Still in my haze, I almost left class without Drew.

“ Hey, Mel… Mel?” Drew called after me.
“ Yes?” I asked, having obviously forgotten our plans.
“ You still want to go over our essays?”
“ Oh right, must have slipped my mind.”
“ We can do it some other day, if you do not feel like it right now.”
“I’m starting to feel better, but maybe it would be better if we just met up either later today if you don’t have plans or tomorrow.”
“ Tomorrow works for me. I was planning on going out with some friends tonight anyways. How does tomorrow at 2 pm sound?”
“ Perfect. I’ll see you then.”
I turned to go, and Drew grabbed my arm and looked into my eyes and said, “I hope what happened this morning… doesn’t change your opinion of me.”
“ I’m not sure why it would, but you shouldn’t feel responsible. I did what I did because I wanted to.” He looked back unsure. It was somewhat disconcerting to see someone that normally looks so confident look so unsure of himself.
“You’ll just have to trust me on this one.”
He still looked uncertain, “If you need anything tonight, don’t be afraid to call.”
“I won’t. See you tomorrow.” I said somewhat urgently. You see, I sort of wanted to be alone, with my conflicted thoughts and feelings.
“ See you.” I heard him say. As I walked away, I heard the click of his lighter. This only furthered my confusion, as despite the events of the morning, I still wanted to smoke. Part of my mind was neurotically racing and asking questions like, “Could I be addicted already?” and “I wonder how long it takes to get used to it” followed by “Stupid, Stupid, Stupid, stop playing with fire, you know you are going to get burned.”

As I walked home I kept thinking and thinking. Part of me was contemplating trying smoking again on my own, as to not look like an idiot the next time and part of me was chastising myself for even contemplating next times. When I got home, I started daydreaming and my thoughts always came back to smoking and the feeling, well surprisingly was stubbornness. I wanted to conquer smoking.

The problem was more where to start. What to start with? My knowledge in this area was severely lacking so I decided to hit up the Internet. Unfortunately, it was not very helpful. Most websites were trying to help people quit, not start. I eventually came across a news clip talking about cigarette packaging and saw some cigarettes that looked super appealing. Perhaps it was just a marketing ploy to get me to smoke, but the Benson and Hedges Superslims did look super sleek.

That night, the internal debate as to whether to actually go through with the purchase started. I chickened out and decided I would purchase the cigarettes the next day. The only problem with that plan is all I could agonize about instead of sleeping is making the purchase. At about midnight, after tossing and turning for about an hour thinking of nothing but how I would walk into the convenience store and ask for the cigarettes I decided I might as well get it over with. My heart started to race as I rose out of bed. The tension intensified as I pulled off my pajamas and pulled on my jeans and sweatshirt. As I pulled my black hair into a ponytail and applied some lipgloss, I saw I glint in my eye that was previously not there and my mouth curved into a half smile. I could feel the electric feeling of adrenaline course through my body, as I started to follow through on something I deemed to be very naughty.

I almost could not walk to the store fast enough. I knew I didn’t need the nicotine from the cigarette, but for some reason I was compelled to buy the cigarettes. By the time I got to the store, I was a combination of anxious and excited. I stalled a bit as I wandered around the store, looking for something that could not be found in the aisle of the store. I absentmindedly grabbed a Vitamin water as if to give myself another excuse for being at the convenience store at 12:30 am. As I got closer and closer to the counter, I started to panic.
I grabbed some gum and surprisingly managed to blurt out, “ Pack of Benson and Hedges Superslims.”
The clerk took out three slim packs: a black one, a white one and a green one. I pointed at the green one, making the choice based upon the fact that the pack looked the coolest. Part of me was calling the part of me that thought the pack looked cool stupid.
“ That will be $16.75.”
“ Really? That seems like a lot.”
“Well miss, cigarettes are not cheap these days, especially not those fancy ones.”
“Oh… right.” I said in my daze.
“ Do you still want them?”
“ Yes and a lighter too.”
“ With the lighter that comes to $18.75. Would you like a bag?”
“ No bag, I’ll just throw everything in my purse.”
I threw down a twenty, accepted my change and proceeded to put my cigarettes and lighter into my purse. My heart was still racing, but I know I must have had a smile on my face. My cigarettes… I liked the sound of that.

Chapter Six