A New Outlook

I have always been pretty much free spirited. Not quite out of control, just very independent. I haven’t ever really answered to anyone or had anyone keeping tabs on me. But one weekend this all changed.
I had moved to Phoenix and was living with a lady I worked with, Mary, who’s husband was only home 3-4 nights a week.
They were about 15 years older than I, and had kind of taken me under their wing. I had a fun job, an extremely busy social life and a boyfriend that I stayed with several nights a week. One friday, I went on what was supposed to be a day hike in the Superstition Mountains. It was so wonderful and refreshing! the weather was perfect and the flowers were in full bloom. As usual it didn’t occur to me that anyone would notice or care so one day turned into three.
I was completely oblivious to the outside world even though I could see a lot of Phoenix from the top of Siphon draw. ( a 5,000 ft. up-hiller). It was exhilarating!
On Sunday, my boyfriend Ron, unable to reach me, called Mary and Joe. They thought I was with him all weekend and freaked when he told them that I wasn’t. Now he was worried too. Fortunately, I pulled in shortly thereafter, before they reported me missing.
Joe met me at the front door with an exasperated look on his face. “Get in here!”
he grabbed my keys with one hand and shut the door with the other. Mary walked over and they both just stared at me. I was covered with mud and dirt and was utterly exhausted. “Did you get lost?” asked Mary, her voice calm and slightly sarcastic. She knew all too well that I had “accidently” lost track of time. “No” I answered without elaborating. They both continued staring at me, the silence was creepy and Id never seen them like this before.
Joe finally said, “We thought you were with Ron and he thought you were here. Neither one of us knew you were out hiking- BY YOURSELF!. His voice sounded concerned but slightly sarcastic. They both were like that. He continued, “You could have been dead in a ditch somewhere! or raped! or kidnapped! Mary joined in, “You can’t go off by yourself without telling anyone where you are going, I know you are used to living that way but now that your staying with us, that is going to change.” Joe cut in “Go get out of those filthy clothes and get in the shower!!” Oh good I thought, the end of the lecture. While I was in the shower i heard the phone ring, I knew it was Ron. Shampoo globs were hitting the tub and making a funny thud sound, they were brown with dirt, which added weight to the foam. I notice strange things like this all the time, which is how I usually start to lose track of time.
Someone knocked on the door and yelled “hurry up!”. It was Mary. After drying off and brushing my teeth, I went out to the living room/kitchen area and picked up the phone to call Ron. “Put it down and sit down” Joe said, as he pulled a chair out for me at the kitchen table. “You can call Ron tomorrow, you are ours tonight”. I didn’t know what that meant yet but I decided id better not push it anymore. I was starving and exhausted, and just wanted to eat, soak in the hottub, then crash. Joe and Mary sat together on the sofa while I ate. I could hear them whispering back and forth but I wasn’t really listening. After dinner, I went out to the hottob, climbed in and let all the tension out. My legs were sore and getting stiff, I leaned back and stared up at the Arizona sky as the jets pounded on my back and neck. Being under 5 feet tall, I had more room to stretch out and the jets were just the perfect height for me.
I didn’t want to get out but I knew I would fall asleep in it. By now it was dark and all the lights were off except for the television. Joe and Mary were still sitting on the couch. I just put on my underwear and t-shirt thinking I would slip into my room and tomorrow this all will have passed.
I opened the slider and placed my towel over the kitchen chair. As I headed for my room, Joe stepped in front of me and looked down at me with a look of discernment on his face. I could see another lecture coming. After staring at me for about 20 seconds, he put his arm around me and walked me to my room. He sat on the bed and pulled me down next to him. Squeezing my shoulders, he let out a sigh and started to say something but he stopped and swooped me into his lap. This was not the first time they didn’t know where I was but it was the longest amount of time I had been gone. But technically, I didn’t say when I was coming back, and they didn’t know I was “missing” until shortly before I returned. It’s not like they spent all weekend worrying and fretting. It didn’t matter. I was now very aware that I had scared them and they weren’t happy with me. He held me for awhile then sat me up, and began the much expected lecture with, “Corie-honey, I know that you are smart and perfectly capable of taking care of yourself, but there is a limit that you don’t seem to be aware of. You could have been injured and nobody was there to get help…you could have died from exposure or a snakebite, you could have been murdered”.
I was a little suspicious at how calm he was, he really didn’t raise his voice or show any anger though I knew he was pissed at me. He continued, “I know you are used to doing whatever you want-whenever you want, which normally is fine because you are an adult. We wouldn’t normally impose because you are always with people and are here often enough for us to know what you are up to. But taking off into the mountains by yourself is an entirely different situation.”
Now his voice was changing, the anger he had been controlling was now starting to surface.
“You are not just someone who works with Mary, or just our roomate, we care about you very much and would die if something happened to you. What you did was REALLY STUPID-and SELFISH!, I am so angry at you for endangering yourself like this!”
At this point I really didn’t want to be sitting on his lap anymore but I was too afraid to move. “I don’t care how old you are, you don’t ever take off like that alone again-DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!” “yes” I said meekly, “nobody ever wants to go and Ron had to work and it was the first time in weeks I had a chance to go”. Joe snapped “And it’s the last time for a long time- you are not going hiking again anytime soon!” I almost started to protest but the look in his eye told me to just stay quiet. I was expecting this to be the end of it but my apology and promise not to do it again wasn’t going to cut it.
Mary, who had been in the doorway this whole time, kneeled down in front of me and looked at me with compassion but spoke very firmly, “Corie, I don’t think you understand what you did to us today, I am so glad that you made it home safely and before any more time went by. We were ready to call the police, all kinds of things were going through our minds, you rally scared us. I know that you aren’t used to people worrying about you or showing any real concern, but were going to fix that tonight.” I now knew what Joe meant when he said I was theirs tonight. After the initial thoughts of disbelief, I got nervous and wanted to run. I couldn’t believe they were going to spank me. Before I could say anything else, Joe gently but firmly pulled me over his knee and lifted up my shirt. He adjusted me so my butt was in the air while Mary pinned my hands to the floor. Fear of pain overcame me as I anticipated the first blows, and I started squirming and trying to get my hands free. “The more you fight-the more you get” Joe said, almost sounding amused. With that it started SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! It stung but didn’t really hurt…yet. SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! Now the pain was setting in. His hand covered my entire butt. I began to squirm and struggle. SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! over and over again. I couldn’t hold it anymore and started to cry. After what seemed like forever but was probably only 30 seconds of hard, rapid blows, I began to kick. Joe raised his voice”Do we need to start over young lady?!! Now I was sobbing and trying to catch my breath. SMACK
! SMACK! “I ASKED YOU A QUESTION
– DO WE NEED TO START OVER?!!” “noooo” I managed to get out between sobs, “Then I suggest you cooperate-you are in no position to disagree with me right now!”. The punishment continued, SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!
on and on for about 2 or 3 minutes. That was it I really couldn’t take it anymore and started to kick and fight. I got my hands free and shot up. Joe grabbed my arms and tried to pull me back over his knee. During the struggle, I bit his hand. Luckily I caught myself and let go before any real pressure was applied. The room fell silent and all three of us froze, except for my trembling legs. I didn’t look up at either one of them. I was overwhelmed with feelings of doom and insurmountable fear. I was still sobbing uncontrollably. Mary walked out of the room while Joe picked me up and bent me over the bed. He put my arms above my head and held me there. “Corie, we were almost done…I know this hurts and it’s natural to wince and squirm in pain, but it’s not o.k to fight back or interfere. Someone should have done this along time ago. You deserve this punishment and though I regret having to do this to you, I don’t regret showing you that you are loved and cared for, and the depth of the PAIN that would be felt if something happened to you”. His voice was stern but affectionate, but not enough to distract me from the sound of a drawer opening in the other room and the subsequent clanking of a belt buckle. Oh God no! I thought, this isn’t happening. I buried my face in the bed and really began to cry, mostly at the thought of more pain but also because I felt guilty for biting Joe and scaring them as I did. My ass was on fire- the pain was awful!
“This is going to hurt me really bad” said Joe. I could tell by the break in his voice that he was trying not to cry. “But I cannot and will not let this go and I fully intend to make sure we don’t ever have this problem again”. By now Mary was back with the belt, I heard it change hands and she sat down next to me. She held my hands down with one hand and put the other on my lower back, she pushed down as the first blow came.
SWOOSH-CRACK! SWOOSH-CRACK! SWOOSH-CRACK! I was now trying to breathe, I have never in my life been in so much pain. I was crying so hard nothing was coming out od my mouth. I was hoping to faint any second now. CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! again and again! After what felt like eternity,
he finally stopped and said to Mary, “Do you think our little friend understands that she may have made a bad decision?!” Mary began rubbing my back and said “I think she does”. By now I had let go and had no fight left in me. “Do you think that she regrets biting me?” “I sure hope so” Mary piped back. They were toying with me and I was horrified that Joe was going to say something like “I don’t think she does” and keep going. But to my relief, he handed the belt to Mary as she walked out of the room. Joe scooped me up, I was completely limp and powerless. He pulled me in to him and I buried my face in his chest. Mary came back with a bottle of lotion, it burned at first then was soothing. She pulled my shirt back down and stroked my hair. I was still sobbing. She then turned off the light and left the room. Joe spent the next half hour or so rocking, soothing and lecturing me. When I finally calmed down and started to breathe normally again, he put me down on my stomach and pulled the blanket over me. He brushed the hair off of my face and whispered in my ear, “you are forgiven”.
I slept really hard for fourteen hours and spent the next day on my stomach, and very quiet. They took all my hiking gear away from me until I moved out five months later.
After that, Joe and Mary were the first to know of ALL of my hiking, and out of town excursions.

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