Fiction Snippet: American Spirit

His legs splay out on the mattress, while the pillows and blankets sit at the foot of the bed as an offering to the Greek God Eros. His brow glistens with the mark of a job well done. 

“Fuck, it’s hot. Did you turn on the AC?”

“Yeah.” I slide back into bed, inches apart from him. The fan blows stale air at our heaving chests.

I breathe in deep, feeling the gentle tremble of my legs, and laugh.

“What?”

I shake my head. “Nothing.” My lips part into a wide smile. “Did you still want to smoke?”

“Yeah, kind of.”

“Jesus, you’re cliché.”

He shrugs. “It just feels right.”

I snort. “Well, come on then.”

I throw on a shirt and shorts while he grabs his black briefs and white v-neck undershirt. We file out of the room and venture past the living room onto the small porch of my apartment. He lights up and sucks hard and deep on his American Spirit.

A plume of smoke escapes his puckered lips and like my thoughts, it hangs in the winter air. I shiver and shrink back into the chair, tucking my feet beneath me.

“So,” he says before inhaling again.

“What?” I look up at the cig perched like a bird on his finger.

“Have you heard from him?” Smoke puffs out with each word, like the impending cloud of a train.

My eyes rest back to the dirt patch in front of me. It’s a graveyard of clay pots for crusted plants I forgot to water.

“No.”

He sighs. “Shit.”

“It’s all right. I think I stopped hoping he’ll reach out.”

“Think?”

I mumble a yes.

“All right, then.”

“Can I have one of those cigarettes?”

“Yeah, sure.” 

He tosses me the yellow carton.