*NOTE* I plan on making this one a series too... but we'll see.
“Annie, what are you doing to yourself here?” my cousin, Andrew said as he closed and locked the front door of his apartment, and then sat down next to me. I just stared straight ahead, hoping to avoid his gaze. He and I had talks about this several times before tonight. I didn’t want to talk about it again.
“Annie, tell me what’s wrong.” He lifted my chin to look him in the eye, but I pulled away from him, averting his gaze. This wasn’t how the night was supposed to go. He wasn’t supposed to be at the party. He wasn’t supposed to know. But he did and now this is what I had to deal with. Andrew was like another brother to me, though. I couldn’t bear to disappoint him.
“Annie, please talk to me. Tell me what’s wrong.”
“I don’t want to talk about it, Andrew.”
“Annie Marie, your brothers placed you in my care this weekend. That means I’m responsible for you. I’m fairly certain that Anthony and Michael would be pretty upset by tonight’s events.”
“I know,” I whispered.
“I understand that you’ve been going through a rough time lately but drinking won’t solve that. It will just make it worse. Not only are you underage but you’re not even supposed to be drinking as it is! Anti-depressants and alcohol don’t mix. You know that. You could have killed yourself, Annie Marie Pepperidge!”
“I’m sorry, Andrew,” I muttered, taking a liking to my own feet.
“You are only 18 years old, young lady. You don’t need to be drinking. I’d better not catch you doing it again and I do mean EVER again. We don’t need to lose another member of the family.”
“Andrew, I’m sorry…” I whispered.
He sighed, “I know you are,” then paused, “But I have to call Anthony.”
“No, Andrew… please don’t! He’ll kill me!”
“No, he won’t, Annie. But he needs to know about this,” he told me as he pulled out his cell phone and began to dial my brother, Anthony’s, number.
“I’m sorry, Annie, but it has to be done.” He held the phone up to his ear, listening for my brother. I waited with my head in my hands, not wanting to hear what my brother had to say and scared to death of what I knew would happen.
“Anthony? Yeah, it’s Andrew. Look, we have a little situation here with Annie. I know you’re busy this weekend but if it’s possible, I think you should come pick her up, or at least come here and talk to her… you’ll be here soon? Alright, Anthony. I’ll see you soon. Okay… uh huh… bye.” He paused then turned to me and said, “He’s on his way.”
I nodded, knowing there wasn’t much else I could do but sit here and wait for my eldest brother to come pick me up and take me back home. I knew I should have gone away to college. I knew I shouldn’t have let Michael and Anthony talk me into staying home with them. Maybe I could convince them to let me move away to school the next year…
But I guess that wasn’t what I should have been thinking.
It couldn’t have been anymore than 15 minutes before I heard a knock on the door and tremors crept through my body at an alarming rate. The last thing that I wanted to do right then was face Anthony. He was the more intimidating of my two brothers. And even though he didn’t get angry very often, when he did, you knew it, even if he was subtly angry when he was.
Andrew opened the door, revealing Anthony with a look of confusion on his face. “What happened?” he asked.
“Annie should probably explain to you herself.”
I shook my head at Andrew, giving him a look as if to say, no way. I didn’t want to admit to Anthony what I’d done anymore than I wanted to see him. Andrew gave me a look as if to say, you’d better, but I still refused. I’d much rather Andrew said it if anything was going to be said.
He gave an exasperating sigh, “Fine, I’ll tell you.” He paused. “Annie was at a college party she shouldn’t have been at. She had said she was just going to hang out with some of her friends but then I called her to ask her when she was coming home and she told me she was at a party and sounded like she’d been drinking. Her words were slurred and she was speaking nonsense. Then I came to look for her and found her drinking some more. I had to pull her out of there. By the time we got home, she was acting normal again, but still. She’s not supposed to drink.”
“Annie Marie Pepperidge, is this true?”
I wringed my hands and looked down at the floor not wanting to answer him but whispered anyway, “yes.”
“Annie, do you want to get yourself killed? You know you can’t drink alcohol with your medicine. It could kill you! Besides that, you’re not even 21 yet! You still have three more years, young lady!”
“And you still chose to do it?” I said nothing. “Well, we’ll discuss this further at home. You’re not spending the rest of the weekend here.”
“Anthony, please, I’m sorry.”
“You had your chance, kiddo.” He paused again. “Come on, get your stuff and let’s head home.”
I nodded and turned to hug Andrew. “I’m sorry,” I whispered, tears threatening to burst from my eyes.
“I know, little cousin, I know. Just don’t do it again, alright?”
“Alright,” I answered. “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” he responded, squeezing me tightly then letting me go run to the guest room and grab my stuff.
“Thanks for having her, Andrew,” my brother said as we left the apartment.
“It’s no problem. You know you’re all welcome at any time.”
“Bye, Andrew,” Anthony said. I whispered “bye” immediately after him.
“Bye, Anthony. Bye, Annie.” With that he shut the door and my brother and I continued down to his car in the parking lot. We walked silently. I knew how disappointed he was in me, how disappointed both of them were in me. I think I could have dealt with outright anger a little better, to be honest. But disappointment, disappointment was something I couldn’t handle. All I’d wanted to do was cry ever since Andrew found me, and even more so since Anthony showed up at our cousin’s door.
My brother unlocked the car doors and we got in. He started the engine, not saying a word to me and pulled out of the parking lot. I assumed he was going to start the lecture when we got home and not in the car and that was confirmed when I said “I’m sorry” and he responded, “Not right now, Annie,” concentrating on the road instead.
My brother never was the type to talk while he was driving, at least not when he was upset. So as you can imagine, it was a long 15 minute drive. I wished he would just talk to me. I wanted to forget about this whole escapade, the entire night and what I did. I just wanted to get home and curl up in my bed, wake up the next morning and have everything be just fine. While the alcohol hadn’t killed me, it had made this whole situation seem much worse… me and my damn mood swings. I wish my disorder had a fucking cure. Then I could have gone off to college instead of staying home and my brothers wouldn’t be so goddamn worried about me constantly. I could be a normal 18 year old and I wouldn’t be stuck with situations like this all the time. Yeah, right, only in my dreams.
When we pulled into the driveway, my brother just sat there for a few seconds before he told me, “Go up to your room, Annie. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Just go, Annie. It’d be in your best interest if you just do as I say.”
I nodded, wanting to say I was sorry again but realizing it wasn’t appropriate at this exact point in time, then grabbed my bag, unlocked the front door and went up to my room, plopping down on my bed, ready to cry as I lay there, waiting for Anthony to come up and “talk” to me.
It couldn’t have been long that he was out there because I swear to God he was up there as soon as I lay down. Still, when I heard him knocking on my door, I nearly jumped five feet in the air. “Come in,” I answered as I sat up.
Anthony walked in and sat down on my bed next to me. “I’m disappointed in you, Annie,” he said.
“I know and I’m sorry. What more do you want me to do?”
“Well, for one, you could make decisions less hazardous to your health and wellbeing.”
I didn’t say anything even though I knew he was right.
“Do you have any idea how much I worry about you? How much all of us worry about you? If you weren’t on this medicine I wouldn’t be as peeved about it because at least then you wouldn’t run the risk of killing yourself, unless you drank too much of course. But you are on anti-depressants. You are on mood stabilizers. You do have bipolar disorder. And you can’t be doing stuff like this. How many talks have we had before about what you have to do to keep yourself healthy?”
“I know, Anthony. I’m not a child anymore.”
“Clearly you still need to be reminded like you are one though.” He paused. “Annie, you’re constantly doing things that you shouldn’t be doing. You know that you can’t drink caffeine or alcohol. You know you have to get enough sleep. You know what you need to be doing, so why won’t you just do it? Why do I have to breathe down your neck? Do you want to live here forever? Because you will be if you don’t learn how to take care of yourself properly soon.”
“Stop treating me like a child.”
“Then stop acting like one, Annie Marie, and I won’t treat you like one.”
I really wanted to insert a comment there about how children didn’t drink alcohol but I didn’t. I figured being a smartass right there wouldn’t help anything. It would probably make things worse, actually.
“You know what I have to do,” he whispered disappointingly.
“You don’t have to do anything, Anthony. I’m 18 years old. I don’t need you to punish me anymore. I can learn on my own.”
“We made an agreement, Annie. That agreement was that as long as you lived here you would be following my punishments and my rules. You’re not getting out of it.”
“I’m not a fucking child, Anthony.”
“When you start acting like an adult, we can handle things like adults. Until then, we’ll be taking care of things this way.”
“I should have moved out.”
“There’s a reason you’re staying here, Annie.”
“I know. It doesn’t make it any easier.”
“I know, kiddo, I know.” He paused. “Stand up.”
I did as told, not wanting this to last any longer than it had to. I knew it was inevitable that it would happen.
“Pants and panties down.”
I whined but did it anyway. I knew fighting would get me nowhere. It never did with Anthony… or Michael for that matter… or even Andrew, all of whom had spanked me before.
Well, I didn’t stand there long. Anthony was grabbing my wrist and pulling me over his lap before I knew it.
He started out quickly, more quickly than usual and he started out hard as well. I’m not sure he’s ever started out that hard or quickly before. That told me he was serious. “Annie, you have no idea how disappointed I am in you right now,” he said as he continued to rain down smacks on my bottom.
“I sent you to our cousin’s house because I thought it would do you some good to get out of the house and go somewhere else and because I had some work to get done over the weekend. I trusted you to do as you were supposed to, to come in at a reasonable hour and follow the rules. You didn’t do that.”
“I’m sorry, Anthony!” I cried.
“You’re supposed to be taking care of yourself. We don’t need another family member dying from this. First mom, then dad… do you want to be the next one?”
“Nooooo!!!” I screamed.
“I don’t want to wake up to find you dead one morning and I don’t want you to get so depressed you end up feeling like death is the only way out. You need to take care of yourself so it doesn’t get to that point. My little sister is too young to have something like that happen to her and I care too much about you to let it happen. Don’t you know that?”
“Yeeesss!!! Anthony! I’m sorry! Please stop!”
“We’re not through yet, little sister.”
He spanked me for about 2 more minutes before stopping then paused. “I love you so much. It would devastate me if anything happened to you. You couldn’t begin to imagine how worried I get about you. I don’t want anything to happen to you, Annie. I just want you to live a happy life. But I won’t always be there and I can’t make the right choices for you. You have to be the one to do that.”
“I’m sorry, Anthony,” I said.
“I love you, Annie, and I’d die before I ever let anything happen to you.”
I nodded and began to cry. The tears that I’d been trying to hold in were now spilling from my eyes. I hadn’t realized before how much my poor choices affected Anthony or Michael and Andrew, or anyone who cared about me for that matter… not that I ever realized that anyone cared about me to begin with. I guess I did deep down though. It broke my heart. I think hearing him say those words and knowing how disappointed he was in me hurt way more than the spanking itself.
“Just 18 smacks with the hairbrush to remind you of how old you are and we’re done, Annie. We’ll never have to go over this again, will we?”
“Good.” With that he raised the hairbrush, spanking me swiftly and quickly without any more words. It seemed like forever before he was done, but I know it wasn’t. Soon enough, he was placing the hairbrush down beside him and rubbing my back, letting me calm down before he lifted me to my feet, getting up as well.
He put his hands on my shoulders, “Annie, you mean the world to me and if anything bad ever happened to you, I couldn’t forgive myself for it. I want you to be happy, but you have to work to be happy. I love you so much, little sister. Come here,” he said, pulling me towards him and embracing me.
“For the record, Anthony, I love you too and I’m really sorry, truly.”
He laughed a little bit. “I know, Annie. Just promise me you’ll never do this again.”
“I promise,” I answered, looking up at him with a smile on my face.
“You’re really a great kid, you know that?”
I smiled, “I know. Thanks for being my brother.”
“I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” he replied, hugging me and then tucking me into bed, telling me good night and saying he’d see me in the morning.
I may not have been a child anymore but I was glad that my brother cared enough to show me that he really did care, even if it hurt like hell.