"M. B. E. Boys, please open the door," a proper Englishman's voice called out. I knew it had to be Brian Epstein.
As Neil got up to open the door, I turned to John and asked, "What's with this 'who are you' business?" I was wondering why he said that every time there was a knock on the door.
"Oh, that." John replied. "Well, we just don't want anyone to come up here and try to get in the room, do we? So we worked up a secret code that changes every once in a while - in case someone figures it out, y'know. For this one, everyone says a fake name to say that's kinda like their real name to get into the room, so we know who it is. And if we want them to come in, we let 'em in. If not, well..."
"We hope they go away soon." George finished. We laughed.
"Aye," Ringo added. "Me name's Ritchie Snare." I smiled. Actually, I had read in one of my Beatles books (I had quite a few) about fake names the Beatles liked to use.
I turned to Paul. "Is yours Paul Ramon?" I asked. He looked a little surprised, and nodded.
"What's mine, then?" George asked. I thought.
"P. Roducer?" I asked him. He shook his head. "George Harrisong?" was another name I asked. "Is it Harry Georgeson?"
"Aw, ya guessed it!" he said, laughing.
I then turned to John. "I know what yours is!" I exclaimed. "Doctor Winston O'Boogie!"
John's jaw dropped. "Damn, you're good!" he cried, "Tell me, future girl. Did you read a book that has every single secret name we used in it?"
I shrugged, smiling. "Not every single one." I replied. I then turned to look at Mr. Brian Epstein. He had on an expensive-looking suit, and his hair was slicked back and combed perfectly. He had been talking to Neil.
"Hi, Brian," the boys said.
"Hello, lads," Brian replied. "And who is this charming young lady?" he asked.
Neil stepped in. "This is Leeanne Baker." I stood. "Lee, this is Mr. Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager." I shook hands with him and smiled.
"She knows who he is, Nell. She's future girl," John commented. Neil gave him a look to tell him to be quiet.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Epstein," I said to him politely. Brian then looked at Neil for an explanation on my being here.
Neil explained the situation. "You see, Brian, Lee stumbled into this room by mistake. And once the boys and I started talking to her, we saw she was really nice." Neil then glanced my way, and I knew that was my cue to leave and let them talk in private. I headed back over to where the Beatles were sitting and sat on the floor and chatted with them.
Neil continued to persuade Brian to let me come on the tour with the Beatles. I kept listening to bits and pieces of their conversation as they talked and I talked - a talent of mine. I could only hear Neil talk; Brian talked to softly. I heard Neil say, "The boys have really become attached to her.....she'd like to see what touring is like.....if she acted like that I would've thrown her out already.....yes, I believe so.....I agree.....yes....." I tuned out. They talked a little while longer.
Brian sighed and rubbed his eyes. I heard him say, "She seems to be alright. I guess it'll be fine if she stays in a low profile, you know." Pause. "Do her parent know of this? Have they consented?" Yipes. No, my parents don't know anything about this. I laughed quietly to myself. In fact they think I'm in New York...in 1985...
I didn't hear Neil's reply. I began to grow worried that I might not be able to go. But then after a while I heard Brian say, "Oh, okay. You've persuaded me. But if any funny business appears to be going on or about to happen, out she goes." I looked up, and Neil smiled.
"Yes, sir, Mr. Epstein," he replied. He turned to us and said, "Congratulations, Lee. You've just won a free ticket to go on tour with the Beatles!"
The Beatles cheered, and an electric surg went up my back. I smiled broadly. I had never been that happy in my life! On tour with the Beatles. Wow! "Thank you very much, Mr. Epstein," I said to him happily.
"From now on, Lee, you can call me Brian," he told me. I nodded. This was so neat! My wish was coming true!
Brian left after a while, and Neil took dinner orders. "How does hamburgers sound?" he asked. We all agreed.
"And bring us some chips, too," Ringo added. The others nodded. Chips? I think that's what french fries were called in England.
"Okay. I'll be back soon. You lot just sit tight." Neil left.
'These are the days when Paul still ate meat,' I thought. 'I wonder if he's thought about going veggie yet?'
"Now what shall we do while we're waiting?" Paul asked. We all were just kinda sitting around.
"Wanna watch some telly?" John asked. Everyone shook their heads.
"Naw, John, you always wanna do that," Ringo said. Especially during the latter parts of his life.
George looked at me. "Do ya know how to play poker?" he asked. I shook my head.
"Actually, no. I've always wanted to learn how to, but no one has ever taught me yet." I replied.
"No better time than the present," John said, scooting down off the couch and onto the floor. "Or the past." We laughed, and gathered in a circle on the floor. Ringo produced cards, shuffled, and delt. For some reason, this reminded me of the train scene in 'A Hard Day's Night' when the Beatles were playing cards and they suddenly started singing "I Should Have Known Better". I smiled to myself.
The Beatles explained everything about the game to me. Just think: when I return to 1985, I'll be able to play poker now. My friends will ask me how I learned. I'd have to say "The Beatles taught me, and that's the truth!" That'll be funny!
After a few minutes, we were all playing - I'm a fast learner - and having fun. We used the jellybeans that were in a big jar in the kitchen-part of the hotel room as the money. Everyonce in a while, one of the four would pop one into their mouths. Personally, I thought this was pretty gross after the candies had been on the floor, but it didn't seem to bother them.
We chatted and joked about many things as we played. One thing John brought up was that if I was going to stay with them, I needed a "code name" to get into their room. We each tried to come up with a name for me - half of them were plain ridiculous, like Paul's idea of "Annie of the field", Ringo's "Piano-Lee", and John's "F.G.L." (That stood for Future Girl Lee). I finally took George's suggestion on "Levi Jeans" - get it? Lee-vi? It cracked me up.
After a while, Neil returned with the food. Chips were french fries, as I'd thought. The cards were put up, and John stuck the rest of the jellybeans back into the jar. Yuck. I reminded myself not to eat any. Ringo informed Neil on my "code name". He laughed when he heard it.
The meal was then passed out, and the t.v. went on as we all munched. There I was, sitting with the Beatles and eating dinner by their sides. I smiled to myself.
The 8 o'clock news was on. The newscaster - his name was Larry Smith (I always want to know their names for some reason) - was talking about a post office strike. "Good," Ringo said, "Maybe they won't deliver our mail." We laughed. I knew they got lots of mail, Ringo especially. I listened to Larry talk for a while, then got bored. I tuned out and tuned into the Beatles' witty remarks about the news people and reports that came on after Larry.
"Eh, look at that posh bird," Ringo said, pointing with a french fry - excuse me, chip - at the woman talking to Larry on the screen.
"Aye, wonder where she's from," Paul replied. "India?"
"Did you see the evil way she looked at him?" John remarked, laughing. "Must be a witch doctor in diguise."
"Looked like this." Ringo replied, making an 'evil' face and making his fingers look like claws. He slashed wildly at the air. This made us all laugh.
"That's exactly what she did, Ringo!" George cried, laughing.
"They seem to be bitter, power-seeking rivals," Paul added. He imitated an announcer's voice. "And stay tuned after the show to see what really happens behind the screen." I smiled.
"Hell, it's gotta be better than this crap," John replied. He reached over and turned the t.v. off.
"Hey, Lennon, I was watching that crap!" Ringo cried jokingly. "It happens to be very educa-" he started to say, but didn't finish because John had thrown a pillow at his head. He laughed.
"Sure Ring. Since when have you been interested in stuff that was - hey!" John cried as Ringo threw the pillow back at him. Ringo laughed again.
"Alright, buddy, you asked for it!" sneered John as he grabbed the couch pillow. "Let's get 'im, gang!"
Paul and George jumped up and pushed their dinner trash aside. I watched, laughing, as everone jumped on Ringo, who was on the couch, and hit him with pillows.
"Eh, no fair!" Ringo cried, grabbing George's pillow away from him and hitting John on the arm. "Three against one! Argh!" A pillow had hit him on top of his head.
I gave Neil a look and stood, my dinner trash in hand. "Do they always act like this?" I questioned him.
Neil nodded seriously. "Aye, luv, just one of those things ya gotta get used to." We laughed, and I helped him gather up the boys' trash and he took it into the kitchen.
Suddenly, someone hit me on the back with a pillow. "Lee, do ya think ya really aren't gonna get in this?" asked Paul, smiling. I started to protest. How wierd, me getting into a fight with the Beatles. I mean, I still could bairly believe that I was actually here with the Beatles, and in their hotel room and all.
"Come 'ed, Lee!" John cried, grabbing my arm and pulling me into the zone of hurtling pillows. Pretty soon. I was throwing pillows and laughing with everyone else. I noticed Neil never did come out of the kitchen; I figured he must be keeping out of it. 'Smart guy,' I thought as a pillow came flying towards me. I ducked.
Eventually, we all were too tired and worn out to keep fighting anymore. The pillows stopped flying, and everyone collapsed on the couch and in the chairs: Ringo, Paul, and me on the couch, and John and George in the chairs.
"That was exhausting," I commented, smoothing down my long black hair. I tucked little wisps of it back into my braid. "What shall we do now?"
"Go to bed," Neil said, coming back into the living room area. I looked at a clock on the wall. It was 9:32. I was a little tired.
The Beatles groaned, but got up anyway. Each one grabbed their suitcase as we trudged down the short hallway. There were two bedrooms, with two king-size beds in each. 'Wonder where I'm gonna sleep?' I thought.
"Okay," Neil said, stopping in front of one of the doorways. "Three in each room. I claim this one."
"I'll sleep on the couch if you'd like," I suggested, to give the Beatles some privacy.
Neil dismissed this. "Naw, s'okay. Hurry up, you lot. I'm tired." He walked into his room and set down his suitcase.
It was eventually decided that Ringo, John, and Neil would sleep in that room, and Paul, George, and I would get the other.
"G'night, luv," Ringo said to me as he went into his room.
"See ya, Ringo," I replied.
John put a hand out and squeezed my shoulder. "Have a good sleep, future girl," he said.
I smiled. "Good night, John," I told him, then turned and walked into my room and shut the door.
George was laying on one of the beds already, so I took the other one by the window (that was the one I wanted anyway). Paul was in the bathroom already, washing up and changing. That's when I realized I had no clothes. No toothbrush. No - gasp - hairbrush! My hair was gonna be a mess tomorrow. Great.
George looked over at me sitting on my bed, looking slightly dejected. "No pj's?" he asked, reaching into his case. "Here, luv." He tossed me his. They were light blue.
I caught them. "Thanks, but what're you gonna wear, George?" I asked.
He shrugged. "I'll find something."
Paul came out of the bathroom. "It's free," he said. "What's this?" He sat down on the other side of George. Paul was wearing green and white striped pajamas. I smiled to myself.
"I don't have any pj's anymore," George said, "I gave me pair ta Lee."
Paul got in his case. "Here," he said to me, tossing me a pair of pajamas. These were white with blue polka dots. I gave George's back to him.
"Uh, thanks a lot, Paul," I said, laughing. "These are really, uh, cute."
"Paulie, do ya always carry 'round an extra pair?" George asked him.
Paul smiled and winked at me. "Just in case a girl from the future appears and needs a pair," he replied. I smiled, then stood and headed to the bathroom to change.
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