No More Lonely Nights - Chapter Fifteen

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15 September 1962.

Liverpool, England.

ALLIE: Pete and Megan’s rehearsal dinner is tonight. I’m much more excited about attending theirs than I ever was about being present at my own sister’s. Strange how things are so backwards in my life. Oh well, it doesn’t really bother me much that I hate my family, save for my father. I don’t feel guilty about it in the least.

We’re all invited to the rehearsal dinner, of course- me, Paul, John, Cyn, George, and Ringo. I’m getting ready now, and I’ll drive over to Paul’s apartment once I’m dressed and fixed up nicely. I bought a new dress to wear- this one is a bright shade of purple, more of a lavender hue than a true purple- for the occasion as well, so I thought I looked quite nice as I checked my reflection in the vanity mirror. I’m ready to get out of here, and I grabbed my handbag and the white wrap I got in Chicago from the bed and slipped quietly out of the house.

I made it to his apartment about fifteen minutes later. He was waiting outside for me by his car (I was leaving mine at the apartment and coming home with him after the dinner- my mother is still in the States so I get her car till she comes home). “Hello, love,” Paul said, embracing me tightly. “You look beautiful. As always.”

“Thanks, Paul.” I kissed him on the cheek. “You look handsome yourself.” He did, in a charcoal grey suit, a lavender shirt (I forgot I’d told him what color my dress was), and a lavender and grey tie.

He blushed. “You flatter me, darling.” He opened the car door for me, and I settled into the passenger seat.

“It’s true, though,” I said. “You are just… I can’t even really put it into words.”

“Thank you. It means a lot.”

PAUL: We made it to the dinner with time to spare, so we had plenty of time to stand around and talk to everyone before we all sat down to have dinner. John and Cynthia were already there, along with George. “You two made it!” John called from across the room. “We’re still waiting on Ringo. He’s lost again, I’m sure.”

“John, dear, really, don’t say things like that all the time,” Cyn said. “Get off his back for once.”

“That’s just how we are, Cyn.” John turned to me. “Well, well, well. You and Allie match. Very cute, Paul.”

“Seriously, John, or are you being sarcastic?” I asked.

“A bit of both, you know me well enough by now.”

“Oh my word, look over there,” George said. “Ringo’s here. With a GIRL.”

I turned in the direction George indicated. Ringo had just walked in the door, and indeed, he had a bird on his arm, one with dirty blonde hair pulled back in a messy up-do. She was wearing a plain red dress and high heels and looked rather uncomfortable in such feminine attire.

“Oh my word, I know her!” Allie exclaimed. “Megan and I met her at Harold’s clothing store when I was shopping for the dress for Marion’s wedding. Her name is Violet.”

“Allie! Did you see who Ringo just walked in with?” Megan had appeared at Allie’s elbow, her face registering surprise. “That girl from the clothing store! Violet! But didn’t she prefer Vi?”

I looked over at Ringo and motioned for him to come to where we were all gathered. He said something to the girl and then they walked over to us. “Didn’t even see everyone over here!” he exclaimed. “Terribly sorry!” He turned to the girl hanging off his arm. “Vi, meet my bandmates and friends. John Lennon and his wife Cynthia, George Harrison, Megan Best, Paul McCartney and his girlfriend Allie Morgan, and over there is Pete Best, the groom.”

“But we’ve met!” Allie said. “Remember, Vi?”

“How could I forget? Was the wedding a drag like I was betting it would be?” Vi tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “You gave off the vibe that your sister was a bitch and the wedding would be one straight from hell.”

I fought back a laugh. She certainly didn’t mince words, that was for sure. Quite an impressive quality in a girl, really.

“You’re spot-on with both things, Vi,” Allie replied. “So… you and Ringo are here together?”

“Yes,” Ringo replied. “Sorry for not telling everyone sooner that I got a bird! Just happened a couple days ago. Wipe that look off your face, John, I wanted it to be a surprise!”

“Yes, I’m now dating my favorite drummer,” Vi said. She and Ringo were rather cute together, I thought. Vi was attractive, yes, but nowhere near as lovely as my Allie. I slipped my arm around my own girlfriend’s waist and she smiled at me, and it was all I could do to keep from kissing her in front of everyone.

“Welcome to the Beatles family, Vi. Now if only George can get a girl, we’ll all be taken and can break all those stupid fan girls’ hearts,” John mused. “I’m married, you know that alone is killing them. Paul is beyond devoted to Allie, I for one cannot believe they aren’t married yet. And now Ringo has a girlfriend, a lovely one at that… get on it, George, find a girl!”

“I’m working on it!” George said.

Pete joined us at that moment. “Glad to see everyone here tonight,” he said. “Well, Ringo, who’s the girl?”

Vi introduced herself to Pete and continued chatting with him and Megan and Ringo. I stepped back away from the group a bit with Allie. “John seems to think we’re supposed to be married now,” I said. “Does he not realize you’re not quite old enough yet?”

“I guess not,” she replied. “Oh, well, we’re not yet. Maybe someday.”

“Not maybe, for sure. Just not anytime soon.” I kissed her hand. “You know that.”

“True. So wow, Ringo got a girlfriend. Amazing. I wonder how they met?”

“I’m curious too, I’ve never seen this girl at the Cavern before, hanging out with him. Oh well, he’ll tell us soon, I’m sure.”

ALLIE: It is so weird to see Ringo dating that girl Megan and I met in the store in the summer. I guess I’m just surprised to see Ringo with a girlfriend in general, since he and George are a bit more withdrawn than Paul and John (but they’ve got girls, me and Cyn, so no surprise there). I’m happy for Ringo, I am. Now get on it, George…

Dinner was served a few minutes later, and I was surprised to see just how many people were here. Megan and Pete combined must have a massive extensive family, as there had to be one hundred fifty people gathered around the tables dining. Our usual clique was seated together with Megan and Pete, the parents of the bride and groom at our table as well. Megan clearly came from money, that was apparent by the décor, the food, and the clothing everyone was wearing. It was a beautiful dinner, though, and I was ready for the wedding tomorrow. I was certain it would be amazing.

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