For the Sake of the Child
Written by Julia Cryne
February 27, 1967
"Sir, you wanted the mystery file?" The clumsy assistant with the unruly hair handed the manila folder to the man seated behind the large desk.
"Yes, that will be all, Roger." The young man exited silently, and the dark manís face contorted with malicious pleasure. "At long last." He muttered, and removed the contents of the folder. An old picture taken five and a half years ago tumbled out abruptly. It was of a couple walking hand in hand on the busy streets of London. The next item was a telegram from about six months following the photograph. It read simply: Paul- (stop) I had the baby (stop) Itís a boy (stop) Please contact (end). The last item was a very recent photo of the same woman from the first photo, and a small boy at her side. The old man pushed the button on his intercom.
"Grace, send in Bob Kearny, right away." He looked up when the middle-aged man who was summoned entered. "Ah, we have the last piece of the plot, dear friend. And with it, I will have my revenge."
"What do you need me to do, sir?"
"Take this evidence, and copy it. Then send it to every major media organization in the country. And send a copy to a few large American papers as well."
"Anything else, Mr. B.?"
"Actually, yes. Call Mrs. McHorty, and have her see me."
"Yes sir." Bob took the folder, and left the office.
"Paul! I need to speak with you NOW in my office!" Brian Epsteinís voice shrilled. Paul went into the small, organized office with a worried look on his handsome face.
"Whatís the problem, Eppy?"
"Yea, you sound like youíve Ďad a few too many pills!" John added, peeped into the office like a naughty schoolboy.
"The problem? Have you seen a newspaper today, Paul? Any newspaper?"
"Read this." Brian tossed him one of many papers on the desk.
"Holy shit." he muttered.
"What about shit?" George asked innocently.
"Youíre a real cliffhanger, ainít ya Macca?" John interrupted.
"This is the worse scandal weíve had yet!" Brian held his head, and took a few more pills.
"You mean worse than the Jesus comment, or the Manila scandal, or the Butcher cover incident, or the time I hung a loo Ďround me neck or . . ."
"Yes, itís far, far worse." Ringo let out a long slow whistle after reading over Paulís shoulder.
"So, it seems that youíre a daddy, eh Paulie?"
"What?!" George and John yelled.
"I didnít think-I didnít know . . ."
"Thatís obvious. A bit too late fer that Paul." John murmured.
"I-I just could never believe that sheíd do something like this. Telliní the media. Itís not like her a Ďtall."
"Well, seems sheís done it, son." George announced. Silence invaded the room, and Paul paced restlessly.
"What are we gonna do, Eppy?" He demanded, and ran his hand through his long hair nervously.
"Itís already too late to save your reputation, thatís for sure. Maybe, just maybe we can just pay her off-but the damage is done. Weíll probably just have to wait it out. Hope for a bigger story to come out." Paul sank helplessly into the padded chair.
"What?! How could this have happened?" China Andreson* was astounded by what confronted her in the daily paper. "After all this secrecy, how could anyone know?" She looked sadly to her precious son. He was the spitting image of his father-the only man who she had ever truly loved. He was coloring a picture with his favorite crayons. She shivered. The coal had run out again.
(* China Andreson- pronounced Shee-na On-Ďdree-son)
"James, darling, Mummy needs to run to the store to get more coal. Be a good boy and stay here."
"Ok, mummy. Iím coloring a picture of you."
"Thatís sweet darling. Iíll be back very soon, luv."
"Buh-bye mummy!" Little James called as she walked out to the freezing wind.
"What am I gonna do?" China muttered quietly. She stopped in mid step and looked at the gentle snowflakes kissing the streets of London. "Iíll go home!" she burst. "America I sing of thee." she whispered, and hurried on to the store on her errand.
A loud knocking came at Paulís door. The other band members were gathered for support, and John went to answer it. Paul glanced up as a middle-aged woman with several other busybodies paraded into the room with a small boy.
"Mr. McCartney!" the leading one spat. Her dress was large and very pompous- perfectly matching the wearer. "Though I do NOT approve of your actions, I much more LOATHE that indecent hussy of a mother. Take your son, and if SHE comes within two hundred meters of him, Iíll call the patrol on her. Good day, sir." she whirled leaving the crying boy behind her and her cronies.
"I want me mummy!" he cried, and collapsed in a tiny ball on the floor.
"Come Ďead, donít cry, son. Whatís yer name?" Paul stood, and came slowly to the huddle.
"Me nameís James David Andreson. Whereís Mummy?" His huge brown eyes stared at his father, who had stopped cold at the name.
"J-James?" He stammered.
"Yea. Mummy named me after me dad." Paul seemed to absorb that. At that moment, a crash of thunder boomed. James cringed.
"Looks like weíve got a helluva storm on our hands. Nobodyís gonna be out in this." John said to no one in particular. A pounding exploded in the house, and George ran to the door.
"More visitors. Just what we need, Ďeh Ring?"
"Like bloody tacks, mate." George followed a young lady with pretty brown curls into the sitting room. James jumped up at the site of her.
"Mummy!" He threw his arms around her, and she crouched down to his level.
"Darling! I was so worried! Who took you?" She pulled back to study his face.
"That old hag, Mrs. McHorty!"
"I thought so." Her eyes narrowed. She turned to Paul. "Were you behind this?"
"What?" he asked, staring at the form of her and the child.
"Behind the whole paper-media blitz, and or the kidnapping of my baby?"
"Of course not. Why in Christís name would I do that?" He looked like sheíd slapped him.
"Because I didnít." she stated pointedly.
"If you didnít, who did?" Paul asked.
"I donít know. Iíve told no one about you and me. I donít know how anyone COULD know but us."
"Frankly my dear, I didnít even know I HAD a child until I read the papers." China looked at him horrified.
"I sent word when I had him. What do you mean you didnít know?" Her voice was starting to break.
"I heard nothing." He shook his head slightly. Confusion spread across her face.
"I posted a telegram."
"And I didnít receive it."
"Paul, hate to interrupt, but the snowís really piling up out there." Ringo put in. China sighed.
"Paul, I hate to ask, but thereís no way we could make it all the way back to Whitechapel in this blizzard. Would you mind . . ."
"You and James are welcome here anytime, luv." he finished for her. She looked both relieved and annoyed.
"Thanks." she said, but it didnít sound as though she meant it. Paulís insides churned. China could still hold his heart in the palm of her beautiful hands. He led them upstairs, and carried the one suitcase that China had brought with her.
"We can stay in one room. That way thereís more room for the others." she said.
"Nonsense. John can just stay with me." John glared at him.
"Mummy and I sleep in the same room at our house." James announced. "And Mummy has to work a lot- she has three jobs."
"James, darling hush."
"But you do, Mummy! And you said that Daddy was . . ." China clamped a hand over his mouth before he said something REALLY bad.
"You work THREE jobs, luv?" Paul asked concerned.
"That is none of your business, Paul."
"If you need money, all you have to do is ask."
"I donít want your money."
"But what about James?"
"I can take care of us. I donít want your money, or your fame, or you." she snapped, and dragged James into the room, and slammed it shut. Tears rolled down her cheeks. James hugged her.
"Donít cry, Mummy." he said.
Paul on the other side of the door, nearly did himself.
"Well, Bob? What happened with Mrs. McHorty?" "Mr. B." shouted across the phone. Damn snow, he thought.
"She took the kid from the mother, and deposited him with McCartney."
"Good. Where is China now?"
"Well, uh, we kinda lost her, sir."
"You did what?!" the man screamed. Bob winced.
"She must have slipped out."
"Have you looked for her?!"
"Yes, of course. She wasnít and isnít at McCartneyís house as far as we can tell."
"Find her, DAMMNIT!" Mr. B. slammed the phone into the cradle. "I WILL have my revenge. Theyíll pay for what they did to me." The dark eyes flashed menacingly.
"Mummy, Mummy! Wake up! It snowed so much that the drifts are piled as high as the door!" Chinaís chocolate eyes flickered open. James was up, and had dressed himself. She sat up, and he pulled her out the door, and down the stairs. "Come on, you have to see, Mummy!" Paul and John sat sipping some tea in the family room. Paulís eyebrows raised when she entered. China looked down only to realize that she was only in her baby-doll nightie. A blush covered her cheeks. "Whoops." she muttered.
"Come on! Mu-ummy!" James tugged at her hand, and they gazed out the window to the brilliant sea of white that engulfed everything in its path. "Can I play in it, Mummy?"
"Yes, darling. But let me help you put your coat and mittens on."
"Will you play with me too, Mummy?"
"In a little bit, darling." China put on his woolen cap that covered both his mop-top hair and ears, and threw a scarf around his neck. After putting on layers of warmth, China let him go outside, promising to hurry down when she got on some warmer clothing.
"Would you mind if I play with him too?" Paul asked.
"Only if you put on some warm layers-I donít need everyone in this house to get frost-bitten." China ran upstairs, very confused. Why should I care about him? He didnít care about me when he went off with that redheaded actress, whatís her face. China, if you ever learn . . .
China collided into Paul as they hurried to the stairs. "Sorry, luv. Let me help you." Paul pulled her up, and held her against him. Their eyes locked, and China felt that old warmth flow over her entire body. After an all-too-intimate pause, they let go, and ran downstairs to join James in the backyard. He was busily trying to build a snowman, and China and Paul pitched in. After about 15 minutes, the three had successfully constructed a disgruntled person of snow, with eyes of coal, a blueberry button nose, and a stick mouth that was more or less strait. Then an all-out snowball fight erupted, with China and James against Paul. The former team succeeded in formally pelting Paul with large hastily made snowballs.
"I give, I give!" Paul sank to the ground, laughing heartily. China and James sat down next to him, and shared a warm family moment. "So, how long are you staying here?" China looked at her feet.
"Weíre leaving as soon as the snow clears up for America." Paul sucked in some air through his teeth.
"Just like that? Leaving so I wonít ever be able to see my son or the woman I love?" Her head shot up in surprise.
"What exactly is your goal here?" China asked suspiciously.
"For you to agree to marry me." As soon as he said the words, he realized that this was all he had ever wanted in his life. And nothing was going to stand in his way. China sighed, and James beamed from ear to ear.
Back inside, the doorbell rang, and Cynthia Lennon with Julian came in. Julian and James played together as the Ďgrown upsí talked.
"Mum?" Cyn and China looked towards the children. Julian stood up. "Can James stay the night, please? I want to show him me toys."
"Yea, can I, Mummy?" James asked eagerly.
"Itís fine with me if itís alright with China."
"No problems here, just as long as you agree to come home tomorrow!"
"I will, Mummy! Thanks." James hugged her legs, and ran to pack some overnight things. China and Cyn went to help, leaving the guys to talk.
"Paul-do you think you can handle it if Rings and I take off too?" George asked softly.
"Yes. Iím gonna get her back. I might as well start trying to convince her!" John looked at him squarely over the rims of his glasses.
"Youíre a sick, sick man, Paul." He grinned.
"Probably, Johnny. But a CONTENT sick man." Ringo rolled his eyes.
"Right, so Iím gonna take off with Geo now." The two of them left, and after a few minutes, so did the Lennons with James in tow.
Paul and I stared at each other for quite some time. I decided to break the silence and tell him why I was angry with him.
"Paul- I went to . . . your room last night, uh, but you werenít there." His eyes opened wide in surprise. But the surprise soon melted into the devilous McCartney grin that I had come to love so much.
"What exactly were you planning to do with me if I were there?"
"I think that you know the answer to that, Paul."
"Now Iím kicking myself for staying up to watch that stupid movie with John."
"You know, I donít remember." He grinned again, and took a few steps towards me. My heart skipped a beat, and the heat surge ran from my toes to my head to the marrow in my bones. Paul stopped inches from my face, and I could feel the sensation of his breath on my cheek.
"Iíve NEVER stopped loving you." he whispered in a deep husky voice.
"And I you, but so much has happened, Paul."
"We can handle that. Just promise me youíll at least give me a chance."
"I promise." Paul leaned in and brushed his lips against mine. Everything I thought I had forgotten came rushing back in an avalanche of memories. Every promise, every kiss, every word that had flowed between us five years past was as new as the snow. Our lips continued their wanderings, and I felt myself being lifted off the ground. Paul carried me up the stairs and kicked open his door.
Sunlight poured into the large room, and landed on the bed. Paul stirred from his position, and swept his hand over my bare back. My eyes fluttered open, and gazed at his beautiful sleeping face. I kissed his forehead, and got out of bed. He didnít move as I dressed and quietly exited the room. When I got down the stairs, I put a kettle on the stove, and took out a few packets of tea from the cuboard. Suddenly, I felt warm arms slip around my waist, and spin me around. Paulís hair was mussed from slumber, and he hadnít yet shaven; but his silly lop-sided grin got to me.
"Good morning, sunshine. Making tea?"
"I was, but it certainly wonít cook itself." I kissed his lips briefly.
"You might be surprised about that, actually." I rolled my eyes.
"Right. So now you expect me to believe that not only is the tea bag gonna jump magically into the boiling water, but it will pour itself into mugs? That is one talented kettle!" He laughed long and hard.
"Itís so good to hear you joke again, sweetheart. I missed that." My eyes momentarily clouded. "But that was then, and I was the worldís biggest fool. Can you forgive me?" Looking into those cute puppy-dog eyes broke down any reservations I had had.
"Yes, Paul. I forgive you. For the sake of the child, but especially for myself." His eyes beamed, and he kissed my hair.
"So, nowís time for the question, mílady." He fell to his knees, and pulled a small case from behind his back.
"Iíve been saviní this for five long years-Will you marry me?" Paulís eyes gazed longingly into mine. Every nerve in my body screamed yes, and I felt my mouth starting to form a Ďnoí. Then from deep inside something called me back, and I echoed the sentiments of my heart.
"Yes." So softly breathed, I didnít know if Paul had heard it. But apparently he did, for he jumped up and kissed me.
"Iím the happiest, luckiest man alive!"
"Are you content, Paul?" I asked hoping for a certain answer.
"More so than I ever have been before." The bell rang, and we separated. Paul slipped the ring on my finger, and led me to the door. John and Cynthia stood on the porch, with Julian and James playing with snow in the front yard. John winked at Paul, and Cyn smiled knowingly at me.
"Mummy!" James ran into my arms, covered in snow, but never warmer. After he hugged me, he turned to Paul.
"Daddy!" Paul picked him up and twirled him around. James giggled, and looked to me seriously.
"Mummy, are we gonna stay or go to America?"
"We are going to stay, darling. Forever." The smile on his face was enough to melt all the snow in London.
"Hold it right there!" came a cry from behind us. Mrs. McHorty pointed, and several bobbies approached. "Arrest her officers!" They came at me, but Paul stepped in front of them.
"NO. Sheís my fiancée, and she stays." They stopped in mid-stride.
"If Ďe wants her on Ďis propíty, then there ainít a bloody thing wrong. Gíday, mum." Mrs. McHorty ran after then, pleading to reconsider. A black car pulled up, and two men got out.
"McCartney!" the leader bellowed.
"What do you want, Best?" Paul shot back.
"What the HELL is she doiní Ďere?" he pointed to me.
"Weíre getting married!" Paul yelled back. James stuck out his tongue. "What the hell are YOU doing here?"
"You bastard!" He told something to his assistant, Bob grabbed Julian. "Well, it looks like I have the last laugh! I have your son, McCartney!" He laughed evilly. Then, he did a double take at the boy, then noticed James by me. "Shit, you imbecile! You grabbed the wrong kid!" He screamed at Bob.
"Well, no matter! I still have a Beatleís son!" John snarled, but Pete Best held up a hand, as Bob raised a gun to Julianís head.
"Why are you doing this?" I screamed at him.
"Why? Because! Paul was the one who got me thrown out of the Beatles! He was jealous of my good looks, and the fans who adored me. I told them Iíd have my revenge! It was so easy, too. All I had to do was snap a few pictures, and steal one telegram to ruin his career! Itís brilliant! And now, no woman will ever want to touch him again. Iíve ruined his life! Mwahahahaha!" The irony of the situation was touching, but I just felt a need to make his day.
"Hey, jerk off! Yeah, you, the ex-Beatle who wasnít good enough! Hate to rain on yer parade, but Paulís life isnít exactly ruined."
"Yeah, Best! Youíve done the best thing anyone could have done for me. Without you, China and I wouldnít have gotten back together, and I wouldnít know my son. On top of that, I donít care if any other woman looks at me again, because Iíve got this one all to meself!" He hugged me to his side, and I smiled at the ex-Beatle.
"What?! Noooooooo! Iíve worked so long and hard for revenge! I will be appeased!" Bob next to him, looked from Pete to Julian, and lowered the gun. He released his hold on Johnís son.
"I just canít bring myself to the much insanity. Mr. Best, youíve just gone too far." He dropped the gun in the snow, and walked off.
"GET BACK HERE NOW! Damn you!" Pete grabbed the gun, and steadied it at Jamesí head. Paul without thinking, dove in front of him as the gun was fired. But I was quicker, and blocked both of them. The bullet struck me, and my mind filled with blackness.
"Wake up, my love." Paul cooed as I groaned.
"Paul! Where James? Are you guys ok?" He squeezed my hand.
"Weíre fine. How do you feel?"
"My shoulder hurts."
"The bullet entered you just above the heart, but it thankfully only hit tissue. Youíre going to be just fine, luv." I sighed, and relaxed in my bed.
"What happened to Pete?"
"The police arrested him, but he was unfit to stand trial. They tossed him into a mental institution."
"What are we gonna do now, baby?"
"After you fully recover, weíre going to get married, and have a dozen more little babies like James." I giggled softly.
"Think you can handle being a daddy?" He smiled and kissed my forehead.
"I think so, luv. The question is whether I can handle you!"
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