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Had It Been Another Day, Chapter Seven Chapter Seven

The restaurant is posh with candlelit chandeliers lighting the room rather ghostly. The waiter leads Paul and Lena to their corner table, covered in silver cloth and large white orchids. Lena unbuttons her coat and hangs it on the back of her chair. Paul pushes her chair in and crosses to his own. He then stops, obviously taking notice of her dress.

"Lena you look…" Lena looks upward expectantly. Paul meets her gaze, "You look enchanting."

Lena tries not to blush but proves unsuccessful, "Thank you. I just bought the dress today. Do you like it?"

Paul shakes his head, "What's not to like? It suits you wonderfully." Lena smiles and drops her napkin across her lap. Paul is very flattering; yet, Lena's uneasiness grows with each compliment. The note told her to make the most of it, but she finds it hard knowing what she knows.

Paul orders wine and Lena tries to initiate a conversation. "So how's work going? I mean, in the studio?"

Paul shrugs, "Fine. The lads and I are really dreading the possibility of touring to promote this new album. We said that our previous tour would be our last, but the label seems to think we should. But the songs are going very well."

Lena smiles, being very glad to hear this news.

Paul leans forward, "Tell you what. Let's talk about you."

Lena looks skeptical at this prospect, "What do you want to know?" Paul just shrugs, "You know. How old you are. Do you like London? What you like to do and all that lot."

Lena looks thoughtful and answers, "I'm twenty-one years old and a junior in college. I adore London and I love to read. I read a lot and I write. I love movies and music and silver bracelets!" Lena smiles and jingles the shiny bangles on her wrist.

Paul laughs heartily and takes Lena's hand then turns serious, "Lena, how much longer will you be in town?"

Lena shifts uncomfortably in her chair. She sighs, "Actually, my stay here is indefinite. I guess I'll leave when the time is right." The wine comes and Paul releases her hand and Lena smiles gratefully.

Paul pours the burgundy colored wine into their glasses, "Well, I will just have to persuade you to stay."

Lena smiles and takes a large gulp of wine from her glass. Stay? Persuade her to stay? Well, for the moment she wasn't going anywhere.

The night passes and dinner comes and goes. The waiter brings the check and places it in the middle of the table. Lena slides her hand towards it and feels Paul give her fingers a slight slap. "Ah-ah Lena. It's my treat."

Lena looks to him in protest as he retrieves his wallet, "Paul, um, listen. That is truly nice of you but I should really pay." Paul shakes his shaggy head negatively, "Wouldn't think of it, luv. It'd ruin me reputation as a gentleman."

Lena sighs and relinquishes her right to the bill.
Paul pays, tips, and helps Lena on with her coat.

"Well Lena, ready to see a little bit of London?"

Lena claps her hands in excitement and releases a small shriek, "I've been looking forward to it all night!" Paul McCartney takes Lena by the arm, "Come 'ead then!"

"It's heavenly." Lena gazes toward Buckingham Palace, her mouth circles in awe, "Was it amazing to meet the Queen?"

Paul smiles, "Of course! She is the Queen, you know!" Lena laughs, "I know, it just seems completely unfathomable to me that the Queen is, you know, human."

Lena cringes at the expected response, "Of course she's human! But I know what you mean. Normally she's just a picture in a magazine or newspaper dressed in fancy gowns and jewels. You never really think about seeing her in person."

Lena nods shyly, "That's how I felt when I ran into you yesterday. You, the lads-You're The Beatles! Icons! Musical geniuses! Until yesterday, I was just a regular girl with a regular life in Virginia. Now I am in London, seeing the palace and meeting The Beatles. I never thought I'd be where I am now."

Lena shifts her gaze back to the grand palace; the soft London lights dance on the enormous walls.

"Lena," Paul says, "The truth is I'm human just like you. So are John, George, and Ringo-even the Queen. We don't want to tour anymore. People are saying The Beatles are through. We're has beens." Lena shakes her head violently, "No Paul, you are not a has been. The Beatles aren't finished yet; you're just getting started. Trust me, The Beatles will be around for a long time." Lena looks back to Buckingham and etches it into her memory.

Paul takes her hand and she faces him, "Ready to go?" Lena nods, "Next stop, Abbey Road!"

Lena trods down the street happily, the Abbey Road cross walk right ahead. Paul looks toward Lena, who is as giddy as can be, "Why on earth would you want to come here? It's not exactly a landmark, you know."

Lena has forgotten that Abbey Road is a landmark in 2000, but not in 1966 when the album won't come out for about another two years.

"Oh, this is where you record isn't it?" Paul shrugs and chuckles, "Yeah, we do." Lena reaches the cross walk and takes Paul's elbow, "I think it's worth seeing. Do you mind?"

He can't very well say no to that, "Sure. D'ya want to go inside?" Lena smiles enthusiastically, "Really? No one will mind?"

Paul laughs haughtily, "'Course not! Only ones that'd be here would be the lads and George Martin. Maybe Brian, Derek or Mal."

Lena brims with excitement at the thought of seeing the actual studio. She takes a deep breath and walks with Paul across the street, carefully stepping on every painted line.


Chapter Eight

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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Background courtesy of Vic "the Slick"