I’m jealous of your cigarette
And all the things you do with it
I’m jealous of your cigarette
And the pleasure that you get from it
And not me
All this time your talking no
– From the song “Jealous of Your Cigarette” By Hawksley Workman

The next few weeks passed without much excitement. My painful crush on Drew was almost unbearable. English class usually felt like it would not end because I spent the whole time concurrently watching Drew and trying to look like wasn’t staring at him. It was ridiculous that one guy could make me revert back to being a 15-year-old girl with a crush, but that is exactly what he did to me. Good thing we rarely had to talk to each other in class, because when we did speak, I would become so clammed up and nervous that I would go red and babble. It was quite embarrassing.

That all changed when one faithful English class toward the end of the first month.  Our English prof, decided that he was going to pair us up into editing teams and that we would work with this person for the entire term. What this editing team entailed is taking the rough drafts of the numerous essays we were going to produce and peer edit them. I ended up paired with Drew, which meant I was actually going to have to speak with him. The previous week, we had submitted our rough drafts of our essay to the prof and now we were going to spend the whole class editing them. Again I had mixed feelings- excitement because I was going to get to spend time with my crush and also self-conscious because he was going to be reading everything I wrote for the whole semester.

Our prof gave us some time in class to pair up. This was going to be awkward. Surprisingly, Drew seemed almost as nervous as I was. Could it be possible that he felt the same way about me?

 “Um, Melanie is it?” he asked, unsure.

 “You can call me Mel. You’re Drew, right? I breathed, somewhat taken by surprise that he knew my name.“S-So when do you want to meet up to talk about these?”

“Well, since we need some time to edit, would right after this class on Friday work for you?” he suggested, “ I know of a little coffee shop near campus that we can go to.”

 “Sounds, good!” I said almost a bit too enthusiastically. “I’ll see you Friday then.” I started to collect my stuff to leave, when he stopped me.

 “Uh, I know this is going to sound a bit forward, but what are you up to right now?” he asked, gazing straight into my eyes. With that gaze, I felt like he had me under a spell. I would do anything for this guy. Anything.

 “Nothing- my schedule is wide open. What do you have in mind?”

 “I was thinking coffee. We should get to know each other better before Friday or I fear we won’t get any work done.” He smiled, with a knowing look in his eye. The connection was undeniable now. I was glad he wasn’t playing games. I don’t have much experience dating so the more obvious and forward this guy was the better.

 “Lead the way!” I laughed a nervous, but excited laugh.

 And so he did. We walked outside and as usual Drew went for his cigarettes. You could tell it was completely habitual for him to light up every chance he got. He hesitated and asked, “Do you mind if I smoke?”

 “Not at all I replied.”

 “Do you want one?”

 “No, I don’t smoke,” I replied my usual response without even thinking about it. The truth was, as it always was that I really did want one, even though I have never tried it. Half the time I do not even know how I am able to deny myself something I want so bad and the other half of the time I am questioning how it is that I want something that I have never had that badly.

 “ No worries,” he mumbled with the cigarette clasped between his lips. I could not help but notice how beautiful his lips were, the cigarette somehow accentuating it. I tried not to stare, but I had waited for a good two weeks to have an excuse to watch him smoke- it was all I could do to keep myself from gawking.

 He took his lighter, a shiny silver zippo to his long cork tipped cigarette and puffed out some uninhaled smoke as he lit it. He pulled on the cigarette for what seemed like an eternity, inhaled and held the smoke in for a good 30 seconds before exhaling a huge cloud of smoke, a grin of pleasure lighting up his face. He sighed, and I was happy that he seemed too preoccupied with his cigarette to notice me watching.

I noticed that he made a point of exhaling away from me, which was nice of him although to be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have cared if he blew it right in my face. The smell was absolutely intoxicating. Watching him smoke was starting to turn me on a little, something I noticed was happening more often when I watched people smoke. My arousal seemed to be more intense watching Drew though and I was happy that there was no outward cues to Drew that I was being aroused by him.

We didn’t say anything for a long time. We just walked and Drew smoked, until after awhile, when he was almost finished his smoke, he asked me, “Does my smoking make you feel uncomfortable?”

“No!” I exclaimed, “What gave you that impression?’ Damn it! He noticed how quiet I was, although he guessed completely wrong reason. If only he knew it was quite the opposite.

“Well, you got really quiet right after I lit up, so I figured since you don’t smoke that it might bother you.”

“It doesn’t bother me at all.” In fact, it had quite the opposite affect on me.

“Good, because I wasn’t planning on giving it up.” He smiled and winked, and somehow as this made me weak in the knees. If only this guy knew the power he had over me.

He took one last drag and tossed cigarette out into the street before we entered the coffee shop. We ordered our drinks, two cappuccinos and sat in the corner of the coffee house on two comfortable easy chairs.

“ So…” He started awkwardly.

“ So what?” I laughed, although it was more because I was feeling the tension too.

“Favorite movie?” Drew asked me in an attempt to break the ice.

“Dead Poet’s Society.” I answer, “ Yours?”

“Star Wars Trilogy- the original one.”

“Really? You didn’t strike me as being…” I trailed off, not wanting to label him as geek.

“A geek?” He asked, his eyes sparkling. “ Geekier than you could imagine. But there isn’t anything wrong with geeks is there?”

“Not when they are as cute as you,” I blushed, not quite believing I was so forward, “ I’m pretty geeky myself, being a Science major.”

“Really? What area?”

“Biology- specifically microbiology.” I answered somewhat quietly. Sometimes I hated telling people my major since they would automatically assume that I am smarter than them. “ What about you, what is your major?”

“Civil Engineering.” he replied.

“What are you doing in my English class then? I thought engineers had their own English class?”

“We do, but I really like English and wanted the challenge so I decided to take the regular class. Plus, learning how to write technical papers is boring. Studying poetry and literature is at least at little more interesting.”

“I would have given anything to not have to take regular English.”

“Ah, but aren’t you glad that you had to take it now?” It was almost like he could read my mind. Although, I think I was making it pretty easy for him.

“Yes.” I couldn’t help but blush again. We continued chatting for about another two hours. I could not believe how much I had in common with Drew, a guy a only hours ago thought was unattainable.

“It’s getting late, I should probably head home,” I said, noticing it was already starting to get dark outside.

“Where are you headed? Maybe we can walk together?” Drew asked

“I live on 45AVE and Maple St.”

“I live about 20 blocks in the opposite direction. So why don’t I give you my number and you give me a call to let me know you’ve gotten home okay. I know it sounds paranoid, but it would make me feel better.”

“Okay.” I sighed as I took his number. He was even giving me an excuse to call. What more could a girl ask for?

As I walked away, I could not help but glance behind at him. Drew was still standing in front of the coffeeshop, and was in the process of lighting a cigarette for his walk home. As I watched him exhale his first drag he caught my eye and at that moment I knew it would be unbearable waiting for Friday to come.

Chapter Three