Life Decisions – Smoking Fetish Story

Laura slowly drove her car on to the driveway, the black tyres crunching on the grey granite gravel, she stopped after pushing the bonnet up against the pretty green rhododendron bush on border as to leave just enough space for her dad’s car beside hers, she exhaled smoke out though her nose as she flicked cigarette against the open window and then took another small drag, exhaled again through her nose leaving the filter dangled in the corner of her mouth as she waited for the electric motor to slowly wind her window the rest of the way up, and then grabbing her hand bag on the passenger side seat she slowly got out of the car, she stopped in front of the green wooden door and exhaled another lungful of smoke again engulfing and bathing herself yet again yet another highly potent cloud as the wind swirled around by the front door as she rubbed her knees together as running on the spot to stay warm she inhaled one last deep almost desperate drag as if was for a final time before stubbing out her well over half-smoked cigarette out in the now pink weathered plastic ashtray on the windowsill, the butt being squished beside a dozen other rain soaked dark brown stained filters.

Several years ago, her mum Trisha had demanded that she use the ashtray before coming into the house rather than just being a stroppy teenager and untidy dropping her butts and littering the driveway floor for everyone to see. Laura would also then be nagged as and when there were too many butts on the windowsill as Laura would again get shouted at to empty the blasted ashtray as it ‘looked disgusting at the front of the house’. Laura had a matching one on in the windowsill by the garden chair on the back patio. There was less pressure with that one filling up, as it hardly got complained about. She exhaled the final cloud of smoke and then focused as she pulled the copper-coloured key from inside her handbag and twisted the Yale lock and a got in the house.

As with every third Wednesday of the month, the house was dark and empty when she got home late as usual from work, her Mum Trisha was out at her parish meeting and Dad, Dereck was out for a meal meeting his usual customers. She flicked the light switch and looked up as she waited for the three seconds for energy saving lightbulb to warm up and illuminate the hallway and stairs of her

parents 1930’s house; she kicked off her work shoes and with a huff gently climbed the stairs her black tights covered toes as tickled by deep plush cream carpeted stairs. She pulled off her black jacket off as she got to the landing. She headed to her bedroom and dug her phone out of her bag and checked it, nothing from Adam, which was not at all surprising and so dropped it on the bed, she then unbuttoned her white shirt, and unzipped her skirt dropping both to floor, she huffed again as she bent down and picked them up and dropped it on the back of the white painted wooden kitchen chair in the corner of the room. Laura then sighed as she tugged her tights down and then bounced her backside on the bed as she tugged and pulled them off her legs.

She brought her hand to her mouth with yet another of her usual coughs as she gently bounced on the bright white duvet, she forced herself up off the bed and headed back out the door and towards the landing and the bathroom, she paused in front of the bathroom mirror as winced at her messy blonde hair with a couple of split ends hanging down over her slim face proud of her shape, smiled liking her cream skin contrasting with her green eyes.

She then groaned as she pulled down her black knickers and then untangled her arms from the straps, spun and took of her white work bra dropping them both in the large wicker washing basket in the corner of the room and then hopped into the shower, she waited a couple of seconds for the hot water to arrive before happily and loudly singing into the showerhead as she turned the handle, so she got the water flowing at full pressure in an attempt to wash away the daily make up and vast quantities of her built up daily stress.


With her warm green fluffy towel wrapped around the top her chest and securely clamped under her still slightly stubbly armpits, she busily wiped the condensation off the mirror with her hand and smiled at her now puffy round, but with her now red scrubbed clean face that was reflected, she then with a tune still playing loudly in her head pivoted on her heels into the direction of her bedroom to get dressed, she peered over the balcony, it was still deadly quiet and smile crept across her face, she nodded to herself as headed down the stairs still wrapped in her towel, she reach her handbag hung over the banister, and pulled a cigarette and her lighter from her bag, she continued smiling to herself as she headed to the back door, opened it and shivered with the cool air hit her still damp body. She soon lit the cigarette, the tip burning brightly in the dusky sky as she pulled hard on the cigarette.

After a few minutes of calmly smoking leaning against the door frame, she reached around the door to the ashtray and stubbed the cigarette out and then firmly shut the door and headed back inside.

Laura hummed to herself as she rummaged in her messy, if slightly overly full knicker draw, she pulled out one of her pairs of large grey comfortable cotton pants, she sighed and again coughed loudly as she sat and again bounced on the edge of the bed and then with one last cursory dry with the edge of the towel to dry it, she groaned as she leaned forwards got her feet through the holes and pulled them up her slightly still damp legs to her knees just as the doorbell then rang, she sniffed, sighed, and stood up wiggling her hips in the process as she quickly pulled the knickers up the rest of the way. She then straightened the towel making sure she was decent as possible and headed down the stairs tightening the twist of the towel calling out in the direction of the door “I am on my way!” as she padded down the stairs.

She paused, coughed from the exertion of running down the stairs, took a deep breath as she glanced through the opaque glass in the top third of the wooden front door, and winced, she took another deep breath in anticipation and then opened the door to see standing side by side a male and female uniformed police officers.


Laura looked at the two officers and pointed at the table as such silently offering them a seat as she waited for the hissing bouncing kettle to come to the boil and as she tutted she tidied away the left-out breakfast plates and things in the middle of the round pine wood kitchen table as the two officers were still standing there in front of her as they mentioned words like “Sorry”, “car accident”, and “hospital” but it was rather difficult to take it all in her head was full of the fog of emotion. They then they mentioned a phrase like regarding to notify next of kin, and Laura explained that her mum’s meeting didn’t finish until nine. She opened the kitchen window and she again apologised as she went back into the corridor and retrieved her bag hanging on the bottom of the banister retrieved her pack of cigarettes and lighter whilst holding on to dear life on to the towel. Out of courtesy Laura offered the two police the open pack and they both very quickly refused. She leaned against the kitchen counter and flicked the lighter, swore at it as the breeze from the open window blew it out, shook it again, flicked it and this time manged to produce a flame, and with a couple of small drags finally got the cigarette lit. She

ignored the officers whilst taking two separate long inhales to try and calm her fluttering heart, and only then did she focus on the now boiled kettle.

Laura tried to focus poured the boiling hot water in to the three cups and absentmindedly stirred in the milk without even asking if they wanted any, but then turned to offer the officers sugar which they again politely refused she put two spoons of sugar in hers, she felt like she needed it as she violent stirred the spoon as a tear trickled down her cheek. She sighed as she pulled on the cigarette again and then leaned to flick her ash out the kitchen window as the exhale tumbled out on the breeze afterwards, she grizzle with herself and rummaged around in one of draws and retrieved one of several Gü glass ramekins that should have gone in the recycling but her mum had saved for absolutely no reason.

With yet another laboured and large sigh of exhaled smoke which funnelled through her nose Laura finally sat down at the kitchen table with her cigarette dangled in the corner of her mouth, she gently put down her mug and again violently tugged at the top her towel and wiggled her bottom in a desperate attempt to remain decent in her company and with her hand offered the officers to sit down, which this time they did. Laura focused on the police officers’ lips as they moved and tried to listen to the officers as they repeated themselves word for word again, this time Laura really hoped that a cup of tea and some nicotine would help her focus and listen.

After what felt like hours to Laura and the time taken to smoke her second cigarette, which in reality was only fifteen minutes, the front door eventually opened with the noises of a bag and coat swishing against the wall and then the footsteps of her heels on the polished wooded floor down the hallway.

“Evening Law,” Trisha called out “I hope you managed to have a good evening and didn’t work too late?” she then the footsteps stopped as there was an over emphasised sniff and with a growl she continued “Oh Law what have I told you about your bleeding smoking in the house…I don’t know how many times I need to tell you, please, you need to get the air freshener spray out, I don’t care how desperate you were. Also, Law did you see the police car outside? Who is that for? Number 27 again I thought I watched them move out the other day?” Trisha prattled away as she made her way down the hallway towards the kitchen carrying her brown handbag.

Laura with a tear in her now red eyes and solemn face looked up as Trisha’s head appeared at the door “Us Mum, they are here for us…” she stated dejectedly as

Trisha’s smile on her face quickly vanished as she looked around the doorway and as her eyes scanned the room, she then sighed and leaned her head against the door frame at the sight of the police officers.

“Oh.” Trisha said as her eyes widened in their sockets as she looked across at the solemn looking police officers sitting at her kitchen table drinking a cup of tea.


After asking for and then trying her best to listen again as the female police officer repeat her sentence with a loud shriek Trisha’s head collapsed into her hands as her sobbing got louder and tears poured down her cheeks “Law” she sniffed wiping her finger across her nose of the dribbles of tears whilst looking at the pack of Marlboro lights on the table in front of her “Sorry law, sorry officers, but I now really need one of your ciggies!” she stated at the table as looked up she noisily wiped more tears away with the back of her hand.

“Pardon mum?” Laura asked as own tears dropped down her rosy, red cheeks and dripped on the table as she leant forward holding her arm as it supported her head.

Everyone sat in silence for the thirty seconds it took for Trisha to compose herself.

“Sorry Law,” she paused and took a deep breath as she thought for a second before sighing her lungful of air, she looked across and twisted her mouth and lips and nodded to herself “Please Law, can I steal one of your cigarettes?” she turned to the police and put her hand up “Sorry officers, I do apologise.” They shrugged their shoulders.

“But what the eff Mum!” Laura asked screwing her faceup in confusion.

“Its fine Law, I just need this one and I will explain all later.” Trisha stated as her arm reached across and deftly turned Laura’s pack around.

“Mum, are you sure about this, mum?” Laura asked trying to see if this was a trap as she nervously with turned the pack on the table.

Trisha nodded determinedly “Very.” She stated as she securely placed the filter between her fingers, looked at her hand and then put it in her mouth.


“I guess I need to come across to the hospital?” Trisha asked after coughing from the tears running down her throat mixing with the acrid smoke she was pulling in, as the cloud of her recent exhale mixed with Laura’s in the middle of the table as she nervously flicked her cigarette above ramekin now filling up with ash, and then with a glance at Laura and to the police officers she powerfully dragged again.

“Yes, if you could?” the male police officer asked as he swallowed some of the now cold tea.

“Sorry Law” Trisha apologised and glanced at the police officers, “but you will have to drive me, I had a glass of wine or two with Dorothy in the Rose and Crown after the meeting, and I really wouldn’t have done so if I knew this…” She sobbed and cried again only briefly stopping to look at and then drag on her cigarette.

Laura sighed in shock, surprize and sympathy as she watched her mum inhale on a cigarette yet again “No problem mum, give me a minute to get dressed.” She said as she again twisted the top of her towel “and we can head over straight away.” She stated still shaking her head in disbelief as she had just watched her mum with her face showing even now the recognised momentary pleasure as she held the smoke deep within her lungs before releasing the cloud back into the room.

Chapter 2 Friday Night

Laura sniffed, brought her hand to her mouth, and gently coughed to clear her throat as she then picked up and swirled her glass of wine and wiped a remaining tear from the top of her cheek and then took a gulp “Mum again, I need to say it, that was lovely service to and send off for Dad, nice ability for everyone to come and say goodbye.” She then picked at left over sausage wrapped in bacon that was sitting there invitingly on the plate. “It’s been nice to catch up with everyone, even though it is depressing.” She stated as she chewed, she then pushed her chair back a little. “But sorry mum I am just going to have to pop outside again.” She excused herself and picked up her pack and lighter off the table.

Trisha nodded her eyes red raw from succession of understandable crying bouts throughout the day “Yes it was, but I am glad that they have finally all gone.” She informed as Laura hovered by the back door as she studied the pack in Laura’s hand. “For the last couple of weeks, it’s been a whirlwind of police and family, and now” she sniffed “it is just us.”

Laura nodded “Mum that will be absolutely fine. It’s just me and you!” She smiled her mum as she leaned against the back door. “I will be back in a few minutes!” Laura said putting her black jacket back on.

Trisha smiled and looked at her daughter “Law” she bellowed “Don’t go out, its dark, freezing cold out there stay here with me.”

Laura turned and frowned “But I need my smoke mum, and those points haven’t stopped you in the past in making me go out there!”

Trisha nodded “I know you do darling, but this evening I, you know, might want share another one with you here, anyway like I said, its cold outside!” she shivered as to make a point.

“Mum?” Laura double checked raising an eyebrow.

Trisha patted the kitchen table “Please just sit and enjoy your cigarette here with your old mum.”

Laura looked at her mum again in disbelief “Err…yeah…mum…of course.” she said slowly sitting back down again and then taking a cigarette out of the pack firmly gasped in her hand, placing the filter between her lips, and putting the pack back on the table.

“So, are you going to offer me one too?” Trisha asked. “Mum?” She asked raising the other eyebrow.

Trisha smiled, “We were all young once!” she stated as she extracted the cigarette from Laura’s pack.

Laura lifted her thumb and stopped the flame from her lighter and looked at her mum sitting there waiting with a cigarette firmly between her lips. She nodded and then flicked the lighter again and offered the flame to Trisha first. Her cheeks gently collapsed as she inhaled the smoke into her lungs.

Laura stared as Trisha exhaled.

“Your mum is still allowed to smoke Law.” Trisha said as she placed the cigarette back between her lips. “There is life in this old dog yet!” she grinned and leaned

across the table to a left-over wine glass from an earlier visitor and flicked her cigarette ash into it and briefly watched as it slowly slid down the wet glass side.

Laura swiftly got her cigarette alight with her double pump inhale, exhaling a large cone out the corner of her mouth away from her mum, “I know you there is, but it’s strange, after all these years of forcing me out into the freezing garden I guess!” Laura shrugged her shoulders “It’s a bit of a change.” She smiled and dragged again.

Trisha studied Laura’s exhale “So are you buggering off with Adam this evening?” she asked.

“Oh mum, we are not ready for that yet!” she grinned. “But yes, I was thinking if it’s okay, I will go out. But I can also stay in with you, I don’t need to see him?” She grinned as she used the glass in front of her to remove her ash.

Trisha nodded “It’s amazing to have such a beautiful, amazing and kind daughter.” She smiled as she flicked her cigarette, the ash drifted down into the glass.

Laura blushed “Oooh thanks mum.” She said as she leaned across her spare arm and offered a hug.

“So, you are going out with Adam now?” Trisha asked as she manicured her cigarette again on the glass.

Laura screwed her face up “I was planning on so, he has gone around to Monique’s with Dai so giving us some space since the wake, but now…” she stared at the two cigarettes burning in front of them “…I actually feel guilty about going out again.”

Trisha forced a smile before putting the filter back between her lips and taking another quick drag, she forced the smoke out the side of her mouth and smiled again at Laura, “Darling, please go out and have fun, we need to have a little bit of enjoyment now, don’t we?”

“It means leaving you on your own. Are you sure?” Laura looked around the now smoky empty room.

Trisha sombrely nodded and flicked the ash from the cigarette.
“Thanks Mum!” Laura put her arm around her mum and squeezed her shoulders.

“Before you go, are you coming back here or going to his?” she asked.

Laura shrugged her shoulders with a smile “I am not sure yet, do you want us here in the morning?”

Trisha smiled “I will be fine if you are or are not. “
“Oh, thanks Mum, I will text and let you know, are you sure I can go out tonight?”

“Please, go before I change my mind. Be safe and go have fun!” Trisha said then she took one last longing drag on her cigarette, exhaling as she stubbed it out.

Laura got up from the table, picked up another cold sausage roll off the plate and kissed her mum on the head and headed upstairs chewing on the sausage roll as she went upstairs to get ready.


Laura force exhaled her smoke out of her pursed lips off to her left and then with a little focus turned back stroked Adams chin and leaned in for a kiss as they sat alone down on the cold damp pavement a few paces down from the kebab shop, Adam’s denim jacket covering her bare shoulders of her black dress as he heroically shivered has he hugged her in just his short sleeve red checked Ben Sherman shirt, the other revellers staggered and stumbled around behind them. “So, Ad,” she stated between kisses as her ignored cigarette burnt between her fingers just above the damp pavement “I’ve a very cold bottom, and I now really pee, and I need to text my mum, is it your place or mine?” she grinned and kissed him again on the lips before tugging at her skirt up to her knees before it fell back down again and flashed her bright pink knickers to those walking past.

Adam wiped her sauce, grease, and slobber off his mouth from the kiss with the back of his hand and winked at her, and whispered “Piss here, your hot when you do, I love it!” he drunkenly grinned and leaned in for another kiss.

Laura broke the kiss pushing his body away and whispered back “Ad, not in public, and I having a smoke!” she said sternly and then smiled, took drag on her cigarette, exhaled and with a little unsteadily leaned in for another drunken kiss.

Adam grimaced at the tobacco rich kiss and then stroked her legs “But you said you wanted a piss!” he smiled at her, and then looked around. “So, go on do it here…no one will care.” He whispered, “Then come to mine” he mischievously

grinned as he stroked her legs “I can then peel your piss wet knickers off and then we can both have fun,” he grinned and leaned in for another kiss, “Plus we then don’t need to be as quiet, as you know I like you when you are really wet for me.” He grinned and kissed her again. “You’ve got your nighty at mine anyway.” He stated as they passionately kissed again, as their lips and tongues interacted the lettuce and kebab meat fell out of the tray and on the rain-soaked floor.

Laura broke off the kiss and with an overly twisted and confused face as she replied, “You actually want me wearing it?” she asked surprized before she leaned in almost headbutting each other as they kissed again “It’s huge on me!” she exclaimed and rocked back on the pavement putting her hand down to stop herself falling before looking at her fingers and remembering the cigarette was there and taking another drag.

“I thought it was cute?” He waited for the exhale before he attempted to pull her towards him, giving her yet another sloppy kiss in the process.

Laura broke the kiss again wiggled her skirt free of her bottom. “Bugger, Christ Ad, we should go home now…oooh, I don’t like it, the floor, eh, its cold and wet … ooh…but I needed too…ooh…too late, oh hang on!” she turned and grinned at Adam and then looked towards her knees and the ground below and then sighed as her crotch of her pink knickers darkened, then glistened as the hissing and splattering sound hit the pavement. She shivered and closed her knees together and instantly took warming drag on her cigarette, exhaled, and stubbed her cigarette out on the floor beside her as the dribbling subsided a shadow of someone standing in front of them appeared and she quickly pulled at, and attempted to rearrange her skirt again as they both looked up.

“Oh God, you two please get a room!” Karen giggled as she interrupted them as she wobbled side to side on the road eating her greasy bag of chips.

“Oi Kaz, we will do in a minute, but Adam dropped my food, and it has fallen on the wet floor; go on give us a chip…PLEASE sir can I have some more?” Laura asked and raised her upturned hand in the style of Oliver Twist begging for the food.

“Are you sure, you will only complain it will make you fat!” Karen giggled taking two chips and chewing as she lowered her greasy bag.

Laura stuck her tongue out “I will start my diet again tomorrow I promise; I’ve been eating sausage rolls for what seems like days.” She grinned and took a chip. She placed it between her other hand like a cigarette.

“Shall I light your chip for you?” Karen wobbled forward in her high heels and flicked her lighter.

Laura giggled “No silly, I am not going smoke it, I am going to eat it.” Laura stated and promptly chewed it licking her lips afterwards.

Karen snorted and opened her little handbag and managed to eventually wiggle her own cigarette out of the pack whilst still holding her chips and placed it between her lips. “Well fuck you, I am going to smoke my real cigarette then!” she grinned as it bounced in the corner of her mouth and flicked the lighter and inhaled. “How did it go today?” she asked with her exhale as she dropped her lighter back in bag.

Laura shrugged her shoulders and she quickly eat the chip and then responded “Fine, as well as a funeral can do I guess.” she ginned unenthusiastically and took one last drag on her cigarette before dropping it on top of the now soggy lettuce leaf between her legs. She then leaned over and stole then then finished the last of Adams wrap, wiping her greasy hands on her skirt.

“What the fuck?” Karen drunkenly asked having no relationship to the previous sentence as she slightly stepped to the side to keep her balance before stepping back again.”

“Tell me about it!” Laura screwed her face up in ball.

“Oh, do you fancy a coffee tomorrow?” Karen replied before inhaling on her cigarette again and stepping to the other side as she exhaled before correcting herself.

“Oh,” she looked at Adam for confirmation of availability. “I am working!” Adam informed.

Laura nodded over enthusiastically “Okay I will, cool, will need to see what mum is up to, but yes!”

“It won’t be an early one!” Karen stated with a grin “As I’m fucked again!”

Laura chuckled “Its fine, sounds good a bit of lie in! Ad, right I am finished my food and I now have very wet arse,” she grinned “Ad, can you please, can you help me up, as I’m very drunk, and” she whispered, “rather wet” before exclaiming “I’m not walking too far in my pretty heels, so can we get a cab?” she asked offering her hands up.

“Oh, can I be cheeky and bum a lift in the cab?” Karen asked as she balanced the cigarette in one hand and her chips in the other.

Laura rolled her eyes “Yeah of course Kaz!” she replied confidently before turning to Adam “She can, can’t she?” Laura asked Adam, almost grovelling.

Adam smiled and nodded as he stood up and then put his arms down and slowly pulled Laura so she was standing upright “Come on both of you, I am certainly not walking too far” Adam said as he stood hugging Laura, his hand squeezing her soaking wet arse under her skirt “Kaz, you will need to finish your chips before we get in the cab.” Adam instructed as he released her buttocks and then stood beside Laura with her arm around her waist.

“Yes sir, Laura will help me.” She stated as they stumbled away arms linked together.


After dropping of Karen outside her house and the taxi waited the twenty seconds whilst she lent against the front door while prioritising lighting her next cigarette that she had dangled in her mouth the whole five minutes it took the cab to get to her house and then once lit looked for the key to open the door, only once he had made sure that she had successfully opened the door and stumbled safely in did he drive off.

Laura and Adam sat in silence as the taxi grunted and whirred down the street as Adam’s fingers migrated up and down Laura’s white fleshy thigh under her skirt stroking her still wet knickers; Laura’s drunk and emotional head was resting on his shoulder as they went through the dim lit streets of the town.

“Ad, will you be cross?” Laura asked raising her head up and looking at him. “Do you think I could be dropped off at home?”

He snorted “Are you sure?” He asked and leaned in for a sloppy kiss and Laura pushed him away after a couple of kisses.

“Ad, I just need to spend time with my mum.”

“Law, she will be fast asleep?” Adam yawned. “And I know you were wet for me.” He grinned as the passing streetlights briefly flashed his teeth.

Laura shook her head “She isn’t sleeping well at the moment, and I want to be with her.”

“But I want to be with you?” Adam asked.
“Please not tonight darling.” Laura kissed him again on the lips. “But I am working tomorrow night?”
“Oh, come back to mine then?”

Adam nodded like a tipsy dog. They shouted at the taxi driver the new instructions, who instantly turned down a side road with a screech of the tires and headed off towards Laura’s house.


Laura giggled as she stood up straight and wobbled as she walked around the kitchen with her knickers down below the hem of her dress around her knees. “Shh!” she giggled to Adam as she leaned against the chair which noisily crunched against the tile floor before bending over and slowly extracting her legs out of the holes.

“Do you want a hand?” Adam whispered.

“No Ad, I am quite capable of getting my self-undressed thank you.” She stated as she staggered sideways away from the chair her wet panties hanging from her little finger.

“Law” he whispered as he reached to grab her before she fell over, “So, can we go upstairs now”? he smiled as he wrapped his arms around her waist and slowly spun her round so, he could kiss her again, lifting her dress up around her waist in the process and grabbing her naked buttocks.

The kiss broke “Shush Ad, in a minute Ad, I need to get my clothes in the washing machine. They are wet and will stink as are a little soaked!” she glared at him

holding her soaking urine-soaked knickers just inches from his nose before pushing herself away.

“Oh, but you look so hot… and that is one thing I can help with…the undressing!” he grinned and pulled at her zip on the back of her dress.

“Oi, we are downstairs!” She glared.
“And?” Adam said looking around at the empty room.

“Okay” she groaned, “Help with the zip!” she stated as she turned away from him as he then tugged on the little zip, and she untangled her arms from the dress.

Laura tutted as she stepped out of the dress and bent down slowly and picked it up, as she did Adam stepped forward and grabbed her large naked buttocks with both hands.

“Oi!” She screeched loudly as she straightened up straight. “You are so bloody predictable!” she grizzled.

“Shush!” Adam shushed again and laughed.

Laura shook her head as she opened the cupboard door in front of the washing machine and then unsteadily squatted as she opened the washing machine door and threw her clothes inside, slamming the door shut it noisily clicked and she “Shushed” at it and then groaned as she stood up holding on the counter for support and turned around and put her fingers to her lips to denote being quiet. “Ad babes, I need to pop quickly outside for a very quick ciggy, and then and only then. Can we go to bed, as I will need you warm me up, as I will be very cold!” she grinned reached up on tiptoes and kissed Adam on the lips. “And only then you can then quietly, gently and rhythmically warm me up!”

“But you’re not we…” Adam winced as he watched as Laura focused and with two attempts picked up her pack from the kitchen table and headed towards the back door hugging her pack of cigarettes and lighter for warmth against her black bra without anything on her lower half.

Chapter 3 Memories

Karen again dipped her head and sheltered the flame from the steady breeze with her hand and fired up the lighter and then with two deep drags got her next

cigarette alight “So how are things, what’s the goss?” Karen asked before exhaling a cone up to the blue sky. As they sat at the outside seating of the local café with two slices of cakes and two cappuccinos steaming in front of them.

Laura swallowed and picked up her mug and took a gulp before licking her milk and chocolate sprinkles moustache off her lips. “Kaz, it’s been better, I can’t lie to you!” she frowned as she pulled a cigarette out from her pack and placed the filter between her lips.

“How is your mum coping?” Karen asked as Laura sheltered her cigarette and soon was engulfed in a cloud of smoke.

“Stoically, and surprisingly well.” Laura stated as she took yet another long drag before exhaling.

“How about you?”

Laura snorted “I feel like shite warmed up!” she grinned and took another hit on her cigarette.

“I am not talking about your bloody hangover; I am talking about everything.” Karen responded.

Laura rubbed her nose with her thumb “I feel shite for mum, my dad was everything for her.” She stated and the pulled on her cigarette.

“Things are okay with Adam, aren’t they?” Karen asked as she picked up her coffee and took a gulp.

Laura cackled and brought her spare hand to her mouth as she coughed “Yeah things are fine, no sign of a ring yet…but no sign of him wanting us to get a house yet. The sex is good.” She grinned ran her tongue around her lips and brought the filter back to them as took yet another hit on her cigarette.

“No sign of any tiny little feet yet?” Karen used her fingers to insinuate small as smiled and then tilted her head away as she also drew on her cigarette.

Laura pulled a face, then exhaled “Fuck no!” and flicked her cigarette to the side. “Way too young, and we are not even living together, think we are ‘good’ in that way!”

“True…” Karen laughed as Laura took two large gulps from her huge white coffee mug. Karen grinned “Watch out with all that coffee inside you, you will piss your knickers like you did on Friday night!” She winked.

“Oi!” Laura screeched and waved her hand dismissively. “I didn’t!” she whispered.

Karen chuckled and shook her head and then grinned “Yeah, yeah tall story, I saw the fucking puddle on the floor!”

Laura grimaced and looked around the empty tables of the outside seating and then at her hand took a drag on her cigarette before exhaling and whispering with her eyes sparking, she lowered her voice and whispered, “Its only because Adam likes it when I do!” she then dismissively shook her head.

Karen shrieked, then laughed and flung her head back in disgust “The perve!” she shouted far too loudly.

Laura smiled and spoke calmly with an eyebrow raised “But it’s no different to your ex., what was his name…Jeremy whose mouth would drop wide open and he would almost climb on you and dry hump your leg like a dog whenever you lit a ciggy?”

“That’s different?” Karen stated dismissively manicuring her ash as she spoke.

“Is it?” Laura asked before cocking her head to the side and taking yet another lungful of smoke.

“Yes!” Karen said indifferently and took another drag.

Laura giggled “But, I don’t know, doing both are exciting!” she smiled again and then hid her face behind her huge mug of coffee and took another gulp.

Karen tutted “If you think that, you must be still drunk!”

“Hell no, not drunk, depressed about Dad and I am rather hungover and fine. But Kaz, please can we discuss something else!” Laura said glancing around.

Karen shrugged her shoulders “Yeah, okay, so what’s your plan this week”?

Laura wiggled her now stiff bum in the seat to get comfortable and leaned forward to flick her ash in the ashtray with a thoughtful pose on her face. “Don’t know, the

last few weeks have been all about the funeral. Back to work tomorrow for the first time in two weeks, will be a shock to the system.”

Karen nodded “I can imagine, almost two weeks off work, but not on holiday, my Mum’s agreed for us two to go on a girly holiday together to the Canaries for some winter sun!” Karen beamed and then pulled on her cigarette.

“Oh wow, that will be so much fun, well jealous!” Laura put the cigarette down in the ashtray picked up the last of the cake and stuffed it in her mouth and started chewing. “Don’t think Mum and I will be doing anything as exciting this year, other than dealing with solicitors.” She said with her mouthful before taking a gulp of her coffee to wash it down. “The cake is truly amazing here!” she smiled as she licked her finger and then cleaned up the plate picking up the crumbs as she went.

Karen grinned “Well yes, but I am feeling too fat to eat any!” she grinned.

Laura raised an eyebrow as she dragged on her cigarette “You are not fat, you’re the slimmest girl I know!” she grinned then exhaled.

Karen chuckled, took one last longing drag on her cigarette “I just can’t believe its Monday already again tomorrow.” She stated and then reached over to the middle of the table as she exhaled and stubbed the cigarette out.

Laura chuckled “Kaz, its Saturday afternoon!”

“Oh, fuck it is isn’t it, going out on Friday nights always do that to me!” Karen shook her head.

“Well, if I don’t drink too much wine with mum tonight, I will be up bright and early in the morning to help her sort out more of Dad’s stuff before going back to work.”

“You not coming out with Zoe and I?” Karen asked.

Laura shook her head, I can’t go out two nights in a row, however much I would love too, plus, its good if I keep my mum company now.

Karen stretched her arms out straight “I know what you mean, but going out with the girls, it’s better than sitting at home watching telly.”

“Hmmm maybe next week, I will see what mum’s plans are.”

“Oh okay.”

“But more importantly, this moment in time, I think I need more of this cake!” Laura grinned as she picked up the chocolate slice and opened her mouth wide took a large bite out of it.


Trisha swirled her wine around the glass “It was nice to see briefly see Adam this morning, he didn’t have to leave so quickly.”

“It’s okay mum, I didn’t throw him out, he had other stuff to do!”

“I thought you were seeing him again this evening?” Trisha asked Laura as they still sat at the kitchen table having just finished dinner.

Laura screwed her face up “No, that’s tomorrow he is working late again tonight.”

Trisha nodded “That’s good, more time for me with my daughter!” she grinned as leaned across and picked up the wine bottle and topped up both glasses with the dregs of the red wine. “So, Law are the cigarettes helping?” Trisha asked pointing at the pack of Marlboro lights on top of the black phone beside her daughter.

“Pardon” Laura tilted her head in confusion.

“Are they helping you getting over that empty feeling of losing dad?” Trisha asked before taking a gulp of her glass of red wine.

Laura smiled, “To be honest mum at the moment every time I inhale on a cigarette, and I momentarily feel lifted every time the smoke hits my lungs.” She stated as looked towards Trisha who nodded as Laura pulled another cigarette out of the pack and perched it between her lips which unsteadily bounced as she slowly brought the flame which met with dark tobacco stuffed end flared red as the flash hit the tip and the white paper quickly turned black as she inhaled twice, exhaling through her nose.

“But you have been doing that for years darling?” Trisha asked holding wine glass securely and defensively in her hand.

Laura snorted pushing more smoke out and nodded guilty. “Yes, mum, you know how much I enjoy my smoking.” She reluctantly said. “And yes, since dad’s death I

think I can say it’s helped me. And yes, I may have had too much cake at lunch with Karan, is this you trying to be subtle mum?”

“Maybe? Also, before I forget again, just more thing sweetie, can you remember that when leaning out your window having your post coital cigarette trying not to smoke in the house at half two in the morning that my window might be open!”

“Oh shit, sorry mum, did my smoke wake you up, I, it was cold, you know didn’t want to leave the room!”

Trisha grinned and raised her eyebrow a little “No Law, it wasn’t the smoke that woke me…” she smirked knowingly “…as I woke up a little before…”

Laura winced and picked the remaining cracker with brie cheese smeared on it and swallowed, “Mum, sorry we will try to be quieter!”

“Its fine, I know what it’s like, even your dad and I used to have fun once or twice a year!” she winked.

“Mummmm” Laura whinged.

Trisha smiled warmly and then licked her lips together “So Law, any chance of having another of your cigarettes?”

Laura quickly looked out the corner of her eyes before smiling “Of course, Mum, but you are really far too old to start smoking?” she gently nodded her head.

Trisha shrugged her shoulders and turned the pack around, so the open side faced at her. “I have done before!” she grinned.

“What smoking, when?”
“You started when you were younger didn’t you?” Trisha asked back.

“Well yes, that’s how… you know…rebelling against clean cut parents with a cigarette or two with Karen and Zoe.” Laura looked a little guilty.

Trisha laughed and waved her hand dismissively, “In my youth I was no different, I have not hidden it from you, but you haven’t looked or asked when you or your dad had been particularly annoying to me, I may have once or twice had to escape to the bottom of the garden.”

“Mum! No!” Laura exclaimed “Surely not?”

Trisha guilty nodded “Well my last pack went on for about 15 years” she ginned as she took a cigarette out the pack in front of her “

“Wow Mum my pack won’t last much 15 hours…” Laura looked on in shock. “I guess my addiction has over time spiralled a little out of control…” she mused thoughtfully out loud.

Trisha nodded “Maybe I should really replace this one for you…” she said as she picked up the lighter and got the cigarette alight with a gentle drag, letting the smoke drift out of her mouth calmly.

“It’s okay mum it’s only one or two, I can survive.”

“If you are sure?”

Laura nodded and turned the pack around and took out her own cigarette. “As I will have a spare pack in my bag upstairs.” She stated with the cigarette perched between her lips.


“Law, do you want to open us another bottle of this Merlot, its rather nice?” Trisha asked grinning merrily swinging the empty bottle between her fingers.

Laura nodded enthusiastically “Hell yeah Mum, is the pope catholic? Of course!” she grinned as she stood up and grabbed the table for support before squishing her thighs against the table edge and naturally placing her cigarette in the corner of her mouth and with a trail of smoke behind her as she turned and headed to the cupboard “But you know something mum… you should really quit this smoking now!” she stated as smoke drifted out her nose and volley of exhaled smoke barrelled across the room from her mums lips.

“Pot, kettle, black, what you trying to say what I have told you for years?” Trisha asked looking up over the rim of her glasses at her daughter standing there, her blonde hair in a ponytail wearing her black Adidas elasticated waist jogging bottoms and an overly tight fitting white strappy top with a cigarette in the corner of her mouth.

“Maybe, like I have said to you maybe hundreds of times before I really enjoy them.” Laura almost sulked as she bought the bottle back to the table.

“They haven’t helped you doing any exercise.”

“Mum, you are meant to say I am not fat.” Laura gave a look of indignation as she pulled her t-shirt down over a shapely figure and gently wiggled her hips and tugged at her jogging bottoms.

“Yes, but you like your cake!” Trisha riffed back.
“Muuuum” Laura looked sternly across.
Trisha smiled warmly “Law, you are not fat!” she grinned and manicured her ash.

“Thanks Mum, I’m a fourteen, I am not fat!” Laura smiled as the twisted the bottle opener and then slowly moved the arms down and then wiggled it to remove the cork out with a loud pop.

“Yes but…” Trisha gave up and flicked her growing ash.

Laura looked at her mum smiling as the ash dropped into the ramekin and then focused as she topped up both wine glasses before settling back at the kitchen table tugging again at her top riding up over her shapely figure. She took a sip as she watched her mum inhale on her cigarette and smiled as she then joined her by lighting a fresh cigarette for herself.


Trisha sniffed her nose and absentmindedly ran her fingers across her lips as she watched as another stream of smoke flowing across the room from yet another freshly lit cigarette now burning firmly between Laura’s fingers as the smoke expunged from within her lungs drifted across the table in an almost narrow beam under the kitchen lights on the breeze from the open window, she picked up and sipped her red wine and licked her red wine stained teeth leaned her head on her hand and smiled “Law, do you remember our holiday in the south of France?” she slurred as she wiped her nose and her hand moved closer to the pack until she pulled a cigarette out of the pack for herself and tapped it on the table.

“Which one this time mum the one with the kayaks?” Laura asked watching the unlit cigarette rhythmically bounce on the table between her mum’s fingers, before taking her own deep drag.

“That’s the one, where after paddling for half a day we were all knackered and after a picnic on that little beach at the bottom of that gorgeous ravine, your dad the mad fool thought it great idea that once we had given the kayaks back that he is then energetically took us for walk up the side of it, and took a wrong turn on the footpath and we ended up in a field with a very angry French bull and we had to jump over the hedge and run all the way back down into the stream.” Trisha smiled with the memory as a tear trickled down her cheek.

“Yeah, I fell in, didn’t I? I was mostly dry on the river and then slipped on a rock and fell in on the walk.” Laura laughed hard with the memory.

“If I remember even then you complained, and I think cried then that the bull had ruined your clothes, your holiday, but more importantly the worst thing ever, your cigarettes.” Trisha snorted and shook her head and then smiled at the memory and looked at Laura and gently nodded, “Even now I am surprized we let you have them even then. It’s crazy!”

Laura nodded, “Yeah mum it is, you two were really good to me with my, err, bad habit mum!” She smiled and thought for a moment. “But I think I can, even now, remember dad had made sure my ciggies were secured in his ever sensible and prepared drybag for the paddling and then I stupidly put them back in my pocket as I wanted them close ‘just in case we stopped for a break’ on the walk” she paused and looked at her hand and then placed the filter back between her lips and attentively dragged on her cigarette, before exhaling, she smiled “Can you remember, that dad never liked stopping, he was like a machine when we were all out walking, field after field he just kept going…” she chuckled to herself as she flicked the growing ash off the cigarette ,“even now I can remember not enjoying the physical activity of running away from the bull and I had been only smoking a couple of years!” she turned a frown in to a guilty smile and then gulped her wine.

Trisha tutted as she manicured her cigarette.

Laura then randomly giggled laughed at herself as another the thought crossed her brain “Oh, Mum, can you remember Dad marched me into the supermarket afterwards when my ass sopping wet like I had pissed myself, but Dad still kindly went with me bought me a new pack of ciggies to stop me complaining and

whinging that not only where my clothes ruined, but the holiday was as well!” She smiled and then frowned “Oh, god, yes, he bought me those French cigarettes, they are really strong…oh what where they, yes… Gauloises, they were way stronger than my Marlboro lights!” she smiled took a final drag before exhaling as she stubbed the butt out in the ramekin.

“Oh, that’s right, you were going commando, that’s right and couldn’t take your soaking wet trousers off!” Trisha shook her head as she laughed “as for those cigarettes I can’t remember, you always been smoking and it was so long ago, I bet you still smoked them?” Trisha raised an eyebrow.

Laura nodded thoughtfully “I guess I must have done…I would have been desperate; I think that they were rather potent.” She grinned as she swirled her wine glass. “Oh, that’s right, the following day I can remember, it was a really hot, it was boiling hot sort of day, and we had got in the car and driven for what seemed like ages in the hot stuffy car, my bare legs from my skirt were sticking to the leather seats it was that hot, and we had only gone because dad knew about a famous chateau wine or something and then by the time we arrived I was of course by that time desperate for another cigarette, as you meanies , and quite rightly, didn’t let me smoke in the car, so I sat outside down on a bench by the nearby river and took in the stunning view, got some sun on my face and legs had tried to enjoy a smoke whilst you went wine tasting, and then some rather cute guy thinking I was French because of my pack and started babbling away to me in French.”

“Oh god, that’s right I remember now. You ran in to us almost crying you were that scared!” she grinned.

“All I was trying to do was get the sun on my face outside and have a quiet smoke whilst you and dad went into chose some posh wine.” Laura grinned and someone wanted to chat me up in French. I shrugged my shoulders and did my best ‘parlez vous anglaise’ and ‘Je ne sais pas’ shrugging my shoulders in the Oscar award winning acting, I think my drama teacher Mrs Stevenson would have been proud off and then I ran away!” she grinned. “Don’t think I have run as far as I did in those two days since…”

Trisha laughed and nodded as her own thoughts tumbled across her face “It’s nice that we can still share those memories isn’t it. I must admit didn’t know or I think I may had forgotten that you actually started smoking these things at fourteen!” Trisha sniffed dismissively again looking at the cigarette burning between her

fingers as Laura watched on, she finally placed the cigarette between her lips and pulled on it. She exhaled and as the smoke drifted away from her face, she looked at Laura again “I can remember your Dad and me discussing your smoking and working out that behind our backs that you had already got rather addicted to these awful smelling things and then us thinking that actually you would be getting all stroppy with us would probably just make you rebel and smoke more!” Trisha stated and smiled at Laura and pulled hard on the cigarette.

Laura nodded “I think you are probably right, as even now I do get very stroppy without a cigarette…but mum, like you, just now thinking about it, I am just scared that I have actually been smoking for almost half my life! It literally feels like only yesterday I sneaked my first cigarette with Karen at school in the back lane trying to be as cool as all the sixth formers.”

Trisha tutted “Law, well that was very naughty of you, with large consequences, but even us not interfering has bitten us both, and made you smoke too much!

“Yeah, but I know, but mum, I do actually enjoy them, and I couldn’t and wouldn’t go without.”

“I am so grateful that you got that job at the Coop when you did, you were literally burning through pocket money!” Trisha tutted and took a gulp of wine.

“Oh my god I still wake up with the nightmare of the till beep sometimes, but it was such an easy source of ciggies at the end of the shift!” she grinned and took a gulp of her own wine.

Trisha tutted as the memories and swirled her wine glass and took another big gulp. “Oh, actually that reminds me as you mentioned burning your legs a minute ago.” She mused and then took another larger gulp of wine, “During you’re A Levels, or was it your GCSE’s that you, Karen and, what’s her name? Oh, Zoe that was it, all outside revising for your exams, because like now I refused to let you all smoke in the house. Lucky for all of you it wasn’t raining, anyway after they left and you had stayed outside for a little bit more revision, and I assume another cigarette or two and then fell asleep on your front and burnt the back of your legs in the sun!” She tutted and grinned.

“Oh, fuck mum, yes I remember!” Laura sat back int the chair at the thought “my geography exam the next day was so painful; my pink burnt legs were stinging on the plastic chair the whole way.”

“Well, they do say smoking is dangerous, and as you say, you’ve now been smoking half your life” she shook her head. “Oh, talking of sun do you remember that holiday you went on with the girls when you were at uni, you got that last minute deal to Majorca?”

Laura looked back quizzically and nervously as to where the conversation was going “Yeah?”

Trisha picked up her glass and took a sip “You and the girls filled your suitcases with cartons of cigarettes, you gave your dad and I like a tiny shot glass from the airport as that was all you could fit in!”

Laura laughed “Oh, god yeah, they were so cheap, it was rude not too. I think I sold a couple of packs to the guys at uni when I got back and made some of my money back.” She grinned.

Trisha nodded “I was absolutely disgusted at the time, all those cigarettes what it was doing to you and your lungs, your bag was like a rolling tobacconist.”

Laura shrugged her shoulders and took a gulp of wine. “Sorry about that.” She looked guilty as she fiddled with the pack in front of them.

“Law, have you actually been smoking all this time?”

Laura’s face lit up as she grinned at a positive thought bounced in her head “Not quite mum, do you remember when I was back after Uni. when Karen got with that Swedish workout nut, she met out one night, Björn or Sven, yes Sven, took me ages to realise he wasn’t called seven, he forced her to quit smoking, and to actually do exercise with him, and as such she then persuaded or actually forced me to quit in solidarity, I think I lasted about three months!” she grinned and took a gulp of wine.

Trisha raised an eyebrow, “what the relationship or you actually quitting? It was so long ago I can’t remember!”

Laura laughed and smiled as she thought about it. “The relationship lasted about the four months, us not smoking lasted for about three months and one day!” Laura grinned and then ran her tongue along her lips and picked up wine took a large gulp and then sighed. “We headed to the pub and lit up no sooner than we had got our drinks!”

Trisha tutted again and looked at Laura “But I’d close your mouth if I were you, otherwise you will catch some flies but…” she smiled “…but I guess now it’s more likely catch smoke, as such please just light another one” Trisha asked as the unlit cigarette bounced between her lips.

Laura chuckled as she reached across and pulled a cigarette out the pack “That’s hilarious, years of badgering me not to smoke, now you are ordering me!” she laughed again and stifled a cough as she held the cigarette in her hand before placing the filter between her lips.

“But Law you are staring at me like you think I am an alien. Or about to attack you, you are watching my every move!”

“But you actually with a cigarette between your lips is very much alien to me mum, even after what two weeks after your first.”

Trisha ran her thumb across her lips and picked up the wine and took another gulp “I am finding lots of this nice red wine and your cigarettes tonight are certainly not alien to each other.” Trisha stated as she placed the glass down and picked up the lighter, as she flicked her pink Bic twice to get a flame and finally inhaled it as the tip crackled as it caught alight in the silence between them. “As you say it makes you feel better.” Trisha finally said after exhaling.

“The morning one with coffee is equally nice!” Laura grinned.
Trisha nodded “I will look forward to that one in the morning…”
“You’re rather drunk mum.” Laura said swirling her wine before taking a large gulp.

“Yes, I am,” her head wobbled slight as she grinned happily “and…so were you the other night, when you fell in the through the front door.” Trisha stated and manicured her cigarette in the glass in front of them.

Laura guiltily shrugged her shoulders and gulped some more wine. “Sorry, yes, that was my heels, they got stuck on the door frame!”

Trisha waved her hand dismissing it “But at this very moment it feels good though, we have to live for these moments darling we really do, I have had a great Saturday night with you, Cheers” Trisha said with a smile and picked up her wine and their glasses touched an then they both gulp some with an “ahhh.”

“I Love you mum” Laura smiled kindly back at her mum and watched as she inhaled deeply on the cigarette before exhaling.

“So, do I and actually darling, as I love you so much, I was thinking of helping you with something going forward.” She stated with rest of her exhale.

Laura almost tipsily knocked the two thirds empty bottle over, she grabbed it as it wobbled as she tried to pick it up to top the glasses up “Pardon Mum?”

“I’ve been thinking a lot, as you and Adam are strong, and my god have I’ve heard you desperately trying to be quiet at night with that silly old creaking bed…and clearly failing. So maybe it’s finally time for your own place?”

Laura looked at her mum and her face dropped and then she grinned like a Cheshire cat “Oh wow, thank you mum I love you so much!” she stood up and unsteadily leaned in for a hug over the table, catching the bottle of wine for a second time as they released their arms.

Chapter 4 Sunday Morning

Laura sat on the edge of the bed where she had sat with the lack of enthusiasm, groaned, yawned, gently coughed, and then stretched her arms up towards the bright white ceiling and then tutted as she fiddled with the knot again as she opened it wide and then closed her pink dressing gown securely around her body, before she tightened the pink cord around her waist again, then doubled checked that her phone and new pack and lighter was in the oversized pocket at the front as she bounced on the bed to get up and then headed out of the bathroom and she shook her head and grimaced; she could hear clanking and crashing in the kitchen.

She sniffed the air, smiled and licked her lips and nodded happily as she then followed her nose down the stairs.

Laura lent her head against the kitchen door frame “Ugh morning mum.”

“Morning sweetie.”

“How are you feeling mum?” She attempted as she lifted her head off the door frame but failed to beam brightly as she investigated the kitchen with her eyes as she leant her head against the frame again.

“I am good, Law, if a little tired but I can’t sleep at the moment even after a bottle of wine or two.” She shrugged her shoulders “how are you feeling this morning?” Trisha attempted to smile brightly.

Laura lifted her head again sniffed the air again “Like shite, that second bottle really wasn’t a good idea, but…” she sniffed “that food smells divine!” she smiled as she shuffled into the kitchen and looked that sausages sizzling in the frying pan and she then shuffled over picked up the kettle and checked there was water in it before flicking it on.

“Yes, proper Sunday hungover morning food! But I’ve good cooked too much again; I have got to remember there are only two of us…” the sentence drifted off as she turned and opened her arms up for a hug.

“No problem it and this will help with the headache, as does a mummy hug” Laura smiled as she leaned in for the bear hug.

Trisha smiled “Yes it will Law,” and they hugged each other, as they released Trisha stated “oh, we or I will need to go shopping this morning.” As she returned her focus to the pan and rotated the sizzling sausages and flipped over the bacon, as Laura focused on getting her coffee made once the kettle had boiled.

Laura picked up her coffee “Oh ok, tell what in a bit I will pop outside for a second, back in a minute.” She smiled and shuffled towards the door holding her coffee securely in her hand.

Trisha sighed overly loudly in front of the oven and her shoulders sank just before Laura looked back, Trisha shook her head smiled and Laura shrugged her shoulders continued out the back door carrying her coffee and settled down on the back porch on the white garden chair conveniently for Laura positioned next to the weathered green ashtray on the windowsill.

She placed the mug on the floor and crossed her legs over and then straightened her dressing gown over her knee again for warmth and then extracted her pack from her pocket and found the lighter before placing her morning cigarette between her lips as she dropped the pack back in her dressing gown.

Within seconds she sighing as she was exhaling a blue cloud of smoke up towards the grey sky. She glanced over watched a couple of birds fighting each other for their morning worms amongst the long grass of the unruly, uncut lawn and then flicked opened her phone screen as her cheeks collapsed around the filter off to

the side of her mouth as took another deep drag. As she exhaled, she glanced at Facebook she heard a cough behind her back and turned to see Trisha standing there with her arms folded across her chest.

“Oh, sorry mum, you know I won’t be too long.” She smiled as she trimmed the edge of her cigarette on the green ashtray and took another urgent drag.

Trisha raised an eyebrow “Law darling, its only that I am a little surprized following the fun last night that you didn’t offer me one this morning.” She asked as watched Laura exhale.

“Oh, shit, what, sorry mum, please blame the hangover, sorry, I didn’t even think. Surely you do not want one without the wine?” Laura asked and placed her cigarette between her lips again to get another morning hit as she her tired makeup free face creased deeply as she looked confused at her mum.

“Maybe I would have done? You did say something about the enjoyment of coffee and cigarettes?”

Laura smiled “Ok, that’s easy.” She offered the pack to Trisha.

Trisha chuckled and shook her head “Law thank you, but maybe I will after we have had breakfast, as the food is nearly ready.”

“Okay Mum, I will be in shortly!” and she bit her bottom lip for flash of contemplation before replacing the filter and deeply dragging on her cigarette and as she exhaled through her nose, she studied the staining on the filter between her fingers and took one final deep drag before stubbing the cigarette out beside mounting pile of a collection of rain-soaked butts in the ashtray as her smoke was forcibly streaming out her nose.


Laura breathed in and squeezed the buttonhole of her black jeans over the small pink bow at the centre front on her black cotton knickers and dropped her dark blue baggy t-shirt back down again and headed down the stairs adjusting her hair back into a ponytail as she went.

“Mum, thanks again mum for breakfast, I am absolutely stuffed!” she grinned and rubbed her belly triumphantly.

Trisha smiled warmly “I am so going to have to watch the portion control; I am so used to cooking for three, maybe Adam should come over more often.” Trisha twisted her mouth unconvincingly. “But I do agree the sausages and all the fatty bacon was nice for the hangover, and my head is feeling better already.”

“More importantly how are your lungs feeling?” Laura grinned as she picked up her pack.

Trisha chuckled “It’s okay Law, you can go on outside again, I am alright for the moment, it’s too soon even for me, I am still enjoying the buzz from the one we had immediately after breakfast.”

“Are you sure?”

Trisha nodded “Yes, Law I am! If we can avoid it, however much we will want to, we both really can’t make it a habit of smoking inside the house!”

“Suit yourself, it will be cold out there!” Laura smiled as shrugged her shoulders and flipped open her pack, placing the cigarette between her lips as she headed for the door, she reached the door and turned back “Oh mum is it okay if I go out with Ad in a bit?” Laura asked and placed the cigarette between her lips.

“Of course, are you both coming back for dinner?”

Laura shrugged her shoulders “I don’t know mum, probably I will have my ciggy and then ask him.”

Chapter 5 Grouchy

Laura sighed tiredly as she forcefully sat down on the park bench dropping her shopping bags on the floor and without saying anything rhythmically and instinctively started her routine as she opened her black pleather handbag and pulled out her Marlboro lights pack and sheltering her hands from the breeze swiftly lit her cigarette. As she exhaled, she only then looked across at the concerned face on Adam.

“Hey darling what’s a matter?” she asked and affectionately patted and squeezed his knee with her cigarette hand dropping a little ash on his jeans.

“Nothing much, I guess.” He stated as he brushed the ash off his leg.

“Something is bugging you?” She asked before taking another lungful of smoke and affectionately squeezing his now ash free leg as she did.

“I don’t know it’s been like the first time in days that I have properly seen you.”

She looked at him and smiled “Ad, I buried my dad the other day, and we had sex that night, as you were with me, and then well mum and I have had to sort shite out.” She flicked her cigarette away from them and took another drag.

Adam sighed “Plus Law.” He paused and coughed to clear his throat as the smoke drifted from between her fingers “You are definitely smoking more!”

“I am certainly not!” she said defensively moving her cigarette away from him protectively.

“You are this is like the third cigarette break since we left the car an hour ago.”

Laura shrugged her shoulders, ran her tongue across her lips and then turned her head away from him as she pulled on her cigarette “It’s the weekend, I always smoke more.” She stated and then exhaled again through her nose.

Adam ran his hand through his short brown hair almost plucking up courage as he looked at her though the drifting smoke “So, Law, as Dai is out with Monique for the weekend, I was thinking that you might be coming back to mine later?” He asked, his fingers walking their way up her thigh.

Laura frowned “That sounds like fun…” she grinned “… But my mum has invited you over for dinner tonight, she likes cooking for three!”

Adam turned his head and retrieved his bottle and looked with a concerned face “Is she smoking like you too?” he asked as opened the bottle of coke and took a gulp.

Confusion crossed Laura’s face as she shrugged her shoulders “Ad why does that bother you, her food is nice?”

“Oh, wasn’t denying she is great cook, of course not.” “But why are you concerned about the smoking?”

“Oh, I err, I am not. You know, with both of you smoking I will end up stinking!” he frowned.

Laura snorted “Like I can tell, don’t worry!” and took a drag on her cigarette.

“But I can!” Adam said defensively. “Come over to mine and we can have fun!” he grinned.

Laura rolled her eyes as she inhaled again “Great, my mum will have been shopping.” She stated holding the smoke a second “Let me finish this one and we can get back to our shopping.” She finished as the smoke tumbled out of her mouth.

“Yeah…wonderful” Adam grunted as Laura crossed over her legs “Do you know what?”

“What?” Laura asked tilting her head to the side and then glancing towards her cigarette and giving it a gentle tap with her forefinger to remove the ash before looking back and blinking a couple of times before giving her full attention at Adam.

“Do you know what? I am thinking that it might be good for us both if we don’t meet up again tonight?”

“Oh…wait…what…why?” Laura said before placing the cigarette back between her lips and dragging hard. “Please, I do love you!” She grovelled covering Adam in her exhaled smoke.


Laura slammed shut the front door “Fuck it, I need a drink!” she announced as she flounced down the hallway.

“Afternoon Laura, yes dear I had a wonderful afternoon thanks for asking, and how was yours…oh where is Adam?” Trisha asked as Laura reached the doorway.

“That’s why I need a drink!” Laura exclaimed as she dropped her Primark bags on the floor and headed to the fridge and pulled out the bottle of white wine. “Do you want one too?”

“It’s a little early Law, don’t you think?” Trisha asked wincing as she glanced at the clock on the wall.

“Not when I have been shat on by Adam it’s not.” Laura stated leaning across to the cupboard and retrieved a glass and then quickly filled it and took a gulp before topping it back up again.

“Oh Law, come here, what has gone wrong?”

Laura gulped down two more mouthfuls of wine and sighed loudly as she leaned against the counter “Adam basically told me it was him or my cigarettes.” She stated as she put the wine glass down and bent down her handbag and retrieved her Marlboro Lights pack, before rummaging again for the pink lighter.

“That’s a bit harsh; Law, did you potentially miss hear him?”

Laura laughed and shook her head “No, look around, is he here with me now?”

Trisha went through the motions of looking, “Well, no, but your dad and I had been saying for years that you should quit, but you’ve been a smoker the whole time you’ve been with him?”

Laura rolled her eyes and shook her head “Mum yeah! Tell me about it. It’s not something new!” She stated as she opened the pack and put a cigarette between her lips and picked up the wine glass and made her way towards the back door.

“Yeah mum?” She turned and looked back into the room.

“Firstly, stay in here, I know after this conversation now sounds wrong, but will you have a cigarette or two with me!”

Laura’s shoulders dropped as confusion reigned on her face “Oh, if you’re sure?” she asked with the unlit cigarette bouncing between her lips.

“Very much so.” Trisha grinned. “In this instance, maybe I would like a cigarette or two with you too, and then I can also to talk to you about positive things like looking for houses, then you can call Adam and sort it out!”

Laura’s eyes widened with surprize “Mum, oh that does sound good!” she replied as she pulled the kitchen chair out and promptly sat down and then quickly focused on lighting her cigarette between her lips, exhaling and then with a smile pushing the pack across the table to Trisha as she gulped her wine.


Laura padded back into the kitchen drying her hands on her jogging bottoms as Trisha was sitting at the kitchen table, hunched over the lap top scrolling through endless pictures of houses.

“I know its Sunday, but I think we still have one bottle of Merlot in the cupboard.”

“Law, you need to get up for work tomorrow.”

“Yeah, but you are helping me.” She grinned.

“I am meant to be helping you with houses, oh, look at that one!” Trisha said pointing with her finger at the screen.

Laura leaned over the back of Trisha at tried to focus “Mum, move your hand I can’t see it.”

“Sorry dear, now look, its ideal for you!”

Laura twisted her mouth as she thought, “Yeah, that looks good, but I guess we need to look at several of them.” She stated thoughtfully as she sat back down and pulled another cigarette out the pack, before turning it to point at Trisha who smiled and pulled one out too.

“I will take that one as a no.” Trisha mused excitedly.

“Mum…I really don’t know…the kitchen looks amazing!” Laura shrugged her shoulders.

“Excellent, I will see what I can arrange tomorrow.” Trisha smiled before placing the filter between her red wine lips and leant forward towards the flame that Laura provided.

“You are so kind mum!” She glanced at her phone as it vibrated on the table.

“I know I am” she grinned “but Law,” she wavered her hand in the direction of the cupboard “Are you going to open that other bottle, and are you going to look at the text from Adam?” Trisha grinned, exhaled, and then looked to the cigarette to take another hit.

Laura sheepishly picked up her phone and giggled. “Oh, oops mum, you are right he still loves me…” “Go one?” Trisha raised her greying eyebrow.

Laura winced as she looked at the phone and then to mum “It’s a bit rude, sorry mum, and in my defence I’m beyond tipsy. Read it mum…” She turned the phone around and then moved it closer to Trisha’s face until she could see it and then she laughed.

‘I am sorry for earlier and I do love you Ad, I do very much want you to duck me tomorrow night! xLx

‘Quack Quack xxx’

Chapter 6 Monday Morning

Laura groaned as she leant her elbows on the kitchen table and rubbed her temples with both thumbs and closed her eyes as her headache thumped loudly as she opened her eyes again, she stared at the table before looking up and slipping her hand around the steaming hot mug and lifting it her mouth gulping the black coffee down. She looked at her jam laden toast and sighed as she picked it up and took a large mouthful covering her cheeks in jam and as she slowly and methodically laboured her jaw as she chewed, she raised her head as she heard shuffling upstairs. She smiled and swallowed her toast and then took another large mouthful. Chewed and washed it down with coffee.

As she licked her lips, she shook her head as she looked at her pack of Marlboro Lights next to the ramekin with four squished butts in it, and then glanced to the back door and chuckled to herself as she pulled the last cigarette out of the pack and sighed loudly at the empty pack in acknowledgement of needing a fresh pack sooner rather than later as she placed the filter in her mouth. She tilted her head and flicked her blonde hair out of her face and over the top of her head and then lit the cigarette pulling hard on the filter, her cheeks collapsed deeply as she hungrily filled her lungs with the very much required first dose of smoke of the day.


Laura tilted her head to the side and chewed her Mars bar and the wiped her mouth with her hand. She pulled out and then sheltered her cigarette from the

gentle breeze circulating in the smoking area outside her office. She in inhaled deeply twice and exhaled the cone up to the grey morning sky, and as the last drifts of smoke left her lips, she picked up her mug of coffee gulped down two mouthfuls.

“So, what’s up hon, yes, its Monday, but it’s not too bad?” Karen asked as she pulled a cigarette out of her pack too.

“Err, hungover!” she grinned and gulped her coffee.

Karen tilted her head and lit her cigarette “You said you were not going out!” she replied the smoke drifting off with the breeze.

“I know, I know, I sat there with mum and not planning to, but we had couple of bottles of wine.”

Karen tutted, “Its unlike you to drink on a ‘school night’!

Laura rolled her eyes “Tell me about it. All I know is this is like my third coffee and second mars bar of the day and they are still not working!” she grinned.

Karen snorted and flicked her ash. “How is your mum coping?”

“As well as one can with wine and cigarettes!” Laura responded.

“Is she okay?”

A smiled crept across Laura’s face “Well she has said that she might buy me a house!” she grinned.

“Oh wow, congratulations why didn’t you say before?”

Laura shrugged her shoulders and looked down at the floor and manicured her cigarette on the edge of the bench before looking up again “I don’t know what to think really. Mum has said she will be busy today ringing up estate agents booking viewings.”

“Is it her distraction, her mission for a bit?

Laura sighed “I guess so” she glanced over Karen’s shoulder and squinted before taking one last drag on her cigarette. “Anyway, Matt is pacing up the hallways, we better get back in.” she said in her cloud of exhaled smoke.

“Oh, if we must…” Karen sighed as she stood up and stubbed her cigarette out on the grey ashtray on the wall.

Laura rolled her eyes “Yeah, I guess we do…” as she got up and followed suit.

Chapter 7 Home Hunting

Trisha sniffed the air as Laura sauntered into the spacious cream painted living room carefully carrying her large glass of red wine, her nipples were hard against her white vest tank top, her bra was long gone, removed as soon as she got changed when she had got home from work, Laura smiled across the room at Trisha who was she sat on the comfy chair beside a burgundy feature wall watching the large television in the other corner.

“Sorry I was late home and thank you for putting my dinner in the bottom oven, and I have now got the dishes done and Mum, thanks again for tea” she stated and smiled shook her head knowingly at the glass ashtray now located on the coffee table in front of them.

“Thank you, I will miss your help you know that!” she said as she glanced away from the screen and at Laura for a second and before refocusing on the screen in the corner.

“I haven’t gone anywhere yet mum, we might not find anything!” Laura stated as she coughed to clear her throat as she settled herself in to the chair and tucked her legs up under her bum.

Trisha smiled as she looked back at Laura and enthusiastically rubbed her hands together “I know, but the house hunting with you is going to be exciting.”

“Mum just how many houses have you lined up this weekend?” Laura asked and then gulped some of her wine.

Trisha lips parted as she beamed “Oh, not that many…” “Muuuum?” Laura glared as she fidgeted in her seat.

Trisha smiled again “Honestly not many, I have only got a couple more estate agents to talk to tomorrow.”

Laura raised an eyebrow “Should I see if I can get Friday off?” She asked as she held her wine glass in both hands just under her chin.

“Oh, if you can, that would be good, as I think I have run out room on Saturday, and I can’t get viewings on Sunday morning.”

Laura brought the glass to her lips a gulped loudly as she looked across at Trisha. “Oh, I am not sure this is going to be fun?” she asked with her eyebrow raised.

“It is, and it will be, oh Law, did you bring your ciggies with you?”

“Er, no, I was being good, and they are by the back door. As I’ve just had one after food.”

Trisha nodded and again sniffed the air and looked at Laura as a small smile crept across her face “Hmm, I thought so” and she glanced to her right and put her hand down beside the chair and pulled up a pack of Marlboro Lights and a purple Bic lighter. “But it’s okay,” she smiled “as I got us this pack this afternoon.” she beamed as she flipped open the lid with evidence of two cigarettes already missing and pulled the cylinder out between her painted nails.

Laura beamed “Are you sure Mum? It’s certainly warmer and more comfortable in here than on the back patio!”

Trisha focused her eyes on the white cylinder between her lips as she brought the bright flame to her cigarette and exhaled and sighed “Yes Law, it’s very okay, I admit that I practically froze outside when I popped out there this afternoon for one!” and handed the pack across.

Laura chuckled at her mum’s admission and rolled her eyes at her mum in a told you so way “Oh, go on, another one won’t hurt.” Laura grinned as she accepted the pack.

Trisha smirked as she released the pack into Laura’s hand “But I am certainly not forcing you!

Laura laughed hard “Oh, I know you are not, I do this willingly!” she said as she placed the filter between her lips and flicked the lighter.

“Oh, one thing Law, are you seeing Adam again this week? I was sort of expecting him to be with you?”

Laura wiggled her hips in the chair and leaned across and flicked the growing ash on her cigarette into the spotless ashtray. “I don’t know mum, to be honest, I don’t know, but I would have thought so!”

“Hmmm, well I am here if you need to talk.” Trisha stated frowning with concern at her daughter, and then looked at the cigarette burning between her fingers and briefly smiled and placed it back between her lips.

“Thanks mum.” Laura stated and then did the same thing but this time closing her eyes as she inhaled.


Karen and Zoe sat down on the smoking area bench and once they had fought their legs and they secured them underneath then swiftly lit their cigarettes,

“Morning Law, not hungover this morning?” Karen grinned, before taking another hit.

“Eh, no! I am not a bleeding alcoholic!” Law grinned as she manicured her ash on the edge of the bench and placed the cigarette back between her lips.

“We believe you! How are things going with Mr Henderson?” The petite brunette Zoe asked as she tilted her head and inhaled on her cigarette. “We heard the fraught conversation down the hallway.” She said holding the smoke in her lungs before exhaling.

“Ohhhh, not too bad, he was particularly grumpy this morning, but I feel that I should get the Alior project into a win.”

“That does sound good, but hell this week is dragging; I can’t wait until Friday again.” Karen stated.

Laura smiled and nodded her head “I’ve managed to book Friday off!” she declared.

“Ooh going anywhere nice?” Zoe asked.

Laura laughed “If you call the estate agents fun!” she sheepishly grinned. “Mum has gone bananas on house hunting, think we are seeing every house for sale in town!”

Zoe exhaled another cone and grinned “Oh wow that is so exciting isn’t it! I am so jealous!” she grinned.

“What does Adam think?” Karen asked.

Laura grimaced and gulped “I am not sure; I haven’t really told him, he knows we are looking.”

Zoe straightened her head and looked aghast “Don’t you think he should be involved?”

“I think this is mum’s project, I am just going along with it!” Laura mused and then took a deep long drag on her cigarette. “It keeps her busy during the day and then happy in the evening showing me hundreds of houses on the laptop!” she smiled and exhaled.


Laura topped up her wine glass in the kitchen and sauntered into the living room carefully carrying her precious cargo.

Trisha smiled as she looked up over her reading glasses as she sat in the from the laptop perched between her half empty glass of wine glass and recently installed ashtray on the corner of the coffee table.

“Law, what do you think about this house?” she asked as she shuffled back into the armchair leaving the screen clear for Laura to look at it.

Laura leant forward and smiled as she saw the pack beside the ashtray and pulled a cigarette out and put it between her lips, and with a couple of gentle pulls she got it alight as she exhaled, she tucked her escaped blonde bang back behind her ear and then focused and studied the screen. She glanced at the cigarette between her finger and knocked some of the freshly growing ash off, before looking back at the screen.

“I don’t know mum; you have shown me so many of these now!” She frowned as she sat back on the chair and took a deep drag on her cigarette.

“Shall I see tomorrow if we can add it to the list on Friday?”

Laura nodded and briefly closed her eyes as she pulled on her cigarette. She opened one eye and looked at her mum before exhaling. “Yeah mum, if you want to!”

Trisha picked up her wine glass and took a satisfactory gulp. “Excellent Law, we are going to have so much fun!”

Chapter 8 Got it

Laura sighed as she leant over and placed her large full wine glass on the outside pub table and then sat down opposite Trisha on a pub bench tucking her blonde hair behind her ears as she then rummaged in her bag and dealt out as if they were playing cards an array of house fliers placing her Marlboro lights pack on top. She also arranged the metal pub ashtray and her glass of wine on top of them to stop of the wind blowing them away and extracted a cigarette from her pack and turned the pack to Trisha who smiled at her daughter shrugged her shoulders and gratefully accepted one.

“Thanks for the wine mum, I am shattered, I don’t think I have walked this far in ages!” Laura stuck her tongue out and panted like a dog before placing her cigarette between her lips and with a couple of deep drags got it lit.

“We have just seen like fifteen houses this weekend, Law you are allowed to be knackered, I know I am!” Trisha grinned.

“They are all merging into one.” Laura frowned before bringing the filter back to in front of her lips.

“I know it’s a head screw isn’t it!”

Laura nodded “We have practically walked half of the town!” she grimaced then put the filter between her lips and drew on it again.

“What you need Law is more walking stamina, you need to think of your dad and his long legs marching us across the downs!” Trisha scolded as she too inhaled on her cigarette.

Laura smiled and rolled her eyes as she let another cone of smoke out, “Maybe later…anyway houses, it is so difficult mum, all the houses blur into one and they

all have pro’s and con’s” she looked up the sky and dragged on her now lit cigarette; she exhaled a cone and swore under her breath put her head in her hands to think, as the smoke from her cigarette was drifting around above her hair.

Trisha gently coughed a reminder and Laura looked up “Law, it’s like an episode of ‘Location, Location, Location’ she smiled as she finally placed the cigarette between her lips leaned forward and accepted the flame from now focused Laura.

Laura smiled as she looked up as she placed the lighter down on top of another flier and trimmed her growing ash in the ashtray above the two bedrooms semi- detached house fliers “Yeah, accept we don’t have, what’s her name? Oh, Kirsty Allsop to harass the agent and do the deal for us!” she grinned and dragged again.

“I can try and do an impersonation!” Trisha grinned as she sat up and her chest rose as she inhaled the smoke into her lungs.

Laura happily giggled at her mum impersonating the large, framed women and then took a gulp of her wine and sighed again. “I don’t know” she mused “I do rather like that one; it’s close to the pub and Tesco.” She stated and lazily dragged on her cigarette.

“Remember you have also got the Chinese takeaway nearby with that one.” Trisha mooted and pointed at the house.

“Well, that sounds ideal also that one is done up, we won’t need to do any work to it, the kitchen is nice, and it’s only got a tiny garden and a bit of patio.” Laura mused and dragged again.

“What did the agent call it? Low maintenance…it does sound ideal; I still need to mow our lawn; your dad never did get aro…anyway…the price…it’s in your budget.” Trisha stated looking on as thoughts crossed Laura’s head, “the agent did say others will look at it this on Monday morning unless we put an offer in on it.”

“Oh, I don’t know Mum, what would Adam think of this house?” she asked showing the flier “Should I check with him?”

Trisha inhaled on her cigarette as she shrugged her shoulders “Darling it’s very much up to you? Seeing as he hasn’t been around much recently…” she stated with her exhale.

Laura nodded and trimmed her ash as she thought “Sod it, it’s our, I mean will be my house, not his! I should do this shouldn’t I?” she smiled and then took another drag.

Trisha smiled fondly at her daughter. “That’s good; it will be your decision darling.”

“But mum, if you don’t mind mum, my first decision will be what burger to choose for our late lunch; I don’t want too much of this rather nice wine on an empty stomach!” Laura grinned, took a large gulp of her wine, licked her lips and then with her cigarette replaced in the corner of her mouth she picked up and studied the menu as her exhaled smoke drifted out of her nose.

“Sure, it will be my treat; the salad they do here is lovely!” Trisha raised her eyebrows smiled at her daughter hidden behind the menu and took a final drag on her cigarette before stubbing it out as she exhaled out the corner of her mouth.


After the food the late afternoon progressed, and sun moved across the sky as the wine glasses emptied and refilled as circular as the conversation and contents of Laura’s pack slowly diminished as cigarettes burned between fingers and lips as the discussion flowed and the fliers where shuffled and reshuffled.

Laura held her skirt tight to her thighs as she sat back down again opposite Trisha. “Okay?” Trisha asked as she moved the refilled wine glass closer to herself.

“Oh yes feeling much better for that!” she grinned as she picked up the filled glass and had another gulp.

“So, have you made a decision? Or shall we go home and have a nice cup of tea?” Trisha asked. “I think that’s probably the best idea.”

Laura wavered her head in confusion “Oh, I don’t know mum, I do like this one?” She stated and picked up the flier and pointed at the house.

“Yes dear, that is the one a few doors down from the Chinese?” Trisha sniffed a chuckle as she shook and then pulled a new cigarette out the pack they were sharing.

“Maybe…” Laura smiled at her mum.

Trisha lit her cigarette and exhaled, “If you like it, put an offer in, if it’s too low, they will only refuse.”

Laura alternated a gulp of wine with hit on her current cigarette, exhaled up into the blue sky and then looked at her mum and nodded. “Let’s me go inside for a pee, then let’s do this!”


“Thank you so much!” Laura smiled and put down her phone she grinned at Trisha “Oh shit mum, I’ve only gone and done it, I’ve bought a house!” Laura giggled “they actually accepted our offer! I am all giddy.” she smiled and instantly pulled a fresh cigarette out of the pack on the table and lit it and as she exhaled, she watched as Trisha topped up both wine glasses.

“You didn’t need Kirsty after all, you did it yourself! Well done Law! Cheers” Trisha offered her glass and they clinked together.

“Hell, wow what a feeling, thank you mum for helping me with this. So, what do we do now?” Laura asked with panic etched on her face.

“There is nothing we can do today; well done you, but we will need to talk to Jeremy, the lawyer, on Monday!”

Laura nodded enthusiastically “Goody, it means I can enjoy the rest of this glass and celebrate tonight!” Laura smiled and extracted another cigarette from the pack in front of her placing the filter between her lips.

Trisha twisted her lips “Yeah Law, perhaps not too much enjoyment, as you were seeing the girls or Adam later?”

“Probably the girls, Adam doesn’t like me this drunk and I’m probably stinking of my cigarettes.” Laura inhaled on her cigarette with a snap inhale and then exhaled her cone out to the side and studied Trisha’s face and smiled.

Trisha laughed “It’s probably not the best look. But you have always smoked around him?”

“Yeah, I know, but he keeps complaining!”

“It is your life; maybe, just maybe you will be happier without him?” Trisha grinned and swirled her wine and took a sip.

Laura twisted her lips together “I think I still love him mum, at least I love the sex…” she giggled tipsily “I will be absolutely fine Mum. Just after this last glass I will call the girls.” She held it up triumphantly and took a large mouthful of wine and gulped, then licked her lips “I am just super excited about owning my own home!” She tried to show confidence as a worry crept across her face before she looked at her hand with the cigarette burning it, and instantly placed the filter back between them again.

“Law, if you are sure?” Trisha asked sternly. “Your relaxed already, I know I am.” She giggled.

“I am absolutely fine, I am sure the girls are out in a bit, I might text them!”

Trisha looked sternly across at Laura “Maybe, even if they are, we should go home and have a cup of tea after this one?”

Laura twisted her face up and took a short drag on her cigarette before reluctantly nodding as she exhaled “Yeah mum, good idea but I do think we need to go via the little Tesco’s!” she smiled then frowned after flicking her cigarette to remove the ash.


Laura frowned as she turned the pack and showed her mum the pack with just two remaining cigarettes in it.

Trisha shrugged her shoulders and grinned at Laura “At least those two will get us there!” she smiled to herself as picked up her wine glass.

“Mum!” Laura glared.

Trisha smiled, shrugged her shoulders before she again inhaled deeply on her remaining cigarette, tilted her head and exhaled before looking across the table “Well, Law we will need some for when we get home!” she grinned.

“Then maybe we can pick up a bottle of bubbles to celebrate?” Laura beamed. Trisha chuckled, rolled her eyes and grinned.

Chapter 9 Goodbye

“Hey Ad, great to see you!” Laura smiled as she opened the door and soon, he had his arms around her waist squeezing her soft middle tightly as such she was practically lifted tiptoes as he ran his cold hands inside the hem of her jeans and down against her buttocks squeezing her chest again his as he kissed her and shuffled forwards.

“Sorry I was late, you know…work was manic as expected.” he frowned and then looked down at her face brushing a hair that was stuck on her lips, they smiled, and she then lent forward and kissed him again.

“So, you, coming in?” she grinned.

Adam nodded and followed craning his neck around, “Is your mum in?” he asked as looked over her shoulder as he followed her to the kitchen.

Laura turned and laughed “No. She is at a Parish get together or something really interesting and exciting, but for her it’s the first time she has been properly out since…”

“Goody!” Adam pulled her in for a tight hug before she could finish her sentence unbuttoning her work trousers and pulling them down her thighs in one practiced movement as they kiss and made their way backwards into the house.

“Oh Ad, I love this, but please stop!” Laura said rather muffled between kisses.

“Oh, why do you need a wee?” He asked as they collided with the stairs and the kiss broke.

Laura scowled “Please Ad, no, not now Ad, I don’t, anyway we need to talk first!” she said gently pushing him off her and with a huff she wiggled her bottom and pulled her trousers back up and sucked her belly in and did the clip and button back up as Adam stood there with a frown as he pulled a puppy dog face.

They made a cup of coffee in the almost uncomfortable silence of each other and made their way to the lounge. Adam tutted as he looked down at the open pack of cigarettes on the coffee table and the half a dozen butts in the ashtray.

“After all these years, your mum had finally letting you smoke indoors now?”

Laura nodded almost apologetically “Yeah mum has, well Dad can’t complain any more, and hey, why should both of us sit outside, as its far warmer for both of us in here in the evenings!” she grinned as she gulped her coffee.

They sat there on the sofa in almost silence, thigh to thigh looking occasionally looking at each other deeply into their eyes, they put their mugs down as held hands and locked together, they grinned, bit their bottom lip and both took a deep breath “I’ve got some exciting news for you!” they said in unison and then burst into a fit of giggles.

“No, you go first!” they then said in unison and then laughed again she naturally glanced down at the pack on the table, and then nervously wiggled her thigh closer to Adam and then looked back up at him.

“Ladies first.” He stated and picked up his coffee and took a gulp before being overly tactile and running his hand up her thigh again.

“Are you sure? Yours is probably far more important.” She grinned again.

“No go on, what is the news?”

Laura leaned forward and fiddled with her cigarette pack before picking up her coffee and took a gulp. Before putting the mug back down. She licked her lips “Well…you will never guess what?”

“What?” Simon took a sip of his coffee.

“Well…” she paused for effect “…you know I was busy last weekend…well my mum has now bought me a house!” she smiled widely in a Wallace from Wallace and Gromit grin.

“What? Oh, wow that’s amazing, When?” “Err, last weekend…that’s why I was busy…”

Adam looked confused “Oh, okay,” he frowned “So, where is this mystery house?” He asked in a deflated way.

“Near Chard Terrace, around the corner for the Hong Kong house.” Adam nodded, half-heartedly smiled, and winced, “Oh”.

Laura’s wide smile quickly disintegrated to a concerned frown on her face, again she flicked her eyes down the open pack of cigarettes before shuffling in the chair. “I thought you would be happy for me. So, Ad, what is your important news?”

Adam wiggled and sat up straighter in the chair and then leaned a little forward putting his coffee down, “Well, what I thought was good news for me, for us…is, not that it’s important any more…is that I’ve got a promotion.”

“Oh cool, that’s so good, I am really proud of you.” She caressed his leg and leaned in for a kiss and a hug.

Once she had finished hugging him, he grimaced “Yeah Law, but…” A confusion cross Laura’s brow as she sat back in the chair “Oh?”

Adam slowly nodded “Yeah Law, it’s at the other factory in…Newcastle…I thought we could….”

Laura looked quizzically at him “Ad, have you taken it?” she asked and as he nodded, she turned and leaned her weight forward and between her nails pulled a cigarette out of the open pack on the table in front of her and placed the filter between her lips.

Chapter 10 Moving On

The autumn red leaf swirled in the wind and gently drifted down from the tree on the street and landed on the large cardboard box that Laura was carrying up a short driveway.

Trisha followed Laura carrying and equally large cardboard box and they both placed them gently down on the tatty brown carpet in the completely empty living room. She smiled as she looked out the curtain free window the large white van parked on the driveway.

“Law” she stated as she straightened her back and looked back at the collection of boxes “I know we have just started but I think it’s time for a quick break!”

Laura smiled “Mum I thought you would never ask, but Mum, if you want a cigarette, don’t wait for me!” she grinned as she instantly pulled the pack of cigarettes out of her loose-fitting grey jogging bottoms, flipped open the lid and

pulled two cigarettes out offering one to her mum and then rummaged again to retrieve the lighter.

“Law I promise not to wait!” Trisha grinned as she placed the filter between her lips.

Laura smiled at her mum and then pulled hard on her cigarette, exhaling out the side of her mouth as she did. “That’s good!” As she flicked the lighter and Trisha came closer and accepted the flame.

Trisha nodded as she dragged on her cigarette, exhaled, and looked around “Christ, I can remember the stress of moving into our house.” She mused “We had just had you and moved from your dad’s tiny Batcheler pad flat above the chippy on high street.” So, I had child stress, and house stress all combined. It was painful. You were teething so constantly needing attention. Your dad was stressed so needed my attention, hell!” she frowned and took another drag.

Laura turned her bottom lip upside down. “Sorry mum!” she sniffed a chuckle.

Trisha laughed and waved her hand dismissively “God, you were one, what could you do! It was our fault for trying to move with you so young, but we were quickly growing out of that one bedroom flat, we needed to get out.”

“Oh!” Laura rolled her eyes.

“I think this is much easier; we don’t have to give the keys back the rental agency at two, we had to sprint across town back and forth in a clapped-out transit!” she grinned as the memory’s past across her forehead. The smoke was swiftly drifting off the end of both cigarettes as they both instantly pulled hard on the burning cigarettes. She frowned “But rather than house keys, we need to get the van back by four.” Trisha stated with her exhale. “We’ve got to get the kitchen and living room stuff in, now haven’t we?” She asked and took yet another hit.

“Yes, mum we have, then after that its, just the bed to get up the stairs and the wardrobe.” Laura stated as she squatted down beside a box with Kitchen written on it down and opened a box and smiled as she picked up the kettle, two mugs and a glass to use as an ashtray and flicked the ash into the glass, before dangling the cigarette as she handed the glass to her mum and carrying the kettle and mugs.

“Great, I brought some milk with me; we’ve got time for a cup of tea!” Trisha smiled as she headed towards the kitchen walking on the threadbare carpet.

“There is always time for a tea and a cigarette!” Laura grinned “I still can’t believe I am doing this,” she smiled brightly looking around her house before taking another drag. “I have got my own house.”

“I am really pleased that we are doing it!” Trisha grinned. “Bit of positivity!”

Laura nodded as she dragged “Definitely!” she smiled as she exhaled before Trisha looked concerned at Laura at the sink.

“Hang on Law, just let the water run for a second…we don’t know how long the water has been in the tap!” Trisha scolded as she held the kettle up to the tap.

“Oh, yes sorry mum!” Laura mumbled through her cigarette as she emptied the kettle back into the sink.

Trisha shook her head and flicked her cigarette above the glass on the counter and folded her hand across her chest. “It will be fine now.” As Laura dutifully filled the kettle again.


Laura sighed and lifted up wiped her forehead with her top leaving the dust and sweat marks on the bottom third as she dropped it again “Mum, I think I’m done!” she grinned as they moved back into the living room full of empty boxes and instantly placed her cigarette between her lips. “I am gagging for a lovely glass of wine and a ciggy!” She grinned as she sheltered the cigarette and flicked the lighter and inhaled deeply.

She exhaled and passed the lighter to Trisha who followed suit in lighting up. The smoke drifting up from the burning ends creating a smoky shadow against the bare wall from the single lightbulb in the ceiling.

“Well Law, before we open the wine, I will need to get the empty van back first!” she grinned and flicked the ash into the now very full glass of butts and ash in the middle on the room.

“I will make sure I get the wine in the fridge!” Laura grinned and then placed the filter back between her lips.

Chapter 11 Baby it’s cold outside.

Laura shivered and then sheltered her cigarette from the whisking autumnal wind circulating the smoking area outside her office. She flicked the lighter twice to get it into flame before her cheeks collapsed twice as she pulled hard to get the warm smoke into her waiting lungs.

She dropped the lighter into her handbag as she exhaled and turned to look at Karen as she lit her cigarette.

“So Kaz” she continued speaking with her exhale “You are coming over to see the house tonight?”

“Oh Law, it’s a school night?” Karen grinned as she manicured her ash on the edge of the bench and placed the filter back between her lips and inhaled again.

“Yeah and?” Laura grinned “I am sure Zoe will be up for it?”

Karen winced “Maybe on Friday it would be better, we could come around to yours then go out on the town?” she asked and then tilted her head back as she her cheeks collapsed around her cigarette.

Laura nodded and chewed the inside of her mouth as she thought before taking another deep drag. “Maybe you are right. I do have got some more boxes to unpack.”

Karen smiled and waved over Laura’s shoulder as Zoe hustled along the path towards the benches wrapped up in a bright red woolly hat and brown winter coat, cigarette already between her lips. She sat down on the edge of the bench and promptly lit her cigarette as she exhaled, she shuffled along the bench and got her feet underneath.

“Hey, you two” she smiled and took another desperate drag. “How’s your new place?” Zoe asked with her exhale.

Laura smiled “It’s great, amazing I am so happy with it, but I just ran out of time unpacking, it’s still upside down and back to front. I sat last night without the telly with a wall of boxes, think they could see them from space, if I see another full cardboard box, I think I might kill it!” she giggled, and the others politely laughed as she manicured her cigarette and took another drag.

“Laura has kindly invited us over on Friday night for a drink or two!” Karen grinned.

“Excellent count me in!” Zoe said as her latest desperate lungful of smoke drifted out her mouth.

Laura shrugged her shoulders widening her eyes flashing her whites of eyes against the grey sky, “I guess we’ve got ourselves a party then!”


Laura bit her bottom lip as topped up again her glass of wine and took a gulp before sitting back down and pensively looked at the time on the phone. She stretched her light feeling head from side to side as she thought for a moment before agreeing with herself by pulling the filter out of the pack in front of her and placing it between her lips. Her cheeks soon collapsed as she lit the cigarette and pulled the smoke in to her waiting lungs.

The exhale was a forced cone out in front of her mouth as she picked up the wine glass took another gulp before studying her phone again. She looked across and manicured her cigarette and looked up with an uncertain smile and grinned as there were three louds knocks on the front door. She put her cigarette in the ashtray on the middle of the kitchen table that she had got from the charity shop when she bought the table, sofa and chairs as she headed off towards the hallway. She pulled her black shirt a little down her over her hips and then rubbed her sweaty palms on the skirt before opening the door.

“Hey, you two!” she smiled and gave Zoe and Karen each a hug as they came down the hallway, she pointed them off to the left to go into the lounge. “Anyone want a drink?”

“Hell yeah!” Zoe replied as she followed Karen into the lounge.

“Wow, the place is amazing! You are so lucky.” Karen stated as she stood and spun around the small living room.

Laura shrugged “I like it, is white okay?” she grinned hopefully as she made her way back into the kitchen retrieving the burning cigarette in the process.

“That will be great!” Karen called out from the living room as Laura stood in the kitchen dragging hard on her cigarette.

She exhaled and stubbed the cigarette out, “Good, I will get the menu out for the Chinese too.” Laura grinned as she turned and opened the fridge and quickly poured the wine.

“I am so jealous; your place is amazing!” Zoe stated.

Laura handed the Chinese menu she had picked up earlier in the week to Karen. “I am happy with it, right choose away, and then we can go out to town afterwards.


The house was again silent, it had been hours since Zoe and Karen had left and Laura staggered back down the stairs just wearing her blue satin knickers, she flumped down on the sofa and groaned as she reached across and pulled a cigarette out of the nearly empty pack, and after a couple of unsteady flicks she brought the lighter to the cylinder protruding between her lips and dragged twice once to get it alight and a second time to deeply inhale. She dropped the lighter on the occasional table beside her and as she exhaled a cone up to the ceiling, she tucked her legs up under her bottom she picked up her large wine glass and took another gulp and smiled as she took in her own living room, she felt happy and balanced with life on her own, with her glass of wine in one hand and cigarette in the other.

Across town Trisha tucked her feet up under her satin pyjama bottoms, picked up another mug of steaming decaf tea, and took a sip, she flicked off the television put down her mug and pulled out a cigarette, she picked up her pink Bic lighter. She concentrated as the flame struck the end of the cigarette and took a deep drag, just has she had done countless times that evening, she exhaled the smoke leaned forward placing the lighter back on the table and picked up her mug. She was happy sitting there with her mug of tea in one hand, and the burning cigarette in the other.

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