The day I quit smoking cigarettes . . . By Christopher Reel

The day I quit smoking cigarettes, I thought it was going to be hard. And it was.

After I showered and dressed I yearned for my morning fix of nicotine. I let the craving come and go when I looked down at my sleeping girlfriend Sandra, who came up with the idea of me quitting. She said I would live longer.

‘Live longer for what?’ I asked.

‘So that we could be together until we’re old.’ She replied.

That was all she had to say. I loved her, maybe a little too much. She was worth living longer for, with her big brown eyes, bright smile, and perfect ass.

I kissed her chocolate forehead and happily went to work. For a while cigarettes weren’t on my mind. I managed to ignore the people at the bus stop smoking. I wanted to run down to the convenient store to buy and smoke, or eat if I had to, a pack of cigarettes. Instead I packed my mouth with gum. Sandra said gum had helped her Uncle Scotty to quit smoking after she had convinced him that he would live longer. Three days after he quit, Uncle Scotty was hit by a bus and died instantly.

During my lunch break the cravings returned, fueled by the sight of my co-workers who were huddled up smoking in front of our office building. I wanted to smoke with them. I tried to hurry pass, but one of them stopped me and asked if I had finally quit smoking. I nodded and continued on my way. I hoped that I wasn’t rude but I couldn’t stop and talk to her. I would have been tempted to snatch the cigarette out of her mouth, run down the street, hide underneath a car, and smoke it.

Because it was one of the last in the city to allow smoking, I couldn’t go to the diner that I usually ate lunch at. Instead I went to a small Bohemian place a few blocks down called Earth’s Open Mouth. Sandra had recommended it. She was a vegan and thought that it would make a lot of sense that since I had stopped smoking to live longer, eating healthier would help my cause. At Earth’s Open Mouth, among neo-hippies I ordered a soy burger. Although it tasted like a spicy styro-fome cup, I forced myself to finish it.

Back at work I became twitchy and restless. All the things in life that stressed or angered me, which I usually would burn out with cigarettes, ran rampant and free.

After work a few co-workers wanted me to join them at a sports bar. I told them I would. I called Sandra who thought it would be a good thing that we always knew where each other were. She told me not to fall for the temptations of smoking or drinking that would surely be around me. After I hung up with her I changed my mind about going to the sports bar. I’m weak and temptation would beat me up, easily. On the ride home, I stuck so much gum in my mouth that I could barely chew.

When I entered the apartment a sense of relief and accomplishment bare hugged me. I was sure Sandra would be proud that I didn’t smoke and would give me an award of wild sex. I rushed to the bedroom, opened the door, and to my surprise Sandra was jumping up and down on some guy. A ball of anger exploded inside of me. I needed a cigarette. As Sandra screamed my name, which I ignored, I searched around the bedroom for one. Then I remembered her flushing them down the toilet. What I found was my gun, fully loaded.

Sandra and the guy tried to run out of the room but I shot the both of them dead. I dropped the gun onto the floor. I walked over to Sandra’s body, which hung awkwardly off of the bed, and bended down and kissed her chocolate forehead. I stepped over the guy’s body that lay slanted across the doorway. I wondered what his name was and if he smoked cigarettes or ate meat.

I went down the street to the store for a pack of cigarettes and candy; another of my favorite things that Sandra also convinced me to give up. Back at the apartment I called the police. I told them what I had done. I sat into my favorite recliner, watched T.V, chain smoked, and ate candy. It was during one of those anti-smoking commercials when the police knocked on the door.


About thebabbler

The Babbler is social commentary and literature by Christopher Reel

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