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A Pause of Another Kind

It was midnight in the oasis of the world. The rain danced lightly on the windows of the diner, like a drumline during a halftime show. Two coffee cups, two plates of what was left of a dutch apple pie sat between them on the table. It was like a first date and it felt like one as well since they hadn't seen each other in a while.

Max sat across from Maggie at a booth in Kelly's Diner. 

At the moment Max was scribbling things inside a cigarette package. It look like jumbled numbers. Maggie leaned forward and caught a glimpse of the notes.

"Trying to figure out how much we owe for the coffee?" Maggie asked with a slight wink.

"Just trying to figure out when the next shift will occur," he replied. "I finally found you here, and if I can calculate when the next shift will occur, it might be easier to track you there."

Maggie took a sip from her coffee. Then she reached over and touched his hand, and it was a nice warm sensation.

"Look Max, whatever happens happens," she stated. "Let's just live for this moment and throw caution to the wind. The war will always be there, but we have this refuge at this moment."

Max slid the cigarette lid closed; he only had a few more smokes left. She looked into his eyes and got lost in the depths for a fraction of a moment. 

The moment seemed magical as time appeared to stop. They didn't need to say words to show their affection. It was a shift of an eye, the nod of a head. 

Max was about to say something when Maggie's cellphone went off, a jingle came alive.

"Maggie!" said a faint voice which seemed to be swimming in static. "I can't keep this line open, the temporal tendril will only last a minute or so."

"Professor!" Maggie replied. She hadn't heard his voice in years. "What is it?"

Max leaned forward, as Maggie held the phone from her ear so that he could hear as well.

"You can cross when you... hands joining a circle... We can see you... like television... ...hope you can hear this!" 

Max leaned closer trying to understand the message; the voice sounded like one of the voices in his head that he heard every now and then.

"Maggie," the voice said, "I have to go call the others."


And like a lit match in a strong wind the Professor was gone.