Musty, stifling. The two things I vividly remember as I stepped into that gloomy, old corner shop. I wandered round looking at the bright, multi-coloured packets that surrounded me. I heard my D.T. teacher telling me that this was a form of advertising and would draw my attention to the product and, before I knew what was happening I would be buying it. Normally I would head straight for the sweets and would spend what seemed like hours deliberating over which variety of Haribo I would buy.
But not that day, that day I would head straight for the counter and get the one thing I wanted more than anything else in the world. A packet of cigarettes. I walked right up to the counter and said confidently and in the deepest voice I could manage,
‘Can I err, have a pack of Marlboro lights please.’
‘Certainly sir’ the reply came.
‘That’ll be four pounds please.’ I handed over the money and left without saying a word.
I walked round the corner and into the alleyway and stopped. Taking deep breaths. The alleyway stank of smoke and this place had obviously been used as a place for underage smoking. I opened the packet of cigarettes, took one out, lit it and took a deep puff. It was magical. I didn’t cough or splutter like my friends said I would. It was the single most wonderful moment of my life so far. For the first time in my long 15 years on the earth, I was cool.
I stood and smoked over half the packet before I knew what I was doing and I enjoyed every single one of them. Finally I regained my senses and walked home. It was only then that I realized what I had done. After all the things that mum had said about how bad it is for my health. I vowed there and then never to smoke again. I took the packet of cigarettes out of my pocket. They felt so heavy, or maybe that was just my conscious crushing down on me. I looked at them and it almost felt as if they were calling to me. They looked so shiny, how could something this wrong, look and feel so good. I just had to have another one. I took one out of the packet and lit it. It was just as good as I had remembered; if possible, it was more so. I will never forget that sensation, that taste. I walked the rest of the way home, still smoking the cigarettes, still enjoying every one.
I got back home and realised that I stank of smoke. I rushed upstairs to my room I ripped off my clothes and put on new ones. I smelt my old ones before throwing them on the floor. I rushed into the bathroom and sprayed myself with deodorant and cleaned my teeth. I stumbled down the stairs and into the kitchen and made myself some dinner. Chicken korma, my favourite. I had just put my plate in the sink when mum arrived home with Ross and Beth. “Hi Mum” I shouted over the din that Beth was making.
“Is it alright if I go out tonight?”
“Sure, and just leave me her with the terrible twosome!” said my Mum struggling with Ross and Beth.
“Okay, see you later,” and I bounded out the door before she could answer.
I had planned to meet some of my mates in the alleyway by the shops at seven thirty. I arrived at seven twenty and raced over to the shop. The mustiness hit me the moment I stepped into the shop. I ambled over to the counter my confidence on a high from my earlier success. Again I got a packet of twenty Marlboro Lights. I left the shop and realised that for some reason that my heart was pounding away and even stranger I didn’t have anything to be scared of, or did I…? I wandered over to the alleyway and was welcomed by my mates Richard, Milly and Aisha. We wandered down to the swings and sat on them with the girls on mine and Richard’s laps. We sat there and smoked for ages. Until Aisha announced that she needed to go home which I was kind of glad about because my legs were starting to ache, but as she walked away I realized that I really missed her. Milly left with Aisha, and Richard and I wandered back towards home. As we neared my house Richard said:
“I think you’re in with a chance there”
“What are you talking about?”
“You know, you and Aisha”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” I stammered and opened my front door.
I dashed straight upstairs and collapsed on my bed. I had all these emotions running through me. I knew that Aisha meant a lot to me, but did she mean enough for me to risk getting turned down. These thoughts were swirling around in my head when I heard my Mum walking up the stairs.
“Oh bugger,” I thought. What could I do? I decided to dive under the covers. My Mum came storming into my room.
“Where the hell have you been?” she screamed, so loudly that Ross woke up and started bawling.
“Out, with my mates” I whispered, trying to remain calm
“It’s nearly half eleven”
“It’s not a school night”
“Don’t you get cocky with me” she shouted. Her face turning a crimson colour.
“And is that smoke I smell on you,” she snapped
“My friends were smoking!” I said all too quickly.
“Come here and open your mouth,” she said, so menacingly that I felt like running for the mountains. I walked over to her and she sniffed at my breath.
“Smoke.” She whispered, and dejectedly sat down on my bed.
“Pack your stuff,” she uttered after what seemed like an eternity.
“You’re going to your Dad’s”
” I’ve had enough of you’re trouble making.” I looked at her face. It was deadly serious. I had well and truly been stubbed out.
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