ACT IV Scene 2
It’s been over 8 months since QUITTER put down that last cigarette.
(QUITTER is going through an extremely stressful time. He doesn’t know where to turn. Hasn’t thought about smoking in quite a while. Nicodemon, of course, arrives on the scene.
NICODEMON: (whispering) Smoooooke. Go get a smoke...just go...
QUITTER: (Quitter is utterly distraught and fighting desperately not to listen. Crying.) No.
NICODEMON: (yelling) YES!
QUITTER: (yelling back) NO!
NICODEMON: (changing tactics - soothingly) Come on. (sweetly, caringly, gently) You know you want one. Go ahead. You NEED to smoke right now. Your life is falling apart and it will give you the comfort you need. It’ll help you feel better. I mean - really. You know that. Right? You’ve been really strong all this time and it’s okay under this amount of stress, under THESE circumstances, to just have that one. Bum one from your friend. You’re not gonna buy a pack, of course not. But it’s gonna make...you...feel...better. (smiles inwardly, playing the ‘best friend’ role) You’ll be back to your old self. Calm and relaxed. And able to DEAL with everything. I mean - that’s how you dealt with everything before? Right? And it worked beautifully. Right? So... Besides, you’ve gained 15 pounds...
QUITTER: Stop it.
NICODEMON: I beg your pardon?
QUITTER: (angry) STOP! IT!
NICODEMON: (surprised and a little defensive) Uh... uh.. hey - ummm, no need to get -
QUITTER: (Cutting him off) - You know what? I’m TIRED of you. I’m tired of your lies and I’m tired of your niggling.
NICODEMON: (a bit at a loss) .. come on now..uh, whadda ya mean, tired of my niggling, (whining slightly) I’m not niggling, I’m...I’m...uh... just suggesting you have a smoke. It’s..it’s...it’s what you’ve always done. It’s WHAT YOU NEED!
QUITTER: I don’t think so. It’s NOT what I need. It’s NOT gonna solve my problems. It’s not gonna take away this pain. Nothing is going to change if I smoke, except I’ll become a smoker all over again. I’ll lose my quit and have to start ALL OVER at Day One. And who knows how many years I’ll smoke after that? Like I have before. Who knows if I’ll ever be able to quit again?! All that work I’ve put into this. All the money I’ve saved. The pride, the respect I’ve earned... NOPE - not one puff ever! It’s ingrained in my brain. No excuses allowed. Pity party’s over!
NICODEMON: (aghast - can’t think of anything to say.)
QUITTER: (goes to computer and puts up a Blog sharing their stress and strength.)
NICODEMON: (mouth ajar, eyes wide with fear)
QUITTER. A member sends him a particularly heartfelt PM. It makes him cry. Others add their support and encouragement on his blog. He doesn’t smoke.
QUITTER: (thinks to himself) I got through it. I got through that craving. I’m STRONG! I’m stronger than I thought I was. How ‘bout that?! I’m a CHAMPION. I don’t need a cigarette to survive. I’m FREE!!!! Not One Puff Ever! (Eats another cookie, but one less than the day before.)