Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chapter 24

I didn’t hear from back from Christine that night. In fact, the only person that called me all day was Lydia, and that had been a total surprise, as I hadn’t heard from her in quite some time. I was just sure that she and I were through after the way we had spoken to one another during our last conversation. But apparently, that wasn’t the case at all, as she didn’t so much as mention our last phone call. I wasn’t too interested in speaking to her, but the second she proposed a new modeling job, it was clear what I had to do.

Several days passed and over the course of them John and I had gotten together a few more times and taken acid: once at a party, once with George and Pattie, and once at The Scotch. It was such a welcomed escape from reality. Especially when the papers had come out with pictures of John and I during our night out with P.J. Proby splashed all over their pages. Brian wasn’t even speaking to me anymore and I can’t say that I blamed him. The reporters were relentless and the fans were just plain nasty. Acid seemed to be the only thing that helped numb the pain. In fact, I was almost happy when I was on LSD. And for that reason, I liked it very much. Well, that reason along with the fact that it seemed to bring John and I even closer together.

One of John’s and my new favorite things to do was to visit art galleries while we were on acid. I had always been an avid art fan, but viewing art was just so much more intense on acid. The art really came to life. It was sensory overload and John and I loved it. John was a fantastic artist. I could see it in his doodles and even in the way he thought. He was a natural. But he really hated the pretentiousness of the “art world.” I, on the other hand, had always been an admirer, especially of the whole avant-garde scene. In fact, since Christine wasn’t really into art, I had often accompanied Paul to art shows and gallery-openings, as he too was quite the aficionado, as well as a very talented artist himself, though I’m not sure he’d ever admit it. Lately though, I didn’t have to wait on Paul to invite me to a show or an opening because I had been able to talk John into going with me. In fact, I believe he had begun to quite enjoy going to shows.

On that next Thursday, John went on vacation with Cynthia, Ringo and Maureen to the Trinidad Islands. I hated being away from him, but I had to keep in mind that he was married. Anyway, the break was a good time for me to get some necessary things accomplished. While John was away, I started back to school, took the modeling job Lydia had offered me, my biggest photo session up to that point, and made a load of cash. With that money, I took a new apartment in a building on Bayswater Road. It was vastly different from the apartment I had moved from. My new apartment was larger, and was in a nicer building with a doorman. I was up on the fourth floor to boot, or the third if you asked an Englishman. I wouldn’t have to worry about fans and reporters camping around outside my door anymore. Bayswater was much too busy a street for anyone to wait around on. And if they did try to wait outside of the building, or even across the street at the park, the doorman would threaten to call the police for harassment. I was just crazy about my new place and couldn’t wait for John to see. Christine had already given me the okay to move into her house, but when I saw how much I was being paid for my newest modeling job, I told her I could afford to get a place of my own, so she helped me look for one. I was so proud of myself too. I felt like such an adult. That is, until I went shopping with Christine and Pattie for some new things for my apartment and George gave us a bundle of cash and said,

“You girls, help Pattie find some new things for our place, and pick yourself some things up as well.”

What was wrong with all those Beatles? Their egos caused them to hand money over like they had an endless supply. They did of course, but they had no business doing that, especially not with me. I didn’t need to be “taken care of.” I had a job. I was going to school. I was perfectly capable of caring for myself, yet all four of them wouldn’t hear of it. If I went out with Paul and Christine, Paul was constantly buying me things. No matter how many times I went to dinner with Ringo and Maureen, Ringo picked up the tab, never letting me pay for my own meal. George was always picking up the bill if Pattie and I went to the hair salon or the nail parlor. And John, well he was just going to be furious that I got my new apartment all on my own. But I didn’t care. I hated feeling like I owed somebody something, even though I know John would never dream of asking me to pay him back.

Another week passed and that next Friday George and Pattie were married in a big to-do ceremony. I didn’t go, much to the disappointment of Pattie. But it simply would have been too awkward. A handful of reporters were in attendance and, though they were “inside” the Beatle camp so to speak, they would have loved the opportunity to snap a shot of me and question me about John. I would have been a sitting duck. And the thought of taking any of the attention off of George and Pattie made my stomach churn.

A few days later John came back into town. And to my utter surprise, he was wild about my new apartment. In fact he was insistent on dropping acid and then making love in every room.

“Purely for the sole reason of christening them, of course, madam,” he had joked.

Though he had been fine about the scant amount of furnishings when they might have gotten in the way of foreplay, once sex was no longer on the agenda, he immediately wanted to take me shopping so we could pick out some new pieces. But I told him the furniture I already had would work just fine until I made enough money to buy some more things for myself. Besides, I had already picked up a few things, all I could afford on my budget. I had given Pattie the money George gave me and told her to buy some nice things to wear on their honeymoon. I didn’t feel right spending George’s money.

Though my new apartment was in a busier area, the newsmen were relentless, especially since my modeling career was really exploding as of late. In fact, Lydia had even gotten me some small parts in a few movies. I had never considered acting, but when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t see how I could turn it down. The first few gigs she had gotten me were just small non-speaking roles, but recently she had secured a small speaking part for me in the new Michael Cain movie titled, “Alfie.” I was going to play one of his many girlfriends. And suddenly, I found that my face was everywhere. I was on the cover of magazines, plastered on posters on the train and in shops I frequented. I couldn’t escape myself. I was hardly attending school anymore because I was so busy with work or because I was simply too exhausted to bother with it after I had been out all night partying with the Beatles. I took care of as much school work as possible from the comfort of my own apartment so I didn’t have to deal with the looks my classmates shot at me, or the whispers coming from girls in the restroom. I didn’t attend school regularly; however I did make sure I was there on test days. But it was becoming increasingly difficult to even make it to class on those days as there was always something going on. The pressure from the guys to “sag off” school everyday didn’t help matters much either. I could tell that my teachers were becoming less and less patient at the informal arrangements I had made to attend class so irregularly. It wasn’t fair to the other students. But, I wasn’t like the other students, was I? Certainly not. And being invited to a party at Mick Jagger’s in the middle of February proved it.

I had already told John I couldn’t go. I had a big test on Monday and I needed to study all weekend for it because I didn’t know the material at all. His answer:

“For fuck’s sake, Maggie, who the bleeding hell gives a shite about a test? Sag off school. We’ll party on Monday!”

Apparently Cynthia was out of town with a couple of friends and she had taken Julian with her. Still, John and I had been seeing each other enough lately that I felt okay about turning him down this one time. I had really been neglecting my studies. I needed to stay home. But when that Friday rolled around, I sat alone on my sofa trying to concentrate on the book I was reading, frequently glancing over at the clock, wondering what everyone at the party might be doing at any given minute. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to get over there.

I arrived at the party at 1:30 AM in a yellow cashmere sweater dress, purple tights, white heels with a big buckle across the front, and a purple and white striped scarf in my hair. I had taken a couple of uppers before I left my apartment to make sure I was wide awake and would be able to keep up with the other party-goers. And the minute I walked in the door, someone shoved a martini in my hand which I think I may have drunk down in one swallow. I said a few “hellos,” and looked around a bit for John, but didn’t see him anywhere. Before I had time to really ask anyone if they had seen John, I became engaged in conversation with Marianne Faithful, whom I had met several times before and got along with swimmingly. We shared a joint as she introduced me to several people I had never met before. After getting caught up in conversation with Brian Jones and Anita Pallenberg for a little while, I remembered I had come to surprise John. I excused myself from the conversation and started asking random people if they had seen him. Some of them said they had seen him earlier, but didn’t know where he had gotten off to, while others said they hadn’t seen him at all. I entered into the foyer and heard a door close from overhead. I looked up and there, coming out of one of Mick’s many bedrooms, was John. And right beside him, running her hand up and down his arm, was Maureen Cleave. I had seen her before, but I had never picked up on anything between the two of them. This, however, was crystal clear. Drunk and drugged, my inhibitions were out the window.

“You fucking bastard!” I yelled up the stairs.

John’s eyes went wide and he grabbed Maureen’s hand and threw it off his arm.

“Maggie!” he exclaimed, running down the stairs toward me.

“Fuck you, John. We’re through,” I said, turning to make toward the door.

John, probably as high, if not more so, than me, and never one to avoid making a scene, grabbed my arm hard, spun me around to face him and begged,

“Maggie, no! Please, love. I’m out me soddin’ head. I’m fucked up. Please, love, believe me. I love you so much. I’m sorry. Christ! I’m so fucking sorry, Maggie. Please, you’ve got to believe me.”

“Oh so you’re not even going to try and deny something happened between you two tonight? You’re not even going to attempt to make up some big story about how you two were just talking or how she came onto you first? Wow…”


“Oh, but maybe I should be glad about that? I mean, at least you’re being honest with me, right? Unlike you are with Cynthia. Is that it, John? Is that the reason I should forgive you? Because I caught you, and you owned up to it? Well, what if I hadn’t caught you? I mean, you probably do this every time I’m not with you, is that what it is?”

“For Christ’s sake, you know that’s not fucking true!” he yelled, angry at my accusations.

I scoffed at my own stupidity, “I don’t even know why I’m surprised. I mean, I’m sure I’m just one of… how many women, John? Ten? Twenty? Hmmm? You’ve probably got at least a couple in every city.”

I could see his eyes becoming wild with anger. Was he angry because I was making a scene? Or was it because he’d been caught and now I was calling him out? I continued screaming at him, all the while knowing how I was pressing my luck in regards to his ability to control his own temper.

“I don’t know why I ever thought that all those times you said you loved me, you actually meant it.”

That was all it took. John went into an instant rage and suddenly I felt the rough surface of the back of his hand across my face. He gripped my shoulders and slammed me up against a wall. I felt the sting from his slap burning my cheek and I could hear gasps from the party-goers.

“Don’t you ever fucking doubt my love for you!” John yelled through gritted teeth, his fingers digging into my shoulders.

I began to sob and he shook me roughly.

“You bleeding hear me, Maggie?” he asked.

Through my tearful, blurry vision I could see a couple of men on either side of him trying to pull him away from me.

“Don’t you dare… ever… fuckin’ say that to me again,” John said, his voice breaking a little and going into a whisper.

I could tell he too was on the verge of tears as the men pulled him off me and escorted him away. A hush had fallen over the party and whispers filled the space where there was once laughter and loud conversation. James Brown’s 1963 album, Live at the Apollo, was playing in the background and I could see people standing around staring at me. I tried, in vain, to regain my composure, but the instant I felt a hand on my shoulder and saw Marianne’s face I began to sob again. She walked outside with me and tried to offer some comfort, but I didn’t feel much like talking. She asked if I wanted a taxi and I could only nod. Anita had come out to join us and offered me a joint to help calm me down, which I accepted willingly. Several minutes later a cab pulled up and I thanked both of them for waiting with me and I left the party in a daze. By the time I had gotten home, I had already forgotten what had happened at the party because I was so wasted. The dull pain emanating from the small bump on the back of my head, which I had received as a result of being slammed against the wall, was the only reminder I had of the much deeper pain that had been caused from seeing John with Maureen.

I stayed in bed for about a week after that. When John called, I hung up. Paul and Christine came over a few times just to check on me and I told them to tell John to stop calling me. I wasn’t ready to speak to him.

“Look, Maggie, be realistic here, love. He’s not in love with sodding Maureen Cleave. He was bloody drunk. He didn’t know what he was doing,” Paul reasoned.

“Well, that’s not a very good excuse if you ask me,” Christine said.

“Paul, I know I’m expecting too much out of this relationship. I mean, he is married after all. It’s not like the man is known for his fidelity,” I said.

“Maggie, that doesn’t matter. He told you he loved you. He should have honored that,” Christine said.

“Oh, Christine, don’t be so na├»ve. He told Cynthia he loved her too. I made too much out of this…”

“You most certainly did not. You don’t deserve to be treated like this and you know it. Don’t let him off the hook that easily,” Christine interrupted.

“…but it still hurts,” I finished.

“Exactly,” Christine said.

“Aw, love, I know it hurts now. But if you’d take his calls, maybe he could explain it to you. You two really are meant for each other. More so than anyone I’ve ever known.”

“Ahem,” Christine raised an eyebrow at him.

“Oh. Right. Except for us, of course,” he giggled.

“Yes well, meant for each other or not meant for each other, he still slapped her. And there is never an excuse for that.”

I looked away from the two of them. I agreed with that part. I loved John so much that I think I was willing to overlook his infidelities, especially considering the fact that his and my relationship was his biggest infidelity of all. But I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to overlook his hitting me. I know he was high or drunk and I was testing his temper with the things I was saying, but even so, if he really loved me, was there any way he could raise his hand to me, sober or inebriated?

Because I wasn’t sure the answer to that question, I continued to distance myself from John, though it was very difficult. He phoned every night and because of my modeling and acting career, our paths did cross occasionally, though I always made for the exit the second I saw him. He came to my apartment several times, but I never let him in. One night he even slept on the landing outside my door all night hoping I’d give in and let him inside. It almost worked. It broke my heart to know he was willing to go those lengths and I cried all night long knowing he was out there. On March 4, the Evening Standard published a long article by Maureen Cleave about a day she spent with John. And I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the day I had seen them together.

The days passed, each one running seamlessly into the next. I was in such a drug-induced stupor most of the time that I had no sense of time anymore, yet somehow I still managed to make it to school on the rare occasion and to various shoots that Lydia had booked for me. Although I was always late and only half aware of the instructions I was being given. I had been taking uppers to wake up and Quaaludes to help me sleep, smoking pot all day long, and dropping acid at night and on the weekends. After a while I became sick. I was constantly nauseous. I figured it had to do with the drugs, so I tried to ease up for a little while. But doing that only seemed to make me feel even worse. I thought I should probably go to the doctor, but I dreaded what he might say to me about my drug use, so I put it off, telling myself I’d go if my health got any worse. A couple more weeks passed and I didn’t feel any better, but I definitely didn’t feel worse. I knew it had to do with the combination of drugs I was on, but I couldn’t figure out how to completely wean myself off them. I decided I was either going to have to quit cold turkey or live with my new habit of vomiting occasionally. At the moment I needed the drugs to help me ease the pain, so I decided being sick should just be seen as an unfortunate side effect.

Eventually the world premiere of my first real role in a movie, however small it may be, rolled around. Pattie and Christine had gone with me to see Mary Quant, who was outfitting me, herself, for the premiere of “Alfie.” She dressed me in a mid-length deep-plum colored jacket and matching plum mini dress with a large belt around the hips that had a huge gold buckle.

“Is this really appropriate for the premiere of a movie?” I asked the girls once Mary had left the room.

“Oh sure,” Pattie smiled. “You look gear, Maggie. Just fab!”

“Well, you’re sort of known for your mini dresses and mini skirts now, Maggie. I mean, that’s what you tend to wear in most of your photo sessions. So, I think you’re probably expected to show up in something like this,” Christine added.

“I just don’t…” I started, but was interrupted by Mary coming back into the room.

She was carrying a pair of gold ankle boots with a funky buckle around the top. I looked worriedly at the girls, but I could see in their eyes that they thought the look was to die for. Pattie’s mouth was practically watering!

“Now, you’ll wear the sheer nylons, with no seam, mind you, and your hair should be up since this jacket has a high collar. These gold earrings,” she said, handing me a pair of big gold dangly earrings in a geometric shape. “And this gold handbag,” she handed me a small metallic purse with a short handle. “Dark eye makeup, but absolutely no other makeup. I want all the focus to be on this jacket and dress. You got it?”

I nodded. I needed a joint, badly.

I left the place in the clothes I came in and went over to Christine’s to get ready. She and Paul were going to the premiere with me. Christine was wearing a dark green, knee-length satin dress that hugged all her curves and looked perfect for the occasion. She looked like she was the one who was in the movie. Not me. I felt like shit. I wanted so badly to take some acid, but I knew Christine and Paul weren’t into it, so I decided I would wait. Instead we all smoked a joint together and then left the house. We arrived at The Plaza Cinema and were all feeling very silly and giggly. The mere sight of all the fans lined up along the sides of the street and the entrance inexplicably caused the three of us to howl with laughter. But for me, things stopped being funny when I saw that John and Cynthia, Ringo and Maureen, and George and Pattie were all in attendance as well.

“Why didn’t you tell me everyone was going to be here?” I hissed at Paul. Or you could have at least told me that John would be here!”

“Well you wouldn’t have come would you?” Paul asked, his doe eyes looking so innocent.

I huffed and got out of the car, slamming the door hard. Lydia met up with me almost instantly and grabbed me by the arm slowing the pace I was walking.

“Slow down and wave like a good girl, dahling. And for God’s sake, wipe that scowl off your face. The photographs they’re taking now will be published all around the world. Especially since you’ve arrived with a Beatle,” her deep voice rang out through a very forced smile.

I did as I was told. Mary would have my head if the outfit she dressed me in didn’t show up in the papers.

“Now go over there for a quick photo op with your Beatles, deah,” Lydia instructed me.

She pointed to where the Beatles were all standing together being photographed. Their wives had already gone inside and only Cilla Black and Brian were standing with them. I cringed at the thought of joining them.

“Oi, Maggie, come over here,” Ringo called out, motioning for me to join them.

“Even better!” Lydia squealed with glee.

“Yes, Maggie. Do join us, won’t you?” Brian asked, to my surprise.

“Splendid! They’re beckoning. Now, run along!” Lydia said, giving me a little push from behind.

As shocked as I am sure that I looked at Brian’s sudden change of heart toward me, I slowly walked over to the group. The second I reached them, I was blinded by the amount of flashes that went off. Reporters were shouting questions, but I couldn’t make them out through all the racket. George pulled me between him and Paul and Paul put his arm around me. The boys were joking around and being the silly Beatles they’re known for being, but I felt like I could just be sick. I wanted so badly to get away from them. The lights dimmed letting everyone outside know the show was about to begin and I felt a sense of relief wash over me. Brian ushered the boys inside and I followed a ways behind them, Lydia on my heels. I told her I had to stop in the ladies room before I found my seat and she went on ahead of me. Once in, I rushed into a stall and kneeled over the toilet as I felt the chunks rising in my throat. After it was over, I went to the sink and gulped down some water. Then I opened my gold clutch and retrieved the uppers I had brought along. I popped a couple of them in my mouth and then washed them down with some water. Then I checked my makeup and went back out, only to find John standing there waiting for me.

“Everything come out all right, then?” he attempted to make a joke, but I didn’t laugh.

“Yes, thank you. Excuse me,” I said, trying to push past him.

He grabbed my arm.

“Let go of my arm, John Lennon, or I swear to you I’ll scream,” I threatened.

“Do it. This night could stand for a little more bloody excitement.”

I stared at him.

“You’ve got to talk to me, Maggie,” he sighed.

“I don’t have anything to say to you.”

“Maggie, you haven’t spoken to me in over a month. I’m fucking dying here. Please, love,” he pleaded.

I could feel tears welling up in my eyes and I blinked them back several times. I missed him so much. I jerked my arm away from him and went back into the ladies room. John followed me in.

“Talk fast. The movie’s going to start,” I said, keeping my eyes fixed on the ground.

“Maggie, you have to know there’s nothing going on between me and Maureen,” he said. “I don’t love her. You must…” his voice trailed off. “Christ, Maggie, please look at me?”

I slowly raised my eyes from the bathroom floor, on which they were fixed, to meet his gaze.

“You must know I don’t love her?”

I could feel the tears building up again as I saw the sincerity in his eyes. I did know he didn’t love her. But it still hurt.

“I love you. I’ve never in me life loved anyone the way I love you. You must know that? Please tell me you know that,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion, his eyes searching mine for the answer.

“I thought I knew that,” I somehow managed to whisper past the lump in my throat.

“You… thought,” he said slowly, his eyes becoming filled with tears.

“Yes, John. I somehow made myself think that you really loved me. And I suppose it’s possible you do, as much as you’re able to. But I’m not sure that’s enough for me. I need to be loved fully.”

“Christ, Maggie, I do love you fully. I’ve never loved someone so completely.”

“Then how were you able to sleep with Maureen?” I blurted out.

“Maggie, I was so bleedin’ pissed that night. I know it’s no excuse, love, but it’s the truth. I had no idea what I was doing.”

“So you don’t remember hitting me?”

“Jesus, love, I’m sorry…”

“You don’t remember slamming me into the wall? Or shaking me? I had bruises on my arms and a bump on my head, John.”

Tears started to roll down his cheeks.

“Fuck!” he yelled, spinning around and punching the wall.

I winced at the sound of his fist banging into the wall.

“I’m sorry, Maggie,” he sobbed. “They told me I did that, but I swear to you I barely remember it. I’m a violent fucking bastard sometimes and I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I been beating myself up over it ever since it happened. But I swear to Christ it’ll never happen again, Maggie. You’ve just got to take me back, love. You just got to.”

His face was red and tears streamed down his cheeks. A woman who must have been in her forties entered the restroom and John yelled at her to leave us alone. When she had gone, I just stood there, silent. I didn’t know what to say. I felt so awful for him. And for myself. John had sunk down onto the floor where he was trying to compose himself. He had a towel he had dampened under the faucet and was wiping his face with it.

“I don’t know where to go from here,” I broke the silence. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to trust you again.”

“I’m not asking you to, love. I’ll have to regain your trust. I know that. But I do want you to know that I never meant to hurt you. And I would never. And it’ll never happen again. Ever.”

Tears began to spill out of my eyes as I tried in vain to stop them. John got up and walked slowly over to me.

“I love you, Maggie,” he said, gently placing his arms around me.

I still wasn’t sure it was what I wanted, but at that moment it felt wonderful to be back in his arms. To feel the warmth of his body against mine. We stayed like that for several minutes before I finally decided we had better get into the movie.

“Can I come over later?” he asked.

“Not tonight, John.”


“Maybe,” I answered.

“All right, love.”

He kissed me softly on the lips and then left me alone in the bathroom. I quickly fixed my makeup in the bathroom mirror and then joined everyone in the theater, where the movie had already started.

“Where in God’s name have you been?” Lydia whispered to me when I sat down.

“None of your business,” I answered flatly.

“Well,” she huffed.

We sat through the rest of the movie in silence and I didn’t go to any parties afterward, as I wasn’t feeling up to it. It hadn’t even been that thrilling to see myself speaking on the big screen. I had more important things to concern myself with. I smoked a joint on the way home and because the uppers were still in my system, the two cancelled each other out, so I only felt numb. Which was more than fine by me.

About 2:30 in the morning a knock came on my door and I instantly knew who it was. There was only one person the doorman would let up at that time without advance notice to be expecting someone. I had just taken some Quaaludes to help me fall asleep and I knew it wouldn’t be long before they kicked in, so I didn’t feel much like seeing him.

“Who is it?” I asked through the door, knowing fully well who it was.

“It’s Winston,” the voice from the other side said.

I smiled to myself. I had told him he couldn’t come over that night, but I should have known that wasn’t about to stop him.

“Let me in, it’s bloody freezing out here!” he called.

“Uh huh. That doesn’t work at this apartment, Winston. You’re indoors here!” I said. “Besides, I told you, you couldn’t come over tonight!”

“Aw, still angry, love? Well, let me in so you can have a bash at me. I deserve it, I know.”

I opened the door.

“Well, that’s all the incentive you needed, eh? Should’ve offered to let you have a go at me a month ago I suppose,” he said as he came in.

We sat down on the sofa and began to have an in-depth discussion about our relationship. It was going pretty well and I felt like we were really understanding where the other was coming from. John and I did understand each other. I always knew that. It’s just that the circumstances were so extraordinary that things became very complicated very easily. I suddenly felt that I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and I said so to John, who was visibly wired, but who also wanted to go to sleep.

“Go ahead and sleep. I’ll be here in the morning and we can finish this discussion then.”

“The way you look, you’ll still be sitting there wide awake in the morning,” I said, leaving him alone on the sofa while I went into the bathroom to retrieve a couple of pills for him.

“Got any Ludes, then?” he called to me.

“Here,” I said, handing them to him, once I had returned.

“Read my mind, love,” he smiled.

“I’m going to sleep.”

“Give us a kiss,” he said in his “Hard Day’s Night” way.

I rolled my eyes at him and he pulled a spastic face, which caused me to laugh. Then I leaned over him and gave him a quick kiss on the lips.

“I love you,” he said.

“I love you too,” I replied, quickly aware that it was the first time I had said that to him in over a month.

I suddenly felt slightly awkward and I closed my robe around me and went to my bedroom.

“Sleep well,” I called out to him before I shut my door.

The next morning I awoke to John nuzzled up behind me, his arms around me, his lips on the back of my neck. I rolled over to face him and forced one eye open so I could see him. He smiled serenely at me and removed his arms so he could turn over. He turned back toward me with two pills and a glass of water.

“Brekkies?” he asked.

I took the pills and slowly put them in my mouth and then I washed them down with the water he had given me. And then I promptly fell back to sleep. I awoke again about 45 minutes later and John was gone. I could hear him talking lowly in the other room and figured he must have been on the telephone. I looked at the clock on my wall and it read 3:25 PM. I had missed just about the entire school day, but I couldn’t have cared less. I hadn’t been to school in a while. I yawned loudly and stretched across my bed as John came back into the room.

“Well, look who’s finally decided to join us. Morning, love,” he smiled, climbing on the bed to kiss me.

“Were you on the phone?” I asked.

“Yeah. Cyn.”


“Look, love, I’m sorry about…”

“John, I’m sick of talking. We’re okay now, you and me,” I said.

“But… are you sure?” he asked.

I nodded.

“Now, please make love to me.”

And he did. And it was slow and passionate. Just wonderful. I had missed him so much. We spent the next few days in bed together. The phone rang, but I didn’t answer it. And neither of us mentioned Maureen Cleave, or Cynthia, or any other girl for that matter. It was like there was no one left in the world but us. We took acid a couple of times and tripped together there, alone in my apartment. And John worked on a couple of songs. The next two weeks were much of the same. John spent most of his time at my place and I didn’t even bother asking where Cynthia thought he was. I didn’t care. I was just glad he was with me. The rest of the gang had come over several times during those weeks or I had joined them all at Ringo’s or George’s and we all had a great time just being together. It was just like it had been; only now there were even more drugs being passed around. And I was missing much more school. In fact, I was attending so infrequently I received a letter from the university saying I had to attend a certain number of classes for them to consider me still enrolled, otherwise they would regard me as having formally dropped out and my visa would no longer be any good; meaning I’d have to leave the country. But I was having much too good a time to be concerned about that. Besides, Lydia had taken out a work visa for me, which was good for quite a while. So, if my school visa expired or was revoked, I was still allowed to be in England as long as I was working.

The first Wednesday in April the guys had begun to record their new album. And since they said they didn’t mind, I often sat in with them observing their process. It was absolutely fascinating. They really were geniuses. It was going to be their best album yet! One day, while observing the boys, one of my sick spells suddenly came over me and I had to jump up and rush to the bathroom. John followed close behind me.

“Maggie, you have to see a doctor, love,” he said once I was done vomiting.

“I can’t. It’s the drugs, John. What would a doctor say?”

“I don’t know what the bloody doctor will say, but you need to have yourself checked out. It’s not right that you’re sick like this all the time. I’m taking all the same sodding things you are and you don’t see me getting sick. Just promise me you’ll go?”

“I will. I’ll go,” I said.

April passed in a blur and before I knew it, the first of May had arrived. Unfortunately, my menstrual cycle had not. I was supposed to attend the guys’ NMEP concert that night, but I was much too busy having a nervous breakdown. I checked the calendar and sure enough I hadn’t had my period in March or April. Two months? How could I not have realized I hadn’t had my period in two months? Suddenly, the sickening feeling that I had become so used to over the last several weeks washed over me. But this time, I knew it wasn’t the drugs that had caused it. And suddenly I realized it hadn’t been the drugs at all. I rushed to the toilet to vomit. And after I washed my face in the sink and rinsed my mouth out, I stared at myself in the mirror. How could I not have known?

I was pregnant.

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