She Owed Her One, Part 2

(by Kalithanatos, 20 December 2009)

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She Owed Her One
by Kalithanatos


Julianna's fears that she might be caught cheating were allayed a couple of
days later when Mrs Yates, her English teacher, pulled her aside and told her
that her essay was decent, but not great. Julianna explained that she was
under a great deal of pressure with her studies and had not put as much
effort in as she should have, and this seemed to satisfy her teacher. The
essay was never mentioned again, much to Julianna's relief.

Three weeks later, Julianna and Debbie's year were given three weeks of study
leave to prepare for their exams. For the first two weeks the girls did not
see each other a great deal, but did have several subjects in common, which
they studied together at Debbie's house at least twice a week. The girls got
on amazingly well with each other, despite not having much in common to the
outside eye. They were both seventeen, and Julianna was of average height and
build with long blonde hair and a little button nose. She was more often
described as `cute' than `beautiful', but this never bothered her. For the
most part Julianna wore pretty dresses and listened to pop music.

Debbie, on the other hand, was tall for a girl, with a fantastic body and
enormous (but well-proportioned) breasts. She had long, jet-black hair that
she wore with a severe fringe, and went for the Goth look (all-black clothes,
pasty white face, black fingernails), which also went nicely with the music
she enjoyed - Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, etc.

Despite these differences, the girls had been friends since they started
infant school together and enjoyed each other's company immensely. Neither
of them had ever had a sexual relationship yet, although Debbie had kissed a
few boys, and on one occasion at a Placebo concert, a girl.

Two weeks into study leave, Julianna got a text message from Debbie while she
was trying to get her head round a particularly difficult maths problem.

"Can I come over?" the text started, "In big trouble. Need yr help. D"

"Of course. House empty. CU in ten?" Julianna responded.

Julianna decided to take a break from studying to grab a drink and wait for
her friend. A few minutes later, Debbie came streaking up the driveway,
looking scared beyond her wits. Julianna opened the door for her and Debbie
bolted right in without taking her shoes off, as the house rules dictated.

"What's up?" Julianna asked, worried about her friend.

"I've been caught doing something stupid, and I lied to get out of it."
Debbie explained, cryptically.

"Whatever it is, it can't be that bad," Julianna started, trying to ease her
friend's worries.

"You won't be saying that in a minute!" Debbie retorted, composing herself.
"It's all so dumb! I can't believe I got myself into this."

"For God's sake, tell me!" Julianna said, exasperated.

"Okay, okay!" Debbie said, "Here goes. So my mum asked me to go to the shops
to get some milk and stuff, right?" Julianna nodded in agreement. "And just
as I was about to go into the supermarket, I bumped into Steve and Clarissa."
Steve and Clarissa were two of Debbie's peripheral friends from one of her
art classes, whom Julianna knew to say hello to but not much more.

"Anyway, so they were both smoking, right? And out of the blue, Clarissa
asked me if I had started smoking yet! Well, you know me; sometimes I act
tougher than I really am, so instead of saying the sensible thing that I had
never smoked in my life, I just said I sometimes did at parties and stuff.
The two of them just looked at each other in that way that said `we don't
believe you...'"

"Quite rightly!" Julianna interjected.

"...and then I said, `As a matter of fact, I'm just popping in here to buy some
cigarettes right now.'"

"You did WHAT!?" Julianna exclaimed.

"I know - how dumb was that? Anyway, I went in and asked for the weakest
cigarettes they had and a lighter while Clarissa and Steve waited outside,
smoking. Next thing I knew, I was outside with a cigarette in my mouth trying
to light it."

"Really? What happened next?" Julianna asked, fascinated.

"Well, I finally managed to catch a light and suddenly I was standing there
trying to bluff it like I had been smoking for years. Anyway, a few minutes
went by with me trying not to cough before Steve and Clarissa said they had
to meet someone and off they went."

"Did you smoke the entire cigarette?" Julianna asked, amazed her friend had
gone through with the pretence.

"Of course not!" Debbie responded.  "As soon as they were out of sight, I
threw it to the ground and stubbed it out. It was disgusting! Then I had to
go back inside and buy mum's groceries. Anyway, this is where I made my
mistake; instead of throwing the cigarettes and lighter away like I should
have, I put them in my pocket and went home. It was my turn to make the
dinner, and I was already late, so I threw my jacket into the closet without
thinking about what was in my pockets and got to work. A few minutes later,
the paperboy turned up, looking for his pay."

"Oh no," Julianna said, seeing where this was going.

"Yep, you guessed it," Debbie said. "Mum asked me where her change was and I
absent-mindedly said, `in my pocket'. Two seconds later, I realised my
mistake. Next thing I knew, mum was standing in the doorway to the kitchen
with the cigarettes in her hand. `What are these, young lady?' she asked me.
I was trapped. Despite her smoking, like, 100 cigarettes a day or something,
she had always warned me of the consequences if I started too. I would feel
like I had really disappointed her if I told her the truth, so I panicked and
said something I really regret now."

"What did you tell her?" Julianna asked, darkly.

"I told her they were yours," Debbie said, quietly.

"You did WHAT?" Julianna exploded for the second time in a few minutes. "Why
me? Of all the people you know, why me? What if she tells my parents? They'll
kill me! Fuck!" It was the first time Debbie had ever heard her friend curse,
and she knew she had gone over the line.

"Don't worry about that, I covered you. I told her you had just recently
started and that you were terrified your parents would find out, so could she
keep it to herself? She agreed not to say anything on the off-chance she met
your parents at the shops or something."

"Why me?" Julianna asked again. "Are you even sure she believed you?"

"Actually, at first she didn't. And this is where I'm going to have to do ask
you to do something you may end up hating me for, but I have no choice. I'm
going to have to call in that favour you owe me."

"What do you mean?" Julianna asked, curious.

"I'm going to ask you to do something that is so completely against your
nature it is almost beyond belief. I'm going to ask you to smoke in front of
my mother."

"No," Julianna responded immediately. "I can't do it. I can't smoke. I don't
know how. I don't WANT to know how. You'll have to get me out of it. Tell her
I quit or something. Anything. This isn't happening. I simply will not do

"Jules," Debbie said, "I NEED you to do this for me. I hate that I've done
this to you, but I did you an enormous favour a few weeks back and you said
that no matter what I asked, you would repay me when the time came. Now is
the time."

Julianna realised her friend was correct; she HAD made the promise, and to
back down now was unacceptable within the scope of all that she valued within
their friendship. She had no choice but to go along with what her friend had
asked of her, even if it went against every fibre of her being to actually
smoke a cigarette.

"Okay," she said, admitting defeat, "how do we go about this?"

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