Looking back over my life, I recollect the many times I attempted to combat stress with my home remedy of smoking. I wanted to look deeper, to explore the reasons it all started, and how it all began....
There I was in my Dad's jeep, with my best friend, just after the August combines came and hauled my precious bricks of hay, that had once been the very stones of construction for my fort, my hide-out, my secret place. At six, you have to have those secrets.
So, as it were, I moved to find other secrets. Then, there they were, staring at us, glistening from the sun sizzling through the windshield; Dad's cigarette butts in the ashtray. As we looked at each other, we didn't say a word, but knew what each other was thinking. As I reached to push the cigarette lighter in, my friend said "What if they see us?" "They can't see us, they're in the house," I said, most assuredly. Pulling one of the shriveled up butts from the tray, and straightening it out to a perfect two-inch stub, I raised it to my mouth and pulled the lighter out of its socket, lighting up my as it were to become. No one ever found out about that cigarette, and my friend never did tell.
Nine years, my parents divorce and eleven schools later, I found mysellf at Oregon City High school. Moving around so much had definitely left it's social-emotional dent in my mind, but when you're a high schooler you have to persevere if you want to be cool. Singing in every choir at the school, wearing out several sets of cheerleader pom-poms, playing basketball and performing in every play, was still not the answer. I still didn't feel cool.
Then I met Romy. She and I became inseparable. She had her own car that we occasionally skipped school in, and she dressed in the coolest designer clothes. She had her own phone, a private entrance to her room and even her ownjob! But when I saw her pull out her cigarettes one day, I knew right then that she had to be the coolest girl on campus! I even got my ear pierced right in the cartilage, just like hers. It was my junior year, and I knew, that year was going to be different!