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From the corner of her eye, she watched her mother chat animatedly with a man in a nice suit and offer him a drink. Which was ironic, since her mother ran their family's bar; people came here because they wanted a drink. Her mother new she was watching and looked up, but she was already fixed on drying beer glasses once again, humming fakely to the song on the record player.

"Rita!" her mother called out sharply. "Come over here!" Rita walked over towards her mother and the man, putting on a fake smile. It was only 10 'o clock, but she was still in a tense mood. The regulars had gotten completely drunk already, and were calling Rita by their pet name for her. Her mother was ignoring the mood her daughter was in. "Rita, this is Mr. Billings. Mr. Billings, this is my daughter Rita."

"Joe Billings," the man said, sticking out a thick hand for a handshake. "It's a pleasure."

"It's nice to meet you," she mumbled. Rita's mother stepped on her foot.

"Well Rita, what's a nice girl like you doing working in a speakeasy?" Joe Billings chuckled.

"Oh, Mr. Billings, we don't call it that," she said, laughing too loudly. "It's still just our humble family bar."

"I see," he said. Billings leaned forward. "Well Rita," he said once again. "It seems like your mother wants you out of the house. It's 1923, a girl like you doesn't have to just sit at home anymore, especially if your home is a bar! Times have changed." Rita stared at him. "How would you like to come work for me?"

"What?" she replied, still staring.

"Come work for me. I've been looking for a secretary recently, and I think you could do a fine job."

"Oh, really?" she said. Her eyes were wide; it was all moving too fast. Rita began to envision her dream life, slowly coming to a clear form. No more would her hair be stick straight and shoulder length; she could wear a wavy bob! Just as she was thinking about the clippings of dresses under her bed, her mother brought her back to reality.

"You wouldn't have to live entirely at home either," her mother said. "I'll let you have that loft above us, you know the one. I don't think the door connecting works anymore, so it's separate from the bar."

"That would be wonderful! When do I start?"

"Well, Monday seems about right," Joe Billings said. "You'll have the weekend to settle yourself in your 'loft,' and I'll show you the ropes Sunday."

"Alright, thank you. And what do you do?"

"I'm a private detective."

"Oh," Rita said, surprised. "Oh really."


Small chapter to start out with! Please review. See you soon!