Please

He’s doing it again. I think to myself as I watch him get up from his big plush chair and put in his winter coat, hiding his long lean muscles, before walking out the front door. I fidget a bit, balancing on the arm of my black leather couch, as I feel a slight pain thinking of what he is doing. But I know, no matter what I do or say, it would make no difference. He will never quit smoking and I knew that. Not even my dieing father could convince him to not make the same mistake he made.
I let out a long sigh, exhausted. I know I am simply torturing myself trying to get him to stop, but I can’t help it. I care far too much. After waiting several minutes I find myself getting up, stretching before wrapping a blanket around myself, and slowly walking outside. I sit next to where he is standing tall on the front porch and watch as he puts out his cigarette butt, crushing it beneath his plain black sneaker, before he pulls out another from a pack of camels and lights it, taking a long drag. “Hey.” He says as a brilliant smile spreads across his face, and waits for my response. I sit there in silence looking at him, watching the sun reflect off of his long coppery hair. I wonder how he can smile at me while doing that, knowing my father is dieing of lung cancer.
I think of him, my father, for a moment. I try to remember him as he was before the cancer, before the long years of radiation and surgeries. But, I can’t. I can only picture him as the shadow of who he used to be. His green eyes, faded and nearly lifeless. His dull brown hair, mostly gone and seems to have given up growing back. His face, so wrinkled and worn from both the years of smoking and the years of pain that you’d never believe he’s only forty-two.
A cold breeze picks up and I shiver, bringing me back to reality in time to see his smile fading at my lack of response. He sighs, taking another drag from his newly lit cigarette before sitting down beside me and wrapping his arm across my narrow shoulders, pulling me closer to the warmth of his body. We sit there in silence for a while, watching the softly falling snow.
“I’m sorry about your father. But I’m not going to stop.” He gently tells me. “I know…but I wish you would…” I whisper, feeling a sharp pain in my heart. “I hate that you smoke, you know that…it’s just that…. I’m-I’m afraid…” I shiver in the cold. It reminds me of death. He pulls me closer to him, trying to keep me warm. “I just don’t want anything bad to happen to you…cant you understand that?” I whisper, my voice quivering as it takes on a pleading tone. “I mean…I see my father nearly every day, and day after day he just keeps getting worse.” I feel as if my heart is being ripped out from my chest so I place a hesitant hand over it, in the swell of my breasts, to try to keep in as I continue. “They…They say he wont last the month…I-I cant…I’m afraid for you…I’m afraid that will happen to you too…that-that I’ll lose you too…please…I can’t lose you…” My voice trails off as my green-blue eyes start to fill with water. I try to hide the tears by shifting the layers of my black hair over my eyes.
He looks at me and forces me to look back into his beautiful grey-blue eyes. “You’re crying…” he says, concerned, as his lightly sun kissed hand touches my face where the tears had fallen, leaving a small wet trail on my pale cheeks. Frustration starts to fill me, slowly overtaking my sorrow. Why cant he understand? Doesn’t he care? “Its nothing.” I quickly say, brushing away both his hand and the tears before abruptly getting up, turning my back on him. “If you want to smoke…Then fine! So be it! I guess I have no choice but to accept it.” I snap at him, angry at myself for not being able to stop his self destruction. I storm inside and slam the front door.

Once inside, my anger fades. I lean against the door and slowly slide down it to the floor. My heart is once again full of pain and sorrow. I burry my face into my arms, the tears falling steadily as I mutter, “But that doesn’t mean I have to like it…”





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