The Boy Who Used To Let Me Light His Cigarettes | Teen Ink

The Boy Who Used To Let Me Light His Cigarettes

February 19, 2014
By JackieSugarTongue PLATINUM, Kremmling, Colorado
JackieSugarTongue PLATINUM, Kremmling, Colorado
46 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
She Was So Beautiful In Death It Was A Wonder Why She Was Ever Alive

I always watched him light another cigarette and felt my lips curve into a smile that I tried my best to hide. It was shameful, but I had gotten used to his addictions. It wasn’t right for me to love something that could kill him, but I loved everything about him. I had gotten accustomed to sitting on the left side of his lap to avoid crushing the pack of Marlboro Reds that he kept in the right. I had almost been comforted by the feeling of the cardboard edges of the pack as they dug into my hip; the sensation of it was so familiar.

Sometimes he would ask me to light his smokes for him. He liked the expression my face would form while I concentrated on not singeing his eyebrows. He told me I looked cute. He laughed at me when I kicked him in the knee for saying so; smoke sliding passed his lips as he did. His 18th birthday was the best day of his life he would tell anyone who asked him. Then he would pull me into his side and kiss my head, telling them instead that it was actually the day he met me. I even learned to like the way he introduced me as “Jailbait” to all his friends. I’m sure that to this day not a single one of them knows my name.

He was rough around the edges, but he was still smooth to touch. He would get high and laugh a little too loud and smile a little too wide. His eyes used to shine through the red rings around them and I used to like to watch my reflection in his aviator sunglasses. I always looked pretty in the tint of the glass, and I couldn’t help but wonder if that was how he saw me all the time. His old leather jacket was worn and a little rough for the wear, but all that mattered was that it felt nice against my cheek.

I would lie beside him late at night and rest my head on his chest, watching the stars and talking about nothing at all. He would listen for awhile and pet my hair. He always used to pet my hair. His hands were rough but he touched me soft. Eventually I would run out of intelligent things to say and he’d kiss me to keep me from saying anything else. He always tasted like cigarettes and Coca-Cola and I loved the way it mixed with my mint gum and cherry Chap Stick. He was all about bent rules and hard muscles and I was all about straight edges and soft lips. He made me promises and I helped him break them.

Toward the end we fought a lot. I even learned to enjoy that. He would never go away angry, because even when it was bad he still wouldn’t hurt me. We would yell at each other for hours, he would hit the walls and I would throw things at him. At the end of it all we would sit in the middle of the room we’d just destroyed and wonder what else was broken. I would lean on him and he would wrap his arm around me. We would sit in silence for hours and just look at each other, not sure if the fight was over or not.

Making up was my favorite part of our relationship. Maybe that’s why it happened so much. He used to cling to me after he yelled at me. He would crush me against him and hide his face in my neck. He never cried where I could see it, but the last time I felt the wetness as his tears fell on my skin. He would always beg for the forgiveness he didn’t even need to ask for. I was never really mad at him. I would tell him it was ok and he would stare at me, his eyes wide and his teeth clenched. I could see the muscles working in his jaw.

I don’t think he ever really understood what love was. I tried to tell him a few times, but he never seemed to get it. Maybe he did, because I know he loved me. I just don’t think he understood how I could love him. How someone so beautiful could hate himself so much is beyond me, but I accepted that and I loved him in the ways that he could never love himself.

He was always so peaceful when he was asleep. I used lie there in the dark and watch him when I was afraid that moving would wake him up. I always slept beside him. I never had a choice. Even if I fell asleep on the couch I would wake up the next morning cocooned in his arms, surrounded by his heat. He never minded the little bit of extra stomach I would have when I slept on my side, he never minded that I snored in my sleep, he was just happy to be with me.

He had nightmares, and he always told me not to wake him, that if I did he would never get back to sleep. Sometimes I left him alone, but sometimes he would squeeze me so tight I couldn’t breathe and mutter my name into my hair and I just couldn’t help it. I would pretend to be asleep and let him think that he had woken up on his own.

Once he sat up and looked at me, watched me sleep like I did him. It made me self-conscious, and it was almost impossible not to move. He reached to move the hair away from my eyes, gently cupping my face in his palm and stroking my cheek with his thumb. He traced the lines of my neck and shoulders with his fingertips, and I could almost feel his smile. He settled beside me after he did and he pulled me close to his chest, draping one arm protectively over me. He fell back asleep before I did.

Our bed always smelled like smoke. He liked to have a cigarette when he woke up in the morning, and occasionally after we were intimate. I never really minded the smell, I would even ash his cigarette for him when he was too busy holding me to do it himself. I think he liked it that way, it was some sort of reassurance that I was okay with the fact that he smoked.

He would’ve given it up for me, had I asked, but he loved it and I didn’t want to take that away from him. Not once did I ever ask him to change, and he demanded that I didn’t. I knew there were things about me that he didn’t like, but he would never tell me what they were. He always told me not to change, that if I changed I wouldn’t be the same and then he wouldn’t feel like I was his. I promised him I never would, and I still haven’t.

I never broke a promise that I made to him. He was the only person I’ve ever met that I can say that about. I was like a puppy hanging at the end of his leash but he always left his end lying on the ground. He believed in letting me run free. He trusted me, and I think that’s why I was so loyal.

He was my first love and my last love, the beginning and the end. I don’t think I’ll ever forget him, and if I do it won’t be for long. I think of him when I smell smoke. I see him in the flames of every fire that I start. I hear him in every vinyl record that I play. I miss him each moment that I live. I loved him once and I’ll always love him again, the boy who used to let me light his cigarettes.

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This article has 11 comments.

AHulsey SILVER said...
on Apr. 3 2014 at 7:56 pm
AHulsey SILVER, Troy, Texas
7 articles 2 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind,"
- C.S. Lewis

This reminded me of a romance I used to have. Brought me to tears, but the good kind:)

ladypink said...
on Feb. 24 2014 at 9:08 am
ladypink, Ny, New York
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
i love me

i love it  

ladypink said...
on Feb. 24 2014 at 9:07 am
ladypink, Ny, New York
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
i love me

love the book

ladypink said...
on Feb. 24 2014 at 8:47 am
i love this book

.king. SILVER said...
on Feb. 20 2014 at 6:50 pm
.king. SILVER, Yeux Bien Tres Bien, Other
9 articles 4 photos 569 comments

Favorite Quote:
( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°)

Wow, this is soo sweet!! I love it, totally deserved the Editors' pick; Well Done!! C:

on Feb. 20 2014 at 12:23 pm
Kevinator BRONZE, Johannesburg, Other
1 article 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Im nothing but a rider

Impressive,i love it to bits.this story just gave me a true definition of real jaw takes me back to the memories i use to have with the ones i you didnt tell us wat happened between the two of you.i would really love to know.awesome

on Feb. 20 2014 at 11:28 am
ramfthomas4 PLATINUM, South Bend, Indiana
26 articles 1 photo 98 comments

Favorite Quote:
“If the present world go astray, the cause is in you, in you it is to be sought.”
― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy

Great job.  <3

whateveridc said...
on Feb. 20 2014 at 11:25 am
whateveridc, Abiliene, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
So much raw emotion! LOVE IT!

on Feb. 20 2014 at 10:35 am
CallMeAria PLATINUM, Vancouver, Other
30 articles 27 photos 73 comments

Favorite Quote:

The thing I loved most about this story was how it portrayed love in such a real, imperfect way. Couples fight and get mad and have their issues and problems. I also really loved the ending, where you sum the entire story up as calling him simply "the boy who used to let me light his cigarettes". :D Such an amazing story (so amazing, I'm going to go read it again now)

on Feb. 20 2014 at 8:39 am
TanviKusum DIAMOND, Gurgaon, Other
89 articles 4 photos 197 comments

Favorite Quote:
All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers.
Orison Swett Marden

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." - Anais Nin

we speak in hushed voices so as to not wake our memories

This piece was absolutely wonderful and so real. I loved how you concentrated on the little intricacies and details and habits of the protagonists, LOVED your work, I hope it gets published :D

on Feb. 20 2014 at 7:05 am
TanazMasaba GOLD, Dhaka, Other
16 articles 10 photos 214 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's Heaven on Earth."

---William W. Purkey

This story is so beautiful I can't believe it still doesn't have any comments. The pace was beuatiful, and despite the obvious bad habits the guy had the love between him and the protagonist seems real and fiary-tale like. I;m glad that you didn't say clearly what happened to their relationship cause it builds a little suspense and makes the story memorable but the ending was a little too cliched. Other than that this is definitely worth a five stars rating! ^_^