Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 7

“Oh, hello. Yes mom, it’s me. Excuse me, but could you hold on for just a second?” I asked into the phone.

Then, covering up the phone so my mother wouldn’t hear me, I turned to Christine and the two Beatles sitting in my living room.

“Shit! It’s my mom!” I whispered to them in a frantic tone.

“So?” Paul asked.

“So, I’m still high, Paul! And it’s your fault!” I said becoming a bit hysterical.

“Come off it, I didn’t force you to smoke it,” he giggled.

“Just talk to her normally, Maggie,” Christine said. “She’ll never notice.”

I wasn’t so sure. My mom had always had some sort of sixth sense when it came to knowing I was doing things I shouldn’t be doing. My heart and mind were racing. What if she could tell? What would she say? What would she do? I inhaled deeply attempting to calm myself down and then I returned to the phone.

“Mom, I’m so glad to hear from you. How are things?” I asked as normally as possible.

We spoke for a while and in the meantime I settled down a bit. Either she couldn’t tell I was high, or she was pretending not to notice that I was acting a bit strange. Either way, our conversation carried on. She told me about everything that was going on back home. My brother’s new job, and how beautiful my cousin’s wedding was, and how there had been something wrong with my father’s car and he had only made it worse by trying to fix it himself. She asked what I had been learning in school and how everything was going in England and told me that everyone missed me back home. And our conversation seemed to be winding down without anything having gone wrong until my guests began to get too loud while having their own conversation in my living room.

“Maggie, do I hear boys?” my mother asked.

I turned toward John and Paul and gestured for them to quiet down.

“Oh, um, yes, mom. Christine and a couple of friends from school are here,” I said.

The three of them quieted down almost immediately deciding my conversation with my mother was probably more amusing than anything they were talking about. They sat intently, watching me squirm uncomfortably at my mother’s remarks and questions. And they giggled animatedly but silently, so that it was as if I was watching them on a home video with no sound.

“Well, I suppose its okay then. As long as Christine is there, but, Maggie…” she trailed off and I was afraid what might be coming next. “To be honest, we’ve become a bit worried about Christine, over here. We’ve seen her picture in some of the papers with that Beatle fellow. I don’t remember his name. You know, one of those rock ‘n’ rollers with the long hair? And there are rumors circulating that she may be dating him.”

“Oh?” I asked trying to sound like it was news to me.

“Betty told me that Christine has told her she does know him, but she hasn’t really said whether they are dating or not,” my mother said, then paused as if waiting for me to confirm or deny.

When I didn’t respond, she continued, “Well you can imagine Betty’s disappointment. Those aren’t exactly the types of people we had hoped you girls would meet while you’re over there in England.”

It had been even more difficult for Betty to let Christine come to England than it had been for my parents to let me come. Ever since Christine’s father died, Betty had been very protective over her children. She had always kept a watchful eye on them and wanted them close to her.

“Christine’s doing just fine, mom. You can tell Betty that,” I said and smiled at the look of horror on Christine’s face at her realization that we were talking about her.

“Then the boys that are there… Are they you girls’ boyfriends?”

“No, mom. They’re just our friends. No boyfriends here,” I lied for Christine.

I wasn’t sure what she would have wanted me to say. She obviously hadn’t told her mother yet that she and Paul had been dating for a while. Paul responded to my comment by jokingly removing his arm from around Christine and scooting as far away from her as possible. Then suddenly, John stood and came over to me. I widened my eyes in horror. There was no telling what he was planning.

“Let me speak to her,” he said, holding his hand out for me to give him the phone.

I almost passed out. John was just about the last person I wanted speaking to my mother.

“Who is that, Maggie? One of your friends?” my mother asked.

“Um…” was all I could manage.

“C’mon, love, parents love me,” John grinned.

“Don’t believe him, Maggie,” Paul laughed from the sofa. “My own dad didn’t want me going round with John. And I’m sure my mum would’ve hated him.”

“Come off it, Paul. You know, I’m quite charming when I set my mind to it,” John batted his eyelashes comically.

“Maggie?” my mother asked.

“Uh, hold on, mom,” I said sitting the telephone on the counter and dragging John a little ways away from it.

“John, she doesn’t know that I know you guys,” I said to him quietly.

“Come off, she knows that you know Chris. So she must know you know us. Guilty by association and that,” he said.

“Apparently they don’t know Christine and Paul are dating,” I said, my eyes darting over to look at Christine.

“Yes, and we’re going to talk about that later,” Paul said nodding his head. “Trying to hide me, are you love?” he asked her, shaking a finger. “Embarrassed, eh?”

“No, it’s not that, Paul… It’s just… well, at least I told my mom I know you,” she said smiling uncomfortably.

“See, there!” John exclaimed, pointing at Christine. “They know she knows us. So, your parents must know you know us too!” he said.

“Unless I tell my mom exactly what is going on… I mean, unless she hears it from my mouth, it’s simply not true. Even if she knows for a fact it is true. If we don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist. That’s the way my mother’s always been,” I said.

“Oh, one of those, eh?” he squinted his eyes.

I nodded.

“Well,” he sighed. “I can pretend to be whoever you want. Just let me speak to her.”

“Why?” I laughed, finding his persistence amusing.

“Come on, Maggie,” he said marching back over to the phone and scooping it up off the counter.

“Hullo, Maggie’s mum,” he said brightly into the phone.

I thought I would die. I looked on in utter terror. With John, there was no telling what he would do or say next. But I was so curious as to what he was going to say to her, I allowed the potential disaster to play out. Why did he want so badly to speak to her? I wasn’t sure, but it was most likely just to torture me.

“Hello. And who am I speaking to, please?” my mother asked.

“Oh this is, ahem… Winston,” John said, winking at me theatrically.

I giggled and shook my head. I couldn’t believe him.

“Oh, Winston, how lovely. As in Churchill?” she asked.

“Yes, mum, that’s right. A good lad he was and that’s who my very own mum named me after. A nice name, I think.”

“Yes, very. So, Winston, you attend the University?” she asked.

“Aye, yes, mum. I’ve been to college. It’s not for me though, college. Didn’t do much to broaden me horizons, you know. Always had bigger things in mind, you see. But that Maggie, she’s as bright as a button. Always with her nose in a book and such. Never going round like the rest of us. She’s a very good girl, Maggie,” John grinned.

“I do apologize, dear. I only understood about half of what you said. You’ll have to excuse me but your accent is very thick,” my mother said.

“‘S’all right, mum. You ‘mericans jus’ butcher our language’s all. ‘S’why none of ya can understan’ it when the likes of us speak it real proper like,” John said in his best scouser accent, rolling r’s and all.

I immediately snatched the phone from him and he laughed wildly. I could tell he had had just about enough of behaving properly. I kicked him on the butt and he giggled and ran back over to Paul and Christine who were sitting on the sofa sniggering.

“Mom?” I asked.

“Well, Maggie, your friend, Winston’s accent just got thicker and thicker and by the end I couldn’t understand a word he was saying,” my mom said, flabbergasted.

At that point I had to hold back my own laughter.

“But I did catch it when he said that you’re a good girl.”

“Of course, mom. I’m always a good girl,” I beamed at John.

Then I had to cover my end of the telephone so my mom couldn’t hear the howls of laughter coming from my living area.

“Well, I’m glad you’re doing so well over there Maggie. You have made your father and me very proud,” she said.

And I felt a lump in my throat. I hadn’t heard her say anything like that about me in quite a while and it felt good. They had been so disappointed in me just a few years ago when I was in high school and was going through a very rebellious stage.

“Well, I’ve been working hard to make you proud,” I said as quietly as possible, so the others couldn’t hear.

But I noticed they were listening intently.

“I know that I let both of you down for a while and I intend to make it up to you.”

“You are well on your way to doing that, Maggie. Just keep up the good work, sweetie,” my mother said.

After I hung up the phone, I returned to my friends.

“What was all that business about then?” John asked with a raised eyebrow.

“I don’t know which business you’re referring to,” I said sincerely.

“How did you let your parents down?” he asked.

“Oh I can answer that one for you,” Christine smiled.

“Well, let’s have it then, babe,” Paul said.

Christine looked at me for approval and I shrugged indifferently. I didn’t mind if Paul and John knew about my past. They wouldn’t judge me, I was sure of that. And I was somewhat thankful to Christine for telling them so I didn’t have to. She continued,

“You see, Maggie and I have been friends since we were in grade school. I think we were about ten or eleven-years-old when we met. So, that’s been… for eleven or twelve years now?”

“I think we were eleven so, that’s been ten years we’ve known each other,” I said.

“So anyway, it’s been a while now,” Christine continued. “And through our friendship, our parents became very close friends and we all got along fairly well. Until we were about fifteen and Maggie became a little rebellious.”

“I don’t believe it,” John said, doubtful.

“No really, she was a naughty girl when we were in school back in America,” Christine said and I saw a twinkle in John’s eyes as he gazed at me in wonderment.

“She went through a phase where my mother positively did not want me hanging around her anymore. It was really awful actually, because she and I were practically sisters we were so close. But she started hanging around with boys. Much older boys and she started drinking and smoking some.”

“Not Maggie,” Paul said sarcastically and I grinned and batted my eyelashes angelically.

“And she started not turning up for school. Everyday I would go to class and there her seat was, empty. Well there was no way I could go along with her, though she pressured me to very frequently. Daily, in fact. But my mom would have killed me had she found I had been playing hooky. So, in order to keep Maggie as a friend, I would let her copy my homework so she wouldn’t fall behind in class.”

“Hey, you’re making me sound like the only bad one, here. Don’t forget you eventually smoked and drank too, miss!” I gave her a playful shove.

“Only after you told me I was being a wet blanket and was ruining everyone’s fun!” Christine exclaimed.

“So later it all came out, how I was going ‘down hill,’ according to my father. And he wanted to pull me out of public school and put me in a Catholic school where I was sure to get ‘straightened out.’ So, I ran away and stayed with this twenty-year-old boy I was dating at the time,” I said.

“Who drove a motorcycle and looked a lot like Marlon Brando did in ‘The Wild One’!” Christine added.

“And instead of going to school, we sat around his house all day drinking and…”

“Having sex,” Christine interrupted with a giggle.

“I was going to say, and… going out to dancehalls at night to listen to rock ‘n’ roll music.” I said.

“Oh yes, you forgot to mention that all the adults around us were attributing your ‘downward spiral’ to Elvis, the king of all darkness, Presley,” Christine laughed.

“Of course,” I said. “My rebellion was due to none other than that devil music,” I laughed. “But I eventually grew tired of the boy I was with and I went back home. And my dad never said anything else about sending me to Catholic school. In fact, my parents pretended like I hadn’t been gone at all.”

Christine then gave me a more serious look, questioning whether I wanted to continue on with the slightly darker aspects of my story. I nodded at her that it was all right to tell them. I wasn’t ashamed of much that had happened in my life, not even the bad parts. Anything I had done wrong, I had learned from, so I didn’t feel I really had anything to hide.

“Toward the end of our high school career, she was getting even worse though,” Christine made an apologetic face at me. “I was a little worried about her. Just from a friend’s standpoint, I mean. She was spending lots of her time in the dancehalls where the older boys would buy her, and me when I was there, drink after drink even though we were underage. I rarely got drunk, but Maggie would get scary drunk pretty often. And the boys would try to take her home with them when she had been drinking like that. But she fought most of them off. Didn’t you, Maggie?” Christine smiled.

“I remember punching a number of them, yes,” I gave a small chuckle.

“But she didn’t fight all of them, and…”

“And soon I found out I was pregnant,” I finished for Christine, sensing that she was a little uncomfortable telling Paul and John. “I knew who the father was so I let him know and of course, he wanted to get married,” I said.

“Maggie you didn’t…” Paul started, but I already knew what he was thinking, so I stopped him.

“Have an abortion? No. But I wasn’t about to marry the guy. I wasn’t in love with him and I didn’t want to get married just because I was pregnant.”

As soon as I had said the words I winced a little because I knew that was pretty much the only reason John and Cynthia had gotten married. I hadn’t meant for the statement to be a dig at him, though it sure sounded that way. I looked over at him, but he wasn’t looking at me and he didn’t say anything, so I continued,

“I miscarried and my parents never even knew I was pregnant.”

“Sorry to hear that,” Paul said. “But tell me, how is it that you were allowed to come here then? If you were giving your folks such a hard time?” he asked.

“Well, luckily I had been smart enough to copy Christine’s work, pretty much throughout high school, so I was still making good grades at school, even though I was hardly ever there. And by our senior year in high school, Christine had applied and gotten accepted to a college in England. And I didn’t really have any other aspirations, so I decided I would join her. I applied and was also accepted.”

“When she asked her parents though, her mom immediately said no, while her father was on the fence,” Christine said.

“But surprisingly I didn’t have to do any convincing. They just came to me one day and said they had decided to let me go. I don’t really know why, but I can guess the thought of sending me as far away as possible just to get me out of their hair was a big reason. They were probably glad to be rid of me,” I said.

“So then Maggie could go, but I couldn’t!” Christine said. “And I was the one who had been researching it and wanted to go so badly! But my mom was not enthusiastic about the idea at all. Somehow though, Maggie’s parents talked her into letting us come here if we lived together and swore to take care of each other. And of course we did!”

“Until Christine decided she wanted to make a go of it and move out on her own. Both of our parents were horrified about what might happen if Christine left me,” I said. “But we both assured them I was doing great, which I am. So now I’m the studious angel and she’s the awful, rebellious one dating a rock star!” I laughed.

“Troublemaker,” Paul poked Christine teasing her.

“No, you are!” she giggled poking him back.

John sat quietly with his jaw slightly dropped, looking deep in thought. I could tell he was still taking in all of the information he had just been given. And I could almost see his mind working to make sense of it and to analyze it all.

“You’re awfully quiet,” I finally said to him.

“Just thinking,” he said.

“About?” I asked.

“About how none of that sounds like the Maggie I know. About how it sounds like a completely different person from the girl sitting right here in front of me.”

“That’s because it is, John,” I said. “I’m not that same person any more. I’ve changed.”

“You been lying to me from the fucking beginning,” he laughed bitterly.

“Right then, luv,” Paul said to Christine, nervously. “I think we should take John’s advice from earlier, now,” he stood and urged her to follow him.

“I haven’t lied to you once,” I replied, ignoring Paul and Christine, who were slinking away to my bedroom as quietly and quickly as possible.

“Oh come off it, Maggie!” John yelled and I could see a frightening fire in his eyes. “You been acting so fucking self-righteous about me cheating on Cyn, and here you are the entire bloody time with a history like that of no girl I’ve ever fuckin’ known!”

“I never claimed to be an angel, John. I’ve just learned from my mistakes is all. I’ve grown up,” I said, trying to match his angry tone.

“And I haven’t, is that it?” he asked.

“I think that’s pretty obvious,” I said coldly.

“Well at least I don’t have a sodding history full of the shite you do!”

“Oh don’t you, John? Alcohol, drugs, adultery… I’d say your history, or your present depending on how you look at it, is filled with all the same shit! But there’s one difference between you and I, John Lennon,” I narrowed my eyes at him and went in for the kill. “I didn’t have a spouse and innocent child I was hurting with all my bullshit!”

John looked like I had just hit him in the gut. And for a moment I was afraid he was going to hit me. I had hit a nerve and I had never seen him so furious. He clenched his fists and his jaw tightly. His chest was rising and falling rapidly like he had just returned from a brisk run. And I could hear him inhaling and exhaling through flared nostrils. And I was sorry. The moment I said it, I was so sorry. I knew it was a hit below the belt to say something about Julian and I had said it anyway. But, I dared not speak. John looked terrifying and I was scared if I opened my mouth, even to apologize, that there was no telling what he’d do. He stared at me intensely and I returned his look, keeping my eyes fixed on him. This was a power play I was familiar with; one I had played many times. The second I shied away from John’s intense stare would give him power over me. And as bad as I felt for my last comment, I was not about to give him that power. Not if I wanted him to treat me as his equal. Not if I wanted him to respect me. So I continued looking back at him and soon noticed his breathing begin to slow. Then I saw the look in his eyes soften slightly. And after a few moments John was aware that I was onto his game and I saw a smile begin to creep up on the corners of his mouth.

“You remind me a bit of me mum, you know?” he said, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it.

I was thunderstruck. It was such a random comment to make at a time like that. I wondered how he meant. What made him say that? I had never heard him mention his mother before. I wasn’t sure what to say. Was our fight over? As quickly as it had begun, it was over just like that? How was I supposed to respond?

“How so?” I asked, completely confused.

“You’re fucking crazy!” he laughed. “She was too, but that’s part of what made her so great.”

I smiled at him.

“No bloody girl’s ever talked to me the way you just done,” he said taking a long drag on his cigarette. “And none have refused to back down like that either. Cyn usually just gives up and runs off crying or something.”

“Yeah, listen John, about what I said.”

“Now don’t go apologizing. You’ll ruin it… You know you were right anyway.”

I couldn’t believe it. He was acting like a completely different person from five minutes earlier. I had never known someone to be so irate one second, and then so completely calm the next. The man was a walking contradiction. And the strangest thing was that he was fully aware of it. In fact, he seemed to thrive on his own inconsistencies.

“I did just marry Cyn because she was pregnant,” he said.

“Oh John, I didn’t mean anything by that. It’s just… well marriage wasn’t something I wanted, is all. Not with that guy at least. Not at that time,” I said.

“I mean it’s not the only reason. I loved her too, you know. I suppose I still do. I’m just not in love with her. And now I think maybe I never was.”

“Well, I’m sure you were. People just… fall out of love sometimes I think.”

“No,” he said. “It’s different.”

“What’s different?” I asked, confused.

“The way I feel about her is different… from the way I feel about…”

I went numb. I knew what he was going to say and I didn’t want to hear it. Truthfully, I wanted very badly to hear it, but not under the circumstances. I hoped against hopes that what I feared he was going to say was not what he would actually say. But unfortunately my fears we realized when he spoke.

“The way I feel about you, Maggie,” he finished.

I swallowed hard.


“No, Maggie, don’t. Please don’t,” he pleaded.

And I saw a look of desperation in his eyes that I had never seen before. He was usually so strong. I felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. I couldn’t breath.

“Learning about your sordid past just now,” he smiled and furrowed his brow in a playful manner, then continued, “And the fight we just had, and the days we’ve spent together, and that night… that one bloody night that I wish there was a thousand more of… All those things have shown me… They’ve just proved to me, as if I needed any more proof than the way I felt the very first time I met you… that I need to be with you. I want you, love. I can’t bloody stand it anymore. I want you more than I’ve ever wanted any girl in the world,” he said in a desperate tone. “Well, ‘cept maybe for Brigitte Bardot. But you’re not even blonde and I still want ya!,” he laughed a little trying to lighten the mood a bit.

“John, you don’t want me necessarily,” I said trying to convince him. “You just don’t want Cynthia anymore.”

“Not true, love!” he protested. “There’s never been another girl that’s made me feel the way you do. One that puts me in my place. I want you. I need you.”

“I thought we were past all this?” I sighed. “I thought we were trying to just be friends.”

“You were bloody right, though. I can’t just be your friend. I tried and I think I did pretty well, but it’s killing me and I just can’t keep it up any longer.”

I wanted to cry. I wanted to throw myself on him and cover him with kisses. I wanted him just as badly and I understood perfectly well what he meant when he said that it was killing him, because it was killing me too. But I couldn’t put myself out there. He was with Cynthia and I didn’t really see him leaving her anytime soon. And I just couldn’t set myself up for heartbreak like that.

“John, you’re with Cynthia and I’m not the same girl I once was. We can’t be together. And if it’s too hard to just be friends with each other then, maybe we just shouldn’t be around each other?”

“Fuck that,” he said flatly.

I agreed. I didn’t want to stop seeing John either, but I didn’t tell him that. Instead, we sat in silence, both staring off into space, and our problem went unresolved.

A short time later Paul and Christine checked to see if it was safe to return to my living room and after the four of us talked briefly, Paul said it was time for them to be going. I went outside first to see if it was safe for Paul and John to exit my apartment and luckily there was only one elderly couple out working in their garden and not a soul to be seen besides them. The boys left Christine and I alone and after she made me relay to her what had happened between John and I, Christine too left.

Days passed and I hadn’t spoken to anyone. When my telephone rang, I didn’t answer it out of fear that it was John calling. It was easier than speaking to him. The situation between he and I was becoming increasingly complicated and I felt like we needed some time apart. Some time for the feelings we were both harvesting to dissipate a little. I attended class regularly and tried to get back on the right track. The track that didn’t lead to me falling in love with a married man. The next weekend I ran into Christine at a clothing store she and I both frequented.

“Where have you been? I’ve been trying to get ahold of you for days!” she scolded.

“Oh, I’ve been really busy with school,” I answered truthfully, conveniently omitting the part about trying to avoid John.

“Too busy to answer your phone? I was going to go to your apartment today and make sure you were still alive!”

“Well, I haven’t been answering my phone since Monday evening after you all left my apartment, so you’d be about five days late if I were dead!” I laughed.

“Hey, better late than never, right?” Christine giggled.

We talked as we shopped for dresses, and jeans, and shoes, and anything else we could find. It had been a while since I had gone on a shopping spree, so I was treating myself. And once we both had more bags and boxes than we could carry, we decided it was time to go for a bite to eat. Over lunch, at a tiny cafĂ© around the corner, Christine updated me about everything that had happened during the week. She said the boys were off having a rest at a mansion in Bel Air. And that she hadn’t gone because she couldn’t get away from school. She said she had been able to set up a time to take the test she had missed the previous Monday and that surprisingly, her professor had been very understanding about the whole situation. The topic then turned to the photo that had been taken of her and her friend after she missed her test last Monday. It had still not shown up in the papers. She and Paul had gone to Brian with what happened and he asked Paul how serious the two of them were, right in front of Christine. Paul had answered that their relationship was very serious, which sent Christine over the moon. She was beaming just relaying the story to me. So Brian suggested that Christine start talking to the press now whenever they asked. He also said it would help matters for her and Paul to pose together for pictures when the newsmen wanted them. The idea was that if she were friendly enough to the reporters, they wouldn’t want to print negative things about her, in order for her to keep giving them statements and interviews. I could tell Christine was happy about getting to deal with the press. I think it made her feel more like one of the “Beatle girls” instead of just a girl Paul was casually dating.

“You know you’re going to have to tell your mom about Paul now?” I said, biting into the sandwich I had ordered.

“Oh, Paul and I talked about that and I called her the day after we spoke to Brian. She wasn’t very thrilled with the news but said they had suspected we were seeing each other. She asked when she could meet him and Paul said we could fly her over here soon! I think he wants us all to go to Liverpool when she gets here so I can meet his dad and our parents can meet each other! Can you imagine? Mom’s all set to hate Paul, but I just know when she finally does meet him, she’s going to adore him! How could she not?”

I could see the love sparkling in Christine’s eyes and I envied her. I had never been that in love with someone and I wanted so badly to experience it. I definitely had feelings for John, but nothing could ever come from them because he was married. I decided then and there I would simply have to be more open to the boys at school if I ever wanted to find love.

The following Monday at school, I sat next to a boy that had been flirting with me since the term had begun. His name was Edward and he was an attractive boy although perhaps not as attractive as some of the Beatles with whom I had become so closely acquainted. But it didn’t matter because he was a funny, nice, and charming boy. He had blond hair and wore it in a cut similar to the Beatles’, only not as long. He was the picture of Americans’ ideas of proper English boys. He always wore slacks and a jacket to class and he spoke the Queen’s English. That Monday we were supposed to break into pairs and evaluate one another’s rough draft of the paper we had been working on for that class and I asked Edward to be my partner. He grinned and quickly accepted my offer. But once we had split into pairs, evaluating each other’s paper was the last thing either of us wanted to do. We talked and laughed about all sorts of topics and had a nice time sort of getting to know each other. The week went by of us working together and Edward had gained enough nerve to ask me to go to dinner with him that Saturday. I accepted and on Saturday night he knocked on the door of my apartment promptly at seven o’clock.

“Good evening, Maggie,” he beamed at my doorstep, looking dapper in a dark brown suit.

“Good evening,” I replied.

I wore one of the new dresses I had purchased the Saturday before. I grabbed my coat and we were off. He took me to a quiet little restaurant where we ate and laughed and talked about school and the paper we were both working on. He was slightly nicer than the boys I had dated in the past and I wasn’t quite used to it. I tried my best to accept that his charming personality was genuine and not just an act he put on to impress girls. He seemed very smooth. Almost like Paul. The topic of conversation soon turned to music. A topic I was not at all interested in talking about.

“What sort of music do you prefer then, Maggie?” Edward asked.

“Well, you know… all sorts,” I answered.

“Well, I’ve always preferred jazz, but have found myself listening to a bit of rock ‘n’ roll as of late,” he said with a smile. “Do you enjoy rock ‘n’ roll?”

“Yes I like all music.”

“Elvis and the Beatles too? I know you must. You are a girl. All girls fancy Elvis and the Beatles, I think,” he chuckled.

“Yeah,” I said not wanting to go any further into the subject.

And because I didn’t elaborate he was forced to change the subject onto the news, which I welcomed and rewarded him for, by going into great detail on my opinion about every topic that he mentioned. He seemed pleased to find that I knew a lot about current events. And I was just glad we had moved away from talking about the Beatles. After dinner he asked if I wanted to go to a club, but I was very tired, so I declined the offer.

“Well, next time then,” he smiled.

I returned his smile. I had had a nice time and welcomed the idea of seeing him again outside of school. I wasn’t sure he was a boy I could fall in love with, but he was someone I could easily see myself having a good time with. When we arrived back at my apartment he didn’t even try to come in although he did kiss me goodnight at the door. His lips were soft and his kiss was gentle and kind, but there were absolutely no sparks. He pulled away grinning toothily at me. His blue eyes twinkled in the moonlight as we said goodnight.

The next morning I was awoken, much too early, by a pounding on my front door. I pulled on a robe and shuffled sleepily to answer it. More pounding.

“Hold on!” I yelled annoyed and fumbling with the lock.

When I opened it I was surprised to see a wide-eyed John Lennon.

“Let me in, Christ, there’s some people out here and I think maybe they recognized me,” he said welcoming himself into my apartment.

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