Aunt Kim

(by, 04 November 2002)

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***NOTE:   This is the sixth in a series which follows the lives of a mother
and daughter.  If you'd like to follow the plot, you should begin with
"Caitlin's Smoking Life", then "Liz in Philly", "Caitlin's Education" ,
"Caitlin's Introduction", and then "Caitlin, Michelle, and Kristen"  before
reading this story.  Be warned that this story contains many subjects that may
offend certain people.  If the topics of illegal drug use, as well as underage
experimentation with various substances (including tobacco) offend you, you
may not want to read this story.  As this is a story which follows the
subjects through many phases of their lives, it starts while many of the
characters are underage, but is not intended to either condone or glorify
underage substance abuse.  As the story progresses in multiple chapters, the
characters will "mature".  The author does not encourage anyone to consume
alcohol until they are at least 21 years of age, nor does the author encourage
the experimentation with illegal narcotics at any age.***

Aunt Kim

As Caitlin and Michelle pulled out of the driveway, Kim and Liz were deciding
how to spend their first night together.  The two sisters had grown distant
over the years, and Liz's decision to start smoking when she was 16 didn't
help.  Ever since the day over 20 years earlier when Liz had gotten caught
smoking behind the shed in their parent's backyard, things had changed.  Years
later, when Liz quit, their relationship had improved, but was never quite the
same.  This is why Liz was scared that her decision to start smoking again
would push Kim away once more.

"I can't believe you started smoking again," said Kim.

"Kim, sit down, I want to talk to you about this," Liz replied.

"What's to talk about?" asked Kim.

"There's a lot to talk about, Kim," Liz started.  "I've started smoking again,
I won't do it around you or your daughter, what else can I do to make you
understand that this won't affect you in any way?"

"What do you mean it won't affect me?" snapped Kim.  "If you smoke, you'll get
lung cancer, and you'll die, which means the one person left in my family will
be gone!  That's going to affect me just a little, don't you think?"

"Kim, not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer and dies," said Liz.

"And you're comfortable taking the chance that it could happen to you?" asked

"No, I'm not comfortable with the thought that I could get cancer," started
Liz.  "But I'm comfortable smoking.  It gives me pleasure.  It relieves every
amount of stress I've ever had in just a few minutes."

"But you're killing yourself, don't you see that?" asked Kim, who had calmed
down a lot.

"Yes, I do see that.  It's a chance," explained Liz.  "I could get killed
taking a shower.  I could get killed crossing the street.  Sometimes, though,
I get dirty.  Sometimes, I like what's on the other side of the street enough
to take the chance of crossing it."

Kim said nothing.  For the first time in her life, she realized that her
sister had a point.

"Is it really that good?" she asked.

"You've never even tried it?" asked Liz.

"I've never even touched a cigarette, let alone smoke one!" said Kim, who for
the first time in her life, felt ashamed for this revelation.

"Interesting," said Liz.  "Let's get drunk and watch old home movies!"

"Sounds like a plan to me!" said Kim enthusiastically.

The two women sat comfortably on the sofa, and watched films of themselves as
children.  Neither knew that this was the same sofa on which Caitlin had
smoked for the first time almost four years earlier.

After the third video, both Liz and Kim were quite drunk.

"What's the next movie on the big screen?" asked Kim, taking another swallow
of beer.

"Well, we can watch either my 16th birthday party or your 13th," Liz said.

"Let's watch your 16th," said Kim.

"Okay, but can we hold off for a few minutes?  I want to go out and have a
cigarette first,"  stated Liz.

"Do I have to wait?" asked Kim.

"It amazes me how I'm the only patient one in the family," said Liz, secretly
referring to the first time she'd gotten high with Caitlin.

"I've never been patient, can't I just start it?"  begged Kim.

"I want to smoke first, that's all!"  said Liz.

"Oh, smoke in here, for God's sake," said Kim, surprising Liz.

"No, we had a -" Liz started.

"Fuck our deal," said Kim.  Liz was stunned.  Even drunk, Kim never used such

"Wow, okay," started Liz.  "Thanks, I think.  I'll be right back.  Another

"Absolutely!" said Kim, giggling.

It was clear to Liz that her younger sister was incredibly drunk.  Never in
her life had she seen her sister drink this much.  And now Kim was going to
let Liz smoke around her?  Unbelievable!  She was nervous, though, since she'd
never smoked in front of Kim.  She hoped it wouldn't bother her too much.

She returned to the living room, holding two beers, a pack of Marlboro Lights
100s, and an ashtray.  Her lighter was safe in her pocket.

She sat on the sofa, next to her sister, and placed the ashtray and cigarettes
on the table.

Kim picked up the pack and studied it.

"At least you're smoking lights, I suppose," she said.

Liz didn't have the heart to tell her sister that the only reason she had
Marlboro Lights 100s is because the store she'd stopped at didn't have any
Marlboro Reds 100s.

"I guess," she said.  She really tried hard to not lie, but she didn't have
much of a choice.

Kim flipped the top of the pack back and smelled the cigarettes inside.  Liz
just watched, unsure what her sister was doing.

"If they always smelled like that, I wouldn't mind so much!" she said.  Liz
really wanted a cigarette, but was fascinated by the innocence of her sister,
as she examined the pack.

"Since you're not going to need them, can you hand me one of those?" Liz
asked.  Kim had said she'd never touched a cigarette before, and that was
about to change.

"Here ya go, sis!"  said the drunken sister.

"Thanks, Kim!" giggled Liz.  "Hey look, you've touched one now!"

"Yeah, look at that!"  agreed Kim.  "That was easy!"

"I want to see what you look like holding one," said Liz, hoping her sister
was drunk enough to go through with it.

"Why?" asked Kim.

"I'm just curious," lied Liz.

"Okay, but I'm not going to smoke it," said Kim.

"I know," Liz laughed.

Kim slid a long, all-white Marlboro Light 100 from her sister's hard pack.
She had certainly seen her parents smoke enough to know how to hold the

She put the cigarette between the index and middle fingers of her left hand.
She propped her elbow in her waist and held the cigarette up next to her face.

"How do I look?" she asked.

Her next move stunned Liz.

Kim moved the cigarette to her lips, put it in her mouth, and took a pretend

"Something's not right," said Liz.

"What's that?" asked Kim.

"Give it to me a second," demanded Liz.

Kim was too drunk to argue, so she handed the cigarette to her older sister.

Liz put the cigarette in her mouth, and flicked the lighter to life.  The
orange flame curved inward as Liz dragged on the cigarette. 

She removed the filter from her mouth, and inhaled the smoke.  She held it in
her lungs before exhaling a fine white stream towards the ceiling.

She smiled. 

"That's so much better," she said.  "Oh, here, you hold it.  I want to see
what you look like."

Kim swallowed the beer in her mouth, and stuck her hand out and took the now
lit cigarette.  Liz thought that she might actually be able to get Kim to
smoke it, but she didn't want to cause an argument.

"Why don't you just hold that one while I smoke mine?" she said.  "Okay," said
Kim, mesmerized by the fact that she was holding a lit cigarette.

Liz lit another, and smiled even larger than before as she tipped her head
backwards, and exhaled a cloud upwards.  She tried to make it seem as
enjoyable as possible so that her sister would be tempted to try it.

"Liz," Kim started, staring at the cigarette.  "Why do you smoke?"

Liz was shocked.  Kim had never asked that question.

"I know," Kim began.  "My whole life has been spent giving you shit over your
smoking, but I never gave you the chance to explain why you do it."

"I know," said Liz.  "That was one thing that's always bothered me about your
attitude about my smoking.  It didn't seem fair."

"It really wasn't fair," said Kim.  "But I'm drunk, and I'm actually holding a
cigarette.  I guess I'm just curious why you would do that to yourself, that's

"Well, there's really no way to describe it," explained Liz.

"Oh," said Kim.

"You've really never tried it before?" asked Liz, before taking a double drag
and inhaling the smoke deep.

"No, never," answered Kim.

"Well, like I said, there's really no way to describe it," Liz repeated.  "I
guess you'll just have to try it!"

Although Liz laughed, she wasn't completely joking.  Part of her wanted her 33
year old sister to try the cigarette, just to see what she thought.

"I can't do that," said Kim.  "I don't smoke!"

"I didn't always smoke, you know," Liz joked.

"No, but you've been doing it for quite a while," Kim said, attempting to trim
the ash in the ashtray.  She wasn't having much luck.

"Give it to me," Liz said, taking the cigarette from Kim's fingers.  "You ash
it like this."

Liz tapped the ash gingerly into the ashtray on the coffee table.  

"Then, this," she continued.   She raised the cigarette to her lips, and took
a long drag.  She opened her mouth so that Kim could see the thick white ball
of smoke inside, and then snapped the smoke down her throat, into her waiting

She held the smoke inside, and exhaled slowly, in the direction of her sister.

"See?" she said.  "Nothing to it!"

Liz handed the cigarette back to her sister.  Kim looked at the cigarette, and
Liz thought she might actually take it.

"I can't do it," Kim said.  

Liz was disappointed.  She felt so close to getting her sister to smoke.  She
had an idea.  "Close your eyes," she said.

"Why?" asked Kim.

"Just trust me," Liz said.  "Close your eyes, and open your mouth.  When I say
to, start to slowly breathe in, okay?"

Kim was still too drunk to argue.

"Okay, I guess," she said.

Kim closed her eyes, and opened her mouth.  

Liz was ecstatic.  She'd been waiting for this moment her entire smoking life.

She brought the cigarette to her lips again.  She took a triple drag, and
inhaled the smoke.

"Now," she said, holding the smoke inside.

Kim began to breathe in slowly.  Liz leaned over so that she was face to face
with her sister.   

She exhaled a moderately sized stream of smoke that slid easily down Kim's
throat and into her lungs.  The mixture of smoke and air made it easier for
Kim to inhale.

"Hold your breath and open your eyes," Liz said.

Kim did as told.

"Now blow out slowly," said Liz.

Kim exhaled as she'd seen her sister done earlier in the evening.  Smoke began
to escape her mouth.  Kim was almost as excited as Liz.

"Ohmigod, I'm smoking!" she exclaimed.

"Not so fast," laughed Liz.  "You blew smoke out, that's hardly smoking!  What
did you think though?"

"It really wasn't anything like I expected.  Do it again!"  Kim said.

Liz took another puff, only this time she didn't inhale the smoke.  She blew
the unfiltered smoke into her sisters mouth, and watched it slide once more
down her throat.  If Kim felt an urge to cough, she did a very good job of
concealing it.  For a minute, Liz actually thought that maybe Kim had smoked
before.  She knew her sister wouldn't lie to her though.

Kim held her breath and opened her eyes once more.  She pursed her lips
together, and blew smoke outwards, mimicking Liz's earlier motions.

"That's nothing like I thought!" she said again.  "I can't believe I smoked!"

Liz laughed aloud.

"You didn't smoke," she started.  "You just blew smoke out of your mouth."

She held the cigarette towards Kim.

"Do you want to smoke it?" she asked.  Kim didn't know what to say.  Maybe
it's because she was drunk, but a small part of her, a very small part, wanted
to smoke the cigarette.

She said nothing as she reached out and took the cigarette from her sister.

She held it between the index and middle fingers on her right hand, propped up
beside her head.

"If you're curious, just try it.  I'm not going to tell anyone.  Everyone is
curious about smoking at least once, Kim," Liz assured.

Silently still, Kim brought her trembling hand closer to her mouth.  She felt
the tip of the cigarette's filter as it touched her lips.

"Now, suck slowly," Liz coached.

Kim began her first ever puff.  She tried to be slow so that she wouldn't

She removed the cigarette from her lips, and blew the smoke out immediately.
To her astonishment, she didn't cough one bit.

"Good job," said Liz.  "But you've gotta inhale."

Kim brought the cigarette close to her mouth once more, and repeated the drag
she'd just taken.  She took the filter from her lips, and inhaled slowly.
Again, no cough.

She exhaled slowly from her mouth, but small wisps of smoke escaped her nose.

"Wow, I'm impressed!" said Liz.

"I can't believe I'm smoking a fucking cigarette," mumbled Kim.

Liz laughed.  "I know, me either.  You seem to be enjoying it too!"  

She hoped she wasn't "pressing her luck".

"I don't know about that, but I'm doing it, that's for sure," said Kim, taking
another drag.  Liz noticed this one was slightly larger than the others.

"Why don't you finish that one?" said Liz, lighting another for herself.
"When you're done, we'll get to the good stuff!" 

Liz's comment went unnoticed by Kim who was preoccupied smoking her cigarette.
She took another puff.  Liz could tell that her sister was enjoying it.  Not
just because she was drunk, but because she truly enjoyed it.

"Let's drink more!" she said.

"Alright," said Kim, exhaling a stream from her lips.

Liz went to get more beer.  She realized that she only had 4 left, and she'd
just taken 2.  That meant that they could each only have one more beer each.
She returned to the living room, and handed Kim her beer.

"Let's chug," she said.

Kim set her cigarette down in the ashtray, and brought the bottle to her
mouth.  She turned it upside down, and began to chug.

Liz did as her sister, and within seconds, the two women's level of
drunkenness was nearly doubled.

"That's awesome," said Kim.  "I haven't been drunk in so long.  It feels

"There are two more in the fridge if you want them," Liz said.

"I'll make the trip this time," Kim offered.

Kim cautiously stood up from the floor, and headed for the kitchen.  Liz
contemplated going to fetch the marijuana from her purse.  She decided against
it.  For now, anyway.

Kim returned from the kitchen with two beers in hand.  

"Chug this one too?" she asked.

"Absolutely!" said Liz.

The two women turned their beer bottles upside down and began to drink
feverishly.  After a few seconds, their level of drunkenness was even higher.

"I love being drunk," laughed Kim as she stubbed out her first cigarette in
the ashtray.

"Me too," said Liz, who wondered if her sister was drunk enough to get high.

"Want to know what I like even better than being drunk?" asked Liz.

"What's that?"  asked Kim.

"Get my purse," Liz started.  "I've got another cigarette for you."

Liz was thinking that Kim's inebriation could be used to her benefit, and she
hoped that Kim was too drunk to put up much of a fight.  Her suspicions proved
true as Kim returned from across the living room, purse in hand.

"Now," Liz started.  "These are special cigarettes, and we can't smoke them
all the time.  But right now, I think we should celebrate you smoking your
first cigarette."

"Okay," agreed Kim, unsure what she was getting herself into, but too drunk to

Without revealing the bag of already rolled joints, Liz removed one.

"What's that?" asked Kim.

"I already told you, it's a special cigarette," said Liz, producing the joint.

"Is that pot?  Are you doing fucking drugs?" asked Kim.

It was apparent that in her drunken state, Kim was becoming hostile.

"It's not drugs, Kim.  It's marijuana.  There's a difference," said Liz.

"I can't believe you're doing that shit!" screamed Kim.

"Kim, listen to me.  An hour ago, you didn't understand why I smoked
cigarettes, right?" Liz asked.

"Yeah," said Kim.

Liz continued, "And now you've smoked one, and you understand.  At least a
little bit, right?"  

Kim had no choice but to agree.

"I guess," she said.

Liz looked directly into Kim's eyes.

"Close your eyes, and open your mouth," she said.

Her heart felt like it was beating out of her chest.  She was about to smoke
pot with her sister.  She never in a million years thought she'd ever do it
alone, let alone with her sister.

She held the joint in her left hand, and the lighter in her right.  She
flicked the roller on the lighter, and a flame appeared on top.  She took a
deep breath, and moved the flame to the rolled tip of the joint.  In only a
moment, the tip began to glow.

Bringing the other end to her mouth, Liz nervously pulled the thick smoke into
her lungs.  Time seemed to be standing still.  She was so self-conscious of
her every action, she nearly forgot that her sister was sitting on the floor,
eyes closed, mouth open.

Before exhaling, she leaned closer to Kim.  Holding her breath, she repeated
her earlier instructions.

Kim began to breathe in slowly, and Liz blew the smoke directly into her

"Hold your breath," she said to Kim, who obeyed.

After a few seconds, Kim began her first exhale.

She slowly opened her eyes.

"It tastes nothing like a cigarette," she said, as Liz took another hit.

"I know, it's better!" Liz replied.

"I don't know about that," said Kim.

Liz passed the joint to Kim.  Kim brought it to her lips, and took her first
ever hit off the joint.

She inhaled and held the smoke deep inside her lungs.  After a moment, she
exhaled a fine stream of smoke, and passed the joint back to Liz, who did the

For the next ten minutes, the process repeated.  The two women smoked the
joint until the very tip was the only piece remaining.  Liz carefully tapped
it out in the ashtray, and returned it to the bag.

"What do you do with that?" asked Kim.

"I save them, and then you can smoke a bunch of them together in a bowl or
something," she explained, lighting a cigarette.

She noticed Kim was just staring at her.  She extended the pack in her
sister's direction.

"Thanks," said Kim, taking a cigarette for herself.

"No problem, trust me," said Liz.  "So what do you think?"

"About what?" asked Kim, exhaling a small cloud.

"About what?  You're so fucking stoned!  Do you like it?" Liz asked.

"I'm really not sure," started Kim.  "It feels cool, but it could be because
I'm drunk."

She took another puff on her Marlboro Light 100, and attempted to inhale.  Liz
was impressed by her sister's ability to smoke.  It looked like she'd been
smoking for years.

"You really do look good with a cigarette, you know," said Liz.

"Well don't get used to it," defended Kim.  "If I weren't drunk, I never would
have done any of this!"

"We'll just have to get you drunk more often!" said Liz, half-jokingly.

"We'll see," said Kim, holding the smoke inside.

"So honestly, what do you think?" Liz asked again.

"Honestly?  I like it.  I'm just scared," said Kim, exhaling.

"Of what?" asked Liz.

"Well, a lot of things," started Kim.  "I don't want to get addicted to
anything, first of all.  Second, I don't want to get cancer.  Third, I've got
a daughter to worry about.  She's at a very impressionable age, you know.  If
she found out, she might be tempted to try it herself, and I don't want that."

Liz exhaled as Kim finished her sentence.

"You know, between you and I, some of the best experiences I've had since I
started smoking again have been while I smoked with Caitlin," said Liz.

"Caitlin smokes?  When did this start?" Kim asked.

"She started smoking last fall," Liz explained.  "But she didn't tell me until
a few months ago."

"And you're okay with it?" Kim replied.

"Well, I really have no choice," began Liz.  "She's going to smoke whether I
say no or not.  I can't really do that though, because I smoke too.  Besides,
I didn't start her, she did that on her own.  But when we smoke together,
there's a bond that just can't be broken."

"I'm just surprised, I guess.  She was, at times, my only ally," said Kim.
"Does she know you smoke marijuana?"

Liz laughed.

"When you say it that way, you sound like such an old lady.  Does Caitlin know
I get high?  Yes, she does.  In fact, I've gotten high with her a few times,
as well," Liz said.

"You've got to be joking!" said Kim, in denial.

"No, I'm smoking!" Liz joked.

For the first time, Kim realized how funny even the simplest of things felt
when she was stoned.  She enjoyed it.

"I still don't want Michelle to smoke," she said.  "Not cigarettes, not weed,

"That's fine," said Liz in an understanding tone.  "But the choice may not
always be yours to make.  She's going to grow up eventually."

"Don't remind me," said Kim.  She took another drag on her cigarette.

"So do you want to start smoking?"  asked Liz.

"Give me a week of experimenting to make up my mind, and I'll let you know,
okay?" asked Kim.

"You got it," said Liz.  "But if you're going to experiment, you've got to do
it right!" 

"How do you mean?" asked Kim.

"Oh, you'll see," teased Liz.  "You'll see."

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