Trisha, Part 1

(by, 05 April 2003)

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Part 1

At work, Trisha was always the girl with a smile on her face.  Every Monday
morning at 9:00 A.M., Trisha seemed to amaze her co-workers with her happiness
to be at the office.  What few in the office knew was that at home, Trisha's
life was tearing her apart.

She had married young, at the age of only nineteen.  She left college after
the completion of her freshman year, despite incredible grades, because she
had found someone who made her happier than she had ever been, and they
decided to marry.  

A year later, Trisha gave birth to a beautiful little girl, whom they named
Emily, after Trisha's grandmother.  Emily looked amazingly like her mother,
complete with bright blue eyes, and curly blonde hair.

Though Trisha had planned on returning to finish college as soon as Emily was
old enough to enter kindergarten, it was never "the right time".  Two years
later, Rachel was born.

Before Trisha knew what hit her, she was thirty-seven years old, and Emily was
herself entering college.  A smart girl, Emily had been accepted into the
pre-med program at a very prestigious university.   With that prestige, came a
hefty tuition bill, something that Trisha and her husband, Ron, had been
planning for since Emily was a child.  This meant that for the last ten years,
Trisha and Ron worked sometimes close to sixty hours per week, in the hopes
that they'd be able to provide everything Emily and Rachel ever wanted.  They
considered themselves blessed when they found that they could afford to send
Emily to such a good school.

But work took its toll on their marriage.  Not wanting to raise their children
in a family that kept shuttling children back and forth between mom and dad's
respective houses, Trisha and Ron agreed that no matter how bad things seemed,
they would stay married, and enjoy their time together when the girls were
both off at college.

Eventually, Emily left for school, leaving Ron, Trisha, and Rachel for college
life.  Ron and Trisha couldn't be more proud of their "little girl", who had
blossomed into an absolutely beautiful young woman.

What neither Emily nor Rachel knew, was that their mother was under incredible
stress, all so that she could provide them with a comfortable lifestyle.

One day, Trisha's supervisor, Pete, came to talk to her.

"Hey, Trisha," he began.  "Got a few minutes?"

"Yeah, Pete," Trisha replied.  "What's up?"

Pete came into Trisha's office, closed the door, and sat down at the chair
beside Trisha's desk.

"I'm not really sure how to say this," Pete began ominously.  "But, as you
know, we've had to take some really drastic measures to keep this company's
profit margins in the black."

"Yeah," Trisha began, not liking the sound of where this conversation was

"One of the obstacles that I keep coming up against is your overtime," Pete
said sadly.  

"Go on," said Trisha, not sure if she was about to lose her job or not.

"Now, don't get me wrong," Pete said.  "I'm not letting you go.  You're much
too valuable as an asset around here, and there's no way I'd let anyone get
rid of you."

"Okay," Trisha said with a nervous smile.

"What do you think the odds are of you taking a short vacation?" Pete asked,
equally as nervous.

"How long are you talking, Pete?" asked Trisha.

"Well, they don't want to pay you overtime anymore, you see, and although they
would love to be able to free up your income, I fought for you to stay on, on
the condition that you took a few months off.  This would get us through the
April and May slump, and it then we'd take you back on-at the same pay rate,
of course-and everything would work out just fine for everyone," explained

"So in other words, you want to lay me off for two months, expect me to put my
daughter through college while I'm not making any money at all, and then come
back as if nothing has happened?  I'm sorry, Pete, but I don't know if I can
do that," Trisha replied angrily.

"Well, I understand, and to be honest, I sort of figured that you'd be
hesitant," said Pete.  "So I was able to create a compromise.  One that I hope
you'll consider."

"What's that?" Trisha asked.

"Well, they're willing to give you half pay, but the trade-off would be that
you'd have to take four months off instead of the two.  But you'd still be
receiving at least some income," Pete said.

"I don't know," Trisha said.  "That's a very generous offer, but I'm not sure
if I can do that, or if I even want to do that."

Pete said that he could give her a week to decide what she wanted to do, and
to let him know as soon as she decided, terms to which Trisha agreed.

With that, Pete walked out of Trisha's office.

Trisha wasn't sure what to do.  Though she did like the idea of having some
time off, she wasn't sure if reducing her salary by fifty percent was
something she would be able to do.

The more she thought about it, the angrier it made her.  She had worked there
for more than fifteen years, she'd been recognized numerous times by her
department?and now she was being put out to pasture.

She decided that for the first time in her career, she needed to get out of
the office for about an hour or so to think about the proposition.

Gathering her coat and her purse, Trisha walked out the front door to her
building, and ran into Jaimee, a college student who was working at the
company as an intern.

"Hi, Trisha," Jaimee said as she held the door open for Trisha.

"Hi," Trisha said, hoping that her real emotions weren't being worn on her

"What's the matter?" Jaimee asked.  Apparently she could see right through
Trisha's fašade.

"It's a long story," Trisha said, not wanting to reveal her true anger.

"So let's go for a walk," Jaimee said with a smile.

The truth was, a walk sounded like a great idea.  Trisha eagerly accepted.

Before they began walking, Jaimee surprised Trisha and pulled a pack of
cigarettes out of her purse.

"I didn't know you smoked," Trisha said, trying not to sound critical or

"Yeah, I do," Jaimee said as she put a cigarette between her lips.  With a
flick of her lighter, the cigarette was lit, and Jaimee inhaled the smoke into
her lungs.

"I really don't smoke that much," Jaimee said as small wisps of smoke escaped
her lips.  "Mainly when I'm drinking or when I'm super stressed."

She exhaled the remainder of her drag through her lips.

"Don't even talk to me about stress," Trisha laughed.

"You're having a rough day too, huh?" Jaimee inquired, taking another puff.

"You have no idea," Trisha replied.

"Do you want one?" Jaimee asked, offering her pack towards Trisha.

Trisha had smoked before, so it wasn't a completely foreign concept.  It was
the night of her junior prom, and she was sixteen years old.

One of her best friends and softball teammate, Christy, had stolen a pack of
cigarettes from her mom, and the two girls experimented with them that night.
Though not necessarily unpleasant, Trisha knew that it wasn't something that
she'd want to do for the rest of her life.

"Thanks," Trisha said.  "But I don't smoke."

"Okay," said Jaimee.  "But you don't have to smoke to have one cigarette, you

Placing the pack back in her purse, Jaimee and Trisha walked together down the
sidewalk, discussing their work troubles.  Throughout the entire conversation,
Trisha couldn't help but watch as Jaimee smoked, seemingly calmed by her

"What?" Jaimee asked self-consciously, aware that Trisha was staring.

"Oh, nothing," Trisha lied.  

"You were staring at me," Jaimee teased.

"No, I wasn't," replied Trisha.

"What is it?" asked Jaimee, taking another drag on her cigarette.

"Well," said Trisha nervously, not sure where to begin.  "Does that really
help you with stress?"

Jaimee laughed as she exhaled a fine stream of creamy smoke into the air.

"You've never smoked?" she asked.

"No, I have," Trisha said, feeling as if she should be defensive.  "But I was
like sixteen, and I didn't really know what I was doing, and I wasn't really
stressed out at all."

"So you've never tried smoking as an adult?" Jaimee asked, seeming to be
intrigued by the concept.

"No, never," Trisha said.

"Come on," Jaimee encouraged.  "Have one right now."

Before Trisha knew what had hit her, Jaimee had the pack out and was holding
it in her direction.

"I can't smoke out here," Trisha objected.  "What if someone sees me?"

"No one will see you," Jaimee responded.  "And even if they did, no one would
care if you're smoking a cigarette."

Before Trisha could respond, Jaimee continued.

"But if it will make you feel better, we can go sit in my car."

Trisha didn't know what to say.  She wasn't by any stretch of the imagination
"anti-smoking", and she was very stressed out, but she didn't know if smoking
a cigarette would alleviate any of her frustration.

"Come on," Jaimee pleaded.  "Once won't hurt you."

"Okay," Trisha said, not believing the words that came out of her mouth.

Smiling, Jaimee walked briskly to her car.  Although she didn't smoke very
regularly, she knew that the world was becoming a very non-smoker friendly
place, and she was glad to have someone to smoke with, even if it was just one

Unlocking her doors with the remote control on her key chain, Jaimee was
surprised that the young intern was driving a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
It was beautiful.

"Nice truck," Trisha commented.

"Oh, thanks," Jaimee replied.  "My parents bought it for me as a 'going away
to college' gift as long as I promised to keep getting the good grades I got
in high school."

"And did you?" asked Trisha.

"But of course," Jaimee replied.  "Wouldn't you get good grades if it meant a
nice car?"

The two women laughed.

"Plus, the way I see it, as long as my grades stay up, I can do just about
whatever I want, right?" Jaimee said with a giggle.

"Here ya go," she said, taking a cigarette out for herself, and passing the
pack to Trisha, who accepted it with trembling hands.

"Relax," Jaimee said, removing the flame from her now lit cigarette and
extending it towards Trisha.  "It's just a cigarette."

Jaimee's words comforted Trisha, who was more than a little nervous.

She slowly brought the filter of the long, all white cigarette to her mouth,
and wrapped her lips around the end of it.

Sucking very slowly, she watched as the flame from the lighter bent inward
ever so slightly, igniting the paper around the cigarette.  Trisha felt and
tasted the smoke as it entered her mouth.

Removing the filter, Trisha blew a small stream of the white smoke out of her
mouth.  She was surprised that, just like the time she'd smoked as a teenager,
she didn't cough at all.

Trisha took another tentative drag, this one a little longer.

"It's not really helping," she said disappointedly after exhaling this second

"And you're not inhaling," Jaimee said, sounding very educated on the art of
smoking to relieve stress.

"Oh," Trisha said, trying not to sound like a beginner.

"Like this," Jaimee said, taking a very small drag.

Trisha watched as Jaimee pulled the cigarette from between her lips, and
inhaled deeply and slowly through her nose.

"Then hold it in," she continued.  "And exhale."

Pursing her lips as though she was whistling, she blew a fine stream of smoke
out the cracked window of the Jeep.

"Looks easy enough," Trisha thought.

"And no matter what, don't cough!" Jaimee added as Trisha brought the burning
cigarette to her lips once more.

Trying her best to mimic her friend's instructions, she took a slightly larger
puff, and removed the cigarette from her lips.

Keeping her mouth closed, Trisha began to slowly inhale through her nose.  The
smoke felt foreign as it slid down her throat and into her lungs, which
weren't ready for the experience.

She coughed just a little bit, but lost every last drop of smoke that she'd
inhaled.  She was visibly humiliated, and laughed nervously in the hopes of
covering it up.

"That happens to everyone," Jaimee said reassuringly.  "I coughed a lot more
than that when I first learned to smoke."

"What happened?" Trisha asked.

"Someone kept teaching me, and didn't stop trying to find new ways to get me
used to it until I figured it out myself," Jaimee said, taking another drag.

It was obvious that she loved smoking.

"What other ways did you try?" Trisha inquired.  "Because that obviously isn't
going to work."

Jaimee laughed.

"Come here," Jaimee said.  "Lean closer to me."

Trisha didn't know what her friend was up to, but curiosity had grabbed her,
and she wanted to learn how to inhale.

She watched as Jaimee took a puff on her cigarette and leaned into Trisha.
Their mouths were just centimeters apart.

Trisha had never even been attracted to a woman before, but the close
proximity of their mouths was intoxicating.

She parted her lips as Jaimee exhaled a tight stream of smoke directly down
her throat and into her lungs.  The smoke had been diluted with air, which
made it much easier to accept.

"Hold it in," Jaimee whispered seductively, her lips still only centimeters
from Trisha's own mouth.

Trisha did as instructed, and immediately felt her head begin to spin rapidly.
It was exactly the release that she had needed.  It felt wonderful.

"That's called a smoky kiss," Jaimee explained.  "Do you want to give me one?"

"Yes," Trisha replied immediately.  She didn't know why she was feeling this
way, but she felt incredibly attracted to Jaimee.

Jaimee raised her own cigarette to Trisha's lips, which accepted the cigarette
eagerly.  Staring directly into Jaimee's eyes, Trisha pulled the smoke into
her mouth, then inhaled the smoke slowly, so as to not cough it all out like
last time.

Satisfied that she'd inhaled long enough to dilute the smoke, she again leaned
in close to Jaimee's lips and exhaled the smoke into her friend's waiting

But this time, the intimacy was overwhelming.  Trisha placed her left hand on
Jaimee's cheek and leaned even closer, until her lips were touching Jaimee's.

Jaimee was surprised at Trisha's advances, but let Trisha kiss her

Jaimee made the next move and slid her tongue slowly inside Trisha's mouth,
allowing their tongues to wrestle with each other while they breathed the
smoke from their second smoky kiss.

"Wow," Trisha said, pulling away.  "I've never done anything like that.  I'm

"No," Jaimee said, putting her hand on Trisha's.  "It's fine, I promise.  I
wanted to do it too."

"Are you a ?.you know?" Trisha asked.

"No," Jaimee laughed.  "I'm not a lesbian.  But I am bi."

"Oh, I didn't know that," Trisha conceded.

"Let's finish these cigarettes, and we'll talk about this more tomorrow,"
Jaimee urged.

"Okay," Trisha agreed.  "But what's tomorrow?"

"Your second lesson," Jaimee winked.

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