“It’s my last cigarette.” A tall, dark dressed man passes the almost empty pack across the small table. Grabbing to get the favor, Camille turns the container upside down. Her long fingernails pulls the unfiltered item out of its box. “You’re a wonderful soul, I will brag on you the next time I see Ma.” Snickering about the remark, the gentleman gave a half mouthed grin. “Here’s a light for you.” A wooden match stick gets stroked against the side of the table. Reaching out to Camille with the small globe of flame, she puts the cigarette in her mouth and leans into the heat. Deeply inhaling the energy through the tobacco-filled cylinder, smoke crackles in the air as Camille leans back in her seat.
Exhaling forcibly, she gently places the smoky object on a clean, white saucer plate the staff left out because they knew her tendencies from previous visits. A long, faded yellow cloth napkin was the only other object on the heavy wooden card table. Camille glares at her companion and he casually allows his eyes to study hers. She softly asks, “Why are you here now? I wasn’t expecting you to arrive so soon. I thought it would be a few more weeks before we would meet up.” The lady picks the cigarette back up and embraces it with her lips as she sucks more heat through the long round tube.
She breathes more smoke in the air but this time she spews the vapor toward the one sitting across from her. “You know why I am here and you know what I have to do, let’s make this simple.” These words dripped off the calm man’s mouth like dew off a leaf in early autumn. Throughout the whole conversation he never blinked one time while peering deep into her mind. “When did you know?” Camille was calm in requesting knowledge. She understood the importance of this meeting.
The stony-faced man spoke, “Camille, you have been meeting me here for many years and I enjoyed the time. Sadly, it has run its course.” Reacting to the words, she slammed the cigarette on the table and crushed the fire from it. It was the perfect ending for Camille and the man she worked for, the one she simple called Boss. He pointed toward the door, “I will consider the money you snagged as a going away bonus.”
An angry scowl appeared as she pushed herself away from the table. The Boss sat in silence. Her pace quickened as she went out the door. A barely lit sign reading Boss’ Burger Barn was over the exit door. Fumbling for her keys, she found a picture in her purse. She tossed it on the parking lot then got into her small two-door car and drove away. The picture was of her, Boss and their parents when the place first opened over twenty years ago.