16 March 2010

bored

I think that I've never been so bored in my life.

I didn't sleep last night, thanks to the three assignments I had to do for school that I procrastinated on til the last minute. But you already knew that. So now I'm sitting in class, delirious as hell, just waiting. Waiting for this day to be over. And it's only 10am. I have class til 3:45. And I'm not quite sure if I'm going to make it.

In fact, I'm pretty sure I won't make it.

But I really don't need to get in trouble again for skipping class. I've done it too many times already. When I procrastinate, I have to suffer the consequences.

Ughhhh. I really should stop procrastinating. Last night I was talking to someone who told me that I needed to be strapped... and that if he lived closer, he'd come over and do it. I wasn't quite sure if I was glad that he was too far away or not. Glad because it saved my ass, but not so much 'cause if he'd been around, I probably would've finished before 7:45 this morning.

Oh, and I didn't even finish everything.

I don't even know what I'm typing anymore... that's how tired I am.

Wish there was something else to say, but, um, there's not. So yeah. Have a nice day.

15 March 2010

Introduction, Procrastinating, and Random Thoughts

So.  If you're at this page, you probably know me already.  Therefore, an introduction is super unnecessary.  But I guess I feel kind of obligated to have one just in case by some random chance of nature someone that I don't know meandered upon this page.  Right.  So yeah, my penname is Breanna, and I'm a 23 year old grad school student in New Jersey.  I'm not really new to the blogging thing, but my livejournal is friend-locked so no one ever reads it... um, except my friends lol.  Although I don't think they read it either.  Not that they have much to read 'cause I'm the worst at keeping stuff updated.  Yeah.  So is my life.

That brings me to procrastinating.  I have this strange feeling that it's what I'm doing about right now.  Oh wait, that's 'cause it is.  As a grad school student, my top priority is procrastination -- I will do anything to avoid homework.  This morning I've played DDR, showered, washed dishes, cooked, read news, and posted stories on this blog.  Oh, right, I guess it's not really morning, it's 4pm.  And have I started on homework?  Right.  I haven't.  It's so annoying, but I'm not entirely what to do about this problem I have.  You know how some people are alcoholics and all they want to ever do is drink and drink and drink?  And they can't stop?  That's me with procrastination!  There is a 12 step program, but I'm strongly against those.  That's another thing I can introduce about myself -- I'm pretty much atheist, and anything about higher powers annoys the crap out of me.

That was random.  Well, I'm a random person.  So be prepared for my ADD.

09 March 2010

Story: Searching for Trouble

A continuation in the Jessica/Katelyn series.  Jessica is frustrated with the random searches going on in her middle school.  With the help of her best friend (and partner in crime) she decides to protest and ends up getting in more trouble than bargained for.

Searching For Trouble
by Breanna Carter

I tapped my pen against the desk as I sat in English class, only half-listening to my teacher as she explained the vocabulary words for the week. I know I was probably annoying the girl next to me, Elizabeth Mays, a goody-goody straight A student who thought I was the worst person ever. And maybe I was. But I tapped my pen anyway in an effort to keep myself entertained. That is, until we were interrupted. Mrs. Keating had been halfway through explaining the word “commiserate” when the security guards burst through the door, metal detectors in hand like they were TSA agents at an airport or something.

“Random search,” the woman guard, Mrs. Sally, said.

My teacher seemed quite annoyed that they were disrupting her class for something so trivial as a random search. They did this sometimes, in an effort to deter students from having cell phones or drugs or something. Not that it was really that big of a problem with the seventh graders. Most of us didn't have cell phones yet nor did we even know what drugs looked like. But I guess they had to do what they had to do.

“Okay everyone, get your things and file quietly into the hallway,” Mrs. Keating said.

Our reactions were mixed between groans of irritation and yelps of excitement to be freed from the torture of vocabulary. I was one of the groaners, annoyed that I had to get up and be frisked down like I was a criminal or something. And Camilla shared in my annoyance.

“I don't see why we have to do these stupid searches. Aren't they a violation of our civil liberties?” Camilla's dad was an attorney for the ACLU so all she ever heard about was the Constitution and free speech and all that jazz.

“Are they?” I asked, getting behind Elizabeth Mays and avoiding the glare she shot me when I accidentally stepped on the back of her shoe. “We should protest.”

“We totally should!” Cam almost shrieked.

“You're stupid,” Elizabeth butted in. “They're searching us to protect us, not to rob us of our 'civil liberties' or whatever.”

I narrowed my eyes at her, wanting to punch her in the face. “Why don't you keep your mouth shut about things you don't know about?” I sneered, balling up my fists.

She rolled her eyes at me and turned away.

“So you really wanna protest?” Cam asked me when Elizabeth was far enough away to keep out of our conversation.

I nodded. “Yeah, of course. But how?” I wanted to know.

“Hmmm,” she pondered. “We could write our congressmen?”

I giggled. “That would take forever. We could just, I dunno, refuse to be searched?”

“Yeah! Civil disobedience! I like it.”

We high-fived each other and waited, folding our arms and leaning against the lockers. I watched as each student followed the same procedure: step out of the line, empty pockets, and spread legs and hold arms out. Then Mrs. Sally would run the metal detector over whoever it was while Mr. John, the other security guard, would dig through her/his backpack. And the more I watched all of this happen, the more I understood why Cam had said it was a violation of our civil liberties. Didn't it say somewhere in the Constitution that we were protected from unreasonable searches? I made a note to myself to check that out in my American History book when I got back to class.

My stomach began to twist into knots as the guards made their way further down the line towards Cam and me.

“So we're really going to refuse to be searched?” I asked.

“Yeah, why not? This is an infringement upon our rights as American citizens.”

Sounded good enough to me. I took a deep breath in and waited as Mrs. Sally approached me. “Next,” she said in a bored voice.

I shook my head. “I refuse to be searched,” I said, holding my back pack close to my body.

She was a bit taken aback. “Excuse me?” she asked, putting her hands on her hips. She wasn't my biggest fan, seeing as I was a fighter and she was the one who usually ended up escorting me to Mr. Shevins' office.

“I said that I refuse to be searched. I don't think you have a good reason to search me, so I'm not going to let you.”

“Do you have something you're not supposed to have?” she asked.

Mr. John walked up to us now. “What's going on?” he asked.

Camilla piped up, “If you don't have probable cause to search us, we don't have to be searched. Your infringing upon our rights as American citizens. It says in the Constitution that we're protected from unjust searches and seizures.”

There was stream of giggles from the students in our class. “This is not an unjust search,” Mr. John said to Camilla, then looked at me. “Now get out of line, hand me your backpack, and spread out your arms and legs like you were told.”

“Do you even know what 'unjust' means?” I said.

He folded his arms. “Miss Parker, I suggest you do as your told.”

I folded my arms, too. “No.”

“Give me a break,” I heard Elizabeth mutter.

“You mind your own business,” I told her.

“You're holding up the class. This is my business.”

What happened next, well, just kinda happened. You know I have a temper, and I can't help it sometimes. So I did what Mr. Shevins and my counselor had been advising me against for the last few months: I pushed her. And hard. She lost her balance and landed on the hard floor, almost knocking over the kid behind her.

“Ow!! You bitch!” she yelped, holding her arm.

“You wanna see me be a bitch?” I spat back, but by now Mrs. Sally had me in a hold and was screaming at me.

“That's enough!” she yelled in my ear.

“No need to shout,” I said back.

Mrs. Keating was back outside her room now having noticed all the commotion. “What is going on?”

Mr. John explained the situation to her as I assured Mrs. Sally that I wasn't going to attack anyone and Camilla whined about our civil liberties. My teacher shook her head disappointedly at me and Mr. John told Camilla that if she, too, refused to be searched, she could join me in Mr. Shevins' office. I thought that this was when she was going to break and allow them to do what they had to do, but she didn't. I was proud.

“I will not allow you to take away my rights,” she told him blatantly

I think Mr. John rolled his eyes at that. Too bad I couldn't punch him in the face. At least Elizabeth was being nicer now, and not popping off smartass comments.

While Mrs. Sally no longer had me in a hold, she still had a firm grip on my upper arm. “I'll take these two girls to the office. You finish the searches,” she told Mr. John. She pointed at Cam. “You, come with me.”

Cam threw her backpack over her shoulder and walked next to me, saying nothing. But I could see the smile on her face. We had won. Go us!

Mrs. Sally took us to the office and wrote up a referral, then handed it to the secretary and left. Cam and I tried to talk to each other but we kept getting glared at. So instead we passed notes.

This is stupid!!!!! I wrote.

I know right! Oh well. At least we didn't have to get searched. What do you think Shevins is gonna do?

I dunno. Hopefully nothing cuz we didn't do anything wrong.
Cam giggled, getting another glare from the secretary. Did you see the look on everyones faces? priceless!

I nodded. I don't think we made enough of an impression tho.

She raised her eyebrows. What do you mean

you know they have locker searches? 
She nodded. I scribbled down my brilliant idea: we should protest those too. We should make signs and then handcuff ourselves to the lockers and hold up the signs. Maybe we can get someone else to do it too.

She giggled again, covering her mouth just in time to avoid another glare. “You're crazy!” she whispered to me. “But I like it!”

Sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in! I wrote.

She nodded, taking the note from me and ripping it up and stuffing it in her backpack so no one could read it.

I grabbed one of the magazines from the table and flipped through it, finding nothing interesting. Not even an article to make fun of. So I quietly ripped out a page and folded it up to make a paper airplane, about to throw it at the secretary when Mr. Shevins came in.

“Parker, don't even think about it,” he said.

I jumped a little, having not seen him there. “Just kidding,” I said, closing the magazine and grinning widely.

“You two, my office, now.”

I set the magazine and airplane on the table and followed Camilla to the vice principal's office. He sat down behind his desk, pointing to the chairs in front of it for us to sit as well. I saw that both of our files were wide open and I leaned over to see what they said, but he closed them and I noticed him staring at me hard.

“You both have some explaining to do.”

He didn't seem to be in the best of moods, not like when I normally went in there. It was quite sad. “We feel that random searches are unreasonable and unconstitutional,” Camilla said.

“So we refuse to take part in them,” I concluded.

He shook his head. “Really?” he asked. “That's what all of this is about?”

We nodded.

He leaned back in his chair, taking his glasses off and putting them on the desk. “Girls, you are on school property, and the reason that we have random searches is to ensure everyone's safety.”

“But have we ever given you reason to suspect that we have anything we aren't supposed to?” I asked.

“Do you want me to answer that question truthfully?” he asked me, stealing one of my lines.

I folded my arms. “Mr. Shevins, it's not fair. We don't have anything we're not supposed to. We just don't like being padded down like criminals. We didn't do anything wrong.”

“Jessica, Camilla,” he said, looking at each of us, “random searches are mandated by the district. If you have a problem with it, take it to the superintendent.” He opened one of the files and scribbled down something in it. “Camilla, I'm giving you a week's worth of lunchroom detention.” He paused, closing the file, then opening what I guessed was mine. “Jessica, you get that same week of detention as well as three after school detentions for fighting... again.”

“Awww, but Mr. Shevins...” I began.

“You're lucky I don't bring your brother back in for another conference,” he interrupted.

I closed my mouth. He was right. I was super lucky.

He rolled over to his filing cabinet and pulled out three pieces of paper. I glanced at Camilla as he filled them out. Lunchroom detention wasn't such a bad thing, nor was after school detention. They were both just boring as hell. But we could handle it. Especially together.

Mr. Shevins looked up now and handed us the papers: one for Cam and two for me. “Have your guardians sign them and bring them back to me tomorrow.”

We both nodded and I looked down at my paper. Both detentions would start tomorrow. At least it didn't say the reason that I'd gotten detention. That meant I didn't have to tell Robert that I'd done the fighting thing again.

“I don't want to see you girls in here again this year. There's only a couple of weeks left. Try to behave, okay?”

“We'll try,” I said, smiling and standing up. “Thanks Mr. S. See ya!”

The two of us left his office, papers in hand. “Lunchroom detention is lame,” Cam said.

“Yeah. Do you still want to protest tomorrow?”

She glanced at me. “But he said it was out of his hands. That we had to talk to the superintendent.”

“The superintendent won't listen unless we do something to get his attention. Like handcuffing ourselves to the lockers.”

She digested this. “You're right. Let's do it.”

That afternoon at lunch we worked out the logistics of our plan. Camilla agreed to get the handcuffs if I'd provide the poster board. The next morning we would meet before class (under the premise that we needed to work on a project for school) and make the signs. This was the most ingenious plan we'd ever devised. Besides the plan about going to the Mets game while I was grounded, which I screwed up by letting the Facebook world know, but that was my own fault. Anyway, this plan would certainly lead to trouble, but we were both sure that neither her parents nor my brothers would really care much since we were fighting for our rights. Robert might be upset, but Daniel would understand and not let me get in trouble.

Katelyn was freaking out again when I got to my last class. “I heard about what happened,” she said, sitting in the empty seat next to me. “You wouldn't let them search you? Are you crazy?”

I smirked. “Yeah, a little.”

“Did you get in trouble?”

I shrugged. “Sorta. But I'm not telling Robert til tomorrow. So can you keep it a secret, please?”

She nodded. “What happened? What'd Mr. Shevins say?”

“Nothing new,” I answered just in time for our teacher to come in and Katelyn to tell me to explain it to her later. But I didn't really tell her anything later. We just rode the bus together and laughed about some of the stuff that happened in history class. Oh, and I looked up the Constitution in my book and Camilla was so right – we were protected against searches! And we were also given the right to assemble, AKA protest. Which meant that our plans for the next day couldn't be interrupted.

I walked to the store after I got home to get a poster board and some markers. I also decided to get a couple of rulers so that we could glue them to our boards and hold the signs up. This was perfect.

The next morning, Daniel drove me to school on his way to a meeting in the city. “What is it you're doing again?” he asked.

“This thing for my history class.”

“But aren't you in history with Katelyn? Why isn't she doing this?”

“It's sort of an extra thing that Cam and I are working on.”

He raised his eyebrows and looked at me. “Is Cam in your class?”

Crap. I forgot about that minor detail. “Not the same period. But she has the same teacher.”

He nodded. “All right,” he said, pulling into the school parking lot. “Just as long as you're not doing something you shouldn't be doing.”

“I would never,” I said, heart skipping a beat. “Thanks, Dan. See ya this afternoon.” I pushed myself out of the car and jogged towards the entrance.

Cam was waiting near our lockers when I walked up. “Bout damn time,” she said.

“Sorry. Daniel took forev to get ready.”

“Yeah whatever, blame it on him.”

“Always.” I slid down to the floor. “I cut a poster board in half,” I told her, handing her the piece.

She sat down next to me. “Perfect,” she said.

So the two of us sat there, pretty much in the middle of the hallway, drawing on poster boards. I was half expecting Daniel to walk in and catch me in the lie I had told him – even though this was sorta an American History thing since it was fighting for our rights and all... right? Anyway. But no one bothered us, and within minutes, we had two brightly colored posters: Stop the unreasonable searches!!! and Lincoln Middle ignores the Constitution! And then in tiny letters on both signs: Amendment #4 of the Constitution of the United States – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated. Then we glued on the rulers and held up our signs.

How do they look?” I asked Cam.

“Brilliant,” she replied. We gave each other a high five and she fished two pairs of handcuffs and two small chains out of her backpack. “Since the handcuffs won't go through the lockers, I had to find something that would,” she said, referring to the chains. She looped each of them through the holes in our lockers and then cuffed one pair on each one. “Ready?” she asked.

“As ready as I'll ever be.”

And then we cuffed ourselves to the lockers. It was the weirdest and most random thing I'd probably ever done. But we certainly got all the attention we bargained for – and more.

It started when the first bell rang and students began filing into the hallway. Cam and I held up our signs and explained to the student body why we were chained to our lockers. A couple of them dismissed it as us being complicated like always. But most of them listened to us and agreed. A few even stood with us at the lockers, helping us share our cause. It was amazing.

"Jess! What are you doing?!?” I heard the familiar voice shriek.

I turned to see my twin sister marching up to me, a mixture of shock and frustration on her face. “Oh, hey Kate. We're fighting against the unjust-ness of random searches.”

Yeah!” Cam shouted. Obviously her adrenaline was full blast. “As American citizens we will no longer allow this school to violate our rights guaranteed by the Constitution!”

“Yeah!!” the students who had joined us shouted (too bad we hadn't brought extra handcuffs or they could've chained themselves to the lockers, too).

“What? What is wrong with you? I swear that one of us was mixed up in the hospital.”

“Shut up, Kate. Can't you just support me for once?”

“Yeah, like you always support me?” she asked, walking past me to her locker. “Sorry, but there are more important things in life than the school having random searches.”

The students around me were trying to rally other kids, and I wished for a second that I wasn't handcuffed so I could have an actual conversation with my sister. But it wasn't important enough to find the key. “I'm just fighting for what I believe in. Why is that so hard for you to understand?” I wanted to know.

Because you're making a scene. Trying to be the center of attention like always. It's annoying.”

“You're annoying,” I muttered, turning away to help with the rallying. A tear almost slipped down my cheek – almost. But I wouldn't let it. Too many people were around. It did bother me, though, that my sister was never on my side with anything. I was too radical for her. It shouldn't have mattered, but it did.

The amount of students in the hallway near our lockers became too big of a crowd and probably a fire hazard. Mrs. Sally had been walking down the other hallway when she noticed us all and demanded to know what was going on. We began chanting together: “Stop the random searches!! Stop the random searches!!” It was amazing and exhilarating. There must've been at least 40 of us there, all chanting, mine and Cam's signs high in the air, others pumping their fists like they were on the Jersey Shore or something. Then Mrs. Sally got a good look at what was going on, looked Cam and I in the eyes, and groaned audibly (although we didn't exactly hear her because everyone was too loud).

Teachers began coming out of their classrooms now, trying to figure out what exactly was going on. They'd seen the congregation, but hadn't really stopped to see what we were doing. But now they were. Some tried to quiet us, others just stared out in awe. More students joined us in chanting as they walked down the hallway. It was the greatest experience.

Until the second bell rang and Mr. John bellowed “anyone who remains in the hallway after the third bell will be written up for skipping class!”

Now, there is no way that they could write 50+ students up for skipping, but no one really thought about that. It was just the idea that maybe they could get written up and in trouble that scared them. And since most of the students at my school were upper class college-bound straight A kids, they couldn't afford any disciplinary problems on their record. So over half of the students groaned and muttered “sorry” as they walked away.

Awww come on!” Cam said. “We have to fight for our rights! Where would we be today if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been scared of being written up! Or if Susan B. Anthony hadn't fought for women's rights! Or what if our ancestors had been afraid to migrate here! We can't give up!” she pleaded.

I knew that Cam would be a great community organizer some day. Unfortunately, this community wasn't ready to be organized. Most of them were more concerned about grades.

I will not back down from what I believe in! You can write me up a million times, but I am not unchaining myself from this locker!” I shouted over the crowd murmurings.

“Yeah!” Cam and about six other students said. Only those other six students weren't chained to their lockers. But it was the thought that counted.

“Stop the random searches! Stop the random searches!” Cam chanted, pumping up everyone else to chant along with us. It wasn't nearly as good with just eight of us, but hey, take what you can get, right?

The third bell rang and I watched as everyone, with the exception of us eight, scampered into their classrooms so they wouldn't be late. “Looks like it's just us,” I said, noticing that Mr. John had disappeared.

Yeah,” Cam said. “Sucks. But still great. Thanks for staying,” she told the remaining six, all of whom I recognized from detention at least one of the times that I'd been.

“No prob,” a boy, Toby, said. “But it feels kinda weird being here without being handcuffed or holding a sign. Next time you'll have to plan better and let us know ahead of time.”

The rest of us agreed. “Sorry, we didn't realize that it'd catch on so fast.”

Another girl said, “yeah, everyone hates random searches. That's how that girl got stripped searched for having Advil or whatev. Remember that?”

Yeah!” Cam said. “The ACLU sued the school on it. That was fucked up times a million.”

“P.S., here comes Shevins,” someone said.

“Shit.”

“If you're going to skip class, you should consider not doing it in plain sight,” Mr. S said sarcastically, walking up to us. “Is this about the random searches again?”

“We're displaying our right to assemble, Mr. Shevins, so unless you want to be sued by the ACLU for violating the Constitution, I suggest you allow us to continue to do so,” Cam said.

“Camilla, please display your rights outside of school hours. Right now it is time for class.” He looked around our small group. “Assemble before class, and after class, but during class is not allowed.”

“And why not?” I demanded to know.

“Because it's considered skipping and disrupting class time.”

“We're not disrupting anything,” Toby said.

“By chanting in the hallway you're impeding on other students' rights to learn.”

Camilla went on another rampage about famous American heroes who hadn't allowed laws to hold them back. It was pretty funny.

Until Mr. Shevins said, “you may either take a tardy for being late to class or I will call your guardians.”

I'm not moving from this locker until I am assured that there will no long be unreasonable searches and seizures,” Camilla said plainly.

“Me either,” I chimed in, pointing to our handcuffs. “We're not leaving anytime soon. Make all the phone calls you want. You can't make us move.”

Mr. Shevins then looked at the other students. “Your choice,” he told them. And then he proceeded to let us all know what would happen if our guardians were called: in school suspension for two days. That meant two unexcused absences. Something that some students couldn't afford. And when it came down to it, none of us really wanted to deal with all of that drama. Except Cam, who was confident that if she was given in school suspension for two days her father would sue the school. Mr. Shevins didn't care, though. He pressed the threat so hard that all of our six accomplices decided to bail.

But Camilla and I stood firm.

Last chance,” Mr. Shevins said when the two of us were alone.

“Stop the unreasonable searches,” Cam spat, holding up her sign. “You should be ashamed to run a school that doesn't uphold the Constitution.”

He shook his head and walked away. I'd never seen Mr. Shevins so upset before. It almost made me want to give up on the whole protest, too. But I couldn't. I couldn't back down now.

We were a little nervous for a couple of minutes, but quickly shook it off when we saw random traffic in the hallway... students going to the bathroom, teachers on their breaks, and just people wandering the hallways in general. Some of them asked about what we were doing and we enjoyed having the opportunity to express our disliking of the current school policies. Well, we enjoyed that opportunity until a certain someone walked down the hallway.

Jessica Lynne Parker!” I heard. “What in God's name do you think you're doing?”

Uhoh. This didn't sound good.

Jessica and I are fighting for our Constitutional rights,” Camilla explained, then almost began the speech she'd been telling everyone else when Robert cut her off.

“Do you think this is cute or something?” He was infuriated, to say the least.

“I'm just...”

“Unchain yourself and let's go,” he said.

I would've folded my arms, but my current positioning and the fact that I was wearing handcuffs prevented this. So I just said it in my best attitude ever: “no.”

"Jessica, I'm not playing games.”

“I'm not either. The school's policy isn't fair and I'm not leaving until I get a promise from the administration that they're changing it.”

“I'll give you a promise,” he said in a warning tone, “and that is that I will spank you right here in this hallway if I have to.”

I blushed a million different shades of red. I couldn't believe that he'd just said that out loud in the middle of my school. And I wasn't entirely sure that he'd actually do that, but just in case, I backed up, placing my bottom against the locker so that it would take a fight for him to do it. And he wouldn't want to be accused of child abuse, right?

Cam's dad, Mr. Sullivan, walked towards us now, and I felt my best friend flatten herself against the locker as well. She was just as nervous as I. We weren't so big and bad now that Robert and her dad were around. Maybe we wouldn't make good community organizers.

"Camilla, what are you doing?” he asked calmly.

“Fighting for our rights,” Cam answered weakly, not nearly as confident as she had been about two minutes ago.

He then looked at me, to which I nodded, and then toward Robert. “What are we going to do with these girls?” he asked jokingly.

I know what Robert was thinking, but he didn't say it in front of Mr. Sullivan.

"Cam, Jess, this isn't the way to fight for your rights on this issue. Especially not without talking to me first.” He paused, looking at each of us, then staring at Cam. “Why didn't you talk to me about this last night?”

She shrugged.

He nodded. “You wanted to stir up drama,” he answered. “And it worked, right, Robert?”

"Oh yeah. Stirred up a lot of drama.”

“There's a time and a place to protest. And this is not it,” Mr. Sullivan said. “We will talk more about this at home. Let's go.”

Cam shook her head. “We're not leaving. Dad, you always taught me to stand up for what I believe in, and that's what I'm doing. You can't let them win.”

"Did you listen to what I just said, Young Lady?”

“Yes, but,” tears began to stream down her face now, “we're fighting for our rights. Why can't you help us? Why aren't you on my side?”

He sighed, rubbing his temples. “Camilla, you can stand here all day and the only thing it's going to accomplish is getting you escorted out of here by the police.”

"They can't do that.”

“They can and they most certainly will. Because if you continue this display, you will be suspended, and then you will be deemed on campus without permission, in which case they will call the police.”

“Yeah, well, that's why we're chained to our lockers.”

It was really interesting watching this dialogue between my best friend and her father. I kept waiting for him to lose his patience, but he never did. “Do you honestly think that it'd be hard for them to cut those chains?”

Cam looked at me, then back to her dad. “We're not moving without a promise from the administration that they're going to change the policy.”

"The administration doesn't handle that. The school board does. And I will discuss this rationally with you both at a later time. But right now you're in enough trouble. You're only digging yourself a bigger hole by standing here.”

I glanced at Robert who nodded, and then looked at Cam. Her dad had a point.

This had been fun while it lasted, but we were defeated now. Two defeated seventh-almost-eighth graders. What was there left to do besides unchain ourselves?

She took out the keys and handed me mine, and we did what Mrs. Sally had wanted us to do hours ago. I then gave my key back to Cam, successfully freed from the locker. I looked up at Robert. I wasn't quite sure what to say to him.

Cam and I were led back to the office where our fates were discussed with the vice principal. And he also told Robert and Mr. Sullivan about what we'd done the day before... and didn't forget to mention the whole fighting thing which I glared at him about. And then we were sent on our ways, back home to endure the rest of our punishments, which didn't seem like much fun.

Robert wasn't too happy with me. I figured this out because A) he didn't really talk to me the whole ride home and B) when he called Daniel, he said “yes, I got her.... no, I'm not okay.... I know, babe. I'll calm down, I'm just... frustrated..... Okay, see you in a little while..... Love you, too. Bye.” So clearly I'd given him reason to be frustrated and un-calm. Oops. My bad.

When we got home, I was sent to my room. Which sucked because I kinda wanted to get on Facebook and start a group to petition the unreasonable searches, but I figured that now wasn't a good time to ask Robert. So yeah, I decided lay on my bed instead and stared at the ceiling until I heard the front door slam and two soft voices murmuring to one another. That must've been Daniel.

I pushed myself up and inched outside, sitting quietly at the top of the staircase to listen to what they were saying.

"I just don't know what to do,” Robert said. “This is the second time I've gotten a phone call from the school about her. Why is she acting this way?”

It sounded like Daniel was embracing him now, probably holding him tightly because, from the sounds of it, Robert was crying a little. “You know what we have to do,” he answered softly. “And we have to let her know that it's not okay to continue this behavior.”

I was so scared when they called me. They told me that if I couldn't come up there that they'd have to call the police. What if Doug hadn't taken my patient? What if I'd been at the emergency room with someone? She'd be in jail right now. And thank God Mr. Sullivan came in because it didn't look like I'd be able to convince her to leave with me.” He paused, sucking in a deep breath. “Dan, this is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life.”

“I know, baby, I know,” Daniel said. “You're doing great. Jessica is definitely a handful and deals with a lot of this pain in a different way than you or Kate would do. It's more outward for her – the fighting, making bad grades, blatant disobedience – it's her way of dealing with this situation. And we have to let her know it's not healthy.”

Yeah, I couldn't keep quiet after that. “What? I wasn't 'dealing with this situation' today... I was standing up for my rights!” I said loudly, stomping down the stairs to see Daniel holding my older brother in his arms, both of them a look of shock on their faces.

"Jessica, you were sent to your room,” Daniel said.

“Yeah, well I don't care. I don't like that you're talking about me like I'm some horrible person for just standing up for what I believe in. I thought that you'd understand. That you'd be proud of me for not letting people walk all over me. But I guess I was wrong about you.”

He repeated, “Jessica, you were sent to your room.”

"I don't care!” I shouted. “Are you even listening to me?”

He walked towards me now, towering over me. “We will talk about this later. But right now, your brother and I are having a discussion and you were sent to your room, so I suggest you return there until he or I tell you otherwise.”

If Daniel had been anyone else, I would've decked him. It pissed me off so much that he wasn't listening to me. And since I couldn't punch him, I decided to punch the wall instead. “Whatever, Daniel,” I said, regretting that I'd hit the wall because pain was radiating through my arm now. I wasn't going to let him know that, though. “You're just a douchebag like everyone else.”

I knew it hurt him, but he didn't let it show.

"Fine. Next time I'll just let people walk all over me. I'll keep my mouth shut and not care that people are taking away my rights. And you know what else? When someone says that fags shouldn't get married, I'll agree with them. And when they say that they shouldn't be allowed to raise kids, I'll give them a high five! How about that?”

Both Robert and Daniel winced at my use of the f-word and I was sort of scared that one of them might slap me at my outburst, but they didn't. Instead Daniel just said, “are you finished?”

"No, I'm not finished,” I said. “I think you're both hypocrites for being mad at me about this and I hope someone kidnaps me and you never have to see me again because it's obvious that you don't need any of my drama.” I broke off suddenly, my throat closing up and tears randomly streaming down my cheeks. I totally hadn't been expecting that, but I guess I was so mad and hurt, they just came. I turned away, not wanting them to see me like this, and began rubbing my wrist where it still hurt from punching the wall.

“Jessica,” Robert said, clearing his throat and seizing my arm to pull me towards him. I broke away quickly. “Daniel and I care about you, and we do want you to stand up for what you believe in. But we want you to do it in the right way. And not through fighting or nearly getting yourself kicked out of school.” He seized my arm again and led me to the couch where we both sat down. “You're not just drama in my life,” he told me. “You're my little sister and I care about you and love you. Just sometimes I don't know what to do with you. You worry me.”

I didn't say anything, just stared at the floor as my tears fell.

"Is your arm okay?” Robert asked, now getting into doctor mode.

“Yeah, it's fine.”

He took it from me anyway and felt over it, asking me to move it in different directions before finally determining that I probably had fractured it and needed to get this seen about ASAP. He made me pile into the car with him and Daniel and took me to his office where it was x-rayed and then wrapped up. My brother had been right – I had fractured it. According to him, it'd be well in a couple of weeks, but I'd have to sit out of softball for a little while to let it heal. Which pissed me off more because the season had just really started... but it was too late to do anything about it now.

He kissed me on the forehead and sent his husband and I on our ways while he finished out the rest of the appointments he had for the day.

“I'm not impressed with your outburst,” Daniel told me.

I ignored him, slamming the door as hard as I could with the stupid cast they'd put on my arm.

“When we get home, you may go up to your room and work on your homework until your brother gets back home. Do you understand?”

“Yeah, I guess,” I muttered. Like I was really going to work on homework.

Fortunately, Robert only worked a few blocks from home and within no time we were pulling back into our driveway. I went to my room and locked the door, then flopped on my bed and took a nap. It'd been an exhausting day.

Katelyn woke me up when she knocked on the door a couple of hours later. Guess that was one minor problem with locking the door. I opened it for her and shuffled drowsily back to the bed. “What's up?” I said sleepily. “How was school?”

“It was okay. Was weird without you there in seventh period. Everyone was talking about what happened.”

“What'd they say?” I asked, rolling over to face her.

She shrugged. “They were just talking about it all. What happened to your arm?”

“Huh?” She pointed to the cast. “Oh, that. Yeah. I got mad and punched the wall. Hah.”

She shook her head.

“I know. I shouldn't have let my temper get the best of me. But you know how I get sometimes,” I said. “So does everyone think I'm crazy or did they agree?”

“A little of both.” She sat down on her bed. “I think you're right, you know.”

I raised my eyebrows. “About what?”

“About the random searches. Everyone hates them and they're annoying and it does seem like an invasion of our privacy. But couldn't you have just written a letter?”

“I guess I could've,” I said, although that wasn't really my thing. That would be something Kate would do... she was always the type to prefer peace instead of fighting... to prefer letter writing instead of loud protests. “But I didn't. And it's kinda too late now to change anything. Besides, if I'd written a letter, no one would be talking about it right now.”

She nodded. “I did something for you.”

“Yeah?”

She started digging through her backpack and took out a typed sheet of paper, then handed it to me.

I read aloud: “We the students of Lincoln Middle School in the Montclair School District feel that random searches of students, lockers, and students' possessions is unconstitutional and therefore should be prohibited.” I continued reading the letter to myself, feeling a smile spread across my face. And then I saw that she had signed it, and underneath her signature were 157 more signatures. “Wow. Kate... you started a petition?”

She nodded. “The only thing it's missing is your's and Cam's signature. And then we can send it to the school board.”

“But I thought that you thought the protest was stupid?”

She shrugged. “Not stupid. But I didn't like that you were making a big scene. I didn't like the way you did it.” I must've been the one mixed up in the hospital, because she was talking just like her older brother. “But I guess it made it easier because after they kicked you and Cam out of school everyone was talking about it and angry at Mr. S for not listening to you guys. So it was really easy to find people to sign the petition.”

I smiled.

“So maybe it was sorta okay that you did the rally and all. It made the day much more interesting.”

“Kate, I miss you. It seems like we're both so different now that... well, you know.”

“Yeah. I know,” she said and lay down on her bed, too. “It sucks.”

We lay there and talked until Robert came upstairs and asked Katelyn if he could talk to me alone for a minute. I had the feeling that this talk wasn't really a talk and wished desperately that Kate wouldn't leave, but it was no use... she left without so much as an objection.

Robert sat down on my bed next to me. I could tell that he wasn't too sure of what to say, and I wasn't either, so there was an awkward silence for about 40 seconds. “Jessica, I'm very disappointed in the behavior that you displayed today.”

I nodded.

“Do you understand why?”

“Not really,” I admitted.

He sighed. “Okay, I guess I'll try to explain it to you again.” He then went on to tell me what everyone had been telling me all day about the time and the place to protest, and how I shouldn't have gotten such an attitude, and that if I was really that concerned with random searches I should've planned it a little better. And, granted, he had some good points, but I still didn't totally agree with him. “And then the tantrum you threw after we got home? That was pretty unnecessary.”

I hung my head. He was definitely right about that. And I did feel kinda bad for using the f-word, and being mean to him and Daniel. “I'm sorry about the tantrum.”

He lifted my chin and turned me to face him. “You're getting a spanking, Jessica Lynne,” he said.

My stomach dropped. “But Robert...” I whined. “It's not fair. Because I was just trying to get them to change the policy that I thought was unfair. I bet Rosa Parks didn't get spanked by her older brother when she refused to move to the back of the bus.”

“Rosa Parks also planned out her strategy before refusing to move to the back of the bus. And she probably talked to her family about it, too. You're getting a spanking and that's the end of the story. You were kicked out of school today, and given two days of in school suspension, not to mention all of the trouble you caused yesterday... pushing someone after we've already had a discussion about fighting... and then the tantrum you threw today. I think I'm quite justified in giving this to you.”

I picked at my cast. I wasn't quite sure how to argue what he was saying. So he took that as me submitting to the punishment.

“Come on,” he said, practically dragging me to my desk. He sat down in the chair and unbuttoned my jeans.

“Waitttt Robert!” I whined. “Please. I'm sorry. I'm really really sorry. I've learned my lesson. Please don't spank me.” I tried to remind myself that I'd just punched a wall and fractured my wrist, so this measly spanking would be nothing, but it didn't quite work that way. Especially when he tugged my jeans to my knees. “Pleaseeeee,” I begged as he pulled me over his lap.

“Jessica, Daniel and I are not going to tolerate disobedience and disrespect from you anymore. It's not okay to solve all of your problems by fighting. If you have an issue with the school, or an issue with someone at school, or an issue with Daniel or me, you are to talk it out with someone, do you understand?”

“Yessss,” I whined, but only because I was facing the carpet and my panties were being pulled down.

He rested his hand on my bare bottom. “I'm not happy with the behavior you've shown me today. You were definitely not acting like a thirteen year old.” With that he lifted his hand and brought it down on my backside, causing me to squirm and cry out a little.

“Owwww! I've learned my lesson,” I promised him.

“I certainly hope so,” he said, continuing to whap his stupid hand against my backside. And I couldn't even reach back to block because my right hand was in a cast and I didn't want to take the chance of him hitting my arm and making it hurt all over again. Then I'd have a pain in my ass and a pain in my arm.

“Please Robert. Please stop,” I begged, kicking a little.

He rained more swats down. “I've just started, Jessica Lynne,” he told me, circling my waist now and concentrating on both cheeks, then my sit spots.

“Owwwwwwwww,” I cried. “Stoppp pleaseee!” I kicked up my legs to block the smacks, but he pushed them back down.

“I want to make sure that you've learned your lesson.”

“I haveeee!!” I promised him as he slapped my sit spots. My bottom felt like it was on fire already. I hadn't realized how hard Robert could spank! After all, I guess only Daniel had spanked me before and it seemed like Robert didn't really adhere to the warmup rule.

“What have you learned?”

“Owwww!” I shrieked, kicking again, to have my feet pushed back down to the floor. “I've learned – ah! – that... ow!... I shouldn't fight!”

“Good,” he said. “I'm glad you learned that. 'Cause you know what's going to happen if you fight again, or throw another tantrum?”

I kicked my feet up again, trying to block, but he kept spanking. “I'll get another spankingggg!!!” I cried, tears rolling down my face now.

“Yes ma'am you will,” he said. “Stop kicking,” he warned.

“But it hurts.”

“Good. Maybe you'll think about this before you do something that gets you in school suspension.”

“I willlll I promiseeee!!! Oooowwww!”

Tired of my kicking, he repositioned me to where his leg was restraining mine, and finished up the spanking, hard and quick smacks. I was screaming and crying like crazy, reaching back now because it was all I could do to get this pain to stop. Not that it worked. He spanked around my hand, and then stopped only for long enough to reach for the hairbrush.

“Nooo please don't use that!!” I begged. I was sobbing now, gasping for air. “I'm s-sorryyy!” I stammered.

He rubbed my back for a moment, letting me calm down before speaking again. “I'm going to give you a hairbrushing, and then we'll be all finished. But let me tell you one thing, Jessica Lynne Parker. If you behave like you did today ever again, you will be spanked by both Daniel and me, and it will be much more than just a hairbrush spanking. Do you understand?”

“Y-yes, sir.”

“I'm very disappointed that you were sent home today, but I'm even more disappointed in the tantrum you threw earlier. I can't believe that you'd use the very word that you've been offended by so many times. How do you think that made Daniel and me feel?” So yeah, my sobs that had died down? They started back up. I was disappointed even in myself for doing that. He didn't need the hairbrush to drive that message home. But he used it anyway.

“I didn't mean it,” I said weakly.

“Keep your hand out of the way, Jessica. You wouldn't want it to get hit with the hairbrush,” he warned right before crashing down the wooden implement from hell on my bottom. And I couldn't kick anymore, so reaching back sounded like the best thing to do, but I didn't. Not only because I didn't want my arm smacked, but also 'cause I knew that I deserved this. And while it didn't make the spanking hurt any less, it certainly helped me take it. Oh yeah, I cried and cried, but that was it. I just lay there limply, allowing my older brother to give me the punishment that I deserved. And when it was over, I let him lift me up and I fell into a hug, rubbing my aching backside.

“I'm s-sorry, R-Robert,” I hiccuped.

“I know, Jess. I know, baby.” He held onto me tightly, kissing my forehead. “It's over now.”

I nodded, feeling safe and secure in his arms... which was weird, 'cause I'd never had that feeling with him before. But I liked it.

We stayed like that a few minutes, and then I pushed away, pulling up my panties and then failing at getting my pants up. But have no fear, Robert helped. “I'm going to tell Daniel I'm sorry,” I told him, wiping some tears away and sniffling.

“Good idea,” he answered, patting me on the bottom.

I looked up at him. “And Robert... I should tell you I'm sorry, too... even though I just said it for like an hour while you were spanking me.”

He chuckled slightly.

“But I really am. I shouldn't have been mean to you today. And I'll try to do better.”

He ruffled my hair and said, “I know you will.”

I wiped the rest of my tears away and skipped downstairs where I hugged Daniel and apologized to him, too, snuggling up on the couch next to him. And the four of us watched tv together like a big happy family, which I'm not entirely sure we'd done before then.

A few days later, the students of Lincoln Middle School submitted the petition to end random searches with Cam's dad behind us. They weren't automatically banned like we'd hoped for, but at least it was a start. And Mr. Sullivan had promised us that there would eventually be results, even if it wasn't until we were in high school.

Oh, and I apologized to Mr. Shevins, who, as always, was delighted to see me in his office for something other than being in trouble. We had a mini-counseling session and it was fantastic, and then he sent me on my way as I promised for sure that it'd be the last time he saw me in his office during my seventh grade year.

Story: Why Did Katelyn Cross the Road?

Part of the Jessica/Katelyn Series.  It's the middle of the night and Katelyn and her best friend are craving donuts.  Fortunately there's a 24-hour Dunkin Donuts close by, and no one's around to stop them from going.  Then they have this bright idea to play a dangerous game in the middle of the highway that almost gets them killed... which Katelyn would probably prefer after Robert gets his hands on her.

Why Did Katelyn Cross the Road?
by Mackenzie

“Hey, I have an idea!” said Melissa in a moment of excited “brilliance” as we laid, sprawled out on her floor, trying to think of something to do. “My mom’s asleep and my dad just left for work at the hospital.” Her dad was an ER doctor and worked third shift sometimes. He was gone for at least half of the day a lot of the time. Her mom worked as a nurse at a nursing home and was sometimes gone at night too. “We could so totally sneak out and go to dunkin donuts.” she paused. “I’ve been having a craving for some donuts all day anyway!”

  It was a Saturday night and I was sleeping over at my best friend Melissa’s house.  I’d had to beg Robert to let me go even though my grades were still really good. He was probably afraid of them dropping, but he gave up because he realized I needed a little space to breathe. Robert was way too overprotective for a gay man. Then again, come to think of it, he was MY brother.

“You really think that’s such a great idea?” I asked Melissa.

“Of course it is, Kate!” she screamed in obvious excitement. “What could be a better idea!?” She only said that last thing with a slight questioning tone in her voice.

“I don’t know about this, Melissa,” I said. “Robert would kill me if he found out.”

“But he’s NOT going to find out, Kate. That’s the thing. You need to lighten up a bit.”

I thought about it for a moment, then grinned, saying, “Okay, hell, why not? We need to do something dangerous for once: like Camilla and Jessica.”

“Hell yeah! Time to be the troublemakers for once!”

I nodded, smiling still, “You’ve got that right!”

“So what are we waiting for!?” she screamed as she got up on her feet a little dramatically.

“Nothing!” I shouted, bringing myself to my feet as well. “Let’s go!”

She laughed a little bit, then whispered, “We should probably be a little more quiet.”

I started laughing too. “You’re probably right,” I said. “How are we going to sneak out?” I asked.

“Simple. My mom is dead asleep and the door is closed. There’s no way she’ll hear us going down the stairs.”

“Ha ha, you’re probably right.”

“Grab your jacket,” she whispered. “And let’s go.”

So that’s exactly what I did. Within moments we were sneaking down the stairs and out the door safely, Melissa locking it behind us. By the time we got a significant amount of yards away from her house, we were screaming and jumping up and down.  “I can’t believe we’re actually doing this!” I screamed, obviously on an adrenaline high.

“I know, right!?” she screamed. “This is gonna be so much fun!”

We were jumping up and down and running. It was a brisk cool spring night and we were sneaking out for the first time ever to go where? Dunkin Donuts. The weirdest thing to ever sneak out for. I guess we thought we were badasses. Well, we were, sort of… for about an hour.

I think it took us only about 5-7 minutes to get there. I mean yeah, we were running, but it also wasn’t far from her house, maybe a mile or so. Who knows? I’m not good at judging distances. Anyway though, it only took us 5-7 minutes to get there and the moment we did, we went inside, got some coffee and donuts and sat down for like 20 minutes. The coffee put us on caffeine high that made us giddy and stupid. It was almost like being on drugs, without the really bad side effects. Then again, caffeine IS a drug, so I guess we WERE on drugs. It just wasn’t QUITE as bad… so I thought. What did I know about any of this? I was a 13 year old seventh grader drinking coffee for the first time. Of course it was going to have bad side effects (albeit not really bad). I just didn’t know it yet. Like I said: stupid 7th grader and 13 years old. What can you expect?

Have I been rambling again? Sorry about that. I do it a lot. But anyways, moving on…

Melissa and I had been sitting there for about 20, 25 minutes before we finally decided we were going to leave and try to sneak back to her house. That was before we got this oh so “BRILLIANT” idea to do something that I will probably forever regret. I still can’t believe I was stupid enough to go through with it.

Basically, we left after sitting inside for those 20-25 minutes and went through the double glass doors outside. Melissa lived right off of the main road that dunkin donuts was on. And when I say main road, I mean 4 death lanes tied together with imaginary lines that are painted to make them look real and could kill you at any moment. Okay, so that doesn’t actually make sense but I’m hoping that you’re catching my drift. If not, well, you’re basically screwed for the rest of this story ‘cause I’m in one of those moods where nothing I say makes sense. I was the exact same way that night, as you’ll see later on.

So we left Dunkin Donuts and it didn’t take Melissa more than 30 seconds to suggest one of the dumbest things I have ever heard in my life. I doubt I will hear anything more dangerous and stupid suggested to me ever again.

“Hey, Katelyn!” she shouted as I walked ahead of her on our way back to her house.

“What?” I asked.

“I have the most brilliant idea EVER!!!”

“Really?” I asked, getting a little excited. “What is that?”

She smirked. “You know, we haven’t been quite dangerous enough yet.” She paused for a moment. “I think that we should totally start running out in front of the cars that come; not right in front of them, but close enough to say we did something dangerous and daring… something that’ll give us an adrenaline rush.”

Stupid, huh? I told you. But that didn’t really matter to me. I shared in her idea of the word “brilliant”. So the moment she said that, I was all over it. My eyes grew wide and I started laughing and jumping around. “That’s a GREAT idea, Melissa! We’ll so get pumped doing this!” I paused. “You go first.”

“No, you.” she said.

I rolled my eyes and shook my head. “Fine,” I said. “But only for you.”

“Thank you!” she grinned. I smiled and let out a halfway laugh again as I waited for a car to come halfway to us before running out in front of it and running back across to Melissa again.

Panting, I said to her, “Your turn.”

“Watch this,” she told me, as she ran across in half the time, almost getting hit by a car in the process.

“Whoa, you totally beat me, man.” I told her when she made it back.

So what did I have to do? Naturally, I had to one up her.  So I ran out in right in front of a car without even thinking. And when I say right in front, I mean RIGHT in FRONT. I was so close to the car that I could have died. In fact, as I recall, I did fall in the middle of the street. Whether it was after being hit by the car or not, I can’t remember. All I remember is the screeching of wheels and Melissa shouting. Then, whoever it was opened their door and slammed it shut, walking towards me.

“Oh my God,” the voice said. “Are you ok?” That voice was so familiar.

I looked up, my vision blurry and my head pounding.  A tall man was walking towards me. He looked so familiar. I wondered who he was. “Oww…” I moaned. This definitely had been a really dumb idea.

“Katelyn? “ the voice questioned. “Is that you?”

Oh shit. No wonder the voice was so familiar. It was Robert’s voice. What the fuck was Robert doing all the way out here in the middle of the night? Why would he be driving around this late? It made absolutely no fucking sense.

“Katelyn!” he shouted as he sat down next to me. “Are you ok?” he looked at me with a mixed look of anger, concern and disappointment.

“I don’t know.” I moaned.

“What the hell were you doing?”

I said nothing.

“Well, I guess I’ll talk to you about that later.” he paused. “Where’s Melissa?”

I pointed towards her. “Over there.” She was standing in shock, with her mouth wide open.

“Come with me.” He said sternly as he lifted me up before I could even get up on my own and took me to the passenger side of the car. It was late at night now. There were no cars coming. So he had plenty of time to shove me into the backseat. “Put on your seatbelt.” he told me. I’m pretty sure he was livid by this point.

He slammed the door shut behind me as I put on my seatbelt and went around to the other side. “Melissa!” he shouted. “Stay right there! I’ll be there to get you!” Then he got in the car and slammed his own door shut, putting on his seatbelt. He sighed heavily and put the car in gear, then made a (probably illegal) u-turn to the other side of the road where Melissa was. He rolled down the window. “Get in, Melissa.” He said. And when she didn’t move, “NOW.”

She followed his order compliantly and got in the car, putting on her seatbelt so as not to incur his wrath further. She usually preferred not to, but she knew how Robert was.

“What in the world were you girls thinking!?” he yelled as he began to drive us back to Melissa’s house. “You could have gotten yourselves killed! And what are you doing even sneaking out in the first place? I assume that’s what happened because I’m sure that your mother would not have let you out this late in the middle of the night, Melissa Marie Ferguson.  Am I right?”

Melissa stared down at her feet. She’d known Robert for awhile and had grown to love him like he was her own brother, even though she was an only child. Robert treated her that way sometimes too, like she was one of his little sisters. “Yes,” she muttered.

“Words cannot not describe how disappointed I am in the two of you. Sneaking out. Running in front of cars. What is wrong with you?”

We said nothing. “And you, Katelyn Rose Parker,” he said, pointing his finger at me in the mirror. “Are going to be coming with me tonight to the hospital so I can make sure my patient is ok. After that you are most definitely coming home with me.” he paused. “The moment we get to your house, Melissa, I want to speak with your mother. And Katelyn, you will be grabbing your stuff from upstairs and coming with me. Don’t expect to be allowed to spend the night again for quite some time.”

I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Now is not the time to be getting an attitude, young lady.” Apparently he saw that. Oops.

I was hoping for this ride to last forever, but as we all know… that couldn’t physically happen. It only took 3 or 4 minutes to get back to Melissa’s house, which wasn’t very long at all. And by the time we pulled into her driveway, my stomach was churning inside of me to the point that I was about ready to just throw up all over the backseat of Robert’s car. It’s not like I really could though.

“Get out.” Robert stated bluntly. I slowly unbuckled my seatbelt as Melissa did the same and we opened and closed our doors as he walked us up to the front door and rang the doorbell.

“You really didn’t have to do that, Robert,” Melissa told him. “I have a key.”

“Yes, I did have to do that,” he replied. “Otherwise your mom wouldn’t wake up. And I know you wouldn’t actually go to get her.”

We heard the sound of foots stomping down the stairs and exasperated sighs accompanied by some muttering which was bound to just be cursing under Melissa’s mom’s breath. Before we knew it, the door was opening and Mrs. Ferguson appeared from behind it. Her eyes grew wide and she remained silent, not knowing what to say.

“Can I come in, Mrs. Ferguson?” Robert asked her.

“Yeah,” she said in a tired surprised voice. She opened the screen door wide enough for all three of us to enter and walk to the living room. She followed us and pointed to one of the two couches for us to sit down. She sat down on the one parallel to that one.

“Mrs. Ferguson, were you aware that Melissa and Katelyn had sneaked out of your house?”

“Apparently not,” she stated, her eyes no longer drooping downwards as they had at first.

“Well, I’m going to make this brief because I have a patient I need to see in the ER but I was on my way to the hospital when Melissa and Katelyn were running into the street just for fun, by Dunkin Donuts. I almost hit Katelyn. We’re lucky they’re not dead,” he paused and Melissa’s mother intervened.

“Is this true, Melissa?” her mother asked.

Melissa said nothing for a moment then muttered, “Yes, mom.”

“Go upstairs to your room, young lady,” she said. “We’ll talk about this in the morning.”

Melissa walked up to her room and gave me a sympathetic look, as if to say sorry. I shrugged my shoulders slightly and gave her a reassuring look back, even though I didn’t feel at all reassured myself. The moment she left the room, Mrs. Ferguson whispered at me in a shouting way, “What in the world were you girls thinking, Katelyn?”

“I don’t know, ma’am.”  I replied.

“If you don’t mind, Mrs. Ferguson, I’m going to take Katelyn home with me tonight. I don’t think I should leave her here after what happened.”

“Oh, no, Robert… it’s fine. I completely understand.”

“Go get your stuff, Katelyn.” Robert told me. “And hurry. I have a patient I have to check up on.”

I sighed as I walked up the stairs quickly to Melissa’s room, opened her door and got my stuff. I mouthed  I’m sorry to her and left with my bag and pillow, not too pleased with how the night’s events had turned out. As I walked down the stairs, I thought of how stupid it had been and how now, I was probably going to pay for it. Why couldn’t I have just been my normal self that night? Hell, even my normal self got in trouble a lot. And I wasn’t like Jessica, either. Still got in trouble though… albeit for different reasons.

“Thank you for having her, anyway.” Robert told Melissa’s mom. “I appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Have a good night.” Robert said to her, as we walked out the door.

She smiled and replied, “You too,” closing the door behind us.

Robert pressed a button on his keys to unlock the doors of his car. “Get in that car right now, young lady.”

I did as he said; afraid of what might happen if I didn’t.

It didn’t take Robert long to get started yelling at me. The moment we were in the car he was screaming.

“What in the WORLD were you thinking, Katelyn Rose Parker!?” he shouted at me angrily.

“I just wanted to have some fun.” I whispered.

“You just wanted to have some fun? You call running out in front of cars fun!?” he paused to start up the car and pull out of the driveway. “You could have killed yourself! In fact, you’re lucky you’re not dead right now. I almost fucking hit you, Katelyn!”

Robert never or rarely used cuss words around me. He was definitely angry. Actually, let’s take it one step further than that… he was FURIOUS. Beyond that even. I had screwed up big this time. But did I care? No. Instead, I decided to be a smartass.

“Maybe you should have watched where you were going.” I muttered.

“I am NOT the one at fault here, YOUNG LADY!”  he screamed as we pulled onto the main road. “You’re the one who decided to run out in front of cars on this busy street, not me.”

“Whatever…” I said.

“Whatever is not going to cut it, Katelyn.  This is the third time you’ve done something that could potentially kill you. I’m not going to let it slide. “

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“What do you think it means, Katelyn Rose?”

I said nothing.

“Guess you’ll just find out when we get home.”

I folded my arms and remained silent for the rest of the ride until we got to the hospital.  Even as we walked into the ER waiting room, I still kept quiet, not wanting to talk to my brother at all.

“Wait here, Katelyn,” he said, pointing to one of the chairs. “And I mean it. No moving.”

I harrumphed and said “whatever.” He just gave me a look and walked off, talking to one of the nurses at the desk and walking through a set of double doors.

I sat there, staring at my hands and running my right index finger over the cracks in my palm, taking note of the shapes.  It was all I could do to keep from being way too bored. However, the distraction from the boringness (is that a word?) didn’t last for long. The sounds of people chattering and the t.v. murmuring quietly in the background overcame the thoughts spinning around like the contents of a blender in my own mind.  It was getting late and I was growing tired, as it was way past the time I normally went to sleep. I kept trying to distract myself by counting ceiling tiles, floor tiles, and trying to think of anything other than what had just happened. It didn’t work. Before I knew it I started thinking, really thinking about what I had done and how stupid it had been. Why the hell do I have to be so high on the morality chart?   …

 In any case, I thought of how dumb it had been to do that when I could have gotten killed or really hurt. I knew how mad Robert was. I just didn’t realize that there was way more to this than just him being angry and that there was more than just that one consequence to my action. I didn’t allow myself to think about the consequences and the stupidity of what I’d done for too long though; because before I knew it, I was drifting off into sleep. Not too long after, Robert was nudging my shoulder and telling me it was time to go home.

I nodded and stood up as we walked out to the car. Robert didn’t say anything, just remained quiet. I’m sure he was thinking of what he was going to do with me. Maybe some other things too that I just didn’t know about. By the point I plopped myself down in the front passenger seat of his car, I didn’t have the energy to even try to fight anymore.  It didn’t really matter if I did or not though, because he had no further questions and the ride was silent for the remainder of the time: no radio, no talking… just the thoughts spinning around in my head like the had before, just like the contents of a blender.  I couldn’t even fall asleep in the car, I was so nervous.

The ride lasted much shorter than I expected it would and before I knew it he had turned off the ignition and was looking over at me, motioning for me to get out of the car. I followed his unspoken command and unbuckled my seatbelt, grabbing my stuff from the backseat in the process and squeezing the mess out of my pillow for comfort as we walked up to the front door and Robert unlocked it, motioning once more with his hand for me to go in first. Once we were both inside, he closed the door behind me.

“Put your stuff in the living room and then follow me,” he said.

I did as he said, afraid of incurring his wrath further if I didn’t do so. Robert wasn’t even speaking much. That usually meant his emotions were even more intense than normal. I bet you anything he was so angry he couldn’t talk.

He put a hand on my back and guided me up the stairs, though I certainly didn’t need it, and into his room, where Daniel laid in bed with his bedside lamp on, a pen in his hand and a typed paper in his hand. He was clearly editing at least the beginning of one of his manuscripts. Seemed like Daniel, always staying up late at night to work on something.

Daniel looked up from the paper he was holding in his hand. “Uhoh,” he said. “What happened?”

“You want to explain that to him, Katelyn?” Robert asked a little angrily.

I looked up at him fearfully. Despite that fear I still decided to be defiant/a smartass. “No, not really.”

He pulled me further into the room and right in front of their bed, giving me that look he always gives me when he’s not happy and I should do what he says. “Do it anyway,” he said.

I shook my head.

He brought his hand up in the air and smacked my bottom hard. “Katelyn,” he warned. “Either you tell him or I will.” I still shook my head.  “Fine,” he said. “I’ll explain.” He then proceeded to tell him the events of the night. “You know that call from the ER I had on one of my patients in critical condition?”

“Yeah…” Daniel said.

“So I was driving down the main road towards the hospital and someone runs out in front of the car. I had no idea who it was and thought I’d hit the person. So I get out of the car and check to make sure that person is alright. I look down and guess who it is.”

Daniel’s mouth dropped. “Are you serious?”

Robert nodded his head. “It was Katelyn. Apparently her and Melissa had sneaked out to go to Dunkin Donuts and then decided to run out in front of cars on the road just for the hell of it. What do you think of that?”

“I think it’s the dumbest thing she could have ever done. Maybe even dumber than when she drank.”

I stared down at my shoes, beginning to grow ashamed of myself.

“I agree.” Robert said. “What do you think, Katelyn?”

I said nothing, still too ashamed.

“Well, Daniel,” Robert began. “I was thinking I or we should deal with this tonight just to get it out of the way, rather than deal with it in the morning.”

“I’d have to agree with you.” Daniel replied as he put his paper and pen on the nightstand beside him and swung his legs over the edge, standing up in the process. “I’ll leave you two alone so you can take care of things.”

“No.” I said.

“Excuse me.” Daniel replied.

“No. Don’t leave. Because he’s not spanking me.”

“Excuse me, Katelyn Rose,” Robert said in shock. “Since when are you the one who calls the shots around here?”

“I never said I call the shots around here but it’s completely unfair that I’m getting spanked for this.”

“Why is it unfair, Katelyn?” Robert asked.

“Because I’m a good kid. Because you’ve only spanked Jessica twice and she’s done way more things bad than I have. It’s just not fair, Robert!” I began shouting. “I’m a good kid!”

“Yeah, you are. But you did something stupid, Katelyn,” he told me, turning me around so I could face him. “And you need to be punished for it.”

“NO I DON’T!!!” I screamed. “Jessica does WAY more wrong than me… yet I’M the ONE getting spanked for the fourth time when the supposed bad one gets spanked ONLY TWICE!!! That’s a little fucked up if you ask me.”

“Watch your language, Katelyn.”

“NO!” I shouted. “I WON’T WATCH MY LANGUAGE!!!” then I proceeded to say: “fuck fuck fuckity fuck!”

Daniel walked over to me and turned me around, keeping his hands on my shoulders, “Calm down, Katelyn.”

“NO!!!” I shouted, pushing him away. “I’m not going to fucking calm down! I’ll shout all I fucking want to and you can’t stop me!”

Robert lifted his hand up in the air and smacked me 3 solid times on my bottom, hard… “You wanna watch me, Katelyn?” he asked rhetorically. Well, you remember how I said that those smacks were hard, they weren’t hard enough because I was still shouting and being a smartass, trying to get out of being spanked.

“Do you wanna watch me?” I asked sarcastically, glaring at him and then running out of the room and down the stairs into the bathroom. Robert ran after me, but I shut the door in his face and locked it just in time.

“Katelyn Rose Parker, you come unlock this door RIGHT NOW!”

“FUCK YOU!” I shouted at him as I punched my fist into the tiled wall. I didn’t even care that it hurt, that’s how angry I was.

I heard footsteps coming up behind him and then Daniel’s voice saying, “Katelyn, be reasonable. Come out.”

“NO!” I shouted as I grabbed a bottle of shampoo and threw it at the door. “FUCK YOU TOO, DANIEL! FUCK BOTH OF YOU!!! I FUCKING HATE THIS HOUSE! I FUCKING HATE MY LIFE! I CAN NEVER DO ANYTHING FUN!!! FUCK THE WORLD!”

I started pounding the wall over and over again, trying to take my anger out on it as I paced and flailed around until eventually I got so angry that the tears just started spilling and I fell against the door and started sobbing.

“Katelyn…” Robert said, his voice growing more concerned.

I just kept crying then muttered, “Leave me the hell alone, Robert.”

I heard some murmuring outside the door and then heard the sounds of footsteps walking the distance between the bathroom and the kitchen. I held my breath in, thinking they were going to come back, but as soon as they had been gone for at least a minute, I just let myself sob and sob for all I was worth. It seemed like no matter what I did I was always doing something wrong. No matter how hard I tried to do the right thing it was never good enough. Hell, I knew Robert and Daniel loved me but they held me on such a high pedestal. It’s like my best had to be 5 million times better than Jessica’s best. They judged me way more harshly, even though I usually did the right thing. Most of the times I messed up it was just because I was depressed. God… why was I such an idiot? I DID mess up… and I messed up A LOT, even if it was for different reasons than Jessica. STILL, she deserved to get spanked more than she did. They expected WAY TOO MUCH out of me. I really didn’t understand it. Maybe it was just because they knew I was capable of more but so was Jessica. Gah! I didn’t get it.

I wrestled with thought after thought in my head, not able to quite figure out how I was feeling until eventually I came to the conclusion of confused… plus some other things thrown in there. By the time I was done with thinking about the situation, I had stopped crying and was left only with a stuffed up nose and swollen eyes. By this point, I was fairly certain that no matter what I did, I wasn’t going to get out of the spanking. I was also certain that the longer I waited, the longer this situation would carry on, the more tired I would be and the more pain I would end up being in… so I decided to unlock and open the door then walk into the kitchen.

Daniel and Robert looked up from the table where they had talked about me many a time, to see me walking through the doorway and say, “I’m sorry.”

“Come here, Katelyn.” Robert said.

I did as he said and came towards him till I stood in front of him. He reached out and wrapped his arms around me. That was something I totally wasn’t expecting. But I guess giving me time to calm down gave him time to calm down too.

“Are you ready to talk reasonably, Katelyn?” Robert asked.

“Yeah,” I replied. “I’m ready.”

“Okay, let’s go upstairs, Katelyn.” he told me, then to Daniel, “Can you stay down here, Daniel, while I talk to her?”

“Of course.” he replied.

“Thank you,” he whispered then kissed the top of Daniel’s head.

“Come on, Katelyn, let’s go.” He grabbed my hand and led me up the stairs and through the door to their bedroom, sitting me down on it then turning to face me.

“So what’s the problem?” he asked. “Why do you feel it’s so unfair?”

“I don’t know.” I replied. “I guess it’s just that… I feel like you expect way more out of me than you do Jessica and so you’re stricter with me, even though Jessica does bad things too. I’ve gotten spanked three times and she’s only gotten spanked two and now you’re about to spank me for a fourth time. I just don’t think it’s fair.”

He nodded. “I understand that, Katelyn. And I guess in some way you’re right. I DO expect a lot out of you… but only because I know you’re capable of so much.”

“So is Jessica.”

“I know that too, but you have to deal with Jessica in a different way than you do with you, Katelyn.”

“I don’t get it.”

“I’m hard on you because I want you to keep pushing yourself like you are. I don’t want you to slack off.” I was about to but in but he started talking again. “But I suppose you are right. Jessica does get punished less than you. However, she also hasn’t done three life threatening things. She hasn’t almost killed herself three times like you have. This time… you took it further than you ever have. This time, you could have killed more than just yourself. This time you could have killed yourself and tons of other people. How would you feel if someone ended up dead tonight, Katelyn?”

“I guess not too great.” I muttered.

“Besides that, Melissa’s mom didn’t even know where you were and I thought you were somewhere else. So how would we know when something bad happened to you? I hope you realize how serious this is.”

“I do.”

“Good.” He paused then continued. “I’m going to do this because I want to make sure you never do something so stupid ever again. Do you understand that, Katelyn?”

“Yeah,” I whispered, almost to the point of being inaudible.

“I’m going to give you a heads up, Katelyn, you’re getting the belt too.” I whined.  “Please don’t fight. Just make this easier on the both of us and take it without fighting. The sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can go to bed and the less pain both of us will be in.”

 I nodded.  “Stand up, Katelyn.” Robert demanded.

I did as he said this time without fighting and stood up. He grabbed one of the belt loops in my jeans and pulled me towards him till I stood right in front of him, then began to unbutton and unzip my jeans. He pulled them down and gently tugged on my wrist then guided me over his lap. As soon as I was over, he pulled my panties down.

“Do you want to say anything before we start, Katelyn?”

“No, Robert.”  I said.

“So you understand why I’m doing this, then.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“Tell me.”

“I could have killed myself or anyone else and sneaking out, Melissa’s mom had no idea where we were which means that no one would have known if something bad had happened.”

“I’m glad you understand but I want to make sure this never happens again, Katelyn.” He paused. “Are you ready?”

I nodded even though I didn’t feel ready at all. Within seconds he lifted his hand up and crashed it down on my backside as I screamed bloody murder. I wondered how Jessica hadn’t woken up yet after all that had happened. However, that thought was soon dashed as Robert landed another smack across my ass. He kept building up the intensity of the smacks. They had started out mild and quickly went from mild to hard to solid hard to beyond harsh. He smacked and smacked me as I cried out in pain. I was sure my bottom was on fire by this point!

He paused in his spanking to say sadly, “You worry me so much, Katelyn.” That hit me where it hurt if nothing else had. “I don’t want you to do anything else to endanger your life ever again. Do you understand me?” He asked as he smacked me.

I yelped. “Yes sir!”

He continued on spanking me with his hand for a couple more minutes until I was almost positive that my bottom was hot enough to be able to cook something on it… FOR REAL! By this point I was kind of crying, but not as hard as I could be. I wasn’t sobbing yet like I had been earlier.

Robert lifted me from his lap and stood me up, then stood up himself. “Over the bed, Katelyn,” he said as he pulled his belt out from the loops and folded it over.

I shook and tears began to come out of my eyes a little more. “I… I… I… I’m sorry, Robeerrrttt.”

“I know you are but that doesn’t change the fact that you need to be punished for what you did. Now bend over the bed, Katelyn.”

“But I’m sorry!” I cried.

He sighed and just placed me over the bed. I gripped tightly on the sheets and braced myself for what was about to come, really hoping he wouldn’t be too hard on me.  With that last thought he lifted the belt up high in the air and crashed it down onto my backside, waling on me over and over, smack after smack until I really thought I might be dying. That’s how badly it hurt!  I wished he would just stop. It almost felt like he was just doing it to be mean even though I knew that wasn’t the case. Obviously it wasn’t. Still, it hurt like a motherfucker. And yes, I do cuss a lot. But that’s beside the point. I’m getting off the subject, like I always do. In any case, he kept laying down the smacks one after another in a methodic way, in some type of pattern until I was sobbing and my hair was matted against my cheek. I didn’t even realize he had finished… not until after he was sitting down next to me and rubbing my back, comforting me.

“Shh, baby girl. It’s ok.” he cooed. “I love you. I’m done. I’m not going to spank you anymore, I promise.” He reached down and gently pulled up my panties then lifted me up gently as well and cradled me in his arms, pushing my head into his chest and kissing the top of it, petting my hair to comfort me.  “I’m sorry I had to do that, baby. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

I nodded. “I know,” I cried, in barely audible words. It probably sounded more like a blubbering noise, what with all the snot in my nose and the tears in my eyes, my throat choked up from crying so much.

“Shh… it’s okay, Kate. I love you. Calm down.” He rubbed my back some more and rocked me back and forth like I was a baby. It was kind of comforting, I must say, but it still took me a long time to calm down. When I eventually had calmed down though, I was able to speak.

“I’m sorry, Robert.” I said.

He kissed the top of my head, “I know you are, honey.”

We remained silent for a few moments before I eventually said something. “I didn’t mean to worry you.”

“I know you didn’t, Kate.” He pulled away from me for a second to look deep in my eyes. “Just promise me you’ll make sure to think twice before you ever do something like this again. Promise me you won’t do something to endanger your life again. Please…” He was begging me.

“I promise.” I said.

“Good girl.” He gave me a big hug and sighed. “Are you ready to go to bed, Kate?”

I nodded. I was beyond ready.

“Okay, come on, honey.” He said as he stood up and reached out his hand to mine. “Let’s get you tucked in.”

I took his hand and allowed him to help me to my room where Jessica was quietly sleeping. I should have known, she’s a heavy sleeper.  Robert turned on the lamp on my nightstand and pulled back the covers on my bed then motioned for me to climb in. I did and he pulled the covers back over me then kissed my forehead for about the five billionth time that night.  

“Good night, Kate.” he said softly, “I love you.”

“I love you too, Robert.” I replied. “Goodnight.”

He smiled and turned off the light. “Sleep well, Kate,” he told me as he walked out the door and closed it behind himself.

I smiled back even though he couldn’t see it. Robert was amazing and knowing that he loved me even after all the shit me and Jessica had put him through made me the happiest girl alive.

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