An ambulance worker takes a brief cigarette break at the back of the hospital. He places his foot on the brick wall, leaning against the side of the building and sparks up. He takes a long hard draw and sighs. The time between cigarettes has been growing steadily longer since he started working at the hospital so he savours each breath before his time is up. His radio bubbles to life and he springs off the brick wall, realising he is being watched.
A women, who has seen him a few times before, steals a glance at his crotch before looking away suddenly. She flushes scarlet, clutching her stomach in her scrubs, before dropping her fag butt on the ground. They’ve not acknowledged each She’s trying not to sigh, but can’t help her dissatisfaction be revealed through her breathing.
By accident, the pair of smokers make eye contact. He smiles and she smiles back. He mutters, “After you…” and gestures back inside. “I’m going to the car park,” he says and she hides her disappointment. They’ll see each other at some point when the stars align and their breaks synchronise once more.
In a thousand looks, they still can’t express what they need. And with a glance of their watches, they know there isn’t time.