Farmer's Wife, Part 1

(by Gray Haze, 08 December 2007)

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Farmer's Wife
By Gray Haze

Part 1

Megan sat nervously in the back seat while her parent's car pulled onto the
main campus of Colgate University.  Although it had been a long drive from
their home in Connecticut, Megan was in no hurry to start her new life.  She
had never been away from home or her parents for any length of time.  Sure,
there was the one time when she spent a week at her aunt's house in Boston.
But all in all, she was the definition of a home body.  Her life revolved
around her parents and her sisters and the thought of now being away from
them scared her.

Megan was very quiet and shy.  While growing up she had very few friends.
While most teenage kids her age went to the mall and to parties on weekends,
Megan would stay home watching TV, playing games with her sisters, and
reading.  She was a good but not great student.  She wasn't even sure that
she wanted to go to college, but her parents insisted.  This hesitation
caused great delay in her selecting a college.  Finally, after much prodding
by her parents, she decided that Colgate offered her the best options in the
field of her choice.

The car wound around campus as they searched for the West Quad.  The West
Quad was a complex of four five-story dormitories.  All four were connected
by a central cafeteria.  It was tough getting housing at Colgate.  Because
she was so late in deciding to go there, she had to be put on a waiting list
for a room.  Any thoughts about room preferences went out the door while she
waited.  Finally in early August she got a letter that a room had opened up.
With few other options, the West Quad would have to do.

"I think this is it," Megan's father said as he pulled into the West Quad's
parking lot.  "Why don't you two go find your room while I start to unload
the car?"

Megan and her mother got out of the car and headed for the dorm.  Once
inside, they were greeted by the Resident Director who then pointed them
toward the elevator. 

"What floor are you on?" her mother asked as they entered the elevator.

"My room is on the fifth floor."

"Top floor it is," her mother said as she pushed the corresponding button.

The floor was laid out into four separate living areas.  Each area had four
rooms and a bathroom.  There were two students per room, so that eight girls
would share one bathroom.  Each area of four rooms was connected at the
middle by a lounge.  The lounge had some furniture and a TV.  Overall, this
was a very typical dormitory.

The elevator door opened up into the central lounge.  The Resident Assistant
of that floor sat at a table in the lounge.  She asked for Megan's name, and
then handed her a key to her room while pointing in the right direction.

Other girls and their parents were mulling about, while Megan and her mother
entered her new room.

"Hi, you must be Megan.  I'm Sherry.  It looks like we are going to be
rooming together this year."

"It's nice to meet you," Megan said in a quiet, shy voice.  

Megan looked around a little at her new room while her mother and Sherry's
mother made small talk.

"I think we better go help dad," Megan said after a few minutes.

For the next half hour, they carried Megan's belongings into her room.  Megan
didn't really own a whole lot - just clothes, a small stereo, and
miscellaneous dorm necessities.  But having to haul it up to the fifth floor
took some effort.

Finally with the car unpacked, Megan and Sherry organized the room.  It was a
small room, with two beds, two desk and two dressers.  They also each had
their own closet.  Both girls made small talk while they unpacked.  

Sherry was a tall, beautiful red head.  She had fair skin and glowing green
eyes.  She was very personable and loved to talk, which became quickly
apparent to Megan.

"Well mom, I think we are almost done," Sherry said as she grabbed her pocket
book.  Sherry then opened her purse up and pulled out a pack of Virginia
Slim's 100's.  Placing it on her desk, she continued to search for her
lighter.  "I guess I left my lighter out in the car," Sherry said as she put
her purse down, grabbed her pack and extracted a cigarette.  "Can I bum a
light mom?"

Her mother walked over toward Sherry, and pulled out a lighter from her
purse. She then extended a light toward the tip of Sherry's cigarette.
Sherry gratefully accepted the light, dragged hard then inhaled deeply, while
her mother pulled a pack of Winston's out and lit her own.

Megan's parents stared in stunned silence.  The resident assistant who gave
them the room key did have a cigarette burning in her hand, but they never
dreamed that Megan's new roommate smoked as well.  It turned out that this
floor was a designated smoking floor.  Almost all the girls there smoked.
The thought of their little girl having to spend the next year inhaling all
the second hand smoke repulsed them.  Nobody in their family smoked.  They
always warned each of their daughters of the dangers of smoking.  

Megan really didn't know what to think.  She had never smoked before, and had
no desire to try it.  She wasn't too thrilled at the idea of having to
breathe in all this second hand smoke.  But what could she do?  She really
had no other alternatives.  She certainly wasn't going to complain.  She
really wanted to get along with the girls here, and being anti-smoking on a
smoking floor would be the wrong way to go about it.

It didn't take long for the room to start to fill with smoke as Sherry and
her mom exhaled huge clouds toward the ceiling.  Both of Megan's parents were
visibly uncomfortable.  Finally, after watching Sherry light up another
cigarette shortly after extinguishing her first one, mom and dad decided it
was time to go home.  

Megan walked both of them out to the car and gave both a big hug prior to
them getting into the car.

"You know Megan, if you would like, we could stop at the school's housing
department to see if you can't get your room changed," her dad said as he
opened the car door.

"I don't know dad, I had trouble getting this room and I really don't think
that it is necessary at this point," Megan said as she was wiping tears from
her face. 

"But won't the smoke bother you honey?" her mother interjected.  "It seems
like almost all the girls smoke on the floor."

"If it does, I will try to change rooms later.  Sherry seems nice, so maybe
we can work something out where she smokes only in the lounge.  If not, then
I will try to get moved."

Megan decided to walk around the campus after her parents left.  She did
visit the campus last year after she visited Cornell, but she didn't get a
chance to really look around.  While she walked she thought about her new
life away from home.  This was going to be a big adjustment.  She no longer
could lean on her family for companionship.  No, she would have to try to
make some friends.  

After an hour of walking, Megan decided to head back up to her room.  As she
got off the elevator, she saw about a half dozen girls hanging out in the
lounge, watching TV and smoking.  "Well, here goes nothing," Megan said to
herself while she approached the girls.

She introduced herself while sitting down on the couch.  All the girls were
very friendly, but soon Megan reverted to her quiet shy shelf while the other
chatted amongst each other.  After about fifteen minutes, Megan got up and
headed for her room.  

"Hey roomie," Sherry said while Megan walked in.  "Where have you been?"

"I just walked around campus for awhile, and then talked with the girls out
in the lounge," Megan answered as she sat down at her desk.

"Do your parents know that you smoke?" Sherry said as she grabbed her pack of
cigarettes and pulled one out.  "They seemed a little surprised when I lit up
in front of them."

"Actually, to be honest with you, I don't smoke."

Sherry released a huge puff of smoke up toward the ceiling and then looked at
Megan.  "So why in hell are you living here?  Don't get me wrong, you are
definitely welcome to stay, but this is a smoking floor."

"I wasn't sure that I wanted to go to college and because of that I was late
accepting. Then I had trouble finding a place to live.  Finally about two
weeks ago, they told me that they finally found a room for me.  So here I

"Oh, I see."  Sherry then paused to take another drag off of her cigarette.
"Have you at least tried smoking before?"

"No, never," Megan answered embarrassingly.  "I guess I never really had the
desire to try."

"Well, I guess if you don't mind me smoking, I won't mind you not smoking.
Is it a deal?" Sherry said laughing.

"It's a deal," Megan laughed back.  Megan sat quietly at her desk while
Sherry smoked.  She could tell just by watching that Sherry really liked to
smoke.  She had this smile on her face as she exhaled smoke toward the
ceiling that revealed her obvious pleasure.  It was quite smoky in the room.
Megan noticed it right away when she got back from her walk. It was something
she didn't really care for, but knew that she would have to get used to it.

"So Sherry, I was kind of taken aback by your mother's acceptance of your
smoking," Megan said while Sherry crushed out her cigarette in her ashtray.
"My mother would kill me if she ever saw me smoking."

"Yeah, she is really good about it.  In fact, I think she enjoys sharing
cigarettes with me.   I'll never forget her reaction when she first caught me
smoking.  I thought that I was so busted.  But much to my surprise she wasn't
mad at all.  She just said to me, `welcome to the club'.  She then pulled out
two cigarettes from her pack, gave me one, and then offered me a light.
We've been smoking together ever since."

"Your mom sounds real cool.  When did this happen, a year or two ago?"

Sherry reached for another cigarette and started to laugh again.  "Try six
years ago," she said as she flicked her lighter.

"Oh my God, you were only 12 when you started smoking?"

"Actually, I was 10 when I had my first cigarette.  I was 12 when mom first
caught me.  By that time though, I was already hooked.  I think mom figured
that I was, so to her, it made little sense to make me quit."  Sherry then
paused to take a puff off her cigarette.  Her cheeks hollowed as she took an
enormous drag.  She then inhaled deeply, held it for four seconds, and then
released a huge cloud of dense smoke into the air.  "Once I was able to smoke
freely, my smoking habit just took off.  By the time I got to high school, I
was smoking two packs a day."

"It must be awful being so addicted to something that is so harmful for you."

"Megan, you may find this hard to believe, but it is wonderful.  I love my
cigarettes and I don't ever plan on quitting.  Most non-smokers like yourself
don't understand how good smoking really is.  But believe me when I tell you,
the pleasure far outweighs the risk.  You know what; it is really hard to
explain.  If you would like, I could show you how to smoke.  That way you can
experience one of life's greatest pleasures for yourself."

"You know Sherry, thanks, but I think I will pass on your kind offer," Megan
answered with a smirk on her face.  "The thought of letting my lungs waste
away for a little pleasure just doesn't seem worth it."

"Suit yourself," Sherry said through a talking exhale.  "But I'm going to
make a bold prediction.  If you spend the entire year living on this floor,
you will be smoking come next summer.  Not only that, you will be happy that
you did."

The subject of smoking was dropped after that.  The rest of the day, the two
just hung out getting to know each other.  It was soon obvious that neither
one had anything in common with the other.  But, they seemed to get along OK,
so Megan was at least happy with that.  

Megan was awakened the next morning by the sound of coughing coming from her
new roommate.  It didn't take long though for her to hear another sound, the
sound of a click from Sherry's lighter.  Sherry periodically coughed for the
next couple of minutes while she puffed heavily on her first cigarette of the
day.  Finally, the coughing stopped just in time for her to light another

Megan sat and listened in disbelief.  "How could she do this to herself?" she
thought as the room soon filled with smoke.  "It will be a dark day in hell
before I ever smoke."

The strong smell of cigarette smoke would start the first full day of Megan's
collegiate life.  It was a smell that she never had to deal with before.  But
although she found smoking to be quite repugnant, the smell wasn't all that
bad.  In fact, she was quickly getting used to it.  Good thing too, because
Sherry smoked incessantly for the first few hours that morning before heading
for breakfast.  She was lighting up every 15 or 20 minutes.  After breakfast
they mostly hung out with Jill and Terry who lived next door.  Jill was very
socialable much like Sherry.  She smoked Marlboro Light's but was nowhere
near the heavy smoker that Sherry was.  She had only started smoking a year
ago, and seemed to be more of a social smoker.  Terry was quiet, much like
Megan.  She smoked Newport's and quite heavily.  Her smoking style was
different than Sherry's though.  Sherry smoked with passion whereas Terry
smoked more nervously.  It seemed that she smoked only out of a need to stay
calm.  Her drags were not as long or her inhales as deep, but she puffed much
more frequently on her cigarette than Sherry.

After a few hours, Sherry and Jill left, leaving Terry and Megan behind.
Both girls enjoyed each other's company and decided to just hang out in the
room and watch some Sunday afternoon TV.  

"Do you mind if I ask you something?" Terry said to Megan as she reached for
yet another Newport.

"No, of course not," Megan smiled back at Terry.  "Please feel free to ask

"Does my smoking bother you?"  Terry asked after lighting up.  "I really like
you, and I hope that it doesn't, because I think we can become real good

"No, this may surprise you, but it doesn't.  You know, Terry, when I first
moved in, I thought that I would never be able to tolerate living on this
floor.  None of my friends or family smoke so when I realized that this was a
smoking floor, I almost died.  But, believe it or not, I got used to it
really fast.  It really doesn't bother me at all.  In fact, I hardly even
notice it."

"I'm glad, because as you have probably noticed, I smoke a lot, and I'm
afraid that I can't go without my cigarettes for any length of time.  I know
these things are bad for me, but I am so hooked I just can't quit."  Terry
stared at her burning cigarette with a somber look on her face.  "There are
times that I wish I had never started smoking.  And yet, I hate to admit it,
I do love to smoke.  I just wish I wasn't so chained to these stupid things."

"Yeah, you do smoke a lot, even more than my roommate.  How much do you
smoke, and when did you start?"

"I started when I was 13.  Believe it or not, my mother was the one who
taught me," Terry answered through a talking exhale.

"Your mother taught you?" Megan said, flummoxed.  "Why would any mother teach
their children to smoke?"

"It's kind of a long story.  But basically, I was kind of a nervous, high
strung child growing up.  Mom smoked, and I guess she figured that it would
help to relax me.  Well, she was right, it did.  It worked too well.  It
didn't take me long to find out how relaxing smoking was.  I absolutely fell
in love with that incredible relaxing feeling."  Terry paused to take another
puff.  She inhaled deeply and then continued.  "Slowly, I started smoking
more and more.  Before I even realized it, I was smoking all the time.  Now
here I am, five years later, smoking three plus packs a day, and I am pretty
much powerless to do anything about it."

"God, that is really sad," Megan said while reaching over and touching
Terry's arm.  "You must blame your mother for getting you started in the
first place."

"No, I would have tried smoking eventually and once I tried it, I would have
certainly continued.  I think that I was just born to smoke.  Poor mom, on
the other hand, feels terribly guilty.  For the longest time she blamed
herself for my obsession with cigarettes.  But over the last couple of years
or so I think I have finally convinced her that I smoke because I want to and
I even told her that I am glad that I smoke.  Although that isn't necessarily
true, there's no reason for her to be beating herself up over it."  Terry
slowly took one last puff off of her cigarette and continued talking as she
put it out in the ashtray.  "Now mom and I are really close.  I guess you can
call us smoking buddies.  We spend hours hanging out together chain smoking
cigarettes.  Maybe mom should be blaming me now.  She smokes much more than
she used to.  Hanging out with me all the time has caused her to increase her
smoking consumption quite a bit."

"I'm confused, Terry.  Are you glad that you smoke or do you wish you never

Terry reached for another Newport and with a sly smile, lit up.  "OK, I admit
it, I'm glad I started.  I just love these things so much, I can't imagine
living life without them.  I guess that I just have a love hate relationship
with my cigarettes.  I hate them every time I get short of breath or I start
coughing.  On the other hand, I love them every time I inhale this wonderful
smoke.  The only thing I regret is the amount I smoke.  But as I said
earlier, I'm pretty much powerless to do anything about it."

"Well Terry, I would like very much like for you to become my chain smoking
buddy.  So don't worry about your smoking.  It doesn't bother me.  Let's just
be friends."

"Thanks Megan, friends we will be!  You know, smoking is wonderful.  If you
would like, I could teach you sometime."

"That's OK Terry.  I really don't have any desire to smoke.  Besides, my
parents would kill me if I started."

Megan's new life at college started well.  Her roommate was really nice and
she now had a new friend in Terry.   College was going a lot better than she
could have ever imagined.  Soon, it was going to get a whole lot better.

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