Write about the first (or second) memory that comes to mind when you see this:
That first time
Something happens to children when faced with a parent-less house. It is as if they become possessed by a mischievous imp. And we were no different that day. My mother left us, my step-brother 13, my sister 8 and myself 11 with a stern warning to keep the door closed and to never, never open the door to anyone especially not a stranger. She and my stepfather, Haydn will be back in about an hour.
Oh and also listen to your brother he is in charge, she said.
So there we were twiddling, there was nothing on the television, no new books to read and my sister and I just were not in the mood to fight with each other. This is always good for a laugh for my brother. And never you mind he did try to provoke a fight.
Then his eyes settled on the ever present ashtray piled with butts that his dad had left behind on the dining table.
“Lets smoke one of these,” he says his eye all twinkling with mischief and daring.
And like gullible sheep we happily obliged.
He reached for a butt and we searched out a lighter.
With a flick of our wrist we got the lighter to…. do nothing.
So we tried again.
It should be easier, we had watched Haydn light his cigarettes at least ten times a day. But the lighter device just wouldn’t work maybe something to do with our little pudgy fingers.
We gave up on the lighter and my sister and I went on the hunt for matches.
Mission accomplished, with matches in hand and butt to mouth. My brother made his first attempt to light up… all he succeeded in doing was dropping the match and throwing us into a panic.
We need to try a new cigarette, he said
The hitch with this new plan….
The Stepfather never left his cigarettes out for us to get at. Never.
Clearly he had been thinking of smoking some cigarettes for awhile now because he had an answer for that too.
“To the back of the entertainment center drawer Daddy has a box!” He said “Didn’t you know?”
Why would I know this, I retorted, I have been trying to get the man to stop smoking.
And there it was a half filled box of DuMauriers, I took a sniff.
As much as I don’t like smoking I loved the smell of cigarettes in their pack.
Strike, the match flared, my brother pulled in, as he had seen his father pull in so many times and then panic rushed across his face. He splattered, spluttered and coughed up a lung.
My sister and I laughed so hard that tears burst out of our eyes.
I grabbed the cigarette and I too took a puff. The sting of the smoke slowly making its way off the end of the cigarette stung my eyes. My eyes watered, I pulled in and swallowed, the smoke took form in my throat and it felt like something solid sitting on my tongue. I blow it back out!
“You cheated ! you cheated” my brother yelled at me “it is supposed to come through your nose!”
Hmmm I didn’t think so and handed the cigarette to my sister. Who very bravely, took it and with only the tiniest of a cough she blow smoke out through her nose. Yes the youngest of us got it right.
No way were we going to be undone and we, my brother and I tried it twice until we got it.
Feeling all queasy, we three looked at the half finished cig and knew we had to find a proper way to discard it… No it couldn’t join the other butts in the already full ashtray, the step father always counted those. So out the window it went, matches and all.
We watched with faces pressed against the glass as it sailed slowly through the air as far as we could see it. Thanking God that we lived on the 37th floor and there would be no evidence of what we had done.
And that imp left us till another day.My sister is the only one who smokes after this day. My brother and I don’t smoke, but after too many drinks you find that we both reach for a ciggy and that is always a sign that we have had more than enough alcohol and it is time to take us home. LOL