Maureen remembered seeing a change in George and Pattie’s behavior. She never really thought too deeply of their relationship, but she always felt that as a couple they were a little reserved, but overall happy. Now there seemed to be a shift.
She remembered hearing rumors of Pattie and Eric Clapton having an affair, at first she laughed at the idea, because she believed Pattie to be very loyal to George, but then she realized she really didn’t know that. Despite knowing each other for all these years she couldn’t say with confidence that Pattie wouldn’t do it. Not long after this she noticed things were awkward between the couple.
She saw how they seemed very distant with each other, that they barely touched or looked at each other. There was one party where Eric Clapton was at and she saw how Pattie was much more interested in him than her own husband. Maureen decided that this confirmed the rumors
When Maureen looked at them she felt like she was seeing a reflection of her own relationship. Her and Ritchie’s relationship has been falling apart for quite some time, but for a long time she refused to admit it.
He just never seemed to care for her anymore, he wasn’t acting like the man she fell in love with. He slept around, he drank, and sometimes he could even get violent, she shuddered at the memories. But, she believed that the man she loved was still in there somewhere, she just had to figure out a way to bring him out again.
That night when Pattie was flirting with Eric she saw George trying to mask his hurt, to create a look of indifference, but Maureen saw straight through it. She remembered how they made eye contact that night, she swore they had a look of understanding. She didn’t know if she imagined it, but she liked the thought of someone understanding her.
She thought of George often after that. She felt the urge to call him sometimes, just to express all these feelings she has kept hidden. But, she didn’t, she always lost the nerve. And sometimes she thought of Pattie, and she felt jealousy. She had a husband who loved her and she was turning her back on him, she didn’t understand it.
One time, Ritchie had yet to come home and she assumed he wouldn’t be back to morning, all the kids were asleep so out of pure impulse she called George. After a few rings she thought of hanging up, but then there was an answer.
“Hello,” He answered.
She paused “Hi.”
“Maureen?” He asked, clearly confused on why she’d be calling him “Do you want to talk to Pattie or something?”
“No.” She hadn’t thought of what she wanted to say, maybe she just made a fool of herself by calling.
“Um, ok. Is Ringo there?” He asked.
She realized that they weren’t close at all, that he can’t even consider that she called him because she wants to talk to him.
“Rich is out.”
He clears his throat “So, not to be rude, but why are you calling?”
“I don’t know.” She answered truthfully.
“Do you need anything?”
She needed lots of things, she needed the man she loved and once knew back here.
“How are things with Pattie?” She asked him. Maybe it was a dumb question, maybe it was too invasive but she felt he needed someone to talk to and so did she.
There was silence for a few moments “Why do you ask?”
“Because that night at that party, I remember your expression as Pattie talked to Clapton,” She said and then began to tear up “And I know that feeling, I know it so well.”
Once again there was a pause “Um, Maureen, I don’t know what you mean.”
She collected herself before she’d begun to cry “Yes you do.”
“I have to go Maureen, I’ll talk to you later.” He told her.
When he hung up she felt embarrassed and defeated. How did she think that would go? He must have thought she was acting so weird.
She feared he’d tell Ritchie, but then an even worse thought appeared in her head, would Ritchie even care? She couldn’t imagine him caring that much, as much as it hurt her to realize that.
That night she cried herself to sleep, it had become a common occurrence at this point.
To her surprise, the next morning she had gotten a call from George. He wished to see her at Friar Park, she briefly wondered what Pattie thought of this, but brushed it off.
She did her makeup and hair all nice before going. She didn’t know why she felt nervous, she wondered why George wanted to see her and how it was going to go. Would he just question her about calling?
When she arrived he greeted her with a hug “Is Pattie home?” She asked.
He shook his head “No, she’s not.”
Maureen didn’t know what to do with this information, she only nodded in response as he led her to his mansion.
He brought her into his studio and he said “I’ve recorded a song recently that I wish for you to hear.”
“Why?” She asks him, never bother did he ever ask her of her thoughts on a song, why now?
“It shall answer your question about me and Pattie that you had last night. I am not always good with expressing myself with words,” He explained and chuckled “Just listen.”
Before Maureen could say anything else he began to play the song.
Now the winter has come
To eclipse out the sun
That has lighted my love for sometime
And a cold wind now blows
Not much tenderness flows
From the heart of someone feeling so tired
She looked over at George, who wasn’t looking at her. He just stared at nothing, he seemed so numb.
And he feels so alone
With no love of his own
So sad, so bad, so sad, so bad
These lyrics hit Maureen because she understood them so well. She too felt so alone, now that Ritchie doesn’t seem to give her the time of day anymore.
While his memory raced
With much speed and great haste
Through the problems of being there
She understood this too, the memories of the times when the relationship was good when come rushing back to her during every bad moment.
In his heart at arm's length
Held within its great strength
To ward off such a great despair
Tears began filling her eyes, ‘yes’ she said to herself, it was such a great despair.
Take the dawn of the day
And give it away
To someone who can fill the part
Of the dream we once held
Now it's got to be shelved
It's too late to make a new start
She wondered if George really meant that, telling Pattie to go find somebody else who would be able to to make her happy. She hated the idea of Ritchie finding someone else, it made her feel sick.
The song went back to the chorus, and by the end Maureen had tears streaming down her face. George was right, everything was just so sad.
“What did you think?” George asked her after a few moments of silence.
“I know how you feel,” She said and looked up at him.
George nodded “I know you do, and I’m sorry.”
“Do you really wish for Pattie to find someone else?” She asked.
He sighed “I don’t know, maybe, not really. But, sometimes I fear that it might just be for the best.”
She was hesitant to ask her next question, but did so anyways “Do you think that someone might be Clapton?”
When she saw the look in his eyes she regretted asking, there was no anger, no jealousy, only sadness, utter sadness.
“It might be, Clapton is a dear friend, maybe that would be for the best.” He shrugged, but Maureen could feel his sadness.
“You don’t mean that,” She said bluntly.
He gave her a sad smile “Maybe I don’t, but it’ll be their decision at the end of the day.”
She was curious about how he could talk about it like this, and not go off about how he would fight Clapton if he tries to steal his wife from him. But he showed no visible, but she knew he was hurting. She wished for him to open up to her.
After that day she often visited Friar Park, normally at night and had the nanny watch the children.
She’d often confide in him about her problems with her marriage, and he said very little of his issues with Pattie. She wished he’d talk about it more, but she felt that he might in time.
George was so sweet to her, he showed her compassion and empathy, something she had been longing for. He was such a gentle and loving man, she couldn’t understand why Pattie was shifting her eyes towards Clapton.
One night Pattie decided to confront her “What are you doing here? Why are you coming to my house all the time?”
Maureen felt startled by the sudden questioning and didn’t know what to say so she just said “It doesn’t matter, I’m here to see George.”
Pattie gave her a judgmental look “Why are you locking yourself inside a room with my husband? Maureen, you have children.”
At the thought of her kids she felt a stab of guilt “Tough!”
That’s all she said, because she didn’t know how to justify herself.
Pattie went to bed, and Maureen went into the studio with George.
George seemed to be lost in thought Maureen rubbed his shoulder “What’s wrong?”
“No, it’s not,” Maureen insisted then softened “Tell me.”
George sighed “it wasn’t always like this ya know?”
“I know.” She did not have to ask about what he was talking about.
“I often think of our youth, I remember when I first laid eyes on her. She was in that film with us, I thought she was gorgeous and finally thought I had met my perfect match. I remember our wedding, I believed it to be the happiest day of my life. She looked so beautiful, almost like she was a doll, she had the most beautiful smile on the face of earth,” He was smiling getting lost in the memories, but then the smile slowly faded away'',But, it’s been ages since that smile has appeared for me.”
She felt overwhelming empathy for him, she understood what he felt so entirely. When she looked at him she saw her kindred spirit.
“You know it might not be over for you guys,” She tells him “It bothers her that I’m here, if she didn’t love you still then there’d be no need to be jealous.”
He took a moment to process what she said and she saw a slightly hopeful look form on his face. She wondered if she could manage to obtain that hopefulness one day.
After that night George began to open himself up to her more and talk about his crumbling marriage to her, but she noticed he never mentioned Eric Clapton. Nonetheless they found solace in each other, something they were unable to get from their respective partners.
She hadn’t ever imagined getting so close George, but yet here they were. They never took anything too far, but they did often cuddle and he’d play with her hair. Sometimes they’d talk while they cuddled, but other times Maureen would close her eyes and imagined it was Ritchie holding her, which made her wonder if George ever pretended she was Pattie.
One night, when Pattie wasn’t home yet he invited her into his bedroom. Maureen only guessed because it’d be more comfortable to cuddle in a bed than in the studio, but she wondered if he was expecting to do more with her tonight. Would she reject him? She wasn’t sure.
While George was getting them some drinks she looked at Pattie’s vanity and took note of her jewelry wondering if George had given her all these pretty things. It wasn’t the first time she felt jealousy for Pattie, for having a husband who loved her and who cared about their marriage.
Maybe it was weird, but she put on one of Pattie’s necklaces and looked at herself in the mirror. Pretending that this was her necklace that was given to her by Ritchie.
But, when George came in his eyes widened at the sight of her in his wife’s necklace.
“Take that off.” He demanded.
“What?” She felt confused at his sudden change in attitude.
“I said take it off.” He told her sternly.
Not wanting to fight with him she took it off and put it back on Pattie’s vanity.
He calmed down once she did this, but she wondered why he had gotten so upset in the first place.
Maybe he was beginning to feel guilt about what they were doing. Perhaps they technically weren’t having an affair, but they were hiding this new closeness from Ritchie and were leading Pattie to believe that there was an affair going on. The cuddling itself was admittedly inappropriate.
Perhaps George was ok with betraying Pattie in certain ways, but in other ways he can’t.
She didn’t understand how trying on her necklace was worse than leading her to believe that he was having an affair with her, but George could be odd like that so she didn’t question it.
Needless to say, despite whatever his intentions were they never went further than cuddling that night.
The next time they saw each other he had bought her a necklace perhaps as an apology for getting angry with her last night.Maureen was thrilled and gave him a big kiss on the cheek. She hadn’t remembered the last time Ritchie had gotten her anything.
When she saw Pattie she took notice of the hurt expression on her face noticing the necklace, she felt that twinge of guilt, but tried her best to ignore it.
Ritchie for some reason had the bright idea of inviting Pattie and George over for dinner one night along with their friend Chris O’Dell. Maureen agreed to this, although she was fearful of Pattie saying something to Ritchie about how often she was with George.
The dinner was going fairly well, there was a bit of awkwardness, but Pattie hadn’t mentioned anything yet.
Then out of nowhere George went “You know, Ringo, I’m in love with your wife.”
There was a few seconds of awkward silence that felt like an eternity to Maureen. She looked at George in shock, having no idea where this came from.
They were not in love! She didn’t love him and she knew he still loved Pattie, what was he doing?
Ringo was the one to break the silence “Well better you than someone we don’t know.”
Her heart shattered. She was right, he didn’t care. She saw Pattie run out of the room in tears, but Maureen simply got up and locked her in the bathroom.
She didn’t cry, she felt empty. Her husband and the father of her children, didn’t care that another man was in love with her. How on earth did it get to this point?
All she wanted was to go back to when Ringo loved her, truly loved her and was good to her, was good to her children.
When she walked back into the room she acted like nothing ever happened. Ritchie hadn’t talked to her about it.
The next night she went to Friar Park again to see George and try to make sense of what happened last night.
They were in his studio together “Why did you do that?”
“I found letters.” He told her.
Maureen looked puzzled “Letters? What the bloody hell are you talking about?”
“From Clapton,” He confesses “And Pattie.”
She sighs “I’m sorry.”
“It doesn’t matter, maybe they’ll make a good couple,” His face was void of emotion.
She could tell he so wanted to be able to get rid of his feelings of anger and discomfort at the thought of Eric and Pattie, he wished to be above such annoying Earthly feelings, but at the end of the day he wasn’t.
He was silent, she could see he was doing anything he possibly could to not let his emotions get the best of him.
“George, was the reason you said you were in love with me to give Pattie a taste of her own medicine?” She asked him.
He shrugs “Maybe or maybe I am just really in love with you.”
Maureen didn’t know how to respond to that. Why must he be so cryptic? He couldn’t just come out and tell her how he felt, she knew he still cared about Pattie. Why else would he mention the letters? Yet, he won’t tell her if the love confession was genuine or not.
As sweet and compassionate as he was capable of being he was also capable of acting so indifferent, and she wondered if that is maybe why Pattie had drifted from him...
She felt like she couldn’t deal with this anymore, it was all too much and she felt a headache coming on “I think I need to lay down.”
He looked concerned and brought her to his bedroom, and she laid down on the bed. He offered her some wine, and maybe it wasn’t the best idea, but she felt what else could she do, but drink away her sorrows?
So that’s exactly what they both did. They drank an entire bottle of wine, as Maureen ranted about her troubled life.
“Ringo is an idiot, you’re a great girl any guy would be lucky to have you.” He told her.
Those words felt nice to her, she hadn’t heard anything that nice for a while. She for a second imagined that George might really be in love with her, and while she did not feel the same way she liked the idea of someone in love with her.
She gave him a small kiss on the lips, it was soft and sweet with no passion or lust behind it.
Then they both stared at each other and began to laugh. Why? Who knows. Maureen laughed because she just couldn’t believe this was her life, not even in a million years did she ever imagine herself being in this situation when she first got with her Ritchie.
And what a crazy situation it was.
There was a suddenly loud knocking on the door “Let me in! George I know she’s in there!”
Maureen recognized the voice, it was Pattie. For some reason she kept laughing, god this was all so crazy, how was this real life?
Eventually there was silence and Maureen wondered if she left. George was simply staring at the door and she wondered what he was thinking.
Maybe he wished to open the door and embrace Pattie and to forget all this. Maureen wouldn’t blame him if he did.
What surprised her is that not much later Ritchie had shown up.
“Let us in!” He said, which made Maureen run to the door and open it.
“Ritchie!” She said, had he come to fight for her?
“Hey Ringo,” George said nonchalantly.
“Hello,” He greeted George and then looked at Maureen “We’re going home.”
Ritchie basically dragged her out of the house before she could say goodbye to George, she did remember the tears in Pattie’s eyes as she left .
The car ride home was painfully silent, and this time without laughter Maureen wondered how the hell did she get here.
When she and Ritchie got married she thought she had been in heaven, she was so excited for their future, having a family with him and living happily ever after. This is not happily ever after.
Maybe it’s just a bump in the road though, they’ll get through this. They had to, or else she wouldn’t know what she’d do.
When they got home what Maureen thought what would happen is that they’d go to bed without saying a word about what happened, but instead he said something that would change her life forever.
“I think we should get a divorce.”
She paled, and she turned to him with wide fearful eyes “What?”
“I love you Mo, I’ll always love you Mo, but we can’t go on like this any longer.” He explains to her.
“No, this isn’t happening,” It was barely above a whisper. Tears began to stream down her face, what would she do without Ritchie?
“You can be the one to file for the divorce,” He told her, as if it would make her feel better.
“I never slept with him!” She promised him.
He didn’t seem like he believed her “Regardless of what happened with George, we’ve been unhappy for a very long time.”
She shook her head “Leave me alone, I need to process this.”
“Ok, but I think it’s going to be for the best.” He said to her.
She ignored him and locked herself in their bedroom.
It was so easy for him to say it was for the best, it was for the best for him because he was this big musician with all this money, he’d be ok. She wouldn’t, she didn’t have anything else, she devoted herself to him and their children.
When they got married he promised she wouldn’t have to worry about anything else, she could be a happy housewife.
She sobbed, what did she do to deserve this? She barely slept that night.
Eventually she had no choice, but to agree to the divorce. She was so hurt, but it didn’t change that she loved Ritchie, he still meant everything to her.
Only a few weeks later she got a call from George, for some reason she decided to answer it, he sounded depressed and said that Pattie had left him and didn't believe she’d come back. He wished for her to come by, and told her that he needed a friend.
Maureen hung up.
She regretted ever calling George in the first place, she never should have done that.
Because now they’re both left all alone with no loves of their own.