I bought a cigarette. I lit it with the lighter you gave me. You told me it would stop me from smoking anymore. You told me I would remember that you had wanted me to stop. Why did you say that? Why did you give me that lighter? Did you really believe that it would work?

I loved you from the very first day I saw you. I just didn’t know then that I did. I do not remember how I realized. I had never been in love before. I used to sit alone and try to remember your face. I tried to remember the memories I had made with you. You knew I loved you, didn’t you? I can remember every incident I had with you, every word we exchanged, every time you were around me. We made so little memories!

Being with you was something I could never think of. I was rather shocked when I met you years after. You saw me first. We were away from home. Maybe that’s why you called me. I was a familiar face in the middle of thousands of unknowns. We were so happy! I thought my love for you had faded by then. But it surely hadn’t.

It was long enough before we realized that we both were into each other. We knew. Yet, we never really talked about it. People knew we were together. I don’t know what was stopping us.

You smoked a lot. I never made you quit. You loved it. How could I stop you from doing what you loved! Do you remember the day you caught me smoking? I was trying to realize what there was to love so much. Why did you want me to stop?

The store you bought your cigarettes from, I still go there. I do my grocery shopping there. The man who owns the store doesn’t talk to me. When we used to go there together, he looked happy. He liked you. Everyone liked you. How did you know how to talk to people? How did you know how to make them happy? How did you know how to say the right things at the right time?

I liked to listen to you. I liked to stare into your eyes when you talked to me. You loved me then, didn’t you?

The day you left me, I sat by the window all day. I had so many things to do that day. I planned everything over the last few days. And then you told me you wanted to be with someone else. You left me to be with her. I couldn’t move a bit the whole day.

How many days have passed? Do you remember? I don’t. I went to the store today. The man from the store told me you are in town. He talked to me for the first time since you left.

I bought some cigarettes from him. I lit one with the lighter you gave me.

And then I saw you. It was a small town after all.  Why did you freeze to see me? Why couldn’t you just look away? Why were your eyes telling me that they loved me?

Why did you leave me?

I walk away. I walk away from you, from everything that mattered to me once. I have thrown away that lighter. I do not need that anymore. I quit smoking.




I am Shifat Sultana. I studied English Literature. My genre is high fantasy. Someday, I will save the world with the finest Elvish blade and live in a hobbit-hole forever in peace.