The Long and Winding Road- A Beatles Epic

~~This entire thing is fiction. All Characters are fake, except the Beatles of course. My character’s name is Ashley Townshend. However I try to be a bit historically accurate. It is set in 1962 and Pennsylvania. I also want to point out that Cynthia Powell (aka Cyn Lennon) will not be in this story. Sorry Cyn, I still love you! And so it begins…~~

Part 1- She’s Leaving Home…

That morning I woke to the sunshine in my eyes. I got out of bed and looked at my clock. 9 am.
I could smell the coffee from a down stairs room and hear the sounds of people talking. I dressed and grabbed my purse as I headed down the stairs. I glanced at the 2 bags waiting by the door as I went into the kitchen.
“Morning Mom,” I said as I got my orange juice from the refrigerator.
“Good morning dear. All ready for your trip?” she asked as I sat down to my breakfast.
“Yes Mom. I’m all packed. I never thought in a million years I’d be moving to Liverpool, England though. Are you sure you want me to go?” I said.
“Of course we do. You’ve wanted to go overseas your entire life and now since your Aunt and Uncle live there it’s perfect. Now remember you’re not just there to have fun, help out with the children too,” Dad told me.
“Of course I’ll help. Abby and Richie are my cousins,” I replied.
“I don’t know why she’s going to England and I’m not,” my sister, Elizabeth, said as she entered the room.
“Beth, you’re only 14 and Ashley is 20. She needs her space as this age,” Mom said. Beth just rolled her eyes.
After we all finished breakfast, I got up.
“Well, my plane is leaving in 30 minutes,” I said.
Mom approached me, “Take care say hello to Claire and Robert and the children, be careful, did you pack everything?”
“Yes Mom. I made sure of that yesterday,” I said as I walked to Beth, “Goodbye Beth.”
“Bye,” she said solemnly. I hugged her and grabbed my bags.
As I and Dad packed my bags in the car, Mom yelled, “Don’t forget to write!”
“I won’t!” I yelled hopping into the car. I waved as we drove away.
Before I knew it we were at the airport. Dad walked me to the terminal after I had dropped off my bags.
“Have your ticket?” he asked. I showed him the papers.
“I’ll be sure to call when I there,” I said.
He hugged me, “Ok, have a good time,”
I nodded and walked into the terminal and boarded my plane.

Part 2- Across the Universe

I looked at my ticket and found my seat in coach. I had gotten the window seat. I had never been on an airplane before and was quite nervous. I held my purse close on my lap as the other people boarded the plane. A young man with longer hair sat down next to me. He looked at me and smiled.
“Hello. Is this you’re first time to Liverpool?” he asked in a very British accent.
“Yes, I’m going to live with my relatives there,” I said.
He gave me his hand, “Name’s George Harrison. I just had my first visit to New York. I had met the President,” he explained.
I took his hand and shook it, “Ashley Townshend. Pleased to meet you George,” I said cheerfully. We suddenly began to take off and I saw the ground leave me.
“So how old are you?” George asked me.
“I’m 19,” he said.
“What do you do in England?” I asked out of curiosity.
“Me personally, I’m in and up and coming band called the Beatles. We play at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. You should come see us sometime. We have gigs on Wednesdays, and weekends. But otherwise there’s lots to do in Liverpool,” he replied.
“What time will it be when we get there? I heard they’re 5 hours ahead,” I asked.
“Well it’s a 5 hour flight and 5 hours ahead. And right now it’s 10 am. So then it’ll be?” he said waiting for my answer.
“It will be 8 pm when we get there!” I exclaimed.
“Right. So I’m going to catch some sleep myself,” George said as he eased his seat back and shut his eyes.
I turned back and looked out the window. The morning clouds rolled by with the sun.
I thought for a moment what I was going to do or all those hours. I wasn’t tired yet. I opened my purse to see if I packed myself a book.
I pulled out the stationary and mini photo album my best friend’s Danielle and Rachel had given me as a going away present the day before.
Rachel gave me the stationary and wrote me a not on it:
Don’t forget to write to your family and us every chance you get. Tell us about any cute British boys you meet. Oh yeah, and visit us!
I smiled. Rachel was always funny like that.
I looked at the photo album Danielle gave me. It was filled with pictures of my family and we girls at different places over the years. One I almost laughed at, from the Jerry Lee Lewis concert we had gone to when we were 17. we had all been crazy about him since we first heard ‘Great Balls of Fire.’ We actually got to meet him and we had a picture for each of us when he gave us a kiss. Mine was in there, with Danny and Rach next to me smiling. Danielle also wrote a letter similar to Rachel’s except she told me to pick up a few boys for them and send them through the mail.
I closed the photo album and got out my book I was reading, ‘1984’ by George Orwell. I finished 5 chapters before I heard the Captain announce that we were almost over the ocean. I looked at my watch and it said 2 pm but I wasn’t sure what time it really was. I eased my seat back and fell asleep instantly.

Part 3- Tomorrow Never Knows

“Wake up Sleeping Beauty,” a voice said in my ear. I sat up to see George smiling in my face.
“What time is it?” I said sleepily.
“Time to get off the plane. It’s 8 pm,” he replied. I looked around to see mostly everyone had already gotten off.
George eased his way into the aisle. The man that was on the other side of him was still sleeping. I looked at George helplessly.
“The stewardess will wake him up,” George said. I reached out for his hand as he helped me out of the seat.
We walked out of the plane and the terminal and got our bags.
“Do you know where you’re going?” he asked me.
“Yes well no not really, this address here,” I sad showing George the paper.
“Oh I know where that is,” he said, “What do you say we get some tea first?”
“Dinner. I’ll pay,” he said.
I shrugged and followed George out of the airport and to a diner across the street. We got a small table and sat down. After ordering, we finally got to talk.
“Where are we anyway?” I asked.
“London, Heathrow Airport,” he said, “Don’t worry. I know where that address is. We just grab a bus to Liverpool.”
I nodded. Just then our food came and we ate. Afterward, we found a bus and told the driver where we were going.
“It will take me 5 hours to get there, 4 if there’s no traffic,” the driver told us.
George nodded and showed me to my seat.
“5 hours! Aunt Claire is going to flip!” I told him.
“She should know it takes this long,” George said, “Just get some sleep.”
I suddenly remembered how tired I was. George offered me his shoulder and we both fell asleep.
The creaking of the brakes woke me up. I looked at my watch, it said 7 pm. I forgot to turn it ahead. I did and it ended up being midnight.
“Liverpool,” the driver yelled to us. I looked around and we were the only one’s getting off here. George and I got off the bus.
“It’s only a few blocks from where I live and that’s not too far a walk,” he said referring to my Aunt and Uncle’s house.
We walked 15 minutes before arriving at the right address. I rang the bell.
A light in the house came on and a figure opened the door.
“Ashley it’s you! Goodness it’s late!” Aunt Claire told me.
“Aunt Claire I just need a bed right now,” I sad tiredly.
I looked back at George, “Have a good trip home.”
“Sleep well. Maybe I’ll see you soon,” he replied hugging me. In an instant, he disappeared in the fog.
“Well come in the house dear, it’s cold!” Aunt Claire told me.
I was shown into the house. It had many rooms and a staircase to the upstairs. She brought me up to my room.
“This is all yours, I hope you like it,” she said, “I’ll let you go now to get ready for bed.”
“Oh Auntie is it ok if I call Mom? I promised,” I said. She nodded and closed the door after her. I found the phone and dialed out of the country. After 3 rings, someone picked up.
“Hi Mom, it’s me,” I said.
“Ashley are you ok? You sound tired,” she said.
“It’s midnight here.”
“Oh my goodness! Get some sleep! We’re just eating here,” she said.
“Enjoy! Goodnight Mom. Tell Dad and Beth I’m at Auntie’s and I’m fine,” I said.
“Will do. Bye Bye,” she said.
I hung up and went into the bathroom, which was also mine. I thought it was nice that Aunt Claire and Uncle Robert had given me all this privacy.
I showered and put on my nightgown. Brushed my teeth and my hair.
I turned on the lamp at the nightstand and crawled into bed. I would unpack tomorrow. I was asleep in seconds.

Part 4- Don’t Bother Me…

“Ashley wake up,” two voices called to me.
I sat up instantly and saw my 2 cousins in front of me, Abby and Richie. Abby was older, 8 years old. Richie was only 5.
“Hi kids. Is it breakfast time already?” I said as I made my bed.
“It’s 9 o’ clock Mommy said we should try to wake you,” Abby said.
I smiled at them, “Come here you two.” I gave them each a hug, “Alright now I’m going to dress ok. Tell Auntie I’ll be down in 5 minutes.” Abby and Richie ran out and down the stairs. I shut my door and locked it.
After dressing in a nice skirt and blouse and fixing my hair and applying little make-up, I hurried down before my breakfast got cold.
“Morning Uncle Robert,” I said, who was sitting at the table reading the weekly paper.
“Hello Ashley. It’s good to see you here,” he said. I sat down at the table just as Auntie was serving us all.
“How’d you sleep?” Auntie asked me.
“Like a baby,” I said, “What is today?”
“Wednesday dear, April 9th 1962,” Auntie told me.
“I’m sorry Auntie, ever since that flight I feel like I’ve missed so many hours,” I replied.
“Well you did,” she said with a smile. After we had eaten I told them all about my trip over.
“Oh I wanted to ask you Ashley, who was that boy you were with last night?” Auntie asked.
“I met him on the plane, Auntie, his name is George Harrison,” I explained.
“Well he seemed like a nice boy. Maybe you will find love here Ashley,” she said.
“Aunt Claire! You know my intention was to help you and Uncle Robert out and to live here, not find love!” I exclaimed.
“That reminds me, Claire and I decided to give you a day off today. Then tomorrow you can start whatever jobs we give you. Although we don’t want to make you into our slave. We could have a maid, we have the money, if you’d like to not clean,” Uncle Robert said.
“Well I’ve never been much for cleaning,” I said.
“Oh splendid! We’ve already hired one in case,” Auntie told me.
“Oh but Auntie you didn’t have to!” I said.
“No it’s fine. She said she needs the money. And we know you just want to be nanny to the kids when we’re working. You know we both work, but we are usually home at night. Sometimes though we go out. Is that ok?” Auntie asked.
“Of course. I sure don’t mind,” I said, “If I can be excused to unpack my things now though?” She nodded and I walked upstairs to my room.
I quickly unpacked, placing my clothes in the drawers, all my bathroom things there, and everything else in its place.
I looked around, satisfied. Grabbing my purse, I headed back downstairs to find Auntie cleaning up the dishes.
Uncle Robert had headed to work. “I have off today so there’s no need for you to be home. Do you have money?” she asked.
“Not English money,” I said.
“Well what do you have?”
I pulled my $150 out of my purse and handed it to her. She went into the other room and came back with 150 pounds.
“Oh thank you Auntie. I hope it’s not any trouble,” I sad hugging her and putting the money in my purse.
“Of course not! I gave you back what you had. If you need anymore just ask us. And have some fun sight-seeing!” she said.
I opened the door and headed out on my first day touring Liverpool.

Part 5- Act Naturally…

I decided to head down the street a bit and see where I would end up. I remembered I had brought a camera with me so I took it out of my purse and put it around my neck.
I found myself at a roundabout in the street. A few feet away was a policeman walking around.
“Excuse me sir. I’m sightseeing around and I was wondering where I could find some sort of shops or something,” I said as I approached him.
“Yes, there are some shops of sorts right down this street. You see those people? That’s where they are,” he explained.
I looked down to see people crowded around. “Thank you sir,” I said. He nodded.
I walked down the street till I was in that area I had seen. People were everywhere. I decided to check out each of them. The first was a mini resource store. I roamed around till I found a small map of this area of Liverpool. It mapped out each of the shops in the area.
“How much is this?” I asked the cashier.
“It’s free. Only postcards aren’t’,” she said.
“Thank you,” I said as I walked out and into the next one- A Record Store.
I loved music so I looked at just about everything in the shop. After much searching I decided on a Jerry Lee Lewis album and a few singles by various people. I paid 12 pounds and left for the next shop- a Book Store.
I was filled with glee, everything I liked. I picked up the other George Orwell book I knew of, ‘Animal Farm’, a book of various Shakespeare Plays, and ‘Little Women.’ These cost me another 12 pounds. I decided to pocket my money for a few shops. I headed to an Antique Shop next and just looked around. I found a crystal flower vase that reminded me of my mother.
There were many other shops I visited that contained so many things I can’t remember. I also went to a clothing store and bought some blouses and skirts. I bought a nice dress for when I went out to dinner with my Aunt and Uncle.
I glanced at my watch finally and it was 12:30 pm. I just remembered how hungry I was.
I looked at my map and found a pub a few shops down. I walked to it and grabbed a seat at the bar.
“What will it be?” the bartender asked me.
“Um… do you have food?” I asked.
“Burgers and chips,” he replied.
“Ok I’ll have that,” I said, “And a coke.” He left me and got the food.
While I waited, I looked at the map and decided where I would go next.
Someone tapped me on the shoulder and I looked at the person next to me. It was George.
“Hi!” I said giving him a hug.
“Hello. How’s your first day in Liverpool?” he asked.
“Oh good. I’ve bought a lot of stuff,” I said.
“I’m glad. Say, why don’t you come by the Cavern Club tonight and see the band? Of course only if your Aunt let’s you,” he said.
“Sure. She said I can be out as long as I want to,” I said.
“Alright, I’ll see you then. I have to go now though,” he said. George got up and left the pub.
“Here’s your food,” the bartender said.
“Thank you!” I said.
I ate my burger and chips. I drank my coke too. After that I decided to shop a bit more. I went back to the resource store and bought some postcards to send, in case I wanted to.
Before I knew it the time was 5 pm. I headed over to the Cavern Club because I thought the Beatles would be soon and that way I could hand with them a little. As I walked, I wondered how this club would be and how the band would be towards me.
I would soon find out.

Part 6- I Saw Her Standing There

I finally found this place called the Cavern Club. I walked in and down steps. The building was brick, small and dark. Only lite by small lights from the ceiling. It smelled of beer and cigarettes. I looked around at each table till I found the one George was at.
“Hi George,” I sad as I came up to it.
“Hey Ashley. I see you made it. Go ahead and sit down here,” he said motioning to the seat next to him. I sat down and was between 2 boys.
“Why don’t you introduce us George?” the one asked.
“Oh, guys this is Ashley, Ash this is the rest of the Beatles; John, Paul, and Ringo,” he said.
I shook each of their hands, “Hi.”
“Where you from Ashley?” Paul asked me. He was the one next to me.
“Pennsylvania. I’m living with my Aunt and Uncle,” I explained.
“Where did you meet George?” Ringo asked.
“The airplane. We had seats next to each other. George helped me get to my Auntie’s house,” I said.
John nodded to George, “What John?”
“Come here, I want to ask you something,” John replied. George came to him and John whispered something to him. George shook his head no and John got a huge grin on his face.
“What did he ask you?” I asked as George sat back down.
“He asked me if we were dating,” George said.
I blushed and looked at John, who winked at me.
“Oh Johnny fancies you! Watch out!” Paul exclaimed.
John turned bright red and gave Paul a kick. “Ow!” Paul yelled.
“Knock it off you two. It’s time for our gig anyway, let’s go,” Ringo said.
George told the others he’d be there in a second as they went backstage. “Are you ok?” he asked.
“Just a little flustered,” I said.
“Don’t worry. John’s cool. If he likes you, you know it. He’ll treat you right. And if he doesn’t I’ll pound him!” George told me.
I smiled at him and kissed his cheek, “Well I did tell me friend’s I might fall in love here!”
He just headed backstage with the others.
I figured they needed some practice time so I picked up the stationary out of my purse and began writing Danielle and Rachel a letter. I would send it to Danielle.
Dear Danny and Rach,
How are you guys? I’m good! I just got here last night at midnight; I’m still recovering from the loss of hours!
I’ve spent my day buying books and records. I have to be nanny for Abby and Richie tomorrow though.
You guys are going to get a kick out of this one, I met a cute British boy on the plane! His name is George Harrison. I think you’d like him best though Rach!
I’m at this club called the Cavern Club where he and this band he plays in called the Beatles are having a gig any minute. The one guy named John likes me already! I’ll keep you posted on that one and as soon as I get pictures of them, I’ll send doubles to you guys. Looks like that photo album might come in more handy, thanks Danny!
Well better write my mom a letter so she doesn’t feel left out.
All my love,

Ashley PS- I have my address here attached so you can write me too!

After I finished that one I folded it up and placed it in one of the envelopes Rachel had given me. I wrote the address on it and set it in my purse.
I began my letter to Mom, but just as I did, the band came on.

Part 7- Twist and Shout…

What a sight this band really was! I hadn’t noticed it before but they all had similar long sideburns/mop top haircuts. And their suits were the same too. I didn’t know what kind they were but they sure were sharp looking.
I could barely see them with the dim light in the club. But I did figure out who played what; George was an electric guitar, John was another, Paul was a left-handed bass, and Ringo played drums.
I thought for a moment if Ringo was even a real name, I decided to ask him later.
The first song they did I knew, it was ‘Long Tall Sally’ by Little Richard. Paul sang it with so much enthusiasm I almost laughed. He was a great showman. I also noticed that they each had there own little thing while on stage; Paul moved his head back and forth, John bent his knees every 2 seconds, George was quiet and just stood there, and Ringo was just caray on those drums.
I noticed what the mop tops were really for, they drove a girl crazy. Even me!
After that one, they went into the Isley Brothers ‘Twist and Shout’ which John sang. I loved the way he sang it, like no one else did. I thought about that remark a minute. I ~loved~ the way he sang it. Goodness was I falling for a British boy on my first full day? This couldn’t be!
After much debating I finally gave up and decided I did like him.
They kept doing cover songs of Buddy Holly and things and I began to wonder if they had any of their own songs. Substance is required to impress me!
To answer my question, they began a sing, which I thought was called ‘Love Me Do’ which I knew was not anyone else’s song. These guys had talent!
Before long the gig was over, it was only a half hour set after all.
They all came back down to the table and ordered a round of scotch and cokes.
“You want one Ashley?” John asked me as they all picked up a glass.
“I’m not much of a drinker,” I replied holding my coke.
“Aww, just one won’t hurt you,” Paul said giving me puppy eyes. John looked at me with a sad face. Oh these guys were going to be the death of me yet! I grabbed one glass and set it on the table in front of me.
“So how did you like us?” George asked.
“Oh you were great. Do you always do cover tunes?” I asked.
“We’ve been trying to work our songs into the set slowly. Would you like to see some of them?” Paul asked. I nodded eagerly. He got up and went into his guitar case. Out came bunches of paper.
“Wow! There’s so many!” I said as I looked through them. As I looked John put his arm around me. ‘Well he’s a fast one,’ I thought to myself, ‘Better keep an eye on it.’
I handed the papers back to Paul, “Well I tell you, I could never write anything like that.”
“Do you write?” Ringo asked.
“Yes. Poetry, short stories. Used to write for the school newspaper back home,” I said.
“Well now I know you and Johnny are perfect! You’re both writers!” Paul exclaimed.
I blushed, “If you say so.” “Oh Ringo I wanted to ask you, is that your real name?”
“Nope, my parents would have been doffed to name me that! Richard Starkey’s my name. Ringo Starr is my stage name. Call me whatever,” Ringo explained. I nodded.
Suddenly, Jerry Lee Lewis ‘Great Ball of Fire’ came on the jukebox. “Oh I love this song!” I exclaimed.
“Well dance with me Miss Townshend. This is you’re last chance, then I’m moving on,” John joked.
“And you know him, he finds another bird quick,” Paul said. George nodded in agreement.
“Well I won’t stand for that!” I said. I grabbed the scotch and coke and completely downed the glass.
Everyone stared in amazement.
“I’ve had alcohol before!” I said.
They all shrugged and I got up to dance with John. Well we must have danced and danced for hours cause the next thing I know, the bartender said he’s closing up cause it’s 11 pm.
I went back to the table with John and grabbed my purse and bags.
“Well I’ll see you guys another day. I have to be nanny to my cousins tomorrow,” I said waving to them all.
“Wait! We can give you a ride home!” John said.
“Ok that’d be great. If you’re not all too drunk to drive!” I said.
“No I’m ok right now,” George said. So I followed them out to the car and waited as they packed the instruments in it. Then we drove off.
“Here it is!” I said when I saw the familiar house. George braked and I got out of the door.
“Wait Ash!” John said, following me up the steps. “What?” I said. But before he answered he kissed me. It wasn’t very long but it was enough for me.
“Goodnight Ashley,” he said.
He walked back to the car and the others waved as they drove off, leaving me in a daze.
I walked in the house to find Aunt Claire and Uncle Robert by the TV.
“Have a good time Ashley?” Auntie asked.
“Yeah I um…yes! I’m just fine,” I said.
“I saw you with that boy Miss Townshend,” she said.
“Oh Auntie don’t be mad!” I said.
“I’m not! I’m glad for you. Now get some sleep. Full day tomorrow. I leave after Uncle around 9 am so be up before then. Say 8,” she explained.
I nodded, “Goodnight Auntie and Uncle Robert,” I said. I walked upstairs. I did my usual routine and when my head hit the pillow, I was out. I think the rum and coke finally got to me.

Part 8- I Me Mine…

My alarm clock went off at 8 am. I didn’t remember setting it but thought that scotch and coke had messed me up. I got out if bed. My head was pounding.
“Well I guess alcohol’s not my thing!” I said.
Since I had more time this morning, I slowly dressed and carefully applied my makeup, just in case a certain band decided to visit me. I thought probably not, but it was always possible. I wore a red sweater and jeans.
I headed downstairs trying not to act like a former drunk with a hangover.
“Good morning Ashley,” Auntie said cheerfully, “Breakfast is ready!”
“Where are the kids?” I said as I sat down at the table. I suddenly heard a thump upstairs. She smiled as the two of them stumbled into the kitchen.
“Me first! No me! That’s my seat Richie!” were the words coming out of the siblings mouths. I rolled my eyes; this was going to be a long day.
Uncle Robert came in the kitchen, “Goodbye Claire, have a good day,” he said kissing her, “You kids be good for Ashley.” They both smiled innocently.
We then sat down to breakfast. “What are your plans today Ashley?” Auntie asked.
“Well I have to be nanny. What are you getting at Auntie?” I asked.
“You may go out again tonight. We will be home. What I really want to ask you is, would you like to have those boys over for company while being nanny?” she asked.
That was enough for me, “Oh yes Auntie! That would be great! They could help me with the kids! If only I could get hold of them,” I said.
She handed me the phonebook, “Look in there, sure one of them is in it.”
I looked through and sure enough, George’s parents house was in there. I went in the other room to call George. I dialed and the phone rang 2 times before an answer.
“Hello, Harrison residents, John Lennon speaking,” John said.
“John! Hi, it’s Ash! What are you doing over at Georges’?” I asked.
“Ash babe, if I knew it was you I would have made some jokes. Then band is here, we’re jamming,” he explained, “So what’s up? You didn’t just call to talk to little old me did you?”
“No actually, I’m being nanny for my cousins today. Well Auntie said I could have you guys for company if I wanted,” I said.
“Unless you just want me there,” he said. I could see the broad smile on his face now.
“Well I like you all…”
I could hear talking in the background and some laughter. “Alright, we’ll be over at 10 luv,” John said finally.
“Ok bye!” I hung up and went back to Auntie. I explained what was going on.
“Ok see you later. Bye children!” she said as she exited, “I left a not for you on the table!” I went over and saw the note:

Number’s are on the fridge. Make sure the kids behave! Have fun with your friends!

I smiled and ran up to my room to get my purse, just in case. “Alright kids, what do you want to do?” I said.
“TV!!” they both screamed.
“Go ahead!” I said. They ran into the living room and sat in front of it, mesmerized for hours.
I sat down on the couch and began digging in my purse. I found the letter I tired to begin to my Mom and the one to my friends. I decided to begin the other again. Dear Mom,
Hi! Everything here is going really well. I’m helping Auntie out with Abby and Richie. I feel right at home here. Thank you so much for letting me go.
I went sightseeing yesterday. That was fun! Well I’ll let you go, sure you’re busy! Give my love to all!

I placed this one in an envelope and addressed it.
Abby and Richie were watching a children’s show. I felt like I was not watching them so I sat down there and watched too.
Before long the doorbell rang. I looked at my watch. 10 am on the dot. I went to answer it. In walked the 4 young men I knew from last night. This is when the fun begins.

Part 9- Boys…

“Hi guys!” I said as they walked in the room.
“Nice flat your Aunt and Uncle have here,” Ringo commented. It surprised me how casual they really were, all in jeans and nice shirts. George was even carrying a guitar case.
I began to show my guests around the house. As I showed them into the bedrooms, upstairs, John grabbed my hand and kept me in the hallway. He began to kiss me, placing his hands on my hips. I gave in and we stood there for minutes.
“Excuse me?” Paul said. We looked over and saw them all standing there waiting.
“What McCartney? I’m busy!” John said, irritated.
“There’s unsupervised children downstairs,” he replied.
My eyes went wide, “Oh my god, I forgot all about them!” I quickly ran downstairs, the Beatles following.
Luckily, the kids were too caught up in the TV, they hadn’t even noticed. I went and tapped Abby on the shoulder.
“What?” she said.
“Would you like to meet my friends?” I asked. She turned around, along with Richie, to see the Beatles.
“Hello Abby, Ashley’s told me so much about you,” Paul said nicely.
She smiled at him, “What’s your name?”
“Paul. This is John, George and Ringo,” he replied. They all smiled at her.
“What do you kids like to do?” John asked.
“TV!!” Richie screamed.
“What else do you like to do?” John asked again.
Richie thought for a moment and just shrugged, “I don’t know.”
“Well would you like to hear a song or two?” John asked.
John went and grabbed George’s guitar and sat down the couch. He thought for a minute then began to sing a familiar song, ‘My Girl.’ I smiled as he turned to me and sang. I pointed to Abby who was completely awestricken by these new guys. He turned back to her and played. He winked and I think she nearly fainted.
I looked over at Paul. “John’s got it bad for you Ash. You know I was just trying to protect you upstairs,” he explained.
“I know, thanks. I think he would have had me in the bedroom next,” I whispered.
“Yeah and John’s not shy,” he replied. I smiled. John finished and we all applauded. I noticed my camera in my purse.
“Hey guys can I snap some pictures while you’re here?” I asked.
“Sure!” John said and posed for the first picture. We spent the next 2 hours taking pictures and listening to music.
“I’m hungry Ashley,” Richie told me.
“Me too,” Abby said.
“Me too!” Paul exclaimed.
“Alright I’ll make us something,” I said going into the kitchen.
“I’ll help!” John said following me.
“You had better help me and not anything else,” I said looking in the fridge.
“Oh you know I will,” he said. After a long time of looking for food we decided on tuna fish sandwiches.
“These are very good Ash and John. Thank you,” George commented.
“Your welcome Georgie!” I said. After that, we let the kids watch TV while we sat and chatted.
“Oh I just remembered! I need to mail 2 letters,” I said.
“You want someone to go with you?” George asked, “Cos I’ll go.”
“Sure George,” I said, heading for the door with my purse and George following. John was too busy entertaining Abby to care anyway.

Part 10- Please Mister Postman…

“You know where a mailbox is?” I asked George as we walked down the street.
“Yeah right, down by the shops,” he replied. We finally got to the box. I took one last look at my letters and stuck them into it.
“Well that was easy!” I said.
“You want to go back now or hang out a bit more?” he asked.
“Could I just snap some pictures around here?” I said.
“Sure I’ll just follow,” he said.
So we went to all the different parts of Liverpool. I snapped a few of George, just to send home to Rachel. After about a half hour we decided to head back, lest John would kill me.
“And where were you my sweet?” John asked as we entered the house again.
“I went to mail my letters and then we took some pictures,” I explained.
“Alright I believe you. Now come sit with me,” he said. I sat down and leaned on John. I mist have still been pretty tired because I fell asleep for nearly 2 hour and next thing Auntie is home.
“Hello children! Ashley, are these your friends?” she asked.
“Yes Auntie this is John, Paul, George and Ringo,” I said as she shook their hands.
“Oh so this is the boy who brought you here and this is the boy who kissed you yesterday,” she said quite loudly. “Aunt Claire!” I yelled. They all burst out laughing.
“Ash, we have to go. Practice time everyday. But would you like to come go around Liverpool with us tonight?” Paul asked.
“Of course! I have nothing else to do. Hey, can one of you develop this film for me. Then give it to me tonight,” I said.
“Sure I got it. I’m always getting pictures,” Ringo said. I gave him the reasonable money. John came up to me.
“Later luv,” he said giving me a quick kiss.
“Behave Johnnny Winston!” I said. He just smirked at me. They all hugged me and headed out the door.
Now all I had to do was be ready for tonight.

Part 11- Honey Pie…

I spent an hour, after Auntie was able to watch her kids, getting ready for this invitation with the Beatles. I was so nervous, going out with 4 different guys. 2 of them I wasn’t afraid of, George was my best friend, but John was going to deserve a smack if he moved too fast.
After much searching and searching for the right apparel, I decided on a red dress, sleeveless, with a little red jacket. It was just above my knee. My jewelry consisted of my class ring, and a silver necklace with a charm. I remembered that charm so well. My first boyfriend, Keith, in sophomore year gave that to me. We broke up after graduation and I never had the courage to give it back. But I don’t think he wanted it back either. I applied little makeup, a bit more then usual, and fixed my long brown hair in a bun.
I looked myself up and down, and then walked into my bedroom. I grabbed my purse and checked the clock. 5 pm, the guys would be here soon.
I walked down the stairs and found my Auntie in the den.
“Oh you look lovely Ashley, just be careful,” she said.
“I will Auntie, tell Uncle Robert I said hi,” I said and sat in the living room to wait. 10 minutes later the doorbell rang. I answered and in came the same 4 guys dressed in black suits.
“We’re going to paint the town as red as that ravishing dress you have on my dear,” John said in a very posh London accent.
I giggled, “Well I sure hope so!” I took his arm and was escorted out to the car along with the other 3 Beatles.

Part 12- Drive my Car (Beep Beep Yeah)

“So where are we going anyway?” I asked the boys as we drove into Liverpool.
“We’re going to show you the posh parts of Liverpool dearest,” John said.
“Will you cut the accent? It sounds so funny!” I said.
“Very good,” he said and shut his mouth.
“Are there any posh parts of Liverpool?” Paul asked.
“No! We could drive all the way to London though,” George suggested.
“No way! 5 hours!” I said.
“So I guess we’re going to the Cavern then,” Ringo said.
“Yup! Maybe we can get Ashley drunk enough to go up and sing ‘Great Balls of Fire’ with us!” John said with a devious smile.
“Maybe you will,” I said smiling. We pulled into the Cavern lot and walked in. the club was fairly empty, probably because the Beatles weren’t doing a gig till the weekend.
We got a table and sat down. John sat next to me, closer then usual, and Paul on the other side.
“Can I order for you?” John asked me.
“Of course! That’d be sweet,” I said.
“Well I’m just Mr. Sweet tonight,” he said, kissing me.
“That was sweet,” I sad smiling.
Then the waitress came, “Hello what will it be?”
They each ordered and then they got to me. “My girl here would like an order of fish and chips. A scotch and coke to drink,” John said. She nodded, wrote it down, and left.
“My girl?” I asked.
“Well you don’t think I popped a mint for nothing do you?” John said.
“I guess not!” I said.
“Hey, you want to go up and sing with me Ash?” Paul asked.
“I can’t Paul, I don’t sing,” I said.
“Come on, I’ll be back up for you,” he said.
“Well what do I sing?” I asked.
“How about you sing ‘Till there was you,’ you know that one?” he said.
“Yes I guess I can!” I said getting up. Paul went to tell the bartender and then headed to the piano. I followed him up on stage and sat on a stool. I picked up a microphone. When the music began, my stomach flopped.

Part 13- Till There Was You (sung by Ash)

Well good to say, I made it through the entire song. My voice cracked at least once and almost laughed when John winked at me. By the time it was over, I walked off stage with jelly legs.
“Wow Ash, you have a great voice,” George told me.
“Really? I couldn’t hear myself,” I said as I sat back down.
“Your cheeks are beet red luv,” John told me.
“Oh my gosh! You’re kidding,” I said and felt my cheeks. Sure enough, they felt warm.
“Don’t worry about it Ash. It doesn’t look bad,” Ringo said.
While I was up on stage, our food came. I picked at my plate and stirred my scotch and coke calmly. That performance had totally drained me of energy and I needed some get up. I downed my glass and asked John if he could get me another glass.
I suddenly had serge of energy and ate all my fish and chips in about 5 minutes.
Well I must have downed 3 glasses of scotch and coke. I was feeling out of my head but then again very much full of energy. I began to bounce in my chair.
“What’s your problem?” George asked.
“I don’t have a problem silly,” I said drunkenly.
“Oh no! She’s drunk,” Paul said placing his head on the table, “It’s bad to ge the quiet ones drunk.”
“Yes! What I’ve been waiting for all night!” John said. “He grabbed my by the hand and drug me on stage. He sat at the piano and began to play ‘Great Balls of Fire.’ I suddenly got into character and danced around the stage singing the song with John.
Once it was done I practically fell off the stage. John had to grab me by the waist so I wouldn’t fall.
He turned me to face him, “You were great babe!” He kissed me and held me for a while. I finally passed out.
“Whoa, guys a little help here!” John said struggling with my limp body.
They left, moving me out to the car. The Beatles laid me on the seat with them.
“What’s happened?” I asked groggily.
“We’ve brought you home. We’re in your room and you’re in your bed,” George told me. I opened my eyes a little more and saw them all in front of me.
The light was bright and I closed them again.
“Bye baby. See you later,” John whispered and kissed me. As they walked out the door I vaguely heard John say, ‘Can’t I stay with her?’
George replying ‘You’ll probably do something to her.’ I didn’t hear John’s next remark, I fell asleep.

Part 14- I’m Only Sleeping…

“Good Morning Sunshine,” someone whispered in my ear. I sat up and felt a huge pounding in my head.
“Oh my head!” I said. I looked over to see who it was. John sat there on the edge of my bed.
“Hiya luv,” he said softly.
“Oh no! How long have you been here! We didn’t do anything did we?” I screamed.
He shook his head, “No, now look at you. You have all your clothes on.” I looked down and sure enough I was still wearing the night before.
I felt my hair, “Oh my goodness, I desperately need to wash my mop!" I went into my drawers and got out some jeans and a red blouse. “I’m going to get a shower John,” I said.
He nodded and crawled into my bed.
I took care of my business. My hair was almost matted down. “Ick!” I said. I finally got out after much of fixing myself up and taking 2 aspirin.
“Well you look nice,” John said once I’d come out. He had dressed and my room smelled of nice male cologne.
“Thanks, were you reading my book?” I asked him.
“Yeah, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is messed up!” he replied. I smiled and sat down next to him. He held me a bit. “Oh I almost forgot Ash. Here’s the pictures Ringo got for you,” he said handing me a mound of photos.
“Oh he got me doubles, that was nice,” I said. I began to look through. First were my many pictures of Liverpool. I decided those doubles would go to my parents.
Next were the pictures from yesterdays babysitting. Some were of the Beatles and Abby and Richie. It looked so cute seeing John holding Abby. In one he even kissed her cheek. Others were of the guys singing, John playing his guitar. Some Paul took just of John and me. He made us kiss on one, stupid Paul! I had to send that one to Danielle and Rachel. There were also some of me and each of the other Beatles. Paul looked so funny with me, winking and pointing to me. On of George and me was nice, I’d send that as well.
Then came the pictures of just George. Half were going to my friends and the others to George. The rest were mine. I began to fill my album with the pictures.
“Oh that comes in handy!” John said.
“Hey why are you here anyway? Thought George wouldn’t let you,” I asked.
“He gave in. I talked to your Auntie and she let me have a guest room,” he explained.
“Well that was nice,” I said.
“Yeah comfy!” he said cheerfully. I rolled my eyes. The photo album was finally done filling.
I put the ones for the guys in an envelope, “Here pass these out to the guys later.” He nodded.
I placed the others in envelopes, ones for my mom and ones for Danny and Rach. I addressed them and out little notes in for each.
“Breakfast!” Auntie yelled up the stairs. I looked at my clock. 10 am. We headed down to breakie.

Part 15- I Need You…

Auntie had a place all set for John right next to me. We sat down to a bigger then the usual breakfast of eggs and the like.
“Wow Auntie! You’ve really out done yourself,” I commented.
“I wouldn’t have little food if we were having a guest, especially your boyfriend John,” she explained. I rolled my eyes. John laughed and I kicked his leg.
“Boyfriend eh?” Uncle Robert said.
“Yes we’ve just started going out Mr. Townshend,” John said.
“Well I think it’s nice Robert, I mean she’s always told me stories about the British boy she was to marry and here he is!” Auntie said.
“I suppose,” Uncle said and began eating again.
“I wouldn’t say marriage yet Auntie, only been 2 days you know,” I said.
“Well ok but your Uncle and I married shortly after dating,” she said.
I dwelled on this comment for a few minutes. Was I really ready for marriage that soon in my life? I was 20 but… I thought maybe so, but was John? He might push the issue just so we can get a bit farther then kissing.
I shook my head and began eating. I looked at John and he smiled at me. Maybe he wouldn’t be like that.
“That was a very nice breakfast Mrs. Townshend, can Ashley and I be excused?” John asked. She nodded and he drug me off into the den.
“Would you like to spend the day with me?” he asked.
“Of course! You don’t have anything to do?”
“No not at all. You can sit in on our practice tonight,” he said, “We have it at my Auntie’s house so you can meet her.”
I went up stairs and got my purse. John put his hand in mine. “We’ll see you later Auntie,” I said, “Where’s Uncle?”
“He’s late, he had to leave. Do you need more money?” she asked.
“I think I can cover it Mrs. Townshend,” John replied. She nodded, “See you later dearies. You can eat here tonight if you’d like John. Ashley will have to sit tonight, Robert and I are going out.”
“Ok Auntie. Bye bye!” I said.
John and I headed out the door on our first quality day together.

Part 16- Two of Us…

Would you believe John and I spent most of that day in one place? We stayed at the Cavern the entire time, talking and singing songs.
“So do you miss your family yet?” he asked me.
“Yes I do. But I also really love it here,” I replied.
He smiled, “I’m glad.”
After much more chatting, we headed out because it was almost time to go to his Auntie’s for practice. In the process, I mailed my pictures to my family and friends.
We then went to his Auntie’s house, where John still lives. He had told me about his childhood earlier at the Cavern. It made me so very sad to know he didn’t have parents like I did, but he said I shouldn’t worry, he’s been better off with his Auntie.
“Hi Auntie Mimi,” John said as he entered and saw her in the kitchen.
“Oh hello John, who’s this?” she asked pointing to me.
“This is my girlfriend Ashley Townshend,” John said.
“Oh lovely, is she sitting in?” she asked.
“Yes Auntie,” he said. We sat down in the den. The rest of the Beatles came and had a great rehearsal of about 2 hours.
“Should we tell her?” Paul asked.
“Yeah sure,” George said.
“Ok well Ash, we got a record contract today,” Paul said happily.
“Oh that’s fantastic Paul!” I said.
“Yeah then everyone can hear us, all around the world. Even those friends of yours!” John said.
After the rehearsal we dismissed and John and I headed to my Auntie’s for dinner. We had a good one. We chatted too long. Auntie and Uncle Robert went out and John helped me with my cousins. At 9 pm we put the kids to bed.
“I have to leave now baby,” John said.
“It’s late. I um…” he said.
“Oh John, stay with me. I trust you,” I said. We walked into my room. I went into the bathroom and changed while John did so in the room.
There I was, an east target for him in my nightgown. There he was, in his boxers, free for me. We just smiled and fell asleep on the covers in each other’s arms.
Before I slept, I thought about my family. I really did miss them, and my friends. I thought about the Beatles really getting popular. Would I see my family and friends again if they do? In less then 2 years, I would find out.

Part 17- Good Day Sunshine…

I walked through the terminal, hand in hand with John.
“Two years ago I was just leaving for Liverpool and I landed here. Now I’m heading back home,” I said.
“Yeah, I get to meet these parents of yours, our first gigs are in New York then we’re off to Pennsylvania,” John replied.
I had spent hours packing certain things the night before. Most of my belongings, I left back with Auntie. She told me she would guard them with her life. I ended up with 2 suitcases. They guys each had at least 2 cases, along with their instruments. John had hesitated to ask me to come on the tour. I told him of course I would come, I wanted to see my people again! He just thought the American fans, or any for that matter, would be mad and it would ruin the Beatles. I objected, they wouldn’t be at all I thought.
We boarded the plane. I ended up with a middle seat, between John and the manager, Brian Epstein.
“What time is it?” I asked Brian.
“9 am. We’ll be there by roughly 10 am in New York,” he said. I nodded. Looking over at John, he was reading one of his poetry books.
“Can I rest?” I asked.
“Of course luv, use me shoulder,” he said. I leaned on John and fell asleep in minutes, the morning sun bathing my eyes.

Part 18- Back in the USSR (US of A)…

The plane brakes squeaked to a halt. I woke up and saw John leaning against the window, fast asleep and snoring.
“Up, Johnny,” I said softly.
“What? Are we there already?” he asked. I nodded. Mostly everyone else had already gotten up.
“Welcome to New York!” Brain said. I smiled. I was finally home.
We all began walking through the plane. “Oh by the way, no terminal here at J.F.K. Airport. We’ll be right out on the ground,” Brian explained.
We turned the corner and a man opened the door. George got out first, “Oh my god!”
I looked out to see crowd and crowds of teenage girls. They were screaming so loudly and holding signs saying ‘I Love the Beatles!’
I quickly followed George, trying not to be seen, and the rest of the band departed too. We piled into the limo before the girls attacked. I was crammed between John and Paul.
“What a welcome home eh Ash?” Paul said.
“Yeah right! How did these girls know about you?”
“Singles have been fluttering around America for a few months,” Brian replied, “We’re headed to the Plaza. Our first gig is the Ed Sullivan Show in 5 days.”
“Where is Ash staying?” John asked.
“I booked her a room by herself. It’s adjoined to the one you guys are in,” Brian replied.
“That’s so Johnny can go in at night eh Ash?” Paul joked. I whacked his arm.
We pulled into the Plaza and were let off at the entrance. We waited while Brian got the reservations. “Here’s your key Ash,” he said and handing me a small key. He gave each of the guys one too.
We headed to the elevator and went up to the 53rd floor. Brian found our suite, 120, and opened the door. “There you are boys. This is your room. Now let me show you yours Ash,” Brian said.
I followed him to the doors. He opened them and there was a nice little room and bathroom just for me.
“Thank you Brian this is perfect,” I said setting my purse down.
“I’ll leave you go. I have some business to do for the next few days,” he said and left.
My cases were delivered, along with the guys, in a few minutes. I flopped down on my bed, “I’m in heaven!”

Part 19- Dear Prudence…

After taking in as much of the soft queen size bed I could, I decided to unpack my cases a bit. Only what I thought I would need for the next 5 days. I put them in drawers and in the bathroom.
After this, I decided to write more letters to my mother and to Danielle and Rachel. I had only ever written them 3 letters each in the past 2 years (minus phone calls) and felt very guilty.

Dear Mom,
Hello. How have things been at home? I’m sorry for sounding a bit out of my head, but the Beatles and I have just come to the Plaza in New York. The boys are playing gigs in the US and soon enough I’ll be in Pennsylvania once again to see you all. I look forward to it.
When we got here the fans were everywhere. I was so surprised at the reaction. It’s a very good sign. I hope to see you all in a few weeks. I will call if I get the chance.
By the way, the band is very well. John and my relationship is growing stronger everyday, although we are not engaged yet. (You’d know if we were!!) I hope he will ask me soon. You’ll get to meet him and the boys then.
I shall leave you now. Give my love to all!


I folded this and placed it in an addressed envelope. Then I continued with a letter to my friends.

Dear Danny and Rach,
Hello! I’m so happy right now. The boys are touring the US. We are in New York a few days, later we will be in Pennsylvania and you will finally be able to meet them.
I’m glad to hear from you girls and how much Rachel likes George and you like Paul, Danny. Don’t worry they’re cuter in person! And you can meet my John as well. You’ll think he’s a doll. Funny, we’ve been together 2 years and yet he hasn’t popped the question. I guess I’m too anxious. We’ll tell you more in a few weeks.
Give my love to all and see if you can’t catch the Beatles on Ed Sullivan on Friday!

I smiled at my achievements; I had finally fulfilled the duty I thought I had to my friends and family. I did the same to this letter and set them with my purse.
I then headed in the next room to see what my boys were up to.

Part 20- Girl…

There they were, all sitting, smoking and watching the TV. I sighed in amazement and grabbed a seat next to John.
“You guys amaze me. Only one of you has ever been here. We have an entire day before the press conferences tonight to tour the city. And there you are,” I said.
John took off his glasses and looked at me, “You have a problem with that?”
I shook my head, “Not at all!”
I got up and took my own personal tour of the suite. A cart of drinks and small sandwiches had been delivered to the room.
“Why didn’t you guys tell me we had food?” I said grabbing a plate and putting 2 sandwiches on it. I sat down again.
“Hey give me some of that!” John said stealing a bit of my sandwiches.
“Why don’t you get your own?”
“I like yours better!” he said with a smile. So John ended up eating one of my sandwiches and I had the other.
After this, I went back in my room and grabbed my newest book, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte. I wasn’t about to continue watching this TV. I placed the book up to my face and began Chapter 5.
“Oh no, none of that Miss Townshend!” John said pulling the book down, forcing me to lose my place.
“Hey! You mean man! I was into that book!” I yelled and attacked him. Unfortunately, he pinned me to the couch. I finally got a free arm and smacked him straight across the face.
The silence in the room was deafening.
“Thanks luv, I needed that,” John muttered holding his cheek.
“I’m so sorry my Johnny, let me get some ice,” I said getting some of the ice for the drinks and placing it in a washcloth from my room.
“Thanks babe, it helps,” he said after applying. The room burst in laughter.
“Do you really think he needs ice? It was just a smack,” Paul said between giggles.
“Do you want one McCartney!?” John replied. We all laughed.
“Ok now I think we should go out,” George said, “We’ve been here too long!” We all agreed, grabbed our coats and headed out the door. After John’s mouth was ok though!

Part 21- Help!

Of course the first thing we did was find Brian and let him know what we wanted to do. He approved but said we should be careful. One-fan sees the boys and hundreds attack. And we surely don’t want anyone thinking one of the Beatles isn’t free, a la John, so if anyone happened to ask who I was, I was George’s sister. No one would care that his real sister was years older then he, as long as they didn’t find out. John and I couldn’t make any public shows of our love either, or we had to be careful.
We agreed to it all and were headed off, where we had no idea. There are so many shops in New York City I couldn’t even begin to name all of the one’s we entered.
“John look at this fab skirt!” I said after I hand entered the dressing room and come out.
“That’s quite short isn’t it George? Are you sure you want your dear sister running around in a mini?” John asked, he was really playing along with this act. I rolled my eyes.
“No she can have it, who’s eyes will she attract?” George replied. I gasped at that remark. George shun his eyes as I whacked his arm.
John winked, “I’ll buy it for you luv.” I smiled and headed back in the dressing room.
I suddenly heard bunches of screams outside my door. I quickly put my own skirt and opened the door. 5 teenage girls were chasing Paul, along with George, around the store.
“We’ll meet you up at the square!” Paul shouted as they ran out the store and who knows where to hide from these girls.
I couldn’t help laughing. But where were John and Ringo? Just then, someone tapped my shoulder. It was Ringo and he looked tired.
“Bloody Paul, he flirted with one of those girls until she figured out who he was. Then I had to run cross-country till I got away. George is going to pound him when they get away,” he said.
I smiled, “Poor Ring! Have you seen Johnny anywhere?”
“Ahm,” a voice behind the blouses called.
There was John with a red blouse on his head. He pulled it off and came over to me. “McCartney better be having fun. That blouse was cutting off my circulation!” he said. Ringo and I laughed.
I handed John the skirt I had wanted and we went up to the cashier. The older woman behind the desk looked dazed.
“Sorry about that madm. We’re very popular I guess,” John said handing her the amount. She smiled a little and handed him the bag. He then gave it to me.
He put his arm around me, “There you are luv. Come on Ringo, let’s find the other crazies!”

Part 22- Dizzy Miss Lizzie…

So we headed out of the store. The only trouble was, we had no idea where the square was. George knew, but that was it.
“You ask someone Ash,” John told me as we walked on.
“Why me?”
“Someone will recognize us,” Ringo replied. I sighed. There was a nice woman a few away.
“Excuse me, do you know where the square is?” I asked her.
“In the center of this part of the city. Straight down where those people are. See it?” she said.
I nodded, “Yes, thank you.”
I went back to the 2 boys, “It’s down there.” I pointed to it.
“Ahh ok, let’s go,” John said. He grabbed my hand and we walked down. Once we got there we had to find the other 2.
“Over there!” Ringo said. In the corner of the square were a guy in sunglasses and a mustache and one in a really cheap wig.
“Nice disguises guys,” I said.
“Right! This mustache itches like mad,” Paul said taking it off. George took off his wig and placed some sunglasses on. It was then I noticed they were all wearing sunglasses. John and Ringo both had hats too.
“So where to now?” I asked.
George shrugged, “I don’t know sis, where do you want to go?”
I smiled, “I think I could stand some time in the room now myself, I’m tired.”
“Oh fine! Now she wants the TV!” Paul exclaimed. We began heading back to the Plaza.
“Look! It’s the Beatles!” a girl screamed. That’s when all hell broke lose.

Part 23- Run For Your Life…

The girl, along with at least 10 others, suddenly swarmed the square. For a few seconds I was frozen. I had no clue what to do.
“Come on! Run!” John said grabbing my arm.
I began to run in my skirt. Let me say, that is one of the hardest things to do, especially with a purse on one shoulder and heels on. John was practically pulling me along. Around me were crowds of people and the boys.
We had no idea where we were going, just knew we needed safety.
“Taxi!” Paul yelled as he saw the yellow cab stop at the curb. Not mattering how many of us there were, we piled into it and shut the door immediately. Girls were all over the cab as the driver went slowly out of his parking spot.
Paul waved to the girls, “Hey gals!”
“Oh Paul don’t encourage them!” I screamed kicking his leg.
“Where to?” driver asked.
“The Plaza and quick!” John said.
“Oh are you the Beatles? My daughter’s a big fan could I get your autographs?” he asked.
“Sure sir,” John replied. The driver gave them a piece of paper and passed it around the cab. After they all signed it, I handed it back.
“Thanks! She’s really going to love this! By the way, who are you?” he asked me.
My face went hot. “I’m um…George’s sister,” I said in a fake Liverpullian accent. The guys giggled but the driver must have bought it because he smiled at me.
We finally arrived at the Plaza. The driver let us off and John paid the fee. We blotted into the hotel entrance and up to our room.
“Oh my god! That was just outrageous!” I said between laughs.
“You enjoyed that?” John asked.
“Sure, it was fun running for my life!” The guys ordered a tray of drinks and more sandwiches to be delivered to the room.
We spent hours watching TV and reading. I probably fell asleep once or twice. Around 5 pm, Brian came into the room.
“Boys, time for a press conference. I have to ask you, Ashley, to stay in your room during,” he said.
I nodded, “Ok!”
True to his word, the press people entered the room 5 minutes later and I quickly went in my room.
I could hear the people asking the guys the usual stupid questions. One of the ‘smart’ press guys asked them if they planned to get haircuts. George answered, “I had one yesterday!” I had to hold back a laugh. He was always so witty! I read my book the entire time, and practically finished it before they left.
I looked at my watch; the press had been there 3 hours! It was 8 pm. I went back in the boys’ room to watch more TV and have some tea.
After 2 hours, I decided to head off to bed, regardless of what the guys would do. I knew we had a busy day tomorrow. I went and did my might routine and then came back to say good night.
“Night Johnny,” I said giving him a hug and kiss.
“Good night luv,” he replied. I gave them each a hug before retiring to my room. I fell asleep minutes later.

Part 24- Misery…

I woke up the next morning to the busy noises in the other room. It was 8 am. I walked into the guys’ main room to find Ringo and Paul there, eating a room service breakfast.
“Hey you,” Paul said, “We got you breakfast.” He headed me about with a cover over it. I opened it to find a bowl of cornflakes.
“We eat them all the time,” Ringo replied.
I shrugged and put milk on and began to eat,” Where’s the others?”
“John still dressing and George is ill,” Paul said.
I put my bowl down and headed to the closed bedroom door. “I wouldn’t go in there,” Paul said. I went anyway. John was buttoning his shirt in the bathroom, he was about done dressing.
“Oh hi luv, what are you doing in here?” John asked as he came over to me.
“George he’s ill,” I said, “Where is he?” He pointed to a lump in a bed. “George what’s wrong?” I asked.
“I’m just a bit under the weather, nothing more,” he said in between coughs.
I felt his head, “You have a fever. Are you cold?”
“Freezing and me limbs hurt,” he replied.
“You have the flu George. Hold on be right back.” I went back in the main room where the rest were now eating, “I need some aspirin for George.”
“Bathroom cabinet,” John said. I went in his and George’s bathroom and found the bottle. I took 2 out and filled a glass with water. “Here George, take these,” I said giving him the medicine.
“Thanks Ash,” he said sitting up and downing the aspirin.
“I’m going to need some help taking care of you. You need to be better by Friday. Anyone you can think of?”
“My sister Louise, she doesn’t live far,” he replied, “Her number is in this book.” He handed me a small book. I found her and dialed.
“Hi this Ashley Townshend, I’m a friend of George your brother.”
“Is something wrong?”
“We’re in New York and George is very sick. I need help taking care of him and he asked for you.”
“Ok, I should be there in about 2 hours. What hotel?”
“The Plaza, room 120, 53rd floor.”
“Thank you bye!”
I hung up, “She’s on her way George.” I sighed; I knew I couldn’t do this alone.

Part 25- While Guitar Gently Weeps…

“Hey guys, I can’t come with you today. I’m staying with George and his sister is coming by to help,” I said when I went back in the main room.
“But you’ll miss all the fun Beatlemania!” Paul jokingly said.
“I think I can stand it and this way no one will bother me,” I replied.
“We’ll see you later then,” John said. He hugged me and then they all headed out.
“Less then 2 hours,” I said to myself. I went back to see if George needed anything. He was asleep so I thought I’d let him alone. “What do I do for 2 hours?” I asked.
First off, I got myself dressed. I found a number of things to do; I watched a bit of TV, finished my book. I sighed, there was nothing to do. I decided to call my mother and tell her what was going on. The day before I’d mailed my letters and they probably had them by now.
“Mom it’s me.”
“Hello dear, I got your letter today. How are you?”
“I’m not the one with the problem. It’s George, he’s ill. I’m getting his sister to help take care of him.”
“Oh well, I hope he’s better soon.”
“Yeah me too. I’ll be seeing you in a week. Be sure to watch Ed Sullivan this Friday. The guys will be on. How’s Beth?”
“She’s good. Would you like to talk to her?”
“Sure.” I heard a rustling and then my sister.
“Hi Ashley, I’m so glad you called it’s so lonely here without you!”
“Thanks! Did you get the guys new record?”
“Yes, Paul is so cute!”
“I have to tell you this Beth, but you promise to keep it a secret.”
“Of course, what’s going on?”
“Next week I’m coming home for a while. And so are the Beatles!” There was a silence and then an immense scream.
“Oh my god Ash, to our house? Are they staying here?”
“Probably at the hotel, but I’ll stay at home and they can visit everyday, if they want to and if they’re careful. I’ve already encountered screaming masses of girls here.”
“Fab! Well I ought to go now. Mom wants me to do chores.”
“Ask Mom if you wants to talk to me more.”
“She said no. See you next week Ash!”
“Ok Bye!”
I hung up and 3 minutes later there was a knock. I looked out and a woman stood in the hallway. George’s sister.

Part 26- I’m So Tired…

“Hi, come on in,” I said.
The woman came in the doorway and placing her bag on the floor she outstretched her hand, “Louise Harrison. You are?”
“Ashley Townshend. I’m John’s girlfriend,” I said.
“Ah! Ok, well where’s my poor brother?” she asked.
“That room there,” I pointed to his and John’s room. She nodded and entered the room with her bag. I sat down on the couch, figuring they could use a few minutes.
10 minutes later she hadn’t come back out. I decided to go in. That bag she had contained every number of medicines, which was set out on the room floor.
“Wow, you came prepared,” I said.
“Yeah, I’m a nurse. These things happen,” she replied. George was now sat up in bed.
“Hey bud, how are you?” I asked.
“Sis has given me some special remedies and I’m actually feeling better,” he said.
I smiled, “Good.”
“Could you do me a favor Ash? Could you order some soup from room service?” she asked.
“Of course!” I phoned down and the chicken soup was delivered in a few minutes.
By the next time I looked at the clock it was 5 pm and I was halfway through the book. I put it down before I got a headache.
I went back in to see George. Louise was packing her things. “He should be better soon then, tomorrow,” she said.
“Great! Thanks for all your help!”
She smiled, gave her brother a hug, and left. “Ah, if you don’t mind, I’m going to get some rest now,” George said.
“Sure, see you later,” I said.
A few minutes later, the others came back from the business of the day. “How’s George?” John asked.
“Oh I think he’ll be better then even by tomorrow,” I said, “Grantee it!”

Part 27- Long, Long, Long…

For the next few days George healed. He even got to go to the practice rehearsals the band had in those days. I went along and watched the making of a band in a new country.
I was basically allowed to go wherever I wanted, with the exception of dressing rooms, when I was there. When the Beatles got boring, which rarely happened, I went to chat with Ed Sullivan and the camera and sound guys.
“Do you have any idea how big this is going to be Miss Townshend?” Mr. Sullivan asked me.
“Not sure, but I have been through a couple Beatlemania attacks so it can’t be much worse,” I replied thinking back on my near death experiences.
“This is going to be much bigger. We’re looking at thousands of girls. The security is waiting for all possibilities- fainting, screaming, hyperventilating, seizures, whatever happens,” he explained.
I turned white, “Wow! I didn’t know it would be that big!” After a few moments of silence I asked another question.
“Mr. Sullivan, what will be on the screens as they play?” He pointed to the cameraman.
“Ah well we will zoom on every guy and show his name. Below John we are going to put ‘Sorry girls, he’s engaged,’” the guy explained.
“Oh but we’re not, not yet anyway,” I said.
“Oh ok, we’ll fix that then,” he said.
“Time to go luv,” John said when he approached me, “We’re coming back at 4 pm.”
“Expect the worst Miss,” Mr. Sullivan told me as we left. By that night, I would believe him.

Part 28- Please Please Me…

That night I dressed in my black mini dress, black heels, and my hair was in a bun. The guys were in their usual tapered suits.
We hopped in the limo without any trouble and were on our way to Sullivan. “You nervous?” I asked John.
“Yeah, I always am. You have a seat reserved in the audience right?” he asked.
“Yes and I know that tonight we’re flying to Pennsylvania and get to see my family!” I exclaimed.
“Yup I got a hotel booked close to your house so the boys can visit every day,” Brian said. We finally pulled in and snuck in the back door.
After 30 minutes of rehearsing and the guys were ready. I gave John a quick kiss and found my seat in the audience.
Mr. Sullivan came on stage, “Ladies and Gentleman, the Beatles!”
The screams around me were so intense I was almost blown away. The curtain rose and there were my boys. A few girls in front of me stood up and one fainted. The policeman carried her off on a stretcher. This was insane!
Luckily I could still see them in the giant TV above the stage. I watched John play and smiled. I was going to marry that man.
2 songs later it was time for the names to pop up. I watched Paul go by, then George, when they showed John I saw exactly what I didn’t want, ‘Sorry girls, he’s engaged.’
“Whom’s he engaged to? She can’t be any better then me?” the girl next to me said.
I blushed with embarrassment and anger. These guys would be reamed out! Before too long the show was over and I made my way backstage.
“Those bloody idiots! Why did they do that?” John yelled. Just then the cameraman came in.
“Sorry about the mistake sir,” he said. John charged for him. He punched the man in the face. The man held his nose, it was broken for sure. I pulled John back with Paul’s help.
“You’ll pay!” John said as we left. We had packed our things earlier so all we had to do was board the plane.
I fell asleep instantly and had sweet dreams. I was going home.

Part 29- Ticket to Ride…

My family was to meet us on our way off the plane. The guys quickly put on their cheesy disguises as we exited the terminal. The only plus was I could hold John’s hand cos no one knew him.
I suddenly saw my sister and waved with my right hand. She ran up to me, “Ashley! It’s so cool to see you!” I hugged her and she looked at John, “Who’s this?”
“This is John, John my sister Beth.”
“Hello luv nice to meet you,” he said taking off his glasses a second so she could see him.
She turned white. I motioned to her to be quiet, “I can introduce the rest when we get home.”
John still clinging to me, I ran up to my parents. “Mom, Dad, I’ve missed you guys!” I said. I gave them each a hug.
“Ah, I see you brought your John,” Mom said.
“Yes, Mom and Dad, this is John Lennon live and in person,” I whispered, “You can meet him later without the mustache. We went to get our bags then I hitched a ride with my parents’ home.
“Are they coming for dinner Ashley?” Mom asked when we entered the house.
“Yes Mom, along with their tour manager Brian Epstein,” I said.
I took my bags upstairs to my room. It had been untouched for 2 years. I set my things down just as Beth came in.
“Ash you have to see my room!” she said pulling me there. It was amazing. The entire walls covered with pictures of the Beatles. Records everywhere. Magazines everywhere.
“Wow, I’m so glad you like these guys or it wouldn’t be fun!” I said.
“Do I ever! Do you think Paul will like me?” she asked. I smiled, “Maybe Beth. He does have a girlfriend though, Jane Asher,” I said.
She frowned, “Oh well then…” “Just forget it Beth. Do you want to see all my pictures from England?” I asked. She nodded eagerly. I took the mound out of my purse and handed it to her.
As she looked she asked me a question, “Hey Ash, is it true you’re engaged to John?”
I sighed, “That was a mistake. No not yet.” I suddenly had an idea. I would call my friends and tell them I’m home!
“Beth stay here. I’ll be right back,” I said. I ran downstairs and in mid dialing Danielle I almost forgot to ask my parents.
“Mom can I call Danielle and Rachel to invite them over tomorrow?” I asked. She looked at me for a moment. Then answered, “I guess so but you can’t tell them who’s going to be here.” I dialed the number and Danielle answered.
“Hi it’s Ash!”
“Cool! Hey where are you?”
“I’m home. Is Rach with you?”
“Yeah what’s going on?”
“Well I want to invite you guys over tomorrow around noon for lunch with some friends of mine.”
“No Ash you didn’t! That’s so cool! Sure we’ll be there!”
“Ok see you then! Bye!”
I hung up, “They’re coming around noon Mom.”
“Ok get your sister so you two can help me with dinner,” Mom said.

Part 30- A Taste of Honey…

I helped my Mom and sister fix dinner. It was like just yesterday, I was cutting the vegetables and Beth setting the table with Grandmother’s special china. Beth was different though. I guess from 12 to 14 she had changed. She sure was interested in boys, and was actually nice to me. Not the Elizabeth Townshend who had slammed my door and locked it with her inside with me yelling as she went through my private things. And she certainly wasn’t the Beth who mouthed off to my parents either.
Not that I had been any better at her age then, but I was always better behaved. Now we could truly be sisters and not enemies.
I looked at the kitchen clock. It was 6 pm. I felt tired because of the 5-hour time change but then my mind raced. I needed to change!
“Mom, Beth and I need to put nicer dresses on for an impression,” I said washing my hands.
“I agree. I can get the rest. Thank you for your help,” she said.
Beth and I went up stairs in our separate rooms and changed. I could hear ‘Love Me Do’ blaring from her room and I smiled.
When we came out, I had found one of my purple mini dresses I bought in England, along with my silver charm necklace and class ring. My hair was down and I wore blac heels. Beth wore one of her long white dresses, which always made her look like an angel. We went downstairs. The table was set with so much food.
“Wow Mom, this looks great,” I said.
“Yes, now let me look at you two,” she said, “A picture of beauty. I have raised wonderful daughters. May I see your hand Ashley?” I held them up and she frowned, “It was a mistake.”
“Oh the engagement, yes, not yet Mom.” Beth and I went to the den to find Dad with the newspaper.
I sat on one end of the couch and Beth on the other. Waiting was so hard. Especially for Beth, she was moving every second.
The door bell rang and I got up to answer it.

Part 31- Baby It’s You…

I showed the 5 guys in the house. Suits were sharp on them that night. My family came over and I introduced them.
“Guys this is my family Mom Linda, Dad Gary, and my sister Beth,” I said, “These are the Beatles; John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. And their tour manager Brian Epstein.”
Mom smiled, “Nice to meet you all. Our Beth is a big fan of you, especially Mr. McCartney.”
Beth blushed. Paul did the most charming thing. He took her hand and kissed it, “Nice to meet you Elizabeth. Your sister had told me so much about you.” She turned a new shade of red and looked at me, I smiled and she looked faint.
“Why don’t you all come sit down in the den. We’ll have tea,” Dad told us. I sighed; Beth really needed to sit down.
The 3 Beatles and Brian Epstein shared the couch. John, Beth, and I sat on the smaller couch. Dad in his chair.
We sat in silence until Mom brought us our tea.
“Thank you Mrs. Townshend, I’m so happy to meet you and sir. I truly love your daughter,” John said.
“We’re glad to have you all. How long will you be here?” Dad asked.
“5 days sir,” Brian said.
“Well then we can get to know you all till then. I hear Ashley invited Danielle and Rachel, her friends, over for lunch tomorrow,” Dad said.
“Yes I did Dad. I thought they’d love to meet their idols,” I said.
After tea, we sat down to a chicken, potato, and vegetable dinner. I sat next to John. Dad was at the head and Mom at the other. John was on Dad’s end with Beth next to Paul and me. The others were on the other side.
“This is fantastic Mrs. Townshend,” Brian said halfway through the meal. The others nodded.
“We saw you boys on Ed Sullivan yesterday. How was that?” Mom asked.
“Quiet the rush mum. The girls were insane,” Paul said. We laughed and I agreed that it was amazing.
After dinner, I offered to show the guys around the yard outside.
“I’ll stay and chat with your parents,” Brian said. I nodded and showed the guys onto the patio.
It was a cold winter night. Beth and Paul walked around talking while George and Ringo went to one end getting a smoke. This left John and I alone.
“Ashley, there’s something I’ve wanted to ask you ever since George was sick. That day I bought something and I wanted to give it to you,” John said. He pulled a box out of his coat. I blushed. He got on one knee, “Ashley Townshend, will you be my wife?”
I smiled, “Of course I will my John!” He hugged me and we kissed. The ring on my left hand was so large I could hardly imagine how much he had spent on it.
Paul and Beth came up just then.
“Beth! Look, John proposed!” I said showing her the ring.
“Wow! Mrs. John Lennon! I like the sound of that!” she said. I gave her a hug.
“I knew you had it in you old boy!” Paul said hitting John’s arm.
George and Ringo came over and I told them. They gave me congratulations. We decided to go inside then. John and I told my parents. I couldn’t believe how happy Mom looked. Dad informed me that John had already asked him and was given his blessing. By that time, the Beatles had to go back to the hotel. My family and I said goodbye to each of them. After my routine I sat in my room quietly unpacking my clothes. I looked at my hand for 5 seconds. I couldn’t believe it.
As I went to sleep, I thought about what the next day would bring, Danny and Rach.

Part 32- I’ll Follow the Sun…

The next day I woke at 10 am and went downstairs for breakfast. Beth was there making her own.
“Morning Ash. Danny and Rach are coming today?” she asked.
“Yes. Could I have some of those eggs too?” I asked. She nodded and put a plate in front of me. I ate and then went upstairs to dress. I wore jeans and a white blouse.
“Where are Mom and Dad?” I asked after I went back downstairs.
“Out for the day, we have the house to ourselves,” Beth said.
We sat down in the den. I picked up my newest book, ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen. Beth had a book too. One of my old ones, ‘Little Women’ by Louisa M. Alcott.
“Following me eh?” I asked.
She smiled, “I love to read.”
We spent an hour or so reading until the doorbell rang. The Beatles came in with casual clothes on.
“Hey baby, where are these friends of yours?” John asked.
“Not here yet.”
Seconds later the doorbell rang again. I motioned the guys into the den and answered the door. Danielle attacked me with a hug right away.
“Do you know how boring Pennsylvania is without you?” she asked.
“I guess I don’t. Hi Rach!” I said.
“Hey. Where are these friends of yours?” I took them into the den.
“You know who each they are,” I said.
My friends stood there for almost a minute. John came up, took my hand and showed them. “Look, she’s engaged!” he said.
“Really? Since when? Look at that rock!” Danielle said.
“Since last night,” I said. I then showed then in to sit.
“Hi Beth how are you?” Rachel asked.
“Good thanks. Aren’t they amazing?” she asked.
“You said it,” Rachel replied staring at George. He smiled and she almost fainted.
I left my friends to chat and whatever else while Beth and I made sandwiches. We brought them in and began lunch.
“They signed my record Ash!” Danielle said showing me her ‘Introducing the Beatles’ record.
“Cool!” I said holding John’s hand.
Before I knew it, my time with my friends was up and they said farewell. The guys also had to go, business.
I felt lonely then. I wasn’t used to being without them.
5 days went so fast and before long I had to leave my family again for the U.S. (of A.) Tour. Mom was very emotional but I promised to be back soon.

4 months later, John and I were married. And the rest is history!

Part 33- Here, There and Everywhere…

“Mom, the phone. It’s Aunt Beth. Are you ok?” my son Julian asked me.
I sat up in my bed, “What time is it?”
“11 am. Are you ok?”
I looked at my son, tears welling up. Even at 17 he was the image if his father. Or what he used to be.
“Just had a dream about your father. It was beautiful,” I said. I picked up the phone. Julian sat on the bed.
“Ashley hi, I’m just doing my normal calling to make sure you’re ok.”
“I’m fine thank you Beth.”
“Ok well I must be off to work.”
I hung up and sighed. Beth had been my biggest support since our lives had collapsed. Mom and Dad both died 2 months apart in 1976. We were devastated. On top of that, only 2 years ago, my husband John had been killed. That was a horrific experience. I still have dreams about him.
“Ok I’m getting up now Julian,” I said.
He smiled, “Ok Mom. I’m going over to Vince’s house.”
I finally had the room to myself again. I got dressed into jeans and a nice shirt. I brushed my hair. I routinely out on my wedding ring. Had it really been only 18 years ago that we had married? I burst into tears. Stupid, stupid man! How could he be so cruel? John was more then a singer; he was a man, a husband, a father to a child! A sweet, sweet man who I missed dearly.
I went into my living room here in New York City and looked around. It was quite a mess. Julian was not the cleanest kid.
I went over to my typewriter and found the story I had been writing for 2 years. I started it before John died and hadn’t touched it since. A half typed piece was still in the machine. John’s dream was for me to follow my passion of being a writer. I sat down and began to type again. This story was my story. My biography. I finished about 2 pages of I, then got myself some lunch.
I decided to see what was on the TV.
“Musician John Lennon and his widow Ashley would have had an 18 year anniversary today. How sad, how tragic. In other mews…” I flipped the channel. Maybe something better was on.
Once I got tired of this, I took a walk. The year before in Central Park a place called Strawberry Fields had been dedicated. I went there and sat on the bench looking up at the blue sky. I thought of all the great music John recorded and how many people came here every December and smiled. He truly was gifted.
Suddenly a couple came up and stood there. “And I love her, bright are the stars that shine…” the man sang.
I looked at him curiously and went up to look in his face. It was Paul and his wife Linda.
“I sang that at your wedding,” he said.
I hugged him, “It’s so good to see you!”
“I’m so sorry Ashley,” Linda said.
“Thank you Linda. How are you doing?”
“Well. Wings are spilt but the kids and we are well. What about Julian?” Paul asked.
“Looking more like his father every day. He’s talking about being a musician now,” I said.
Paul smiled, “Maybe!”
“I must be going now Paul, Linda. It was great to see you,” I said.
I walked back to my apartment and sat down on the couch. The radio was playing a Beatles song, ‘Here, There and Everywhere.’ I smiled. For a fleeting moment I was so happy.

Part 34- Here Comes the Sun…

I drove to work. My job at the newspaper was going very well. My book was a best seller. ‘In My Life: The Ashley Lennon Story’ was a best seller.
I smiled and turned the radio on. George Harrison sang to me ‘And if you don’t know where you’re gong, and road will take you there…’
The song faded, “That was the late great George Harrison with a block of “Here Comes the Sun,’ ‘I Got My Mind Set On You,’ ‘Something,’ ‘When We Was Fab,’ and “Any Road Will Take You There.’”
I pulled over along the highway. George was dead! My best friend, dead! What? I knew he had cancer and was losing the battle but…
“Jim I can’t come in today. I’m not well,” I said on my cell phone.
“Ok. Have a good day Ashley,” he said. I hung up and drove myself home.
I called Friar Park, George’s Home, and Dhani answered.
“Dhani are you ok?”
“Mrs. Lennon? Yes I’m ok. Dad was at peace yesterday.”
“Is your Mom ok?”
“She is strong. We can’t talk now. Bye.”
I hung up and turned on the TV. All over CNN and VH1 was George news. I coldn’t believe it. For the first time I could break down. I saw Paul on Tv, he was on the verge of tears.
I turned it off and went to my computer. Every Beatles site had George news. The fans were devastated! I knew what I had to do. I put my hat on and grabbed my woven purse and headed down to Strawberry Fields. Hundreds were there. Luckily no one recognized me. They were in the middle of singing ‘Here Comes the Sun.’ I began to sing along.
Suddenly the clouds parted and a stream of sun shown down on us.
For the first time in my life I knew it. John and George were both finally at peace. No fear, no pain. And I would see them again. The power of that song is amazing. ‘Here comes the sun and I say it’s alright…”