Chapter Ten - And, Then Some Stuff Happened

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The sailor doubled over in pain, groaning as he wrapped his arms around his stomach. Tony balled his hands into fists, pounding them into the young man's back, sending him dropping to the floor.

From onstage, Ringo watched the scene unfold, and continued to keep the beat going on his drums.

The rowdy onlookers cheered Tony on, and he delivered a vicious kick to the seaman's ribs.

Ringo winced in sympathy for the poor fellow, knowing a smarting hit when he saw one.

Tony spat on the bloke, and repeatedly kicked him. When he'd stopped moving on the floor, several people in the crowd had to pull Tony off of him. A few of the sailor's that he'd come into the club with picked up their unconscious mate and dragged him out.

Tony wrestled out of the hold on him, going over to his girlfriend, and grabbed her arm.

Shouting words at her that Ringo couldn't make out over the noise the patrons created. He knew that Tony didn't like his girlfriend talking with other blokes, Ringo figured he was giving her a dressing-down about that.

Tony strode back toward the stage, climbed onto it, and grabbed his guitar. He threw the strap over his back, his eyes set on his girlfriend, and began to play a different song from the one he'd been playing before he'd jumped off the stage. His backing band had to change the tune they were playing.

Ringo had only been in Hamburg for just over a month, and he wanted to go home. He was fed up playing drums for Tony. The other man was a great musician, but his violent outburst during performances and his tendency to abruptly change to another song in the middle of one is just too much for Ringo.

This trip hadn't turned out to be what he'd expected. It was bitter cold out. He mostly stayed indoors, gobbling pills to stay up, and washed them down with plenty of booze. There were also women to occupy his time, but Ringo still found himself bored and more importantly down. He hadn't been able to leave that behind in Liverpool.

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Joan doubled over, laughing with her entire body. "I'm supposed to be painting you." She stood upright, smiling as she wiped at the tears forming in her eyes from laughing so hard.

The young man smirked. "Paint me then. Go on." He playfully stated, motioning elaborately with his hands.

"I'm trying." She moved her brush across the canvas. Life was going well for Joan. She was making good marks in all of her courses, had a renewed interest in her art, and began a casual relationship with a fellow student at the art college.

Henry Perkins was a gifted sculptor. His enthusiasm and talent reminded her of Stuart. Joan was smitten with the second-year art student. Henry had an interesting nose, reminiscent of a former boyfriend, and more recently Ringo. His nose curved slightly, and he didn't mind being painted facing forward. 

(————)

Sitting on the windowsill, Henry waited for Joan to clean her brushes. He took a look around her studio, never tiring of looking at her pieces. The abstracts were interesting, but the small collection of painted portraits had garnered his interest. He kept coming back to the painting of a young man, there was a feeling of sadness that he'd picked up on. "Who is that?" He curiously asked, pointing to the portrait. 

Drying her hands on a towel, Joan briefly cast a disinterested look at her painting of Ringo. "Just some guy."

(————)

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