He didn’t smoke, but he’d accepted the offer of a cigarette from the pale man shuffling his feet in the waiting room. Outside, they’d shared that brief intimate moment, leaning in to light their smokes from the same lighter flame, but now they ignored each other, just as they had inside.
Jonathon could only assume the pale man was here for similar reasons to him: waiting for his girlfriend to emerge from somewhere deeper in the clinic, not sure what to expect — from her or from himself.
The pale man coughed, ground the stub of his cigarette into the ground with his foot, and lit another. Jonathon was glad there was no offer of a second for him; he was struggling with the first. He shivered; the pale man did too. The sun had disappeared suddenly, taking its warmth below the horizon. The street lamp overhead flickered on, and the two men moved closer to it. Standing under the shower of light, the darkness seemed to deepen quicker. Jonathon ground his own cigarette stub into the cement. Hands buried deep in his pocket, he rocked back and forth from his heels to his toes.
The pale man finished his second smoke, and dropped it on the ground.
“Good luck man,” he said, and wandered back towards the clinic. Jonathon looked at the butts the man had left on the ground and suddenly felt ill.
This is my response to this month’s Monday Project theme. The new theme (due at the beginning of next month) will go up later today. Come play along!
[The new theme has gone up — check it out here. New players are always welcome.]
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