Last Cigarette By D.I. Jolly

He waited a second before stepping off the train behind her, it was late and she was tired after another long day. He noticed she’d been having a lot of those recently, and never seemed to get enough rest to feel fully recovered. Even on weekends she always managed to find a reason to miss sleep. She stopped just inside the entrance to the station to roll and light a cigarette, and it dawned on him to wonder ‘would she have taken more care if she knew that it would be her last?’

He followed her silently up the stairs and down the street towards her house, watching as she carelessly smoked with one hand and played on her phone with the other, only occasionally looking up to make sure she didn’t accidentally walk into anyone or anything. Both of which she had done in the past. Tired and eager to get home she quickly looked down the street for any incoming cars before crossing, and a slight shiver ran down his spine and he felt his opportunity approach. In one moment she took a long drag while reading an unexpected text message. Having very clumsily rolled her smoke a few stray threads of tobacco ran along the filter and burnt her fingers. She swore and quickly opened her hand dropping it into her open bag. Swearing more she quickly started searching for the embers. Her phone vibrated again and she turned just in time to see the headlights and realised she was crouching in the road.

He moved with inhuman speed into the street, scooped her up in one motion and a moment later they stood facing each other on the sidewalk. For the first second, she just stared in shock at the strange man, then erupted info swear words.

“What the fuck, I’m so fucking stupid, oh my God, oh my god. Where did you even come from? Fuck, fuck!’

She paused for a moment studying the man who he smiled very gently.

‘You, you just saved my life.”

The man’s smile quickly faded and a shadow seemed to form around him as his face turned pale. Slowly he raised his arm and pointed a thin finger toward gathering crowd, panicked voices and still body which lay on the road.

“No, I didn’t.”

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