You can always count on Brianna to have a good temper tantrum every so often. She and Terrence have different views about what she should do for college, and it turns into such a horrible fight that Bri takes off to Ana’s, crying her eyes out. She is greeted, instead, by Ashton who teaches her a lesson she’ll never forget. Okay, maybe she will forget it, but it sounded good anyway!
After our trip to Mexico, I was obsessed with going to school in Guanajuato, where Alex would be going. I researched the university on the internet, bought a Spanish workbook to teach myself the language, and emailed Alex hopeful messages that I would be in Mexico by the fall. Terrence didn’t know anything about this… he knew that I was interested in going to Mexico, and that I’d considered going to college down there, but he had his heart set on me going to a private liberal arts college in the town we lived in. I, however, was not going to that school.
I came home from Ana’s house one Saturday evening to find Terrence sitting on the sofa, more elated than I’d seen him since he’d decided to get married.
Raising my eyebrows, I said, “what’s up with you?”
He smiled and shoved an envelope in my hands. It was from the school that he wanted me to go to.
“Oh,” I said, my voice solemn. I looked at the unopened letter, wondering what the contents would reveal. It was either an acceptance letter, or a rejection letter, and part of me really hoped that it was the latter. It would be a lot easier to convince Terrence to let me study in Mexico if I didn’t have a school in town waiting for me.
“Well? Open it!” he said, a little too excited for his own good.
Biting my lower lip, I tore the envelope open, subconsciously wishing for rejection (hey, there’s a first time for everything!). The letter fell out, revealing not only that I’d been accepted, but I’d also received a soccer scholarship that paid for the majority of my college expenses. Wow. I glanced up at Terrence, my heart skipping a beat.
“What’s it say?” he asked, reminding me of Ana on the airplane just weeks earlier wanting to know what Alex had said in the letter he’d written me.
I handed the letter to him, slumping down on the couch, wondering what to do. How would I ever convince him to let me move to Mexico now?
“This is great, Brianna!” he said, after reading the letter, playfully punching me on the shoulder and grinning wildly. Then he stopped, realizing that I was kind of bummed. “Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked.
I shrugged. “I dunno… I really kinda wanted to go to school in Mexico…” I said honestly. I’d given up on lying to Terrence after our last lying fiasco.
My brother chuckled slightly. “Really? Mexico? Why?”
I looked at him, wondering why he found this so amusing. “Because that’s where I want to go,” I said, probably cocking a little too much attitude for my own good.
“Brianna, you can’t go to school in Mexico,” he said, still seeming slightly entertained by the idea.
“Why not?” I asked, standing up now and becoming angrier by the moment.
“Because that’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard come from your mouth. You don’t speak Spanish, you don’t know anyone in Mexico, and how would you get your stuff down there? Where would you live? How would you pay for all of that?”
“I can learn Spanish and I know Alex!” I claimed. “And I’m going to go to school in Mexico and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.”
Terrence shook his head. “You can’t be serious.”
“Watch me,” I muttered and walked off to my room, locking the door behind me. Why couldn’t he just be on my side? Why couldn’t he take me seriously? Why was this all a joke to him?
I punched my pillow a couple of times and then flopped myself on my bed, glaring angrily at the ceiling. This totally wasn’t fair. But I could only dwell on it in my room for so long… so I decided to grab my soccer ball and kick it around for a little while to let out some aggression. Then Terrence would know I was serious.
We didn’t talk about it again for a long time. I didn’t bother mentioning it to him because I didn’t want to fight. And besides, it’d be better if I had a plan. So I requested information from the university in Guanajuato, and began looking at visa information so that I could get Mexico’s equivalent to our green card. I decided while I was requesting information that I should go ahead and request info from the Mexican Consulate. Then I realized that I could just go to Dallas and fill out all the paperwork.
I called Ana. “Roadtrip to Dallas?” I asked.
“What? Is there a concert or something?”
I giggled. “Not exactly, although I bet I could find one. I want to go to the Mexican Consulate up there and fill out the paperwork to get a visa.”
“Oooh, so you’re going to do it without telling Terrence?” she wanted to know. I could hear her door shutting, and I was picturing her hiding herself in her room to gossip with me about the trouble I was going to get myself into.
“Yeah, of course I am. I’m eighteen now, so it doesn’t matter what he says. I can do whatever I want,” I said, pausing before adding, “so you wanna go with?”
I could hear her smiling. “Of course I wanna go with! When do you wanna go?”
I pondered that for a moment. Skipping school would be a bad idea, because undoubtedly I’d get caught and in loads of trouble… been there, done that. When was the next holiday? Good Friday… but they would probably be closed on Good Friday… Maybe we’d have to go with the skipping school idea… or maybe I’d just have to wait until Memorial Day. “I dunno. Whenever. I just want to make sure I can get a visa. I have to study in Mexico, Ana. You don’t understand.”
Anastasia giggled. “You’re in lo-ove!” she teased. “Miss Cynic has been broken!”
I rolled my eyes. “Shut up.”
“Hehe, I just love teasing you about it. But yeah, I’m up for a roadtrip. Just let me know, k?”
So my plan was beginning to unfold. I would apply to the school, and upon acceptance, apply for my visa. Alex offered for us to rent an apartment together, which was only about 800 pesos a month, or 80 American dollars. He also told me that I would be able to get a job at one of the local clubs working nights and weekends. That, along with money I would be saving, would be able to hold me over. I could do it.
Terrence, however, almost flipped out when he saw the information I’d requested from the university. “Brianna, do you not realize that we don’t have the money for you to do this? Are you just not thinking about it? Where are you going to live? How are you going to pay for rent? How are you going to buy food?”
“I already…” I began, but was abruptly cut off.
“And it’s dangerous! Mexico is a very dangerous and corrupt country. Have you even considered that? Have you even looked into it?” These were obviously rhetorical questions, so I just glared at him and let him continue his tirade. “I don’t know where you’re getting these ideas that you’re going to move to another country to study. You have a full paid scholarship to go to a great school here in town. And you’re going to give that up, what, to go shack up with some guy in Mexico?”
That statement did more than anger me… it hurt. Hurt a lot. “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” I snapped.
“Well then explain to me why you came up with this great idea to go to school in Mexico.”
“Because I WANT to, Terrence. Because I hate this fucking town, I hate this fucking state, and I hate this fucking country. I don’t want to be here anymore, and I certainly don’t want to live in this fucking house for another four years of my life. I’m eighteen years old and it’s time for me to get my own life. Can’t you see that?”
He was a bit shocked at my tone of voice and the type of language that I’d used with him, and I was sort of surprised that he didn’t slap me for saying those things. “Brianna, I realize that you’re eighteen and ready to move on. But you can live on campus here in town and it’ll be just like going away to school…”
“I don’t WANT to go there! What part of that do you not understand?”
“Well then I’d be happy to look into some other colleges with you. But you’re not going to Mexico.”
“I *am* going to Mexico. I don’t care what you say.”
He groaned exasperatedly. “So you’re just going to fuck up your life, huh?” he asked. “You’re going to fuck up your life for some kid in Mexico. Seriously. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.”
There he went again, blaming my wanting to move on Alex, when really only about 10% of the reason I wanted to go was for him. Instead of explaining that to him, though, I threw a tantrum. “GODDAMMIT!” I shouted, pushing the lamp off of the end table. “I’M NOT GOING FOR A FUCKING BOY!” I took the phone book off of the coffee table and threw it across the room.
“Brianna Nicole!” Terrence yelled, grabbing me by the arm.
I pulled away. “LEAVE ME ALONE! FUCK YOU! I HATE YOU!” I said, tears streaming down my face. I turned the coffee table over, grabbed my keys, and looked him dead in the eyes. “I hope I don’t make it back home,” then left, slamming the door behind me.
By the time I was at my car, I was sobbing. I couldn’t even breathe because I was crying so hard. Terrence had come outside to tell me to come back, but I sped off, screeching my tires without even meaning to. I made it to Ana’s house in record time, tears still streaming down my face and my eyes red and puffy. I pounded on the door, wanting nothing more than for someone to be on my side. I wasn’t even sure if Ana would understand, but at least she wouldn’t criticize me like my own brother had.
Ashton pushed the door open. Instantly, a look of worry spread across his face. “Brianna…?”
“I need to see Ana.”
He pulled me inside. “She’s not home, Bri. What happened? What’s wrong?”
I began crying again. “Me and Terrence got into a fight,” I choked out between sobs, falling into his arms. He closed the door behind us and lead me to the couch where we sat down and he held me close.
“What happened, Bri? What’d you fight about? It’s okay, little one. I’m here. Talk to me.”
I took a deep breath in to help make the crying go away. I sniffled, then wiped my eyes. “He was just really mean to me,” I said finally.
He raised his eyebrows and tucked a lock of hair behind my ears. “Continue,” he urged on.
I finally just spit out everything that’d happened… I wanted to sugarcoat what I’d said to my brother, but I couldn’t — I could never lie to Ashton. He could see right through me… and besides, I felt kinda guilty about what I’d done.
Ashton didn’t interrupt. He listened to me until I looked up at him with pathetic eyes, wondering what to do now.
“Oh, Brianna, what are we going to do with you?” he asked, hugging me slightly. “You have to *talk* to Terrence. How’s he ever going to understand your point of view if you hide everything from him and then when he approaches you about it you just yell and throw stuff? That’s not cool.”
I pouted. “But he wasn’t nice to me either!”
“He’s on the defensive. How did you feel when he just randomly told you about how he was going to get married?” I was about to answer, but Ashton stopped me. “Now think about how he feels when you randomly tell him you’re going to move to Mexico — miles away from home — and that you’re planning on living with a guy that Terrence hasn’t even ever met. And you both know that your money situation isn’t the best… so what if something happens to you while you’re down there? It’s not like he has the money lying around to fly to Mexico.” He paused. “He just wants you to think about everything before you go. He doesn’t want you to make a hasty and ignorant decision.”
I didn’t like that Ashton was taking my brother’s side, but what could I have expected? He’s a stupid older brother, too, so of course he was going to take Terrence’s side. “Whatever, Ashton, you’re just like him,” I said, pushing away from him.
Ashton pulled me back towards him and looked me in the eyes. “I’m not taking his side,” he said, staring at me so deeply that it made my stomach churn. “I’m talking to you rationally and calmly, and I expect you to do the same with me, do you understand?”
I hmphed and folded my arms.
“Someone needs an attitude adjustment.”
“No one’s on my side, Ashton. It’s not fair.”
“We’re all on your side. That’s why we’re worried about you. Do you not see that?”
“Whatever,” I said.
“Say that one more time and I’m taking you over my knee, Young Lady,” he said sternly, causing me to shiver a little.
“Then no, I don’t see that. All I see is everyone trying to run my life for me, and I’m ready to run my own life. I’m sick of being treated like a child. I’m sick of everyone thinking I’m too stupid to make my own decisions.”
“The way you’re acting right now, I can see why someone would treat you like a child — you’re acting like a bratty 12 year old when she doesn’t get her way.” He paused. “If you want Terrence to treat you like an adult, then you have to act like one. First you have to see where he’s coming from… he’s worried about you. He wants the best for you. He doesn’t want you to screw up your life. Then you have to think seriously about that, and you have to look at all aspects of moving so far away. You do have to consider what he’s talking about… the money, a place to stay, safety, what’s going to happen if you and Alex get into a fight. You have to weigh everything out. Then talk to him about it rationally. Tell him your plan.”
That sounded like way too much to do. I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. Ashton was making perfect sense, but it was all too complicated and I didn’t want to do all of that. So I told him.
“Well, then you’ll keep being treated like a child,” he concluded.
“I’m going to Mexico anyway,” I told him. “I don’t care what anybody else says.”
“That’s very irresponsible and childish of you.”
Ashton didn’t take his time in pulling me over his knee.
“Wait, Ashton! I didn’t mean that, it slipped out.”
“Yeah, I’m sure it did,” he said, flipping up my skirt and tugging my panties down to my knees. “I’m sick of your attitude, though, and I’m sure Terrence is, too. After the way you’ve been acting today, this is the least of what you deserve.” He began raining down smacks on my upturned bare bottom.
“Owwww, Ashton! Please! Stop!”
“I’m not stopping until that attitude of yours is gone. I don’t care if I’m here spanking you all night.”
“Ashtonnn,” I begged, kicking my legs and reaching back to block the smacks, to which he grabbed my wrist and pinned it against the small of my back.
His ears seemed deaf to my pleas. “You’ve been very disrespectful and bratty since before you walked in that door, Brianna Nicole, and I’m not putting up with it. If you’re going to act like a child, then I’ll treat you like one.” He paused, increasing the speed and intensity of the smacks. “You’re eighteen years old, Young Lady, it shouldn’t take spanking you to get through to you. We should be able to talk like rational adults, shouldn’t we, Brianna Nicole Carter?”
“Yessss owwww Ashton! Please no more!”
“You haven’t learned your lesson yet,” Ashton said.
“I have!” I promised him, crying out in pain and knowing that my backside was already reddening. “Please I’ve learned my lesson!”
“What have you learned, then?”
I whined and tried to think of what he wanted me to say. “I’ve learned to stop being so bratty.”
He began spanking harder. “You’ve got a long ways to go with this spanking,” he said.
I didn’t like the sound of that… my bottom was already throbbing and I just wanted him to stop already — it wasn’t fair that he was spanking me! After all, it was me that everyone was against… why couldn’t he just understand and accept my point of view?
“I can’t believe you,” he lectured. “Throwing tantrums like a three year old just because you don’t get your way. And then coming over here and acting the way you did. I was trying to be calm and rational with you, but you still insisted on acting like a child.”
“Owwww please, Ashton. I’m sorry,” I wailed.
“You’re sorry that you’re getting spanked,” he answered.
Well, he was kind of right… that really was the only thing I was sorry about at the moment…
He let go of my wrist and lifted me up for a minute. He looked me straight in the eyes. “I want you to get into that corner and think about what you’ve done. Not only the way you talked to and disrespected your brother, but also the way that you disrespected me. And I want you to think about what you could’ve done differently. I know that Terrence isn’t always in the right, and it’s unrealistic to think that someone is going to always be right, including you, Young Lady. So I want you to think about how you can deal with him when he’s in the wrong.” Ashton then walked me to the corner and planted my nose in it. “Hands behind your back… no rubbing,” he ordered, and walked away.
I leaned my head against the wall. This all really sucked. I hated standing in the corner like I was an eight year old. Gah. He was really treating me like a kid! This totally wasn’t fair. Such boredom, staring at the nicely painted wall.
So what could I have done differently? How could I have reacted when Terrence had flipped out on me? I guess I could’ve stayed calm and explained to him why I wanted to move. Or I could’ve just sat down and talked to him about it from day one instead of hiding it from him and avoiding the conversation. I could’ve been more open to his ideas and suggestions… but he was yelling them at me and being stupid. I guess I could’ve talked to him about that, too. I could’ve just tried harder. And I could’ve been a little nicer to Ashton, who was just trying to help. Ugh, I guess the corner time was pretty effective, because by the time Ashton came back I felt really small, and was actually somewhat remorseful for what I’d done.
“Come here, Brianna,” he ordered, and I turned around to see him sitting on the couch, brush in hand.
Oh God, not that…
“Well? What’d you decide?” he asked.
I bit my lower lip and told him of my thought processes. He nodded every so often, agreeing with everything that I’d said. “Terrence was wrong for getting so upset with you, but you were also wrong in the way you retaliated, Brianna.”
I nodded. “I know. I feel bad about it now.”
“When we get finished here, I want you to go back home and have an actual conversation with him. I want you to sit him down and tell him to give you a few minutes to speak without interrupting you. And I want you to apologize for what you said, and then I want you to explain how you feel to him, understood?”
I whined a little. Talking with Terrence was the last thing I wanted to do. Not that it mattered — even if Ashton hadn’t ordered me to do it, I’m sure Terrence would’ve wanted to talk to me anyway.
“Come on, little one, get back over my knee,” he said. “I told you what would happen if you said ‘whatever’ to me again, didn’t I?”
“Yes,” I murmured, and lay back over his knee. I braced myself, wishing in that moment that I was anywhere but in my current position.
“Drop the attitude, got it?”
I nodded, feeling the first blow with the hairbrush. I yelped, bracing myself for the next swats, crying out as each smack bit into my flesh. He peppered my cheeks, covering my entire bottom with quick and sharp swats. I was kicking and squirming like crazy.
“Oooowwww Ashton… I’m sorrrrrrryyyyy!” I yelped, kicking my legs up so that he’d stop spanking me.
He pushed my feet back down and said, “stop kicking,” then continued the spanking.
“But it hurtssssss.”
“Good. Maybe you’ll remember this next time I give you a warning… and the next time that you want to get an attitude.” He continued the spanking, slightly harder and faster than before, hitting my sit spots and occasionally my thighs. “Are you starting to learn your lesson?”
“Yesssssssss,” I howled, now crying into the cushions as I reached my hand back to block. He didn’t miss a beat in pinning my hand back, and just kept raining down the smacks.
“You’re too old to be acting like this,” he scolded.
Tears were now streaming down my face as I yelled, “I knowwwwwwwww, I’m sorry!” My backside had to be dark red by this point… it hurt so badly!!
He landed a few final swats to my sit spots and thighs, then sat the brush down on the couch next to him. He let go of my hand and rubbed my back as I cried everything out.
“It’s okay, baby girl,” Ashton said, lifting me up and holding me tightly. “Shhh, it’s over now.” He stroked my hair softly, allowing my tears to stain his shirt.
“I’m s-sorry,” I stammered.
“I know,” he said. “I know you are. Now you just need to talk to Terrence. And everything will work out, I promise.”
I smiled in spite of everything, wiping my tears away and steadying my breathing. “Are you sure everything will work out?”
He nodded. He lifted me off of his lap and patted my bottom. I pulled my panties back up and let him embrace me tightly. “This time you’re going to actually talk to Terrence, right?”
“Yes, I am. I promise. It’s not like he’d let me go without talking to him anyway.”
Ashton smiled and ruffled my hair. “Good girl,” he said. “Now get going. I bet he’s worried sick about you.”
I stalked out of his house and saw that my cell phone had ten missed calls and three new voicemails when I got inside my car. All from Terrence I’m sure. I called him back and let him know that I was alive, that I was sorry, and that I was coming home so we could talk. It would make my evening longer than it’d already been, but hopefully it’d be worth it in the long run. Besides, I’d already promised Ashton that I’d do it, so now I really had to.