Chapter Eight


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"Hamburg Nights"

I felt a lump well up in my throat as the words hit my ear. Beside me, I could still hear the quiet breathing of Stuart sleeping. I looked before me to see John kneeling next to the bed. His eyes were weary yet hopeful as he waited for an answer. I just stared back at him, unable to conceive words. "Excuse me?" I managed to say. He then gazed down at his hands and back into my eyes. "Trixi, I'm in love with you!" He snapped. It wasn't in a loving voice, that was for certain. He sounded rough and expectant, shy but embarrassed. I didn't know what to say, what to think, how to feel. What was he talking about? He wasn't the one with a crush on me, Paul was! Or was he? Had I just concluded and assumed it was Paul when this whole time John had been fancying me? Slowly, it all began to make sense. Paul really never had expressed a special interest towards me. Astrid had said the one whom she though crushed over me would follow me around the most - and that was none other than John. Into the kitchen, into the bedroom, in the livingroom: John was always there. Suddenly, memories of John's reactions towards my and Stuart's public affection, came rolling back. His awkward silences, or crude remarks. I could remember how defensive he would get and how he often put Stuart down. Now, it was perfectly clear. I used to dismiss it as nothing. John being John. But that wasn't really John. He was jealous.

I rolled out of bed, and took John's hand, leading him
into the kitchen. All the other rooms were occupied
and I knew John and I would have to have a private
talk. I sat down at the table and John sat across from
me. He put his elbows up on the table and intertwined
his fingers waiting for me to speak. I searched for
the right words but nothing could fill in the silence.
There seemed to be no way to approach it. So we sat in
silence. I looked at him. He looked worry and
confused, taunted and awkward. It must have been
killing him. Finally, I spoke. "John, you can't love
He looked taken aback. "Well Trix, I never WANTED to,
believe you me! I didn't want to fall for a German.
But it just happened, okay?"
"What do you mean, 'fall for a German'? Is that some
kind of prejudice remark?"
"Nevermind that! Its not the point. What I meant was I
didn't want to like you like that. Its not my fault! I
can't control my...feelings."
"John, what makes you think you love me?" I begged to
"I don't know." He sounded more confused than ever. I
could tell he was lost inside. But somehow in his mind
of pride, he just expressed his fear in the form of
anger and bitterness.
"Screw it, Trixi! I love you because I always have.
From the moment I layed eyes on you that day you were
at the Kaiserkellar. I just...felt something. I just
had a good feeling about you." John stood up from his
chair and began pacing the ground. "You f*ckin' took
my breath away! Its all bollocks, I know! But I
f*ckin' love you! Thats what its all about."
"Don't use language like that in my house." I
John ignored me and continued, "You're not right for
Stuart, anyways. He's a f*ckin' artist! You're a
f*ckin' artist! Artists don't go together. Differences
of styles."
"John! I told you not to use language like that." I
pressed, a bit angered.
"Oh, its the bloody truth! You and Stuart. That's just
bollocks! Trixi, I love you. I know I'm already damned
for it but I do. You have to give me a bloody chance."
I rubbed my forehead, feeling helpless. This was
John's way of pouring his heart out to me. Inclining
the words f*ck, damn, and bloody. I could tell he must
have been nervous. I sighed. "John, I love Stuart and
Stuart loves me. I'm sorry. That is just the way it
is. You are Stuart's best friend. Why would you do

"Don't bloody blame me! I told you, its not my own
fault. Bloody hell, Trixi! You don't understand how
hard this is for me. Just tell me you'll go out with
me! Please, Trixi. Just once!"
I shook my head. "No, John. I can't. I'm dating
Stuart. You know that, just accept it." John knelt
down next to me and looked up at me longingly.
"Trixi," he said softly, "please give me just ONE
chance. Let me take you out. We can go anywhere you
want. It doesn't matter to me, I just want to be alone
with you. We don't even have to go as anything more
than friends. I respect that. I'm pleading, Trixi!"
I bit my lip and watched him grovelling. Something
John Lennon probably had never done the likes of. It
meant so much to him. I didn't want to hurt him but I
didn't want to lead him with false pretences.
"Alright. Fine. You can take me out. But strictly as
friends! Nothing more! No kissing, no holding, no
fondling, NO flirting. Got it?" John's face lit up
like a light bulb. Then, he covered his joy with a
casual expression. "Right, cool. Than it's agreed. We
go out this afternoon. Fine by me." He quickly left
the room and I just smiled.
"Stuart, could you zip up the back of my dress?"
Astrid asked sweetly in her small German accent.
Stuart walked out of the bathroom wearing a cotton
robe, his hair still damp from the fresh warm shower.
He came over to Astrid who stood in front of the
mirror and gazed at their reflection. "No problem." He
told her and reached for the zipper. The slit in the
back of her dress gaped open awkwardly but Stu payed
it no attention and pulled up the zipper. "Danke," she
said. "Pardon?"
"Danke," she repeated softly, "Its German for 'thank
"Oh, your welcome." Stuart said.
"Ihr willkommenes," Astrid translated.
She began running her hands down the satin, black
dress smoothing out the folds and noting Stuart
watching her in the mirror. She raised a flirtatious
eyebrow and kept pressing out wrinkles. "Do you really
love her?" she asked him.
Stuart nodded. "Yes, I do. Very much." he answered.
Astrid fell silent for a moment and continued to press
out the wrinkles. "She's very lucky."
Stuart shook his head. "No, she isn't lucky. I'm the
one whose lucky." Astrid smiled. "I hope you can
handle her."
He glanced around. "Where is that little bird anyway?"
I looked down at my tube-top style dress decorated in
posies running down the white cloth, a long shaw
draped around my arms, and hair pulled up. My bare
shoulders felt cold already. Gazing at the clock, it
read 8:50PM. Only ten more minutes until my date with
John. I still hadn't told Stuart yet, and hoped he
would understand.
I checked my make-up. Eyes were darkened, thick with
eyeliner and heavy with mascara, while my lips were
soft with a pale shade of lipstick. My gown flared
out, I wore white gloves and my face looked like a
doll. This was something I would seldom wear. It
didn't represent "exis". I looked porcelain and
graceful. But only to fit the occassion. I had
suggested going to fancy restaurant called "The Black
I figured such an ellegant setting such as that with
its candles and fine uphoulstry would keep John on his
best behavior. As opposed to a club enviornment, it
was less likely John would get raving *pissed [in the
English sense, drunk]. I pushed back a strand of hair
and walked out into the livingroom just in time to see
Stuart come out of the bedroom. "Whoa! Don't you look
nice," he complimented sincerely. I smiled and slipped
my arms around his neck. "Danke, meine leibe." I
replied. Stuart bit his lip a second in thought then
exclaimed, "Thank you, my love!"
I laughed. "That's right. You're picking on to a
little German are you?"
"I guess so. Do I get a prize?" He glanced down at my
lips eagerly. I giggled and pulled away from him.
"Actually, maybe you do. How would you like to spend
this afternoon all by yourself?" I asked in the most
chipper voice I could chirp. Stuart's brows arched and
he chimed, "Thats not what I had in mind." I sighed
and collasped on the ugly sofa. "I kind of have a date
tonight." I confessed.

He looked surprised and replied, "Oh really?" I saw a
small glint of jealousy in his eyes as he sat next to
me. "In Germany, do your steadies go dating around
with other people?"
I sneared at him answering, "No. I'm going out with
John. Its no big deal."
"Oh than I stand by corrected. It must be a German
custom to date your steady's bestfriend. Gotcha."
"Stuart, you are going over your head. Its utterly
platonic. We are going out as friends and just
friends. Why would you have any reason to doubt me?"
He took a moment to consider my thoughts. "You're
right. I trust you. But since you are going as
friends, you won't mind me joining you, correct?"
"Stuart! Yes, I will mind. If you trust me, you won't
HAVE to come along to know that theres nothing going
on between us. Thats what 'trust' is. Come on, luv.
Please? Do this for me. Let us just spend one evening
together." I pleaded. I was moreover pleading for
John's sake over my own.

John entered the room wearing a tight black tee under
a leather coat, and black leather pants ("There's no
way you're getting me in any tux! This is as good as
it gets."). I smiled over at him. He looked very
handsome and I could tell he had indeed tried to look
his best. The little "extra effort" showed in the way
his hair was combed nicely back and by the scent of
cheap cologne he wore. "It's HIM I don't trust."
Stuart whispered to me. "For shame! He's your best
mate," I whispered back. I arouse from the sofa and
gave John my sweetest smile. "Are you ready?" I asked.
He just stared at me in awe, looking over my gown and
quaint gloves. Perhaps he couldn't say anything with
Stuart present so he never made any comments other
than, "You look so NORMAL." Normal, as opposed to the
regular black "exis" look., I supposed. "Thanks," I
might have muttered and walked over to him. "Stu?" I
looked back at Stuart who was still on the sofa. "May
we?" I asked quietly under my breathe. Stuart had read
my lips and nodded. "Go have fun, you two!" John
grinned, happily. "We will!" He assured him, and
promenaded me into the young night.
We were greeted by the delightful strings of a small
orchestra seated on a slightly raised platform in the
center of The Black Swan. By 7:30PM, John and I had
arrived at our destination. "Mag ich Ihnen helfen?"
The head-waiter asked. "We 'ave reservations for two
then, mate." John stated. The waiter paused and said
in rough German, "Do excuse me, but I beg your pardon?
I can't understand a word your saying." John snarled
and looked as if he were about to start a rant but
stopped himself. "Sorry sir, I'm not from the likes of
here ya have to understand. I'm English, Liverpudlian
to be more correct. And I don't understand you folks
any bett'a than you understand me." A smile slipped
across my face as John rambled in the harshest, most
scouse Liverpudlian accent I had ever heard. I said to
the waiter, "Wir haben Reservierungen fur zwei." John
scowled at me, saying, "Were you talking about me?!" I
laughed. "No John, I just told the gentleman we have
reservations for two."
"That's what I said! But he didn't understand me, now
did you, sir? Did you?" John instigated the man. He
ignored John and led us to our table.
The table was small, and set for two but it was just
another stroke of beauty in the painting-like
atmosphere. Scent of exotic foods hung in the air and
the low bellowing strokes of fiddles and violens,
cellos and violas would cascade in an aesthetic
harmony. I looked around at seated couples enjoying a
meal and small children dancing on the tile-floor.
"Its beautiful, isn't it?" I said.
John nodded. "Well it isn't RAVING with the dignity
and class of the Kaiserkellar but its alright, now
innit?" I laughed at the grim comparison. A waitress
brought us our menues and we began searching for
something to eat. "This it written in
French?" John asked me. I looked more closely. Surely,
it was. "Oh my! You're right! Oh dear, I don't speak
any French."

"Than why did you suggest we come here?! Have you
eaten here before?" John demanded. I traced back in my
memory. "Yes, I've eaten here before but my date would
always order for me." John rolled his eyes. "Well
isn't that fantastic? Now we're gonna have to guess on
something!" He said it more playfully than
sarcastically which made me feel better. I scanned the
menue and asked, "Hmmm, what do you think this is?"
John shrugged. "What does it say?"
"Escargots sur un lit de laitue?" I read carefully.
"Oh you'll love it, I guarentee you! As long as you
don't mind eating snails on a bed of lettuce."
My eyes widened as that achingly familiar French
accent rung in my ear. I turned around to meet his
devilish smiling face. It was the date that always
brought me here, the one that broke my heart, the one
that brought fourth my fear of dating to begin with.
None other than Gustav.

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