I drove last evening to the local shop to get some fags. Though I know for sure I will quit, I just don’t know how when yet. I got there, car keys in one hand, money in the other, anticipating the pleasure of my quiet moment. The one I made a ritual out of, the last evening smoke, outside, in the garden, just me with my random thoughts.

I stayed in a queue, waited my turn to ask for the king size, when I saw the shopkeeper’s lips moving and putting together a sentence that made no sense to my ears.


‘Do you have an ID please’  he asks

‘Erm..no but I have the car keys which means I drove a car, so trust me I am over 18’ comes my answer with a big grin on my face, pleased with my logics and the implied compliment

‘I am sorry, I can’t give you any cigarettes if you don’t show an ID’ replies the guy, with a straight face, ignoring my puzzled face

‘But I come here every day, really now…thank you for the compliment but I could do with my pack of ciggs right now’ I can feel my ears burning as I’m losing patience

‘Oh come on, give her the damn pack! Clearly she’l well over her 20s’ – I feel someone grabbing my arm and turning me their way ‘She can’t be 18, look at her’ the annoying voice continues. A woman, a mummy most likely ( with some you just can tell ) with the most common British face, with the most common lack of style, was queuing behind me, shouting out loud the flaws of my face and counting with my wrinkles. ‘Ignore her for she knows  not what she says’ begged my eyes, looking around at the other people and the shopkeeper. As everyone was staring at me, the embarrassing moment seemed to prolong itself to the point of cold sweat on my spine. I didn’t know who to kill first, the one seeing the Lolita in me or the lady sketching  Cher version in my features.

It all ended with everyone apologising, me running out the store with my long craved fags, leaving behind heated discussions about age. What it seemed hours proved to be only 16 minutes.