Monday, December 5, 2011

Phase One

     “I think I need some fresh air!” Sonja had to shout over the music.
     “What?” Daniel leaned closer to hear her.
     “Fresh air!” she repeated.
     Daniel nodded and pushed his way through the crowd. Sonja held on to his arm to follow him out the bar. The bouncer held the door open for them and they weaved around the people trying to enter. Once free, the stepped around the corner and huddled in the entryway of a closed storefront. It was a cold night, but the chilly air was a welcome relieve after the stuffy bar.
     Sonja held herself tight as the cold became more dominant. “That band is great,” she said, “but I wish it were easier to breathe in there.”
     “No kidding.” Daniel wrapped his arms around her from behind to help keep her warm. “I’m still having a great time, though.”
     Sonja smiled and tilted her head back to kiss him. She rested in his arms for a moment, then pulled a pack of cigarettes out of her pocket. Daniel sighed when she lit up.
     “Please don’t start, Daniel,” she said after taking a puff. “You know I’m trying to quit, but it isn’t easy. Just let me enjoy this evening.”
     Daniel stepped around to the front of her to avoid the flow of smoke, and to look her in the face. “You know I don’t want to be annoying, baby, but it really bothers me. I hate the smell of cigarettes, it’s costing you a fortune and I’m worried about your health.”
     She patted him on the cheek. “You don’t need to worry about me. I’m a big girl and I can take care of myself.”
     “I know, baby.” He moved her hand off his cheek. “But it’s also dangerous… for both of us.”
     “Oh come on, you can’t use second-hand smoke as an argument. I almost never smoke around you.” She took another puff and blew it out to the side, away from his face.
     “That’s not what I mean,” he said. He seemed to think about his words for a few seconds, then continued. “What if you were smoking at a gas station and we were both there? You could cause the whole place to blow up.”
     Sonja laughed. “Sweetheart, I don’t think you have to worry about that because I don’t smoke at gas stations, and I promise I never will.”
     Daniel laughed, too. “Oh yeah? Well, what if we lived above a gas station? What would you do then?”
     Sonja rolled her eyes. “I suppose if we moved above a gas station then I wouldn’t be able to smoke, period. I would just quite right then and there.”
     “Promise?” Daniel smiled as he pulled her closer.
     “I promise,” she said with a laugh, then nuzzled into his shoulder.
     They stood there for a few minutes after she finished her cigarette, then started walking back to the bar.
     Excellent, thought Daniel. Phase One of his elaborate plan was complete, and it fell into place quite nicely.

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