“Hey Sara, can you do me a favor? I keep finding cigarette butts lying on the ground, outside the building. It can only be the guys who are working on the roof… and the windows.”
“Sure.” Sara shrugged her shoulders in reply.
“I need a sign that reads, ‘No Smoking,’ in Spanish?”
“Hey, Luis! Let me cop a bone off you.”
Luis reached into his pocket and pushed a white cigarette toward Manuel’s waiting hand.
The flame danced in front of the receding edges of the cigarette. The paper crackled while Manuel sharply inhaled, dragging air through the treated leaves and filter. The light at the edge of cigarette raced like a tracer toward the end of the fuse. Leaning his head back, Manuel released the cloud of smoke into the air. It bobbed on the currents, looping and floating upwards.
Manuel looked at the cigarette situated between his index finger and thumb and then over at a white sign that had been newly affixed to the wall. “Hey, Luis!” He called out. “What do the words, ‘no fum-are’ mean?”
“I don’t know… I think it’s in Spanish.”
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