It was a lovely morning in Southlake and Kim sat outside on the porch doing what she does best, smoking and looking beautiful while doing so. She smoked with both style and gusto. She took a slow, deep, cheek hollowing drag and held the delicious smoke in her lungs seemingly forever before delivering a powerful and creamy exhale. The process was repeated with rhythmic precision over next several minutes. Although Kim has been a smoker for almost two decades she savored each and every cigarette that touched her lips (over 100,000 and counting). It was fair to say that other than her family Kim loved smoking over all else. Things were changing in her family. Mostly positive but there were some things stressing Kim as she brought to life her second tasty Marlboro Light of the morning. Before this year she was the only smoker in the house, neither husband, John, nor her wonderful teenage daughters were smokers. Kim certainly intended to keep it that way. Attitudes about smoking had significantly changed since she discovered the pleasure of cigarettes as a teenager. No, the Barnett girls were not going to smoke like their mother. Or so she thought.
Yet she had to know it was inevitable. First, there was her soccer-star younger daughter, Kristy, who couldn't help but notice how much Kim enjoyed smoking and how good she looked doing it. Kristy's curiosity was followed by experimentation and very quickly the realization she was going be a smoker just like her gorgeous mother. Not long after that, 18-year old Jessica, with an assist from Kim's own mom, succumbed to the lovely habit. By the time Kim caught on it was clear that both Kristy and Jessica were dedicated lovers of smoke.
Even though it wasn't what Kim had envisioned, engaging in the long conversations with her daughters while they all indulged in their favorite activity, the copious consumption of cigarette smoke, was truly something she cherished.
But not everything was perfect. Like her mother was with her, Kim was now completely accepting of her daughters being smokers. Given her love of smoking, it would be hypocritical to feel otherwise. The problem was that Kim was concerned that the girls' zealousness for and enjoyment of smoking may be having an impact on some of their friends. Kristy's BFF, Devin, came from a very strict family. Kim didn't know what Devin's smoking status was for sure but she was sure there would be hell to pay with Devin's parents if they found out she even tried a cigarette, not to mention, if she became a full-fledged smoker like Kristy.
Then there was Jessica's swim teammate, Misty. During one of their smoke-filled chats, Jessica told Kim the story about Misty catching her smoking outside the library and later asking Jessica to teach her how to smoke at a party (she left out the fact that party was at the Barnett house while Kim and Kristy were away at a soccer tournament). Misty and Jessica fast became smoking buddies. Each day after swim practice they raced to Jessica's car to enjoy their respective menthol all-whites, Jessica her B&H and Misty for some reason Virginia Slims. So far the swimmers' daily intake of 5-10 smokes was not having a negative impact on their times in the pool. Maybe you can have it all.
Things were not as comfortable for Kim. At one time Kim and Misty's mom, Teri, were also smoking buddies. These two extremely attractive mothers spent many hours drinking wine and talking and, of course, smoking on the patio at Southlake Country Club. Those were the days. Unfortunately, at least for Kim, Teri had decided to quit smoking after years of hounding by her husband. In fact, the last time that Kim and Teri had met at the club, Teri was passionately regaling Kim about benefits of being tobacco free. Obviously, Kim's response was to light up her 14th Marlboro Light of that Friday. Kim couldn't understand how Teri, who appeared to relish smoking just as much she did, could give it up as easily as she did. Kim appreciated that her loving husband was smart enough not to force Kim to chose between him and her cigarettes. At best it would be a very close call.
Teri and Kim remained friendly over the years since Teri made the regrettable decision to deny herself the rich taste of Virginia Slims but they generally avoided each other. But avoiding each other was going to be difficult as they were both senior swim moms and they would be seated together at the upcoming, all-important conference championship meet. Her only hope was that Teri was not yet aware that her daughter carved cigarettes the same way Teri did when she was a sorority sister.
The day of the big swim meet had arrived. Kim was excited as the girls had both secured spots on the number one seeded 400 free-relay with Jessica slated to swim the anchor leg. She was, of course, wary of encountering Teri. As you would expect, her nervousness resulted in Kim consuming three yummy all-whites during the relatively short drive to the pool. The sweet taste of the smoke deep in her lungs, as well as the large jolt of nicotine, had the desired effect. Kim was in a good place.
That did not last long. As soon as she stepped out of her new BMW X-5 she saw Teri waving at her. Bad went to worst as she approached and saw Teri holding a pack of VS Menthol 100s.
Teri said: "Kim we need to talk."
"Teri I understand that you may be angry but can this wait until after the meet"?
Looking a little perplexed, Teri replied it could not wait and asked Kim to follow her around the corner where they would have more privacy. Kim feared that there could be a nasty confrontation. She could really use a cigarette right now!
But soon it was Kim's turn to be surprised as Teri sparked up a VS100 and said: "I think you better join me as we're going to stuck in that pool for the next three hours."
Never one to pass up the opportunity to smoke Kim decided to light up now and ask questions later. She inhaled to her heels and holding the smoke even longer than normal and then she exhaled and exclaimed: "I guess things are always better with a cigarette."
"Don't I know it sister," as she dragged hard on her menthol stick of joy.
Kim couldn't help but notice the absolute pleasure on Teri's face as the inhaled minty smoke found a temporary home in her hungry lungs.
"I've been meaning to reach out to you and thank you.
A thank you was clearly not what Kim was expecting when she arrived.
Teri proceeded to recount the steps that had led her back to the pleasure of smoking from Misty catching Jessica smoking at the library to the candid conversation with Misty about Teri's smoking past and Misty's desire try smoking and, most importantly, her fateful decision to buy a pack of her old favorites. Teri described the incredible feeling of reintroducing her nicotine starved lungs to the joys of smoking. Having never quit smoking herself, Kim couldn't fully appreciate how awesome that first cigarette must have tasted, but she could clearly see that Teri was very happy to be back among the smoking.
"Well that's the story and to be sharing something I've always loved with my daughter, I couldn't be happier."
Kim certainly could appreciate that.
"There's only one small problem," Teri said: "My husband doesn't know I'm back with my cigarettes." Teri indicated that it was really more his problem than hers because she was never giving up her precious cigarettes again.
"So are we back at Southlake CC for our wine and cigarettes next Friday"?
"Of course" replied Teri as she let loose a creamy exhale of minty smoke.
"That's great but we better get into the stands, the meet will be starting soon."
After glancing at her Apple watch, Teri said: "I think we have time for another."
Kim's reply was short and to the point: "of course we do." Actually, the newly reunited sisters of smoke enjoyed two more cigarettes before heading in the pool.
The meet could not have gone better. The girls' relay team set a conference record and clinched the championship for the school. The proud mothers were slightly distracted by the fact the meet's three-hour duration had left them severely deficient of nicotine. They burst out the side door in a frantic attempt to rectify that situation quickly. As they satisfied their intense cravings they discussed their plans for the post-meet celebration. Most the team was going to a local restaurant, which like almost all establishments these days was non-smoking. Even if Kim and Teri could sneak out to indulge their habit, the girls could not and after their efforts at the meet, they deserved to freely enjoy a pleasurable smoke (or two or three or more). It was an easy decision--BBQ at the Barnett house.
Once in the car, while enjoying her second post-meet Marlboro Light, Kim told Kristy about her surprising, yet happy, encounter with Teri.
"That's cool Mom but are we far enough from the pool? I need one bad!" Before Kim could respond Kristy had extracted a fresh cigarette from Kim's pack and placed it between her lips eagerly awaiting her mother's approval which was granted with a smile after Kim released the smoke that had been providing satisfaction in her lungs for the last six seconds. Kristy in almost an exact replication of her mother's actions only moments early let out an audible sigh of relief as the smoke rolled into her appreciative lungs. Even though Kristy had been smoking for less than a year her cravings were every bit as intense as a veteran smoker like Kim. As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Kim's husband, John, had fired up their massive built-in patio grill to cook several delicious steaks and the ladies had fired up numerous equally delicious cigarettes. The smoke from grill mixed with the non-stop smoke of the Marlboro Lights, B&H Menthols and VS Menthols being consumed by girls and their lovely mothers to form a sweet scent that was rarely experienced these days. A look of blissful contentment was evident on each of the committed smokers' faces but the biggest smile, surprisingly (or maybe not), belonged to Kim's loving husband.