Melanie! Breakfast is ready. Better hurry or you’ll be late for school!” Evelyn Coe yelled up to her daughter from the bottom of the stairs.

Frank, I don’t know what’s gotten into Melanie lately” Evelyn complained to her husband. “I can’t keep up with her mood swings.”

Remember when she was dating that loser Jeffrey and we insisted she end the relationship?” Frank asked. “I wonder where he is and what he’s up to. You don’t think she’s still seeing him, do you?”

Last I heard he was selling used cars. Melanie said something about him working at that lot on Matthew Street near the Cavern Club, I think. I hope she didn’t go behind our backs and continue seeing him. She wouldn’t do that to us, Frank, would she?”

Stubborn girl!” bellowed Frank. “Don’t forget how she fought us about going to public school with the ‘cool kids’ instead of attending Rigby Academy! She has never wanted for a single thing her entire life. She takes everything for granted. She’ll be going to college in a couple of months. Hopefully she’ll get her head on straight.”

You’re right, Frank” Evelyn agreed. “But now she’s talking about taking a break before college to ‘find herself’. I can easily find her; she’s upstairs sleeping!”

Evelyn marched to the stairs and called out: “Melanie! You better be down here in two minutes or I’m coming up!”

“There’s no way in hell Melanie is taking time off to go gallivanting around God knows where!” Frank threatened. “Tonight we’re going to have a serious conversation. She’s had a very privileged life and if she thinks she’s going to take advantage of our generosity, she better think again!”

I’m going upstairs and dragging her out of bed.” Evelyn thumped up the stairs to Melanie’s room but moments later came running into the kitchen clutching her handkerchief, tears in her eyes.

“Frank! Melanie wasn’t in her room. I found this letter. She’s gone! Our baby’s gone!” Evelyn wailed.

What do you mean ‘gone’? Let me see that” and Frank snatched the piece of paper from Evelyn’s hands. He read out loud:

Mother and Father.
I’ve run away with Jeffrey. I want my freedom.
I’ve lived under your thumbs long enough and
for the first time in my life I’m doing what makes me happy,
not what you want me to do.
Please don’t come after me or try to find me.
Goodbye, Melanie

Running out of the house, Frank yelled for Evelyn to call the police. When he returned he breathlessly informed his wife that Melanie’s car was gone.

The police arrived soon after; Detective McKenzie asked the usual questions: Did the Coes think Melanie was forced to write the note? Did she leave against her will? Were any of her things missing?

Tearfully Evelyn answered the detective’s questions. “Her suitcase and some of her clothes are gone. She wasn’t forced to leave. She left us for Jeffrey. She did this to hurt us!”

I’m sorry, folks, but unfortunately we have to wait 24 hours before filing a missing persons report. My hands are tied” Detective McKenzie replied sympathetically.

God knows where they are by now!” Frank exclaimed.

I can’t believe she would leave us!” Evelyn lamented. “She has everything here; a nice home, lots of clothes and her own car. Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly? How could she do this to me?”

We never thought for ourselves. We worked hard all our lives to get by. What did we do that was wrong?” Frank cried in desperation and frustration.

Hundreds of miles away Melanie and Jeffrey were speeding down the highway heading for a new life.

Any regrets leaving home like that?” Jeffrey asked.

None!” Melanie replied without hesitation. “I’m finally having fun and that’s the one thing money can’t buy!”

She snuggled close to him and they sped away without looking back.

NAR © 2023

AUTHOR’S NOTE: In 1966 Paul McCartney read a newspaper story in the Daily Mirror about a girl named Melanie Coe which inspired him to write the song “She’s Leaving Home”. Although most of the content in the song was embellished, McCartney said that a great deal of the story about Coe, who was 17-years-old at the time, was accurate. She left with her boyfriend in the afternoon while her parents were at work. In my story, the names of Melanie’s parents, Frank and Evelyn Coe, as well as her boyfriend Jeffrey, are fictitious. Coe was found ten days later having previously mentioned where her boyfriend worked; she was pregnant and her mother took her for an abortion. An update on Coe appeared in The Guardian in December 2008 and she was interviewed about the song on the BBC program The One Show on November 24, 2010. In May 2017 Rolling Stone magazine carried an interview with Coe to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

25 thoughts on “SHE’S LEAVING HOME”

  1. What a great story and I love knowing more about the song! Yes, it’s amazing to me how hard some parents cling to their children and how little they allow them to make their own choices in life. The end notes were sad. I wish things had ended differently for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great story Nancy. I really enjoyed it so much. I love the history behind the story as well. I love CSN&Y too. What a great piece. I feel kind of sorry for the parents but sometimes we have to listen to what our children want even if we don’t like what they have to say. Beautifully written story and great songs. Big hugs and love, Joni

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was younger, Joni, it was the music that did it for me. As I got older and listened to the words I realized how profound they are. Parenting is not easy and we often get it wrong. There’s that slender thread between doing just enough and doing too much. It’s a very heavy song with a deep message. Thanks, luv, for your great comments! 💫

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is so true. I overcompensated with my daughter because of the way I grew up. One child, explaining everything with great detail at the age of two and attending every athletic event and she was a serious jock. I loved every minute but she was spoiled. Just a wonderful post and it is a great song 🎵. Have a blessed week my friend. Hugs and love, Joni 🌟🦋🤗❤️


  3. Inspiration can hit from the most unexpected places.
    Again, your storytelling breaths life into an amalgamation of music love, Beatles song, human condition, so effortlessly and therefore into the reader’s skin.

    ” I can easily find her, She’s upstairs sleeping”…such a hallmark mother line!😆
    And the embroidery over the TV…remember the ritual necessary before we could turn the TV on?😂

    Brava, cara 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nick! That’s one of the things I really like about your comments; I know you read the whole story and watched the video. I appreciate that, sincerely. 🌹
      Our first TV was a B&W console; I wasn’t allowed to touch it until my father got tired of getting up to change the channels. Then it became my job! 😂
      Mille grazie, caro! 🍏

      Liked by 1 person

    1. This has always been one of my favorites as well, Doug. I felt a special attachment to the song; when I found out it was based on true events, I was moved even more and this story is the result of my thoughts and feelings. I’m glad you enjoyed my deconstruction of a beautiful Beatles tune. Thanks for your lovely comments. 🕊️

      Liked by 1 person

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