I had everything I could want – and was still missing the one thing I still wanted most.
The job I inherited from my great-aunt was a pure joy. I got to sing and dance every night on a dining cruise that went from port to port and back.
Predictable, exciting, and I was adored. Everything a gal could want.
My room and board were paid aboard ship, and also a small apartment when the ship was in dry dock for maintenance.
Just one thing I really still wanted.
It was in that diner where all my life tragedies had started twice before.
This was going to be three strikes or a homer.
One last adventure, then....
It was a classic red-and-chrome dining car style. Larger out back where they needed more kitchen and storage space. There were nice little prickly bushes outside, which required little care. Grew in this desert called L. A. The ground around them was covered in small pea-gravel, and a nice concrete walk that sequeed into the sidewalk by the curb.
The air smelled of sulphur and exhaust, plue the tang of ocean. Dead fish. All the typical L. A. smog that never seemed to end. The only changes in it were due to the season. The old joke was that they didn't have Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter here. Instead, it was the Rainy season, the Mudslide season, and Wildfire season. Not necessarily in that order, but the fires would burn the brush, then the rain would loosen the soil and so, the mudslides.
I didn't mind being off the coast with my job on that dinner cruise. The occasional storm off the coast was different than where people spent their millions in the hills above Hollywood, trying to keep their houses from sliding down or burning down.
I shook my head, to clear all those “scenic” details.
Being here was accepting my “assignment”. Someone named Chuck.
But the idea of seeing Molly again, that brought my smile back.
Just before I grasped the stainless door handle on the diner's front door, I noticed the sparkling, shimmering glimmer at the corner of my vision. That Time Loop was still active.
And this time, my reaction was a chuckle.
Like the old days.
A quick tug, and the door whished open. I was inside in two steps.
Of course, it was like I'd never left...
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