Dinah

(by puffery@prodigy.com (now quin_chris@hotmail.com), 09 October 2011)


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Dinah
by quin_chris@hotmail.com

In grade school Bobby Davies and my brother were nearly inseparable. They 
played on all the same teams and always hung out after school together. 
Bobby was a pretty fair athlete but Tommy was the starting quarterback for 
our high school this past fall - and they're both just sophomores. I don't 
know if coming in second fiddle to Tommy so often dampened Bobby's 
enthusiasm for sports but he dropped all of them after ninth grade 
basketball. He probably would have started at second that spring on the 
junior high baseball team but he didn't even try out. 

We saw little of him that spring and by summer year ago he simply no longer 
came around. This presented an enormous problem for me because I had 
declared my everlasting love for him - to myself of course - back in third 
grade and felt even more strongly now five and a half years later. I was 
already well practiced at the signature "Mrs. Dinah Davies" and the wedding 
plans were more evolved than would make sense to anyone other than perhaps 
another fourteen year old girl. 

As my eighth grade year slipped past, by shear absence Bobby faded some 
from mind. Any time, though, that a guy paid much attention to me - and 
that seemed to be happening a lot more regularly as my body protruded in 
desirable ways - the thought of reciprocating felt like cheating on Bobby. 
Stupid, of course - but then isn't that the definition of young love? 

With my freshman year ahead I did long for it to pass even faster than the 
last. Even if Bobby might not be the one, the high school definitely 
offered more interesting options than the junior high. While I maintained a 
near 4.0 as the family mores demanded, I could sense that my social 
aspirations might be a touch more out there than my brother's seemed to be. 
From what I'd heard half the cheerleading squad was ready to provide 
services and he hardly took notice. 

Two months from now I'd be locked down with my pre-pubescent peers for a 
nine month sentence while the real players would reside but a mile away - a 
mile that feels like a million. On an early July swelter, I'd been feeling 
restless all day and kind of irritable - not so unusual as that time of the 
month was upon me. I'd been thinking about Bobby all afternoon and when mom 
mentioned that she needed a couple things from the store I rather 
uncharacteristically volunteered cheerfully to run that errand for her. 

At sixteen Bobby's dad began paying him to do the gofer work at his body 
shop. The other guys there were all older - some still in school and some 
not - and clearly this was a car crowd. He had turned sixteen early in his 
sophomore year and it was pretty clear that he too had moved over into the 
car camp. That summer before high school his dad already had tagged a car 
for him. I wandered by their house at any opportunity and the '56 Chevy was 
often in the driveway. 

I made the run on my bike this particular day with the Davies house along 
the route - well, a convoluted route. I swung down Jersey Drive on the way 
to Food Giant and then again on the way home. The return trip was a bonanza 
because I could see that the hood was up on the Chevy. As I approached from 
the rear Bobby's head popped out just long enough to light a cigarette. 
Dangling and exhaling, he was back beneath the hood without ever noticing 
me. 

This was new news. I had no smoker friends. It was not a habit condoned in 
our household so it was kind of out of my consciousness. As I rode the last 
few blocks home I attempted to build up some serious disapproval. Clearly I 
should be disgusted with this development but it just wasn't happening. To 
the contrary, it seemed to make Bobby maybe even a touch more interesting. 
With our family so straight laced, a little bit of aberrant behavior struck 
me as strange fun. 

Over the ensuing few days I played with this new side to Bobby. I recalled 
that his folks, and his sister who was a maybe a senior, were smokers too 
so I guess him being one shouldn't be such a news flash. I wondered if 
Tommy knew but wasn't sure how to broach it. I inquired one evening if he'd 
seen Bobby lately and he just gave me a disinterested shrug. When I tried 
to probe he just said they had different interests and left it at that. 

I was within a few months of sixteen and had some new decisions to make. 
The first was ditching my bike. That was an image I no longer wanted to 
portray. Physically I was pretty mature and had noticed with some pleasure 
more than a few of Tommy's friends checking me out the past year or two. 
Sadly, Bobby hadn't been one of those but then again he hadn't been around 
a lot either so maybe it was just lack of opportunity. It was clear that 
creating opportunities was going to be job one. 

I now ran mom's errands on foot. This took longer but it also allowed me to 
dress a bit more chicly. If mom took note, she didn't let on. The third 
week of June, I hit the jackpot. The car hood was up as I headed to the 
store. I was maybe 100 feet beyond their house when I heard, "Hey Di, 
whatcha doin' in my neighborhood?" 

"Going shopping," I responded and just kept walking - with a little extra 
sway to my step. I couldn't tell if his eyes continued to follow me but I 
suspected. 

Confirmation was just a return trip away. Thirty minutes later I'm passing 
by heading home and it's pretty clear he's been watching for me. He sees me 
several houses away and is sitting on his rear bumper as I pass. He 
initiates the conversation with some questions about Tommy which I field 
quickly and then starts asking about me. I like where this is headed. He 
meanders down toward me and points toward the curb suggesting we sit. 
Invitation accepted. 

I express my dismay at being yet a year away from high school and how 
dreadful the following year promises to be. Nonchalantly lighting a 
Marlboro, he empathizes and says, "Ya, you sure don't look like a junior 
high kid anymore". With uncontainable glee, I feign surprise at the 
compliment and return my best shot at a seductive look, its strongest point 
being absolute sincerity. A little blush on his part signals some kind of 
success. 

We continue to chat about mutual friends as he finishes his cigarette and I 
acknowledge that mom is waiting for the pork chops in order to make dinner. 
I make no mention of the smoking nor does he. It's now just what is. 
Playing nonplussed seems like my best strategy and avoids what could be an 
awkward conversation. As I turn to go he offers "drop by anytime" and I 
smile back that I just might. Might, ya right? 

That was a Saturday afternoon and there was no way I could wait a full week 
for the next encounter. I knew that he worked pretty much full time so I'd 
need a new strategy. I decided that the chances were best he'd be out 
working on his car after work so maybe early evenings would be a good bet. 
I finished the dinner dishes quickly on Tuesday and told mom I'd be over at 
Jeri's since she lived that direction. My heart skipped a beat when I saw 
the car hood up. 

I had about thirty seconds to formulate the right greeting. It turned out 
to be the not very inspired, "So when are you going to take me for a ride?" 
His reply was that he wasn't allowed to have passengers until seventeen but 
maybe I could be the first. Right answer, Bobby. After nearly six years of 
dreaming, there was some chance of dreams becoming reality. He seemed 
honestly interested in me. 

We resumed our spots on the curb and he again pulls out his Reds. This time 
however he tilts the pack in my direction. This wasn't in my plan and I 
uncomfortably declined with a way too rapid head shake but he didn't seem 
to notice as he realizes the pack is dead. I'm awed though by the fact that 
he'd even offer. Clearly I've been repositioned from "friend's kid sister" 
to "girl I could hang with". 

He stubs out his cigarette and though maybe I should feign a need to head 
home, I don't. "You want a coke or something?" he offers and I say sure. 
"Follow me," he commands and I do so obediently. We walk around to his 
backyard and he points to lawn swing indicating that I should relocate 
there. "I'll be back in a minute," he continues entering the backdoor as I 
head for the swing. 

He returns in a couple of minutes with two Cokes tucked under his arm while 
focused on opening a fresh pack of Marlboros. I watch the ritual - wrist 
packing, cellophane ripping, foil tearing, and finally tapping out and 
exposing a couple of filters - with serious curiosity. Smoking simply was 
not of my culture - neither family nor friends - so this was like a 
different universe. 

Oblivious to my earlier rejection, he offers again. This time he extends 
the freshly opened pack to me and it's clear that I'm expected to pluck out 
one of the now exposed filters. I do so awkwardly with no idea of what 
comes next. I sort of yanked at it and was surprised to find it virtually 
weightless. I don't know what I had expected but it wasn't that. I also had 
little idea of how to hold it and found the filter kind of squeezed between 
two fingers and a thumb - kind of like a human candlestick holder. 

I was still kind of staring at it uncomfortably when I realized that Bobby 
had a flame nearing my face. I quickly shifted the cigarette between my 
index and middle finger and took it to my lips a nanosecond before the 
flame arrived. I sucked like through a straw and the thing actually lit 
while delivering some strange substance into my mouth. Reflexively I simply 
spit it back out. 

Bobby again seemed to pay little heed as he simultaneously lit his own 
smoke and exhaled a long firm rope. "I really don't know how to do this," I 
offered. 

"I know," he responded, "but I wanted to see if you were game. I couldn't 
care less whether you smoke or not but at least trying tells me you're not 
a goody two shoes like" - a sentence that didn't require completing. "If 
you want to learn, I'll teach you sometime but for this first one just keep 
doing what you're doing - suck and blow out." 

In the meantime Bobby popped open both Coke cans and we swung back and 
forth with those in our left hands and cigarettes in our right. Sipping 
Cokes and chatting, he smoked his cigarette while I kind of toyed with 
mine. It tasted kind of blucky - okay, really blucky - but it was extremely 
fun to be doing something definitely adult and kind of naughty. For the 
life of me though I couldn't see what the big deal was about. Surely 
something so fundamentally distasteful could never lead to a habit - then 
again that's what it looked like had happened to Bobby. 

Following his lead I snuffed my cigarette out with my sandal, the swing now 
stilled. I wasn't prepared for what happened next, though I'd been planning 
for it most of my life. He put his arm around my shoulder, turned me toward 
him, and kissed me on the lips. I neither kissed him back nor attempted to 
resist. I just went with it. The taste of him and the lingering taste of 
his cigarette - our cigarettes - made an indelible impression upon me. For 
the rest of my life that would be the taste of love. 

Dusk was turning to darkness as I recognized I'd better get home. All that 
I'd need would be for mom to call Geri's and not find me there. Bobby was 
no more ready for me to leave than I was but also acknowledged the wisdom. 
He also gave me three pieces of gum to help disguise the smell of smoke - 
both mine and his. He asked when he'd next see me and playing coy wasn't in 
the cards. "Soon, maybe Thursday," I said as I flipped around and gave him 
a goodbye kiss. 

Everyone was watching TV as I blew into the house. "Kind of late, aren't 
you?" mom stated to which I replied "not really" while heading into the 
bathroom. 

"We went jogging," I lied, "so I'm taking a shower." I figured some soap, 
shampoo, and some good bath oils would obliterate all wayward odors. By the 
time I joined the others in the living room I was fresh as a rose - 
actually I smelled exactly like a rose. When mom asked about my evening I 
simply retorted "the best". 

Sleep does not come easy when your day has amazed - and today had amazed. 
Bobby seemed as interested in me suddenly as I had been in him for a 
century. He'd kissed me - the first serious kiss I'd ever had - and I'd 
smoked (well, kind of smoked) - a cigarette. None of this would sit well 
with any of my family but at the moment that carried no weight whatsoever. 
I wanted Bobby as my boyfriend and he just might be seeing me as his 
girlfriend. That mattered - and absolutely nothing else. 

I got out again on Thursday evening right after loading the dishwasher. I 
even put on some jogging shorts and shoes to help with my charade. I added 
a little make-up but knew that I'd need caution here - no point in begging 
too many questions from mom. She asked when I'd be home and I said about 
nine without any observable resistance. I had a potential of two and a half 
delirious hours ahead with Bobby and while my feet raced, my heart raced 
faster. 

I worried that maybe he wouldn't be home but that was alleviated quickly as 
the now familiar hood stood raised. I kind of snuck up on him and patted 
his butt - a very cute butt I must say - and he turned around a little 
startled. He gave me the sweetest little peck and then wasted no time in 
closing down the shop and ushering me again to the back yard. This time 
though we settled at the picnic table - both on the side facing the house. 

He tossed his Marlboros and Zippo on the table as he dumped out the ashtray 
into a nearby gnarly old coffee can. He shook one out and lit it - 
obviously waiting to see what I would do. What the hell. I reached for the 
pack. If I'm going to hang with a smoker I'd best just join the club - or 
at least pretend to. Just as I was tapping one out in the same fashion he 
had, he said, "Do you really want to learn to smoke" 

"Sure, why not?" 

"Many reasons which you already know - most people find it nasty and your 
family will disown you," he retorted, "but if you hold on a minute - I'd 
love to corrupt you," and he dashed back indoors. 

Moments later he re-emerged with a different pack of cigarettes, but not 
nearly so familiar looking. 

"What are those?" I questioned. 

"My sister's Mistys - they're FNPs." My inquisitive look followed by 
repeating his words elicited more information. Laughing he said, "You know, 
FMPs - fucking near paper. These are fine to learn to smoke with but 
they're so worthless. I really don't know why anyone would bother to smoke 
them." He began to unwrap them but I interrupted. 

"Let me try," I demanded. He relinquished the pack and I then went through 
the motions I'd watched him perform two days prior. 

"Not bad for a rank amateur," he complimented me as I tapped out a couple 
of filters - white filters, I noted. 

"So now what should I do, teacher?" I teased. 

This time he gave me a quick explanation of smoking, which while 
elementary, was in some ways new to me. He said I'd done just fine sucking 
the other evening but that smoking means inhaling. In other words, once the 
smoke is in your mouth it needs to continue on down into your lungs. 
Remarkably, this had never occurred to me. Of course that's why real 
smokers blow out streams rather than clouds. It's inhaling, he explained, 
that's the reason for the Mistys. Inhaling is a real assault on your lungs 
until you get use to it and these are so mild that they won't jolt you so 
badly. 

"Let's go," I said, but he continued. 

"First, I want you to watch me. After I take a puff see how I suck it all 
the way in. What I want you to do when I give you a light is not even 
really drag much at all. Just pull hard enough on the cigarette to make 
sure that it lights and then spit out whatever smoke you've taken in. On 
the next puff, get rid of some it and then attempt to inhale the remainder 
into your lungs. It's going to jolt you so don't be surprised." 

"Okay, okay, enough already," I replied. "Give me a light please." 

So that's what happened. He offered his flame and I managed to get the 
cigarette lit. Even with that minute amount of smoke I could tell it was 
lighter and tasted different. It had kind of a minty flavor to it - less 
unpleasant, or at least less harsh, than two days earlier. The next puff, 
though, was the real test. I took a second drag and expelled some of the 
smoke and then just breathed in. It felt like a foreign invasion but this 
gentler smoke didn't choke me or anything but I did kind of spit it back 
out. This time however the spit was no longer formless. It looked a little 
bit like how Bobby exhaled. 

Inhaling was a trip. At first it made me feel kind of light-headed and 
giddy and of course oh so cool. Half way down however the light-headedness 
turned to dizziness and my stomach began to turn. "You're looking a little 
green there, missy," Bobby laughed as he took the cigarette from me and 
crushed it out. "That's enough for now I think," he said and I had to agree 
with him. I was just a spectator as he finished up his Marlboro. 

Moments later I felt his hand kind of brush against my butt and rest on my 
thigh pulling me towards him. I didn't resist. I laid my head down quickly 
on his shoulder and then looked up into his eyes just as he bent to kiss 
me. It was such a sweet kiss - not awkward like a couple of days earlier 
but much more a shared experience of two people who were ready to begin a 
relationship. It lasted forever; it didn't last long enough. 

We necked for maybe fifteen or twenty minutes, taking the occasional sip of 
Coke here and there. "I think I've wanted to kiss you since you were five," 
he offered. 

"I was as ready then as I am now," I replied. Those words seem to jolt us 
both and the necking became a lot more aggressive. Feelings rushed through 
my body that were simply unfamiliar but totally not unwelcome. I knew in 
time I'd give myself to Bobby, but I'd known that even when I didn't know 
what it meant. 

This rapture was suddenly interrupted by his sister, Sophia, tripping down 
the back stairs heading for the garage to get her car. She worked the eight 
to two AM shift at Perkins during the summer and she was cutting it close. 
Cigarette dangling and searching her purse for her keys, she took little if 
any note of us. It did however bring momentary closure to our passion. 

As Bobby reached for his cigarettes I did for mine as well. While my heart 
was a flutter, my stomach was now settled. I wasn't wimping out at this 
point. Bobby lit us both up again and this time I found the process 
smoother. I inhaled the first puff and produced a respectable exhale. 
Nothing spectacular mind you - but respectable. This cigarette I darn near 
finished and did so uneventfully - which of course was actually very 
eventful. This one didn't even taste so bad. 

We still had almost an hour until I needed to be home and that hour too was 
composed of more necking and a final cigarette - at least final for me. The 
problem though was that it was now 8:45 and I was more than a little 
ruffled up and smelled strongly of smoke. Maybe I would be lucky like the 
last time but it would only be a matter of time until this gig would be up. 

I used Sophia's bathroom to clean up, reapply a little make up, and brush 
my teeth four times - and then crossed my fingers. I ran all the way home 
"to prove that I'd been jogging" and again successfully parlayed that into 
the safety of my bathroom. It was very clear, however, that this strategy 
had severe limits and that things would change soon - how they would change 
was more uncertain. 

Around three the next afternoon, the phone rang and mom got to it before I 
did. She instantly recognized Bobby's voice and was clearly happy to hear 
from him. She did affirm however that Tommy wasn't home only to assume a 
quizzical look as she said, "Oh yes, Dinah's right here. I'll get her". 
Handing the phone to me, it was very clear that the inquisition would 
commence shortly. 

Bobby called to ask me out that night. Even though I had yet to go out on a 
real one-on-one date with any guy, I said nonchalantly that I was sure it 
would be fine, and yes, 7:00 would work, and a movie would be great. The 
receiver was not yet in place when the questions came fast and furious. 

"We haven't heard from Bobby in more than a year and now he wants to take 
you out. What gives? You've never been given permission to date in the past 
and you don't even ask? What's going on here? 

I knew that I had my work cut out for me. I was going to go on this date 
regardless but best if I do so with mom as an ally. The truth wasn't going 
to get me very far so I needed a story. I told her that I'd run into him at 
the store a week ago and that he honked at Jeri and me while we were 
jogging the previous evening and we'd had fun catching up. I finished the 
tale with, "and he was always my friend too when he was around so of course 
I was sure you wouldn't mind". It wasn't a terribly enthusiastic 
endorsement on her part but she did acquiesce. 

Bobby picked me up at 6:50. He was anxious and, since I was ready, you 
might say I was too. We played it very cool in front of my parents but I 
saw my mom sniffing and turning her nose up. While his cigarettes weren't 
in his pocket, the odor was unmistakable. Nasty, she thought; nice, I 
thought. They asked what time the movie would be over and Bobby said around 
ten and we negotiated for a "malt stop" after so my curfew was 11. Not too 
bad for a first date. 

We weren't to the corner before Bobby fired up his Marlboro and as I gave 
him a questioning look he nodded to the glove compartment where the near 
full pack of Mistys resided. Now this was a dilemma. Smoking clandestinely 
in Bobby's backyard was one thing but lighting up a cigarette in broad 
daylight in his car quite another. I took the pack out but then clearly 
hesitated. 

"Hey," I said, "I thought you couldn't have passengers until you're 17." 

"I pleaded with dad this morning at breakfast and he relented - `just one 
passenger and only if it's a girl - a girl I really like'". I moved over 
and put my hand on his thigh. 

"I'm glad you like me" I responded. "I kind of like you too but I'm a 
little chicken to smoke a cigarette this publicly - even though I'd like 
to." 

"I understand completely," he said as he pulled onto a side road and parked 
in a forested area. "Feel safe enough here?" he queried with his lighter 
already aflame. The movie doesn't start until eight and it was over just 
after 9:30. We had some time we could spend together. Dragging as if I 
actually knew what I was doing, I inhaled effortlessly and let out a pretty 
smooth exhale. He finished a second cigarette concurrent with my first and 
then we had twenty minutes of fondness ahead - but not so much as to mess 
up my outfit. Tonight mom would be watching. 

I tried to pay some attention to the movie knowing that I'd be quizzed 
about it, but mostly I paid attention to Bobby. When it let out we were 
milling around outside. Bobby lit up a cigarette but I didn't. This was way 
too public and my Mistys were still in the car anyhow. We ran into several 
of his friends and it was fun watching them checking me out and then 
showing some recognition - at least those who knew Tommy. It was clear that 
I was receiving passing grades. 

I did see a couple of my junior high acquaintances and made sure that they 
understood clearly that I was the date of a junior. I could see a nice 
approval level there as well. In kind of a "bad boy" way, Bobby was hot and 
my compatriots were readily acknowledging that - and of course he was two 
years our senior. I felt like a star but it paled in comparison to the 
shear excitement of being with Bobby- maybe being Bobby's girl. 

It was only 9:40 and we had a choice to make - we could head over to the 
Creamery or we could go park so there wasn't a real question. For some 
weird reason I also wanted to have a cigarette. That nasty taste didn't 
seem so nasty right now and just might intertwine nicely with some deep 
tongue therapy with Bobby. Now nearly dark, my self-consciousness gone, I 
lit up in the parking lot. A couple of my classmates may have even seen me 
- and I was hoping that they did. 

We returned to out earlier rendezvous given that it was on the way back to 
our house. I tossed my butt out the window heading down the road and felt 
so totally cool. In moments we were entwined and this time Bobby seemed to 
have more of an agenda. I felt a shiver as he slipped off my bra but 
offered no resistance. His hands all over me were the most sublime 
experience of my young life. I wanted him to touch me everywhere - yet 
recognized that that was probably not the best idea - at least not at the 
moment. 

When I noticed the car clock reporting 10:30 I pushed him away. I knew he 
wanted more - and for God's sake so did I - but someone here had to be 
sane. "Bobby, we have to cool it and I have to be able to look like I've 
had a night out with a buddy. Let's have one more cigarette, get me 
presentable, and take me home. This is just the beginning. I've known 
forever that you would be my first lover - hopefully only lover - but 
everything must happen in its own good time." 

I fully expected him to acquiesce fully but was a little unprepared for 
what happened next. "I'm so fuckin' hard and so needin' to fuck you that 
I'm going to go crazy. Can you at least give me a blow job so that I keep 
my sanity?" I had no ready response. That wasn't a request I'd ever 
received before. I said that I wasn't even sure how to do that but about 
that time he unzipped his pants and this interesting protrusion appeared. I 
couldn't believe its size. Instinctively I grabbed a hold of it and began 
rubbing and then licking. Within seconds he was spurting and moaning and I 
was just beginning to understand the power of being a woman. 

Fortunately he came all over the seat but not all over me. I licked him off 
as best I could while recognizing that I'd just earned another 200 bonus 
points in the process. It was now 10:45, I reeked of smoke and I may have a 
complement of cum, and in fifteen minutes I needed to sound like I'd had an 
innocent evening out with my brother's former best friend. Thank God I was 
taking acting classes. 

Getting out of the car was quite a struggle. Bobby seemed intent upon 
devouring me yet again - or being devoured once again - it hardly mattered. 
The problem was that he was going home to indifference. I was about to face 
the inquisition. I chewed gum. I reapplied make up. I tried my best to make 
my clothes not look unkempt. I was going to bat and I already had three 
strikes. All that I had on my side was an overpowering desire to take 
command of my life - and everyone know good offense beats good defense 
every time. In a final act of defiance I slipped the Mistys into my purse. 
You never knew when I might want one. 

What a surprise. Mom was waiting up for me. There was no use trying to beat 
the sniff test - I knew I would lose - and of course I did - INSTANTLY! 

"So, tell me about your first date," mom initiated. 

"Sure. Let me get a Coke first. We had a very nice time. I've always liked 
Bobby and he was completely the gentleman. We walked down along the river 
for a few minutes before the movie and then went to the Creamery after. We 
ran into a bunch of his friends and a couple of mine. It was tremendously 
fun and I'd love to do it again." I now sat back and waited for mom's 
volley. 

"Well. I think that's great. My only concern is that he's a little old for 
you and maybe not the right kind of boy." I returned a stone face to her 
comments compelling her to continue. "I mean his family is different than 
ours. They don't value education the same way we do and they just live 
differently." 

`What do you mean by that?" I offered as inoffensively as I could - feeling 
totally offensive. 

"Well," she continued, "you know". 

"No, tell me," I countered. 

"Come on Dinah. I can smell smoke all over you. Clearly he smokes just like 
the rest of his family. You know that's not who we are." 

"Are you telling me, mom, that smoking in and of itself is a near criminal 
offense that bans someone from our presence? Are we really that narrow and 
judgmental? I'd sure hate to think so." 

I'd caught mom off guard. She hadn't anticipated the "we liberals shouldn't 
be so narrow" parry. It pretty much worked. She came back much more 
oblique. 

"Well, I could smell tobacco on him when he came into the house and I can 
smell it on you after an evening with him. Doesn't that bother you?" What a 
perfect opportunity. 

"Of course, mom, I'd prefer that he didn't smoke but he does. I'm not about 
to condemn him for that." I'd gained "anti-smoking points" and had 
simultaneously evaded the accusation of smoking myself. Twin wins. 

The evening ended fairly in a conciliatory way. Mom didn't forbid me from 
ever seeing him again and I maintained what appeared to be only a tepid 
interest in him. When he next called - and he would soon - I might even be 
capable of accepting with what appeared to be indifference. It was looking 
like I should be getting an "A" in my acting class. 

The answer to the question of when I might want another Misty was now. This 
wasn't cool. I first needed to dispose of mom and then needed to find a 
nice downwind location. Mom complied with an almost immediate "I'm past my 
bedtime" so that at least was handled. It was now nearing midnight and 
Tommy was still out so I'd need to be on the watch for him. 

I kissed mom goodnight carefully concerned that she might recognize that 
the smoke was not just ambient and pretended to head for bed. Once I knew 
for certain that she'd retired I slipped a cigarette into my jeans pocket 
and was about to head out when I realized that I had nothing to light it. A 
quick and surreptitious visit to the kitchen uncovered a book of matches 
and I was in business. 

I headed for the alley behind the garage where I felt well protected and 
soon the match and cigarette met in perfect congruence. It was maybe my 
sixth or seventh cigarette all told but somehow being alone made it even 
more desirable. I smoked it to the butt and wished for another but hadn't 
had that foresight. I also began to recognize what Bobby meant about FNP - 
I already wanted more of a hit than I was getting. I was seriously 
considering sneaking back in and getting a couple more when I saw the 
headlights of Tommy's car. I skedaddled in. 

Saturday morning came way too soon. Of course I'd been awake half the night 
thinking about all the sudden changes in my life and I simply couldn't get 
my brain to turn off. Half a dozen times I considered going out and having 
another cigarette but I could never quite get up. On the other hand I did 
seem to be getting up in another way as I gently stroked myself down south. 
I'd only done this a couple of times before - and very experimentally at 
that. This time it was Bobby on the inside of my eyelids and my body 
recognized the difference. I'd need to change the sheets in the morning. 

Arising I had two simultaneous thoughts - one was that I wouldn't mind 
having an early morning cigarette and the other was what a fool I was for 
even bringing the pack home. I couldn't jeopardize my burgeoning 
relationship with Bobby over smoking - not at this point. In time it was 
pretty likely that both would be a given, but securing my relationship with 
Bobby was foremost and a family skirmish over smoking could be deleterious 
to that effort. I'd have to cool it on the smoking - at least anywhere 
where I might get caught. 

Dad kidded me a bit over breakfast about having a date and Tommy was again 
a bit aloof. He said something about not knowing what I could see in "that 
loser Bobby". I was offended but didn't take the bait. Mom kept to herself 
and that actually worried me more. I knew that she wasn't buying the buddy 
thing and she might even be questioning that the smoke was ambient. Women 
know each other - often way too well. 

We were having neighbors over that evening and dad suggested that I invite 
Bobby. While the desire to see him was palpable, the environs left 
something to be desired. Ours was a no smoking zone and the crowd overall 
would be disapproving. It would make Bobby uncomfortable for certain and 
perhaps even me. Hanging with Bobby was now synonymous with smoking for me 
as well. I did agree to call and invite him and to my surprise he accepted 
- nicotine restrictions and all. 

I have to give Bobby way higher marks than Tommy for civility. He did his 
darnedest to chat everyone up but Tommy and his buddies turned a cold 
shoulder. Bobby was clearly a deserter of the athletic wars and they 
weren't about to forgive that. There were, however, a number of high school 
age girls in attendance and I was pretty sure that they would have gladly 
traded places with me. They weren't looking for jocks; they were looking 
for what's in them. 

After dinner I could tell that Bobby was getting pretty antsy - nicotine 
deprived - and I suggested a walk. Two houses down the street and he was 
dragging in relief - and two houses further I joined him with one of his 
Marlboros. Yeah, it was harsher but I kind of liked that. It had some real 
taste and a real kick. I'd stash away the Mistys but I was already ready 
for something more substantial. We found a stairway and sat on the bottom 
step, necking lightly and smoking, until our cigarettes were depleted. He 
had a second and all I did was steal a couple of drags. 

By the time we returned to the party most of our contemporaries had already 
cut out. They were headed to a dance at a local church. I gave dad my best 
"I'm your loving daughter" smile and excused ourselves to attend that same 
function. We were history before mom knew we were gone. We did actually 
drive down to the dance but discovered that pretty much no one else was 
there either - not even St. Tommy. We had better places to go. 

Bobby noticed that his tank was near empty and pulled into the Mobil 
station. As he pumped gas I lit up my second Misty of the short trip. It 
proved as unsatisfying as the first so I asked Bobby if he could buy me a 
pack of NSFNP's. He looked at me perplexed until I articulated "not so 
fucking near paper". He returned shortly with three packs of Marlboro Light 
100's and a package of Bic lighters. I kind of understood I was crossing a 
line but I did so in near ecstasy. Henceforth my purse would never again be 
without a pack, a back up, and something to ignite them with. 

That was the night that I learned how to administer a blow job. It was 
really quite simple given that you didn't choke on the deposit. I didn't. I 
swallowed. Bobby swooned. He even told me that he loved me. I believed him 
more when we were just necking but hearing it again was certainly nice. I 
took him a bit more seriously though when he attempted to return the favor. 
His hand wandered south and his fingers penetrated. It was a bit rough but 
hey he needs a little coaching and practice - and I'm the one to provide 
it. 

His invitation to take my panties off and allow him to enter crossed the 
line. I knew and he knew it but it was worth a try. I told him it was only 
a matter of time but this wasn't the time. He had no protection and I was 
heading toward mid cycle. Patience. And then I gave him a hand job to thank 
him for not pressuring me any further. 

In between all of this activity I began to establish a relationship with my 
Marlboro Light 100's. I liked them and I thought they liked me too. We 
seemed like a perfect pair. A day ago I'd cursed myself for caching a pack 
of Mistys at home and now I was fully prepared to take home a pair and a 
spare of these Marlboro Lights and consequences be damned. I was now 
Bobby's girl and we both smoked. As they say folks, like it or lump it. 

Such bravado serves well at the witching hour but withers some with 
daylight. Having disappeared under dad's watch without curfew, I knew that 
there was potential hell to pay with mom. I wasn't wrong. I'd come in after 
one and they'd both retired but I could see though that mom's light was 
still on. The piper still needed to be paid. 

The good news at breakfast was that dad and Tommy were there as well and 
that mom would be neutralized by that. It was only a temporary stay of 
execution. Tommy headed for the gym and dad to the golf course. I wished 
that I had made early plans but I hadn't thought that far ahead. The 
onslaught was about to begin and I was the slaughter. 

"So Dinah, tell me about what's going on with you and Bobby," she began. 
"This doesn't strike me as just a couple of casual friends. I watched the 
two of you together last night and he seems completely into you and you 
into him. I'm a little concerned. Explain to me why I'm wrong here. I'd 
love it if you could." 

The timing of truth is seldom convenient. She had me dead to rights. 
"Guilty," I said as I began to cry. "I've loved Bobby from the first day he 
came to our house and I'm beginning to understand that he felt the same 
way. We just kind of discovered each other the last few days and I'm having 
feelings that I didn't know it was possible to have." 

"I understand those feelings all too well," mom responded, "and they 
usually end up producing heartache and/or unwanted babies. Bobby is cute 
and I understand his charm. That said, he's also a guy and won't be 
satisfied until he has you in bed. That hasn't happened yet, has it?" 
Blushing for the first time, I responded. 

"Of course not mom. He's not that way," knowing full well that he is that 
way. "He's a guy. I've been crazy about him as long as I can remember and I 
think he feels the same way about me. Right now, mom, being with him trumps 
anything else in life that I can even imagine." 

"Dinah, I worry about you in every way a mom can. I want only the best in 
life for you. I worry about you being with someone older. I worry about you 
being with someone who might take advantage of you. I even worry about you 
being with someone who smokes. Do you understand that?" 

"I do, mom, but nobody can decide for someone else what's best for them. 
It's not Bobby's fault that he's older - and he isn't by much. It's hardly 
his fault that he smokes given that his entire family does - and that 
hardly makes him an evil person. Might he want to take advantage of me? Of 
course - he's a guy and it's in their DNA to do so. I don't care about any 
of this. I've loved him forever and I always will. 

With that mom came over and hugged me. "I just hope you don't get hurt. And 
I certainly hope that you don't get drawn into smoking. It's a habit that 
you'll forever regret. Promise me that will you - that you'll leave the 
cigarettes to Bobby." 

"Oh, come on mom," I responded Ingenuously, I continud, "Can you really see 
your 3.9 daughter falling for something so silly as smoking?" She smiled as 
I wished I was having a cigarette at that very moment. No point, though, in 
fighting tomorrow's battles today. 

Mom hesitated for a moment in thought and I simply reacted. I opened my 
purse, took out a fairly full pack of Marlboro Light 100's, retrieved my 
lighter, and lit up. I took a deep drag and followed it up immediately with 
another - and mom watched stunned. Still silent, I looked her in the eye 
and said "Does this make me a bad person? Will you disown me for this? Does 
smoking a cigarette condemn me to hell?" 

She gathered herself slowly and carefully. "I forbid you to ever associate 
with Bobby again. In a matter of days he's stolen the soul of my precious 
daughter. I can't have this. Do you understand me? You'll never see him 
again." 

"I understand every word you're saying mother and I even empathize with 
them," I stated slowly dragging on my cigarette in a way meant to disarm 
her. "But hear me out. I love Bobby and I won't allow anything to interfere 
with that - not you, not Tommy, not dad, no one." I let a long, languishing 
exhale drift in her direction. "There are ways that I could fuck up my life 
where you'd have every right to intervene. Loving a nice boy and smoking a 
few friggin' cigarettes shouldn't be one of them. 

"Here's what I can promise you. I won't let any guy - Bobby or whomever - 
get in the way of my education. I want love but I want fulfillment even 
more. I won't do hard drugs but I ask you to stay off my back over smoking. 
I know it isn't smart but it's a part of my relationship with Bobby. It 
won't likely last but if it does will you love me less? I hope not." 

And then the most unlikely thing in the world happened. She reached over 
for my cigarettes, tapped one out, picked up my lighter, and whammo. My mom 
- my puritanical, anti-everything, mom - flicked my Bic and then took a 
deep drag which she released like a pro. She even followed that with a 
double pump as I stared dumb-founded. 

"Just know what you're getting into," she smiled wistfully. 

What a strange world we live in. Suddenly mom is sharing a cigarette with 
me and sounding like a sage. No lecturing, no judgments, no "I told you 
so's" - all the things that I was ready to combat are irrelevant. She's 
redefined the playing field and it's unfamiliar to me. It's vulnerable, 
it's complicated, and its rules are stochastic. 

I will sleep with Bobby - sooner rather than later - I know that. In my 
fairytales we'll also marry and live happily ever after. But in profound 
silence mom has articulated a truth that I could learn no other way - life 
laughs at prediction and seldom serves the immediately inevitable. 


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