Not Normal

Jenn decides to party it up with her best friend, and by party it up, I mean get drunk and high.  Right before her older brother’s concert that she’s going to.  Nevermind that she’s not old enough to drink, and Ben is totally against her smoking weed.  The night only gets worse when she gets in a fight during the concert, successfully averting all the attention to herself.  Including Ben’s.

———

I’m not normal. And by “not normal” I’m not referring to the fact that I live with my older brother in the boonies of Louisiana, or that my brother’s in a band that’s starting to get popular, or even that I seem to be attracted to emo guys. By “not normal” I mean that whenever I smoke weed I get all defensive and pissy… and “normal” people just get happy and hungry (okay, so I do get hungry… but whether or not that’s a side effect of the drugs, who knows). When I’m high I don’t get all philosophical, I get political and start debates. Why? I don’t know… I’m seriously the only person I know like that. Everyone else seems to get a kick out of it… Well, almost everyone else.

So my brother was performing at a concert downtown, and my best friend, Audrey, and I decided to go together. Of course, she’d just scored some good shit from a friend of a friend, and we couldn’t wait to try it… and besides, we couldn’t smoke it at the show anyway… so we smoked it in the car on the way.

“Tonight is going to be the shit,” Audrey said, picking the seeds and stems out of her bag of marijuana.

“I hope so,” I answered, pulling into an empty church parking lot and turning my lights off.

Audrey packed our pipe with the weed, then lit up, taking a hit. I watched intensely, waiting for her reaction. “Well?”

She exhaled, smiling. “Hellz yeah,” she whispered, handing me the pipe and lighter.

She was right… the only way to describe the grass was “hellz yah.” It was that fucking awesome.

The drive to the concert was blurry, as we were just jamming to happy techno music and dancing around like crazy. When I was talking about the normal stoned person, I’m referring mostly to her… she’s the happy, dancey, hungry one…

“I’m hungry,” I said suddenly.

“Loser. I so said I was hungry like ten minutes ago.”

I pulled up to Wendy’s. “Mmmm, Bacon Cheeseburger,” I muttered.

“Ooh, chicken nuggets!” she yelped.

“Strawberry shake…” I said.

“M&Ms!”

I blinked. “They don’t have M&Ms here…”

She giggled.

The drive thru worker asked for our order and we must’ve spent like $10 a piece there… between frosties and cheeseburgers and chicken… yeah, we could’ve gone broke.

We munched on our food on the way to the concert, now listening to one of my cds instead of her happy techno music. I was in the zone when we arrived downtown… and by in the zone, I mean I was totally gone. I don’t know how I parallel parked.

Did I mention this was my brother’s concert? Yeah, I’m stupid, I know.

Audrey and I somehow managed to stumble into the concert and pay our entrance fee (yeah, even though we were related to the band we had to pay… crappy, right?). There were quite a few people around as it was the “end of summer” concert. That meant that everyone from the local high schools were around to party it up one last time before school started back… that we weren’t the only intoxicated people at the concert… that some kind of trouble was bound to break out.

Everything started out smoothly. The opening band was a bore, so I passed the time slurping on an icee and eating a Twix bar. The second band was kickass, so I carried my happy ass to the middle of the floor and let out some aggression in the mosh pit. During the break between the second and third bands, Audrey dragged me to the car for some more weed and we made a quick run to Baskin Robins across the street for some spectacular ice cream. When we came back, we met up with some friends from school who were carrying around a bottle of water and a carton of orange juice. Yeah, it so wasn’t water. By the time our brothers’ band started playing, we’d drank a little too much of that “water” and orange juice and now were beyond intoxicated. I moshed a little more, maintaining my balance a little too well for someone who wasn’t sober.

When the band stopped, Audrey and I took a break at the snack bar, giggling about different things. She was always pretty good at keeping me happy, whether I was intoxicated or not, so you can imagine the shock when I suddenly became infuriated. You see, I was sitting there and I overheard this douche bag guy behind me.

“Yeah, girls shouldn’t be in mosh pits… they could get hurt.”

My eyes narrowed and I turned around abruptly. “What the fuck, yo,” I began. “What do you mean girls could get hurt… you stupid little boys get hurt more often than we do.”

He was a bit shocked that I was talking to him, which I can’t really blame him. He hadn’t really been talking to me to begin with. But nonetheless, he answered. “That’s ‘cause all the guys go easy on the girls. They don’t want to hurt you. Y’all need to have your own mosh pit.”

I shoved him. “Look you pansy, you need to shut your fuckin’ mouth before I get all ghetto on your ass.”

“Jenn! Stop!” I heard Audrey say, putting a hand on my shoulder, but I could hear the laughter in her voice.

“What the fuck is your problem?” the guy said, standing and acting like he was about to hit me so I’d be scared or something. Yeah, didn’t work.

I stood up and shoved my chair out of the way, not caring that he stood about a foot taller than me. “You’re my fucking problem, you sexist jackass.”

“Oooh, it’s a feminazi. I’m sooooo scared.”

That did it… I hauled back and punched him in the face, so hard that it startled him and he stumbled back into the chair. Before he had the chance to say anything again, I pushed him as hard as I could.

He stood up, pushing me and sending me flying into Audrey’s arms. She was cackling like crazy, and patted me on the shoulders. “Dude, seriously,” she said, but before I let her finish her sentence, I was up again and hitting Jackass, ignoring the fact that people were starting to congregate around us. I punched him again, shoved him again, took a couple of slaps and pushes, kicked him in the shin, took a punch to my cheek, then was about to begin choking him whenever I felt myself being pushed away.

“You better keep your fucking mouth shut!” I yelled, resisting whomever it was who was pushing me back. I also saw that someone was holding him back.

“You fucking cunt!” he yelled back. “Come on! Hit me, you bitch!”

I tried to run after him, but whoever was holding onto me was a lot stronger than I was. “You just wait, you fucking asshole. You fucking wait!”

“Jennifer! Shut the hell up!” I heard from behind me, then someone grabbed my upper arm and pulled me away. I turned to see my brother, Benjamin, standing there.

“I’ll kill him,” I mumbled, still trying to break away.

Ben tugged me back to him and said, “Chill out.”

I looked at him, trying to make sense of what was going on and wondering what the pain was that I felt on my right cheek. “I will beat the fuck out of him,” I said through clenched teeth to Ben.

So much was happening around me that I was dazed and confused. Audrey was still trying to contain her giggles and the guy was still yelling shit at me and police were talking to different people in the room.

“I think I’m going to be sick…” I mumbled to Ben, fanning myself.

He said something to someone next to me, and then dragged my dizzy self outside to sit on the ground for a moment. I leaned my head against the brick wall, trying to make everything stop spinning. I could hear Ben and his bandmate Mark talking softly and puffing on cigarettes. I don’t know what they were talking about, nor how long I was out there before Audrey bumped into me.

I opened my eyes, staring at her.

She burst into giggles again. “That was classic,” she told me.

“My face hurts.”

“That’s cause you got owned.”

“What the fuck ever.”

“You kicked some ass,” she admitted.

“I know, right. Fuckhead. Fucker. I hate him. I’ll kick his ass again.”

She giggled again. “I’m sleeeeepy,” she groaned and leaned her head against my shoulder.

I leaned my head on top of her head and closed my eyes, dozing off for a minute when I felt my foot being kicked. I immediately woke up, prying my eyelids open to see an officer towering over me and my brother at his side.

“What’s up?” I asked.

The officer smiled and introduced himself, then said that he just wanted to ask me some questions. I tried to be as polite as possible… in Louisiana, southern manners go a long way. I did admit that I threw the first punch, but that I was provoked. He then proceeded to ask if I wanted to press charges, and I thought about it for a second, but Ben gave me a look as if saying I better not. I guess if I had pressed charges, the guy would’ve pressed charges on me, too. So I said, “No, sir, I think everything should be okay. It won’t happen again.”

He smiled again, scribbling down something in his little notebook and thanking me for my time, admonishing me to stay out of trouble. I wish it would’ve been that easy with Ben. Hah… he wasn’t even mad at me… he was beyond mad. You know, that point where they’re so pissed off that they won’t even yell at you? That was Benjamin.

“Let’s go,” he ordered, stomping out a cigarette.

“Aww, but Ben… I wanna hear the last band,” I whined.

“Now,” he said, giving me a stern look that quickly shut me up.

I looked at Audrey who was sitting next to me in a daze. “Come on,” I told her. “We gotta go.”

“Audrey’s brother is going to take her home, because neither of you need to be driving.”

I pushed myself up. “What? Why the hell not?”

“Let’s go,” he ordered again.

I folded my arms. “I’ll take Audrey home then meet you at the house.”

He inched in towards me, “You are fucked up beyond belief. Don’t think I’m stupid and don’t notice it.” He paused, giving me a minute to let my stomach sink before adding, “Now, you can either come with me the easy way or the hard way. Your choice.”

“Whatever,” I said, shoving him out of the way and walking past him to his car.

He followed behind me, probably restraining himself from embarrassing the both of us in public. Not that I could really blame him if he did… I kind of deserved it… but at the time I would’ve hated him for it.

He unlocked the doors to his car and I crawled in the backseat like a child upset with his mother about something stupid. I folded my arms and pouted, staring out the window until my eyes became heavy and I slumped over, my forehead against the front seat. By the time we arrived at my house, I was lying down on the backseat, dead asleep.

“Get up,” Benjamin told me, but he sounded far off. It took a couple of times before I realized that he was talking to me and I wasn’t dreaming and that I was still stoned out of my mind.

I followed him inside the house, and that’s when he let out everything he’d been holding in since pulling me from that fight earlier in the day.

“What the hell, Jennifer,” he bitched. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Right now I’m just standing here,” I told him.

Hah… I’m glad that he’s the older brother and not me… I couldn’t have put up with myself, for real. “What were you thinking? Smoking weed, drinking alcohol, picking a fight… are you crazy?”

I shrugged, trying to walk off because he was giving me a headache, but he grabbed my upper arm and pulled me back.

“And you were driving while intoxicated, too, weren’t you?” he asked.

“Yeah, but whatever, Ben. I’m sure you’ve done it before, too.”

“Actually I haven’t,” he said, turning me to face him.

“Okay, okay, Saint Benjamin. I apologize. Can I go to bed now?”

“Do you not realize what you did?!?” he asked, now yelling. “Of course you don’t realize what you did… you’re as high as a kite!”

“Dude, tone it down. You’re giving me a headache,” I mumbled.

He grabbed my chin, putting his face in mine so that I would concentrate on what he was saying. “You were this close to getting arrested tonight. And all for what, some marijuana and some asshole saying that you should stay out of his mosh pit?”

I didn’t say anything, just looked into his angry dark brown eyes, not getting the full effect of what I’d done yet.

“You embarrassed me,” he added. “You disrespected me. You broke the law.”

Short sentences were working to his advantage. I was starting to understand what he was saying. “I’m sorry,” I said.

“Yeah, I’m sure you are.” He let go of my chin. “Go to bed.”

I ambled to my room, changing into my pjs and plopping down on my bed. I pulled my phone out of my pant’s pocket to send a text message to Audrey, but by the time I opened the message, I was dead asleep.

When I awoke the next morning, my head was throbbing and my cheekbone was sore. It was hard opening my eyes and my throat was dry. This could only mean one thing: I’d smoked and drank too much.

I wanted a glass of water, but I was scared that Benjamin would be up and I wasn’t quite ready to face him yet. Instead, I lay in bed and pieced the night back together. Of course parts were missing, but after about ten minutes of remembering, I realized that I’d fucked up big time.

I rolled back over and closed my eyes, wanting more sleep. The longer I slept, the more time I had before having to face my older brother.

I couldn’t have been lying there more than ten minutes when the door opened. I tried to fake sleeping, but I’ve always been bad at that, even during naptime when I was in kindergarten. So within seconds my eyes were open glancing at him.

He was wearing baggy jeans and a T-shirt, an army cap on the top of his head. Ben isn’t a very intimidating guy… he’s only about 5’10” and although he’s stocky, he’s not grossly muscular or anything. And usually he wears a friendly face… even when he’s not smiling he just has the face of a nice guy. But, I don’t know, that morning, I felt my stomach twist into knots and all of a sudden I was worried. It wasn’t so much that he was livid… it was the fact that he had a board in his right hand.

I immediately wished that I’d have faked sleeping a little better. Not that it would’ve mattered because he probably would’ve waken me up anyway. Maybe I could’ve faked dead…

“We need to have a talk,” he said.

By the look in his eyes, I was thinking by “talk” he intended on letting the board do most of the talking.

But I sat up anyway, a solemn and worried look on my face. “I’m sorry,” I began. “I didn’t mean to get into a fight… I didn’t mean to do all of those things… I’m sorry…”

He sat down next to me, placing the board on the bed then reaching up to touch my cheek bone where I was hurting. “That bastard hit you pretty good,” he said.

I nodded.

“Jennifer,” he began, sighing and looking away. “I don’t even know what to say.” He looked back at me.

“I’m sorry,” I said again.

“So I’ve heard.”

There was an uncomfortable silence.

I looked around my room, trying not to look at the board that was sitting on my bed and undoubtedly about to be applied to my backside.

“You smoked weed,” he said. “What did I tell you about drugs?”

“Not to do them…”

“Do you remember what happened last time you smoked?”

I nodded. Yeah, how could I forget… how could any 16 year old forget her first spanking… especially when it was given to her at 16 years old!

He turned my head so that we made eye contact. “And not only were you high, but you put yourself in danger of getting hurt or arrested. What if the guy would’ve pressed charges? What if he had hurt you? What if you’d been pulled over while you were smoking? Or if you’d had a wreck? And don’t tell me that you weren’t driving while high because I know you were, Jennifer.”

I didn’t say anything. The words he was saying were causing guilt pains inside of me and a tear slipped down my cheek.

“And to top it off, you were very disrespectful to me after the incident.” I could see anger begin to flare in his eyes, remembering the words I’d said to him the night before. “You popped off one too many times, shoved me out of the way…” he shook his head. “You were practically begging for me to give this to you last night,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” I repeated. It was like that was the only thing I knew how to say.

He picked up the board. “Get over my lap,” he ordered.

Tears streamed down my face. “Please, Benjamin. Please don’t do this… I’m sorry. I-I didn’t mean it, I promise. Please.”

“I told you this would happen, Jennifer Anne. I told you what would happen if I found out you were smoking weed again. You knew the consequences, and now you have to face them.”

“I know, but I wasn’t thinking. Please Benjamin. Give me one more chance. Please.”

He shook his head. “Get over my lap.”

I buried my face in my hands for a minute, crying and shaking, not wanting to be punished. Wasn’t it enough that my head ached and that I’d gotten punched? Hadn’t I learned my lesson?

Benjamin grabbed my upper arm and helped me over his lap. “Please,” I begged a final time, to be answered with a cool breeze on my bottom: he’d pulled down my pj pants and panties.

“I’m not going to tolerate drugs, Jennifer Anne, and you know it,” he told me.

I buried my face into the sheets of my bed, crying from embarrassment and the fear of what was about to happen to me. He rested the board against my bare skin for a moment. Just feeling the wood on my bottom reminded me of my first spanking, when I’d only gotten swatted with it a couple of times. The way that it made a loud popping sound when crashed against my bottom… the way I shrieked after each blow, even though I’d already gotten my warm up with his hand… the way he scolded me for smoking marijuana and promised me a long spanking with the board if I ever did anything so stupid again. Why hadn’t I thought of that before smoking with Audrey?

He delivered the first deafening blow and I howled, reaching my hands back. He must’ve been expecting it because he quickly grabbed my wrists, pinning them down and popping me again. He didn’t give me much time to recover before he began peppering the swats on my poor bottom, gaining a definite rhythm. Two times concentrated on the right cheek, two times on the left, one swat in the middle of my bottom, two times on my right sit spot, two times on the left. The sound was thunderous, and I was wiggling and squirming and crying like crazy.

“Bennnnnn I-I’m sorryyyyyyy!” I wailed, tears falling down my face.

He paused for a second. “You will NOT smoke weed,” he told me, giving me a hard POP! for emphasis. “And you won’t pick fights *POP!*, and you certainly won’t disrespect me again like you did last night *POP!*. Do you understand me? *POP!*”

“Oooowwww, yesss,” I howled, kicking. “I’m s-sorry.”

But he wasn’t finished. He maintained a steady pace again, now concentrating more on my sit spots than before. He knew that’s where it hurt the most.

“Pleaseeeeeeee,” I begged to his deaf ears.

“I honestly can’t believe you,” he lectured. “You could’ve killed yourself or someone else.” He kept up the spanking as he spoke. “What you did was completely irresponsible and dangerous…” I know he said more after that, but I was in so much pain, and I was squirming and wiggling and moving around so much that I couldn’t concentrate on anything but my backside being walloped.

Through the lecturing and paddling, he stopped for a moment, allowing me to regain myself… for a second anyway. “Was it worth it?” he asked.

“Noooo,” I whined, sobbing into my bed sheets.

He popped me square in the middle of my bottom. “Jennifer, you’re my little sister and I love you. And I trust you to do the right thing. When you do something stupid like this, you break my trust,” he said, delivering another stinging blow. “It makes me wonder if you should even have a car at all.”

I cried harder. Please don’t let him take my car away!

“It makes me wonder if I should be breathing down your neck watching every move you make.”

“I-I’m s-sorry,” I stammered through the tears.

He popped me again. “You’ve said it enough times. Do you really mean it?”

“Y-yessssss,” I promised.

He gave me another whack and put the board down, allowing me to cry for a minute before lifting me up. Ouch… it hurt to stand up. I reached back to touch my throbbing bottom and felt how hot it was. And my sit spots were definitely bruising, ‘cause they hurt so badly.

Benjamin pulled me in for a hug, sitting me down on his lap and holding me tightly. “I love you, little sis,” he whispered. “I don’t like you doing dangerous things.”

I nodded, just letting him hold me and not saying a word. And he let me stay like that while I cried out all of the pain I was feeling.

“You okay?” he asked me a few minutes later.

“Yeah… I’m sorry…” I said again. “I’m sorry for smoking again, and putting myself in danger.”

He kissed my forehead. “I know, baby girl. Come on… get cleaned up and we’ll go get your car.” Sensing my smile, he added, “that doesn’t mean you’ll be driving it anytime soon.”

I didn’t argue, though. It was pretty dumb to smoke and drive, so I kinda deserved it. Besides, Audrey had a car.

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