A Scottish Romance
I purposely didn't tell Megan about James until I arrived back home. Three days back I invited Meg and Henry over to my flat for dinner. I had saved the newspaper with the photo of Paul and Jane coming home from holiday. Maybe it was partly to torture myself, mainly to have proof that James is Paul.
They arrived early while the casserole was still in the oven. Mum gave me a simple recipe to follow but some how in my rush I miss read it and added to much salt. We ate very little. Thank goodness Megan brought a salad along.
While we were waiting for the disastrous dinner to finish cooking I brought out the newspaper picture asking Megan who she thought it looked like. Henry read the caption and said it was Paul McCartney. Megan needed a little help with my game and I instructed her to picture Paul with a beard and in jeans instead of the suit.
Megan concentrated on his picture rubbing her index finger across her lips like she always did when she was deeply thinking. Her hand flew over her mouth as she figured out that Paul was also my James. "Oh my! It's James McGregor!" She exclaimed out.
Henry looked from her to me not know who we were talking about. I explained to him that Paul was the man who bought High Park Farm using the name James McGregor. "The same man you fancied right, Kathy?" Henry asked me. I agreed with him. "You sure picked a good `un this time." He took a closer look at the picture. "It says this bird is his girlfriend Jane Asher."
I went on to explain to them that they were indeed going out. It felt strange to actually say out loud Paul aready had a girlfriend.
"What a way to find out." Megan sympathized with me. I told her it wasn't how I found out. "How did you?" She asked.
I went into my long detailed explanation about Michelle and her bedroom. I described the poster on her wall and how that was the way I found out who James really was. Then I told them about mine and Shellys adventure to Abby Road Studios while we tried to gulp down my dinner. Megan wanted full details about what I said and what he had said.
After we ate the bread pudding Megan made, Henry left saying he had some paper work he had to finish. I suppose he had enough girl talk for one evening.
"Did he call you? Tell us, tell us!" Megan got right down to it.
I gave a smile and got up for more tea wanting to keep her in suspense for a bit longer.. "He did call me." I confessed mixing the tea with milk.
I sat taking a slow drink. Megan kept her body still and her eyes on me waiting anxiously. "He called a few days later asking if he could meet me somewhere that night. I told him it would be safe if he came over to Uncle Jacks. My parents, Uncle Jack, Aunt Jan and Aunt Clare were going to the theater. Michelle had a couple of friends coming over and I knew they along with Shelly would be up in Michelles' bedroom all night long. Just to be safe I had James come around the back so no one would see him."
"You mean Paul."
"Yeah. His full name is James Paul McCartney. For some reason he goes by Paul. Anyways we had a nice chat in the back garden. He flirted with me a bit and I flirted back."
"Of course." Megan said with a nod of her head.
"Who wouldn't flirt with such a handsome, sexy guy?"
"A handsome sexy guy who already has a girlfriend."
I gave my best friend `an annoyed/I already know that' look. "I'll get to that in a minute." I went on with my story. "He told me about his summer, about how they are going to tour in Europe this month and then in August they leave for America. I made some silly comment like, you poor baby. Do you every get any rest? And then something to the effect of, you need someone to pamper you. He said, do you know of any woman who would?"
"And you said, yeah your girlfriend."
"Nooo, Megan. You know your starting to bring me down."
"I'm sorry, Kathy. What did you say?"
"I told him I was a good pamper." Megan didn't say anything. Just sat there biting her lip, possibly so she wouldn't say something that would hurt me. I went on again. "Don't give me that look, Meg. I did ask him in a roundabout way about Jane."
"What did he say?"
"He told me they had an open relationship."
"Of course he did." She said slightly under her breath. I choose to ignore her comment. "Is that all he said?"
"Oh Kathy, don't invest too much into this man. Yes he's charming and cute, but he has lied to you already."
"That's because he didn't want anyone to know who he is, he didn't want people following him around. What do you mean don' t invest too much?"
"Don't give him too much emotionally and physically. These type of men take. . ."
I cut Megan off before she could finish. "You don't know what type he is!"
"Calm down, Kathy. What I meant was that I don't want you to get hurt."
"I can take care of myself!"
"I know you think you can."
"You just hate to see me happy. This is the first time I've truly been happy about a man and your dragging me down. He wants to take it a day at a time and that's what I'm doing. I can take care of myself, Megan and I'll prove it to you. I'll make this relationship work and I won't get hurt. Now if you'll kindly leave, I'd like to go to bed."
Paul called me once before they left on their tour. While out he wrote me a couple of times. Each letter was short, telling me little tidbits about what they were up to and how the concerts were going. In the back of my mind there was always a thought of Jane when I was reading his letters. I wondered if I was just a second thought to him Then, late one night I received a phone call.
"How's that cute little bum?"
"Fine. Do I hear music?"
"Yeah. We didn't have a show tonight so we're having a bit of a party in the hotel. I'm hiding in the bathroom, it was the only place that is quiet."
"Where are you now?"
"Somewhere in Spain."
"What town, do you know?"
"Don't know. Madrid, I think. Hold on. Mal!" Silence. "What city are we in?" Mumbling in the background. "Ta, Mal. We're in Madrid, luv."
"Oooo, never been there. Is it beautiful?"
"Yeah. This afternoon we visited a vineyard. It was so peaceful and beautiful, that place. The old stone house stood on top of a hill over looking rows and rows of grapevines. In the distance was the city."
"I took some film, I'll have to show it to you sometime." More silence. "I've missed you, Kathleen."
The way he said the words in the most gentle and sincere way caught me off guard. I didn't have a chance to respond because someone started banging on the door. "Hey, Paul! Open up!"
"I'm on the phone, John!"
"And I've got to piss!"
"Just a minute, luv." Paul spoke to me. "Can't you use the other bathroom?"
In the background I could hear John Lennon specking. "No, it's being used. Know what I mean?"
I heard a door opening with Paul responding, "Make it quick."
"Which one are you talking to?" John asked Paul.
"Ah, the Scottish lass. `Ello Scottish lass!"
"Hello, John," I replayed back."
"She says hello."
In the background I hear a toilet flushing, John mumbling something, and then a door closing. "He's gone now, luv. Where were we?"
"I believe you were telling me how much you missed me."
"I do, a lot."
"I miss you too. When do you get back to London?"
"Three more days."
"You don't know where you are exactly, but you know when you get back."
"After a while one stops trying to keep up. Before we go on stage Mal or Brain reminds us which city we're in so we don't say the wrong thing."
"I've received the letters you sent. I wish I could send you one."
"Let me give you my London address, luv. Do you have pencil and paper?"
"Ummm, yeah there's some on the table here."
"It's Number 57 Wimpole Street, Marylebone. Oh and address it to Ian Iachimoe."
"Because then it won't get lost amongst the fan letters. I tell all my friends and family members to address letters to that name. I expect to have a letter waiting for me when I get home, understood?"
"Yes sir, James. I'll write it out tonight and send it in the morning."
"I should be getting back to the party now, luv. I'll give you a ring when I get back to London."
"OK, have a safe trip home. Bye James."
I didn't speak to Megan for a week and a half after our argument. It was silly of me. But I hurt by her putting down Paul. At the time I couldn't understand her motives. I was determined to show her how wrong she was about Paul. I was going to make it work between Paul and I.
Henry was the one who brought us back together. Megan apologized for the things she said about Paul and vowed to never again put him down unless I gave her permission.
It was on a Wednesday afternoon in mid-July when I saw Paul and Jane walking down the street. I was in Campbelltown working in the shop, restocking the magazine rack under the big front window. Jane stopped in front, motioned she wanted to go inside. Paul looked reluctant, but gave up in the end. I stayed down in my crouched position, watching them outside. Paul tried to get Jane to go to a different store down the street but she wouldn't give up. I stood as they entered.. This was to be one of the few times I saw Jane in person. She was more petite than I had expected with long thick red hair. She smiled in my direction and said a quick hello. Paul held back, confusion in his eyes.
I didn't know what to do or what to think of seeing them together. Her presence reminded me that I had no hold on Paul. He was very much a free man and had the right to go out with any woman he chose.
It did hurt to think of them together at High Park. My High Park. The two of them living in there and doing all the domestic activities I had dreamed of. Lately dreamed of doing them with Paul. As each second passed anger grew in the pit of my stomach. So much so that I had to restrain myself from walking up to Jane demanding she didn't touch my James.
Since I was the only worker in the shop at the time I couldn't run to hide. I was forced to stay, to witness the man I was falling in love with interact with the woman who was now my enemy.
They walked down each aisle filling up a basket, or I should say Jane filled the basket and Paul followed. Paul's uncomfortableness and my anger mixed saturating the shop making it hard to breath. I moved over to the check out counter watching every move they made. Frequently Paul stole a glimpse at me. I looked straight into his eyes with such intensity Paul actually flinched a couple of times.
Jane finished shopping. Paul followed her up to the counter. I busied myself with ringing up the items. I told them the amount and when I looked up to take the money Paul was in front of me. His eyes pierced through me right down to my soul. They pleaded with me. Pleading with me to forgive him, to understand perhaps. He didn't say anything and nor did I. Paul picked up the bags and walked out the door. They loaded the bags into the car and left.
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