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Monday, July 6, 2015

painting

Places with "the best kept secret" in front of their names never lasted long and they avoided them. This place was only known as 'the Mill' and didn't even have a listing in the Yellow Pages. Out front, steak and seafood at it's basic best. The bar was a warmly lit island with half of the twelve seats occupied by regulars on any night of the week. On the far side of the bar, the glassed-in dance floor extended out on pilings into the bay and was presided over by a pre-war Wurlitzer with no new music in it since 1965. The place had more than class. It was a time machine and since the past was Anna's realm, Jack let her take him there.

The bartender saw them coming in and spread a stack of quarters in a glittering arc on the end of the bar knowing that his tips would more than triple this evening. The man in the black slacks and dress shirt, sleeves rolled casually up his muscled forearms, would seat the striking woman at a table off to the side where they could both see the door. He'd order dinner and drinks and then they would take the dance floor. No one ever joined them as they moved around to the music of yesterday. Stardust. Artie Shaw. Benny Goodman and Moonglow.

"When are we now Anna?" He pulled her closer to him as if he could read more into her answers that way. She danced with her eyes closed, relying on his.

"It's 1941. Your leave is up and you head back to Pearl."

"As in Pearl Harbor?" 

"Yes. To the West Virginia."

"Damn. That don't bode well. Guess I survived?"

"It doesn't matter. We are here." She knew he could tell her nothing about her future. Now was all they had.

"And what about you?" he said quietly.

"I have no idea. I only know the life I've lived so far." 

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