Breaking the Habit by Heidi Champa

May 8, 2010

Hello, my name is Heidi Champa and I’m very pleased to be a part of the Necking Anthology with my story, Breaking the Habit. It’s about three friends and their unusual method to get through nicotine withdrawal. It is such a pleasure to be a part of this collection and in such great company!!

Here is a short excerpt of the story. Please to enjoy!!

I sat on the couch, feeling like I was coming out of my skin. Cam and Joel were next to me, both of their heads resting on my shoulders. Five days into our torture and we were all struggling. The television talked to itself, all of us too bitchy to bother changing the channel or even pay attention. I looked down and noticed Cam’s hand twitching slightly. I put mine on top of it to calm him down. His fingers laced through mine, but I still felt the slight jittery charge running through his skin. Joel was tracing the pattern of the couch mindlessly with his pinkie, his knee rising and falling in a rapid tempo. I tried to be the strong one, but my mind was racing so fast I could barely control where it was going. Before my logical mind could catch up, I opened my mouth with a suggestion.

“We need something to take our minds off this.”

Joel was first to react, his voice still sounded gravely, despite all the fresh air we were getting

“What do you suggest, Tom? There isn’t anything we can do. Except the one thing we can’t do. We agreed, no exceptions, no matter what.”

 Joel jumped up, startling us both with his energy. He paced a small track back and forth in front of us, his hands air drumming out a crazy rhythm. He wasn’t done telling me off, either.

“Come off it Tom, there isn’t anything that can make us feel better. We’ve been to the cinema, we’ve gone for walks, we’ve chewed so much bloody gum, our teeth are going to fall out. What the fuck do you want us to do? I mean, seriously. What the fuck do you suggest?”

My thoughts continued to spin, wildly, like a slot machine with a fresh coin inside. The wheels of my mind kept going until all the pieces clicked into place; three cherries in a row. I stood up, releasing Cam’s hand in the process. I stepped in front of Joel, stopping his manic motion. I grabbed his head in my hands, and before he could say another crazy word, I kissed him hard on the lips. At first he stiffened, his body resisting my solution. But, after a few seconds, he relaxed into me, his hands going around my back on pure instinct. His tongue dove into my mouth, my hands gripping his ratty t-shirt for dear life. Pulling apart, Joel was panting and I was feeling calmer than I had in days.

“Shit, Tom. That was unexpected.”

“Do you feel better?”


We stood looking at each other in silence, until Cam cleared his throat and brought us back to reality. He smiled at me, his hand patting the cushion next to him.

“You know, Tom. I’m freaking out over here too.”

By this time, it was beyond me to think about how stupid or wrong it might be to continue. All I knew is that we needed it. We needed each other.

You can find me online at Thanks for stopping by the Necking virtual release party!!

7 Responses to “Breaking the Habit by Heidi Champa”

  1. Sherrie baby says:

    LOVE IT!!! What a great solution to the patches and gum. If your idea goes public, nicorette will be out of business. LOVE IT! I might give it a try myself

  2. What a great way to give up smoking! Only problem is, that post-coital one (or three!)

  3. Heidi says:

    Thanks, Sherrie and Josephine. I’m glad you liked the excerpt. Josephine, that very problem is delt with in the story, the post-coital smoke situation. :)

  4. Jana_Denardo says:

    now that’s a nice way to kick a bad habit

  5. lenorejblack says:

    I vote this the best way to quit smoking ever!

  6. Heidi says:

    Thanks, Jana and Lenore. If only I’d thought of this when I tried to quite smoking!!

  7. Heidi says:

    Of course, I meant quit! Oops.

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