~ Originally posted on Dec 9, 2011.
He woke up, only mentally, still lying in his cozy bed with his eyes closed. It wasn’t the case for him normally, that too when he slept after midnight, not to mention the empty beer bottles lying around haphazardly in his room.
That was the first time he boozed alone. No friends, no random rambles, and no fun. Also, that was the first time he was fuddling all night to get over his sadness; he knew he can’t rely on his usual excuse, ‘I drink for fun,’ anymore.
It was too early, but his thoughts were running between his days with her and her last words to him.
It was a chill Sunday morning. He felt the blanket of mist around him. He rushed to turn off the fan, again only in his mind. His body was too lazy to do it physically.
He wanted to smoke.
“I found a lighter in my son’s pant pocket today,” his neighbor said to his mom, fuming.
“Is it? God save this generation kids. I mean, what’s his age? 17 only na?” his mom said. “No matter how strict we are, they still find ways to cheat us.”
“Yeah, I don’t know what to do. For a moment I thought it was his dad’s, but then I found one in his dad’s pocket as well. I’m confused whether or not to let his dad know about this,” his neighbor replied.
“Glad, my son hates smoking,” his Mom said ignoring her neighbor’s concern.
“Get the fuck out of my room, you idiot,” he shouted at his friend who lighted a smoke in his room.
“Cool, dude. I can’t booze without this, you know,” his friend tried to explain holding a cigarette in his hand.
“Hey, go to the terrace to smoke and get back once you are done. He hates smoking. Don’t you know that, you dumbass?” his other friend who had already gulped three beers voiced to prove that he was still in his senses. Prestige issue, it was.
“Smoking is the best remedy to get over your sadness.” Those were his friend’s words in his lecture about the advantages of smoking. It was during one of the bleak Saturday night chat sessions in his final year of college.
Not to forget, the guy, who gave the lecture, was a chain smoker. And he was careful enough to end his lecture without answering the question, “How do you say that?”
He wanted to smoke.
He woke up, physically this time. He walked zigzag across the room only to end up holding the wall at one corner of the room.
After few minutes of struggle, he managed to stand before the mirror. He was not able to see him in the mirror; instead, he saw her. She was smiling. He kissed her in his hangover senses; but kissed the mirror in real.
“Beta, do you smoke?” his mom questioned him as soon his neighbor left for her home.
“Mom, what question is this? Don’t you know how much I hate it?”
“I know you, beta. Just be careful with your friends. People always change; some people make the other people change, just remember.”
“Bhaiyya, ek filter cigarette, please.”
He lighted the cigarette. He struggled to smoke, not because he was shivering from the cold, but because he was fighting with his first smoke of his life yet.
He unlocked his mobile as he wanted to engage his other hand in something. His Mom smiled in the wallpaper.
He switched off his mobile at that instant.
Finally, he was done with this first smoke, but still not with his sadness. She circled his mind still. He loved that feeling. He loved the feeling even more with a smoke in his hand. He found happiness in his sadness.
In another half an hour, he was done with a whole packet of cigarettes.
After a few days, his chain-smoker-friend called him as his competitor. He has become a proud chain smoker now. Thanks to her. No. Thanks to his love for her.
Some people make the other people change, he remembered.