“It’s too early for this,” I say in a whiney tone.
“Annie, it’s 10 AM. It’s not that bad,” Paul says, wrapping his arm around my shoulders and kissing my forehead.
“Well, when we’re up until four in the morning, it is pretty bad.”
“Someone is grouchy today.”
I playfully push him away. “Don’t start.” I crack a smile.
“Aha! There’s my beautiful angel.” Paul comes toward me again and brushes his lips against mine. Twenty-two more days until I leave. How am I going to give this up? “What’s the matter, love?”
“Twenty-two days,” I say, barely audible.
Paul stiffens up for a moment. He stands up taller. “Stop that, Ann. We’re not going to talk about that anymore for the rest of the summer. You understand?”
I nod. “Ok.”
Paul takes me by the hand. “We’re going to have a good time in Sweden, ok?”
“All right. We will.”
“That’s what I want to hear.” Paul kisses my cheek once again. With that, we see the boys and Bonnie approaching us. We’re going to Sweden and we will have a good time.
“I’ve actually been using the camera you gave me a lot. It’s great fun. I think I’ll use it at one of your shows,” I tell John after their fourth performance in two days. Everything is calm right now. Backstage is usually bustling with people. I like the peace.
John nods. “How did I—" John starts, but is interrupted by Bonnie stomping into the room with Ringo following closely behind her.
“When I ask you what you think of another girl, you’re not supposed to say you’d take her. Or that you even think she’s pretty!” Bonnie exclaims. I see John arch an eyebrow out of the corner of my eye.
“Did you want me to lie then?” Ringo asks, sounding aggressive for the first time this summer.
“…Yes!” Bonnie says as if it’s obvious.
“It didn’t mean anything, love,” Ringo says, touching Bonnie’s arm.
Bonnie pulls away. “It’s just the principle of the matter.” She crosses her arms.
“Well, if you’re going to be that sensitive, then maybe we shouldn’t be together any longer.”
Bonnie’s jaw drops slightly, but she recovers. “Maybe you’re right! There’s no way I’m going to let myself continue dating a dog!” Bonnie stomps away, having had the last word.
Ringo stands in the same spot a moment longer and notices us—John, George, Paul, and I—gawking at him. “What are the lot of you staring at? Can’t you might your own business?” He turns and walks in the other direction.
“I wonder where they’re going,” George wonders out loud.
“That was strange,” Paul says, looking around the room.
“It was bound to happen. You can’t spend that much time up someone’s ass and not get sick them,” John answers, pessimistic as always.
“Should I go find Bonnie?” I ask the boys, genuinely puzzled about the situation.
“Isn't that what girls do?” Paul asks. “Help each other through the little tiffs in life.”
“Oh, shut up, Paul. Yeah, go ahead,” George says casually.
“Ok…” I say, backing away from the boys, trying to think of where Bonnie could have gone. I turn and walk down a hallway to a door. I push it open to enter a small alleyway. The door hits something and I hear a squeak. When the door swings back in place, I see Bonnie sitting in front of me on the ground. Streaks of mascara are running down her face and snot covers the area between her mouth and nose. We stare at each other for a moment. We’ve never been very good at emotional and sensitive stuff, especially when it is up to me to do the comforting.
“You shouldn’t sit behind doors, you know? It’s not safe,” I finally say. Wow. What a good friend.
Bonnie wipes at her face with her long sleeve. “Thanks?”
“I’m sorry,” I offer, feeling bad for not offering immediate support. I move to the wall and sit down cross-legged next to Bonnie. “What happened?”
“You saw the fight,” she said, waving her hand.
“Is all of this really about a girl Ringo looked at?”
Bonnie sighed. “I guess no. I mean, yes and no. It’s just, ever since Ringo and I started going together, he gets less and less affectionate. I’m just scared that he’ll get bored with me, I guess. And that he’ll cheat on me or break up with me. I feel like an even bigger dope because I’ve been chasing him this whole time.”
I look at Bonnie and blink. I’m truly surprised she actually shared her feelings with me. “You’re not a dope,” I finally say. “Ringo is just getting comfortable in your relationship. He probably feels that he can’t do anything wrong. He can have a girlfriend and have fun too.” I have not the slightest idea where I pulled that piece of wisdom from.
“You think?” Bonnie asks, crinkling her brow.
“Yeah. Most boys do it.”
“Even the Beatles?”
“Boys are boys, Bonnie.”
“I know. But it seems like they should do no wrong.”
“Well, they’re human. They’re going to make mistakes. But… what are you going to do?”
“With Ringo?” Bonnie’s smile fades. “I know how you feel now,” she whispers. I think I just want to go home.”
“What!? Go home!? You can’t go home now. Not over a little fight. All those times you told me to stay and you’re going to go home? I don’t believe it!”
“I’m just scared, Annie. I love Ringo.”
“More reason for you to stay! Now you’re going go inside and you’re going to find Ringo and work things out.”
Bonnie shakes her head. “I can’t do that.”
“What do you mean you can’t do that? Sure you can.”
“No. I think I need a break from Ringo,” Bonnie says sadly. “He needs to realize that I’m not going to take any shit from him.”
I look down at my hands, thinking about the words Bonnie just said. “So… where are you going to stay?”
“Well, I hadn’t thought that far ahead yet. Do you… Do you think that Paul could help me out?”
I cringe. I could see that coming. As much as I love Bonnie, Paul’s house equals Paul and I’s private time. I really don’t want her loafing about the house now. But I can’t just leave Bonnie out in the cold. I need to help her. I wonder if John or George has any extra space. “You know what? I’ll go ask right now.”
“Oh, thank you Annie!”
I stand up and go inside the building. Ringo is leaning against the wall. When he sees me, he stands up straight. “Is she… er… out there?” he asks me.
“Well, yeah. But I don’t know if you should talk to her. She’s a bit down right now,” I answer, hoping that was the right thing to say.
“Really?” Ringo looks down at his shoes. “Shit,” he mutters.
“I think she might want a break.” I try to sound as comforting as possible.
Ringo looks up at me with wide eyes. Those big, beautiful, blue eyes. “She what?!”
“Oh, Ringo. I shouldn't have… It’s not my place.” My mind is reeling. This wasn’t my news to tell. “Maybe you should go talk to her.”
Ringo runs his hand through his hair and sighs. “Ok.” Ringo takes a deep breath and goes through the door.
I scold myself for getting involved and then find the other boys. Paul, George, and John are seemingly in the same place I left them.
“We have a problem,” I tell the boys. They give me a questioning look, waiting for me to continue. “Bonnie needs a place to stay for the time being. I’d let her stay with and me, but…”
“You don’t want to be stuck with the annoying twit,” John finished.
“That’s not what I meant!”
“You were thinking it.”
“Oh, shut up. She can stay at my bloody house,” George says. Thank God.