Anecdotes from the Story of the Century

No Smoking

Wedy wouldn't have minded "Elin" so much if she didn't constantly egg her about her smoking. It was subtle, at first—well, as subtle as the kid could be—such as bursting into obnoxious coughing fits whenever she saw Wedy light up, only to be shot down with a curt, "Need a lozenge?"

It is only a matter of time before she finally cuts to the chase: "Smoking's bad for you." Bratty millennial—

Wedy takes a long, defiant drag of the cigarette perched between her fingers. "I know. That's why I do it," she replies.

She pinches her nose in the meantime and grimaces. "But it stinks! You're gonna ruin your good looks—"

(Here she was, thinking that Aiber was the master of flattery.)

"—not to mention your chances of seeing fifty. I did research on this once; do you wanna hear the numbers? They're not good."

"Hm. Die young and leave a beautiful corpse, they say. Keep your statistics, thanks."

"Your corpse isn't gonna look 'beautiful' if you keep smoking," she snaps.

Wedy slides her a cool glance from behind her shades. "Look hon, I don't coach you on your lifestyle; why coach me on mine?" As she crosses her legs again, she adds, "If you need someone to nag, try Ryuzaki. On that diet of his, he's not gonna live to see thirty."

"Yeah, but he doesn't stink up the place," she grumbles as she peeks down at her sock-feet for a second: one of the few times she had ever stood up for "Ryuzaki" in any way. But just from the way she's looking at her feet, Wedy can tell that she's cracking in this argument.

When she looks up again, she says, "Can you at least take your cancer sticks outside? You don't have to live here, but I do. And I actually want to see fifty. At the bare minimum."

Not that it's her business, but sometimes Wedy wonders what she's doing here in the first place. She's not a suspect, not even an investigator. "Hn, you've just admitted something that not a lot of girls your age even care to think about. Applause, applause. But I should let you know," she smirks, "that I can smoke wherever, whenever I damn well want to."

"Elin's" fists clench at her sides. "All right, that's it. I tried to be nice about this, I really did. But now, sister, now you have forced my hand." She storms out of the room.

What's she going to do, complain to "Ryuzaki?" Ryuzaki lets her do what she pleases while she's here, as long as she does her job. They go way too far back for him to be influenced by some young girl.

In a way, Wedy wishes that she would've complained to him. Maybe then, she wouldn't have stayed up scribbling "No Smoking" signs on computer paper to copy and tape on pretty much every surface in the monitor room and beyond that would stick for everyone to find the next morning.

Then again, maybe that's why she'd resorted to this, in the first place?

She asks as she wipes her nose with a tired, lopsided smile. "You should know that you can't light up where there's a sign, right, Wedy? I'll take these down when you see the light. A-and I don't mean from your lighter."

Wedy doesn't know whether or not to laugh, especially upon seeing the determined glint in "Elin's" green eyes, which extinguishes when she collapses on the couch, too beat to go upstairs to her room to take her nap. This girl is going to go far.

She's has been taking her smokes outside, since then. And since then, the New Yorker has stopped egging her about her habit. Aiber steps out to join her shortly after that incident, asking, "So, what made you cave?"

Wedy, propped up against the wall, crosses her arms and rolls her eyes. "Kid was making a fool of herself; I thought it'd be the humane thing to do to spare her any more humiliation. Call it pity. But, at least she's not hacking around me anymore. That was getting annoying, to say the least."

He grins. "And they have the nerve to call us criminals."

Aiber is more of an alcohol man, but he is an occasional smoker, so she silently offers the con man a light, unable to recall ever feeling more grateful to be among her kind.


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