Purest Feeling, Part 1

(by an4@anon.lelnet.com, 12 March 2001)


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Purest Feeling
Part 1 of 2
an4@anon.lelnet.com

    Kelli was walking down the aisle of the grocery store when her cell phone 
rang. Annoyed, she put down her basket and answered it.
    'Hey, are you going to stop by the store ?' her roommate Leeann asked.
    Her annoyance grew. She knew exactly why Lee was calling and it kind of 
pissed her off.
    'Maybe,' she said evasively.
    'Stocking up for the big storm ?'
    'It crossed my mind.'
    'You're in the store right now, aren't you ?'
    'Yes.'
    'Good. Can you get me four packs of cigarettes ?'
    'Four packs ?'
    'Well, today, tomorrow, and Tuesday.'
    'Is you car broken down ?'
    'No. I'm studying. No sense both of us going out, is there ?'
    'I suppose not. Marlboro Lights 100s ?'
    'As if you didn't know. Hey, we're going to be snowed in- maybe you 
should get yourself a pack, too.'
    'Why don't I just get you a whole carton, Lee ?'
    'Fine by me.'
    She hung up the call and went back to her shopping. There was a lot of 
things she liked about Leeann, but one of them was not the way the shopping 
got divided- or the way her friend was always finding some excuse for her to 
pick up her cigarettes.
    It didn't take her long to load up on supplies, and then she was hunting 
for a good line. Number four had just one person in it, so she half-walked, 
half-ran to beat a woman pushing an heavily laden shopping cart and dragging 
two kids in tow. She just made it. 
    It wasn't until she had deposited her basket full of spaghetti sauce, 
pasta, frozen fish and soda that she realised to her horror that her younger 
sister Helen was manning the register. She quickly considered stopping 
somewhere else to buy the cigarettes. She knew Helen would make a scene, the 
little snot, but what could she do ? She was in an hurry to get home and get 
back to her own studying.
    The man in front of her paid for his groceries as Kelli studiously 
ignored the way the woman behind her was shooting daggers of spite into her 
back. She'd seen the look on the woman's face as she darted in front of her. 
It wasn't pretty. As if it wouldn't take her half the time to check out.
    'Hey, sis.'
    'Hey yourself. I thought you had a big term paper due and you weren't 
going to work today.'
    'They already cancelled school tomorrow and I need the gas money.'
    'Look, I need a carton of Marlboro Lights 100s. Box. Try-'
    She was about to say '˜try not to make a big deal out of it'. It was too 
late.
    'I'm gonna tell mom you're smoking again.'
    Her sister had the biggest shit eating grin on her face. Kelli wanted to 
smack her.
    'They aren't for me, you little- like she'd care anyway. She lets you 
smoke.' But of course Mom would care, in her own warped way.
    Helen continued to scan the groceries and another high school girl packed 
them. She paused, grabbed the microphone over the register. 'Carton of 
Marlboro Lights 100s, box, for my sister Kelli, the smoker.' Her voice rang 
out through the whole store.
    'You could have just used the fucking bell,' Kelli said tightly.
    The woman behind her shot her a scandalised look.
    'I am going to tell Mom, you know,' Helen said, giggling.
    'I hate you,' Kelli said, but she didn't mean it.
    A stock girl brought over the carton and Helen scanned it, ended the 
order, and as Kelli swiped her ATM card, one of the children, a girl of eight 
or nine, tugged her mother's sleeve.
    'Mommy, I thought you said smoking is bad and that only ugly stupid 
people smoke. She's not ugly. She's pretty.'
    Kelli turned to the girl.
    'Thank you.'
    'Don't talk to my daughter,' the woman said tightly.
    'Relax,' Kelli said, took her receipt, and headed for the car.

    As she went to put her groceries in the car, one of the bags broke. Two 
bottles of soda rolled under and beyond the car, coming to rest underneath an 
Xterra. She was fishing the soda bottles out from under the SUV and checking 
under her own car for other strays when the woman with the children came out, 
wheeling her cart, her head on a swivel, watching for traffic and her 
children. As she came up to the Xterra, she shot Kelli another look.
    'You should be ashamed of yourself. Setting a bad example for my children 
like that.'
    Kelli's shoulders drooped. She didn't want a fight with this woman. As 
an ex-smoker herself, it really pissed her off when people got this way.
    'Oh, I'm sure I've corrupted your children by buying cigarettes in front 
of them. You'll probably find them hiding in their rooms smoking tonight and 
it will be all my fault.'
    'You should have let me go first so they wouldn't have to see that.'
    Kelli wanted to say something, but she checked herself. It wasn't worth 
it. The woman used her remote to pop the hatch and told the oldest girl, the 
one who had told Kelli she was pretty, to start loading groceries. The girl 
looked really embarrassed and Kelli felt sorry for her.
    'You smokers are all the same. You'll probably light up right in front 
of kids.'
    Of course, nothing of the sort was in Kelli's mind, since she didn't 
smoke anymore. Then she saw one of Leeann's lighters on the dash and the idea 
of doing just that took her. Before she could stop herself, she'd taken a 
pack from the carton, opened it, and lit one of the cigarettes. She walked 
right up to the girl, who was dutifully loading the Xterra, and smiled as she 
exhaled.
    'See, your Mommy lied to you. There are plenty of pretty women who smoke.'
    The girl looked at Kelli with awe in her eyes, and they said that no one 
ever stood up to mommy that way.
    Kelli drew on the cigarette again.  
    'You really like that, don't you ?' the little girl said.
    'Amber- get in the car !'
    Kelli turned to the woman, held her inhale until they were face to face 
and then exhaled.
    'I should '" I should-'
    'You should lighten up, lady,' Kelli said, and then she got in the car 
and drove away.
    
    The light to pull out of the store lot was red, so Kelli sat there, 
window rolled partway down. She considered stubbing the cigarette out in the 
ashtray, which was always open for Leeann, but then by some perversity of 
parking lot traffic, the Xterra pulled up behind her. She drew on the 
cigarette instead, turning around as she did.
    The little girl waved at her and she exhaled and waved back with the hand 
holding the cigarette. The girl smiled and her mother glared.
    Then the light turned green. Kelli inhaled again and of course found 
herself enjoying the cigarette.
    She didn't stub it out until she finished it. At another red light she 
pulled to a stop, looked over to the car next to her. It was a silver Altima, 
but not just any Altima. It belonged to one of her sister's best friends, 
Desiree. She had three other girls in the car, all teenagers. All four 
windows were cracked and all four girls were, of course, smoking. Desiree 
lifted her hand and waved, carefully holding her cigarette as she did it.
    Kelli smiled, pulled another cigarette from the pack, lit it, and then 
waved back with the hand holding the cigarette. The smoke she was holding in 
her lungs felt so good. She waited until the light turned green and exhaled 
as she gunned the engine, playfully racing with her sister's friend.

    'Hey, one of these packs has been opened !' Leann protested.
    'Well, I ran into a little anti problem at the store.'
    She told Leann the whole story, or at least the part up to where she left 
the store parking lot.
    Leann, who lit a cigarette of her own from another pack while Kelli was 
talking, hugged her friend.
    'That is so damn cool. And you're smoking again, which is even cooler.'
    'I'm not smoking again, Lee.'
    'Then why are there two cigarettes missing from that pack of yours ?'
    'It's not my pack. It's yours.'
    'No. I'll pay for it, but you opened it. It's yours. If you're not 
smoking again-'
    'I just. I saw some other women smoking and I just felt like a second 
one, you know.' That was a lie, but it was close enough.
    'Of course I know. Sometimes I start thinking about my next cigarette 
before I finish the one I'm on- like between classes.'
    'I just was enjoying myself. That doesn't make me a smoker. And what 
difference does it make for you ? I don't give you an hard time about 
smoking.'
    'No. You're very noble. You let me smoke in the apartment and in your 
car, but you're still- you know things haven't been right since you quit 
smoking.'
    'How so ?'
    'Half the time when we go out you find some lame reason not to joining 
us. Admit it. You avoid your own friends because we're all smokers and 
you're not.'
    'That's not fair. I'm really focused on school right now. You know that.'
    'I know that it's our last semester as undergrads and you aren't even 
going on spring break.'
    'I thought I was going to need the time for my research project.'
    'You mean the one that you finished yesterday ?'
    'But I had no way to know-'
'Yeah, sure. I suppose I could understand that- if I wanted to-'
'But you don't-'
    Leeann drew on her cigarette petulantly, exhaled.
    'Well, Candy just called. She's bagging on break. Her brother is getting 
married- real last minute, practically eloping, but the wedding is in two 
Saturdays and she's in it. She's looking to sell her ticket and her space at 
the hotel, if you're interested. She needs to get a dress and meet the family 
and all that happy fucking crap.'
    'I suppose I could think about it.'
Leeann walked over to the ashtray on the coffee table and trimmed her 
cigarette, then drew on it and exhaled. 'Well, the first thing we need to do 
is get you smoking again. The old Kelli would have jumped at the opportunity 
to go on spring break.'
'You're just being silly now. Whether or not I smoke has nothing to do with 
whether or not I want to go on spring break. There is no old Kelli- new 
Kelli.'
'Bullshit.'
Kelli watched Leeann draw on her cigarette again and she felt that old 
familiar longing- the one that was fuelled by the two cigarettes she'd 
already smoked today.
'You want another one,' Leann said, reading the look.
'Yeah, I do. So what.'
    'So, they already cancelled school tomorrow. That storm is supposed to 
hit later today and for the next forty-eight hours or so neither one of us is 
going to be going anywhere. You can go ahead and smoke and not worry about 
anyone seeing you or that you smell smoky-'
    'I smell smoky all the time anyway because you smoke all over the 
house-look, I know that I can smoke again. The question is whether or not I 
want to.'
    Leeann stubbed out her cigarette and thought about that for a moment and 
then a wicked grin crossed her face.
    'I have an idea. Come sit on the couch with me and I'll explain it- it's 
a little wager.'
    Kelli wanted to ignore Leeann. Now that her project for her independent 
study was done, she really wanted to dig into her reading for 19th century 
British women authors. Professor MacAlister had decided that she could assign 
two novels for break, since her students would have so much free time. But 
her friend deserved better. Deep down, Kelli knew Leeann was right, At times 
she'd been almost a bitch since she'd quit smoking, and-
    '˜That's not the point either,' Kelli thought quietly, but she let her 
friend take her hand and guide her over to the couch. Leeann sat down deep in 
the couch and then pulled Kelli down in front of her, straddling her with her 
long, supple, well shaven legs. She was wearing shorts and a tight top with 
no bra, and Kelli could feel that her friends nipples were hard.
    Leeann reached around Kelli and picked up the pack of cigarettes Kelli 
had started. She took one out and picked up the lighter.
    Kelli squirmed slightly.
    'Relax. You're going to enjoy this cigarette. Trust me. Now open your 
pretty little mouth for me.'
    Kelli pulled her long blonde hair back away from her face and then 
obediently parted her lips just enough to accept the cigarette.
    Leeann placed it between her lips and lit it and Kelli dutifully inhaled. 
The smoke tasted wonderful in her mouth and she held it there before drawing 
it into her lungs and Leeann moved it away and took a long draw of her own 
and then coated her friend in her exhale. She then held the cigarette out and 
Kelli took it between the first two fingers of her right hand. As soon as she 
did, Leeann slid her hands under Kelli's sweatshirt and began caressing her 
nipples in the way she knew Kelli couldn't resist.
    'What's the wager ?' Kelli asked. She then drew on the cigarette again, 
her breathing already ragged.   
    'You are going to smoke the rest of this pack of cigarettes-'
    'Leeann-'
    'Just listen. Daddy gave me five grand for spring break-'
    'What ?'


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