Written by Anja Geenen
Veronica's eyes followed John non-stop. She was wondering what he was
thinking or feeling now. He hadn't sit down since he came in. Calling
him didn't seem to work, even a cup of tea didn't made him sit down.
The kids had longed to him when he was on the road with Queen. Now
John was home, so were the children, but John didn't feel like
playing with them or doing anything with them and Robert had gone
away when he found out daddy was strange again, his younger brothers
and sister had followed him. Veronica knew the children didn't like
John that way and Veronica didn't like it either. John was so
restless, running around all the time and talking much too loud, they
hadn't got a normal conversation yet. John was back for a long time
already, but this time he didn't calm down and it worried and
frightened Veronica. In the beginning when Queen was still trying to
become big and just had their first success Veronica was proud of
John. But now... They were married and had their 4 children, they
should be happy, but Veronica didn't feel so happy anymore. She tried
everything to keep John happy, but his response was so less, it made
Veronica wonder if he still loved her, if he actually did still care
about the children. She hated Queen for what they did to John, they
made him a kind of strange alien to Veronica and the kids. Veronica
always hoped, after John had arrived from a Queen tour, he would turn
back quikly to who he actually was, and he used to turn back quikly
but not this time.
"John, please, sit down for a moment. Drink your cup of tea,
honey...." No answer, no reaction. Veronica tried again: "Honey, sit
down for a moment," her voice soft and sweet. "John what is wrong
with you? Why can't you just sit down and drink your cup of tea?" by
now Veronica was almost crying, the tears were forcing their way
out. "You're scaring me and you're scaring the kids. John sit down!"
this time she was screaming at him. Tears were running over her soft
cheeks, her hands were shaking and she just lost control. John
listened this time and sat down, slightly shocked. "You are killing
us! Every time you come back home from tour you are behaving this
strange. You're not the guy anymore I married. Yes I expected
changes, but not like this. You are dragging us down John, it has to
stop!" Silence for a moment. After a while Veronica started talking
again, more calm but still with shaking voice: "The only way this can
stop is that you step out of Queen. Promise me you step out of the
band. Promise me!" John looked at her amazed. How could she ask this
from him. Veronica waited patiently but curiously. Finally John
spoke, much too loud and angry: "There is no way I step out of the
band and YOU don't have to tell me what I have to do!" With these
words John left the room. Veronica was left alone. New tears were
running down her face, her body was trembling, she felt cold. The
room was turning round her and the sounds in the room were making her
sick, or was it the situation that made her sick, or what John had
said? She couldn't believe John had chosen the band over his family.
The only thing she wanted now was to cry, crying really hard.
Suddenly she felt small hands touching her and she heard a small
child's voice telling her not to cry and that everything would turn
alright again. She looked down at her eldest son who stared at her
worried. "Don't cry mom, you're too beautiful to cry." The other
three children had followed their big brother and stood there
watching their mom crying. When she let her eyes going over her
children she noticed the girl and the youngest boy were crying too.
She opened her arms for a warm hug, the children fell all in her
arms. "Mom, we love you. Don't cry mama, you're so beautiful."
Where did he go? After bringing the kids to bed Veronica started to
wonder were John went to. It was almost midnight and he wasn't back
in yet. Veronica started to worry about him. Ooh god, maybe he had an
accident. She had called a few of his friends, close friends first,
then Brian, then Roger and then Freddie and finally Jim Beach. None
of them had seen him. Veronica was restless, walking around outside
the house, phoning people they knew and checking every corner of the
house while calling his name, but no answer. Veronica couldn't
understand why he didn't come home, all she could think now was that
he had an accident, or maybe someone had done anything to him. Maybe
he was laying somewhere dreadfully wounded. Veronica didn't want to
think anymore. Too much had happened that day, she was tired of it.
Tears of fright, confusing and even still anger were running from her
eyes. She was too tired too think. She sat down in the living room,
she felt like she was floating, then everything went black aound her,
she had fallen asleep, the tears still falling.
* * *
She woke up because someone was slighlty shaking her awake. She
opened her eyes but closed them immediatly when the light came into
her eyes. She felt stiff and her whole body was hurting. "Wake up
Veronica, it's morning again. Don't worry about the kids, the nanny
takes care of them." The nanny? Veronica couldn't remember they had a
nanny, she was still doing it all alone. "John is still not back
Veronica, he hasn't come back." Veronica sat right up when she heard
the name John. Her eyes were now wide open. "Still not? Where is he?
Is he alright?" "We don't know Veronica. We know as much as you do.
Listen, you gotta help us to find him. Can you think of any place
were he could possibly be?" Veronica rubbed her eyes and then looked
back at the face she was staring at before. She suddenly realised it
was Jim Beach looking really concerned. "Come on Veronica, think." He
tried to talk calmly to her, but he was as excited and worried as
Veronica was. Veronica tried to think, but her system didn't want to
work yet and all she could think was, ooh god something terrible has
happened. "I don't know, I really don't know." She was desperate and
crying again. Jim stood up and sighed a little irritated, but still
worried. "Ooh, my god, I'm sorry. It's all my fault." Jim looked at
Veronica surprised. "Why is it all your fault?" "Because I had a
fight with him. I told him to quit Queen." Veronica was now feeling
so guilty. She had to try harder, she had to undertstand John. She
was never allowed to tell John to quit Queen, that was stupid and
selfish. Ooh god, it was all her fault, what could she do to make it
up to him? "No, no dear. It's not your fault. John went away himself
didn't he?" Veronica nodded, tears running from her eyes again. "I
know John is always a bit restless when he comes back home to you.
And this time there was a lot of pressure on him, maybe it was just a
bit too much to him. But it was not your fault, not only your fault
* * *
Veronica spent the whole day thinking what might have happened to
John, or where he went to. If nothing bad had happened, why didn't he
call her and where did he go to? Why didn't he come back home last
night? Veronica was so worried. She tried to think of something else
but she just couldn't. The nanny had brought the children to school
and she had picked them up again when school was out. She had even
cooked taking all the work from Veronica. Jim was still in the house
too. He had called several people who Veronica had called as well the
day before. Still nobody had seen him. It looked like John had
dissapeared from the earth. Robert came into the kitchen were his
mother was. "Mommy? Why is daddy still not back? Are you splitting
up?" Veronica glared at her son shocked: "No, no, there is no way
daddy and me are going to divorce honey." "Then why were you shouting
at each other yesterday? Why did daddy go away? Why didn't he come
back mommy?" Veronica was puzzled by the questions and didn't know
what to say. "Ooh boy, come here..." she said while she took the
little boy in here arms. Veronica searched for words to say to
Robert, but none seemed to be the right words. "Don't cry mommy."
Robert wiped her tears away with his little finger and gave her a
warm hug. "Don't worry mommy, I love you. I will take care of you."
Veronica found it so sweet how her son tried to comfort her.
Veronica tried to keep the children out of it as much as possible. It
was not their fault so they don't have to bear this pain. She didn't
want the children be hurted by this. The children were always the
most important to her. She would do anything for them to make them
nice grown-up people. She loved them with all her heart and the only
thing she wanted from John was that he was a good daddy to them. She
just wanted him to play with his children, to have fun with them.
They needed him, possibly more than she needed him. She just didn't
want the children to grow uo without a father around, or at least
someone like a father. She didn't want the far stranger John was the
last time they fought, she wanted the man who was so happy and
enthusiastic when they got their first child. John had changed. He
had changed while the time had past. The band, Queen, had changed him
more than life itself ever could. Or the fame. Veronica didn't care
about that glamour, and she didn't care much about all the money. She
was happy to be with her family. And now it looked like her whole
family life was falling apart. She couldn't stand the thought that
she and John would divorce, or that John just disappeared and the
kids had to grow up without him. Her family was everything to her.
She still coudn't believe John had chosen the band over the family.
How could he do that? Was the band really more important to John than
his family? This made her think about their marriage. They married 18
january 1975 and Veronica was pregnant of Robert. She could clearly
remember how happy she was that year. A whole new life was beginning
to start for her. Marriage, a child and so happy. She could remember
how excited John was that year. For him it was a real big year. Queen
had their first, real huge hit with Bohemian Rhapsody. John was
immensly proud of it, but Veronica hadn't seen John so proud as he
was when Robert was born. She could remember him walking after the
nurse when she took little Robbie away to get his body health
examinated. The nurse said to him: "No, no daddy. I just take the
little boy with me for a few minutes and I promise I will take him
back to you again." John had blushed and said: "Okay." quite
awkwardly. It had made Veronica smile.
It seemed, after all these years, nothing of that proud and love for
his kids had remained. John was not only married to his girlfriend
Veronica but also to a sudden band called Queen. Veronica had never
openly objected to Queen, but in her heart she had wished a lot of
times Queen would stop existing, and that John would be at home much
more. Not the vague person who was running around all the time and
talking too loud, but John himself.
Jim had gone home after he had called everybody once again, still
nobody had seen him. Veronica went to bed early. She needed the rest,
it had been a hectic day. Allthough all she could do was thinking
about everything. She stood up 7 times because she thought she had
heard something. The house was quiet... Veronica fell finally asleep
after having cried and having checked the children were safe.