Here we are on the road again. It feels like de ja vu. We're starting off in Blackpool and continuing into Sweden for quite sometime. We'll go to New York for the "A Hard Day's Night" premiere on August 10th. We've all agreed that I'll go with George this time. We'll arrive in London only for a couple of days before heading to Blackpool once again and then arrive in San Francisco on August 19th. That's where Bonnie and I exit. The remaining days no long seem to stretch ahead of me and my heart feels some sort of achy feeling whenever I try to think about leaving the boys. My boys.
But for now, this moment, today--July 26th--I will enjoy myself. It just so happens that right when I get comfortable in my new second home, it's time for us to pick up and leave again. But if I'm going to spend time with the Beatles and enjoy life, I should get used to it.
We're riding in the trusty van to Blackpool. Paul and I are sitting close together, our fingers laced. My head is lying on Paul's shoulder. I'm drifting in and out of sleep. I feel Paul move and I lift my head and look at him.
Paul kisses my forehead. "I think everyone is asleep," he whispers in my ear. He moves his arm from around my shoulder to my face, pulling me closer. Paul's other hand is on my leg now. He kisses me softly at the corner of my mouth, teasing me. I smile and wrap my arms around Paul's torso. I guess we really don't have to be sneaky, but it makes things more fun. It's exciting to sneak apparently (even though our close relationship is obvious to everyone.)
Paul leans closer until his warm lips are touching mine. No matter how many times Paul kisses me, it will never get old. My lips melt into a smile and I can hear myself giggling. Paul smiles--at my happiness, maybe? He moves and kisses my neck. I squeeze his torso tighter and he moves his hand from my leg to my back. Another kiss here. Another kiss there. I can't stop giggling.
Paul pulls away and wraps one arm around my shoulder. I continue to hold onto his torso and lay my head on his chest. "Hey Ann?" he says, calling me by his new nickname for me.
"I want to talk to you after the concert today, ok?"
I look up into Paul's droopy eyes. "All right. Is everything ok?"
"Oh yeah. Everything is dandy. I just want to discuss a few things with you."
Despite the lovey actions we have just exchanged, I feel a pang of fear at the pit of my stomach. "Discussing" never sounds good. I rack my memory of the past few weeks to see if I had done anything wrong. Not that I can recall. I was the one always getting mad at him anyway. I hope everything is ok.
"Hello Johnny," I say in a fake accent to John. "Lovely performance tonight."
John gives me a peculiar look. I give him air kisses on the cheek.
"Have you gone mental?" he asks me.
"Well, you're getting pretty close."
John pushes past me so he can put his guitar down in his dressing room. Paul follows him. "Hello lovely," he says, sounding a bit out of breath. He's sweaty and hot, but he still kisses me on the forehead. "I'm going to go put this down," he says, referring to his bass, "and freshen up. Then we can go out for a walk... maybe."
"Ok! Hurry back". I smile to myself. I turn around and watch Paul leave. After he disappears, Ringo and Bonnie catch my eye. The two are looking at each with stars in their eyes. They really are in love, aren't they?
After about ten minutes, Paul comes out of his dressing room looking freshened up. He grins when he sees me and I no longer fear whatever we will "discuss."
"Ready to go for a walk, then?"
"It's beautiful out here tonight," I say, looking up into the sky. "I can see the stars."
Paul looks up too. "Oh yeah. You can! It's not like that in London, is it?"
"No, it's not like that in California either. Well, that's not entirely true. Bonnie and I used to go out on summer nights to a field behind the lake. No one else bothered with it, so it was quiet. And there were no lights around. We would lay out in the field and just look up at the stars." I breathe in, remembering the summers when Bonnie and I were fourteen and fifteen years old. Times almost seemed magical then.
"Wow. That must have been nice," Paul says. I look from the sky to him only to see him staring at me.
I smile and nod. "It was."
"To be honest, I didn't even notice the stars until you said anything. I was too preoccupied with looking at you. You look beautiful tonight."
I smile again and look down at my feet, brushing my hair behind my ear. "So, what did you want to 'discuss,' Paul?" I use air quotes.
Paul laughs and then stops walking. I'm so thankful for the night. For the night allows us to have some semblance of normality. It hides who we are to other people. I stop walking with Paul. "Annie," he says simply.
He takes my hand and brings me closer to him. He brushes my hair behind my ear and smiles at me affectionately. "I just wanted you to know that I'm deeply, madly in love with you."
I feel my jaw drop a little bit and both of my eyebrows raise. "You just wanted me to know that?" I finally ask.
"That's right. Ever since you told me how you feel about me, I just know this is meant to be."
I feel like recoiling because this is a lot of emotion being thrown at me at one time, but I know this is what I want. I know what's coming next.
Paul pulls me into a kiss by my shoulders.
Ok. Maybe I don't know what's coming next.
Paul releases my shoulders and takes my hands again. "Annie, I think we should take our relationship to the next level. I think we should be more serious about each other."
I smile. Happiness is taking over me. My heart is pounding and my stomach is doing flip flops. Is this the feeling I've been afraid of for so long? Is this what I've been scared of? Sure, it's scary, but I was dumb to want to avoid it forever. "Like... you'll be my boyfriend?" I ask, sounding like a naive school girl.
Paul smiles and nods. He seems just as overjoyed. Gee, when we're giddy, we really are meant for each other. "And you'll be my girlfriend."
I don't know what to say that will sound appropriate. Yes? I would love to be your girlfriend! Nothing works, so I just simply nod, trying to tone down the excitement inside of me. I stand on my toes and give Paul a lingering kiss on his lips.
Paul wraps his arms around my shoulders, hugging me close to him. "Annie, I don't want you leave. Ever."
Damn it. I had forgotten about the end of the summer for a moment. "I don't want to leave either, but we both know that's not an option." I hug my arms around Paul's body tighter. "I'm sorry," I whisper.