Quest For Zach, Part 6

(by Gray Haze, 28 December 2007)


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Quest for Zach
By Gray Haze

Part 6

I woke up the next morning to my usual small cough.  It didn't take long for
my young lungs to clear.  Looking over at my new crystal ashtray with five
spent butts in it, I decided that it was time to add another one.  I grabbed
a cigarette out of my pack, clicked my lighter, and then lit my first
cigarette of the day.  Sitting up in bed, I admired the clouds of smoke that
I was exhaling toward the morning sunbeam coming through my bedroom window.  

After adding a sixth spent butt to my ashtray, I got up and grabbed my pack
and started to head downstairs to the kitchen for breakfast.  I walked a few
steps, stopped, extracted another cigarette out, lit up and continued
downstairs.  With a new cigarette in my hand, I entered the kitchen.  I
poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down across the table from mom.  We
both sat quietly, sipping coffee while relieving both of our morning
cravings.

I had almost completed my second cigarette when I saw mom put hers out and
immediately light another.  Still savoring the wonderful feeling of caffeine
and nicotine, I decided to do the same when my second was finished.

"There is nothing like a cigarette or two first thing in the morning," mom
said, finally breaking the silence.

"I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it, but this is my third," I said with a
sly grin.  "It is an incredible feeling."

"Don't be embarrassed, this is my fifth in a row," mom smiled back, knowing
how I felt.  "But be careful or you'll become a heavy smoker just like me."

You know, there was a time mom saying that would have bothered me.  But I no
longer feared smoking.  All I know is that now that have I committed myself
to smoking, I planned on enjoying it as much as possible.  It is probably not
a good thing for a 13 year old to be chain smoking high tar cigarettes first
thing in the morning, but my fate has already been determined.  Where it will
end up, I'm not sure.  But I'm going to accept whatever happens and enjoy the
ride.

After I ate breakfast, I shared two more cigarettes with mom, while we made
plans for the day.  Aunt Barb wanted us to come over so that she could wish
me a happy birthday.  Mom then admitted that the real reason was so she could
share cigarettes with her favorite and only niece.  

I took a quick shower and then lit up my sixth cigarette while I did my hair.
At 9:30 we hopped in the car and left.  It didn't take long for mom to reach
in her purse and pull out a cigarette.  I wanted one as well, but I wasn't
sure if I could smoke in public yet.  I think mom saw me watching her smoke
because she quickly pointed out to me that there were no restrictions on my
smoking.  That said, I lit number seven for the day.  Mom smoked two more
cigarettes during the half hour drive.  I had one more.  So by 10 am I had
already smoked 8 cigarettes.    

My cousin Beth was there with Aunt Barb when we arrived.  Beth was 16 and a
smoker herself. She started a year ago with my aunt's full blessing.  Once
there we headed for the pool in their back yard and took seats at a poolside
table.  It didn't take long for the four of us to pull out cigarettes and
light up.    

Aunt Barb is two years older than mom.  She was the one who introduced mom to
the wonderful world of smoking.  My aunt was every bit the heavy smoker that
my mom is.  In fact, she might even smoke more.  It was quite a sight
watching the two smoke together.  Add in a few drinks and they became human
chimneys.  

One thing about being around them, it made me smoke more as well.  It wasn't
like I was consciously or even unconsciously doing it.  No, it was both my
aunt and my mother encouraging Beth and I to smoke.  It was the weirdest
thing that I have ever seen.  Let me give you an example or two.  

Beth and I decided to take a quick dip in the pool just after we finished a
cigarette.  We swam for about 20 minutes, then got out.  We then both wrapped
beach towels around us sat at the table with our parents.  Neither one of us
were able to light a cigarette because our hands were wrapped inside our
towels.  Now that was no problem for me.  I could certainly wait to dry off
until I lit my next cigarette.  But obviously Aunt Barb thought it was a
problem for her daughter.  Just after we sat down, Aunt Barb picked up her
pack of Newport's, shook one lose, and then as she extended the pack toward
Beth's awaiting lips said, "you must being dying for a smoke."  Using her
lips, Beth pulled out a loose cigarette and then accepted a light from her
mom.

Not to out done, mom pulled a B&H out of her pack, and said, "you must be
dying for one too," as she literally shoved the cigarette into my mouth.  Now
don't get me wrong, I enjoyed that cigarette.  But I certainly wasn't dying
for one.

Here's another example.  Just after we ate lunch, both mom and Aunt Barb
pulled two cigarettes out and placed one in their mouths and handed both of
us one as well.  No problem there.  I smoke the same brand as mom and Beth
smokes the same brand as Aunt Barb.  Besides, smoking doesn't get much better
than after a meal.  But as soon as we all put out that cigarette, four more
were pulled out.  It was like mom was saying, "lets have another one dear",
as if she expected me to smoke.

After lunch, Beth and I went in the house to play some billiards in her rec
room.  During that time Beth must have smoked four cigarettes, lighting up
every 15 minutes.  Now Beth and I have never been all that close.  She is
three years older and before today, I was a little kid.  But smoking did seem
to make us equals.  Anyway, we talked about our smoking.  It turns out that
even though Beth had been only smoking for a little over a year, she was
quite the heavy smoker.  I asked her whether it was common for her mother to
constantly feed her cigarettes.  To which Beth replied, "How do you think I
became such a heavy smoker?"  Poor Beth, I don't think she set out to smoke
so much, but after a year of being constantly fed cigarettes by her mother,
she became so hooked, she couldn't help it.  And yet, she wasn't complaining.
All she could talk about was how much she loved to smoke, and only wished
that she didn't have to suffer through classes without smoking.

Mom and I left at about 3:15 pm.  There was a movie playing at the local
cinema that she wanted to see at 4 pm.  We arrived about 15 minutes early and
both lit up before going in.  Once we finished, mom pulled out another two
cigarettes and said, "Why don't we juice up a little before the movie?"
What could I say as she handed me another one.  

The movie was an hour and a half long.  That is much too long for mom to go
without a smoke.  Sure enough, about 40 minutes into it, she whispered into
my ear, "Let's go have a cigarette."  Of course, one is never enough for mom,
so as soon as she put her first one out, she extended the pack to me and
said, "How about another?"  Even though I wanted to get back to the movie, I
almost felt obliged to join her.  

We stopped at a restaurant for dinner after the movie.  Of course we sat in
the smoking section, and of course both of us lit up as soon as we sat down.
Soon the conversation turned to Beth.

"Your Aunt Barb was telling me how much Beth really loves smoking," mom said
after lighting her second consecutive cigarette.  

"I'd say she does," I responded as I paused to accept a cigarette and light
from mom.  "She was keeping up with both of you human smokestacks."

"You were quite the smokestack yourself today," mom said laughing.  "I guess
you enjoy smoking as much as I do?"

I didn't want to hurt mom's feelings by pointing out the fact that I smoked
like a chimney today because she was constantly offering me cigarettes.  But
in a way she was right.  I am starting to enjoy smoking as much as she does.
It's funny, although I wouldn't have lit up near as much today if it wasn't
for her practically shoving cigarettes down my throat, I have to admit, I
enjoyed every one of them.  In fact, I loved every one of them.  "Yeah, I
guess I do mom," I finally answered, laughing.  "These things have a way of
really growing on me."

"Well Terry, I'm glad that you like smoking."  Mom paused to take another
puff.  "You know, I probably shouldn't say this, but, oh well, why not.  Some
might call me a bad mother for wishing this, but I was kind of hoping that
you would start smoking.  Maybe it was all of the grief that you gave me over
the years about my smoking.  I don't know.  Or maybe it was a part of me that
wished that we were closer.  All I know is how much it bothered me that we
were always fighting about me smoking.  I knew that if only you gave smoking
chance, that you would understand why I smoke.  Plus, I figured if you
smoked, we would have something in common.  Cigarette smoking would bring us
together instead of constantly pulling us apart."

"Gee mom, then why did you yell at me so much when you caught me?"

"I don't know, I guess I was hoping that you would wait a few more years to
start.  Or maybe it was the shock of seeing you smoking.  But I guess it was
my way of being mad at myself for wishing that you smoked. A part of me was a
little guilty about that."

"So do you still feel guilty?" I asked as I crushed out my cigarette.

"No, not anymore," mom said as she crushed out hers.  "Now I feel a sense of
pride and happiness.  I'm proud of you for being able to open your mind and
trying something that you were once against.  I'm happy that you are now
enjoying something that I think will greatly enhance your life, as it has
mine."

It is hard to describe the feelings I was having hearing this from mom.  For
the first time I looked at mom not only as a person of authority, but also as
a friend.  Suddenly, I had an urge for a cigarette.  Even though I just
smoked two in a row, I didn't want this bonding moment to end.  So I pulled
two more cigarettes out, gave mom one of them, and then did the honors of
lighting up both of us.  You could tell that this was a proud moment for mom.

Mom and I spent the rest of the evening together, sharing our love for
smoking.  I'm not sure how much I smoked that day, but by the way my lungs
felt the next morning it must have been a lot.  Of course, it didn't stop me
from lighting up soon after my eyes opened.  I was soon down in the kitchen
with mom, quenching my morning craving as she was hers.  

For the remainder of the summer, I continued to develop my smoking habit to
the fullest.  With each passing day I smoked, the more convinced I became
that I made the right choice.  What originally started out as a plan to lure
Zach turned out to be something far more significant.  

At the end of August, Mary Murphy invited me, Paula and Peggy to an end of
summer party at her house.  Most of the same people who went to the end of
school party three months earlier would also be there.  We weren't sure
whether Zach and Joey would be there, but we sure hoped so.  Although Paula
has not seen nor heard from Joey all summer, she still had a strong crush on
him.  This party would be her way of introducing the new, smoking, Paula to
him.  She desperately hoped that this change would attract him to her as that
smoking girl at the last party did to him.  

As for me, I still wanted to go out with Zach.  Who wouldn't?  But I was more
realistic about my chances.  My biggest concern was the impression my smoking
would have on my classmates and friends.  I am a smoker now and will be for
the remainder of the five years left in school, and for that matter, the rest
of my life.  Many of my friends from school held the same opinion about
smoking that I once did.  What would be there impression of the smoking
Terry?  Would I still be welcome into their inner circle of friends?  These
questions would be answered tonight.  

Dad and I got into the car to head for the party.  Once the car started to
pull onto the street, dad reached into shirt pocket, pull out his pack of
Marlboro's and lit up.

"Dad, please?"

"Oh, I'm sorry princess," he said as he extended a light toward my cigarette.

I placed the cigarette between my lips, and moved my head toward the flame.
That's my dad, always lighting my cigarettes for me.  Sure I have a lighter
with me, but why not let dad do it for me.  It makes me feel like a lady when
a man lights my cigarette, even though he is only my dad.   Two minutes later
we stopped to pick up Paula and her sister.  

"Hi Mrs. Price," I yelled through the car window as dad pulled into the
driveway.  "Is Paula ready to go?"

Mrs. Price waved to us then slowly stopped, as her eyes became glued to me as
I was taking a puff off of my cigarette.  Shit, I forgot, she doesn't know
that I smoked.  Fortunately, before Mrs. Price could walk up to me and say
something, Paula and Peggy stormed out of the front door and got in the car
as they said goodbye to their mom.  

Both Paula and Peggy pulled out cigarettes as soon as the car left the view
of their house.  "I thought you were going to tell your mother," I said as
they both exhaled their first puff.  

"No, not yet," Paula answered just before lifting her cigarette to her mouth
to take another puff.

"God, this cigarette taste so good," Peggy added.  "I haven't had one in
hours."

As soon as we arrived at the party, we headed straight for the back of the
house and the pool.  Peggy then split from us to join her friends while Paula
and I joined ours.  

"Look, in the pool," Paula said to me as I grabbed a coke out of the cooler
near the pool.  I slowly turned around and immediately noticed both Joey and
Zach horsing around in the pool.  

Both Paula and I took a seat on the chase lounges next to the pool.  Other
girls were there also and soon I took up a conversation with Sarah, who has
been a classmate and friend of mine for years.  Paula on the other hand
didn't say much.  She just sat and watched Joey with dreamy eyes.  

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw them, the two girls that caught
the fancy of both Joey and Zach at the last party.  I watched them for a few
minutes wondering whether they still were dating the two boys.  Then, much to
my surprise I saw Peggy walk over and join them.  Soon, all three girls
pulled cigarettes out and lit up.  

Seeing the three girls light up made me start to notice the growing craving
that was developing in me.  It had been a half hour since my last one and I
was starting to really feel it.  Now the question was, should I get up and
join Peggy, or should I just go ahead and light up right here in front of my
friend Sarah.  

I know, it is a silly question for me to ask myself.  After all, no matter
where I smoke, I will eventually be seen.  But I was nervous coming out for
the first time.  Maybe it would be easier if I did it with Peggy.  Finally as
Sarah was talking I reached in my bag and pulled out my cigarettes.  As Sarah
continued to talk, I placed the cigarette in my mouth, and lit up.

"I didn't know you smoked?" Sarah stopped in mid-sentence to ask.  "When did
you start?"

"At the beginning of summer," I answered somewhat embarrassed.  "Would you
like one?"

"No thank you, I don't smoke," Sarah answered.  "Although you know, I did try
it once.  My older sister smokes, and she let me try it."

I took another puff and blew the smoke away from Sarah.  "So, did you like
it?"

"I'm embarrassed to say this, but I coughed so bad after one puff, I never
tried it again," Sarah said laughing.  "It was awful."

"Don't be, my first puff wasn't very good either," I giggled.  "But it gets a
lot better after that."

"Don't take this personally," Sarah said in a friendly voice.  "But you are
about the last person I ever thought would take up smoking."

"Yeah, my mother said the same thing.  After all the years that I nagged her
about her smoking, she almost dropped dead of a heart attacked when she
caught me."

"Wow, you must have died when she found out," Sarah said.  "I remember a year
ago when my mom first found out about my sister.  They got into a huge fight
that went on for months."

"No, I was fortunate.  After her initial shock she accepted it well. We were
sharing cigarettes together later that night."

"Your mom must be pretty cool to let you smoke at such a young age.  Mine
would kill me.  So tell me, what is it like to be able to smoke with such
freedom?" Sarah asked me as I drew on my cigarette.

"It's wonderful," I said through a talking exhale.  "And you're right about
mom, she is pretty cool.  We've become real close these last few weeks.  I
guess you can say we are smoking buddies now."

Just as I finished my cigarette, Paula whispered in my ear.  I looked over
and there was Joey and Zach starting to get out of the pool.  "Quick Paula,
light up a cigarette," I said as I reached for my cigarettes.  I then lit
both mine and Paula's cigarettes as the boys started to walk over.  "Act
nonchalant," I said to Paula as she nervously puffed on her cigarette.

We pretended to talk to each other as they approached.  "Hi Paula," Joey
said, stopping behind her.  Paula turned around and said, "Joey, hi, how was
your summer?"

The two talked for several minutes while Zach and I watched.  Finally, Zach
talked to me.  "So how have you been Terry?"

"Good and yourself?"

He went on and told me about his summer while I continued to smoke my
cigarette.  Soon it was gone and I put it out in a plastic cup with a little
water in the bottom while he continued to talk.  He seemed much more
talkative than normal.  Was he attracted to me and my smoking?  I wasn't
sure, but I was going to give him a show if that was the case.  So ten
minutes after I put out the previous one, I lit up again.  This time I really
concentrated on making myself as sexy as possible with my cigarette. 

"So Terry, that was pretty much my summer.  Tell me about yours.  It looks
like you took up a new habit."

"What, you mean this?" I said as I pointed at my cigarette.

"Yeah, I don't remember you smoking last year during school."

"You're right, I started about three months ago.  I know it's a nasty habit,
but I like it."

"It might be nasty but it really suits you.  You look like you've been
smoking for years."

I couldn't believe what I just heard.  Maybe our plan to lure Joey and Zach
was actually working.  Looking over at Paula and Joey, it was clear that it
was.  So I then told Zach all about my summer, but just before I was done, he
looked at Joey and said that he was getting something to drink.  Joey just
waved him off as Zach said "See ya" to me and walked away.  

Soon Zach was back talking to the same smoking girl that he did early last
summer.  That was pretty much it for me.  My quest was a complete failure.
Oh well, at least I have my cigarettes.

*******************

So I hope you enjoyed my start smoking story.  It's been almost two years now
and I'm still smoking.  My habit has stabilized at about a pack and a half on
weekdays, and about two on weekends.  Of course being the summer I'll be able
to smoke all day long just like it was a weekend.  So I look forward to
spending the next three months inhaling rich high tar smoke 400 plus times a
day.

My mom has done her part in developing my habit.  She still is constantly
offering me cigarettes, and any time we do anything together, I smoke
extremely heavily.  Later this summer my folks and I will be taking a week
long cruise in the Caribbean.  I better take a couple of cartons with me for
that one.  I can only imagine what hanging around mom for such a long time
will do to my cigarette consumption.

Paula did end up dating Joey after that party.  The two have been seeing each
other off and on ever since.  It's a typical teenage romance.  As far as
smoking goes, it's been a nightmare for her.  Soon after Mrs. Price saw me
smoking, she confronted both Paula and Peggy.  Paula still smokes some but
she still has to sneak around to do it.  Her mother is nowhere near as cool
as mine.  

Finally, I have to say something about Zach.  We finally went out together
for the first time last month.  I don't know if it will turn out to be
anything, but I plan on smoking a lot for him all summer long.


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