Pon stepped out of the bright blue taxi, her pink skirt rising up and showing more than enough of her fair skinned thigh to catch the attention of the table full of office men sitting just outside the front doors of the Star Coffee Shop.

“I hate that shit! You know it killed my grandfather!” Seth said.

She frowned, and when she frowned this angelic Chinese beauty’s face underwent a transformation of decay, a degeneration of such a massive contrast that she looked just shy of a demon. It was her perfectly plucked and brushed eyebrows curving upward like a cat about to strike, and her eyes which narrowed to black slits, and her lips not only turning downward, but thickening with a nearly geriatric looseness, which formulated this evil persona.

“It’s my only one of the day,” she said.

“I doubt that,” he snapped, pulling his fingers through his thick blond hair which he allowed to flop about his face much the way a teenage surfer would do, despite being nearly 40. His green eyes speckled with gold, fixed on her face. “I doubt most everything you say to me to be perfectly honest. I’m not sure if you have an honest word to offer.”

“Then what’s the point?”

He winced with the sharpness of her words; he used to be able to chastise her without retort, but now almost nothing he said went undisputed.

“I admitted to you what happened which I did not have to do. I told you what I did. You said you forgave me, but every time you have a bad day I get punished for it again. Or are you really just scared of smoke?”

He huffed. “Smoking killed my grandfather, I’m not afraid of it I’m disgusted by it. It’s a dirty habit; besides, it’s so behind the times, first world nations haven’t allowed smoking in public in twenty years. Thailand just never got the health memo. I am surprised a hip girl like you would cling to it.”

“Well you are such a modern guy. You’re the first one people check with to find out what’s fresh in Bangkok.”

She was fifteen years his junior and enjoyed reminding him of the fact that he was anything but up to date when it came to fashion, taste, or attitude. It was a joke between them most of the time. He teased her about her lack of film knowledge, “Blade Runner was one of the finest films Hollywood ever produced.”

“In 1982 I wasn’t born yet, how would I know,” she would retort. “But I do know that wearing your shoes, with the leather tassels on top, that hasn’t been cool since 1982.”

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