Write about longing. This is another Write Practice prompt timed at 15 minutes.
She wiggled on the seat. She told herself she was just trying to find a more comfortable position on the hard bar stool. It had nothing to do with the glass of whiskey in front of her, or the pack of cigarettes lying next to it. Nothing to do with them at all.
Her fingers itched, smoke wafted all around her and she wanted nothing more than to pick up the fresh pack and rip off the cellophane. The phantom tap, tap of the pack in her palm made her sweat. She folded her arms across the bar and leaned on them. Her foot jiggled up and down. She took a sniff of the whiskey and exhaled slowly.
Damn she wanted to reach out, lift the glass, and throw it back.
“No one’s going to judge you if you have just one, Kira. Not today,” Mick, the bartender, said, coming over and placing an ashtray in front of her. Kira wanted to use it; she had no reason not to. She wasn’t exactly sober; she’d never been an alcoholic so she couldn’t say she’d gotten sober. But she had quit drinking, and smoking when she’d sat down in the lawyer’s office nearly three years ago and they’d told her she was unreliable as a witness.
“Open the pack for me Mick.” She didn’t trust herself to open it. The muscle memory might still be too strong.
Mick did as she asked and Kira’s eyes followed his hands as he picked up the pack, tapped it twice on the counter top and peeled the wrapper off. He opened the top and pinched the foil wrapper pulling it off in one swift motion. Kira leaned forward and smelled the fresh scent of tobacco. Then took a sniff of the whiskey, she was sweating and she had to clench her hands into fists to keep them on the counter. Mick closed the pack and placed it back on the counter next to the glass. He pulled a pack of matches from the stash in his apron and laid them on top.
“No one would blame you Kira.” Was all he said, as he walked a few steps down to serve a customer. Kira leaned back in her seat. She took several deep breaths; she hadn’t had a drop to drink in nearly three years, or a cigarette. She had turned her whole life around and now she was going to lose it all.
She leaned forward on her arms so that her eyes were level with the glass. Kira had done this a few times over the last few years, come into the old club. It was a private bar, full of old men, worn women, and second generation alcoholics. There were a few remnants of the Irish mob that ran a book business out of the back booth and no one got past the bouncer unless they knew someone or had a reason to be there. Federal smoking laws meant nothing here, if she wanted to light up that cigarette and drink whiskey at the bar she could. Kira liked to come in here and test her will power. But today she wasn’t testing anything. She was fighting the longing, like in that first year, the only difference was today she wanted lose.
Kira wanted the smooth sensation of cigarette smoke and whiskey on her tongue. Wanted the buzz and the courage, and the feeling of invincibility. She was pretty sure that tomorrow she was going to be dead, so what did it matter.
Kira heard the door open; she resolutely kept her back to it. Staring as a bead of condensation slid down the side of the glass. Clara sat down on the stool next to her, Mick hovered, and Kira knew that the rest of the bar was looking her way, waiting.
He’s out,” she said. “I saw him myself, coming out of the courthouse. There’s not even a monitor on his damn ankle.”
Kira let out her breathe, reached forward and picked up the glass.