Chapter 8

“You know, I think your current state really suits you,” George said one Saturday morning as we lay in his bed. True Love Ways crackled on the radio on the nightstand.

George leaned over me to turn up the radio a bit before propping himself up on one elbow and running one hand through my hair.

“Why’s that?” I said, smiling and giving him a kiss.

“You’ve got the best color in your cheeks. You’re practically radiant!”

“Thank you, my love. So my enlarged state doesn’t bother you?”

“Of course not! In fact, I don’t think you’ve ever been more beautiful.”

I turned on my side so I was facing George and began to kiss him. He wrapped his arms around my waist and drew me closer to him. I ran my hands through his thick, soft hair, and he began to kiss me more deeply.

“And we’ll know why,” George sang softly in my ear. “Just you and I know true love ways.”

He kissed my ear and I giggled. “Is Miss Stella ticklish there?” George asked.

“Maybe a little,” I said in between laughs, as he started planting kisses all over my ear and neck. George slowed down a little and began kissing my neck more seductively. He worked his way up and enveloped me in a deep kiss. I ran my hands through his hair, down his neck, and onto his chest. I began kissing his neck and breathed in his scent of cologne and ciggies. It was so comforting. It meant home to me. I buried my face into the space right underneath his chin and George ran his hair through my hair.

“Your hair smells like heaven, love,” He whispered, kissing my head.

Suddenly, George gasped. Startled, I pulled away a little.

“What’s wrong?”

“I felt the baby kick inside you!!” His eyes were wide with total and absolute delight.

“That’s the first time I’ve felt it, too!” I exclaimed. “The baby definitely moves more when you’re around, and especially when we’re kissing.”  

George grinned wider than I’d ever seen before. “Well that’s all the evidence we need, right? Little Carl knows who his daddy is, and he’s just trying to let us know!” He started to kiss me again.

“Wait a minute … Carl? When did we decide we’d name the baby Carl?”

George grinned like a schoolboy. “Oh, well, I like that name,” he said, obviously trying to sound casual about it.

I was totally confused for a minute, until it hit me. “George, we are not naming our child after Carl Perkins.”

George pretended to pout and give me his best puppy eyes. “Please, my love? What about Chet?”

“No guitarists! And no race car drivers, either,” I said, anticipating his next idea.

George smiled, started to kiss me, and said, “You know me too well, love.”

Suddenly, someone knocked on the door. I quickly pulled on one of George’s shirts and pulled the covers up for good measure, in case it was one of his brothers or his father.

“Come in!” George called out, turning the radio down.

“George, dear, you need to be leaving now. And besides, Stella needs her rest,” Mrs. Harrison walked in, carrying George’s leather jacket. “You’re going to be late for your meeting with Mr. Epstein, and you know how he gets when you boys are late,” she continued, holding George’s coat out for him.

            “What time is it?” George asked, searching for his watch within the large pile of clothes on the floor.

            “It’s nearly noon,” his mother said curtly, eyeing the clothes and the general state of his room, obviously holding her tongue.

“Already?!” George jumped out of bed, pulled on his jeans and the first t-shirt he saw, and shoved his wallet into his back pocket while trying to comb his hair.

            “Mum, have you seen my coat?”

            Mrs. Harrison cleared her throat and eyed the coat in her hands.

            “Oh, bloody hell, where’s my mind gone? Thanks,” George said, shaking his head, and taking his coat.

            Giving me a kiss, he said, “Are you sure you’re going to be ok? Do you need me to get you anything while I’m out? I won’t be long, although Paul might want to rehearse afterwards, depending on how the meeting goes.”

            “I’ll be fine, really! Now go! It’ll do you good to get out of the house for a little while,” I said, trying to give George a strong smile, even though I hated every minute he was away.

            “Ok,” George said, kissing me again, and whispering in my ear, “I’ll get you some chocolate, anyway.”

            “George Harrison! Do I need to continue doing this with you? You’re 19 years old.”

            George grinned at me, and said sheepishly, “Sorry, mum, I’m off right now.” Mrs. Harrison practically pushed George down the stairs before returning to his room and sitting down on the edge of the bed.

            “I don’t suppose you’ve told your parents yet, then?” she said gently.

            I stared at the quilt and answered quietly, “No, I haven’t.”

            “You’re already 3 months along, dear—you really should tell them. I know you’re afraid of your father’s reaction, but they must know. There are also a lot of issues you and George need to think about before the baby arrives. When he gets back, we’ll talk about it more, but it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about it now. I know George thinks you and he will live in that flat John and Stuart have on Gambiers Terrace, but can you imagine raising a child there? It’s awful. Assuming the band continues to be successful, George should have enough money for you to have a flat together.” Mrs. Harrison clearly wanted to say more, but stopped there and seemed to be waiting for my reaction.

            “Well, I’ve been wanting to ask George about whether we’ll get a flat together, but I haven’t wanted to bring it up, with all of the stress about the band’s future and everything.”

            “I completely understand, but it’s really very important. He’s so excited about all of this, but he’s not stopping to think about all of the preparations. When he gets back, we’ll talk about finding a flat. In the mean time, I’ll bring up some tea and toast for you. Please do let me know if you’d like to phone your parents today.” Mrs. Harrison gave me a kiss on the forehead, and left George’s room, quietly closing the door behind her.

            Lying in George’s bed, with the combined scent of his cigarettes and cologne and my perfume on the sheets and pillow, I felt a deep sense of comfort. But then I remembered how, despite having a deeply devoted, sweet, and loving father, our baby would be born into a very uncertain situation. I knew my father would be furious that I got pregnant at such a young age, and my mother would want me to return to Hamburg immediately. I had already extended my trip to Liverpool by quite a bit of time, and while I had managed to convince my parents that I had enough credits to be able to skip the spring semester of school, I couldn’t skip the autumn term and still graduate on time. And by the time the autumn term began, we’d have a baby.

            After scarfing down the delicious breakfast Mrs. Harrison brought for me, I drifted off to sleep, resolving to call my parents and deal with everything when George was there to comfort me.


            “Stella, love, wake up,” George gently shook me awake. It was already dusk; I had clearly slept for quite a while. I rubbed my eyes, and when the world came into focus, I saw John, Paul, and Ringo standing behind George, all looking somewhat concerned.

            “Oh, hello, I didn’t expect you all to come. I’m sorry I look like such a wreck,” I said, trying to sit up. George immediately stopped me.

            “Oh no, you need to rest. It’s ok—they won’t be here long,” he said, sitting on the edge of the bed and lightly kissing my forehead.  

            “Really, George, I’ll be fine. I just slept for four hours,” I said, sitting up. George looked concerned, but when he saw that sitting up didn’t kill me, he relaxed.

“For what it’s worth, Stella, I think you look beautiful!” Paul said, always the charmer. I smiled at him. “Thank you, Paul.”

            “John just wanted to talk to you, and we think it would be best if Paul, Ritchie, and I were here, too,” George said haltingly, looking from John to Paul and back again. He was clearly expressing some previously decided upon consensus among them.

            “Ok,” I said quietly. I had barely seen John since the incident in the Cavern, and it was still very difficult to look at him without thinking about it.

            John took a deep breath, shoved his hands deep into his pockets, and then rubbed the back of his neck with one of hands as he spoke. I had never seen him show his insecurities so explicitly. It didn’t seem like John. “Stella, I—well—I didn’t come to talk to you before now because I don’t remember what happened that night. And I don’t mean because I was drunk. I don’t remember a lot of things. That night is just one of them. But I’m working on it, and slowly things are coming back.”

            I looked at George. “I’m confused.”

            “John’s concussion made him forget a lot of things. Not his name or where he’s from or anything like that, but more like recent events. He didn’t know that anything bad had happened between you two until the meeting with Brian today,” George said, rubbing my back and trying to comfort me.

            I nodded slowly, trying to process everything.

            John took a deep breath and continued. “So I guess what I want to say is that I’m really incredibly sorry. I understand if you think I’m a bastard. I am a bastard.” John stared at the floor silently, as tears began to flow down his cheeks.

            “I don’t think you’re a bastard.” I said, quietly. I didn’t know what else to say.
            I stared at the quilt and rubbed the fabric of George’s shirt that I was wearing between two fingers. I had never felt such awkward tension among a group that was usually so relaxed with one another.

“How are you feeling, Stella?” Paul said, trying to break the awkward silence.

            “Not bad. Some days are better than others, but the doctor says I’m coming along well.” George squeezed my hand, and smiled at me.

            “We felt the baby kick today,” George said, trying to contain his excitement, given the original purpose of the other guys’ visit.

            John finally cracked a small smile. “I remember when that happened with Julian for the first time. Cyn was so happy.”

            “Yeah, we’re pretty happy too, aren’t we, love?” George asked me.

I gave him a small smile, as I was still a bit overwhelmed by the entire
situation. “I love you,” George whispered to me, kissing my ear.   

            “You know, Stella, if you need baby clothes or anything, I think Cyn saved just about everything, so I’m sure you could have anything she doesn’t need anymore,” John said, obviously trying to be helpful.

"Oh--umm--thanks, John. George and I would really appreciate that. Maybe I'll stop by for some tea soon to chat with Cyn and see what she might want to lend us." I looked up at George, who gave me a small, thankful smile.

A long pause followed. Everyone stared at the floor.

"Well, then, we better go then, eh?" Paul said too loudly. "Lemme get you home, John ... Mimi will be worried about you, and I'm sure George's mum wants to get dinner on the table."

Paul lead John out of George's room by the hand, with Ritchie a few paces behind.

"Thank you so much for that, love. You were so strong." George said softly, holding me close and kissing the top of my head.

I broke down in quiet tears.