Caramel Cigarettes [Tenth Addition]

I got your back if you still need to catch up!

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

There’s a lot here, so enjoy!

– Dahv

 

Jacqueline let me sleep in the next morning. I woke up to the sound of the shower from down the hall.

Rolling onto my back, I looked up to find plastic stars and planets glued to the ceiling. I hadn’t changed out of my outfit. My bra straps, loose and twisted, hung past my shoulders; my capris had fallen past my ass in the middle of the night. Lying there as my belt buckle dug into my midriff, I heard a phone vibrate. My phone, which had been thrown and kicked off to the edge of the bed, was still off. Rolling back onto my stomach, I found Jacqueline’s phone – screen lit up – on her bedside table. She had a new text from a number not accompanied with a contact name:

“Are you seriously gonna ignore me?”

I went to slide the green cursor on her screen to unlock her phone, when I heard the shower turn off.

Leaving the phone untouched, I retrieved my own phone. There were two more unread messages from Nicky. Phone back in pocket, I got up from the bed and fixed my pants. Jacqueline’s phone vibrated again before she came back into the room. Her hair was wrapped in a towel – turban style – and she was wearing a blue bathrobe. She had glasses on; the lenses were square and spotted with water droplets.

“Did I wake you up?” She asked. Her voice cracked with an out of tune whine.

“No.” I sat on the edge of the bed. “You wear glasses?”

She giggled. “Oh yeah,” she sounded embarrassed as she took them off and rubbed the lens’ clean with her sleeve. “You usually see me in contacts. Sorry.”

I felt my phone vibrate.

She unwrapped her towel. Her hair – each strand thick and curly – fell and a waft of strawberry filled the space between us. She brought her glasses up to her face and blinked twice before putting them on. Her phone vibrated again. Eyes shifted towards the table, her left eyebrow rose.

“Someone texted you when you were showering.”

She shifted her eyes back on me, but kept her eyebrow up. “Who?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t know.” I felt my phone vibrate. Cool sensations dropped to my stomach. I didn’t know whom texted her, but I knew what they had said. The thought of Jacqueline looking at my messages made my palms sweat. The thought of Jacqueline knowing my thoughts about Nicky made me nauseous.

“I brought your bag up to the bathroom this morning.” She tousled her hair with the towel. “Everything you need should be in there,” she said with a smile.

In the bathroom, I checked my messages. Thumbs levitating over the touch-screen keyboard, I thought of a response to her fifth: “can we talk?”

My phone vibrated once more. This time, she was calling me. My hands started to sweat. I tapped the ignore button and returned to the conversation. She called me again. I placed the phone on the vanity and ran the faucet; the vibrating grew louder as it shook against the porcelain. I hit ignore again. Pants dropped to ankles, I wobbled to the shower and turned the dial. The showerhead squeaked. My phone vibrated again. This time I answered.

“Yes?”

There was a knock on the bathroom door. “Kell?”

I staggered towards the knob and locked it. Phone to my chest I mumbled, “mhm?”

“I’m about to make some coffee. You want some right?”

My heart pounded, kicked and hammered like it was being pinned to its porcelain cage. Leaning in, I pressed my nose against the door. Picturing it as her face, I said, “oh yes,” before lightly kissing it.

I heard her walk down the hall. She yelled, “cream and sugar?” Her voice trailed off as she reached the staircase.

“You know it,” I yelled back; nose and lips still pressed against wood.

“Hello? Kell?” Nicky’s voice murmured against my chest.

I brought the phone up to my ear. “What’s up?”

“Are you on campus?”

I sighed. “I will be soon.”

“Were you not last night?” She cleared her throat. “I texted you.”

“I know. I was about to text you back, but you called.”

“I called like three times, Kell.” She snapped. Her tone lowered and grew raspy. “I want things to be cool between us and they can’t be if you’re gonna ignore me.”

I turned off the sink. “I don’t know what you want me to say.” The mirror, foggy from the shower’s steam, made me think of Jacqueline’s glasses. “I was busy.”

There was a moment of silence. I could hear Nicky breathing on the other line. She drew in big breaths like she was sucking on something. I wondered if she was smoking.

“You’re not mad right?”

I recalled our coffee line conversation from the previous morning, and how she claimed to not liking me after teasing me, touching me, molding me in and out of hugs. Thinking of kissing her, I felt cool metal, biting down on my own lip. The idea that her actions were merely a punch line to our awkward friendship to come made my stomach twist.

“Why would I be mad at you?”

Nicky chuckled and inhaled deeply once more. “You must be if you’re asking me that.”

 

On Tuesday, Nicky and I had an exam in Chemistry. She nabbed the desk next to mine, mumbling formulas to herself. While looking up at the ceiling, she tapped each of her fingers simultaneously against her desk like she was trying to count. Wearing a mini skirt, she sat with her legs open. There were metal spikes protruding from the back of her heeled boots. Her shirt, ripped horizontally along her ribcage and long-sleeved, matched her hair. Professor Wilkins handed us the exams first. Once he walked by, Nicky pulled up her right sleeve. Along her forearm, scribbled in permanent marker, was Avogadro’s number.

We made eye contact.

Nicky brought her finger to her lips and winked at me; loose mascara flakes dusted beneath her eye. Professor Wilkins looped back to the front of the classroom, and Nicky flattened her arm on the desk. I returned my attention to my own desk and started the test. To avoid any post-test chitchat, I took the exam quickly. The first two pages of questions were multiple choice. While answering one question, I would look ahead. Most of my circles missed the answers; my essays were nothing far from chicken scratch. Before handing in my test, I looked up from my desk. Nicky was gone.

I looked at the door, which was open a crack. Framed by the door’s window: Nicky’s head resting on the wall. Her tongue was twiddling her lip ring. I opened my legs to find my cell phone – screen lit – notifying me of a text from Jacqueline: “Hope test goes well. I’ll meet you outside your class.” I grabbed my bag off of the floor and threw my phone into the front compartment.

“All done, Kelly?” Professor Wilkins approached my desk.

I stood up and nodded. Nicky was still in the hallway. “I’ll see you Friday.”

“How’d it go?” Nicky asked when I came out into the hall.

“Good, good.” I unzipped the front compartment of my bag.

Jacqueline had texted me again: “I’m on my way.”

She rolled her skirt’s hem up and then down. “You want to get lunch?”

More students, coming from classrooms or different floors, populated the hall. I clenched my jaw at the sound of a door opening, wondering if Jacqueline would be walking in next. “I can’t.”

Nicky puckered her lips, pressing down on her piercing. “I’m around all weekend.” She stepped beside me and said, “in case you do,” before heading to the stairs.

As she went to push the door, Jacqueline was pulling it open. They smiled and exchanged an “excuse me” before switching places.

Jacqueline greeted me with a hug. I gave her a smirk in return, fearing that a smile would say it all.

 

“Could I maybe sleep over tonight?”

Jacqueline and I were sitting on my floor sharing a plate of fries.

“Here?” I asked, dunking a fry into some ketchup.

She nodded her head and sat back on her hands. “There’s supposed to be a thunderstorm tonight and -”

“And you’re scared of thunder?” I looked at her and chewed. She brought her knees to her chest and looked ahead. “Of course you can.” I pushed the fries out of the way and crawled towards her. She continued to look ahead. “Jacqueline.” I rubbed my knuckles lightly against her outer thigh. Goose bumps marked my touch.

“Sorry,” she turned her head. A strand of hair, thick and wavy, fell over her eye. Depositing the strand behind her ear she said, “I thought you were going to laugh at me.”

“I get to spend another night with you. Why would I laugh at that?”

Jacqueline cast for my hand and hooked me in for a kiss. The kiss was salty and sweet; I just wanted more. I pressed my tongue against hers and let my other hand wander down her thigh.

“Kell,” she pushed my hand before it reached the hem of her shorts. “Can we go back to my place real quick? I need to bring some extra clothes.”

I shook my head and said, “no you don’t,” before nose-diving in for another kiss.

After our kiss broke, she said, “no, really. I do.”

I sat back on my heels, legs tucked under me. “When is your first class?”

“Noon.”

I laughed. “You have enough time to go back and get ready. My first class is at nine-thirty. I’ll wake you up.”

She squinted her eyes. “Oh, you.”

“Besides, you can wear something of mine to bed.” I smiled and raised my eyebrows at her.

Instead of laughing, she leaned in and kissed my forehead. Goose bumps broke out on my neck.

I rummaged around my drawers for an extra outfit, and found two t-shirts and only one pair of green and white striped pajama bottoms.

Handing her a shirt and the bottoms, I said, “I can just wear my boxers to bed.”

Jacqueline gave me the bottoms. “No. You have them.”

“No really, you can -”

Back to me, Jacqueline lowered her shorts. She moved her hips as they shimmied down her thighs. Stepping out of them, she removed her shirt and then unclipped her bra before slipping the t-shirt on. She pivoted towards me. Her tits bounced as she turned. They were perky and filled out the shirt perfectly. Through the layer of dark cotton, I could make out her nipples; they were hard. “This is perfect, Kell.” The dark t-shirt was tight along her torso, looking like chocolate syrup, and loosened by her hips where it drizzled over her thong. She stood with her legs together; her legs, a cone smothered with vanilla ice cream doused in chocolate sauce, topped with two cherries.

“That looks amazing on you.”

She fiddled with the shirt. Lifting it up and down, uncovering and covering her thong. “Yeah?” She peeled her shirt up, past her midriff and folded it beneath her breasts. She tugged down on her thong and bit down on her lip.

I grabbed my red hat off of my dresser. “Put this on.”

“I’ll try to be like you.” She put it on backwards and tucked her thumbs into her thong. Her hipbones protruded out. Her naval piercings accented a crease that ran vertically down her stomach. When she breathed in, her stomach tightened and I could make out her abs. I wanted to touch her stomach to see how hard it was.

“Can I get a picture of you?” I took my phone out of my pocket.

She blushed. “Like this?”

“Would you mind lying down on my bed?”

She collapsed on my bed and lay on her side: one leg on top of the other, head resting in hand. “This good?” She put her other hand on her hip.

I laughed. “I kinda wanted an aerial shot.”

She raised her eyebrows at me in disbelief. “What?” She laid back, arms over her head like a ballerina in fifth position. Her legs, still on top of one another, were tucked in – knees to butt. “You want the hat still on?”

I stood on the bed with my legs apart, Jacqueline between them. “Yeah. Besides,” I said, “it matches your panties.” I winked at her and lifted my phone.

She smirked at me. The tail end of her left eyebrow lifted up. Her eyes were wide; hair, down and wavy, spiraled around her head like the sun. I took the photo. It popped up on my phone. I looked at Jacqueline and then back at the photo. I couldn’t believe she was real.

“What’s this for?”

“For me.” I smiled and squatted down.

“Just for you right?” Her voice lowered.

“If you don’t want me to have it, I can -”

“No,” she touched my arm. “Don’t delete it.” She sat up and rose to her knees. “Just, why did you take it?”

I got onto my knees. We were now at the same level. “I don’t know.”

“Don’t say that, Kell.”

“I can’t have a picture of my girl?”

Jacqueline sat back on her heels and blushed. Her gaze was down. “Oh, hush.”

We made eye contact. Our breathing was harmonized. My heart fluttered. “You wouldn’t mind if I set that picture as my background, right?”

She showed a small smile. “I guess. But why would you wanna do that?”

“For all the times I’m gonna miss you.” I glanced over at my alarm clock. It was 9:30. I had only twelve more hours left with Jacqueline before my morning class. At that moment, I started to miss her. “Like,” I continued, “when I’m in class tomorrow. All I’ll have to do is look at my phone.”

 

Photo Credit 

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