Sisters, Part 5

(by Dromedary Joe, 10 March 2010)


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"Sisters"
by Dromedary Joe

Part Five

The school year had been breezing along and it was already close to
Christmas. Danni had had her twelfth birthday and Brenda had just had her
sweet sixteen party. Even though she wasn't nearly as popular as her older
sister Ashley there had still been a lot of people at her party. She got a
lot of gifts but the biggest gift was a new car from her parents. To
celebrate, she decided to take her car out to the mall and spend many of the
gift certificates she had received. Brenda didn't have a lot of friends but
her closest friend had always been her younger sister Cindy. She felt a
little guilty because the two of them really hadn't spent much time together
this school year.

"I miss hanging out with you like we used to," said Cindy as she got in her
sister's new car to go to the mall.

"I know, we didn't hang out much last year either. It will be cool next year
when you're in high school, it'll be fun like when we were in middle school
together."

"Yeah, that will be cool."

"I notice you've been hanging out with The Brat a lot lately," said Brenda,
trying to sound suspicious, "I hope you're not becoming one of the BB's."

Cindy laughed. It had always been Ashley and Danni, the oldest and the
youngest, and Brenda and Cindy, the middle kids, who hung out a lot. Brenda
and Cindy were always particularly close since they perceived that their
oldest and youngest sisters got all the attention and preferential treatment
and that they got lost in the shuffle.  They even had code words for them,
although they never used them around the rest of the family. Ashley was "The
Bitch" while Danni was "The Brat". Collectively; the oldest and the youngest
were called "The BB's." Brenda and Cindy had been calling them the BB's for
so long that the origin of the term was unclear. Maybe it meant "blond
bitches" or a combination of "bitch" and "brat" or perhaps it was a reference
to their Barbie Doll looks, but the name had stuck.

"No," said Cindy, "I'm not becoming a BB." Cindy wondered if her older sister
Brenda had suspected the reason why Cindy was now hanging out with Danni: the
two were smoking buddies. Between the two, they probably smoked close to a
pack of Marlboro 100's a day, plus the odd Marlboro Light their parents left
hanging around. 

"Good," said Brenda, "But if you are turning into a BB, we can always dye
your hair blond once we get to the mall. I've got a gift certificate to the
beauty parlor there. I've been thinking of dyeing mine anyway."

"Why?" said Cindy, "Your red hair is so pretty. Why would you want to mess
that up?"

"I don't know," said Brenda pushing the glasses back up her nose, "Sometimes
I feel like such a dork. Honestly, I wish I could be Ashley sometimes. She is
so pretty."

"You're just as pretty as her, Bren. Don't be intimidated by Ashley. You're
smarter than her. Give it time. By the time you're a senior, you'll be more
popular than Ashley."

"Maybe," said Brenda, "but I doubt it."

The girls spent most of the Saturday afternoon shopping and stopped for
dinner. Cindy hadn't been able to have a cigarette since early that morning
and was nicking really bad. She had brought her pack of cigarettes with her
and hid them in a pocket inside her huge purse, but she didn't really have a
chance to sneak away. 

"Hey," said Brenda, "I've been meaning to talk to you about something for a
while. You've seemed so secretive lately, but I don't know why. We've always
been the best of friends, but I know you're hiding something from me, but I
don't know what it is. You know I would never tell anybody if you told me a
secret."

"I'm not hiding anything," said Cindy lying. Cindy knew Brenda knew she was
lying. They had been too close since they were both toddlers. Brenda knew her
too well. 

"Well, you know I'm not like the BB's, I won't sell you out; so if you decide
to tell me, I'm here for you."

Cindy thought about that for a moment. She had already considered telling
Brenda about her smoking, but was afraid of what her reaction would be. After
a few minutes, she decided to tell her sister her secret.

"Brenda," said Cindy quietly, "I started smoking."

For a minute Brenda sat, shocked.

"Cindy," her sister responded after a long pause, "But you're only thirteen."

"But I'll be fourteen next month," reminded Cindy.

"Yeah," said Brenda, "But..." she never finished the sentence, still in
shock.

After dinner, Cindy went outside for a cigarette while Brenda waited inside
the mall. The thought of seeing her sister smoke was distressing to Brenda.

The girls continued shopping, but Cindy sensed Brenda was still bothered by
the revelation that she was now a smoker. Cindy went outside for a smoke a
few more times before the girls headed home.

The girls talked some more when they got home with Brenda trying to convince
her sister that she should quit, to no avail.  Cindy knew her sister would
never tell her parents about her smoking but she hoped the smoking thing
would not get in the way of their friendship.

For a couple of weeks Brenda did act a little bit standoffish towards Cindy,
but eventually things went back to normal. Once Brenda got over the shock of
seeing her sister smoke for the first time it was as if she was back to her
old self. If Brenda was in a good mood, she would even let Cindy smoke in her
car. 

As for Danni, Cindy had thought about telling Danni that she now smoked in
front of Brenda then thought twice about it. She wouldn't think of telling
Brenda that her very youngest sister was a smoker. It was much better to
partition her life.


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