Senior Week, Part 1

(by Somers, 12 February 2005)


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Senior Week
by Somers
PART ONE

"Bye, Mom!" Carly slammed the trunk of the car closed, waved, and climbed
into the passenger seat, otherwise ignoring her Mother, and very glad to get
away from her.

Her Mom waved, and bid her daughter goodbye, then called out to her to phone
when she got there. Her daughter nodded, and then started talking in rapid
tones to Bryn, the girl who was driving, and they pulled out of the driveway.

It was really nerve wracking to see the two girls driving off together like
this, thought the Mom, as she  yelled after them to drive safely. She knew
that Bryn was a bit wild, certainly, but also knew that Bryn would protect
Carly since they had been best friends since they were very young. She felt a
little strange sending her daughter off for "senior week" with the older
girl, since Carly was a couple of years younger than Bryn, but she felt a
need to finally let her get out on her own. She thought that Carly was pretty
mature, and the girl had wanted to go so badly and have some fun at the beach
now that school had ended for the year. Carly tended to be a little bit
pugnacious at times, but the Mom believed that her daughter was a good girl
at heart. After their occasional fights, especially the recent one when she
found cigarettes in her room, she felt that Carly needed this trip as a
demonstration of her Mom's trust, so she had convinced her husband that the
girl needed this as a growth experience. Carly had worked hard all year, and
had brought home her best grade reports ever the past few terms. Since the
family was not taking a vacation this year in preparation for college
expenses, it was the best thing she felt she could do for Carly.  It would
help her, she thought, because she hadn't seemed at all enthusiastic about
applying for college, and her mother was getting nervous because she realized
that her window of opportunity was closing. She waved to them as they drove
out of sight and tooted the horn. She wanted the best for her daughter, but
it pained her to see her daughter grow up. She prayed that Carly wouldn't do
anything really childlike.

"Let's pop in a CD, and get this party rolling!" Bryn said, speeding up once
they were out of sight of the house.

Carly giggled, and put in music from Ravin's Garage, a local band that both
girls swore would make it big some day. Bryn actually knew somebody in the
band. Bryn placed an unlit cigarette in her lips and undulated in the
driver's seat as the first tune came on.

"Oh, that's right! Smoking! We need to stop for cigarettes," Carly declared
suddenly.

"Are you going to smoke, Pip-squeak? I highly recommend it, because it's a
very cool thing to do," Bryn flashed her a glance over the sunglasses that
she wore and wiggled her eyebrows, giving her a Groucho Marx impression while
dangling the unlit cigarette from her lips.

That was her pet nickname for Carly: "Pip-squeak," and it fit her properly.
Carly was 5' 2" tall to Bryn's 5' 7" frame. Carly didn't smoke, while Bryn
smoked at least a pack a day. Well, Carly didn't ordinarily smoke, although
she had tried it on a few occasions, mostly egged on by the older girl
recently, but sometimes on her own, with cigarettes borrowed from Bryn. She
had been secretly smoking most days she could hide in her room, away from her
Mom. This trip was to be different, though, because she had decided for
herself that she wanted to smoke, and wanted to do it in an environment free
of the influence of her parents. Besides, everyone who was cool and listened
to Ravin's Garage was a smoker. That was sufficient to convince her of its
value in life; it would identify her as one of those people. This week, she'd
be without her Mom's nagging and all that adult stuff, and she could smoke as
much as she wanted to. She was anxious to get started, and eager for that
first puff of the many she would take, wherever and whenever she wanted. Next
week? Well, that was so far off, and she would live with whatever next week
had in store for her when it came. Carly, like most girls of her age, tended
to think mostly of the immediate future. It was much more important than
things vague and far away.

She had not really developed an interest in smoking until recently, and was
more or less a quiet type of girl, as opposed to the brashness that Bryn
exhibited. The two seemed to make the most unlikely pair of friends, one
grinning and not caring about anything that she said or did, while the
younger girl was very reserved, and studied on everything. Carly, however,
had come up with this idea just last night, while lying in bed and feeling
that she needed a cigarette. She thought that smoking had some other benefits
as well, like it would make her less vulnerable to others while she was on
the trip, and make her seem more mature. It was the adult thing to do, and
above all, she would act as an adult on this trip. She was done with being a
little kid, now that she was done with high school.

"I want to smoke this week. There's a little convenience store on the block
before we get to the Turnpike, and I figured that you would buy me some
Marlboro Lights," Carly stated simply while listening to the music. It was
often this way between the girls, with the younger one giving directives to
the older one. It was one of the reasons that Bryn needed Carly. Without her
Pip-squeak, she would feel lost, and anything that Pip-squeak wanted, she
would provide. Even many things that she didn't want, Bryn would try to
provide, but Bryn was a devoted and caring soul, and she often couldn't stop
herself. She tended to cover her real motives up a lot, but love was
basically it. Bryn loved Carly, because the two girls had shared so much
together throughout the years, and also that she couldn't help but to love
Carly. The two of them were like sisters.

"But why did you decide that you want to smoke, Pip-squeak? After all, they
say that smoking is so bad for you. Why, I hear that it will make your brains
fall out! I've been waiting for mine to fall out, and I'm sure that it will
happen any day now. One day, I'm complete, and the next day, totally
brainless. I wonder if it happens a little at a time, or over a period of
years? Maybe it happens all at once, later in life, and one day I'll find my
Mom in the kitchen with her brains scattered all over the wall. With a pack
of Pall Malls resting on the table, next to her empty head, and puffing
happily on one of them," Bryn told this horribly unlikely story with a
completely straight face while driving along calmly. But Carly was quite used
to such outlandish images from Bryn. The older girl had a tendency toward the
absurd.

"Smoking is not going to make my brains fall out! Or do any other horrible
things, either. What do they think we are, stupid? If it did, why would
anyone want to do it? Besides, I like the feeling. So you'll buy them for me,
right? I've got the money and everything," Carly stated, summing it all up
with a discussion of the finances involved, like a proper business deal.  She
even made a rather significant gesture of depositing four dollars on the
console.

"Well, I ought to stop anyway, for something to drink, but somehow I don't
know about cigarettes. Getting a girl started on smoking. I mean, I could get
arrested and sent away to prison for years of hard labor! These muscles were
never meant for hard labor, only labor pains," Bryn said, still bouncing the
unlit cigarette in her lips as she stepped on the gas when the traffic light
turned green. Bryn was a very voluptuous girl, with a figure that Carly would
have died for. She had long blonde hair, worn in a pony tail for the drive, a
bronze skin tone for the summer, and full breasts on top of a flat tummy that
she accentuated with her light, low-cut tummy-top.  Her smooth and tanned
legs gently pumped the brake pedal as she drove down the street, proceeding
cautiously in and out of traffic. Bryn was really no girl, at her age, but
was a full and complete woman. Only her performance in school had held her
back a couple of years, her performance at academics, that is. Her
performance on the social scene would have earned the highest grades in the
class, however.

"Just shut up, and buy them for me, you bitch," Carly ordered.

"Oooooo! I love it when you swear at me! Of course I'll get them for you,
silly! What's it going to be? Do you really want Marlboro Lights, or perhaps
something stronger? You'd really look good puffing on a fat cigar, or, I
know! A Clove! That would be so cool! Put your money away, Pip-squeak, this
is my treat, and we'll get you all fixed-up," Bryn carried on, as the pair
finally pulled into the convenience store and got out of the car.

"No, I want the Marlboro Lights," Carly said, fading away from the brassy
girl as they entered the store. Carly always knew exactly what she wanted,
despite her partner's indecision in all matters relating to what Bryn needed.
Carly took a long time to make up her mind about things, but once it was made
up, there was no changing it.

Bryn went to the cooler and got two cold Arizona Iced Teas and then marched
up to the counter, glancing over the sunglasses to look the male clerk
straight in the eye and stated that she wanted a pack of Marlboro Lights. He
immediately asked for her card.

"Oh, my God, the card! I almost forgot! Because you boys always want to check
me out, don't you? Afraid that you'll get into trouble and get sent off to
prison for selling cigarettes to the wrong person? Oh, I'm very sorry, sonny,
but here it is," Bryn took her card out of her bag and grinned at him,
shoving her boobs over the counter. She loved making a display of everything,
and calling attention to herself. Carly just slipped a pack of gum on the
counter quietly. The clerk looked at the ID, judged it as genuine, then
retrieved the cigarettes and quickly scanned them, saying nothing, but
stealing a look at the taller girl's breasts. She was doing nothing to hide
them, of course, as she dug the money out of her purse slowly. Then he gave
Carly just a glance.

Bryn was 20, and had earned to right to smoke, and to buy cigarettes, by two
years, but Carly, who was just 18 a few weeks ago, would have had faced
impossible odds at buying cigarettes. She didn't drive, and had nothing to
prove her age. She hadn't needed anything until now. Being on the short side
due to family genetics, and having a few freckles didn't exactly help.
Fortunately, she didn't need to look older than she was, because she had
Bryn. Bryn was rather immature at times, but her age somehow made everything
seem all right, and her displays of grandeur gave Carly a comforting feeling,
a feeling that she had this secret power that she wielded whenever she felt
the need.

Bryn handed her the pack of Marlboro Lights when they were outside, in front
of the store, and Carly tried to hide the pack in her hand, in case someone
she knew was looking. After all, they had not gotten completely away from
home just yet. Bryn probably should have waited until they were further away
so that no one would see this act, Carly thought. Didn't she realize that
they were close to her house and anyone could be watching? Well, that was
just Bryn, being Bryn and making a major production out of everything.

"Oh, shit!" Carly said as they got into the car, and were putting on their
seatbelts.

"What's the matter, Pip-squeak? Did you break one of your lovely nails?" Bryn
seemed to have a way of always being off-topic.

"No, I forgot to get a damned lighter," Carly looked discouraged, as she set
the pack of cigarettes on the seat between her legs, and held the other just
below the windows so no one would see it as she put on the seat belt. Then
Carly picked up the pack and found the tab, and peeled it off. It was the
first time she had peeled the wrapper off a pack of cigarettes, and although
she had some trouble clutching the end of the cellophane tab, it peeled quite
easily, and then she was left with this piece of cellophane that she didn't
know what to do with.

"Oh? I'll run back and get you one, because they are just by the counter
there!" Bryn declared, stopping as she was just picking up her unlit
cigarette and lighter, having already donned her seat belt.

"No! I want to just go and get to the beach. I'll use yours, and get another
one while we're down there," Carly decided, pulling the top of the box back
and drawing the foil paper off of the neat little rows of cigarettes, keeping
them hidden from any potential onlookers. She saw her secret little stash,
and quickly looked around through the car windows. She had that certain
little nervous thrill that had accompanied her every time she had smoked
before. This pack was her own pack.

"Good move, Pip-squeak, we should get you a cool lighter at the shore with
palm trees on it or something," Bryn  said, holding the cigarette in her
lips, and jutting her chin out as she brought her lighter up to the end of
the cigarette and made a flame. Then, anxious to get Carly started, she
stopped in mid-act, and held it out to Carly's face, in full view of anyone
caring to watch. The younger girl wasn't ready for it yet, however, between
the cellophane and the silver paper. Bryn brought the flame back to her own
cigarette, and drew inward on it with some power as she placed the tip into
the fire. It caught the flame well, and she continued to suck on it as she
handed Carly the lighter, and put the key in the ignition.

Carly didn't know quite what to do with the lighter and the pack of
cigarettes all at the same time, so she tossed the lighter onto the seat
while she was extracting a long white cigarette out of the pack. Why did they
stuff them in there so tightly? She had already gotten rid of the cellophane
mess and the foil paper by tossing them out the window, observing to make
sure no one was looking.

Bryn sucked on the cigarette as she put the car into gear, and then backed
out of the parking space, turning to look behind and exhaling in Carly's
direction. She smoked with such ease, and she puffed the smoke out of both
her nose and the side of her lips as she concentrated on the cars around her.
Carly liked to see her this way, concentrating on things rather than being a
typical airhead, and she stopped in her efforts to extract a cigarette to
watch. Bryn smiled and waved on a mother and child, who were crossing in
front of the car. She smiled so well, with the burning cigarette in her lips.

Bryn took the cigarette out of her lips, having taken another mouthful of
smoke, then inhaled it, watching carefully as the girls got ready to pull out
onto the highway. Carly felt the usual peace that she always felt with Bryn
in charge. She watched as Bryn expertly breathed a plume of smoke from her
mouth, kissing the smoke as it left her lips, and pulled out into traffic
confidently. She viewed everything the Bryn did as if it was inspired with
confidence. Little did she know that she was the one inspired confidence in
the older girl. Without her, Bryn would be the little girl.

"Are you going to light up, or just play with your cigarette?" Bryn asked,
glancing at Carly while seeing the entrance to the turnpike ahead. The other
girl had the cigarette in her fingers, and was just retrieving the lighter
from the space between her legs.

"I was just waiting to get out of the neighborhood, so no one would see me,
so shut up," Carly said, still holding the cigarette down below the windows.

"Don't be shy, Pip-squeak. Announce to the world that you're a smoker!
Excuse me, sir, but I'm a smoker!" Bryn said as she took the ticket from the
tollbooth operator while dangling the cigarette from her lips, but didn't
give him a chance to answer. Then she sucked her cheeks inward, and drove
off, taking the cigarette out of her mouth and holding it up for anyone to
see as she inhaled the smoke. She blew out a big cloud and laughed into the
air as she entered the turnpike. The tollbooth operator merely shook his
head.

"Shut up, and close the window. I can't light this thing," Carly flicked
Bryn's lighter repeatedly with the long Marlboro Light in her lips as the
wind whipped wisps of cigarette smoke everywhere. Carly had rarely lit up a
cigarette before, having usually taken them over from Bryn. Bryn zipped up
the electric window, and glanced at her friend. Carly was a very cute girl,
with red hair and a few freckles that she tried hard to cover. She wore her
hair pulled back into a pony tail on this warm day, which made the cigarette
stand out from her face while she tried to flick the lighter. She had both a
youthful look, because of her short stature and petite features, but an older
look of seriousness too.

"You must be breathing out of your nose. You have to hold your breath while
you flick the lighter," Bryn said, turning to watch the somewhat heavy
traffic while taking another healthy drag on her cigarette. Bryn could smoke
very elegantly when she wanted to, but this was not one of those times. She
rushed the smoke down from her nostrils while thinking about Carly's plight,
then took another drag of smoke before whipping the cigarette out of her
mouth and filling her lungs.

"Stop making me nervous, you know I always get a little shaky when I smoke,"
Carly said.

Carly got the flame going, and placed it to the tip of the cigarette while
drawing inward. It glowed nicely, then went back to a slow burn as she
withdrew it from her lips with her right hand and took a breath inward. She
opened the window just a crack and turned her head to gently exhale the puff,
which was pulled outside. She smiled a little bit and relaxed in her seat,
holding the cigarette up in her fingers and dropping the lighter back on the
console between the girls. Then she put her left arm across her tummy and
held up her right elbow in what she felt was the proper smoking pose and
exhaled a tiny stream of smoke. The music from the Ravin's Garage CD began to
climb to a crescendo, as she began to feel the effects of the nicotine.

"There. That's the way! Don't you feel better now?" Bryn looked as excited as
Carly felt. Bryn blew a big  lungful of smoke out of her mouth, opened her
window and whacked some ashes off of her cigarette using her thumb. Then she
placed it in her lips and dragged on it deeply, popping it from her mouth and
inhaling noisily, just to continue the contrived act. Carly just giggled.

"You are a complete idiot," Carly declared, calmly placing her cigarette to
her tiny mouth, pulling a little bit of smoke out of it and inhaling
contemplatively. She exhaled a stream gently, which was softly carried out of
the window with the breeze.

"An idiot. Yes, an idiot savant! Do you know we have already passed by 2,608
stripes in the road? No, make that 2,620, no, make it-" She dragged her
cigarette down hungrily, sucking the smoke once again deeply into her chest
and holding it there for a second or two before releasing it into the world
in a cascade of pleasure.

The heavy mixture of rap and rock music accompanied her exhale, and she
nodded her head in time to the beat, driving on to the two girls' destiny,
wherever and whatever it might be. Bryn would make this trip as exciting as
possible for Carly, and maybe she would be interested in going beyond the
idea of mere smoking? In any case, Bryn was her protector, and would keep the
younger girl safe from any harm. She also would assure that Carly experienced
all the things that were a part of life and its enjoyment. This was paramount
in Bryn's mind. Bryn exhaled again, slowly over the steering wheel, and some
of the smoke lingered in the car, while some got sucked out the window.

"This is totally great. All these cigarettes will probably last, like
forever," Carly said, tapping some ashes out the window and looking at the
cigarette burning in her fingers and the pack down on the seat between her
legs. As usual, it felt strange to be smoking. Both strange and exciting at
the same time, she thought as the nicotine level built its way up within her
system. She was quite content.

"Well, you can't smoke less than two packs for the week, so you're half-way
to becoming a regular smoker," Bryn said, matter-of-factly.

"Who said anything about becoming a regular smoker? I just said that I wanted
to smoke this week," Carly said, drawing lightly on the cigarette, and
inhaling while thinking of herself as just a tiny bit naughty. She would
never be as naughty as Bryn, of course, knowing some of the innermost secrets
of the older girl. Bryn was not a virgin anymore, as of a few months ago, or
so she had said, but Carly didn't want to go that far until her wedding
night.

"It sorta grows on you after a while, you know. A few cigarettes today, a few
more tomorrow, then a few more. Pretty soon, you're an addict like I am, and
you have to have them every damn day. A couple of packs a week is nothing! In
no time at all, you'll be up to two packs a day. It's all or nothing,
Pip-squeak, so smoke up!" Bryn took an incredibly deep drag, sucking her
cheeks fully into her mouth and making her cigarette glow to a brilliant
crimson color before her face. She deliberately was making smoking look like
some kind of hideous act that only hardened drug-users would want to get
into, but that was Bryn. She always loved acting up. Carly tended to provide
the perfect foil, because she never saw such drama in life.

"Yeah, I guess they are addictive, but I'm not going to go as far as getting
addicted. I figured that I would just have a few during the week. Besides,
what difference does it make how much I smoke?" the younger girl asked
innocently as she took another small drag on the cigarette in her fingers,
and blew the smoke out into the sunlight passing through the window. She was
amazed at how thick it looked. It also felt really excellent.

"Well, personally, I don't think that a girl like you will be at all happy
with just a few during the week. I must say that smoking will be the perfect
compliment to your personality, though," Bryn stated, flicking the ashes once
again out the window with a practiced move of her thumb as she blew the giant
exhale off into the moving air of the car. She had to admit that Carly looked
good smoking, because it was not something you would expect. Carly looked too
wholesome to be a smoker. Entirely too innocent.

"Oh, really? Whatever do you mean by 'a girl like me'?" Carly liked to
occasionally egg Bryn on, and try to produce something rational from her
obviously strange mind. Sometimes, but rarely, she actually succeeded. Carly
took another light puff on her cigarette and inhaled it deeply in a
subconscious attempt to mimic the actions of the older girl. Then she tapped
the ash gently out the window and returned to her smoking pose while she
pursed her tiny lips and exhaled her breath into the interior of the car.
She liked the way the smoke danced in the sunlight, before it got caught in
the breeze and was swept out of the window. She blew out another wisp of
smoke and felt very proud as she held up the cigarette next to her face.

"Well, you're awesomely cute, and I'm sure that a lot of the guys at the
beach will agree. But when they see you light up a cigarette, you'll
devastate them. How could such a sweet and innocent girl be smoking? It will
make headlines: 'Cute Little Girl Smokes Cigarettes', and they will all ask
for an interview to get the story to press before the deadline. Hordes of
sexy guys will be just behind the news vans, with tanned bodies and tight
asses, muscles rippling, just waiting to get their hands on you." Bryn paused
as she took another puff of her cigarette, and peered briefly at it to see
how much she had left.

Carly just giggled, loving the story, and enjoying her cigarette. She
wouldn't mind having "Hordes of sexy guys, with tanned bodies and tight
asses, muscles rippling, just waiting to get their hands on her."  She hadn't
had a date in quite a few months, and all of the guys who had seemed to
express an interest in her had eventually faded away. They just were not
interesting to her. Swaying with the rolling music, she took another short
puff of the cigarette, and felt uncomfortable with herself. She didn't like
Bryn's comment about being innocent. It really struck too close to the truth.
She pondered about that as she settled back for the ride, gripping her elbow
while holding up her cigarette for anyone to see. She really didn't care
anymore.

"I'd love to meet a guy down there," Carly said, imagining some shy boy that
she could open up with. She didn't want someone who was the life of the
party, not the male equivalent of Bryn, she just wanted someone who was
interested in what she had to say and someone she could get close to. Of
course, being devastatingly handsome would be perfect, and the guy she held
in her mind was sorta like a somewhat younger version of Tom Cruise. Her mind
floated off as she took another puff of the cigarette. It was nice to smoke
and contemplate such things, but it was very good to be secure and safe with
Bryn.

The two girls drove onward, in quest of fun and excitement at the shore, and
their life of schoolbooks and homework and all the hassles of being a
teenager were left behind. For Bryn, it was forever, since she had a position
as a clerk in a clothing store, and no doubt would work her way up to more
responsible positions. Or maybe she would marry, if the right guy happened to
come along. For Carly, though, it was the beginning of her vacation from a
school she disliked, and, although she had trouble expressing what came
easily for the older girl, she felt like she had turned a page in her life.
She might be college-bound. It was all about leaving youth behind, and
becoming a woman. They chatted about what everyone was doing for the summer,
who was going to college, who already had a job, and the many people who were
undecided. Bryn smoked on and off, having about eight cigarettes during the
four-hour drive, while Carly lit herself up twice more, waiting for the
slight feeling of dizziness to completely subside in-between cigarettes. It
felt really good to be away from home for the first time, as she fell within
the spell of Bryn's stories and observations about people. She began to be
comfortable about smoking, and she practiced her smoking pose most of the
time. Life was nice, for once, and it would last while she soaked in the rays
of sunshine at the beach.

It was beginning to play out as Carly's Mom had wanted, but, of course, there
were certain small details that her Mom hadn't anticipated. Those details
would alter her daughter's life.

END OF PART ONE


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