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August  1963



‘No,’ Paul said firmly, his eyebrows knitting together. He caught hold of John’s arm. ‘You’re not going.’ 



‘Leave it out, Paul.’ John warned, pushing him off him. 



‘Where is she?’ George asked, still peering out at the theatre audience. ‘I can’t see her. She’s not there, John.’



John stopped, turned and stomped over to him. ‘There!’ he said, pointing. ‘Second row.’ 



‘What? Blue dress?’ 



‘Get back,’ Paul hissed. ‘They’ll see you!’ 



‘That’s not Ruby,’ George said simply, stepping away from the stage side. 



‘Yes it is,’ John said. 



George raised an eyebrow. ‘Where’s your specs?’



‘I’m telling you that’s her. I should bloody know.’



‘Paul, you look.’ 



Paul took a tentative step forward and followed George’s pointing finger. He frowned. ‘Nah, it’s not, you know.’



‘You’re lyin’’ John said, but hesitated. 



‘John, it’s not. I promise you.’ 



John looked from Paul to George. 



‘Why would she even be here?’ George asked. 



‘Ringo said she was coming.’ John looked again, squinting. Perhaps it wasn’t Ruby after all. 



‘There’s tons of people out there,’ Paul said, folding his arms. ‘She could be anywhere. She might not be there at all. She might be coming to the evening show.’



John wheeled round to him. ‘The fuckin’ evening show! I bet that’s what she’ll do. She’s gonna turn up to that.’ 



‘Yeah, so what if she does?’



‘Don’t you think it’s a bit odd? She turns up at the hotel, then she’s coming to the show. What does she want Paul?’



‘Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps she’s a Beatle fan?’ Paul replied facetiously. ‘Though you’re probably not her favourite anymore.’ 



John pursed his lips. ‘She’s here to create trouble. I know she is.’ 



‘What trouble could she cause?’ George asked, standing behind John. 



John looked at him and raised an eyebrow. ‘You’ve no idea.’ 



‘No, I mean, even if she tries, what can she do? No one’s gonna let her back stage. She won’t be able to get within ten feet of you. She can sit out there and shout stuff out, and no one will hear her.’ 

John took a deep breath. ‘I suppose,’ he said reluctantly. 



‘We’ll just let Mal and Neil know not to let anyone near us,’ Paul said, coaxingly. ‘It’ll be fine, John. You see.’ 


***




Five Years Earlier




She couldn’t fathom why he looked so genuinely shocked. Hadn’t he just asked her? Why would he looked so surprised when she said yes? 



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