The three girls had been planning this for months. The quarters were not the problem. They were all sitting in the bag waiting for the moment. The girls only needed to figure how to get in and out of the front part of the restaurant without anyone calling them out.
Then one day, they just decided to do it. They dressed a little bit older and all of them added lipstick as practiced. With heads held high, they acted like they belonged. Quickly they put in the quarters as fast as the machine would let them and hit the knob. The selection had been made months ago. They heard it fall to the bottom and one quickly scooped it out. Then they all ran out and didn’t stop for a long time.
Mission accomplished: They bought their first pack of cigarettes.
Back in the house with the parents not returning for hours, one took out a lighter. Shaking, it took a few minutes for them to be successful with lighting it. Turns out, you have to inhale at the same time. Giggling nervously, they all took turns practicing. We finally look cool they all thought to themselves. Little did they all know that this start would change so many things.
Five years later, they all went their separate ways as girls in high school often do.
One became a cheerleader. She was pretty and popular and barely looked their way anymore.
The second hung out with the so called bad crowd. Her eyes were dark and heavy with the makeup. Gone was the pretty pink lipstick they had used such a short time ago. She wouldn’t be caught dead at any function with cheerleading at it.
The third became a bit of everything. She played some sports but not enough to be noticeable. She was quiet and kept to her few friends.
Three years later, they all graduated. There were rumors going around but two didn’t pay any attention. It wasn’t their problem anymore.
Years later, she saw a friend of a friend who told her the news. The parents of the other let her know. At the funeral, the two stood silently together for the first time in a very long time as they buried their friend with arms around each other.
Gone too soon from an addiction that she could no longer fight.
Thoughts raced through their minds. Guilt filled their hearts. The tears fell as people watched them knowing that way back when, things were so much more innocent…
or so it seemed.
This is a fiction story for the November blogging challenge.
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