Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 21

The eyes of my classmates just about bugged out of their heads.

“Gretchen!” Jane screamed.

I wanted to crawl under the table. I had been with them all evening and no one had so much as mentioned the Beatles’ music. I never suspected they were all secretly thinking lurid things about me. So much for believing I had friends.

“Come, love, that’s not true. Right Maggie?” Cynthia smiled.

I shook my head slowly, trying to pretend everything was okay.

“Sorry, Mrs. Lennon, our friend here has had a bit too much Scotch,” Jane punned.

“Excuse me,” I said, trying to remain calm, while going completely crazy inside. “Everyone, this is my friend, Cynthia. Cynthia, these are some of my classmates.”

“But it’s true! I saw it on telly the other day!” Gretchen slurred. “And a lucky girl she is too. That Lennon is the absolute most! Tell us both of you, how big is his cock?”

“That’s quite enough,” Cynthia said quietly, a pained look in her eyes.

“Gretchen, you cheeky cow!” Jane exclaimed. “Let’s get you to the loo to splash some water on your face… maybe stick a finger down your throat, shall we?”

Jane and another of my study partners took hold of Gretchen and dragged her off. I couldn’t believe it. I could barely look at Cynthia.

“Maggie, may I speak to you privately?” Cynthia asked.

I lay my glass on the table in front of me and followed Cynthia away from our group. My knees felt wobbly beneath me and I took deep breaths fearing another panic attack like I had watching the boys’ press conference the week before. It also didn’t help that I had been drinking too. I just hoped to God that the number of drinks I had wasn’t big enough to loosen my tongue too much.

“Maggie, I want you to know that there are no hard feelings,” Cynthia said.

I felt like I was going to be sick.

“I know that the press gets hold of something and just won’t let it go,” she continued. “But I trust you. And I trust the boys. And most of all, I trust John.”

Was she kidding? How on earth could she trust any of us? Was Cynthia Lennon really that na├»ve? What made her trust me? She didn’t know me particularly well. And even if I wasn’t in the picture at all, there was still the simple fact that her husband was an international superstar. Did she really think he got in from doing a show and went straight to bed? Did she really think that all the Beatles didn’t take full advantage of the women that threw themselves at them on a nightly basis? Did she really think they were being fully faithful, loving husbands and boyfriends? Surely not. How could she possibly be that in the dark? Besides, she had seen us together in various incriminating situations like that incident at the party with Claude. She had to know something was going on. Everyone else did.

“The boys say you’re just a mate and I haven’t found any evidence to the contrary, so I just wanted to tell you not to worry about what the news is reporting. I know it’s garbage,” she continued.

I just didn’t know Cynthia well enough to be able to tell what she was really thinking. Was she being sincere? Or was she testing me by saying these things? Was she waiting to see if I slipped up somehow? Maybe she was purposefully trying to make me feel guilty. I just wasn’t sure.

“I’m glad you’re not upset,” I said. “I was worried about everything that might happen because of that press conference.”

“Well, have no fear,” she smiled. “Anyway, love, I just wanted to let you know, so I’m thrilled I ran into you tonight. I’ll let you get back to your friends now, unless... you mind if we join you?”

“Actually, I think I had better be getting home. It’s late and I am exhausted, not to mention that I myself have had one too many,” I responded, unable to think of a worse idea than Cynthia joining me and my classmates, who obviously believed everything they read in the papers.

“Well, have a nice night then,” she said.

As I left, I passed Jane who was headed back to our table.

“Where you going?” she asked.

“Oh, I’m going home. I’ve got to get out of here.”

“Aw, don’t let Gretch get you down. She’s passed out cold in the loo. Can’t handle her liquor, obviously.”

“It’s not her. It was just… not a great idea for me to come out. And I’m really tired anyway.”

“Well, all right. See you in class then,” Jane smiled.

I returned her smile and began to walk away.

“Oh, and Maggie,” she called out, running over to me, “One of these days will you tell me exactly what’s going on? I love the Beatles, but I don’t keep up with their personal affairs and Gretchen was too drunk to explain to me while we were in the toilet together.”

I smiled, “Sure, Jane. Thanks. Get home safely.”

I was surprised to find that someone actually didn’t know the latest gossip about the Beatles. And I was thankful. Maybe that meant Jane had actually wanted to hang out with me because she liked my company rather than the fact that she was impressed by the company I kept. It occurred to me that was how it must be for the Beatles all the time; never knowing who genuinely likes you and who just wants to be around you because of who you are. It was a miserably lonely feeling.

The next few days passed without event. I was too busy studying for exams to worry myself with anything or anyone. In fact, I didn’t even speak to John long when he phoned. Just long enough to hear his voice and to tell him I would talk to him later. My first exam was Monday and I returned home feeling like I had done well. I took some solace in the fact that I didn’t have an exam on Tuesday, so rather than studying right away, I decided to catch up on my sleep. It was a cold winter’s day and perfect for lying in, so I changed into my nightgown and decided to read a book for pleasure rather than one I had to read for school. I think I read about two pages before I fell asleep and didn’t wake up again until I heard a noise in the darkness of my bedroom.

“Who’s there?” I asked, scared, and half-asleep.

It was pitch black in my room. No one answered. My entire body became rigid with fear when I felt the bed clothes moving as someone crawled beneath them.

“Please! No!” I yelped in a panic.

But as his face came nearer to mine I let out a cry of relief. It was John!

“Hey, calm down now,” he giggled.

“How did you get in here?” I asked, pounding on his chest with my fists.

“Magic,” he said in a deep, sultry voice.

“You scared me to death. I forgot you all were getting back tonight. You didn’t remind me. Oh, why didn’t you remind me?” I asked, trembling and sobbing with happiness.

“There, there,” he said in a soothing tone.

“John, I missed you so much.”

“Bloody hell, love, I missed you too. Thought I’d fuckin’ die if I went one more day without you,” he kissed my forehead, pulling me close to his body and squeezing me tightly in his arms.

I kissed his shoulders and his bare chest and neck. I could feel my body trembling against the warmth of his naked body and he stroked my hair. My tears soaked his chest and he pulled away from me and tried to kiss them away. As he kissed my eyelids and my nose I moved my lips to his, planting them on him and kissing him long and hard.

“I love you. Oh God, I love you, John,” I said.

“I love you too, baby.”

“I’ve been waiting for this.”

“I been waiting me whole life for this, love,” he replied.

His hands held the back of my neck tightly as we searched each other’s mouths with our tongues. And then I felt them slide down my back massaging slowly. I dug my nails into his back pulling him as close to me as possible, but it just wasn’t close enough.

“You’re squeezing the life out of me, girl,” he chuckled in a silly breathy voice.

“I just can’t get close enough,” I breathed into his mouth. “I want you so bad.”

He reached down and grabbed the bottom of my night gown and pulled it up. Since we were both lying down, it was a bit of a feat for me to get it off and we both giggled at the struggle. But the laughter quickly subsided as there was nothing funny about what was coming next.

“I been dying to feel you next to me,” he growled in my ear as he ran his big strong hands all over my body.

“I’ve dreamt about your touch,” I purred as one of his hands dropped below my waist and began to search for me.

His tongue ran silkily across my collarbone and up my neck to my jaw line where he began to plant small wet kisses until he reached my mouth. And at that same time, his callused fingers found my pleasure spot and began to rub me gently. I gasped into his mouth and a shudder ran throughout my body.

“Mmm… that’s it, love. That’s what I been dreaming about.”

“John,” I gasped.

He knew just how to touch me.

I ran my fingers through his hair over and over as he massaged and plunged his fingers deep inside me. And I kissed his chest and tugged on his tiny nipples with my lips. I could feel the orgasm building inside me and I began rocking my hips with the rhythm of his fingers.

“That’s it, Maggie. Give it to me,” he said in a low sexy tone of voice.

I rocked my hips faster and faster until finally, waves of satisfaction washed over me and my entire body quivered with delight. John kissed me hungrily on the mouth and I smiled beneath his lips.

“I love you,” I sighed.

“Well ‘course you do now,” he giggled, hugging me tightly to him.

I could feel him hot and throbbing against my thigh and I reached down and took hold of it. I wanted to return the pleasure he had just given me. I tightened my grip around it and moved my hand up and down along the shaft and John moaned in appreciation. I kissed his chest and his neck as his hands explored my body, all the while keeping a firm grasp on his most important appendage. I kissed my way down his chest and stomach until my lips found the head of his erection and I flicked it teasingly with my tongue.

“Oh Christ,” he groaned, running his hands through my hair.

I ran my tongue along the perfect vain that I loved so much and then closed my lips around it and took him in as deep as possible, sucking hard in order to give John the most intense possible feeling.

“Fuck,” he said.

And the more he moaned and the heavier he breathed, the more excited I became. I began sucking faster and harder. I was completely out of control with desire for him. But suddenly I felt him tug on my hair and he grabbed my shoulders and pulled me back up to his mouth. He kissed me hard and long. I knew he was trying to spare me, but I wanted to make him orgasm. I reached down and grabbed his hardened flesh and worked it with my hand until I felt a rush of warm liquid on my thigh. John shuddered and gasped and kissed me hard on the mouth plunging his tongue in desperately.

“That was bloody marvelous,” he said, in amazement.

I lie there in his arms wanting him more than ever. And I began to cry again.

“Aw, what’s the matter?” he asked.

“I missed you. It seems like it’s been forever since we’ve really been together and I just missed you so much, John.”

“Maybe we should be apart more often, if that’s how you’re going to show me how much you missed me every time,” he giggled.

“I’m not joking,” I said.

“No, I know, love. I missed you too. I never want to be away from you. Ever. I sodding hate it. I’m a completely different person when I’m with you, you know. I think I’m meself when I’m with you. More so than I’ve ever been at any other time in my life…”

I could hear that John was getting choked up as well and his voice trailed off in the darkness.

“I don’t want to go back home for Christmas,” I said. “I want to spend every waking moment with you, but…”

“Then don’t,” he interrupted. “Stay here. Spend Christmas with me.”

“I can’t, John. Even if I did stay, we wouldn’t be together. You’ll be at home with Julian, where you belong.”

“I belong with you.”

I couldn’t argue with that because it felt so right. Somehow it seemed true. No matter how illogical. I snuggled as close to him as possible and buried my face in his neck. We lay like that for a while. In the silence. In the darkness.

“Do you have to leave?” I asked.

“I’m here for the night, love.”

I pulled away from him and looked in his eyes. I kissed the tip of his nose and then his lips, chin, and then his lips again. There wasn’t a more beautiful man than him. And I had him. At least for the night.

The next morning John and I made love twice before getting in the shower and doing it once more there. We couldn’t get enough of each other. I loved everything about him; his hair, his eyes, his strong nose and sparkling white teeth, his broad shoulders and thick, manly thighs. I loved the way he looked in and out of clothes, the way he smelled salty and sweet at the same time, the way he spoke so softly at times and with such force at other times. I loved the crazy faces he made and the ridiculous voices he used. Most of all I loved the way he loved me. I had never felt more loved by one person in my entire life. Maybe not even by my parents.

I didn’t have a test that day and the only class I had was going to be used as a study hall, so I decided to skip class and stay inside with John, as he, amazingly, didn’t have anything scheduled for that day either. We lounged around all day. I made him breakfast and lunch and we watched a bit of television, but mostly we just enjoyed being with each other. He told me about the tour. About how crazy it was and how fed up he was becoming of the whole scene. He said the kids couldn’t even hear their music and that they just used their concerts as a reason to go mad. He was becoming very tired of Brian telling them what they could and couldn’t say during press conferences. And Paul, who he felt was always taking charge and trying to control things, was agitating him. In short, he needed time off. He needed time away from all of them. And I could understand that. It couldn’t be easy living, working, and hanging out with the same people day in and day out. After a while everything everyone did would begin to drive you completely crazy. While he spoke, I imagined him coming back to America with me. And the two of us running off and being together somewhere where people didn’t recognize him. And he could have those days not as John Lennon, the Beatle, but as John Lennon, the man. John Lennon, the man that I love. But I knew that was impossible. He had responsibilities at home. And even if he didn’t, there was no where he could really go that he wouldn’t be recognized. I think even my Sinatra-loving parents would be able to pick him out of a crowd. There was no hope for freedom. And I couldn’t think of anything sadder.

John lay on the couch reading the newspaper, and I went and squeezed in between his warm body and the sofa. He was such an intelligent person. I wondered if other people were as aware. Or perhaps I only was because we were so close? I admired the way he was so interested in current events and political and social issues and how he followed them avidly. For a while he read the news aloud to me. I loved hearing him read. I stared at him, watching his lips move and his eyes search back and forth across the page behind his thick glasses. But after a while he stopped reading.

“Are you even listening? Or are ya just bloody staring at me?” he asked, leaning his head back so he could get a better look at me.

“Can’t I be doing both?” I smiled.

“Aye, but are you, madam?” he asked.

“Oh, John Lennon, yer just so bleedin’ pretty I can’t take me luvin’ eyes off ye!” I teased in my awful impersonation of a scouser.

“Oh is that so?” he batted his eyelashes wildly and then began tickling me mercilessly.

I rolled off of him and onto the floor in hysterics, trying to get away. I hopped up and ran off, but John was too quick for me. Before I knew it, he had scooped me up off of the floor, into his arms and was carrying me into the bedroom.

“Put me down, you brute!” I laughed.

“Oh? Want that I should put you down, eh?” he asked in a deep, comical voice.

“Yes. Now!” I demanded, teasingly.

Then he threw me roughly onto the bed.

“Hey!” I laughed, but before I could even really get the word out, he was on top of me, tickling me once more.

“John, John!” I laughed, gasping for air.

“Oh, that’s it, love. I love it when you scream me name,” he teased.

I tried to fight back, tickling him when I got a chance, but in no time, his hands were between my legs and I was his. He had won. Just like that.

“Oh, you dirty cheater,” I said, breathlessly.

“Well, if you want, I could stop,” he said, stopping cold and making to crawl off of the bed.

“Oh no you don’t. The John Lennon I know is no quitter. That’s right. He doesn’t stop until he has fully succeeded at whatever it is that he set out to accomplish.”

“Well, when you put it that way,” he said, climbing back on top of me and yanking my pants down in one fluid motion.

“Where’d you learn to do that?” I laughed.

He wiggled his eyebrows cheekily and then grabbed the bottom of my sweater to do the same with it.

“Hey, wait a minute! What about you? You’re fully clothed. Now, I can’t see how that’s half fair.”

“Well?” he said, raising his eyebrows, as if to challenge me.

“Well,” I said, imitating him, “we should probably do something about that.”

I slipped my thumbs in the sides of his pants and tried to push them down, but they wouldn’t budge. John giggled.

“Problem, miss?” he asked, feigning innocence.

“No, no. I’ve got it,” I said, grabbing the waist of his trousers tighter and tugging them downward.

Still, they wouldn’t go anywhere. John pretended to be very impatient, looking around the room, drumming his fingers on the bed, letting out exaggerated sighs of frustration.

“Your first time, is it, love?” he asked under his breath as if trying to keep others in the room from hearing.

“Oh, you!” I laughed, giving one last hard tug and ripping John’s pants down the seam of his left leg.

“What did you do that for?” he asked, getting off the bed to better examine his pants and newly exposed hip.

My jaw hung open.

“Oh John… I’m… so sorry. I didn’t mean to…” but I couldn’t finish my sentence. I burst out laughing.

“Oh, it’s funny is it?” he asked. “Har, har, har, har,” he mimicked my laugh.

I tried to hold back my laugh for a moment, unsure whether he was really angry or not.

“Just look at what you did. All you had to do was unfasten ‘em, you know. And now…” he said, using his hand to flap the material of his pants that hung open at the seam.

I broke out laughing again. He was just so cute standing there in his brown and white striped pants with his underpants exposed and the top of his creamy thigh peaking out from the bottom of the rip. John started laughing too. He unfastened his pants and let them drop to the floor. And by that point, I was hysterical. I could barely see him through my tears of laughter. And the more I laughed, the more John did. He threw himself back onto the bed and we rolled around laughing and tickling each other like children. I pinned him below me and began tugging at his sweater to get it off of him.

“All right, just wait right there,” he laughed, reaching down and taking the sweater off himself.

I bent over him and kissed his neck and down his chest then back up to his mouth.

“You’re so beautiful,” I told him.

I pulled my top off and sat there, straddling his waist, looking at him. He reached up and unfastened my bra and my nipples instantly hardened in the cold air. He took each of my breasts in his big hands and massaged them gently. Then he rose up taking one in his mouth. His mouth was wet and warm on my nipple and the sensation sent shivers throughout my body. I could feel his hardened erection pressing through his underpants against my bottom. I slid myself backward on his lap, across his erection and John groaned, his mouth still on my breast. He closed his lips tight around my nipple and tugged at it gently. I rocked back and forth across his hardened penis; enjoying the pleasure it was giving me. John put his hands on my hips and helped me along until I was virtually slamming myself against him, near orgasm.

“Whoa. Slow down. We’re not teenagers anymore. We don’t have to settle for humping on top of our clothes, you know,” he breathed heavily.

“Then I suggest you remove those clothes so we can behave like adults,” I said.

Suddenly, John threw me off of him and onto my back, yanked off my panties, and then did the same with his own.

“How’s that?” he asked in a growl.

I giggled, but the only thing I could manage to say was, “Mmhmm.”

The sight of his stiffened penis was mesmerizing. I had never seen anything more perfect. I reached out and touched it. It was hot in my hand and the tighter I closed my hand around it, the more I could feel it throbbing. But I wanted to feel that throbbing inside me. John slowly lowered himself on top of me and entered me little by little. It was always such an amazing feeling when he was inside me. It was a feeling of being totally complete. A feeling of being whole. He moved slowly in and out of me with long, steady strokes. When he pulled almost all the way out I thought I was going to go insane. I grabbed his perfectly round backside and pushed him back down to me and John giggled. He loved to tease me. At one point, when he was inside me, he just lay there completely unmoving. I clenched my muscles around his erection and watched his eyes roll back in his head.

“Fucking hell!” he moaned in ecstasy.

I smiled. Two could play that game. I orgasmed three times before it was all over with and then we fell asleep in each other’s arms. John spent the night again. I wondered where Cynthia thought he was all that time, but I didn’t want to ruin things by asking him. Nothing had ever been more perfect.

The next morning, I woke up and got ready for school, leaving John naked and asleep in my bed. I went to kiss him goodbye and he pulled me down on top of him.

“No, John. I can’t,” I laughed, trying to free myself from his clutches. “I have to go to school. This is my last week.”

“Come, love. Let’s have a quick one before you go,” he said, still half asleep.

“You’re not even awake!” I laughed. “And I’m already going to be late. Will you be here when I get home?”

“No, I can’t stay. We’re set to be on the telly tonight; ‘Top of the Pops.’”

“Well, call me,” I sighed.

“I’ll try to be back over tomorrow if I can find time away from Cyn.”

“Don’t worry about it, John, honestly. I know you need to be with your family. I understand that. Just call and we’ll get together when we can,” I kissed him once more and set out for school.

That day at school proved to be an interesting one. I noticed some reporters on campus with their microphones and cameras pointed at several students. I had a sinking feeling it had something to do with me, so I stayed as far away from them as possible. It sure had taken them long enough to figure out exactly who I was, but I was thankful for the months of peace. But now that they knew specific details like where I went to school, they would surely want an interview with me before too long and I wasn’t the least bit interested. I wondered how long it would be before they had gotten a hold of my address as well. I had a mental image of arriving home to a virtual camp of newsmen set up outside my apartment in order to get an interview. I would surely have to move. But perhaps I was getting ahead of myself. In two days I was going back to America and I would be able to escape this chaos and recuperate. Possibly. The truth was, I didn’t have any clue what was going on in America. Maybe the American reporters were ages ahead of the English press and had already dug up all the dirt on me they could find. Maybe they had already been reporting on my wild ways as an American teenager: my running away from home; my playing hooky from school; my alcohol abuse; my getting pregnant out of wedlock; and then my miscarriage. Maybe being in America would be an even bigger nightmare. I didn’t even want to think about it. If I continued on, I would talk myself right out of going back home, and I knew that was not a good idea. I needed to be away from everyone and everything for a while.

I ducked into a nearby restroom to avoid the reporters interviewing a boy and girl from one of my classes. But even the restroom was no escape. While in one of the stalls I overheard two girls gossiping about the incident at The Scotch several days earlier.

“Well I heard the only reason they took her with them in the first place was to see if she pulled enough weight to get the lot of them in! Sure enough, they were admitted without a problem,” the first girl said.

Was it possible that really was the only reason I had been invited?

“I heard they all got dead sloshed and one of ‘em passed out in the toilet!” the other added.

Well, that was true enough.

“And Cynthia Lennon showed up and she and Maggie had a great row right in front of everyone!” she continued.

“I heard Cynthia even slapped Maggie!” the first girl exclaimed.

“No! Well, I would too if the blinkin’ slag was having one off with my husband! The bloody nerve of that girl!”

I couldn’t believe it! If I hadn’t have been afraid they’d run right outside and tell the reporters I was in the restroom, I would have charged out of that stall and taken both of those girls by the hair! These were the rumors that were going around? I was a whore and Cynthia slapped me, deservingly, for being so? It just wasn’t true at all!

“I heard Gretchen asked them who John preferred in bed!” the first girl cackled.

“She didn’t!” the other laughed.

No, she didn’t, I thought.

It was unbelievable to me that these girls, two girls I didn’t even know, not only knew my name, but were gossiping about me as if we had known each other all our lives. I waited in the stall for them to leave and then I went out and looked at myself in the mirror. How had I managed to screw things up so royally? Everything was going beautifully since I had moved to England. Until, that is, I met the Beatles. From then on, it was almost as if I had reverted completely back to my old self. Had I left the restroom stall a few moments earlier, and bopped those girls upside their heads like I wanted to, I might as well had been sixteen years old again, because that is exactly what my former self would have done. But I didn’t. I had controlled myself, even if it was only out of fear of being discovered. No matter what, I was different now. I just had to keep reminding myself of that. I kept my head down and trudged on through the rest of the day. Two more days in hell and I would be back across the pond where it was, theoretically, safe. I only had to make it through two more days.

After school, I wandered around the streets of London for a few hours, afraid to go home out of fear that reporters would be there as I had imagined. It was freezing out, so I kept popping in little stores and cafes to warm up. I stopped in one bookstore and picked up a fan magazine and quickly flipped through it. There was not one photo or article about me. I breathed a sigh of relief and put the magazine down and started out of the store.

“Oh, don’t you want that?” the clerk asked.

“No, thank you. I was just looking,” I responded.

“Free for you, Miss Jones,” he smiled sheepishly.

I raised an eyebrow. “Please, how do you know my name?” I asked, a bit nervous to hear the answer.

The boy blushed and pointed to a photo he had hanging on the wall behind his register. It was one from the shoot I had done in Piccadilly! I was in an evening gown, standing in front of the fountain looking positively Fellini-esque, but gorgeous nonetheless! You might have thought I was a real model in that picture. I hadn’t seen the photos from that shoot, so I was a bit taken aback.

“Do you have any of those prints for sale?” I asked the clerk.

“Oh… um…” he stumbled on his words, a bit flustered. “I don’t think… well… Here. You can have this one,” he grinned, handing me the photo from off of his wall.

“No, no. I wouldn’t dream of it. That’s yours… It is lovely though, isn’t it?”

The boy nodded eagerly, “Oh, yes.”

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“William, but everyone calls me Billy,” he answered.

“I can’t tell you how much you’ve brightened my day, Billy. Have a pleasant evening,” I said, turning to leave the store.

“Miss Jones,” Billy said.

“Please, Maggie,” I replied.

“Maggie,” he blushed, “could I bother you to…”

He held out the photo and a pen.

“Sure,” I said.

I felt perfectly ridiculous, but Billy was so sweet and really had put a smile back on my face after such a long, dreadful day, that I humored him kindly and signed:

To Billy with love,

Maggie Jones

Thanks so much for bringing cheer to my day”

And then I handed the picture back to him. The grin on his face was priceless and I left the little store feeling wonderfully silly. After that, I jumped on the tube and went straight home. If there were reporters outside my apartment I would just ignore them and go inside. I had too much studying to get done to bother with them. Luckily, there was no one outside so I went straight in my house and got busy studying. And I only took a break to catch the boys on “Top of the Pops.”

The next day at school was a clone of the day before, only I felt like I did even better on the final I had that day than I had on the previous one. That evening John wanted me to go to his house where everyone was getting together to watch the London broadcast of “The Music of Lennon and McCartney,” the special that Christine and I had traveled to Manchester to watch the taping of. But I declined. I only had one more final exam and it was going to be my most difficult. I needed to stay at home and study. And that is precisely what I did. In fact, I didn’t watch television that evening or even answer the phone when it rang. And by the time I went to bed, I felt like I was sufficiently prepared.

Unfortunately all of my preparation went out the window the next day, as my professor was absent from class. My classmates and I sat there twiddling our thumbs for thirty minutes before another professor finally showed up.

“I hate to tell you all this, but your professor had a terrible accident this morning and will be unable to attend the examination. Another teacher would have been here in his place had we been notified sooner. However, now it is simply too late to pass out the exam.”

“So, we all just get an ‘A’ then, is that it?” a girl in my class called out.

“Sounds fair to me,” another classmate added.

“No, I’m afraid that’s not an option,” the professor chuckled.

“Well, what exactly will our final be then?” I asked.

“Come up off your knees, now, Maggie. That’s not gonna get you a better mark than any of the rest of us. Not this time at least!” a boy in the back of the room said.

“Aw, but she’s so good at it,” I heard someone else say.

The room erupted in infantile laughter.

“Now, now, that’s enough,” the professor said, using his hands to gesture for everyone to quiet down.

I was seething with anger. I spun around in my seat searching for an indication of who had said those nasty things.

“Funny, is it?” I asked through gritted teeth.

The laughing died down somewhat and then the professor spoke,

“It has been decided that the grade you received on your last paper will be marked up five points and that will be used as your final exam grade.”

A collective moan filled the classroom and in addition was exclamations of “That’s not fair!” and “This is shite!” But I smiled to myself. I had received a good grade on that paper; much better than I probably would have done on the final exam.

“Are we free to leave then?” I asked the professor under all the shouts and protests.

He nodded to me and I grabbed my book bag and hurried out as fast as possible. I wanted to get away from everyone. In fact, I never wanted to see any of their faces again. Finally, I was free! I went straight home to shower and change clothes. John was coming over to spend my last day in London with me and I wanted to look nice for him. When I got out of the shower I wrapped my hair in a towel and put on my robe. But stepping out of my bathroom I nearly died of a heart attack.

“John! What are you doing here so early?”

“What are you doing here’s the better question. Shouldn’t you be in school?”

“Got out early,” I grinned.

“Aw. And I was going to surprise you too!”

“Well, you just did!” I laughed, clutching my heart.

John leaned forward and planted a huge wet kiss on my lips and then slipped his hands inside my robe.

“Your hands are freezing!” I laughed, slapping his arms.

“Mmm. Let me warm them on you,” he said, running them up and down my body as he nuzzled my neck.

We walked as one unit to my bedroom. Once there, I pushed him down onto my bed and then I jumped on top of him. We made love all afternoon, neither of us wanting to get out of bed. When the evening came John mentioned how hungry he was.

“Do you want me to make you something?” I asked.

“No. I’ll make you something,” he said.

I raised an eyebrow at him.

“Do you even know how to make anything?”

John made a ridiculous face and then twitched like a spastic.

“I’ll figure something out,” he said in as crazy a voice as I’ had ever heard him use.

He left the bedroom and in a few minutes, I heard him speaking lowly to someone on the telephone. He was asking someone to bring us food! I couldn’t help but laugh. That was his idea of making me dinner. I put my robe on and joined him in the kitchen, where he was seated reading the newspaper.

“How is that dinner coming along?” I asked.

“Hm? Oh, well you know. Just loverly. Absolutely marvelously. Yeah, so you just go on and put some clothes on now. I can’t be bothered looking at you all sexy in a dressing gown,” he said comically.

He knew I was on to him. Still, clothes did sound appealing since I hadn’t had them on since I arrived home and was absolutely freezing. So, I went back to my bedroom and left him to his newspaper. In a few minutes the telephone rang. I was trapped somewhere in my turtleneck, I think I was trying to put my head through an armhole, and couldn’t get to the phone. It stopped ringing after only a couple of rings, so I figured they must have hung up. Then I heard John talking. No! Surely he hadn’t… Had he? Somehow I pulled the turtleneck off and rushed into the living area where John was hanging up the phone.

“Did you just… Tell me you didn’t… Why would you…” I couldn’t even finish a thought before another started out of my mouth.

“Words, love. Words are good,” John teased. “And I thought I told you to get dressed. Where’s your bloody top?”

I stood there in my pants and bra with my jaw hanging open.

“Did you just answer my phone?”

“Of course. Why?” he asked.

“Yes. That is what I am wondering… Why? Why would you answer my phone?” I asked.

“Because it was ringing,” he answered smartly.

The look on my face must have told him I was not amused because he continued,

“Look, I don’t know. The fuckin’ thing was ringing so I answered it. It’s what I do at home, so it’s what I did here. Like Pavlov’s dog or something.”

“John, it’s crazy enough that you answer the phone at your own house, but that’s an entirely different issue. Answering my phone is just asking for trouble.”

“Come on, Maggie. No one knows it’s me. It’s not like I answered it, ‘John Lennon, here just shagging Maggie Jones’ fuckin’ brains out. Can I help you?’”

I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Still, John. It’s not as if your voice is completely unrecognizable. And with all the rumors and everything, I just don’t think…”

“Look, I don’t want to have a row with you about this on your last night. I won’t answer it again, all right?”

I smiled and kissed the end of his nose.

“Thank you,” I said. “Do you know who it was?”

“Was Lydiaaaa,” he said, impersonating Lydia’s deep, dramatic voice.

“Oh, great!” I said, slapping my forehead. “What did you tell her?”

“Told her you were turning cartwheels out in the street and you’d call her back.”

“Ha. Ha,” I said sarcastically. “What did you really tell her?”

John fluttered his eyelashes wildly and I knew in an instant that really was what he had told her.

“Well, I’m not calling her back,” I said.

“Don’t blame you. I don’t like that woman.”

“Oh? Why is that?”

“Don’t know really. She just seems rather evil if you ask me.”

“I think you may be right,” I said.

There came a knock on the door and I ran to my bedroom to put a top on, bypassing the turtleneck for a warm cashmere sweater.

“Thanks, Mal,” I heard John say.

“Oh is Mal here?” I asked, coming out of my bedroom just a moment too late to catch him.

“Mal? I don’t know this Mal you speak of, Miss,” John raised his eyebrows snobbishly and then shot a huge grin at me. “I’ve prepared the dinner, Madam.”

“Did you? You slaved away all evening I imagine,” I teased.

“Aye. And, oooh, me aching back,” he pretended to be in a great deal of pain.

John and I had a nice long dinner, talking and enjoying each other’s company. He told me about “Top of the Pops” and everything I had missed at the little gathering at his place the night before. And I told him about the reporters at school and the girls in the restroom.

“Yeah, Cyn told me she ran into you at the Scotch while we were on tour.”

“Oh. What else did she say?”

“Nothing much. Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked.

“I don’t know. I felt so awkward about the whole thing and it just makes me feel guilty to even think about it.”

“Get away, Maggie. You shouldn’t feel guilty about anything,” he said. “Neither of us should. It’s a complicated situation, but when it comes down to it, we love each other and that’s nothing to feel guilty about.”

After a while the telephone rang again. John got up and picked it up, teasingly threatening to answer it. I pinched his nipple through his shirt until he finally gave up, giggling like a child.

“Maggie, dahling,” Lydia’s deep voice rang out.


“Hello, Lydia. I don’t really have time to speak right now,” I said.

“Well, I was waiting on you to call me back, but since you didn’t I thought I had better call you. The young man said you would call, but… If you don’t mind, who was that fellow? He said something about cartwheels?”

“Just a friend,” I said, shortly.

“Hmmm…” she sounded suspicious. “Well, either way I’ll just take a few moments of your time, deah.”

“Lydia, really. I’m very busy,” I insisted.

“Oh honestly, Maggie, don’t you have a moment to hear about all the requests to work with you that have been pouring into our office?”

I didn’t respond, so she continued,

“Now, our agency was going to send out a little press release to let everyone know about your friendship with the Beatles. You know, just to put the word out there…”

“You didn’t!” I exclaimed angrily.

“No, you’re right, deah. We didn’t have to. Marie… oh I forget her surname. Anyway, you remember her, the lady that used to work with Claude. Well, apparently she’s quite impressed by you and has taken it upon herself to promote you for us. Free of charge. She’s informed the press themselves of exactly who you are... You know, all the information they might need to make quite the story out of you. Why we didn’t think of that I will never know. It’s the most brilliant way to get your name out there, of course!”

I felt like the blood was draining from my body.

“Maggie?” John said.

It sounded as if he was calling to me through a tunnel.

“You all right, love?” he asked.

Suddenly my knees buckled beneath me and I crashed to the floor.

“Maggie!” John exclaimed, hurrying over.

He took the phone away from me and held it to his ear. Lydia was still talking.

“…Simply extraordinary. It’ll do wonders, I’m sure of it…” she went on.

“Is it her?” John asked me.

I nodded weakly.

“And frankly, your career depends on this, Maggie,” she said firmly.

“Fuck her career, you bleeding hag. She doesn’t need your shite! I’m the only thing she needs. You fucking call back here and I’ll make sure you’re out of a job? Understand, you cunt?” John yelled and slammed the phone down.

He gathered me off of the floor and carried me over to the sofa. I told him what Lydia had said about Marie leaking my identity to the press.

“That no-good fucking whore! I’ll kill her!” he fumed.

“John, John,” I said, trying to calm him down as he was clearly becoming out of control with fury. “The damage is done.”

“I just don’t understand what the hell she was thinking. Why would she do this?”

“John, I’m going to ask you something and I want you to be honest with me.”

“What is it?” he asked.

“While I was in Paris, did you sleep with Marie?”

John huffed and walked away from me. He paced back and forth alongside the sofa for a few moments, talking to himself like a madman.

“John?” I asked.

He nodded.

“Fuck!” he screamed angrily. “If I could keep my dick in my pants the bitch might not have done this. She’s sodding jealous. Is that it?”

“I suppose so,” I said.

“Oh Maggie, I’m so sorry, love. I don’t mean to hurt you. I’m a bastard and I was angry with you. I was just certain you were in Paris shagging any number of fuckin’ French dickheads, and I was out of my mind on drugs and drink.”

“I know all that, John. I know. But now we’re just going to have to accept the consequences for our actions.”

“You mean the consequences for my actions?”

“You’re not the only one in this relationship,” I said.

John sat down on the sofa beside me and took me in his arms.

“I love you, Maggie.”

“I love you too, John.”

We talked until the wee small hours of the morning, had a long goodbye, and then John went home. He had plans with his family the next morning, so he couldn’t stay the whole night. And truthfully speaking I welcomed the alone time. I hadn’t packed and my flight left first thing the next afternoon. If John had stayed I don’t know when I would have gotten all my things together for my trip. I stayed up the rest of the night packing and only fell asleep when I had finished around 8:30 that morning. I had already made plans with Christine for her to take me to the airport, so I figured I would sleep until she knocked at my door. Which is exactly what I did. Only it wasn’t Christine I saw when I groggily answered the door that afternoon.

“Neil? What are you doing here?” I asked, rubbing my tired eyes.

“Well, good morning to you too,” he said, pretending to be hurt.

“I’m sorry. I just thought Christine was coming to get me.”

“Yes well, I am instead. That all right?” he asked, carrying my things out to his car.

“Of course, Neil. I didn’t mean to sound rude. I had a long night and... Whose car is that?” I asked.

“Borrowed it from a mate,” he giggled at the surprise in my voice.

After we had been driving for a while I noticed Neil was taking a strange route to the airport, but after having already insulted him once, I didn’t want to do it again by asking if he was sure we were going the right direction. So instead, I just kept chattering away, pretending I didn’t think we were lost. We pulled up to a house where I had never been and I couldn’t contain myself any longer.

“What are we doing, Neil?”

He smiled at me and then tapped on the car horn three times. After nothing happened, I shot him a curious look. Then the front door of the house opened and George hurried out and over to the car with Christine following closely behind.

“Hi!” I cried out as they climbed in.

“Hullo, Maggie,” George said.

“What are you two doing?” I asked.

“I was supposed to take you to the airport, right?” Christine asked.

“Yes, but…” I started, but stopped when I saw the front door of the house open again.

Out came someone dressed in black pants, a black sweater, black coat, and the green floppy hat I had given to Pattie. As the person hurried over to the car, I noticed they kept their face pointed toward the ground, hidden beneath the hat. But I would recognize the shape of those thighs anywhere.

“Apparently Christine needed my help getting to the plane plane,” George said as John got in the car.

“The plane plane,” John repeated. “Ah yes. She needed mine too. Also. As well,” he said, pulling the hat off and tossing it onto George’s lap.

“And Neil’s in addition. To boot,” George added.

Neil laughed as he began to pull away from the house.

“You’re a tricky bunch!” I laughed, stretching backward into the backseat in order to kiss John.

“Stop the car!” George shouted.

Neil slammed on the brakes and we all lurched forward.

“Are you soft?!” John exclaimed.

“Listen, I won’t be in the middle of this the entire trip to the airport. You lot asked me to come along and I was more than happy to oblige, mind you, but you can’t just be snogging right on top of me! Maggie, trade me places, won’t you, love?” George said.

“Geo! What a fab idea, mate!” John squealed. “I knew you didn’t have that abnormally large head for nothing.”

“Hardy har, har,” George said, getting into the front seat.

“You all are so sweet. But this isn’t the best idea,” I said.

“What are you on about?” Neil asked.

“I mean, me being dropped off by John…”

“But it’s not just John dropping you off,” Christine said. “It’s all of us.”

“All for one and one for all,” John said.

“And John promised me a good trip out of it, if you know what I mean, if I promised to come along. So here I am!” George said.

“Oh thanks, George. And here I was thinking you cared about seeing me off.”

“Well that’s the ‘good trip’ I was referring to of course,” George grinned.

“You all are going to take acid?” I asked John.

“Well, not ‘til after we drop Christine off. She and Paulie Perfection don’t want any part in it, isn’t that right, Chris?”

Christine rolled her eyes.

I was sort of hurt. John had said that I would do it with him the next time he took LSD. I mean, sure he had done it while I was in Paris, but that didn’t count, in my opinion. And actually, I wasn’t even sure I really wanted to take it. It was just the fact that he didn’t even ask me to do it this time. Was he just waiting for me to say something about it? If so, I didn’t really think it was an appropriate time, so I bit my tongue. We finally arrived at the airport and John kissed me goodbye quickly inside the car so no one would see.

“I’ll call you everyday,” he said.

“John, you don’t have to promise me that. I know you’ll be busy,” I said.

“I’ll call you everyday,” he repeated with emphasis.

Then we all got out of the car and each of them hugged me goodbye. By that time airport security had arrived and was standing around, looking very intimidating. I was impressed. John must have set everything up beforehand. When he finally did call me, I would have to be sure to remember to ask him how he managed to pull it all off. To all of our surprise and disappointment, there were a few photographers also standing around, snapping pictures. John and I exchanged a very platonic hug and handshake, in which he slipped me a piece of paper. Then he pulled a face in attempt to keep me from feeling so sad about having to say goodbye.

“Goodbye, Maggie. Have a safe trip!” George called out.

“Tell your mother I said hello,” Christine said.

“Yes, do tell mummy Winston sends his love,” John said in a comical voice.

“Happy Christmas,” Neil said.

And then they were gone. And I was left alone with airport security, who surrounded me in order to keep the crowd from closing in. I felt very uneasy about the whole thing and all the muscles in my body were tense. Security escorted me onto the plane where I took my seat, embarrassed by all the fuss. But the longer I sat there, the less embarrassed I was. What beautiful friends they all were for sending me off so sweetly. And how wonderful was John for planning the whole thing? I just loved him so much. I remembered the piece of paper he had slipped me and I unfolded it.


Please donut despair, mein fairy maiden. Zwei wochen willkommen go before we

even realize it and ve vill be togezer zoon enough. Ja? All coal ewe very daze.

Direct to yore house.

With love from the heart of my bottom,


And just below the crazy little cryptic message was a silly drawing of a Cyclops-looking man kissing a creature that appeared to be a sheep. And I laughed out loud at the joke, which I’m sure, was John’s intention. It was “ewe and eye kissing!” John was so crazy. But I suppose I must have been just as crazy to be able to understand him so well. I began to cry when I thought about spending the next two weeks without him. Things had been so rough the last few days, but when it was just he and I, it was as if we were the only two people in the world and it was simply heaven. The plane took off and I gazed out the window. When I returned to London it would be 1966 and I prayed to God that with the New Year, would come some light at the end of the tunnel.

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