Katie's Smoking Epiphany, Part 3

(by Dromedary Joe, 09 May 2008)


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Katie's Smoking Epiphany (Part 3)
by Dromedary Joe

Loosely based on a true story...

A couple of weeks had passed since school had started. Katie and Rosa had
started hanging out a little bit more. Katie didn't see much of Karen at
school, but they occasionally would see each other after school and they
almost always went to church together. Once or twice all three hung out
together, but it seemed as if Rosa and Karen didn't get along very well. 

"I can't believe you're hanging out with a smoker. Smoking is nasty." Karen
said.

"I know smoking is nasty, but your parents smoke as much as my mom does, so
we should both be used to it. Besides, I think maybe I can get her interested
in going to church sometime. She's really not that bad of a person."

And Katie had asked Rosa to go to church, but not in a pushy way. Finally,
one Wednesday after school, Katie and  Rosa were getting in the car after
getting a bite to eat.

"Hey, we have a guest speaker at my youth group tonight. Wanna come?" asked
Katie thoughtfully.

"No thanks. You know church really isn't my thing," said Rosa.

"Come on, just come to church with me once. You'll like it," said Katie
almost pleading.

"Why don't you try a cigarette? You'll like it," Rosa said teasingly.

It wasn't really peer pressure. Rosa knew that Katie was adamantly
anti-smoking, but since Katie had given her these small lectures about
smoking, Katie knew her friend was only trying to make a point. Katie would
probably never try smoking and Rosa would probably not go to church. They
were both set in their ways.

Katie thought for a bit. In retrospect, she didn't really understand the
logic but it made sense when she said it.

"I'll smoke a cigarette if you go to church with me tonight." Katie said.
There was silence. Katie thought about what she just said. Did she really say
it?

"If you smoke a cigarette right now, I'll go to church with you tonight."
said Rosa, laughing.

"Okay," said Katie, meekly. She was breathing a little harder, not sure what
to expect and she could see her hand shake a little bit as Rosa extended her
pack with the box lid open and she managed to grab one out of the pack. She
examined it for a brief moment. She had never held a cigarette before, even
an unlit one, and it seemed lighter than she expected. She looked at the cork
filter and noticed the two gold rings around the cigarette. She focused her
eyes on the rings as she put the unlit cigarette in her mouth.

Rosa held up the lighter and was about to flick it when Katie said, "Wait!"

"I want to think about this a minute," Katie said, with the unlit cigarette
dangling from her mouth. 

Katie sucked on it a little bit. It kind of tasted strangely sweet, almost
like raisins. It can't be all that bad, she thought to herself. It's only one
cigarette. 

"OK, I'm ready," said Katie, dangling the cigarette from her lips.

It seemed like Rosa was moving in slow motion as she extended the flame to
the end of the cigarette and Katie sucked on the filter, this time with smoke
entering her mouth.

It tasted bitter and Katie coughed. Rosa laughed a little bit as she lit one
for herself she said, "Just take it easy and don't inhale."

Rosa demonstrated a quick non-inhale. 

Katie followed suit and took a few drags, quickly blowing out the smoke. She
was getting less irritated by the smoke with each passing puff. 

After it was about halfway gone, Rosa said, "Now try this," and Katie watched
as she inhaled. She had never really watched the mechanics of smoking
closely, but she watched Rosa.

"Just suck on it, take it out of your mouth, and breath some air into your
chest," said Rosa.

Katie put it in her mouth and tried to follow the directions, but instead
only managed to cough.

Rosa chuckled a little and said, "It takes practice."

Katie tried again. This time she knew she got it right. It kind of tickles
the back of my throat, Katie thought to herself. A few seconds later she felt
it in her head. She was getting her first nicotine rush. 

"You go, girl!" exclaimed Rosa, realizing that Katie had learned how to
smoke.

Katie  took a couple more drags, inhaling both, and then crushed the
cigarette, which was almost down to the filter, in the ash tray. That wasn't
so bad, she thought to herself.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?" asked Rosa, almost as if she could read Katie's
mind.

Katie thought for a second about what to say. "It wasn't as bad as I thought
it was going to be."

"You caught on pretty quickly," commented Rosa.

"Maybe, but it will be my first *and* last cigarette. Don't tell anybody.
Especially not Karen. She'd never let me hear the end of it."

"Okay, I won't tell anybody, I promise," said Rosa.


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