Chapter Thirteen

29 August, 1958

Paul woke up at six that morning as usual. He pulled himself out of bed unwillingly, but was cheered by the thought of seeing Holly that morning, since she always came to the McCartneys' house for breakfast before they caught a ride on Mr Harrison's bus with George. Only Mike and Paul's dad were seated at the table that morning.

"Mike, where's Holly?" Paul asked as he sat down in his spot. "She's late this morning." Mike didn't look at his older brother, and Jim McCartney answered for him.

"Paul, there's something you should read on the counter," he told his oldest son. Paul instantly got up and read the little piece of notebook paper that Holly had painfully scribbled an explanation on the night before.

"I'm going to the McFarlanes'," Paul told his family, and walked across the street with the letter clenched tightly in his hand. Holly's mother answered the door, her gaze on her feet.

"What can I do for you, Paul?" she asked him.

"Mrs McFarlane, where's Holly?" Paul asked her slowly, holding up the letter.

"She's gone," Julie told him, her head still hung in shame. "She didn't say where." Paul nodded and thanked her before leaving. Back at his house, Paul got his father's reluctant permission to look for Holly and skip school. He got a ride like always.

"Mr Harrison?" Paul asked. "I'm skipping out today, could you give me a ride to Blackpool?" Something in the back of his mind told Paul that's where she was, even though it was fourteen hours there from Liverpool by foot, and two by car. He explained the situation.

"Can I go with Paul, Dad?" George begged his father.
"I'll give you two a ride there," Mr Harrison agreed as reluctantly as Jim McCartney had, but he knew how important that girl was to the teenage boys. He rather liked her himself, in fact. The drive to Blackpool was completed in utter silence, but silence really was the best thing to be said they would all eventually agree. Mr Harrison dropped his son and his son's friend off in Blackpool and told them he would be back to get them before supper. They thanked him and they all went their separate ways.

"Where do you think we should go first?" George asked Paul as he looked around.

"Well, if I remember correctly, Holly's out of cigarettes, so she probably went and bought a pack first thing," Paul offered. "We could start there and see where it goes."

"I guess we haven't got any other leads," George agreed. They walked into a shop and interrogated the man behind the counter.

"Have you seen a girl in here wearing a leather jacket, leather pants, and carrying an army backpack and a guitar here recently?" Paul asked him.

"She's got brown hair to her shoulders and brown eyes, about this tall-" George held it hand just under his chin. "Sixteen years old, well acquainted with variations of the word 'fuck'?"

"Yes, she was last night, about ten o'clock. We got into quite a row over the cost of cigarettes until a young man broke it up and paid for hers and his both," the man answered.

"Didn't say where she was going at all?" Paul asked. The man shook his head.

The two left the shop, ultimately gaining nothing they didn't already know.

"Now what?" George said defeatedly.

"Just walk and keep an eye open, I guess," Paul suggested. "I don't have an other brilliant ideas."

George caught a sight of a brown haired girl blending in with the shadows of the alley, absentmindedly picking on a guitar. George swore that it was the saddest sound he had ever heard in his life. He nudged Paul.

"Looks an awful lot like Holl, doesn't it?" George asked his older friend.

"Holl!" Paul called. The girl looked up, and her eyes brightened from the sad look they had formerly held while they were focusing on the frets of her guitar. A smile brighter than one thousand suns spread across her face as she got up and dropped the guitar. The smile always sent volts of electricity through Paul.

"PAULIE!" she screamed as she ran at the two boys. Paul caught her in his arms and spun her once.

"I was so worried you were gone forever," Paul whispered as he set her down.

"I'm never forever gone," Holly whispered back, then she turned to George and hugged him, "Hey Georgie."

"Glad your alright," George told her with a grin.

"Thanks for coming for me," she thanked the two awkwardly, but Paul knew his best friend meant it sincerely, even if she couldn't express it properly.

"Let's go home now, yeah?" Paul told her.

"I'm not going to that bitch," Holly said coldly, a dark light coming over her eyes.

"You never will again," Paul promised. "Let's just go home now."

"Home, that sounds rather nice right now."