Sisters, Part 6

(by Dromedary Joe, 10 March 2010)


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"Sisters"
by Dromedary Joe

Part Six

The next month was Cindy's fourteenth birthday and Brenda decided to take her
to the State Fair, which was being held in a town fifty miles away from home,
that weekend. 

"Hey," said Cindy, "Can you take me to that convenience store on the other
side of town before we head out there? I need some cigarettes and they will
sell to minors."

"Sure," said Brenda, reluctantly. The two girls had an unspoken agreement
where Cindy wouldn't ask Brenda to help support Cindy's habit and Brenda
wouldn't nag her sister about it. This was against the spirit of the
agreement, but it was Cindy's birthday so Brenda went along with it.

Once they got to the store, Cindy handed Brenda some money and asked her to
buy her some cigarettes.

"Cin," said Brenda, "We've been through this before; I'm not going to support
your habit in any way."

"But they won't sell to me, I'm only fourteen. You're sixteen, they'll
probably sell to you." Brenda thought about it for a moment before finally
taking her money.

"Only because it's your birthday," said Brenda.

"Thanks," said Cindy, "Marlboro 100's box, please."

Brenda came out a few minutes later with the cigarettes and Cindy quickly
packed them before lighting one up.

The girls rode the usual cheesy fair rides that morning with Cindy making
sure to smoke between rides.

"Here," said Cindy holding out her cigarette to Brenda, "I gotta go to the
bathroom."

Brenda thought about it for a second. She had never held a cigarette, much
less one that was lit. Finally, she figured it wouldn't do any harm so she
took the cig from her sister, hoping no one she knew would see her holding
it.

Brenda sat down, holding the cigarette, as she waited for her sister to come
out of the restroom.

She spotted a cute older guy and shyly smiled at him. She had been holding
the cigarette discretely so no one would see her with it, but after seeing he
was a smoker, she decided to hold her arm up to show off the cigarette. He
winked at her, and she decided to dangle it for a second while she put her
hair up into a ponytail. She didn't take a drag off it, but was just trying
to look more mature. She fixed her hair and took the cigarette out of her
mouth a few seconds before Cindy came out of the bathroom. 

A few hours later, the girls ate lunch and sat for a few minutes afterwards
talking about school and boys.

"I know who you have a crush on, Bren," said Cindy, "You like Matt."

Brenda turned red. She had liked Matt a long time. Matt was one of Ashley's
best friends and had been for years. Brenda had always feared that the two of
them would get together, but  Matt had always been someone Ashley had seen as
a friend and someone she could never be romantically involved with. 

"Yeah," said Brenda, "But you know he is a friend of The Bitch, so that makes
it hard. I don't really fit in with their crowd. I'd like to get to know him
better, but, you know, I'm too shy and all."

"Why don't you ask him to hang out sometime?" asked Cindy

"I don't know," said Brenda, "He probably thinks I'm a dork."

"You're not a dork," said Cindy taking a drag off of her Marlboro 100.

Brenda watched her sister smoke for a minute or so and decided she wanted to
try it.

"Hey, think I could try your cigarette?" asked Brenda.

Cindy handed her the cigarette and Brenda slowly moved it to her mouth. She
took a big puff of it and coughed.

Cindy laughed as she took it back. "Watch me," said Cindy, who slowly showed
her how to take a drag and then opened her mouth so Brenda could see it get
sucked into her lungs, and then exhaled slowly. Cindy handed it back to
Brenda, who tried again. Brenda had a few more unsuccessful attempts before
she finally half-managed to get it right.

"You'll get the hang of it," said Cindy, "It just takes a little practice."

Practice did make perfect and the State Fair gave Brenda plenty of
opportunity to practice as Cindy made a point of sharing her cigarettes with
her older sister the rest of the afternoon. At first, Brenda would only take
one or two puffs off of each cigarette before handing it back to Cindy but by
the end of the afternoon, she was almost sharing the cigarettes equally with
her sister.

The girls finished the pack as they got back to their hometown and Brenda
stopped by the convenience store they had been to earlier that day.

She came back out with two packs. "One for you and one for me," said Brenda.

"You gonna start smoking?" asked Cindy. 

"Heck no," said Brenda dangling an unlit cigarette. She pushed the glasses
back up her nose, which would become part of her pre-light up ritual, before
saying, "Maybe every once in a while, but I don't want to make a habit of
it."

***

Brenda found out quickly about the addictive nature of nicotine. Unlike her
two younger sisters who went to great lengths to hide their habit, Brenda had
an advantage - she could drive somewhere in her car when she wanted to smoke.
Brenda telling her parents she was going to the library was not out of the
ordinary - she had spent much of her school years at the library. Brenda also
had a part-time job at a flower shop,  which gave her plenty of opportunities
to indulge in her habit. Within a month, she was up to a pack a day.

A friend of Brenda's at the flower shop smoked Newport 100's and got Brenda
to try them. Eventually, she switched brands.

"Here," said Brenda to her sister Cindy one day, "Try one of these."

Cindy tried a Newport 100 and liked it. She smoked them for a while before
switching back to her usual Marlboro 100's, although she occasionally would
smoke one of Brenda's Newport 100's for a "change of pace."

Danni would smoke whatever she could get, which meant she smoked Cindy's
Marlboro 100's or whatever Marlboro Lights her parents left around the house.
She usually smoked close to ten a day, but a little more on weekends if she
could.

Cindy had considered letting her two siblings who were now both smokers know
about each others' habit, but decided otherwise. After all, she had promised
them both not to tell anyone that they were smokers. Cindy had thought about
arranging an "accident" where both Brenda and Danni found out, but decided
against it. All three girls were very afraid that their parents and older
sister would find out, but their parents and older sister had no idea what
was going on. Her parents were always too busy with their successful careers.
As for their older sister Ashley, she was too wrapped up in senior activities
to notice what was going on at home. She hadn't even hung out with Danni that
year as much as she used to.


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