Doors and windows bolted our heroine sat down with a ‘black’ savoring what little high she could get from that little cigarette in her hand. She had never been a smoker, “this is my last one”, she promised herself like she did with every butt she put out. The smoke made her nostalgic. There was a time when she practically gagged at the smoke, its stench; yet there was no denying she was on the other end of the fence now. Things weren’t half as bad as they could be but she could not help reaching for that release she got from the smoke emanating from her lips. She switched off the fan no matter how hot it was because she liked watching the smoke, that white ashy tease escape into thin air and go out of existence. Now and then, she would try to make a ‘ring’ only to be disappointed by her failure. She had never thought of it to be something she would like to flaunt to begin with. All through her adolescence she had managed to dodge the bullet while everyone around sneaked off to get their share of release. But seeing the smoke dissolve, made her wish she had made better decisions. Here she was doing what she did not have an ounce of passion for. She stared grudgingly at the books she collected but failed to read and remembered an article she had read about “self-proclaimed bookworms”. “Am I one of them now?” she shuddered at the thought and made another mental note to finish the book she had vowed to read, something in her smiled, knowing it was just one of those things she said she would do but never got around to doing. At least a workout routine was in place but she was cheating herself every time she had a midnight snack and the recent fight with her boyfriend had made her seek release despite everything. She was scared of this, reaching for a smoke every time she felt hopeless and confused. She had never thought about it when she resorted to cutting herself, a slave to her depression. At least the smoke did not burn when she put soap on it, it just fizzled out and left her feeling creative, ready to pour her heart out on a paper-digital paper. The clock said 3am; she had to wake up early and exercise before her job as a teacher beckoned. She decided to sleep two hours ago but sleep was a lover playing hard to get. Away from home, she chose this life a long time ago, but was unsure about it now. Her lips burned, she had reached the end of her release, sooner than anticipated. The 3 am hunger pangs knocked and she succumbed to temptation. “You do not feel hungry after you smoke”, someone had told her. She looked at the bulging weight around her stomach, “I swear this will be my last one” she looked at the welcoming embers, the smoke dissolving as the overbearing burdens let go and she savored that high, once more for the last time.