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The Sunday Squirrel: vice

Katie stared at the empty carton in horror. How could she be out already? She pawed through the drawer digging out notecards, old pens, a pair of scissors, and a ticket stub. No, no, no.

Today was not the day to go cold turkey. Not when she had a presentation in front of the new CIO and dinner with her sister.

She pulled out her wallet. One quarter. If she went up to the roof would anyone hear her scream?

Her fingers trembled on the mouse and she squeezed the knot at the base of her neck. Two more hours. No sweat. Except for the little drop trickling down her side.

Mindy had left early. Maybe she had a stash in her desk. Katie walked casually into the next cubicle, glanced over the wall to make sure no one was around, and rummaged through Mindy’s desk drawers. Nothing. Of course. Mindy was one of those super health nuts who ate sprouts and only drank water or fresh juice.

Barry. Katie snapped her fingers. Surely, he’d have some.

Using every bit of willpower not to race down the hall, she glanced into Barry’s cubby as she strolled by. Damn. He was meeting with someone.

Defeated, Katie passed through the lobby and out the side door. A group of smokers huddled around the ash can, and she sighed with relief at the sight of Ron.

“Hey,” he said with a smile as he exhaled. “You look stressed.”

“I’m dying.”

“I have just the thing.” He reached into his coat pocket.

She held out her hand for the miniature chocolate bars. “Thank you,” she said almost on a whisper, rapidly unwrapping a piece of candy and popping it into her mouth. So good. “I owe you one.”

Ron chuckled.

Katie ate another piece of chocolate and sighed with pleasure.

I just might get through this day after all.


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