Chapter 13: When You're Seemingly A Better Bass Player Than McCartney

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John was sitting at the foot of my bed. Or at least I thought so. Unable to believe my luck, I called out grumpily, "George?"

"It's me," the figure called out. "John."

"Well well well," I said, sitting up, not caring that I looked like Death, and ready to give him the lecture of my life, "Where have you been?"

Light was flooding through the window; I guesstimated it to be around ten in the morning. My head felt better, thanks to the pills. The beds were deserted; the only ones in the room were John and me. He took my hand, but I awkwardly avoided his reach and brought it back to my side, not looking at him.

"I'm sorry, y/n, I really am," he said, blushing. I saw a small, embarrassed smile flit across his face before he looked at the floor.

I sat up fully, my back against the headboard of George's bed and folded my arms. "This is George's fucking bed. Not yours. Where did he sleep? Why couldn't I have used yours?"

I saw John's cheeks turn red for a brief moment before he answered, "He slept in my bed. I slept outside. Well, until Rosa offered me her couch."

"Wait, back up," I said, surprised. "You slept where?"

"George took my bed; I felt bad that we were using his. So I slept outside. It seemed like the right thing to do."

The situation turned around and around in my groggy mind. "Why... couldn't I have slept in your bed?"

John looked up at me with an expression of apology tinged with slight annoyance. "I don't know. I'm sure George has told you about how weird I get with this sort of thing. And I wanted to apologize."

I suddenly noticed his Rickenbacker sitting next to him. "What is this?" I asked. John picked it up and slung the strap over his shoulder. "Shh." He strummed a few chords, and I heard:

Listen...

Do you want to know a secret... Do you promise not to tell?

and oh, the words hit me straight to the heart and as I listened to the rest of the song (which I already knew, obviously), I let myself be carried away under the spell of his song and his piercing vocals, even though they were sung softly. The whole thing felt like a glass bubble, just me and John in the sunlit room. The song died down with the words I'm in love with you, and I saw his eyes hold an expression of accomplishment and words that he couldn't say, but rather sung, and the words half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it just to reach you... floated into my mind.

The dying notes faded away into the air and I asked, "Was that for me?", trying to contain my excitement.

"Yes, love," he whispered. He looked down and I saw his auburn hair flop in front of his eyes. "Did you like it?" he said, his voice barely audible.

This was John's way of apologizing—when he couldn't do it through words, he did it through a song or through another form of artwork. "Yes," I said just as quietly, "Yes, I do, love."

***

"Knock knock," I heard at the door—George's voice. I no longer had to attempt to distinguish it from the continuous rolling waves of Scouse that the others used; George had become a friend to me. We joked around in the mornings when the boys slept in and I was up and he would come in for his daily bowl of corn flakes.

"Come in," I called out. As George led the way in, I told him, "You shouldn't have to ask to come in. This is your room. I'm so so sorry for taking up all this space and time and effort—"

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