Sam sat up instantly. He looked around the dark room. He
could see the outline of furniture around the room with books and clothes
“Are you all right John? Did you have a bad dream?”
Sam looked to the source of the slightly Japanese sounding voice. One dark coloured eye peeped out at him from under the pillow next to him.
“I’m fine,” he replied assuringly. He laid back and sighed, “Oh boy.”
In the morning, Sam stumbled around aimlessly until he managed to find
a bathroom and splashed his face with water. He stared at his new
reflection in momentary disbelief. He rubbed water in his eyes and
There was no denying whom he had leapt into this time or who the reflection was looking back at him…Sam had leapt into John Lennon. Sam laughed for a moment, he had grown up listening to Lennon, Lennon was the secret reason he learned to play piano. John Lennon was his musical hero. A cold chill coursed up Sam’s spine…what day was it? Odds were, he had leapt into the John a few days before or the day of his shooting … that’s how it always seemed to go.
“Yoko?” he called tentatively. He wasn’t exactly sure to whether he was who he thought
In a matter of seconds, Yoko hopped up, putting on one of her shoes.
“Good morning Father John. I’m sorry I didn’t wake you up sooner.
After last night I thought you needed to sleep in. You kept waking
up last night in a cold sweat…Are you sure you are all right?” Her face
was lit with concern, despite the lovely smile she gave him.
“I’m sure Mother,” Sam replied.
Yoko sighed. “I’m off to work now. Please don’t forget to have Sean an after school snack ready when he gets home.”
“Yes Mother Superior,” Sam promised, remembering what John had always
called his wife.
Yoko stiffed a chuckle as she kissed his cheek. “See you around four,” she said. Then she was gone.
“Al? Where are you? You have to be around here somewhere.”
Sam watched as the usual hologramic door opened and Al walked out. He was concentrating intensely on his little palm-sized computer. Al whacked it against his palm. “Ok, sorry I’m late Sam. I have some good new and some bad news. First of you have leapt into---"
“John Winston Lennon,” Sam blurted before Al could finish. “The ex-Beatle.”
“Right. You’re in New York on December 8, 1980. It’s a little past eight in the morning. Now for the bad news…Sam, we aren’t really sure what you are supposed to be doing here. There’s a slight debate over if you are supposed to save his life or have him die earlier…”
“Well, I’m sure I’m supposed to save his life so that he can keep on writing…”
“Focus on that,” Al suggested. “Now the good news. We figured out how to get you home.”
“How’s that?” Sam rummaged through the few clothes in a chair until he found a pair of jeans and a “peace” shirt.
“When it is time for you to leap, just concentrate on going home.”
“It’s that easy?” Sam asked. When Al nodded he knew it was true. “Is there anything I can do to change John’s fate? If I remember correctly, the papers my mom collected said he was shot in the back of the head on the eleventh, after he had been stalked by some guy since the…” Sam paused for a moment. “Eighth. I still remember reading about it…John had died instantly. For three days the man stalked him trying to get John to turn before he shot…on the last day he gave up and shot him anyway…”
“He was your hero wasn’t he?” Al slightly laughed.
“I only wanted to learn piano because of him…” Sam smiled brightly. “While I was growing up, I dreamed that I could be him.” Sam paused for a moment as realization hit him. “Al, what if I am shot while still in his body?”
“You’ll leap out,” Al replied simply. “Sam, go to the kitchen and get a note off the counter, John missed it the first time.”
Sam rushed to the kitchen just in time to see a small piece of paper fall off the counter. He caught it before it could hit the floor, which was a good thing... it would have probably gotten blown under the stove…he scanned over the contents of the letter.
We need to get a few things for Sean’s school
snacks. Could you please go to the store before he
gets home? When I get home, the two of us can go to
the studio and work out that new song you wrote. Please,
Father John, do not stress yourself today. I am getting
slightly scared of how you wake up almost every night
in a cold sweat…
I love you.
Sam looked at Al. “I guess I could go to the store,” he shrugged.
“I suppose so, almost anything could alter what happens to John,” Al added.
About fifteen minutes later, Sam emerged onto the New York air. Sam looked back to the door, he grasped the doorknob and turned. He jumped in shock as he noticed a girl standing at the foot of the stairs that wasn’t there before. She was dressed in a manner Sam could only describe as “Hippie.”
“Are you John Lennon?” she asked, removing her round-lense sunglasses. Her eyes narrowed questioningly. It almost seemed as if she was gazing into his soul…
“That’s me love,” Sam smiled. “What can I do for you?”
Her face became a contort of confusion and anger. “I’ve been trying to ignore the visions I have been having,” she said, her voice shaking in fear. “John, whatever you do, do not turn around when a man calls your name today. Please?”
“Why,” he asked, curiously.
“Just because it could cost you your life Mr. Lennon.”
Sam turned around and closed the front door. When he turned back around, the girl was gone. Like a ghost of warning that had done it’s duty. He was officially scared when he didn’t see her anywhere on the surrounding sidewalk. Even though it was early in the day, she should have still been visible…
She was probably just trying to scare him. Sam knew for a fact that the legend he knew of John Lennon was that he had been shot in the back of the head by a guy that called his name on the morning of December 11…not the evening of December 8. The reason why the man shot him wasn’t because John had neglected to turn and wave to the man. It was because the man was, as the media said, “insane” and hated John with a passion. At least, that’s what the papers his mother had collected said…
Sam turned at what he thought was someone quietly calling John’s name. It must have just been his imagination, he reasoned when he saw no one remotely behind him. He had not had too much sleep the night before so maybe that was the problem.
He walked down the street slowly, toward the store for what he needed. A few people waved to him and complimented his---er---John’s albums. He would just wave back and say, “Thanks love.”
Sam turned again. He could have sworn someone had been directly behind him and called John’s name…Sam felt a cold chill coarse up his spine, a few sharp pains went through his back and shoulder.
What was that voice and those feelings? Were they connected in some manner? Whatever it was, Sam didn’t like it one bit.
Yoko watched Sean as he played with a toy in the living room. He had been acting rather odd since he had seen John, when he got back form school. Almost as if Sean didn’t recognize his own father…
“What is he going to do Al?” Sean asked in a low voice.
“Sean, who are you talking to?” Yoko had finally let her curiosity get to her. Sean had been asking similar, slightly murmured questions to the thin air for almost an hour. She wanted to know what the deal was with “Al”.
“I’m talking to Al,” Sean replied. “Only me and S—Daddy can see him. Al is here to help Daddy to do something.”
Yoko smiled approvingly. John had the magic to bring out their son’s creative mind. Obviously this “Al” was just an imaginary friend John had helped Sean make-up.
“Well?” Sean looked up, as if to look into the eyes of his imaginary friend. Yoko couldn’t help but notice that “Al” was an older person.
Al squatted down to Sean’s level. He liked how the child’s eyes followed his own. “Hopefully he is here to save your Daddy’s life,” Al replied. He only hoped he was right.
“What if it doesn’t work?”
“Then he’ll try to come back and fix it,” Al pinched the tip of Sean’s nose playfully and pulled out his palm-sized computer and pressed some buttons. “But only if he is supposed to.”
“What’s that?” Sean asked, pointing to the computer.
“It’s a computer I use to get facts Sam needs to help your daddy.”
“Can I hold it?”
Al thought for a moment. It wouldn’t hurt to let Sean hold it until Sam was leaving… “Sure.” He put the device in Sean’s hands.
Sean sighed in awe. He laughed when the computer gave a few beeps and whistle type sounds.
“Father John, are you ready to go yet?” Yoko called, hoping her husband was finally ready to go.
“In a minute,” came the reply.
The doorbell jingled.
Yoko opened the door to let Sean’s sitter in. She was giving the sitter last minute instructions as John came in… “The number to the studio is by the phone if he is any trouble. He has been talking to a new imaginary friend named Al, don’t let it bother you.”
“Yes Mrs. Lennon,” the sitter smiled.
“And don’t let him stay up any later than nine,” John added, breezing by. “We should be back by eleven at the latest, unless we get side tracked at the studio.” He was now rummaging through the refrigerator in the kitchen.
“We’ll see you in the morning Sean,” Yoko promised, giving Sean a quick kiss on the head. “Come on John.”
John rushed from the kitchen, removed a roll from his mouth, and also gave Sean a kiss on the head.
“You be good to this nice young lady Sean. Remember that your
daddy loves you a lot. Good night.”
The sitter waved good-bye to the Lennon’s as they left. She shut the door and went back to the living room. Picking up the receiver, she dialed her best friend’s number.
“You will never guess what I am doing and where,” she said excitedly to her friend. “I am baby sitting! … Well, of coarse that’s a good thing, you didn’t give me a chance to say who I was baby-sitting. I am baby sitting Sean Lennon. Yes I’m serious! John and Yoko went to the studio to record or something… She did not cause the break-up! … I don’t care what you say, it wasn’t her fault…”
The session ended up being less fruitful than they had wished it would have been. John insisted upon playing the piano and singing love songs to Yoko.
Why did he sound so sad when he sang some of the lyrics? Yoko could not help but wonder. It was almost as if he was trying to tell her good-bye…and that he wouldn’t be coming back.
John began playing a familiar tune. Yoko recognized it as a tune from John’s “Beatles days.” The tune was A Little Help from My Friends. “Yoko,” John asked.
He sighed heavily then sang, “What would you do if I bought a plane ticket? To see my son Ju-li-an? Lend me your heart, so I can take it along. I promise I’ll return…”
Yoko snickered and replied, “John, you know I don’t mind if you go see Julian. As long as you come back. Feel free to bring him back to New York to visit all three of us.”
After John had “played” long enough, they got in the limo and went back to Dakota.
Yoko felt her breath catch in her throat as a sudden sick feeling washed over her. For some reason, she no longer wanted to go back to their home, she wanted to take John back to the studio and let him play a little longer. No, she wanted to drag him back to the studio…
She couldn’t do that though, the sitter had long been waiting for her and John to return. It was probably nothing anyway. But she couldn’t seem to shake the nauseating feeling deep inside of her as they got closer to their home.
Sam was a bundle of nerves for some reason. Maybe it was the fact that when Al showed up he had John with him. Al never had the person he had leapt into with him…unless it was important that the person be close by. Al was punching buttons on his computer with John peeping over his shoulder curiously.
The hologramic form of John was wearing a suit Sam recognized from the Abbey Road cover…but not the one John wore on the cover, it was one like Paul had been wearing. The simple little detail made a shiver possess Sam.
“What does that button do?” John asked, poking at Al’s computer.
“It messes up my program,” Al replied, smacking the side of the computer.
Sam gave a sigh of relief as they reached John and Yoko’s home. The girl from earlier had obviously just been trying to scare him. The day was at an end, John was still alive, and soon, he would be leaping home. He would get to see his own wife for the first time, in what seemed like decades.
As Sam got out of the car after Yoko, a voice rang out:
Yoko, Sam, Al, and John all stopped at the sound of the man’s voice calling John’s name. “That voice sounds familiar…” John began confused momentarily.
The instant seemed to go in slow motion.
Al watched as the gun raised as Sam turned to wave at what he thought was a Lennon fan.
“That’s the voice of ---” was all John had the chance to say because Al screamed out.
“No! Sam don’t!”
It was too late, the words came from his mouth as Sam’s body lurched from the impact of the bullets. “John!” Yoko screamed, turning as he fell to the ground..
“I'm shot,” Sam whispered in surprise. “I’m all right Mother. I’m still alive.”
Yoko put her hand over the entrance wounds the best she could, hoping to suppress the bleeding until help arrived. He
was still alive. Maybe if help came soon he would survive…
“Oh my God,” the sitter was gawking out of the window in shock. “John’s been shot!” She disappeared away from the window, within a few seconds Yoko could here the girl on the phone again. “We need help…an ambulance…John Lennon has just been shot outside of his own home…”
“Say something to me John,” Yoko demanded the best she could with a tearful voice. “Say something now.”
He didn’t say anything, just looked at her in apparent disbelief.
The hologramic form of John looked at his wife, then to Sam. “I need to go back now Al, I have something to tell Mother before I merge with nature.” John noticed the look of defeat on Al’s face. “Don’t worry Al, it was just my time. I know people will probably want to kill the man that shot me…”
“You’re right. He’s going to receive many death threats.”
“Someone once told me, that two wrongs don’t make a right. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean, but, oh well. It’s been a pleasure to know you Al.”
“And it’s been a pleasure knowing you John,” Al shook John’s hand.
The familiar silvery blue light encased John and Sam’s bodies. After a few seconds, Sam was shaking his hand and John lay dying in Yoko’s arms.
“I thought I was supposed to save his life,” Sam said in a low voice.
Al looked at his computer. He felt like breaking it when he saw the familiar green light blinking. The light meant everything was as it was supposed to be. "According to Ziggy, John dies later tonight. Of several shots in the back. That's how it was supposed to have been..."
“Yoko,” John whispered. “I want you to do something for me.”
“What is it John,” Yoko asked, sniffling.
“Whatever my family and friends do not get of mine,” he began. “I want you to sell off to the highest bidder…”
“I couldn’t do that,” she tried to reason. He wasn’t thinking right.
“Do it Mother,” he said firmly. “People will hate you. Don’t bother telling them I requested it, they won’t listen. Get rid of anything that will remind you of me.”
Hesitantly Yoko nodded. “Okay, I’ll do it.”
He managed to find the energy to make a quick-witted joke one last time. “Except Sean. Don’t sell him. I just don’t want you to be in pain anymore than you have to be. All of those self-centered yuppies will not understand.”
Yoko kissed John’s warm forehead and rested her cheek there. “Whatever you say John.”
Later that night was when John died.When a friend gave Yoko the news, Sam wanted to give her a friendly shoulder to cry on.
Up until now, he had never really understood it all…he still didn’t to some degree. When he had first heard about “John and Yoko” he had believed it when people said she had caused the break-up of the Beatles. He didn’t know who or what had really caused it, all he knew was that it wasn’t Yoko.
In spite of it all, Sam smiled. Who really knew the answer to the reason why the Beatles broke up? All Sam knew, as of now, was that he really couldn’t see John without Yoko. He wondered what would happen to her now that John was gone.
As if to answer his question, Al said, “John Lennon died on December 8, 1980. Yoko does as he says, sells his things and never re-marries, because John is alive in her heart and the nature around her. This day becomes known as the second day that music died.”
Sam smiled again, now that is real love.
“Are you ready to go back home Sam?” Al punched in a code on his computer, a hologramic doorway opened.
He was finally going home. He just hoped that the love that he and his wife shared was close to the love between John and Yoko.
With Al by his side, Sam walked through the doorway…and into his wife’s warm embrace.
He had finally made it home. . .
This is an original work done by Jamie Paula Macca. Please do not reproduce without prior permission. Premission can be requested by e-mailing me at PaulaMacca@workingclasshero.com
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