Music Box Dreamer

Tommy O’Quinn leaned his tall raw boned frame up against the wall of the Mason’s large hall and took a deep drag of his half finished cigarette. He tried to tune out the rather brassy music pouring out of the half open window. “What the hell I’m I doing here in this miserable city, God forsaken city. I wished I was back home on Uncle Pat’s farm. I could be sitting around having coffee and a couple of Aunt Fiona’s cookie. I could be listening to Gang Busters or Fibber McGee and Molly. Or I could be talking about our plans for the farm. You were a damn fool to enlist Tommy my lad, a real damn fool. ”   Tommy was so caught up in the turmoil of his thoughts that he didn’t hear the large, ornate door swing open. He didn’t hear the footsteps gliding across the old wooden porch.   The soft, feminine, “Do you have a light,” dragged his thoughts back from his wishful musings to the reality of the moment.   His steel grey eyes wandered over the slender form and angel like face. A few golden curls had escaped from their proper place and cascaded over one blue eye.   His homily face broke into a warm, beautiful smile, “Yes I do.” The young man hoped with all his might that the girl wouldn’t look down and see his legs shaking. Tommy knew that in all his short life he had never seen any girl as beautiful as this one. His heart pounded so hard inside his chest he was afraid she could hear it.   The look she gave him was cool and unflustered. Even though the light was dim Tommy could see the storm clouds gathering in her big beautiful eyes. “Will you light my cigarette then, please?”   Tommy swallowed hard twice and tried to calm his racing mind and heart before answering. When he had regained s little of his scattered composure he replied in the deepest voice he could muster. He began, “Where I come from,” knowing full well what he was going to say was the wrong thing. He didn’t care though, because all of his life snooty, rich, beautiful girls like this one had turned up their noses at him. “Where I come from folks usually introduce themselves before asking for something. But I guess rich city girls are used to being rude and getting their own way.”   Annie was taken back by the rudeness of this young, plain looking man. She was used to men bending over backwards just to get a smile from her. This bold speaking male intrigued her, piqued her curiosity as no other man ever had. She smiled sweetly, “I’m sorry. My name is Ann,” she hesitated for a moment. “My name is Annie, Annie Foster,” she stretched out her slender hand. It was greeted by a large calloused hand that felt like a bear paw to here.”   A smile split his homily face in two, “It’s real nice to meet you, Annie, Annie foster. Your parents sure must be strange to give you the same middle name as your first one.”   It’s just Annie you dolt,” here warm voice turned a December north wind cold. “You may call me Miss Foster and keep your blasted light.” She wanted to turn away from this tall, offensive, red haired man but she couldn’t. Something wild surged in her breast. Un-known feelings coursed through her body and shook it from golden crowned head to painted red toenails. She felt giddy, felt light headed. Annie could feel her nipples filling with blood and pushing out against the fabric of her red silk dress. She was sure if he glanced down he would see what was happening. “Oh my goodness, I hope he doesn’t look. I hope he can’t hear my heart beating.”   “Well just Annie,” Tommy still held the girl’s slender, warm hand in his large mitt. Foolish feelings ran through him and foolish, troubling thoughts coursed through is mind. He reached into the left front pocket of his uniform and pulled out an old, banged up lighter.   “You can let go of my hand now sir, I need it to hold my cigarette.   O’Quinn mumbled sorry and relaxed his grip. It took two swift flicks of his thumb before a tiny flame appeared. A big calloused hand was cupped to keep the gentle breeze from extinguishing the fire.”   Annie took a deep drag, held for a minute, exhaled and smiled, “Thanks kind sir but you have me at a disadvantage. You know my name but I don’t know yours.”   Tommy took two steps backwards and bowed, “Private first class Tommy O’Quinn at your service miss.”   The girl giggled.

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