25 March 2004

Story: End of Summer

The first story in the Just Shannon series.  Shannon finds out that she's going to stay with her older brother while her parents go to Europe.  Even though Matt is an easy-going guy, he turns out to be stricter than she'd imagined.  When he finds out she's been smoking, (are you read for this?) he gives her a smoking backside!

End of Summer
by Breanna Carter

My parents stood over me as I sat on the sofa in the living room. “Honey, I know this is hard for you,” Mom said, pacing back and forth while my dad just stood there, hands in his pockets. “But we HAVE to go, I don’t think you understand.”

“Why can’t you take me with you?” I whined, my lower lip still poked out and my arms folded.

“Because we can’t, Shannon,” Dad said, sighing in exasperation.

“I hate you both!” I screamed, standing up and trying to run out of the room, right before my dad caught me by the arm.

“Shannon Kate, you will NOT act this way, okay? Your mother and I have tried to explain to you that we have no choice but to go to Europe and it would not be in your interest to go with us. We’ll be traveling a lot and you’ll be much better off staying with Matt.” Matt is my older brother. What a pest.

“But I don’t WANT to stay with Matt!” I snapped

“I don’t CARE,” Dad snapped back. “We have no choice.”

“Whatever,” I muttered, freeing myself from his grip and stomping off to my room. How come my parents got to spend an entire year in Europe, getting to tour all the cool cities like Rome and Paris and London and Madrid, and I had to stay in boring Connecticut, with my older brother, nonetheless.

I heard a light tap on the door. “Honey?” I heard my mom’s voice. “Please don’t do this. We’d take you with us if we could, but the boss won’t let us... you know that.”

I buried my head in my pillow, hearing her, but not responding.

I heard the door creek open. She sat down on the bed next to where I was lying. “You need to go ahead and pack your bags. Otherwise, your father and I will, and you probably won’t have everything you want..”

“Fine, I’ll pack them. Go away now. Leave me alone.”

I heard her sigh then she walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. What a lousy school year it’d be.

Later that night I was shoving clothes into a huge bag when I decided that I was a bit hungry, because after all, I had been pouting in my room all day, so I headed out of my room, stopping dead in my tracks when I head the voices of my parents.

“Do you think Matt can handle her?” my mom was saying.

“I don’t know, Charlotte, I don’t know..” Dad murmured. “I don’t even know myself how we handle her... I guess cause she’s our baby girl we just haven’t disciplined her like we did the other kids,” the other kids being my older brother, Matt, and my two older sisters who had moved far away years ago. “I guess we should’ve treated her like the rest.”

“I know, but we were so scared,” Mom replied.

Before they had the chance to say anything else I coughed loudly so they’d know I was coming and stomped down the stairs. I was still avoiding them at all costs, so I casually walked past them and headed towards the refrigerator, opening it wide and sticking my head in. There was hardly anything in there. I decided that a sandwich would do and got everything out that I’d need.

“Are you still not talking to us?” Dad asked.

“No.”

I plopped down at the table, taking sip of my Dr. Pepper and cramming the sandwich into my mouth.

Dad didn’t try to persuade me to feel otherwise. He must have known it wouldn’t work. I ate the sandwich then helped myself to an apple, having that same bland look on my face until I decided to go upstairs and finish packing. And after I did that, I went straight to sleep not even bothering to say goodnight. It wasn’t a good night anyway.

*****

Matt lived in Waterbury, about an hour away from Ridgefield, where I my house was. He was 19 years old, about to begin his second year in college and he already had a good job and a decent apartment. He turned out to be a fine young man, or at least that’s what the old ladies at church said when he came to visit every couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love Matt... I was upset when he left me to go to college, I guess because he and I were the closest of any of my siblings. My sisters were close in age, only two years apart, but they were 10 and 12 years older than me, unlike Matt who was only 4 years older. The point is, I love Matt, but I must be envious or something. Everyone always talked about what a great kid he was and there I was, shoved over to the side, the baby in the family who wouldn’t get accepted to Harvard like my oldest sister, wouldn’t get settled into a family like my other sister, wouldn’t go to college and pay for it and my apartment with my own paycheck like Matt. I was just me... Just Shannon.

When we got to Matt’s place, I was still pouting in the back-seat. My parents had tried to talk to me the whole way, but I kept the talking minimal, saying only “yes” or “no” or shrugging my shoulders while I tried to find all the letters in the alphabet on the street signs. Matt was already outside waiting for us with a really hott guy, and when we pulled up, he grinned widely and ran to the car.

“Heyyyyy!” he said excitedly.

“Hey, my boy. How’s it going?” Dad asked.

“It’s going great.” He hugged my dad as he got out of the car, then hugged mom as she got out, then looked at me in the back seat. “Hey, kid sister. Whatcha looking so sour for?”

I rolled my eyes.

“She’s upset that she had to come here instead of going with us to Europe,” Mom said on my behalf.

“Well, of course. I’m upset that you’re not taking ME to Europe! What horrible parents you are!” he said jokingly. I just sat there, unmoved. He opened the back door. “If I may, Miss,” he said in a British accent, holding out his hand to help me out of the car, kind of like you see on movies when the girl is going on a date and the guy is totally romantic.

I suppressed a grin but grabbed onto his hand anyway then helped myself up. “Thanks,” I murmured.

“Need some help with your luggage?” He didn’t wait for my reply, just assumed that I’d want his help and grabbed a couple of bags. “Geeze, what’d you pack in here? You know I have a refrigerator and a washing machine... you didn’t have to bring em along.”

I let out a small laugh and rolled my eyes. “Gahhh, shut up!” I said, punching him in the arm. I told you that I loved Matt... he’d always look out for me and stuff.

We lugged all seven of my bags to Matt’s apartment. I carried two, he carried three, and Dad carried two. His friend offered to help carry, but I just blushed and kept them myself. It was a small, one bedroom apartment and if I told you that it was tidy, well, I’d be lying. He had a futon in the living room, which you could tell had been lived in, and the sheets were all messed up. There was a tv in front of the futon, and a coffee table with tons of magazines on it, and a lamp in the corner. And next to that was the kitchen, which had dishes piled up in the sink and an overflowing trashcan... it was gross to look at. He led me to his bedroom, which was, uh, actually clean. The bed was made and aside from the few clothes strolled around the room, it looked awesome.

“You can sleep in here. I never use this room anyway.”

“Why didn’t you just buy a living room then? I’m sure it’d have been cheaper,” Dad joked.

It wasn’t funny.

“So when you guys decided to go around the world my little sister would have a place to sleep... that’s why I got a bedroom,” he said and winked. We threw the bags down and Matt fixed us something to drink, me still giving my parents the silent treatment.

In time, they finally decided to leave. They were headed to New York City to stay for a night then their plane was heading out early in the morning. Matt walked them to the door, hugging each of them and explaining that he’d miss them, then he looked back at me. “At least tell them bye,” he said.

I shook my head, arms still folded.

“Shannon...” he said in a warning voice, giving me this look that made my stomach churn.

“Fine,” I spat. “Bye.”

Matt sighed and wished them a great trip then shut the door and locked it.

“Kid sis,” he began, “we have a lot to talk about.”

He smacked my leg to motion for me to scoot over a little, and I did, giving him the room to sit on the futon with me. “What do we have to talk about? We’re just staying together for like nine months, then things’ll be back to normal.”

He flopped down next to me. “I doubt things will ever go back to normal. Shannon, you’ve gotta change this attitude you’ve got.”

“What attitude?” I said, glaring at him.

“THAT attitude. I know Mom and Dad let it go, but I’m not going to put up with it, okay? Keep it up, kiddo, and you’ll be sorry. Catch my drift?”

I didn’t really catch it but I nodded anyway. “Okay, fine, whatever...” I then stood up. “I’m going to go out walking for a bit, say hey to a few friends. Be back later.”

I walked to the door, placed my hand on the door handle, then Matt spoke. “Geeze, you COULD ask me, ya know.”

“Fine, fine. Matthew, my sweetest dearest big brother, is it okay with you, your majesty, if I go out walking around?” I asked sarcastically.

He sighed. “Yes, dearest little sister. Go on. Don’t stay out too long.”

I rolled my eyes at him again and hopped outside. It was such a nice day, except it was a bit warmer than I’d have liked it to be. I sat out on the stairs, saying good-bye to summer and greeting the new school year that I was definitely not looking forward to. I didn’t know many people around, though I knew some kids in the apartment complex, simply because I’d spent some of the summer with Matt when my parents got too irritated to keep me at home for a week, well, that’s not what they said, but it was implied. I was just upset because I didn’t want to start a new school that I’d only be going to for a year, even if my friends were only an hours drive away and soon, I’d be able to drive and see them, so it wasn’t really as bad as I was making it out to be.

“Shannon!” I heard a female voice squeal. “Oh my gosh!! So the rumors are true? You’re staying the school year with that hunk big brother of yours and going to school with us?”

I grinned. It was my favorite person in Waterbury, Lisa. She hugged me tightly then sat down beside me, her two friends standing in front of us.

“Guys, this is Shannon from Ridgefield. She’s Matt’s little sister. She’s staying here, aren’t you?”

“Yeah. Parents going to Europe. Lucky me.”

“Shannon, this is Jen and Erik.” I smiled at each of them, Jen looking a little younger than I with glistening auburn hair and deep blue eyes, kind of pudgy but cute as a button. Erik was just the opposite, tall and lanky, brown hair, brown eyes... but I admit, he was very handsome. He looked older than me.

“Hey,” I said in a weak voice.

“So what are you doing? Just sitting out here all alone, waiting for time to pass by?”

I nodded. “I guess so. I’m sulking, hah.”

Lisa giggled. “Well, come sulk with us! We’re going to go down to the pool and smoke a few. Want to join us?”

Something about Lisa struck me as wild and vivacious. She was only 13 but was always trying to do grownup things, use words that grownups use. Like “smoke a few.” Clearly, she meant cigarettes, but if I hadn’t have known her, I’d have sworn she was talking about smoking joints.

“Sure,” I said, happy that there was finally something to take my mind off of this whole moving situation.

“This is so great that you’re going to be here.”

“How’d you find out anyway?” I asked.

“Well, Jen’s older brother is friends with Matt who was talking about how his sister was going to come and stay with him and Jen overheard her brother, Jacob, talking to Matt who was talking about you and she told me and... well yeah, you get it?”

I groaned. Matt, talking about me? Geeze, what has the world come to when my brother has to talk about me. “Yeah, I guess.”

She swung open the gate to the swimming pool. “Anyways, this is so great. When you get your license will you drive me around? And will you be like my big sister?”

I grinned. “Sure thing.”

She giggled and looked at Jen. “Isn’t that awesome!” she asked.

“Sure is,” Jen agreed.

I figured that Jen was just like Lisa, except she was definitely more shy around strangers. Erik, on the other hand, didn’t seem to talk at all.

Lisa plopped down on the hot concrete and slipped her flip-flops off, sticking her feet into the water. Erik pulled out a package of cigarettes and Lisa explained, “Erik’s 15, too. He’s going to go to school with you. He has a fake ID where he can buy cigs, right Erik?”

He grinned. “Kid, do you ever shut up?” he asked jokingly, and instantly I loved him. He pulled one out for each of us, lighting them then warning us, “just be sure to put your ashes in the damn ashtray or they’ll run us out of here, and I sure don’t need to give the old lady something else to gripe at me about.”

I grinned and smoked away. It wasn’t my first time doing this, unfortunately. I can’t honestly say that I liked it, though. In fact, I didn’t like it at all... but I was bored and it was something to do. I could tell that Jen wasn’t the smoking expert, nor was Lisa, that they were both doing it to be cool. I didn’t mention it though, just sat there by the pool, keeping my feet out of the water because I was wearing jeans.

We really didn’t talk much, just sat there, admiring the sky, letting the end of summer rush over us. In fact, I don’t think we talked at all until the sun began to set and we were on our forth cigarette.

“Will you walk with me to the bus stop every morning?” Lisa asked.

“Depends.”

“On what?”

“What time your bus leaves and what time MY bus leaves.”

“They leave at the same time,” Erik said. “When I get my license, I’ll drive you all to school. We’ll probably be late everyday, though.”

“Are you getting a car?” Jen asked.

“Shit,” he said, taking a puff of the cigarette, “I better get a car or I’m going to be pissed.”

I let out a smirk. “I won’t get a car until I go back home.”

“Sucks that your parents went to Europe.”

I nodded. “Sucks a lot...” I was about to go on and tell him how they wouldn’t let me go with them, not even if I went to school in Europe, not even if I took off a year from school, not even if I got my own private tutor, but I was interrupted.

“What in God’s name are you kids doing!” a man yelled.

Lisa almost had a heart attack and Erik jumped up so quickly I thought he was going to fall into the pool. Jen hid the cigarette behind her back and I nonchalantly put mine out in the ashtray behind me as he ambled towards us.

“You kids are too young to be starting such a nasty habit. Now get out of here, before I tell your folks about what you’re doing!”

“Jesus, don’t have a cow, Old Man,” I muttered, but the other three were already standing up. I guess in an apartment complex everyone knows everyone and they didn’t want to be grounded for the rest of their lives. I decided to stand as well and we hurried out of there.

“Shit, if he tells my mom, she’ll kill me,” Erik said.

“Hey, don’t worry about it. Just give me the pack and your ID and I’ll give it back to you in a week or so. I won’t smoke any, I promise,” I answered.

He considered the thought for a minute. “I guess I could... but, well, be careful, okay?”

“Of course.” He put the package in my hands and I shoved it into my back pocket, putting the fake ID in my wallet so I wouldn’t accidentally leave it in my jeans to be washed.

“I better be getting home,” Lisa mumbled. “It’s getting kind of late and we’re going shopping tomorrow morning for school clothes. You can come, too, Shannon, if you want. I’m sure Mom won’t mind, since you’re staying with your brother and everything.”

“Thanks, Lisa, but I’ve got all my clothes. I got them before I came into town.”

She smiled. “Okay. See you guys later.”

Lisa hopped off with Jen at her side and Erik just kinda stared blankly at the grass. “Thanks for handling the stuff for me. I mean, you know, at least if the man does tell my mom about it, she won’t have any way to prove it.”

I smiled. “No problem. Anytime ya need me.”

“Guess I’ll see you later,” he said, letting out a small grin.

“Guess so.”

We stood there awkwardly for a minute. “Well, uh, have a nice night,” he said.

“You too.” I giggled a bit. “See ya!” I scampered off towards Matt’s apartment and swung the door open cheerfully. “I’m hoooooome,” I shouted, knowing that it was a tiny apartment and that I shouted loud enough for the people upstairs and next door to hear me.

“Geeze, Shannon, do ya hafta be so....” he sniffed the air. “Have you been smoking?”

I blinked. “No.”

He sniffed again, like a dog who was about to attack something, and got closer and closer to me and finally he said, “yes, you’ve DEFINITELY been smoking, Shannon. And if you haven’t, you’ve been to someone’s house who was smoking. Where were you anyway?”

“At the pool... and I haven’t been smoking.” I pushed past him on the way to the bedroom when he grabbed my wrist.

“Hey hey hey, wait just a minute. What’s this,” he said, and next thing I knew he was digging in my back pocket and pulling out the package of cigarettes. “Haven’t been smoking, eh?” he asked, showing me the package.

“I dunno where that came from.”

“Oh geeze, Shannon. Give me a break. I’m not stupid.”

“You’re not?” I teased. “It doesn’t matter anyway, I just had a couple and I’m fine and if you’d please give me that pack back and let me go...”

“No, I won’t let you go. You’re only 15, that’s too young to smoke...”

“Well, I won’t do it again. Can I go now?”

He sighed. “You’ve really got some attitude, kid. I’m trying to talk this out with you but...”

I let out an exasperated sigh and stomped my foot. “GODDAMMIT,” I yelled. “Would you just leave me the fuck alone and let me go!”

He didn’t let go, but instead brought his right hand up high and sent it crashing down on my bottom. I yelped. “You will NOT use that type of language, Young Lady, do you understand me?”

“HEY! OW that hurt!”

“Yeah, well, believe me, there’s plenty more where that came from...”

I gulped. “Look, Matt, I’m sorry for smoking, it didn’t even taste good or anything... it was gross, I won’t do it again.”

“Damn right you won’t do it again,” he said, dragging me towards the bathroom.

“Hey, what are you doing?” I asked.

“Teaching you a lesson.”

“Owwww, could you let go already?” I whined. He sat me down on the toilet seat and my heart pounded inside my chest. “What are you d-doing?” I asked nervously.

“I’m going to wash your mouth out with soap for using that type of language then I’m going to take you over my knee for a spanking.”

I gulped. “But... you can’t...” I said pathetically.

He was grabbing the bar of soap. “Watch me, little sister.” He washed it off in the sink then grabbed ahold of my chin. “Mouth open and I mean it or I’ll take my belt off.”

I whined. “Pleaseeeee, Matt... don’t, I’m sorry!”

“RIGHT NOW!” he bellowed. I opened my mouth and that’s when the tears began streaming down my face. I felt the bar of soap being shoved into my mouth. I sat there, soap in my mouth, tears streaming down. I tried to plead with him to stop, to take the soap out, but I couldn’t even talk. “How does it taste?” he asked sarcastically.

I whined and groaned and just sat there, gagging from the soap. He got a washcloth out of the drawer and wetted it, then took the soap from my mouth. I began spitting it out. “Stop, I’m not finished,” he ordered.

“I’m sssorrryyyy!” I whined, crying more.

“Good,” he answered, lathering the soap on the wash cloth. “Open up!” He pulled my chin down again then shoved the cloth into my mouth, scrubbing my cheeks and my tongue and the roof of my mouth and I was gagging and coughing and crying and squalling and I wished he’d stop. Finally, he took it out, lifted me from the chair, turned on the faucet. “Rinse out.” I hurriedly splashed some water in my mouth and spit it back out, trying my damnedest to get all the stupid soap out of my mouth. Matt didn’t give me too long, because the taste was still in my mouth when he said “okay, that’s enough, come on.” And then he practically dragged me back into the living room.

“I’m sorrryyyy,” I pleaded. I’d never been spanked before and wasn’t too eager to be spanked since that one slap still stung. “Please don’t spank me!”

“You’ve left me no other choice, Shannon. I’ve tried to let stuff slide, but you’ve got an attitude and you were smoking and this is the only way to handle it. It’s the way Dad raised all of us and I don’t know why, but he wouldn’t spank you and it’s about time you get what you’ve been deserving for a long time.” I wanted to say something, but he didn’t let me speak. “Pants down, Young Lady,” he ordered.

“But Matt!”

“I’m giving you to the count of three, and if they aren’t down, I’m going to take my belt off. One...”

There was a pause and I just continued crying.

“TWO!”

I then realized that he meant business and I slowly unbuttoned my jeans then unzipped them, tugging them down to my ankles.

“Good girl,” he said, then helped me over his lap. “I love you, Shannon, but you can’t smoke, okay?” I felt him pull my panties down and I shivered.

“Noooooo, Mattttt I’m sorry... pleaseee leave those up!!” I blushed from embarrassment.

“Sorry, kid,” he said then rested his hand on my rear end. “No more smoking, and no more attitude, or you’ll be taking this trip over my knee WAY more often than you’d like, okay?”

“Pleaseeeee I’m sorry!” I was still begging, not even really paying attention to what he was saying.

“I know,” he said, and I felt his hand raise high into the air, I held onto the futon mattress for dear life, and then his hand came crashing down on my bare cheeks.

“OWWWWWWWWW!!!!!” I howled, already kicking and squirming.

He began a steady pace, smacking each cheek a couple of times, then spanking my sit spots, and it hurt so much I couldn’t help but squirm and kick.

“Owwww p-ple-easeeee OW stopppppp!!”

“Stop squirming so much,” he replied, holding me firmer so I wouldn’t be able to move as much.

I couldn’t help it, it hurt SO much! He just kept spanking and my bottom felt like it was on fire and before I knew it, I was crying so hard I couldn’t speak and I could barely breathe and I didn’t even realize that he’d stopped.

“I’m finished, Shannon,” he said softly. “I’m all done.. Shhhhh, it’s okay. It’s over now.”

I barely heard him over my loud sobs. I tried to mutter how sorry I was. He was rubbing my back and I buried my face into the sheets, letting go of the mattress and trying to relax. I stayed like that for what seemed like a horribly long time. “I’m sorry,” I finally said after my crying subsided and I felt comfortable actually talking again.

“I know. I love you, Shannon. I love you a lot, you’re the greatest sister ever. But you can’t smoke, okay? And you gotta stop being so bratty.”

I nodded. “I love you too, Matt,” I said, lifting myself up just enough to fall into his arms in a hug.

This was going to be a long school year.

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