Katie's Smoking Epiphany, Part 9

(by Dromedary Joe, 09 May 2008)

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Katie's Smoking Epiphany (Part 9)
by Dromedary Joe

Loosely based on a true story...

When Katie opened the door she knew something was strange. Something was
definitely different. After a few moments, she realized what it was. Had she
had too many sips of beer? The house wasn't smoky. Her mom had been cleaning.
She smelled the pine-sol smell in the air and wondered what was going on.
This was definitely a change. Usually, she would have come home not smelling
smoky into a house which reeked of smoke. Tonight, she was the one who reeked
of smoke who was coming into a house which smelled like non-smokers resided
there. Her mom heard her open the door and told her to sit down, she had
something important to tell her.

Her mom must have found out from someone, maybe Karen's mother, that she had
started smoking. The smell of smoke on Katie would be the confirmation of
that. But then Katie thought that she was being a little paranoid, because
Karen's mother had promised not to tell, and Katie always bitched about the
bowling alley being full of smokers. She would smell the smoke on Katie and
assume it was from everyone else's cigarette at the bowling alley. 

"I've noticed your voice has been kind of raspy lately, Katie," her mother

"Uh, oh," Katie thought to herself. Her mother must know.

"I've been feeling guilty, because I know I've been smoking a lot lately.
Honey, I've been a smoker for a long time. I've enjoyed smoking and if I were
the only consideration, I would continue smoking. But I love you too much,
and maybe it's time for me to quit. For your sake."

Tears started to well up in her mother's eyes as she continued, "And so I've
thrown out my cigarettes and thrown out all the ashtrays around the house.
Tomorrow, I'll buy some gum or patches. So I just wanted you to know this is
going to be hard for me. I don't really want to do this, but I'm doing it for

Katie couldn't help but be touched by her mom's speech. A week earlier, she
probably would have cried. But that night, she didn't know what to do.

She gave her mom a hug even though she knew she smelled like smoke.

"I love you, Mom," Katie said, "And I love you whether you are a smoker or a

"I love you too, pumpkin," her mom replied.

Now was the time, thought Katie.

"But Mom, my voice isn't raspy because of your smoking," Katie said carefully
as she opened her purse, pulled out her pack of Marlboro 100's, and dangled
one in her mouth. "It's because I've started smoking," she said as she
dangled the unlit cigarette.

She lit the cigarette, took it out of her mouth for a moment, and then took a
big drag and exhaled a giant puff of smoke.

"Oh my God, Katie." said her mom, "how long have you been smoking?"  

"About a week," said Katie as she took another drag. She would nee an ashtray
soon so she started looking around for a place to ash her cigarette.

"Why, Katie, why ?" her mom asked.

"I don't know. I was just experimenting, decided I liked it, and started
smoking. I've smoked about a pack a day the past three days, and I don't
think I can stop. I don't want to stop," Katie said, adding, "and you
quitting doesn't make me want to stop. I smoke for me, not anyone else, and
if you really want to quit, I think you should stop for yourself, and not for
me or anyone else."

Katie's mom considered all that Katie had to say. She was wise beyond her

"Got a smoke for your mom?" her mom asked.

"Sure, mom," Katie said as she offered her a mom a smoke. 

Katie pulled out her pink bic lighter and gave her mom a light.

"That feels incredible," said her mom as she  exhaled the first drag. As she
looked at the cigarette, she said, "You smoke Marlboro 100's, full flavor. I
smoked those when I was in college, but then switched to lights a few years

"So I guess that means I should smoke Marlboro Lights when I get old, too?"
said Katie teasingly.

Her mom started to object to her statement, but just laughed.

"Seriously, mom, I like these. I've tried one of Karen's Virginia Slims
Lights and they don't do much for me."

"Karen smokes?" said Katie's mom in shock, "Oh my God, what is this world
coming to?"

Katie responded, "She's been smoking longer than me, since she was a

Katie's mom couldn't help but laugh. "Pretty soon you'll be telling me the
twins smoke." her mom said.

Katie had just taken a big hit and she started laughing so hard that she had
a coughing fit.

"The twins. April *and* Amy?" her mom asked. 

Katie had promised never to tell anyone the twins smoked so she thought about
how to keep her promise to them and answer her mom's question. "Let's just
say the little corner of the bowling alley where the four of us usually sit
which is usually not smoky was really, really smoky tonight."

Katie and her Mom had both finished the butts and threw them in the Diet Coke
can they had been using as an ashtray. Her mom said, "Come on, let's go to
the store. We'll take your car."

They got into Katie's car and her mom noticed the smoke which still seemed to
be lingering in the car and the ashtray which was full of cigarettes to the
point of overflowing.

"Mind if I bum another one off of you, Kate?" her mom asked.

"Damn it, Mom! Do I have to start giving you a lecture on how not to bum
cigarettes off everyone? Carry your own," Katie said sarcastically.

Her mom laughed and they both smoked on the way to the store.

When they got inside, they went to where the ashtrays were. 

"How many you going to get?" Katie asked.

"Ten, I think that's how many I threw out tonight," her mom responded.

"How about twelve. One for my bedroom and bathroom, too." suggested Katie.

"Does that mean Katie's Law Number One has been repealed?" her mother asked,
surprised. Of course, Katie knew what that was: "Never, ever smoke in my

"No,  I've amended the law," said Katie after a moment, "never, ever smoke in
my room unless you offer me a drag."

Her mom picked up a few other miscellaneous items. "Here's a couple of
lighters for me, and some pink ones for Katie," said her mother.

Katie already had a couple of pink lighters, but she figured more wouldn't
hurt. It would be nice to have one in her room, her car, and in her purse, as
well as a few spares. Then her mother picked up two cartons - one each of
Marlboro Lights 100's and Marlboro 100's, both in the box.

Katie smiled as they got back in the car. She hadn't asked her mother to buy
her a carton since she still had a little more than a pack left and could
always stop by the Haitian Station, but it would be cool telling her friends
that she now bought by the carton. When they got back to the car, Katie
opened the carton and put one of the packs into her purse. From then on,
Katie would always keep two packs in her purse, except when she was at

As Katie drove home, they both lit one up.

"Want to trade?" asked her mom

"Not too bad," said Katie as she smoked her first Marlboro Lights 100. "Maybe
when I'm really old and can't handle a real cigarette anymore, I'll switch."

A month later, she would switch brands, but at the moment, Katie was content
with her Marlboro 100's.

They got home and decided to watch a little bit of TV. They sat there smoking
and Katie thought to herself, Can things possible get any better?

"Oh, I forgot to tell you. Some guy named Mike called . He said to give him a
call back or he'll call you back in the morning."

It was too late to call Mike, but he would call in the morning. Thinking of
Mike made her want to do one thing...

"I'm going to go to bed, Mom," said Katie as she gave her mom a kiss and
headed for her room with her newly bought ashtray.

She got in bed, set the ashtray on the table next to her bed and lit up a
cigarette. She smoked with her left hand as her right hand quickly made it's
way down to her panties...

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