I can’t really explain what it feels like to be sucked into the past. It’s not an unpleasant feeling, but it sure is a strange one, sort of like being tugged backwards and then feeling like you’re nowhere for a few minutes, almost like you’re reloading yourself. That’s the best way I can describe it. Eventually they say they’ll perfect time travel so that it’ll be instantaneous and you won’t feel a thing, but for now, this is what we’ve got.
At last I felt my feet touching the ground, and I looked up to find myself in a small alleyway between two brick walls, without any people around. The Time Traveller is programmed to always land you in a quiet, out-of-the-way area with no people there to ask you why you suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I could see sunlight shining through the entrance up ahead, though, and hear a loud rumbling sound that scared me a little. The air smelled different – sweeter and cleaner than I was used to. My hands felt empty without my phone in them, and I wondered how I would manage for a whole week without it. But in spite of all this, I was thrilled. Somewhere out here, Paul was waiting for me. We would be together – for just one week, maybe, but for that one week, I would be with him.
I slipped out of the alleyway and onto a sidewalk. I don't normally spend a lot of time outside, and when I do go, I barely even look at what’s around me, but here there was something to catch my eye no matter which way I looked. The buildings were shorter, and there were less of them, and I saw women in full skirts and men in suits just like in an old movie. Everything was so quaint and pretty, and I was so busy looking around at things I nearly forgot to watch what was ahead of me. Then I heard an even louder rumble, and looked up just on time to avoid stepping out into the middle of the road with a huge car coming at me. And I mean a huge car. There were many of these huge cars around, huge, single-family cars with growling engines, like you only saw in old movies. And these cars were being driven por people, without any sensors build in to change course for you when you were about to hit someone. I took a step back from the road, as if expecting one of those cars to veer off and hit me. I had never seen a vehicle that big except for the big public ones, and I had never seen a vehicle driven por a person! How could I be sure they knew what they were doing? What if they didn’t know? What if they hit me? Being hit por a car in the past had to be a bad idea!
But then I saw across the street, there was a place, a cute little soda shoppe, the kind I had only seen in old pics and movies, with teenagers eating and dancing to some música that I could just make out over the roar of the enormous human-driven cars. Maybe Paul would spend time in a place like that. What if he did? I had to go and see. I couldn’t miss my chance to meet him!
Taking a deep breath, I stepped off the curb and began to walk across the road.
I was maybe halfway across when I heard the loud rumble of an engine, coming closer. I froze. No technology to let them know they’re about to hit me and go around... they won’t know I’m there.....
A pair of hands grabbed onto my shoulders and pulled me safely across the road, just before the car went over the spot where I’d been standing. “You all right?” a male voice said. “You want to watch where you’re going in the middle of the road like that.”
I looked up. And there he was, right in front of me. Those gorgeous, multicoloured eyes, framed por long lashes and perfect arched eyebrows... My head swam with the sheer luck of it all. What should I say to him? My first thought was “It’s you,” but I couldn’t say that; I wasn’t supposed to have any idea who he was. “You’re gorgeous,” I sighed instead.
Paul looked a little surprised, but then chuckled. “Well – you’re not bad yourself.”
I blushed.
“Are you new round here?” Paul went on. I nodded – that was true in ways he didn’t even know. “I’m Paul,” Paul told me, as if I didn’t know. I was very tempted to say, “I know that. Everyone knows that!” but I couldn’t. It was so hard not to let Paul know just how special he was destined to be, but I couldn’t ruin things for him. So all I said was, “I’m Gloria.”
“That’s pretty,” Paul said, and I flushed with pleasure; I knew my name was much mais common in his time than it was in mine, and I was thrilled to know Paul liked it. Lowering his eyelids at me in a way that made my coração skip, Paul said, “Need someone to show you round town while you’re here?”
I twirled a lock of blonde hair round my finger as I pretended to consider this, trying not to jump up and down and squeal my excitement. “Sure,” I agreed, when I couldn't pretend to be uncertain a moment longer. “When?”
“How about Saturday?” Paul offered, still with that wonderful, distracting lowered-eyelids look. “I can pick you up in the morning, show you the sights – where are you staying?”
Something flickered through the back of my mind and was gone – something to do with Saturday. But I was so used to that feeling – I wasn’t very good with numbers of any kind and was always forgetting important dates until my phone calendar reminded me – that I barely paid attention to it, and besides, Paul was smiling so disarmingly at me I couldn’t think. “Sure,” I said again. Then, “I haven’t exactly decided where I’m staying yet.” My face fell. Where was I supposed to stay for this whole week? I had no nineteen fifties money, and even if I did, I wasn’t supposed to interfere with the economy or anything like that. Besides, if I stayed in a hotel, I might accidentally prevent someone else from staying in the same place and alter history – it was all so confusing.
“Why don’t you stay right here?” Paul offered, pointing to the soda shoppe place behind him. “They’ve got a hostel of some sort in back. They’ll let you stay a bit.”
I thought about this for a second, and nodded. Staying at a hostel didn’t seem as official as staying at a hotel, and because of that seemed less like it was going to interfere with anything. Besides if Paul said it was all right, it must be. “I’ll go there now,” I agreed. “Until Saturday?”
“Until Saturday,” Paul agreed, and he saw me off with a wave. My coração melted. Until Saturday just two –yes, it was two – mais days until my encontro, data with my favourite Beatle. Everything had gone so right, happened so quickly. Maybe I hadn’t needed to book myself a whole week in the nineteen fifties after all. Of course, that might mean I could have mais dates with Paul....
Something about Saturday flickered through the back of my mind again, but I had no idea what it was, and I didn’t really care. This Saturday I was going to go out with Paul McCartney; it was going to be the best dia of my entire life. That was all that mattered.