I finally manage to get Charlie off me and turn. There stands Paul holding a drooping Lotus flower. I stand for a moment, head rushing, trying to sort out everything that’s happening and trying to prevent another disaster. Paul throws down the flower and starts to walk away.
“No! Paul wait!” I run to catch up with him and pull at his arm. “No. Paul. Stop. This is just another misunderstanding. If you don’t stop you’ll just put us another four months behind.”
He turns around, a tear falling down his face. “What luv? What is it? I should have known you’d have found someone else. I wanted to come to the last performance and surprise you. So I did. Obviously much more than I thought. Listen, if you want to keep that Romeo actor you can. He’s talented, does a nice British accent when he wants, make you a fine boyfriend.”
I reach up to grab the back of Paul’s neck with my left hand and brush away the hair on his forehead with my right hand. “No Paul, I love you.”
I turn to look at Charlie, now standing dumbfounded staring at Paul and me. Charlie speaks, “You’re going out with Paul McCartney?”
I wipe a tear from cheek and smile, “Yes.”
He starts laughing. “My god! I thought you were a lesbian!”
I look at him with wide eyes certain Paul’s eyes are larger. “You what?”
“I thought you were a fucking lesbian, you know, with that Lydia friend of yours. Remember what you had told me? I had asked you if you wanted to go out with me and the gang and you said you had a friend at home, waiting for you. I asked if they were male and you said, no, female.”
I find the situation utterly hilarious. I thought he was gay, and he thought I was a lesbian. “But then Charlie, if you thought I was a lesbian, then why the hell did you kiss me and buy me flowers.”
“To be nice, Juli. The kiss was a joke. The flowers were just for being my leading lady. Hell Juli, I’m gay. Didn’t you know that?”
“Well yeah, I had thought you were, until—“
“Until I kissed you?”
He starts laughing. “Oh, I’m sorry about that. Didn’t realize it would put you into such a mess. But, my god, Paul McCartney. I’m a big fan of yours. Mind if I have your autograph before you stab me with that knife of Julia’s from the stage?”
I look at Paul. His face is completely adorable. He looks a bit worn down from the past few months, yet I’ve never wanted to see him more. He has a smile across his face, but at the same time his forehead is scrunched out of confusion.
He looks up at Charlie, “Oh, uh, sure. Got a piece of paper?”
Charlie runs quickly into his dressing room and comes out with a torn piece of notebook paper. As Paul begins to sign, John walks in behind us. “What the bloody hell? You all having a party in here?”
I walk up to John and hug him. I give him on peck on the cheek and begin to laugh, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
I look at Charlie who’s now beside himself.
Paul finishes signing and looks up. “What? You kiss him but not me?”
I beam and come up to Paul nuzzle noses and kiss him as I hear Charlie ask John for an autograph. The whole situation is too incredible for me to take. I just start laughing mid-kiss.
“Is the kiss that bad?” Paul says.
I look up into his eyes, his beautiful eyes and smile. “Not that bad—but that good.”
He kisses me again and I’m in heaven. I’ve once again returned to my little sanctuary of Paul lovedom. With his arms around me I feel all warm inside. Not to mention, with the heat of the costume I feel about ready to faint.
I pull back for a moment and speak. “I’m sorry guys, but I’ll have to join you later. I need to get into that dressing room and change.”
John looks away for a moment, but then back at me. “Mind if we join you?”
I roll my eyes and say, “No.”
It’s then I realize I won’t be going to that cast party. I turn to Charlie to and say goodbye. He gives me a peck on the cheek and wishes me luck, giving me his number so that we may stay in touch. I smile and he walks into his dressing room.
I look to John and Paul and notice Lydia standing behind them, completely stunned and unmoving. She’s dresses head to toe in black, as usual, wearing a similar outfit to that on Valentine’s Day. I wait to see if she’ll move from her position behind John but notice she isn’t and doesn’t seem that she ever will. I decide to introduce her.
“Oh, and this here, is Lydia.” I gesture for her to come out from behind John and she walks past them and next to me.
She barely manages a “Hi” and a wave.
John and Paul seem to enjoy her idolatry and give her a warm greeting. John even gives her a bit of a kiss on the cheek. I realize that I’ll have to make up for her inability to speak before dying of heat exhaustion.
“Well, you both have spoken to her on the phone. I’m sure you have a lot in common. But, for now, I really have to get changed.”
Paul stops me and says, “Mind if I join you?”
I nod and he follows. After Paul walks in and I move to close the door John shouts, “Oh so you let him in and not me?”
I stick out my tongue and smile, then close the door.
The room is small but warm. There is a mirror above a table, bordered by bright white lights. A small fold up chair faces the mirror and my costumes hang on poll to the right. There is a bed to the left. Paul sits down.
“A bed?” he says.
I shrug. “You’ll sometimes find the strangest things in dressing rooms.”
He nods. “I’ll say, once in Hamburg we found a place with a nude woman in it.”
I laugh. “Only once?”
He pauses a moment as I brush my hair out.
“Oh luv, it’s great to see you again. I’m sorry about our greeting.”
I smile. “Yes, that was strange now wasn’t it?”
He then hands me a slightly drooping lotus flower. “I had meant for it to look a bit better. It wasn’t easy to get shipped in you know, and then when I dropped it—“
“It’s alright,” I say, taking it. “It’s beautiful.”
He smiles. “Well after all, you are my Lotus Jules.”
It’s then he stands up and kisses me. He then picks me up and places me on the bed. I find myself once again intoxicated by his wonderful scent and yearning for more. He starts unzipping my costume and unbuttoning his shirt.
The heat of the moment envelops me but I know this dressing room is no place for what Paul has in mind. Paul kisses my neck and slips his hand inside my bra.
“Paul, stop. We need to stop.”
He barely notices I’m speaking. He groans.
“Paul, John and Lydia are standing outside. The walls are thin. Everyone will hear us. This isn’t fair to John and Lyd.”
Finally he stops and looks in my eyes, clearing knowing I’m right, but at the same time disappointed. He sighs. “Alright luv, but I need to spend the night with you. And soon.”
I smile and slip out from underneath him. I stand up and face him as I change.
“Besides,” I say. “The dresses are rented. We wouldn’t want them stained.”
He raises an eyebrow. “I think I might like to buy one of those. There’s something about you in velvet that’s very sexy.”
I sigh and quickly get dressed into my black miniskirt, go-go boots, and red velvet shirt. Wow, Lydia must have had the same thing on our minds today—love. We both wore the same clothes from Valentine’s Day.
I fix my make up and pick up my belongings, including the lotus flower. I walk to the door and turn to Paul, who has now crept up behind me. As I reach to turn the knob, he pulls his arms around to my front and touches my ribs with his hands. He then moves his hands down into my skirt. I push them away and turn to him as I unlock the door. I blush and he begins to laugh.
Both Lydia and John stand outside the door, waiting. They clearly have become closer through conversation but through the way they’re looking at us I begin to wonder if the walls are thinner than I thought.
They say nothing and we all begin walking. Paul joins John up front and John sends him a side-glance. Lydia comes next to me, bright-eyed and blushing as we begin to walk deciding on our next destination.
As we walk I ask John how Cyn is, and mentions she’s fine. He then continues to say, “You know, we had asked Pam if she’d like to come and she said she was busy—designing stuff and all. We haven’t been on the best of terms for the last week or so.”
“Oh?” I ask.
Hmm, seems Pam won’t face me now that she knows I know she must have lied But what about John and Pam? They always seemed so close…
Of course, I knew it from the beginning. I knew John would eventually get bored with her and they’d lose contact. I told her that if she and him just stayed friends it would be different. Oh why didn’t she listen?
“Yeh,” he says. “But what do you say to stopping at your place before going out?”
“Sure,” I say.
“Gear. Lydia said you’d show us around.”
“Of course,” I say.
We return to my apartment and make our selves comfortable—well, reasonably comfortable considering the situation. Lydia, Paul, and I squash together on the couch, while John, ever the individual, sits on the carpet cross-legged.
It is then that I’m given my first chance to really look at him. As usual, John looks wonderful. His well-groomed hair slightly out of place, yet perfectly falling to his eyebrows, accentuating his fabulous eyes. He’s wearing a dusty green, no collar, long-sleeved shirt with dark Beatle pants. If he weren’t married, going out with my best friend, and I didn’t have Paul, I must say I would find John irresistible.
Paul holds my hand as we debate over our next destination, eventually deciding on an Indian restaurant, which happens to be a regular meeting place of Lydia, Charlie, and me. Not to mention, it’s Lydia’s favorite kind of food and John seems particularly amused with the concept of once again dining with the Maccalovi Specialty in its native surroundings, as I can see through the look he sends me with his eyes.
The walk to the restaurant is only a few blocks and rather pleasant. John seems to enjoy the lack of ‘I love you!’ responses from passing people but Paul looks almost a bit disappointed.
We enter the restaurant. The sounds of the sitar filling the room, combined with the aroma of curry and incense is intoxicating. It’s the Bohemian scene at its best. All different types of people sit throughout the room and seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. I even spot a few familiar faces and give a small wave.
Gupta, our friend and manager of the restaurant, welcomes us at the door. He brings us to the floor level table surrounded by pillows. We are handed menus and ice water is poured into each of our glasses.
John sits across from me and Lydia and Paul on either side. As I glance down the menu, already knowing I want my usual, Tandori Chicken, Lamb Tikka Masala, and Pouri bread, I feel Paul brush his hand down my back. A chill is sent up my spine. He doesn’t move his hand and I watch John send me a rather inconspicuous wink, which surprising neither Paul nor Lydia notice—Paul, who is looking at me, and Lydia who is daydreaming.
I pretend not to notice John and smile at Paul.
God, Paul is beautiful. His deep brown eyes are just so inviting to stare into and his smile somehow always finds a way to make me melt. I look at Paul’s gorgeous brown hair and watch how it shapes his eyes so well. He matches, he’s just so—
“Julia! Julia, would you like to order?”
I turn to see John, Lydia, and Gupta staring at me. I blush and nod. “Yes, I’ll have the usual, please.”
Gupta smiles and nods.
Lydia orders the same. John orders the Rose ice cream and Vegetarian Appetizers once again. Paul selects a few random dishes from the menu to try. Gupta nods and says he’ll return shortly. I glance around the table. Lydia is sitting back, somewhat relaxed from before, now on an absolute happiness high. Every once in a while she falls into a dreamy stare at John but I’m sure it’s only noticeable to me. John doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to her and I almost feel guilty, as if I did something wrong in introductions that he’s not all over her at this point.
I of course then remind myself that John is not supposed to fall in love with all my friends, and I wouldn’t want it that way either. Lydia and John sleeping together? The insanity would be too much. Besides, would John really cheat on his cheatee?
“It’s great to see you all again,” I say. “How’ve you all been doing?” Stupid question. “Um, I mean, today—how has your day been?”
I can see John laughing internally and I feel my face burning. I look to Paul who smiles, calming me, “The beginning of the day may not have been perfect but the second I set foot in America it all seemed to take a turn for the better. Wouldn’t you say John?”
“Yeh, I would.”
Paul turns to me, “You certainly put a good show today, Jules. You were perfect as Juliet.”
“Yeh, you and that Charlie really seem to get into your character.”
Where is this going? Change the subject Julia, best idea…
“I suppose so, so Lyd—“
“He really seems to put himself into his acting, his tongue even—“
“John!” I say, taking a side-glance up at Paul whom doesn’t seem amused.
Lydia picks up on the tension and she diverts her eyes. At the same time I can see her holding back a laugh, knowing Charlie is gay, probably not having noticed the kiss after all. I watch as she takes a deep breath in order to change the subject but instead begins laughing.
We all turn to look at her. She tries to cover it up but is unable to. She manages to say in a low tone, “John, you do realize Charlie is gay?”
John raises an eyebrow. “Well he’s certainly a bit queer to be gay. I mean he really–”
I challenge John with my eyes and he stops. Thankfully, at that moment, Gupta returns with the plate of appetizers and John’s ice cream. The food seems to change the stale mood to a more lively, out-going, cheery mood that I’ve for so long associated with Beatle company.
Within minutes we’re all laughing and smiling again and the tense attitude of before is nothing more than a memory. Lydia seems to be having the best time of her life and I’m glad to see John opening up to her.
Before I know it, the meal is over. I attempt to pay but Paul refuses to allow either Lydia or me pay, not allowing either of us to put in a word edgewise.
Our next stop is The Cheetah, a local nightclub that’s quite popular among my Bohemian friends. As we step out of the Indian restaurant to walk over John whispers in my ear, “The Maccalovi Speciality is hot, steaming, and raring to go for ye. Now would you like to enjoy it here or home delivery?”
I roll my eyes as Lydia and Paul catch up with us. I once again notice a strange communication of eyes going on above my head between John and Paul. I decide to ignore it and continue walking.
We make it to the Cheetah relatively quickly. We enter and not only is the music loud, but the smell of smoke is almost choking. ‘She Love You’ is blaring at ear piercing level but neither John nor Paul seem to take any note of the fact that its their own creation that everyone is dancing to.
If only one of my songs would have half the success of theirs I would still scream my lungs out if I heard it playing even on the radio. Of course, at this point they’re probably just so used to it that their mind has tuned out such familiar sounds.
After squeezing through the crowds of people, we find one small empty table for the four of us. John and Paul sit down and Lydia and I excuse ourselves.
We make it to the bathroom and Lydia starts jumping up and down screaming. Normally such an action would be noticeable in a public place, but since the noise is so loud as it is no one even bothers to turn around. Just as a precaution, I open the bathroom door and push Lydia in to join me so that we don’t make a scene.
“I can’t believe it Julia! I can’t believe this! I am spending time with two of THE BEATLES! I spoke alone with John Lennon! God Julia! He’s gorgeous! He’s witty! He’s my favorite Beatle!”
I laugh. “Woa. Lydia, calm down. He’s also MARRIED.” Why must I always find myself having to clarify this to my friends?
Lydia sighs. “Yea, I know. You have no idea how much I wish he weren’t right now!”
“Yea, I know. He probably doesn’t even think much of me. Oh what a horrible thought that is! But have I fallen for him, boy!”
“And boy do you show it!”
“In front of him? Do I?” Lydia seems startled.
“Yes, so try to at least be a tad bit more subtle.”
“I’m glad you said something. I would hate to look like—well, let’s just say Cordelia when you say the name ‘George’ in her presence.”
I laugh. “Well I doubt there’s anyone you’d ever be quite that insane. I mean, you’re not that obvious. But now, about me. How do I look? Is my hair okay? You have no idea how nervous I am right now. This is my first time seeing Paul in FOUR MONTHS.” I sigh. “Of course when I’m with him now it feels like barely any time’s past at all. God, I love that man. He’s just so—You guys didn’t hear anything unusual in the dressing room, did you?”
Lydia sends me a strange glance. “No, why?”
“Oh, uh—no reason. It’s just John and you in particular looked a bit funny when I came out. As if you had been giggling or blushing or something.”
She smiles. “Well, I certainly had. You should have heard the things he was saying about you and ‘Macca’ in that small little box together. You—changing clothes. Him—staring…”
“Well, that’s what I was laughing at. John sure has a taste for the vulgar.”
“Julia! You and Paul just look so cute together! If only I had a Robert of my own. Well, I guess I sort of do, for one night at least—Mitchell.”
“Yes but I want you to be careful. John is…well, let’s just say John’s a Beatle. And with that come Beatle precautions. He’s adorable, witty, experienced, and I know first hand he can do major damage to a girl’s heart.”
“That didn’t seem to deter you from Paul.”
“No, seriously Lydia. I don’t want to see you end up in that same mess Pam has gotten herself into.”
Lydia laughs at my serious tone. “Oh come on Julia, you have to be kidding. You know I know better than to try and ‘bag a Beatle’ per se, you were lucky. You loved one and he loved you back. I know I would have no such luck with John. I’m just going to try to have a little bit of fun tonight living out my life’s dream.”
Lydia’s description of falling in love with a Beatle and being loved back seems a bit crude to me, but I decide not to comment on it.
“An innocent dream I hope?”
“How do you define ‘innocent’?”
“Alright, alright. ‘Innocent.’”
With that we both decide to return to the table before the guys start to worry.
I approach the table and can already read the ‘TROUBLE AHEAD’ sign. Two girls are giggling and drooling over not only my one true love, but also Lydia’s ‘love for the night’—John!
We hurry to get a closer look. Both girls are leaning precociously over, letting all hang down.
I turn to Lydia and she stares, examining both John and Paul closely. I watch as she bites her lip, and I become nervous. I peak through a crowd of people to see Paul smiling at them, giving the publicity McCartney charm, but looking otherwise disinterested, John on the other hand, is willingly entertaining them. I can see Lydia become deeply hurt as she watches one of the girls, blonde, jump into John’s lap, giggling.
I decide that if I stand there any longer watching, I shall explode and so start marching to the table, yet becoming slower and more snake-like as I approach the table. As I reach the booth’s end I can feel Lydia behind me.
I plaster a smile on my face and turn to the two girls spurting their venom over the table. One glares at me, the other is too busy giggling over John. I push in next to Paul and smile at him.
He looks almost startled by me. It’s difficult for me to decipher whether his slight alarm is the way I acted or the fact I walked in on him smiling at another girl. I make room for Lydia and Paul eases up. I feel as he puts his arm around me, and gives me a small peck, much to the dismay of the glaring girl. I hadn’t experienced such hatred since the waitress incident.
That is, of course, forgetting Jane…
I stare over at John who seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself. With my incessant glare he eventually looks my way. First, startled that I’m staring at him. Second, he sends me a look of utter innocence as if to say…‘What? I haven’t done anything wrong…’
Just as I’m about to give up, John gives in. He smoothly gets the girl off his lap and she sends him a puppy face glance. It’s then I recognize her.
The newlywed who had come in on Valentine’s Day that I had sold the red bedspread to. Something tells me that marriage won’t last long. Ironic, though, that from the start she reminded me of Cyn, and she becomes exactly what John’s attracted, yet not married to.
She clearly doesn’t recognize me but I find a hidden joy in knowing something about her that she doesn’t. I wonder where her husband is and realize that I haven’t taken my eyes off that girl for the past few minutes and its starting to become a bit obvious. Finally, John gets them to go away but as they join another group of guys that girl takes one last glance at me, looking at me as if I’m crazy.
I can sense that Lydia, still next to me, is more than a little bit hurt and a silence falls over the table. It’s eerie to have such a deafening silence in such a lively room.
I feel a ball of pent-up anger burning within me, but I try to hide it, as to keep the evening still at its already declining cheer.
But is my anger valid? Why I am I angry? Because he decided to show interest in someone other than one of my friends? Because he decided to show interest in someone other than his wife? Or because I feel some sort of strange possessiveness over him, where I only allow him to even show interest towards Cyn, Pam, Lydia, and me?
The ice breaks as I move my arm to reposition myself and knock over a glass of water straight into John’s lap. All are silent until John finally reacts, looking into his lap and saying, “Bloody hell…”
In a moment of embarrassment and relief I burst out laughing. I try to cover it up at first and apologize but I just can’t stop. All the tension that has been built up for the past ten minutes sends me over the edge and I’m in complete and utter hysterics.
Paul and Lydia spend a moment staring at me but eventually are laughing themselves.
John remains sitting with an unpleased look on his face. “Now what the fuck am I going to do about this now? People are going to think I bloody pissed in me pants!”
This sends Lydia and me into a whole other roar of laughter. Paul seems to have stopped a bit but Lydia and I can’t. Chances are it’s the fact that Lydia and I were angrier at John than Paul was. I doubt Paul even gave a second thought to John’s fooling around.
To end John’s discomfort Lydia pulls a clean handkerchief from her purse and offers it to him. It’s clearly useless, but he appreciates the offer as it is.
The music around us slows down and now having finally recomposed myself, I look John in the eyes, returning the same innocent look that he gave me before, “I’m sorry John. I really didn’t mean to do that—really, it was an accident.”
John smirks. “Ah, really?”
The smirk remains on his face and he takes a quick glance from the tabletop at my chest to my eyes. “Alright then.” He then faces Lydia stands up, big wet spot on his pants, and offers his hand to Lydia. “Care to dance?”
Lydia smiles, probably trying to not laugh at his wet stain, and agrees. They become lost in the slow-dancing crowd, and Paul turns to me, smiling.
New! Chapter 5!
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