Liam’s Got Connections
Money in their pockets and scarves around both their necks to protect them from the cold wind, Christine and Louis are walking towards the docks, scuffling their feet as they go along. Both of their cheeks are flushed, the same color as the tops of their ears and noses. It’s clearly visible on their faces Autumn is coming.
Louis always looks forward when he and his best friend go to the docks, something they don’t do often as they’re both short on money most of the time. And money is needed if you want to buy American records from sailors.
It’s something all the kids in Liverpool do. They go to the harbor and buy records from American sailors who’ve come to the Pool to drop off their cargo meant for Europe. This way, they get to buy records and singles kids in the rest of England hadn’t even heard about.
The idea to go had come from Christine and it had been a bit of a surprise. Things have been weird between him and his friend ever since they had fallen out, three days ago when walking to the movie theater. It had felt wrong when they said their goodbyes that night and that feeling hadn’t left the days that had followed. Not even their short chase after Zayn had helped, which could have brought them close together again but instead made things even more awkward. They haven’t yet talked about it because Louis really doesn’t want to and apparently neither does Christine. He just really hopes they can work things out non-verbally, so things can go back to normal, the way they used to.
“I still think it’s a weird idea Liam decided to come to England,” Christine remarks, almost stumbling over her own feet but able to catch herself in time. Louis lets out a sigh of relief. “They have much better music over there.”
“That’s exactly the reason why he left, remember,” he reminds her. He walks a little bit closer to his friend in case she’s going to stumble again and make a fool of herself. “Too much competition and all.”
“I know, I know.” Christine waves her hand dismissively. “But still. I wouldn’t want to leave if I lived in America.”
“You’re going to move there then?” Louis asks teasingly. He knows Christine, she doesn’t have enough courage to move across an ocean and leave her family behind. “Marry an American and move to America?”
“I might,” the blonde shoots back, a grin on her freckled face “If he’s cute enough.”
She looks adorable with half of her face hidden behind the yellow scarf and the top of her cheeks red. A sudden gust of air tussles her hair, strands of it covering her face before they’re blown away again. But Louis doesn’t want to kiss her, he wants to ruffle her hair instead. There’s no urge in him to hold her in his arms. No matter how bad he wants it.
“And you would leave me here, all alone,” Louis pouts, pushing his lips outward and the dark feeling rattling around in his chest, downward. “That’s no way to treat your best friend.”
“You won’t be alone for long, though,” Christine admonishes Louis. Her lips are pressed a little tighter together and her eyes are sparkling with something. “You’re a sweetheart. You won’t have any problems finding new friends.”
“Now, that’s not true.” Louis’s head is crooked as he shakes it. “Most people don’t like my honesty. You know people want you to be pleasant, they don’t want to hear what you really think about them.”
“And you love to tell them, don’t you?” Christine snickers and she pokes out her tongue as a joke. “I still can’t believe you told Mr. Lawson to sod off.” The blonde shakes her head as she puts an arm through his and picks up the pace.
It’s the first time Christine has shown she finds Louis’s, irresponsible as she calls them, actions funny. He’s used to her telling him what he did was stupid with pursed lips but a certain amount of fondness in her eyes. She’s raised to be quiet and in the background that’s why she doesn’t like it when someone isn’t.
Louis has been raised as an only child to parents who had tried so hard to get pregnant. They had been so happy to finally have the noise of a child in their home, that they let Louis be as loud and wild as he wanted to be. They also taught him, to be honest with people, as well as yourself. They felt there was no need to hide things like opinions or pursuance’s just because the rules of society told you to. His parents were free spirits, so Louis was as well.
“I’m glad you think I’m funny,” Louis jokes back. “It’s a shame Mr. Lawson didn’t think it was funny like you. Remember, I felt my ass for weeks.”
“No, I don’t,” Christine exclaims, her face a mix of surprise and joy. Her eyes are no longer on the street in front of her but on his face. “You never told me that and it’s not as if I can feel what you feel. But it does explain why you couldn’t sit still, even more than usual.”
The way Christine’s blonde hair shines in the midday sun, the way her blue eyes sparkle with laughter, her milky skin, all of it makes Louis think of Niall. They look so much the same right now, they could be related.
His heart hurts. It hurts with longing but also with regret. Both feelings are like ice shards piercing through the soft tissue, leaving it raw and aching. He wants, he wants it so much. So why can’t he?
Suddenly, Louis wants to talk. He wants to share everything with his best friend. Maybe if they work things out, she can help him? Maybe talking about his feelings will make things clear for him?
The loud sound of a horn drowns out Louis’s racing thoughts, startling him and almost giving him a heart attack. Now his heart hurts for an entirely different reason.
“What’s wrong?” Christine asks, turning towards Louis in confusion because he has suddenly stopped walking. But then she sees he’s holding a hand to his chest and she chuckles, apparently amused at his shock. “Oh, did the horn startle you or something?”
“Yes, and it isn’t funny,” Louis answers, a frown on his face. “I almost had a heart attack.”
“A young lad like you don’t have to worry about a heart attack,” someone with a Southern drawl says out of nowhere, the voice vaguely familiar. Could it be…?
“Liam,” Christine exclaims as she looks at someone left from Louis, a big grin plastered on her face. So, it is Liam. “What are you doing here?”
Louis turns his head, so he can look at Liam as the other boy answers his friend’s question. He’s leaning against a lamppost a few feet away from them and he’s wearing a varsity jacket against the cold and he has a fag in his mouth.
“I’m here to send this letter.” Liam holds up the envelope that’s in the hand that had been out of Louis’s field of vision. There are no stamps on it, only an address. “It’s going to reach the USA quicker if I give it one of them sailors.”
Christine walks towards Liam and Louis follows her. When they reach their new friend, he greets them with the smile that had surprised Louis with his warmth the day they met. His whole face seems to shine.
“Is it for your parents?” Louis asks. He sees Christine stiffen, but she doesn’t admonish him.
Liam, however, doesn’t seem to mind because his voice is relaxed when he answers, “Yes, it’s for my parents. I write them every week. I tell them how things are going, with music and things.”
“Are you and your parents on good terms again, then?” This question comes from Christine, who’s looking at him with hopeful eyes.
Liam had told them, when they first met him, that his parents hadn’t been too happy with his choice to go to England. When he had left, they still weren’t talking to each other. All three of them, even Harry, had felt sorry for him.
“No. They don’t send anything back either.” Sadness and hurt trickle into Liam’s eyes as he makes this confession. The hand he brings to his mouth to take a drag of his fag trembles visibly. “But maybe if I keep sending letters, they will reply to one. But, what are you guys doing here?”
“We’re here to buy records,” Louis answer but when he sees Liam furrow his eyebrows in confusion, he goes on to explain, “The sailors sell us American records, the ones that aren’t sold anywhere in England.”
“Oh, okay. I didn’t know that. Speaking of music, you guys wanted to see the Beatles, right?”
Both Christine and Louis nod their heads eagerly, making Liam laugh with crinkled-cornered eyes. It makes him look really adorable for a few seconds and it’s a whole different look on him.
“Well, I heard they’re playing at the Cavern in three days.”
The Cavern is a very well-known club. It used to be a jazz club until the owner discovered they could earn more money by playing rock’n’roll. Only the best rock bands now play there.
“How do you know?” Christine asks, voice loud and eyes wide with excitement.
“I know someone who plays there,” Liam explains. He shrugs his shoulder as if it’s nothing special to know someone from the Cavern. “He heard it from the owner.”
“We need to go then!” Christine turns her eager eyes on Louis.
“Of course. Of course, we need to go!”
Louis can already feel the excitement flutter in his stomach as he thinks about seeing the Beatles again. The energy the five lads radiate is unlike anything he has ever felt before.
An overdue chapter. I'm so sorry about the long wait. Life's been busy. I hope you liked the chapter. Please let me know your thoughts! Next chapter: The Beatles!