"He´s so weird now. The other day I asked him for a pencil and he came back with this mouthful of abuse"
Me and John stared at Pete as if we were watching the words dance out of his mouth. Paul had been acting strange lately but we never thought it would come to this. It was like he was a completely different person. Whenever you tried to speak to him he´d come back to you with a mouthful, half of it not even making sense. Either that or he bit your head off for no reason whatsoever. He´d stopped eating so he was literally a walking skeleton and at night he refused to sleep. If you were up in the early hours of the morning you would hear him wandering around the hallway, singing a ghostly chorus under his breath to keep himself awake. He was giving everyone the cold shoulder. Even John, who´d over the past few weeks tried to find out what was bothering him. But no one could get through to Paul. He was in another world, all on his own.
"Well someone has to do something" said Pete, "He´s lost it, I´m telling you"
"I think there´s more to it then that" I said, "Somethin´must be bothering him. Or someone"
I couldn´t help flickering my eyes towards Stu who was sitting smugly on the couch on the other side of the room. I knew what it was. I knew Stuart was the cause of Paul's odd behaviour. Whenever Paul was around him he became unsettled, almost frightened of his presence. But I didn´t dare say anything. I knew better than to.
"Should we tell Brian?" I suggested
"Nah. He´ll just make im´see a doctor or something" said John
"I dunno. Maybe he does need to see one. He´s losing his wits. Even you can see that John" said Pete
"Maybe if we talk to him, he´ll tell us what´s up" I said
Pete rolled his eyes
"Yeah, like the last time. Come on guys, get real. Brian needs to know"
"We can´t tell anyone. They´ll think he´s gone nuts"
"I think he´s gone nuts"
I decided to intervene before an argument broke out.
"Look guys, this isn´t helping. We just need to tell Paul-"
"Tell me what?"
We stopped short when we saw Paul at the doorway. He really looked awful. Messy hair, panda eyes, wearing the same clothes he wore yesterday. John knew I was right was right. We needed to do something fast. Paul watched us with his tired eyes.
"Brian wants you all in the lobby at six" he said hoarsely
We all glanced at each other. John smiled at Paul
"You didn´t need to trouble yourself by coming to find us" he said softly
"If it I knew it was going to be any trouble, I wouldn´t have bothered" he snapped harshly and he swept away, his light footsteps pouding up the staircase. I started chewing my lip.
"Now do you see what I mean?" said Pete after he was sure Paul was gone.
"You're right" said John slowly, "We need to do something"
"Question is, who´s going to do it?"
John paused, then stood up from his seat.
"Paul trusts me" he said though he seemed doubtful, "He´ll talk to me"
He walked towards the door and paused before opening it.
"And George?" he said without turning around
I eyed him nervously.
John looked over his shoulder at him
"If I don´t make it, tell my aunt I love her"
And that was it. As soon as John returned in a state of tears I knew it was up to me. I was Paul's best friend, his brother. I had a right to know what was going on. I knew Stu had something to do with it, but I needed to know why.
Little did I know what I was getting myself into.
The first thing I heard as I walked down the hallway towards the bedroom was Stu's voice. The door was ajar but only just and the closer I got, the lighter my footsteps became. When I reached the door, I peered through the gap, blinking at the two figures inside the bedroom.
Paul was squatted on the bed, looking at the floor, while Stu was pacing in front on him, his voice getting more frantic.
"You swear to me, you didn't tell him a thing"
What? What was he talking about?
"Cos if you have-"
"I didn't tell him anything, god dammit!" Paul snapped, his head jerking up, angry tears steeping down his face
"Don't start getting bitchy with me Macca. It's not my fault you decided to turn into some self-harming maniac!"
Self harm? What the hell was he on about?
"Not your fault? ALL of this is your fault! Just cos you were jealous of me an John!"
Oh my God, tell me he didn't...
"Maybe I wouldn't have been jealous if you hadn't have been such a stuck up little git all the time"
"You raped me!"
"And I'll bloody well do it again if you don't shut the fuck up!"
He pushed Paul down on the bed till he had him in a straddle position, pinning his arms to the bed so there was no chance of escaping.
Paul watched him with wide eyes
"You wouldn't dare?"
I suddenly let out a gasp, loud enough for Paul to hear. His eyes diverted towards me. When our eyes met, I could sense Paul telling me to get out while I still could. Stu must have seen Paul's eyes were no longer on him and he followed his gaze. Then he saw me. I felt my blood freeze and suddenly I found my legs and I ran, my footsteps echoing down the hallway.
I heard Paul yelling something
"Stuart, if you dare touch him!"
And the sound of footsteps running behind me.
Oh God, help.
I ran straight to my bedroom and slammed the door behind me, too shocked to even think properly. How could he do it, how could anyone do that? Rape...it was such a sickening, sickening thing. It was something that only happened on TV, it was something that happened to other people...it didn't happen to any of my friends, especially not Paul. Damn, it was so messed up!
I paced, wandering what my next move should be.
No, he'd only punch Stuart's lights out and that was the last thing I needed.
Pete would probably tell John anyway, seeing as they usually told each other everything.
That was an idea. Brian would sort it out and keep it to himself. No one would need to know. He'd just fire Stuart and Paul would be free.
I was still trying to gather my thoughts when Stuart burst in and upon seeing me, pinned me to the bed. For a second I feared I'd be next on the rape list and opened my mouth to scream only to have it covered roughly by his own palm.
"If you dare scream you little shit, I'll cut your throat from ear to ear"
I felt tears pushing out of the side of my eyelids but instantly stopped struggling. He let me go and I lay limp on the bed, trying hard to stop shaking in fear.
"You never get the message do you?" he snapped, "Just like your friend"
"Listen!" he suddenly had me by the neck, "You're going to forget what you saw, you're not going to tell anyone. You'll keep your mouth shut and do what I say, you hear me? And most of all, you'll stay away from Paul. And if you dare say anything to John, I'll knock you into next year, you get me?"
I stared at him, my legs slowly getting weaker till I felt I'd collapse. Stuart was almost nose to nose with me but then he must have seen the terror in my eyes because he took a step back. For a moment, I thought he was doing the decent thing and letting me go. But he started again.
"What does that word mean to you Harrison? Rape"
"You need to grow up kid. It wasn't all that bad you know. Yeah, he screamed a lot but as you get further inside they tend to quieten down"
I thought I was going to be sick, my face tightened
"That friend of yours...McCartney. So young...yet so easy. Yeah he was a bit tight, but I sorted that out"
I felt myself retching
"You should try it sometime Georgie, I mean who wants to stay a virgin? When you first insert yourself, you never forget that feeling"
God, make him stop!
"And when the thrusting starts, oh boy, it feels gooood"
"But do you know what's most satisfying? Knowing that you own them"
My hand lashed out and met his cheek, swinging his face sideways. He gasped, lightly touching the red handprint on the side of his face. I chewed my lip. I'd really done it now. He descended towards me, rolling up his sleeves, his voice only a threatening hiss.
I saw the door which was slightly ajar. I saw my chance. And I went for it, dodging past Stu and hurtling out the door before he could reach out and grab me.
I raced to Brian's office and was seconds away from turning the handle when I was pulled away and seized by the shoulders.
"You're a liar!" I shouted
"Keep your voice down Harrison!" Stu hissed
"You're a liar and you're an animal! How could you do that?"
"Listen Harrison" he said tightening his grip so I went limp in his grasp, "If you ever want to have children, you take my advice and forget everything you saw. If you dare utter a word to anyone about this, I will make your life such a misery you'll wish you were dead" he shook me a little to make his point and pulled me closer to his face until the tips of our noses were touching.
I hated his face.
I hated how beautiful it was.
"You're the quiet Beatle, right?" he whispered.
I could only whimper in reply.
"Well I suggest you stay that way"
At that moment the door to Brian's offcie opened. Stu instantly let me go and we both looked at Brian with innocent eyes.
Stuart shot me a warning glance
"Everything's fine" I said in a small voice
"Good. Now George, I want to talk to you about something" Brian put his arm around me and led me down the hallway.
When I turned around, the last thing I saw was Stuart place a finger against his lips.