Trying To Smoke You Out

| QC, Canada | Learning | April 10, 2017

(When I was 14, my beard started growing and it grew thick. I’ve been shaving daily since 15. I also live in the countryside and it takes 30 minutes of bus travel each morning to go to school. I drive my family’s multiple vehicles (car, truck, tractor, ATV) between my home and my dad’s friend’s farm and fields, too, so I have a set of keys along with my wallet that I carried around everywhere. Full beard, full set of keys, wallet… Add some weird hand-me-down and farming clothing and I discover that, in the town where I go to high school, people who don’t know me are considering me an adult. I could technically buy beer and nobody is asking questions. My friends, discovering that, ask me if I can buy cigarettes for them. “Come on, I’ll give you some money in return.” I agree and do it multiple times and in turn discover there is lots of money to be made and do it for more “friends.” The word spreads after months of doing this for the duration of grades four and five. In the last year I am doing literal shipments: five to six single packs and three to four cartons of cigarettes. It is a full backpack that I have to hide outside the convenience stores before going in. I realize that going to the same convenience store for multiple brands isn’t so bright so I set some rules. They are simple: I don’t want to walk in town and dress in overalls all week, so I go only on Wednesdays, and they should give me whatever money in cuts no smaller than $5. During lunch break I go to convenience stores to buy whatever brands they want and keep the change. Also, I am doing only up to four different brands per day, because I can walk to only four different convenience stores in an hour and I don’t want to raise suspicions. The other kids, having a craving, are following the rules to the letter. In hindsight they had very high discipline; they were organizing among themselves which would have a go to their stock each week without me having to lift a finger and they kept the whole deal very hush. One day in my last year in high school, I get called during class to follow the person who is my mentor in science classes. He escorts me to the principal’s office where the principal and head of security wait for me. The principal asks me to sit and I’m in front of the three of them.)

Principal: *leans over* “[My Name], you’re a good student, good grades and you’ve never been in trouble before.”

Me: *nervous* “Um, thank you?”

(The principal starts on how I should keep the right path, asks me weird personal questions, and about  some of my opinions on very general thing. I am not really understanding where he’s going.)

Principal: “Okay… well the reason you’re here is: have you ever took, bought, or simply transferred anything?”

Me: *totally oblivious* “What?”

Head Of Security: “You heard him.”

(I’m looking at my mentor and asking for help with my eyes.)

Mentor: *trying to rephrase* “Well, have you ever consumed?”

Principal: *at full volume* “I MEANT DRUGS!”

Me: *sigh* “Yeah, I tried weed once at a birthday party last year.”

Principal: “THANK YOU. Finally, some honesty. And you’ve been selling since?”

Me: “What? Nooo!”

Head Of Security: “Really? Wipe that smile off.”

Me: “Well, I’m smoking… Well, no… I mean… Not that way… It’s…”

Mentor: “Okay, calm down.”

Me: “I’ve only smoked at Halloween, and I’ve never bought the stuff. It’s always been given to me. That’s it. I swear! I don’t know where it came from. I… I don’t what to tell you.”

Head Of Security: “Well, we’ve seen you clearly dealing something, every Wednesday for the last three weeks.”

(It’s only then I’m finally understanding why I’m here.)

Me: “…ah.”

Principal: “Yes, ‘AH.’”

Me: “All the way behind the back to the baseball court’s cement wall?”

(The principal points behind me to some binoculars.)

Head Of Security: “YES! And you know what you’re doing is illegal.”

Me: “Oh, I know it’s illegal, but not my actions.” *only the convenience stores selling to a minor is doing an illegal act here in Canada, unfortunately*

Mentor: “Wait, what? How… What do you mean?”

(I then decided to explain, in details, what I’d been doing for nearly a year and a half.)

Principal: “How much have you been making?”

Me: “I don’t know; I have over two thousands in my bank account? But I do have an allowance… I also racket new kids who are giving me $60 in twenties for $42 cartons because they can’t split the bills sometimes, then tell them it’s the same price once they do have the correct change unless they know better. It’s very lucrative.”

Mentor: “Wow, that’s cool.”

Head Of Security: “[Mentor]! No. It’s. Not.”

Principal: “[Mentor], that’s not why we called you here… Well, I think we can’t do anything for what you already did, but you are grounded inside the school’s building on lunch breaks for the remainder of the year. Also you have to write to your parents, right now, every detail for both subjects.”

Me: “Oh, that’s it?”

Head Of Security: “THAT’S IT?!”

Me: *feigned cough*

(My mentor left the room, laughing at me, with the other two for some more exchanges, specifically that other person that I had just thrown under a bus for drugs at his birthday party, and I have to write that letter. Once home, I tell my mom and dad, and the only response is:)

Mom: “Do you smoke cigarettes?”

Me: “Tried it. Didn’t like it.”

Mom: “And pot.”

Me: “Only what’s in the letter.”

Mom: “Wait, you’ve been making all this money and I PAID for your full driving license? No, wait, I’ve been giving you AN ALLOWANCE all this time! You are SO paying for your own stuff for prom!”

Me: “It’s all right; I’ve saved most of my money.”

Dad: *not even looking up from his supper* “So, want to go buy a car this weekend? My friend’s selling his old Ford Aspire. We could check it out…”

Me: “Sure?”

Mom: “But—”

Dad: “Good. I don’t want pot at your prom.”

(My mom sighed, told me to stop doing the cigarettes thing then signed the letter I had to bring back to the principal with the words: “Good for him.” My principal threw his hands in the air again when he saw the note and threw me out of the office. Later that day he told me to simply not do it again and that I was not grounded. I took the opportunity to quit my “unofficial job” and not piss off my principal and parents by heeding their orders for obvious reasons.)

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