Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 20

I had never had one before, but things I had read told me that I was having a panic attack. I had seen it happen to people in the movies, so I figured I would try what they had done. I leaned forward and hung my head between my knees, taking in deep breaths, until my breathing had returned to normal and I felt like I might pass out! And I sat bolt upright when I heard John answer the reporter’s question.

“No! No, no, no, no, no. It’d be news to me if I was,” he responded, with a laugh.

And the other three guys giggled as well. It was obvious, to me at least, that they all had, most likely been smoking pot previous to the press conference. All of their eyes had a distinctly glassed-over look about them and they were giggling incessantly.

“But you have recently been seen out on the town with this particular woman more often than you’ve been seen with your wife,” a different female reporter stated.

“Well that’s ‘cause I keep my wife locked up, you see, as all good husbands do,” John said jokingly.

But the reporters wouldn’t let up.

“But isn’t it true that you’re seeing the girl?” a male reporter asked.

“No, it’s not true at all. She’s just a mate, you know,” John answered, the smile from his earlier response quickly disappearing.

“But wouldn’t you agree it’s a bit unseemly for a married man to be out with an attractive girl while his wife is at home caring for their child?” the same reporter asked.

“As I said before, she’s just a friend. And if me wife doesn’t have a problem with it, I don’t see why anyone else should,” John said, obviously becoming annoyed.

“May we have the young lady’s name?” a different reporter was so bold to ask.

“No!” Ringo and Paul answered in unison.

Then, sensing John’s patients were being stretched to their limits, George quickly jumped in.

“Doesn’t anyone want to know about my love life?” he asked.

“I certainly do,” said Ringo.

“Thank you, Ringo,” George replied.

And the room erupted in laughter from everyone but John, who was taking out his frustrations on cigarette after cigarette. And with each puff he was beginning to look angrier and angrier.

“So tell us then, George, how is your love life?” Ringo asked.

“Oh, it’s just marvelous. Thank you kindly,” George smiled.

There was more laughter from the reporters, but they still weren’t done with John.

“John, don’t you think…” one reporter began.

“Look, I’m awfully sorry but if you’re looking for a scandal for your papers, there just isn’t one to be found,” Paul interjected, fearing what John’s response might be if he allowed one more reporter ask another question on the subject. “She’s like a sister to my girlfriend and she’s our friend, so we like having her round, you know. In our business there aren’t too many people we can safely call ‘friends,’ you understand? Everyone thinks they’re owed something usually, so when we meet a real solid person, someone we can really call a mate, we like to keep ‘em nearby. Simple as that,” Paul said, always the politician.

“Right, I don’t see you bloody reporters accusing Mick Jagger of breaking up our homes and he’s in more photos with us than anyone else that’s not a Beatle,” John added.

The reporters laughed, but I could tell John hadn’t meant it as a joke.

“Well, I can’t speak for John, but Mick’s exactly the person I was referring to when I was talkin’ about my love life,” George said dryly.

The reporters roared with laughter and even John cracked a little smile.

“They’re quite close!” Ringo shouted over the laughter.

And thankfully the matter was dropped and the press moved on to other subjects. I sunk down into the cushions of my sofa and despite the freezing temperatures outside, I found myself sweating profusely, terrified at the possible repercussions from that press conference. Brian had already tried to get John to stay away from me, what would happen now that the press had implied John and I were having an affair? I knew Brian had been upset about the photos in the fan magazines and the papers, so would this be the last straw? Or perhaps what happened at the press conference would be enough for even John to want to keep away from me? If he did, I would just have to respect his decision. I never wanted to be a problem for him or Cynthia, for that matter. And honestly, it probably would make what was becoming an increasingly complicated situation, much simpler. But it certainly wouldn’t be easy.

I turned the television off and went into my bedroom. I needed to study, but I knew there would be no point in even trying at that moment, because there was no way I was going to be able to concentrate on school. I flung myself onto my bed and covered my face with my hands. What was I going to do? I loved John so much it actually physically hurt sometimes, but was there even any hope that something could ever become of that love? Things were so screwed up, even more so than I could have ever possibly imagined. But what would happen if I just ended it? Would I be leaving something that had the potential of being the best thing that had ever happened to me in my whole life? It was all too much to think about. And the more I did think about it, the angrier I became. I rolled over on my bed and grabbed my pillow and began furiously beating my bed with it, all the while screaming like an insane person. Why did he have to be married? Why couldn’t I have met him before he met Cynthia, or before he became a Beatle, for that matter? Why was everything in my life always complete shit, even when it wasn’t? How had I always been drawn into situations like this? It just wasn’t fair! Why couldn’t anything good ever happen? I threw my pillow across the room knocking some perfume bottles off my dresser and sending them crashing to the floor. A repulsive mixture of scents wafted up from the floor almost instantly.

“Fuck!” I screamed.

I got off my bed to go to the bathroom so I could find something to clean up the perfume with and stepped on a piece of glass from one of the broken bottles. I looked down to see that it was sticking out of my foot and blood was everywhere, yet I felt no pain. This had not been a good day. The telephone rang as I was hobbling to the bathroom to rinse my foot off, so I hopped into the other room as fast as I could to go and answer it.

“Hello?” I asked, breathlessly into the phone.

“Maggie, deah?” Lydia’s voice rang out on other end.

“Oh hi, Lydia.”

“Dahling, you’ve been keeping something from us!”

“What on earth are you talking about?” I asked, looking down at the floor where a small puddle was forming from the blood that was running off the bottom of my foot.

“You never told us you had a relationship with the fabulous Beatles, deah!”

“What? Oh, that. I take it you saw their press conference just a while ago?”

“Why, yes actually we did,” she answered.

“Well, I didn’t think there was any need to give you all a list of my friends,” I said irritated by the topic of this conversation.

I stretched the cord from the phone as far as it would go so I could reach a towel and I threw it on the ground to sop up the blood.

“Well usually it wouldn’t be necessary at all, deah. That is, unless your friends’ names are John, Paul, George, and Ringo! I can’t believe you never told us, you cheeky girl! We could have gotten you so many more jobs.”

“Oh is that so?” I asked, disinterested.

“Of course, dahling. People like to work with important people. And trust me, Maggie, being close to the Beatles qualifies you as an important person.”

“Yes well, I have no interest in using the people I know to get jobs, Lydia.”

“Oh deah girl, in that case, you are in the absolute wrong business! It’s all about contacts; the number of people you know and the quality of those people. And the quality of the people that you know is top notch. In fact, I dare say you have connections to the most important people on the planet right now.”

“Look, Lydia… ouch,” I said as my foot finally began to sting, “I won’t use my friends to get things. Either I’ll get jobs because the designers or photographers request me, or I just won’t. It honestly doesn’t matter at all to me. Modeling is just a way to earn some money; it’s not a life career.”

“Well it matters to us, you bloody cow,” she said, her voice turning harsh very suddenly. “Your livelihood is our livelihood; you understand what I am saying?”

“I won’t use them,” I responded, trying to match the tone in my voice to hers. “Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“Yes, well…” she cleared her throat, “that’ll be very difficult now that the word is out. Everyone’s going to want to work with you. You’ll be more popular than Twiggy.”

“Well I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I was in the middle of something. Good day,” I said as I hung up the phone.

I looked down and the towel I had laid on the ground was soaked in blood. I had to get that piece of glass out of my foot. I sat down on the floor and carefully pinched the piece of glass between my thumb and forefinger, thinking if I removed it slowly enough it wouldn’t hurt. I was wrong. Doing so caused a shooting, burning pain that only intensified the slower and more carefully I tried to remove it. So I decided to try the band-aid approach, one quick, fluid motion. I grabbed hold of the piece of glass and jerked it out of my foot as fast as possible.

“Son of a bitch!” I screamed at the incredible pain it caused in my foot.

But as soon as the glass was gone, so was the pain. And in its place, only a throbbing heat. I forced myself to stand, being careful not to place that foot on the ground, and I hobbled over to the bathtub and sat down on the edge. I turned the cold water on and stuck my foot underneath. I sat that way for a while until the throbbing and bleeding had subsided and then I got up and dried off so I could bandage my wound. After that, I got another towel and went into my bedroom to clean up the mess I had created, only to be met by the nauseating smell the combination of perfumes made. As I cleaned up the mess, my mind wandered a bit and I began to think about how I was sort of similar to John in the way that we could both lose our tempers and act so foolishly at times. I wondered what he was doing. Though it was freezing outside, I cracked a window so that my bedroom could air out, or else there was no way for me to sleep in there that night. The smell was overwhelming.

Later, as I was lying on the sofa, reading a book, the telephone rang. I just hoped to God it was not Lydia again or I was afraid I would lose my temper and tell her exactly what she could do with her modeling jobs.

“Hello, love,” the voice on the other end said.


My heart skipped at the sound of his voice.

“Oh, John, I saw the press conference. I’m so sorry. This whole thing between you and me, it’s just caused so many problems. I don’t know what we’re going to…”

“What are you talking about, love? We handled it, didn’t we? Sure, Paulie did a better job than me,” he giggled, “but in the end, we shut ‘em up.”

“But, John is that how it’s going to be at every press conference from now on? I mean, are they going to hassle you like that? I wouldn’t be able to live with myself for causing you so much trouble.”

“Well, I don’t know, you know. Never really can tell with reporters, but I think that should’ve satisfied them for a time. At least until they catch us kissing in public or something!” he said in a comical voice.

I sighed.

“So, you still coming to visit me in Liddypool on Sunday, right?”

“Oh, John, I just can’t see how that’s a very good idea at all. Not after all this. Is Cynthia there?”

“‘Course not.”

“Well that would look just great, wouldn’t it? Your wife not being there and me traveling all that way just to see you. No, I think I had better just stay here and see you when you get back.”

“Come on, Maggie. I have to see you.”

“John, it just wouldn’t look right.”

“I don’t give two shits how it would look to anyone. No one fuckin’ matters but us and I want you here with me. I hate being apart from you. It’s almost been a month since we’ve really been together and I miss you like hell. Christ, Maggie, I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone, and I want to show you where I’m from; take you to the Cavern, maybe Ye Crack where I used to go in me art school days, you know, Aunt Mimi’s house, the whole lot!”

“John, it’s just not a good idea. How could you take me to any of those places anyway? You would be absolutely mobbed. No, we’ll just have to wait to see each other when you get back home.”

He was silent on the other end and I was afraid of how he might respond. It was so easy for him to fly off the handle. And this was just the type of situation where he could be very nasty in his response.

“All right then, love. But I swear to you that when I get back to London I’m going to spend every second with you.”

I knew that wasn’t going to be possible, but I wasn’t about to argue.

“All right, John. I can’t wait.”

“I love you,” he said sweetly.

“I love you too. Have a good show.”

“Oh we will. We’re ready to knock ‘em all on their asses with our new material. Not that they’ll hear any of it anyway for all the bloody screaming.”

“Oh don’t sound so disappointed. You boys love making all the girls scream,” I teased.

“But you’re the only bird I want to make scream,” he said in a deep voice and we both giggled.

We said our goodbyes and hung up the phone and I breathed a sigh of relief. I was glad he wasn’t angry about the reporters’ questions, but I hadn’t had the guts to ask him what Brian had said. And I’m certain Brian had something to say on the matter.

I went back to reading my book, but somehow feel asleep, and right when it was getting interesting too! The telephone rang around 12:30 am and jarred me out of my peaceful slumber. I rolled off the couch without thinking and banged my sore foot on the coffee table. That was one way to wake myself up in a hurry. I limped, in the darkness of my apartment, over to the telephone and answered it.

“Mom?” I asked, shocked to hear her voice on the other end.

“Yes, who on earth else would it be?” my mother asked.

She still hadn’t gotten the time difference down. That, or she just didn’t care.

“Well, I haven’t spoken to you in quite a while,” I said.

“So you’ve forgotten the sound of my voice?” she asked.

“No, mother!” I laughed. “It’s just… Oh, I’m terribly sorry that we haven’t talked in a while. Things have just been kind of a whirlwind over here. And by the time I do think to call you it’s either too early or too late your time. How have you been? How’s dad?”

“I’m fine, your father’s fine,” she answered, sounding more than a little preoccupied.

“Well, that’s good to hear. How’s the weather over there? It’s awfully cold here and it has already snowed a few times.”

“The weather’s fine, Maggie. I didn’t call to chat about the weather.”

“Oh?” I asked.

“Your father and I are worried about you,” she said.

“What? Why?”

“Well, to be perfectly honest, they just broadcast a press conference here with those Beatles…”

My stomach instantly tied itself into knots.

“And Maggie…” her voice trailed off.

“Yes, mother?”

I knew what was coming.

“Afterward they showed your picture on the screen. Now, I’ll admit I was in the kitchen while the boys were being interviewed. I’m not a fan of that sort of music and I had no interest in watching their press conference, so I didn’t. But it was on…”

“Mom, could you just get to the point, please? You said they showed my picture on the screen? What did they say? What picture did they show?”

“Well, I’m getting to that, dear, if you’d let me talk,” she replied. “The phone rang and it was Christine’s mother. She told me I had better watch that press conference, and then she let me go so that I could. But when I started watching, I just couldn’t for the life of me understand why she had thought I needed to watch that. They were just talking about their tour and other silly things and their accents are all so funny I couldn’t understand them very well in the first place. But, I thought since she had said for me to watch, I should probably keep watching. I thought maybe she just wanted me to see that Paul fellow that Christine is seeing. You know, I think she’s almost proud that they’re dating now. She’s been bragging a bit to the girls down at the club.”

Why my mother was dragging out the inevitable was beyond me. I wanted to scream at her, “Mom, would you just fucking spit it out already?!” but I thought better of it. Especially since I was really afraid to hear whatever it was she was going to tell me.

“Even so, I kept watching. And after that press conference was over, the newsmen… Oh you remember, Tom Springfield, that really good-looking anchor on the evening news?”

Why was she prolonging this torture? My injured foot started to throb. Or maybe it was just my imagination. I reached down with my free hand and applied pressure and the pain seemed to subside.

“Yes, I remember him, mom. What happened?” I asked.

“Well he and his co-anchor, I forget that other fellow’s name… Anyway, they began discussing the press conference. And one of the things they talked about was you! And they showed a picture of you. It was your senior photo.”

My senior high school photo? How did they get a hold of that? And why show that photo? I didn’t look anything like that now. I shook my head to try and refocus. The picture they showed was not the issue. This was bad. Very, very bad.

“I haven’t the slightest idea where they must have gotten it,” mom continued.

“What did they say, mom?”

“They were showing your photo and saying that you were the girl the reporters had been asking John about. They said you were the one that was rumored to be breaking up his marriage. And then they showed a photo of his wife and son…” her voice trailed off again.

“Oh no,” I said, to no one in particular.

“Maggie, it isn’t… true, is it? You’re not… sleeping with that boy?”

“Jesus Christ, mom!” I exclaimed.

“Maggie, I don’t care how old you are, young lady, we do not use that name in vain,” my mother scolded.

I had obviously been hanging around John too long.

“I’m sorry, mom, it’s just that it’s not everyday you ask me something like that, you know?”

“Well, you don’t have to answer me,” she said. “The evening news fellows said that all the Beatles had insisted that you were just a friend, so I’ll believe that if you say it’s true…” she paused to give me time to deny or confirm, but I didn’t respond.

I didn’t know what to say. How do you tell your mom that you’re having an affair with a married man? And one that was an international superstar, nonetheless! I felt like I had no choice but to deny it. Even though I had told myself I would never lie to my parents again.

“That’s right, mom… Just friends…” I said, reluctantly.

I heard my mother breathe a sigh of relief.

“Well, I wasn’t too worried, really. I know you’ve been doing very well lately. Your father and I are so proud of you.”

I felt tears stinging my eyes. What was I doing? If my parents found out the truth, they would be disappointed in me all over again. I didn’t want that. But did my feelings for John outweigh my concern for my parents? I felt like they just might. I had never felt the way I felt for John about anything or anyone else in my entire life. I loved him with my entire being. And I felt like he reciprocated my feelings. But what could ever come of our love? Only pain for everyone involved. I had to get off the phone. I just couldn’t take talking to my mother about this any longer.

“Well, I should go. It’s late here.”

“Oh, yes, all right,” she said.

But before I could hang up, she added, “Oh, Maggie, before you go, how was your modeling job in Paris?”

Oh God. Something else I hadn’t told her. Christine must have told her mother, who had obviously passed the news along. I swallowed hard.

“It went well. They let me out of school for a bit. I made up all the coursework, of course, and… Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, mom. I didn’t think you and dad would approve and it was just something I had to do…”

“Maggie, it’s all right. Your father and I trust you.”

They trusted me? Yes, I was definitely going to cry now. I had to get off the phone. But just when I was feeling bad about some of the things I had done lately, my mother spoke again.

“We know you won’t let us down,” she added.

But this time, the tone in her voice didn’t sound like she was so sure about that. In fact, her tone sounded more like the tone of someone who didn’t believe me at all. It sounded like a sort of warning. It was more like she was saying, “You had better not let us down... again.” And just like that, the tears that had been building up in my eyes, disappeared. I didn’t deserve to be treated like that. I had worked hard to turn my life around. To try and reverse the wrongs I had done. To try and make my parents proud. Was it all for nothing? Had they just been waiting all this time for me to screw up? Were they just counting the days until I disappointed them again?

“I have to go, mom.”

“Okay, dear. Have a goodnight. I love you.”

“Yeah, you too,” I said as I hung up the phone.

What a way to end an already awful day. I hadn’t heard such doubt in my mother’s voice in a while. Not since I actually had deserved her to be distrustful of me. And it angered me. I tried to go to bed after that, but my attempts were in vain. I lie staring up at the ceiling with too many thoughts running through my head to process them all. And my foot hurt. It wasn’t until the sun came up that I finally drifted off to sleep.

Three days later I arrived home from school to an empty apartment, feeling lonelier than ever. I missed John something terrible. I had spoken to him everyday since he left on his UK tour, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted him there with me. I needed to be with him. Besides John, I hadn’t spoken to anyone from the Beatle camp in days; not even Christine. And in addition to being lonely, I felt like an outcast. All of the attention that Monday at school had been focused on me, which I absolutely despised. In each of my classes, no one had even paid attention to the professor. Instead, they all just sat whispering to one another about me. And when I went to eat lunch a few young girls, carrying fan magazines, hurried over and asked for my autograph! I scribbled my signature next to my photo in the magazine just so they would go away. Why would they want my autograph? It was completely preposterous! Even so, I much preferred that to the girls who looked at me with contempt, and the couple of girls who had shouted obscenities at me from across the street the previous day.

I sat down at my dining table and began to study. Finals would be coming up soon and then I would get to go back home to the States for a little while. Although I wasn’t sure I was going to be much, if any, happier there. There was really no escape from the situation. The Beatles were well known all over the world as was any news having to do with them. After a while there came a knock on my door. I was elated to find Christine standing in my threshold with a brown paper bag.

“It’s freezing out there!” she said, as she rushed into my apartment.

“Hi! How are you? What are you doing here?” I asked, excited to see her.

“Ta-da!” she exclaimed, pulling an album, in a plain white sleeve, out of the paper bag.

“What’s that?”

“This, my dear, is the boys’ new album! Want to hear it?”

“Of course!” I said, eagerly.

Christine went over to my record player and put the album on as I went into the kitchen to make her a warm cup of tea. From the living area I heard a great bit of guitar, then a moment of Ringo’s drums, and then Paul’s voice,

“Asked the girl what she wanted to be,

She said baby, can’t you see

I wanna be famous, a star on the screen

But you can do something in between

Baby you can drive my car”

It was fabulous; really dynamic, from the very beginning. And when they broke into a part that went, “Beep, beep, beep, beep, yeeeeeah,” I lost it. Their energy level was amazing. It was the sort of song that just made you want to get up and dance.

“This is great!” I exclaimed to Christine.

“Oh, Maggie, you haven’t heard anything yet,” she said, ending the song before it was finished and moving on to the next one.

The song started and I heard John’s voice and an unusual sound.

“What’s that instrument? The strange-sounding one?” I asked.

“It’s a sitar.”

“A what?”

Christine laughed, “It’s an Indian instrument. Hasn’t John told you about it?”

“Not that I can recall, but it’s magnificent! Who’s playing it?”

“George. Isn’t it great?” she smiled.

That song, “Norwegian Wood,” was very different than the other things they had done. It was really a departure for the Beatles. Much more experimental. I could sense that change was in the air, when I heard that song, and it was electrifying. My eyes widened as I really listened to the lyrics.

“What?” Christine asked.

“What is this song about?”

“Oh, I don’t know. You know John.”

“Yes, I think I do,” I said, “and this sounds to me like he’s writing about a girl. And it doesn’t sound like Cynthia to me.”

“Well, it could just be something he made up, Maggie. You know how he is with his crazy stories.”

“I suppose you’re right,” I said.

But I wasn’t convinced. That song was definitely not about Cynthia, but I didn’t really think it was about me either. Then who? I suddenly felt pangs of jealousy and I hated it. I had no real right to have those feelings. Still, I couldn’t help it.

We continued listening to the album and the next songs were just as impressive. “You Won’t See Me” was a Paul song which Christine said he told her he had written at the beginning of their relationship when she was hesitant about dating him. After that came another of John’s, “Nowhere Man.” The subject was very clear and hearing it made my heart ache for him. “Nowhere man, the world is at your command.” Did he really think of himself like that? Even though I found the song to be sort of sad, the harmonies were undeniably beautiful. Then came songs entitled, “Think for Yourself,” a George song, and “The Word” which was an interesting little ditty. After that was another Paul song called, “Michelle” and Christine and I joked that they should have called it, “Christine.”

“Wouldn’t have sounded as French I suppose,” I laughed.

“No, I guess not!” she giggled.

The following songs were, “What Goes On,” sung by Ringo, “Girl,” the song John said he wrote about me, and “I’m Looking Through You.” After that came my favorite song on the album and maybe my favorite song ever. “In My Life” was just beautiful. I don’t think I had ever heard a song more lovely or heartfelt. John put more emotion into that song that I had ever heard in a Beatles record. It was magical. After replaying “In My Life” a couple of times, Christine and I listened to the rest of the album, which ended with a somewhat disturbing song called, “Run For Your Life.” Christine looked at me with a worried expression on her face.

“You don’t suppose he wrote that after you and Ed…” she started.

“No,” I answered without letting her finish.

Christine’s mouth hung open as if she wanted to say something else, but she closed it and nodded her head.

“I’m sure you’re probably right,” she said, unconvincingly.

Could Christine be right? I thought about the lyrics,

“You better run for your life if you can, little girl

Hide your head in the sand little girl

Catch you with another man

That's the end little girl.”

Could that song be a not-so-subtle warning to me? No. Surely not. Surely it was one of those tongue-in-cheek things the Beatles were so good at? Right? I wasn’t so certain. John had admitted to me that he was jealous person. And his actions had proved that to be the truth a couple of times already. The lyrics,

“Well I know that I'm a wicked guy

And I was born with a jealous mind,” were, without a doubt, about John.

There was absolutely no question about that. So should the other lyrics be taken seriously too? I just wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to think of John that way, but the truth was that he had a lot of pent-up anger. Still, I had to put the idea out of my head, at least for the time being.

“So, what did you think about it as a whole?” Christine asked, interrupting my train of thought.

“Oh, it was great. Just wonderful. Their best album yet. But I knew it was going to be from the way John has been talking. He was so excited about it.”

“Paul too! Just like a little boy,” Christine laughed. “And this is going to be the cover,” she said, pulling a photo out of her purse.

It was a gorgeous shot looking up at the four of them with lots of greenery in the background.

“That’s gorgeous,” I said.

“Well, it’s not going to look exactly like this,” she said. “The actual cover will be a slightly warped-looking version of this photo.”

“Sounds wonderful. Whose idea was that?”

“I think it was an accident, actually,” Christine laughed.

That sounded about right. So many fantastic things came about for them by accident, or fate, depending on how you looked at it. Everything just seemed to work out for them exactly the way it should in the long run. Christine and I sat talking for quite a while. She told me that Pattie, and Cynthia, and Maureen had their own listening party the day before. When I asked her why she hadn’t gone, she told me because she wanted to listen to their new album with me. Christine was such a good friend. Sometimes I took for granted how she was always there for me, but I was really lucky to have her as my best-friend. After a while I mentioned final exams and Christine decided she had better get going as she had studying of her own to get done. She opened the door of my apartment to a strong gust of wind and a heavy snowfall.

“Oh no! Are you sure you want to drive home in this?” I asked.

“Well, I don’t have much of a choice,” she said.

“Maybe you should just wait here until it lets up?”

“Maggie, how long have we lived here now? It’s December. It’s not going to let up any time soon.”

“I suppose you’re probably right. But, be careful,” I hugged her.

Christine tightened the best of her coat and held her collar together around her neck as she ran out to her car.

“Call when you get home!” I shouted.

“Yes, mother,” she laughed.

It snowed for the next four days. It was the most snow I had seen since I lived in London. And it was miserable. I hated getting out in it, but school went on and I needed to be there. John phoned every night from different cities around the UK and told me of the hysteria they were met with everywhere they went. He was getting really tired of it. I could hear it in his voice. Finals were to begin the following Monday, so that Friday I stayed late at school with classmates in a study group. By eleven o’clock we were all studied out. I didn’t think I could go over one more line of notes.

“Well, I don’t know about you all, but I am sick to death of looking at these books,” I said.

“Oh God, me too. Say, I know,” one of the girls in my study group said, “Why don’t we all go for a couple drinks at The Scotch?”

The others responded, “Sounds good to me,” “What a fab idea!” and, “Brilliant!” But I was horrified. Going for a drink didn’t sound like a terrible idea, but why The Scotch? I was just glad the Beatles were out of town. Perhaps no one at the nightclub would place me if I wasn’t with them.

“I hate to go out in this awful weather,” I said.

“Maggie, unless you’re going to spend the night here, you’re already out!” Jane, an Irish study partner of mine, said.

“Well, I’m not really dressed for The Scotch,” I said.

“None of us are. Come on, don’t be a spoil sport. Come round for a few drinks with us,” Gretchen, another classmate said.

After a couple more minutes convincing they finally talked me into it and the six of us set out for a few drinks and relaxation. When we arrived, I felt a sense of relief come over me. Maybe they wouldn’t even let us in? There was definitely a chance. Then again, we were a rather attractive and stylish group even if we weren’t technically dressed for a night on the town. Matters weren’t helped when the doorman and I recognized each other.

“Hello! Decided to take a position over here, round The Scotch. Not much happening at the Ad Lib these days. I see you’re without this evening,” he said to me with a smile.

“Hmmm? Yes, well nice to see you again,” I ignored his last comment which was obviously referring to the fact that I was not with the Beatles, and smiled politely as we entered the club.

“How did you know him?” Jane asked me.

“Oh, I don’t really. We just recognized each other is all,” I replied.

The six of us found a small table and pulled up extra chairs so we could all sit together. I looked around to see if there was anyone I recognized, but luckily it seemed to be a rather quiet night at the usually “happening” nightspot. By about 1:30am, we had all knocked back several drinks and were feeling more than a little tipsy, although Gretchen was really the only one who seemed particularly drunk. A few other people had joined our group by that time and she was sitting on some boy’s lap, laughing loudly at everything that was said, while the rest of us were just enjoying teasing her. But everything came to a screeching halt when one of the girls in our group made an unpleasant observation.

“Oh my God, isn’t that John Lennon’s wife?” she asked.

“Aye, that she is, and look it; she’s coming over!” another said excitedly.

I hadn’t even seen Cynthia come in, but there she was, headed right for me. She was with a woman I didn’t know and a rather large man in a hound’s-tooth suit.

“Well, this should be interesting, eh, Maggie?” Gretchen asked, loudly over the music.

“‘Of course it will. It’s Cynthia-bloody-Lennon, you twit!” Jane answered, innocently.

“Oh, no, no,” Gretchen said, shaking her hand wildly. “I mean, ‘cause Maggie here’s sleeping with her husband!” she replied, just as Cynthia reached our table.

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