Part of the Just Shannon series. Shannon has been leaving class before the bell rings, and her teacher finally catches her. The always-respectful (yeah right) teen gets mouthy enough to earn a trip to the office, where she is informed that her brother will be notified. Matt isn't going to be too happy.
The Bell Rings at Three
by Breanna Carter
As the months passed on and cool weather came nearer and nearer, I noticed that October had approached. It had been about two weeks after Erik’s birthday when he finally got the car that he’d been begging for. As promised, he offered to take Lisa, Jen, and me to school every morning. We started out getting to school early every day, in time to where we could both sit in the hallway and finish the homework that we’d neglected to do the night before. He ended up helping me with a lot of my own homework, seeing that he was a junior and I only a sophomore. For the record, he was awesome at math! And after school we’d wait around for a little while so the parking lot could thin out and then we’d set off to the middle school where we’d pick up Jen and Lisa. It was so much fun to finally have a friend who had a car. Jen and Lisa seemed to think so, too.
After a while, though, Erik kept getting irritated with the stupid busses at the middle school. They’d hold up traffic forever. And soon, we were getting to school seconds before the bell rang, and slipping out of class five minutes early so we could hurry up and make it to the middle school before the busses left. We did this everyday, meeting at his car at 2:55, unless one of our teachers held us back. That usually wasn’t the case, though. My sixth period teacher was absent-minded and didn’t even notice when I left class early.
I guess you can see where this is heading... One day, I left class, early as usual, and so did many of the other students. Well, they didn’t exactly leave, but they sat outside on the boardwalk (this class was in a T-building which means that it wasn’t in an actual hallway or anything, but outside next to tons of other T-buildings with a boardwalk connecting them all... in case you didn’t know) waiting for the bell to ring. As I trampled down to the parking lot to meet Erik, I heard some yelling but paid no attention. She’d never notice I was gone... And as we pulled out of the lot, I noticed that no one was sitting on the boardwalk any longer. Hopefully none of them would clue her in on the fact that I left.
Problem was, they did. The second I walked into class the next day, I heard about it.
“Miss Johnson,” she said. “I noticed that you left yesterday afternoon before the bell rang to dismiss the students.”
I bit my lip, trying to conjure up a good excuse. “I did?” What a great excuse.
“Yes, Shannon, you did. I had plenty of students tell me that they saw you leave campus.”
“They didn’t see me leave campus,” I argued. Well, it was true... they didn’t *see* me leave. “I.. I have choir practice on Thursdays. I had to get my music out of my locker. I told you but you must not have heard...”
She stood there, unmoved, totally not buying my lame excuse. “If you need to leave early, you will make sure I hear you and you have a hall pass from me.”
“Whatever,” I muttered, rolling my eyes and slumping down in my seat.
“Excuse me!” she shrieked. “You left my class early and that is like skipping, Shannon Johnson. I do NOT need that attitude from you!”
“Yeah, well, I don’t like you yelling at me either.”
Her mouth was dropped and instantly I regretted saying that. She walked to her desk, muttering things under her breath and finally pulled out a yellow slip of paper. “If you’re going to have that attitude with me, I have no other choice but to give you a referral. I will not tolerate that in my class.”
I was livid. My teeth were clamped together and my fists balled up. How dare she give me a referral!
She scribbled something on the paper and handed it to me. “Straight to Mr. Jarrow’s office and no detours through the parking lot or the choir room or where ever it was you went yesterday.”
I glared at her and snatched the paper from her hand then threw my backpack over my shoulder and stomped out of the room. I wanted so badly to flip her off, but I was too upset. Plus, I knew it’d get me in more trouble... and I was sure that Mr. Jarrow would let me off easier without that added comment on my referral. Speaking of referrals... I wondered what mine said on it so I looked down.
“Leaving class without permission and disrespectful attitude.”
I groaned. She made it sound like what I’d done was horrible! But it really wasn’t that bad... all I did was mutter a few things I could have kept to myself. Maybe I’d get after school detention and Erik could pick me up and Matt’d never know what happened. Yeah, right.
I ambled towards the office and stopped at the secretary’s desk. “Hi, um, I need to see Mr. Jarrow..” I muttered.
She pushed her glasses up and turned around. “You may go on in,” she told me and nodded towards an open door with a tall, thin man sitting behind a large desk filling out some paperwork.
I said a quick “thank you” and walked down the hallway, dreading each step more and more. I’d never actually been sent to the principal’s office before... I remembered all the times I was younger when other kids were sent to the office. In kindergarten a boy was being mean to the other kids and saying bad stuff to the teacher and got sent to the office. He came back crying. I remember the year after that, we went to an assembly about discipline and the principal held up a paddle and said that it’s what she used on the students when they acted up... and I remembered how one kid had once told me, in the third grade or something, that the principal’s paddle was big and had holes in it so it’d hurt more. I wondered if Mr. Jarrow had a paddle... surely not... not in high school... we were too old to get paddled! And if I got paddled at school, they’d definitely tell Matt and then I’d get in trouble at home, too! That’s not cool at all.
“Can I help you?” he was saying and I realized that I’d made it to the door without even noticing.
“Oh, uh,” I stepped inside and handed him the note.
He glanced at it. “Shut the door, please,” he ordered, and I figured the next thing he’d do was take out that large wooden paddle with the large holes drilled through it... But I shut the door anyway. “Have a seat.”
I sat down across from him on a hard wooden chair. I shifted uncomfortably.
“Shannon, is it?”
He scanned over the paper once again then placed it down on his desk and folded his hands while looking at me. “Well, Shannon... says here that you’re leaving class without permission and using a disrespectful tone with your teacher...”
I bit my lower lip again. “I guess so,” I murmured.
“Care to explain this to me?”
I shrugged. “I told her I was going to get some stuff from my locker and she said it was fine, so I left early and today she was accusing me of not telling her, so I got upset and told her she could stop yelling at me already.”
He nodded. “The thing is, Miss Johnson, I’d like to believe you, but this is Mrs. Strait, and she doesn’t normally send students to the office. And, in fact, I think the last referral I received from her was in 1997. So I know it must have been more than that. I understand that she can be a little forgetful sometimes, but next time, make sure that she knows, okay? As for this ‘attitude’ thing... well, don’t let it happen again. I guess I can let this go with an afterschool detention.”
I let out a slight smirk. “Yes sir, Mr. Jarrow. I won’t let it happen again.” I began standing up.
“Sit down, Shannon. I can’t let you leave until I give you your detention slip and get your phone number.”
“My phone number?” I muttered, plopping back down in the chair, smirk gone.
“Yes, your phone number.” He was digging through a drawer now, and finally pulled out another yellow slip of paper.
“Why do you need my phone number?”
“To call your parents, of course.” I watched as he scribbled information down on the sheet of paper.
“My parents are in Europe.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Oh? With whom are you staying?”
As usual, I spoke before I thought about it. “Just by myself.”
He didn’t buy it for one second. Instead, he finished filling out that yellow slip then moved towards a large filing cabinet that was against a wall. “Any family members in town?”
“No.” I guess it was partly true... if you don’t consider Matt a family member. I guess I was too dumb to realize they had my file.
He pulled out a folder and looked inside. “I see. Who is Matthew Johnson?”
“Says here that you reside with him.”
He showed me the file folder where a sheet of paper was stapled inside. There it was written inside... my address and guardian’s name. Dammit. Caught in another lie.
I looked up at him and he moved the folder away. “So Matthew is your guardian or not?”
“Are you living with him right now?”
He was getting upset. “How can you ‘kinda’ live with someone?”
“Shannon, I don’t appreciate you lying to me. I’m letting you off easy by giving you only a day of after school detention when I could be giving you in school suspension, or I could even suspend you.”
I looked at the floor and twiddled my thumbs.
“When I ask you a question I expect you to answer me honestly, do you understand?”
He sat down on the chair and wrote the number down on a post-it tablet with Matt’s name at the top and mine at the bottom. “I’ll be having a word with Matthew later this afternoon.”
“Okay.” Maybe I could get home in time to erase the message...
“Detention is Tuesday after school in Mr. Jacobson’s room. You are expected to be there promptly.”
Needless to say, I didn’t leave class early that day. In fact, I wasn’t even close to the first one. Erik was kind of upset when I came to his car later than usual, but he let it go after he saw how pissed I was about the whole day. He listened to me bitch the whole way to the middle school, and we got caught in bus traffic, so I bitched some more, and when the girls weren’t there, I bitched even more.
“Don’t worry about it,” Erik said. “They probably just figured that we weren’t coming. Just calm down a little.”
“I can’t calm down. Mr. Jarrow’s gonna call Matt and he’s going to blow a head gasket.”
“Just tell him it was an honest mistake... that you asked if you could leave early and she said you could, you had no idea you needed a pass, and you didn’t mean to be rude to her...”
“And what about lying to Mr. J?”
I sighed. There really was no way to get out of this.
We met up with Lisa and Jen when we got to the apartment complex and they were furious. I told them about my shitty day, and they were a little nicer. At least next time they’d know where we were.
When I got home, Matt was sitting at the table, working on something. I tried to avoid him and walk to my room to throw my backpack down, but to no avail. “Got any homework?”
“No,” I muttered.
“Mrs. Addington called today. Said you were slacking off on your geometry homework.”
I grimaced. How come she didn’t tell me she was calling? Then I could have at least been prepared. “I’ve done most of it, just left it at home, or lost it.”
He put the pencil down and looked at me. “Yeah, and I’m Bruce Willis.”
I cracked a nervous grin, trying once again, to turn away and walk to my room.
“And your vice principal guy called, too... Mr. Sparrow or whatever.”
“Your vice principal. Said he had a conference with you today.”
“Oh. Uh, yeah. Look... it was a mistake...”
“Really? A mistake? I’d like to hear how lying to him was a mistake..” he said, giving me a sarcastic grin.
“Well... see... er... I asked my teacher if I could leave early yesterday and she said I could, and she didn’t remember today and started yelling at me so I asked her to stop and she took it the wrong way... and then when I went to the office I didn’t understand his question... I thought he wanted to know if I was living with a real adult... you know... like an aunt or uncle or something.”
“Shannon, you’re lying out of your ass. I can see it in your eyes. You can’t even look at me and tell me all this stuff.”
Damn, brothers always know that stuff. “Sure I can.”
He raised his eyebrows, giving me a doubtful look. “Firstly, Shannon, I know that you leave school early everyday, else you wouldn’t get here by 3:30 every afternoon. Today you didn’t get here until at least 3:45. For the past two weeks you’ve gotten here at 3:20, sometimes 3:15 or 3:10... I don’t think Erik’s driving speed fluctuates that much. Secondly, the guy who called me had talked to your teacher and she told him that you used a very sharp tone with her, otherwise she wouldn’t have given you a referral. And thirdly, he said that he plainly asked you who you lived with and you said no one. And the fact that you’re lying to me is NOT helping the situation, Young Lady.”
I gave an exasperated sigh and rolled my eyes. “You don’t understand,” I concluded.
“*I* don’t understand? Are you forgetting that I’m 19 years old and I, too, was in high school not too long ago and I wanted to leave school early, too. I had to deal with pesky teachers and principals.. hell, I still do! But that didn’t give me any right to backtalk them or lie to them. And if Mom or Dad had received a call from someone I sure as hell wouldn’t lie to them!” He was practically yelling by this time and I wasn’t liking the looks of this.
“Geeze, Matt. Chill.”
“Chill?? You’re telling ME to chill? I just got two phone calls about you and the first I could live with but when I hear that you’re using bossy tones with your teacher and lying to your principal, I have a problem with that, Missy. And I have a problem with the way you’re acting right now and the way you just stood there and blatantly lied to me.”
I fidgeted nervously.
“I’m not going to put up with this attitude. Mom and Dad can deal with it, but I’m not. Understand?”
“Whatever,” I said plainly. Mistake!
Matt nearly knocked his chair over from getting up so quickly. The closer he got to me, the more I moved back, until I ran into the wall.
“No... Matt... I’m sorry!”
But it was too late. He was flustered with anger. I held my hands up to keep him away.
“Matt! Stop!” I squeaked.
He ignored me and grabbed my arm. I tried to hold onto the futon, the wall, anything! But his grip was stronger than mine and in a matter of seconds I was being dragged towards the chair. I fought and struggled. “No!” I kept saying. “Stop it!” But he kept ignoring me. I leaned all of my weight towards the floor, hoping that I’d fall out of his tight grip and make a quick getaway to my room, but he just gave me a sharp smack on my rear. “Matt! No! St-op it!” I said, enunciating my words.
He finally got to the chair and sat down, grabbing my arm and throwing me over his knee. I struggled and fought, trying to stand up.
SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!
He began smacking me over my skirt because I was struggling too much for him to bare my bottom. Before he knew it, though, I was rolled off of his lap and on the floor, trying to crawl away.
“SHANNON KATE! If you don’t stop struggling, I am going to spank you so hard that you won’t be able to sit for a month! You’re already in enough trouble, Young Lady!” He lifted me up as if using no strength at all and I found myself, once again, over his lap and looking at the carpet.
SMACK!! SMACK!! SMACK!! SMACK!! SMACK!! SMACK!!
He slapped with all of his might, but I didn’t neglect to put up a fight. I kicked and screamed and squirmed to no end. If you think it didn’t hurt, you must be crazy! But I’m crazy, too, because as much as that hurt, I still managed to be as big of a brat as I could, which only made me get it worse.
After about thirty or so smacks over my clothes, he lifted my skirt and tugged my panties down. I could already feel my reddening bottom.
He lifted his hand again and my backside was greeted with more smacks. “Shannon Kate, *SMACK!! SMACK!!* you will NOT *SMACK!! SMACK!!* use that attitude *SMACK!! SMACK!!* with me *SMACK!! SMACK!!* or anyone else *SMACK!! SMACK!!* Do you understand? *SMACK!! SMACK!! SMACK!! SMACK!!*”
I was yelping with each smack, mostly because he was concentrating on my thighs and sit spots. “Stopppp!!” was all I could answer. That wasn’t what he was looking for.
“I will NOT stop, Young Lady. You are getting what you deserve and you know it!” And with that he continued spanking and spanking and spanking, as hard as he could, my bottom and my sit spots and my thighs, and before too much longer I was crying and not totally broken, and he lifted me from his lap and marched me to the corner. “Nose in corner, Shannon. No rubbing!”
I sniffled and stood in the corner, glowing bottom on display. I studied the wall and tried to make sense out of everything that was happening. I shifted uncomfortably, my bottom stinging to no end.
“All right. Come here,” Matt ordered after about twenty minutes of corner time.
I sniffled and turned around, wiping my eyes. I assumed it was over, but I was wrong. There he was, unbuckling his belt and sliding it through the loops. It took me a good three seconds to realize what he was doing.
“Nooooooooo,” I pleaded, beginning to cry again.
“Shannon, what you’ve done today is unacceptable,” he scolded, grabbing my left arm and guiding me over the futon. “I’m not going to put up with it.”
I heard him fold it over as I buried my head into the mattress. I heard some dangling then CRACK!!! the leather crashed against my backside and it was throbbing.
“OWWWWIIIIIIEEEEESSSSSS!!!” I shrieked, standing up and grabbing my bottom.
Matt pushed me back down and kept his hand on my back. I heard him lift it again and crash it down. This hurt more than I could ever imagine! By the forth blow, I broke down into sobs and I was clutching onto the mattress for dear life. I howled in pain after each smack. By the tenth smack, I was broken. I was sobbing into the couch and really and truly sorry for what I’d done. Sorry that I’d left school early, sorry that I’d used an attitude with my teacher, sorry that I’d lied. “Shannon, I’m very disappointed in what you did today. I didn’t expect such a thing from you. You know that it’s wrong to lie. *CRACK!!!!!*”
“AHHHHHOOOWWWWW!!! I k-knowww!”
“And you need to learn how to respect others. Not have an attitude. *CRACK!!!!!!!!*”
“ARRGGGGHHHHH!!!! I w-won’t do-o it again-n. I pwomiseee!”
“And you need to do your math homework. Got it? *CRACK!!!!!!*”
“Good.” He gave me five final smacks then dropped the belt and scooped me in his arms. I cried into his chest as he patted my back and rocked me. I couldn’t help but apologize. I felt bad for letting him down, for disappointing him. He kissed my forehead millions of times and told me he loved me.
“I won’t leave class early again.”
“Good... but that’s not what I’m worried about. I’m worried about how you’re going to treat your teachers and other adults...”
“I won’t be mean,” I assured him, feeling like a small child.
He smiled. “I love ya, little sis.”
I smiled back. “I love ya, too. But that hurt.”
“Well, maybe you’ll remember this next time you’re on the verge of a referral, huh?”