Emotions and Popstars
The stairs that leads to the Cavern Club is narrow and made of solid concrete. With every step Christine and her companions take, the sound of their footsteps bounce off the wall and echo back to her. Her ears hurt a little from the sharpness.
There’s muffled sounds coming from the underground club, drifting upwards through the stairwell as a promise of what is to come. Christine lets it kick-start her heart, lets the sound of guitars and drums heighten her excitement. She’s finally here, she’s going to see the Beatles again.
Harry is right behind her, silently following her down the stairs. She can clearly feel his presence, his body warmth tangible even in the relatively warm hallway. It’s because he’s right behind her.
The closeness is a welcome feeling, it takes the edge off a little bit. At moments like these, Christine doesn’t mind his protectiveness too much.
Louis is walking in front of Christine, his caramel-colored hair is glowing in the slight shimmer emitted by the lamps sticking out from the wall. His steps are quick with excitement but Christine and Harry have no trouble keeping up with him. Harry could probably even out walk him, his legs are much longer then Louis’s.
Legs aren’t the only contrast between the two boys. Louis is dressed in jeans and bright red dress shirt while Harry is dressed more respectably, brown trousers with a light blue colored dress shirt. People will stare at Louis when he passes by but they won’t spare Harry a second glance.
Christine is dressed in jeans as well but unlike Louis she’s wearing a blouse, its fabric a soft shade of pink. Her hair is bobbed up a few centimeters. A black headband is perched on top of her head, forming a boundary between the bob and the rest of her blonde locks. Her eyes are made up the way those black girl groups do theirs, a little swipe upwards by the corner of the eyes. She’s pretty proud of the way she looks, it had taken her hours to look this way – getting her hair this way alone had taken over an hour.
When they’ve almost reached the bottom of the stairs, Louis slows down and looks back up the stairs with a grin. Even in the dark, Christine can see his teeth are an almost bright white. Louis is the only person she knows who has such perfect teeth.
“Are you ready, Harry?” Louis asks Christine’s brother with a grin, halting in his steps – walking on stairs isn’t a good idea. He has to raise his voice to be heard as the music is much louder now that they’re almost inside the club. “Your life will never be the same after this.” Louis, always the flare for the dramatics.
Harry chuckles as he reacts to the other boy’s statement. “They’re that good, he?”
“Yes, they are,” Louis confirms, nodding his head in a way that forces his friend to hold back a giggle. “You’re going to be blown away, I tell ya.”
“It’s a good thing I’m not a girl, then,” Harry jokes. He and Christine have reached Louis and he is now standing next to Christine. He leans a little bit more into his sister’s space as he continues. “Otherwise that would’ve been a problem.”
Warmth creeps up Christine’s cheeks because she knows exactly what her brother was referring too. Girls wear skirts and if they are literally blown away by the music, other people will be able to see under them. She’d be mortified if that would happen to her.
“Harry, you’re making your sister blush,” Louis exclaims, his shoulders shaking with the laughter he’s holding in.
With no apparent reason, Harry’s body goes stiff beside Christine and he pulls away from her. He takes a step to the left, effectively putting distance between them. His sister can’t help but feel a little hurt, her embarrassment immediately forgotten. Does she smell bad or something?
Or is it because he thinks of her as a little girl, who isn’t supposed to know about thinks like that, even though she’s eighteen and he’s only three years older? He is her younger sister and maybe he doesn’t like thinking she knows about sex.
Well, the joke is on him, because Christine knows about sex. She may have never gone farther than French kissing but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know what comes after. It’s all boys talk about, even when girls are around.
“We should probably walk along, we’re probably in the way,” Harry reminds Christine and Louis. The smile on his face shows nothing of the tension Christine felt in his body a few seconds ago.
Louis nods his head and turns around again. He takes the last step and his feet land on the concrete floor of the Cavern. In seconds, Christine and Harry are standing next to him.
The cavern is a club the size of two living rooms, - not the kind the more well-off Liverpudlians live in but the kind the workers whose house are paid for by the government live in. The ceiling and walls are made out of bricks.
The whole ceiling consists of arches, the biggest one at the far end of the room. The stage, a wooden structure around two meters across, is situated under it. The band who’s playing at the moment, aren’t the Beatles, which accounts for the small amount of people sitting the chairs in front of the stage at the moment. The whole underground room smells damp, like it has just rained. It’s going to be a nightmare when the Cavern is packed. The smell must be awful.
As soon as Christine and the two boys walk into the club, someone calls the girl’s name. There’s no mistaken who it is who wants her attention, she would recognize that accent anywhere.
Christine turns around and spots the American boy who invited her to come to the club, standing a few feet away from her with a bottle of beer in his hand and a boy with a familiar blonde hair is standing next to him. She hadn’t expect the Irish boy to be here.
Liam is dressed in a blue dress shirt and jeans. His buzz cut is covered by a black hat, making his brown eyes look even bigger. His sleeves are rolled up, the tattoos on his lower arm exposed for everyone to see. Apparently, it’s not only letters the American boy has exchanged with the sailors.
The blonde boy standing beside him is dressed in a white shirt and black trousers. Over his shirt, he wears a jacket made of denim and a hat made of the same fabric is draped on his head. He looks really good.
Embarrassment crawls up the blonde girl’s spine and colors her cheeks pink, because she and Louis didn’t invited Niall to come with them to the Cavern and now he’s going to see them. This is going to upset their new friend, she knows it will. He’s going to think they excluded him on purpose.
Which is true, but the reason isn’t the one he’s going to think. They hadn’t decided not to invite him to come along because they don’t like hanging out with him , they hadn’t because Christine had hoped hanging out without Niall would help her find equal footing with Louis again. She hoped hanging out with only Louis from time to time would bring their old dynamic back.
And maybe she’ll be able to find out where his sudden problem with Niall comes from. Ever since the day they went to the cinema together, Louis has been cold towards the Irish boy and she had been able to tell by the look in the younger boy’s eyes that he’s hurting because of it. He must think Louis hates him.
“Hey, Louis, Christine.” Niall calls as he sees the two boys and the girl approach. There’s a large grin on his face, which shines even though the cellar is badly lit. It’s like he takes the sun with him everywhere he goes. This must mean he isn’t upset about finding Louis and Christine at the Cavern without him. “What are you guys doing here?”
“We’re here for the Beatles,” Harry answers when they’re within hearing range. “Apparently, they’re very good.”
“But they won’t be on for hours.” Niall’s eyebrows are furrowed in confusion as he turns his head towards Liam. “Aren’t they? You just told me they won’t be on until 7 o’clock.”
“They won’t,” Liam confirms. He quickly goes on to explain when he sees the looks on his friend’s faces are the same as on Niall’s. “A lot of people are going to come to their performance, so the club is going to be really busy. If you come to the Cavern an hour before they’re scheduled to play, chances are you won’t be able to get in.”
“Are they really that popular?” That’s Harry of course, because he has never seen the Beatles perform before. He doesn’t know how much power the five lads yield over an audience. Well, he’s going to find out tonight.
“Apparently, they are,” Niall exclaims, throwing his arms in the air as if he himself doesn’t understand it either. Which is most likely true for as far as Christine knows, the lad has never heard the Beatles play either. “I’ve never seen them perform before, so I wouldn’t know.”
“Are we going to listen to other bands until they perform?” Louis asks no one in particular. His gaze fleets from one face to another, never staying on one for too long. He looks nervous. “If so, I’m going to need a drink, otherwise it’s going to be boring.”
Christine almost jumps out of her skin when she suddenly feels Louis wrap an arm around her waist. She can feel her face heat up because touching a girl like that in public isn’t something a boy who isn’t her boyfriend should do. But she doesn’t say anything about it because she can see in Louis’s eyes the close contact calms him down.
“Well, they serve drinks at the bar in the back…” Liam trails off as he points behind him. “They don’t serve alcohol for another hour, though.”
“Well, that sucks.” Christine can detect a hint of irritation in her friend’s voice and she isn’t sure where that’s coming from. It’s not as if Louis can’t function without alcohol.
Harry must have picked up on the irritation as well, because he lifts an eyebrow and asks, “Do you always drink to have a good time?”
“Of course, like any normal British guy does,” Louis answers, his own eyebrow raised in a mirror image. “We spend half of our wages in a pub, remember? You of all people should know this, working in the ship yard and all.”
“Well, not everybody can be all fancy and paint under the pretense of learning. Some of us need to work to support their family.”
Christine can see the night heading in the wrong direction, her friend and brother are looking at each other like they wouldn’t like anything better than to launch at each other and she really doesn’t want that to happen.
“Let’s sit down on the chairs over there,” the blonde propose, pointing at the wooden chairs standing in front of the stage. “Let’s listen to the other band.” She would have liked to have called out the boys for being so childish, but her mother has taught her better. Girls don’t argue with boys, especially when they’re her brother.
Luckily for her, her friends and brother listen to her proposal and head towards the chairs. Harry is the first to sit down, Liam sits down next to him, followed by Christine, Louis and Niall.
Niall and Louis sitting next to each other wasn’t on purpose, but now that they are seated this waty, Christine hopes it will help them resolves whatever is going on between them.
Now that Christine is close to the stage and able to see it properly, she discovers there aren’t any mic stands on the wooden structure. It confuses her because, how are the singers of the bands going to be heard if there is nothing to enhance their voices?
She asks Liam about it and he answers, “The microphones are going to be on broomsticks.” His face is straight, no hint on it to show he’s joking when he tells the blonde girl this.
Liam laughs at the flabbergasted look on her face. “The girls in the front row are going to hold up broomsticks so the bands can sing into the microphones. Apparently, the owner hasn’t enough money to buy proper mic stands.”
“Well, that’s going to be interesting.” Christine shakes her head in amusement.
And it is, because Liam is right. When the next band comes unto the stage, two girls in the front row are handed each a broom with a microphone on it. When they begin to play, more people have found their way into the club.
Another handful of bands perform while the friends wait for the Beatles. Some of them are good, some of them are not, but none of them able to entice Christine the way the Beatles do.
While the bands are playing, Niall and Louis have started talking. Christine doesn’t mean to eavesdrop but they’re sitting right next to her and she really wants them to get along again.
Most of what they say, Christine can’t catch because of the bands playing, but the words she hears appear to be friendly. She can still feel the tension roll from Louis’s body but at least he doesn’t try to avoid Niall, the way he has done the past weeks. So, Christine is positively hopeful.
Around 6 o ‘clock droves of people pore into the club, must of them girls with their hair pulled up in hives and eyes framed by black eye pencil. Some of them wear skirts, others jeans or trousers. All of them hurry to the chair closest to the stage, filling row after row.
Their excitement is contagious, infecting Christine and making her heartbeat pick up. She can feel jitters run through her body. Despite her best efforts, she can’t keep her legs and hands from trembling because she’s going to see the Beatles again!
Louis condition isn’t any better than Christine’s. The blonde girl can hear the beer slosh in the bottle Louis is holding as his hands tremble like Christine’s. The rest of his body must be trembling as well because Niall asks him if he’s alright.
“Yes, I’m just really excited,” Louis says, his voice breathless and rushed. “They’re going to be here in an hour.”
“Christine, calm down,” Liam chuckles, his eyes almost disappearing into his face. He looks really adorable like this. “You’re going to break the chair.”
Liam lays a hand on the blonde girl’s leg, halting her movements but at the same time making Christine feel embarrassed once again. What are the American boy’s intentions, that he touches her there? Did she give him any indication it was okay for him to pursue her? As far as she knows, she didn’t.
Thankfully, she doesn’t have to ask because he takes his hand off of her leg again. He doesn’t seem to detect her bewilderment because he doesn’t mention it when he continues with talking Christine down.
“I know they’re good, but it’s no use getting so worked up about it.” There’s no condescending tone in his voice to be detected, which would have been the case if it had been Harry talking to her. It doesn’t matter if they only three years apart, he treats her as if she was at least six years younger than him.
“I can’t really help it,” Christine explains. A nervous chuckle follows. She doesn’t really know how to act around Liam at the moment. The hand on her leg has made her unsure where she stands with him. “I’m just so excited. They’re on in ten minutes.”
As soon as the words leave Christine’s mouth, a scream sounds from the front row. “John!”
Christine’s eyes immediately search the whole stage, looking for something that could have set the girl off. But she can’t find anything, there’s no one on the stage or anywhere near it. Was it false alarm?
It seems so at first, but than a head appears from under the arch next to the stage. She immediately recognizes whose it is. There’s no mistaking the haircut or the big brown eyes.
The girls on the front row of course, as spotted him as well and they scream his name at the same time. “Paul!” The guitarist grins at their excitement and throws a wink in their direction. This, of course, only prompts them to scream even louder.
Paul’s head retreats behind the arch again and Christine is able to breathe again. Paul’s good looks have always had that effect on her and with her a whole flock of girls. The doe-eyed, pouty-mouthed guitarist was only surpassed in popularity by the drummer, who had his own following of devoted fans. Christine has always been partial to Paul.
When the Beatles walk onto the stage, a wave of sound comes their way as all the girls in the audience scream their lunges raw. Christine is embarrassed she’s one of them.
“How are all you lot doing?” their front man John asks into the microphone, which is held up by a girl with long red hair.
John’s sharp eyes scan over the crowd, as if he’s assessing every single person in the audience. It makes Christine exposed, vulnerable and she doesn’t particularly like it. The short man with his slightly crocked nose and narrowed eyes scares her a little bit, if she’s honest.
Most of the girls in the audience must not agree with Christine’s sentiment because they scream in response to his question.
“Okay, then,” John exclaims, the grin on his face making him look a bit manic. “We’re starting off with Good Golly Miss Molly today.”
As soon as they begin to play everybody stands up and they begin to dance to the sound of guitars, drums and their voices. Not even Harry is able to stand still.
Throughout their performance, John repeatedly asks people in the audience what they want to hear and they always play the songs people request from them. Paul sometimes sings songs as well and every time he does, all the girls go wild.
Eating is something they do on stage, the same goes for smoking. Christine had been really shocked when she saw this for the first time because no other band she knew did that. All the other bands did on stage was singing, nothing else.
But that’s what makes the Beatles so special, they’re unlike every other group. They are rougher, wilder and they write their own songs, they don’t only play covers.
When the concert is finished, Christine falls back into her chair, exhausted by her excitement and dancing. She feels like she’ll be unable to move for hours.
“They’re good,” Harry admits as he sits down on the chair next to Christine. To her surprise, Liam doesn’t complain that Harry has taken his seat, he just sits down on the chair the British boy sat on before. “They have a lot of energy.”
“And good songs, you can’t forget the songs,” Louis adds.
“You know, if you guys want to meet them, I may be able to arrange something,” Liam offers.
Christine turns are head so quickly that she almost gives herself a whiplash. “Can you do that?”
Of course, Harry has to spoil things yet again. “Oh, no, you don’t. You’re not going to meet those greased-up rock n rollers. It’s far too dangerous, they’ll take advantage of you.” Her brother’s face is pulled back in a scowl, making his eyes look like danger. It a sight she hasn’t seen before.
The angry look on Harry’s face, however, doesn’t scare Christine. In fact, it enrages her. He really needs to stop treating her like a baby, like he needs to protect her from all the big and bad in the world. She can take care of herself, thank you very much.
She tells her brother as much, but he is having none of it. “No, you can’t take care of yourself. You’re a girl and a girl needs a boy too look out for her. As long as you aren’t going steady with anyone, you’re stuck with me.”
“I’ll have to find a boyfriend then, don’t I?” Christine spats, having forgotten all she has learned from her mother about respecting her brother.
Harry, of course, doesn’t like her tone one bit, so he grabs her by the arm and drags her towards the staircase that leads to the street. Christine knows, it’s no use to resist, so she lets him. She waves goodbye to her friends, who wave back at her. She can tell by the looks on all three of their faces that they feel sorry for her that she has Harry for her step brother.
So guys. A new chapter with the Beatles first appearance, in as far as this story is concerned of course. What's you guys think? How about Louis and Niall? I'd love to know your thoughts.