Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 4

“Hullo, love!” he said spinning me around before returning me to the floor.

And at that moment I was so happy to see him, all the memories of the amount of pain, and pleasure, that that night with him had resulted in, seemed to disappear momentarily and we were both just glad to be with each other. There was a definite connection between him and me. I could feel it and I know he could. He had said it to me before. But I wished so badly that there wasn’t a connection. Then things wouldn’t be so complicated. We could just be friends without having to worry that something might happen. Not that I thought he was worried about that at all. He would surely welcome it if anything ever did happen again, but I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I wanted him in my life and I felt like any relationship other than friendship would certainly end in disaster. Then there was Cynthia. I had met her and liked her quite a lot and I didn’t want to get close to her just to end up hurting her. John was already doing enough of that all on his own.

John and Paul looked great. John had on white pants, a black sweater, and a sort of plaid train conductor hat on the top of his ever-lengthening hair. And his face was sun kissed. He looked absolutely beautiful. And Paul looked just as good. He wore dark jeans and a pale green sweater with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows and his face was rosy as well. It was obvious they had spent a few days in the sun while they were in America. Probably on beaches and yachts like they had the previous time they had traveled to my home country. I had two Beatles in my entryway! I could hardly believe it. But as happy as I was to see them, I suddenly felt the mood in the room shift. It was abruptly more tense and awkward. But I had expected it to be. We all three just sort of stared at each other silently, no one wanting to be the first to speak. Until finally I decided I’d be the one to say something,

“I thought Paul and Christine were coming.”

“Oh, the bloody girls weren’t ready, so I offered my services to Paul. Seein’ as I already knew how to get to your place,” he winked.

I felt my face turn hot and knew I must’ve been beet red.

“No proper hello for me then?” Paul asked with a mock hurt tone in his voice.

“Oh yes, I’m sorry Paul. I was just annoyed at first because I thought it was you pounding on my door,” I said going over to hug him.

“Oh I see, but it was all right when you thought it was John, eh?”

“No, it’s just with John it didn’t surprise me,” I snapped back making Paul giggle.

“And just what does that supposed to mean?” John asked making one of his crazy twisted faces.

“It means that nothing about you surprises me,” I said hitting him on the chest.

“Hey!” he yelled rubbing the spot where I had hit him pretending my girly punch had hurt.

Then he grinned one of his gorgeous toothy smiles that absolutely killed me, and after giggling for a moment, we all fell silent once more.

“Right then,” Paul said after a time. “I’ll just go wait in the car.”

“No, that’s not really necessary, Paul,” I said.

“Oh, let him, love. Give us a chance to chat for a moment. He likes it in that bloody car anyway. You know us lads, always so proud of our cars,” John said.

“Yes, I’d live there if given the chance,” Paul said jokingly.

And feeling a bit uneasy, I said, “Okay.”

Paul left and shut my front door behind him leaving John and I alone in my apartment, neither knowing quite how to start.

“So how was the flight?” I asked trying to break the ice.

“Long and dreadful,” he said dismally then followed it with a cheesy grin.

I rolled my eyes playfully then said, “I hear you met Elvis.”

“Oh do you? Yes, I met me bloody life-long idol and it was a magical dream come true, the papers report,” he said sarcastically.

“Was it not?”

“Oh, you know, it just wasn’t what I thought it’d be. ‘Hound dog Elvis’ was my idol, but this bloke was a bit odd. Didn’t speak too much to us. Just wanted to play his bass, mostly. He was all right though, I suppose,” he said. “But Maggie, I didn’t send Paul out of the room so I could chat to you about Elvis, you know.”

“As I saw it, Paul left all on his own,” I said.

“Right,” John said tellingly.

While they were on their way over, they had obviously planned for Paul to leave John and me alone for a short time. John’s eyes and tone of his voice gave that away.

“Well?” I asked wanting to hurry and get what could potentially be a dangerous conversation over with.

“Look Maggie, I’m not going to lie to you and say I don’t still want you,” he said making me very uncomfortable. “That night in my car was… and don’t you dare say it was fuckin’ wrong because I already know that’s how you feel, and now’s the time for me to say what I feel. But… hell, Maggie, it was bloody fantastic. It really was. Better than anyone I’ve ever been with.”

I swallowed hard trying not to seem too uneasy about what he was saying. He was right. I had made him listen to me and I hadn’t given him a chance to really say anything yet so I owed him the same opportunity.

“And I just… well I just wanted you to know that it meant something to me. It wasn’t like it is with these other birds, you know. With you I felt something… I dunno, something more. I feel like I can say things to you. Say anything. And I know that’s crazy ‘cause I’ve never really said anything of importance when I’ve been around you, but just me feeling like I can, is more than I’ve felt with anyone in a long time,” he said more serious than I had ever heard him speak.

“John, I…”

“Oi! Lemme finish,” he said in a comical voice briefly breaking from the solemn way in which he had been speaking.

And I saw the John I was used to and felt slightly more comfortable for a moment. I smiled. Maybe that’s why he had done it; to make me feel more at ease.

“I know you don’t want anything to happen between us again and I swear to Christ I will try to respect that, but you must know how fuckin’ difficult it’s going to be? And even though I know it’ll be near impossible, I’d rather try than to not have you around me at all, because I really like you, Maggie. For whatever devil reason I can’t fuckin’ help myself. I’m mad about you. And I want to get to know every bloody last thing about you. And I can only hope you want to get to know me as well.”

I wanted to cry. I wanted to run to my bedroom and scream at the top of my lungs then cry myself to sleep, or death, whichever came first. I had never heard him speak so sincerely, or maturely. In fact, until that moment, I wasn’t even really sure he was capable of it. I had seen a lot that of things he was capable of, humor, anger, lust, but never sincerity. Or at least not what I thought passed for sincerity. Somehow I held back the tears. I didn’t want John to see me cry. Not again. So instead, I pretended to be strong and took his hand in mine.

“You’ve already heard my opinion about what happened between us. We were wrapped up in the moment and things went too far. You’re married, and what we did was wrong,” I said and a restrained look of annoyance came over his face. “But I like you too, John,” I continued. “And I agree that there’s something between us that we’d miss out on if we don’t at least try to be friends. I would like very much to be your friend. And I do want to get to know anything about you that you would like to tell me. Everything you want to tell me. In fact, I’m eager to know. But that’s where our relationship will have to end. That’s as far as it can go. And I think you know that.”

John was breathing heavily and looking almost on the verge of tears himself.

“I’m sorry if what we did caused you any pain,” he said and I thought that would be the end of my ability to hold back my tears.

I wanted to faint right then and there like a silly Beatlemaniac. Beatle John was in my house, apologizing to me for causing me pain! It was all too much, but somehow I held myself together.

“John, you weren’t the only one in the back of that car,” I said trying to let him know that though, that night, I had sounded like I blamed him for everything, it wasn’t his entire fault. “What happened took both of us, so I am just as much to blame as you are,” I said, then giving his hand, that was still firmly clenched in mine, a tug, added, “Now can we please try and not talk about that anymore? What’s done is done, okay? So, come and help me close my damn suitcase so we can go to the country!”

I pulled him along to my bedroom so he could help me with my suitcase.

“Draggin’ me to your bedroom, eh?” he said in a comical voice, lightening the mood by a hundred percent. “I knew that sensitive bit was going to put me right where I wanted to be!” he giggled.

And I was thankful for the joke. Everything had gotten much more serious than I cared to deal with at that moment.

“Oh, shut up,” I said climbing on top of my suitcase so it would close enough for him to fasten the latches.

“Well, look at you! You can’t even stay off the bloody bed long enough for me to get your suitcase out of here,” he teased.

“Just fasten it, will you?” I laughed.

After we were able to close my suitcase, John picked it up because it was a little heavy for me, and carried it out of the house.

“What the bloody hell do you have in here? Enough knickers to last a lifetime?”

I hit him playfully and he pretended to double over in pain, and then giggled. Paul and a man I had never met got out of the car to see if we needed help loading any of my luggage.

“Hey Paulie, I think we’ve found why Chris has gone missing,” John said gesturing to my suitcase. “Better take this one straight down to the police station, and let the coppers straighten her out.”

Paul grinned.

“Work things out then, you two?” he asked.

“Mind your fuckin’ business, Macca and leave the grown up issues for the grownups,” John said in a fake nasty voice.

“Sod off, Lennon,” Paul said playfully, and then turning to me added, “Maggie, this is our friend, Neil. Neil, Maggie. He’ll be coming with us this weekend.”

“Pleased to meet you,” I said shaking Neil’s hand.

He was a fairly attractive man. Nice and tall. Strong-looking.

“You too,” Neil said, smiling at me.

This was going to be a fun weekend after all.

“You better watch that one, Nell, she’s a troublemaker,” John said jokingly.

“I’ll keep an eye on her in that case,” Neil winked.

And unless I’m mistaken, I could have sworn I saw a faint look of jealousy in John’s eyes as we got into the car. As we drove, the four of us talked about everything that had been happening. John and Paul told me all about playing in Shea Stadium and how they were sure no one had been able to hear anything and though they had liked the excitement of it all, they were a bit turned off by the idea that no one could hear them.

“We knew no one could hear a bloody thing, so by the end we had almost given up and were just having fun going mad,” Paul said.

“Oh sod off, Paul, ‘cause I know what you’re going to say next,” John said.

“And you’re right,” Paul giggled. “When we were doing ‘I’m Down’, John just gave completely into the madness of it all and was playing with his elbows and everything. We were in stitches on stage and I’m not sure the audience even noticed. And that fact made us laugh all the more. George could hardly even play, for laughin’,” Paul began laughing just telling me about it and Neil and John joined him.

Then they began complaining to me about how American reporters seemed to ask the most inane questions. To which I could only answer by shrugging my shoulders. And then they told me all about the parties they had and had attended while they were in the U.S. and the fact people like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had wanted to meet them, but they didn’t care too much to meet them because they knew they didn’t like their music anyway.

“My dad would die if he heard you say that,” I said. “He absolutely adores the Rat Pack.”

“Well, next time we’ll be sure to get dearest daddy Maggie their autographs,” John said making a silly face. “We just didn’t really want to meet them ‘cause we knew they were just doing it for publicity.”

“As if Elvis wasn’t,” Neil said.

“Ah yes, but that was different because we wanted to meet Elvis, being that he was one of our heroes,” Paul said.

They proceeded to tell me about Elvis and all of his cronies and the fact that they had a jam session with him and didn’t go back home until around 2:00 in the morning even though they had a concert to do that night. But as nice as it had been to meet Elvis, they said were disappointed they hadn’t really gotten to meet more stars, or better ones at least, while they were in Hollywood. They went on telling me about any and everything they could think of and I told them about what had been going on in London while they were away. And about the discussion we had been having in one of my classes a week earlier, which they were surprisingly interested in hearing about.

“Serves that bloody bastard right saying we’re not authentic,” John said disgusted when I told him of the boy who had received boos from the rest of the class for his comments.

“Yeah, you should’ve chucked something at him, Maggie. Right at his fat head,” Paul added. And then he turned to John, “I’m more authentic than him, anyway,” he said jerking his thumb at John.

“You wish, Macca!” John laughed.

We talked like a bunch of old army buddies reuniting after they haven’t seen one another in years. They told stories, reliving moments from their trip and we all laughed and laughed. And I was sublimely happy. I felt like I was finally getting to know them; like I was finally one of them instead of another silly fan. Then I noticed where we were. And we were not going the right way to Paul’s house.

“Christ Maggie, do you think you could live any further away?” John asked. “We’ve told you about our whole trip to America and we’re still not at my bloody house yet.”

“Oh, we’re going to your place,” I said in a moment of clarity.

“Well, you didn’t think we were goin’ to mine at this time of day?” Paul asked. “The gate birds will be swarming just about now. They’d sooner crush my car with all of us in it than let John and I through.”

He was right. The times I had been to Paul’s house, there were loads of girls outside the front gates. He lived in the city and that made it easier for them to find his house and camp out. I had never been to John’s house, but he obviously lived somewhere else because we were on our way out of the city.

“Christine’s at your place then?” I asked.

“Yes, love,” John said.

As we arrived at John’s house I noticed, unlike at Paul’s, there were only a few fans waiting outside his gates.

“The benefits of not having a house directly in the city?” I asked.

“What? You mean my lack of fans?” John asked. “Nah, they just like Paul better!”

“Sod off, John. That’s not true,” Paul said trying not to smile.

“It’s all right, Paulie, me ego don’t need protectin’,” he said pretending to hold back tears.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Paul brushed him off.

“Once a Beatle, always a bloody Beatle,” John giggled.

We left my luggage in the car and all went into John’s house, where Julian met us at the door.

“Daddy!” he yelled and wrapped himself around John’s leg.

“Cyn,” John yelled.

“We’re almost ready!” I heard Cynthia call from another room.

John rolled his eyes in an irritated manner and muttered something under his breath. He then patted Julian on the head, peeled him off his leg, and continued walking. Julian then transferred his attention to Paul, who smiled at him brightly and picked him up. He then flipped Julian upside down, and carried him along with us. I followed Paul like a lost little girl as John had disappeared out of view and Neil had not yet come in the house. I felt so odd being in John’s house, not just because he was Beatle John, but because of everything that had happened between us.

“Come on Paul, I’ve got to go smoke one before I blow a fucking fuse waiting on those bloody girls,” John said, bag of marijuana in hand, as he reentered the room.

John was obviously very agitated, more so than I had ever seen him. Paul smiled at me and handed Julian over. And then he followed John out back. I didn’t know what to do. Julian looked at me strangely.

“Let me go” he said as he struggled to be let free.

And I didn’t try and stop him. I didn’t blame him. He didn’t know me from one of the girls standing outside the gates to his house. I wouldn’t have wanted to be held by me either. I sat him on the sofa that we were standing by and he quickly jumped off and ran away disappearing through a door. I felt awkward standing there all alone. Then I noticed a photo on a small table that didn’t help the situation. It was a picture of John standing next to Cynthia, who was sitting in a chair holding Julian on her lap. John was wearing a funny sash or belt diagonally across his chest and holding some sort of long garden tool like a King’s rod, while Cynthia used a mop as a scepter. It was a funny picture and they looked happy in it. I felt a strange twinge in my stomach and figured it must be guilt. I was suddenly jerked out my own misery, though when I heard a voice say my name. I looked up and Christine was there grinning broadly.

“I can’t believe you’re here!” she squealed. “I don’t know how they got you to skip school, but I’m so glad!”

“I don’t know how either, but somehow they just talked me into it.”

“Yeah, they’re good at talking people into doing what they want them to.”

“Don’t remind me,” I said.

And we both laughed.

“Anyway, it’s just one day, right?” I said.

“With those guys it’s never just one day,” Christine said. “Next time it will be, ‘Come on, what’s one more day?’ and the next time it will be, ‘You did it last time, how’s this time different?’ and it’ll just keep going like that. It’s a vicious cycle.”

“Well, hopefully I’ll be able to stay in control of my own life,” I said.

“Yeah right,” Christine laughed. “Where did the boys go?”

“Um, out back for a smoke I think.”

“And you wanted to stay in here all alone?” she asked raising her eyebrows the same way Paul always did.

“Well, I wasn’t sure I was invited. Paul handed me Julian and…”

“Yes I heard. He came in the room where Cyn and I were and told us some strange lady was in the living room and knowing how strange you are, I just figured it had to be you!” she laughed.

“Ugh,” I laughed and kicked her in the butt.

“Come on let’s go out back.”

I followed Christine out to back patio and the second we had passed through the doors the overwhelming smell of pot filled my nose. And the boys were giggling.

“Well, well, finally ready are we?” John asked.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lennon, because I have been ready for ages,” Christine said stealing what was left of Paul’s joint and taking a drag.

“Hey, get your own, you bloody reefer thief!” Paul said smacking Christine on the bottom and stealing it back.

“Sorry, we didn’t offer you some Maggie. Want some?” John asked.

I didn’t know if I did or not. I had never smoked marijuana before and I didn’t know Christine had either. I mean, judging by the way she had just done it; it certainly didn’t look like right then was her first time. And to be honest I was a little surprised. She had never been a really wild girl. I had always been the one that was more willing to try things, ever since we had first met in grade school. I was the first one to kiss a boy, to smoke, to drink, to get drunk, to stay out past curfew, to sleep with a boy… but I had never done drugs. I felt like they were all staring at me, judging and waiting.

“You don’t have to,” Christine said.

“Yeah, it’s no big deal, Maggie. Cyn doesn’t do it either,” Paul said.

“No, she doesn’t,” John said exhaling smoke, and handing me his joint.

The look in his eyes was telling me that the fact that she didn’t was just one more thing that was between them. I took the joint and inhaled a little. Paul and Maggie giggled and John smiled an appreciative smile. It didn’t taste nearly as bad as cigarettes. I had smoked a little when I was younger, but just because it was the cool thing to do. I had never really liked it and decided to stop doing it not long after I had started, but marijuana was different. The taste was almost… sweet? Everything about it was just more… natural for some reason. I kind of liked it. I handed the joint back to John and he held his hand up in protest.

“Go ahead and finish it. I’ve had enough,” he giggled.

The back door opened and Cynthia stuck her head out.

“I’m ready to go,” she said in a cool tone then, looking quickly around at the four of us, went back inside with a look of disapproval on her face.

“Uh-oh, Johnny’s in trouble,” Paul giggled.

“Sod off,” John said staring into space.

“Cyn doesn’t really appreciate us smoking when Julian’s here,” Christine said.

“Or any other bloody time,” John added bitterly.

“Oh,” I said throwing the joint down and stepping on it to put it out.

“Nooo!” Paul squealed as if something terrible had just happened.

“What the bloody hell did you do that for?” John asked.

“I just thought…” I stammered.

Christine just giggled.

“Never ever wafe the reester,” John said. “Waste the reefer,” he corrected himself giggling. “That is… don’t do it,” he said, shaking a scolding finger at me.

And we were all in stitches laughing as we went back into the house. Cynthia gave us a dirty look.

“Neil’s already loaded my luggage. And he’s putting Julian in the car now,” she said.

“Maggie, you can ride with us,” John said.

I don’t know if it was the pot or the guilt I still felt, but I was very paranoid Cynthia would read something into his asking me to ride with them and something even more into my accepting the ride.

“No, that’s all right, I’ll ride with Paul and Christine since it is just the two of them,” I said.

“Actually, it’s us and Neil. He’s driving us since John has his own driver,” Paul said.

I noticed Christine elbow him subtly in the ribs. The thought of riding in John’s Rolls Royce with the same driver whose eyes I had seen look at me from his rearview mirror did not sound appealing at all.

“Even so, my luggage is already in Paul’s car,” I said.

‘It’s settled then, you’ll ride with us,” Christine said trying to help me out.

I saw a look of disappointment in John’s eyes as he and Cynthia headed out the front door for their car. We all followed them outside and Paul and John waved at the few fans that were outside the gates. As Christine, Paul, and I loaded into the car I saw John and Cynthia loading into their car and noticed how unhappy he seemed. I felt bad for him. Why did he want me to ride with them? What part of me riding with him, and his wife, and child made him think would make for anything besides an uncomfortable situation? As silly and high as I had previously felt, I suddenly felt very sober. Paul and Christine were still giggling and they talked about everything under the sun while we drove along the English roads, trying to engage me, but my mind was elsewhere. Neil asked me what was wrong, but I could only say, “Nothing.” It was all too complicated to get into and I didn’t even really know him. I wondered how much he knew. Paul and John surely told him something while they were on their way to pick me up, but how much? Then I began to wonder if the others that would be in attendance that weekend knew anything. I knew the four Beatles themselves were very close, so it was likely that George and Ringo knew everything, but had they told their girlfriend and wife? And, since Pattie and Maureen were friends with Cynthia, had they told her? Was I walking into a situation that was inevitably going to end badly? It sure seemed like a black hole. The more I thoughts I allowed myself to have, the worse I felt. Maybe it was the pot that was making me so paranoid? If that was the case, I had changed my mind about liking it.

We drove for quite a while and I had fallen asleep for a short time, but we finally arrived at a beautiful sprawling estate. I instantly recognized George and Pattie, who were out front playing ball with a dog. Pattie had thrown the ball and the dog went to fetch it, then brought it back to them, but refused to loosen his teeth from around it. So George was wrestling playfully on the ground with the dog to get it to let go of the ball. We got out of our cars and stood watching and laughing at the three of them. When Cynthia let Julian out of the car, he immediately ran over to play with them. The dog obviously knew him and instantly released the ball from his mouth and jumped on top of Julian, knocking him to the ground, and licked his face repeatedly. Julian howled with laughter.

“This scene look familiar, Chris?” John asked and everyone laughed.

“All too familiar,” she teased, poking Paul in the ribs and he made a face causing us laugh even more.

“Oh, Maggie, so nice to see you again! I wasn’t expecting you to be here,” Pattie squealed pleasantly and came over to hug me.

I was a bit surprised at her enthusiasm, but was glad for the warm greeting.

“Well, you know, she’s my best friend, so I don’t hardly go anywhere without her,” Christine said with a wink.

“She’s a friend of all of ours,” Paul added and I felt myself blush a little.

“Well, I’m so glad you came. We’re going to have a great time!” Pattie said.

“All right, enough of this bloody love fest, let’s get inside,” John said. “Where’s Rich and that house of a wife of his?”

“I’m right here, John Lennon, you lout, come and give us a kiss,” Maureen said entering into the doorway. “Hear you boys had an hell of a time in America.”

“Scandalous,” he said wrapping his arms around her as best as he could and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

We all went into the house where Ringo and George Martin and his wife, Sheena, were. Mal and Brian had not yet arrived. It was the first time I had met George and Sheena and was pleased to learn that they were such lovely people. Very posh. A bit more sophisticated than the others, but no less friendly. They were also a bit older, but it hardly mattered. I was instantly taken by the extreme sense of love and family the whole group shared with one another. It was obvious in seeing them all greet one another. And Julian seemed to be adopted as all of their child.

“Soon we’re gonna have a little mate for ya, Julian,” Ringo said softly rubbing Maureen’s swollen belly.

Julian wasn’t sure what to make of that and just stood staring at her.

“Or, maybe even a little girlfriend,” Maureen teased knowing Ringo was hoping for a boy.

Then Maureen showed me to my room. I had a whole room all to myself since I was the only single girl in attendance, but I didn’t feel bad at all about it. If they didn’t want to waste an entire room on just one person they shouldn’t have invited me. Besides, that place looked like it had more than enough bedrooms for everyone.

“George and Sheena seem lovely,” I said making conversation as Maureen showed me where everything was. “Do they have any children?”

“Yes, they have two. But Maggie, you mustn’t ask them too much about things having to do with their marriage and such. They were divorced in February and the whole thing’s a little awkward. They’re sort of trying to see if they can’t work things out,” she said.

“Oh, sorry,” I said. “I had no idea.”

“No, I know, love. Just thought I’d give you fair warning,” she smiled.

Maureen left me alone to unpack and after I had done so I joined everyone back in the family room. There was a lot of commotion as Mal and Brian had finally arrived and everyone was greeting them and “oohing” and “aahing” over Maureen’s swollen belly. I looked around for Christine, but she was nowhere to be found and neither was Paul. I smiled knowing that since the boys had just gotten back yesterday, the two of them had probably wanted to be alone for a while. Then, in all the chaos, I noticed John standing in a corner of the room talking quietly to Cynthia, who was sitting on the arm of a chair with her back to the room. It was too noisy to hear what they were saying, but I saw John lean in and kiss her sweetly. And when they pulled away from each other his eyes met mine and locked. Suddenly I felt that same twinge in my stomach I had earlier identified as guilt, but this time it was much stronger and caused me to correct my earlier supposition. This time it was clear that what I was feeling was not guilt. It was pure and unadulterated jealousy. The realization was like a stab in the gut. The entire time I had thought I was staying away from John because that was the right thing to do; that I was doing it to protect Cynthia from getting hurt. And now I knew I had been correct in my first ideas, that staying away from John was the right thing to do, but not in order to protect Cynthia; but instead to protect myself from getting hurt. I realized I hadn’t wanted anything to start up between John and me because I knew how it would inevitably end. He would go home and be with his wife in the long run, happily or not. She had him permanently and, no matter what, I could only have him temporarily. She was the one he really wanted to be with; I would only serve as a source of fun and momentary relief. If he really wanted me he wouldn’t be with her. The realizations came over me like waves of nausea until I realized John and I were still staring at each other. I felt my eyes begin to burn and I turned away.

“What’s wrong, Maggie?” George asked as he and Pattie were the only ones anywhere near me.

“Nothing, it’s nothing,” I said. “I just need to… excuse me,” I said leaving the room and rushing back to my bedroom as I began to feel tears filling up my eyes.

I entered my room, closed the door, and threw myself on my bed and began to cry. I felt pathetic. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been better able to interpret my own feelings. Heavy sobs that caused my entire body to shake and made me feel sick overcame me. I had been so stupid. Everything I had told John had been so wrong. It had been me lying to myself… and to him. What was wrong with me? What did this mean? Was I in love with him? I didn’t know. And now I had to spend the weekend with these people, laughing and pretending everything was okay. There was a knock at my door.

“Yes, just a moment, please,” I said trying to wipe my eyes and pretend as if I hadn’t just been sobbing my eyes out.

The door opened and John entered.

“Christ, Maggie,” he said closing the door behind him, a look of terror and desperation on his face.

And the second I saw him I began weeping again.

“Please leave John,” I forced myself to say.

“I won’t, you know. I bloody won’t,” he said appalled that I would even think he’d leave me in such a state.

“Please, you have to,” I begged him. “Just… please go. I’ll be all right,” I said.

But I wasn’t sure that was true. He looked at me understanding what I meant by telling him he had to go and, a painful look of sorrow on his face, he left. I cried some more, wallowing in misery until there was a second knock on the door. Who the hell?

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