone else. I spoke with a waiter and ordered a pot of coffee for two. Then I went and joined Liam, whose first words to me were, "I just knew that you wouldn't go through with getting rid of them two, so I mean it, I'm out of the band. You can find yourselves another guitarist."

"No one is leaving the band. Not them, not you, not anyone. The tour is only a few months away and it is way too late to start replacing anyone. How much time have we spent talking about and dreaming about doing a big tour like this?"

"Sometimes it just feels like forever," Liam said.

"So please, just do the tour for the people who really matter, the people who really made us the success story that we are, the fans," I pleaded with Liam.

Dad had already told Liam of my plans for giving the charitable foundation a serious boost in terms of the funds that they had available. I even called John, who had taught Liam to play guitar, as I had something that I needed him to do for me. John was now the director of the foundation and really enjoyed his job. I asked him to find charities, similar to the ones that we supported at home, in each of the cities that we would be playing in on the tour. Liam and I decided that we were going to donate our fee from each show to these charities. It would be our way of saying thank you to the fans.

Liam asked, "But what about those two fuckwits and the fact that they started smoking?"

"That's no longer an issue, they quit," I said.

"How did you manage that," Liam asked me.

"I told them a horror story. Don't get angry with me but I had to tell them the truth about what you were really going through when your mum was sick and what your mum was going through. I know that that was meant to be our little secret but I just didn't know what else to say to them to make them see how stupid they are," I said.

"It's OK; I was going to tell them anyway. And, I'll do the tour, as you said; we owe it to the fans."

Liam pulled his chair next to mine and put his arm around me and whispered, "I still miss her you know. My mum that is."

"I still miss mine too and my dad, so I know just how you feel," I said.

Liam and I often had tender and emotional moments like this, grieving for the loss of our loved ones. None of our friends had ever suffered the trauma and heartache of losing a parent and so they could not, no matter how hard they tried, really understand just how that felt. It was one thing that Liam and I had in common and made the bond of friendship between the two of us something very special. We gave each other a hug and then went to join the others. We explained to them what we had been discussing and how we had both decided that we would donate our fee from each show to charity and that the tour was going ahead for one very important group of people, the fans. Everyone agreed with our comments about how important the fans were and that it was our duty, our obligation, to do the tour for them. Liam and I also said that no one else in the band was under any obligation to donate their fee to charity. The only other person in the band who said that they wanted to donate their fee to charity was Gary. We hugged and shook hands and it was good to feel like things were back to normal. Whatever normal is.

It was getting near lunch time and it was Steve who said, "So is there anywhere decent to eat around here?"

"Well, the hotel has a great choice of restaurants but some of them only open in the evening," I said.

"Although the GORMET BURGER BAR is fantastic," Gary added and that is where we decided to eat.

We had a fantastic lunch and were laughing and joking just as if nothing had happened. The rest of the afternoon was spent chilling out on the beach. Gary and I topping up our tans and the rest of the guys working on theirs. They had all decided to stay for two weeks as this was the first holiday that some of them, (namely Chris and Steve), had had in almost five years. As for Liam, although he had travelled extensively with the band, he had never had a proper overseas holiday. As for school, they had all quit. Well, none of them planned on going to university and so they all thought that it was a waste of time completing their A level courses and exams.

The other thing that they kept doing all afternoon was apologising for ruining our honeymoon. In the end, I said, "It's Ok guys, you don't have to keep apologising, it's great to see you all and I was getting a little bored with only having Gary for company."

Gary pretended to look hurt and upset but he knew that I was only joking.

End of chapter 10!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, so this is a little shorter than usual but I wanted to tie up all the loose ends from the last chapter. Besides, you all get the added bonus of a short chapter of SAD SONG this week to keep you all happy with the adventures of Jason and Gary.

I heard from, Chris, Steph, Neil, Alex and Tim. Thank you all for writing and please, feel free to write to me at wdreamtime@aol.com. I love hearing from you.

And to my readers in the USA, I hope you all had a happy thanksgiving.

Catch you later.

Lol Paul.