Prologue - Yesterday

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September 1965

It's showtime--8:00 on a September Sunday night. Marisol sits cross-legged on the floor of the living room of her sister Margo's new home in Mill Valley, California. On the black and white television, a smiling, tuxedoed illusionist has just conjured his ninth dove out of thin air. The camera switches to Ed Sullivan, who promises he'll be back with the Beatles after a word from Pillsbury. Marisol brushes her blonde fringe out of her eyes and tries to ignore the flipping sensation in her stomach and control her fidgeting. "I am an island of calm," she whispers to herself, settling her three-month-old dark-haired daughter onto her lap with a warm bottle of milk. 

Nine months have passed since she last saw any of the Beatles. She's consciously avoided following their careers, but since she doesn't live in an igloo at the top of the earth she can't help but be aware of the major bullet points of their lives.

On the day Marisol's daughter Melody was born, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth had included the Beatles in the birthday honors list, naming them as members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Quite an accomplishment for a group of young lads in their twenties from the northern provinces.

When Melody turned two months old, the Beatles were 3,000 miles away, performing in front of 56,000 fans at Shea Stadium, the largest outdoor concert in history. Paul's sweaty, glowing face and giddy grin had been all over the news for at least a week afterwards.

A fortnight later, the band spent a week in Los Angeles looking for a bit of rest and relaxation. According to Marisol's friend Donna, dozens of Beverly Hills brats hired helicopters to continually buzz the mansion where the Beatles were staying so they could take pictures of them sunbathing by the pool. The Beatles hid inside the mansion or underneath large outside umbrellas while helicopters hovered above. So much for peace and quiet.

Tonight, on Melody's three month birthday, the Beatles are appearing on the Ed Sullivan show. Nineteen months ago Marisol watched them perform for the same television show, live in Miami Beach. Nineteen months. In some ways it feels like she's aged ten years since then.

The commercials finally end and Ed returns to the small screen. Accompanied by a chorus of screams, the television host calls out the names of each band member. Marisol's heart jumps as she hears his name and suddenly there he is. Paul. Shaking hands with the announcer, smiling at the screaming audience, strapping on his Hofner bass. Looking even more beautiful than she remembers. His straight glossy dark hair is a bit longer, swept forward over his eyebrows and slightly to one side. In an expensively tailored black three piece suit and Cuban heeled boots he looks tall and fit, his face tanned and healthy. He looks bigger somehow, more filled out, as if he's grown from a skinny boy into his man's body in just under a year. He acknowledges the crowd once more with a small flirty wave before nodding at his band mates and launching into their latest number one hit.

Seeing them on this stage takes her back to the first time Paul appeared on American television only a year and a half ago, how excited and happy he'd looked. Since then he and his band have conquered the American charts and finished two very successful world tours. Gone now is the skinny lad with the boyish, eager to please grins and bouncy dance moves. He looks comfortable in his own skin, sexier, more controlled. He moves confidently on stage, calm and sure of himself. Yet there is a new weight to his expression, a world weary cast to those downward sloping eyes.

Marisol watches him lean in to share the microphone with John, their faces inches apart. She nearly groans, flattened by the sight of him and what he still does to her pulse rate. John and Paul exchange smug little smiles before Paul's attention returns to the audience. It looks like someone in the crowd has caught his eye. His gaze continues to lock onto a spot on the balcony to his left.

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