Would You Prefer Menthol?Mature

A short story about letting go of those you love from the point of view of the tobacco addicted teenage boy, Brian.

            The air was cold as they’d always remembered it being in the park, but this time they didn’t keep warm in each other’s arms. Brian Wills sat about a foot away from Annemarie, avoiding eye contact with her as he sometimes glanced at the space between them. He braced the chilly fall air as long as he could before taking a cigarette from the pack within his hoodie’s pocket. He placed it between his lips and ignited it easily, exhaling a relieving breath of smoke that blended with the color of the sky.

            “Must you smoke around me?” asked Annemarie. Brian pulled the cigarette from his mouth and answered. “Well you’re on the other end of the bench. The smoke won’t bother you that much.”

            “Well it’s disgusting. Can you please stop?”

            “I’m all the way over here,” he said before exhaling some smoke away from Anne. “I ain’t even blowing it in your direction.”

            “Besides, I thought you said you were gonna quit…”

            “I said I would try to.”

            “Why can’t you just forget about that nasty shit?”

            “It’s not that easy, you know. I keep trying to, but I can’t. I’m already addicted, so I just want it back the more I’m off it. I can’t quit and I can’t replace it for another habit, so I guess I’ll just have to deal with it.” He held the cigarette near his lap, then tipped the ashes to the ground. “I mean, I guess.”

            “So you’re just gonna rot your lungs because you don’t wanna quit?”

The End

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