Caitlin's Smoking Life

(by smokingbeauties@yahoo.com, 30 October 2002)


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***NOTE:  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 Smoking Life
by smokingbeauties@yahoo.com

Caitlin had always been told that she was attractive, but every time she'd
heard it, it made her feel awkward inside.  Despite the constant compliments,
the pretty, blonde-haired, brown-eyed now fifteen year old girl tried not to
let it go to her head.  She'd never really thought of herself as attractive
before, but as she looked in the mirror one last time, she began to actually
feel pretty.  Surprised by how she felt, she smiled and went downstairs to her
fifteenth birthday party.

Her mother, Liz, had put a lot of thought into the party.  She'd snuck into
her daughter's bedroom one day to take a peek at Caitlin's address book.
She'd invited everyone she found, which (due to Caitlin's popularity) meant
that there was quite a gathering on this Wednesday evening.

Caitlin tried to not seem disappointed when she saw Heather, one of her
classmates.  Heather and Caitlin were in many of the same classes, but Caitlin
never really associated with Heather for one reason.  Heather smoked.

Caitlin had never smoked anything in her life, entirely because she had grown
up with her mother smoking what seemed like constantly, and Caitlin had grown
to hate the smell.  Because of Caitlin's objections and Liz's resentment,
there was a feeling of distance between them.  It was because of this distance
that Liz had quit smoking when Caitlin was 11.  As far as Caitlin knew, it had
been four years since her mother's last cigarette.  What she didn't know, was
that at the last company Christmas party, her mom had consumed a few too many
drinks, and smoked a Marlboro red.  As much as she loved smoking again, Liz
decided that she'' quit for a good reason, and did not want to start smoking
again.

"Caitlin," Liz started, "I left the matches for your candles in the kitchen on
the counter.  Could you be a dear and go get them for me?"

"Sure, mom," Caitlin replied.

She had noticed that Heather had disappeared, but figured that she'd just
snuck out for a cigarette while everyone was busy with the cake.

When she entered the kitchen, her suspicions were confirmed.

Heather was walking in the door, their eyes meeting in an awkward moment.

"Hi," Heather said.

"Hey Heather, outside poisoning yourself?" Caitlin replied sarcastically.

"You know, you really shouldn't be so cold to me just because I smoked.
You've probably never even tried it, so you don't know what you're talking
about!" the angry girl declared.

Caitlin knew that if she agreed, she'd be in a position that she really didn't
want to be in, and it would probably lead to further arguing, so she decided
that she'd have to lie.

"No, Heather.  For your information, I have tried it, and I didn't like it at
all," was the best she could think of.

Heather seemed shocked.

"Wait just a second.  Are you saying that you, Caitlin Scott, head
cheerleader, have actually smoked a cigarette?"

Caitlin tried to play it cool.

"Yeah, who hasn't?" she said.

It was clear to Caitlin that Heather was scheming, and she didn't like it one
bit.

A grin fell upon Heather's young face, as she said, "I don't believe you."

Heather stuck her hand into her purse, and pulled out a pack of Marlboro
Lights.  Caitlin wasn't sure why, until Heather began to speak.

"I'll tell you what I'm gonna do," she began.

Caitlin had no idea what she was going to do, but she was sure she wasn't
going to like it.

Heather looked more mischievous than ever as she flipped the top and pulled
out an all white cigarette.  She held it out towards Caitlin.

"Take it," she demanded.

Caitlin immediately objected, "I don't want it."

"Just take it for a second and listen to me, okay?"  Heather answered.

Caitlin was confused, but did as her red-haired classmate said.

The cigarette felt foreign in her hand, but Caitlin knew that she couldn't let
her friend know exactly how weird it felt.

"Here's what I want you to do.  Sometime when you get a chance, I want you to
smoke that cigarette, and then return the filter to me so I know you did it."

Caitlin laughed.  

"There's no way I'm going to do that!" she replied.

Heather shrugged.

"It's up to you.  But if you don't, I'll have to tell everyone that you've
smoked, which I'm sure will ruin your 'goody goody' image!"  Heather said with
an evil smile.

Caitlin realized she was caught.  She couldn't very well turn around and tell
Heather that she'd never really smoked, because then Heather would be even
more persistent.  But at the same time, she also knew that she couldn't let
Heather spread the word that she had smoked before.  If Liz had heard that
after all the trouble Caitlin had given her about smoking, only to turn around
and smoke a cigarette herself, there would be hell to pay.

"Why are you doing this to me?" Caitlin asked.

Heather chuckled.

"Because I don't believe for one second that you've ever smoked a cigarette in
your life, and I don't think you know what you're missing."

"But I have smoked before, once, and I hated it!" Caitlin protested.

"Well if you've really done it before, then this time won't be that bad, and
you've got nothing to worry about," Heather said.

Caitlin thought of the one thing that might change Heather's mind.

"But how do I know that if I do it, you won't still tell everyone?"

Heather thought for a moment.  She hadn't really had a lot of time to think
her plan through, and had never given that part a thought.

"If I do that, then I'll let you tell everyone something about me that no one
knows.  How's that?" she asked.

Caitlin wasn't sure if her defense was working or not.

"Yeah?  What would that be?"

Heather stuck her hand back into her purse and pulled out a small plastic
sandwich bag.

"What's that?" Caitlin asked.

Heather laughed again.

"You've never seen pot I suppose," she teased.

"No, I haven't," Caitlin said, surprised that Heather had marijuana in her
purse.  "Do you really smoke that stuff?"

"Well, I don't paint the walls with it!" joked Heather.  "You ever try it?"

Caitlin was quick to say no.

"Here," she said, handing the small bag to Caitlin.  "You can hold onto this
so that if I do tell everyone, you can have proof that I smoke pot, and you
can tell anyone you'd like."

Caitlin seemed shocked that Heather would trust her so much, but took the bag
anyway.

"And don't go smoking it all.  It's not that easy for me to get, so I'll be
pissed if it's gone.  Plus, you just can't handle it."

Heather's words seemed somewhat insulting to Caitlin.  Of course she could
handle it, she thought.  

"Well don't worry, I'll never have to prove whether I can or not," Caitlin
replied.  

Before Heather could respond, Caitlin continued.

"So all I have to do is smoke this cigarette, and I'm off the hook?" Caitlin
asked.

"Yep," Heather answered.  "That's it!"

Caitlin wondered when and where she'd be able to get away with it, since all
of her friends were in the living room with her mother.

"I'll give you a week, but bring me the filter after so I know you're not
making it up.  And remember, if it's not brown, I'll know you're lying, so
don't go trying anything cute!"

With that, Heather walked back into the living room, leaving Caitlin standing
there holding the cigarette and a bag of weed, unsure what had just happened.

She was a little curious about the pot, so she opened the bag and gave it a
quick sniff.  It didn't smell as bad as she'd thought it would.

Suddenly, she heard her mother coming into the kitchen.  Scared, Caitlin threw
the bag and the cigarette in the pocket on the front of her purse, which lie
on the kitchen table.

"Are you coming, honey?" Liz asked.

"Yeah mom, I was just talking to Heather," her confused daughter answered.

"You know," Liz started, "I haven't heard you talk much about Heather.  She
seems like a good kid.  Why haven't you introduced me to her sooner?"

Caitlin didn't know what to say.  She knew she couldn't tell her the truth,
because then Liz would be reminded of the arguments that she and Caitlin used
to have.  They were always about the same thing - smoking.  

"We're really not that close, Mom.  She's okay though."

Caitlin hoped she wasn't overdoing it.

"Oh, ok," said Liz.  "I wanted to make sure I didn't invite someone you didn't
want here.  Her name was in your book though, so I figured it was okay."

It all made sense to Caitlin now.  She hadn't been able to figure out how Liz
had known who to invite to her party, but now it was clear.  Liz had gone
through Caitlin's address book.  What Liz didn't know, however, was that the
only reason Caitlin had put Heather's name and address in the book was so she
could send piles of anti-smoking propaganda to her house as a prank.  Prior to
now, the two teens had barely even spoken.

As the party ended, and the last of the guests departed, Liz looked at
Caitlin.

"God, you're so pretty.  Happy birthday, Caitlin, I love you."

"Mom," Caitlin began, "What's up?"

Liz was nervous.  She had made plans for the weekend, but hadn't mentioned
them until now.

"Caitlin, this weekend?there's a big concert in Philadelphia.  No one you'd
know, just a bunch of bands my friends and I used to like when we were kids.
I'm going to go down and meet up with them there, so you'll be home alone all
weekend."

Caitlin was excited.  This was the first time she'd been left home alone
overnight.

"Really?" she asked.

"Yes, really.  I've given this a lot of thought, and now that you're 15,
you're old enough to be home alone once in a while.  You can have two people
over if you'd like, but there are two rules.  No boys, and no parties, okay?"

"Yeah, mom, I promise!"

Caitlin couldn't believe that she was going to be home all weekend by herself.
That night, she could barely sleep.  Friday couldn't come soon enough.

Finally, it was Friday.  Caitlin spent all day in school daydreaming about how
she would enjoy her 48 hours of freedom.  She decided that she'd spend the
first night alone, so as to fully appreciate the experience of being on her
own.  The second night, she figured, she'd invite her friends Megan and Erin
to watch some movies and have pizza.

Caitlin stepped off the bus with her heart in her chest.  She knew that her
mom was by now well on her way to Philadelphia.  She walked in the front door,
and instinctively called out for her mother.


Silence.

A sense of relief overcame Caitlin, and she immediately ran to the living room
to blast the radio, something she never could have done with her mom home.

She grabbed a cold soda from the refrigerator, sat back on the sofa, put her
feet on the coffee table, and listened to the latest Britney Spears hit.

Caitlin knew immediately that this was going to be one hell of a weekend.  As
long as she didn't break "the rules", she thought, everything would be great.

She decided she'd barbecue some hamburgers for dinner.  The only problem she
was having was getting the barbecue to light.  The electronic starter wasn't
helping much.  She decided she'd have to use matches.

As she struck the first match, she remembered the cigarette still hiding in
her purse.  For just a fleeting moment, she considered going to get it,
putting it in her mouth, and smoking it, just to get the deed over with.  She
quickly dismissed that thought as the flames began to appear in the barbecue.

When she went to the refrigerator to get another soda, she noticed a bottle of
mudslide mix in the back.  It was about half full.

Caitlin had never drank alcohol before, but figured she might as well try it
to see what it's like while she had the chance.

She poured the brown mixture into a glass, noticing how much it looked like
chocolate milk.  She took a small sip.

"Wow," she thought.  "It even tastes like chocolate milk!"

She drank this glass rather quickly, and even quicker decided she wanted more.

By the time she was halfway through the second glass, she was starting to feel
a little buzzed.

"Oooh, I like this!" she giggled.

After the end of the second drink, however, Caitlin was plain drunk.  Again,
her thoughts wandered to the cigarette in her purse.

"Maybe I should just try it," she thought.

She decided that she didn't want to smoke it, but she could pretend, just to
see what she looked like with a cigarette.

While she was retrieving the cigarette, she noticed the bag of pot that
Heather had given her at the party.  She still had no desire to smoke.

She went into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror.

Caitlin felt nervous as she held the cigarette the way she used to see her mom
hold one, between her middle and index fingers on her left hand, with her hand
propped up near her face.

Without even thinking, she brought the cigarette to her lips, and sucked air
through the filter.  The flavor was similar to raisins as it coated her
tongue.

She was surprised at how sweet the taste was.  It was nothing like she'd
expected.  In an odd sort of way, she liked it.

She took another pretend puff.  This time, she inhaled air inside her and held
her breath before exhaling an invisible stream of imaginary smoke at the
ceiling.

She looked much older than 15. 

She took one more faux drag.  As she did, she wondered what it would be like
to actually smoke it.  She wondered what she'd look like holding it while it
was lit.

"I'm not going to smoke it," she assured herself, "I just want to see what I
look like."

Caitlin went downstairs into the kitchen, and rummaged around the drawer she
had returned the matches to.

With her heart pounding in her throat, she found the matches.  She returned to
the bathroom and took her place in front of the mirror.

She put the cigarette in her lips, and struck a match.  It took a few tries
for the match to even light, due to her trembling hands, but eventually, it
lit.

She brought the flame towards the tip of the cigarette, but hesitated before
lighting it.  How was she going to light it without smoking it?

There she stood, looking into the mirror, with a cigarette in her mouth, and a
lit match just millimeters from the tip.  It would be so easy for her to just
place the flame to the tip and actually smoke the cigarette.

As much as she didn't want to, she was surprisingly tempted to smoke it.

Finally, curiosity got the best of her, and she decided she was at least going
to light it.  Now she wasn't sure if she wanted to smoke it or not, but she
wanted to at least hold it.

The only problem now, was the match was nearly burnt away.

Before lighting another one, she had a thought.  She wanted to see what she
looked like with a lit cigarette, but she wouldn't get the best views in the
dim lighting of the bathroom.

With the cigarette cautiously in her fingers, and the box of matches in hand,
Caitlin had another idea.

She went into her bedroom, and headed for the closet.  Inside, she retrieved
the video camera and tripod that her mother had bought her for her birthday.
She hadn't used it yet, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

She took the camera and tripod down to the living room.  She hooked the camera
up to the television, allowing her to use the television as a monitor.  This
meant she could clearly see herself as she sat on the sofa.  Caitlin wondered
if she should video tape the experience, and before she could decide for sure,
she found herself putting a blank video tape in the camera.

Now, her heart was really racing.

Caitlin took another pretend puff on the cigarette.  She really wanted to
light it, but she didn't want to smoke it.  It was then that she noticed the
candle sitting on the table.

With the camera recording every move, Caitlin lit a match, then lit the wick
that sat atop the candle.  The flame jumped to life.  Caitlin was mesmerized.
She blew out the match and set it in the candle holder.  Smoke billowed slowly
from the tip.

Caitlin noticed the smoke, and leaned forward to smell it.  Smoke slipped up
her nose and made her cough.

"Why would anyone want to smoke?" she asked herself, not realizing she'd said
it aloud.

She still wanted to see what she looked like holding it though.  She took a
deep breath to calm down.

She nervously stuck the tip of the cigarette into the flame of the candle.
Thick black smoke began to rise from the flame as the paper around the tobacco
blackened.  When only one side of the cigarette was lighting, she twisted it
in the flame to make it light more evenly.

Suddenly, Caitlin realized that she was doing it.  She was holding a lit
cigarette.  She was still pretty drunk, but felt like she needed another
mudslide to relax a little more.  She'd also need an ashtray to tap the ashes
into as they burned away.

Taking the cigarette with her, she went into the kitchen, got an ashtray, and
set the cigarette in the indentation.  She poured herself another drink,
picked up the ashtray, and returned to the sofa.

She took a big drink, and felt more comfortable instantly.

Caitlin was surprised at how mature she looked with the cigarette, which
hadn't burnt away as much as she'd suspected.

It was then that she remembered what Heather had told her.

"And remember, if it's not brown, I'll know you're lying, so don't go trying
anything cute!"

"Dammit!" Caitlin cursed aloud.  "She's going to know I didn't smoke it!"

Caitlin took another big gulp of her mudslide, immediately feeling the effects
of the alcohol.

She daringly brought the cigarette to her mouth, and placed it in her lips,
being careful not to actually smoke it.  Smoke snuck up her face and into her
eyes, stinging them.  She moved the cigarette from her mouth quickly.

"Phew," she thought.  "That was really close!"

She looked at herself again on the television.

She again brought the cigarette to her lips, opened her mouth, and sealed her
lips around the filter.  Without any thought at all, Caitlin closed her eyes,
and started to pull smoke into her mouth.

She exhaled a small cloud of smoke across the room.

"Ohmigod!" she exclaimed.  "I did it!  I just smoked a cigarette!"

That's when she realized it tasted awful.  

She was drunk, though, and she wanted to see what she looked like smoking.

"I'll try it one more time," she thought.

She brought the cigarette to her lips, and took another, slightly longer,
puff.  She was careful to watch herself on the television.

She was amazed at what she saw.  The girl on television looked so mature, so
grown-up, so sophisticated.

"It must be the buzz," she thought.

As she took a third drag, Caitlin noticed that it tasted nothing like it
smelled.  She decided that it really didn't taste that bad.

She figured she might as well smoke as much of the cigarette as she could
without getting sick.

She was in the middle of her longest drag yet when the telephone rang,
startling her.  She jumped, and when she did, the smoke slipped quickly down
her throat, into her lungs.  Her first reaction was to cough, but she didn't
want to be coughing on the phone, so she held the cough in, unknowingly
holding smoke inside her at the same time.

She picked up the phone.

"Hello?" she said, as whips of smoke escaped her mouth. 

She blew out a stream like the first few she'd taken.

"Hey, it's me," Erin said.

"Oh, hi, how are you?" asked Caitlin.

"Pretty good.  Enjoying your freedom?" Erin inquired.

"Erin, you have no idea!" Caitlin replied with a giggle, tapping ash into the
nearby ashtray.

"Why?  What's going on?"

"Oh nothing, I'll tell you about it tomorrow night.  Are you guys still
coming?"

Erin responded, "Hell yeah,  I talked to Megan earlier and we can't wait!"

"Cool, we're gonna have a blast!"

Before Erin could agree, Caitlin told Erin she had to go.

Hanging up the phone, she returned to the sofa, and put the cigarette in her
mouth.  She took the longest drag she could handle, and took her first
intentional inhale.  This time she held the smoke inside a little longer
before exhaling.  It felt amazing, but Caitlin knew (even if she was drunk),
that she didn't want to start smoking.  This was just a one time thing.

She finished the cigarette, inhaling each remaining puff.  When she was done,
she turned off the video camera, and rewound the tape.

She pressed play, and watched the whole experience over again.  She watched it
repeatedly for about an hour, each time becoming more and more amazed that she
was watching herself smoke a cigarette.  She never thought she'd ever try it.
She definitely didn't expect to even remotely enjoy it.

After watching herself smoke for an hour or so, she decided that maybe she'd
try it again the next night with her friends.  The only problem was she didn't
have any more cigarettes.

She thought for a while, and then remembered that Megan's mother smoked.
Caitlin wasn't sure if she wanted to take that plunge.

"What the hell?" she figured.  "A few more won't hurt me.  It's not like I
want to start smoking!"

Caitlin picked up the phone and dialed Megan's number.  When Megan picked up,
Caitlin's nerves took over.

"Hi," she started.  "Are you coming over tomorrow night?"

Megan said she was.

"I've got a favor to ask you, and I don't know how to say it," Caitlin
confessed.

"What's up?" asked Megan.

"Have you um?ever?you know?." Caitlin asked.

"Have I ever what?" the confused Megan asked.

"Have you ever smoked a cigarette?"  There, she had said it.  Her plan had
been placed into action.  The rest was up to fate.

"Oh, no, I've never done it, why?" questioned Megan.

Caitlin was too nervous to tell her friend that she had just smoked her first
cigarette, so she changed the subject.  Megan noticed, and objected
immediately.

"No, you can't just ask me something like that and move on?what's up, Cait?"
she asked.

"Well, your mom smokes, right?" asked Caitlin, knowing she couldn't avoid the
topic, but maybe she could stall.

Megan sounded unsure of the reason Caitlin was asking these questions, but
answered affirmatively.

"Yeah, she does, why?"

Caitlin continued, "Well, tomorrow night when you come over, what do you think
are the odds of you stealing a few cigarettes from her?"

"What?!?!?" Megan asked, stunned.

"No, forget it.  Forget I asked, it was stupid," Caitlin said.

"No, that's ok.  I'm just surprised, that's all," explained Megan.

"Is that even possible?" Megan inquired.

"I dunno, I mean, I've never tried.  I'm sure I could though.   When did you
start smoking?" she asked.

"No, I haven't.  I just think that we're all going to be alone, no one to
watch over us?.we can do whatever we want, and I thought?.well, who knows, ya
know?" said Caitlin, trying her best to sound innocent.

"I'll see what I can do," said Megan.  "I can probably get a few.  How many do
you want?"

"I don't know, just get what you can," Caitlin replied.  "If you can't, it's
no problem, and don't tell Erin!"

Megan giggled.

"I won't."

The two girls hung up, and Caitlin started to feel tired.  She put the matches
in her purse, slid the ashtray under the sofa, blew out the candle, put the
camera and tripod away, and passed out.

Saturday morning, Caitlin woke around 10am.  The sun was warm on her tired,
but youthful face.  She had a terrible headache, but once she showered and ate
breakfast, she felt better.  She'd completely forgotten everything about the
night before, including the fact that she'd smoked a cigarette.  With the
window open, the smell of smoke had completely escaped the confines of the
living room.

After watching television and doing some much needed laundry, Caitlin was
ready for lunch.

She made one of her favorite foods, macaroni and cheese.

While loading the dishwasher, there was a knock at the door.

Caitlin went to the living room and opened the door to find Megan standing
there, grinning from ear to ear.

"What's wrong with you?" asked Caitlin.

"I got them!" said Megan as she walked in the door.

"Got what?" Caitlin replied, confused.

"What you asked me for, silly," was the reply.

Caitlin had completely forgotten about her drunken conversation with Megan the
night before.  She was experiencing her first encounter with excess alcohol.

"Oh, those.  Sorry, I was a bit drunk last night," she laughed.

Megan was surprised at what her friend and fellow cheerleader was saying.

"You were what?" she asked.

"Oh, come on, I had a few drinks, it's really no big deal," Caitlin objected.

"No, I'm not saying it's a big deal, I'm just surprised at you, that's all,"
replied Megan.

"Haven't you ever drank before?" Caitlin asked.

"I haven't done shit!" Megan joked.

There was another knock on the door.

As Caitlin walked towards the door to answer it, she said, "Well, tonight
we're not going to be able to drink.  My mom will probably already notice that
I had some."

She opened the door to find Erin standing on the porch looking confused.

"We can't drink?" she asked.

Caitlin laughed.

"No, sorry."

Erin giggled.

"That sucks, I'm going home then!" she joked.

"Get in here!" yelled Megan.

Erin was by far the more daring of the three young cheerleaders.  She'd had
some beer while at her cousin's wedding a few years back, but wasn't too fond
of the taste.

She was also the only one who had ever smoked.

It had happened a year earlier, while the three walked home from school.  They
came across a half smoked cigarette thrown to the ground by one of the older
girls a few hundred feet ahead of them.  Megan had jokingly asked if anyone
wanted a cigarette, and Erin accepted the offer.

Erin took a few puffs, and she'd even inhaled two of them, before offering the
cigarette to Caitlin and Megan, who both refused.  As far as the two knew,
this was the only time Erin had ever smoked.

The three girls sat in front of the television drinking sodas when Megan
figured it was time to mention the topic of smoking.

"So are we gonna do this or what?" she asked.

"Do what?" asked Erin and Caitlin simultaneously.

"You know what I'm talking about, Cait," she said.

"Yeah, I know," Caitlin admitted.  "Go get them."

Erin was lost.

"What are we going to do?" she asked.

"We're going to smoke," Caitlin said.

Erin's eyes lit up.

"Are you serious???" she asked excitedly.

"Yes," said Megan.  "As soon as we find an ashtray and a lighter."

Caitlin spoke up.

"There's an ashtray under the sofa and a box of matches in my purse."

Before she could say anymore, Erin jumped from the sofa and said, "I'll get
them!"

The two girls just giggled at her enthusiasm.

When she returned, her face didn't show enthusiasm, but rather mischief.

"Hey guys," she started.  "We may not be able to drink, but we can smoke!"

Without looking, Megan said, "No shit, dork.  That's what we're going to do."

"No," objected Erin.  "Look what little Caitlin's been hiding from us!"

Caitlin and Megan turned around to see Erin holding the box of matches in her
right hand and the baggie of marijuana in the other.

"Nooooooo way, Erin," said Caitlin.  "We can't touch that!"

Erin just laughed.

"So it's okay for you to get high but we can't?" she asked.

"It's not mine!" Caitlin defended.

"Sure it's not, come on, let us just try a little," Erin begged.

"Caitlin responded, "No, it's really not.  It's a long story really, but you
can't smoke it."

Megan had never said anything about it before, but she was a little curious
about what it felt like to be high.

"Couldn't we have just a little bit?" she asked Caitlin, who was extremely
surprised by the question.

"Can you guys get more to replace it?" Caitlin asked.

Megan said she could not, but Erin said she knew people who she could get more
from to replace the weed.

"You guys can have a little bit if you want, but you've got to replace it by
like Monday," Caitlin said, hoping Erin wouldn't be able to replace it by
then.

"I can do that," Erin said.

"Damn," Caitlin thought.

"You don't have anything to smoke it with anyway," Caitlin inserted, hoping
this would deter them from getting high.

Erin asked, "Do you have a two liter soda bottle?"

Caitlin rolled her eyes and asked what else she'd need.  Erin gave her a short
list off the top of her head, and Caitlin got all of the items.

Within just a few minutes, Erin had fashioned a crude water bong, ready to
smoke.

"How'd you learn to do that?" Megan asked curiously.

"I saw it at a party once," replied Erin.

"Have you two ever smoked it before?" Caitlin asked.

Both girls said no.

With that, Erin took a pinch of weed out of the bag, put it in the aluminum
foil bowl, pressed it in firmly, and put her mouth on the other opening.  Her
heart was racing, but she was excited.

"Ready?" she asked.

Megan nodded.

"Can't you just smoke cigarettes?" inserted Caitlin, trying to stall.

"Yeah, maybe we should start with something not so strong," agreed Megan, as
she pulled a pack out of her purse.

"You got a whole pack?" said a surprised Caitlin.

"Well yeah," Megan started.  "It's not like she leaves open packs lying around
the house."

Handing a cigarette to Erin, Megan said, "You go first since you've done it
before."

Erin asked for the ashtray, and Caitlin sheepishly pulled it out from beneath
the sofa.

"Looks like I'm not the only one!" she said.

"Yeah, but I was drunk and I don't remember it," explained Caitlin.

Erin put the cigarette in her mouth, and struck a match.

When it was lit, she removed the cigarette, and inhaled a good sized ball of
smoke.  Then she smiled, as she exhaled slowly.

"You're too good at this.  Are you sure you've only done it once?" asked
Megan.

"Who said I've only done it once?" laughed Erin as she took another drag.

Megan and Caitlin just looked at her as she turned her head and exhaled, still
smiling.

"Oh, relax.  It's not like I smoke all the time.  Sometimes I'll sneak a puff
from my mom's cigarettes when she leaves them in the room, that's all.  I only
take two or three drags a week at most," Erin replied.  "Your turn, Meg."

"Ok," said the nervous brunette as she put a cigarette in her mouth for the
first time.

Erin lit a match, and held it out for Megan, who sucked slowly on the filter,
allowing just a little smoke to fill her mouth.

She coughed it out quickly, tears starting to flow from her eyes.

"That's terrible!" she said.

Erin just laughed.  "Relax, you'll get used to it.  By the end of that one,
you'll hardly even notice you're doing it."

Megan took another puff and exhaled.  This time it was much easier.  She
passed the pack to Caitlin.

"Here ya go!" she said before trying to take a puff the same size as Erin's.

Caitlin slid a cigarette from the pack and put it between her lips.  She was
eager to experience this cigarette while she was in the condition to remember
it, and decide for sure what she thought of it.

Once lit, Caitlin found herself trying to impress her friends by inhaling and
holding the smoke deep in her lungs.  The result was something she didn't
expect?.an amazing head rush.

All of a sudden, her head was spinning, as if she had stood up too quickly.
As she exhaled, she felt far more relaxed than the alcohol had made her.

The three girls sat on the sofa, each smoking one of the long, all-white
cigarettes.

A few minutes later, the cigarettes were gone, and all three girls just
smiled.

"It's nice, isn't it?" asked Erin.

"Yeah, it really is!" exclaimed Megan.

"Wanna try the pot now?" Erin asked Megan.

"Sure," she replied.

Erin again put her mouth over the opening of the bong, and Megan lit another
match.  Erin signaled for Megan to put the flame over the pot, which she did.
Erin sucked in, bringing the rising cloud of smoke closer to her waiting
mouth, along with the sound of bubbling water.

She inhaled as long and deep as she could, then held the smoke inside her
until she thought she would burst.  When she was done, she put her hand on top
of the bong to keep the extra smoke from leaking out.

After an eternity, she exhaled a small stream of pot smoke that Caitlin could
smell all the way across the room, where she'd gone in the hopes of avoiding
the pressure of smoking it.

"What's it like?" Megan asked.

Erin just smiled.  "Try it and find out." 

Megan nervously took the bong, and put her lips around the opening.  She
breathed in the sweet smoke and held it as long as she could, which wasn't
very long at all.

She too, exhaled a tiny cloud of smoke.

"Ohmigod, it tastes so good!" she giggled.

"I know, I'm really surprised," agreed Erin, taking another hit.

"Cait, you've got to try this," Megan said as Erin blew another cloud across
the room.

"No, I'm okay, thanks," objected Caitlin.

"Seriously, Caitlin, just take two hits, it's great!" encouraged Erin.

Caitlin was feeling confused.  This weekend was supposed to be fun, and now
she was sitting in her own living room with her two best friends as they got
high for the first time together.  She felt left out.  She felt pressure.  She
didn't want to do drugs, but she wanted to be accepted.  She also knew she
liked being drunk the night before.

Erin stood up and walked towards Caitlin, who was sitting on a chair across
the room.  She knelt down beside Caitlin and put her hand on her friend's.

"Cait, I know you're scared.  We've never done this before either.  We're just
trying it out to see what it's like.  You don't have to do it, but you're home
alone for the first time, why not live it up a little?"

Caitlin thought for a moment.  Erin had some valid points.  Maybe two tiny
hits wouldn't hurt.  She'd never heard of anyone dying from smoking pot.

"Two hits then I'm done?" she asked.

"That's fine," Said Erin, who had signaled to Megan to bring her the
"equipment".

Caitlin took a deep breath.

"Okay.  I'll take two hits, but that's it."

Megan giggled at the rhyme Caitlin had inadvertently made.

"What do I do?" Caitlin asked.

"Just put your mouth on this part," started Erin.  "When the pot is lit, just
breathe in slowly and as deep as you can." 

"And whatever you do," interjected Megan, "fight the urge to cough!"

Erin and Megan just laughed at the statement, but quickly returned their
attention to Caitlin.

"You ready?" someone asked.  Caitlin wasn't sure who it was.  She was too
nervous to even care.

Caitlin took a deep breath.  She was about to take an enormous step.  She was
about to take drugs.

"Yeah," she said cautiously.

Caitlin put her mouth over the opening, and Erin lit a match.  She touched the
match to the pot, and as it began to crackle under the heat, Caitlin closed
her eyes and slowly started to inhale.

The smoke tasted better than that of the cigarette, and went down her throat
much easier.

She held it in as long as she could before exhaling a faint white cloud.

"One more," said Erin.

Caitlin returned her lips to the bottle, and took the longest hit she could
handle before sucking the creamy white smoke deep inside her lungs.

She held it in until she felt like her head was going to fall off, then
exhaled a decent size stream of smoke.

"Wow, that's pretty cool!" said Caitlin, surprised at herself for following
through with it.

The three girls just laughed.  They stayed up all night, finishing not only
the pack of cigarettes, but the entire bag of weed.

Erin replaced it just in time, and Caitlin returned the filter and bag to
Heather who never suspected a thing.

Megan began getting stoned at parties, and smoked cigarettes if she was
drinking.  She tried ecstasy a few times, and snorted coke twice while in high
school.  She kept them primarily social indulgences, though.

Erin began getting stoned every day, and smoked a pack of cigarettes a day by
the end of high school.  Erin had even convinced her mother to get high with
her on a few occasions.  Her mom, who had never done drugs before either,
loved it, and in turn taught Erin's younger sister Beth to enjoy the substance
as well, who was now 16.

As for Caitlin, she never smoked anything else while she was in high school.
Three years after getting high with Megan and Erin, the three graduated, and
moved away to college.

All three maintained their status as very popular cheerleaders.


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