When I stopped clicking the lighter.
The everyday scenes. When smokes where a part of the meal. When they were mandatory for every break you took. Why do you smoke? Stress busting. Every young smoker has an emotional reason behind his habit. He believes it shows him what life is. How it can be a bitch. “I started clicking the lighter because my life was messed up.”- will be the reason more than half the students in the shop outside college will give you.
That’s not the truth, they just believe it is the truth. They regret smoking, they do. They just feel it kind of suppresses the actual thing that bothers them. There is nothing as a college student being addicted to cigarettes. It’s a choice they make. I started smoking when I realized I might have made some bad choices. In-spite of being advised not to continue the habit, I did. Knew it will take a toll on me. But always found an excuse to smoke. Exam went bad, teacher screwed you over, tiff with a friend, waiting for a bus, hungry, waiting for a movie, to study, to stay awake, to sleep, climate is good, road trip, booze, bored, Name it! And the answer was cigarettes.
It wasn’t letting me do anything productive in that time. I knew it, I didn’t mind because it didn’t reveal to me how much I had to deal with. It gave me a lot of friends, all of them having their own reasons. Some just because they love the peer, some because they had messed up parents, some because they were somewhere they didn’t want to be, Some because they were not getting where they wanted to go, some who just wanted to do something they were asked not to.
Looking back today I didn’t have any of those reasons, nothing similar. “Dham solluda mama”- Was probably most of the conversation starters. Visiting friends places with cigarette packs instead of snacks. An outing started with getting a pack for the day. The “Hi”- was offering a cigarette. I didn’t know why I was doing it. Hence I never bothered about quitting. After all, it wasn’t going to kill me right away. So one day like every other guy does, I fell for a girl. She was my close friend. It happened, I didn’t tell her. Then came all the drama, the mood swings, saving up memories, doing nice stuff, hour long talks. Tons and tons of messages, even more memories. It all kept going for more than a year, cigarettes were there during this romantic phase I was imagining myself in. She knew I smoked. She did ask me not to. But then I used to stop for a week, start again merely because sometimes I realized it might never work out. Then the time came when I had to tell her, I knew it was closing in and I had reduced smoking, I had told her I quit though. I was just trying and failing desperately. What was one lie among a year filled with them? I finally did tell her. Only to hear that she wasn’t ready for a relationship and that I should move on. The answer was always known. She was not the type that would get into a relationship, with anyone for that matter. But she was an amazing person, a great friend. I mean it. She kept saying she wasn’t actually worth of all that she meant to me. But then that’s not how it works. It got weird after I told her. She was hurt, especially because she didn’t want to put me in this position and definitely not be responsible for it. She is that nice a woman.
We were still talking, trying really hard to keep it all normal. I was told by the girl I loved that I might never be able to share my life with her.
I was handling it well. Well, that’s what I believed. Two days later, reality hit me. It won’t be the same. I can’t share with her all that I used to.
Jokes about relationships, Friendzones, Typography with heavy feels of love and love failures. I can’t tell her how I feel… At-least not for quite some time. I didn’t want her to feel responsible or guilty of anything I was going through. That reality hit me. It hit me real hard.
The deep gut feeling when you know something you dreaded all this while has happened. When you don’t know how to handle it. I had friends around me. Me being a twenty year old male, I can’t cry, I shouldn’t, Not supposed to. I walked alone. The shop was right there. I knew a cigarette will calm me down. It will make me forget this for a while.
“Anna oru Marlboro gold”- I was given what I asked. I was going to forget what I was going through with this ten cm long roll of tobacco. I took the lighter. I was going to move on. I knew the cigarette will help it happen sooner. I didn’t click it. Did I want to? I didn’t want to click it, nor did i want to move on.
Not that easily. It was beautiful the memories, her.
She wouldn’t want me to click the lighter, but definitely wanted me to move on. I decided to listen and not listen to her at the same time. I will eventually get over this phase.
But I stopped clicking the lighter, because I loved someone who might never be mine, Who might never consider me theirs and they wouldn’t want me lighting a cigarette.
I gave the guy waiting for the lighter both the lighter and the unlit cigarette. He was confused.
“Kyun bhai? Kya hua?”
“Pyaar hogaya”- I replied with a smile.
I knew, that’s when I stopped clicking the lighter.
# A Simple guy here