The Missing Pieces of Life by Kristin Nichols

I walked outside to light up a cigarette. I took a long drag and looked down the hill, a beautiful view of downtown Seattle. I stepped back to let a couple of hipsters pass by, and pulled another drag. My stilettos clipped the sidewalk as I paced. The day was chilly, and I wrapped my scarf around my neck shivering a little as I inhaled the crisp air through my nose. I loved the smell of Fall. Laughter and music poured out of the bar down the street as the door swung open, and I waved at two friends exiting that bar. They turned and headed up the street to join us, and I stubbed my cigarette out on the ground, walked back inside and ordered another bourbon. Our friends immediately ordered a round of shots. It was four in the afternoon, I was drunk, I smelled of smoke, and I loved my life. And I was leaving to become a mommy.

The Box by Anjali Enjeti-Sydow

Only an hour after my D & E, still groggy from the anesthesia and reeling from the shock of the previous few days, I hastily exited the hospital where a few years earlier, I delivered two healthy, perfect baby girls. Just outside the sliding glass doors, the sounds of the city flooded my ears. The stench of smoke exhaled by hospital employees on their break and exhaust from engines impatiently sitting in traffic, hit me square in the face.

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