Chapter 7: I Don't Want to Spoil the Party

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I remembered exactly what happened the night we finally made it to Germany.

    It was a complete fluke. To my credit, I had no idea how on earth we were going to get there. I consulted the book, staring at it through the glare of my desk lamp while John lay on my bed and fiddled with the Rubix cube, but all it did was give me a blank stare of empty pages. Since John had appeared, the pictures inside it along with everything Beatles in the world had disappeared.

    At the present moment it was lying next to John and me on the porch table, a maroon book with no title, a shadow of its former self. John was sitting next to me on a chair, strumming my guitar, humming a little tune:

    General Tso's Chicken / Finger Licking' Good

    I didn't want to tell him he just ripped off the KFC slogan.

    It was twilight; we were watching the sun set lazily, sitting on my back porch. An empty carton of takeout Chinese was lying next to the book. John had loved the General Tso's Chicken from the takeout shop down the road, hence the little ditty.

    I couldn't tell John just how great he had the potential to become along with the Beatles. That, I felt, was against the rules or whatever game the universe was playing with me. In return, the universe had wiped out every figment of John that had ever existed. Last night we were watching TV, and a special came on about a famous surgeon named Paul McCartney who died that earlier spring. I changed the channel quickly before John could notice, my eyes tearing up. John asked me what was wrong. I told him hurriedly it was my father.

    I was becoming a very good liar.

    I didn't want to be a very good liar. I hated it when I did this. But what else could I do? What other choice did I have?

    "Hey, love," I remember John saying that night. We were sitting in the corner of the couch in our usual relaxed position; I was sitting, leaning against him and his hands were wrapped around my waist comfortably. He said Hey, love like my reaction meant the world to him.

    I leaned back against his chest and felt his lips on my forehead as I accidentally dodged a mouth kiss, trying not to cry about Paul. I felt for the Beatles, I really did. The death on TV just made it more real.

    "How do you feel about your dad?" John asked, his eyes off the telly and on me.

    Oh shit—I was still there thinking about Paul. "He left a while ago. I don't know where he is, he didn't leave anything behind." I hurriedly told him. This was all true.

    John was stroking my hair. "Mine did too."

    Again, I had to lie. "I didn't know that, John..." I told him, looking up at him.

    John didn't say anything for a while, staring back at the television screen, showing a commercial about Kellogg's corn flakes. After a while, he said, "He was a sailor."

    "Mine was an accountant," I had said.

    We had finished watching a Doctor Who special and went to bed. It was two in the morning; I had glanced at the clock as we went upstairs. That night, I remember waking up suddenly at four in the morning, Come Together playing in my head, terrified I would forget it, John's arms wrapped around me. I could hear his steady breathing. I untangled myself and padded quietly to the bathroom. Without flicking on the light, I had stood in front of the bathroom mirror, gazing at myself with a guilty face. The nightlight beside the mirror gave off a ghostly green light. I shook my head slightly at myself, bringing my face closer to the mirror, leaning against the sink, looking at my reflection in the mirror, staring into my eyes. This was how John found me. He knew instantly I wasn't all right, and hugged me from behind. I cried into his chest. We stared at the mirror reflection of ourselves for a few minutes until he sensed that was what was making me scared, and he carried me back to bed. I caught one last glimpse of my accusatory expression in the mirror before he wiped me away from it, the green lamp reminding me of the dead.

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