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Camaraderie on a School Trip

Fourteen years old, trying to be cool, made myself sick instead.

I was on a school trip for the weekend, and inevitably a couple of ‘bad girls’ in the group brought along cigarettes with them. I must admit that being a ‘bad girl’ was one of my life’s goals, but I really wasn’t cut out for it – at least not in the ways that so-called bad girls were usually limited to expressing their ‘badness’ back then. As I got to be an older woman, I discovered some alternative bad-assery within me, much to my joy, but that’s another story.

On the afore-mentioned school trip I smoked a couple of the bad girls’ cigarettes, one after the other. Big mistake. Me being the barely out of foetus-hood smoker I was, I didn’t know that this was likely to make me feel as crook as a dog, but it didn’t take long to find out. However, those girls didn’t abandon me to the possibility of spewing up on my own. They stayed with me in the girls’ communal toilets while my guts churned until I felt better, and I was glad for their solid, sympathetic, and unspoken camaraderie.

It was a funny wee moment in time that I’ve not forgotten.

I never smoked a cigarette again.

Anonymous aged 64


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