Dispatches From My Unfinished YA Novel

June pulled out a pack of Marlboro Lights from her backpack and opened the window that faced the woods. “Smoke?”

“Don’t mind if I do!” I said. She and I had been sneaking smokes for a few weeks now, inspired by how glamorous people in old movies seemed. She passed me a cigarette and lit it for me, then lit hers. We both inhaled, but only June started coughing.

“I can’t believe you don’t cough,” she said, wiping away tears. “Everybody coughs the first time they smoke!”

“Maybe this is what I’m good at,” I said. “Mrs. Wallis was telling us about resumes. Maybe I should put this under special skills.”

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