Caitlin's Introduction

(by, 01 November 2002)

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***NOTE:   This is the fourth  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", and then
"Caitlin's Education" 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.***

Caitlin's Introduction

It was the end of Caitlin's first semester away at college.  She had opted
to not go home at Thanksgiving, primarily because she didn't want to have to
go without smoking, and she didn't feel like she could tell her mother, Liz,
that she'd taken up the habit.  Instead, she and Ashley had accepted
Stacy's invitation to go home with her.

The three girls had an absolutely amazing time with Stacy.  All three were
able to smoke pot almost every night before they went to bed, which they took
advantage of.  Caitlin had snorted cocaine a few times, and Stacy did it
almost every night.

Stacy's parents were oblivious to the fact that the girls were experimenting
with illegal drugs in Stacy's bedroom.  Her father was a very important
state politician, and her mother was a high school teacher.  Neither did any
drugs, nor did they smoke, although they allowed Stacy to smoke cigarettes in
her room, with the window open.

Ashley enjoyed the feeling of being high, and decided that she'd smoke a
joint once in a while if she was at a party, or similar gathering, that would
help her make the cheerleading squad.

Caitlin was now smoking almost a whole pack of cigarettes a day.  She had
started to limit her pot smoking to weekends, although she occasionally broke
free of that restriction when she was bored.  She'd only snorted cocaine
about five times now, and smoked it three times.

It was now almost Christmas time.  Caitlin figured that she'd have to go
home and face the proverbial music, since she'd bailed on Thanksgiving.

She picked up the telephone to call her mom, to finalize the plans for the
holiday break.  Nervously, she dialed the number.  She couldn't tell her mom
on the phone, but she'd try her hardest to tell her she was now smoking when
she returned home.

The telephone rang on the other end.

"Hello?" Liz said when she picked up the phone.

"Hi, Mom, it's me," Caitlin said.

"Hi sweetie, how are you?"  asked Liz.

"I'm good thanks," replied Caitlin.

Liz got right to the point.

"Still coming home for Christmas?" she asked.

"Yeah, definitely," said Caitlin.  "Good.  You know, I've been
thinking," started Liz.  This made Caitlin nervous.  "You went to your
friend's house for Thanksgiving, right?"

Caitlin said, "Yeah-.."

"Well, why don't you see if your friends want to come here for Christmas
break?"  Liz asked.

Caitlin hadn't even thought to ask.  Maybe with Stacy there, it would be
easier for her to come out of the smoking closet.

"I'll ask her," Caitlin replied.

"Alright, let me know who's coming so I can plan accordingly, okay?" Liz

"Okay," said Caitlin.

The mother/daughter conversation continued for a half an hour or so.  When
Ashley walked in the door, Caitlin made an excuse to get off the phone.

"Hi," she said to Ashley.

"Hey," Ashley replied.  

Ashley looked out of it.

"You're stoned, aren't you?" Caitlin laughed.

"Just a little bit," replied Ashley as she went into the bathroom,
presumably to smoke a cigarette.

"I'm coming with you," Caitlin said, grabbing her cigarettes.

The two girls went into the bathroom, and turned on the exhaust fan.

Ashley lit a Marlboro, and Caitlin lit a Newport.

"I can't believe I smoke," she said.

"I know, I never would have thought you'd start, and I never thought I'd
ever be doing ecstasy!" Ashley laughed.

"Ooooh, is that what you did?" asked Caitlin.

"Yeah," admitted Ashley.  "It's fucking incredible.  Want some?"

Ashley took a small pill out of her pocket and extended it towards Caitlin.

"I'll try it," said Caitlin, taking the pill.

Caitlin opened her mouth, and put the pill on her tongue.  She closed her
eyes, and swallowed.  There was no going back now, she had just taken

"How long does it take?" Caitlin asked.

"It's not too long, really," Ashley explained.

"Cool," said Caitlin.  After their cigarettes, the two girls watched
television before going to sleep.   Caitlin noticed that everything on the
screen looked different, and she enjoyed this newfound perception.

The semester drew to a close, and the girls did no more ecstasy.  Caitlin
asked both Stacy and Ashley if they were interested in coming home with her
for Christmas, and both girl accepted.  Caitlin made arrangements with her
mother for her two friends to accompany her home, and informed them both of
her decision to tell her mom that she smoked.  They were supportive.  Ashley
even thought maybe she should tell her parents, but she needed more

Their plane landed right on schedule.  Walking from the jetway, Caitlin
spotted her mother instantly.  She still didn't look a day older than 30,
despite the fact that she was almost 40.

Upon seeing Stacy, Liz was petrified.  She looked exactly like the girl that
she and her friends had gotten high for the first time at the concert in

"Mom, these are my friends Ashley and Stacy," she started.  "This is my
mother, Liz."

They exchanged greetings and handshakes, and Liz's fear was confirmed.  The
young girl's name was Stacy.  It had to be the same girl.

Liz tried to remain calm during the fifteen minute drive to their suburban
home.  She didn't want to let anyone know that she may know Stacy.

That evening, the four women sat around the dinner table eating lasagna,
Caitlin's favorite meal.  

Liz was impressed by her daughter's choice in friends, even if she had
gotten high with one of them.

"That was a long time ago," Liz reassured herself mentally.  "Besides, it
was the first time she'd ever done it, maybe she never did it again!"

When Stacy excused herself to go to the bathroom, Liz decided she couldn't
take it anymore.

"I've got to go get something out of my room, I'll be right back," she
said.  She hoped she could find something in her room that seemed important
enough to bring back to the dinner table afterward.

Liz went up the stairs, and knocked on the closed bathroom door.  She had no
idea what she was going to say to the girl inside.

"It's open," said Stacy from inside the bathroom.

Liz opened the door, and found Stacy standing over the sink.  A mirror was
sitting on the counter.  She had obviously been snorting cocaine.

Liz didn't know what to say.  On the one hand, she was furious that this
girl would bring drugs into her house, but on the other hand, she was
partially responsible for getting Stacy to try drugs in the first place.

"Well, I guess that means you are her!" Liz said, failing to think of
anything else to say.

"Yeah, you remembered," Stacy replied.

"How could I forget?" Liz asked.  "I did things that weekend that I never
thought I'd ever do!"

"But what matters is, did you enjoy those things?" remarked Stacy, who was
pouring a little more cocaine onto the mirror.

"That's not what matters!  Not at all!" snapped Liz.  "It is what
matters.  Take right now for example, you're asking yourself whether you
want to do a line again with me if I ask you to.  You can't decide if it's
something you want to do or not, can you?"  asked Stacy, who had just about
finished preparing the cocaine.

"Does Caitlin do it too?" asked Liz, unsure if she wanted to know the
answer to that question.

"Would it matter if I told you?" asked Stacy sarcastically.

"What do you mean?" Liz replied.

"Well, if I say, `Yes, Caitlin snorts too', is that going to make you feel
better?  Or, if I say, `No, she doesn't do coke', would you even believe

Liz realized that Stacy had a valid point.

"Besides," Stacy continued.  "If I hadn't met you and your friends at
that concert, I may have never gotten high.  I know I wouldn't have started
smoking these!" 

Stacy pulled a pack of Newport 100s out of her purse.

"You can't smoke that in here," said Liz.

"Boy, that sounds familiar," Stacy laughed as she put the Newport in her

She flicked her lighter, and lit the cigarette, the tip glowing as she pulled
the cool, minty smoke into her lungs.

She extended the pack to Liz, who just stared at it.

"Just smoke one," encouraged Stacy.  "Trust me, it will make you feel

Liz hadn't taken a single puff on a cigarette, or anything else for that
matter, since she'd returned from the concert in Philadelphia some three
years earlier.

She nervously reached out and took a cigarette out of the pack.

She put the long, orange filter in her mouth, and Stacy held out her lighter,
already lit.

Leaning into the flame, Liz began to suck on the filter.  She could feel the
mentholated smoke enter her mouth.  She continued to drag.

When she didn't think she could drag any more, she removed the cigarette,
opened her mouth, and inhaled a huge ball of the thick white smoke.

Instantly, her body began to relax.

Liz exhaled the smoke towards the ceiling fan, and realized that it wasn't
on.  She reached over and flipped the switch.  She thought for sure that
despite her best efforts, Caitlin would smell the smoke and there would be
hell to pay.

"You know," began Liz.  "I gave these up when Caitlin was 11.  She hated
when I smoked."

"I wouldn't worry," replied Stacy.  "I don't think she'll mind at all

"What's that supposed to mean?"  asked Liz.

Stacy exhaled a cloud of smoke toward the fan.

"I really shouldn't say," said Stacy.

"Does Caitlin smoke?" asked Liz, before taking a huge double drag on her
own cigarette.

"It's none of my business, really," replied Stacy.

"No, but it is my business, and I'm asking you, does my daughter smoke?"
Liz asked, beginning to wonder why Stacy was being so mysterious.

"I'll make a deal with you," started Stacy.

"What's that?" asked Liz.

"I'll tell you, but you've got to do something so I know you won't say
you heard anything from me," Stacy continued.

"Anything, just tell me," Liz said.

"Do two lines with me, and I'll tell you what I know," Stacy answered.

"Ohmigod, I couldn't!  My daughter is downstairs, and you want me to do
coke with you right here?"  asked Liz.

"You got it!" chuckled Stacy.

"I don't know," Liz responded, unsure if she wanted to do that or not.

"You want to, I know that much, just try a little.  It'll be like that time
in the bathroom," Stacy pleaded.

It certainly sounded enticing to Liz, who was just finishing her first
cigarette in three years.

Silently, she took the rolled up bill from Stacy, and held it to her nose.
She pinched the other nostril, and leaned down to the mirror.  She caught a
glimpse of her own reflection in the mirror, and couldn't believe what she
was seeing.  She was snorting cocaine-.again.

Liz closed her eyes and snorted the powder back.

"One more," coached Stacy.

Switching to the other nostril, Liz repeated the process.

"What would you like to know?" asked Stacy.

"Does Caitlin smoke?" Liz asked.

"Yes," was Stacy's reply.  "She smokes Newport 100s, just like us."

"I don't smoke," said Liz.  "Once in a while, I have a cigarette, that's

"Do you want to start smoking again?" asked Stacy.

"Yeah, a little bit, I do.  But I don't want to cause the problems I used
to have with Caitlin, that's all," explained Liz.

"Trust me, there's nothing you could do that would bother Caitlin.  She
also smokes pot with me occasionally," assured Stacy.  "Go out, get
Caitlin, get in the car with her, and talk to her while you drive around."

The idea made perfect sense to Liz.

"Okay," she agreed.  "And thank you."

Stacy smiled, and handed a joint to Liz, who took it without even thinking.
Stacy then exited the bathroom.  She had picked up her "toys", and headed

Liz just stood in the bathroom, looking in the mirror.  She wasn't sure what
had happened to her life, but it was never supposed to be like this.  Smoking
and drugs were the last things she ever thought she'd deal with when it came
to Caitlin.

After a minute of courage building, which wasn't entirely difficult, seeing
as how she was stoned, went downstairs to talk to Caitlin.

"Hey Cait," she started.  "Wanna go for a ride?"

"Sure," she started, as she headed for the door.

Once in the car, Liz took a deep breath, and turned the key.  She probably
shouldn't be driving, but she seemed to be fine, just a little hyper.

As soon as the SUV rounded the first corner, Liz started the conversation.

"Can I have a cigarette?"  Liz asked.

Caitlin's heart just about stopped beating entirely.

"What?" Caitlin asked.

"You don't have to lie to me, Caitlin.  I know you smoke now, and it's
fine.  Honest," she said nervously.

"Mom, I don't know what to say.  I mean, even if I did start smoking, you
quit a long time ago, and I'm sure you don't want to start again," Caitlin

"Caitlin, the only reason I quit was because you didn't like it, and now
that you do, I'm more than willing to start again,"  Liz defended.

"Um, okay?"  said Caitlin.

"So can I have one?" Liz repeated.

"I guess so," said Caitlin, reaching into her purse for her cigarettes.

When she found them, she handed the pack to Liz, who took one out and put it
in her mouth.  She pressed in the cigarette lighter on the dash.

"You can have one too, you know," she said to Caitlin.

"Really?  Are you sure?"  said Caitlin.

"Caitlin, a big part of deciding to smoke is the first time you smoke in
front of your parents.  If you want to smoke, you're going to have to get
that over with," she explained.

"I know, but it's weird," Caitlin said.

"I know what will make it a little less weird," said Liz, handing her
cigarette to Caitlin.  She pulled the SUV to the side of the road and turned
off the engine.

"What do you want me to do?  Smoke yours?" Caitlin laughed.

"No, just wait," said Liz, reaching in her purse.

"What are you doing?" asked the curious Caitlin.

"Just wait!  You've never been known for your patience," Liz laughed.

"Okay," replied Caitlin, unsure of what was going on.

Liz nervously pulled a joint out of her purse, and put it in her lips.
Caitlin thought for sure it must just be another cigarette.  There's no way
her mom was smoking pot.

After inhaling, she handed the joint to Caitlin. 

While holding the smoke in her lungs, Liz said, "Here."

"Oh my God, mom!  What's gotten into you?"  Caitlin asked.

"Take it," Liz instructed.

Caitlin took the joint, and brought it to her lips.  She couldn't believe
she was getting high with her mother, but really needed to do something to
calm her nerves.

She pulled the thick smoke deep inside her lungs, and held it for as long as
she could.

She passed the joint back to Liz, who took another hit.

"What's going on, mom?" asked Caitlin.

Liz passed the joint back to Caitlin.

"Remember when I went to that concert in Philadelphia?" Liz asked.

Caitlin laughed.

"Oh yeah, I remember," she said.

"Well, I met Nicole and Julie there.  What you never knew was that they both
used to be quite the partiers in high school," Liz explained.

"Really?"  chuckled Caitlin, surprised at the revelation.

"Yes, really," continued Liz.  "They offered me pot a lot of times as a
kid, but I always said no.  When we were in Philadelphia, I met this girl
named Allison, and she had a younger friend with her.  That friend was your
friend Stacy."

Caitlin took a double hit on the joint and passed it back to Liz, who did the

"Caitlin, I didn't say no in Philadelphia, and I smoked pot for the very
first time."

Caitlin was stunned.  This was a huge change in her mother, and she didn't
know what to make of it.

She handed Liz's cigarette back to her, and lit her own.  It was easier to
smoke in front of her mom if she was stoned, Caitlin realized.

"Anyway," Liz continued.  "Stacy and Allison had never done anything
before either, in fact, Stacy had never even smoked a cigarette.  They both
got high for the first time, and I felt a little old.  I needed to do
something to get over that feeling, because I absolutely hated it."

"I smoked pot that weekend.  Not a lot, just enough to feel it.  I loved how
it felt.  That's not all I did, but that's all you need to know about,
right now anyway."

"I'm not condoning your using drugs, Caitlin, not in any way.  If you want
to risk messing up your life that way, I'll always be against it.  But
you're an adult, and you have to make your own choices, just like I do."

"I know, mom," Caitlin said.

"But the choices I've made are simple.  I'm going to start smoking
cigarettes again.  I may smoke weed once in a while, and I may do other
things, too, I don't know yet.  You need to be aware of those choices."

"Mom, you keep saying other things," Caitlin began.  "What are you talking

Liz hadn't realized that she'd said it so many times.  She took a deep pull
on her cigarette.

"It's not important, Caitlin," she replied.

"But it is mom" Caitlin started.  "There are things I still want to try,
though, wanna do them with me?" 

"What did you have in mind?" asked Liz.

It was apparent to Caitlin that she and her mom had a lot of talking to do.

"So it's alright with you that I smoke?" she asked.

"As long as you don't mind that I do," Liz replied, taking a drag on her
Newport.  "I don't think I'll smoke these though.  I like my Marlboro Reds

"I've smoked those too, but I like the feeling Newports give me,"
responded Caitlin, also taking a puff.

The two women laughed at the topic of their conversation.

"You ready to go home?" Liz asked Caitlin.

Caitlin responded, "Yeah."

Liz started the car, and they headed home.  When they arrived, Stacy and
Ashley were having a cigarette on the front porch.

"Hi," said Ashley, taking a drag on a freshly lit cigarette.

"Hi," started Stacy.  "Looks like everything went well!"

"Yeah," Caitlin said.  "My mom told me that you told her I smoke, and
she's fine with it.  She's even started smoking again too!"

"She told you?" Stacy asked.

"Yeah, she said that you told her I started smoking, and she's absolutely
okay with it," Caitlin answered.

"What else did she tell you?" Stacy wondered.

"What do you mean?" asked Caitlin.

Liz was petrified.  She had forgotten completely about her deal with Stacy.
She'd told Caitlin the source of her information, which meant Stacy had some
revealing to do as well.

"Don't, Stacy," pleaded Liz.  "It's fine, really." 

"But we had a deal, Liz.  You can't expect me to back off our arrangement,
can you?" challenged Stacy.

"Mom, what's she talking about?" Caitlin inquired.

"Nothing, Cait.  Don't worry about it," Liz said, glaring at Stacy.

"Caitlin, earlier, your mom came into the bathroom and asked me if you
smoked.  I didn't want to tell her, but she really wanted to know," Stacy

"Yeah-.." Caitlin said.

"Stacy, stop," Liz demanded.

"Caitlin, your mom did two lines of coke with me," Stacy revealed.

"WHAT???" Caitlin asked.

"Yep," Stacy started.  "She was there the first time I ever smoked a
cigarette, and the first time I ever got high.  She got high that night too."

"Mom, you do drugs?"  Caitlin said, unbelievably.

"No, I don't do drugs, Caitlin." Liz was shaking.  She knew that it
wasn't exactly the truth, but not exactly a lie either.

"That night at the concert, I smoked pot for the first time, and snorted
coke for the first time.  I told you it was an interesting weekend.  I never
did it again - I never even smoked a cigarette after that weekend - nothing
until tonight when I re-met Stacy," Liz explained.

"But you gave me a speech about how bad drugs are!" Caitlin yelled.

"No," Liz stopped her.  "If you remember, what I said was that I won't
condone your choices, because we both have choices to make, but whatever you
decide I'll respect your decision as an adult, even though I may or may not
agree with them."

"So if I wanted to snort coke right now, it would be fine with you?"
Caitlin asked.

Liz said nothing.  She was fighting back the tears.  She couldn't answer
that without being a hypocrite.

"Stacy, cut me a line," Caitlin demanded.

Stacy mischievously pulled the mirror out of her pocket.  She set it on the
coffee table, and poured a small pile of cocaine onto it.  She pulled out the
razor blade, and cut two lines.  She rolled up a dollar bill, and passed it
to Caitlin.

Caitlin took the homemade straw, and put it to her nose.

Liz turned away, and Caitlin rose her head.

"No, mom.  I think you should watch," she said.

Liz didn't want to see her daughter snort cocaine, but for some reason, she
watched anyway.

Everything began to move very slowly, as if she was watching it in a movie.

Caitlin asked Stacy to hold her hair back, which she did.  Caitlin put the
straw to her nose, and pinched her other nostril closed.

She sniffed the white powder back hard, but slowly.  She didn't miss a
single granule.  Without hesitation, she moved the straw to her other
nostril, and repeated the process again.

She handed the straw to Stacy, who cut two lines, and snorted them herself.

Stacy then, without saying a word, handed the straw to Liz, who shook her
head, indicating she didn't want any coke.

"Mom, do it," Caitlin pleaded.

Liz took the straw, and knelt down at the coffee table.  She put the straw in
her right nostril, pinched her left, and snorted the cocaine right back.  She
reversed her hands, and snorted an equal amount into her left nostril.  She
immediately felt the effects.

Not knowing that Ashley had never snorted coke before, Liz held the straw in
her direction.  Ashley didn't know what to do.  She'd tried ecstasy a total
of three times, and she'd smoked pot about 10, but she'd never done cocaine
before.  She wasn't sure if she wanted to.

But everyone in the room had just snorted two lines, and they were fine.
Maybe a little bit wouldn't hurt.

"She doesn't snort," explained Stacy.

"Too bad," Caitlin said.  "More for us."

"I am in the room, you know," Ashley said, feeling as if the group had
prohibited her from making her own decisions.

"Yeah, we know," Stacy laughed, lighting a Newport.

"I want to try it," Ashley said.

She took the straw from Liz.  She put it to her nose, and snorted one line

"There," she said to her friends.  "I did it.  I did fucking cocaine, are
you happy?"

"Not until you finish," said Stacy.

Ashley snorted another line in the other nostril.

"Now are you happy?"  she asked.

"You're still not done," said Liz.

"What the fuck do you mean I'm not done?" snapped Ashley.  "I snorted two
lines, I did as much as you guys!"

Liz took the bill from Ashley, and put it in her mouth.

Everyone wondered what she was doing.  Everyone but Stacy.

Stacy handed Liz a lighter.  She flicked it, and lit the end of the dollar

Caitlin was astounded that her mother was doing this.

Liz pulled the thick smoke into her mouth, and inhaled deeply.  She handed
the bill to Caitlin.

Caitlin took the bill, and inhaled a large hit.  It felt unbelievable.  She
passed the bill to Stacy as she exhaled towards the ceiling.  She looked her
mother directly in the eyes as she did.

Stacy took a hit, and passed the bill to Ashley.

Ashley followed suit, taking a large hit of the creamy smoke, and holding it
deep within her lungs.  As she exhaled, she passed the bill back to Liz, and
the cycle continued.

The four women spent the entire week getting high, and smoking cigarettes.
On the last night of their vacation, Liz pulled out a small brown paper bag.

"I got us all a Christmas present," she explained.  "Close your eyes and
open your mouths."

The three girls did as they were told.   They were all too stoned to argue

Liz took a little piece of paper out of the bag, and put it on Stacy's

"Don't swallow it yet," Liz said.

Stacy agreed.

Liz proceeded to place another piece of paper on Ashley's tongue, and gave
the same directions.

She then reached Caitlin.  She hesitated.  Did she want to do this?  It was
already too late to back out now, so she really had no choice.

She placed a small piece of paper on Caitlin's tongue.  

"Open your eyes," Liz instructed the three girls.

When they did, they saw Liz sitting on the chair across the room.  She opened
her mouth, and put a piece of paper exactly like the others on her own

Trying to talk without spitting it out, she said, "Swallow it."

The four girls all swallowed their little piece of paper.

"What was that?" the na´ve Ashley asked.

"Acid," stated Stacy in a very matter-of-fact voice.

"Very good," said Liz.  "I take it you've done it before?"

"No, never," started Stacy.  "The only thing I've ever done was coke and
weed.  Then when I met Caitlin and Ashley, I tried ecstasy for the first

Within a few minutes, the four women were experiencing their first acid
trips.  They enjoyed it tremendously.

"You can only do this when you're with me," Liz instructed Caitlin, out of
concern for her daughter.

"Deal," said Caitlin.  It would be nice to have something the two of them
could share once in a while.

At the end of the holiday break, the three girls were ready to leave.  Liz
had brought them to the airport, and by now, all were completely sober.

She bid a farewell to Stacy and Ashley, and as Caitlin was hugging her, she
whispered in her daughter's ear.

"My sister Kim is coming up from Florida in March - probably around the
same time you're going on spring break - you're more than welcome to come
up.  I know you haven't seen her in ages," Liz said.

Caitlin hadn't seen Kim in about 7 years.  Her daughter, Michelle, would
probably be about 16 now.

"Will Michelle be with her?" Caitlin asked.

"Yeah, probably, why?" Liz asked.

Caitlin broke the hug, and looked into her mother's eyes as she smiled from
ear to ear.

"I'll see you in March, Mom," she said, as she turned and walked down the

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