Chapter twenty : 1970, part B, Reach Out, Touch Me

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art by the amazing hemelgirl!

John played with the limp springs of the telephone cord for a few minutes before he made his mind up and opened his notebook, looking for the right letter. He didn't even know George's number by heart anymore, and that alone was just plain depressing. The news of George's mother passing –dutifully reported by Ringo in a call earlier that day– was hardly surprising, but it had still hit John in the chest like a cold ball of pain.

While he barely remembered her, she'd always been sweet enough to him and to George, as far as he could tell. Her passing hadn't been sudden, she'd been ill for quite a long time, but he could still imagine the state of mind George was in all-too-well. He dialled the number carefully, glancing up to the door of his office as someone knocked. "'m busy!" he called out, and the knocking stopped. John listened to the tone, humming the monotonous note along to keep himself occupied, waiting for someone to notice the phone was ringing and run through the maze of Friar Park to get it.


George had been sitting in the lotus position for the last several hours, attempting to mediate and to clear his mind of all thoughts of grief over his mother's death. It was proving to be impossible at the moment, and he was growing increasingly frustrated. A firm believer in reincarnation, he was trying to reason with himself : his mother had left this life but he knew she would be reborn, or even better, reach Nirvana. He also knew that mourning her loss would only bind her there, and he didn't want that. But how could he not feel incredible sadness? His mother had just died, and he missed her. He stood up from the mat, raising his hands over his head and stretching. Unable to reconcile his faith with the feelings he couldn't help but have, he decided that he could use a strong drink, and headed downstairs.

Chris had been the one to answer the phone, picking up the line in the living room as George stepped through the ornate archway, a grumpy look on his face. He'd been in quite the mood but she could understand, and tried to do her best to accommodate him. George had been coming to her over Pattie more often than not these days, to chat. "John, let me see if I can find him. He could be anywhere," she replied, a little white lie, unsure that George would want to talk with anyone. She didn't think it would hurt to ask, still. She placed her hand over the receiver and lowered it from her face.

"It's John. Do you feel up for a chat?" George walked behind the bar, grabbing the first bottle he saw and a clean glass. "What do you think?" She slipped her hand off the receiver and pressed it against her ear. "John?"

On the other end of the line, John's eyebrows furrowed, knowing just by the tone of her voice that George had told her to get lost. "Tell 'im to get his skinny arse over there," he snapped, voice low and cutting. "Unless he wants me to fly back to blighty and kick it meself." There was a shocked silence at Chris's end of the line and John sighed, rubbing his face. "Tell 'im... Tell 'im I know how it feels, okay?"

Chris lowered the receiver again and tried to put all this in a placating way, but George was faster. "I'll talk to him," he grumbled, having a change of heart as he couldn't seem to recall the last time they'd spoken to one another. They'd both been busy pursuing their own interests, ending up with little time to see each or even talk over the phone.

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