Katie's Smoking Epiphany, Part 8

(by Dromedary Joe, 09 May 2008)

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Katie's Smoking Epiphany (Part 8)
by Dromedary Joe

Loosely based on a true story...

Katie went home from her friend Karen's house after a few hours and they
agreed to go bowling later that evening. Her mom had left a note on the
kitchen table saying she was running some errands and wouldn't be home for a
couple of hours, so she told her to heat up some leftovers for herself. Katie
smiled. This would give her some time to smoke a few cigs before she went out
bowling. Katie knew it was getting close to the time when she would have to
tell her mom that she had started smoking, but she wasn't sure exactly when
she would do that. Her mom, of course, had told her long before that if she
ever started she wouldn't mind as long as she was honest with her, but after
having lectured her mom about the dangers of smoking for years she did feel a
bit uneasy about telling her. 

Katie heated up the leftover meatloaf and potatoes and then sat at the table
for a few minutes. Time for a cigarette, she thought to herself. She opened
her purse and saw she had a decision to make. Would she smoke her regular
brand, Marlboro 100s, or one from the pack of Virginia Slims Light 120's that
Karen had given her? She chose the latter. She lit it up with her pink
lighter and took a big drag. She once again admired the label. They really
weren't that bad, but she told herself she needed a stronger brand. The
Marlboro 100's satisfied her cravings for nicotine more. She thought about
the events of the past week. It was only five days since she had tried her
first cigarette and it had changed her life in so many ways. 

Katie crushed out the Menthol 120 when she was done and decided it just
wasn't enough for her and took out a Marlboro from her pack and lit it up.
She cleaned up a little bit, all while dangling her Marlboro from her lips as
she went. She put her pack of Virginia Slims in her desk drawer in her room -
she would save the rest of the pack for a special occasion, maybe her first
date with Mike which she was sure would be real soon. 

But she had special plans for tonight. The twins, Amy and April, didn't know
that Karen smoked, and Karen didn't know that the twins were smokers. That
would change tonight, said Katie to herself. It seemed like all the secrets
were coming out in the open lately. She called the twins and asked if they
wanted to go out bowling with her. They, of course, were really happy and
said yes.

"You don't might if we smoke, though, do you?" giggled April.

"No, as long as you let me have a drag off one of your Newports whenever I
want," Katie told her.

It was all set. She was kind of curious as to who would figure it out first-
the twins or Karen...

She picked up Karen around 7 pm. As she was about to get into the car Katie
dropped the bombshell - she had invited the twins to go bowling with them.
Karen gave her a "what, are you crazy?" look. Katie and Karen had talked
about how weird it would be smoking at the bowling alley since they had been
there many times and always used to complain about how smoky it was. 

"Well, I'm going to smoke one before we pick up the twins" she said and
waited outside the car. Katie lit one too and didn't seem worried about
sitting in the car. Surely Katie was crazy, Karen must have been thinking.
The twins would smell the smoke. They got to the twin's house and Katie said
she would go get them. They answered the door and Katie said, "Hey, come on,
let's go, Karen is waiting in the car." The twins stood there with a frown on
their faces.

"How we supposed to smoke with her around?" asked Amy.

"I don't know," said Katie, "we'll figure something out. Smoking in the girls
room, that kind of thing." She knew this development disappointed the twins.
Sitting around smoking, laughing, and cutting up, like they did at the
restaurant the day before, was what the twins had in mind for the evening,
not a night of sitting around waiting for the right moment to sneak smokes
away from Karen. But something in Katie's voice sounded confident - like she
knew everyone would have a good time. 

The twins got into the car and they said hi to Karen. Karen said hi back.
Katie smiled. It had been a while since they had all hung out together, a
couple of weeks at least and normally they would have been all excited to be
hanging out together, but it was funny how the twins were upset by Karen's
presence and Karen was upset by the twins presence for the same reason. It
meant they could not smoke openly. She was sure the night would end on a much
happier note...

They got to the bowling alley, rented their shoes, and got to a lane on the
far side of the bowling alley. 

"Hey, before we start, I got to use the bathroom," said April.

"Me too," said her twin Amy before April had even finished the sentence.

"Wanna come with us, Katie?" asked April. 

"No, I'm OK," said Katie, "Why don't you ask Karen if she wants to come with

"No, I don't need to go," said Karen quickly. 

The twins went to the restroom to smoke  and once they were in the restroom,
Karen quickly took out a cigarette and headed a couple of lanes down and lit
up, setting her Virginia Slims 120 in the ash tray.

"Why did you invite them anyway?" asked Karen as she walked back to their
lane. It was a Monday night and the alley was fairly quiet.

Katie walked over to Karen's cigarette sitting in the ash tray and said,
"Because it's been a while since we all hung out together." She took a drag
off Karen's cig. 

Karen went back to the cigarette and took a few deep puffs 

"Well, didn't we talk about this earlier? Sitting in the bowling alley and

"Well, we're smoking, aren't we?" asked Katie as she took the cigarette from
Karen and took a deep drag. Karen was looking towards the bathroom. She
didn't want the twins catching them smoking. Not that it was likely for at
least a couple more minutes, thought Katie. They were probably in the girls
room smoking a couple in a row. They may be only 14 year old freshmen, but
they were already chain smokers. Karen took a couple more drags and headed
back to their lane. She had only smoked about half of her Virginia Slim since
she was afraid the twins would come running out of the restroom at any time.
They came out of the restroom a few minutes later and they resumed bowling.

After the first game, Karen said, "Hey, I left something in the car, I'll be
right back." As she got outside the entrance, the twins worked quickly. April
opened the pack, lit it up, took a couple of puffs, and handed it to Amy.
They headed for the ash tray a couple of lanes down - the same one that Karen
had smoked one in earlier.

"You didn't tell us she was coming," said Amy while exhaling. 

"Yeah, why did you invite her anyway?" asked April as she grabbed the
cigarette away from Amy

"Guys, we're all friends. Besides I invited her first," said Katie, reaching
for the cigarette and helping herself to a drag off their smoke. The filter
was starting to get hot from the drags they were taking. Katie noticed Amy
looking down at the ask tray at the Virginia Slims which had been crushed in
there by someone else. If they only know who had smoked that cigarette...

The cigarette was gone pretty quickly since it was a Newport King, and the
girls had been hitting it pretty hard. Probably would have had enough time to
smoke another one, Katie thought to herself, since Karen was probably outside
smoking the entire Virginia Slims 120 which could take a while.

Karen came back in and they started the second game. Katie was the first one
up and she bowled a strike to cheers from the other girls.

"You go, girl!" said the twins in unison. 

Katie wasn't a good bowler, she routinely came in last place when the four of
them bowled, and she maybe got one strike every five or six games.

"Well," said Katie, "This calls for a celebration!" And she went to her
purse, opened it up and pulled out her pack of Marlboro 100's. This was the
moment she had been waiting for. She took her pink lighter, lit up her
cigarette and exhaled a giant plume of smoke.

"Oh my God, Katie! What are you doing?" exclaimed Karen. 

"Some of us like to smoke when we bowl," she said, dangling her Marlboro
100`s, cocking her eyebrow and trying not to look at anyone in particular.

"Smoking is gross," said Amy, and April added a "yuck" for emphasis. Of
course, Katie knew they were just saying that because the three of them were
all dying for a smoke right then. The game (the bowling as well as the mind
game Katie was playing) continued for a few more frames. Katie continued to
smoke and she was waiting for a lecture from any of them. But how could any
of them give her a lecture, they'd been smokers longer than she had. Katie
finished her cigarette and crushed it out. Everyone was strangely quiet.

She pulled another one out of the pack, and said, "That last one was really
good. Anyone mind if I have another?" She looked at the twins and they shook
their heads no. She looked at Karen and could see the wheels in her head
turning. She would figure this all out any moment now...

A few minutes later, Karen said, "Girls, can either of you spare a cigarette
?" She looked at the twins as they turned beet red.

"You..." said Amy.

"Smoke?" said April finishing the sentence. 

 Katie started laughing.

"Yeah, would you like one of mine?" asked Karen as she pulled out her pack of
Virginia Slims. She handed the twins one each. 

The twins eyed the cigarette for a minute and then finally put it in their

April then reached into her purse and got out her Newports and said, "Here,
you can have one of mine," as she dangled the Virginia Slims from her lips.

"Ooh, you girls smoke menthol, too!" said Karen sniffing it.

Katie got her lighter and lit everyone up and they all exhaled at about the
same time. Suddenly, they all started laughing.

"You told her, Katie..." Amy said accusingly.

"No," said Katie, "she figured it out on her own. I was kind of curious to
see which one of you three would figure it out first. I thought you girls
would when you saw her going to the car without asking for my keys or when
you saw the ash tray over there with the cigarette in it. What do you think
she was doing when you went to the bathroom to smoke? She was smoking."

"And did you see the look on their faces when I asked them for a smoke?"
asked Karen as she took another drag off the Newport. "Too bad I didn't have
a camera."

The girls all laughed and someone remembered that they were in the middle of
a game. Not that that mattered anymore. The girls all finished their
cigarettes and decided to have another one.

"I want another one of yours," Amy said to Karen.

"I want a cowboy killer," said April reaching for Katie's pack. 

"I could go for a cowboy killer right now myself," said Karen and she took
the pack from April.

"Well, since we're all playing musical smokes, I'll have a Newport." said

They all lit up another one.

"These are so long," Amy said after she lit up. Posing with it in her hand
she asked, "Do I look sexy smoking these?"

"Oh, you look really sexy smoking that. If I were I guy, I would so fuck you
right now..." said Karen.

They all laughed.

"Speaking of guys," said Katie, "How are things going with you and Chad ?"

"Good, God I mean this is the longest I think I've ever been with a guy."
said Karen.

"One month," said Katie, doing the math in her head. "That is a long time for
you. Are you guys, you know, doing anything ?"

"Not yet," said Karen whispering to Katie, but loud enough for the twins to
hear and added, "but you'll be the first to know."

The twins got a hurt look on their faces. They let out a "why not us" groan
and Karen turned to them and said, "Why should I tell you girls anything. You
couldn't even tell me you were smoking. You told Katie! You told Katie! What
if you would have told Katie two weeks ago. She would have given you the
anti-smoking lecture of all anti-smoking lectures, but you got lucky and told
her right after she started smoking. If you'd have told me when you started,
I'd have told you and then we'd all be smoking together behind her back and
Katie would not have had the pleasure of making us crave a cigarette all

They all laughed and then April said, "But you didn't tell us," as she
crushed out the Marlboro 100. 

"Good point," said Karen and then added, "Why don't you shut up and have
another cigarette?" she told April and extended her pack towards her. April,
of course took one and lit it up. By this time, their corner of the bowling
alley which they usually took because it was quiet and far away from the
smokers was now getting really smoky. 

"Speaking of guys," said Karen, "you think Mike will ask you out soon."

"I hope so," said Katie, "who would have known that he would ask for my
number today?"

"She shares cigarettes with Mike," Karen told the twins to which they said,

"He thinks you're a bad girl now," said Amy.

"I am a bad girl now," Katie said as she pulled out another Marlboro 100's,
lit it up, triple pumped, and let out a stream of smoke which seemed to last

"I have a feeling she'll be sharing a lot of mouth cooties with Mike real
soon," said April.

"Maybe I'll be sharing a lot more than mouth cooties with Mike..." said Katie
as everyone said, "oooh" to that. Tonight was the first time any of them had
ever talked dirty, Katie thought to herself. They were all bad girls now...

They somehow managed to finish the second game with the girls smoking,
talking, and laughing between bowling. The girls weren't even picky about
whose cigarette was whose as they were simply grabbing any one that was lit,
and there were usually at least two or three lit at once.

"Hey that was my Newport," said Karen to April.

"Oops," said April, "I forgot I was smoking a Marlboro."

They even managed to have five lit at once since someone forgot they already
had one lit up, although no one figured out who.

"Umm," said Katie, "whose cigarette is this?" as she pointed to the cigarette
left in the ash tray while they all already had one in hand.

They all laughed, but no one claimed it, so Katie picked it up and started
smoking two at once.

"This is fun," said Karen, "Let's bowl another game. " And they started to
set up the screen for another game.

"Hey, it's Rosa!" said April and they all turned around to see Rosa walking
towards them.

"Hey what's up, girl," said Katie, giving her friend a hug.

"I called your house and your mom told me you were at the bowling alley. I
felt sorry for you having to hang around with three party-pooping non-smokers
so I asked my Mom to give me ride up here," she said, gazing at her three
friends sitting down smoking and the huge cloud of smoke rising up towards
the ceiling   "I guess you've had a good influence on them."

"No, you got it all wrong, Rosa," said Katie, "these girls have all been
smoking a lot longer than me. They were just hiding it from me because they
thought I'd be mad at them. We all just found out about each other the past
few days."

"Mind if I join you guys?" she asked the other girls.

They all said no and she sat down.

"Hey, can I bum a smoke from someone ?" asked Rosa.

Instantly there were four packs extended to her and Rosa just laughed. "Only
kidding, I got my own," she replied and pulled out a pack of Benson and
Hedges 100's.  Those were the kind her parents smoked, so Katie figured Rosa
must have run out of her own brand, Marlboro 100's. 

They played their third game, Rosa's first, and then they all piled into
Katie's car and headed home. They all lit up cigarettes and soon her car was
christened the "smokemobile" by one of the twins.

"Hey, none of us live down that way," said Karen "Where you headed?"

"We go to the Haitian Station for Doctor Pepper and sigareets" Katie said
with an Indian accent.

They all piled out of the car and went into the Haitian Station. The girls
were all getting a little bit silly now and one of the twins, with a fake
Indian voice,  asked "Turban Man", as everyone called him, if there was 10
pack special.

Turban man somehow missed that he was being made fun of and said, "Ten pack
is carton, little better deal than tree pack special. You can buy tree pack
save two dollar."

They all laughed.

Everyone got their drink and got in a single file line to be rung up.

"Give me a pack of Marlboro 100's box, please," asked Rosa.

Katie had already bought three packs of smokes that day as did Karen, so they
just bought their soda and some Big Red gum. 

"I'll take three," said Amy, "No, I mean tree packs of Newports in a box,
pretty please. "

The Turban guy eyed her for a minute and said, "You old enough for these ?"

"I'm 14," said Amy.

"No, you are over 18," said Turban Guy.

"No, I am 14," said Amy again.

"No can sell unless you are 18."

Amy turned to her sister, who was obviously her twin even to those who didn't
know them. They weren't identical twins, but it was obvious to even a casual
observer that they were twins. "How old are we again, sis?" Amy asked,

"We are 22," answered April with confidence.

"22 old enough to buy sigareets or anyting else," said Turban guy and sold
her three packs.

It was April's turn and she too ordered 3 packs of Newport Kings.

"Next time, you should buy together and get carton. Good price on cartons for
Newports." suggested Turban Man. The girls had thought of doing that, but
figured it be easier to stash individual packs in their rooms than a carton.

On hearing Turban Guy say they were 22, Karen got an idea and went into the
cooler and got a big bottle of beer.

"Wohoo," one of the girls said when they got to the smokemobile and they all
took swigs before they headed back on the road. Katie only had a few sips,
conscious that she was the driver even though she didn't know a few sips
would not get her anywhere near drunk. It was the first time she had ever
drunk alcohol before.

Katie dropped off her friends and lit up another Marlboro 100's and breathed
deep. What a great night, she said to herself, smelling the beer and
cigarette smoke on her own breath. A good night to tell her Mom her secret...

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