While they wait for Maureen and Pattie, the Fab Four plus Lena pile into a booth. The waitress comes around and takes orders while The Beatles smoke. John leans in Lena's direction and asks, "So d'ya like music?"
Lena nods affirmatively, "I love it."
Paul, overhearing the discussion, leans forward and looks slyly at Lena, "She plays guitar and sings. She said that she would give us a concert!"
Lena grimaces and looks to Paul who is now grinning broadly.
Lena takes her club soda from the waitress's tray and looks across the dance floor. She sees a man wearing purple psychedelic clothes and his dark hair adorned with a green scarf. Lena squints to see closer and nearly drops her drink, "Oh my Lord!"
Paul jumps a mile out of his seat, "Lena! What's the matter?"
Lena, clearly in shock, points towards the man, "Is that w-who I think it is?"
Paul looks to the dance floor, "Who, oh-Jimi?"
Lena looks thunderstruck and manages to squeak, "Jimi Hendrix?"
Paul laughs heartily, "Dear, sweet Lena. Whatever are we going to do with you?"
Lena affixes herself to the booth, desperately trying to hold herself back from falling at Jimi Hendrix's feet and kissing his boots. How is she ever going to control herself with all of these musical geniuses around her? How will she stop herself from becoming anything but a crazy groupie?
Lena takes another sip of her club soda, when two young women appear at the door. They approach the table and Lena recognizes them as Pattie and Maureen. Pattie, Lena recounts, is quite a controversial figure in rock and roll history. Sure, she looked pretty normal right now. She's blonde, mod and unassuming, but she will leave George after a certain guitar god (Eric Clapton) pines and writes songs like "Layla" for her.
Maureen, however, is very young looking. Her hair is dark; her eyes painted Egyptian style with black liquid liner. Pattie and Maureen step daintily up to the table. George and Ringo stand to welcome them. Pattie smiles and gives George a kiss while Maureen takes Ringo's hand and he leads her to the booth. Pattie looks curiously at Lena and says, "Does she belong to Paul?"
George chuckles and says, "Sort of. This is our new friend, Lena McGaughey." Lena smiles, thankful that someone didn't introduce her by her full name.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Lena. I'm Pattie." Pattie extends her hand to Lena and they shake.
Maureen smiles shyly, "I'm Maureen, Ringo's wife." Lena shakes Maureen's hand and Pattie begins the same general question and answer scenario. The girls sit and talk while The Beatles go and order more drinks. Lena thinks that they seem nice enough. Maureen is rather shy and Pattie is well, Pattie.
Maureen turns to Lena and asks, "So how long have you known Paul?"
Lena shrugs her shoulders, "Oh, I just met him this afternoon. I ran into him, literally."
Pattie giggles and nudges Lena, "That's usually all it takes."
Lena looks at Pattie with a baffled glance, "What do you mean, Pattie?"
Pattie smooths her blonde hair and rolls her eyes, "Well, it's not like Paul never has any dates."
Lena shakes her head, "No, Pattie. We're just friends, if you could even call us that. I just met him six hours ago!"
Pattie eyes Lena suspiciously, "So it hasn't even crossed your mind?"
Lena searches her mind quickly, "No. No, absolutely not." Lena had lied. Certainly she had, but in the year 2000. After he had married Linda and had four children and a perfect life. One is usually not confronted with such a situation as Lena's. No one goes back to the past.
Pattie senses Lena's hesitation and says, "Whatever you say."
Maureen, hoping to switch the gears of the conversation mildly asks, "So Lena, are you doing anything tomorrow?"
Lena doesn't want to answer, because she might wake up and not be here tomorrow. She might come to realize that this has all been an elaborate dream, a fantasy her tired mind has dreamed up. "Well, um, nothing really. I thought that I would do the whole, 'I'm an American in London' thing."
Maureen smiles and speaks up, "Well, we could go with you, you know show you around."
Lena ponders, "Sure. That'd be great. Meet me at the hotel, say around noon?" Maureen and Pattie nod in agreement when The Beatles sauntered up to the booth. Paul slides in next to Lena, "Did you girls have a nice chat?"
Lena smiles, "We sure did. I even got myself some shopping buddies."
George and Ringo shake their heads in unison.
Lena looks to them, "What?"
George laughs, "Well, it's just that Maureen and Pattie go shopping everyday. So you have two professionals."
Lena laughs and looks back to Paul, who is taking a sip of his drink.
He smiles at her, "So what are you going to do afterwards?"
Lena pauses, "After what?"
Paul's eyebrows raise, "After you go out with Pattie and Maureen."
Lena looks thoughtful and smiles, "Well, I am playing tennis with Princess Anne at four and then dinner with the Prime Minister. Why?"
Paul looks at her slyly and rather amused, "I just wanted to know if the most sought-after Yank in London would like to have dinner tomorrow."
Lena grins, "Really. With whom?"
Paul looks her in the eyes and simply states, "With me." Lena is trying to stay cool, but her mind races. She can't date him. She can't risk the future. Then she remembers the vague note and before Lena could stop herself she says, "Yes."
John, upon hearing Lena's reply, sneers and says haughtily, "There you go, Lena. Falling for that old McCartney charm." Lena looks shocked and then turns to Paul who just smiles.
They stay another two hours, drinking, smoking and having a good conversation. Finally, Pattie and George announce their retirement for the evening. Pattie and Maureen promise to meet Lena at noon.
John approaches Lena, "It was nice to meet you, luv. Hope you'll be singing for us soon." Lena's eyes grow wide and Paul nudges her to walk.
When they walk for a good five minutes, Lena glances over to Paul who has his hands in his pockets. He looks the same as he does on all of her album covers: young, handsome, and vibrant.
She is taken aback with these thoughts. Lena becomes nervous and unable to speak. She lets out an exasperated sigh and shivers.
Paul looks over, his brown eyes awash with worry, "Lena, are you cold, luv?"
Lena shakes her head, "No, no. I'm fine."
Paul, in his devoutly chivalrous manner, strips off his jacket and places it over Lena's peacoat. "You probably aren't used to the England air yet, is all." Lena nods in agreement as they reach Paul's house.
"Would you like to come in for some tea? Or would you rather I take you back to the hotel?"
Lena looks to Paul and says rather sincerely, "Well, it has been a long day for me. For you, too. I think that it would be better if I get some rest so I have enough energy to go shopping with 'the professionals'."
Paul nods, "That is very true." He opens the car door and Lena steps in.
When they reach the hotel, Paul walks Lena to her room. Lena shrugs Paul's jacket off and hands it to him, "Thank you so much for inviting me. It was more than I ever dreamed."
Paul's lips curl into a devious smile, "So, you've dreamed of us, have you?"
Lena blushes furiously, "Hasn't everyone?"
Paul obviously grows interested in her statement, "Have you dreamed of any particular Beatle?" Lena's ears burn as warning sirens trigger in her mind. She avoids Paul's gaze and simply says, "R-Ringo." Of course she lied. What in the hell was she supposed to do? Tell the truth?"
Paul laughs and Lena thinks, "Damn! He didn't buy it!" He looks directly at her, "So what time shall I pick you up tomorrow?"
Lena's mind races. Tomorrow? She shrugs, "I don't know. Around seven? By the way, what are we going to do?"
Paul moves closer, "I thought that we'd go out to eat and I'd show you around London a bitů"
Lena doesn't mean to cut him off, but she blurts out, "What should I wear?"
Paul laughs and when seeing that she was serious, attempts to straighten up, "Whatever, luv. You'd look good in a potato sack."
Lena blushes uncontrollably and says, "You're quite unique in your beauty, Miss McGaughey. Don't change a thing." With that, Paul McCartney kisses her forehead and trots off to the elevator. Lena hears his voice down the hall, "Tomorrow at seven!"
Lena, lightheaded and swooning,
realizes that she has melted into the corner, back
plastered to the wall. She fumbles for the door key
and her is vision blurry. She unlocks the door and
stumbles into the darkness.
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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