It was a little after twilight.
She sat in her residence, all alone as was the norm these days. Her parents were on vacation, her friends not yet here, and no one to speak to. If she was being honest there wasn’t much point to them being here either; they were too wrapped up in themselves. While she made this accusation in her head, it was ignorant to deny their similarities. She didn’t much care about other people, or simply couldn’t stand to speak to them for more than a few minutes at a time. Socializing was tiresome, and she’d rather save her energy for bigger, better things. What better things exactly, she was unaware of, but not this meaningless chitter chatter.
It was hypocritical of her to label social interaction as meaningless chitter chatter; she was forlorn. She’d give away her left kidney to have them all in the living room, gossiping, and overanalyzing everything that cute co-worker of hers said. She had so much to tell them, but they weren’t here. Phone calls weren’t something that could happen over the busiest weekend of the year. The holidays were upon them, and everyone had families and friends to satisfy. Everyone except her, whose parents never really celebrated much of anything, except perhaps, themselves. It made every bit of sense to her; life hadn’t dealt them a pretty hand, and if in this stage of their lives they had something to enjoy and look forward to, she didn’t have the heart to begrudge them anything.
She made a decision to go to her local campus grocery store to deal with the munchies and closed the door behind her. As she was walking towards the shop, she spotted another college goer waking by. She saw the telltale orange glare of a cigarette and almost stopped. She had never touched a cigarette before, so what was she doing? She paused and raised a hand in his general direction, before putting it back down and starting to move. He had stopped and no moved too. She murmured an apology and strode ahead. She entered the store and began to pick out snacks. Funny, how her heart didn’t thump in her chest at the prospect of having smoked for the first time. It was when she was cashing out that he showed up with two bottles of lemonade at the counter.
She dallied near the outside, and when he came out, matched his pace.
“You wouldn’t have a cigarette to spare would you?” She asked him.
He looked momentarily surprised, as he took her in, and nodded.
“Um, yeah…” he murmured, “I do. Let’s go somewhere?”
She shrugged and followed him. They were quiet until he led her near a mostly secluded spot underneath a tree. It was one of those quaint benches on campus, the ones they place to trick people into thinking the university has some class. There were a few other people lurking about, but the tree provided shade. They exchanged names and made small talk.
“How often do you do this,” he teased, “not that I’m offended a pretty girl asked me to share.”
She didn’t acknowledge the compliment, “I’ve actually never smoked before, so this would be my first time.”
She felt like a loser at the admission, especially as he scanned her one again. Did she look like a stoner to him, or what?
“Oh okay, wow, I’m corrupting an individual,” he laughed, “rather than a cigarette, let me just roll up this joint. Won’t make it as strong for a first-timer, but you’ll like it.” He began to work at it as they talked more. He was surprisingly likable, and not much older than her.
“Fair enough,” she agreed, and then hesitated, “how do you…uh?” She gestured vaguely at the joint he had rolled.
“Oh, just take it easy,” he told her, “don’t just exhale it instantly; let it seep into your lungs. Little by little, and not too much.”
He passed it over to her, and watched as she took a careful drag and then another.
She nodded, “This isn’t too bad, it actually smells nice.”
They passed the joint back and forth and conversed. She felt groggier as he rolled up a third.
“I think I’ve had enough,” she quietly said.
He looked up and raised an eyebrow, “So you’re going to leave, just like that?”
She only just noticed how the close proximity of his body, which touched her at the knees.
“We haven’t even gotten to know each other,” he whispered, as his hand slowly began to draw circles. His other hand reached up to push her hair from her neck, as he drew in a breath, and released the puff of smoke on her neck.
She sat frozen, and incredibly lethargic, “I should really be going, my friends are waiting.”
“Liar,” he muttered, and this time, licked a line up the column of her throat. He kept at it until he’d had enough.
When she finally got up and turned to walk away, he stopped her.
“You forgot your things,” he said, pointing to the bags. She breathed out a thank you, and went on her way.
As she locked herself in the apartment, she touched her neck.
It was terrible of her to have allowed him to touch her like that for a joint of all things, but if it was so wrong, why did she feel better than she had in days?