Shannon

(by smokingbeauties@yahoo.com, 01 January 2003)


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Shannon
by smokingbeauties@yahoo.com

My name is Shannon, and I am eighteen years old.  I have been told that I am
attractive, but I'm very modest when it comes to that sort of thing.  I have
shoulder length red hair, and bright green eyes.  I'm five-foot-six, and I
weigh 125 pounds.  (I'm sure there are guys reading this, so for you, my
dimensions are 32-26-30-and I'm a C-cup.)  I really don't look like any one
person in particular, but rather a hybrid of so many people.  If Katie Holmes
and Britney Spears were to somehow produce a child, that's just about what I
would look like.  

For the last two years, I've been keeping a secret from nearly everyone I
know.  It has been difficult to keep that secret, but I've found ways.  What
is my secret?  This is the first time I've even admitted this, but I smoke.
There, I said it.  Even though I've smoked for two years, it sounds weird to
even say the words.

Why have I kept this such a secret for so long?  Because most of my family
would probably disown me if they knew that I started smoking.  You see,
they're hardly what you would call "open minded"-especially when it comes to
smoking.  In fact, they're probably the most anti-smoking people I've ever
known in my life.

My father is a physician at a hospital not too far from our home, and my
mother is an art teacher at the local high school.  My father is still as
anti-smoking as they come, but my mother has recently secretly started
smoking, something my father still doesn't know.  (I'll get more into that as
I tell this story, though.)

First, I have to tell you a little bit about myself.  I was raised, as you
might expect, in a very anti-smoking household.  I was never around smoking,
never even around smokers.  My entire life, I'd never even known a smoker.

When I was younger, I'd occasionally spend a Friday or Saturday night in my
sister's room.  Because she was two years older than I, she had a television
in her room, and we'd stay up late watching the late night television shows.
My parents didn't mind, but they reminded us constantly, "As long as it's only
on weekends so that it doesn't interfere with your schoolwork!"

The mantra became a joke between Colleen and I.  Any time either of us wanted
to do something, the other would say, "Is it a weekend?  I wouldn't want it to
interfere with your schoolwork!"

Colleen left for college when I turned fifteen.  She didn't attend college far
from home, but we lived very close to a rather prominent university.  Because
my parents had been very fortunate financially, Colleen was able to attend
school full time, and live in an apartment that was about forty-five minutes
from home.  I hadn't seen her for a year when everything in my life began to
change.

I, like most kids my age, was looking forward to turning sixteen.  My parents
had planned this huge, elaborate surprise party.  It seemed like everyone was
there.  My entire family, Colleen, and all of my friends-it was quite the
occasion.

Colleen and I hadn't had one of our weekend get-togethers since she started
college.  Between getting used to life on her own, her schoolwork, and her
social life, she had been pretty busy.  At first, I felt a little neglected,
but after a few months, I got used to it.

As the party drew to a close, all of my friends, and most of my extended
family, had either gone home or back  to their hotels.   Colleen pulled me
into the kitchen.

"Remember when we used to overnight in my room when we were kids?" she asked.

"Yeah," I said.

"Well, what are you doing this weekend?" Colleen asked me, trying miserably to
conceal her excitement.

"Nothing, why?" I asked, although I knew the answer.

"What would you think about spending the weekend with your big sister?" she
asked, beaming.

I was ecstatic.  It had been over a year since the last time we spent that
much time together.  Actually, now that I think about it, the last time was
the weekend before she moved out. 

I told her that I would love to spend the weekend there.  She'd already talked
to our parents, and they had said that it was fine, as long as we didn't go
getting ourselves into trouble.

As the last of our guests departed, I packed a small overnight bag and climbed
into Colleen's car.  

"So how have you been?" she asked. 

"Great," I replied.

"No, seriously," Colleen said.  "I know I asked you before, but Mom and Dad
aren't here now.  So what's new?"

"Nothing much, really," I said.  "I'm just busy with school, and volleyball,
and cheering, and softball-you know.  The same stuff you did when you were in
high school."

Colleen laughed.  

"I remember those days!" she said.  "That shit fucking sucked!"

I was stunned.  I'd never heard Colleen use that kind of language before.
Apparently, she'd changed a little bit while she was at school.

I couldn't contain my laughter.

"What's the matter?" Colleen asked.

"I don't know," I lied.  "I've just never heard you curse before.  It sounded
funny."

"Like you've never cursed," Colleen said.

The truth was, I hadn't.  I'd always been the "good girl", and as far as I
knew, Colleen was, too.  This was a side of her I'd never seen before.

"You've never  cursed?" she asked in disbelief.

"No, never," I said.  I'd never felt embarrassed for not swearing before, but
now I was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable about it.

"Just do it once," Colleen said.  "You'll feel a lot better."

"What do you want me to say?" I asked.  I had never been one to not do as
Colleen asked me to.

"Say fuck," she said.

"I can't say that," I replied as I laughed.

"Sure you can," Colleen insisted.  "Just say it."

"Fuck," I said, trying not to laugh.

"That wasn't so bad, was it?" Colleen said.

"I guess not," I answered.  I think that in an odd sort of way, I liked saying
it.  It was the first time in my life I'd ever been even remotely "bad".  It
was a very liberating feeling.

"You've changed a little bit," I said to Colleen.

"You have no idea," Colleen said, as if she knew something I didn't.  I could
tell by her tone that she wanted me to ask what she meant, so I did.

"Well, let's just say that while I have been at school, I've learned a lot,"
she said mysteriously.

"Like?" I asked.

"Well," she started.  "I learned that all of the things that I used to be so
against, are actually enjoyable, if you do them the right way."

"What are you talking about?" I nervously asked, still laughing.

"Shannon, I have to tell you something, and I don't quite know how to say it,"
she started.  "And no matter what you think about it, you have to promise not
to tell anyone."

"Of course I won't," I said.

"I started smoking," Colleen said.

"Oh my gosh!" I exclaimed.  "You did not!"

"Yeah," Colleen said.  "I did.  I started smoking and I like it-a lot."

"I can't believe you smoke!" I said.  "Don't you know that smoking will kill
you?"

"Yeah," Colleen said.  "If Mom and Dad don't get to me first.  That's why I
have to keep it from them."

"Well," I said.  "I'm definitely not going to tell them."

"Thanks," Colleen said.  "I was thinking about having a cigarette now,
actually.  Would you mind?"

"No," I lied.  I didn't exactly want my sister to smoke, but at the same time,
I think that part of me had to see it to believe it.

Colleen in front of me and opened her glove compartment.  She pulled out a
pack of cigarettes, which I now know were Marlboro reds.  (But I didn't know
that at the time.  They were all the same to me back then!)

She flipped back the lid of the red and white box and put a cigarette between
her lips.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  Colleen had always been a
sort of role model to me.  In high school, she was so active, so athletic.
She was very popular in school, and, believe it or not, the captain of the
Girls' Varsity Swim Team.  Smoking was the last thing I'd ever expect Colleen
to start.

She pushed the lighter into the car's dashboard as we drove down the road.
While she waited for it to pop back out, the cigarette just dangled between
her lips.  I had no idea what to say.

"Say something," Colleen said as the cigarette danced up and down between her
lips.

"I'm not sure what to say," I replied.

"It's not the end of the world, you know," she said.

The lighter popped out, and she reached down and pulled it from it's resting
place.  The middle of it was glowing a bright red-orange color, indicative of
it's intense heat.

Without saying a word, Colleen brought the glowing center of the lighter and
pressed it against the tip of her cigarette.

The reality of what she was doing hit me like a ton of bricks.  I was watching
my big sister smoke a cigarette.

She took the cigarette out of her mouth and I saw her chest raise as she
inhaled the smoke into her lungs.  She was really smoking.

Turning her head towards the window, she blew a stream of smoke outside the
speeding car.  

"I just can't believe you smoke," I said, still in shock at what I was
witnessing.

"I know," Colleen said, returning the cigarette to her lips and taking another
drag.  "I never would have thought I would start either, trust me."

"Then why did you?" I asked.

"I'm not sure, really," Colleen began.  "I know it's a cliché, but it sort of
just happened."

"How does something like that just happen?" I doubted.

"So I guess you've never tried it?" Colleen asked.

"Like you even need to ask me that," I said.  "Of course I've never tried it.
Why would I want to?"

"That's how it started," she said.  "I was at a party one night.  I had a few
drinks.  Some friends of mine were astounded that I'd never tried it before,
and they convinced me to try it.  As soon as I did, it felt like I'd been
missing out on something my entire life.  You know as well as I do that living
with Mom and Dad isn't exactly the most liberating experience.  They kept us
on a pretty short leash."

"Yeah," I said.  

It was true.  Our parents didn't let us do anything.  Not that they would have
let us smoke if we had wanted to, but we never went through the "trials and
tribulations" that our peers had to face.  We never had to make the decisions
everyone else did.

By this point in our conversation, Colleen had finished her cigarette and
thrown it out the window.  I snuck a peek in the mirror mounted to my door
just in time to see a shower of orange sparks dance into the night sky.

I had no idea what kind of weekend I was getting myself into.

We arrived at Colleen's apartment nearly an hour after leaving my parent's
house.  We'd spent the drive catching up on all of the things that we couldn't
really talk about with my parents within earshot.  

I told Colleen that I didn't have a boyfriend, which seemed to surprise her,
but the truth was, I was just too damned busy to get all tied up with that
crap.  (That was then.  As I said, things have changed!)

"Well, we'll just have to find you someone!" Colleen said as we walked up to
her front door.

"Yeah, right," I said cynically.

"No, seriously," Colleen said.  "We always used to have slumber parties when
we were kids.  Now I've got my own apartment, and you're here for the entire
weekend.  Let's have a real party!"

I hated to admit it, but the idea sounded perfect.  Growing up under very
strict, very sheltering parents, I'd never gotten to attend a typical high
school party, like most of my peers.  The closest thing I'd ever come to was
my birthday party earlier that night.

"Alright," I agreed, not knowing who Colleen was going to invite, since all of
my friends were nearly an hour away.

"Don't worry," she said.  "I'll just invite some of my friends.  You guys will
get along great."

Within an hour or so, Colleen had made all of the required phone calls.  She'd
invited about twenty people.  

"Well, I guess there's only one more thing to do!" she said with a smile.

"What's that?" I asked.

"I've gotta run to the store and get beer!" she said with a giggle.

"You're not twenty-one," I inserted as I began to learn that there was more to
my sister than I already knew.

"That's one great thing about college," Colleen started.  "Fake ID is easy to
get.  I'll be back in a few minutes.  No one should come before I get back,
but if they do, you can let them in.  My house is their house, too."

I wasn't surprised at Colleen's generosity.  She'd always been like that.  She
was one of those people who didn't believe in anything belonging to "only"
her.  She shared it all.  That generosity would later introduce me to worlds I
didn't know existed, but I didn't know that yet.

"You can use my computer if you'd like," she said as she walked out the door.
"I'll be back."

Not sure what else to do, I headed to the spare bedroom that Colleen had set
up as a computer room.  I sat down at the desk and turned on the computer.

I wanted to chat with my friends, but they weren't online.  It didn't surprise
me.  It was Friday night, and they were all busy going out to parties.  I used
to be bothered by the fact that they seemed to get to do so much, but over
time, it disappeared.  Besides, tonight, I was at a college party.  I was the
one who would have stories to tell.

I was bored.  I wanted to find something to do to occupy my time until Colleen
returned.  I double-clicked on her web browser, and a window opened.

I searched the web for something to do, but found nothing I was interested in.
Just about to give up, I clicked on the icon labeled "Favorites" on the
browser.

A window appeared, running down the left side of the screen, link after link
of saved sites that Colleen apparently frequented often.

Most of the links were your typical college student links.  The website for
the college, sites with information for papers Colleen was most definitely
working on, that sort of thing.  Almost at the bottom of the list, though, was
a link which caught me by surprise.  For some reason, this link really caught
my attention.

It was labeled, "Smoking Chat".

Curious what this link was about, I clicked on it.  I was taken to a screen
asking me to put in my name and my profile information.

I knew that one of the great things about the internet was it's apparent
anonymity, so I decided that I might as well use my real name.  It's not like
any of these people would be able to guess who I was.

I typed "Shannon" into the name line, and "16/f" next to where it asked for my
profile.

I clicked "Enter", and was immediately taken to a chat room that had a pink
background.  The top of the window indicated that this was a chat room for
anyone who was under the age of eighteen, pregnant, and/or a smoker.

I knew that Colleen wasn't under eighteen, and I was pretty sure that she
wasn't pregnant.  My guess was that she probably went to that room because she
was able to be a little more open about her smoking.

I decided to not say anything the instant I walked into the chat room.
Instantly, smaller windows began to appear on my screen.  I was receiving
private messages.

Not wanting to deal with the typical guy crap of being asked to "cyber", I
closed two of the three windows, leaving a window that was opened by someone
named Gayle.

I still remember our conversation as if it were yesterday.  It went something
like this:


GAYLE:    hi 
SHANNON:  hey 
GAYLE:    a/s/l?  
SHANNON:  its in my profile, but I'm 16/f-you?  
GAYLE:    21/f/Seattle do you smoke?  
SHANNON:  no 
GAYLE: really?  then why r u here?  
SHANNON:  I'm at my sister's house.  She smokes.
GAYLE:    oh  have u ever tried it?  
SHANNON:  no 
GAYLE:    wow 
SHANNON:  lol why wow?  
GAYLE:    oh sorry-its just that most people at least try it by the time
theyre 16 
SHANNON:  yeah well my parents arent exactly giving me cigarettes to try lol 
GAYLE:    u could get them from somewhere else 
SHANNON: if I wanted to smoke, then yeah I could 
GAYLE: arent u at all curious about it?  
SHANNON:  not really 
GAYLE:    how long has ur sister smoked?  
SHANNON: I don't know.  I just found out tonight.  
GAYLE:    cool  u should try it

SHANNON:  why?  
GAYLE:    because its great!  Lol 
SHANNON:  lol but its so bad for you 
GAYLE:    i know but it is very enjoyable 
SHANNON:  whats so enjoyable about it?  It cant be the smell lol 
GAYLE:    haha it doesn't taste like it smells  it tastes great 
SHANNON: ill have to take your word for it 
GAYLE: well maybe ur sister would let u try it 
SHANNON: I doubt it 
GAYLE:   have u asked her 
SHANNON: no 
GAYLE:   u should youll like it 
SHANNON: I really doubt it 
GAYLE:   how can u be so sure without even trying it for urself?  
SHANNON: call it a hunch 
GAYLE:   i had the same hunch but then i tried it and i was wrong 
SHANNON: really?  
GAYLE: omg yes!  smoking is the best feeling ive ever had 
SHANNON: for real?  
GAYLE: for real-if u tried it, u would understand
SHANNON: but I don't want to try it 
GAYLE:   not even for me? lol 
SHANNON: sorry 
GAYLE:   that's okay-some people are too scared-i can understand that
SHANNON: I'm not scared 
GAYLE: so u will try?  
SHANNON: ugh-I don't know
GAYLE:   just try it once if u still don't like it, u never do it again
SHANNON: but how will u know if I do it?  
GAYLE:   if u do, u can come back here and tell me.  if i never talk to u
again then i will know u chickened out lol 
SHANNON: well, don't expect me to come back any time soon lol 
GAYLE:   r u saying u will consider it?  
SHANNON: I don't know-I'm saying maybe I'll possibly think about the idea of
thinking about considering it lol 
GAYLE: its a start lol 
SHANNON: lol 

My sister walked in the front door, and I told Gayle I had to go.  We said our
good-byes, and I logged off.


"What's up?" Colleen asked.  

"Not much," I said.  It was a small lie, because for the first time in my
life, I was actually considering the possibility of trying a cigarette.  I
guess you could say that Gayle made it sound interesting to at least
experiment with.  I still doubted I'd ever try it.

Shortly after Colleen returned, her friends began to arrive.  I could tell
that this party was going to be a lot of fun.

"Want a beer?" Colleen asked me.

"Are you serious?" I asked.  I'd never drank before, and I wasn't sure if it
was something I should be doing.

"Yeah, help yourself," Colleen said.

"What's yours is mine, right?" I laughed.

"Exactly," Colleen said, handing me my first beer.

I took a small sip from the top of the bottle, and immediately knew that it
wasn't a taste that I liked.  I tried my best to not let it show, though.

"You get used to the taste," Colleen laughed, taking another huge sip of her
own beer.

"We'll see," I said.

"Let's chug," Colleen said, surprising me at her enthusiasm.

"What do I do?"  I asked innocently.

"Just turn the bottle upside down and drink it all as fast as you can," my
sister coached.  "It will do two things.  One, it will make you get used to
the taste faster, and two, it gets you fucked up faster!"

"Alright," I said, not wanting to disappoint my sister.

I turned the bottle upside down and drank all of the beer as fast as I could.
By the time I'd finished the bottle, which wasn't long at all, I was more than
a little buzzed.  For the first time in my life, I was drunk! 

"How do you feel?" Colleen asked.

"Great," I giggled.

"I'm going to go outside and have a cigarette," Colleen said.

"I'll go with you," I replied, surprising my sister.

"You want to smoke?" she asked.

I hadn't realized that my statement could be interpreted as a desire to smoke.

"Oh, no," I said.  "I would just feel uncomfortable being in here with all of
your friends, that's all."

"Too bad," Colleen said.  She sounded disappointed that I didn't want to smoke
with her.  "Okay, let's go."

We went outside and stood on her balcony.  Colleen pulled her red and white
pack of Marlboros from her purse, and put one between her lips.  She flicked
her disposable lighter and brought the flame to the tip.  It began to get
brighter and brighter as she pulled smoke into her mouth.  She opened her
mouth, and I again watched her chest rise as she inhaled the smoke into her
lungs.

As I watched Colleen smoke, I tried my best to watch her facial expressions.
I was drunk, and this seemed like the best way for me to figure out how
smoking made her feel.  There was no doubting that smoking made Colleen feel
wonderful.

"What did you mean by `too bad'?" I asked Colleen nervously.

"What?" she asked.

"When I said I didn't want to smoke with you," I started.  "You said, `Too
bad'."

"Oh," Colleen replied.  "I didn't mean anything by it.  I was just thinking
that maybe this weekend you'd take advantage of being able to do whatever you
wanted to."

"Well, I'm drinking beer," I said, hoping this would show Colleen that I
wasn't afraid to experiment with new things.

"I know," Colleen said.  "Aren't you in the least bit curious about it?"

She brought the cigarette to her lips and took another puff.  It wasn't that I
was curious about smoking.  It was more that I was curious about why people
would do it.

"Not really," I replied.  "I'm more curious about why people smoke."

"I could stand here and tell you about how great it is," Colleen started.
"But you wouldn't understand it.  Or, there's another way you could figure
that part out."

"What would that be?" I asked, as if I even had to.

Colleen tapped the ash off the tip of her cigarette and held her hand out in
my direction.  I couldn't believe what was happening.  My sister was offering
me a cigarette.

"I don't know, Col," I said.

"Just try it," she encouraged.  "You know I'm not going to tell anyone."

I stared down at the cigarette which was burning away between Colleen's
fingers, but I said nothing.  She had only taken two drags so far.

"Just take one puff," she said.  "You know you want to."

I reached down and gently pinched the barely smoked cigarette she was offering
me between my thumb and index finger.  This was the first time I'd ever
touched a cigarette, let alone smoke one.

"Put it in your mouth," Colleen coached.  "Suck on it like you're sucking a
drink through a straw.  Then just blow it out."

More nervous than I'd ever been in my young life, and though I tried my best
not to let it show, I raised the cigarette with trembling hands to my lips.  I
couldn't believe what I was doing.

I wrapped my lips around the orange filter, and sucked just like I was sucking
a drink through a straw.

The smoke tasted bitter as it came into contact with my cheeks and tongue.
Gayle had been right about one thing, it didn't taste at all like it smelled.
I didn't necessarily think it was better than the smell, just different.

"Now blow it out," Colleen said with a smile.

I removed the cigarette from my lips and blew out a tiny cloud.

"You did good," Colleen said, taking the cigarette back from me.  "I'm proud
of you."

 "Thanks," I said, still disbelieving that I'd just smoked a cigarette.

"It wasn't that bad, was it?" Colleen asked, taking another puff.

"I guess it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be," I admitted.

Colleen exhaled her drag and passed the cigarette back to me.

"Try again," she said.

I weighed my options.  I'd already taken one puff, so I concluded that one
more wouldn't hurt things any.  I figured that if I had to, I could probably
smoke an entire cigarette and I probably wouldn't die.

Reaching down, I was still nervous, but I took the cigarette from my sister.
I brought it to my lips once more and took another drag.

The smoke entered my mouth easier this time, and I noticed that it seemed to
taste a little better than my first attempt.

I tried my best to blow a tight stream out like I'd seen Colleen do.  It
didn't look quite the same, but that didn't bother me, because I knew that
this was only my second puff.

Colleen took the cigarette back, and it was almost gone.  She took one more
drag, inhaled, and passed the cigarette back to me.

"Hold it here," Colleen said, showing me which fingers to hold the cigarette
between.  "It looks like you're holding a joint!" 

I took the cigarette between my fingers.  This time, I held it between my
index finger and middle finger, in a more "traditional" pose than my earlier
attempts.

I parted my lips and brought the orange filter to my mouth for one final puff.
I turned my eyes down and saw the paper begin to burn away brightly as I
pulled smoke into my mouth.  For some reason, I thought this sight was
amazing, but I said nothing.

I pulled the smoke into my mouth once more.  As I was about to remove the
cigarette, Colleen did something completely unexpected.

"BOO!" she yelled, scaring me half to death.  When she did, I flinched, and
accidentally took a quick deep breath, inhaling my mouthful of smoke.

I immediately coughed all the smoke out like the amateur that I was.

Colleen apparently found this very funny, because she almost wet herself as
she laughed at me.

I handed the cigarette back to her, completely embarrassed.

"I'm sorry Shannon," she said through her laughter.  "It was the only way I
could show you how to inhale."

"It wasn't very nice," I said to her.

"I know, I'm sorry," she said.  "Here.  Let's have another one."

She pulled another Marlboro from her pack and put it between her lips.  One
swift flick of the lighter, and her cigarette was lit.

She passed it back to me.  To say that I was hesitant would be a grave
understatement.  Half an hour earlier, I'd never smoked a cigarette in my
life.  Now, I was being offered my second one.

"I'll go slower this time," Colleen assured me.

I took the cigarette from her and held it, awaiting instructions.

"This time," Colleen said.  "When you take it out of your mouth, close your
mouth and breathe in through your nose very, very slowly.  And do whatever you
have to do not to cough."

I put the cigarette in my lips and sucked smoke into my mouth.

"Here goes," I thought to myself as I removed the cigarette and closed my
mouth.

I closed my eyes and breathed in as slowly as I possibly could, bringing the
smoke down into my lungs.

Again, I coughed all the smoke out in one large cloud.

"I give up, Colleen," I said.  "I can't smoke."

"Aww," said Colleen.  "Yes, you can.  Everyone coughs at first.  I did the
same thing."

Unsure why I even wanted to continue, I took another puff and tried again.

I closed my eyes once more.  For reasons I still don't know, I thought this
would somehow make it easier.  I breathed in even slower through my nose, and
felt the smoke trickle down my throat and into my lungs.  This time, I didn't
cough at all, though I almost did.

"Hold your breath," Colleen said with an even larger smile on her face.

I held my breath as long as I could.

"Now just blow it out," Colleen instructed.

I pursed my lips and blew a tight stream of smoke into the night sky.  An
overwhelming sense of accomplishment came completely over me.  I'd finally
smoked a cigarette exactly the way Colleen had wanted me to.

"Wow!" Colleen said as she took the cigarette from my hand.  "That was
awesome!  You did great!"

She took a large puff and inhaled the smoke into her lungs again.

"How do you feel?" she asked.

"Maybe it's the beer, but I feel dizzy," I said.

"That's not the beer," Colleen said, exhaling.

"Did I do it wrong?" I asked.

"No," Colleen giggled.  "You feel that because you did it right."

"Oh," I said.  "It feels cool!"

Colleen passed me the cigarette once more, and I took another puff.  This time
I tried to take a slightly larger amount of smoke into my lungs, which made me
feel even more dizzy.

"That's pretty cool," I said, surprising both Colleen and myself.

"I know," Colleen said knowingly.

We finished the cigarette and went back inside to join the party.  I drank
four more beers, which I was told was rather impressive for a "newbie".  By
the end of the night, I was feeling great, if you know what I mean.

By around two o'clock, all but one of Colleen's friend's had gone home.  Her
friend Jaimee was the only one remaining.

I had to pee, so I politely excused myself and went to the bathroom.  I did my
business, and headed back into the living room.  When I got there, the room
was empty.

I figured that they had gone out on the balcony to smoke a cigarette.  I knew
that if I went to look, I'd probably have to smoke one myself, and I wasn't
sure if that was something I wanted to do.

I waited a full minute before deciding that I wanted to go out and at least
talk to them.

Remembering Colleen's earlier streak of cruelty, I decided to sneak up on them
and scare them, similar to what she had done to me to get me to inhale.

I crouched low to the ground and walked towards the sliding glass door as
quietly as I possibly could in my drunken state.

As I approached the glass, I quietly slid the door open.  When I did, I
overheard a conversation that surprised me more than anything I could have
ever done to Colleen.

"Just try it," Jaimee said.  "It's no big deal."

"It is a big deal," Colleen replied.  "I don't get high."

"Aren't you even curious about it?" Jaimee asked.

"Of course I am, but that doesn't mean I should do it," answered Colleen.

"Just take a few hits," Jaimee pleaded.  "Then I'll leave you alone about it."

"Yeah, right," Colleen laughed.  "You've been trying to get me to smoke weed
with you for the year that I've known you!"

"Don't you think there's a reason I want you to try it?" Jaimee asked.

"Yeah," said Colleen.  "But my little sister is inside.  I can't smoke pot."

"Like she'll care," Jaimee said.  

"It's not that," said Colleen.  "It's just that I don't want to do anything
that she might find out about, and then what will happen?  I don't want to be
a bad influence on her."

Jaimee laughed.  

"This from the girl who taught her how to smoke a cigarette," she said.

"Good point," Colleen admitted.  "Okay, I'll take two hits."

"Three," said Jaimee.

"Oh my God!" Colleen said.  "You're ruthless!"

"I know," said Jaimee.

I watched intently, doing my best to not disclose my location.  Jaimee put a
joint between her lips and flicked her lighter.  She lit the tip of the joint
and took a large hit.

I couldn't believe it as she passed the joint to my sister, who took the joint
in her own hands.  She looked around to make sure I was nowhere in sight, and
brought the joint to her lips.

My sister was getting high.

I threw the sliding door open and walked through as fast as I could, catching
Colleen with the joint between her lips.  She hadn't begun to take a drag yet,
so I was just in time.

"Shit," Jaimee said.

"What are you doing?" I asked Colleen in disbelief.

I could see the fear in Colleen's eyes.  She knew she had been caught.

"I'm just having a cigarette," she said, trying to lie.

"Oh, okay," I said, pretending that I didn't know it was weed.  "I want to
take another puff."

"Okay," Colleen said, reaching into her purse.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"Getting you a cigarette," she said.

"I don't want a whole one," I started.  "Let me just have a puff off yours."

Colleen didn't know what to do, and to be honest, neither did I.  I didn't
want to smoke pot any more than she wanted me to.  But this was the only way I
could catch her.  I thought for sure she would break down and say that it
wasn't a cigarette, and that she was smoking a joint.

But she didn't.

She passed the joint to me, as if it was a normal cigarette.

She glanced at Jaimee, who was saying nothing.  Her silence spoke volumes.

Now I had a choice to make.  Did I want to smoke this?  I knew it was pot, but
I was the one who asked for it.

I was terrified as I brought the joint to my mouth, and wrapped my lips around
it.

"Wait," Colleen said.  "Don't smoke it."

I took the joint from my lips just before I began to pull the smoke into my
mouth.

"Why?" I asked.

"It's not a cigarette," Jaimee said.  "It's weed."

"What?" I asked, playing stupid.  "You smoke pot?"

"No," Colleen said.  "I don't.  Jaimee wanted me to try it.  This is my first
time."

"Right," I said.  "You expect me to believe that?"

"She's telling the truth," Jaimee said.  "She didn't want to do it, but I
convinced her to try it."

Suddenly, my curiosity got the best of me.  I was drunk, I knew that, but I
wanted to try taking a puff from the joint.

"Did you smoke this?" I asked, looking down at the joint, which was burning
away between my fingers.

"Not yet," Colleen said.

I looked Colleen directly in the eyes and said nothing as I brought the joint
to my mouth, and wrapped my lips around the filter.  The tip glowed brightly
as I pulled the thick smoke into my mouth.

"Shannon," Colleen started, but it was too late.

I took the joint from my lips and closed my mouth.  Closing my eyes yet again,
I breathed in slowly through my nose.  This smoke tasted much better than that
of the cigarette I'd smoked earlier in the evening, and it slid down my throat
much easier.

Holding it in as long as I could, I passed the joint to Colleen, who stared in
disbelief as I exhaled a thick stream of the pot smoke into the air.

"You might as well try it," I said.  "I did."

Colleen silently brought the tip of the joint to her lips and inhaled the
thick smoke into her lungs.  She held her breath and passed the joint back to
Jaimee, who took a double hit of her own.

"You guys are both getting high," she began.  "I can't believe it."

The joint was passed back to me, and I took another hit, this one larger than
the first.  Within a few minutes. I was beginning to feel stoned.  I looked at
Colleen, who was obviously feeling the same thing I was, because her eyelids
were starting to sag to a point of half-openness.

"What do you think?" Jaimee asked us.

"I'm not sure," Colleen said.  "I'm starting to feel it though."

"Me too," I added.

"Do you like it?" Jaimee asked me.

"Yeah," I said, shocked that I had just smoked pot.  I was even more shocked
that I liked it.

"I think I do, too," Colleen said, not wanting to be outdone by her little
sister.

After four hits each, the joint was gone, and so were we.  All three of us
were stoned out of our minds.  It felt amazing.

"You know what we have to do now?" Jaimee asked.

"What?" asked Colleen.

"Smoke a cigarette," replied Jaimee.

"Works for me," Colleen agreed enthusiastically.

"What about you?" Jaimee asked, looking at me.

"Fuck yeah," I said.  I felt more liberated than I'd ever felt in my life.  It
was as if every single ounce of worry and stress had been lifted from my soul.

Colleen laughed at my response, and pulled two cigarettes out of her purse.
She put one in her mouth, and handed one to me.

We stood on the porch and smoked our cigarettes, which boosted our high
incredibly.  I didn't think it was possible to feel any better than I was
already feeling, but I quickly learned I was wrong.


As soon as I inhaled the first drag from my cigarette, my high increased
tenfold.  It was amazing.  I couldn't believe that it was me standing there,
completely high, smoking a cigarette.  It felt almost like an out of body
experience.

As I exhaled that first drag, I realized how wonderful these new experiences
felt.  I wasn't addicted to nicotine immediately, but there was no doubt that
I was addicted to the feeling I was having.

"Are you okay?" Colleen asked.

"Yeah, why?" I replied.

"Because you're just staring into space," she said, laughing hysterically.

I don't know what I found so funny about her statement, but I couldn't stop
laughing.  And, of course, laughter is contagious, and all three of us found
ourselves laughing uncontrollably.

We finished our cigarettes, and headed in the house.  Colleen suggested that
Jaimee spend the night, so she wouldn't have to drive home stoned, an offer
which was graciously accepted.

As soon as Jaimee went to sleep, Colleen opened two more beers and passed one
to me.

"Let's go sit on the balcony and talk," she said.  I knew immediately that she
wanted to talk about everything we had experienced that night.

I sat on one of the chairs which was on the balcony, and took another sip of
my beer.

"What's up?" I asked as Colleen took another cigarette out of her pack and put
it between her lips.

She lit the cigarette and inhaled the smoke.

"Are you going to keep smoking?" she asked as she held the smoke in her lungs.

"Col, I don't know," I said.  "I never thought I'd do it once, and now you're
asking me if I am going to keep doing it.  To be honest, I really don't know
yet.  Why?"

"Well," said Colleen.  "For starters, I was going to ask you if you wanted a
cigarette, but seeing as how you don't know-"

She began to tease me by setting the pack on the railing that ran the
perimeter of the balcony, just out of my reach.

I leaned forward and picked up the pack.  

"I can have one now without becoming a smoker," I said as I put a cork-tipped
cigarette between my lips.

Colleen flicked her lighter and held the flame for me to light my cigarette.

The smoke filled my lungs again, and my high continued to get stronger.

"I think I might like it though," I said awkwardly.

"You know Mom and Dad will never let you smoke," Colleen advised.

"I know," I replied.  "I'll work on that after I figure out if I even want
to."

"You like smoking?" she asked.

I wasn't sure what to say.

"Yeah," I admitted sheepishly.  "I do."

"Well," Colleen started.  "You can come over here and smoke whenever you
want."

"What's yours is mine?" I asked.

"You know it!" Colleen said, taking a huge double puff on her Marlboro.  "This
weekend, experiment all you'd like.  But before you go home, you should try to
figure out what you want to do about Mom and Dad."

"Okay," I said, trying my own double drag.  The smoke was stronger and thicker
than I expected, but I didn't cough.

I inhaled as deeply as I could, and held the smoke in for as long as possible.
It felt like nothing I'd ever felt before.  I loved it.

We sat in silence, each smoking our cigarettes, enjoying our first high.  I
felt closer to Colleen than I'd ever felt in my life.

With our beer and cigarettes gone, we decided to head to bed.  I would sleep
in Colleen's room, just like we used to do when we were kids.  

We fell asleep faster than we expected.  I don't know about Colleen, but I had
the strangest dreams that night.  Despite the dreams, though, it was some of
the best sleep I'd ever gotten.

Waking up the next morning, Jaimee, Colleen, and I went out to breakfast at a
restaurant Jaimee's parents own.  The food was delicious, and we ate more than
our fair share of it.  

After breakfast, we climbed back into Colleen's car and headed home.  Jaimee
sat in the passenger seat, next to Colleen, and I sat in back.  

"Shit," Colleen said.  

"What's the matter?" I asked.

"I'm out of cigarettes," she replied.  "I'll just stop and buy some, but I
really wanted one now."

"Have one of mine," Jaimee offered.  

"Yours are menthol," Colleen objected.

"Your choice," replied Jaimee.

"Can I have one?" I asked.  I wouldn't normally have been so bold, but I
really wanted a cigarette.  I'd never smoked while I was sober before, so I
was eager to see what the experience was really like.

I took the cigarette from Jaimee, who was holding it back far enough for me to
reach.  I put it in my mouth, and took the lighter from her, which she was now
holding back.  At this point, she'd already lit hers, so all I had to do was
attempt to light my cigarette without looking like an ass.

I flicked the wheel on the lighter, and to my surprise, a flame appeared on
top-on my very first try!  I moved the flame to the tip of my cigarette and
began to suck on the filter.  I noticed Colleen was looking in the rearview
mirror at me, so I did my best to show her that I was serious about smoking.

I passed the lighter back to Jaimee while I continued to suck smoke into my
mouth.  I took the cigarette from my lips and inhaled the smoke as deeply as I
could.  I inadvertently performed my first snap inhale, which resulting in a
knowing smile from my sister.  I had no idea how I did it, but it looked
pretty cool from my perspective.

"I like these," I said as smoke escaped my mouth.  I exhaled the rest of the
smoke in a tight stream out the window which I'd partially opened.

"Me too," Jaimee added, taking a drag of her own.

"Why do they taste different?" I asked, taking another puff.

"They're menthol," explained Colleen.  "It makes them minty."

"They're great!" I exclaimed.  I was becoming weary of my smoking.  It seemed
like every time I smoked a cigarette, I liked it more and more.

"Do you want me to buy you a pack?" asked Colleen.

"Really?" I asked.

"Yeah," Colleen started.  "Why not?  You're obviously a smoker now, you might
as well have your own cigarettes."

"Okay," I said excitedly.

We stopped at the store, and Colleen bought cigarettes.  She bought me the
same brand Jaimee was smoking, Newport 100s, and she bought a pack of Marlboro
reds for herself.

When she got back in the car, she handed me my first pack of cigarettes.  It
felt incredible just to hold them in my hand.  They were, in a word, MINE!
That meant I could smoke as often or as little as I wanted, provided I didn't
smoke them all before I could see Colleen again.

"You realize what this means," Colleen said to me.  "You're going to have to
visit me every weekend so I can buy you more cigarettes."

I laughed, but  I agreed.  I still didn't want to admit that I was a smoker,
and until I began telling you my story, I had never even said the words, "I
smoke".

I smoked the entire pack of Newport 100s while I was at Colleen's that
weekend.  Jaimee spent the night Saturday night, and we smoked a little more
pot, as well.

It was certainly one of the most eye opening weekends that I'd ever had.  I
had no idea that the weeks to follow would lead to more interesting
revelations.

After a month of visiting Colleen on the weekends, I was really beginning to
look forward to being able to smoke.  

Sure, I would smoke a few cigarettes each day during the week, but with the
short leash that my parents kept on me, it was hard to find opportunities to
smoke.

One weekend, about six weeks after I'd started smoking, my mother began to act
very peculiar about me going to visit Colleen.

"You sure are spending a lot of time over there," she said to me one Thursday
night while my father was working late at the hospital.  "Is everything
alright?"

I didn't know what to say.

"Yeah, Mom," I started.  "Everything's fine.  Why do you ask?"

"Well," she said.  "You didn't visit her for a full year, and now you're going
over there every weekend, that's all."

I tried my best to sound genuine, and not let her know that anything had
changed between Colleen and I.

"Well," I started.  I hadn't seen her in a long time, and now I realize how
much time we'd been missing out on, that's all."

"Oh, alright," she said.  "You know, I sorta miss having you around the house
on the weekends while your father is at his conferences."

My father was hardly at a conference every weekend.  Occasionally, however, he
would have to go out of town for a week or so, which meant my mother was left
home alone.

"He's going to Miami this week," she said.  "Do you think Colleen would mind
if I spent the weekend with my two favorite girls?"

She never stopped using the "two favorite girls" line, no matter how many
times we told her we were her only children.

This was no time for me to worry about the words she had chosen, though.  She
wanted to come with me to Colleen's house, which meant that neither of us
would be able to smoke all weekend.

"I can call her and ask," I said.

"Nonsense," my mother replied.  "She always says, `What's mine is yours'.  I'm
sure she won't care if I come along.  Let's surprise her."

"Alright," I said, terrified at what was going to happen.

There was no time for me to call Colleen and warn her.  All hell was going to
break loose when my mother and I showed up on her doorstep.

The next day, my mother picked me up after school, which meant I had to
daringly bring my cigarettes with me to school, and hope  no one found them.
I was lucky, as no one did.  But I wanted to smoke one more than ever.
Usually, I could sneak one on the walk home, and no one ever caught me.
Tonight was different, and I couldn't smoke.  I was going nuts.

We arrived at Colleen's apartment, and walked up to the door.  Mom rang the
doorbell, and Colleen came to the door.  I could see the terror in her face
once again.

"Mom!"  she exclaimed.  "Hi!  What a surprise!"

Colleen glared at me as if I could have done something to prevent this from
happening.  I shrugged, indicating to my sister that there was nothing I could
have done.

"Come on in," Colleen said, backing away from the door.  "Don't mind the mess.
I had a few friends over last night and they really made a mess of the place."

"It's not that bad," my mother said.  "You let them smoke in here?"

"Yeah," Colleen lied.  "I try to make them go outside, but it's much easier
just letting them stay in."

My pulse began to beat out of my chest.  I thought for sure that Colleen was
going to get busted.  I had no idea that I was dealing with a real pro.

"Want help cleaning up?" Mom asked.

"Nah," said Colleen.  "I'll get it later."

My mother offered to take us out to dinner, which we accepted.  Of course, we
had to sit in the non-smoking section, which drove both Colleen and I wild
with anxiety.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore, and I could tell that Colleen was at the
brink of snapping herself.

"I've got to go to the ladies' room," I announced politely.  "Anyone else have
to go?"

Colleen knew what I was doing, and eagerly agreed to join me.

As soon as we got out of mom's line of sight, we snuck out the door and I
shoved my hand into my purse.

"I can't believe you brought her here," Colleen said.  "We're so going to get
busted!"

"It wasn't my idea," I defended.  "You know how she is."

I put a Newport between my lips and flicked my lighter.  Pulling the thick,
minty smoke into my lungs, I realized that Colleen hadn't lit her own
cigarette.  She hadn't even taken one out of her purse.  Where was her purse?

"Can I have one of yours?" she asked me.

"I thought you didn't like menthol?" I questioned.

"I don't, but I don't fucking care at this point," Colleen said.

I passed her my pack and she put one in her lips.  She flicked my lighter and
lit the tip of her cigarette.  The look on her face indicated that she felt
the same sense of relief as I.

We finished our cigarettes, and snuck back into the restaurant's bathroom.
Washing our hands and faces thoroughly to conceal any trace of smoke, we felt
confident we'd done just that, and headed back to our table.

My mother looked pissed.

"Colleen," she said.  "When did you start smoking?"

"What?" Colleen asked.  "What are you talking about?"

My mother moved her napkin and revealed a pack of Marlboro reds and a lighter
sitting on the table.  They were Colleen's cigarettes.

"I was going to stick money in your wallet, and I found these in your purse,"
she said.  "When did you start smoking?"

"Mom," Colleen began.  "I don't smoke all the time.  I mean, sometimes if I'm
out with friends or something, I'll have a cigarette if I'm drinking.  It's a
social thing, but that's it."

"Oh really," Mom started.  "So you drink, too?"

"Mom, I'm at college.  Of course I drink occasionally," Colleen said.  "But
it's really no big deal."

"It is a big deal," my Mom defended.  "And do you know how I know it's a big
deal?"

"No," Colleen said sadly.

"Because when I was in college," Mom started.  "I used to smoke socially too.
I had never smoked in my life until I went to school.  Then when I got there,
I tried a cigarette, and it wasn't bad.  So I tried another one.  Before I
knew what hit me, I was  a social smoker.  Then I graduated, and the social
activities stopped.  But I couldn't stop smoking.  Then I met your father, who
was finishing medical school, and he convinced me that the health risks were
enough to quit.  I haven't smoked in twenty-five years, and every day I'm
thankful that I quit."

"You used to smoke?" I asked, shocked at my mother's revelations.

"Yes, I did," she said.

"I never knew you smoked," Colleen added.

"That's because I didn't want you two to get any ideas in your head," she
replied.  "I intentionally kept things from you to prevent this from
happening."

Colleen was at a loss for words, as was I.  My mother paid the bill and we
headed outside.

"Don't you want a cigarette?" my mother asked Colleen, extending the pack to
her.

"No way," I thought.  "She's not going to let her smoke."

"No thank you," Colleen said.  "I'm fine."

"Smoke one," my mother demanded.  It was as if she felt the way I did the
first time I'd seen Colleen smoke.  She had to see it for herself.

Colleen politely declined again.

"Well if you're not going to," my mother said, opening the pack and sliding
out a cork-tipped cigarette.

"Mom, you're not going to smoke that thing, are you?" I asked, unbelievably.

"Well someone has to," she said.  "This is a social gathering isn't it?"

I realized that her intention was to point out the ridiculousness of "social
smoking".  There were very few times that we were alone, so that we could
smoke constantly and be considered social smokers.

Colleen and I stood there looking at each other when we heard the flick of a
lighter.  Glancing towards my mother, I noticed that she had the cigarette in
her mouth, and was pulling the smoke into her mouth as the tip glowed
brightly.

"Mom!" Colleen said.  "I'll smoke it, okay?  Give me the damned thing!"

My mom passed Colleen the cigarette, and Colleen nervously brought it to her
lips.  I couldn't believe that Colleen was smoking a cigarette as she stood in
front of our mother.  I was in shock, but I was also jealous.

"You seem to enjoy it," Mom said.

"Mom, I'm sorry," Colleen began.  "But I do."

"And I suppose you want me to keep this from your father?" my Mom asked.

"Can you?" pleaded Colleen.

"If that's how you would like to handle this, then that's how we'll handle
it," my mother said. 

We were both surprised at how gracious our mother was being, but we didn't
question it.  I secretly wondered if she would be as understanding when she
learned that I had started smoking , too.  

Colleen finished her cigarette, and took advantage of the slight breeze to
ensure that the smoke blew directly into my face, filling me with an
incredible sense of jealousy.  I actually thought that if I inhaled at exactly
the right time, it would help satisfy my cravings, which it didn't.  If
anything, it made them so much worse.

We climbed back into Colleen's car, and returned to her apartment.  

"I know what we can do," my mother announced.  "Let's have a `girls' night
out' sort of thing.  You guys are getting older, I might as well treat you as
the young adults that you are becoming, right?"

The idea sounded great.  

"Can I make some drinks?" Colleen asked.

"Well," my Mom started.  "Normally, I would say that it wouldn't be
appropriate for me to allow either of you to drink, because you're both
underage.  However, I have to respect that you're both getting older, and it's
only natural to experiment, so as long as you guys can keep it under control,
and as long as you don't tell anyone, then I suppose it will be fine."

I was ecstatic.  I was going to drink with my mother.  It felt weird.  I hoped
that I wouldn't want a cigarette too awful badly, because if that happened,
I'd have to sneak into the bathroom to smoke, and that's not something I
really wanted to do.

But of course, I was wrong.  A cigarette seemed natural with alcohol.  It was
almost as though the cigarette was an extension of the drink itself.

After an hour of drinking Colleen's incredible mudslides, I politely excused
myself, hoping that Colleen would be the only one who knew why I was
disappearing.

I headed into the bathroom, and stopped by Colleen's bedroom to steal a pack
of cigarettes from her.  I knew she wouldn't mind, but I scrawled a short note
letting her know what I'd done, and that I would replace them as soon on my
next visit to her apartment.

I grabbed a lighter off her dresser, and headed for the bathroom.  Turning on
the exhaust fan, and cracking a window, I hoped that the ventilation would be
sufficient to not reveal what I was doing.

I opened the pack of Marlboros, and placed one between my lips.  Flicking the
lighter, I lit the cigarette and pulled the thick smoke into my lungs.  It had
been over twenty-four hours since my last cigarette, and it felt heavenly to
have smoke back in my lungs once more.

I decided to make it a double drag, which increased the volume of smoke in my
lungs a lot.  The tightness was there, and the nicotine went directly to my
head.

As I exhaled a tight stream of smoke, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in
the mirror.  I realized that I'd never seen myself smoking before, and really
wanted to see what I looked like.

Watching my reflection, I raised the cigarette to my mouth once more, and
wrapped my lips around the cork filter.

I was amazed at what I saw.  

The paper around my cigarette began to burn away, but the perspective I was
watching from was much different than when I'd looked down on my cigarette and
watched.

I felt as if I was watching a movie, and the person on the screen was smoking.
It hardly felt like it was me who was pulling the smoke into my mouth.

I opened my mouth and saw a ball of smoke inside.  When I inhaled, the smoke
disappeared down my throat and into my lungs.  It looked almost as amazing as
it felt.

I smoked the cigarette in the bathroom faster than I'd ever smoked before,
primarily because it had been so long since my last, but also because I didn't
want it to seem I was gone for too long.

I tossed the cigarette into the toilet, and flushed.  A quick scan of the
cabinet hanging behind the toilet revealed a bottle of perfume that I sprayed
generously on myself to mask as much of the smell as I could.

Confident that my smoking had been completely concealed, I headed back out
into the living room.  As soon as I opened the bathroom door, I smelled smoke.

"That can't be me," I thought to myself.  I gave myself a quick sniff to see
if it was me who smelled like smoke.  It wasn't.  I smelled like Lilac.

Coming around the corner into the living room, I saw something that absolutely
astounded me.  Sitting on the sofa, I saw my sister with a drink in her left
hand.  Seated on the sofa next to her was my mother, who was passing a
cigarette back to Colleen.

Before they realized I could see them, I saw my mother exhale a stream of
smoke straight up, into the air.  My mother had taken a puff from Colleen's
cigarette.

"Mom!" I said surprisingly.  "Are you smoking?"

My mother didn't know what to say.  Due to our level of drunkenness, we all
were thinking a little more slowly than we normally would have been.

"Oh relax," my mother said to me.  "I just took one puff."

I said nothing.

"Or two," she continued.

I decided to keep my silence to see how long she would continue increasing the
number of drags she'd taken.

"But maybe three," she laughed.  "Okay, I'm smoking.  What's wrong with that?"

"But you don't smoke!" I declared.

"I am tonight," she said.

"Does that mean I can stop sharing mine?" Colleen asked my mother.

"Yeah, I guess it does," my mom replied, taking a cigarette out of the pack
and placing it in her lips.  "Thanks, hun."

She took the half smoked Marlboro from Colleen and pressed it to the tip of
her own cigarette, puffing on it rapidly to ensure it was lit.

Even though I had just smoked, the jealousy I was feeling began to intensify.
I hated that my sister was smoking with our mother, and I was not.  I could
already tell that they were enjoying the closeness that I recently learned
smoking could bring.

I decided that the only weapon in my arsenal was guilt.  

"I guess I'm going to go to bed," I announced.

"Why?" my mother asked.

"Well, for starters, I'm getting sleepy," I said nervously.  "And second, I'm
the `odd man out'."

"What do you mean?" Mom asked.

"You guys are both smoking, and I know that I can't smoke, so I might as well
go to sleep," I said, trying to sound as sad as I could without being overly
obvious.

"We won't smoke around you," Colleen said.  I tried my best to not laugh at
her statement.  She knew very well what I was trying to accomplish.

"No," I said.  "It's fine.  If you guys want to smoke, you can, I just feel
left out, that's all."

"Aww," Colleen said.  "Is it bothering you that much?"

Part of me wanted to slap her, and part of me wanted to thank her.  She was
leading the conversation directly where I wanted it to go.

"Sort of," I said, again trying to sound sad.

"We don't have to smoke," my Mom said.

"Or," started Colleen, turning her attention to my mother.  "We could teach
her."

My mother damn near choked on her inhale.  Obviously, the suggestion was
unexpected.

"Are you that drunk?" my mother asked Colleen.  "She's sixteen years old!  I
can't let her smoke!"

"Why not?" Colleen asked as I tried my best to stay out of their debate.  I
didn't want to appear too anxious to smoke.

"Because she's sixteen!" my mother repeated.  "And she's my daughter.  Can you
imagine the shit your father would say to me if he knew I gave my sixteen year
old daughter a cigarette?"

"If  he knew," Colleen said, stating the obvious defense.  "How would he
know?"

My mother was speechless.  I wondered if she was drunk enough to give it any
consideration.

"Do you even want to smoke?" she asked me.

"I don't know," I said.  "I guess I'm a little curious about it."

"Come here," my mother said.  I did as she instructed and sat beside her.

"You know, you're not fooling anyone," she said, passing me her already lit
Marlboro.

"What do you mean?" I asked, too nervous to take it.

"You've been coming over here every single weekend, and now you're asking me
if you can try smoking because you're `curious about it'?  I kept my smoking a
secret once too, you know.  You can finish mine," she said.

I was thrilled.  As I reached out and took the cigarette from her fingers, I
realized the seriousness of what I was doing.  I was about to smoke a
cigarette in front of my mother.

My hands began to tremble like they had the first time Colleen had offered me
a cigarette.

"Relax," Mom said.  "It's not like you haven't done this before!"

I nervously brought the filter of the cigarette to my mouth, and wrapped my
lips tightly around it, as I had done so many times in the past month and a
half.

The tip of the cigarette began to glow brightly as I pulled as much smoke as I
possibly could into my nervous mouth.

Removing the filter, I opened my mouth and inhaled the smoke.  It felt
amazing.  I was sharing a cigarette with my mother.  Who would have thought?

I exhaled the smoke in a tight stream towards the center of the room.  My
mother was watching me very carefully, which made me more than a little
uncomfortable.

"You're not helping my nerves any," I said, taking another drag.

"Sorry," my Mom replied.  "I just can't get over the fact that you're smoking,
and how different you look when you do it!"

"Thanks," I said as I inhaled another thick drag into my lungs.

"I'll be right back," my mother announced as she stood up and headed for the
bathroom.

As soon as she was out of sight, Colleen looked at me.

"Are you happy?" she asked.  "She knows you smoke now.  You don't have to hide
it!"

"Is that why you did this?" I asked.

Colleen laughed.  

"No," she said.  "This was completely unplanned, but it worked out for the
best, don't you think?"

I had to agree that everything seemed to be working out for the better.

"Do you think Mom is going to start smoking again?" I asked Colleen.

"No doubt," she replied.  "But I've got an idea that might just make tonight a
little more interesting."

"What do you mean?" I questioned.

"You wait here," Colleen said.  "I'll be right back."

Colleen disappeared into her room, and came back out just moments before my
mother emerged from the bathroom.

"Mom," Colleen started.  "You used to smoke when you were a kid?" 

"Yeah," my mom admitted.  "It's been ages."

"What kind did you used to smoke?" Colleen asked her.  

I wondered where this questioning was leading.

"I wasn't really true to one particular brand," my Mom said.  "I preferred
Marlboros, like you guys, but once in a while I would smoke a non-filter, just
for some variety."

"Have you ever smoked a menthol?" Colleen asked.

It became obvious what she was getting at.

"No, never," said my mom as I stubbed out the cigarette we'd been sharing.

"Want to try one of Shannon's?" she asked.

I was terrified.  In one sentence, she had not only told my mom that I smoked
more than I'd let on, but that I had smoked enough to have a brand preference,
and also that I kept my own packs.

"You have your own?" she asked, looking at me.

"Yeah," I said.

"Can I have one?" she asked.

I said nothing as I reached into my purse, which fortunately was nearby, and
pulled out a Newport 100.  I handed it to my mother, who put it between her
lips.

"I have to say," she said as she lit the tip of her cigarette.  "Not only does
it feel great to be smoking again, but it feels great to be smoking with you
guys.  I never would have imagined that I'd enjoy that part of this."

She exhaled the smoke which she had been holding inside her lungs as she'd
been speaking.

"These aren't bad," she said with a smile.  "I think I still like Marlboro's
better."

"Mom," Colleen asked with a grin.  "How long has it been since you've smoked a
non-filter?"

"Holy shit," I thought.  "She's going to try to get my mom stoned.  Is she out
of her mind?"

"I haven't smoked one of those since probably my sophomore year of college,
why?" Mom asked.

"Well," said Colleen.  "Like you, I occasionally like some variety, so
sometimes I roll my own.  Want to try one of those next?"

She held a joint between her fingers, as if to tease my mother with it.  I
couldn't believe what she was doing.  She was surely more drunk than I'd
realized.

"Sure," said my mom with a smile.  "In fact, how about we smoke that one now?" 

She passed me back her half smoked Newport.  I took a huge double drag to calm
my nerves.

"Alright," said Colleen.  "Can Shannon have some of that one too?" 

"If she wants some," Mom replied.

Colleen put the joint between her lips and flicked the lighter.  When it was
lit, she inhaled the smoke as deeply as she could.  I figured this was so that
my mother wouldn't notice the smell.

She passed the joint to my mother, who took it eagerly.

You can imagine my surprise as my mother brought the twisted tip of the joint
to her own lips and took a huge hit!  She opened her mouth and inhaled the
smoke, passing the joint to me.

"Colleen," my mother said, holding the smoke inside her.  "Do you guys really
think I'm stupid?"

I froze in my tracks, just moments before taking a hit.

"What do you mean Mom?" Colleen asked.

"I know what this is," she said, exhaling a cloud of smoke.  "It's not just
some cigarette you rolled, is it?  You just gave me pot."

Colleen was petrified.  How did our mother know what Colleen had done?

"Mom, I-" Colleen said.

"Relax," my mother said.  "I'm an art teacher.  Do you honestly think that an
art major in the 1960s can not know what weed tastes like?"

"You used to get high?" I asked.

"This, even more than the cigarette thing," my mother started.  "Can NEVER
leave this room, understood?"

Colleen and I both shook our heads.

"Before you begin," I said.  "Can I take a hit off this thing?"

My mother smiled.

"Oh what the fuck?" she said.  We'd never heard her use that kind of language
before.

I brought the joint to my lips and took a huge hit.  Inhaling the smoke, I
passed the joint to Colleen, who took another hit as my mother continued her
story.

"I used to do a lot of things that neither of you, or your father for that
matter, know about," she said.

"Like what?" asked Colleen who was holding her hit in her lungs.

"Well, I smoked cigarettes, I got high once in a while, and I did some other
stuff," my mother admitted as she took another hit.

"What kind of other things?" I asked.

"The specifics don't really matter," my mother said.  "Because I don't do them
anymore.  But I will say this.  The things I experimented with are still
illegal, and very dangerous.  I'd rather you guys don't do them at all, but
you've got to make your own decisions.  If you want to smoke a joint once in a
while, that's up to you, because I know as well as anyone that it's
essentially harmless, plus maybe I'll join you once in a blue moon.
Cigarettes are also up to you.  But if you're going to experiment with
anything else, and I mean anything, I want you to know that I don't
necessarily approve, but I understand your curiosity.  And if you get
arrested, this conversation never happened."

We all broke out into a loud roar of laughter as my mother stubbed the joint
out in the ashtray.

We had just gotten high with our mother.  Was this the best weekend or
what?!?!?

"Another cigarette?" my mother asked us both.

"Sure," said Colleen.

"Are you going to keep smoking, Mom?" I asked as I lit my Newport 100.

"I think I might, but you can't tell your father," she replied, lighting her
Marlboro and passing the lighter to Colleen, who eagerly leaned into the
flame.

We each smoked three more cigarettes that night.  The following evening,
Colleen invited Jaimee over, and absolutely astounded her with the fact that
we could smoke with my mother.  

Jaimee was a little nervous at first, but she opened up considerably once we
got a few drinks in her.  You should have seen the look on her face when she
found out that the four of us were going to smoke a bowl.

This time, my mother seemed very eager to get stoned, and it showed.  We
smoked three bowls that second night, and I was stoned to levels I didn't know
existed.

After we were all sufficiently stoned, we sat around the table and silently
stared into space.  That's the best part about weed-you can do something like
that and it will be one of the most entertaining things you can ever do!

Jaimee broke the silence.

"I'll be right back," she said, excusing herself and heading for the kitchen.

"Where's she going?" my Mom asked.

Colleen signaled that she didn't know, which seemed to pacify my mom.

She returned just a minute or so later, with a smile on her face.

"Christine," she began, talking to my mother.  "I'm pretty sure you haven't
done this before, and  I know that the girls haven't."

"Done what?" Colleen asked.

"I want you guys to try ecstasy with me," Jaimee said.  "I only tried it for
the first time a few nights ago, but it's fucking awesome."

Jaimee opened an envelope and pulled out a little white pill.  I wasn't sure
if this was something I wanted to do or not, so I decided to leave it up to
the majority vote.

"Mom," Colleen began.  "Can I?"

As if my mother was going to say yes.

"What I don't see, I don't know," my mother replied, turning her back.

That left me.

Jaimee dropped one of the little white tablets into my hands, and I just
stared at it.  This was bigger than weed.

"Swallow it," Colleen said.  "I'm already beginning to feel it."

I put the pill in my mouth and took a huge sip of my beer.

"Well if everyone is going to do it," my mother said.  "Give me one."

Jaimee handed my mother a small tablet similar to ours, and my mother
swallowed it immediately.

Within minutes, my perspective of the room was unlike anything I'd ever
experienced before.  To this day, nearly two years later, I can't describe the
sensation that taking `e' gives me.

In the two years that have passed since that weekend, my mother has continued
to smoke cigarettes as often as she could get away with.  We still sneak over
to my sister's apartment about once a month to get high, and as soon as I
graduated high school, I moved into the apartment.  Jaimee had already moved
in.

What surprised me the most was when I found out that Jaimee is bisexual, and
the reason she is over at my sister's apartment so often is because she and my
sister are in the middle of a very secret relationship.  My sister had never
been attracted to women before, and Jaimee was her first girlfriend.

One night about a week ago, we were all stoned out of our mind, and Jaimee and
Colleen were in their room.  I couldn't stand the noises that were coming out,
not because they were keeping me awake, which they were, but because it was
making me incredibly wet.

I took a hit of `e', hoping to masturbate until I came, then fall asleep.
That didn't happen.  Before I knew what hit me, I was sticking my head in the
door of their room, watching Jaimee make love to my sister.

Now, I've always been into guys.  There has never been any doubt at all about
my sexuality.  And I've never had any interest in any woman, let alone my
sister.  

But there was something about watching the two of them go at it that drove me
wild.  Maybe it was the ecstasy, I don't know.

Before I knew what hit me, I found myself strutting across the room, trying to
look as sexy as possible, and grabbing Jaimee from behind.

I turned her around as she sat in the nude atop my naked sister, with a double
ended dildo between them, and kissed her.

Apparently, seeing this made Colleen just about burst, because she began
gyrating against Jaimee's hips at a rhythm I didn't know possible.

Before I could tell anyone what I did or did not want to do, I found myself
face down in Jaimee's pussy, with my sister eating away at my own.  The
feeling was incredible.

I come from a very upper class family, from a very traditional suburban town.
We're not your typical hick family who comes from a long line of incest.

This happened once, and I still don't know if it's something that turns me on
or turns my stomach.  I guess I was sorta hoping that since I shared the story
with you guys, you would tell me what I should do.

I enjoyed being with Jaimee, but I know that she's my sister's girlfriend, and
I don't want to ruin that for her, especially after all she has done for me.


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