The walk to the café was rather quiet because Lena didn't know exactly what to say. She couldn't say, "I really love **SGT. PEPPER** and it blows me away every time I listen to it!" It was only late 1966; that album won't come out until June of 1967. She realizes that she has to monitor what she says, she doesn't want to alter or risk changing the future, or to her the past that she holds so dear.
The waitress at the café seats them at a booth. Lena stuffs all of her belongings underneath her seat. She inches out of her jacket as the waitress comes. Lena orders a tomato sandwich and a cup of coffee, while Paul orders a cup of tea. He leans forward and Lena can't help but question her sanity as she looks upon his face.
"So Lena, that's an interesting name. Where did you get it?"
Lena smiles broadly once again hoping that it doesn't look fake, "My mom, but I shortened it."
Paul looks intrigued at the prospect of finding out her real moniker; "Let's see," he says as he rubs his temples like a mind-reader at the county fair, "Is your name Marlena?"
Lena shakes her head negatively.
Unfazed, Paul tries again, "Is it Selena?" Much to his chagrin, Lena shakes her head again, "No."
Paul scratches his head and shrugs, "Well, I'm fresh outta guesses. Are you gonna tell me, luv?"
Lena takes a sip of coffee and debates whether or not to tell him. The way British people say "luv" has always given her the chills. She clears her throat and explains, "My full name is Anna Magdalena McGaughey."
Paul looks thoughtful as if he were digesting this new information, "That is a very pretty name. It certainly does you justice. Does it have any significance?"
Lena's ears are burning a deep scarlet, "Actually, my mother was reading a book about J.S. Bach he had a wife named Anna Magdalena. So presto! Here I am."
Paul smiles and sips his tea, "Oh, so you have a musical mum, d'ya?"
Lena takes a bite of her sandwich and swallows, "Somewhat. She likes the classics."
Paul, intrigued once again asks, "So what type of music are you into?" Lena runs through her list, but leaving out Fleetwood Mac (because Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham have yet to join the band) and Heart (they were probably still in high school), " Oh you know, Mamas and The Papas, Bob Dylan, Patsy Cline..."
"Yeah she's great. Oh, and I really love the Beach Boys new album **PET SOUNDS**. I think that's about it."
Paul looks impressed, "I loved that album,too. Gee Lena, that's one honey of a list. Are you sure that's it?"
Lena waxes thoughtful and catches on to what he is trying to get her to say, "Oh yeah, there is that one band. I can't quite remember their name. Oh, I know! The Bugs!"
Paul looks at her in dismay, "The Bugs?" Lena looks at him jokingly, "Yes, Mr. McCartney, I own Beatles albums. All of them actually."
Paul grins wide, "I knew it! So, here's question number three. Are you fresh off the plane?" Lena chokes down some sandwich and offers a wry smile, "I guess you could say that."
"Where are you from?"
He laughs and her face goes pink, "What's so funny?"
Paul looks at her sincerely, "You. You are so honest. Most birds would flip out and scream, or they would brag about their achievements." He looks at her apparel, "You certainly don't dress like the other American girls that come visit here. You know great gobs o' makeup and teased hair. You're a hippie, aren't you?"
Lena smiles in spite of herself, "I am more of a hippie than a mod, but mostly I just try to be me."
Paul nods approvingly and then to the guitar case, "So do you play?"
She looks at him and shrugs, "I mess around a bit, that's all."
Paul somehow in disbelief protests, "Oh come off it. I bet you're good. You're just being all modest-like."
Lena shakes her head, "Oh no, I'm not. I play for fun. But it is nothing serious."
Paul taps the table coyly, "Do you sing as well?"
Lena lifts her sandwich to her lips, "I sing better than I play, if that's what you mean."
Paul sips his tea, "I'd like to hear you sometime." Lena chokes on her sandwich and coughs. She guzzles down a glass of water.
Paul rises in a concerned manner, "Y'all right, luv?"
Lena nods violently and manages to squeak, "I'm fine, thank you." She stands up, "Well, it was nice meeting you, Mr. McCartney."
He rises politely, "Paul. Please call me Paul."
"Paul," Lena breathes much easier now. She lays down some money for her food and picks up her things and moves towards the doors. She has just stepped on to the pavement when she hears, "Lena! Lena! Please wait!" She turns to see Paul McCartney pacing after her, "Lena, the least I can do is see that you get to your hotel safely."
Lena's mouth drops in horror, "H-Hotel?" Where was she going to stay? She doesn't even know if she has enough money to even get a room!
A disgusted groan escapes her lips, "Oh no. How could I forget?"
Paul looks rather baffled, "You mean you came all the way to England and didn't even reserve a room?"
Lena turns even more pale than usual and being quite embarrassed, whispers, "Yeah. This whole trip was kind of on impulse." Impulse was right! She didn't even know how she got here!
Paul picked up the guitar case and lead Lena by the arm, "It'll be alright. Follow me."
Paul leads her down the street to a rather posh hotel. He sits her down in the lobby and goes to talk to the manager. Lena looks a little bewildered when Paul returns and hands her a room key.
Lena feels very grateful, yet sighs heavily, "Mr.-I mean Paul, I can't accept this. There is no way that I can repay you."
Paul places his hand over Lena's mouth, "Think nothing of it. As for the matter of repayment, you only have to do one thing."
Lena looks skeptical for a moment and finally says, "What?"
Paul takes her by the hand and looks her directly in the eyes, "Come with me tonight and meet me mates."
Lena recalls what the note said, "MAKE THE MOST OF IT." Besides, she really couldn't resist the idea of seeing all of The Beatles young, alive, together, and at their peak. "I'll come."
Paul's lips curl into a
slight smile, "Good. Now go get ready and I'll pick
you up at seven." He walks toward the glass doors as
the elevator closes and takes Lena up to her room.
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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