Summer Vacation, Part 2

(by Dromedary Joe, 18 December 2009)


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Summer Vacation
by Dromedary Jone
Part Two

Claire woke up and realized her breathe smelled of cigarettes. Last night
hadn't been a bad dream - she had really done it. She got up and brushed her
teeth before going into the living room to watch TV. She watched her favorite
televangelist but really wasn't paying attention to what he was saying as she
thought about her first (and perhaps last) smoking experience.

Claire had somehow managed to learn how to correctly inhale rather quickly,
about midway through her first cigarette. Maybe it had been all those of
years of watching her parents smoke. She had sat in the convenience store
parking lot for a good ten minutes before the dizziness disappeared enough
for her to leave for home.

One cigarette was bad enough but for some reason Claire had smoked a few more
on the way home. Her nicotine buzz was so strong that she had had to stop a
few times to reorient herself. When she got home she somehow managed to make
her way to her bedroom and stumbled into bed feeling like she was going to
throw up. Even though she had quickly mastered the mechanics of smoking, she
knew she was suffering from nicotine poisoning.  Her body was reacting to the
three cigarettes she had smoked like a pro. Claire vowed she would never do
that again. 

After an hour or so she got bored and she picked up a pen on the coffee table
and started fidgeting with it. She eventually put it in her mouth and without
thought, started "smoking" it. A few minutes later she and got an idea  when
she spotted the lighter her parents had left on the table.

"Maybe just one more," Claire said to herself as she headed for her car.
Claire returned to the living room with her purse in her hand.  She had
forgotten it in her car the night before. She quickly pulled out her pack of
Newport 100's.

"Just one last cigarette," she said as she dangled the unlit Newport, "and
then I'll throw the rest of the pack away."

Claire fumbled with the lighter for a few seconds before she finally lit up.
She took a big drag off of her Newport and exhaled a thick cloud of smoke.
She started getting the nicotine rush she had enjoyed so much the night
before. Since she had decided this would be her last cigarette ever, she
planned on power smoking it. She made her way to her bathroom to watch
herself smoke. She experimented with different ways of smoking.  She took
huge drags and took small ones before she settled on a style which seemed to
work for her. Finally, she reached the filter and threw the cigarette in the
toilet as she exhaled the last bit of smoke. She made her way back to the
couch as she combated her dizziness, but she felt pleasant enough. After her
nicotine rush had subsided she picked up the pack of Newport's to throw it
away. After some hesitation, she put the pack in her purse. She picked up the
lighter and put it in her purse as well. 

"Maybe I'll smoke a few more today, and then I'll throw it out," she said to
herself as if she was trying to convince herself of the right thing to do.
Deep down, Claire knew she wanted to finish the pack. But what would her
friends think if they knew she was experimenting with smoking? What would her
best friend Sara say?
 
*** Sara got a ride home from her boss, who felt bad that he had scheduled
too many people to work that day and had to send her home early. Sara worked
at a clothing store in the mall and as the newest employee, she knew she
would be the first one sent home when business was slow. As she sat in her
boss's car on the way home, she thought about her plans for the summer.
Unlike her best friend Claire, her parents weren't wealthy and she would have
to work this summer to have any  spending money. Working at the clothing
store way was a good way to witness about Jesus she thought to herself as she
looked over at her boss, who she knew liked to party a lot. 

There was a lot of turmoil at Sara's house. Her father had been having an
affair with his secretary and her mother had found out about it a month ago.
Her mother had kicked him out and she knew the stress on her mother was huge
right now since it seemed likely that her parents would be getting a divorce.
How could her father do this to her mother, she thought. Maybe it was good
that she was going home from work real early, it would give her a chance to
spend some time with her mother.

Sara thanked her boss for the ride home and went inside her house. She looked
around for her mother and after a few minutes of not finding her mom, she
wondered if maybe she wasn't home. Her mother's car was there, so maybe she
had gone out with a friend. Sara decided to go hang out by her pool and went
into her room to put on her bikini. Usually when she would go to a public
beach or someone else's pool she would wear a modest one piece bathing suit,
but she had no problem with wearing a bikini alone in the privacy of her back
yard. It would give her a chance to work on her tan, maybe people would stop
calling her Snow White if she got a little more color. She admired her body
in the mirror and knew the guys in school would all die if they could see her
in her sexy little bikini. 

Sara opened the sliding glass door leading out to the pool patio area and
froze in her tracks as she saw an unfamiliar sight - her mother was lighting
up a cigarette.

***

Claire opened up her pack of Newport 100's and pulled the last cigarette out
of the pack. Now seemed like a good time to stop with her smoking experiment,
she thought as she lit up the Newport. Halfway through the cigarette, she
thought about the twenty cigarettes that she had smoked over the past three
days. Claire was starting to enjoy the taste of the smoke as she let it
linger in her mouth a little longer. She enjoyed the mentholated smoke from
her Newport's and she began to think of how to go about buying another pack.
Too bad that Indian convenience store across town which sold to minors had
recently been busted and had gone out of business. Perhaps she could ask
someone to buy them for her, but everyone she knew over eighteen would be
shocked and probably refuse. She continued smoking the last cigarette in the
pack as she brainstormed about how to acquire another pack. Maybe she could
sneak cigarettes out of her parent's packs, but that seemed too risky. 

"James!" she said aloud as she took thelast hit from her Newport. Why hadn't
she thought of that before? James worked at that c-store on the north side of
town; she had seen him there about a week ago. James was a guy who had had a
major crush on her sophomore year. Claire thought he was kind of cute, but he
hung out with the wrong crowd. He had been a senior then, and Claire had at
first been a little interested until she saw him smoking in the school
parking lot one day. Claire chuckled as she remembered how quickly she had
lost interest in him when she caught him smoking and wondered what his
reaction would be when he found out she was smoking. She got her purse and
headed for her car.


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