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Lovers and Friends


Chapter Fifteen

I grudgingly allowed Auntie to play the recording at MC's. She talked to George Martin and got a couple more copies made so we didn't run the chance of ruining our only copies. Not that I would have minded if they were ruined...but the more I listened to them, the more I got used to the way my voice sounded. I caught myself quietly singing along one morning to "My White Knight" while I was fixing a display, not hearing a customer walk into the store. I heard a familiar voice say, "That's a lovely song, could you please tell me who sings it?"

I thought it might be one of the photographers, reporters, or curious public who wanted to get a glimpse of Paul McCartney's new girlfriend in person, and maybe just trying to make small talk. I was beginning to get quite sick of these people, and really didn't want to even give them the time of day. I replied, in a singsong voice, the same reply I had been giving customers for three weeks. "Yeah, it's me on the recording, and no it's not for sale, it was just an experim--" I turned around to see my college friend Dan standing in front of me with a bunch of wildflowers. "Dan!" I squeaked as I hugged him tight. "What a surprise! How the hell did you--why are you--wow, you're here!"

"Yeah, I'm here. I'm sure everyone's asked, but what did you do to your arm? That boyfriend of yours isn't beating you up, is he?" he asked jokingly.

"Well," I laughed, "actually it was his younger brother. Paul and I were in a tree at his aunt's house and Mike basically pulled me out of the tree and I fell on my arm...broke Paul's fall, too! You should have seen it before, I had a cast all the way up to here," indicating the middle of my upper left arm. "Itched like hell, too. This one's easier to handle, anyway. Just got this one put on a couple days ago." As I was catching up with Dan, Auntie came in; she was carrying a bag of pastries from the bakery down the street. I called to her as she came in, "Auntie--this is Dan Jacobsen!"

"Dan? Dan 'from home' Dan?" she asked.

"The one and only!" Dan said. "Don't let what she's said about me taint your picture of me, I'm really a delightful guy." I rolled my eyes and shook my head. What a clown.

Auntie put the flowers in water and let me go out with Dan for a bit. "You can go do whatever, but you must be back by two!" she warned. "I need a break, too, ya know."

Dan & I went out, just walking around and shopping a bit. He had brought his roller skates, knowing how I loved skating, but I really didn't want to tempt fate any more than I already had that summer. We caught up on old times. He decided to go to Europe for a month or two after graduation, and finally had the chance to get to London and of course had to look me up. I was surprised, Dan usually liked to be the center of attention and could never stand to be by himself, and here he was travelling around Europe alone. I told him about Paul's birthday party, and the bracelet, and the necklace he gave to me. I told him about the recording session at Abbey Road Studios. He told me he wanted a copy of my record! He told me about his restlessness at home, and how his grandfather died shortly after graduation, leaving him a sizeable inheritance. That helped influence his decision to go to Europe. We ate lunch, and went for some more shopping (mostly window, but I found a great dress!), and the time flew by. Before I knew it, it was almost 2 p.m., and we were halfway across town from MC's! We hailed a taxi and got back to MC's as quickly as possible. I invited Dan to stay at Auntie & Rog's place that night, and he accepted. He said he was going to do some touristy things, and after the taxi dropped me off at MC's right after 2, Dan instructed them to drive him to Big Ben.

I walked back into MC's, prepared to show Auntie the dress I bought--a sleeveless fire-engine red A-line dress. It was short and flouncy...and it was sexy (or at least that was what Dan said!). I had no occasion to wear it, but it was such a great dress, plus it was on sale--how could I pass it up? I got it out of the bag and showed Auntie, telling her I'd model it after she went out and got her lunch. She shook her head, "No need, I'm having a sandwich and chips, uh, delivered. Why don't you go put it on now? Can you zip it by yourself?"

"Yep, sure can! I'm so glad I have this short cast on now, I can move my elbow! It makes everything so much easier. Don't go anywhere, I'll be right back!" I ran into the bathroom in the back to put on the dress. I walked back out with the dress on, apologizing as I came out, "Now, I obviously won't wear these Keds with this, but I couldn't find shoes, but I think the red ones I have will match close en..."

My voice trailed off as I saw Paul standing at the counter talking to Auntie while they ate their chips and sandwiches that Paul had brought in. He turned at the sound of my voice and remarked, "Well, Jill, you sure know how to make an entrance!" I blushed enough to match the dress.

I skipped up and hugged him, and started talking fast. "I didn't know you were back in town! When were you going to tell me? Did anyone see you come in? Did Auntie tell you that my friend Dan's in town? We went shopping, that's where I got this." I twirled around.

"I know, I came over while you two were out. Auntie told me when you'd be back, and I went out and got lunch for us while I waited for you to get back here. I see you have the small cast on now, where's the other one?"

"Um, don't laugh, but Auntie's getting it mounted and framed. Seriously. She's going to hang it in the store behind the counter." Auntie nodded to verify her plan.

"I've heard stranger things!" he exclaimed.

"Well, as much as I love this dress," I said, "I'd better go change back into normal clothes."

I started for the back, but Paul stopped me in the doorway. "Luv, why don't we go out tonight? I'll give you a reason to wear that dress. Thing is, though, we'll have to go pretty late. We have to be careful now, you know."

"Oh, that's fine, I don't work until noon tomorrow, and I can always nap a bit when I get home today. But Dan is in town, and he's staying with us. He's only here for a couple days, could he come with us?"

"That wouldn't be a problem. I can even get him a girl, too."

"Sounds good, he's never been one to pass up a party. When do you want to pick us up?"

"Hmm, how about eleven?"

"Sure!" I said as I gave him another hug.

He whispered to me, "Oh, and Jill, please wear that dress tonight, you look stunning." He started to kiss me, and I dragged him into the back with me. Our kisses grew more intense away from the prying eyes of Auntie (and a couple customers giving Paul that don't-I-know-you-from-somewhere look). I had to push myself away from him before I did anything that was inappropriate.

"Whew," I said. "I think that'll keep me until tonight!" I smiled at him, and melted from the look in his eyes. "I need to change back, I'll see you around eleven." I kissed him on the cheek, hoping he'd get the hint that he should leave before we got ourselves in trouble. He gave me a hug before we left and unzipped my dress. I pushed him away; he shrugged and muttered as he walked out, "Just tryin' to help. Until tonight, luv."

***

At dinner that night, I told Rog about my exciting day. Dan was there by that time, and he was telling us about all the sights he saw. After dinner the four of us played Euchre for a couple hours, switching teams around the whole time, and we were having so much fun I couldn't even remember keeping score! I excused myself about 8:30 p.m. to go nap for a bit, and I suggested that Dan do the same. I retired to my room and Rog and Dan put up the sofa bed in the living room for Dan. Rog woke us up at 10 so we could get ready for our evening. Dan took a shower and I cleaned up too, reapplying my makeup, going a little heavier on the eyes for evening, but trying not to look like a tramp. The red heels I had didn't quite match the dress, but I figured it would be dark so no one would really notice. Dan was about the same size as Rog, and he had to borrow some nicer clothes since he hadn't brought any on his trip. He selected navy pants and a white long-sleeved knit shirt that was light enough for a late summer evening in London.

Paul picked us up at eleven on the nose, and I was surprised at the date he had brought for Dan. She was a popular actress in London; her name was Jane Asher. She was a redhead, too, and very pretty. I was quite jealous. Paul had told me before that he & Jane had gone on a couple dates in February of that year; it didn't quite work out, but they remained friends. I had no idea that a pretty young actress needed to go on a blind date! We had a laugh, because Jane was wearing the same dress as me but in royal blue. Jane & I hit it off right away, we sat in the backseat talking about good and bad stage experiences, once I had told the requisite how-I-broke-my-arm story. She told me she'd get the names of local community theatre groups to me; her father knew all of them, she said. Paul and Dan talked about sights to see around England.

The place we were going was called the Scene Club, in the SoHo district of London, which I found out is where the young people hung out. It was becoming the norm that there was a photographer nearby whenever we went anywhere, and that night was no exception. Paul was always polite to them and smiled and waved as they took pictures of the four of us going into the club. Paul didn't seem to mind the attention, but frankly it was beginning to get a little annoying. That night, we got to see another young up-and-coming music group called the Rolling Stones. I thought they were quite good, even though their music really wasn't my style. The four of us danced for a long time, and I had had quite a bit to drink. I was getting better at holding my liquor. This was a nice club with the good liquor, not the watered-down crap you got from the place down the street. I stuck to my old standby, Bass Ale, for a couple drinks, and Paul had me try a scotch & Coke, which I will admit was pretty good.

The club closed at 4 am, and the four of us were still there. Dan had sobered up by that time, and Paul asked him to drive. Dan responded with, "Um, Paul, I know you're pretty liquored up, but I don't have a license here and you idiots drive on the wrong side of the road!" The rest of us were in no position to drive, so it was left to him to get us home. Paul was alert enough to direct him to Jane's house, and we dropped her off. Dan walked her up to the door and I saw her give him a chaste kiss on the cheek. He sauntered back to the car with a slight smile on his face.

As he got back in, he heard the tail end of a discussion between Paul & I. "Paul, I want to, but I don't know how Auntie & Rog will look on it."

"What are you two talkin' about?" Dan asked.

"Just the rest of the driving arrangements...um, can you stop by the house first before we take Paul home? I need to pick up some things."

"Uh-huh...no problem," he said suspiciously. I directed him back to Auntie & Rog's place. I snuck in and stuffed pajamas, my pills, my contact lens case & glasses, an outfit for the next day and my makeup in a small bag and ran back out before anyone heard me. I climbed back into the car, and Dan drove Paul & I to Paul's apartment. Paul told Dan to just drive the car back to Auntie & Rog's, told him how to get there, and said he'd make arrangements to get it back. I kissed Dan on the cheek and told him I'd see him tomorrow at MC's. He made sure we made it inside alright, and pulled away.

After fumbling with the lock, Paul stumbled into the apartment and plopped down on the couch. "Could you get me some headache powders, luv? They're in the bathroom cabinet, left side on the bottom." He lay down on the couch, rubbing his head and snuggling a pillow. I retrieved the powders for him and a glass of water. He thanked me, took the powders and lay back down. He kicked off his shoes and immediately fell asleep on the couch, still in his clothes. I pulled the blanket from the back of the couch over him as I thought to myself, well, so much for a romantic evening with Paul! I figured since I was there I might as well sleep a bit since it was already 4:30 and I needed to be at work at noon, so I went upstairs to his bedroom, changed into my pajamas, and crawled into bed.

It took me a while to fall asleep. I had sobered up, so that wasn't it...I just had a lot on my mind. I was beginning to feel a little distant from Paul, not like he was keeping anything from me, but like we were growing apart. Well, not really growing apart...I didn't know. I knew I couldn't talk to Paul about it then; he was practically passed out on the couch downstairs. I knew if there was anything to ponder, I couldn't think clearly about it while I was half-tired, so I just temporarily gave up and went to sleep.


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On to Chapter Fifteen, Part Two
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Copyright © Winona Patterson, 1999-2006