M is for Mad

An attempt to produce a poem or story from now until the end of April (except Sundays).
The theme for the 2022 A to Z Challenge is the human condition.

“Can I have a cigarette, please?” An angry voice interrupted Mike’s reverie; he turned around and came face-to-face with the very woman he’d been thinking about.

“Jules! Didn’t realise you smoked.”

“I don’t. It’s a disgusting habit, but I had to get out of there.” She waved her hand in the vague direction of the pub function room.

“Not enjoying our annual Easter knees-up?” Mike said, already guessing the reason for the dejected look on her face.

“Not so you’d notice.” She slumped against the wall and plucked the burning ciggie from his hand.

“Ugh, vile,” she coughed. “Brian is at it again.”

“Who with this time?” Mike took the cigarette from her and stubbed it out.

“Suzy from accounts, but only after Linda from sales told him to eff off.”

“Shame you didn’t tell him that at New Year.”

“Picking up colleagues at office parties is such a stupid idea.”

“Not necessarily.” He took a deep breath. “Fancy going for a drink?”

Jules hesitated. Mike reached into his pocket and threw the rest of his cigarettes and lighter into a nearby bin.

“OK,” she grinned, “but first, there’s something I need to tell Brian.”