It was extremely hard to get John out of the house without being noticed by mom or Kyle. Lucy decided to amuse them with a piano concerto. Not my idea, but it worked. While Kyle, mom, and Lucy were in the living room, John and I snuck out the back door, suitcases in hand. When John was safely inside my brightly painted VW van, I ran back in the house. Lucy was just finishing up her piece, and I breathed a sigh of relief. "Mom, Cyn and I are going down to New York for a week or so. Her grandma is really sick and we have to be there to comfort her," I lied.
"If Cynthia's grandma is sick, why do you need to go?" mom asked, as if she could see right through my lie, which she probably could.
"Cyn's parents have to work, and they don't want her to drive down all alone." Mom gave me a look of disbelief. I continued, "Plus I get to meet Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono!"
Mom raised her eyebrow. "Oh really?" she asked.
"Yeah, remember how we met Yoko a couple years ago?" Mom nodded. "Well she wants us to meet Sean," I lied once again. I could feel my nose growing longer by the second.
Mom sighed deeply and said, "I don't know what you're up to, but be home by next Saturday."
"Thanks! Bye!" I said as I went out the door.
* * *
"Whew! That was close! But we've got a week for you to catch up with life," I said as I pulled the van out of the driveway. "Now we have to pick up Cyn who has been waiting for a few hours for me."
John laughed, and my spine tingled. John's laugh brought back so many memories. I remembered when Cyn and I rented "A Hard Day's Night" and watching it nearly 10 times a day. Then there was the time when Cyn, Lucy, and I formed a "band". Cyn played guitar, Lucy played keyboards, and I sang. We searched desperately for a drummer, and never got one.
When we arrived at Rock 'n' Roll Music Supply, I saw Cyn's red convertible in the parking lot, "Good, Cyn's still here!" I exclaimed as I jumped out of the van. "You stay here, I'll be right back." John whimpered a bit, and I smiled and ran into the store.
Cyn gave me an annoyed look as I approached her. "Where have you been?" she asked.
"No time to explain," I said quickly, pulling her from her chair. "We have to go to NYC."
"What? I can't just leave!"
"Well, come to the car with me and everything will be clear." Cyn groaned and followed me outside. I opened the door on John's side, and Cyn screamed.
"What the hell did you do Audrey Lynn O'Brian?!"
"Get in your car and call my cell, I'll tell you all about it on the way to your house." Cyn nodded and ran over to her car.
As I pulled out of the parking lot, my phone rang. I told Cyn the whole story and she was completely amazed.
Cyn drove to her house as fast as she could. When we arrived, I helped her pack for the week's venture. John sat in Cyn's room looking around and feeling conceited. This was not his fault though, the wall sized shrine Cyn and I made over the summer must have been part of it.
The shrine was mostly a mural we painted of John in certain stages of his life, ending with a dark looking painting of Cyn and me with Yoko at the Mosaic. In front of the mural, Cyn's instruments were placed; all 13 of them. Throughout her music years, Cyn has acquired authentic replicas of the Beatles' instruments from 1964 as well as a white baby grand piano, and eight other guitars. I must admit, there is an upside to having parents who work a lot. High incomes. And high incomes for an only child's parents equals lots of presents for the child.
Cyn laughed when she noticed me staring at the shrine. She looked at John and asked, "Would you autograph our mural?"
John looked up, delighted. He stood, walked over to us and said, "I was wondering when you would ask me!"
Cyn handed him a permanent marker and underneath the word 'Imagine' painted on the Mosaic, John wrote "Lennon Lives! Love, John Lennon". When John backed away to admire his work, I asked, "Would you sign something for me too?"
"Certainly! Anything for you, luv," John replied.
I looked for something that would be appropriate for him to autograph. Since Cyn was finished packing, we went outside to my van. I opened up the back end, revealing my home away from home.
When I bought the van the year before, I had laid mattresses on the floor, beads in the windows, posters on the walls, and even a table with a stereo, a collection of CDs, and a lava lamp. I got into the van and pointed to a poster of a peace sign. "Would you sign this?" I asked.
John got into the van, followed by Cyn. He took the marker and gracefully wrote "When you wish upon a star. . . Audrey, you are an amazing person. Love Always, John Lennon xoxo". When I read what he wrote, I wanted to cry. How beautiful! John was still such a charmer. I came up behind him and hugged him. "Aww, thank you!" I exclaimed. Cyn, reading what John had written, smiled and winked at me. "Well we better be off now, right?" I said, getting into the driver's seat. John joined me in the front, and Cyn remained in the back, looking through my CDs. She put a CD into the player that I didnt catch a glimpse of. Suddenly, my own voice came blaring through the speakers. I was shocked. "Cyn! Turn that off!" I complained.
"No!" Cyn cried. "I haven't heard this in such a long time."
"What is it?" John asked, confused.
"It's Audrey and I," Cyn said excitedly. "We recorded it last summer."
"Wow, you sound fab!" John replied in awe. "You have a beautiful voice, Audrey."
I blushed. John Lennon said I had a beautiful voice! "Thank you," I said adoringly. Thank you, Cyn, I thought with even more adoration.
* * *
The rest of the drive to New York was long and tiring. John told us about the days of Beatlemania, but eventually John and Cyn both fell asleep. I was fighting sleep, and stopped to buy coffee several times. Living in upstate New York sometimes had its advantages, but being seven hours away from the city was not one of them. I kept myself awake with the thought that John Lennon was sitting next to me in my van, and we were on our way to meet Yoko.