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Epilogue

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5th October 1963

'It's Saturday Club's fifth birthday today - just in case you didn't know --'

'Happy birthday Saturday Club!'

'Yes, thank you, Ringo! Anyway, as I was saying, pretty much anything can happen on Saturday Club's fifth birthday, so here's something a little bit unusual. John's got a special message just before the next song. What song's it going to be, Paul?'

'I'll Get You.'

'I'll Get You! That was...'

'It was the B-side to She Loves You.'

'Oh yes, of course. Well, just before that, John, did you have something you wanted to say?'

'Yeah.'

'Go on then.'

'What, now?'

'Yes, now!'

'Okay, I will then...'

Ruby sat on the end of the bed feeling -- what? She didn't know exactly. What were you supposed to feel on your wedding day?

Happy? Nervous? Excited? Apprehensive?

Nope, none of those.

Sad? Scared? Worried? Daunted?

No, not really any of those either.

She just felt empty. And exhausted. Already, and the day hadn't even begun yet. The clock in the hall downstairs chimed for half past ten. Billy would probably be there already, waiting for her. The car would come shortly.

'Um, this song's for someone I used to know. I hope she might be listening. Just to say - she'll know who she is, she's an old friend of mine - just to say -- good luck and I'll see her sometime. She'll know what I mean.'

Ruby looked down at her dress. Traditional white. Cost more than she'd really planned on spending. She wondered if it had really been the right choice - white. It was a touch hypocritical, wasn't it?

'Imagine I'm in love with you,

It's easy cos I know,

I've imagined I'm in love with you,

Many, many, many times before...'

The bedroom door flew open, banging against the wall and making the pictures rattle. Ruby jumped, although really she should be used to by now. Ever since her little girl had learned to walk, she'd been banging doors, creating as much noise as possible. It was a phase. So people said. It didn't look like it was passing anytime soon.

'Molly,' Ruby said sternly. 'Mind the wall.'

'Granny says I have to wear the shoes. I don't wanna wear the shoes.'

Molly came round the side of the bed. She'd just had her third birthday. She'd been so tiny when she was born but she seemed to be shooting up now. It felt like nearly every month she'd need new clothes or shoes because she'd outgrown them. Born nearly six weeks early, it had been touch and go for a while whether she'd live, but she was a fighter. To look at her now, you'd never know how fragile and venerable she'd been.

Ruby considered her daughter. Her mother had managed to get her to wear the dress. A pretty pale blue with a ribbon around the waist. That was a feat in itself, but it was always going to be the shoes which were the real hurdle. She looked down at Molly's feet. As expected, she was wearing the red wellington boots she couldn't bear to be without.

'I think about you night and day,

I need you and it's true,

When I think about you, I can say

I'm never, never, never, never blue...'

'You need the shoes to go with your pretty dress,' Ruby tried gently. 'You can put the wellies back on afterwards...'

'No! Wellies!'

Ruby sighed, already knowing she'd lose the argument. Molly could be as stubborn as a bull. Just one of the things she seemed to have inherited from her father. Pushing that thought from her mind, Ruby stood up and took Molly's hand. Through the bedroom window, she saw the wedding car arrive, white ribbons pinned in a V across it's bonnet.

'The car's here, Moll!' she said in a voice designed to make her excited. 'Come on! We'll have to hurry! Let's go and find Granny.'

'Why are you crying, Mummy?'

'I'm not crying,' Ruby said, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hand.

'You are!' the little girl shouted. 'Are you sad?'

'No, Mummy's not sad. Mummy's just... nervous.'

'Why?'

'Well, it's a big day today, isn't it?'

'It's not like me to pretend

But I'll get you, I'll get you in the end

Yes I will, I'll get you in the end...'

'Ruby! The car's here! Are you ready?'

'Yes, coming!' Ruby called back.

Scooping up Molly in one arm, Ruby switched the radio off as she left the room.

THE END

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