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I stood on the steps of the subway waiting for the rain to pass. The city seemed quieter that day. Perhaps the ominous weather had somehow silenced the honking horns and vociferous pedestrians. I looked at the clock on my phone and realized I still had time to waste. I removed a cigarette from my pack and lit it. A man appeared in front of me as if from out of nowhere. His pungent scent burned my nose as I inhaled. He moved his fingers to his mouth, signaling his desire for a smoke. I gave him what he wanted and then headed to the hotel. Once inside, I took the escalators upstairs. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but then I noticed signs directing the way. I found the elevators and reluctantly went up to the fifteenth floor. I didn’t want to be there, but at that moment, I had no other choice…

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