Andie and Rich

(by anonymous15, 18 November 2004)


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"Andie and Rich"

Background:  Andrea Bellacano and Richard O'Rafferty were married in July of
1966.  They had met in March 1965 while both were seniors at Eastern colleges
in the same town.  Andie was 5'5 with short dark hair, looking every bit as
her third generation Italian heritage would suggest.  Rich today would be
called a "geek", 6'3, short hair and glasses.  Rich went to a major
university.  Andie went to a small women's Church related college.  They had
a few dates toward the end of the year, and both graduated.  Andie went home
to accept a math teaching position at a local high school and to live with
her parents.  Rich accepted an assistantship to a Midwestern University to
complete a Masters' in Physics and, if things went well, continue on toward
the doctorate.

As they separated in September, each was in love with the other.  In October
1965, Rich proposed by letter.  Andie accepted immediately and plans were
made for the summer wedding.  In June, Rich received his Master's and was
invited to continue toward the doctorate with an increase in his
assistantship stipend.  He had reserved an apartment in Married Students'
housing for them.  Andie had to quit her teaching job after a year with the
uncertain hope of finding another.  She had her savings and they had the
promise of financial help from both sets of parents if worst came to worst.
Andie and Rich came from small families, each with a married older sibling of
the opposite sex.  They decided that, especially if Andie could find work,
they would postpone a family until Rich finished his doctorate, hopefully in
about three years.

As for smoking habits, Andie was a non-smoker.  Both of her parents smoked.
Mom and Dad know they were hooked, as was oldest son Bob.  Mom and Andie did
not like Bob starting, but he was an adult and made his own decision in
college.  When he became engaged, they were hoping that Carol, a non-smoker,
would have an influence on him.  The opposite became true, as they found out
one weekend while Andie was home.  Carol had recently taken up smoking after
Bob talked her into trying a cigarette one night.  Dismayed at this, Mom and
Dad continued to tell Andie, "Do as we say, not as we do."  Andie listened.
Seeing first - hand how fast Carol started, she promised herself that she
would never try it.  

Bob, unknown to Andie and everybody else, was an off - on closet smoker.
His closet smoking was influenced by his older sister Kim, who had attended
the same university as he.  Being allergic to tobacco smoke, she became an
anti - smoking activist.  Her reputation was well-known by the time Rich
enrolled.  He was a top student, but a perfectionist.  He tried it in early
1963 to calm his nerves preparing for exams, and it worked.  He continued as
he needed them.  He stopped in June 1966 after his Master's exams.

Andie and Rich were married in July and, after a honeymoon, they settled into
their new apartment.  Andie had applied to all of the local school systems,
but was unsuccessful in finding a job.  The night they arrived, however, when
Andie called home, Mom told her that a local math teacher in the new area had
called and wanted to talk to her.  He had given Mom his home number.  She
called him right away.  He had good news, bad news and good news!  He
explained to Andie that he was impressed with her application and references.
Secondly, he had hoped to get her hired to fill an anticipated vacancy in his
school, but that the teacher decided to stay, and so there were no openings.
But third, he noticed the religious affiliation of the high school and
college that Andie attended.  The local Church-related high school was
frantically looking for a math teacher, and this teacher had taken the
liberty of showing her credentials to the Headmistress, who was also
impressed.  Andie c alled the next morning and had been hired by the
afternoon.  Being a private school, the salary was lower than expected.  She
was also gong to be the only non - religious faculty member; all others were
Sisters.  It was also an all - girl's school, similar to the high school
that Andie had attended.  Although a thousand miles away, Andie felt that she
had come home, and she fell in love with the school.  She also looked forward
to being a teacher and mentor to the young ladies, just as the teachers in
her old high school had mentored her.

They settled into their new life as a married couple.  Each had their own
car.  Rich continued as a non-smoker until January of the following year,
when he again faced the pressure of exams.  As he did before, he went to a
study area of the library where it was allowed.  He also became fond of the
new 100mm cigarettes that were coming out.  He liked Benson-Hedges best, and
alternated between regulars and menthols.  He never let Andie know, and was
careful about leaving evidence.

One Tuesday morning, Andie discovered as she was leaving that she had almost
no gas in her car.  She had a before-school parent conference, was also
running late and had no time, even to stop at the gas station.  She asked
Rich, and then borrowed his.  He took hers to the gas station between classes
later in the day and filled her tank for her.  After returning home, Andie
gave him back the keys.  She then added, "There was a package of cigarettes
and matches on the front seat."  Rich realized that he had forgotten about a
pack of B&H regulars.  He did not want to tell Andie.  He told her that he
had given a ride to another student and that they must have been his.  Andie
answered, "I thought it was probably something like that.  I left them
there."  Rich answered, "Good.  I'll see that he gets them tomorrow."

Rich realized that this was the first time he'd ever lied to Andie.  One
thing that she liked about him was his honesty.  She always knew where she
stood.  She was the same way toward him.  As the evening continued, Rich
began to have some real problems, but he was afraid to mention it.  They had
discussed smoking only once.  She had told him that she never tried it.  He
admitted that he had, but did not elaborate.  They did their work, and then
sat for coffee.  Rich tried to look at Andie, but found that he couldn't
look directly at her.  As was usual, they held hands.   But Rich's were
cold.

Andie asked him, "Sweetie, is everything all right?"  Rich at first tried
to say yes, but then told her that he didn't want to bother her with it.
She answered, "Honey, we always share everything.  Is it trouble at school?
You can tell me, no matter what it is.  We'll handle it together."

Rich could hold back no longer after hearing that from Andie.  "I lied to
you this afternoon.    Those cigarettes weren't Hal's.  They were mine."
He then proceeded to tell her about his past.  She was surprisingly calm.
She took his hand.  "Sweetie, if you want to smoke, I understand.  Why
don't you get them?"

As Rich got the cigarettes, Andie get an ash tray that they kept on hand.  As
he returned, she commented, "I always felt that we should have cigarettes in
the house to offer visitors."  She set the ash tray on the table, "You can
have one whenever you want."   Rich was feeling an urge.  "I wouldn't
mind, but I don't want to smoke in front of you."  She answered, "My
parents and Bob and Carol do it all the time.  I don't mind it."

Rich took a cigarette and inhaled, blowing the smoke out in a stream away
from Andie.  He also raised his hand to dissipate the smoke.  She kissed him
and told him that he didn't have to.  She asked him if that was his brand.
He told her that it was.  She picked up the pack and said, "I've never seen
these.  They smell a little stronger that Kents.  My parents smoke them."
Bob answered, "I've gotten Kents.  I usually get Benson's regular, but
sometimes I get menthols."  Andie noted, "Carol smokes Salems.  She
mentioned once that they are menthols.  Have you tried them?"  Rich said
that he had.  Andie chuckled, "Boy, you've tried them all!"

As he inhaled, Andie asked him how he blew the smoke out.  He showed her with
a puff, inhale and exhale.  She observed, "It looks kind of sexy."  Rich
asked, "Honey, are you sure this isn't bothering you?"  Andie's answer
assured him.  "Sweetie, I've sat around a kitchen table with four other
smokers.  If I can tolerate that, I can tolerate this."  But she was
beginning to have misgivings, recalling the first time she had seen Bob
smoke, and then the first time she had seen Carol take a pack of Salems from
her purse and light one.  Nonetheless, she never condemned smoking and some
of her friends in college did it.  

They went to bed.  Wednesday morning came and they had breakfast.  Rich took
the pack and then set it down, saying, "I can wait until you go."  Andie
told him briskly, "No.  Have it."  He had another cigarette as she prepared
to leave.  On Wednesday at her usual time of 4, Andie came home.  She could
smell the smoke in the apartment.  While she was used to it from home, the
apartment was smaller than the house.  She was hoping that Rich's urge would
run its course. 

It wasn't just the smell.  Andie could handle that.  But they had a lot of
common interests.  They shared the same religious and political views,
enjoyed the same movies and TV shows, and professionally their interests were
almost the same, hers being mathematics and his being physics.  She would
sometimes even look at his homework, and would refresh him on some of the
math that he had forgotten.  But smoking was not something that they were
going to share.  Never having tried it herself, she had no idea of why he
liked it.  She also did not want to follow Carol.  She remembered the
previous year, when a very pregnant Carol was still smoking.  Andie had asked
her if she had considered stopping, at least while she was pregnant.  Carol
had answered that it was now impossible to quit.  Andie also did not like
what Rich told her about no one else knowing that he smoked.  Not many people
in his department did, and it was looked down on.  She did understand,
thinking that if she sm oked, she would not want the other teachers, parents
and definitely not the students to know.  But she still had a problem with
the concept of hiding it.

Rich smoked on Wednesday evening and into Thursday when he was home.  He had
only about 20 hours of class a week, and preferred to study at home.  It was
quiet, even when Andie was home, as she had a lot of preparations to do.  On
Thursday evening, Andie came home and noticed that the pack wasn't there,
but Rich was.  He told her that he had finished them.  Andie asked, "Are you
going to get any more?"  Rich answered, "No, honey."  She kissed him.  She
then emptied the ash tray and cleaned it.

Thursday evening and Friday went well from Andie's standpoint, not really
wanting Rich to smoke.    She had decided that, if he wanted to again, she
would try to discourage him, but since she had told him that it was all right
with her, there wasn't much she could say.  On Friday at her usual time, she
came home, again relieved to find no cigarettes or ash tray.  His exams were
over.  He would spend the weekend grading his for the freshman physics class
that he was teaching.  She also had over 100 midterm exams to grade and
report card grades to get ready.  They decided to spend Friday night together
at home, then all day Saturday doing their work and grocery shopping.  Sunday
could be sleep-in, late Church and then dinner out.

They finished dinner.  As Andie cleaned up the kitchen, Rich watched TV on
the couch.  He was getting an urge.  Andie finished up and came over to sit
next to him.  Rich usually put his arm around her so that she could cuddle
in, and he knew that as soon as she did, she would feel his cold wet hands
and figure it out.  He didn't want to try to hide it.  As she sat, he told
her, "Honey, I've got something to tell you."  He took Andie's hand and
she knew right away.  "Cigarettes," she asked.  He nodded.  "Sweetie, do
you think you're on them," Andie asked.  Rich answered, "I get this way
every once in a while."  Andie asked, "Do you really need them?"  Rich
said that he did, and that he had an urge for menthols.  Andie suggested,
"We can go for a walk to the Student Union."

Although it was winter, it was mild outside.  They got their coats and left
the apartment, walking hand-in-hand to the Student Union, about halfway
across campus.  On the way, Andie mentioned that it was too bad that they had
already eaten.  The Union had a sit-down restaurant that she came to like.
The food was both good and inexpensive.  This is where they had planned to go
to Sunday dinner.

The Student Union had off the main lounge a counter at which could be bought
newspapers, magazines, candy and other items including cigarettes.
Undergraduates were employed to work there.  As Rich and Andie entered, Rich
noticed that one of his students was working.  The student did not see them.
Rich asked if they could go somewhere else.  When Andie asked why, Rich
explained.  Andie said, "That's silly.  If you want them, I'll get them.
She doesn't know me.  What do I ask for?"  Rich answered, "A pack of
Benson - Hedges menthols and matches."

Andie went over to the counter and repeated what Rich had told her.  The
young lady retrieved the cigarettes and the transaction went without a hitch.
Andie put the cigarettes in her purse.  As they left, Andie commented,
"I've never bought cigarettes before."  As they walked home, Andie still
had the cigarettes in her purse.  She commented that the pack was green,
different than the brown ones.  Rich pointed out that the menthols smelled a
little different, maybe not as pungent.  He commented that they also had a
mint taste.  Andie was curious that one cigarette had a mint taste and the
other didn't.  She asked if the mint made the cigarette taste any better.
Rich answered, "Sometimes."

They arrived back at the apartment, where Rich sat on the couch.  It was just
past 8.  Andie got the ash tray from the cabinet and the cigarettes and
matches from her purse.  She set them down on the coffee table.  Now curious,
she sat next to Rich one the couch.  Rich opened the cigarette and tapped one
out.  He lit it with the match and blew the inhaled smoke out.  

Andie asked, "Blow the smoke in my direction.  I want to see if I can smell
the menthol." 

Rich said, "I don't think you'll be able to."  Andie replied, "Let me
see."  Rich took a puff and blew the smoke right at her.  Andie whiffed and
said that it smelled different than the other, but she couldn't smell any
mint.  Rich explained that the menthol was in the filter.  "I can taste it
when I puff, then on the inhale and exhale."  He took his third puff.

Andie, now curious, asked Rich, "Can I try some?"  Rich took her hand and
told her, "Honey, you've never done this before.  I don't want you to
smoke just because of me."  Andie replied, "It's OK.  I want to see what
it tastes like.  Let me try a puff ---- please?"  Rich took another puff,
showing her how to pull in.  Offering the cigarette to Andie, he asked, "Are
you sure?"  Andie did not answer, but took the cigarette.  Holding it
between two fingers of her right hand as she had seen Rich do, she raised it
to her lips.  The smoke met her nostrils and she let out a small cough.
Andie's lips closed on the cigarette and she drew, taking in a small amount
of smoke.  She gave him back the cigarette with the comment, "I taste the
mint, but it tastes bitter too."

Rich told her that inhaling eliminates most of the bitterness and also gives
the relaxing feeling.  He demonstrated with an inhaled puff, holding his
mouth open so that Andie could see.  Andie reached for the cigarette again,
saying, "I want to do it right."  She again raised it to her lips.  She did
not cough this time.  She drew in.  This time, she opened her mouth and
breathed in as Rich had shown her, and blew out the smoke quickly.  She
exclaimed "Wow" and took another puff the same way and handed it back to
Rich.

Andie commented that she felt a little loopy.  Rich finished his cigarette
and put it out.  As they sat cuddling on the couch, Rich asked Andie what it
was like.  Andie answered, "I didn't like the first puff.  But the two that
I breathed in were different.  I felt it through my whole body.  I felt
loopy, but it was a nice kind of loopy.  I actually liked the taste too."

They watched a TV program and went to the kitchen table for coffee.  Rich
took the smoking materials.  As he took a cigarette out of the pack, Andie
asked, "Can I have one?"  Rich put the pack down and told her what he had
before, that he did not want her to smoke just because he did.  "You were
mad at Bob for getting Carol started."  Andie answered, "But I've already
tried it.  I want to share it with you.  And I asked you, you didn't ask
me."

Rich was mindful of the fact that Andie allowed him to smoke when she could
have said, "No."  And they were the same age - in fact, she was actually
two weeks older.  Like her, there wasn't much he could say.  He offered a
cigarette and she took it from the pack.  Andie reached for the matches and
held the cigarette in her left hand.  She raised the cigarette to her lips
and touched the tip with the match, drawing in.  She blew out the match with
smoke, realizing that she had forgotten to inhale.  As Rich lit his, Andie
took an inhaled puff.  The feeling returned.  She was able to smoke the B&H
almost all the way down.  She was enjoying the taste.  She was also enjoying
being able to share with Rich.  She noticed that she did not mind his smoking
when she was smoking too.  As finished their coffee, they put their
cigarettes out and went to bed, Andie realized that she found something.  She
was afraid to tell Rich.  

Morning came and they got up and had breakfast.  As Andie was clearing the
dishes, Rich took a cigarette from the pack and lit it.  Upon seeing this,
Andie came back to the table and took the pack.  Rich told her, "Honey, I
don't want you to start smoking."  Andie answered, "Sweetie.  It's all
right."  She shared with him the thoughts of the previous evening, ending
with, "I won't get like Carol.  I'll just have it every now and then."

By Saturday night, they had two more cigarettes together.  By then, the
loopiness had gone.  But Andie still felt very relaxed, and she liked not
only smoking with Rich but the taste of the cigarette.  As Rich looked on, he
couldn't believe that his conservative, pretty young wife was smoking a
cigarette like a pro and enjoying it.  Andie was also thinking about how
satisfying it was.

They got their work done and eventually Monday came.  Andie took a morning
shower before breakfast.  After breakfast, Rich took a cigarette.  Andie got
up from the table.  "I'm not going to have one now.  I have a day of
classes and I don't want anyone to smell the smoke on me."  She took his
cigarette and took just one puff, knowing that she would be brushing her
teeth.  Stroking his hand, she said, "Maybe tonight."  That night after
dinner and before bed, they had another cigarette each.  That finished the
pack.

As Andie went to sleep, she wondered if Rich were going to buy some more
cigarettes.  She realized that she liked the taste, but wasn't sure if she
wanted to take up smoking.  She still felt that she would have one with Rich.
On Tuesday they had breakfast and went to school.  Rich was reluctant to buy
any more because he know that Andie was liking them.  He, too, did not want
her to take up smoking the way that Carol did and possibly cause a rift in
the family.  

On Tuesday evening, Andie returned home.  The ash tray was still out, bit no
cigarettes.  She hoped that Rich wasn't hiding them again.  He had promised
that he wouldn't.  Through Tuesday and Wednesday, she missed them.  Going to
bed on Wednesday evening, as they stood and hugged, she stepped away from
him, saying "I could use a cigarette."

Rich asked, "Honey, do you really want one?"  Andie answered, "Yeah, I've
been missing them.  I almost bought a pack today on the way home from school.
But I'm afraid of meeting someone from school.  A lot of parents know me
that I wouldn't recognize."

On Thursday, Rich came home with a pack of B&H regulars.  He had smoked one
in the apartment - he had an early day.  Andie came in and noticed the brown
pack.  She asked if she could try one.  Rich took one out and gave it to her.
Andie lit it.  She noticed the absence of the menthol and a much stronger
taste.  She told Rich that she liked the menthols better.  She still had one
more later that evening.

The next day after school, Andie drove to a pharmacy.  She needed to pick up
a couple of items anyway.  She also picked up a pack of B&H menthols.  When
she returned home, she told Rich.   As she lit her first menthol, she
offered, "I'll make a deal with you.  You have the regulars, and I'll have
these."  

They smoked for about a week, until their cigarette supply ended on
Wednesday.  Again on Thursday and Friday, neither bought any.  On Friday
evening, they went to the super `market for groceries.  It had been cold, but
the weather was actually quite warm and pleasant.  As they passed an ice
cream store that they had stopped at before, Rich asked, "Want an ice cream
cone?"  Andie's answer surprised him.  "I'd rather have a cigarette!"
Rich suggested, "We can get some at the checkout.  Or if you want one right
now, we can get them and then come out had have one, then do our shopping."
Andie answered, "No.  Let's wait until we get home."

They did their shopping.  This time, they bought two packs of menthols and
one of regulars.  They also bought a box of match books.  Once home, as soon
as the groceries were put away, Andie took down the ash tray, opened a pack
and lit a cigarette, giving an inhale and a sigh of pleasure.  Rich was now
afraid to ask, but he did.  "Honey, tell me the truth.  Do you think you're
on cigarettes?"  Andie answered, "Sweetie, I like the taste, it's relaxing
and I enjoy it.  I want to smoke.  Do you mind?"  

-------------------

Rich had seen this coming.  Initially not wanting Andie to smoke but
realizing that there was nothing he could say if she did, he was now getting
used to the idea, and was beginning to like having a cigarette with Andie.
But he was still worried that, like Bob with Carol, he had started his wife
smoking.  He answered, "It's OK with me if you really want to.  But I feel
like I got you into it."  

Andie observed, "No, sweetie - I asked to try it.  I never thought I'd
take up smoking like Carol did, but I'm there."  She then continued, "I am
not going to smoke like Carol.  Two or three a day is all.  I can't anyway
- I wouldn't dare do it at school or even around the people at school.
I'm supposed to be setting an example for over 100 girls that I teach.  They
can never know.  And if Mom found out, it'd kill her, and then she'd kill
me.  I hate to admit that I'm sounding like you about this privacy thing,
but you're right.  But I do enjoy smoking."

Andie and Rich both continued smoking, but usually only at home.  Over Easter
vacation, which coincided with Spring break at the University, they had nine
days.  They flew home and rented a car at the airport for the drive to
Rich's parents' house.   They did not let either family know about their
smoking.  But after leaving Andie's, once on the highway, they stopped for
cigarettes.  It would be a pack of menthols that they would share.  They left
it in the glove box of the car.  On the flight back, they had a cigarette.
At the airport, as soon as they got into their own car, Andie lit another
cigarette.  

Again, they continued their consumption.  Rich still had school during the
summer, but Andie was home.  She did not realize it right away, but she was
soon smoking over a half pack a day.  One night, she was sitting at the
table, nervously puffing on her cigarette.  Rich asked her if everything were
all right.  She answered, "Sweetie, what if I get pregnant?  It could
happen.  I know I said I'd quit smoking, but it's getting harder.  I'm
afraid I'm getting like Carol."  Rich told her, "Honey, I don't have to
smoke in the house.  You can cut down and quit."  Andie answered, "But you
need them once in a while, and you like them.  I understand now more than I
ever did.  I like them too."  Rich asked her how she did during vacation
back home.  She admitted, "It drove me up a wall every time anyone lit a
cigarette.   That's why I had to have them in the car."

Andie and Rich continued smoking for three years.  On July 21, 1969, the day
that Rich defended his dissertation, Andie found out that she was pregnant.
On her initial visit to the OB, she listed herself as a light smoker.  She
felt that she didn't have any choice, since she carried a pack of B&H
menthols in her purse, and had smoked one in the car on the way.  The
University offered Rich a full - time visiting assistant professorship to
get him through next year and give him experience teaching upper level
courses.  This also gave him a lot of time to look for a permanent job.
Andie would teach at her school for part of one more year.  

Her main job was quitting smoking, though.  She was smoking about five a day.
The doctor advised her to quit gradually rather than cold turkey, and also
advised Rich to cut down with an idea of quitting.  They had told him that
they wanted more children.  He told them that this was all the more reason
not to smoke.

They gradually cut down and stopped within a couple of weeks.  Rich was
pretty much able to take it or leave it.  Andie had a harder time, though.
The first Friday in December, they were invited to a holiday party sponsored
by a colleague.  Andie was six months along.  There were professors from
other departments there.  The air was thick with cigarette smoke.

The party broke up at around midnight.  As they walked to the car, Andie
shocked Rich by asking, "Sweetie, can we get some cigarettes?"  Rich put
his arm around her, reminding that it had been four months and she was
nearing the end of her sixth of pregnancy.  "I'm really hurting," she
said.  "One pack, OK?"  Rich answered, "There's an all-night store that I
know of.  We can stop there."

Andie stopped and went in for a pack of B&H menthols, knowing Andie's
preference.  When they got home, the ash tray came down and they had a
cigarette together.  Andie inhaled, but mindful of the baby, didn't take as
deep puffs as before.  Nonetheless, she still felt a buzz.  After coffee,
they had another before bed.

After breakfast, Andie lit a cigarette.  As she was holding it in her right
hand, she rubbed her stomach with her left, saying, "I'm sorry, little
baby.  Mommy won't smoke any more after these."  She was feeling very
guilty for doing the very thing that she had criticized Carol for.

About an hour later, Andie asked Rich if he wanted a coffee break from
filling out job applications and typing resumes.  Andie had nothing of that
type to do.  No matter where they ended up, she was going to be a stay at
home Mom during her child's early years.  And now that a family was coming,
she wanted more children.

Andie had poured coffee for herself and Rich.  She reached for the pack.
Rich had assumed that she was going to have another cigarette.  Instead, she
handed the pack to him, saying, "Sweetie, I'm ready to stop.  Throw these
away for me."  Rich did what she asked, but not before going to the sink and
dousing them with water.  Andie, seeing that now she could not turn back, met
him as he came to the table and kissed him, saying "Thanks for doing that."

As they drank their coffee, Andie admitted that she did not know as she was
smoking her cigarette an hour before that it would be her last.  She ended
with, "But it was.  I don't want to smoke any more."  She left school
after mid - terms in January, as the school was able to hire a replacement
who had graduated from the University a semester early.  Andie had been her
student teaching supervisor and talked her into it, knowing that she would
leave her job in good hands.  In March, Andie gave birth to a healthy girl.
Rich was offered a job in a private four - year college a couple of hundred
miles from where he had gotten his PhD.  Andie had saved diligently, and they
could make a down payment on a house and afford the mortgage that they were
going to take out.  Over the next four years, in the new community, they had
two more children.  With three little ones, they did not have time to smoke!
And neither one thought about it.  But there is a sequel to this story.


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