Sisters, Part 3

(by Dromedary Joe, 10 March 2010)


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"Sisters"
by Dromedary Joe

Part Three

The first day of school came and went quickly for the four sisters. Danni, of
course, spent the whole day worrying about Cindy telling her parents that she
had seen her smoking. She had even gone up to Cindy's locker a few times that
day to beg her not to tell. Cindy just laughed at her younger sister's feeble
attempts at persuading her. Cindy ended up making up her mind on her own.

Surprisingly, Cindy decided not to tell her parents, but not out of some sort
of gesture towards her sister. She came up with a self-serving solution. One
of the reasons the thirteen year old Cindy had a problem with Danni was that
she had the same allowance as her; they both got $25 a week from their
parents. Cindy knew her older sisters had a higher allowance than she did,
and she was fine with that. It gave her another reason to look forward to
getting older; But Ashley's allowance was bigger than Brenda's which was
bigger than Cindy's- it made sense for there to be a forth tier. To Cindy,
the lack of a gap between their allowances was proof that the baby of the
family was being treated better than her. She decided to use her sister's
smoking to help correct the "wrong".

Cindy knew a guy who was one of the "tougher" kids in her middle school who
made a lot of money selling cigarettes to the other middle school kids. Cindy
figured she could sell cigarettes to Danni and make money. That would have
the effect of both adding to her allowance and taking away from Danni's.
First, she had to cut Danni off from her supply which Cindy knew must be
their parents. Usually, her parents were careless with the way they would
leave packs around the house. It was known to all the girls that Ashley would
secretly throw them away, but apparently Danni had been beating her to the
punch by keeping them herself. Cindy would have to beat both of them. Cindy
would hide the cigarettes her parents left around and then sell them to her
sister. If worst came to worst, she could always buy from the tough kid and
resell to her sister, but that was less desirable as that obviously cut into
her profit margin. 

Cindy got home before her sister the first day of school and after a quick
search of the house found almost a full pack's worth of cigarettes scattered
among five or six packs. She consolidated them into two separate packs - one
with her mother's 100's and one with her dad's king sized Marlboro Lights
and hid them in her room. Cindy figured Danni probably had a hidden stash
somewhere and knew it would only be a matter of days before Danni ran out. 

A couple days later several more cigarettes had been added to her stash, and
Cindy was ready to put her plan into action. Danni had stopped begging her
sister not to tell, hoping maybe Cindy would forget she had caught her
smoking, when Cindy finally asked her, "So, you still smoke?"

"I want to," said Danni with her head down, "but I don't want Mom and Dad to
find out. Besides Mom and Dad don't leave them lying around the house like
they used to."

Cindy smiled when she realized how effective she had been at eliminating
Danni's source. "Well," said Cindy, "I'll sell you a cigarette for fifty
cents."

Danni didn't even think about it, instead quickly reaching into her purse and
grabbing a couple of quarters. Cindy went into her room and fetched a
cigarette for her sister. The middle school got out an hour earlier than the
high school which was a couple hours before their parents got out of work, so
Danni could safely smoke a cigarette or two before everyone else got home. 

Danni lit up the Marlboro Light and sat on the couch next to her sister.
After a few drags, Danni asked her sister a question.

"So you smoke, too?"

Cindy laughed. "Oh, no; absolutely not. I'm just as anti-smoking as Ashley or
Brenda. It's a gross habit. For me, it's all about business, though. Give me
the money, and I'll keep you a satisfied customer." 

If Cindy looked at it as business, then business was sure to pick up. Over
the next couple of weeks, Cindy sold her sister an average of 40 cigarettes a
week. Cindy had encouraged her sister to buy more and Danni almost never
turned down an opportunity to smoke. Of course, both girls did so carefully,
lest their older sisters or parents find out.

"I think you should wait before smoking a cigarette. Brenda and Ashley will
be out of school any minute now. Wait a couple hours until after dinner and
then I'll tell Mom we're going to the library and then I'll sell you three on
the way to the library," said Cindy thoughtfully to her sister one day.

Even though Danni knew she was being price gouged by Cindy, she was starting
to appreciate the business relationship. She knew Cindy would be in as big
trouble for selling the cigarettes to her as she would for smoking them.
Buying from Cindy helped buy her an extra set of eyes to look out for her
parents and two oldest sisters. Perhaps Danni could ask around and buy from
someone else, but that might be risky. It may have been bad for Cindy to find
out she smoked, but at least she knew only one other person knew she smoked,
and not a bunch of people.  In a way she was relieved that she had Cindy to
help support her habit.

Cindy was becoming a better businesswoman. She realized she was taking most
of her sister's allowance, so she cut the price to a quarter per cig. She
could make up for it in volume, and she noticed her sister's consumption
increased when she did that. After she heard her sister complain about
cigarettes tasting stale, she made a point of "rotating" her inventory. 

Business was good, and Cindy even started selling to a few girls at school
who always were asking around for cigarettes. If Cindy's businessman father
knew about Cindy's little cig business, he might be proud that everything he
learned in getting his MBA she had learned in eighth grade. Except for one -
soon enough she would learn the importance of never mixing business with
pleasure...


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