Sisters, Part 1

(by Dromedary Joe, 10 March 2010)


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"Sisters"
by Dromedary Joe

Part One

(Inspired by four chain smoking sisters I saw while on vacation this past
summer...)

Another school year was about to start and four sisters were getting their
things ready for their first day...

Ashley was about to start her senior year of high school, and was looking
forward to it. She was arguably the most popular girl in her school; she was
beautiful, captain of the cheerleaders, and a shoo-in for president of her
senior class. She brushed her hair in front of the mirror and frowned as she
saw what appeared to be a zit. It was just a small blemish which did little
to mar her beauty. With her blond hair, blue-green eyes, she was a knock out. 

Brenda sat in her room reading a book, as usual. It was a book which she knew
she would be required to read in her sophomore English Lit class, so she
figured she should get a head start on it. Even though she was the younger
sister of the most popular girl in her high school, she was far from popular;
partly because she didn't fit in with the preppy crowd her sister hung out
with, partly because she was very low key. Even though most people considered
her very dorky, she was a very beautiful girl behind her somewhat unstylish
glasses. She finished another chapter in her book and put the bookmark in
place as she pushed her glasses back up her nose and moved her red hair out
of the way. She would finish reading the book sometime after dinner.

Cindy frowned as she looked at her class schedule. She was kind of nervous
about this school year. Like her three sisters, she was a good student,
although it did seem she often got lost in the shuffle and could be
mischievous at times. Of the four sisters, she was the one who took after her
Italian-American father's side of the family the most; she had dark brown
hair and brown eyes. She had enjoyed the past couple of years of middle
school, but now that she was in eighth grade, she would have to go to school
with her bratty younger sister, who would now be in sixth grade. She hoped
her sister didn't expect her to walk to school with her...

Danni was the baby of the family, and was nearly a carbon copy of her oldest
sister. Even though she was only eleven and entering sixth grade, all
indications were that she would exceed her other sisters' accomplishments.
She was smart, confident, and was already starting to attract the attention
of the boys in her class.

"Supper's ready," cried their father as he went upstairs to each of the four
girls' rooms. One by one, the girls went downstairs for dinner. Like most
families with four siblings, there was often a lot of friction; in this
family it was typically the oldest and youngest, Ashley and Danni, against
the two middle girls, Brenda and Cindy. The largest amount of hostility was
between the popular oldest sister Ashley and the dorky second child Brenda,
although the animosity between the youngest two sisters, Cindy and Danni was
often pretty strong as well. Often it would be Ashley taking her youngest
sister Danni places without even bothering to invite Brenda or Cindy. This
did bother their parents, who had always encouraged their girls to all be
friends. Even so, the four girls had learned to co-exist with the rivalries.

The four girls sat in their usual spots at the dinner table with Ashley and
Danni on one side and Brenda and Cindy on the other, and the parents, of
course at the other  ends of the dinner table. Both parents were successful
in their jobs and the family had a comfortable upper-middle class lifestyle.

The family ate dinner with the usual clamor one would expect from a family
with four girls. Their mother looked at her daughters proudly, all almost
exactly two years apart in age ranging from seventeen to eleven. They were
everything a mother could hope for- they were all smart, beautiful, and did
well in school. She looked and saw they had all finished their meals, and
decided to light up an after meal cigarette. A few seconds later, her husband
did as well.

Ashley faked a coughing fit and the other three girls laughed. 

"Dammit," said Ashley, "do you have to ruin a perfectly good meal by smoking
a cigarette at the dinner table afterwards?"

Her parents looked at each other and then looked at Ashley. They'd only had
this conversation a thousand times before.

"Here we go again," said her father, taking another drag off of the Marlboro
Light.

"And we'll keep on going there again," said Ashley, "Until you guys quit
smoking inside. Better yet, don't you think it's time to quit smoking,
period?"

Their mother rolled her eyes as she took a drag off her Marlboro Light 100
and said, "Do you have anything new to say that you haven't said the hundreds
of other times you've brought this up?"

"Well, yeah actually, I do. My friend Brittany's parents smoke, but they
decided to quit smoking inside last month. Why can't you do the same thing
for us?"

The discussion continued on for another ten minutes, mostly between the
oldest daughter and her parents with minimal input from the three younger
girls. It eventually ended with the parents saying they would quit "someday"
and that was the end of the conversation. 

The girls got up from the table and the oldest and youngest went out by the
pool in the back yard to hang out, while the two middle girls went upstairs
and played Monopoly. After a couple of hours their parents made them go to
bed since it was the night before the first day of the new school year.

***


It was two o' clock in the morning and eleven year old Danni went downstairs
to get a drink of water; or that was her story if anyone caught her. She
tip-toed down the stairs and made sure the lights in her parents' room were
off. She went into the kitchen and got a glass of water before quickly going
into her father's study. She reached behind some books on the bookcase which
hadn't been touched in years, judging from the dust on the books. After
groping for a few seconds she got it and pulled it out quickly. She turned
around quickly to double check that no one was around. Satisfied that all was
well, she pulled a cigarette out of the pack of Marlboro Lights and lit up.


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