Let Destiny Decide, Part 1

(by Smokehut, 26 February 2006)

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By Smokehut 

Darren Fitting pulled into a parking space outside Lucky Slim's, a downtown 
beer joint. No, that wasn't entirely accurate. Darren came reasonably close 
to skidding into the space in the PT Cruiser he really didn't like but had 
received as a graduation gift from his parents two years earlier, before 
he'd gone off to college. He walked directly to the bar and ordered a 

Scanning the room, he spied Karina Sonnenberg sitting at a table near the 
dingy bandstand. 

"Mind if I join you?" he asked. 

"Darren! What a surprise? Sure, sit down. How you doing?" 

"I've been better, but I won't bore you," he said, sitting down. 

Karina reached into her purse and retrieved a pack of Marlboro Lights. 
"Mind if I smoke?" 

"Course not," he said. 

She lit up, drew a ball of smoke into her lungs and inhaled a thin stream. 

"It's a nasty habit," she said, "but I, like, really love it. Know what I 

"Sure," he replied. "Sometimes I smoke." 

"Really?" Karina held out the cigarette to him. "Show me." 

She handed him her cigarette. Darren took a moderate hit, drew it in and 
quickly exhaled upward, then handed it back. 

"Wow," she said. "You really know how." 

"Yeah, I kind of like it, too. I sneak a smoke now and then." 

"So, what are you doing down here? No practice today?" 

Darren smiled only slightly. "I fuckin' quit," he said. 

"No," she said, drawing the word out. "You quit football? No way." 

"I did, man. Just got tired of the bullshit. I wasn't going anywhere. No 
sense risking a knee injury or something when all you get out of it is 
three hours of practice. I don't know how I got in the doghouse, but the 
coaches just stopped paying attention to me. I guess I'm old news. Raftery 
looked like he could barely conceal a smile when I told him." 

"Aw," she said. "Well, that sucks. What did your parents say? Were they 

"They don't know," he replied. "My old man'll shit." 

"I hate you gotta go through it, baby. Want one?" she asked, offering her 

"Yeah," he said. "In the worst way." 

He retrieved a cigarette and accepted Karina's light. Watching her smoke, 
and smoking with her, almost made Darren forget his black mood. She was 
lovely. Not voluptuous, by any means. Her tits were small, but the whole 
package was nice. He loved her long, curly hair. He loved how she laughed 
so easily. He loved the way she smoked. It aroused him. It made him want to 
stare into her brown eyes. It made him want to fuck her, but it was a 
dangerous leap. He almost valued her friendship too much to risk it all on 
a roll in the hay. 

But not quite. 

He drank the beer too fast. It was gone by the time he finished the 

"Hey," Darren said. "You want to split a pitcher?" 

"Sure," she said. 

They spent hours talking, the afternoon evaporating in a lovely haze of 
inebriation and smoke. 

"You know," Karina said, "I never had any idea you smoked?" 

"I suppose you wouldn't know it now if I hadn't quit football," he said. "I 
don't know, maybe if we were together at some party and I went out on a 
porch for a cigarette or into some back room to get high. We all have to 
keep things hidden about ourselves. Life makes us hypocrites, to one extent 
or another." 

"You get high?" she asked, chuckling. 

"I have this theory," he said. "Everybody gets high. It's like some secret 
society. Man, I think preachers get high. I think policemen get high. I 
think my mom probably gets high." 


"I think you get high." He laughed. 

"Well, not so much," she said. "I used to in high school, you know. Me and 
my friends, we'd smoke Blunts in the parking lot while football games were 
going on - when guys like you were out there playing and thinking we were 
hanging on every little yard." 

"Everybody gets high," Darren said. "I'm not talking about, you know, 
necessarily marijuana. A smoke gives you a little buzz. Beer. Whiskey. Some 
people get high on religion. Some people get high inflicting pain on 
others, whether it's beating them up or just torturing them mentally and 
emotionally. Scoring a touchdown gets you high. Hitting a home run gets you 
high. Knocking the shit out of somebody gets you high. Some people get high 
on pain. You know. Hurts so goooood." 

"You pick your poison, huh?" she replied. 

"You pick your fuckin' poison," he said. "It's a fact." 

"So, you high right now?" 

"Naw, I'm not high," he said. "I'm on the way to getting drunk, which is, I 
reckon, uh, high. But not yet. The cool thing is that I came here with the 
blues, man. I quit the fuckin' football team. I'm gonna lose my 

"Your dad's gonna shit." 

"My dad's gonna shit," he said, laughing with her. "But, right this minute, 
thanks to bumpin' into you, I just don't give a fuck. I got nothing to 
lose. What's that song? Freedom's just another word for nothing left to 
lose? I'm free, baby. Free as a bird." 

"Can you get high on sex?" she asked. 

"It's the best way." 

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