by Mackenzie — Your Life to Live

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Can be found here:  Your Life To Live

by Mackenzie. *Author’s Note* I am a Creative Writing major in college. I’ve encountered a lot of opposition in this choice I’ve made, especially from my oldest brother. There are a lot of people who don’t believe I can do it. And you guys have not seen my best writing, so maybe you don’t think I can make it either. It’s been my dream ever since I was 8 years old to be an author and although other career plans may have changed, I always wanted to be a writer, regardless. I’ve loved reading and writing ever since I was able to do either. Stories make me happy, either creating, reading or hearing them. I live to write. It’s my greatest passion and I can’t imagine not doing it. I’ve been away for so long from this blog because I’ve been trying to work more on my non-spanking writing and because I’ve also been busy in my first semester of college. I’m taking my other writing very seriously right now and probably will be for the rest of my life, so you may not be seeing much of me. This story came out of my frustrations as of late. I’ve been getting a lot of grief from my oldest brother lately about how I’m making a huge mistake in majoring in Creative Writing. My grandma is also disapproving as well as other members of my family. While most people are supportive, there are some who aren’t. These people are the same ones who profess to love reading so much so it doesn’t make much sense to me. You would think that if they love to read, they’d love the fact that I want to write for a living. I understand that the path I have chosen won’t be an easy one, but it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do. The written word is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever witnessed. It has the power to move generations. Some of it can stand the test of time and though all things fade away, literature has the power to make a lasting impression and to influence entire populations of people. I want to be an author, always have, always will and I will not rest until I accomplish this goal and even then, I will always be searching to improve my writing, to come up with new ideas, to be inspired, to keep working. This may be the most personal spanking story I have ever written. Most of it are my exact thoughts, the ones that have been going on in my head. If you think I am a fool for wanting to write for a living, fine. But it’s my life to live. I have dreams to reach and goals to accomplish. It’s a risk, but it’s one I’m willing to take. And I’m not about to let anyone get in the way of my dreams and me. Enjoy the story. 

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I sat at my desk, crying my eyes out. I couldn’t see a thing. I sat there thinking of everything I couldn’t do, of all the things I had never accomplished, of what my brother had said to me, of what most people had said to me. I thought about how they all told me I couldn’t do it and how something inside of me believed them. And then I cried harder because I realized I was letting them determine what I was going to do with my life and dammit, it was my life to live, not theirs. It was a risk I had chosen to take, a risk that most people didn’t approve of. “Emma,” they had said, “You need to pick something a bit more practical. How about you go into business, how does that sound?” Yeah, as if they knew me. I wasn’t practical. But should everyone be practical? I wanted to be a writer. I had gone to college to major in Creative Writing. I’d been dreaming of being an author ever since I was a little girl, ever since I was 7 years old in fact. I’d been writing for just as long and reading for even longer. And here, everyone was telling me that I couldn’t do it, that I wasn’t capable of it, that I’d end up homeless and on the streets. I knew I was taking a risk! I didn’t need anyone to tell me that! Fuck them.

I tried to compose myself as I sat at my desk where I had been at work on my thesis. I was almost done with college, in my senior year at NYU. They have the best Creative Writing program in the country and while I had been a good writer when I started here, I was an even better writer now, not that you can tell by what I’m writing now. My thesis was a collection of poetry, a LOT of poetry. I’d been working on it for months now. At the time that I broke down, I had been at work on some of the final pieces of the thesis. I always cry at the worst possible moments. I wished I was a little better at that.

I was still crying when my roommate, Ali, walked in. “Emma,” she whispered as she walked up behind me and rubbed my back, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” I whispered back. My crying had subsided a bit.

“Do you want me to call Kevin?”

“I’m fine,” I said, a bit more firmly this time.

“Okay, I’m in the next room if you need me.”

I said nothing, just let her walk away. She’s right; Kevin could probably make me feel better. Kevin, my best friend since Kindergarten, whom had gone on to NYU with me when we graduated from high school, who was a writer like me, who understood my frustrations, who knew what it was like to have the entire world against you, who knew what it was like to be passionate about something that most people don’t give a crap about, who understood the way stories and poetry made me feel, how happy they made me, because he had always felt the same way. Kevin, my best friend, the boy who made me laugh when I was sobbing, who gave me a million and one reasons to live and love and believe in my work and in myself, who knew what made me tick. Kevin, the friend who became my family, who was, for all intensive purposes, my brother. Yes, Ali was right, he would know how to make me feel better. And he was in the same apartment complex as me. I thought about it for a moment. Nah, forget about it. He was hard at work on his own thesis, a collection of short stories. I couldn’t interrupt that, even though I knew he’d want me to call him. We talked to each other about everything. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. We both had too much on our plates. School was more important than me right now. That’s what I should be concentrating on right now anyway.

I took in a few deep breaths, slowly exhaling each one, and wiped my eyes then started typing again. But I couldn’t do it, the poems were supposed to be happy and nostalgic. All I could write was depressing poetry. I leaned back and closed my eyes, letting more tears roll down my face. I couldn’t help but think of how underappreciated writers are, how people, like my brother, will buy books and read them and enjoy them but condemn those who want to write for a living. That’s contradictory. I can’t stand it. I’ve spent my entire life loving the written word and dreaming of being an author. I’ve spent every day since I turned 7 writing and reading for at least some amount of time. I’ve opened myself up to inspiration in ways most people wouldn’t. I have spread myself thin for my writing, stayed up late reading and arising early to write. I’ve forced myself into seclusion to complete my projects, listened to music to drown out the sounds of those telling me I was stupid for doing this, gone everywhere and anywhere to gain inspiration. I have done everything I can for my writing and in turn, I have been called lazy, stupid, foolish and retarded, for choosing an occupation that will not get me that much money. For majoring in a fine art, I have been told that I must not be motivated, that I must not want to do well for myself, that I must be making a grave mistake. People think that I won’t succeed, just because I majored in a fine art. Well, look how far I’ve come? It’s going to take a lot for me to not make it now. But they don’t see that. No, they see a girl with her head in the clouds, wishing for a miracle that won’t come. They’re just waiting for me to become grounded, to get my head out of the clouds and closer to the earth. If anyone’s waiting for a miracle, it’s them. How dare they say I don’t work hard. I’ve worked harder than almost anyone I know. How dare they tell me I can’t make it.

But it doesn’t matter, they’ve gotten to me and I’m crying again. I need Kevin, but I won’t tell him anything, not when he has so much to do himself, not when I’m further than he is on his thesis. I push away from my desk and rise from my chair, walking towards my closet to grab a jacket and my keys. I’m going for a drive. I don’t care how upset I am or if it’s raining really hard outside or if I’m not technically supposed to be driving right now due to my recent seizures. Kevin won’t know anyway. And if he does find out I’ve been driving when I’m not supposed to, he’ll brush it off. He’ll just tell me not to do it again. He’ll understand. He knows me. I just tell Ali that I’ll be back soon enough.

I walk down the stairs and out of the apartment complex towards the parking lot to my beat up SUV. We live off campus in New Jersey, just across the bay from New York City, not too far from NYU. It’s easier to drive here than it is in the city.  I open the door of my old car, close it and turn the key in the ignition, starting the car and putting my seatbelt on. I push the gas pedal with my foot, and off I go, out of the parking lot and on the streets, tears still falling from my eyes.

I decide to drive around town a little bit just to calm my nerves. It helps, for a little bit. But then, I’m crying and freaking out again. I start to feel the way I do before a seizure. My legs are hurting and I get a sickening feeling in my stomach. I pull into the parking lot of a Speedway and slowly get out my phone with my shaky hands. I press the number 1, speed dial for Kevin’s number. The phone only rings two times before he picks it up.

“Hey,” he answers, “What’s up?”

“Kevin, please don’t be mad.” My voice is shaky. I’m starting to feel worse. He knows something’s up.

“Emma, what’s wrong? Why would I be mad?”

“I went out for a drive and I’m not feeling so hot right now.”

“You went out for a drive after the doctors specifically said to wait 6 more months? It’s only been four, Emma. You still have two more months.” He doesn’t sound angry, just worried/disappointed. He’s probably not acting angry right now because he knows stress makes it worse for me.

“I know. I’m sorry. I just had to get out.”

“You feel like you’re going to have another seizure?”

“Yeah,” I whispered, “Can you come get me?”

“Where are you?”

“I’m at the speedway just a couple of blocks away. I tried to get closer but I had to pull over. I’m in so much pain right now, Kevin,” I cry.

“Hold on, Emma, I’ll be there soon,” and he hangs up the phone.

I sigh and take in a few more deep breaths, inhaling slowly, exhaling slowly. I have to calm myself down. Maybe it’ll stop the seizure from coming. Soon enough, Kevin is knocking on my window, bringing me back to reality. I open the door and crawl over to the next seat. He walked here. He doesn’t have a car. We bought this car together. We share it.

“You okay?” he asks gently as he gets into the driver’s seat, closes the door and puts on his seatbelt.

“I’m sure I’ll be okay,” I answer. “It’s not as if I’ve never had a seizure before.”

He nods and puts the car into gear, pulling out of the parking lot and driving towards our apartment complex, parking near the door when we get there. He pulls the key out of the ignition and hands it to me. We both get out and walk silently towards my apartment. I unlock the door and open it. Ali’s sitting in the kitchen, doing a Sudoku. She looks up at me.

“What’s wrong?” she asks. We’ve been roommates all 4 years of college and she’s one of my best friends, besides Kevin. She knows me almost as well as he does.

Kevin answers for me. “She feels like she’s going to have another seizure. I’m going to keep an eye on her.”

Ali has a look of concern on her face, “And you went out driving? Emma…”

“That won’t help right now, Ali.” I pause. “I’m going to lay down.”

“I’m watching you,” Kevin says. Then he says to Ali, “Don’t worry about this. I’ve seen all of her seizures. I know what to do. Just do what you were doing.”

I open the door to my room and Kevin follows me. I lay down on the bed. I don’t pull down the sheets because if I have a seizure, I could hurt myself by being under them. Kevin sits at my desk. He looks at me with a worried look on his face. I just watch him, knowing that driving didn’t help things, either with him or myself or this incoming seizure.

“You know you’re not supposed to drive,” he says, a bit coldly.

“I know, but I had to get out. I had to drive. I couldn’t write anymore.”

“So you come talk to me. You don’t drive. You come talk to me or you call me or you do something that won’t endanger your life.”

I say nothing, just stare at the ceiling. My legs still hurt, horribly. I can feel it coming closer.

“I love you, Emma. I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.”

“I know,” I respond. A tear slips down my cheek.

“Don’t do this, Emma. Don’t do this.”

“I…”

But I don’t get a chance to say anything because within moments I can feel reality slipping from my grasp. Darkness comes and though I’m not aware of it, the seizing begins.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“Emma,” I hear Kevin’s voice, “Can you hear me?”

I look up at him. His face comes into focus. I’m a little confused, though. What happened?

“Emma?” he asks again.

“Yeah, I’m here,” I answer in a low voice. I can barely speak.

“You had another seizure, Emma.”

“What? What? I… what? Why? I had another seizure?” I look at him, perplexed.

“Yes, you had another seizure. What day is it, Emma?”

“It’s Saturday.”

“Okay, good. What year is it?”

“It’s 2012.”

“Who am I?”

“Kevin.”

“Where are you?”

It takes me a little longer to answer this one but I do, after an incredibly long pause. “In my apartment in New Jersey. In my bedroom.”

“When’s your birthday?”

“May 27th

“Okay, good. Can you move yet?” he asks.

I try to move my body but it’s no use. I can barely move my head.

“No,” I respond.

“Do you want me to call an ambulance?”

“Kevin, you know that the ambulance is only supposed to be called if the seizure doesn’t stop or lasts for more than 5 minutes. How long did mine last?”

“2 minutes and 46 seconds.”

“Then, no. I’ll recover. I can’t afford hospital bills right now.”

He takes in a deep breath and holds it for a minute, then breaths out, “Okay, whatever you say.”

I look at the ceiling, utterly exhausted. You don’t want to have a seizure. They’re not fun. I’m so weak it hurts. I’m so weak I can’t move. My body is exhausted now and will be exhausted for days. For the next week or so, moving will be painful. Great, just great.

I wait for half an hour before I attempt moving. When I try, I am able to move my entire body, but I need help from Kevin to sit up and walk. It always takes me awhile to recover completely. This is actually a faster recovery than most. Kevin gets me something to eat and drink when I’m sitting in bed, barely able to move. He knows I need to get something in my system. I nod when he asks if I want something to eat. When he asks if grilled cheese and tomato soup is okay, I say that it’s fine. And when he asks if I want something to drink, I tell him I want water. He seems pleased by this answer, because it’s the healthiest choice.

He comes back about 20 minutes later with the food on a tray. I eat it all up within a matter of minutes and he takes it back to the kitchen then comes back to my room and sits next to me. “How are you feeling?” he asks.

“Better,” I respond, “But I’m still in pain.”

“I figured as much.” He paused. “What caused this anyway? Have you not been eating? Are you stressed out? What is it?”

“Well, I haven’t been eating all that much. But mostly, I’m stressed out. I feel completely inadequate, Kevin. I’m starting to feel like I can’t be a writer anymore, like it’s not possible anymore. My brother called me up the other day to tell me I was making a huge mistake and that I’d never make it, that I was being foolish, that I needed to forget about this pipe dream and go for something more realistic, that it was time to quit fooling around, that I should go for my associate’s in business and give up my dream of being a writer, because it’s not realistic. My mom is the only one that supports me. Barely anyone believes that I can do this. Maybe they’re right.”

“You know that’s not true, Emma. You know that you can do this. You know that you have the ability, that you’re talented. You’re a hard worker. You’re persistent. You’re determined. You’re dedicated. You’re passionate. There’s no reason you wouldn’t make it. And look how far you’ve come.”

“I guess you’re right. But I can’t help but tell myself from time to time that I’m being stupid, that they’re right, even though I want to prove them wrong. You know this is my dream, and it pisses me off that there’s people out there trying to keep me from reaching it, who think I’m being dumb. And all the people telling me that are the ones who love spending hours in bookstores too! Just perusing the shop.” I shake my head. “It pisses me off.”

“All artists encounter that. You’re not the only one. I deal with it too. Ali deals with it in theater. Everyone we know here has had to handle it at one point or another. But you’re strong, Emma. You’re talented. You can do this.”

“I know,” I whisper. “I know.”

“So why didn’t you just talk to me about this instead of going out for a drive when you knew that some of your triggers were filled and you were told to wait 6 more months?”

“I didn’t want to bother you, Kevin. You’re working on your thesis too.”

“How many times have we been over this? It doesn’t bother me, Emma! You know that! I’ve told you time and time again!” He was starting to get a bit irritated at me but softened his voice when he saw me grimace. “I love you and you’re important to me. Had you had a seizure while you were driving, do you know what could have happened? You could have died. You could have killed other people. You’re like a sister to me. I don’t want that happening.”

“I’m sorry, Kevin. I should have thought about it a little longer.”

“Remember that agreement we made?”

I shuddered. I didn’t want to remember it. We had made an agreement at the beginning of college that both of us had a right to punish the other to make sure the other was okay, that the other didn’t do anything stupid, so that we both stayed on track and stayed healthy and alive. It’s not as if he hadn’t spanked me before college. He did once, in high school, when I smoked a cigarette and had come to his house with a pack of it in my back pocket. He got really mad at me then. His father had died of lung cancer. He didn’t want the same thing happening to me. I’d spanked him before too, when he’d gone to a party instead of working on his big psychology project senior year of high school. It had been an unspoken agreement long before we sat down and talked about it. But now, it was set in stone. I knew where he was headed with this.

“Yes,” I muttered.

“I think that this warrants a spanking.” I whined a little bit. “Don’t start with me, Emma. You endangered your life and the lives of others. You could have killed yourself or someone else. I’m not about to let you get away with this. If I don’t punish you now, you might do this again. And I can’t stand the thought of losing you. I love you too much.”

A tear rolled down my cheek. “But, Kevin, I…”

He put a finger to my mouth. “Shh, don’t argue with me. End of discussion. You don’t have any options.” He paused. “How are you feeling?”

“Better?”

“Yes.”

“Well enough to take your punishment?”

I hesitated. “No…” I trailed off.

“Yeah, I thought so. You’re ready. Stand up.”

“Kevin, please, I won’t do it again.”

“Do you really expect me to believe that, Emma? You’ve always done what you want when you want unless you have reason not to. Well, I’m going to give you a reason not to do this again.”

“Kevin…”

“Emma, stop it, right now. I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer. You could have died out there today. I won’t have you endangering your life like that again. Now stand up, pants and panties down, and over my lap,” he said sternly.

I sighed and stood up, unbuttoning my jeans and pulling them down, then looked at him pleadingly. He just shook his head and pointed downwards. I whined but pulled my panties down anyway. It’s not as if he hadn’t seen everything before. With that, he guided me over his lap and positioned me where he had a good aim. He rested his warm hand on my cold bottom and began to lecture.

“First of all, Emma, you’re going to start taking better care of yourself so that you won’t have another seizure. Secondly, you’re not going to go out driving when the doctors specifically told you not to or when you feel like you may have another seizure. You know when they’re coming on. Don’t try to tell me you didn’t know that this one was coming on.”

It’s true. I did know that it was coming. I just didn’t know when.

“You knew it was coming on, didn’t you, Emma Marie Holtz?”

“Yes,” I whispered.

“You ever do anything to endanger your life again and I swear that I will spank you so that you can’t sit down for a month. You got that, Emma?”

“Yes, Kevin.”

“Good.”

With that he began spanking me, hitting me with what seemed like full force from the beginning. Two smacks on the left cheek, two on the right cheek, four in the middle, four on the left sitspot, four on the right sitspot, six on the left thigh, six on the right thigh and all over again. I began crying almost immediately.

“I’m sorry, Kevin! Please stop!”

“Glad to hear it, but I’m not stopping anytime soon.”

“Why not!?” I sobbed.

“Because you could have gotten really badly hurt and I’m not about to let you do something so stupid again.”

I cried more. I would have kicked my legs and put up a fight, but I was in too much pain as it was. I’d have had even less mobility if I’d done that. He must have spanked me for at least 10 minutes before he stopped, but he wasn’t done. I could tell because he was moving towards my bedside table to pick something up. Dammit, I had left my hairbrush there. I’m so stupid.

“I’m going to give you 35 smacks with the hairbrush, Emma. Then I’m done. I want you to know that I love you and that I’m only doing this to you because I love you. I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. I can’t say that enough.”

I nodded.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

I nodded again. With that he lifted the hairbrush high up in the air and crashed it down on my backside, again and again. By this point I was sobbing, sorry for having ever taken the car out, sorry for worrying Kevin, sorry that he had to watch another one of my seizures, sorry that I didn’t believe in myself right now, sorry that I’d ever let anyone else make me so upset about something where only my opinion matters. I was sorry for all of it, but mostly sorry for worrying Kevin, and putting someone (me) he loved in so much danger. I know the effect my death would have on Kevin and I know that it wouldn’t be good. When he stopped, I was full out sobbing.

“I’m sorry, Kevin,” I cried. “I’m so sorry. Please forgive me!”

“Shh, Emma, shh…” he rubbed my back in circles, trying to soothe me. “You’re forgiven. I still love you. It’s over now. I’m not spanking you anymore. Your punishment is over. I still love you.”

But I still cried. It took awhile before I calmed down. And when I had finally calmed down, he pulled my panties and pants up for me and sat me down in his lap, wrapping his arms around me. We sat in silence for awhile before he said something.

“You have got to stop being so hard on yourself.”

“I know.”

“Seriously, Emma, you’re one of if not the most talented, hardworking, determined people I know. You’re strong. You’re persistent. You’re intelligent. When you live up to your full potential, there is nothing you can’t do. Who cares what your brother says? Who cares what anyone says? You know what you want. Go out there and get it. Stop worrying so much about what other people think. It’s not their life to live. You want to be a novelist. You want to be an author. You want to be a poet. So do it. And stop worrying about everyone else. If anyone can do this, you can. You have the greatest potential of anyone I’ve met. And I know that you’re not going to let anyone stop you from reaching your dream, now are you?”

I smiled at him, “No, I’m not. You’re right. I CAN do this. I DO have the power to accomplish my dreams. Thank you for helping me to realize that. And you know, you’re a pretty good write yourself.” I smirked.

“So I’ve been told.” He smiled up at me.

“Thanks for being the best friend I could ever ask for.”

“Thanks for being the sister I never had,” he responded.

I smiled. “I hope you know you’re going to be a famous author one day.”

He grinned. “And I hope you know that you’re going to be just as famous, because you’re more talented than anyone I’ve ever met.”

I shook my head at him. “Maybe you should start taking your own advice and give yourself a little more credit than that.”

I laughed. He laughed too. “Okay, fine, we’re both going to be famous authors that earn millions of dollars and make it onto the NY Times Bestseller’s List. We’re both going to be as famous as Stephen King and as prolific as Ernest Hemingway. We’ll be as successful as J.K. Rowling and as popular as Suzanne Collins. We’re going to write books that go down in history like George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’. And one thing’s for sure; we’ll NEVER be as bad as Stephanie Meyer. We’ll never retire because we love writing too much. And when people ask us why we don’t just stop, we’ll tell them it’s because writing makes us happy. And then, when we finally do make it to the NY Times Bestseller’s List, you and I are going to look at all the people who ever told us we couldn’t do it and we’re going to say, ‘You still think I made a stupid decision? After all, it’s not your name that I see on the NY Times Bestseller’s List.’ We’ll go on book tours and live out our dreams and never once will anyone ever question again our abilities, our drive or our talent. Sound better?” he asked.

I grinned and kissed him on the forehead, “Sounds great.”

He kissed me on my forehead as well and said, “I thought so.”

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