[A Mini Novela] Just One More. Episode One: Remember to Breathe.
A five minute break, fantastic. Running out the back door, I fumble through my green faux crocodile purse for my Marlboro reds. Lighter in my back pocket I stand against the wall to avoid the sudden downpour that mirrored my day. My back to the rain I cup my hand over the cigarette and as luck would have it …the lighter is empty. Running back inside I run into the break room, scan for my locker, Gianna, in thick red cursive. I grab my back-up lighter and see two minutes left. No time to run back out. The cigarette fumbles on my lips, finally lit. I take the longest drag ever.
I know I’d be dead if I were caught smoking in here. You can’t smoke anywhere in New York anymore, started with the restaurants. Now I have to run around just to smoke a cigarette.
Smoke now fills the break room. A lovely gray haze. Damn, when was the last time I’d seen this. A smile spreads across my face and my brown eyes start to water. My eyes dart back to the clock. Break over. Just one more taste of sweet nicotine.
Slamming the locker shut, I stroll out, flicking the cigarette into the garbage on my way back to the restaurant floor. I stop at the bathroom to adjust my apron and to reapply my Once Bitten lip stain that makes Jaden crazy. I go behind the counter, to restock my apron for the rest of my shift and scan the floor. Oh look my favorite customer, Mr. Dias, with the touchy hands.
I hear the faint sound of the smoke detector…Raul burning something in the kitchen? I hear the water fall before I feel it.
My face turns a shade lighter than my red waitress apron. Screaming customers run from the dining room and out the door.
I finally walk out on to the restaurant floor; Marcellos is now closed for the day.
Oh, no, did I put out the cigarette?
Oh God, I can’t breathe! Jaden’s eyes pierce me. He knows. Oh God!
…To be continued…
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