Chapter 26: Golden Slumbers

There was an elevator with a label: 1962. I pushed the button, knowing it was urgent I get on the elevator, but not knowing exactly why. When nothing happened, I punched it. It burst open, revealing a brown eye with long lashes.

There was a grinding noise in the elevator as it starting moving upwards towards me. I stared into the eye, waiting impatiently for the elevator.

There was a voice behind me. "It'll never work," it said. I spun around to see a stranger looking at me. Beyond him was darkness, nothing more.

"What do you mean?" I asked, "It is working, see?"

I turned back to the elevator, only to see it lower past the floor I was on. As it passed by, the brown eye lowered, too. I watched as the eye was replaced by a forehead, then a mess of brown hair, then nothing.

"See, it didn't do any good!" the stranger said.

"Help me," I pleaded with him, "Please, help me."

"Wait, have patience." This was a new voice, kinder than the voice of the stranger. It seemed to be coming from right next to me, but there was nobody there when I turned to look.

"Please, help me," I pleaded again, then screamed, "HELP ME!"

I blinked my eyes open, awakened by my own scream. There was a man that looked to be in his 40s staring into my face.

"There, see, I told you it would work. She's coming to," he said, turning to look behind him. I followed his gaze and saw another older man. "Hey, how are you feeling?" the first man asked me. A look at his white clothes and a whiff of the antiseptic told me he was a doctor.

I didn't say anything, just looked at him. He waited patiently for an answer. I sighed, then said, "Where am I?"

He grinned and backed away from my face. "You're at the hospital. Got a nasty concussion. Fell off the stairs of that mansion, huh? Well, you'll make it. Been a couple of days, though. Bet you're hungry for some real food, no more of that intravenous stuff."

My mind whirled. Stairs of that mansion? What happened, and why couldn't I remember? All I got from my mind when I tried to bring the memory back was a deep feeling of sadness and betrayal. But I didn't know why!

"So, you never answered my question. How're ya feeling?" the doctor repeated. I noticed hid Minnesotan accent and wondered why I should notice that. I did live in Minnesota; it was what I was used to. At least, it should have been.

"I'm okay," I replied, slurring my words slightly, "A bit confused…"

"Yes, I'd imagine so. You're fine pain wise, though?"

I hadn't thought about the pain. I mentally checked to see if anything hurt. I regretted that instantly as the pain suddenly became obvious.

"Ugh," I groaned, "Everything hurts."

"I'll get you some painkillers," he said, leaving the room. I closed my eyes and waited for his return. By the time he got back, I was sleeping again.

The elevator was slowly rising back up. I nearly shrieked with excitement. I knew something was in there that I desperately needed. I didn't need to remember what it was to know I needed it.

There was a groan. I ignored it, figuring if the elevator was from 1962, it had a right to complain every now and then. The elevator rose slowly, so slowly. I fidgeted, playing with my fingernails.

Suddenly, there was a great thump, and the elevator began to go back down. It picked up speed quickly. I pressed my face against the glass elevator door and watched in agony as it fell farther and farther away from me. It fell for what seemed like hours. I lost sight of it, but still kept looking into the dark hole, hoping it would come back.

I heard a loud crash, then a small explosion. A flame shot up to the elevator door. I screeched as I saw a harmonica fly up with the flame. It burnt to a crisp slowly right in front of my eyes.

This time, when I woke up, a different face was looking into mine. It was my mom's.

"Hi, honey," she whispered, "The doc says you can come home today."

"Mom?" I croaked.

She grabbed my hand, trying to comfort me. I wondered why she was so concerned, then I realized my pillow was wet with my tears. They were still fresh on my face, too.

"I'm okay, mom," I assured her, "Just a bad dream."

"Do you think you're up for going home today?" she asked, a worried look still on her face.

"Yeah," I said, thinking how it would be so much better not smelling antiseptic every time I woke up. I felt like something was missing in my life. Maybe it was just me being homesick.

A few hours later, we were in the car on the way home. I was staring out the window, lost in thought. It was normal for me, but my mom still worried.

"Shelby missed you while you were gone," she said, trying to start a conversation.

"Aw, cute," I commented. I smiled as memories of her filled my mind. Shelby scarfing down her food, Shelby running around the couch, Shelby lying on top of me while I try to sleep, Shelby barking at nothing… Shelby whimpering to go outside at 3:30 in the morning.

That one almost brought back a memory of something else, but I couldn't quite grasp what it was.

The rest of the ride went uneventful. I fought against my mind to remember what happened, while my mom tried to strike up conversations with me. When we finally reached our house, she had given up. I was still trying hard to dig up the memories.

The door to the house opened and my dad walked out. "Hey, how're ya doing?" he asked, giving me a hug.

"Fine," I said, trying to grip the wisp of a memory that a simple hug brought back.

"Just fine?" he asked.

I smiled. "I'm a little tired."

He led me into the house, as if I had forgotten how to get in. I went straight to my room. My head was beginning to ache.

There was a loud buzzing sound from my desk. I ruffled through all the papers piled on it until I found my phone. There was a new text from EC.

"Txt me when u get out of the hospital, k?"

I sent her a text telling her I was out. As I waited for her reply, I semi-consciously turned on my CD player, trusting that I had a good CD in there already. I was surprised when an unfamiliar tune started playing.

"What the…?" I muttered to myself, taking the CD out of the player, "The Beatles? Why the hell are the Beatles…"

It began to come back to me. John sneaking in on me playing guitar, Ringo reading my dream book, George eating the peanut cookies, Paul staying at EC's… Then, I remembered what really happened in the mansion.

I quickly grabbed a pillow and screamed my agony out into it. I felt the hot tears coming again, hand-in-hand with a deep cry, the kind that you can't stop no matter how hard you try.

"John…" I whispered to my empty room, wishing he was with me. I stared off into space for a while, wondering what to do.

There was a knock at my window.

"JOHN!" I jumped up and tore back the blinds.

It was EC. She gave a sad wave, no trace of a smile on her face. My heart fell as reality and logic told me John would never be coming back. I opened the window for EC, though, glad to have a friend to share my pain with.

"Hey," she whispered, sliding into my room. I closed the window behind her.

"Hey," I whispered back, dripping tears onto the floor. I wiped my eyes with my sleeve.

"You remember it, then?" she asked.

"Yeah."

She was silent for a minute.

"What about George?" I asked. I didn't remember him ever being found.

"Oh, yeah. Mr. Richards said he was already back. He said that Arnold brought him back," she explained, "Did you know that cat was the real brains behind everything?"

"Yeah."

There was another long stretch of silence, with both of us absorbed in our own thoughts. Then, she spoke again.

"They made a new song," she said, "Or at least, I've never heard it until they… you know."

"Yeah." I was curious, though. EC knew every Beatles song, it seemed. If she found one she'd never heard before, did that mean they changed the future from what it originally was?

"Wanna hear it?"

"Yeah," I said, with a little more enthusiasm. She pulled a flash drive out of her pocket and plugged it into my computer. We were silent as we waited for the computer to come to life.

"Here," she said, clicking on a file. The music began to play through the speakers. I cried as I heard them singing the lyrics. Next to me, EC was sobbing just as hard as I was.

"Once there was a way to get back homeward

Once there was a way to get back home

Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry

And I will sing a lullaby

Golden Slumbers fill your eyes

Smiles await you when you rise

Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry

And I will sing a lullaby

Once there was a way to get back homeward

Once there was a way to get back home

Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry

And I will sing a lullaby."

We'll never know for sure whether or not the song was written for us, but it's nice to think it was. Some days, it seemed like that was all that got me through the day. If they forgot me, if John forgot me… Well, I don't know what I'd do. So, I choose to believe he didn't.

I know I'll never forget him.