"Trixi! Hurry up, we're all waiting on you!" Stuart called from down the stairwell. He waited at the bottom of the staircase, with the rest of the lads wondering near-bye. Astrid stepped out of the kitchen, putting in her second diamond earing as she asked, "What's the hold up? I thought we were ready to leave."
"It's Trixi. She's still upstairs getting ready. Good Lord, what takes you women so long to get ready? We're only going to a park, not a banquet. Just slap on some clothes, dab on a little cologne, and you're set. You women! You spend hours just applying your make-up, setting your hair, selecting an outfit. It's ridiculous. THIS is why men are the dominative species." John declared.
Astrid shot him a scowl look and said, "You chauvenistic pig. Women are far more superior than men. If women ruled the world, we wouldn't have all these mindless wars, perpetual street violence, and horrific crime rates. All it takes is one man's simple ego and adoring pride to start the next damn war."
John laughed. "Bollocks! If women ruled the earth, that would mean they were also granted the work-employment role. You know, supporting the family and sh*te of that nature. Therefore, a whole lotta butch lesbos would be running the joint. That would lead to no heterosexual sex, therefore killing off the entire human species."
"Oh, shut the hell up!" Astrid said, playfully as she hit his shoulder. "Putting women in the work-place doesn't turn you into a lesbian. You're completely daft."
"You shut up!" he teased her back. "And stop undressing me with your eyes!"
She burst out laughing. "Cheeky!"
"Is Trixi quite finished?" Paul interrupted. "She's been up there for hours! Or so it seems."
"Ah, for the time drips by slowly when you're not having fun...I blame women." John stated, matter-of-factly.
"Don't even start!" Astrid admonished. "You must admit a good percentage of the crimes we face today are led by MEN. How many female rapists do you read about in the papers everyday?"
"Four," quipped George.
"Eight," Paul threw in.
"Eleven-teen!" John cried.
"That's not even a number, you ass!" Astrid giggled.
"Well frankly, you women have it coming anyway. It's your fault! Running about in your skimpy short skirts, with your knickers falling out and your tight, low-cut shirts. What are we men SUPPOSE to do? Seducing takes too long and it includes listening to all of your many problems. So raping is the easiest, and quickest way to get down to buisness."
Stuart stepped back appalled at John. "You're terrible! I have a mind to pop you one right now, Lennon! Such a pig, you are."
"Oh, come 'ead. Y'know I'm just joking 'round. I don't really mean it." He shined an innocent smile and added quietly, "Or do I?"
"Trixi, John is getting egotistical! You better come down here fast!" George called up the stairs.
"Quickly, Trix! Before he rapes us all!" Paul added.
I arched my eyebrows in confusion as I heard their cries from below. Shrugging it off, I stood up from the floor and flushed the toilet. Stepping to the sink, I washed my hands and quickly brushed my teeth. Delightful screams echoed from downstairs. "Hurry, Trixi! He's chasing me and he has this evil look in his eye!" That was Astrid, I presumed. And the chaser must have been John, by the sound of it. His hungry barks and grunts hinted it off. I smiled as I dried off my hands on the little towel by the sink. John was always good for a laugh. I felt apprehensive at first that things would not be the same between us after that one night in the car. But things betwixt us were simply light-hearted and fun, with no tension nor any mention of what had happened. It had been three months since that night, I feared catalystic. Things had seemed to fall back into place, flawlessly. We were back to the warm, kindling days now; Stuart and I were a happy couple again. Astrid and Klaus had revived their love as well into a more intimate passion. Life was progressing like it used to, like the good old days. Almost too good to be true, one would think.
I examined myself once more in the mirror before I left. My hair bounced in two springy pig-tails, my eyes, outlined in the heaviest of eyeliner, my lips, full and pouty. I turned to the side to see a profile, and pressed my flat stomach in. It looked thinner than ever, which pleased me quite a bit. Suddenly, the door pushed open and Stuart unwittingly fell in.
"Um, hi sweetheart. I just came to check on you and see if you're alright."
My smile dispersed. Surely, he hadn't heard anything...had he?
"I'm just fine. Why wouldn't I be?"
"Oh, well, um, you were taking longer than usual to get ready."
"My deepest apologies. I was just freshening up, you see. How do I look?" I span in a circle, and the pig-tails danced softly against my shoulders. "Adorable," he said in a deep voice, enclosing his arms around my lower back. I laughed with glee as Stuart spun me around in his arms, then leaned foward to kiss my lips. I kissed him back gently, feeling the goose-pimples rise on my arms. He could still take my breath away. He softly broke off the kiss and said, "You taste minty...like tooth paste."
"Yeah, I was brushing my teeth before you came in. Can't you tell?" I smiled widely to show off those pearly whites. He nodded, then started kissing my lips once more. I felt weak in the knees by his simple touch, as he stroked my cheek with such care. He opened his eyes to look at me. Parting away, Stuart paused to give me a deeper look. "Trixi, are you sure you're okay? You look pale."
I turned back to the mirror and touched my delicate face, milky and pure.
"I feel fine, really. I just haven't gotten outside to see much sun lately. That's all," I assured him. He perked a small grin, and hugged me close. "Well, we're off to the park so maybe you'll get to catch some rays today, alright, luv?"
I happily agreed. We came down the stairs only to discover John, on top of Astrid, who was pinned against the ugly sofa in the livingroom. "What ever are you doing, Mr. Lennon?" I inquired.
"Raaape! Raaape!" Astrid screamed, giggling.
"There just being silly." Paul pointed out. "Come on, let's blow this joint."
John kept pushing himself into Astrid while pretending to violate her. Suddenly, he wasn't just pretending. He was actually trying to pull down her blouse to get a glimpse of what was concealed under a black tee. It was all just fun and games, really but it seemed to trigger some discomfort in Stuart. He had a natural instinct to be protective of women - especially me. If he ever saw a situation that looked as if it could get out of hand, he instantly stepped in. Now, John was pushing the line of getting a little too playful, and a little too fresh. He yanked at her neckline, hoping for something to fall out but she was laughing hysterically, doing her best to hold it up. She didn't seem to mind. "Let...go!" He growled, pulling it with force.
"You're gonna stretch my top!" She cried, between giggles.
"I wouldn't have to stretch it if you weren't so stubborn in giving me a peek." He protested.
"My chest is not for public display."
"Yet." John insisted.
That was the straw that broke her into laughter and she released her grip, causing her blouse to stretch into full view of everyone - particularly, John. "They're beautiful!" he exclaimed. Astrid shrieked and quickly pulled the strained shirt over her chest.
"Well, I got my fix." said John, as he rolled off of her.
"Pervert." She retorted.
"Flasher!" He shot back.
I drew in a deep breath to smell the scent of fresh posies and wet grass. All of which came in a carefree package when visiting the local park. It was isolated from all the filthy pubs and strip joints, drug dealings and sleaze that Hamburg was so well-known for. The park was called Grüner Himmel, which was German for 'Green Heaven'. And it lived up to its reputation. The desolated park was rich with plentiful grass along with scattered trees and a few benches in the rear end.
Astrid and I usually avoided the civilized part of the forest, with the miniture playground and benches. It was much funner getting lost in the wooded area with its many trees and shrubbery. That warm day, we frolicked in the depths of those endless woods.
"Whose up for a game?" John asked, playfully.
"Sure! What do you fancy to play?" said Paul.
"Oh, we could play just about anything out here. What about truth or dare?!"
The very suggestion turned George's cheeks bright red as he remembered our passionate kiss during the play of the game.
"Nah. Why come outdoors only to play something you could do inside?" Stu detested.
"Point considered," John agreed. "Then what?"
I raced up the hill, holding Stuart's hand. He pulled ahead of me, and was dragging me along as we ascended to the top. "How about a fresh old game of hide and seek?" he said to us.
We all exchanged glances, looking for one another's agreement or rejection to the idea. A sly smile creeped across Lennon's face. "Not it!" he cried.
The others quickly piped up the two-word phrase of children until it was Astrid who came in last. "Ha! You're it. Go seek!" John demanded.
Astrid closed her eyes and faced a tree, counting alloud. "Ein, zwei, drei, vier, fünf..."
Stuart released my hand and went tearing down the hill. "Where are you going?" I called after him, missing his closeness. "Off to hide, silly!" he called back. "Without me?" I chirped.
He looked up at me from the bottom of the hill, tilting his head and smiling that small, shy grin. "Okay fine!" I said in a loud whisper, then departed for my own destination.
I dashed from my stationary spot and began looking for a place to hide. Around me, I could hear George and John giggling along with Paul "shoosh"ing them. "Quiet, you!" Paul scolded.
"Sorry!" one of them yelled back.
I gazed around for Stuart but he was nowhere to be found. So easily had he vanished! Astrid's counting was getting quieter, the farther I wandered off. I began sprinting around bushes and squeezing around trees. My breaths grew heavy and long, as I drew in deep inhalings of air. The wind whipped my hair back and whistled through the vacant forrest. It felt good to be running against the breeze. I kept pushing myself, farther and farther. Before I knew, I couldn't hear Astrid at all. The only sound was the restless wind weaving around the standing trees. It was serene, captivating, and completely relaxing. The more I ran, the better I felt. My heart rate had dramatically increased as I continued my escapade. To where, I knew not. I lept over a tree trunk that was sitting horizontally on a bed of leaves and kept going. Just as I reached another fallen oak, I projected myself off the ground and over it when suddenly, an instant flash of pain strained my chest.
It was a sharp surge of aching pain that stung like a pointed needle injecting the flesh...only it came from the inside of my chest. The low rumbles of my stomach followed, sounding like the perishing churning of a machine about to cease. I stepped foward in a daze when my head felt swollen and heavy. Quite heavy. I leaned my body into a tree and paused a moment. "What's going on?" I murmured in anguish. I turned my head away from the tree and looked around. My vision seemed impaired as the things I saw slurred and went fuzzy. "What's happening?" I cried louder. The images abreast me began to stretch and elongate, looking hazey and drear.
Another sharp pain in my chest.
"Hilfe! Bitte jemand! Helfen Sie mir!" I screamed for help. Again, my stomach growled fiercely, feeling completely empty. I grasped the tree in disillusion and began to scream.
"Help!! Please help!" I sobbed. The chest pains only deteriorated, getting more and more painful in their every surge. I felt overwhelmed as I tried limping back to the hill where we each had parted our seperate ways. I was crying hysterically and my calls for help would break into sobs of pain and confusion.
Frantically, I looked around for someone, anyone who could help me. But not a soul wondered in those forlorn woods. All the German wives and children lurked in the playground and benches. I was completely alone.
All I could do was stumble back, but my eyesight made this a difficulty. The surge of pain took only one last blow to the depths of my chest. I was in mid-step when I collapsed to the earth. And that was the last, I remembered.