Saturday, July 14, 2012

Because I know you

The thing between you and me, is that we are so much alike. We look alike and we tend to have similar experiences. I recognize so many situations. I was 15 once, looooooooooooong time ago. But I remember being a teen wasn't easy. Trying to find your own identity, you try out different things. You want to be challenged. You want to be popular and do things others are afraid to do. But I know you, because I know me and I remember what life was like at your age.

There was a basket full of cigarettes in a cabinet up front in our house. The basket was long and made out of  brown rattan. It held like 8 different brands of cigarettes. Those cigarettes were not my parents', since they didn't smoke. They were not ours, since we were not supposed to smoke. We even hated cigarettes or the smoke they produced. It would sting our eyes and it would make us cough. My dad bought them for visitors, so he could offer them a smoke when they felt the need. Back in those days, that was common and very acceptable. 

You like to hang out in the park with your friends. We let you, because we think it's important for teens to socialize and have a good time. We trust you to behave and make the right choices. Last time I picked you up though, you had too much gum in your mouth and your face was all red. You looked out of the window all the way home and you didn't say much. I had suspicions you had been smoking, but I waved that presumption away. You hate cigarettes as much as I do. You say it smells bad and it's bad for your health. So I trusted you and I put away the thought of you smoking...

I had no friends who smoked. So nobody tempted me or dared me to try it out. It's just that one day, I was home alone and I needed something from the cabinet. Closing the cabinet door, the corner of my eye caught the rattan basket full of cigs. I don't know why, but I thought it would be kinda exciting to try out one cigarette. That green box of Saint-Michelle looked the most appealing to me. I had no idea how I would light that cigarette, but I grabbed some matches on the way to the backyard

I was emptying your baggage when you came home from camp. There was so much laundry to do and I held your backpack upside down to make everything fall out. To my surprise, a lighter fell out on the floor. For an instance, my heart stopped. I was not wrong. My intuition had not failed on me.. I was so disappointed.. Why??? You're such a clever girl.. you are popular, you have so many friends. Why do you try something this stupid? How many did you have already? Are you still smoking? Who's providing you? Do you use your allowance to buy the things you need?

I was pretty nervous. First I tried to light a match and light the cigarette, by just holding it in my hand. Obviously that wasn't working.. I remembered seeing my grandma smoke. She had the cig in her mouth when she lit it, so that's what I tried. It worked! And it tasted awful.. I spit out what I had just tasted in my mouth. But maybe the second try would taste better? I didn't get the chance, because my mom came home and called for me. I freaked out! I buried the cigarette, together with the matches and I promised myself never to be this stupid again. I couldn't stop smelling my fingers and my heartbeat went up by the minute. My mom came outside to look for me and I was terrified she would notice...

I confronted you with the lighter. The tone of your skin changed into a deep purple. You didn't look at me, but you said you didn't want to talk about it. Bad luck. I'm your mom. You don't decide whether you want to talk about this or not. In the end, you admitted you had tried smoking. But you refused to tell me why the lighter was in your backpack. I'm disappointed... I really am. Right there and then, I wished you would not look after me that well..

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