Lena lies fully dressed on the old four poster bed. Jezebel purrs in a content manner as she rests in the crook of Lena's arm. So many thoughts rush through her head so quickly. Maureen was right about listening to her heart and wrong about her knowing that Lena wasn't the one for Paul. She did know, and she wasn't. The future to Lena was both a blessing and a curse. If she were a normal girl in 1966 and born in 1945, she would indeed listen to her heart. But she isn't normal. It would be thirteen years until Anna Magdalena McGaughey would be born in Virginia. Lena doesn't belong here and she recognizes that. The trouble is tearing herself away from the beautiful city and era to find a way back home. Is there anybody in London that could possibly help her? At this point in time man hasn't even walked on the moon yet and there were no personal computers. It seems like a lost cause, but Lena must pursue it. She rises from the bed and rushes down to the kitchen.
Madame Cordelia is smoking in her rocking chair by the fire, looking rather wistful.
"Madame Cordelia, is there a library nearby? There are some things I want to find out."
Madame Cordelia turns her face to Lena, a surprised look on her face, "Don't you have a date tonight, Anna? Somewhere you have to be? Can't you just wait to go to the library on your day off?"
Lena smiles warmly at Madame and her rooting for Lena's social life, "No, Madame I don't. What I have to find, I'm afraid can't wait."
Madame gives a disgruntled sigh and rises, "Very well then, let me give you the address." She writes the address and directions on a scrap of paper and places her hand on Lena's shoulder, "What shall I say if anyone calls on you?"
Lena looks thoughtful and shrugs, "Tell them that I am looking for a few books at the library and I will return shortly. If it is important, they will wait or leave a message."
Madame Cordelia nods in agreement and removes her hand from Lena's shoulder, "Be careful, Anna dear. Don't stay too late." Lena smiles and takes her coat and purse from the closet and steps out the shop's door. She buttons up her coat when the icy air collects in her lungs and set about her way. Nearly twenty minutes later, Lena arrives at the stately looking library and hustles inside. People were sitting at tables and pouring over books. Lena scopes out the library from left to right and spots the card catalogue. "Egh. I forgot about this. I won't take computers for granted any longer." She looks through the drawers and finds a few books about time. "Time management, The Time Machine, time travel-ah! Found it!" Lena fumbles through six subject cards and writes all the numbers on the paper that Madame had given her.
Twenty minutes later, Lena sits down with a pile of books at a small table that is unoccupied. She flips through the pages and begins to read. She throws the first one aside, being very aggravated that it gave no insight on her situation. She throws two more aside, "Damn it!" She opens the next book, Proving the Time Space Continuum Obsolete. "Ah! Finally!" Lena turns to the cover and finds the date of publication, "May 1966? Fabulous!" She scribbles down the title of the book and then finds the page about the author, "B. Rioridan Quinland, Ph.D. Resident of London, professor…Yes!"
Lena moves on to the next book, a picture of a very distinguished looking middle aged woman on the cover. Lena reads the title very slowly, "Time Travel versus the Human Psyche: A Bold and Controversial Subject by Beryl C. Logdengrass-Howard." She checks the inside cover once again to find the date, it was published in January of 1962. Lena frowns a bit, but writes down the title anyway. She steps up to the counter with the two promising books and asks to be checked out. Lena glances at the clock on the wall; it reads eight thirty-seven. She walks out the library door and down the steps in a thoughtful haze. Perhaps these people could help her. Maybe she could track them down and ask them for their expertise. They will probably think she was crazy, but it's worth a try. Before she knew it, she had reached the shop's door. She pulls out her key and unlocks the door.
"Madame Cordelia? I'm back!" Lena walks to the closet and hangs up her jacket.
Madame Cordelia's voice echoes into the hallway, "Anna dear! We're in the parlor!" We? Lena walks cautiously into the parlor with the books tucked under her arm. As she pokes her head into the room and sees Madame Cordelia holding Jezebel and talking to George and Paul.
Lena steps hesitantly into the parlor and Madame Cordelia jumps to her feet, Jezebel wriggling in her arms, "Anna darling! You have company! Come and sit while I go put on the tea." Madame Cordelia places Lena down on the couch and bustles out of the room. Lena pushes the books under a pillow and smooths a stray hair out of her face. She looks nervously at Paul and George and clears her throat, "Hi guys. What are you doing here?"
George laughs as Jezebel rubs against his leg, "Well, we came to see you of course! Boy that old bird has some crazy ideas!"
Lena raises an eyebrow to Paul and he smiles, "Madame seems to think that not only I, but George is one of your many suitors."
Lena laughs heartily, "That's ridiculous! She met Pattie today, did you tell her that she was your wife?"
George gives Lena a lopsided grin, "Yeah, but I don't think she was listening. She's a little batty, that one. But she seems to be quite fond of you."
Lena nods and Paul looks at her rather curiously, "So tell me Lena, why did you need to go to the library? Madame says that you acted quite urgent."
Lena looks away, trying not to seem panicked, "I, uh, was a little bored and I only have one book and I finished it earlier. I told you I was quite the reader. I can barely go a day without reading something." She gives Paul a smile as Madame Cordelia comes back into the parlor carrying the tea and the sandwiches and tarts that was left over from earlier.
"Here you go, luvs. Have some nice hot tea. So what do you lovely young men have planned for this evening?" Paul sips his tea and George takes a sandwich from the plate. Paul looks to Lena and then Madame Cordelia, "Well, we were hoping that Lena, er-Anna, would like to come out with us tonight and meet the others."
Madame Cordelia claps her hands in delight, "Good! There you go dear, no need for those books! You have a social engagement to attend! Go upstairs and get ready. Oh-and wear that lovely new shirt I found in the storeroom!" Lena allows an exasperated sigh to escape, "Madame Cordelia, I really…" She wasn't allowed to finish because Madame Cordelia had risen and was pulling Lena up the stairs to her room. Lena could hear Paul and George laughing from the parlor and Lena feels quite humiliated now. Madame opens Lena's closet and pulls out the new green blouse with the shimmery beaded spangles at the waist and sleeves. Lena stands in the middle of her room, looking rather hopeless, "Madame, I am really tired and I don't think that I can go out tonight."
Madame Cordelia looks at her in a amused manner, "Of course you want to! You don't want that darling Paul to think that you're not interested, do you?" Lena shrugs, actually, that is exactly what she wanted. She couldn't get carried away with Paul if she wasn't around him. However much she did want to be with him, she had to keep her distance.
She hated feeling this way. If she didn't know what was going to happen or had it been another day, she would have gone for it. She would let herself fall head over heels and around the moon in love with Paul.
At the same time, she didn't want to hurt his feelings or let him think that she was leading him on. Maybe she should just tell him the truth, even though he probably wouldn't believe her.
No, she had to continue. She should go out with them and act as though nothing was wrong. She will find away home on her own and then tell Paul that she has to leave. No matter how much it hurts her. Lena has to keep her wits about her. She will enjoy Paul and The Beatles while she is here.
Madame pats her cheek and leaves the room. Lena strips off her clothes and puts on the patchwork jeans and the spangled top. She does her makeup and brushes her hair and pulls the top part back, leaving a few tendrils around her face hanging down. She smoothes the back of her hair so it hangs straight down her back.
Lena takes one last glance in the mirror and walks back down stairs with a brave smile. She caches back into the room and Paul and George rise to meet her.
Paul steps closer and take her by the hand, "Lena, that blouse is amazing. That's going to be a lot of fun when we go dancing."
Lena looks at him in surprise, "We're going dancing?"
Paul nods and helps her on with her coat, "Yep. We're meeting the rest of the lads there as well as Pattie and Maureen. It was a last minute decision. The lads and I got tired at the studio, so we decided it was high time that we went dancing."
Lena smiles at Madame Cordelia and gives her a small wave, "I'll be home later, Madame. Please don't wait up for me."
Madame smiles and sees them to the door, "Anna, you have a wonderful time and you boys behave."
Paul and Gorge chuckle at Madame's comments and Lena grabs her purse as they walk out the door. Lena buttons her coat and is flanked on either side by Paul or George.
George shakes his shaggy head and smiles, "I like that Madame Cordelia."
Lena nods in agreement, "She has been so generous to me. There's no way I could ever repay her, er, well maybe there is."
Paul gives her a questioning look, "What do ya mean, luv?"
Lena grimaces and instantly ever regrets mentioning it, "Well, I suppose I could repay her by letting her play matchmaker and, er, marry me off."
Paul and George bust out laughing and Lena fails to find the humor in it, "Sorry I said anything. Good grief."
Paul stops laughing and looks at Lena affectionately, "Don't be mad, luv. We were just having a bit of a laugh, trying to make you smile, that's all."
Lena smiles a forced smile and nods,
"Sorry. I am just a little tired. Madame came into
my room and woke me up at six in the morning!" They
walk down the street to the club and Lena continues to
be lost in her thoughts.
Written by Cinder Whittier. May not be reproduced in any form, by any means, without the permission of the author. Permission may be obtained by e-mail.
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