Brian’s fingertips were the only thing warm about him thanks to the cigarette he held between them. The bitter cold of winter numbed his body through the light layer of clothes he wore: skin-tight jeans and the red hoodie from Anne, a name he’d still remembered after three months, but certainly forgotten the meaning of over that time. Bringing his hand to his lips, he puffed another breath of smoke, then flicked the dead ember into the snow. He stood from the bench, looking at the sky, lit barely behind some naked trees. From the pack in his pocket, he took out another cigarette and lit it.
“Dude that’s your third smoke now. You should ease up a bit,” said Dylan, sitting on the bench huddled awkwardly in his thick jacket.
“I don’t really care, Dyl. I’ll be fine.”
“Alright. Just try an ease up, man. It ain’t good for you.”
Brian exhaled then sat back down, leaning forward to look at the ground. “I know.”
“I can’t really talk though. I still have a smoke or two once in a while even though I’m trying to quit. Hell… you got an extra?”
Brian took out an extra and gave it to Dylan who lit it and took a long breath of it. “I’m sorry, man. I’m just… a lil’ worried about you, man. You seem to be smoking a lot more lately.
“I’m fine. Same as always.”
“You haven’t been good at all lately,” Dylan said giving a skeptical look towards Brian.
“How so?” he asked, coughing out a bit of smoke.
“Well you’re smoking more. And this is the first time you’ve been out in like, four months.”
“Just thinking, man.”
Brian flicked his dead cigarette next to the last, staying quiet for a moment. “Yeah.”
“What about her?” Dylan also flicked his cigarette to the snow.
“I dunno. What she’s doing. What she’s thinking… I guess.”