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Breaking the Habit

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It begins with Kira yanking the freshly lit cigarette from my mouth to put it in his own. When I glare at him and demand my fucking smoke back, he only raises his eyebrow and says, “Maybe you should quit.”

I gape at him for a moment as he sucks on the cigarette before I realize that he’s being serious. “Fuck that,” I say, and reach to take it back. He catches my wrist easily — no matter how much it pisses me off, I know from hard personal experience that I’m never gonna beat him in a contest of strength.

“Smoking in the schoolyard is against the rules,” he says mildly, calm as you please, a smirk on that pretty-boy face of his.

“And what the fuck are you doing then, you bastard?” I snarl at him.

It seems stupid, but that cigarette is the hardest thing I’ve had in a week, and it’s getting to me. I’m spoiling for a fight, even though I know I’ll lose, cause it’ll take my mind off of what I’m not getting, but he only shrugs and says, “Breaking you of your bad habit.”

Reaching into my shirt pocket, he fishes out a half-full pack and tucks it neatly away in his own pocket. I try to get that back, too, but he catches my other wrist and pushes me against the rough brick wall, and the fight is over as quickly as it began. I contemplate kneeing him in the balls. “No,” he says simply, as if telling off a kid. I know that tone — it means there’s no arguing with Kira 'cause he’s having one of his particularly loony moments, and nothing anyone sensible, let alone me, could say is gonna change his mind. I push him away; he lets me when it’s clear I’m not looking to reclaim my stolen property.

“What the hell ever,” I say, shrugging my shoulders irritably. If I knee him, he’ll probably just pound me into the wall a few times until I see stars. My skull’s not hard enough to stand up to a brick wall, probably. “I’ll just get another one fourth period.”

“You should stop lifting things from the convenience store, you ass,” he says. Well, of course I steal them, what the hell does he think I’m going to do, go to the counter and pay? “One of these days they’ll catch you.”

The bell rings, signaling the beginning of fourth hour, but neither of us makes a move to go to class. “How are your fucking grades so good?” I say; he never goes to class, I think, but he’s near the top of his year, anyway.

“I don’t do the shit you do,” he tells me. “Keep more brain cells.”

I kick at the dust on the ground. “I don’t care how many fucking brain cells I kill,” I tell him, knowing I’m acting like the kid he’s treating me as and resenting him for it. He knows I’ve got the shakes as it is, and I haven’t been able to lift any wallets to go buy another hit of the hard stuff in too many days to count.

“That’s right; the only one who’s going to keep you alive is me. So, you’re quitting smoking.”

“Like hell I am,” I say.

“Like hell you are,” he replies. He takes the cigarette from his lips and leans in until we’re eye to eye, nearly mouth to mouth. “You’re quitting, or no more sex.”

That gives me a jolt; we don’t talk about that, not where people can hear. “Shut the hell up, you retard,” I hiss at him. A couple drunken fucks, and now he thinks he can control me with it? Well, maybe more than a couple by now, but the point remains. “Like I give a shit.” I do try to knee him in the groin now, and to hell with dignity, but he evades easily and grabs my wrist again, twisting it behind my back and slamming me into the wall face-first. Definitely going to have a few scratches from this one.

“Like you don’t?” he asks, his breath against my ear. He releases my wrist then, but by the time I whirl around he’s already walking away. He lifts a hand to wave without turning around and it’s got what’s left of the damn cigarette in it. For some reason, I let him walk away instead of jumping on his sorry ass and pounding him into the ground. Not because I’m scared of him, either. Bastard.

***

I go swipe a pack of cigarettes from the convenience store and smoke the entire thing by fifth hour, just to prove I can. The damn shop lady is senile anyway. She never notices if things go missing from right under her nose. People like that deserve to be stolen from. That’s my justification when I realize I’m on the last cigarette. The shaking’s down a little; I wonder if maybe holding up the shop isn’t a better idea. Quick cash is so much easier than breaking into some store at night and then pawning off the shit you steal. The latter takes work; the first is instant gratification.

The school bells keep ringing. Kira walks by once as I’m sitting against the courtyard wall. He looks at me but says nothing when I scowl at him. When the last bell rings, I don’t want to go home and I can’t go crash at his apartment, obviously, since he’s being such a prick, so I head off in search of some chick, any chick as long as she’s easy and doesn’t want me to pay her.

It’s not like the only place I can get free sex is from Kira Fucking Sakuya. Please.

***

Three days later, I have a blistering hangover, and I wake up wanting a smoke only to realize I don’t have any while groping around on the floor. My head is just about to split open from the light, but I sorta remember that actually I don’t have any more because I decided going to get them would be too much trouble yesterday. I whimper as I crawl towards the bathroom because I wanna hurl. There’s a can of lukewarm, stale beer sitting on the bathroom floor and I gulp it greedily down after I’m done worshiping the porcelain god. Then I crawl back to bed and try to block out the sunlight with a ratty blanket.

I curse everyone from my parents to my teachers to the makers of the seriously fucked up vodka I had too much of last night to Kira because it’s probably all his fault. I’m dying and I just want a damn cigarette.

Going to get them today is probably too much trouble too, though.

***

Five days, and I would do murder for a fucking smoke. I still haven’t stolen any more, though. Not because that prick is smirking at me across the schoolyard over the head of some slut who’s plastering herself to him. No way. Definitely not.

***

Going on a week, and my goddamn hands are shaking, mostly because I want to murder that shit-faced bastard and get my goddamn freedom to smoke a goddamn cigarette back. He’s still not talking to me, but the little slut seems to be getting cozy with him. I’m done with chicks; they just piss me off and whine about me being violent and unreasonable when all I want is some quick sex to relieve the pressure. It’s impossible to get laid around here, except, apparently, if you’re Kira Sakuya.

If I, personally, don’t get laid right the fuck now, I’m going to kill the one responsible.

The look on his face when he opens his door wearing nothing but unbuttoned black jeans says he knows, and is amused, damn him to hell. “I fucking hate you,” I snarl at him as he moves aside to let me enter. I slam the door in an attempt to release a little of my pent-up frustration. The room smells like some cheap perfume, probably worn by his little skank girlfriend.

“That’s nice. It’s three in the morning, you know,” he says.

“I don’t give a shit!” I yell, and never mind if I wake the neighbors. I turn on him and back him into a wall; maybe it’s the crazed look that’s probably in my eyes, but he lets me. “You are the biggest prick bastard I’ve ever met,” I growl.

“I don’t think you’re trying to compliment me,” he says, and smirks, and that is it. I absolutely can’t take this abuse anymore, so I close the distance between us and bite down on his lower lip hard enough to draw blood, tearing at his jeans. Before I quite know what’s happening, he has me up against the wall, again, and I have to bite my own lip to keep from screaming and definitely waking up the neighbors because he’s hurting me and it’s the most honest thing I have felt in a week and I’m hard with wanting more of his hands pinning my wrists to the wall hard enough to bruise and his teeth sinking into my shoulder and his body slamming into mine. I taste my blood and his as I come violently and I probably scream.

I find myself on the floor eventually, pants around my ankles, still gasping for breath as he props himself up on his elbow and offers me a lit cigarette. My hands shake so violently taking it that it nearly falls on my heaving chest, and when I take the first heavenly drag, I feel so fucked up that I swear I’m about to cry. “What the fucking hell was that about?” I ask, my voice cracking and sounding dangerously near to tears. I want to curl up into the fetal position and make all of this go away, but he’s not letting me, running his hands down my chest in a gesture that seems possessive, horrible because I realize he has me figuratively by the balls. I wouldn’t even be smoking if he hadn’t given me the goddamn cigarette.

He smirks down at me, his perfect face marred by his bloody, swollen lip. He still manages to look pleased with himself. “Oh, just an experiment,” he tells me. Now I swear I feel tears coming on for the first time in nearly ten years, but he doesn’t let me turn my head away, catching my chin in his hands and watching my face. “You’re seriously fucked up, you know,” he says, and it almost sounds like a compliment.

“I fucking hate you,” I repeat. He releases my chin and I turn my face away. He stands up from beside me, and pretty soon I feel the weight of a blanket being dropped on me.

“I know,” he says, “don’t worry. Finish your cigarette and go to sleep. You haven’t slept in days.” His foot nudges me and I realize I’ve landed near the futon. I crawl onto it. A few minutes later I feel his warmth settle at my back. Because I’m still shaking and probably crying, I let him sling his arm over my waist and close my eyes.