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            “It’s not like that.” Brian flicked the dying cigarette out of sight. “It’s just too late for me to quit.” He shifted closer towards Annemarie.

            “So you’re not gonna try?”

            “I mean, I’ll try to.”

Anne hesitated for a moment, then responded after a brief silence. “I want old Brian. The one who didn’t smoke.” 

He shifted towards Anne some more. “I’m still me, hun.” Moving closer, Brian placed an arm around her that she neither embraced, nor denied. “I promise.”

Anne moved away, speaking bitterly. “You’re not. You’re a smoker and an asshole.”

“Wait, what the hell did I do?”

            “You… you changed. You’re not the same as when we started dating. You used to be sweet and do so much for me, but now you can’t even stop smoking for me?”

            “It’s not my fault, I—”

“I’m sorry Brian. I’m serious. If you don’t want to quit, then I don’t want to be with you.”

            “Th-this isn’t even my fault, I--you’re acting childish!”

            Annemarie sighed, standing from the bench. “Goodbye, Brian.” As she left, he watched, trying to say something that he couldn’t form, like running slowly in a dream.

The End

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