Never once had I thought things would turn out this way. But that's alright. Because like Morrissey would say nearly 10 years after my death, "To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die." Die by your side, I did. And for that I am eternally grateful.
I remember the first day we really met, or rather night. It was late October of 1959, nearly Halloween. My 16th birthday had come and gone on the 9th, the same day as John's. Except he was 3 years my elder. None of that particularly mattered, though, seeing as we hadn't spoken much to each other until that fateful night. A friend of a friend hosted a party, inviting a bunch of college students as well as the occasional teenager such as myself stupid enough to hang around the older kids. John Lennon was one of those college students. I didn't know him, but I did know of him. Everyone in those parts of town knew John Lennon. He was a notorious heartbreaker, secret poet and the resident bad boy. If you hung around with John long enough, you'd undoubtedly be labelled a troublemaker.
It just so happened that one of my closest friends, George Harrison was one of those unfortunate boys who recieved the misnomer of 'punk'. I say misnomer because George was the complete opposite of anything generally associated with the name John Lennon. He was sweet, caring, gentle and well-mannered, as well as highly intelligent and mature. The same went for another of John's best mates, Paul McCartney. Paul had a baby face with big doe eyes and a dainty nose. His feminine attributes had even made him the target of several bullies across Liverpool, earning him the title of 'queer' until he joined up with John. See, nobody in their right mind would ever think of challenging John. He was the unspoken Superman of Liverpool. You wouldn't think twice of crossing him.
George and I had come to the party nearly 2 hours ago and I'd lost sight of him about 40 minutes in. The majority of the population there were friendly enough, but I wasn't. I was shy, a little agitated and extremely anxious. None of my close friends were at the party except George and I was pretty sure someone had put something other than beer in the paper cup I was holding. Dizzying lights, blaring music and twirling figures mixed with the sweltering heat of bodies pressed tight together, making my head swim. I elbowed my way through the crowd desperately, the empty red cup now crumpled in a clenched fist. Shouts of protest and looks of annoyance were aimed in my direction, but for the most part everyone simply ignored me, bopping to the Chuck Berry that had been turned up so loud it had been reduced to a series of fuzzy screeches and howls.
A blast of frosty air hit me full on as I shoved through the back door, tossing my cup to the ground. I gasped, gulping in the fresh air as if I'd just resurfaced from deep water. A curl of cigarette smoke flowed from a faint orange dot stuck on the end of a white stick. That white stick protruded from the thin lips of none other than the infamous John Lennon himself. My gaze wandered up from his lips, past his long nose, up to those brown eyes that appeared black in the faint orange moonlight. A stare-down resulted, lasting for what could have been hours as I sunk under his unwavering glare. He looked away first, turning his attention back to the sickly tangerine moon. I sat down beside him on the cold iron bench, the boisterous commotion inside the only thing breaking the silence as I wrapped my arms around myself.
"Are you alright?"
I was caught off guard, jumping a little as his voice sounded to my right. "What?"
He was staring straight at me, the cigarette that had been perched between his lips now a pile of ashes and paper on the wooden porch at our feet. "Are you alright? You look a little pale; a little frightened, even."
When I didn't answer, he took it as a sign to continue. "Have you got a friend or maybe a boyfriend to take you home? Because honestly, love, you look like death."
"Thanks," I muttered, standing abruptly, "but no thanks. I just needed some fresh air. I'll be okay."
And with that I turned on my heel and walked back to the party, which was definitely my biggest mistake of the night. I didn't know exactly why I'd left him out there. I genuinely enjoyed his company, unlike the rest of the people in there. They were all drunk, passed out, sick or high. It seemed nobody there was in a state of mind to take me home, even if I'd wanted to leave. I searched for George amongst the cluster of bodies, yet another drink being passed to me by some faceless hand. After 20 minutes and no sign of George, I chugged the mystery drink down, feeling angry and reckless. My vision turned even blurrier than before and I felt myself swaying from side to side, stumbling up a staircase. The cup dropped from my hand and I nearly fell over.
"Hey, watch your step there, doll," a vaguely familiar voice called from a million miles away.
"Come with me. I'll take good care of you," he said, wrapping an arm around my waist.
I staggered through a doorway, supported by one of the 'jocks' from my school. His name was Justin, I recalled. Where was he taking me? Justin released me from his grip, practically pushing me to an awaiting bed that most likely belonged to the host's parents. Everytime I'd try to say something, the words would get caught in my throat and I'd end up making little incoherent noises instead, my mind a jumble of pictures, words and ideas. Justin's hands felt warm on my legs, skimming up under the hem of my dress to pull the fabric up to my waist. I lay there like a limp noodle, my brain screaming that this was all wrong, yet my body doing nothing about it. Numb. All the little connectors that jutted from my brain to my nerves were dead, snipped like live wires. While my mind shouted commands, my body lay unresponsive.
"Such a beautiful little thing. Are you new to Liverpool? 'Cause I sure as hell would remember seeing you. What's your name, pretty?" He held a one-sided conversation as he fondled me. "Ah, fuck it. You're too drugged-up to tell me. But don't worry, love. I'll find out later."
His hot breath rolled across my neck and I blacked out.
Nora had left me stunned. I'd hung around with her more than a few times, thanks to George being such close friends with her. She was a quiet girl, sort of bookish, but lovely. She had long, brown wavy hair that curled a little in some spots. Her dark eyes seemed to change color every now and then, sometimes green, sometimes grey. Her nose crinkled when she smiled, like a mischevious toddler. I thought she was beautiful, but I also thought she was off limits. I'd witnessed several blokes ask her out over the past year and each time she'd turn crimson and stammer out a polite rejection while looking away. She was timid; that much was clear. I didn't want to scare her away so I attempted to get to know her before taking such a big leap. Obviously she'd been too afraid to even consider being my friend. She replied with polite but to-the-point answers whenever I tried to conjure up some sort of conversation. So I left it at that.
She looked so out of place at that party, though. I honestly felt concerned about her and I'd offered to help, even throwing out a hint with the whole 'boyfriend' thing. But she'd just up and left. Her swaying hips mesmerized me as I watched her go back in the house. My eyes stayed glued to the door for awhile as I stared into space, fantasizing about things that would turn my aunt's face red. Screeching girls being chased by randy boys, the heavy smell of alcohol, cigarettes, pot and sweat, and the unmistakable voice of my long time hero, Buddy Holly greeted me as I walked into the party I'd left not 15 minutes earlier.
"...the way you dance and hold me tight,
The way you kiss and say goodni-hi-hight,
Rave on, it's a crazy feeling and I know it's got me reelin'
When you say 'I love you'
Being nearly 6 feet tall gave me an advantage as my eyes swept the crowd for the familiar face of Nora. Despite my vantage point, I couldn't find her. Figuring upstairs would be my best bet, I trudged down a hallway packed with sweaty kids groping each other and bounded up toward the next level of the house. The landing at the top provided me with a view of 4 doors. One was open just a crack. I pushed it and walked through the doorway to find some blonde kid I vaguely recognized on top of Nora. She was face down on the bed with her eyes closed. She looked like she was sleeping. All while that bastard rode her like a fucking horse, seemingly unaware of my presence.
"And what the fuck do you think you're doing?" I bellowed, my nostrils flaring as I clenched my fists.
He looked up in surprise and stopped thrusting for a minute. "Why does it matter, Lennon?"
I lied, feeling oddly satisfied with myself. "She's my girl. That's why, you fucking prick. Now get off her before I rip your fuckin' head off."
His eyes widened and he rolled off the bed, quickly zipping up his pants and holding his hands up as he stepped toward me. "I don't fuckin' think so," he said through gritted teeth, "I think if she was your girl you wouldn't let her wander off and fuck me like the whore she is."
"Oh yeah, 'cause she was fucking you so hard when I walked in, right?" I laughed sarcastically, motioning toward her unmoving body. "If you don't leave this room within the next 10 seconds, I'll break your fuckin' jaw and tell everyone you raped her."
"Bloody wanker," he spat before sprinting out the door.
I exhaled in relief and walked over to Nora to survey the damage. Her panties were lying on the floor, ripped apart and she had a few minor bruises on the backs of her thighs. I pulled her dress down and gathered her into my arms, receiving hazy looks from people too drunk to care as I walked out of the pulsating house.