The phone rings loudly in the dark room. It wakes me from my sleep and I groan. It feels too early to get up, still night from what I can tell. I reach out my weary arm to the phone on the nightstand, and unplug the cord. Yoko shifts a little under the covers, asleep. I roll to my side and fall once again into slumber.
I wake up from the light of the sun, shining through the satin beige drapes and piercing my eyelids with red. I fumble through the silk sheets as I slowly get up. My mouth has that loathsome morning taste, and I cringe at the groggy feeling.
I make my way into the bathroom quietly, so as not to wake my wife up. Still blinded with fatigue, I fumble around the counter top to look for the mouthwash. I drink it straight out of the bottle and swish it inside my mouth, spitting it out into the sink. I grab my opaque rimmed glasses resting beside the mirror, and the royal blue robe hanging on the hook nailed to the door, putting them on.
Slugging out of the bathroom, I head into the kitchen, keeping quiet as I pass Sean’s room. Once there, I take a pan out of one of the bottom counters, a wooden spoon, and eggs from the fridge. I start making breakfast for the family over the stove when I hear the kitchen phone ring.
It reminds me- I had unplugged the cable from the one in the bedroom, I figure I should pick up now.
“Hullow?” I say. “John,” it’s Ritchie. “Ringo! Good morning lad,” I smile into the phone as I stir the eggs in the pan, “how are y-” “John,” he repeats, cutting me off. I sense he’s upset – is he – has he been crying? I furrow my eyebrows in worry. “Richard, what’s wrong?”
“Something-,” he gulps, “something terrible has happened to Paul.” I freeze. A few seconds of silence, I place the spoon beside the stove, and I clutch the telephone with both hands. “What do you mean?” I manage to mutter. He takes a deep breath, “he’s been shot.”
My heart stops for a moment, just an instant. ‘No, no, no’ I think to myself. ‘Macca’s fine, I’m sure I’ve misheard this whole conversation.’ I straighten back up and relax. I didn’t know whether to laugh at the silly joke Ringo was trying to pull off on me, or to ask him to repeat what he had said for better clarity. All I could do was breath, and it felt like an eternity before someone spoke.
“He’s-,” Ringo begins to choke up on his words as he sobs, “He’s dead, John. Paul- Paul’s dead.”