Sarah's Winstons, Part 10

(by slimv2001@yahoo.com, 29 August 2008)


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Sarah's Winstons
by slimv

****** TEN *****


I know Sarah had seen me smoking when her water broke, but we didn't talk
about it until two days later after coming home with Elizabeth.  My parents
came over and Dad had bought some of those "Its A Girl" cigars with the pink
bands.  He passed them out and all five of us lit up.

I was pretty self conscious about smoking in front of Sarah, even if it was a
cigar and not a cigarette.  I didn't notice I was inhaling, but she did.

"You really are a smoker now," she said as I exhaled the cheap cigar smoke.

******

Sarah's doctor advised her not to have sex for six weeks.  We thought we
would die before those six weeks were up.  I was smoking openly in front of
her and we were both eager to incorporate my new habit into our sex life.

My mom had been right about Sarah's reason for spilling the beans and what
her reaction would be.  Sarah told me that for the first two or three months
after getting back from our honeymoon, she expected to come home to find me
smoking.  When it didn't happen as soon as she thought it would, she assumed
my mother hadn't picked up on her hints.

Refraining from sex was especially difficult because we could hear Derrick
Hyde and Sarah's mother going at it.  Their bedroom was right next to ours
and the walls were paper thin.

Mrs. Jacobs had told Sarah about Derrick the day after we came home with the
baby.  Sarah was as shocked as I was when I heard the news, but she was also
very happy for her mother.  She even arranged for Derrick to take her place
at the convenience store because she wanted to stay home with Elizabeth.

Mrs. Jacobs married Derrick four weeks after breaking the news to Sarah.
Bill was Derrick's best man.  Sarah was her mother's maid of honor and I gave
away the bride.  It was a pretty cool wedding.  It's funny because I still
feel weird about calling Mrs. Jacobs by her first name, so I call her Mrs.
Hyde now.  Derrick thinks that's a hoot.

A couple weeks after Derrick and the new Mrs. Hyde got back from their
honeymoon, the whole extended family got together for lunch at the Chinese
restaurant after church.  Every one was there except for Billy, because he
was still away at college.  My parents and Derrick's parents came too.  It
was like a blast from the past.

The eight of us were sitting around the table.  Elizabeth was in her high
chair.  The menus were passed around while all the adults, except for
Derrick, took out their cigarettes and lit up.

My parents were smoking their Marlboros.  Derrick's parents were Newport
smokers.  Sarah's Mom - the new Mrs. Hyde - was smoking Winstons with Sarah
and me.  Mom was right about me feeling better about myself once I started
smoking.  It felt great to be smoking in public with my wife and in front of
our families.  That's when I looked across the table and saw the worried look
on Derrick's face.  I recognized it immediately.  It was the same look I'd
seen on Sarah's face when we sat at the same table nine years earlier.

Derrick was sitting in the chair that had once been reserved for Mrs. Jacobs'
husband but he was her husband and now and she was the new Mrs. Hyde.  He
looked so young sitting next to her with that wedding ring on his finger and
those pimples on his face.  Of course he was young.  He was only 18 and fresh
out of high school.  

Mrs. Hyde, despite her age, looked absolutely gorgeous to me as she smoked
her Winston in her best blue church dress.  I saw what Derrick saw in her.
All those years of heavy smoking had taken their toll on what little youth
she had left.  She looked at least a decade older than her 47 years.  But she
was still beautiful to me and I'm sure she was beautiful to Derrick.

Mrs. Hyde has that classic southern church lady look going on for her.  She
was wearing pointed eye-glasses and a string of pearls around her neck.  Her
hair was piled high and she was wearing rose colored lipstick that left the
slightest stain on the cork filter of her Winston.  I thought she made for
one fine looking grandmother.

There were several conversations going on around the table.  I joined in some
of them but kept my attention focused on Derrick and Mrs. Hyde.  I watched
him blush nervously and shake his head as she whispered in his ear.  She
looked disappointed in his answer as she took a puff from her Winston and
exhaled toward the ceiling, away from her young husband.  Her whispers and
his head shaking continued through lunch, and then I saw him give in to her
with nod of his head.  Mrs. Hyde smiled lovingly and kissed him on the cheek
leaving behind a trace of her old-lady lipstick that she quickly wiped off
with a little grandma spit and a tissue from her purse.  The weight of the
world looked as if it rested on Derrick's young shoulders.

As the plates were being cleared, I took my cigarettes from my shirt pocket
and proudly lit one.  Sarah and the other adults followed suit.  I watched as
Sarah's mom reached into her purse and pulled out a pack of Winstons and a
lighter.  She removed one cigarette and placed it between her lips.  She
flashed Derrick a tender yellow smile and held out her pack to him.  We all
heard her ask him if he'd like to have a cigarette.  The look on his face was
excruciating.  He looked nervously across the table at this parents who were
now staring at him.

Sarah's mom addressed Derrick's parents by their names.  "Margie, George,
would it be okay with you if Derrick has one of my cigarettes?"

Derrick's parents, Margie and George, were obviously taken aback, but they
kept their composure.  

"Derrick, I didn't know you smoked honey.  When did you start?" asked Margie.

Derrick swallowed and cleared his throat, but nothing came out when he opened
his mouth.  Sarah's mom answered for him.

"I know.  It's awful," said Sarah's mom as she shook her her head and lit her
cigarette.  "I feel so responsible.  He started while we were on our
honeymoon.  You know how curious boys are. He just wanted to know what it was
like, so I let him have a puff.  I was sure it would make him sick and that
would be the end of it, but he actually liked it.  He's been slipping
cigarettes from my purse ever since.  I told him if he's going to make a
habit of this, he needs to clear it with the two of you."

"Your mother and I are very disappointed in you Derrick," said George Hyde.
"We thought you were smarter than this."

"Go easy on him honey," said Margie as she touched her husband's shoulder.
"Don't you remember how it was on our honeymoon?"

George rolled his eyes and scowled.

"George didn't smoke while we were dating," said Margie.  "He waited until we
were on our honeymoon before he got up the nerve to ask me for a puff of my
cigarette."

Sarah's mom howled.  "David did the same thing with me.  Bless his heart.  He
was so cute when he asked.  I just couldn't say no."

Margie waved her hand as if to wave away the tension.  "Go ahead and have a
cigarette with your wife, Derrick.  Now the two of you will have something in
common besides church.  It won't be good for your health but it will be good
for your marriage, and that's what's important."

Sarah squeezed my hand under the table as Derrick shyly took a cigarette from
Mrs. Hyde's pack and nervously placed it between his lips.  He looked way too
young for such an adult habit but I knew from experience that he'd grow into
it.

Mrs. Hyde looked more like a sweet old lady lighting her grandson's first
cigarette for him than a wife doing it for her husband.  I smiled as I
remembered how my own mother had lit my first official cigarette in our
basement.  It was a fond memory that I would cherish forever just as Derrick
would cherish this moment for as long as he lived.

*****

Sarah and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last week.  Mrs. Hyde and
David will celebrate their 24th next month.  My parents are still in good
health and we're all still smoking.  Of the three children we have, only
Elizabeth, our oldest, took up smoking.  

Sarah and I bought a house of our own about a year after her mother and
Derrick got married.  We needed the extra room and those two love birds
needed their privacy.  I still call Sarah's mom Mrs. Hyde and Sarah and her
brother Billy call Derrick Dad.

The End


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