the assassination of John Lennon through the eyes of a girl in a cold apartment

It was a frigid afternoon, and I was seated in the small living room in my apartment, which hummed softly with the noise of the radiator.
I shivered and clutched my pottery mug of chamomile tea, taking in the soft, warm scent against my chin.
The fierce December wind was howling unbelievably, like a spoiled child refusing to end a petty tantrum, and I couldn't help but notice how sad my record player looked.
It was such a nice new model, too. All pretty and blue. Shiny and well kept.
But “Imagine”'s bluish-green tint amongst the other albums was almost haunting.
Just glancing at it made me feel sad inside. So I turned back to my Life magazine, tucking my long, chestnut braid behind my back and sighing through my nose.
I'll admit it, I was never as big a Lennon fan as some of my sisters, who, when we were kids, seemed to constantly be blaring the Beatles' records from their upstairs bedrooms, leaving me feeling quite the quiet girl as I read silently on my bed and hoped the ceiling was as sturdy as the realtor had assured my parents it was.
But I won't lie; I know most every lyric of every song because of that. I Want to Hold Your Hand, Yellow Submarine, Revolution... you name it.
So when I'd turned on the dusty old television that afternoon to break the deafening silence of the winter, you can imagine my cheerlessness as the news channel instantly blared with sorrowful shock about the streak of murderous brutality that has sliced it's way through Manhattan, leaving John Lennon dead in the entryway of The Dakota.
It was hard to believe that the childhood idol of my siblings had been murdered. Shot and killed as if his life was only something of a cheap fiction novel.
I'd sighed and turned the T.V. off again, not wishing to be caught up in the sorrow which was tearing through New York and all over the country and world as the broadcasters declared it, shoving pushy microphones into tear-stained faces and shouting excitable orders to their cameramen.
It was almost too surreal.
I'd brewed myself a cup of tea and sat down to read, to be alarmed, only moments later by the loud jangling of the off-white desk phone.
Feeling a small amount of annoyance rising in my throat, I swallowed it back, realizing it ought to be forbidden at such a time, as I tossed my magazine onto the small coffee table, sending the papery 'slap' echoing through the small, poorly insulated room as I stood up and started for the telephone.
I pulled my sweatshirt in close, plucking the complaining device from it's receiver, taking a breath and letting it out again in a soft “Hello?”
“Louise?”
“Yes?”
“It's me.” ...The voice was familiar, but too muffled to properly distinguish. “Lillie. If you still remember? It's been too long, girl.”
I felt my eyes open wider in immediate recollection. “Lillie! Of course! How are you?”
I'd known the girl since second grade; she was a tall, smart, redhead with curls like you wouldn't believe. She had been the tomboy of grade school and one of the sensible, confident nerds of junior high.
She and I had made up the majority of our small, quiet nerd clique.
We hadn't talked in years.
But her phone call was by all means welcome; for we'd never broken our friendship, we'd just drifted onward and apart.
Lillie sighed into the phone. “Alright I guess. I should be asking you.”
“Me?” I felt my eyebrow raise.
“Mm-hmm.” Lillie murmured, her Massachusetts-ian accent staring to noticeably leak into her voice. “As soon as I heard about poor John, I thoughta' you.” She paused for a moment, before continuing, not really expecting a response. “I just...I just really felt like I should call you.”
I bit my lip and picked up the receiver, hoping it would reach my chair without tearing out of the wall. “That was a kind thought, Lil.” I said after a few seconds, feeling it was only right to address her by her teen-hood nickname. “I heard the news just now on T.V. ...Horrible.”
“Yeah.” Lillie agreed, and I could just see her long curls bobbing as she nodded slowly in sad agreement. “It's just darn sick. All the guy did was tryda' sing about peace and love.”
“..Mm.”
“What the heck has this world come to, Louise? You were always the deep-thinker. Tell me.”
I smiled. “I don't have all the answers, Lil.”
She fell silent for a moment; just long enough for me to hear the T.V. muffling in the background on her end. “If you don't have em, then who does...?”
At that we both fell silent.



Until I finally replied. “..God.”
“….True.” Lillie murmured her agreement, still unsure of how exactly to handle God, whom she might have seen as a distant, rather somber being, drably clothed and contentedly elsewhere.
Throughout our school years, I'd dropped tidbits of thought on the matter; how I saw God, and met Him personally through the book of Psalms.
Though, I never was sure if any of it stuck with her…
But now it looked as if something, obviously had.
Because she called.
We talked for hours that afternoon; about war, and violence and the lack of love in the world. We caught up on just about everything. Our lives, our jobs and our pursuit of something more than what this world had to offer.
When we finally hung up, after softy praying together for world peace, I noticed for the first time the falling darkness out my frost-nipped windowpane.
My tea was cold now.
And my cat was asleep on the coffee table, atop my magazine; leaving a dusting of her light tortoiseshell fur here and there.
But I didn't scold her; I instead surprised myself by breaking a little smile, walking over to the bookshelf and pulling out the record that had been staring me down since early on that day.
Lifting the needle, I slid the linoleum disc into my player and let John Lennon's hopeful voice fill my apartment as I made more tea.

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one
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