No More Lonely Nights - Chapter Nineteen

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8 November 1962.

Liverpool, England.

PAUL: I only have one thing to say at the moment. One of my three best mates must be losing his mind.

Yes, I’m referring to George, here. Yes, George and his relationship with Delilah Marks, the American girl who has to re-cross the pond back to New York in one week, to be specific. Heard that? One. Week. And yet George is pretty much head-over-heels for her.

It’s not the head-over-heels part that I’m worried so much about the part where in seven days, Delilah gets on a plane and goes back to NYU with her brother Lance and his wife Emilia, leaving one of my closest friends behind to deal with what will likely be a crushing blow. That’s what bothers me. I know what Megan said is true, too, that long-distance relationships are difficult to maintain. I don’t want to see George get hurt. He’s like a brother to me, and I couldn’t stand it if he got his heart broken, be it unintentionally or not.

I turned my attention back to the sheet music spread out before me on the kitchen table, trying to pen some new music. I don’t have any lyrics yet, but maybe if I write some tunes, lyrics will come to me. Who knows, at least I’m doing something semi-productive. I’m mainly trying to occupy myself so that time will pass by quicker and it will be Friday even faster, because that means…. Exactly. I get to see Allie. For eight days this time, as her father has a rare vacation from what I bet is a grueling job and he and her mother will be leaving to go to the States in the morning.

I find it so amazing that I never grow weary of Allie’s presence, of being with her and having her near me at all times. I know a good many couples end up getting what I can best describe as “burned out” on each other after too much togetherness, but I cannot be with Allie enough. Every single time I see her, I literally fall in love all over again- ridiculous as that may sound- but it is true. I can tell her absolutely anything and can just be myself when I’m with her. I forget about the band, I forget about the club, I forget everything but Allie when we’re together. I lose myself in a world that is perfect and idyllic, in a state of peace and love like none other. I love to hold her, embrace her, kiss her… anything where I can show her affection. I never realized what an affectionate person I really am till I met her (but having only my brother and father for the past six years, I sort of forgot what it feels like to actually let someone know you love them by hugging them), to be honest. I literally ache when she is not right here at my side, her head on my shoulder and her hand in mine. I miss her so much that I really do feel a sort of pain, an emptiness, so to speak, when we’re not together. I plan on making her the only woman I will ever love, I am that certain that she is meant to be mine. We haven’t been together even a year, but I knew the minute I heard her voice, before I even saw her face, that she would be the one person I could give myself to completely and love for all of eternity.

ALLIE: I love this. I don’t have to lie or think up some excuse, I can just leave in the morning and go to Paul’s apartment for… oh yeah, eight days. One week… plus one day. Works for me. I’ll take any amount of time with him, even if it is five seconds.

I folded several of my good blouses and laid them in my suitcase on top of my four good pairs of jeans and my favorite white skirt. I knew I could come back over here if I needed clothes, but I never wanted to while I was staying with Paul. I preferred to forget that I had a life beyond the four walls of his apartment when I was with him, a life that I hated with a fury that grew stronger with every passing day. I didn’t want to have to keep doing this, living here with a mother who was increasingly growing unpredictable. My father has been staying home more and more over the past couple months, I’ve noticed. I pulled down the collar of my shirt and looked at my shoulder in the mirror, at the fresh blue and black bruise forming there. I got it day after yesterday when my mother pushed me backwards and I hit against one of the shelves in the living room. Paul is going to flip out when he sees it, but there’s nothing I can do about it. At least, not now.  I can’t exactly hide it from him (obviously, seeing as the clothes will come off pretty soon after I get over there), much as I almost wish I could. He has more important things to worry about than me.

PAUL: I heard a knock on my door around eleven this morning, and, seeing as it is indeed Friday, I knew exactly who was standing on the other side waiting for me to answer the door. I flung it open and there she stood, the most beautiful person in the world. “There you are!” I exclaimed, throwing my arms around her. “Get in here, come on!” I took her suitcase from her hand and set it next to the couch. “Eight days…” I continued. “You’re not going to be tired of me after that amount of time?”

Allie laughed. “Of course not!”

I pulled her into my lap and sat on the couch pretty much motionless for several minutes, enjoying the feeling of having her so close to me. I kissed her cheek and put my arm around her shoulders, and it was then that I saw her wince slightly. “What?” I asked. “Are you okay?”

She looked at me for a long moment, and I could tell she was debating telling me something she really didn’t want to tell me. “Oh, you’ll see later on regardless, might as well show you,” she finally said, and she reached up and pulled off her pink shirt. I gasped at what I saw, the cricket ball sized bruise forming on her right shoulder. “Oh my God, baby, what happened?” I cried, my fingers softly brushing her shoulder.

Allie looked at me, trying to keep her face neutral, I could tell, but she still had tears in her eyes. “What do you think?” she said quietly. “My mother and I were fighting, of course. She had been drinking, I think, so she was a bit more violent than usual. She pushed me and I stumbled and fell into one of those low shelves in the living room, you know which ones I’m talking about.”

I was speechless for quite some time, unable to tear my eyes from the blue and black bruise forming on her perfect porcelain-like skin. I took a deep breath and looked at her, cupping her cheek in my hand. “You could have come to me,” I told her. “Don’t go through these kinds of things alone, Allie, please.”

“I said she and I were fighting, what do you think we were fighting about, Paul?” she said. “You, of course! I get so tired of having to listen to her tell me what I do and don’t need to do, and apparently I don’t need to be with you.”

“Well, all I can say is I don’t want you to be with anyone else,” I said. “I call you mine, and I’m proud of that fact. I can’t imagine my life without you.”

She nodded. “Same here.” She put her shirt back on and leaned against my shoulder. “I hope the next eight days go by really slowly.”

I nodded. “I do too.” I knew they likely would fly by, but maybe not. Hopefully not.

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