I just finished a smoke break in my balcony, so thought that this might be appropriate.
I first started smoking at age 16. It was after our first GCSE exam. A bunch of us went to this place near my high school with a grassy rooftop to chill out before the next bomb created by the Cambridge Examination Board was dropped our way. My then “fun buddy” had a pack on him. He had been smoking for a while now. I was curious. I couldn’t help admiring the way he held it, and just how it improved his look and aura in general. So I asked for one, and he obliged. I had no idea how to inhale. I was the biggest noob; what happened was I ended up apparently giving the cig a little kiss. Everyone burst out laughing. I couldn’t help but join along and laugh with them at my stupidity and naiveity. But I was determined.
I tried again after the summer. It was another rooftop party. Something that night upset me, so I asked a friend to let me try a cig (at that time, I refused to drink, so alcohol was no comfort). This time I managed to take it in. A little coughing. But my mouth adjusted. I started to feel a little relaxed. I remember that I didn’t feel conscious of my hands. It felt so natural.
I went to the graveyard a couple of times with friends during school for a smoke break. But I ended up feeling more satisfied smoking by myself, behind my home.
I wasn’t a regular smoker until the summer before university started. I traveled to Switzerland, to stay with my aunt. She was at work most of the time, so I traveled the country by myself. Train rides were long and there was a lot of waiting on train platforms. One thing I observed on these platforms was practically everyone smoked while they waited for the train. I could understand. It felt so long each time, waiting for that train. Smoking helped pass the time. So I started. 1 a day, 2 a day and so on.
Then university happened. I thought I’d let go of my habit, but university definitely made it a lot harder. It started off by only smoking on nights out. There were quite a lot of those. It then started happening between classes. I’d be sitting in a lecture, craving nothing but my next smoke break.
My parents found out eventually. My mother didn’t talk. I think she felt afraid of me. Of how I wasn’t this sweet, innocent young girl whose hair she’d make before sending her off to school. My father though… he was a smoker. 10 years. He gave it all up for my mother. But his words couldn’t break my walls. I was unreachable. Because I felt like this was an escape from… everything. But not just that. The habit stuck on.
See, this boy I knew and liked. He’s a smoker. Craving for smoke breaks just for that purpose wasn’t enough anymore. I started craving smoke breaks because I thought we’d bump into each other one day or another in one of the spots on campus. And we did. A few times. We did talk. But nothing.
So now, I crave smoke breaks for smoke breaks. Sometimes, with a friend or two, which admittedly does feel a whole lot better. But then, I wish that someday, I find what my father found with my mother. Motivation enough to give it all up.