Chapter V

Neil took a breath before he continued. "Brain was calling from some gas station. He said there was a big car pile-up on the highway, and his car was almost part of it."

"What?" Mal said in disbelief, shaking his head. "Drivers these days..."

"It's that crazy chauffeur he has," John said.

"Is Brian okay?" I asked.

Neil nodded. "He said he was still a little shaken up, but he said he's sorry he can't be here tonight. The traffic was really bad because of the accident. They'll probably just stay at a hotel around there tonight. He's about an hour's drive from here," he told us.

"Will he call tomorrow?" George asked.

"Aye," Neil replied.

"I hope the road's clear tomorrow," Paul said.

"I hope so. You know, we are gonna hafta get up early to make it to Colorado on time," Mal warned us.

"We should go to bed, huh," I said. He nodded. We resumed the game, and decided to go to bed after we finished that round.

* * * * * * *

The next morning, I woke up to the telephone ringing. Stretching, I got up. Glancing at the little clock by my bed, I saw it was 6:45. "Oh, man, it's early," I mumbled. I figured it was Brian who was calling. It sounded like breakfast was being served in John and George's room.

I dug around in my suitcase for some clothes. I decided to wear my new (well, all of my clothes were new, but you know) blue t-shirt with a white design on the front with my flared jeans. The tags were still on my clothes, so I pulled them off.

A knock came on the door adjoining the two rooms. "Come in," I called.

Ringo poked his head in. "Morning, luv! I was sent over here to see if you were up yet."

"Well, I'm up. I'll be over in a minute," I replied.

"Better hurry cos John's eating all of the food," Ringo warned, smiling.

I laughed, and Ringo shut the door. I gathered up the rest of the stuff I needed, and went into the bathroom.

After I was dressed and all that, I went into the next room. A food cart was in the corner of the room by a little table, and the boys were having cornflakes and fruit. I'd read that they usually had ciornflakes for breakfast, and I wondered if that was true.

"Good moring, all," I said to everyone. They returned the greeting as I sat down at the table. John handed me a bowl and spoon.

"Dig in, luv," he said.

"Thanks," I replied, pouring myself some cornflakes, "I like cereal." At home, I usually just had a bowl of cereal in the morning, not being very hungry yet.

Neil smiled. "Get used to it, luv," he told me. The others laughed. 'So they really do have cornflakes for breakfast everyday,' I thought, smiling.

After a while, I noticed Paul and Mal weren't in the room. "Where are Paul and Mal?" I asked.

"Paul's still sleeping," Neil said, "And Mal's loading up the van. You need to get your stuff together, too."

I nodded. "It's all in my suitcase," I replied. "By the way, thanks for getting my stuff yesterday."

Neil nodded. "Welcome," he replied.

I finished up my cereal. Paul then came trudging into the room. "Morning," he mumbled, pouring himself some cold coffee. He was wearing just a shirt and jeans, and his hair was all messed up. I smiled to myself.

George picked up a banana and broke off half. He gave the other half to Paul. "Ta," Paul said to him. I'd heard them all say that at one time or another, and I figured it meant 'thanks'.

Mal came into the room. "Good morning, Lee," he said to me.

I nodded to him. "My suitcase is in my room. It's all ready to go," I told him. He nodded.

"We should be outta here by 7:15," Mal said to everyone. It was 7:05 now.

Neil nodded. "Finish getting ready, lads," he said, then looked at me. "And lady," he added.

I smiled, and Neil got up and left. I figured he was going to go check us out of the hotel or something.

Paul ran his hand through his hair. "Anyone got a comb?" he asked. George produced one, and Paul went to the bathroom to brush his hair.

"Do ya figure we're gonna be on the road most of today?" John asked no one in particular. Ringo responded.

"Probably. It's a card day," he said, holding up his deck of playing cards. We all laughed.

At 7:13, we were all downstairs in the lobby, heading outside. I had a little bag with my plain jeans and fabric in it. I figured I could cut my fabric and jeans, and find some thread and a needle somewhere later to sew the fabric on. It would pass the time better.

At 7:15, we were on the road. I sat in the back again, by the window, by Paul and Ringo. John sat in front of me, and George next to him.

The time passed slowly. We played cards, and made fun of other drivers on the road (well, the guys did. I just laughed along with them). We had lunch at one o'clock, and Neil drove for a while. I borrowed scissors from Mal - he had a pair stashed in the van - and cut out my fabric. Paul helped hold it for me.

We stopped at four to stretch. I saw we were at the edge of Nevada. "Cool," I said, "I've never travelled very much before."

"You may travel," Ringo said, "But you won't be able to do much sight-seeing!" Paul, who was nearby, agreed.

We drove on. It began to grow dark and cloudy outside. "I hope we don't run into any storms," Neil said.

I grew tired of messing with my pants, so I put them away. We all played Crazy Eights and Rummy until the clouds above made it too hard to see. Thunder rumbled in the distance.

We settled aainst the seats, listening to the rain strat to pour down. George asked what time it was.

"Six-thirty," Mal replied. John groaned, complaining he was hungry. Ringo said he was too. I was feeling a little hungry myself. Neil said he didn't know when we could stop for dinner. Mal added that he wanted to drive out of this storm first.

We passed a sign. I squinted at it. "We're in Utah now," I said.

"Yippee," John replied.

I saw Mal had turned the headlights on, and he was slowing down. The rain came down harder and harder. "Oh!" I cried out when a big crash of thunder sounded. The others looked at me.

"Sorry," I explained, "It just startled me. I don't really like thunderstorms."

"I agree," George said. The others nodded, and turned back around.

Ringo suggested we play 20 Questions since it was too dark to play cards. We agreed, and it was fun. When it was John's turn, his person was himself, which was funny. Paul was Cleopatra, and George chose Julie Andrews. Ringo's person was Peter Sellers (I think he was an actor or something), and my person was Mozart.

That game ended around eight. We (finally!) stopped for dinner, making a quick round at a gas station first. Dinner was at the fast food restaraunt next door. Taking our food with us, we ate in the car. The storm was still going on.

Lightning flashed brightly and thunder boomed, making my head spin. I groaned softly, the greasy food in my stomach churning, and closed my eyes. I felt an arm slip around my shoulders. Paul.

Opening my eyes, I looked over at him. He smiled at me, then said, "You look a little sick."

I nodded. "I'll be okay soon," I replied, settling against his side. I closed my eyes again, smiling.

The next time I opened them, the storm was still going on. Blinking to clear my head from sleep, I asked, "What time is it?"

"It's nearly ten," Neil replied from up front. I had dozed for about an hour.

John turned around in the seat in front of me. "Morning, sleepy head," he said, smiling.

I smiled back. "Well, I'm not that tired any more."

Ringo pointed to George and said, "He's out now." I looked across the seat and saw George has fallen asleep himself.

"Eh, Nell," Paul called up to Neil, "Are we going to stop anywhere tonight?'

"Supposed to," Mal replied.

"Aye, we'll get there sometime tonight. Maybe in another hour or so," Neil added.

John grunted and rolled his eyes as he turned back around in his seat, facing forward again.

Paul nudged me. I figured he wanted his arm back - it was still around my shoulders. I moved forward, and his arm slipped away from my shoulders. "Thanks," he said, "It was falling asleep." I smiled.

He and Ringo then started a poking fight. I guess they were just bored. They tried to get me in it, but I just pushed them away. John joined it, though. I just wasn't in the mood. I just stared out the window, watching the lights and houses whiz by.

It was six till eleven when we reached the hotel. It was bigger than the last one.

We were all getting tired then. Dragging ourselves out of the van, we each carried our own suitcase up to our rooms on the fourth floor.

I got a room to myself again - though I figured I probably would all of the time now. My room was a boring white all over, with one queen-size bed and a tiny bathroom. There wasn't a door to connect our rooms together, either.

John and George shared a room again, and so Paul and Ringo were together. We didn't have a whole floor to ourselves, but everyone in the hotel was basically asleep, so it didn't really matter. I figured we couldn't get mobbed in the middle of the night, anyway.

We all gathered in Paul and Ringo's room in our pj's to discuss the game plan for tomorrow. "The way I see it," Mal said, "Is that if we get up and leave by seven, we should be at the hotel in Colorado around four."

"What time is the concert?" George asked.

"Sometime around nine, and I need to find out if you have an interview first," Neil replied.

"We should have plenty of time," Paul said.

"So why do we hafta get up so early, then?" John complained.

We all smiled. "So we'll have plenty of time to get ready and rest and all," Neil told him. "Now get to bed, all of you. And no complaining about getting up in the morning."

We all stood obediently and said goodnight to one another - I even got a hug from John and Ringo!

Slipping under the cool covers of my bed, I thought of what it would be like at the concert. I was really looking forward to seeing one. I wondered if I'd be able to actually hear the Beatles play the music. And do the audience really throw jellybeans at them? With these thoughts in my head, I drifted off to sleep.

* * * * * * *

I awoke to someone bouncing on my bed. Squinting at the bright sunlight that shone in my room, I sat up and laughed. Who else could it be but John? "Time to get up," he sang to me.

Looking at a clock on the wall, I saw the time was - ugh - 6:09. "It's so early," I said, rubbing my eyes.

"Now, no complaining," John warned, shaking his finger and bouncing again.

"Gee, you're spry this morning," I said to him. He shrugged and smiled.

"Nell said we're all going to have breakfast downstairs in the cafeteria," John told me. "We're going down there at half past. You'd better get up."

I nodded. "So we're not having cornflakes this morning? I'm so disappointed," I said, smiling.

John rolled his eyes. He grabbed the other pillow on the bed and threw it at me. "Sharrup," he mumbled, "I'm bloody tired of cornflakes. Come on, this'll probably be the last real meal you'll have in a while."

I smiled. "Okay, I'll get up in a minute."

John got off my bed (after bouncing a couple more times), and went to the door.

"Hey," I said, "How did you get in? Wasn't my door locked?"

"Nell let me in. He has the other keys to all of our rooms, in case we lock ourselves out," John explained.

"Oh," I replied, "Just wondering."

"Aye," John added, "Ringo locked himslef out of his room once. It was bad - they had lost the extra key, and the whole thing was a big mess. So, Nell carries the extra ones around all of the time just in case, y'know. We can't pick locks that well, anyway."

I laughed. "Poor Ringo," I said.

"Poor you if ya don't get up soon!" John replied to me. He began to shut the door.

"Well, how can I get up and ready with you in here talking to me?" I mumbled to myself.

John opened the door again. "What was that, luv?" he asked, smiling.

"Oh, nothing," I replied, smiling back.

"I see," he said, "Now get up, Lee-vi." He shut the door.

Stretching, I got out of bed. I decided to take a quick shower - who knows when I'd be able to take another one! I couldn't (and can't) blow-dry my hair, because when I do that it gets really frizzy and yucky - and it's fuzzy enough as it is. I just towel-dried it as well as I could.

I finished packing everything back in my suitcase at 6:29. Paul and George came over to my room later to see if I was ready yet. Mal took my suitcase downstairs, and then we all had a nice breakfast in the cafeteria. I had eggs and biscuts and gravy - it was really good.

At seven o'clock, we were all ready to go. Piling into the van, we were on our way. I sat in the back (I like the back) on the right this time, next to Ringo. George, Paul, and John sat in the bench seat in front of us.

The day in the van started off with a round of 500 Rummy. Ringo won, but John was convinced that Ringo had stacked the deck (which we all had a laugh about), so we played another round. George won that one.

The cards were put away after a while, and we talked and joked.

It was around one o'clock when we had lunch, only a little behind schedule. Mal and Neil talked to a gas station attendant as we got gas later on.

"We may run into road construction later on," Mal told us all. we groaned.

"I hope it won't be too bad," Paul said. Mal started the van, and we were off.

"He said the traffic was backed up for a couple of miles," Neil told us.

"I can't believe it," I said.

"Glad we left early," George added.

"Yeah, really. We wouldn't want to miss the concert," John said sarcastically.

"Actually," I told them, "I'm kinda curious about how your concerts will sound. I've heard stories about them, but I'm a little excited and all."

The boys laughed a little. "Well, they're definitely an experience," Ringo said to me.

"Girls screaming," Paul said.

"Jellybabies flying through the air," John added. I smiled.

"Seems a little funny to me," I said.

"Not when they're throwing them at you!" John replied. We laughed.

"Well, anyway. You'll get to see a concert sometime," George told me. I nodded.

We ran into traffic problems a few minutes later. There was a detour we could take, but everyone seemed to be taking it, and Mal figured it may be quicker to stay on the construction road.

The minutes ticked by. Paul turned on a little radio we listened to the day before. John and Ringo made fun of the commercials that were on, so that livened things up a bit.

"Maybe we should've taken the detour," George said.

Mal just shrugged. "We're almost through."

"How long has it been?" Paul asked.

Neil glanced at his watch. "Almost half an hour," he replied.

I heard John mutter something under his breath. Ringo sat back, and said, "Well, let's do something, then."

"Like what?" John asked.

Ringo shrugged. He looked out the window. There was a car beside us. It was little red car, with about five female teenagers crammed in the backseat. Ringo turned his head to the boys and gave them a look.

George and John craned their neck to see out the window. "Ha - ha!" John said. Paul smiled.

"What are you guys going to do to those girls?" I asked, slightly amused.

Not answering, John and Ringo began to wave frantically at the car, trying to get the girls' attention. George and Paul tapped on the glass. I just sat back and watched.

I saw a girl look up. A look of disbelief crossed her face. Then I saw her scream.

The boys cracked up. The girl pointed frantically at our van, and the other girls saw the Beatles. They all started screaming and waving.

"Hello, girlies!" Ringo called. John made a face at them. paul pressed his face against the glass, smashing his nose on it - boy, I wish I could've seen what it looked like on the other side! George waved and laughed.

I laughed too. I saw the driver of the car (probably a mother of one of the girls) turn around and try to calm the girls down. Poor lady!

"Fellas, leave the poor birds alone," Neil said. The Beatles just laughed.

"Sorry, guys. Say bye-bye to your birdies," Mal said. We were past the construction in the road now.

"Ta ta, birdies!" the guys called. Immediately, the song "And Your Bird Can Sing" popped in my head. I laughed.

"Well, that was fun," I said, laughing, "Those poor girls!"

The others laughed. "One of 'em looked like she was gonna pee her pants!" John said, making a 'I-gotta-go-pee' face.

"I was surprised they didn't jump out of the car!" Ringo added.

"The driver probably had the doors locked," George replied.

"Poor mother," Paul said. We continued to talk about that incident as we drove on, laughing and joking.

It was around five when we ran into other problems. We stopped for a quick dinner at a fast food restaraunt. The Beatles begged Neil and Mal to let us eat in the restaraunt. I was a little sick of that van, too (already!).

They agreed, but we practically had to shove the food down our throats because we were behind schedule already.

We were concentrating so much on eating our food that they were almost upon us when I noticed them. "They" being three hyper, frantic girls with a pair of scissors going for Paul's hair! Paul was sitting across from me, and I looked up just as they were about to pounce.

The first thing that came out of my mouth was, "Run, Paul!" I stood.

The others saw the girls, and John (who was sitting next to Paul) pushed Paul out of his seat. The girls, startled, looked at John, then down at Paul.

"What the hell do you think you're-" Paul began to yell at John, but then one of the girls screamed. Paul's eyes widened, and he jumped up and ran towards the checkout counter where you get your food. George, Mal, and Ringo jumped at the girls, trying to keep them from chasing after Paul. Neil tried to calm down the girls, who were frantic because they were with the Beatles.

John grabbed my arm. "Come 'ed, Lee!" he cried, and he pulled me to the counter. We climbed over it.

"Why are we following Paul?" I asked him.

John shrugged. "To see what kind of trouble he gets into over here. Besides, who wants to stay with crazy teens?"

I nodded. We snuck past a couple tall piles of empty boxes, and I peeked my head around the corner. I hadn't (surprisingly enough) seen any staff members back here - which was a little odd to me.

"Voices!" John said, motioning to the left. There was a door there.

We pressed our ears against the door. Definitely voices, and one was definitely Paul's.

John reached for the doorknob when a stern voice yelled, "You can't open that door, boy!"

We turned. A big, husky man in a suit was lumbering towards us.

John, defiant as always, put his hands on his hips and retorted, "Why not?"

The man stopped, just inches in front of us. "Because only employees are allowed in there," he told John.

"Really?" John replied, "And I guess you don't know who I am, then?" I wondered if John told the man he was a Beatle, then would he let us get Paul?

"Ha!" the man scoffed, "I have never seen you before in my life."

John leaned forward, his face inches from the man's face. "I'm the bloody Prince of England, mister," he said, standing up tall and royal-like. I tried to hide my smile. "And as the Prince, I command you to let me in there. One of my servants had escaped to there, and I would like him to be returned to me." John finished his speech, and the man started laughing.

"You only wish, foolish boy," the man said, glaring at John. "Now get out before I call the police."

John batted his eyelashes at the man. "You wouldn't call the bobbies on the Prince, now would you?" I couldn't hide my smile anymore.

The man just laughed. John took this chance to throw open the door and holler, "Loyal servant, thou hast disobeyed me! Come hither at once!"

I just cracked up. Paul was in there, eating fries and talking with all of the mostly-female employees. He looked up when John came bursting in. When he heard what he said, he laughed and stood up. Playing along, he bowed to the others in the room. "Farewell, my friends. I fear I shall be leaving you now," he said. The other people laughed and said goodbye. Paul bowed to John, and followed him out of the room.

We all laughed as I shut the door. "So what was that about, Johnny Boy?" Paul asked. John and I looked at each other and laughed.

"Where did our kind and curteous man go off to, I wonder?" John said. Both of us laughed, and John explained what had happened.

"Well, I figured I could just hide out in the employee room till the chaos stopped out there," Paul told us.

"Speaking of 'out there', do you suppose Neil and Mal are wondering where we are? Shouldn't we be leaving?" I said.

"Probably," John replied. We headed back to the counter area, then climbed over it.

The girls were gone, and the others were finishing up their meals. "There you are," Neil said. "Come 'ed, you lot, let's get a move on it."

Gathering up our trash, we threw it away and headed outside to the van. John, Paul, and I began to tell the others the 'adventure' we had, laughing the whole time.

Chapter VI

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