Paul walked me back to the hostel, but there was an awkward silence between us now. I knew Paul was thinking I had freaked out on him for no reason, and probably thought I was crazy. And I was just too horrified to speak. How could I have prevented my favourite band of all time from ever getting together?!
I couldn’t sleep that night. I lay awake for hours, tossing and turning, thinking about what I had done. What sort of world would I be going back to at the end of the week, if the Beatles had never existed? How dull and lifeless would everything be? I didn’t want to think about it. I wanted to jump out of 침대 and run to Paul – wherever he was now – and tell him everything, tell him he had to find John and become his friend, but how could I? Even if it wouldn’t mess things up even worse to let Paul know I was from the future, how could I expect Paul and John to ever have a genuine friendship if they always felt like they had to be friends, instead of wanting to be?
Besides, who knew if Paul would listen to anything I said anymore? I had been 연기 strangely to him since finding out my mistake, I knew, and who knew what he thought of me now? He might not even like me anymore, I thought sadly. Everything was so messed up. How was I ever going to get through another five days – 또는 was it four days? – of this?
The answer came to me sometime before dawn. I had to spend the 다음 five days – it was five, I was almost sure of it – fixing my mistake. There was no way I could go back to my own time and find a world where the Beatles had never existed. If Paul met John sometime in the 다음 five days, hopefully it wouldn’t mess up the timeline too much. They’d still get to talking about 음악 and 기타 and stuff and John would ask Paul to 가입하기 his band and everything would go on exactly like it had before. Right?
But there was something else I had to do first. As bad as I was with dates, no Beatles 팬 could ever forget what today – July 7 – was. As long as I was in the past, and as long as I had a few days to get the Beatles’ timeline back on track, there was no reason I couldn’t go over to Ringo’s neighbourhood and wish him a happy birthday. I mean, I couldn’t mess anything up 의해 doing that, could I?
Besides, the bus ride over – no way was I walking that distance – would give me time to think of a plan.
So 의해 the time morning came, I was feeling a lot better, and almost thinking that I could work this out after all. I took my breakfast from the hostel’s leftovers – this time I had a couple pieces of 베이컨 as well, now that I knew I liked meat, and it was as good as the burgers – and as I left the place, I saw something glittery on the ground. Nineteen fifties money, I realized as I bent down to look at it 더 많이 closely – I think this type was called “coins”? I hesitated. Should I take it? Maybe someone else was supposed to find it and I would mess up their timeline too – but then again, I would need some sort of nineteen fifties money to ride the bus, unless I snuck on without paying 또는 somehow found Paul again and asked him to take me. Would that be rude? Would Paul even take me anywhere if I asked? He might still think I was crazy – and who could blame him? I didn’t think it would mess up anyone’s timeline too badly if I took some money that no one was using off the ground and paid for one little bus ride out to The Dingle and back – and besides, was I really likely to mess up time any worse than I already had?
I took the strange pieces of metal and was soon riding a bus to the Dingle. It was crowded, and I think I annoyed the driver 의해 taking too long trying to figure out how much each metal piece of money was worth, but I must not have made too bad an impression, because as soon as I started to look for a seat, a man got up and offered me his. I didn’t know why he thought I needed a 좌석 worse than he did. Maybe he could tell I was tired. All the walking I had done yesterday was beginning to catch up to me.
As I rode, I tried to think of a good plan. My first idea was to find John, and bring him to Paul and introduce them, but that might be too direct. From what I knew of John, he might not want to be 프렌즈 with Paul if he thought he was “supposed” to be 프렌즈 with him. Maybe I could find John and talk to him, and once I found out where he was going to be, I could convince Paul to bring me to the same place? If Paul would still take me, that is. I didn’t think I could get out of this without talking to him again, and I realized I was a little embarrassed to face him after 연기 so strangely last night. I sighed. I didn’t want Paul to think I was crazy. I wanted him to like me at least a little bit 의해 the time I left here, even if we could never see each other again. I would have liked to send him a text apologizing, except that I didn’t have my phone and he didn’t have a phone at all. Communication was so hard in this era. And without the technology I was used to, I realized, finding John and Paul again wasn’t going to be easy either. How did people used to find each other in the nineteen fifties? Why couldn’t I just check John’s social media 업데이트 to see where he was and then send Paul a text asking him to meet me there...?
The bus announced my stop, and I got off, wondering if I was going to spend the rest of my time here looking for Beatles. How would I find Ringo around here? I hadn’t thought of that.
But perhaps the same kind of luck that helped me when I first got here was with me again, because after I had been wandering the streets about an hour, I saw a teenage boy around my age – just a 년 older, I knew – with short but silky brown hair and a big nose and eyes that looked like teardrops. He was smaller than the other teenage boys I’d seen in this era, even though in my time he would have been 더 많이 또는 less average. I sighed. Paul was my favourite Beatle, of course, but there was something heavenly about Ringo.
I didn’t know how nineteen fifties people usually greeted each other when they met for the first time. I hadn’t really talked to anyone except Paul, and we had met when he pulled me away from a car, which probably wasn’t ordinary. I didn’t know what to do, so I sort of started in his direction, hoping he would see me.
He did. He saw me and started to come over, looking like he was going to say something, so I said, “Um – hi.”
Ringo frowned. “What are 당신 doing round here on your own?”
“I –” I don’t know what made me do it, but suddenly I felt I just had to tell someone what I was going through. “I’m looking for someone. I really want him to meet my – er – my boyfriend – ” I blushed hard, hoping Paul wouldn’t mind my calling him that – “but I made a mistake and I don’t know where to find either of them 또는 what they’ll say and I think my boyfriend’s mad at me....”
I don’t think Ringo actually understood a word of this, but somehow saying all this out loud, even if I couldn’t give him all the details, helped somehow. “You don’t want to look for your boyfriend on your own round here,” was what Ringo said. “There’s gangs and all. Where does he live?” He sort of fell into step beside me here, ready, I think, to walk with me to Paul’s house.
“I – I don’t know,” I confessed sadly. “I’m new here,” I added, knowing I was making less and less sense all the time.
“Can't 당신 call him and ask?”
“I don't think so.”
“Don't 당신 have his number?”
“His what – I mean, no.”
Ringo looked confused. “But – 당신 must know something about him. Where did 당신 meet him?”
“We sort of – bumped into each other,” I admitted. “Not here. It was in another area. I just thought – coming here might help....”
“Help 당신 find this fellow 당신 want your boyfriend to meet?” Ringo asked, and I was pleased it seemed he had understood some small part of my rambling. “Does he live here?”
“Uh – no,” I confessed, and I giggled a bit, knowing I sounded silly. “I just thought – I don't know how to find him, and I thought maybe....”
“You haven't got his number either?”
Ringo grinned that wide grin I knew so well from all the pics I'd seen. “Maybe 당신 should take out an ad for him in the paper.”
I looked up, startled. “You can do that?” I had no idea how newspapers worked in the days before the Internet when 당신 could just post stories the 분 they happened....
Ringo shrugged. I got the impression, somehow, that he hadn’t been expecting me to take him seriously, but he said, “Why not?”
“Thanks, Ri – I mean, thanks, I will.” Uh-oh. I had better be careful. Letting on that I knew Ringo’s name would be difficult enough to explain, but if I started calling him 의해 a nickname he didn’t even have yet....
Luckily, if Ringo noticed my little slip, he didn’t say anything about it. “All right. Good luck at the newspapers. How did 당신 come here?”
I told him 의해 the bus, and he insisted on walking me to the bus stop. I wasn’t used to this at all, but I could tell 의해 his manner that in this era, this was the right thing to do. We began to walk, and as we walked I told him my name.
“I’m Ritchie Starkey,” he told me.
I wanted to say, “No you’re not, you’re Ringo!” but restrained myself.
Ringo not only walked me to the bus stop, but he also waited with me until the bus came, asked me if I had enough money to pay for it, and gave me my bus fare when I realized I didn’t have enough left from the money I’d found for my return trip. I really had a lot to learn about this time. I was also beginning to notice a big difference between the men in the nineteen fifties, and the men in 2157. I rather liked the nineteen fifties men... of course I did, two of the ones I'd met were future Beatles – 또는 they would be if I could get my mistake fixed, I reminded myself.
The bus came, and Ringo helped me on. As he turned to walk away, I couldn't resist. I turned around on the bus steps and called after him, “Happy birthday, Rin – Ritchie!”
Ringo turned around, surprised. “How did 당신 know it was me –”
But I had already disappeared inside the bus.