It had been three whole months since my grandpa died and also three whole months since I had cut. Mark periodically checked to make sure I wasn’t cutting so it’s not like I could anyway. Anyways, now it was January and I was doing a lot better. I hadn’t cut or burned and I was beginning to heal from my grandpa’s death. I had started playing my guitar again and writing songs like I used to. I was painting and drawing again. I had even picked up a few new things, including photography (I had bought myself a new camera) and my latest endeavor in the arts… winter guard. Now, I’m not sure if you know exactly what winter guard is but if you don’t, you should look it up. Basically, I spin a flag on a six foot pole in a choreographic manner, to music. I would start on flag and gradually move on to other things like rifle or saber. You should probably look this up if I’ve lost you already, because it’s going to be important to know what this is.
I was infatuated with guard. I fell in love with the flag from the moment I signed up and began to learn how to spin. Mark seemed happy enough for me. In fact, he had even encouraged me to sign up for it when I mentioned it to him. “It’ll be good for you,” he had said. “You need to do something that’s not academic.” However, he also seemed to become somewhat concerned with the fact that I was becoming overly infatuated with it, to the point that I would go outside when it was pouring down rain and spin with the flag I had bought at a competition I went to and also to the point that I began asking him if I could spin in thunderstorms. He would tell me time and time again, “No, Melissa. It’s dangerous to spin when it’s lightning and thundering out. You have to stay inside today.” Not that what he said stopped me, especially when he and Matt just happened to be out of the house at the same time, on the night of a torrential downpour with severe thunderstorm warnings/watches. I don’t know. I never figured out what the difference was, so I didn’t really pay attention to whether it was one or the other. Regardless, there was a severe thunderstorm in the forecast and despite what my brother had told me, I had every intention of disobeying him. He and Matt were going to go visit a college in northern Indiana, which wasn’t too far from where we were, maybe 3 hours at most to get there, and Mark was leaving me in charge of the house.
“Make sure you feed the cats at 7:00 and there’s lasagna in the fridge from last night. You know my number if you need anything and if I don’t pick up you can call Matt and if he doesn’t pick up, call Mrs. Downing. I’m sure she’ll be able to help you.” Mrs. Downing was our next door neighbor and long time family friend. She’d helped out a lot when my father was in court.
“Okay… okay, I got it,” I said groggily. It was about 8 in the morning on a Saturday and Mark had woken me up right before they were about to leave to tell me all this. He still hadn’t said anything about the incoming thunderstorm and spinning. SCORE.
“Oh, and before I forget, don’t even THINK about going out and spinning in this thunderstorm tonight. Once it starts, I want you inside and I want you to stay inside. If I find out you’ve been spinning in this horrible weather, you’ll be sorry you did it. Do you understand me?” Okay, so I take back that score.
“Yeah, I get you. I get you,” I told him. “Now can I go back to sleep?”
“Yeah. Just don’t do anything you’re not supposed to, kiddo, alright?”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it. NOW can I go back to sleep?”
“Yes, you can go back to sleep,” he told me in a teasing voice. “We’ll be back late tonight, so don’t wait up for us and go to bed at a reasonable hour.”
“I thought you said I could go back to sleep. Are you taking that back now?”
“Alright, alright, I’m leaving. We’re going. I’ll see you tonight or tomorrow, alright Issa?”
“Alright. Bye, I love you.”
“Love you too. Sleep well,” he said, leaning down to give me a kiss on my forehead. Since discovering that I was a self-injurer, Mark had been much more careful around me and although he had always been a great brother, he was still somehow being more kind and also, as a disadvantage, much stricter. He had really started to crack down on me now, but in a good way… so I guess it wasn’t that bad.
“Bye, Mark,” I whispered as I closed my eyes.
“Bye, Melissa,” he whispered back as he closed the door.
I fell back asleep very quickly, drifting off into a dreamland filled with spinning. J
I woke up again somewhere around noon that day. I had stayed up really late working on this new song I’d started writing for my guitar. It was sounding pretty good so far but then, who am I to tell you that? You should probably listen to it yourself. Oh wait, you can’t… that’s right, haha. Sorry.
In any case, I had stayed up really late so you can imagine why I slept so late the next day; although, it wasn’t really as late as I could have slept. The latest I’ve slept is 5 in the evening. Yeah, I know but don’t judge.
So I wake up and basically all I do for most of the day until the thunderstorm starts is play my guitar and watch t.v. That was, like I said, UNTIL the thunderstorm started and the thunderstorm started somewhere around 7:30. So I had already fed the cats and eaten and everything. And, I really don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I must have some sort of fetish for spinning in thunderstorms… because it’s so much more enjoyable than spinning in regular weather. So, you may have guessed it already, but basically all I did was wait the entire day for this thunderstorm to start so I could go outside and spin. As soon as I heard the first crack of thunder, I was running upstairs to get my flag and to put my shoes and jacket on. The weather was surprisingly warm for January (January in Michigan). In any case, I raced up the stairs to get my flag then rushed out into my backyard to spin. I ran through our entire competition show, over and over again… maybe 50 times. And I guess I must have just lost track of time because I sure as hell didn’t notice how much darker it had gotten… until I heard a car pull into my driveway and a car door slam and then a horn beeping.
“Fuck shit,” I whispered under my breath. “What the fuck am I supposed to do? Mark is going to kill me!”
I didn’t have long to think about what to do because before I knew it I heard the back door opening and Mark shouting, “Melissa Anne Carter, what do you think you’re doing!?”
I turned around and dropped my flag to the ground, “Um… admiring the sky?”
“That’s a load of bullshit. Get in here right now, young lady!”
I complied and hurried into the house, receiving a smack on my bottom on the way in. “Ow,” I whined. “What was that for?”
“That was for blatantly disobeying me and doing exactly as I asked you not to and trust me, there’s a lot more where that came from.” I whined. “Stop acting like a five year old, Melissa,” my brother told me.
I wanted to come up with a sarcastic remark but I couldn’t think of any appropriate ones that didn’t involve the menstrual cycle of teenage girls so I refrained.
“You deliberately disobeyed me and went against my specific orders to NOT go out into this thunderstorm. There’s a reason I tell you that you can’t go out in this weather, Melissa. It’s dangerous. Did you even think of the fact that you could get struck by lightning!? Hmm?” he asked me. “You’re holding a six foot metal pole in your hand which attracts lightning. You could have been electrocuted! And if it’s not that, you could get sick from being out in the cold weather. It’s January and all you’re wearing is a light jacket and sweatpants and sneakers! You could have caught pneumonia! For all I know, you did. What did I tell you about taking care of yourself?”
“I’m sorry, Mark,” I whispered.
“Not as sorry as you’re going to be.” He paused. “I want you to go take a hot shower and get into your pjs then wait in your room for me. I’ll be up there in half an hour.”
“But Mark,” I whined, “I’m sorry.”
“Melissa, go take a hot shower so you don’t get sick from being cold. I’ll be up there to discuss this with you afterwards.”
“Okay,” I whispered quietly and turned back around to go up the stairs and into my room to take my shower. I prolonged it as long as possible and tried to enjoy the hot water washing over my skin but I couldn’t really, because all I could think about was what was coming up next. After the cutting incident, Mark had sat down and talked with me and we had talked about what punishments would work for me and I agreed to spankings. He thought they would work best and I’d rather that than get grounded. He also gave Matt some options and Matt opted for the groundings. Sometimes, I wish I would have taken the groundings instead but Mark had given me that option and I had passed it up. I couldn’t go back now. Mark had already told me that once I decided that’s what it would be, unless they ended up not working. Then we could try something else. Unfortunately, I think they worked for me. Fuck.
I finished my shower sooner than I thought I would and quickly got dressed in my pjs and ended up waiting for what seemed like hours before Mark came up. I almost jumped out of my skin when he knocked on the door.
“C… ahem.. come in,” I choked out.
Mark opened the door. “Hey,” he said.
“Hi,” I whispered.
He took a seat beside me on my bed and patted me on the leg. “What am I going to do with you, Melissa?”
“You understand why I didn’t want you to do that, don’t you?”
I nodded. “I know, but I just really wanted to spin. I love spinning in the rain.”
“I know, but it’s not safe. If you keep doing this, you’re not doing guard next year.”
“Wait, what? That’s not fair, Mark!”
“It’s perfectly fair. You have got to stop putting yourself and your health in danger. First the cutting and burning, now this. Are you trying to give me a heart attack from worrying so much?”
“No,” I whispered.
“Then stop doing this stuff to yourself. I’d like to have my little sister around for a little while.”
“I’m sorry, Mark.”
He sighed, “I know you are, kiddo. But you’ve gotta be punished.”
“Why? If I understand why you didn’t want me to do it, why do I have to be punished?”
“So that you’ll have a deterrent in the future.”
“I already have enough of a deterrent with your disappointment in me.”
“Nice try, sis, but it’s not gonna work.” He paused and patted his lap. “Come on, over my lap.”
I whined, “But Mark…”
“Melissa, let’s not make this harder on either one of us. If you just do as I say, this will be much easier on you.”
I pouted. “Fine,” I said. “But only because you said that.”
He chuckled at me, “You’re something else.”
“Thanks. You are too,” I told him as I placed myself across his lap.
He adjusted me so that my bottom was in the center of his lap then pulled my pj pants down but not my panties. I guess that meant he was going to start it with a warm-up spanking.
“Do you understand why I don’t want you to ever do this again, Melissa?”
“Because I was endangering my life. I could have been electrocuted or could easily get sick by being out in the rain and cold that long.”
“That’s right. We’re never going to have to have this conversation again, are we Melissa?”
“Good,” he said quietly. “I’m glad to hear that.”
With that he lifted his hand and began smacking me somewhat mildly, not enough for it to really hurt that much yet, just enough that it stung. Soon enough though, those smacks began to get harder and harder, to the point that I was screaming.
“Maarrrkkk,” I whined/screamed. “Stop! I’ll be a good girl. I promise. I’ll be good!”
“I know you will, but we’re far from finished,” he said as he continued to smack me.
“Melissa, no amount of begging is going to get you out of this,” he said as he delivered two very extra hard smacks to each of my thighs.
I whimpered. “Okay,” I replied, resigning to my punishment somewhat.
He continued spanking me for probably about five more minutes before he lifted me up and said, “Go get your wooden hairbrush.” He paused and gave me another two hard smacks to each of my thighs, “And hurry.”
I hurried into my bathroom as he had said and got the wooden hairbrush that I had inherited from my mother out of the cabinet above my sink. Then I hurried back out and handed it to him, a sad look in my eyes.
“Good girl,” he said. “Now back over my lap. Come on,” he said as he gently guided me over his lap.
“I’m sorry, Mark,” I whispered before he began.
“I know you are, honey. Just a little more with this hairbrush and then we’ll be done and everything will be forgiven, alright?”
I nodded, ready to cry, but not quite there yet.
He lifted the brush up and began smacking me over and over again, quick and hard. It didn’t take long before I began crying and just went limp over his lap as he smacked me again and again. Again, like any other spanking, it felt like hours but was probably, in reality, only two minutes before he had finished up and had placed the hairbrush down beside him and was rubbing my back gently, whispering reassuring words to me.
“I’m sorry, Mark. I’m so sorry. I need to stop worrying you so much,” I cried.
“Shh… it’s okay, baby. It’s alright. Everything’s forgiven now. Everything’s okay. I love you so much. You’re the best sister ever. Shh… I love you, Issa. I love you so much.” He kept telling me the same words over and over again and rubbing my back until eventually I had calmed down enough to where he could pull my panties and pjs up and sit me on his lap and wrap his arms around me.
“Please don’t ever endanger your life like this again, Issa. You worry me so much sometimes.”
“I won’t do anything like this ever again, Mark. I promise.”
“Good girl,” he told me as he kissed my head softly. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Mark,” I replied as he rocked me back and forth in his lap.
I must have fallen asleep somewhere around that time because that was the last thing I remembered about that night. I imagine that my brother tucked me in because the next morning I woke up underneath the covers, plenty warm but with an aching bottom. Ah well, at least I knew he cared about me enough to make sure I didn’t do stupid shit.