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Free as a Bird: Prologue
Free as a Bird

Prologue

We sat right next to each other, holding hands while the tape started running.

"I just got it recently," Paul said. He pinched my hand. "I'm so curious what it sounds like...have you ever heard it? I know you were there sometimes..."

The sound of a piano interrupted him. I pinched back, felt my body get tense. "Did the others hear it already?" I whispered through the first three chords.

"Yes, this morning..." Again he was interrupted, this time by John's voice. "Free....as a bird..."

My mind floated off. I heard the echo in my head, nearly fifteen years ago, or was it longer? "You liked it?" I clearly recalled John saying that, staring at me. "I.....I'm speechless." It was all I could say back then.

I heard Paul softly humming along...getting the harmonies right. Suddenly tears welled in my yees. "Oh no don't..." I choked something back. Paul stopped while the tape still went on. I couldn't stand the thought popping up in my mind. George, Paul, Ringo and John-on-tape...this felt so incomplete! And on the other hand, it was probably the best thing they could do as a tribute to their friend....

"Whatever happened to the lives that we once knew." My attention was drawn to Paul again. From then on John left off as Paul tried to fill in. "Can we really live without each other where did we lose the touch that seemed to mean so much."

"It's really nice...it fits too, Paul...The Beatles...." A thing Yoko said back then. It echoed in my head. I tried to block away what it had caused me to think. A thing I'd said so often since.....Would John hear this? Wasn't there something universal soundwaves? He must know it in some way or another....

I heard Paul find the harmonies again. I cringed when I realized how easy it went. Even with John *not* there in real person, their voices would still melt together as usual. The music stopped.

"NO fun at all....singing along with just a tape," Paul muttered.

"Anything I can't bear....it's you two singing together while one of them's just not..."

Paul put a finger on my lips, then he suddenly hugged me. "You lost a good friend...I can tell how that feels."

"I lost my heart," I said softly. It simply fell from my lips.

"You know him longer than me," Paul said.

"Maybe..." I said. "But the time I met you...and the others...."

"I know, so many memories..." Paul sighed. "You could write books about them."

"I wonder what you guys will make of it," I said. "Just stay close to the original, don't change too much."

"Ah...family of George Martin," Paul said. I laughed.

"He was actually pissed," Paul said. I fell silent.

"That surprises you," I said in a more serious tone. "You must admit, this isn't too easy to just register on tape...it's you three singing along with someone....well you'll never know if John would like this."

"I assure you, we'll have him in mind," Paul said.

"Of course, silly," I said. "I only mean....maybe George just needs to get used to it....you're giving him a tough job."

"I don't have a clue where this is heading," Paul said. "We're getting back to it tomorrow....God, we haven't been in one studio together for ages.....Alice, I'm scared. I really want this....and it's actually awful that I arranged this...it's got these two sides and..."

"Just follow your heart," I said. "I know someone who always did that."

"No..." Paul said softly ."Nah I can't....I'm not doing this...it's not right when John's not there....you know it sometimes just comes back; this is one of these moments where I..." he paused and looked over his shoulder, watched the picture on the wall. "Yeah, it's a tough one indeed," he sighed.

"You learn from it," I said. "I sound like a mother. I'd better go home."

I met Linda in the hall with some plates, smelled something that immediately got my hungry feeling back. But I knew I wanted to leave, and it was getting dark. I felt the need to go home, take a shower, make bed-time early and dream. I managed to get away without feeling too embarrassed, I took two little stuffed pastry things along and ate them while I went home.

The old apartment, I knew it had taken me ages to decide wheather to buy this or stay in New York. It took me almost a year to finally make it out and leave the place. I'd felt sad every time I walked through the park, so the image of John and Sean sitting together, of Yoko standing there....the front steps. I finally decided this wasn't the right way for me. I had to leave, making it clear enough that I didn't mean to walk away from the problems. To me it seemed like a minefield. One line too much of a certain song and I'd burst out in tears.

Seeing old pictures of John and Paul, trying to push away the irony of it all, the way he looked during these last months in the studio, as if he was simply going back becoming his old self again like he was before the whole craze started. I left the stage for awhile, moving away to England.

In a sense it also meant going back. I knew how many other memories I'd find there. But I was at least trying a different air again, and it certainly made things lighter. This wasn't too bad to deal with. Watching their films again made me smile all over, and again I smiled while I recalled them. I thought things over while I finally tumbled into bed. I curled up, listened to the soft music coming from my nightstand. My little radio, I never got around to throw it away even though I had a decent sound system. This thing was enough to sooth me asleep at night. I closed my eyes, let my mind go back to the old days

"When I was younger...." 30 years ago this-one? I've certainly chosen the right tape for tonight. I felt happy this way, left alone with my own memories. They'd certainly keep me busy until I'd fall asleep...

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Chapter One

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

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