They are. I find myself in the same quiet hall I had been in before and Patti and Pam have yet to return. Now armed with a pen, (a special pen that had formerly belonged to John Lennon), I flip to the next open page.
No Beatle drawings this time, I remind myself.
I’m lost for inspiration. I think back to yesterday. The intensity of the moment when Paul kneeled down beside me and held my hand in his kitchen just to tell me that he didn’t mind making me something to eat still haunts me. His eyes were so deep. His expressions, so unfeigned. Did I take the moment too seriously? Did I show it in my eyes? I begin writing my thoughts down onto the paper and before long I have a full verse of thoughts on Paul.
When he kneeled down
Was I too serious?
Did I mistake it for something more?
Could he see it,
In my eyes?
When he took my hand in his,
And I longed for a kiss,
Was it all amiss?
Could he? Would he? Should he?
Suddenly, I pause and lift my pen to reread it. Not quite what I had hoped for, but maybe it would improve with the addition of music. I am about to continue writing, but stop, realizing that Paul still may be interested in seeing it and now, on this last page, in fresh ink, lay a love song about him. He would know. I can’t let him see it.
I do my best to neatly tear the page from the notebook. Unfortunately, being a bound book, and not a spiral, there still remains a telltale edge, sticking out where the page had been. This will have to do.
I sigh and carefully fold the paper and place it, along with my notebook, into my purse. Down the hall to my right I can hear Patti and Pam’s laughter coming closer. They hurry towards me.
“Hey Pam. I’m sorry you didn’t come with us we had a rather good time walking around. And I must say it doesn’t seem like you’ve had much to do in that time all by yourself.”
“No believe me, I’m fine.”
“Are you sure you weren’t dreadfully bored? Pam dear, you’ve known her much longer than I have. Is she being honest?”
Pam smiles and gives me a close inspection. “Well Watson, I’d be tempted to say she’s a fully truthful witness but then again I know this particular specimen and she wouldn’t tell us if she had been bored stiff.”
I can help but laugh along with them. “Believe me, I’ve kept myself busy.”
“Enjoying the wonderful view of the wall, ceiling, and floor.”
“Oh come on,” says Pam.
“Are you about to imply that these this is not a beautiful ceiling, a magnificent floor, a fabulous looking wall?” I gesture as I speak.
Pam knows nothing more than to laugh.
Patti seems used to George’s cynicism but obviously finds mine different and not quite as easy to adjust to. In her discomfort I watch as she changes the subject, smiling. “Well, anyway, I thought I should let you know that it looks like this recording project will take a longer than I originally thought. And it is for that reason it seems as though are little party will be delayed a bit. But, I did invite everyone over for later tonight. Would you both like to come as well?”
“I know I’d love to,” Pam says, “But it seems as though somebody left my car parked on the street near Paul’s house.”
“Oh the car! I had completely forgotten!”
“Ah ha! Our culprit’s been found out!”
“I’m so sorry Pam. Paul had said we’d deal with it later but I guess in all the confusion—”
Pam laughingly says, “It’s alright Julia, calm down, we’ll handle it.”
“Yes. We’ll drive there, you and Pam will drive back to your flat and I shall meet you back at my place tonight at ten.” Patti says. “I must admit it certainly sounds like your day was so confusing it would have thrown anybody off.”
“So I suppose Pam has told you about Paul and me yesterday.”
Patti smiles like a gossipy teenager. “Yes, I must say she did. I’m sorry to hear about the waitress, but that’s something you have to learn to look out for as a Beatle wife, or well, in your case, Beatle girlfriend.”
‘Beatle Girlfriend,’ I think. Hmm. Nice ring to it. I don’t think I mind having the title as ‘Paul’s girlfriend’ and not just another one of his many dates.
“Relatively speaking that is, you know what I mean,” Patti continues.
I sigh. I guess that means I remain Paul’s 7,987 date. But John had made it seem as though Paul cared and there’s always that moment…that moment I wrote a song about…that beautiful moment.
Jeez, Julia. That ‘beautiful moment’ was nothing more than Paul telling you he didn’t mind making lunch and him crouching down to say hello to Martha! That’s it! Nothing more…isn’t it?
“Julia, I’m simply dying to know what happened after dinner. Pam had only told me about that unfortunate incident. I’ll understand if you prefer to keep it to yourself, but I must admit I am quite curious.” Pam smiled as a reassurance.
That’s a relief. Pam kept it confidential. No one else has to know that I had refused Paul’s kiss.
“Well, not much, actually. I asked to return to Pam’s and—“
“…and?” questioned a rather attentive Patti.
“He drove me back. And when I got inside, alone, I went to my room to change and Pam saw the clam sauce stain…and well, let’s just say she ‘misinterpreted’ the situation.”
Patti laughs. Pam blushes. “How was I supposed to know that it was clam sauce? After all, this is Paul McCartney we’re talking about here, so well, I guess I just assumed…”
“He may be Paul McCartney, but I’m still Julia Anderson.”
“I must say you do have quite a point there.” There is a brief awkward silence, which Patti remedies by changing the subject.
“So is it settled then? Will you both join the party?”
“As long as we get my car, I’m all for it.” Pam says.
Patti smiles, “Julia?”
“Then it’s settled. Let’s be off then.”
We quickly rush downstairs and pile into Patti’s car. We drive to Paul’s place and Patti parks across the street. As I walk out of the car I notice how much darker it has become.
I look up at Paul’s house and sigh. I can still see a new bunch of gatebirds awaiting their beloved. How long could they possibly wait there? Pam notices me falling into an idle daydream and ushers me along.
“So remember, ten o’clock, my place. I already gave you directions,” Patti says directly to Pam. Pam nods, we say goodbye and I hop into Pam’s car.
We return to Pam’s flat and I plop down on the couch.
“Tired?” Pam asks.
“Well, not really, I’m just really lost. Oh that reminds me—“ I sit up, open my purse and take out the pen, holding it out to her, “I happened to bump into John when I did a bit of wandering and he had given me this. I thought you might like it—you know, after all, ‘friends’ do like to keep a hold on other ‘friends’ possessions. And besides, pens can really come in handy sometimes.”
I smile as Pam accepts it thanking me with her eyes.
“So you bumped into Johnny boy did you…What did he say? Anything about me?”
“Um, well, no. You see, I had been aimlessly wandering the halls for a pen to fix up some of my lyrics, and happened upon a room with an open door. I heard his voice singing some new song, I knew I recognized it but couldn’t seem to realize who it was until he stopped singing and I tried to rush past the door so whoever it was wouldn’t know I had been listening it. Low and behold, John comes walking out the door, definitely not expecting to see me. We spoke a bit, he wanted to know what was up with Paul…supposedly he seems a bit out of sorts today, I didn’t tell him, he lent me a pen and we went our separate ways.”
Pam sighs. “Paul obviously is not used to rejection and I must say you certainly gave it to him…right up the—“
“Sorry. But that is good in a way…that definitely confirms the ‘you’ve got him on his toes’ thing I told you yesterday.”
I sigh. “Yes, but he’s going to be there tonight. What am I going to do?”
“Well for one, wear that outfit!”
I laugh. “Oh Pam.”
“Seriously, he couldn’t resist you in it. I couldn’t, I mean, if I were a guy that is, I mean, I think I wouldn’t—“
“I get your point, you don’t have to try to explain, you’ll just dig a deeper hole for yourself.”
She chuckles. “I guess you right.”
I stand up tall and stick my nose in the air, sighing, “I always am.”
“Oh yea?” Pam laughs as she grabs one of the couch pillows and smacks me over the head. I duck in defense and I grab another pillow to strike back. A pillow fight prevails and ends in us falling into a complete giggling fit on the floor.
We both lie on our backs and stare up at the ceiling.
“Julia, do you think I’ll ever find love? I know I sound just like I did back in third grade but at this point I’m getting a bit old for it.”
I sigh. “Of course. Pam, you’re beautiful, you’re intelligent, you’re everything a guy could ask for and don’t think John didn’t notice it…or Paul for that matter.”
“Oh come on.”
“No, seriously Pam. Guys have ogled over you since we were little and they continue to. I doubt it will ever end—even when you’re married you’ll have perverse old men standing and staring at you. You just have to find the right one. I know you found something in John that amazed you, entranced you, excited you, but it wasn’t what you needed. He couldn’t offer you what you want and you know that. It just seems that no matter who he is with he will have trouble being a one-girl type of guy. With you—with anyone; it’s just his nature.”
Pam rolls onto her stomach to face me. “Must you be so unromantic Julia? Must you ruin all my dreams?”
I get up and sit cross-legged looking her directly in the eyes. “But you know you can’t have him anyway! He’s married, loyalty to Cyn or not, you don’t want to get involved with that. And isn’t it better to just accept that he probably won’t truly settle down for years to come than continuing dreaming, and wishing, and hoping?”
“You’re so hypocritical. You say that and at the same time you give me the ‘friendly’ token of his pen.”
“But Pam that sort of works both ways. It helps you to sort of realize what he is, your friend and your idol. You know you’ll never fully see him as just ‘your friend John.’ He will always remain to you ‘John Lennon the magnificent,’ so you might as well harbor some souvenir.”
She sighs, “Fine, I’ll accept that as answer.”
I laugh. “Can you imagine the egos these guys must have from all this fame…”
“Yes, and you damaged Paul’s.” She stands up before I can answer. She looks at her watch, “Anyway, it’s 8:30 now and I have to find a completely new place in the dark so we should start getting ready.”
I nod and stand up. I straighten out my skirt and shirt and realize that my hair and makeup will involve a complete revamping.
We go our separate ways and I drift into the comfort of the magenta room. I look at my night table before fixing myself up. My eyes fall upon a family portrait from the year before that I had so carefully placed next to my alarm clock. Mom, Dad, Cordelia, Cloe! I completely forgot!
I walk out of the room to find Pam. She’s in her room which is of a completely turquoise theme. I knock on the door despite it’s already open. “Pam?”
She turns around mid-hairbrush. “Yes?”
“Would you mind if I call my parents? I know it’s long distance, but I haven’t spoken to them since I left and I wanted to make sure it was okay.”
She smiles, “Of course you may! You didn’t need to ask me…go right ahead.”
I thank her and walk over to the phone. I dial the number and I listen as it rings. It continues to ring before my rather groggy mother picks up, “Hello?”
“Hmm? OH! Julia, is that you?”
Oh the time difference! I had forgotten the time difference. “Yes, I’m so sorry. I had forgotten the time difference but I felt I should call you all since I hadn’t gotten a chance to before. How’s everything at home?”
“Great. We’ve been dying to hear from you honey. How is Pam darling doing?”
“Oh, wonderful.” Should I mention the Beatles? Would she believe me if I told her? “You know, on my way from the airport to Pam’s, I meant a very nice man in the park.”
“Julia, you know what I’ve told you about strangers—“
“Yes, but I knew this man.”
“What? Really? How, did he go to your school, have I met him?”
“Um, no. Actually, I don’t know how believable this is to you, but I met John Lennon.”
“John Lennon, of the Beatles?” She starts laughing. “The Beatles that Cordelia never stops blaring when she’s at home? Sweetie, I think you need more rest.”
“Mom, I’m not kidding. He was sitting on the bench alone and we started up a conversation and he helped me find Pam’s flat.”
“Honey, it’s not like you to keep lying like this.”
“That’s because I’m not.”
Silence. Complete silence.
“Sweetie hold on a second.” I listen as she muffles the phone with her hand and can faintly make out a few tonal pitches as she speaks to my father.
“Yes honey. What is this your mother is telling me?”
“Well, I met John Lennon in the park the day I arrived in London.”
“Sweetheart, that’s one of those long-haired freaks I’ve spent years warning you about. Not only that, but he plays rock and roll,” he continues in a hushed tone, “and I’ve even heard rumors of them…doing drugs and playing around with women in a way that should just not be done.”
I can hear my mother in the background say, “Oh Raymond!”
“It’s true,” he continues. “And I don’t want you getting involved with any of those—those hooligans. I know what’s best for you and you just can’t trust those hormone-raging long-haired freaks!”
“Dad, you’re really over-reacting.”
“You haven’t been going out with him—that John character, have you?”
“Dad! He’s married! But I met the rest of them too, and they’re really nice if you just—“
“You what?!” The booms of his voice hurt my ears.
“I met them, and Paul McCartney, I’m sure you heard of him,” Good Julia, remember he’s the charming, sweet, publicly innocent one. “He took me out to dinner the other day to a very expensive Italian restaurant and—“
“Julia Susan, he’s just trying to manipulate you…the first second he gets he going to take advantage and you won’t be able to stop him!” My Father’s voice softens, trying to reason with me. “Honey, I’m saying this because I love you, I know what’s best for you, I know these—these hairy apes!”
“No you don’t! You’ve never met them and you are going on rumors and rumors alone. Yes, they play rock and roll and yes you know they aren’t as clean cut as you might like, but they a nice people. They are intelligent and talented—“
“And out to take advantage of you!”
“No such thing! They have remained my friends and even Pam has trusted them as well. Two of them are married as it is. Paul is one the only two not married and he’s a truly wonderful man. Dad, I know what I’m doing, I can watch out for myself. I’ve dealt with hormonal freaks in the past, which none of these guys are, and I’ve survived and can continue to do so. I’m twenty-one! I’m a grown adult and can make decisions for myself. I am not about to make believe these guys are perfect angels and haven’t touched drugs, and who knows maybe slept with a few women…”
Ha! ‘A few women,’ I think. I continue, “…but all in all, they are great guys. They respect me just as much as I respect them.”
My father sighs. “Honey, if you honestly believe you know what you’re doing go ahead and continue to associate with them but I will have you know that I want you to be very careful. Very very careful. That means you accept no funny business from these wisenheimers and stand your ground. Don’t take any crap from them, Julia. Stand strong, stand tall and continue to make me proud. Here, your mother has been asking for the phone for quite some time. Remember, I love you, but don’t, don’t let these guys con you into anything you’re not ready for.”
“Yes, Daddy. Thank you. I won’t.”
“Yes, I’m sorry about your Father’s initial reaction. I have to admit I was a bit taken aback myself, but well, if that’s what’s going to happen then let it be. Your Father and I both know first hand, that if you want something, you’ll go for it no matter what the circumstances. Because you know when we were kids—“
“Yes Mom, I know, you both were in love but your parents wouldn’t accept the marriage because you were Jewish and dad was Christian, you’ve told me the story ten thousand times. “
“I know you have, but you have yet to fully appreciate the complete significance. We refused to listen to our parents and yet your Father and I are incredibly happy, we haven’t spoken with them in years. We don’t want that happening to you. We want you to know we’ll always be your parents and love you no matter what. We just want you to make sure to make good decisions and keep out of danger. So just, well, be careful honey, okay?”
“Yes, Mom and I do really appreciate it. I will.” I smile. It’s great to have understanding parents.
“Very good. I’ll go wake up Cordelia, she never let me hear the end of it if I don’t let her hear first hand about The Beatles.”
The line is silent for a moment but then I hear a loud screech for Coredelia. Something tells me her enthusiasm isn’t just because I called for the first time from England.
“Julia! Oh my god! Is it true, Julia? Is it true?!” Cordelia’s voice is rising in high-pitched wails.
“Wait, calm down. I won’t tell you anything until you calm down. I don’t want you falling down dead just because you got over excited.”
I can hear as she takes a deep breath. “Ok, ok! I’m calm!”
I sigh. I guess that’s the closest I’ll get to her settling down. “Ok Cordelia—yes it’s true. I’ve met the Beatles.”
Cordelia screeches. “What? Are you serious? What are they like? Is George as wonderful in person? Did you meet Paul or John your favorites?”
“Wait Cordelia. Before I tell you anything, you have to promise not to tell anyone this, not even Jenna, your best friend. If any of this information got out rumors could start and that wouldn’t be good, do you understand?”
“Aww!” She groans. “How can you tell me this and expect me not to want to tell the world.”
“I know you want to, and that’s why I’m telling you that until you solemnly promise not to tell a soul, I will not give you any information.”
“Fine. I promise.”
“You mean it?”
“I mean it—cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.”
“Alright then. One question at a time.”
“What is George like?”
I have to laugh. “George is just as good-looking in person, if not more so. He’s really nice and witty. And his girlfriend is beautiful as well.”
“His girlfriend! Why must you bring up his girlfriend? Oh well. How did you meet the Beatles? I’ve gotta know, this is just so cool! My sister has met the Beatles!”
I explain my little detour to Redlees Park and give a censored version of the club. I give a brief synopsis of yesterday’s adventures, sort of turning my “date” with Paul into more of a “friendly outing.” I can’t be truly certain that Cordelia won’t slip some of the information out to at least one of her friends so I have to make sure there is nothing truly incriminating or interesting enough to print. Besides, I doubt anyone would believe her as it is.
“Wow! And that’s it?”
“Well, I might being going to a dinner party at George’s house tonight.”
“Oh please, please, pretty please, please, with sugar on top, get his autograph—anything! Please, I’ll do anything for this!”
“Cordelia, I’ll make no promises, who knows what may happen, but I solemnly promise to try my best.”
“Oh thank you thank you thank you!”
“Cordelia, remember no promises…and don’t tell anyone.”
“I won’t! Oh thank you thank you thank you!”
“Okay, go get some sleep I’ll be leaving soon.”
“Ok, goodnight, love you.”
“Love you, too. Say goodnight to Mom and Dad for me. And put in a good word to Cloe for me.”
“Okay!” Cordelia says giggling at my reference to our beloved puppy.
No chance of her getting anymore sleep tonight. Well, the conversation went fairly well. I wasn’t about to lie to my parents; honesty is definitely the best policy. I wonder what time it is.
I check the clock. 9:30 already—that’s past midnight back in New York. Next I’ll have to be aware but for now I better fix myself up and find Pam.
I give myself a quick make over job, grab my pocketbook, and search for Pam. I find her in the living room.
“Pam, it’s already after 9:30, think we should leave?”
“Well, pretty soon, yes. But we don’t want to be the first ones there, we’ll seem to eager.”
“Ah. The savvy Pam strikes again.”
I notice her outfit is completely changed and is more like her usual self. I smile.
“So did the call with your parents go well?”
“Yea, I guess.”
“Did you tell them about the Beatles?”
“Yea, that kind of set my dad off at first, but they seem to be dealing with it okay. Cordelia went absolutely berserk. I gave her an edited version of the past two days and told her not to tell anyone. I hope she keeps her promise.”
“Doubt it, but no one will believe her.”
“I agree. But just in case she knows nothing worth anything.” I sigh. “She wants me to get her a George Harrison autograph for her. I feel kind of strange going to George’s house and then suddenly becoming Miss Teeny Bopper screaming for an autograph.”
“I know what you mean. But I do believe you could pull it off well. Ask it casually, and enforce the fact that it’s for your eight-year old sister who will slaughter you if you don’t. Which is true.”
I laugh. “I know.”
“Oh. Time to be off. All set?”
Pam puts on a Liverpoolian accent. “Come ‘ead!”
We laugh, grab our coats and are off. We make it there shortly after ten. George’s gate opens for us and soon enough we’re at the door. Patti answers, smiling.
“Oh welcome! They’re all here, except Ringo and Maureen. They felt they needed to spend some time with baby Zak.”
“Understandably,” Pam responds.
“Oh come in! Come in! It’s cold out!”
We enter. There’s music playing and Patti leads us to the heart of the party. John is playing a game of checkers against George and Paul is politely talking to Cyn.
“They’ve arrived!” Patti beams.
Everyone looks up. I look to Paul who quickly turns back to Cyn. Cyn smiles at us. George takes advantage of the moment and rearranges the checkers while John gets up to greet us.
“Hey John.” I watch Pam struggle to remain as a friend but can still see the admiration building her eyes. As long as she doesn’t act upon it, I think.
“Julia, hello.” John turns his head to look back at Paul who is pointedly speaking to Cyn and sighs. “Have a nice past few hours?”
I smile. “Yes, I have.”
I notice Pam has decided to rescue herself by walking over to speak with Patti in the kitchen, leaving John and I to speak.
“Glad to hear it.”
I begin walking towards the checker game realizing George is waiting. I sit down on a neighboring chair and watch as John begins to lose. I glance subtly over at Paul. Another Beatles’ back.
I laugh as George wins drastically and John begins to accuse him of cheating. Patti calls George from outside the room and he leaves. John moves over to me.
I can smell the wonderful scent of baking wafting in from the kitchen. Something tells me I’ll like this dinner.
“What’s new?” I watch as Cyn excuses herself to go to the bathroom. And Paul is left there. We sit a bit in silence. John makes the mistake of bringing up yesterday. “So, Julia was telling me you guys had desert for lunch yesterday?”
Paul looks up; he’s unable to avoid the fact he’s just been spoken to yet remains unresponsive.
I decide to just casually discuss it, doing my best not to add meaning to the nothingness of the whole situation. “Yea, I hadn’t eaten all day. Paul was nice enough to prepare some strawberries, oranges, and we shared the rest of the cheery pie.”
John raises and eyebrow and smirks at Paul, “You enjoyed cheery pie, eh?”
Paul rolls his eyes. “Yea. It was what Cyn had given me that was leftover from your dinner.”
Teenage minds, I remind myself. I watch as John clearly picks up on Paul’s lack of humor. He flinches and is seemingly relieved by the return of Cyn.
Cyn sits down and attempts at making a group discussion but seems surprised at the lack of input from either John or Paul and so asks me to join her in checking on Pam, Patti, and George in the kitchen. I wonder at how many people are needed to work in a kitchen at one time but politely agree. As I leave the room I can feel the sharp sensation of eyes stabbing my back.
I enter the kitchen to find Pam, Patti, and George laughing. The strong scent of cake overwhelms me. No wonder everyone is staying in here. Pam and Patti are leaning against the sink area, facing George who is seated. Patti automatically stops us.
“Oh Julia! You’re a guest in this house too you know! I wouldn’t want you doing work.”
“No really, Cyn and I were wondering if there was anything we could do.” I smile and Cyn nods.
“Well you could join us in here for a bit. Paul and John still in the other room?”
“Yes,” Cyn sighs but smiles immediately after. I ponder over how often John ignores her and begin to really pity her.
I sit down next to George, joined by Cyn to my left. Cyn gets up and to speak with Patti and soon enough Pam, Patti, and Cyn are engrossed in some personal conversation of their own.
This could be a good moment to try for Cordelia, I think. I turn to George.
“Yes?” he asks.
“How did you know I was going to ask you a question?”
“Well I didn’t, but figured it was a good enough way to start a discussion as any, don’t you think? But anyway, what is your question, then?”
“I feel awful having to ask this of you. But I have an eight-year old sister, Cordelia, who is crazy about you and I know she would never forgive me if I didn’t have an autograph or something to give her after meeting you.”
George smiles. “It’s alright. I’m used to it. Have any paper?”
I open my pocketbook and take out my notebook. I open to the back page, rip it out and hand it to him. I stuff the book back into my bag.
“What’s that? Carry notebooks around for such occasions do you?”
I laugh. “No, it’s my lyric notebook. Remember, the one I had spoken with you and Paul about?”
“Oh, I see.”
“I bring it around in case I get inspiration. But so far I’ve had no such luck.”
“Alright.” He takes a pen out of his pocket. Wow, is this a Beatle requirement #54 or something: ‘Always be handy with a pen’? “So what should I write?”
“It’s to my sister Cordelia. She’ll love anything you write—I doubt she’d mind if you were to just suddenly write random words about the page.”
“Okay. Where do you live again?”
“New York City.”
He takes the pen and begins to write:
Best wishes to my favorite fan in New York City.
Love, George Harrison XXX
I smile. “Thank you, that was really nice of you.”
“Nah. It’s nothing. All in a day’s work.” He grins and hands me the paper. We sit a bit talking about the song they had been recording earlier in the day. It seems as though George really loves the sitar and is considering using it more. I must admit it will certainly lead the Beatles in a new direction.
We are distracted by Patti calling to us. “We’re going back in, care to join us?”
George gets up first and walks out with Cyn and Patti. Pam waits for me. I show her the paper. She smiles. “That was great of him. Did he seem annoyed about it?”
“I don’t think so. I must admit I really couldn’t tell, though.” I place the paper in my bag and notice he’s left the pen on the table.
Realizing he’s forgotten about it I show it to Pam and she tells me to keep it and hand it back to him later. I agree, drop it in to join Cordelia’s present and walk with Pam back to the main room.
It’s a brief walk but as we make it there I quietly mention Paul’s actions.
“Don’t worry too much Julia, I’m sure everything is fine. Maybe you’re just misinterpreting it all.”
“Maybe.” I sigh.
Written by Jane Anderson. May not be reproduced in any form by any means without the permission of the author. Permission may obtained by e-mail.
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