As I walked toward my house, all I could think of is whether or not I should try smoking a cigarette tonight. As I approached the park across the street from my house I decided to sit on the bench and contemplate my options. As I sat there, I realized that there is no way I would be able to go back to sleep if I returned home without having smoked a cigarette. I slid my hand into my purse and felt the smoothness of the cellophane that encircled the pack of cigarettes. I withdrew them from my bag, and ran my fingers along the packaging until I found the pull-tab. I unwrapped the cellophane, carefully disposing it into the trash.
I liked the way the pack felt in my hand and could not stop staring at the package.
The package was a bright lime green, with light blue writing unlike any other cigarette package I had ever seen. I flipped the top open to expose the foil and carefully unfolded it. There, staring up at me, were 20 cigarettes. The possibilities were endless. I could smoke them all if I wanted to. They were packed in fairly tight and after a little maneuvering I managed to free a cylinder and place it between my lips.
I noticed these cigarettes were much slimmer than the ones that Drew smoked. They looked a lot less big in my small hands and were also longer. Despite my bad experience that morning, I felt nothing but excitement. The cigarette felt fairly light resting in my lips and almost instinctively, I drew on the unlit cigarette and could taste unlit tobacco combined with a minty flavour. The green package must have meant menthol I figured to myself.
I paused for a moment before lighting up and thought here goes nothing. Now I would say it was the start of everything. But I didn’t know that at the time.
I raised my brand new Bic lighter to the cigarette, but a few things were against me. One, I was not very good at using a Bic at the time. Two, it was windy out. After many misfires and a raw thumb I finally got a flame and lit my cigarette.
I exhaled the first puff with out inhaling. I noticed the smoke from these had a cooler feeling in my mouth. I eagerly pulled on the cigarette again this time drawing the smoke into my lungs. The effect was more subtle than my first ever inhale, but I could feel my heart rate increase in response to the nicotine. I decided to take this cigarette slow, after what happened that morning.
The next inhale I felt slightly more relaxed, but also alert. There was a bit of a rush both from the nicotine and because I was doing something I knew I shouldn’t be doing.
I loved the way the cigarette end glowed bright red up every time I drew on it and watching the smoke pour out of my mouth. Despite taking it slow, I got the feeling I should stop when I was about three quarters done the cigarette. I decided that this would be a good time to call it quits if I did not want a repeat of this morning’s events. I snubbed the cigarette out on the ground and wondered should I just leave it there as litter or put it into the garbage. Part of felt bad about littering, but I also worried about starting a fire in a garbage pail.
I got up from the bench and felt a little woozy, but not sick. This time the feeling was manageable and I managed to stumble home to my house.
When I got home, I quietly made my way to my room as to not wake my sleeping roommates. Only once I was back in my smoke-free house did I notice the faint lingering smell on smoke on my clothing. I stripped off my clothes and brought my sweatshirt to my nose and breathed the smell deeply. For some reason, I really enjoyed the fact that I smelled like smoke. I prepared for bed, leaving brushing my teeth for last. I wanted to taste the tobacco flavour in my mouth for as long as possible. Quite the contrast from the morning, where the taste had made me want to hurl.
Once in bed, I lay there for a long time contemplating whether I wanted to continue smoking. My more health conscious side woke up a bit as the nicotine started to wear off and thought about all the reasons why I shouldn’t smoke. Lung cancer. Emphysema. Heart Disease. Decreased stamina in physical activities. The side of me that wanted to smoke did not care about these things. She only cared about the fact the smoking made her feel good or at least so far 50% of the time it did. She was curious about where this path would take her.
Then my mind wandered back to Drew. I hoped he would not still feel responsible for the cigarette that made me feel sick this morning. Hopefully he would not be second-guessing ever letting me try it. Only time would tell and now that I felt less preoccupied with smoking, I could not wait to see Drew, even if it might be a little awkward telling him what I had gone and done on my own.
I as drifted off to sleep, a haze of smoky fantasies lulled me into a deep but restless sleep that seemed to end only moments after actually falling asleep.