I woke up bright and early the next day. Yesterday, was Sunday. Organic chemistry lab exams happened to be in the evening after classes during the last week of classes, which was annoying but it was what it was. Lindsay and I were meeting for supper before the exam which was at 7 pm.

My day was pretty uneventful. My normal class going punctuated by cold smoke breaks. After our marathon study session, I wasn’t too worried about the exam. I just wanted to get it over with which was why it was annoying that it was at 7 pm.

We met in the Central Academic Building (CAB) at 5 pm. There was a terrible food court there that we were going to eat at. We both got the noodles which while far from healthy was the best option.

We chatted over our noodles. I asked, “How are you feeling about this exam?”

“Better after studying with you, actually.” She answered between noodle bites. She looked pensive and perhaps a bit tired. We finished our noodles and as usual, I craved a cigarette after eating.

“I’m going for a smoke, it is cold- I totally understand if you want to stay here.” I announced, grabbing a cigarette out of my backpack and resting it on the table, putting my toque and jacket on and my backpack. I had some fingerless gloves in my pockets that I then put on and then picked up the cigarette and held it in my fist without crushing it. It was quite the production smoking in winter. While I did this, I didn’t notice that Lindsay also had her coat and backpack on, and was holding a pack of Benson and Hedges menthol lights. What an interesting development.

“Oh coming with me I see,” I laughed, “Well, I’m happy to have the company even if it is terrible out.”

“I couldn’t get smoking off my brain today.  I think I made it to lunch before I picked up this pack. I’ve only smoked one so far, but I think it is the first of many. I think I was so terrified at first because I could see how much I liked it and how fucked, ugh I mean addicted I’d be right away.” Lindsay noted, as we walked toward the door.

Once we were well away from the door, I took my lighter out of my pocket and quickly ignited the end of my cigarette. Lindsay was trying to get hers lit but the cold was making it hard for her to work the wheel of her lighter. I remember having trouble with lighters when I first started and this cold made it that much harder. I flicked my bic and held it up to the tip of her cigarette. She drew enough to get it lit and exhaled the first bit of smoke without inhaling.

“Thanks, buddy.” She smiled, placed the cigarette back into lips and took a decent sized drag. She exhaled right away, her warm breath doubling the size of the cone she exhaled into the dark night sky. Smoking suited her. It was hard to believe that she was so against it when I first told her I started but honestly, that is how most people are nowadays.

We smoked rather quickly. While smoking was pleasurable, getting frost bit wasn’t and neither of wanted to linger long. Lindsay was done before me, perhaps because she didn’t need to smoke yet and the cold was obnoxious. I took this as a cue to finish up, taking a triple pump to finish the cigarette off and depositing it into the ashtray by the door.

We made our way back inside, as we still had about an hour to kill before we needed to make our way to the building where our exam was being held. We sat back down in the cafeteria.

“So you decided to take the plunge, eh?” I remarked.

“I figured I only live once and honestly I think I’m already sort of addicted, at least psychologically. I couldn’t get smoking out of my head today. I felt better after I bought the pack and smoked one. I didn’t need the one I smoked with you, but I enjoyed it, in spite of the cold. I love menthols and these lighter smokes are much easier for me to smoke.” She answered honestly.

“Well, I can’t say I hate having company. But I dare say you picked the worse time of year to start smoking.” I teased.

“We can always study at my place, I mean since you can’t smoke in your place.” She offered.

“Ha, ha- awesome. I was studying at Drew’s a bit, but honestly he is distracting if you know what I mean.” I said knowingly.

“I can only imagine. Well, let’s do a bit of review before we head off.” She said and we quizzed each other for the next hour. By then it was 6:45 pm and I wanted another nicotine top off before spending two hours in our lab exam.

“Time for another, want to join me?” I asked. Her eyes lit up.

“I guess we have to walk outside to the exam building anyways. “She conceded. This was a bold face lie. Our northern university had inside passages to most building. We put our jackets on, gathered our bags and went out to face the cold for one last smoke before our exam.