Chapter 33: Back In Dear Old Liddypool

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I had sat on the plane, feeling strangely devoid of feeling. I supposed it was a lot to take in. I was sitting next to an elderly lady who was knitting. Paul and Pete were sitting behind us.

    Under my calm detachment I was able to feel waves of incredulous laughter start to bubble up. It was almost 1961. I was going to start the new year with a bang fifty years before my time. Maybe I should just go home. Maybe I should just go home to Chiswick in 2013 where I belonged. Paul didn't want me, and that was my fault. John didn't want me either. He had come round to the Top Ten late at night and apologized profusely for the blow up against Paul and me. Paul forgave him slowly. I had sat there in silence and whispered my acceptance of his apology.

    Yes, that was it, that was clearly the answer—I would go home. But how? There was no book, I clearly couldn't go back to that specific piece of sky that had shoved me and John through time and space to 1960. John was still in Hamburg; I had nowhere to go. And then I thought about how we were going back to Liverpool and how the Beatles and John, more specifically, came from Liverpool, and maybe I would have a good chance there.

    Because things happen for a reason. Because me and John for whatever reason were sent together. I thought back to my previous abrupt reaction in Astrid's apartment, my realization that I was there to stop John's death. I wasn't so sure anymore. No way should I feel guilty about going home. History had already happened and I had a strong belief that things were meant to happen.

    I felt a rush of emotion. What a terrible thing to think.

    I didn't want to think about that.

    An urge to cry passed, and I shoved another thought into my mind: Where would I stay?

    I remembered George Harrison, but I didn't want to intrude on being at his house. I just had to stay one night before I made a plan about what to do. Just one night... although I had the feeling it would turn into more than one. From what George told me, he was the youngest of a few siblings, and at his age, they were all probably living with other people. After the plane, the three of us boarded a train to Liverpool. From the station I had hastily bade goodbye to Paul and Pete. The latter left to hail a cab but Paul dwindled behind.

    "You sure you got somewhere to go?" Paul said, a small tone of iciness to his voice. I could hear the wounds of the previous breakup in the smallest tones in his sentence. Around us, heels clicked and suitcases rolled and different accents mixed together.

    "Yeah. I'm gonna house up with—er—George and then I think I want to go home." The last thing didn't mean to slip out and Paul turned around in surprise. "You're going home? To Chiswick—fifty years later?"

    "Shut up McCartney, do you want the whole train station to know?"

    He turned a fierce, defensive red. I smiled a little. Paul was still cute when he got upset.

    "Yes. I'm going home. There's really nothing else here for me." About to elaborate on how exactly there was nothing left for me wasn't the best idea, and I stopped myself.

    Paul looked hurt and I kicked myself internally. "It's my fault," I said, something catching in my throat.

    "You're not wrong," he mumbled, looking down, his hands clenched into fists.

    "Okay. Well, I'm going to try and get home."

    "Wait, how? You got here through some sort of book, right?" Paul said. We sat together on a bench outside the station. Liverpool looked busy but the weather looked bleak in December. The glitz and dirtiness of Hamburg was gone and Paul and I looked somewhat misplaced.

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