Chase's Story, Part 8

(by anonymous23, 28 October 2008)


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Chase's Story

Part 8

It took a few weeks, but Chase had finally neared the end of the
Marlboro Reds.  She had only five left in her pack.  Sammy told Chase,
"Okay, you're ready to be a heavy smoker.  Go to the cigarette store
and get a carton of Virginia Slim Luxury Lights 120s.  Trust me, this
is the brand you're going to smoke for the rest of your life."  Chase
met up with the same clerk who had sold her the first carton she
bought.

"By the way, I'm Karen," said the clerk.

"Hi, I'm Chase."

"I know, I've seen your ID remember?"  They both laughed.  Karen went
to grab Chase a carton of Marlboro Reds.

"No, actually, I supposed to get Virginia Slim Luxury Lights 120s."
Karen seemed surprised.

"Okay, but you know they're not as strong as the Marbs, right?"  Chase nodded.

"I know, but I can't smoke a lot of the Marbs. They're too strong."
Karen sort of smiled.

"You mean you can't chain them."  Chase nodded.  "Well, if you're
going to smoke these you're going to end up in here once a week or
so."  It occurred to Chase for the first time that she was going to be
smoking more then a pack a day.  She felt great.

"I guess I will be."  Karen rang up Chase's order and told her to enjoy them.

Chase returned home.  Sammy told her to forget about the last five
cigarettes in the Red package.  "Hold on to them.  You'll want to
smoke a strong one every once in a while."  Chase removed her first
Slim from the package.  They were all white, like the Marlboro Lights,
but they were long and slender too.   She put it between her fingers
and it just felt right. She pulled a mirror out of her purse and
looked at herself holding it, and it looked right too.  This was her
brand, she said.  Chase lit up her first Slim and deeply inhaled it.
The sensation in her lungs was nowhere near as intense as the Reds.
It still felt really good, almost as good as the Reds, in fact.  But
not quite there.

"Sammy, I'm kind of disappointed. These don't feel as good as the
Reds.  Why did you make me get these?" Sammy was happy to give Chase
the news.

"Because you can smoke these one after another and never burn your
lungs.  You can smoke all day now, Chase, like you wanted."  Suddenly,
Chase didn't care so much about not having a super-intense sensation
in her lungs.  Instead, she would be able to achieve the feeling all
day long.

"Don't go totally nuts though, Chase. Smoking is still really, really
bad for you.  I would only smoke two packs of those a day."  Chase
agreed.

"How long until I'll be able to smoke that much?"

"You should be able to right now," Sammy said.  As Chase finished her
first light, she decided to see if Sammy was right.  She lit up
another one and indeed, as always, Sammy was right.  There was no
burning sensation in her lungs, just pure pleasure.

Sammy told Chase to smoke the rest of that pack tonight and then go to
sleep when it was finished.  That way, when she wakes up she could
open a fresh pack and be able to make sure she's smoking exactly forty
cigarettes a day. For the rest of the month, Chase continued this
routine, and was satisfied. She had achieved her goal of being a heavy
smoker.  Chase realized most of the warnings about smoking, were not
true.  Yes, she was doing damage to her body.  At three months in
while on a treadmill she noticed she could only run about ten minutes
before she needed a break to catch her breath.  Sammy had advised
Chase to make sure she exercised to keep her lungs and body as healthy
as a heavy smoker's could be.  Still, Chase was a bit scared at how
long she would have where she could be active.  Sammy was reassuring
and told Chase how her health would decline.  She would get her
morning cough at around 21, her normal smokers' cough at 24 or so, and
would likely start getting more winded on the treadmill about ten
years later.  As for her chances of cancer, they did go up
significantly, but it wasn't even close to a sure thing.  Anti-smoking
campaigns suggested that getting cancer when you smoke was a sure
thing.  In fact, Chase discovered without Sammy's help that her odds
of getting cancer were still roughly only 1 in 100 or so.  It was a
worthwhile risk.  Besides, cancer didn't run in their family.  Of
course, none of them had been smokers.

Shortly after she fell into her regular two pack a day habit, Kelly
was due to return home.  She was Chase's only real friend and Chase
had missed her terribly.  The day before she arrived, Chase was
suddenly nervous about how Kelly would react to her habit.  At worst,
Chase thought, Kelly might not hang around her as much.  At best, she
would take up the habit herself.  That wasn't likely, as long as Kelly
lived with her parents, both of whom were over protective and yet they
also tried to push Kelly away, which was why she was sent to Europe.
Still, Chase wanted to be able to hang around her and was hoping that
she would become a smoker as well.  Chase asked Sammy for advice about
how to talk someone into starting.

"Don't do it, Chase," Sammy surprised her by saying.

"Wait, you're the one who talked me into being a smoker," fired back Chase.

"You decided on your own.  That's how it has to be.  A person has to
want to smoke.  If you make them smoke against their will, they might
want to quit later on."  Chase was disappointed but understood.
"Still, offer her a cigarette.  She'll try it. She might not like it,
but at least it will show she's open to the possibility."

Although gone for four months, Chase knew Kelly wouldn't have taken it
up. Kelly was a straight-edge kind of girl, and was not the type to do
drugs. She did e-mail Chase during the summer saying she had drank
some wine while in France, but this was different, of course.  Chase
did plan to tell Kelly all the wonders of smoking and how much good it
had done her.  At eighteen years old, Kelly wouldn't need to be beaten
over the head with how bad it was for her.  Any idiot knows smoking is
a bad habit.  What Kelly had certainly never heard was all the good
things about smoking.  Chase was ready to make a pitch.

On the drive home, Chase's house was much closer then her parents, so
Kelly would end up stopping by it first.  Chase was ready to break the
smoking news to her.  In fact, she knew that Kelly would smell it in
her house as soon as she walked through the door.  Chase was nervous
but very excited.  Sadly for her, instead of coming to the door, Kelly
honked the horn. Chase went outside to meet her, and found out Kelly
wouldn't be coming in.

"I'm running late and I have to meet my parents before they freak out.
 They're mad that I didn't call them enough during the summer."  Chase
was just happy to see Kelly and gave her a big hug. Kelly hugged back.
 She could smell the smoke on Chase, but said nothing. She assumed
Chase had gone somewhere with someone who smoked.  "I just have to get
into it with my parents and then I'll come back by.  I got all kinds
of stuff for you but it's all packed.  I'll be back in a few hours."
Chase was okay with that.

Knowing that Kelly smelled smoke on her but thought nothing of it,
Chase wanted to make it instantly clear she was a smoker when Kelly
arrived.  She sat outside and smoked six straight cigarettes.  As she
exhaled she swirled the smoke around her clothes.  She also spent time
chain smoking in her living room.  She didn't want to look like a
slob, so she emptied out her ashtrays, but didn't wash them.  She
wanted it to be clear that she used them.  After debating whether or
not to leave her cigarettes on the coffee table, she decided she would
place them in her pocket and pull them out after she told Kelly and
would light up immediately, without asking permission.  It was
important, whether Kelly decided to start or not, for her to know that
Chase was a smoker and would not quit or hide it.

At 9 pm, later than Chase expected, Kelly arrived.  Chase was smoking
of course, but she put it out and threw the butt into the garbage can.
 She emptied the ashtray, which had already filled back up, and
answered the door.  Kelly had a bag full of stuff that she had gotten
for Chase, but put it down to give her a big hug.

"I missed you so much," Kelly said.

"Me too" said Chase.

"You smell like smoke," Kelly replied, still hugging her fiend.

"I know," said Chase.  Kelly let go.

"Who... was smoking?"  She already knew the answer.

"I was.  I smoke now, Kelly."  Kelly's look was unlike Joan's.  She
was clearly disappointed.

"You're like... a smoker? Since when?"

"Since my birthday.  I started just a few hours before I last saw
you."  Kelly looked like she was going to cry.

"I can't believe it, Chase.  You're killing yourself!"

"No, actually, I'm not.  My health won't be as good someday, but right
now I feel fine.  I'm not, like, sick or anything."

Kelly actually did have some tears coming down her cheeks.

"I wasn't expecting this," Kelly said.  Chase looked a little sad herself.

"I know.  I'm sorry, Kelly.  The truth is I always wanted to smoke.
You wouldn't have been able to stop it.  It's something I wanted."
Chase then pulled out her cigarettes and lighter.  Kelly looked
mortified, but Chase had to show her that she was very serious about
it.  Chase lit up, inhaled deeply, and then exhaled an incredibly
thick stream of smoke into the air.  Kelly wasn't bothered by the
smoke itself.  It stunk but it didn't bug her.  She was more concerned
for Chase.

"You need to quit.  You will end up addicted." Chase had to break the
bad news to Kelly.

"I am addicted, Kelly.  But only physically addicted.  Mentally, I'm
not sorry I smoke.  I love it.  And I'm never going to quit."  Kelly
still had tears coming down her cheeks.

Chase wasn't expecting this reaction at all.  She didn't know what to say.

"I'm still the same person, Kelly.  My personality hasn't changed.
Nothing has changed, except now I breathe in smoke.  Is it really that
big a deal?" Kelly didn't know what to say either, but she was still
hung up on the health aspects.

"You're going to end up with cancer."  Chase nodded her head.

"Maybe.  I know I might.  But it's not a certain thing," she replied,
very seriously.  Kelly didn't understand.

"Then why would you want to smoke?"  Chase looked at her for a bit,
and then took a very large drag, followed by an audible, deep inhale.
With the smoke still in her lungs, she replied

Because the feeling this gives you in your body is the best thing I've
ever felt."  She then shot out what might have been the biggest exhale
of her smoking life.  The jet of smoke seemed to go on for almost ten
seconds.  Even Chase surprised herself.  Kelly smiled a bit.

"You look really good smoking, Chase.  I guess I'm okay with it.  You
clearly thought this through."  Chase was happy.

"Thank you, Kelly.  I can tell you don't want to smoke, but it really
does make me happy, and I'm glad you understand."  Kelly wiped the
tears away from her eyes and gave Chase a hug.  Chase still had her
cigarette in her hand, but Kelly was bothered by it.  Chase finished
the cigarette and shot one final blast of smoke into the air.  She
already wanted to smoke another but decided maybe she should pace
herself more around her non-smoking friend.  She loved Kelly after all
and didn't want to drive her away.

The subject of smoking didn't come up for a few more hours.  Chase did
have two more cigarettes, but was craving more.  Kelly showed Chase
all the stuff she had gotten her from Europe.  It was nice to know
that Kelly had been thinking of her.  Kelly claimed she got more stuff
for Chase than for her own family.

"Well, I treat you better," Chase laughed.  She reached for another cigarette.

"Chase, how much do you smoke?"  Chase smiled.

"Don't freak out... but I smoke two packs a day."  Kelly's mouth fell
wide open.

"You really are going to get cancer," she laughed.

"Yeah, I guess so," Chase laughed.  She lit up a cigarette.
"Seriously, I just... I love smoking so much Kelly.  I just want this
sensation in my lungs all the time."  Kelly smiled.

"It feels good huh?"  Chase smiled, sensing Kelly might be on the hook.

"Yes... it feels like... getting a back rub, only in your lungs," she
said, recalling what Sammy had told her earlier.  Kelly smiled.

"I like back rubs," Kelly replied, sort of off-handedly and quietly.

"YES!" thought Chase.  She's going to do it.

"Do you want to start smoking, Kelly?" Chase asked.

"Oh no, maybe try it or something, but I don't think I want to start."
 Chase told her that she shouldn't just try it.  She might not like
it, but would still run the risk of becoming addicted.  Then smoking
would be no fun for her.

"Well, I can't start then," Kelly said, sounding okay with it.  "My
parents would freak.  Maybe when I move out of the house."  Kelly was
expecting to get her own place soon.

"Okay," said Chase, "but if you want to, come to me.  Don't do it on
your own."  Kelly said she would.

Comfortable that Kelly was not bothered by her smoking, Chase resumed
chain smoking for the rest of the night.  Kelly did seem shocked by
the sheer amount of smoke Chase breathed in.

"You smoke forty a day?"

"Yes. It's called being a heavy smoker."  Kelly did some quick math.

"I counted. You breathe in... or inhale or whatever you call it... 15
times per a cigarette.  That means you breathe in smoke 600 times a
day.  That's almost 220,000 times a year!"  Chase smiled.

"I know, and I love it every time I do it."

"I can tell" said Kelly.

At around 2 am, Kelly hugged Chase goodbye.  "See you tomorrow,
smoker!" she said.  Chase smiled.  Kelly looked at her teeth.  "They
don't look yellow."  Chase laughed.

"Just because I smoke doesn't mean I don't brush my teeth!  I just
have to do it one extra time a day."  Kelly laughed, then they hugged
one last time and she left.  Chase was so happy. Her best friend
wasn't going to be a smoker, but she was okay with Chase being one.
It was the happiest Chase had been since her first clean inhale. She
logged on to her computer.

"Well, she's not going to smoke, but she's cool with me doing it.  So
I can still chain around her."  Sammy asked if Kelly had hinted that
she might want to start.  "Kind of, but she said she would have to
wait to get out of her parents' house."  Sammy told Chase that she had
to go get a carton of Virginia Slim Ultra Lights 120s in the morning.

"Why?" asked Chase.

"Your friend is going to start smoking the next time she comes over.
Trust me."  Chase questioned why not get the Marlboro Lights like she
used to start with.

"Kelly is going to only smoke when you're around at first, but she'll
want to try and keep pace with you. And with the amount you smoke,
it's just not possible.  Virginia Slim Ultra Lights are so mild it's
like you're breathing in air.  It will still break in her lungs for
the stronger cigarettes, just not as fast."  Chase said she would do
as instructed.  Sammy had been right about everything else, but she
still didn't believe that Kelly would start so soon.


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