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Chapter 11
Beyond the Reaches of Fame

A knock on the door halted the blissful conversation as Neil walked over to open it and allow the other guests to enter. A couple of giggly teenagers strolled past Neil and into the community area.

"Hi," said the shorter brunette with a fair complexion in a sexy French accent. She was wearing a pale pink skirt that hit at her knee and a tight knit sweater that clung to her medium sized chest. Not a bad pick for an almost legal teen.

"I'm a really big fan of the Beatles," said her tall Swedish friend with luscious golden legs. She was definitely proud of her body the way she flaunted it. She was wearing a blue skirt that hit half way up her thigh and a white sleeveless shirt with a modest neckline. She had the look of a loose woman with her over applied makeup but I figured she was a good girl at heart excited to meet her idols.

"I bet you are," George smiled staring down at the bare skin on her legs as she recrossed them to sit down more comfortably.

"Looks like some ones already cavin and it's barely been ten minutes," John whispered triumphantly.

"I bet I could get both her and Miss Stevens in the same night," George bluffed, "but then again I think we have enough bets to worry about as it is."

"My name is Gigi," said the shy French girl, "and this is my friend Helga."

"Nice to meet you ladies," Ringo said extending his hand for them to shake, "I hope to see more of you later on tonight."

"Two down, on one go," I mouthed to John teasingly, "and it's not gonna be me."

"Why don't you go see if we can get some drinks here?" John asked politely, "You can't have a party without drinks. Can you?"

"I guess your right," Mal agreed, "I'll go call up room service and see if they can hurry their asses up with the stuff we ordered for this shindig."

While we're young please?" Ringo asked impatiently, "So how old are you ladies anyway? Twenty, nineteen, twenty one?"

"I'm nineteen," Helga laughed coolly trying to disguise the lie, "and Gigi is eighteen. English is her second language so don't be surprised if she is confused by some expressions you say."

"I know most of it but I don't use it much so sometimes I forget," she blushed, "once a man called me gear and I was offended because I had never heard of such a thing. I don't like all that English slang it is very difficult."

"Yes some of it can be very difficult," Ringo nodded sympathetically, "but I'll do my best not to confuse you with things you don't understand."

"I am very grateful," she bubbled gleefully, "so what do you think of my outfit? Sexy or no?"

"It is flattering for your womanly features," Ringo exaggerated, "I especially like the colors. It brightens your whole presence."

"I am very grateful," she repeated a bit more confused with some of the larger words, "you are so thoughtful. Want to dance?"

"I would be honored to," Ringo smiled hooking her arm with his and walking to the empty dance area. You had to laugh a little at her coarse English but on the dance floor, she had a much better confidence that shone from her. Something intangible that few youth exhibit in their early lives. Whatever it was she seemed so natural and happy all the time an admiral quality at any age.

"Well I wouldn't want my friend to dance all alone out there," Helga smiled manipulatively. "Would any of you young gentlemen like to escort me to the dance floor. I am sure a slow song will be on pretty soon."

"I'll go with you," George got up uneasily, "after all we wouldn't want your friend to dance alone, now would we?" George was much more graceful than Ringo when it came to dancing but you couldn't say the same thing about Helga. Well not at first anyway, she stumbled on top of George halfway through the first song. Now that I look at her dancing a bit more closely, I can tell she did it on purpose to reel him in for the night, a clever foreigner indeed.

"Guess it's just the three of us," John growled seductively, "or perhaps one if the lovely lady to my left would care to make it three beautiful couples on the dance floor?"

"Didn't I say that you weren't my type?" Ms. Stevens reminded, "but then again anything is better than being a wallflower , 'like you English say, give it a go'." He clasped her delicate palm into his and walked on to the growingly popular dance floor. I looked around at all the empty chairs around me as a heavy sigh escaped my lips. Where were all the girls Mal invited to this party anyway? I didn't really want to bother with them but the thought of them not being there made my stomach curl. I suppose it's the security that they're there for your disposal whenever you please but it was just I alone in the corner. Even if there had been a hundred girls around me, I still would have felt equally alone tonight, because the one I wanted was with my best friend, rival, partner, and brother.

John had so many titles in my eyes but you couldn't tag him with just one. No, not John, he was much to complex to simply have ONE title. In fact, no one word could ever describe John even if you had the gall to attempt to find one. So many people viewed John as the rough, witty, insensitive Beatle but that description was so flat and without personality, nothing like the John I knew. John often shielded people from his emotions but I would hardly consider him insensitive over it. As a matter of fact, he was the exact opposite when he let his defense mechanisms down long enough. Loving, caring, and listening, qualities no egotist would ever let the world see if possible. Perhaps when he grows up more he'll let up and show the other half behind the mask but until then, the world will only perceive him as "John."

I turned my head and glanced over my right shoulder one more time to see if I had any company. Sure enough, a flock of birds had made there way in and was mingling with the newly arrived party guests. The once quiet subdued aura vanished and hints of laughter and drinking bounced off the frail walls. John and Ms. Stevens were no longer dancing but had made there way to a private table in the corner of the room. I couldn't hear what they were saying but I didn't need to, judging from the look on her face, faked interest. Her mind was obviously somewhere else but that didn't seem to stop John from continuing his endless list of overused insincere lines. I felt the need to walk over and say something when someone tapped my shoulder.

"Excuse me," the quiet voice diminished, "why are you sitting here all alone instead of having a good time?"

"It just so happens that I don't feel like havin a good time," I shot back crudely not wanting to fake a conversation with some boring quiet shy female.

"I never met a man in Paris who didn't want to have a good time," she mustered, "especially at a party like this. Perhaps something is on your mind."

"Even if something was on my mind it's none of your business," I growled angrily, "Can't you take a hint that I want to be alone right now?"

"I'm not blind or stupid if that's what you're inferring," her voice raised to a normal conversation level, "I haven't seen such chauvinism in many Frenchmen more less a foreigner such as yourself. You must be really bitter about something or is it someone?"

"Look I don't feel like talkin and if I do you'll be the first one I call alright," I said in obvious desperation.

"It hurts to go unnoticed doesn't it," she retorted looking over at John and Ms. Stevens, "but then again I don't see someone like yourself having that problem to often."

"Why won't you just let me be," I said lifting my head up to make eye contact with this annoying pest. Her small thin frail features seemed familiar perhaps her face stuck out among the many fans at one of our concerts this week because of its uniqueness. A crow black strand of hair had fallen out of place from her recent trip to the beauty salon.

"The way you stare at me you think you would have seen me before," she smiled devilishly, "but the real question at hand is whether or not I will put you out of your misery and tell you the answer."

I sat up more compelled then ever to unmask this strange woman who seemed so familiar but implacable. "I suppose I can put my chauvinism aside long enough to ask you to put me out of my misery and tell me how I know you," I agreed a bit awkwardly.

"That's a pitiful unheart-felt plea if I ever heard one," she declared, "what makes you think I will tell you after that insincere bullshit?"

"My pretty face," I replied sarcastically, "but I really do want to know how I've seen you before. I can't put me finger on it and if I don't know it will be one of those things that haunt you for ever like if you want soup or salad."

"I always say soup," she jeered, "salad is always the same but there are different types of soup. Some bad, some good, but some are neither or perhaps that makes them both." I doubted she was still talking about "soup" anymore; there was a fondness and hatred mingled into that quiet tender voice that lead you to believe it was more profound than that.

"Ahh... but you didn't answer my question," I smiled, "how do I know you? Or perhaps I've never met you and you are only playing with my mind and givin me the impression that I have met you prior to today."

"A keen observation," she smiled triumphantly, "but I hate to disappoint you because you have seen me prior to today so that whole speech had no purpose but to expand your mind power."

"So I guess it didn't impress you, then?" I smirked, "but you keep beatin abound the bush and scatting the true issue at hand, our prior encounter."

"I suppose you are right I have avoided the real issue," she agreed, "It was only a brief encounter but one both of us ironically remember."

"Isn't that sort of a contradiction since I haven't the slightest clue where we met?" I interrupted.

"Are you going to let me tell my story?" she asked hoarsely, "we met only two days ago when the stage was ransacked by photographers, reporters, and fans. When that one girl clung to you like a lost child you looked up at me with pure fear in your eyes trying to escape her deadly grip."

"I don't remember lookin up at you," I admitted, "all I remember was tryin to pull away from that tacky bitch."

"It just so happens that I am that tacky bitch's sister," she glared spitefully, "and I don't appreciate you calling her that."

"I'm sorry," I muttered still speechless on the new twist of the whole scenario, "but you have to admit she was dressed like an old lady."

"Well now that I know what kind of person you really are and what you really think of her I suppose I can tell you the truth now," she stared blankly.

"I am the fan who clung to you desperately at that concert so close, yet so far away," she whispered holding back choked tears.

Shock was a mild word compared to the emotions I felt at that precise moment. She had planned this the whole time, each detail perfectly arranged to embarrass me with maximum damage. Purposely, why I didn't deserve that kind of harshness? I treated her ten times better than any other man would have if they were put into my position. That scheming conniving arrogant bitch just wanted to watch me suffer from humiliation but I will deny her that right. No woman will ever get the better of Paul McCartney.

"Speakin of true colors isn't it sort of contradictin to teach me a lesson on morals when using a lie yourself to accomplish it?" I asked hastily.

"I guess it all boils down to whether or not you believe in a white lie," she smirked defiantly, "some people say a lie is a lie but others say a lie that helps others isn't as bad. What do you think?"

"Well I am not particularly religious but doesn't the bible say something along the lines that any sin from murder to lust is viewed equal in heaven so wouldn't that make all lies both good and bad equal regardless of purpose," I said pondering the philosophy in the back of my mind.

"I'm not very familiar with religious doctrine myself but I do recall hearing about that as a child. I thought a man such as you would be in favor of white lies personally," she noted quietly.

"What caused you to make that analysis?" I asked dejectedly, "am I so evil that it is impossible for me to have a semi-decent set of morals."

"No its just seems like a paradox of interest if you want to fuck a girl and make her feel she lost no virtue to you with your cheap promises and lies," she said flatly, "somehow I have a hard time believing that you aren't a hypocrite on the issue. Maybe you didn't think out your answer thoroughly enough, I suppose."

"But where would we be without hypocrisy?" I asked genuinely, "Our whole culture is based on sayin one thing and doin the other. Should a man fall behind the times to maintain his moral beliefs, or should he manipulate his views to make them fit in better with societies picture of life?"

"One man can't change hundreds of years of thinking that is unethical. The only way to look at the issue is to see it as a balance," she carefully described, "because all men don't have the same amount of moral codes society must agree upon, ones that fit her as a whole. Obviously there is going to be more "bending" the more radical you are about your beliefs, but that is true in other areas as well."

"Basically it comes with the package of democracy," I replied bluntly, "I guess you have to take the good with the bad and know that it is the best the world has to offer for now."

"For a man who's quiet conceited, you have a rather good grasp of the politics around you," she smiled, "or you are good at instigating your argument based on others comments."

"Somehow I have the feeling that you've already made up your mind on which it is," I said dejectedly, "but I suppose you're right about the second one."

"No I don't formulate opinions on others reactions because its to simple," she said smoothing her skirt, "people in general are predictable, they live consistent patterns and grow accustomed to the security of their mundane lives."

"I figured you would be against it from a moral standpoint," I confessed, "but I'm not nearly as predictable as you think. I lead a very hectic, fast paced, ever changing life."

"That's the problem when men assume things," she smiled, "they always base there judgments on one stereotypical woman that fits our entire race. Unfortunately she doesn't exist and almost no woman in today's society match her so it seems rather pointless to maintain the image of her."

"No I assumed that you had a strong sense of right and wrong based on our earlier conversation," I pressed heartily, "but I believe you just made a generalization about men contradicting the point you are trying to get across."

"I only took an opinion on the subject after you falsely accused me of being morally upright and lied to me about your lifestyle," she argued, "I based you on a stereotype to make you have empathy not because I particularly agree with it."

"Why do you keep correcting me with hypocritical methods?" I inquired, "You tell me one thing and deliberately do the opposite."

"Because if I don't you would simply blow me off," she laughed, "I force you to think when I play my mind games on your weary brain."

"Well I don't particularly care for your reverse psychology methods," I replied adamantly, "I think they distract from the purpose your trying to achieve."

"I'm sorry if you find them inappropriate but I guess everyone is different," she coughed weakly.

"I'm gonna go get a drink," I said trying to slip away from this intelligent bitch that kept me on the run too often, "like I said I don't really feel like talking."

"Well for someone who doesn't feel much like talking you stuck around pretty long," she laughed heartily, "any particular reason?"

"I refuse to leave a conversation without letting my opinions be heard," I added, "I don't like to be wrong its just part of my nature. Or rather, I don't like to sound illogical because everyone's perception of right and wrong differs. I just have one question to ask you before I go."

"What is it?" she asked questioningly, "I don't know if I can trust you to ask a decent question after witnessing some of the perverseness from John earlier tonight."

"No my question is not perverse," I defended, "why did you cling to me that one night when everyone stampeded the stage?"

"That night I was on the grips of loosing reality," she whispered softly, "suicide seemed like the perfect escape from the troubles around me. My plan was to run towards the stage, steal a kiss, be kicked out, or perhaps sent to jail, return home, and end my life. I suppose it's easier said than done but I had it all figured out in my head. Anyways the riot was a perfect way to grab on to you; so, I ran up on the stage from where I had been lingering behind it and tackled you to the floor."

" I looked into your eyes and saw fear and uneasiness, a look I'm afraid I'm all to familiar with. I leaned in to kiss you but the look was just too much to bare," she paused uneasily, "the tears welled up in my eyes and I quickly rested them against your frail back. I stared blankly at your still bruised body as it quivered each second I moved in closer."

"Even though I could not see your face, a nagging feeling told me you were analyzing my actions and knew what I was up to that night. I was positive you were thinking about it," she mused, "I could feel it in my bones. I lifted my head up and drank in one last glance before I went to follow my "calling." I got up and ran. Ran from everything just like that as if it never even happened."

"Why didn't you go through with it?" I interrupted wondering if I had been the reason, she continued to trudge along in her humdrum world.

"It wasn't you. If that's the conclusion you came to," she said hoarsely, "no, it was something entirely different. The appearance of unreality made me back out of my decision, that night. Most people think that the reality of a situation will force you to think rationally, but I disagree. The anti-reality of the situation is what brought me to terms with myself that night."

"The body was willing but the mind is weak," she sighed meekly before finally slumping into the chair after having her back in perfect upright posture the whole discussion.

"I thought the saying was the mind is willing but the body is weak," I looked up confusedly.

"Well that's what the conventional saying is," she ran her finger through her hair, "but not for geniuses such as myself. They have to think everything through and the outcome of whatever they're thinking or doing must always be rational. A heavy burden I must say for being born with DNA that makes it easier for you to grasp more complex information."

"Intelligence should be a gift not a burden," I challenged.

"In a way you're right but in another you're na´ve," she spoke softly, "Intelligent people have the burden to make sure that the world doesn't fall apart into ruckus and decay. If things do not constantly change and improve, smart people are to blame. If leaders can not handle the pressure of above average intelligence than they take all society down with them."

"Because men have tasted the fruit of geniusness they will not settle for anything less. It's like having gruel all your life and suddenly being exposed to pepper. After a while, you've acquired a taste for it and the demand increases with time," she frowned, "if it were ever to run out then all of society collapses with rioting and such and the pepper farmers are too blame."

"An interesting analogy," I replied, "and with that I leave even though I could probably drag this out a lot longer."

"Goodbye," she smirked, "I hope you have fun wallowing in your own self pity."

"I will," I sneered, "have fun impressing people with your vast bullshittin resources the rest of tonight." I walked away feeling I had accomplished something, shown her that I wasn't a pushover, and that she couldn't manipulate me with her mind games, all in al I had a great ego high even though she dominated the conversation.

My mind quickly went back to the most important event of the night, the bet. The girl who jumped me on the stage said that John was being his perverse self earlier with her, which meant that he probably struck out with Ms. Stevens. Or gotten bored with everyone's lack of interest in the bet.

Hmm... Either way I would have to reestablish my presence and hope that she wanted to talk to me. I glanced around the room like a bloodhound on the trail for the criminal. No sign of her at first glance perhaps she was in a different room. I bumped into someone as I entered the next room.

"Excuse me," I said sheepishly, "I guess I was sort of in a rush to find someone and didn't see you standin there."

"Damn it," the voice sounded, "I've had a shitty enough week as it is and now I get red whine all over my favorite clubbin dress."

"I would be more than happy to send it to the cleaners for you," I said turning to see her response. To my shock, Annabel stood before me drenched in red whine on a fabulous white halter style dress.

"Fuckin hell, out of all the people I could of run into it had to be you," Annabel said with much distress.

"Wait a bloody minute didn't I invite you earlier and you threw it in my face," I yelled defiantly.

"I didn't come here to please your damn ego," she shouted, "I came her cause one of my stupid idiot friends had to fuck George Harrison or she would die a painful horrible death from him being so close and not at least meeting him." I was ready to raise hell watching her stand there looking me in the eyes and being a total bitch in front of hundreds of people I didn't know. She was going to get a fucking showdown if I had to pull her out kicking and screaming.