Marlboro Country, Part 4: Suzie

(by mssmoker@hotmail.com, 07 April 1999)


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MARLBORO COUNTRY
Part Four: Suzie
by mssmoker@hotmail.com



Suzie wasn't exactly sure why she really, really wanted to try a 
cigarette when Rachel brought out her pack of Marlboro Light 100s.  
It wasn't as if she'd been thinking about it or anything.  In fact, 
she was as surprised as Lisa to hear Rachel'd started smoking.

But, when Rachel held the white pack of cigarettes in her hand, Suzie 
simply wanted one.

In the smoking area behind the school, Suzie watched as Rachel took 
one long cigarette from the pack, put it in her mouth, and lit it.  
She asked her for one, and just looked at it for a second or two.

It was long and white....and light.  She didn't know why, but for 
some reason, she imagined a cigarette had weight to it.

She honestly didn't know WHERE she got these ideas from!

Rachel held out a lighter, and Suzie put the cigarette between her 
lips, and leaned into the flame.  Nothing happened.

"You have to suck in a little," Rachel said, "bring some of the smoke 
into you.  Not much, though...you don't want to take in too much."

"Oh, okay," she said, and did as Rachel told her.

The taste of the smoke in her mouth was...well, she couldn't quite 
describe it.  There was a definite taste, and she could feel a 
tingling clear down to her toes.  She even felt a little light-
headed, too.

"Never tried one before, have you?" Rachel asked.

"No, never."  She took another drag on it.  "It's not bad, though."

"I started a couple months ago, but I didn't want to tell 
anyone...figured my folks would find out and I'd get caught.  So 
that's why I never told you."

"They know now?"

"Yeah," Rachel said, blowing a thick stream of smoke onto the wind.  
Suzie took some smoke in herself, but it didn't create anywhere near 
as big a cloud as Rachel's.  "I told my mom, after she confessed 
she'd started smoking again.  She smokes now, too, so she's cool 
about it.  My dad's still uptight, but we outnumber him, so he 
doesn't say anything.  He just goes into his den more now, and we're 
not allowed to smoke in there."

"Wow, that's cool.  If my mom caught me...."

Rachel's face clouded over.  "Be cafeful, huh, Suze?  Your 
mom....well, try not to piss her off, okay?"

"I know, I know," she said, taking another inhale of smoke.  She was 
really getting used to it now.  "I know...."

--------

Suzie opened the door quietly.  She heard loud snoring coming from 
the living room, and relaxed.  She walked past her mother, conked out 
on the sofa, Ricki Lake playing on the TV, snoring loud enough to 
drown out Ricki's audience members telling the people on stage 
exactly what's wrong with them.  She went up the stairs slowly, 
making sure to avoid the 9th step, the one that creaks.

She allowed herself to breathe when she closed her door.

She started emptying her book bag, setting up the books she needed 
for homework.

And she found the pack of Marlboro Lights Rachel had given her.

"I don't know if I'll want to smoke them all," she'd told her when 
she gave her the pack.  "So, you give me back what you don't want."

But, the truth was, Suzie doubted she would have to.  Or that she 
would want to.

Since she finished the cigarette with Rachel, all the rest of the 
day, she'd thought about it.  The unusual, yet still sweet, taste to 
it.  The feel of it in her mouth, as it sat there and as she blew it 
out into the wind.  She'd looked toward one of the windows in the 
school, and caught a glimpse of herself smoking...and she liked what 
she'd seen.

But, she thought, I'm not the smoker type.  I'm not the kind that can 
just openly light a cigarette whenever she wanted to.  That's not me.

It wasn't Rachel, either, not that long ago, she found herself 
thinking.  If she can, why not you?

Because Rachel has a mother who understands.

Suzie stopped as she heard sounds coming from downstairs, in the 
living room. She took the pack of cigarettes and hid them in her book 
bag, and took out her homework.  She leaned down close to the paper, 
hoping her mother would decide not to check on her today.

--------

Geez, how much crap do they give ya to do, any way?  Suzie could hear 
the slur in her mother's words...already she was three sheets to the 
wind....and it would only get worse.  As she talked, the cigarette in 
her hand became animated, and flew all over the place.

It's not that bad, she had said without really listening, an 
automatic response, I can handle it.  Well, it's too much, these 
teachers of yours don't know, I need you here, I need you to do your 
chores around here. You gotta do what you gotta do here, and not 
spend all night in a book, can't bury your nose when there's work to 
be done.  I know, Mom, I know...I'll be done in a minute, I'll do 
that stuff in just a minute.  Suzie just kept watching the cigarette 
in her mother's hand....

Now, the house was quiet.  No sounds....

Her mother hadn't gone off on a tirade, she just nodded and walked 
off. Suzie breathed again, and had then hurried to finish her 
homework.

She opened the window that opened to the back of the house, not where 
the driveway was. She looked around, and found a small plastic cover 
to...something.  A jar of peanut butter, probably.  She put that on 
the windowsill, too.

It was only midnight.  Her mother wouldn't be home for at least an 
hour...most likely more than that.  Suzie quietly took a cigarette 
out of the pack, and lit it with as little noise as possible.

Exactly how her mother'd hear her down at Flanagan's Pub, she didn't 
know, but she still was as quiet as she could be.

The taste of the cigarette was just as she'd remembered.  Only this 
time, she'd been expecting it, anticipating it.  She drew the smoke 
in deep into her lungs, and held it there, savoring it, before 
releasing it into the night air.

God, that feels good!

Mom smokes, Suzie found herself thinking, maybe she won't mind if I 
start?

Who am I kidding, she thought, expelling smoke.  She turned to look 
at herself in the small mirror behind the door as the smoke poured 
out of her body.  She enjoyed watching that...

I'm the nice one, she thought, the good girl.  The one who did 
everyting she was asked, and never complained. She was Suzie, not 
Debbie.  Never Debbie.  Not the one who left, who never calls.

The one who got away.

She heard the sound of tires on gravel, and she rushed to put out the 
cigarette...she heard a loud, obnoxious laugh, and another voice, a 
deep, male one.

She climbed into bed, and pretend to sleep.

She'd heard the sounds before.  Laughing, attempts to be quiet that 
never worked, fumbling to get up the steps, the practiced attempts to 
be the quietest as they went past her door...

Mom's gettin' lucky tonight.

She heard the door slam, and then quiet.  She remained very still, 
and if she strained her ears, she could hear the activity in the room 
down the hall.  Suzie knew that most of what she heard was more a 
product of her imagination than actual sounds, but nevertheless, she 
did hear something.

Especially if she listened really, really hard...

--------

"Hi Suzie, how's it going?"

Suzie was inhaling her cigarette and practically choked on it.  Brad 
was saying hello.  To her!

"Uh, not bad, not bad..."

He nodded.

Why was he talking to her, she asked herself.  Nervously, as much to 
cover up her inability to speak as anything else, she brought the 
cigarette to her lips and drew another inhale deep into her lungs.

"You know, I've been noticing you," Brad said, "and I have to say, 
you're looking really good this year."

"Um, thanks."

Brad was the cutest guy in school, and one of the most popular.  He'd 
barely even known of suzie's existence before today.

"I'm going to this party Saturday, a kegger for some college guys I 
hang with sometimes...you want to come?"

What?  He couldn't be asking her out.  It was impossible!

"Uh, gee, sure.  Why not?"

"Cool," Brad said, "I'll call ya, pick you up at 7 on Saturday."

"Oh...okay."

Suzie raised the cigarette, but missed her mouth, practically putting 
it into her ear.

Oh my God....

--------

"Why don't you sit down," Brad said as they entered the small 
apartment, "have a smoke or something, I'll get us something to 
drink."

"Sure, okay," Suzie said, and went to find a couch or something.  The 
apartment was crowded, but there was room on a couch in the living 
room.  She reached into her purse and took out a full pack of 
Marlboro Lights, and lit one.

She looked around, and noticed most of the people there were smoking 
as well.  It helped, calmed her down a bit, got the edge off of her 
nervousness.  Brad came in and handed her a cup.  She smelled it, 
beer.

"Um, this is beer?"

"Not your usual brand?" Brad asked.  "Sorry, but its all they got."

"Oh, no it's fine, it's fine."

She drank the beer.  It was bitter, but not all that bad.

As soon as she finished it, Brad produced another one for her, and 
another after that.  The more she drank, the better it tasted.  She 
guessed it was an acquired taste.

What surprised her, though, was how intently Brad was staring at 
her.  She knew she wasn't the coolest kid in school, and far from the 
best looking, but it was still as if Brad couldn't take his eyes off 
of her.  She raised her head and blew smoke toward the ceiling, and 
wondered what he found so fascinating.

At some point, Suzie found that Brad was touching her.  It started 
out as a kiss, one she liked a lot, but wound up going further.  Part 
of her wanted to say no, to stop him, but that part wasn't as loud as 
she usually expected it to be.  She barely registered that they'd 
moved into a different room, all by themselves, and that her pants 
were off...as were Brad's.

The next thing she remembered was lying there, tired and spent, with 
Brad practically asleep next to her.  At least he'd worn a condom.

Ohmygod, she muttered, as she fumbled to find her cigarettes and lit 
one for herself.  Ohmygod, what did I do?

Brad stirred, and looked at the cigarette in her hands a second, and 
let his eyes focus.  "Hey," he said.

"Hi.  What did, I mean, did we?"

"Yeah," he said, smiling.  "Was it as good for you as it was for me?"

"I guess..." she said, her voice quiet.  "Uh, can I ask you 
something?"

"Sure," Brad said, as he stared at her inhaling her cigarette.

"Why me?  Why did you ask me to come?"

Brad laughed, "I like you.  You're attractive, and I wanted to go out 
with you.  Isn't that enough?"

"I guess..."

"And you look really foxy now that you're smoking."

"Smoking?"

"Yeah.  You know how sexy you look when you smoke, right?  Of course 
you do, that's why you do it."

"I do?"

"Yeah, you're hot.  So hot, I'm sure you have tons of guys begging 
you to go out."

"Well, not exactly...."

"After all," he continued, "It's not like this is your first time or 
anything.  Everyone knows virgins don't smoke."

--------

Word spread about her at the speed of light.  By lunch time on 
Monday, Suzie began to feel like an exhibit at a zoo.  And, as 
leering as the guys were, the girls were just as contemptuous.  
When she walked out to the smoking area to meet Rachel outside for a 
cigarette, all conversation stopped for a minute.

"Is it true, or just gossip?" Rachel asked, her breath a cloud of 
smoke.

Suzie hesitated a second, lighting her cigarette.  "It's true," she 
finally answered in a quiet voice.

"Geez, Suze...What were you thinking?"

"I wasn't.  He kept giving me beers, and before I knew it, it'd 
happened."

"So this is the new kid on the block," a voice said from behind 
Suzie.  She turned to see Donna and Robin approaching.  Donna she 
didn't know that well, but she and Robin were friends back in grade 
school, once upon a time.  Both Donna and Robin held cigarettes in 
their hands.  Donna's expression was amused, but Robin's had an 
unreadable quality.

"I heard you and Brad went at it the other night," Donna was saying, 
"Guess I should thank you, I was tired and sure needed the night off."

"I didn't mean...." Suzie began.

"Honey," Donna said, her usually well-hidden Texas drawl coming out 
on the word, "It's okay.  Really.  And I wouldn't worry about it.  
You're the flavor of the month now, but it'll die down soon."

"But I didn't...I mean, I didn't go out with him intending to..."

"I'm sure you didn't," Donna said, "But you did, and he's been 
bragging about you all over school."

Rachel scrunched out her cigarette under the heel to her boot 
savagely.  "The asshole."

"Yeah," Donna said, "but all guys are assholes.  And, in his own way, 
he considers it a compliment.  You want to continue, you'll be very 
popular."

"I don't know if I can....again, I mean..."

Donna winked.  "You liked it, didn't you?"

Suzie looked from Donna to Robin.  A strange look came over Robin's 
face, almost as if she were...jealous?  No, that's not it...

"Well?  Didn't you?" 

Suzie had to admit it.  "Yeah," she said, her face blazing red, "I 
kinda did..."

--------

The next few weeks, as the school year wound to a close and summer 
began, Suzie's social calendar filled to overflowing.  Guys were 
calling all the time, and she had a date any night she wanted one.  
All she had to do was put out.  

And smoke, of course.  Something about guys, most of them really 
liked watching her smoke.  To tell the truth, that was the part that 
she enjoyed the most, even more than the sex.  She loved to bask in 
the looks guys gave her as she smoked.

Some smoked with her, some didn't, and just stared.  A couple even 
used it, smoking while they did it in the back of a car, or, for a 
very few, a motel room or unsupervised house.  By the time the fourth 
of July came and went, she was up to an easy pack and a half a day.

Somewhere along the way, she started to forget to hide it from her 
mother.  She never actually made a decision to tell her or anything, 
just, one day, she came down to watch TV with her mother asleep on 
the couch, and she lit a cigarette withouth even thinking about it.

Her mother stirred, and stared at Suzie as she inhaled and blew a 
series of smoke rings into the air.

"I hope you're not stealing my cigarettes," she said.

"No," Suzie said, "They're mine."

"Just don't go stealing my cigarettes," she muttered, and fell back 
sleep.

Suzie never thought about hiding her smoking again.

--------

She was making out with Nick Murray in the back seat of his Ford LTD 
when she suddenly became really, really nauseous.

"Sorry," she said, getting up, "I'm not feeling that good."

"Aw, come on, baby...its' okay."  He reached up to pull her back down 
to the back seat.

"No, I'm really not feeling good," she said, "I think I might throw 
up."

"If this is some kind of foreplay, it's not working for me.  Skip the 
playacting, and let's get busy."

He grabbed her by the shoulders, and pulled her back down.

"NO!" she yelled, and pulled her self away.  "I mean it, I'm not 
feeling good, and I'm not interested!"

"The hell you're not," Nick said.  "You don't get a guy started like 
this and then back out, you little slut."

"What?" she said, snarling.  She reached out and slapped him, hard on 
the cheek.  The sound seemed to echo endlessly in the small car.

"Why you little bitch," he said, and he grabbed her, and forced 
himself on her.  It was hard, and rough, and when he was done with 
her, he tossed her out of the car, along with most of her clothes, 
and drove off.

Suzie went behind a bush and threw up what seemed like all her meals 
for the past week.  She got up shakily, lit a cigarette to clear her 
mouth of the taste, and walked slowly home.  When she got there, her 
mother was waiting in the living room, still drunk from her regular 
night at McMurphee's.  No guy was with her, so of course she was in a 
foul mood.

"Hi Mom." Suzie said, and walked toward the stairs, "I'm going to 
bed."

"You get back here," her mother said.  Suzie slowly turned to face 
her.

"It's after two.  Where were you?"

"Car trouble," she said, "I had to walk home."

"How many nights have you gotten home this late, huh?"

Actually, Suzie thought, there had been quite a few lately, but she 
didn't think her mother remembered those.  "I'm usually home long 
before this," she started, "tonight's unusual."

"You think I'm a moron?" her mother said.  "I know. I've been paying 
attention.  You stagger in at three, four in the morning, drunk as a 
skunk, the smell of cum all over you...You're a whore!  You've become 
a regular stinking whore!"

Suzie couldn't believe her ears.  She was still trying to understand 
what her mother was saying when she heard herself yelling back.

"That's a laugh," she was saying, "If I'm a whore, then I learned 
from the best, Miss Queen Whore.  Drunken Queen Whore!"

"Why you little bitch," her mother began, and the words, echoing Nick 
earlier, sent her into a fury.

She lashed out, and wailed on her mother, unstoppable.  "How dare you 
how dare you how dare you!" she just kept repeating, as blow after 
blow landed on her mother.  She was on the floor when Suzie staggered 
back, and fell against the sofa, spent and exhausted.

Her mother's voice was quiet, but forceful.  "Get the fuck out of my 
house,"

I'm sorry mom, Suzie tried to say, but only her mouth formed the 
words, no sound could come out.

"I want you out, and stay out," her mother said.

"I'm sorry," Suzie croaked, as she rose and slowly walked out the 
door.

--------

Suzie didn't think for a second about where she was going, or what 
she'd do when she got there.  She just knew that she was headed away 
from her house, and that's all she needed to know.  Somehow, she 
wound up in front of Robin's house.

She used to come over here all the time, way back when.  Back when 
they were kids, second, third grade.  But time moved on, and so did 
they.  Suzie slowly walked over to the side, and looked up to the 
window in Robin's room.

And saw a faint, red glow for a moment, and a small wisp of smoke 
coming out the window.

"Suzie?" came a whispered voice from the window.

"Yeah.  You're still up?  It's late."

"I know, couldn't sleep, so I was just having a smoke.  What are you 
doing out?"

"Long story," she replied.  Part of her wanted to tell Robin the 
whole story, but part of her just wanted to leave, and be alone.

"Hang on," Robin said, and a few moments later, the door opened.  
"Come on in," she said.

"It's late..." she started to protest.

"Yeah, so?  You'd reather be outside all alone?  Get in here."

--------

A few hours and almost a full pack of cigarettes later, light started 
to filter around the edges of the night sky, and Robin and Suzie has 
been talking for all that time.

Suzie lit another cigarette, and blew the smoke toward the window.  
Her voice has gotten very low and husky as the night wore on, and her 
throat was getting quite dry and raw...but she kind of liked it.  She 
even grew to like the harsher Marlboro Reds Robin smoked; they were 
stronger than the lights Rachel smoked, but she found she liked them 
even more.

"Maybe I am a whore," Suzie was saying, smoke wafting from out of her 
nostrils.  "I kept on doing it, kept on sleeping with them, and I 
really didn't like it all that much."

"Why not?"  Robin asked, her own hand holding yet another in a 
seemingly continuous line of cigarettes.

"I dunno.  It seemed like it was a chore or something, you know?  
Like I had to do it, like it was just something to get over and done 
with.  You know, like it was the price of going out, doing it with 
them.  But I didn't do it for my own enjoyment."

"Why not?  What would have made it more fun for you?"

A few perfect smoke rings glided up toward the ceiling as she thought 
about it.  "I don't know.  But it was the same with all the guys, 
though.  They were interested in themselves, in getting themselves 
off.  Like that was all that was needed.  One guy even tried to tell 
me that it was their getting off that was supposed to get ME off!"

"Did it?"

"No.  Does it work that way for you?"  Suzie asked.

Robin paused for a long time, as she finished one cigarette, lit 
another, and smoked about half of it.

"Uh, I really don't know how to put this.  I've, well, I've never 
been with a guy at all."

"You're still a virgin?"

"No, no I'm not."

"But, I thought you said...."

It took a minute or two until it sunk in.

"But....how, I mean, why, er...?"

Robin smiled, and smoked.  "Don't worry, it's okay to be 
embarrassed.  I'm okay with it, really, so you don't have to worry.  
And I'm not gonna try to seduce you if you're not interested."

"No, I didn't think you would, but...."

Robin smiled.

Suzie took a moment, drew on her cigarette deeply, and watched as the 
smoke exhaled from her mouth as she asked "Uh, what's it like?"

--------

As Robin explained it all, everything open and honest, Suzie began to 
think, and even to fantasize.  She liked the part Robin had said 
about how only a woman can understand how a woman is aroused, and how 
things work for her.  Only another woman can stimulate her in ways a 
man wouldn't even think to.

And a part of her wanted to see what those parts were.

She stared at Robin as she talked.  Her hand held her cigarette 
absently, as if it had forgotten it was there until it started to 
move, ending up right between her full lips.  She tip glowed red as 
her cheeks pursed, and she sucked the smoke deep into her own lungs.  
As she did that, Suzie held her own cigarette to her own mouth, and 
dragged on it too, trying to experience the same sensation Robin must 
have been feeling. When they exhaled the smoke held inside them for a 
while, it was a physical release for her, and Suzie felt herself 
physically relax.

And she could feel herself getting very, very wet.

Both girls put out their cigarettes at the same time, but Robin 
immediately reached for another one, and lit it, staring into Suzie's 
eyes as she did so.  She took a deep, deep drag on it, and extended 
it.  Suzie took it, still in Robin's hand, and drew in on it herself, 
feeling the smoke go all the way inside and down to her toes.  Then, 
before she could expell it, Robin leaned in, and kissed her.

It was a slow, sensual, erotic kiss.  Far more arousing than any kiss 
any guy had ever given her.  Suzie watched her own mouth, holding 
onto Robins firmly, a pair of noses expelling smoke like a steam 
engine.

When they finally broke apart, the taste of smoke and the taste of 
Robin's mouth lingered.

She liked the feeling.

Robin looked at her, a question in her eyes.  Suzie immediately knew 
the question, and just as immediately, knew the answer.  This time, 
Suzie leaned in, and took hold of Robin's face.

--------

The next afternoon, when she finally returned home, Suzie's mother 
was passed out on the couch.  Suzie sat there, turned the TV down a 
little, and wondered if her mother even remembered the conversation 
they'd had.

Maybe.  Maybe not.

She found it didn't really matter.

Maybe she was a whore, for sleeping with all those guys when she 
didn't really want to.  But now, she knew something.  Something 
different, something no one could touch.  Something she hadn't found 
in any of the guys she'd slept with out of some sense of obligation, 
or some need to be in the "IN" crowd.

She knew what it was like to be loved.

She lit a cigarette and savored it.


[Story continued in Marlboro Country, Part Five: Stephanie]

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