An unexpected outcome to a childhood experimentation.
|I was maybe 12 or 13 years old and my father was showing me how to cook something because my mom was pregnant for probably number seven in the family and was lying on the couch with morning sickness.
The phone rang and it was for my dad. I kept on cooking while I could hear his conversation. I couldn’t make out what he was talking about. It sounded mysterious. I could hear him say: “What is this about?” and “You want me to go there now, with him?” and “Why don’t you tell me what this is about?”… “Okay, okay, we’re coming”. So when he got off the phone, walked up to the stove, turned it off and told me we were going, I started to worry. I was just as curious as he was. I didn’t know what was going on. My mother asked: “Who was that on the phone?”
“What did she want?”
“She won’t tell me over the phone but something to do with our son here. We have to go there”
As we walked to the neighbor five houses down, my father didn’t look happy and he didn’t look at me but he asked: “What did you do this time?”
“I don’t know” and I really had no clue what this was about even though my mind was spinning.
We walked up to the door and my father knocked. The door opened. All I could see past Mrs. S. was my buddy and his father, my other buddy and his father and my third buddy and his father all sitting glumly against the wall, looking at us. My mind was already flying but when I saw them I knew it was the cigarettes.
Mrs.S. said: “Please come in, we need to talk.”
My father said: “No. What is this all about?”
“Please come in I’ll explain.”
“No, not before you tell me what this is all about.
“They are stealing cigarettes or stealing money to buy cigarettes and they hide them in front of your house under the little bridge over the ditch. I can see it from my kitchen window.”
My dad didn’t move but looked at her and said: “Can you excuse us, we were busy cooking lunch.” And he turned around and walked away. I followed.
I didn’t say a thing and my dad didn’t say a thing as we walked back to the house. All I could think of was how dead I was and how this was going to hurt.
We walked back into the house, my dad walked to the stove, turned it on as if nothing had happened and continued to cook.
My mom asked from the other room: “What was that about?”
And he never talked to me about it. Ever. I quit smoking.
My friends were not as lucky as I was. Their dads did not spare them.
The interesting thing about all this is that two of those friends have since died of cancer caused by smoking.