Spirit Renewed 1

By Heathen57


I fell back into the chair in the dressing room.  This was the 40th –or was it the 45th concert that we had played in as many days.  I had four hours before I had to be at the airport.  After being in an enormously successful Rock band for a few years, branching out on my own had been good for my career.  The downside was being in a different city every night or two, sometimes you can’t even remember who you really are.


I could hear the activity as the stage was pulled down and packed onto the trucks that would take it to the next town.  This crew seemed to be packing out in record time.  Even with all the audio equipment they would probably be done in less than an hour.


Ever since my latest album had gone platinum, we had been on this tour.  Now the time had come; we all needed a break.  My manager and I went a few rounds about it, but I insisted that my crew should get at least a few weeks to spend with their families.  I was planning to relax in Tahiti, where hopefully I would be able to remember the reason I was doing this again.  I was very close to total meltdown, both physically and mentally. 


The sounds from the stage died out as the last of the meat racks and road boxes were sent up the ramps and the doors to the trailers were shut.  I went out the door of the dressing room and toward the loading dock.  I remembered when as a struggling band we had to hump all of our own equipment, and I always made it a point to meet the local crew and thank them for the job they had done.  I shook hands with all of them, signed a few of the posters that were left, and gave them all a shirt that had the band’s logo and the word’s “Local Crew” on the front.  I even horsed around a bit telling jokes.


Soon enough it became quiet and I wandered out onto the darkened stage.  The house lights were dimmed and only the work lights were illuminating the stage.  I stood on the spot downstage center where just a short while ago I was bathed in twin spots, singing and playing for the packed audience.  In the silence of the room you could feel the presence of those fans as they cheered and sang along.  This was a time of comfort for me -- a time to look back to when things were simpler and when my first band was just starting.


The first band was one that never should have been.  We were juniors and seniors in high school and had absolutely no idea about management and all the ins and outs.  We just wanted to make music and we got good.


We called ourselves Purple Passion, a silly name that befitted a bunch of amateurs playing covers of the current hits.  Ace McCleary was the drummer, Hugh Foster on bass, Jimmy Clayton on second guitar and me, Jason Daniels, on lead.  We were practicing for an audition in a few weeks at a small teen club.


I was heading out of school thinking that something was missing in our band.  As I passed the band room on my way out, I heard what we needed.  Someone was practicing after school.  The song, “its Too Late”, was being played on the piano.  Whoever it was had such a sense for the song that one would think Carole King was playing.  Her voice was more Carly Simon, but it was true to the song.  This girl played with passion!  I went in and introduced myself to her.


“I know who you are.  I have heard you play.”


“How did you do that?  Our band has never played anywhere.”


“I live across the street from where you practice.”


Now I was putting two and two together.  I had seen her sitting out on her porch when I would leave Ace’s house.  I had waved at her every time I left practice and she would shyly wave back.  “You’re Donna aren’t you?”


When she nodded at me I continued, “Donna, this may come out strange, but I have been trying to figure out what was missing in our band.  And I heard it before I came in.  Would you want to come over and practice with us this afternoon?  I can borrow a keyboard.  I really think you would be just what we need.”  I was running out of breath by this time.


She gave me a shy smile and said, “I guess.  I have my own board.  Are you sure the other guys won’t mind?”


“Not after they hear you play and sing they won’t.” 


I gave her a ride home and waited while she went in and got her boards.  She came out with a stand and two cases.  I grabbed the stand and walked to the entrance to the basement.


The guys greeted me and Ace recognized his neighbor.  “Hi Donna, I didn’t know that you wanted to hear us, I would have invited you here before.”


I piped up then, “Actually guys I would like to give Donna a chance to jam with us.  I think you might be amazed.”


We hooked her twin Rolands into the junky sound board that we had borrowed and told Donna to warm up a bit while we got ready.  I heard the sounds of the same song that she had been playing earlier came through the speakers.  I was getting her inputs leveled out but I noticed that all other movement had ceased.  Looking up, I saw the rest of the guys staring at Donna.  She felt the eyes on her and stopped, looking like she had done something wrong.  Hugh looked over at me and stated, “Damn, she is GOOD.”


I grinned, “Wait until you hear her voice.” 


I went over to Donna and had a few quiet words in her ear.  She just nodded and said, “I’ll try.”


I went over and picked up my Gibson.  “Try and keep up boys,” I grinned and hit the opening riffs of Fleetwood Mac’s, “Rhiannon.”  I wasn’t a Lindsey Buckingham, but I loved the song and knew it by heart.  On the 8th bar, Ace came in on the drums, with Hugh and Jimmy right behind.  By the time we were half way through I think we all knew we had something.  It was magic.  Before the end of the afternoon we had a new keyboardist and female vocalist.


We won the audition and got a permanent gig playing every Saturday night.  When I started writing some original material with Donna, the band started getting noticed.  We put out a couple of discs that we sold at the gigs.  Somewhere along the line, Donna and I fell in love.


Our first dates were just getting acquainted.  I knew something was there, but I was scared to admit my feelings.  I finally uttered the words to her at a movie one night.  I had my arm around her and just whispered, “Donna, I love you.”  Her reaction was to snuggle closer and say, “I love you too.” 


From then on we were almost inseparable.  Making out with Donna was fantastic.  We would rapidly advance to removing each other’s clothing and then bring each other off with out hands and mouths.  Her body was incredible.  Her breasts were not huge but stood out proudly.  She always thought her hips were too big but I didn’t agree.  To me she was the perfect woman, and I could never wish for something better.


We stayed together through the rest of the school year, growing ever closer.  We went for long walks in the park.  One of us would call the other every night just to say,  “I love you.” Things that to some would be silly but were very important to a young couple in love with each other. We played the senior prom that year, dressed in our rented best.  After the prom, Donna and I gave our virginities to each other.


We had played our last song for the evening and were packing up when Donna whispered in my ear that she had told her parents that she was staying with her best friend after the prom.  She also told me that she had reserved a room for us.  I think we were done loading the equipment in record time.  The rest of the guys took off for parties and we headed for the room.


As soon as we were in the room, Donna turned and kissed me passionately.  Her soft tongue grazed my lips and I opened them willingly.  My hands roamed over the soft silk of her dress searching for the zipper in the back.  I slowly lowered it as she started working on the buttons of my shirt.  Our clothing was soon on the floor and I lifted her up and carried her to the bed.


As she lay there in nothing but her light green panties and stockings, I marveled at this sexy woman who wanted me.  I could see a tinge of fear in her eyes that was fighting with the overwhelming lust.  I moved up next to her and began kissing her again covering her breasts with my hands.  When I finally moved back to look down at her, she slid the panties off and pulled me on top of her.  “No more foreplay tonight.  I want you to make love to me.”  I moved over her and she grabbed my cock, sliding it around between her lips to get it wet.  When she had me at her entrance, she pushed up causing me to slide in until the head was just inside her.


“Be gentle.” She whispered.  I was as gentle as I could be, enjoying the wonder tightness of her tunnel as well as the heat inside.  It felt better than anything I could have imagined in my wildest fantasies.   I continued to rock back and forth and was soon buried to the hilt.  She was surprised that it didn’t hurt, but was fascinated by the feeling of fullness she had.  She started rocking her hips and I got the idea.  We started to move together and it wasn’t long until I could not hold back any longer. 


She couldn’t either.  As soon as I thrust into her one final time she started jerking and moaning in her own orgasm.  The clenching of her walls caused me to cum like I had never done before.  We finally collapsed, exhausted and very satisfied. 


We made love twice more before I had to take her to her friend’s house just as the sun was coming up.  As I drove off, I was positive that I would never find another girl that I loved as much as I did Donna.


But all good things had to come to an end.  Hugh moved away.  Jimmy found a girl and abruptly quit the band.  With two of the founding members gone, we just let the band fall apart. 


After a year in college, I decided to go to California and try my hand in the music business.  The final goodbyes were tearful with promises to call and write.  Donna was going to come out to California when I finally got established.


After doing every odd job I was capable of to have a roof over my head, I finally won an audition at a small recording company as a studio musician.  I was finally on my way.


What I seemed to be losing was Donna.  Her letters when I first moved were long and full of her inner thoughts and dreams.  Then they started getting further apart and a little more distant.  By the time three of my letters went unanswered, I knew I had lost her.  My heart was broken and it was then that I went into a writing frenzy.


My big break came when I was at the studio early and playing one of my compositions.  One of the biggest stars of the day heard it and asked to use it on his next album.  Other pieces followed and I eventually started pitching my songs and myself.  A small label picked me up and the CD was a surprise hit on the charts.  Bigger contracts and more hits followed.


==========<<<   >>>===========


I was brought out of my thoughts by the lights being shut down.  I moved to the stage entrance and out to the limo.  There were a few fans still waiting, so I signed autographs on the way to the open door.


There was a delay with the Lear Jet that had been chartered.  I was too tired to worry about the reason and just sat back in the lounge to wait it out.  As exhausted as I was, I couldn’t get to sleep.  I finally gave up and with nothing better to do I opened up my laptop and started going through fan mail.


I have a system for the fan mail I get.  Letters or e-mails are screened by a secretary.  The bulk consists of, “I love you, can I have a picture” and are handled by the secretary.  Any that are legit questions or something that she thinks I should see are forwarded to a special e-mail account.


I was going through answering the normal questions I guess any entertainer gets, when one made me stop and look again.  It read:


Dear Jason,


My name is Kelly Brooks.  I have listened to your music ever since you first put out “Time was Against Me.”  I even frequent the chat room and the forums on your site.


I have a question for you.  My mother said she remembered you when you first started out.  I know you grew up near St. Joseph, Missouri and so did my mom.  It might be possible and it would be the neatest thing in the world to think my mom knows someone as famous as you.



Kelly (Jasfan4ever)


I went past her letter and answered a few more before disconnecting, but her letter kept coming back to me.  I ordered something to eat and before long the plane was ready.  We took off to Chicago where I would be playing the next night.


The flight was as smooth as could be expected and I did catch some sleep.  We arrived just after sunrise and I was whisked away to the hotel, where I slept until early afternoon.  After having a few cups of coffee and room service, I met with Edgar, my manager, and took care of some details. I also assured him one more time that I was not going to extend the tour another 50 dates.


Finally alone for the rest of the evening, I opened my laptop.  I logged in on my fan site and was surprised to find out that Jasfan4ever was on in the chat.  I then did something I almost never did; I logged into the chat as jd1andonly.  I got the normal hellos and a private message from the moderator asking me to verify who he thought I was.  I did so and asked him to keep it under his hat for the moment.  I also asked him to PM Jasfan4ever and ask if she would meet me in the private area.  I wanted to speak with her.


I opened the admin room and in just a moment her name appeared below mine.


Jasfan4ever:  The mod asked me to come here.  Did I do something wrong?


Jd1andonly:  Nothing wrong.  Did you write an e-mail to Jason Daniels yesterday?


Jasfan4ever:  Yeah I did.  How did you know?


Jd1andonly :  Because I read it.  I wanted to make sure I had the right person.


Jasfan4ever:   Are you really him???


Jd1andonly:  Yes.  But don’t tell the rest of the room.  I wanted to ask a few things before I answered your questions.


Jasfan4ever:  <nervous>  Go ahead.  I can’t believe I am talking to you. :-D


Jd1andonly:  Is your mom’s name Donna?


Jasfan4ever:  Yes it is.  You mean you really knew her?  OMG that is so incredible.


Jd1andonly:  I remember her very well.  Did she ever say anything about me?


Jasfan4ever:  Just that you were famous around here before you moved to the west coast.


Jd1andonly:  I see.  Are you still in the same town where we used to live?


Jasfan4ever:  Yeah, mom and I live in Grandpa and Grandma’s old house.  Why?


Jd1andonly:  Just curious.  Brings back some memories for me.


Jd1andonly:  I will let you get back to the regular chat.  Just keep this under your hat please.


Jasfan4ever:  Can I at least tell Mom I talked to you?


Jd1andonly:  Of course.  Ask her if she still remembers “Purple Passion” lol


Jasfan4ever:  I will but what does that mean?


Jd1andonly:  She will tell you.  Talk to you later.


Jasfan4ever:  Thanks for talking with me, I still can’t believe it!!


Jd1andonly:  Bye


Jasfan4ever:  Bye.


I knew I might have opened a can of worms with that conversation.  Would Donna even want those memories brought up?  I figured that she was no longer married, if she ever was.  The pressures on the road and the shock of hearing about Donna had me spinning.  Maybe if I could close that chapter of my life it would quit haunting me.  After all, in a career that involved many regrets, that was the one that haunted me the most.


The two concerts we did in Chicago were not up to my regular standard.  The fans did not seem to notice and I did try and put on a good show.  My mind was wandering, but the band covered for me.  As soon as the concert was over and the autographs were signed, I hopped the plane to get to Kansas City.  I had made the decision to at least try and contact Donna and try to get some kind of closure for that place in my heart.


We arrived at Kansas City International at 2:30 in the morning. As soon as I got to the room, I left a message for a wake up call at 9:00 and tried to get to sleep.  Sleep finally took over and I dreamed of the old days.


I was actually up before the call.  It was almost funny.  Here I was, playing and singing to thousands almost every night, yet I was nervous over the thought of seeing someone from my past. Those thousands were strangers, I could not even remember their faces.  Donna had been an important person to me.  If I would let myself admit it, she was still important to me.


The limo ride allowed me to fret once again if I was doing the right thing.  I might be making the biggest mistake of my life, but I really had to know.  As we drew near to the town, I knew I had done all the worrying I could do and it wouldn’t matter anyway.


The house was just as I remembered it -- showing its age a bit now, and the gray trim was fading.  But the flowerbeds were starting to show the promise of the blooms that resided in my memories.  I went up to the porch and knocked on the door, then my whole body froze.


The woman in front of me was definitely Donna.  The years had been good for her.  She had gained a few pounds that had rounded out her figure, but her face was still the same.  Her light brown hair was tied up into a bun and she was wearing a simple sundress.  She still turned my head.


For her part, she was equally as shocked.  “Jase!?  Is it really you?”


“Donna!  I was hoping to find you here.  I had to come and see you.”


The hug I received took care of any doubts I had  about her reaction.“Come in!  I can’t believe you came back here after all these years.  I know you’re a big star now, so why did you want to come back?”


“A bunch of small things that came together all at once.  The last was ane-mail from a girl named Kelly that said her mother knew me.  I talked to her and found out that her mother was named Donna.  I hoped that it was you, but even if it wasn’t, I realized I needed to come and see you.”


I followed her into the dining room, where I sat down while she went and got us something to drink.  We talked of how things had gone in our lives.  She had been married for a very short time, but they both had decided that it would be better if they didn’t stay together.  After that she had worked in the local bank until last year, when her parents had passed away.  Her father had a heart attack shortly after her mother had died from cancer.  Since then she had stayed home and only worked part time at the local library.


She asked about my personal life, and I told her that I really had not found anyone.  The national rags had put me with several models, actresses and the like, but I had never found a woman who would be able to handle the schedule I had to keep.  And I put the groupies rumor to rest immediately.  I loved my fans, but not in that way.  I started to ask about her daughter when the front door burst open. 


“Mom?  Did you know that there is a huge stretch limo out front…?” She rounded the corner to the dining area.  She saw me sitting at the table and promptly collapsed onto the floor, landing on her butt.  “You’re… but… you really… OH NO!” 


When her legs gave out I had jumped up.  Going over to her, I offered her my hand as she stared at me like I was a ghost.  Her mother came in to make sure she was all right, trying to hold back a giggle in the process. 


“When you get off the floor Kel, you should say hello to my very dear friend Jason Daniels.”


“Oh I know who he is, everybody in the world knows who he is.  I just can’t believe that he is here.”  She finally got her wits about her.  “I am so happy to meet you in person.”


I let go of her hand and she looked at it like it had suddenly turned to gold.  We finally got her to calm down enough to relax a bit and she started asking questions.  She wanted to know everything there was to know about the rock star known as Jason Daniels.


Donna tried to get her to quit talking so much, but I told her I really didn’t mind.  I dispelled the rumors, and corrected the tall tales she had heard.  She finally left to change out of her school clothes and we were again alone.


“Donna, she is a beautiful young lady.  She takes after you in so many ways.”


“Thanks.  She has been the love of my life ever since she was born.”


“Do you think she has any plans for tomorrow night?”


“I doubt it.  Her best friend will probably be staying over like she does every Friday.  Why?”


“I thought she might want to come to the concert.  This is the last stop before taking a well-deserved break.  It will be taped for HBO and I thought she would like to see it.  Of course she can bring her friend if she wants.  But only if you will come as well.”


Kelly came back down stairs more composed than before.  But she lost it quickly when I asked if her and her friend were available to come to the concert.


“We have been trying to get tickets for months.  It was sold out within three hours.  Of course I would love to go.  Can I call Chrissie and tell her?”


As soon as Donna said yes, she jumped up and ran to the phone.  We could hear the conversation from the living room as she told her friend that she had tickets.  She came back in, “Chrissie would love to go, but she wants to know how I managed to get tickets.  What can I say to her?”


I grinned over at Donna, “Just tell her that it helps to have a mother with connections in the music business.”


“Yeah, that would be so rad.  I won’t tell her anything until the concert.”  Then she bounced off to finish the conversation.


I stayed just long enough to make sure they knew where to come and how to get in past security.  They were to be escorted backstage until just before the show when they would be taken to the front row.


I left there feeling better than I had for a long while.  Donna and I had found that we were still friends after all this time, and Kelly was a wonder.  For the first time in months, I was looking forward to the show.


The trio arrived in the late afternoon the next day.  As soon as their ID’s were checked they were brought back to the waiting area.  Both girls were speechless when they came in.  They were introduced to the band and we gave them some tee-shirts and some other stuff that was there.  Each of the guys in the band signed a promo poster for them, writing a personal message instead of just the name.  Oscar, our bass player wrote “For Chrissie:  One of the prettiest and sexiest girls I have seen on the entire tour.  Love ya, Oscar.” Chrissie was embarrassed, but was beaming the entire time.


As the opening band started warming up, the ladies were escorted to front row center.  When we came out on stage I spotted them standing and screaming in the front row, Donna was doing as much yelling as everyone else.


We all played better than we had for a long time.  I guess that the excitement that I was projecting rubbed off on them and we were energized.  During the performance of my most famous ballad, I moved to the front of the stage and sang it directly to the three of them.  Donna’s eyes were misty and the girls were almost swooning.   If the truth was known, I was a little misty myself.  After the song I introduced Donna and the girls.


“Tonight I have a special guest here.  This woman was instrumental in starting me on the path to where I am today.  Stand up and wave Donna.  Folks, she is a great friend and one hell of a keyboard player.”


Donna stood and waved to the crowd behind her.  The cheering and noise was tremendous.  Since I knew that this was the last concert and that they could edit it out of the special, I again appealed to the crowd.


“You guys want to see what we sounded like together way back in the beginning?”  More cheering and clapping.  “Donna, come up here for the encore.”


Amid the yelling and cheering, Donna made her way up to the stage.  She whispered in my ear, “Jase, I should kick your ass for this.” Her voice did not sound like she meant it and her smile confirmed it.  I gave the guys the song and the key and we launched the opening bars to one of the first songs Donna and I ever wrote together.


Within this city

Trapped in the walls of steel

I was searching for someone

One who could make me feel.


Naked I was feeling

Standing in the rain

Hurting from times before

And needing so much more

And finding nothing but pain.


And then you arrived

And I felt the healing begin

You told me that you loved me

From the rain you took me in.


It had been a minor hit on my first album and I had made sure Donna had gotten credit for co-writing it.  While we were still together, we had sung it many times.  She had not forgotten the lines and her voice, even though a little lower than before, was perfect.  We nailed it, and for a moment I felt the joy I had when we started out.  I could see she felt something as well.  That was the close of the show, and as Donna exited with the band congratulating her, the girls were brought back to the dressing room.  As we got through the door, Matt Wilson spoke up. 


“Damn that was great, Donna.  The crowd loved it.  You have a hell of a set of pipes on you.  Why didn’t you follow this lug and show him how to sing?”


“After he left, I had other responsibilities to deal with.  I wanted to, but it just didn’t work out.” 


While the band continued to talk, I dropped into a chair.  Some rapid calculations confirmed what the ‘responsibility’ was.  Kelly was just over 16, and I had been gone just under 17 years.  Kelly had her mother’s maiden name. The realization washed over me and I started to shake.  Donna seen me sitting there, and must have guessed that I had figured it out.


The band headed out.  Most were anxious to start their break.  The girls came in congratulating Donna for having the guts to get up on stage.  Kelly looked at her mother in a new light, realizing that her regular ol’ mom could have been a major star.  I asked the girls if they wanted to see the behind the scenes, and then asked my stage manager to take them up so they could watch the load out.


Finally, it was just Donna and I in the room.  She looked at me with shame and fear in her eyes.  I started with the biggest question that was nagging at me.  “Is Kelly my child?”


Donna looked down and nodded.  I exploded.  “Why didn’t you tell me?  Didn’t you think that I had a right to know?  I just thought that you didn’t want me around because you found someone else.  When you didn’t write me back, I was so depressed that I didn’t care any more.  And now I find out that you had my child and I have missed out on all the things she did growing up.  I can never get the time back.  Did you think that I was so into myself that I didn’t care?”


Donna was crying openly now.  Her body shook with heavy sobs.  When I saw this my anger drained.  The hurt was still there, but it took a backseat to the pain I was causing her.  I kneeled on the floor in front of her.  Using my hand, I lifted her face so she was looking at me.  “Please Donna.  Just help me to understand.”


“I wanted to tell you.  I kept it a secret from my parents as long as I could.  But they figured it out and forbade me to even write to you.  By then you were on your way and I couldn’t bring myself to possibly damage your career.  Out of all of us, you were the one that could really make the big time.  Then I met Arthur.  He was much older and my parents approved of him.  We got married out of convenience, though I thought I could learn to love him for real.  That was why we divorced.  He refused to share, and I was still in love with you.


Kelly has no idea.  She knows that her father was my high school sweetheart, but she also knew that my parents would not allow any discussion about it.  By the time she was seven she quit asking.  Without my parents knowing, I did list you as the father so she would be able to find out some day.  I’m sorry if I hurt you, but I was young and scared and my parents were so demanding.  I hope you can forgive me.”




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