"You wanna ciggie?" Jelly asked me, catching me off guard.
"A ciggie. A cigarette," she said, holding one between her fingers.
She turned one of the knobs on the stove next to her and bright blue flames popped up. Holding her bangs back with one hand, she bent down and when she raised up, the tip of the cigarette between her lips glowed red. She puffed on it, throwing her head back as she blew out smoke. I'd never seen a kid with a cigarette before. She held it out to me.
I took it from her and sucked in deeply. The smoke seared my throat as I swallowed it. Choking, I gasped for air. My eyes watered as I wheezed, trying to breathe. Tears ran down my face. I was going to die. “Hu-huuu!” I sounded like an animal dying.
Jelly leaned on the counter, laughing at me as I doubled over.
"Merda!" someone shouted behind me, grabbing my hand and putting a cold bottle in it. "Drink, stupid!"
I gulped down the fizzy, sweet Coke until it was gone, and I’d stopped coughing. I opened my eyes to see Robbie standing in front of me looking as mad as a hornet. I opened up my mouth to say thanks but instead a 400-pound-man-burp came out.
Robbie's mouth twitched as he looked past me to where Jelly stood. I was so embarrassed. I could not move.
"Shit, Jelly, what the hell you think you're doin'?" Robbie demanded. Jelly put the cigarette out in the sink. "I'm tellin' Ma," he said, his back already turned as he walked out of the kitchen.
"You do,” Jelly shouted after him, “And I'm tellin' her that you're the one who took that ten bucks outta her wallet!" Robbie kept walking but the pause in his step said he wouldn't say a word about us smoking.
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