Sunrise, Sunset 

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His green uniform suited his strong build. He smiled a coy smile while she sipped the mug, leaving her favorite lip color on the rim.

“Come on,” he coaxed. “What time is it?”

She took another sip, this time spilling a drop on her new dress.

“I told you, you’re my converter. I don’t understand military time.”

He took her hand, caressing her smooth skin, asking her why she was so beautiful. His gaze stayed on her mouth as she spoke of her grandmother’s journey from Kyoto to the US long ago. How her grandmother was the most beautiful girl in Japan and how her grandfather courted her for only three weeks before they were united as one. Her long raven hair draped over her milky shoulders like black silk as she continued her story of her family. He regretted not keeping the box the jeweler gave him. He could feel the stone digging into his hip. His foot tapped under the table, riddled with nerves and excitement. She figured he was keeping a beat as Chattanooga Choo Choo played on the radio. She halted her ancestral story for a moment to squeeze his hand tight.

“Do you think you’ll be stationed right here for a long while?”

Her pleading expression gave him the courage to ask. He stood up, his napkin falling to the ground. A fresh breeze from the ocean tousled his blond hair. He knelt down before her. Her trembling hand covered her smeared smile. Tears rolled from her cheeks and onto her hands. He slipped the ring on her finger. It was the wrong finger, but neither one noticed or cared. Before she could say yes, a rumbling from the heavens startled their perfect morning. The red sun symbolizing her grandparents’ birthplace was imprinted on numerous buzzing aircrafts above. The first loud boom pierced their ears as others at the café ran for cover. Their hands remained entwined as they held each other under the table. During the eternity of those two hours, they embraced, whispering, crying, and trying to preserve their happiness. He kissed her face. Despite the fear, she still had the face of an angel. As the smoke rose from the water in the distance, they stumbled to their feet. As the nation’s leader spoke of retaliation and infamy over a crackling radio speaker, they knew what was to come. His call of duty was certain. He had to go. She would stay behind of course, but now with the face of the enemy.

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Ann is an online English tutor from Lansing, Illinois. She writes to keep her sanity intact during the frigid winter months. Like other writers, she hopes one day to write the “Great American Novel”. Until then, she will continue to write short stories. Besides writing fiction, she also enjoys cooking, camping, and cycling. Her work has appeared in Mash Stories, Inner Sins, Wild Violet Literary Magazine, and Nite-Writer’s International Literary Arts Journal. She received a writing prize from

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