Katie's Smoking Epiphany, Part 4

(by Dromedary Joe, 09 May 2008)


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Katie's Smoking Epiphany (Part 4)
by Dromedary Joe

Loosely based on a true story...

Katie got home and brushed her teeth - anything to get that taste out of her
mouth. Rosa had better keep her end of the bargain, thought Katie. She took a
nap and got up to eat supper when her mom got home. After supper her mom got
out her Marlboro Lights 100's and lit one. Katie watched as her Mom smoked.
Her mom looked a lot like her. As Katie watched her Mom smoke, she wondered
about how her mom had started smoking. Was she anti-smoking before she tried
it? Her mom had a certain sophistication when she smoked. She looked almost
sexy, Katie thought.

Her Mom noticed how Katie was watching her smoke and asked, "Am I going to
get another lecture?"

Katie thought for a second. No, it wouldn't be right to lecture her. It would
seem almost hypocritical to lecture her since she had smoked today. 

"No, I have to go to church. Maybe some other time," she said as she got up
to leave.

Rosa did keep her end of the bargain and was ready as Katie got to her house.
Rosa got in the car and asked if Katie minded if she smoked.

"No, of course not. As long as you don't make me smoke one," Katie joked.

"No, but you can have one if you want," Rosa said, smiling.

"No, thanks. I've had my daily allowance of tar and nicotine," said Katie,
laughing.

Church was over in about an hour and Katie drove Rosa home. They sat in the
car for a few minutes talking about church and school and other things. Rosa
said she might go to church with her again.

Katie smiled as Rosa lit up another cigarette.

"You think I could have one?" asked Katie, somewhat surprised that she was
asking.

"Sure," said Rosa as she extended the pack to Katie.

Katie put it in her mouth and sucked as Rosa extended her a light.

This time she didn't cough when she lit up,. She took the cigarette out of
her mouth and focused her eyes on the stream of smoke coming off the lit end
of the cigarette. Her cigarette, she thought to herself. Why was she even
smoking it? She was sure this was to her last cigarette ever. But if it was
to be her last one, she wanted to smoke it like a smoker would, not like
someone who was simply experimenting. She looked at the filter which was
still white. She wanted to smoke it so intensely that it turned black - like
one of the filter's from the countless cigarettes her mom had put out in ash
trays at home. She took a drag off it and started to get dizzy. Let me take a
bigger hit, Katie said to herself, and she did. She took about four more huge
drags and her head was starting to spin. Maybe I should slow down a little,
Katie thought and she looked at the now very dark filter on her cigarette for
a minute. Rosa was talking about something, but she just nodded her head
periodically. She was focused... on smoking. Katie resumed taking puffs, this
time a little bit smaller ones, but to compensate for the smaller drags, she
held the smoke in longer. Finally, she could not take it anymore and she
crushed it out in the ashtray, admiring the now blackened filter. If her
first cigarette was "not bad", her second one felt almost good. Okay, Katie
admitted to herself, it felt good. Really good. 

Rosa said, "You're a natural smoker. It took me forever to learn how to
inhale."

Rosa said good night as Katie sat there for a few minutes waiting for her
nicotine rush to subside. Her second cigarette. Would there be a third?

She woke up the next morning with a little bit of smoker's breath, even
though she had brushed her teeth for what seemed like a long time the night
before.

School went by quickly and afterward Katie and Rosa went to the local burger
joint to get a bite to eat. Rosa had to go to the bathroom and quickly left
the table. She had left her cigarette laying in the ash tray, burning, as she
left for the restroom. Katie looked around. Strangely, it was dead in the
restaurant with no one around their table. Katie had thought about this
moment for a while. Should she smoke again? She had made up her mind not to
smoke again. But she had really enjoyed her second cigarette. One little puff
wouldn't hurt.

She picked up Rosa's Marlboro 100, held it in her hand, and rolled it around
in her fingers for a minute. She quickly took a drag, a big drag, held it in
and exhaled. That was good, Katie said to herself. She looked at the
cigarette again and said, "one more." Her second one was an even bigger drag.
As she exhaled, she saw the ladies room door open and she quickly put the
cigarette back in the ash tray. She waved her hand to disperse her exhaled
smoke and Rosa sat down and finished her cigarette. 

They got in the car after talking for a few more minutes, and Rosa lit up
another cigarette.

"Want one?" asked Rosa.

"Sure, why not?" replied Katie.

She really enjoyed her third cigarette, more than she had enjoyed the second
one. Still, she didn't think she would become a smoker. Maybe she could smoke
a cigarette every once in a while, but smoking would never become a habit.
She would smoke when she wanted one and not when she needed one, like Rosa or
her mom. She would smoke on her own terms.

Later that night she was doing her homework, studying for a test the next day
when she noticed she was holding her pen like a cigarette. She put it in her
mouth as if to take a drag. She "practiced" smoking for about 10 minutes,
even getting in front of the mirror and seeing what she looked like when she
"smoked". If she ever smoked again, she'd have to make a point of seeing what
she looked like with a real cigarette.

The next day was Friday and it went by pretty quickly. Katie always looked
forward to the weekend - time off from school plus time for relaxing and
going to church. Her mom said she was gong to go to a party that night, so
Katie would be home alone. Rosa's mom was going out of town with her family
and Karen would be going out with her boyfriend. She really hadn't seen a
whole lot of Karen lately anyway. 

On the way home from school, Katie stopped by the Indian convenience store
down the road from the school to get a soda pop. Even though it was
geographically incorrect, the local students always called it the "Haitian
Station". It had the reputation for selling minors cigarettes, chewing
tobacco, rolling papers, and even alcohol. Katie had once thought of
reporting them to the police, but never got around to it.

Katie grabbed a Dr. Pepper from the freezer and some gum from the rack and
made her way to the counter. There was no one in the store but her and the
Indian man behind the counter. 

"Anything else?" he asked as she put the gum and soda on the counter. She
thought for a moment and then she saw it... and then she wanted it.

"Yes," she said trying to hide her nervousness. "And a pack of Marlboro 100's
in a box, please..."


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