The first time I had a cigarette was when I was thirteen years old, behind the garage of my Mom and Dad’s house. I was with my eldest sister and her friend, who encouraged me to have one with them. My first cigarette was horrid. I took about two puffs and it burnt my throat and made me feel like throwing up. I distinctly remember thinking, “How on Earth can anyone smoke these horrible things?” and I vowed never to touch another cigarette again.
Fast forward twelve months however, and I found myself in the girls toilets with the ‘popular’ girls all huddled in one cubicle and passing a cigarette around. I wasn’t noticed much in high school and the word ‘freak’ used to follow me around like a bad smell quite frequently. So when a couple of the popular people started talking to me and taking an interest in me, I made it my top priority to smoke, since I knew they smoked. Unfortunately for me, I got addicted while the popular girls pretty much grew up and now live healthy nicotine free lives.
I used to raid my Mom and Dad’s cigarette packets at night after they had gone to bed and I used to shove them under my pillow. I used to huddle by my open bedroom window and light about ten incense sticks in my room to try and hide the smell of cigarette smoke so I wouldn’t get caught.
The day my Mom did find out I was smoking was when I brazenly stole three cigarettes from her packet while she had her back turned making coffee. For some unknown reason, I shoved them in my bra. When Mom turned around, she stood there talking to me for ages and low and behold, the cigarettes started dropping out of my bra one by one. The first one I stamped on, the second one she saw. I could honestly say she was not impressed.
She decided to not to tell my Dad, for my sake, she said, but she hadn’t needed to because three days later, Dad walked around from the side of the house to see me hanging out the bedroom window with a cigarette dangling out of my mouth. I think I just about swallowed it that night.
The funny thing is, as soon as my parents had found out I was smoking, I didn’t really want to smoke anymore. But, they found out when I was almost sixteen, so I no longer had options if I wanted to smoke or not. I was hooked. Looking back now, I really wished that I had not cared about what the girls had thought of me at school and had declined that cigarette that was offered to me. I don’t enjoy smoking anymore, it has become a neccessity rather than a luxury. One that I can’t afford and can’t give up.