Amy's Story: Out of Nowhere and into the Closet

(by Smokewriter, 02 May 2006)


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Amy's Story: Out of Nowhere and into the Closet
By Smokewriter

Amy was in her early twenties, had finished college a couple of years ago and
had bounced around a few different jobs before finding new job as a fund
accountant that she really enjoyed.  Amy was a natural beauty, her long
straight red hair framed a beautiful face with flawless skin save for a light
sprinkling of freckles across her high cheekbones.  Her body was toned and
lean from the hours she spent every week jogging and on the tennis court, yet
remained feminine and curvaceous.  Despite her beauty Amy was always
something of a tomboy and in high school preferred to play soccer rather than
join the cheerleading team and she maintained her interest in sports into her
adult life.  Her mother, Valerie, still got on her case for going to school
more recognized for its Division 1-A athletic programs rather than some of
the more academically noted schools she had received offers from.  In fact
Valerie probably still had her acceptance letter to Stanford stored somewhere
safe.  Her new job was close enough to her home that she could stay there but
she wanted to maintain her independence and so had just moved into a new
apartment on the outskirts of town with her best friend Emma. 

Amy was beginning to feel happy with the direction her life was going with
her new job in fund accounting and she had settled into her new workplace
quickly.  Her one small problem was that most of the girls in the team she
worked on were smokers.  Despite being a sports fanatic Amy had nothing
against smokers, it was just that smoking had never fit in with her active
lifestyle.  While she was friendly with her colleagues, they seemed to share
a closer bond and often stopped work to go out the back to a share a smoke
and conversation.  Yet in life very little remains constant, certain moments
and thoughts, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can determine how the
rest of our lives are played out, as Amy was about to discover '.

'Bye Amy, don't be working too late,' Amy's boss Marissa said as she grabbed
her car keys and coat.  It was six o'clock on a Friday and everyone else in
the office had long since left to begin their weekend.  Amy and Marissa were
busy all day on a project of their own and Amy had to stay a little while
longer to tie up some loose ends.  The redhead didn't mind the overtime too
much.  It wasn't as if she had any great plans for her Friday evening in any
event, a glass of wine, popcorn and whatever chick flick Emma had rented were
all that was waiting for her when she left work.

Almost an hour had passed while she had been working on her own and Amy was
making little headway with her work after repeatedly making silly mistakes
due to tiredness.  'I need a break,' she sighed out loud as she stretched.

It was at precisely that moment that something caught her eye.  Marissa had
left her cigarettes and lighter behind on the desk right next to Amy, and for
some reason the gold and white box of her supervisor's Marlboro Lights 100's
captured her attention.  Amy couldn't explain what drove her to tentatively
flip the top to reveal the fifteen or so class A cigarettes held within.

'I could take one now and no one would ever know,' the thought suddenly
popped into her head.  But almost as soon as it appeared Amy wrote it off as
a result of overworking and tiredness and got up to make herself some coffee.
Once the coffee was brewed though, Amy again noticed the pack of cigarettes
as she made her way back to her desk.   She remembered how the other girls
always talked about how much better they were able to concentrate after a
cigarette.  As she stared at the pack of Marlboro Lights it was almost as if
they were taunting her, that whenever she had been faced with a choice like
this in life she had always taken the safe option, the /right/ option.  Even
her friends regarded her as something of a goody two shoes. 

Her thoughts racing, eventually Amy could take it no longer, she knew she'd
never get an opportunity like this again and if she didn't take it, it would
bother her every time she saw Marissa and the other girls at work take their
smoke breaks.

'Okay then, let's just see what exactly I'm missing,' Amy said to herself as
she carefully extracted one of the long all white cigarettes.  It felt
lighter than she imagined it would be, and feeling like a child doing
something she knew to be wrong Amy made her way down the back stairs of the
first floor office.  It was late February and though the brightness of spring
was beginning to set in, dusk had already faded into darkness leaving a dim
streetlight ten feet away the only illumination. 

Despite the fact that there was no chance of her being spotted Amy's heart
was beating much faster than normal and her hands trembled slightly as she
brought the unlit cigarette up to her mouth.  The strange object clenched
between her delicate lips Amy thumbed the wheel on the disposable lighter
Marissa had left behind and produced a flame without difficulty.  As the
flame was brought carefully to the tip of her Marlboro Amy sucked lightly on
the cigarette, and feeling her mouth fill with smoke Amy quickly blew out the
strange substance.  The cold evening amplified the size of her exhale though
it was still nowhere near the volume her new friends produced.  Amy found the
smell to be not too bad at all; certainly it was better than her previous
experiences with second hand smoke.

'Okay now, time to do this for real,' Amy thought as she raised the cigarette
to her lips once more, this time breathing the smoke down into her lungs
after sipping tentatively on the cigarette.  The small amount of smoke
traveled into her virgin lungs where it was soon absorbed into her
bloodstream.  There was a small tingle in her chest and Amy had a tiny urge
to cough but it nothing like as severe as she had expected and she was able
to confidently control her first proper exhale. 

'Wow, that was a bit different,' Amy thought as she subtly shifted the
cigarette in her hand feeling a little self conscious.  She wasn't quite sure
what to make of the experience, the smoke certainly didn't taste as bad as it
smelled and somehow the taste seemed to go well with the coffee she had
brought down with her.  While not exactly enjoying the Marlboro Light Amy
certainly didn't find it disgusting.  She managed to smoke the cigarette in
the same manner until it was about halfway finished when the infusion of
nicotine into her system caused her to feel a little queasy.

Amy stubbed the remainder of the cigarette out underfoot and emptied her
lungs of any remaining smoke as she made her way back inside.  She almost
stumbled up the stairs as the effects of her first cigarette made her dizzy.
Unlike being drunk however Amy felt no loss of control or a reduction in her
mental capacities.  By the time she was seated back at her desk the feeling
had passed and she felt fine again.  In fact, Amy felt better than fine.  She
had been so preoccupied with smoking the cigarette she had gotten rid of the
mental clutter she had been suffering from.  Within twenty minutes she had
all she needed to do finished and left the office for the weekend. 

At the time Amy believed she had satisfied her curiosity about smoking, she
even sort of understood how so many of her new colleagues partook of such a
dangerous habit.  Despite this Amy pretty much resolved to put the experience
behind her and get on with her life.

The weekend passed as normal for Amy.  She enjoyed her girls night in with
Emma watching Pride and Prejudice, she got up early Saturday morning for her
normal five mile run, and stayed in Saturday night despite offers from Emma
and her college friends and Marissa and her work friends as she was playing
in the quarter finals of her local club's tennis tournament the next day.
The early night helped her to an easy straight sets win over her opponent.

The following week also went by pretty much stress free and without incident.
Amy had almost completely forgotten about her fleeting experience with
smoking.  The next week, however, was a different story completely and on
Monday Amy found herself yet again working late with only Marissa for
company.  Amy was struggling to reconcile two items and was feeling burnt
out.  Marissa who had just returned from a smoke break came over to show her
how she had done the same calculation in the past.  As she leaned over Amy's
shoulder, Amy noticed the fresh smell of smoke on her breath.  Surprisingly
for Amy she didn't find the smell disgusting in the slightest and it
reawakened memories of the cigarette she had smoked herself.  On the way home
from work later Amy had to stop to fill her car with gas.  The station's shop
was pretty much deserted when Amy got there, just a single disinterested
looking woman was stationed behind the counter.  As Amy approached the
checkout she noticed the rows upon rows of cigarette brands behind the lady
at the counter and when she handed over the money to pay for the gas she
impulsively blurted out, 'and a pack of Marlboro Lights too please.'

Without batting an eyelid the woman placed the pack on the counter and rang
up the order.  Amy couldn't believe it, it was almost as if the woman had
done this a million times, which was silly because, of course, she had.  Amy
was so stunned that she had worked up the nerve to buy cigarettes she almost
forgot to purchase a lighter as well, and feeling sheepish had to go back to
purchase a disposable lighter.  

The rest of her short trip to her apartment was made with a budding
anticipation of smoking one of her very own cigarettes - then she remembered
that Emma would be in the apartment expecting her.  'Oh well, I can always
make up some bullshit excuse to get out of the place later if I have to,' she
thought.

However when Amy got home Emma was nowhere to be seen and there was a note
left on the refrigerator door '" 'Hi Amy, have a hot date with Brad tonight.
Don't wait up!'

Amy felt relieved as by this time she was determined to go through with her
decision to smoke another cigarette.  Amy made herself a cup of tea,
remembering that a beverage made her last cigarette go down easier and made
her way out to the small balcony at the back of the 2^nd floor apartment.
The area was big enough for two comfy chairs and she flopped down on one of
them pulling her cigarettes and lighter out of her pocket.  Being pretty high
up she was safe from anyone below seeing her but she was still a little
afraid of her neighbors possibly catching her, but she hadn't moved in that
long and they had no idea whether she smoked or not.  More confidently this
time, Amy lit herself up and began smoking thoughtfully taking small but
measured inhales.  She found herself enjoying the Marlboro more this time and
enjoyed playing with the smoke as she exhaled.  This time she was able to
smoke it almost to the filter before getting the light-headed feeling of the
previous time.  Amy felt guilty as she dropped the butt onto the deserted
side road below but she didn't have anywhere else to put it and she risked
Emma discovering her new found hobby if she put it in the kitchen bin.
Returning indoors she felt relaxed and refreshed as she turned on the TV to
catch the latest episode of Lost, and thought to herself that a cigarette was
a good way to end the working day. 

After Lost finished Amy made herself a small stir fry for supper and ate it
while flicking through the channels not watching anything in particular.  By
the time it was time to shower and retire for the night it occurred to her
that there was nothing stopping her from enjoying a last cigarette before bed
time.  There was still no sign of Emma returning as Amy made her way back out
to the balcony.  Again Amy managed to smoke the entire cigarette, inhaling
every drag, and surprised herself at how much she was enjoying the
experience.  Smoking was completely different from how she imagined yet
somehow intoxicatingly good.

'Maybe I'm enjoying these things too much,' she thought to herself, 'but I've
bought an entire pack so I might as well continue to smoke them until they're
gone.'  Amy reminded herself that there wasn't any danger she'd get
physically addicted after smoking only one pack. 

Before she retired to her bedroom that night Amy showered and brushed her
teeth thoroughly to get rid of any smoky odor and was fast asleep before her
roommate came back from her date. 

Amy continued her smoking experiment that week, smoking a single cigarette
each night Tuesday through Thursday.  She make excuses to go to the store so
that she could smoke on the way, though still a little self conscious of
smoking in public the way to the local store was pretty quiet so she rarely
passed anyone.  She also started carrying gum with her to hide the smell on
her breath.  In addition to this Amy also managed to maintain her fitness
regime, going to the gym on Tuesday and Wednesday, and going for a light jog
on Thursday.

Friday was another stressful day at work which resulted in Marissa, Lisa and
Karen taking even more smoke breaks than usual.  By the time Amy came home
she was ready for a cigarette of her own, but Emma was waiting for her as she
came in.

'C'mon Amy you're late!  Don't tell me you forgot about the girl's night!'
her best friend enthused.

Amy groaned inwardly, she had completely forgotten about it.  A group of
their former college friends were meeting up in a popular bar in the centre
of town, and having blown them off last weekend Amy felt obliged to go.
Despite not really feeling in the party mood she gave Emma her best smile,
'Just give me five minutes to get ready.'

A half hour later the girls were seated in a cozy corner of a disco bar
called Fusion.  The conversation was lively with each of them talking about
their new jobs and their love lives.  Emma delighted in giving the entire
grotesque details of her date with Brad, who was by all accounts a very
impressive man.  Amy got some mild ribbing for still being a singleton when
as Emma put it, 'You could take your pick of any man in this place and have
them following you around like a lovesick puppy.' Amy simply blushed at the
compliment, her slightly shy nature made connecting with guys in a
meat-market like a bar or club extremely difficult for her.  She had met all
her past boyfriends through school or college and hadn't yet met anyone at
work that caught her eye.

Once at the bar Amy rarely thought about smoking, as only one of their group,
Julia, was a smoker.  But as the night wore on a little, the alcohol took its
effect and she felt a little jealous of Julia who took frequent trips to the
smoking area out the back of the club to indulge in her addiction.

At about eleven thirty most of the girls, including Emma, had decided to move
on to a nightclub and party into the wee hours.  Amy opted out claiming that
she wanted to be fresh for her semi-final match in the tennis tournament on
Sunday.  She shared a taxi with a couple of others who had to work the next
day.  After she was dropped off at her apartment and waved goodbye to her
friends in the taxi, Amy who was pleasantly buzzed but not yet drunk felt the
urge to smoke again.  Taking her Marlboro Lights from their hiding place in
her underwear draw she made her way out to the balcony with a glass of white
wine she poured from a half empty bottle of Emma's.  The alcohol she consumed
had loosened her inhibitions so that she was taking deeper drags and holding
the smoke in her lungs longer, in her slightly drunken state she really
enjoyed the calming effect of the nicotine and the way it added to the
pleasant buzz from the wine.  Finishing the cigarette and her drink at the
same time Amy stumbled into her bedroom, hid her cigarettes and was
unconscious before her head hit the pillow. 

She awoke later than usual on Saturday with a mild hangover, but went ahead
with her usual weekend jog to get her sharpness back before her match the
next day.  Amy didn't touch her cigarettes either in preparation for the
match as she was more concerned about her next opponent who had given her a
tough match some weeks ago in a practice game.  Again Amy had an early night
while Emma had another date with Brad.

Amy's fears about the match on Sunday proved unfounded as she again came out
victorious in straight sets.  After visiting, and enjoying a meal with her
parents and her younger sister who had gone to see her play she decided to
reward herself with a cigarette when she returned to the apartment.  Emma
wasn't there but while she was smoking out on the balcony the woman who lived
in the apartment next to her happened to come out onto her balcony and saw
her.

'Oh hello,' the woman waved over to her, 'nice to finally meet the neighbors.
I'm Susan.'

'Hi,' Amy replied feeling self-conscious holding the cigarette, 'Nice to meet
you too.  I'm Amy.'

Susan was in her mid thirties but could have passed for someone in her late
twenties as she still retained her slim figure and had an attractive face
with long chestnut brown hair and playful green eyes.  The pair enjoyed a few
minutes of pleasurable conversation in which Amy found out that Susan was
married but had no children.  Amy felt brave enough to smoke periodically
throughout the conversation and was glad that Susan made no mention of her
smoking, obviously treating her as if she were a mature smoker. 

Susan returned inside after promising Amy that she and her husband Mike would
invite Amy and Emma over sometime for dinner.  Amy was glad to meet Susan and
hoped she could develop a friendship with her new neighbor.  She was also
proud she didn't look silly smoking in front of her and took a final
satisfying drag on her Marlboro before she extinguished it and went back
inside.

Later that evening Amy had another cigarette, rationalizing it by saying that
the faster she smoked them the sooner she would be finished with the smoking
phase she was going through.  The same pattern continued for Amy over the
next week, smoking a cigarette almost everyday, sometimes two if she had the
opportunity.  On Thursday she went to the cinema with Emma and couldn't get
away from her to smoke, while she didn't have any physical cravings she
definitely felt a desire to smoke when she saw other cinema-goers light up as
they left the theatre.

On the Wednesday of the next week Amy was surprised to find she only had one
cigarette left.  'Have I really smoked all those so quickly,' she thought as
she lit up what she intended to be her last ever cigarette with a little bit
of regret.  She sat on a park bench and smoked the Marlboro slowly savoring
every inhale but all too quickly it was spent and she crumpled the pack and
threw it into a nearby bin along with her lighter.

While she had rather enjoyed the rebellious feeling that smoking gave her,
not to mention the act of smoking itself, Amy resolved that she wouldn't
smoke again.  After all, she had her final to look forward too and she had
noticed that her smoking led to a slight decrease in her stamina when she
ran.  In the back of her mind Amy knew it would be too easy to fall into
nicotine addiction if she continued along the path of smoking, no matter how
few she indulged in.

In fact, so firm was she in her decision, the thought of smoking hardly even
crossed her mind for over two weeks.  She reverted back to her usual pattern,
of being quite reclusive outside of work and trained with renewed vigor.  At
work she applied herself as diligently as ever and soon picked up all the
activities her job entailed.  Amy became a favorite, among the newer
employees, of Marissa who took the eager young woman under her wing.  This
proved to be a double edged sword as Amy had often to work harder and longer
than many of her co-workers but it was worth it as she genuinely liked what
she was doing and she was on the fast track to promotion whenever it came up.

The final of the tennis tournament at the end of March was a much more
difficult affair than the previous matches.  Amy was playing the defending
champion who had won the title the previous three years.  The extra work Amy
had put in on her backhand, the weakest of her shots, combined with her
slight edge in fitness over her older opponent allowed Amy to come through a
tight three-set match.  

That night Amy celebrated with her friends and they all got pretty wasted,
first on wine in her apartment and later on vodka's and diet coke in the many
nightspots they visited.  Julia, as usual was smoking pretty regularly but
Amy was surprised to see that Brad, who by that time had become quite the
item with Emma, was also a smoker.  She noticed that he and Julia had somehow
bonded over their shared addiction, he was much friendlier with her than
everyone bar Emma, and they often went outside with each other to smoke.

Later that night Amy stepped off the dance floor with Julia, the rest of her
friends were still dancing but Amy was feeling the pace after her match.  She
and Julia almost fell onto the plush seating in a quieter corner of the
nightclub where couples went to make out.

The two girls giggled drunkenly at their own lack of coordination.

'I think I need another drink to regain my equilibrium,' Julia slurred, 'You
want something?'

'Well if it's gonna help me get off this seat somehow, I'll have whatever
your having,' Amy replied.

Swaying slightly Julia made her way to the bar leaving her handbag behind
her.  Amy couldn't help but notice the green pack of Benson & Hedges Menthols
that were in plain view within Julia's open bag.  In her drunken state she
felt an urge to smoke that she had believed was well in her past.  She
contemplated asking Julia for one of them but she wasn't ready to let her
friend know she could smoke when she had to intention of doing so in the
future.  On the other hand it occurred to Amy that she could easily take one
of her friend's cigarettes without anyone knowing.  Without thinking any
further she quickly removed a single cigarette from Julia's pack and dropped
it in her own purse.  By the time Julia returned she had no idea of what Amy
had done and the pair quickly consumed their drinks and rejoined the rest of
their friends on the dance floor.

The next day Amy didn't wake until almost noon, she had booked the day off
work but Emma had no such luck and had long since struggled off to her job as
an elementary school teacher.  Amy's head was pounding as she made her way to
the kitchen and swallowed an asprin with a glass of water as she brewed her
morning coffee.  She only had very hazy memories of the previous night after
she left the apartment.  In addition her stomach felt weak and even the
thought of food made her a little queasy.  Her bag was dumped on the kitchen
counter where she left it when she somehow staggered in the previous night.
Amy picked it up to tidy it away when she vaguely remembered something that
she had done in the nightclub. 

'No, I couldn't have done that,' Amy thought as she curiously opened her
purse.  Sure enough there was a single all white cigarette, amazingly
undamaged, held within. 

It occurred to Amy that the cigarette would go well with her coffee, as she
certainly wasn't in the mood for breakfast.  She paused over the decision
momentarily before deciding that it would be silly to waste the cigarette.
Still feeling delicate she brought her mug of coffee along with Julia's
cigarette and some matches they kept in the apartment for lighting candles,
out to her 'smoking seat' on the balcony.  It was a warm and still early
spring morning and no one was about as Amy lit up the cigarette.

The first thing she noticed was the mint taste of the smoke in her mouth as
she inhaled.  'This must be what a menthol cigarette taste like,' she said
aloud before she exhaled a long plume of smoke.  It tasted different, not
necessarily better or worse but the nicotine infusion was definitely the
same, and as good, as ever.  As it had been a while since she had smoked Amy
got an additional kick from her inhaled smoke.  Each long drag and inhale was
soothing and relaxing to her in her delicate state and Amy realized that she
had missed smoking more than she realized, much more than she realized. 

By the time she finished her cigarette Amy's hangover had diminished into a
very mild headache due to the combination of paracetamol, coffee and
cigarette.  After taking a refreshing shower she spent the rest of the day
running errands and had an expertly cooked meal ready for Emma when she got
home from work.  Not feeling up to much the pair had a pretty quiet evening
watching DVD's and television.  Though she made no mention of it to her best
friend, nor did anything about it that day, the memory of the cigarette she
had smoked that morning remained in the back of her mind making her
reevaluate her position on smoking.

The very next day Amy was again working late, catching up on things that
hadn't been done the previous day in her absence, and again Marissa was the
only other person on her floor doing overtime. 

'I guess this is what we get for being the model employees Amy,' Marissa
stated to her younger friend who was sitting right across from her. 

Amy blushed a bit at the compliment from her boss, 'Well I can't really
complain, seeing as I spent a considerable amount of time yesterday comatose
while you guys were working on the month end accounts.'

'Yeah, but if Sharon was halfway competent she would have gotten that stuff
done yesterday and you wouldn't have to stay back.  Anyway I'm going out back
for a cigarette.  See you in ten.'  Marissa took her Marlboro Lights 100's
with her leaving Amy alone in the empty office.

Amy had pretty much finished her work for the day and she tidied her desk and
put on her coat to leave, but the previous morning's smoking experience had
stayed with her and she wanted another cigarette.  She could easily have
bought another pack on the way home and again smoked them in secret but while
she was unwilling to come out of the closet with her friends and family,
people at work who didn't know her as well were a different story.  It was an
opportunity to continue experimenting with smoking in a more accepting
atmosphere.  Instead of leaving through the front door she followed Marissa's
path out the back of the building where she found Marissa facing away from
her with a burning cigarette in her hand.

Marissa smoked her cigarette gracefully, taking long slow drags and holding
the burning cylinder in a uniquely feminine manner.  Amy almost admired the
style with which her supervisor smoked as she paused momentarily to work up
the courage for what was to come. 

'Marissa '' Amy began.

Marissa almost jumped she was so startled.  'Jesus Amy,' she exclaimed as she
saw who was behind her, 'You scared the shit out of me!  I was in a world of
my own there.  I didn't expect anyone else to be down here, all the other
smokers are gone.'

'Well not exactly.   I was wondering if I could borrow a cigarette?'

'Amy! You don't smoke!' Marissa replied incredulously smoke billowing from
her mouth.

'Well I used to smoke in high school,' Amy lied, 'and I started again
recently.  I haven't been smoking much but when I saw you going outside I
just needed one.'

'I'm not sure I should be encouraging you,' Marissa smiled slyly as she
extended the pack to Amy, 'But it's always more fun smoking with someone
else.'

'Thanks.  I really needed this,' Marissa said as she took one of the offered
cigarettes trying to appear a more experienced smoker than she actually was.
She confidently placed the cigarette between her lips and lowered her head to
accept Marissa's offered light.

Amy smiled back at her boss as the smoke hit her lungs, it was a good feeling
and she realized that perhaps it wasn't too much of a lie when she told
Marissa she needed a cigarette.  The two colleagues chatted about work while
they enjoyed their cigarettes, trying to look like a fully fledged smoker Amy
tried to match Marissa's long slow inhales and was surprised to find that she
could imitate Marissa's style quite well.  Amy was thankful Marissa didn't
pry into her supposed relapse into smoking.  It was also the first time Amy
had smoked with someone else and she found Marissa to be right, it was more
fun.  Their conversation was punctuated with the natural rhythm of their
smoking and it seemed as if the conversation flowed easier than usual for
Amy.   

When she finished her cigarette Amy thanked Marissa and made her way home,
like a month previously she stopped in the same gas station where the same
disinterested woman was manning the evening shift.  Much more confidently
this time she purchased another pack of Marlboro Lights and a lighter, she
considered a menthol brand like Julia's but wasn't sure if she wanted the
mint taste of the menthols full time and she heard that menthol cigarettes
were more damaging to your health anyway.

Amy snuck out that night to smoke the first cigarette of the new pack and
enjoyed it immensely, so much so that she resolved to bring her Marlboro's to
work with her the next day.  But at work on Wednesday she had second thoughts
about going out with the other girls on their smoke breaks despite the fact
that her purse contained the cigarettes she had recently purchased.

Marissa, however, had other plans and made sure all the girls in the team
knew about the previous evening.  None of them could believe her, Karen even
remarked that she didn't believe Amy would, 'join the dark side of the
force.'  Amy was forced to go out with the girls on their morning smoke break
to demonstrate that she actually did smoke.

Despite her protests Amy didn't mind joining her work friends for a smoke,
otherwise she wouldn't have packed her cigarettes in the first place.  And as
she extracted a single Marlboro Light from her almost full pack as best she
could and look a long satisfying first drag Lisa commented, 'Looks like we've
another smoker in the team.' 

'Welcome back to the club kiddo!' Karen exclaimed as she lit her own
cigarette.

Quicker than expected Amy found herself accepted as a smoker at work and was
soon excitedly joining in the conversation about guys, work, television and
life in general with the others.  Later that day she took smoke breaks after
lunch and during the afternoon and was surprised with how many of her
co-workers were smokers, her new habit allowed Amy to meet people she never
would have come across otherwise and she had a great time.

That was when it started for Amy.  Once expected to smoke at work she
immediately took to smoking 3-4 cigarettes every day at work, one on the way
home and another two in the evening.  She kept up her training regime though
had to lessen the intensity a little as she began to feel the effects of
taking smoke into her lungs repeatedly throughout the day.  Still it was a
worthwhile tradeoff for the pleasure she got from her nicotine every day.
Amy has still to tell Emma and her friends and family about her decision to
start smoking even though she knows that at her current cigarette consumption
it's only a matter of time before they find out.  She's thought about
stopping before she's properly addicted but every time she feels the
comforting reassurance of her cigarettes in her pocket, or experiences the
first inhale of the morning hitting her lungs, or has a reason to stop work
for ten minutes and go outside to talk with her friends, or watches her slow
thick exhales dissipate into the night sky on her nighttime walks, she
reminds herself that she's a happy, as a smoker, for now and that's all that
matters.    


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