Sisters, Part 4

(by Dromedary Joe, 10 March 2010)


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"Sisters"
by Dromedary Joe

Part Four

"Hey," said Danni as she got home, "do you think you could do me a favor?"

"Sure," said Cindy. She knew what the favor was - Danni wanted her to extend
credit to her. Cindy wasn't exactly sure how much her sister now owed, but
she would look in her little spiral notebook and check it out, it had to be
at least ten dollars.

"Spot me until payday," asked Danni. Payday, of course, was the day their
parents doled out allowance money.

"Alright," said Cindy, "Meet me in Dad's study."

Cindy went upstairs to her bedroom and into her secret stash and pulled out
what was once a couple of her Mom's Marlboro Light 100's. Danni seemed to
prefer the 100's to the Kings as of late.

She met her sister in her dad's study and decided to hang out for a few
minutes. Usually she would be outside in the living room or den as a lookout
for her sister, but both girls had gotten home early enough that they knew
the two older girls wouldn't be a threat. For a few minutes Danni smoked as
the two girls talked about the school year so far. It had been almost two
months since the start of school and the girls would soon be getting their
first report cards.

Suddenly, Danni took a quick drag, set the cigarette in the ashtray on her
dad's desk, and said she had to go to the bathroom as she exhaled. She
quickly left the study and went to the bathroom down the hall.

Cindy chuckled. Her little sister always had a habit of waiting until the
last minute when she had to go. Cindy wondered why she didn't just take the
cigarette with her. She was paying a quarter for it - why would she want to
waste it? Maybe she should put it out for her sister, she thought, as she
picked it up...

Cindy held the lit Marlboro Light 100 in her hand for moment, realizing this
was the first time she had ever held a lit cigarette. The cigarette was still
fairly long, but already the filter had started to blacken. Cindy stared at
it for a second and wondered why her sister spent almost her entire allowance
on them. Out of curiosity she decided to try just one hit.

Most people who try smoking for the first time usually have a rough first
attempt. Very rarely an individual gets it right the first time without any
coaching. Apparently, Cindy was be one of those people. Sure, she got the
tell-tale tickle in the back of her throat, and had had the temptation to
cough, but managed not to. She exhaled quickly and decided to try another.
Proving the first one wasn't a fluke she once again inhaled successfully.
Aware her sister could enter the room at any moment, she quickly tried to
disperse her exhaled smoke as she put the cigarette in the ashtray, noticing
the filter was now darker than when her sister had left the room. She hoped
Danni wouldn't notice. When Danni entered the room a few minutes later Cindy
noticed that she was starting to develop her first nicotine head rush. 

"I'm going to my room to do homework," said Cindy, getting out of her chair.

"Okay," said Danni sounding disappointed that her sister would not be keeping
her company. Over the past few months, the previous incivility between the
two sisters had lessened substantially and Danni was almost starting to
consider Cindy a friend of sorts.

Cindy went to her bedroom and lay in bed, enjoying the rush from her first
smoking experience. She had always heard of kids who got sick smoking for the
first time. She wondered if maybe that had been an exaggeration - she hadn't
even coughed. She had enjoyed that too much so she decided to reach into her
stash and smoke a whole cigarette herself. She went to her purse and
retrieved a lighter since she had actually gotten into the habit of carrying
one to avoid a lost sale when her sister often would not have one. At first,
she had a little trouble with the mechanics of lighting up but once she
successfully ignited it she had no problem smoking it. Realizing she had no
ashtray, she pulled a soda pop can out of the wastebasket and used it as a
makeshift ashtray. She finished her first full cigarette with a strong but
pleasant nicotine buzz. She had just cut into her "inventory" for the first
time but she hoped she wouldn't make a habit of it...

Over the next couple of weeks Cindy realized she was starting to smoke more
often, almost as much as Danni. Of course, she was careful to keep her habit
a secret even from Danni. At first, the number of cigarettes in her stash was
enough to sustain both sisters, but after those first few weeks the search
for her parents' stray cigarettes took on a more urgent tone as her inventory
quickly dwindled. Sometime in her third week of smoking she ended up buying a
pack from the tough kid at school who did it on a large scale. She bought a
pack of Marlboro Light 100's since, like Danni, she liked the long ones. It
seemed she was no longer selling Danni cigarettes for profit but she was
selling them to subsidize her own habit.
 
Cindy had a science fair project at school which she was working on with
three other girls, and the four had decided to stay after school one day to
work on it. Cindy didn't really know the other three girls that well so after
they were done she decided to walk home with the three girls to get to know
them better. One of the girls took out a pack of Marlboro 100's, and the
other two girls were in shock.

"Ew, you smoke!" exclaimed one of them.

"Yeah," said the girl, exhaling, "any of you girls want one?"

Cindy thought for a second. No one knew she smoked since she had been careful
to keep it a secret even from Danni. She had actually been a little anxious
that tonight her older sisters would already be home, meaning making it
harder to sneak a smoke once she got home.

"Yeah," said Cindy, "I'll take one."

The two non-smoking girls were shocked that Cindy smoked. She was one of the
more popular, smarter girls in middle school - not the kind one would expect
to be a smoker.

Cindy lit up her first Marlboro 100 and realized these were stronger than the
Lights she usually smoked. After a few drags she got used to it and began
enjoying the rich flavor of the Marlboro Red. She made up her mind to buy a
pack of these from the tough kid next time she bought cigarettes.

Over the next couple of weeks, she lost interest in selling Danni cigarettes.
Her parents had finally been persuaded about the injustice of paying the two
younger siblings the same allowance and they upped Cindy's allowance to $35 a
week. The extra ten dollars was all cig money for Cindy. She had stopped
being so zealous about getting to her parents' abandoned packs, so she knew
Danni was probably snatching those again, although Cindy would still add to
her stash of Marlboro Lights in her closet if the opportunity was right, but
she had for the most part moved on to Marlboro 100's. 

One night at about three o'clock in the morning, Cindy heard a noise in the
hallway and knew it was her sister Danni sneaking down to their father's
study for a smoke. Cindy rarely went down there to smoke since her secret
smoke spot was in the garage. This worked out well since their parents' maid
who came three times a week used to smoke in the garage and also smoked
Marlboro 100's so the cork filter cigarettes didn't look out of place. 

Cindy decided to join her sister. She grabbed her purse and went down to the
study quickly but silently.

She turned on the light so her sister Danni could see it was her and not
someone else before turning it back off.

"You scared me for a minute," whispered Danni as she reached for her stash in
the bookcase, "Thought you were Mom or Dad or the other girls."

"So that's where you hide yours," said Cindy, who always wondered where Danni
hid her cigarettes.

"Yeah," said Danni.

"Here," said Cindy opening her purse revealing a pack of Marlboro 100's, "Try
one of mine."

Danni pulled out one from the pack and Cindy took one out for herself. Both
girls quickly lit up and Cindy realized she was smoking in front of Danni for
the first time. She knew she had sold Danni cigarettes for the last time.
Danni was no longer a customer, she was now her smoking buddy...


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