From Ren116214@gnn.com Sun Nov 10 12:03 EST 1996
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 11:12:44
[author's note - this story is written as a "prequel" to the exceptionally
well written series "Miss Vicki". I wish to beg forgiveness of the fine
author of that work, but since it has always been one of my favorites, I felt
the subject could be exlored a bit further. And with that caveat, may you all
The Story of Cheryl - A prequel to "Miss Vicki"
Cheryl Fox sat quietly in her living room, sipping her coffee, and
thinking, mulling over the events that had taken place earlier that day, and
slowly, inevitably, coming to a decision...a decision that would have
far-reaching consequences. She remebered how humiliated her daughter Vicki
had been that afternoon, and realized that she had not kept the promise she
had made to herself so many years ago. She reached over to her pack of Salem
100's, and shook one out. Lighting it, she savored that first long drag, the
smoke tasting smooth and rich on her tongue, complimenting the taste of the
coffee perfectly. She opened her mouth slightly, and breathed in, feeling the
smoke slide down her throat in an almost liquid fashion. She closed her eyes
and enjoyed the sensation, remembering how amazing it was when she first
experienced it, so long ago...
Cheryl had just turned 12 in the summer of '74. On this particular
morning, she had hated to wake up, because she had been having "the dream"
again. She had been having the dream a lot lately, and it seemed like it was
imploring her, urging her on. She closed her eyes again for a moment,
remembering the last few segments of the dream...and slowly took a deep
breath, trying to re-capture the sensation...but it wasn't working. It never
did. Only when she was asleep could she experience it as if it were real, the
by now almost familiar sensation...the sensation of inhaling a deep drag from
a cigarette. She opened her eyes in disappointment....and right then,
decided that she couldn't wait any longer. She had to experience it for
She had always been around smokers, all her short life. Both of her
parents smoked, and almost all of her relatives. When she was very young, she
had just always assumed that smoking was something that everyone did when
they got older. She had only discovered at a later age that not only didn't
everyone smoke....smokers were actually a minority. She wondered why her
family seemed to be so different....and at the same time was glad that they
She went downstairs on this beautiful Saturday morning, and her
mother, already at the breakfast table, greeted her. "Good morning,
sleepyhead!" she said. "What would you like for breakfast?"
"Just some toast, I guess," Cheryl said. "And some coffee too, please?"
"Coming right up," her mother replied. Recently, Cheryl had taken to
drinking coffee in the morning with her Mom, just sitting and talking...it
seemed like they were growing closer these days.
Cheryl's mom brought the coffee and toast to the table, and set it in
front of Cheryl, and then sat down at the table across from her young
daughter. Cheryl watched as her Mom drew a long white cigarette from her
green and white-colored pack and lit it. Her dream came back to her at once,
and she watched, now transfixed, as her Mom took a long, luxurious drag on
the cigarette. I wonder what that feels like, she thought to herself....I
wonder if it really does feel like it does when I dream about it?
Her Mom always seemed to enjoy smoking so much...and wasn't
self-concious about showing it. Her Mom was reading the paper, and didn't
notice the way Cheryl was looking at her. She brought the long cigarette to
her lips once more, and Cheryl's gaze, now one of envy, intensified. Her Mom
took another long drag, and then opened her mouth, allowing Cheryl to watch
as the large thick puff of smoke disappeared down her throat. Her Mom looked
up as she blew a long thick stream of smoke at the ceiling, and saw Cheryl
looking at her. "What?" she said. "What are you looking at?"
Cheryl blushed. She hadn't wanted her mother to catch her in her
observations. "Nothing," she said quickly. "Just thinking about what I'm
going to do today."
"I'm going shopping later, if you want to go," her mother offered.
"I don't know....maybe," Cheryl said. "What time is Daddy coming home?"
"Later tonight," her Mom replied. "I think he's flying into Logan
around 8 or so."
When Cheryl's mom said flying, she meant it. John Bedard was an airline
pilot, and often gone for days at a time.
Cheryl's mind started to race. She glanced at the mint-colored pack of
cigarettes on the table...thinking how her mother often left an open pack of
cigarettes laying around when she went out, knowing that she always had an
open pack in her purse. "Umm...I think I'll pass on the shopping trip," she
said. If she played her cards right...and with a little bit of luck....she
just might get to experience what she had been dreaming about for so long.
Her mother took another long drag, and set the cigarette down in the
ashtray. She got up from the table.
"Well, let me know if you want to go or not," she said, picking up her
coffee cup and setting it in the sink.
Cheryl watched as her mother walked out of the kitchen, up the stairs,
and disappeared into the bathroom, closing the door. She glanced at the
ashtray, her Mom's cigarette still laying in it so invitingly. It seemed
like a perfect opportunity, but her heart started to race. What if she didn't
like it? What if she choked....she had seen on TV that it might happen if
you had never smoked before. What if her mother suddenly re-appeared? She
inched her hand closer to the ashtray, with her eyes riveted on the bathroom
door. There wasn't a sound coming from the bathroom, and Cheryl took that to
mean that her mother was "busy".
She looked back at the cigarette again, her hand only inches from
it...and edged closer. Then in one quick movement, she had picked it up out
of the ashtray, and was holding a lit cigarette for the first time in her
life. She glanced up at the bathroom door again. Still nothing happening
there. Holding the cigarette between her two fingers as she had seen her
mother do, she was amazed at how it felt. She had thought it would be
heavier, somehow. She started to bring it towards her lips, and, with her
heart racing, parted her lips slightly. She was going to try just one small
puff.....as the filter touched her lips for the very first time, the sound of
the toilet flushing startled her. Completely flustered, she quickly put the
cigarette back in the ashtray, and grabbed the newspaper, pretending to be
completely absorbed in an article. She was aware that she was almost out of
breath, so she tried to calm herself down as best she could.
Her Mom came out of the bathroom and, walking back into the kitchen,
noticed the cigarette burning in the ashtray on the table. She picked it up,
and took a long drag. "You know....sometimes I think I'd forget my head if it
wasn't attached....good thing you were here, I might have burned the house
down," she said.
Cheryl looked up at her Mom and managed a weak smile. "Yeah..I guess
so, huh?" she said, hoping that she appeared sufficiently disinterested. Her
Mom walked out of the kitchen, and downstairs to start the laundry...leaving
Cheryl to ponder her close call. She hadn't even taken a puff and she almost
got caught! Still....the cigarette had felt so amazing between her
fingers...she glanced at the table, where her Mom's pack had been, but was
now gone. Drat. She had been so close...but that was okay, the day was young.
She anticipated the afternoon, when her Mom would be gone...and there would
be nothing to stop her this time.