Can't Win Them AllMature

Nick’s daily habits were easy to memorize, and with the simple addition of as much sex as he and myself wanted, the routine only strayed slightly; make love, smoke a cigarette, eat some food, then relax. Last I had heard though, he had quit smoking. But after getting dressed again and following him downstairs, through the kitchen, and back to the garage, I sighed in a mild disappointment.

“I thought you had quit,” I said, standing next to him as he pulled a cigarette from the box; Marlboro reds.

“I did, for about a month…” he said, as if that would make it any better.

“Do you not remember that you were in the hospital with severe pneumonia? You could’ve died.” My face twisted in a look of worry.

“That was because I was smoking menthols,” he explained, holding up the box to show me. “Menthols have fiberglass in them, which was literally cutting up my lungs.”

I made a face. “How does anyone do this to themselves?”

He took a drag, then flicked the end of it to knock off the excess ash. “I want to quit, babe.” he said, sighing. “And I will, I know I will. I just need time.”

I still wasn’t satisfied. “’Why do today what you can leave for tomorrow?’” I quoted sarcastically.

“I’m not saying tomorrow, because I couldn’t keep that promise,” he said, smiling and wrapping an arm around me. The smoke was blowing in my face, making me cough. “But someday soon, maybe in a year or two.”

“In a year or two it might be too late…” I argued.

“Listen to me,” he said, looking at my face. “I love you, and because you want me to quit, I’ve been trying really hard.”

“You can’t just do it for me,” I said, moving from beneath his arm to lean on the car, “The only way you’ll succeed is if you’re doing it for you. For your health. You don’t want to be like your grandfather, looking like you’re eighty when you’re only sixty-five, coughing constantly, things like that.”

“No, that’s true… Look, if I smoke any more menthols, I’ll be fucked up. But these don’t bother me. I’m breathing just fine, no coughing like the other times.” he said, smiling to be extra reassuring.

I sighed, and smiled in defeat. “I guess I can’t win them all. But you know you can’t be smoking later on, when we’re living together. I have asthma, and you know I’m not used to it.”

“I know,” he said, putting out the butt of the cigarette in the nearby ashtray. “You have my word baby, I will quit.”

I smiled, figuring there was no point getting bent out of shape because of it. The only problem was that I had told everyone at home that he had quit for good, that he was smoke-free and had done it for me. I supposed I’d just have to keep that story going, even though it was no longer true. I wasn’t going to let it bother me while I was here, I was too happy to be with him again. I even kissed him after his cigarette, only making the slightest face after the taste hit me.

“You hungry?” Nick asked me as we went back into the house.

“Starving,” I replied with a smile.

An hour later, we were sitting on the couch in his basement. This couch was very special to me; it was the couch we shared our very first kiss on, so many, many months ago. It wasn’t anything special, just a green three-cushion couch with one end that could become a recliner. The small coffee table was pulled up in front of us, and we were enjoying some delicious Vocelli’s food; a club Panini for me, a Stromboli for him, and a box of bruschetta to share. Nick mindlessly surfed channels on the television between bites, until he settled on the Matrix Reloaded, which we both agreed on. Before we knew it, it was eleven o'clock at night and he was falling asleep next to me. I shook him and suggested we go to bed, seeing as he had worked for ten hours that day before coming to pick me up. Of course, his evening had been pretty exhausting too, but in a good way. He agreed completely, and we both headed upstairs.

Of course, once we were both lying in bed, naked together underneath the covers, he was suddenly not so tired. I didn't mind that much at all, and we finally fell asleep around one o'clock in the morning. Tomorrow we could sleep in, and we had the whole weekend to have fun until he had to work again on Monday.

After he fell asleep, I found I wasn't too tired. I put my iPod on and opened the calendar in my cell phone. I calculated how many days I had here. Twenty three days of Nick.

That soothed me so much that I was asleep within minutes.

The End

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