“I’ll clean up later, boys. You can get ready for bed.”
While they said their goodnights to Izzy, Lillian checked on Charlotte. Then she poured Izzy a glass of sherry, fixed a cup of tea for herself, and set them on the coffee table.
“Tiny, Mr. G, Mr. H!” Izzy said with a laugh. “An Egyptologist, a poet? I must say, it’s a colorful world that Gabriel inhabits.”
Lillian turned on the radio and soft music filled the apartment. “He’s always been that way. I don’t know if I should be concerned or not. At first, I worried about the eccentricity of the place, the people. But he’s so happy.”
“There’s no denying he’s getting quite an education,” added Izzy. “Of sorts.” She leaned back and looked out at the lit Christmas tree, the Victorian holiday cards on the mantel, the bunches of holly placed around the room. “You have a lovely life, Lilly. Beautiful children, a loving husband, you’re working as an artist. A life brimming with beauty and love. You must be so happy.”
“I am. Sometimes I pinch myself to make sure it’s all real. When Charles finally returns home, then I’ll believe it.”
Words from the radio announcer caught their attention. “We now continue our tribute to Mr. Glenn Miller, marking the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of his plane over the English Channel…”
Izzy let out a deep sigh. “What a loss!”
Lillian listened to the melodic strains and nodded. “So much has been lost with the war.”
Izzy’s shoulders moved to the rhythm, and she gave a wistful smile. “My God, how we loved to dance to Glenn Miller.”
Lillian had been observing Izzy. All night, she could see that something was on her mind. In between her laughter and conversations, a shadow would fill her eyes. Sadness? Regret?
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