The small jazz club had grown quiet. Most of the crowd had left around midnight, heading out to the more popular dance clubs that were just getting into full swing. John and Jill remained in the dimly lit corner at the booth that had become theirs in the last two weeks. The trio on stage was playing a soft jazz tune and the dance floor was all but empty.
Jill sipped at the glass of wine in front of her, lost in thought. John slid over closer to her and slipped an arm around her shoulder. Laying her head against his shoulder, she said, “Last night.”
“I know.” John replied, solemnly. “Do you want to change your mind?”
“I wish I could.”
They sat silently for a few moments, just enjoying the closeness of one another. The fourth member of the band joined the group on stage and grabbed the mic. John turned Jillian’s face up toward him and asked “Dance with me?”
Wordlessly, Jillian unfolded herself from the seat and followed John to the dance floor. They assumed position and began moving to the slow rhythm of the song. Once again, she wondered how such a “macho man” could be so skilled on the dance floor. He wasn’t exactly the first soldier she had ever known, but he was certainly the first soldier who could also do the cha-cha-cha like a champ. Just now they were gliding through the steps of a rumba, slow and sad, not the sensual moves so often characteristic of the dance.
♪”So I leave you softly, long before you miss me
Long before your arms beg me to stay
For one more hour or one more day”♪
Even as the singer continued, the world seemed to melt away around them. All Jillian could feel was the firm grasp of the hand around hers and the strong grip of the arm supporting her back. Having had enough of the still, formal form of proper ballroom, Jillian took a step into John’s arms and rested her cheek on his shoulder. She didn’t want to feel this way. He was supposed to be a casual fling. A Cabo romance. She hadn’t dreamed of running into some flyboy or falling for an American. But she had made up her mind, she didn’t have time in her life for something serious or permanent. He was about to be deployed anyway. And then they would never see each other again.
A know at the door of her quarters brough Jillian back to the present. “Enter,” she called.
Rodney walked in, tablet in hand. “Do you ever turn that thing off?”
Rodney sat next to her on the bed, “What? My brain?”
Jillian teasingly punched him in the arm and took the tablet from his hands when he wasn’t expecting it. “What are you working on anyway?”
“Oh you know, genius stuff. I’m sure you wouldn’t understand.”