Cigarette in the other way, also helped me to communicate better with others. I made some good friends over cigarette and later on, alcohol.
I need friends after all. I did not have anyone and was too arrogant to make peace with my family. I did believe at that time that I will survived with my own without helps from them. I thought that, with my ability, I will able to overcome all obstacles and be the winner by myself.
“You can smoke if you are making money by your own.”
I still remember that line. It was my old man sanctioned me from smoking. So, when I started making my own money, I was sure that my time to smoke has come.
Buying a cigarette with the money that I received from my work as ghost writer, somehow was a sign that I am no longer a kids. I am having my own rules and it means that I dumped all the rules made by my old man. Smoking also was the beginning of my rebellion against all the values within my family. Entering the stage where I can ignored all his advice or his thought.
It was some kind of process for a young me to achieve freedom. By making all mistakes.
My mother was the one who saddened with my decision to keep smoking or drinking alcohol. She considered these two as evil that ruined her son’s life. I needed years to understand her stance. To figured out that she was having a bad experience with my uncle who got drunk all the time. During our childhood, he will came over to our house and babbling his anger towards our grandpa. They both was having bad relationship. He did not forgive my uncle until he passed away. It was a hard time for my mother. Watching two men within our family kept anger toward another which last forever.
She did not wanted to see me fall into the same path. She was the first woman who asked me to stop smoking cigarette. But I never able to stop. I knew it’s hurting her to see how I ended as a chain smoker.
* * *
“Stop smoking. You are hurting yourself.”
When she said it a year after our first met, I just smiled. It was not my first encounter with that line and it never succeed to turn me back. But I knew as well that she wont stop to try. Just like my Mom. They are looks similar. Maybe that was the reason I fell in love with her.
“You are destroying your lungs slowly. Then, you will got cancer and died young without seeing your children grow old. You will not have a chance to see your grandchild if you keep smoking and drinking. The worse combo that one could imagine.”
“I will not die young.” I said that without knowing that she was hurt to hear me did not care with my own health.
“Yes, you will and I will not let my self being fooled.”
“What do you mean?” I was surprised with her respond.
“Yes. If you keep that thought, it shows that you are not ready to have children. I do not want to be left behind alone with kids because you died of lung cancer. Raising children alone is not easy. I’ve seen my aunt having a hard life because she need to fight by her own.”
Her answer shocked me. I did not know what to say.
* * *
“It’s funny to know that you are quitting cigarette and beer now. All these years with me, you never tried to do that. Why you need to do that after I gave up on you?”
“I’m willing to show that I can be a better man.”
“Huh? Better man? Come on, Andre. You said before to me that you’re destined to be a rebel. Someone who will always lives out of the line. Beyond the moral compass of common people like me. That smoking and drinking are part of you and quitting those means you’re losing yourself. Don’t fool me with another sweet empty words.”
“No, I am not. It’s not a promise. It’s my commitment to our relationship. I can be better. You just need to give me a chance.” I tried to hold her hands but she refused it.
“A chance? I gave you thousands of chances. I was repeating it over and over again. Telling you tirelessly that those stupid things will bring no good things for both of us. For our relationship. I was waiting for years. Stupidly hoping that one day you will realized my words. That quitting cigarette and beer are not for me, but for us. For our future.”
She took a breath. She was trying her best not to cry before me.
“I’ve tried my best. For many times. But it did not works. You still smoking and drinking beer. In fact, it getting worse. Because you are doing it behind my back. You lied to me many times. I knew it, but I tried to tell myself that you are going to stop one day. That you was in the process and it might need some time. But after years, nothing changed. You still the same guy that I met years ago.”
“Come on, it’s not a big issue. Just give me more time. I will try to stop.”
She laughed over my answer. Through her eyes I can see that I lost her trust. She’s tired and it was me who pushed her to the corner.
“You will not stop. You can’t. You will always smoke and drink. Nothing gonna changed it. Beer, cigarette and you are match made in heaven. No one can broke that ties. Not even me. Just like your Mom, I failed to make you a better man. But unlike her, I did not have time and energy to keep up with you.”
“What do you mean? Are you saying that you will give up on me? Simply because my smoking and drinking habits?” My voice tones was getting high. I could not believe what I heard from her.
“You will never understand, Andre. Never.”