Snowed In, Part 1

(by anonymous, 14 January 2004)


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Snowed In
Part I:

Jamie sat at the kitchen table sulking as she sipped her coffee. The morning 
news weatherman was reporting the snow accumulations and a ticker ran across 
the top of the screen, listing the schools that were closed for the day. The 
storm had started lightly the afternoon before and then became a furious 
blizzard shortly thereafter, and hadn’t let up since.

Her fears were confirmed again as Jefferson High scrolled past once again. 
There was nothing special at school she would miss. But she would not be 
able to smoke, and that terrified her.

She heard footsteps coming down the hall, and turned to see her mother 
striding towards her, coffee mug in one hand, lit cigarette in the other. As 
it had been lately, the tension was turned on instantly as she entered the 
kitchen.

“So what are they saying about the storm?” Judy asked. She refilled her mug 
as she drew from her cigarette.

She turned to her daughter and blew across the top of the coffee, exhaling 
her smoke, cooling the coffee. The smell made its way to Jamie and a firm 
scowl crossed her brow. It was a heavenly scent, but one that Jamie was 
being denied.

“No school,” she offered shortly and turned her attention back to the TV.

Judy lifted her cigarette and drew again, studying her daughter. She inhaled 
and walked towards the window and looked out. Her slow mouth and nose exhale 
surrounded her. “Holy Shit, that’s a lot of snow!” she exclaimed.

“Really?” Jamie replied snidely.

Judy turned around quickly, ready to start round one with her daughter. She 
caught herself and instead walked to the phone.

As she dialed she spoke to her daughter. “I’m calling work to see if we need 
to come in or not.”

Jamie groaned at the thought of having to spend the day with her mother. Her 
mother who smoked openly and freely. Her mother who had warned her to never 
start smoking. Her mother whom she despised for her hypocritical ways. Her 
mother who she also loved, and wished she could reconnect with.

“OK then, we’ll hopefully see you tomorrow,” Judy said and then hung up the 
phone. She took a final drag on her cigarette and crushed it out in a nearby 
ash tray.

“Looks like we’re stuck together for the day kiddo,” Judy said looking out 
the window again. The snow kept coming and coming.

“We should try and make the best …” Judy began but stopped as she turned to 
see Jamie making her way to her bedroom. The door closed loudly. It was one 
step from being a slam. It was all Judy could do to not go after her.

Instead, she sighed and fished around in her purse for her cigarettes. She 
found her case and fingered around for a fresh smoke. She pulled the last 
one out and then crushed the pack. She lit it and double pumped as she sat 
at the table. She exhaled a thick cone across the room as she thought about 
Jamie, and their delicate situation.

Judy knew Jamie smoked, and had been for well over 7 months. She also knew 
it was the source of friction between them. She wasn’t a dummy by any means. 
She’d thought a few cigarettes were missing here and there from her packs. 
Then she noticed Jamie’s behavior changing a bit.
She’d no longer tag along and go shopping together. She was constantly 
chewing gum, and began wearing heavy perfume, And then a pack would 
disappear from a carton.  And yes, she’d snooped in her personal things and 
found cigarettes.

Judy didn’t know how to confront her daughter. She’d always warned her 
against starting, mostly so she would never have to fight the agony of 
quitting. When she had found out for sure Jamie was smoking, she decided 
she’d make Jamie be the one to come forward. She would most likely allow 
Jamie to continue smoking with limits, but Jamie would have to be the one to 
make the first move.

Judy exhaled as she stood and tossed the crushed pack into the garbage. She 
walked back to her bedroom to slip out of her work clothes. Loud music 
blared from Jamies room.

Judy’s eyes rolled. It was going to be an interesting day to say the least.

Jamie lay on her bed trying to think. Her only hope of getting to smoke 
would have been if her mother had gone into work. Her feet nervously 
twitched as thoughts raced through her brain. Perhaps if her Mom took a nap, 
yeah, she could sneak one then. She could risk smoking one in the garage out 
the side door but the sub zero temperatures made her shiver. She could take 
a long shower and sneak a few puffs in the bathroom, but the exhaust fan was 
broken.

She cursed as she kicked her legs, throwing a fit. Over the past nine months 
she’d grown into a half a pack a day habit. It wasn’t much, she knew, but it 
still tugged and pulled on her every waking moment.

Jamie turned down her stereo and booted up the computer in her room. Perhaps 
some of her friends would be online and they could chat.

Judy heard Jamie’s stereo go silent as she slid into her sweats. She mulled 
around her room tidying up. She threw some tissues into her bathroom garbage 
and then a sense of horror came over her. An empty carton of her Marlboro 
Light 100’s sat in the garbage can. Her mind raced, trying to remember 
whether she had bought more. She knew the answer right away. She hadn’t.

She quickly raced to the kitchen and began digging through her purse, 
looking for an extra pack. She knew there wasn’t one.

Just as quickly, she was in the garage, going through her glove box and car, 
looking for more. There weren’t. Her ashtray was vacant of anything worth 
smoking as well. She quickly went to Jamie’s car, but she knew her daughter 
wasn’t foolish enough to leave any in her car. The ashtray was empty and 
clean as they day they’d bought the car. A lingering smell of smoke was 
lightly masked by perfume and an air freshener.

She walked slowly back into the house, defeated with her head hung low. Out 
the window, the snow continued to fall, the wind continued to blow, 
torturing them both.


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