Wednesday, 2 July 2014
Tired, Richie sat on his deck at the table that sat ten comfortably. He had his bare feet propped up on one of the chairs at their home in Southern Connecticut which looked out onto Long Island sound in the quiet evening as he held his cup of coffee. All you could see was darkness. The lights from the cottages across the bay cast a spotty glow on the water. All you could hear were the gentle waves as they lapped up onto the small private beach or as the tide stroked the rock wall that kept the ocean at bay.
Richie was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and his hair was still damp from his recent shower after a very intimate show of love and compassion for his wife. But none of that mattered. Well, the shower didn’t at least. Richie reflected with a grin. Right now all he could think about was life. His life. The last twenty-two years in fact. Who would have thought, that I, Richie Sambora, would have finally settled down? I have a fantastic gorgeous wife, three amazing kids, and a couple of great dogs thrown into the mix. I am home. I found contentment. Yeah, that’s what it is - total and complete contentment. Even with the craziness that my life is. It’s still contentment. Why, I wonder? Easy answer. It’s real, and it’s MY life.
It was a long day, he mused. He and his wife, Teri, had moved Stevie out of their home to his first place on his own. That kid’s shit was heavy. I’m a musician not a moving company. Shit, I haven’t carried that much crap in years. We have roadies who do that stuff. What a milestone that was for him, AND us. Our first born son left the nest. Time stands still for no man.
Teri was taking a nap after her shower. At least he hoped she was asleep. It was a stressful day for her. Her baby left home. Empty nest syndrome at its finest had struck her hard.
Richie didn’t want complications for Teri. Stress could trigger that. He tried to keep on top of Teri’s Multiple Sclerosis. Now THAT is something none of us ever expected. It was hard as he was away so much and she was good at hiding any issues. You would never know she had the disease by looking at her. Most of the time she kept it to herself, damn her. That’s why I need to remind myself that she’s not superwoman but my fragile wife…who doesn’t know when to slow down, he chuckled to himself. Kinda like me.
She had been a rock for their Stevie; but inside, he knew, she felt it as it hit home.
His thoughts turned back to the past twenty-two years.
I am complete here with my wife and children. Even though ‘here’ is a relative term. We could be anywhere in the world. I was resigning myself to the fact that Ava was going to be my only child but I so wanted more. Teri gave me that gift. That life of the 80’s was one I don’t want to go back to. I made mistakes, sure, and a lot of dumb decisions on who was going to end up in my bed. I can’t justify it. Nor, do I want to. That was my past. This is my future.
NO, wait, he thought with a start. Our future. Teri and I have discussed our past histories. Granted mine was way more colorful; but it was discussed and then completely put in the past. Where it belonged, as Teri said.
This is Home. With a big sigh and a smile he took another sip of coffee. Their home was an amazing place. Teri was totally open to his ideas once they found what they were looking for. She lovingly called their home “The Compound”. We all do. And honestly, it fits. There was the main house, where he was sitting, with its 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and a total of twenty-some-odd rooms. There was also a studio, which originally was Teri’s old house. It had 3 bedrooms which they kept. Then there was the guest house. It had 6 bedrooms that Teri referred to as ‘The Dorm’ when the boys were in residence, which was usually when the guys were writing new material, or when they played Mohegan Sun arena or venues in Massachusetts, and or Pennsylvania, or hell let’s face it, he grinned to himself, whenever they damn well wanted to. They were in and out of there a lot. It was nice to have them around even when they weren’t doing Jovi stuff. They were family too. It’s so much nicer to be home, instead of another hotel room, Richie thought, which Teri fully agreed with, so the boys were always welcome with open arms. Teri had threatened to have a Jovi flag made up with the band’s Heart and Dagger logo, and fly it over the Compound when “Frick, Frack, and the other one” as Teri fondly called them, were in residence to “warn” the neighbors that they were here again. Kind of like what the queen of England does He chuckled. He loved her humor. Richie couldn’t believe she actually DID it too.
Time for more coffee, Richie thought as he rose from his seat. Teri really should get up. Otherwise she won’t sleep all night. He continued through to the kitchen for coffee, and to start some for Teri. This will help. It’s only 9 p.m., he realized as he checked the time on a wall clock in their big, but extremely comfortable kitchen, which only Teri had been able to pull off. Nowhere else have I seen a kitchen as large as ours that’s as cozy as this one. Hell, it has a sitting area with a couch and fireplace!
Richie realized that the same feeling carried all over the house. In every room and corner he could find another piece of paradise – reminders of vacations, paintings he and Teri had fallen in love with or some little thing that reminded them of special times.
Then, all hell would be break lose around here. The kids would be getting ready for school while Elsa made breakfast. The dogs ran around as the phone started to ring, and a new day would begin. No wonder Teri got up so early, he thought. A good hour is needed to gear up for the on slay that happened on a school day.
The Keurig made its distinctive sound as it finished his coffee, bringing Richie back to the task at hand. He made the hazelnut coffee Teri preferred and carried a cup for each of them to their bedroom. He stopped cold in the door way and watched Teri sleep.
Such a peaceful face. Content still after our lovemaking earlier.
Teri had said many times in the past, “It’s knowing you are home, Richie that helps me get to sleep. I miss you on every level when you are gone on tour but that is what has to be and I cherish every moment you are home with me. Our time is after the kids are asleep and we can close the door against the world.”
With a big smile on his face that showed his dimple, Richie crossed to the bed, put the mugs of coffee down, and began to wake his wife with small kisses, on her forehead, nose, eyes, and finally, her sensual mouth.