Free as a Bird, ch. 4

Chapter Four

I was just eight years old, picking daisies and I was busy trying to make a chain out of them. I wasn't really sure if this lawn was still inside, or just outside Strawberry Fields because I sort of forgot whether I went through that gate into the park or not.

I had been living in Strawberry Field since I was three. Before that, I lived in a small house on the other end of the city. I vaguely remembered the "parents" I had there. The only clear image I could find was one of a very nice young woman who sometimes stopped by. The "mothers" in the orphanage knew the whole story. Only days ago, they'd told me parts of my short life so far. How my mother lived on the other side of the Mersey. That she ws very young when she got me, and somehow couldn't take care of me. In one desperate moment, she simply picked up the little cradle and crossed the Mersey with it. I was left behind in a park, no-one could tell which one it was. The young woman found me and took care of me, before I was moved over to my new parents. Whatever the reason was that brought me to Strawberry Field, people simply refused to tell me.

"What yer doin' on your own?" someone suddenly asked, snapping me back from my daydreaming.

"Lost your eyes?" I answered. Aye, I was realy nasty sometimes to people I didn't know. And especially when they burst in at my thoughts.

"I see you," he said. He stepped a bit closer.

Suddenly I thought this might be the son of some of those men with grey hair, those people who'd send you away when you were playing around on their gardens.

"Oh, I'm in your garden?" I said, getting up. Accidentally I stood on a pile of flowers I had laid out in front of me.

"You broke them," the guy said right behind me.

"Who are you?" I said turning around.

"Just tell me if I have to leave and I'll go."

"Where then?" he said.

"Strawberry Fields," I said, pointing at the building in the distance.

"You live there?" he said, looking a bit shocked.

"It's not a prison!" I laughed out loud.

"No but....." he said hesitantly. I might have looked a bit more mature for my age. I could feel what he wanted to say now.

", er.."

"My mother gave me away," I said. My face didn't show anything like sadness. I always had this normal, neutral look when I said this. No dramatic look in my eyes, that was nothing for me.

"Really? Why?" he asked.

"I don't know, now what's yer name?" I said. I still felt uncomfortable to talk about this, especially to someone I'd never met.

"Er, John, he said turning around and looking a bit shy at me.

"No wait," he said stepping forward.
"I'm John Lennon." he said in a solemn tone at once. Meanwhile he picked up my hand and shook it. "And you?" he said.
I giggled.

"I'm not the queen," I said laughing.

"Right, who are you then?" John said.


"Alice in Wonderland," John muttered.

"Yer did you say?" I corrected myself fast. It made John laugh.

"Aw, don't mind about that-one," he said with an accent.

"Oh, you can speak that langage?" I said eagerly.

"Course, I know all de words in it," he said.

"Yer really funny," I laughed.

"Yeah, I am, sometimes." he said.

Suddenly he gave me an arm.

"No, don't bring me back," I said. I froze and sort of glued my feet to the ground. You can imagine I already liked him a lot, even if we were talking there for a minute, the voice fitted to all the dreams I had of having a brother.

"Back where?" he asked. "It's half past two, time enough to take a walk." It all sounded so familiar. I felt terribly happy at once and felt the need to cry for it. Tears and laughter mixed up while we danced around in the grass a bit.

"You know, I used to play around here, when I was smaller," John said. That surprised me.

"Where do you live?" I asked.

"Menlove Avenue..just near you." John said.

"Oh, I've been there," I said enthusiastically. I knew the street very well, I had to go though it every day when I went to school and back.

"How old are you?" I said.

"I'm fifteen." John said. He looked a lot older to me. I stared at him (again), I was glad that I met him.

Earlier I had been laying back in the grass dreaming away and now John was busy trying to get all these tufts of grass and leaves out of my long hair. The problem with my hair was, that it was quite long, thick and there was more than enough of it.

"I get lost," John said while he ran his fingers through it, acting like they couldn't find a way out.

"Please, help me," he added. Then he waved his other hand in front of me.

"Ay there, could I please 'ave me mates back," he said, waving around with his fingers. I reached out to get the fingers out of my hair and while downstairs my hand stayed where it was.

"Ah, that's nice, now there's more of us," he said.

"I've got more," I said putting out my other hand.

"And downstairs there's more," I went on.


I was bound to go into more memories but Paul's loud laughter got me back on earth again.

"Oh...did I wake you up?" he said.

" was just far away," I said.

"Aw...dreaming again," John teased, giving me a wink. The other three started their own conversation while I looked at John. He was still sitting next to me. "What are you thinking of?" he whispered softly.

"Nothing...some old memories," answered. John simply smiled, which made me wonder how I sould take all this. Did he understand what I was saying? Did he probably recognize me and, like me, simply didn't want to show it to the others? Another course of deep thoughts.

"How about going out for dinner," Paul suddenly said. "It's getting a bit late, and I'm hungry." We all agreed and got up. I tried to push my own little worries away while George walked downstairs beside me and started a talk. I was ready to join the conversation again.


Chapter Five

Written by Yvonne. May not be reproduced without the permission of the author. Permission may be obtained by e-mail.

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