We walk the entire way to 56 Worple Avenue making small talk and casually joking. Finally, we make it to Pam’s front steps.
“Here it is,” John says. I nod and walk up the steps to her door, slowly placing down my suitcase with my right hand. I ring the doorbell and hope that Pam listened to me and won’t answer the door in a robe and curlers. My prayers are answered, She listened to me! She answers the door fully dressed in a hot pink mini skirt and long black sweater. She has always been taller than I have but her skirt accentuates her 5’7 frame compared to my meager 5’2 one. Her blonde hair frames her oval shaped face and ends perfectly at her shoulders. Her bangs end abruptly at her eyebrows and intensify her sparkling emerald eyes. I grin at her and she smiles back. As Pam looks down the steps I can see her face change in disbelief.
I begin to pick up my suitcase and she whispers to me, “Thank you.” I continue to smile and turn to John who was spending a lot of time looking across the street. He finally turns around and I can spot him checking Pam out. She smiles. I almost become jealous remembering my choice of plain blue jeans and blue sweater---nothing quite as stylish as Pam’s outfit. Of course, then I remind myself that Paul is my favorite Beatle and John belongs to her, becoming almost grateful that he seems to take such a liking to her.
I carry in my suitcase and stop to tie my sneaker shoelace as John walks up the stairs. I introduce the two and Pam welcomes him in. Her flat is immaculate, not to mention, also truly “with the times”. Although she still has a black and white television and I can see that her living room is decorated with only the most stylish colors. The carpet is a light aqua and the walls are papered with matching designs of blue and green flowers. Not to mention, above her aqua couch an enormous bookshelf stands holding all of her favorite classics, biographies, and needless to say, John Lennon: In His Own Write. There’s no doubt she and John will hit it off. I finish tying my shoelace and stand up to find John and Pam completely lost in each other’s eyes, flirting. I automatically become an outsider and feel jealous not only because are John and Pam excluding me, but also because I hadn’t pictured my first time seeing Pam in fourteen years beginning with her entrancing a man.
I decide not to intrude and carry in my own second suitcase that John had left on the stoop. In the process of dragging it in John turns to me. “Oh, I’m sorry luv, I had meant to take that in.”
“It’s alright,” I reply. I look at Pam smiling brighter than I have ever seen her before. I’m happy for her; her dreams came true. Not only has she met her Johnny boy, but she’s also some how gotten him to fall for her, wife or no wife.
“So, uh, I was just wondering if you girls would like to come out dancing with me and the boys tonight. It’s my birthday today, but I’d understand if you’d rather spend you’re time making up for lost time or something like that---"
I brighten. “Oh no, we’d love to.”
I look at Pam, she’s clearly in heaven. “Happy birthday, by the way.”
“Oh, thanks. But I should let you know that we have to attend the opening of Lionel Bart’s new musical Twang. Publicity, y’know? We wouldn’t be able to come and pick you up until bout ten, you don’t mind, do you?” John smiles.
“It’s all right we like to go out late,” Pam says looking at me as if to check for permission, and if not, threaten me into it. I nod in consent and she looks back to John.
“Great.” John says goodbye and tips his imaginary hat to us as he walks out the door. Pam turns the lock on the door and spins to face me. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
“I have to admit I didn’t believe you, but—wow! Oh no, what are we going to wear?”
“I think your current outfit works.”
“Thanks. But, oh, I guess I forgot---Welcome! Welcome to London, England. It’s so good to see you after, what is it, fourteen years? Wow. I would have liked to have given you a welcoming tour, but you seem to have had a rather good introduction to the country already.”
“Quite the introduction,” I reply.
“Okay, Okay, but we only have six hours to get ready!” I laugh at the thought of six hours being too little time to get prepared for meeting the Beatles but then panic at the thought of actually meeting Paul McCartney.
“Do you think Paul would be there?”
“Of course! It’s John’s birthday, wouldn’t they all be there?”
I sigh at the thought. “But what about John’s wife? Wouldn’t she be there as well?”
Pam bites her lip and the suggestion of John’s wife. She sighs, “Well, I guess not if he’s inviting us. Look, I understand he’s a married man and has a wife, but I should at least have a good night out. He’s clearly not the most devoted husband and I don’t see the harm in just enjoying myself for one night. After all, he ought to have a good time on his own birthday, don’t you think?”
This doesn’t look good. What if something actually comes out of this night? I’d be happy for Pam, but he’s a married man. Paul has been known to be dating that Jane Asher girl for quite a while, but they’re no where near marriage. Gosh Julia, you’re already assuming he’ll take notice to you! For all you know he may already have a date! You should know better than to get your hopes up like that. Still feeling a need to warn Pam about the dangers of dating a married man and answer her question, I break the silence. “I guess. Just be careful, Pam. Don’t get your hopes up, I’d hate to see your heart broken.” I should learn to follow my own advice.
After a brief silence I decide to change the subject. “Anyway, I have to get ready! I’m meeting heartthrob Paul McCartney in six hours! I’m really not familiar with British guys, nonetheless Beatles, but if my suspicions are correct, somehow I get the sense they are into the same things as American boys.” I raise an eyebrow.
“You got it,” Pam smirks and says, “That means you should wear a mini skirt as well. Unless of course, you have something more interesting in mind.”
We both laugh and she continues, “Here, I’ll show you your room. We can pick your outfit out in there.” I follow her into the guestroom. The walls are a stunning magenta and the entire room seems to have a pink theme.
“I love the room.”
“Thanks, it’s of my own design. Now, right to business.” We open both my suitcases in search of the perfect outfit. In the process Pam helps me put all the unneeded clothes and belongings away so that the room remains neat for when I get home that night. The last thing I’ll want after a long night out and jet lag is to have the arduous task of cleaning my new room.
I take a long, hot shower and then in a combined effort, we pick out my swinging ensemble for the night. My long brown hair is left down in its perfect straightness. It falls to the waist of my light blue sweater and black miniskirt, complete with fishnet stockings and go-go boots. Hey, if Pam is going to look fabulous, why shouldn’t I? I walk over to the mirror and touch up my make-up, laying the light blue eye shadow on heavily above my brown eyes. I blink a few times in display of my long eyelashes that I have always been proud of since I’ve never had to wear mascara. I turn to Pam and dramatically pose. She laughs and applauds. We both check our watches and begin our countdown—10 minutes.
“You know, we really shouldn’t get ourselves so worked up, it is only the Beatles.” After saying my comment both Pam and I burst into hysterics.
Yeah, “it’s just the Beatles.”
The laughter dies down and Pam puts on a serious face. She stares me directly in the eyes and says, “No matter what we must come home alone tonight. It wouldn’t be right to do anything on the first date.”
I smile at her. “You don’t have worry about that with me---you are the one I’m worried about.” She laughs at that.
“Oh really? Well, you shouldn’t be. Come on, we should go into the living room and look busy for when they ring the doorbell.” I follow her and sit down on the couch. Just as we turn on the television the doorbell rings. We both freeze and stare at each other. I turn off the television.
“You should answer the door, it’s your house.” She nods and leaves the room.
I hear a bustle of people enter and stand up as they enter the living room. I freeze, smiling. I can spot them all as they come in, still dressed in their Beatle outfits from their public appearance. George is the first to enter along with a pretty blonde I recognize as Patti Boyd. They look straight off the cover of a fashion magazine. He’s just as good---looking as the other Beatles are. Cordelia won’t believe me when I tell her! If only I could have something to give her so that she would be satisfied. She’d faint if she were here right now to see him, even with his model girlfriend. I must admit even though they might not love the Beatle uniforms, I sure do! Next to enter is Ringo, cute as ever, with his wife, Maureen. She’s just gave birth to their son Zak about one month ago and still retains some of the weight of her pregnancy. I can see the love that emanates from the two of them. Paul enters the room, alone.
I gush. I look into his chocolate brown eyes and boyish face and feel my knees ready to give way. Julia, whatever you do, don’t be obvious. You are a grown woman, you can control being in the same room with a person of the opposite sex who you just so happen to have a crush on. Pam quickly rushes in, John in tow. Pam quickly comes to my rescue and introduces me.
“Everyone, this is my best friend, Julia. She’s the one who met John in Redlees Park this afternoon.” The crowd seems to form a line and I find myself shaking hands with George, Patti, Ringo, his wife Maureen, and then Paul.
“Hullo luv. John’s told me about you,” he says smiling. I can’t help but take a quick glimpse into his eyes. It is at that moment my hopes are confirmed. There is no way anyone with such soulful, deep eyes could be nothing more than one-dimensional pretty boy. This was a man of much more. Realizing I was spending too much time with this introduction and not saying anything I look away. I blush as he kisses my hand.
“Well, nice to meet you, then,” I find myself smiling uncontrollably and wish I could have said something a bit more worthwhile. No, I didn’t have to say anything groundbreaking, but intellectual at least. John is next in line and the crowd disassembles as he takes me aside.
“Ah ha, you’re found out.”
“What do you mean?”
“You’ve got it bad for Macca!”
I turn a deep shade of red, “Don’t say that so loud!”
“Don’t worry, sweet Paulie can’t hear us. I should let y’know you’re in luck, though. Jane seems to have gotten in a fight with the littl’ bugger about a week or so ago and they haven’t spoken since. Leaves the door wide open for you to step in and…”
“Hey, I say this for your benefit, not mine, and you’re yelling at me?”
“Okay, okay, I’m sorry, thank you then.”
“Just be wary of that McCartney charm, he’s smooth.”
“And you’re not?”
“Well, I can’t help it. It comes naturally to me.” John puts on a fake arrogance but then changes his expression to be more serious. “Just lookin’ out for you a bit, that’s all.” He gives me a stern look. We both laugh and join the rest of the party. Pam walks over.
“What was he saying to you?”
“Just warning me of the McCartney charm, nothing to be jealous of.”
Pam blushes, “I wasn’t jealous…exactly.” I smile.
“Well, don’t be, he’s clearly falling all over you.”
Pam beams, “You think so?”
“Yes, but we better get back or we’ll seem antisocial.” I walk back into the crowd and see Pam go to flirt with John. Paul walks over.
I smile. “Hi.” There is some amazing quality about his eyes that makes me afraid to look directly into them. I feel almost as if looking into them would give myself away and so I find I much easier to watch Pam and John from across the room. Of course, I fail in my attempts and my temptation to look at him wins.
“So, how’d you like London so far?”
“It’s just gear.” Ha. Why don’t you just wow him with your knowledge of Britishisms? It just doesn’t sound right when an American says it.
He grins. He really is dreamy. There is something in the warmth of his presence that makes me want to stand here with him all night just smiling.
George speaks from across the room, “I know you guys wanna flirt, but can’t you do that at the club? We’ll never get out and celebrate at this rate!” I look down at the ground and hope my embarrassment isn’t showing. Prediction number one confirmed---George is anything but quiet and subdued behind closed doors! As the crowd walks to the door I retrieve my jacket from the closet. Paul helps me put it on.
“Anytime.” Since only half of us could fit in each car, Ringo and Maureen offer for Paul and I to join them. I watch as Pam and John jump in George’s car and agree. Ringo sits in the driver’s seat and gives Maureen a lovey grin and small peck on the lips as he turns on the ignition. Paul and I share the backseat. I look out the window, searching for something to say.
“Autumn certainly is beautiful here.”
“Yeah. It is. Of course, I’ve always loved spring the most.” I turn to look at him. “Y’know, warm an’ all. People seem in better spirits in spring.” I nod in agreement. Silence prevails. I find myself falling into memories of the first dates of my teenage years. Being driven in car by my date’s mother filling the car in absolute silence. I almost laugh at the memory. Feeling, or more wishing to feel Paul’s eyes staring at me I turn to look at him---Nothing. Another Beatle's back. Eyes once again looking away from me, mind miles away out the window. You knew better than to expect too much, it’s foolish to even try. Watching the trees go by, I realize I never wished John a happy birthday. Waking from my reverie at the revelation I make a “Oh-I-can’t-believe-I-forgot” gasp and Paul turns around.
“Is something the matter?”
“Oh no," I say, laughing a bit and embarrassed that I must have been so loud. “It’s just---I forgot to wish John a happy birthday.” John.” I can’t believe I am using his name in a casual sentence. John, the same John on the newspaper clippings in my room. The John who found himself attracted to my best friend. Why have I no such luck?
“Oh, you shouldn’t worry, you could always tell him when we get there,” Paul says in all politeness.
Ringo adds from the front seat, “Yeah, he’ll only be traumatized for the rest of his life; nothing to worry about.” We all laugh at that and we arrive soon after. “Here we are.”
Paul opens the door for me as I pick up my pocketbook and straighten out my skirt. John wasn’t kidding when he spoke of the “McCartney charm.” I thank him and the four of us enter the club. I can feel myself suffocate from the intense smell of sweat and smoke as I take my first step. I scan the crowded room and spot a cigarette wielding John and an entranced Pam sitting at a table, deep in conversation as George and Patti dance nearby. I deduce from the half-empty glass next to John that they’ve only been here a relatively short amount of time. We walk over to let them know we’ve arrived and John turns to me. He looks at me, then at Paul who is standing behind me, almost disappointed; I wonder what it could possibly be about but then decide to ignore it.
Ringo and Maureen begin to dance beside George and Patti and I begin to wish that I, too, could dance. I turn to find Paul joined along with Pam and John at the table. I make a few attempts at conversation but I remain an outsider. I am somewhat disappointed but decide that instead of intruding, to take a stroll around the room. My big chance at meeting the Beatles and Pam steals the two I care most about. Both who happen to not have dates.
A “stroll,” per say, wasn’t exactly an easy accomplishment in this jam-packed establishment of smokers and swinging dancers. As I make my way to the bathroom door a rather attractive man stops me. I look up to see his beautiful blue eyes and rather long blonde hair. He has an adorable smile and a boyish face reminiscent of Paul. The heat of the room causes his clearly pale skin to flush a slightly rosy shade. I smile back as he begins a conversation.
“So, who’d you come here with?” he says in a to-die-for British accent.
“A couple of friends, but they’re across the room.”
“Oh, that’s alright. Care to dance?”
I smile a “yes” and I find myself doing a rather fast dance with him across the room.
He leads me a few feet from John, Pam, and Paul but I pretend not to notice. “So, uh, what’s your name?” The music is loud and it’s hard to hear each other despite how close we were dancing.
“Julia, Julia Anderson.”
“Pretty name,” he smiles, “and if you care to know, mine is Peter Morrison.”
I extend my arm to shake hands, “Well, nice to meet you, Peter Morrison.”
“Same to you, Miss Julia Anderson,” he answers, kissing my hand. As charming as Paul yet within reach and probably less likely to break my heart, not bad at all. Ironic how with a chance to hang out with the Beatles, I find someone else and decide to enjoy myself with them instead. Spending all night trying to get Paul’s attention wouldn’t be any fun anyhow.
We begin a long discussion on how I arrived in England and he asks whether or not I have a boyfriend. A friend living here and no boyfriend is about all I tell him. We discuss schooling and I tell him about my potential future career as a child psychologist and my education at the University of Pennsylvania; of course leaving out the bit about the obsessive professor. He tells me of his intentions to be a doctor and his wish to go to medical school. He has recently graduated himself and was currently taking a break.
It is then that I notice the three of them watching us from the table. I wonder how long they had been watching, but continue to ignore them and a slow song begins. Peter puts his arms around me and pulls me close. I put my head on his shoulder and can feel his hands around my waist. I enjoy finding company with someone who is good-looking and intelligence. It is an added bonus that he knows how to dance well. Despite the fact it’s just a slow sway, he seems to know better than to move his hands passed “the equator” and just relax with the movement.
I sigh in disappointment as the song ends but it’s then John comes over. Peter seems to go through same “I-know-that-face-but-what’s-his-name” expression that I had when I first saw John and I just smile.
“Hey John,” I say as Peter just seems to recognize who is standing in front of him. I look back to the table to see Pam sitting alone, waiting for John to return and Paul off and dancing with some girl that is all over him.
“Julia, can’t I talk to you for a moment?” Peter doesn’t seem to get the hint and continues to stand there and gawk. “…Alone?”
Looking at Peter, “Um, sure, please excuse me a moment Peter.” Peter nods still in a disbelief that I was an acquaintance of John’s and even more that the man himself was standing in front of him.
John pulls me aside. “Why’d you leave our table before?”
Surprised that he actually cared, I say “Well, you, Pam, and Paul seemed in too heated a discussion to let me in. I felt like an outsider, so I decided to go for a walk…when I met Peter.” I find myself smiling at the utterance of the incredibly handsome, charming Peter. John seems to notice and makes a face. “What?”
“Nothing. It’s just---I still don’t see why you left.”
“Listen, although you guys are the Beatles, that doesn’t mean I enjoy it when I’m ignored.”
“Yes, ignored. I came over, made a sufficient attempt to join you guys but all eyes were on Pam.”
“Jealous, huh?” John smirks.
“No, not jealous, just sort of disappointed. I was hoping to enjoy this night as much of the rest of you, but being left out was not on the top of my list.”
“Aw, Julia, we didn’t mean to make you feel that way, honest.”
“I know you didn’t mean it. That’s the worst part. Guys forget about me when Pam’s around.” I couldn’t believe I was sharing such personal feelings with John. After all, I had only just met him in the park this afternoon and he really had no reason to keep my insecurities private. Nonetheless, I felt an unusual trust from him and he seemed to share the same feeling. He made no sign of my willingness to share confidences with him to be out of place.
He seemed almost to read my mind. “Julia, you don’t have to worry, this is conversation is private. It’s ours alone. I wouldn’t let anyone else know that.” He looked into my eyes with all sincerity. “You’re a beautiful girl and you know it. There’s no need to feel second rate against Pam, no matter how gear she is.” I smile. John Lennon just told me I’m beautiful. This day can not be real, it must be some sort of dream. Obviously wishing to change the subject he asks, “Why aren’t you dancing with Paul?”
I feel a tinge of pain remembering how disinterested he seemed in me when I had tried to join the table. I try my best not to show it but he obviously senses it yet says nothing. “Paul’s clearly not interested in me. Leaping for attention isn’t one of my favorite activities either. Besides, he’s found someone on his own anyhow.” We both turn to see Paul and his “femme du jour” slowing dancing so closely I had to wonder at how they could breathe. As I continue to watch, Paul slips his hand down her back, passing the equator ten times over. Jealously was taking over, but then I remember Peter.
John just sighed. Realizing he wasn’t going to say anything, I decide to break the silence. “Well, you found your answer. It would be rude of me to keep Peter waiting any longer. I really have enjoyed speaking with you but I really should go, oh and before I forget, Happy Birthday.” I feel almost tempted to give him a kiss on a cheek but know I shouldn’t and instead I smile at him. He nods, thanks me, and I walk back to Peter.
“Everything all right, then?” Peter asks.
“Yes, quite.” I smile.
“You didn’t tell me you came with---"
“You didn’t ask,” I reply. He smiles and continues to slow dance with me. Amazingly enough by the end of the song I find that we’ve somehow moved less than a few feet away from Paul and his current girl. I look over and Paul locks eyes with me. I think I almost catch a glimpse of sadness but it disappears so quickly I realize I must be wrong. He looks back down at the girl who is pried onto him and he gives her a deep kiss. I feel about ready to vomit. Quickly, I rest my head back on Peter’s chest and pretend I hadn’t noticed. As a source of comfort I decide to look back into Peter’s eyes. They are beautiful. Different than Paul’s, but beautiful in their own way. I always had a special place in my heart for bright blue eyes, probably because they were so different than mine. He was smiling down at me and I could feel him pass the equator. I decided to let him, half in a vengeful fashion to feel some sort of retaliation to Paul and half because I truly wanted him to. I smile back at him and I see his face slowly moved down towards mine. I make no form of resistance and we kiss. It was a slow, sweet kiss. A new title to add to Peter’s many---handsome, British, doctor, and all-round great kisser.
Written by Jane Anderson. May not be reproduced by any means in any form without the permission of the author. Permission may obtained by e-mail.
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