Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 17

The next day I went over to Christine’s and lounged around chatting with her for a good part of the day until Paul showed up and three quickly became a crowd. They talked about maybe going to the Ad Lib later that night and wanted to know if I wanted to come along. I told them I would and we all smoked a joint before I hit the road. By the time I got back to my apartment I was high and extremely relaxed. So much so, in fact, that my eyelids felt very heavy and laying down was all I could think about, so I sprawled out on my plush sofa to take a nap. It seemed as if I had just closed my eyes when there was a knock at my door. Startled, I sat straight up and momentarily forgot where I was. I sat still on my sofa, allowing myself to become more and more aware of my surroundings, until there came another knock on the door. My apartment was dark. What the hell time was it? How long had I been asleep? It felt like I had just lain down.

“Maggie, you there?” I heard from the other side of the door.

“Yes, yes, I’m coming,” I called out as I got off the sofa and made my way over to answer the door.

“Christ, love, let me in it’s fuckin’ freezing out here.”

I opened the door to a cold rush of air and John standing there with messy hair and a red nose.

“What the hell took you so long?” he asked.

“I was asleep,” I said, closing the door behind him to shut out the cold.

“Asleep? It’s only half past eight.”

“Already?” I asked. I had been asleep about four hours! “Now I’ll never get to sleep tonight!”

“That’s right, ‘cause I’m going to be here tonight, love,” he grinned. “Come on, I’m starving. Let’s go for a bite. Unless you have something I can eat,” he wiggled his eyebrows mischievously.

“You are one sick man,” I laughed, hitting him playfully on the chest. “And just where might we be able to go eat without someone seeing us together?”

“Aha,” he walked over to the telephone and began dialing.

He looked so attractive in black pants, a white sweater, and brown suede coat. His hair was a little windblown, but it looked beautiful to me. It was getting a little longer now and I liked it that way. It was swept across his forehead and slightly tucked behind his ears. His nose and cheeks were rosy from the cold weather. He squinted at me as I watched him, and then he raised one eyebrow questioningly. But just as he was about to pull a face, the person on the other end of the phone must have spoken, because he became distracted and started talking to whoever he was on the phone with. I didn’t even pay attention to what he was saying. I just watched him, thinking what a marvelous creature he was. He was absolutely perfect: full eyebrows, a nice square jaw, and broad shoulders. But the more I watched him, the more I began to think about him… and then about Cynthia, and the things she had said to me the day before. And I wanted so badly to talk to him about it, but I had no idea where to even begin. Maybe I shouldn’t mention it at all? I decided to wait until an opportunity presented itself. I didn’t want to just bring it up out of the blue.

“All right, then, come on,” he said, once he had hung up the phone.

He grabbed me by the arm and pulled me towards the door.

“Where are we going? I should change,” I said.

“Christ, Maggie, I’m fuckin’ starving. You look fantastic if you ask me.”

“But I didn’t ask you,” I grinned. “I’ll just be a second,” I said, pulling away from him and running to my bedroom so I could change clothes. “Where are we going?” I shouted from my bedroom.

“To this French Bistro I like,” he called out.

I pulled on some green tights and a short brown sweater dress, and a pair of brown go-go boots. I combed my hair very quickly and just left it down. Then I stuck on some false eyelashes and made my way out of the bedroom.

“Good God, woman, now you look too good to take out. I’ll be driven mad with jealousy if anyone else dares look at you. So, I think it best to keep you here. Get over here,” he said in a demanding and hungry voice.

I sashayed over and he swallowed me with his arms. His mouth met mine and kissed me ravenously, making my knees literally tremble.

“Mmm… I like the idea of just staying here,” I said when we finally parted in order to take in some air.

“Christ, love, I do too. You don’t know how fucking hard I am right now.”

I reached down and grabbed the bulge in his pants, “I have an idea.”

“Bloody hell, Maggie,” he moaned in my ear, his breath hot on my neck as I continued to rub him. “No, no, you have to stop, love…” he gasped. “Oh shit… Please… Oh fuck… I told Rich and Mo we’d meet ‘em in a half hour and the place is a ways away.”

“Ringo and Maureen?” I asked, immediately removing my hand from his crotch. “You didn’t tell me they’re coming.”

“Aye. Them and Neil,” he gasped. “But now what am I supposed to do? My fuckin’ prick’s all hard and I’m supposed to think about food?”

“That’s exactly what you need to think about,” I laughed. “If you would’ve told me that sooner I wouldn’t have started anything.”

“Christ, love, you were standing right there while I was talking to Rich on the bloody phone!”

“Oh, I don’t pay attention to you when you talk!” I teased.

He frowned at me and I flashed him my most brilliant smile.

“Well, we can be a little late,” he said, pulling me to him. “Just suck me off real quick and then we’ll go.”

“Oh no, Mr. Lennon, that won’t do at all,” I said, bringing my lips so close to his they were almost touching. “I want all of you and there’s no time for that right now,” I said with a kiss and then I slapped him on the behind. “Step outside where it’s nice and cold while I go put a coat on and that will fix your little problem.”

“Nothin’ little about this, love,” he said in a deep, comical voice.

I rolled my eyes and left him so I could go and find my coat. I pulled my long chocolate brown coat on and then remembered a hat I had recently purchased. It was a wide-brimmed floppy green hat that was nothing like anything I had ever seen or worn, but I liked it and it matched my tights, so I put it on and headed out. John was already waiting in the car, so I hurried and locked up my apartment so I could go and join him.

“How is it possible that a daft-looking hat like that makes you look even more fuckable than you already are?”

“This is a very stylish hat, I’ll have you know,” I laughed.

“Mmm…” he groaned, wrapping himself around me and burying his face in my neck. “Ddd-driver, ccc-cover your ears, ddd-driver, it could ggg-get a wee noisy bbb-back here,” he pretended to stutter.

I just laughed and pushed him off of me. It didn’t even really bother me anymore when he said things like that in front of his driver. I suppose once you’ve screwed in front of someone, you’re a little less concerned about what else they might possibly think of you. The damage had already been done. I’m sure I couldn’t sink any lower in his driver’s book. After some time of traveling, John’s driver let us out in an alleyway and we walked a little ways down the alley before we reached an unmarked door.

“Here we are,” John said.

“Here?” I asked.

“Sure, love. You can’t expect me to go in the front door of these places, can you? Especially not when I’m sneaking around with the likes of you!”

“But, how are you sure this is the right one? It’s dark and they all look the same.”

“‘Cause I been here before, of course.”

“Mmhmm. I’m sure you have. With all your other girlfriends?”

“Now, now, Miss, jealousy isn’t a good color on you!” he teased.

I rolled my eyes.

“It’s freezing out! Are we going to just stand here all night?” I asked.

John shook his finger at me and made a funny little sound, then knocked on the door. A tall, thin man dressed in a tuxedo opened the door and greeted John, while obligingly acknowledging me as well.

“Nice to see you again, Mr. Lennon. Your party is already here. Please follow me.”

“I get called Mister in places like this,” John said in a stage whisper to me, as we followed the man through the kitchen.

We passed through the kitchen doors into in a dimly lit restaurant. The man turned to his immediate right where there was a table in the dark corner, away from the business of the general patrons. And already seated at the table were a very happy looking bunch, eating bread and sipping wine.

“Think it could’ve taken you any fuckin’ longer?” Ringo growled in a mock angry tone, but he was barely able to contain the smile that was creeping up on the corners of his mouth.

“It was all Maggie’s fault, you know. Women, always having to change their bloody clothes,” John said.

“Well, I think you look marvelous, Maggie,” Neil said.

“Gerroff, Neil. You’re only here for the benefit of all these other people. Remember that!” John said, in a tone making it unclear as to whether he was joking or not.

“I love your hat!” Maureen said. “Real gear, Maggie. Where’d you pick it up?”

“Oh, thanks. I got it at Bazaar in Knightsbridge. Do you know it?” I said.

“Mary Quant’s place? Yeah, I go there all the time. I haven’t seen anything like that though.”

“Oh Christ, Rich, looks like you’re going be hat shopping ‘til we go into the studio tomorrow.”

“Sod that. They can bring the bloody hats to me. I’m sleeping in tomorrow.”

We all talked and joked around as we ate a lovely dinner of richly flavored French food followed by delicious pastries. I was surprised to see that no one bothered us. The guys were always complaining that they couldn’t go out anywhere and I knew it was true, but in this place you wouldn’t ever suspect they might have was such problems. In fact, I didn’t even see anyone looking in our general direction. Though, it is true that the patrons in that particular restaurant were not exactly the type to listen to rock ‘n’ roll. Still, surely they knew who the Beatles were? Surely they recognized John and Ringo? If they did they certainly weren’t letting on. John said that even though he and Ringo are rich like them, the type of people in that restaurant still look down on them. But that it makes it easier for them to eat in peace.

When dinner was over we all headed to the Ad Lib; Ringo and Maureen in their car and John, Neil, and I in John’s car. When we arrived at the club, we saw that again there were photographers and a few newsmen standing around.

“This is becoming a right fucking hassle,” John groaned, getting out of his Rolls Royce.

He waited on Neil and I to get out and the three of us walked into the club together. A couple microphones were stuck in John’s face and he mumbled an answer or two to the reporters’ incessant questions and I saw a couple of flashes go off, so I knew they had gotten pictures. I only hoped it looked like it was Neil and I who were together rather than John and me. Ringo and Maureen had pulled up right behind us, and were following close behind, so thankfully some of the attention was drawn away from us and focused on the two of them.

“How’s the baby?” one reporter asked.

“Beautiful,” Ringo answered.

“Maureen, are you finally adjusting to being the wife of a Beatle?” another asked.

“Oh sure. It’s lovely,” she replied.

A few pictures were snapped.

“Look, can you stop with the bloody pictures, please?” a slightly drunken Ringo asked in as polite a tone as he could manage at that point in the night.

But another picture was taken.

“Ah, Christ, I’ve asked nicely now, I won’t do it again. We’re just trying to have a night out,” Ringo said, still trying to make his way past the crowd.

A third flash went off.

“All right, I’ve had enough. Who fuckin’ done it?” Ringo shouted, suddenly furious.

I motioned for Maureen to come ahead out of the line of fire, and she followed my instructions, hoping that Ringo would follow her. But he was too angry to even notice where she had gone.

“I’ll shove the bloody camera up your fucking arse,” he continued.

“Okay, Richie, old boy, come on,” Neil said, trying to smooth the situation.

And for the most part, it worked. Ringo followed Neil on past the crowd, though we were all afraid he might have another outburst when we heard snickers coming from the group of photographers. Neil quickly ushered us into the club and we narrowly averted another scene from erupting. I was just thankful John had not had as much to drink as Ringo had or there definitely would have been a scene. I had a mental picture of John punching out a photographer after a photo had been snapped of the two of us together and during the mêlée, a second photographer getting a picture of John in full swing. And I could just see the headlines: BEATLE JOHN PUNCHES CAMERAMAN IN ORDER TO PROTECT GIRLFRIEND’S IDENTITY.

Once inside the club, we all wandered over to an area in the back, in an awkward silence. And even after we had all taken a seat, no one spoke. Neil motioned to a waitress to bring us some drinks. She sat them on the table in front of us and John picked his up and took a drink.

“So is that what you done with my camera that you borrowed then? You know, the one that you claim to have lost?” John asked Ringo.

Ringo looked at him with a confused expression.

“Shoved it up some poor bastard’s ass?” John asked in a deadly serious tone of voice.

But knowing he was only joking, I giggled a little.

“…I had some good times with that camera, you know,” John added in a small, saddened tone.

Then everyone erupted in laughter. John was always good at breaking the ice in awkward situations.

After we had been at the club for a little while, Christine and Paul showed up.

“Hey! It’s becoming a circus out there,” Paul said as they sat down.

“You mean you didn’t smile for the cameras, Paulie?” Maureen teased.

“Of course I did. You think I’d deny ‘em of this face?” he flashed his most dashing smile.

“Oooh, did you do the eyes then, Macca?” John exclaimed.

“Indubitably,” Paul answered, grabbing the lapel on his suit jacket in a most distinguished manner.

“Well, let’s have ‘em! Let’s have ‘em then!” John shouted in a silly high-pitched tone.

Paul responded by fluttering his eyelashes in a flirtatious manner and everyone roared with laughter.

“All right, now give us the lips!” Ringo cried.

Paul pursed his lips together in a sexy little pout and caused us all to go into stitches laughing.

“No, but seriously, folks, something should be done. They’re getting pushy,” Paul said.

“Richie here nearly shoved a camera up one of them blokes’ ass you know,” John said.

“Eh? Did you now, Rich? Well, I’d like to, but it might mess up my hands, you know, ruin my bass playing,” Paul said, holding his hands out in front of him to admire them.

“Well I’m just fuckin’ sick of it. The last few times we’ve come to this bloody club they been lurking around out there. And I don’t see anyone making ‘em leave, you know,” Ringo said.

“Right. We used to have a bit of sodding peace here,” Paul said.

“Well, I’m done. It’s bloody bullshit’s all it is. And the scene here’s dead anyhow,” John added.

“Maybe next time we should go to The Scotch instead?” Neil suggested.

No one responded, but the looks that passed between the three Beatles made it perfectly clear that they agreed. The nights of hanging around in the Ad Lib were over. We all sat around drinking, the boys smoking; enjoying our unspoken last night in the familiar haunt. We danced a little and everyone was good and drunk. That is, until a sobering sight walked into the club and over to our area. It was George and Pattie and with them… Cynthia. Even though John had his arm around me and Christine, I immediately moved away from him at the sight of Cynthia. The lighthearted tone of voice that John had previously been using instantly vanished, and in its place, one of resentment and anger.

“Where the fuck is Julian then?” he asked her without even saying hello.

“Well, lovely to see you too John,” Cynthia replied. “He’s fine. You don’t honestly think I’d leave him all alone?” she asked, forcing a bit of a chuckle.

“What are you doing here, Cyn?” John asked.

I glanced around the group at all the uneasy faces and felt awful for Cynthia. She must have been so embarrassed. Then I noticed George. He looked upset. Almost frightened. And I wasn’t sure why, until Cynthia spoke again.

“Pattie mentioned she and George were going out and asked if I wanted to come along. And I was sort of in the mood for a drink, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt anything to come out for a little while at least.”

John looked at George and I saw George swallow hard, as if waiting for his tongue-lashing, but it didn’t come. Instead of saying anything else, John brought his cigarette to his lips and puffed on it, brooding in silence.

“Oh my God, Maggie,” Pattie suddenly exclaimed. “I was going to get that exact hat the other day when I went shopping round Bazaar. It’s fab! Oh, I’m so bummed I didn’t get it. Got side tracked, you know. Mary started showing me this new collection she’s putting together and I forgot all about it. I can’t believe you’ve got it!” she said excitedly.

“So go get one of the fuckin’ hats and stop clucking in my ear,” John said, irritated.

“John,” Cynthia said in a scolding tone of voice.

He looked at Cynthia with narrowed eyes and she refrained from making any further comments.

“Well I can’t now, can I? Maggie and I would look positively daft going around in the same hat.”

“You know what?” I asked Pattie. “If you like it that much, it’s yours,” I said, taking the hat off and handing it to her.

“Are you mad?” Pattie asked, wide-eyed.

“No, really. I like it all right, but I was never that crazy on it. Not like you are, at least!” I said with a giggle.

“God, Maggie… that’s so…” Pattie said.

“Oh Christ, tell her thank you and be done with it already. Making such a fuss over a fuckin’ hat,” John growled.

“Oi,” George said.

“Yeah. Thanks, Maggie. Honestly.” Pattie said, blushing with embarrassment.

John was on edge with Cynthia being there. And the overall atmosphere was noticeably tenser. But, things loosened up a bit when Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and a few of their sycophants arrived. Before too long a couple members of the Byrds came over. By that point, our group had grown so large it was taking over almost half the club and everyone was having a good time. Even John had relaxed a bit, though not without getting in a few snide remarks about Mick and other members of their entourage. I had gone to dance with Keith and since we had returned I was sitting on the complete opposite side of our group, which was practically on the other side of the room, from where John was seated. And Cynthia was sitting a couple of people down from John, speaking to a woman that I did not know. John stared at me, with a sly little smile on his face, from across the room. Our eyes would meet occasionally, but I was sure not to look too long and would quickly look away before I thought anyone had noticed. And I couldn’t help but smile at his cheekiness. Some nerve he had to be doing that right in front of his wife! I tried to avoid him by talking to other members of our party. Most of the guys were talking music and I wasn’t familiar with all the technicalities, so their conversation didn’t interest me much. But there were a couple of girls sitting near me who were discussing art, so I tried to involve myself in their discussion. But even when I wasn’t looking at John, I could feel his eyes burning into me. And sure enough, when I looked over at him, he was still watching me intently. I widened my eyes at him to let him know I wanted him to stop, but he just laughed. I must admit there was something strangely fun about sneaking secret glances at one another. Until, that is, Cynthia noticed him looking in my direction and she looked over to see what he was staring at. And before I had time to turn away, our eyes met. I became flustered as I saw a strange look on Cynthia’s face and felt my face become hot with embarrassment. I looked away, unable to think of anything else to do than to avoid her eyes. And when I looked back toward her, I saw that she was staring at John. But he ignored her, drinking his drink, and keeping his eyes focused downward. She didn’t stay much longer after that. Ringo and Maureen got up to leave and Cynthia asked if they would take her home. She asked John if he planned on being very late and told her that he didn’t know. Everyone said goodbye to her except for me. I couldn’t work up the courage to say anything to her at all. What must she think? If she wasn’t certain before, she must be positive now that something was going on between John and me. I felt terrible.

The rest of us stayed at the Ad Lib for another hour or so after Ringo, Maureen, and Cynthia left, and then we all pretty much decided it was time to go as well. Our group broke into smaller ones as we left the club. I asked Paul and Christine to take me home and John and Neil left at the same time. Sure enough there were still cameramen outside, snapping our pictures as we left. But I totally avoided John and instead, climbed into Paul’s car and took off with him and Christine. Shortly after I arrived home, as I was changing into my pajamas, there was a knock on my door. I opened it to a rush of cold November air.

“John, do you really think it’s a good idea for you to be here after what happened tonight?” I asked without even saying hello to him.

He pushed past me into my apartment.

“And what exactly was that?” he asked, with raised eyebrows.

“Cynthia, John.”

“Bloody hell. Are we really going to talk about this tonight?”

“I think we should. Yes,” I answered.

“Well, then I suppose we should get on with it, right?” John said, while plopping down onto my sofa.

I took the chair next to the couch and began to tell him everything Cynthia had said to me when we were at his house. I told him about how glad she was that we had made friends and about how I wasn’t really sure if she truly believed that we were just friends or not. And to my surprise John expressed a concern about the subject. He may not have been in love with Cynthia, but I was no fool. He did love her. He cared about her and didn’t really want to hurt her, which was part of the reason for staying with her. Before too long our conversation about Cynthia led John to talk to me about his relationship with Julian. He told me how much he loved him; but that no matter how he tried, he just didn’t feel like he was a good father. And he didn’t think he had the ability to be a good father.

“You know, when Cyn had Julian I didn’t even get to hospital until a whole week later! But when I did, and I held him, I could barely believe me eyes! He was so perfect, you know? And he was mine... But that moment was the closest I ever felt to Julian… Christ, it’s so fuckin’ hard to say that out loud. I’ve only ever thought these things, you know? I’ve never told anyone. Makes me feel like a fucking shit to actually say it,” John said in a shaky voice.

“It’s okay to say it out loud, John. It doesn’t make you a terrible person, or even a terrible father. It’s just how you feel. You can’t control that,” I tried to console him.

“I’m away from him so much it’s like I don’t even really know him. It’s like he’s Cyn’s kid and I just come around to visit. I don’t know what to do with him when I am here and yet, every day I’m away from him I feel guilty, you know? But at the same time, it’s almost easier to be away... To distance myself from the situation. Christ, when he’s around, Paul’s more of a bloody father to Julian than I am! And sometimes I find myself resenting Paul for that. But it’s my own fault, you know. It’s just not in my nature, or something, to be a father. I dunno really,” he said, his eyes welling up with tears.

“You shouldn’t resent Paul for that. You’re right. He loves Julian. But he loves him because he loves you, John. You and him are so close that he probably feels like Julian is his kid too in a way. And I don’t think that it’s not in your nature to be a father. I think maybe there’s some other reason it’s difficult for you. I’m just not sure what that may be yet,” I said.

And suddenly I saw tears begin to roll down John’s cheeks.

“It’s my own dad, you know? It’s all his fuckin’ fault that I’m so screwed up. It’s his fault I can’t be a father. Everything that’s ever happened bad in my life has been because of that fucking bastard.”

I went over to the sofa and sat next to John, holding him in my arms. And to my surprise, seeing him cry brought tears to my eyes as well.

“Why the bloody hell are you crying?” John laughed through his tears.

“Because I love you and I don’t like to see you upset,” I said. “And because you’re always so honest with me. You always just tell me exactly how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking no matter what.”

“And why should that make you cry, you silly girl?”

“Because I haven’t been as honest with you, John. And I want to be, but it’s so difficult. But then, I know it must be hard for you to tell me everything you’ve told me too.”

John’s tears stopped coming and the look on his face changed to one of worry and confusion.

“What is it, love? You can tell me anything.”

“Well… it’s something I’ve never told anyone. Not even Christine, whom I have known forever.”

“Maggie, no matter what it is I’m not going to judge you, or think anything different of you. You should know that.”

I took a deep breath and decided to reveal my family secret to him.

“When I was little, not even two years old, my father got really drunk… and he killed my mother… and then himself.”

“Fuck’s sake, love, I’m so sorry,” John said, now consoling me. He ran his fingers through my hair lovingly.

“So,” I exhaled deeply, “my parents are really just my adopted parents. The thing is… they didn’t feel like it was appropriate to tell me until I was about fifteen. And that’s already a hard age to be, you know? So I was really angry with them for that. And… I don’t know… Something snapped in my brain, I guess... It was just all too much.”

“And that’s when you started sleeping around and drinking and that?” John asked.

“Exactly. I don’t know how I thought that was going to help. I don’t suppose it did help, really… But that’s what happened. And since then I guess I’ve just been too ashamed to tell anyone. So even though Christine was my best-friend, I never told her.”

“That’s not giving her very much credit, you know. I think she’s a better friend than that. She’d never judge you for something that was out of your control, love.”

“Oh, I know that. I just… I don’t know. It’s just hard, I guess.”

The conversation about my family led John to tell me more about his mother. He told me about how his Aunt Mimi raised him, but that his mother didn’t live far away. And that he saw her everyday. And she would let him and his friends come over and curse, and smoke, and play rock ‘n’ roll records. It was the most he had ever told me about her and judging by the stories he told me, she was quite a woman. In some strange ways, her personality reminded me of myself. Or, maybe it was just the way John viewed her that reminded me of myself. I could tell by the way he talked about her that he missed her very greatly. He got choked up just speaking of the memories he had of her.

“Maybe you should write a song about her?” I suggested.

“You think so?” he asked.

“Sure. It’ll be like a tribute to her, a way of thanking her for helping you become the musician you are.”

“Oh, I can’t do that, you know. Paul’s done ‘Yesterday’ and that was sort of about his mum. Everyone will think I’m copying him. Especially Paul.”

“What did you just tell me about Christine? Hmmm? You said I should give her more credit and that she’s a better friend than that, right? Well, I think you should do the same with Paul. I can tell he cares very deeply for you, John. In a way, I think he looks up to you. He may be cocky and all that, but he would understand you wanting to write a song about your mother. If anyone would understand that, it would be Paul.”

John took a deep breath in and slowly released it.

“I suppose you’re right. But it’ll take some time, you know. It’ll have to be just right or I won’t release it.”

“I don’t think your mother would expect anything less from you.”

We moved our conversation to my bedroom and John stripped down to his underpants and we climbed into bed, talking the whole time. It was already around five o’clock in the morning and I was exhausted. But John and I had not really had an intense conversation like this before, so I wasn’t about to stop him from telling me anything he wanted to. We talked for a while longer and during a pause in our conversation I heard him begin to snore. I smiled to myself and curled up next to him, feeling the warmth of his body against mine and quickly joined him in blissful slumber.

I awoke the next morning to John’s warm kisses on the back of my neck. I could feel his erection hard against my bottom and his arms squeezed me to him tightly. I needed to get up and get ready for school, but being in his arms at that moment felt much too wonderful to want to go anywhere. It was the first full night that he had spent with me that we had not slept together and it felt nice to sleep with each other without having sex. But now I wanted him more than ever. I turned in his arms so that I was facing him and our lips met. His kiss was sweet and loving.

“I love you so much, Maggie,” he said, his warm eyes filled with sincerity.

“I love you too, John,” I answered breathlessly.

And then we made love. It was slow and passionate and more loving than anything I had ever felt. It was the first time that sex with John was more than just amazing sex. In fact, it was the first time I had ever really and truly made love. And it was unbelievable. It was like pure magic. There was no other way to describe it. We moved completely in sync. He anticipated my every need, my every desire and I did the same for him. It was like we were one person; two parts of a jigsaw puzzle that fit perfectly together as one piece. And in the end, we reached a mind-altering simultaneous orgasm, leaving us both trembling from the aftershocks. It was all so beautiful, so incredibly emotional, that I began to cry. John gently kissed away my tears.

“What’s wrong, love?” he asked.

“Nothing. That was just so…”

“Amazing,” he finished.

I nodded my head. I knew I was going to have to get up and get ready for school, but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to leave him. Ever. But that wasn’t logical either. And deep down I knew that.

“I have to get ready for school,” I whispered.

“Oh, no. Please. Please stay here with me today. I don’t have to go into the studio ‘til nine o’clock tonight.”

“Oh, John, please don’t do that to me, because I want to stay here. Believe me. I would love to stay here with you… like this… all day. But I just can’t. I have to go to school,” I said, getting out of the bed.

“Oh, I know. Got to get your education and that, right? Well, fine, love. Go ahead. I’ll just sleep a bit more and leave a little later if it’s all the same to you,” he yawned.

“That’s fine,” I smiled, and then bent down to kiss him.

“And Maggie…” he called to me as I was walking out of the room.


“I love you. Remember that, won’t you?” he said.

He looked so adorable lying there with the blanket just over his waist and legs, his tiny little nipples exposed to the chilly air in my bedroom. His reddish-brown hair was sticking up in all directions with pieces stuck to his forehead. I went back over to him and took his face in my hands.

“I love you too. And don’t you forget it,” I said, kissing him passionately on the lips.

“I could never forget that. My life will never be the same now I’ve met you,” he replied.

And I died a little when he spoke those words. He was always such a poet, even when he said such simple things. I hated to leave him. Especially after the amazing night and morning we had, but I had to. I kissed him once more and tore myself away so I could go take a shower.

When I was done showering, John was fast asleep and I went over and kissed him, but he didn’t stir. I made a bit of eggs and toast and tea and left it on the oven where he could find it when he woke up. And once I was ready for school, I decided just to leave without waking him to tell him goodbye. No need to disturb him when he was sleeping so soundly. But as I was on my way out the door, the telephone rang. I rushed over to answer it before the ringing woke John up.

“Hello?” I said.

“Oh, fantastic dahling, you haven’t left for school yet!” Lydia’s deep, familiar voice rang out on the other end.

“Well actually, I was just on my way out.”

“Right… about that,” she said.

“About what?”

“School, deah. How important is it to you?”

“Um… it’s very important to me, Lydia. What is this all about?”

“Well, you remember that Claude fellow you worked with at Piccadilly Circus?”

“Of course,” I answered.

“I’ve just heard from him, dahling. And he’s requesting to work with you again. And soon.”

“How soon is soon?”

“Thursday,” Lydia answered.

“Well, that’s definitely more notice than I was given last time I worked with him. Four days notice this time... Not too bad, considering. Sure, Lydia, I don’t see a problem with Thursday. I liked working with Claude.”

“Fantastic! The job’s in Paris,” she continued.

Her words echoed in my head. Paris? He wanted me to do a shoot in Paris? I had never even been to Paris. Thursday wasn’t short notice for another job in London, but it was extremely short notice for a trip to Paris.

“Wait… What? How long is the shoot?”

“Oh not too terribly long. The job will be over on the thirtieth, so not long at all, really.”

“The thirtieth? That’s almost three weeks! What will I do about school?”

“Well, now that is entirely up to you, deah. I’m sure there’s something you can work out with your Headmaster if you’re insistent upon staying in school. But honestly, what’s more important, dahling? School or money? I mean, you are going to school with the hopes that doing so will lead you to earning more money, correct? So, you’d just be skipping the tedious part of attending all those boring lectures everyday and going straight for the paycheck. And this job will definitely pay, deah. You’ve yet to make anything like the pay you’ll receive from this Paris job. I don’t see how you can pass up this opportunity, quite honestly. I think you’d be quite mad to say no.”

In a strange yet somewhat manipulative way, Lydia was right. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I had never been to Paris and I could certainly use the “life experience.” Not to mention the adventure… The money... But at the same time, there was John to think about. How could I leave him after everything that has happened between us? Everything we’ve shared? As close as we’ve become? I wasn’t sure either of us would be able to bear being apart from one another for three whole weeks. But the more I thought about it, the faster and harder the reality of the situation hit me. This fantasy relationship I was in with John was all fine and good, but no matter how much the two of us loved each other, the awful truth was that John was married. Besides that, he was in a band. A world famous band that was his top priority, above all else... including me. I feared I was becoming too attached to John. As nice as everything currently was, it didn’t change things much when it came right down to it. Some space… some distance between us would probably serve both of us very well. And before I could think things out any further, I felt myself speaking,

“Tell him I’ll do it.”

It was almost as if I had no control over the situation. My brain forced the words out of my mouth before my heart had time to protest.

“Oh marvelous, dahling! I’ll phone his studio right away. He’ll be just ecstatic. Ta-ta for now, deah,” Lydia rang off.

I slowly hung up the phone, in shock over what had just transpired. I gathered my book bag from my dining table and slowly turned the knob to open my front door. But not before looking down the hallway into my bedroom. I could see John lying there peacefully. He looked like an angel when he slept. My heart ached. What had I just agreed to? How was I ever going to leave him? And even more challenging, how was I going to tell John the news? He was surely going to be upset. I took a deep breath and stepped outside into the chilly November morning. Maybe the cold air would help clear my head? God knows I needed something that would.

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