AnotheR Ending to Monica

(by, 11 August 1995)

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Enjoyed the first 2 parts of this saga, but haven't yet seen the
finale posted. So I thought I'd offer my own interpretation of the
story's end....

Monica's Story (Part 3(B))

As I sat down on the bench in the mall and pulled out a cigarette
from my pack of VS 120s, Beth looked at me expectantly. I didn't
offer her one on purpose, to see what her reaction would be. As I
lit up, she took a seat next to me. I took a puff, inhaled, and
held the smoke in for a few seconds before casually turning in
Beth's direction and exhaling just past her face. As I did so, I
looked into Beth's eyes and saw a look of anticipation on her
face. Still, I said nothing, waiting for some reaction from her.

I took another long puff and intentionally inhaled in an audible
manner to see if this would provoke some reaction from Beth. After
watching her smoke three times early this morning, I knew that the
habit was starting to find a home with Beth just as it had for me
years ago. But I wanted her to acknowledge the fact herself, and
perhaps begin to accept smoking as something pleasurable that she
would like to do of her own accord. As I again exhaled in her
direction, Beth finally spoke.


"Yes, dear?", I replied.

"Are you going to offer me a cigarette?", she asked.

"Well, no... I wasn't going to. Why?"

"Ummm... I think I'd like to have one too, if you don't mind", she
said, blushing slightly.

"Would you? Well, I suppose you can if you really want one. But are
you certain? What if some of your friends see you smoking in
public?", I responded.

Beth smiled shyly, and said, "That's OK... it might surprise them
but I think that might be sort of fun. May I have one, please?"

"All right, Beth. Here, help yourself", I said, handing her both
my pack and lighter. She quickly extracted a fresh cigarette from
the pack and flicked the lighter to life, and lit up like she had
been doing it for years. As she handed the pack and lighter back
to me she left the 120 in her lips, puffing out uninhaled smoke
from either side of her mouth as she had seen me do, then began a
hard pull as her cheeks caved in and the tip of the cigarette
glowed bright. She then withdrew the cigarette from her lips and
inhaled deeply. After a few seconds, she exhaled a stream of smoke
from her mouth and nose, then took another, even longer, puff.
After she exhaled, she said, "Oh... that feels nice. Thanks, mom".

Beth and I continued to sit and smoke, and again talked of things
that we had never discussed before. I finished my cigarette before
she did, having had a head start, and waited until she began to
crush out her cigarette after taking one final puff before again
reaching for my pack and lighter. "I think I'm going to have
another", I said, again waiting for some response as I looked at
her. This time she didn't hesitate, extending her hand without
saying a word, waiting for me to offer her one as well. I offered
her the pack and she extracted yet another cigarette, and as I
offered her a light I could see a thin stream of exhaled smoke
coming from her nostrils as she drew on the fresh 120. Obviously,
Beth had become very comfortable with both the idea and the
mechanics of smoking, and perhaps was on her way to becoming a
full-time smoker like myself. The thought brought me satisfaction
since I knew how much I enjoyed my habit and wanted my daughter to
appreciate the pleasures of smoking as well, and also since we had
developed a much closer relationship in the relatively few days
since Beth had decided to try smoking herself. And selfishly, I
knew that if Beth could become favorably predisposed to smoking, I
would hear no more criticism of my own habit from her.

As I watched my daughter smoke, I was struck by how comfortable
she looked doing it, and by how her way of holding the cigarette,
puffing on it, inhaling and exhaling were somehow cultured,
ladylike, and most attractive. She handled the cigarette
exceedingly well for someone so new to the habit, and somehow I
knew that aside from all of the criticism that she had thrown my
way, she had also watched both me and other smokers closely and
either consciously or subconsciously filed away the type of
behavior she wanted to emulate if and when she ever smoked. She
had learned her lessons well.

Beth continued to puff deeply on the VS120, apparently truly
beginning to enjoy her first experience with chain smoking, as we
continued to chat. Finally, our cigarettes were finished, and I
offered that perhaps it was time to continue our shopping.
Exhaling smoke and crushing out the 120, Beth agreed and we again
began to walk trough the mall. Finally after about another hour we
had completed our errands and headed back to the car. As we
settled into the front seats, I started the car and, as I nearly
always did, reached into my pocketbook for my cigarettes. Usually
this was a cue for Beth to make some sort of snide remark about my
"automatic" smoking, but this time was different. Her words this
time were just the opposite, in fact, saying "Mom, may I?", with a
smile, gesturing at the pack. "Sure, honey, go ahead", I replied,
smiling, as Beth pushed in the lighter and extracted yet another
120. When the lighter popped out, I told Beth not to touch the end
of her cigarette to the element but to rather hold it just off the
surface and draw on the cigarette. Placing the long, white
cigarette between her lips and holding it between the fingers of
her right hand, she slowly moved the lighter to the end of the 120
and drew on the cigarette, quickly establishing an even, complete
light. Replacing the lighter in the dashboard, she continued to
draw on the cigarette before leaning back into her seat and
inhaling deeply.

Driving through the parking lot, Beth cracked open her window and
seemed to take delight in exhaling smoke though the opening. As we
headed out of the lot for the drive home, I suggested that since
it was almost lunchtime that perhaps we could go to a favorite
restaurant not too far from home. Beth quickly agreed and so we
set off for the 20-minute drive.

After arriving at the restaurant and being seated in the smoking
section, I again reached into my purse for my pack of VS 120s.
Extracting one, along with my lighter, I placed the pack on the
table and turned it in Beth's direction, pushing it between us.
She needed no further prompting, reaching for her seventh
cigarette of the day, as I flicked my lighter to life and lit up
first Beth's cigarette, then my own. When the waitress arrived
with menus and water, I noticed Beth again handling her cigarette
like a veteran and seemingly revelling in her new identity as a
smoker. We continued to talk while we reviewed the menus, before
finally placing our orders. After a time, I lit up once again but
this time Beth did not take my cue, choosing to abstain at least
for the moment. I finished just as our orders arrived, and we both
enjoyed our lunch as the restaurant began to fill quickly. I
noticed Beth observing a number of other ladies seated nearby who
were also smoking, and apparently taking note of what and how they
were smoking. Our waitress was very attentive and brought us
coffee as soon as we had finished our meals, as I reached for
another cigarette. Beth did the same, managing to beat me to the
lighter this time, and offered me a light first before lighting up
her own. I did some quick calculations in my head and decided that
perhaps it was time to ask Beth an important question.

"Beth, I've noticed that you've been smoking quite often so far
today. Are you starting to like it?"

Beth blushed just slightly and hesitated, looking at the cigarette
she held between her fingertips, considering the question.
Finally, she replied, "I never thought I'd hear myself say this,
mom, but, yes, I AM starting to enjoy smoking. I think I really do
like it".

Having heard her admit this, I now wanted my daughter to tell me
what she wanted to do in the future. "Well, that's interesting...
so what do we do next? I'm almost out of cigarettes so I'll need
to stop in at the drugstore before we get home. If you are going
to smoke, that's fine with me, but I can't always be giving them
to you from my own pack."

"Well, I was starting to think about that too", Beth replied. "Do
you think you could get me a pack of my own? And a lighter?", she
asked eagerly.

"OK, fine. I'll buy them for you, at least for the time being. So
I guess this means we can forget about our deal?", I offered.

Beth laughed, looking relieved. "Oh, sure, mom. Please, just do me
one favor. Don't remind me of that ever again, will you?", she
said with a chuckle, before taking a long puff and audibly
inhaling the smoke deep into her lungs. Exhaling after a few
seconds with a sigh of satisfaction, she tapped the ash of the end
of her cigarette as she blew smoke high into the air. "This is an
interesting habit you've introduced me to, mom. What do you like best
about it?", she asked.

"Well, Beth, it's hard to say exactly. I really enjoy it,
obviously, since I've smoked for so many years. I'm probably
addicted to the nicotine, so that's part of it I guess. If you
keep it up, you will be too, by the way, just so you know. But
it's much more than that. There are so many things about it that I
like... the taste, the sensation of inhaling and exhaling, just
the act of holding it in my fingers... it's hard to say just one
thing. What about you, though? What is it that made you decide to
continue to smoke once you tried it?", I asked.

Beth thought for a second, and then offered a reply. "I really,
really, like to inhale now that I know how to do it the right way.
I'd say that's the best thing for me right now. Just feeling the
smoke go into my lungs when I inhale... I just love that feeling.
It's so neat. And then, the way it looks when I exhale. And I've
started to like the feeling I get when I smoke after I haven't had
one for a while", Beth answered.

"I hate to tell you this, Beth, but that's the first sign that
you're getting addicted. Do you crave them yet?", I asked.

"I don't know if it's a craving, really", Beth responded. "It's
not like I'm dreaming about them or anything. I just like to
smoke, that's all", she answered with a slight frown, taking an
aggressive puff on the remains of her 120. "But I've started to
look forward to the times I can smoke with you", she allowed.

"OK honey," I responded, "I was just curious, that's all. Are you
ready to go? Let's head out to the drugstore, then home." When we
arrived at the drugstore, Beth selected a pink Bic from the rack,
while I asked for a carton of VS 120s. Once we arrived home, I
opened the carton and presented Beth with a pack. She immediately
opened it and, using her new lighter, lit up.

I carefully watched Beth for the rest of the day to see how her
habit would develop now that it was up to her to control it. To my
surprise, Beth smoked very little the rest of the day. However,
the next morning she began her smoking day at breakfast and smoked
at regular intervals, totalling 12 cigarettes by the end of the
day. I noticed that her puffs were now about as long as my own,
while her inhales were, if anything, a little deeper than mine, as
she demonstrated how much she enjoyed that part of her habit. I
took secret satisfaction in having taught Beth how to smoke and now
took even more pleasure in watching her smoke, knowing that she
was now beginning to experience the same deep levels of enjoyment
and satisfaction from her new-found smoking habit as did I. Plus,
I looked forward to continuing our more mature relationship that
smoking had helped us to achieve. But in truth, I mostly welcomed
Beth's decision to start smoking because I knew it meant that it
would stop her harassment of me for my own smoking habit, since I
knew that, if she continued at this pace for long, she would soon be
unable to stop smoking.

The next day Beth asked me for another pack of 120s, which I
gladly provided. Soon she was requesting a pack every day or two,
and I finally told her just to take them when she ran out. Many of
Beth's friends had already started to smoke, and so they were not
overly surprised when she revealed her secret to them. She did
exercise some restraint in smoking in public, especially where
some overt disapproval might come her way, but did not hesitate to
smoke if I was with her as we did at the mall. Over the next few
weeks, Beth gradually became more and more accustomed to smoking
as her system began to tolerate higher and higher nicotine levels,
and as she did, her daily cigarette consumption slowly began to
rise. We continued to talk freely about just about everything, and
I was happy to have the chance to talk to somebody about smoking,
since it was not a subject I had ever been too comfortable
discussing. Beth's natural curiosity about both her own developing
habit and my well-established one led us into a number of
conversations about why I started smoking, what different brands
were like, and whether I worried about what it might eventually do
to me (my answer: I didn't). Beth in turn revealed that her
enjoyment of smoking and, especially, of inhaling, had continued to
grow unchecked, although she now fully understood what a craving felt
like, and that she expected to eventually get her own smoking up to my
own daily level. Within a few more weeks, she had succeeded as she
announced one evening that she had finished her first pack of the
day and needed a second. Eventually, Beth's smoking stabilized at
about 25 cigarettes a day, and she realized that she was now a
fully committed smoker, having developed a need to smoke and a craving 
for nicotine just as strong as mom's. Beth felt some uneasiness over this
realization and was uncomfortable with the concept of being addicted, but I 
reassured her that it was the same for millions of others and that
it would only help add to her enjoyment of the habit. Beth soon accepted
the idea that she had become a full-fledged smoker and incorporated it
into her own self-image. She told me that she now loved to smoke, and
hoped she would never have to give it up, because she didn't think that
she could. I told her that I felt exactly the same way, and that seemed
to make her feel better with her decision to give in to the habit.

Her friend Sheila introduced Beth to her full-flavor Marlboro 100s
soon after Beth began smoking regularly, and whether because of
peer pressure or simply because she enjoyed them more, Beth began
to ask me to pick her up the odd pack of Marlboro Gold.
Eventually, she began smoking these more and more regularly, until
one day she asked me if I would mind buying her a carton of these
since they were what she liked best. I had noticed her enjoyment
of the Marlboros and, since they were my old brand, I understood
particularly how new smokers like Beth would tend to enjoy their
strong, flavorful smoke. Beth soon had even me smoking the
occasional Marlboro, as she re-introduced me to their own distinct
pleasures! Beth and I now are more like best friends than daughter
and mother. We talk about things like a pair of girlfriends, and
there's nothing I enjoy more than sharing conversation with my
daughter each morning over a series of cigarettes and coffees. I'm
glad I taught my daughter how to smoke, and so is she.

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