A Mother And Her Twins, Part 3

(by kalithanatos, 26 October 2008)


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A Mother and Her Twins

CHAPTER 3

Beth had noticed that Kate had started going out a lot more in the evenings
shortly after her sixteenth birthday, and that when she returned she
sometimes appeared to smell of smoke. At first, Beth had ignored it; after
all, Kate was a young outgoing woman now, and it was inevitable that some of
her friends would start smoking. Beth even called her on it one day, and
asked her if one of her friends was smoking. Kate denied it, and said she
didn't know why her clothes smelled. Indeed, after that day, Kate did not
smell when she came home, and Beth started to wonder if she had imagined it
all in the first place.

Then she found the cigarettes.

It was purely by chance; Beth had ordered herself a Chinese take-away meal
and the girls were both visiting their father (they still kept in touch, and
custody was never an issue in the divorce). Beth realised after she got off
the telephone that she did not have any cash to pay for the meal, and it was
raining heavily outside. In a fluster, she checked everywhere before deciding
to check the girls' rooms. First she tried Anne's room, and then Beth's, to
see if they had any loose money lying around. Neither of them had any obvious
cash on their desks, but Beth noticed one of Kate's handbags lying half under
her bed. Wondering if their might be spare cash in there, Beth shook the bag
and heard some coins rattle around. Doing something she would not normally
have done, but desperate as the food was on its way, Beth decided to look
inside the handbag for some money. She found Kate's purse okay, but just
underneath her make-up bag, she saw what looked like a green cigarette
packet. Figuring she must be mistaken, she lifted the make-up out of the bag
and was stunned to see a pack of Richmond Superkings Menthol cigarettes and a
lighter! Not knowing what to do, she quickly repacked the bag to give herself
time to compose her thoughts. She decided not to use the money in Kate's
purse, and instead phoned the Chinese restaurant and explained the situation.
The cashier understood and told her she could pop in tomorrow and pay the
amount owed. Beth thanked the cashier and waited for her meal to arrive.
While she ate, she went over her discovery in her head. Could the cigarettes
be Kate's? Had she started smoking? What about Anne? Did she know, and was
she smoking too? How would Beth handle the situation? Soon it all became too
much to think about, and she decided to sleep on it.

The next day was a Sunday, and the twins arrived home in the early afternoon
from their father's. Beth had decided not to say anything, rather wait until
an opportunity presented itself where she could catch one or both of the
twins in the act of smoking.

The day passed as normal, then at around 7 pm, Kate announced she was going
over to her friend Clare's house to study. Anne was in her room (as usual),
and Beth made a spur of the moment decision to follow Kate and see where it
led. As soon as Kate had left the house, Beth grabbed her coat and snuck out
behind her. It was dark outside, and Beth had no problem sticking to the
shadows. Kate was not expecting her mother to be following her anyway, and
made no attempt to hide where she was going. In fact, where she was headed
was a very familiar route to Beth...


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