A Punk’s Tale by WingZ
I should have known it was going to be a bad weekend the minute Finch opened his stupid mouth. Cori, Robbo and I were on our way to the parking lot after school on Friday when he joined up with us just before the main entrance. He’d heard about the concert last week, and, jealous that he wasn’t there, kept pestering us to include him.
“Hey guys,” he said. “'Sup?”
“Hey Finch,” I replied.
“Finch,” Robbo said.
Cori ignored him as usual.
“There any concerts tonight?”
Robbo shrugged. “Dunno.”
“Oh. Well what are you guys doing?”
“Homework,” I answered. “And lots of it.”
“I think I’m gonna watch all the Rocky movies back to back,” Robbo said.
“Not again,” I mumbled.
“Howabout you, Cori?” he persisted. “Have anything planned?”
Lucky for him, Cori was in a better mood than she had been all week. Whereas she might have usually told him that it was none of his business (or worse, to go fuck himself), she answered with, “I think I’m just gonna chill.”
“Oh. Chilling. I dig that.”
Chilling….I dig that? I had to squeeze my hand to keep from laughing. I thought about getting Finch a tape recorder just so he could hear himself. It never ceased to amaze.
Back at home, things were starting to settle down. Dad had put the finishing touches on a brief and Mom had closed a big deal. Both were feeling too proud of themselves to give me a hard time, so I got a temporary reprieve from “did you do the essay, Seth?” I had to admit I was proud of them.
Mom cooked her special chicken for dinner. I promptly ate too much of it and got sick. Six thirty five found me in the bathroom leaned over a toilet, retching and trying to keep from puking my guts out. I hated vomiting. It was one of the few things that kept me from drinking more than I did. I heard the doorbell ring in the distance, but I was too busy fighting my intestines to care. After a couple of dry heaves, I splashed some cold water on my face, took a deep breath and pronounced myself cured. Some doctor I was: I anticipated making a couple of return trips to the bathroom before the night was out.
I was feeling so out of it that at first I didn’t even notice Cori talking with my parents by the front door. I took one look at her and knew something was wrong. My first guess was that she had finally snapped and killed my family and was turning to Dad for legal advice. Coming to my senses, I then realized it was probably nothing quite so extreme. Nonetheless, it couldn’t have been good. She was carrying a duffel bag and had this look on her face like someone shoved a flaming stick up her ass. She wasn’t crying and she wasn’t cursing, but she looked capable of doing either any second now.
“Come on in,” I invited. She stepped into our den and took a seat on a couch. I wanted to talk to her in private, but my parents still lingered, fraught with concern.
“What brings you by?” Mom asked.
“Nuttin much, Mrs. Kifka,” she replied. “Just thought I’d see how you folks are doing.”
None of us were buying it.
“Tell us what happened,” Dad pressed.
Cori looked around the room uneasily before her gaze finally settled on me.
“I already told them about it,” I explained. For a minute, I thought she’d give me the “I’m going to kill you” eyes, but instead she merely shrugged and dove into her narrative.
Cori’s plan for getting her parents back wasn’t overly ingenious or craft nor was it especially malignant or disruptive. It was, however, fairly disgusting. And, given how much the Hendersons value cleanliness and properness, it was set to drive them right up the wall.
“I was going to leave a wet diaper in their bed,” she said. “That’s really freak them out.”
Both my parents crinkled their noses distastefully, but kept their comments to themselves.
Unfortunately for Cori, her plan never got off the ground. She was in the process of wetting her diaper when her sister caught her.
“Stupid no pants rule!” Cori snapped. “That’s what did it.”
Excluding the concert night debacle, Cori hadn’t wet herself since kindergarten. She quickly found that it was very difficult to do intentionally (while sober, at least). After drinking two bottles of water and pacing around her room incessantly, the urge was finally strong enough for her to squat down and let the floodgates open. Unbeknownst to her, however, Caroline was observing her from the doorway.
“What are you doing?” the younger Henderson asked.
“Mind your own damn business!” Cori snapped.
“Don’t talk to me like that,” Caroline shot back. “It’s not my fault you got yourself put back in diapers!”
“Well…what do you want?”
“Mom said I should check your diaper,” Caroline announced proudly.
“You see me wearing it, don’t you?”
“Yup. It’s kinda hard to miss.”
“OK then. Bye now!”
“Wait a sec. What’s the rush? Are you hiding something?”
“Yeah. There’s plutonium under my bed. Get lost.”
Rather than leave, Caroline took a few steps into her sister’s room to discover the source of the intrigue.
“Is it pot?” she asked. “Do you have a stash?”
“Well I know you aren’t hiding a boy. No one would want to date you anyway.”
“Get out!” Cori said, with increasing intensity.
Pausing, Caroline sniffed the air. “What’s that smell?” she asked.
“It’s your hair,” Cori retorted. “Crawling with maggots.”
“Ew….no. It smells like pee. Ohmygod, did you wet yourself?”
“You did!” Caroline exclaimed, noting the way Cori’s diaper had begun to sag slightly. “You did. I can’t believe it. My older sister is a pisspants….”
“I’m warning you, sis,” Cori said. “Cut it the fuck out.”
“What a freak,” Caroline continued to babble. “Wait until Mom and Dad hear about this. Wait….”
That was as far as she got before Cori slapped her. It was a hard blow across the face, albeit by no means the worst Cori was capable of doling out. Nonetheless, Caroline’s eyes began to water.
“You…you crazy bitch,” she said as tears streamed down her face. “I’m telling! I’m telling. Mom……”
Even more enraged, Cori shoved her to the ground.
“Get out, damnit!” she screamed. “Get OUT!”
Caroline refused to budge. Instead, she remained weeping stubbornly in the doorway and crying, “I hate you” time and time again. Cori delivered a swift kick to her butt and finally knelt down to shove her the rest of the way out of the door. Satisfied, she looked up to see the shocked and horrified faces of her parents.
“It got really bad after that,” Cori told us. “Lotsa shouting. We all said nasty things. I think I might have thrown some stuff….”
I winced as Cori rehashed the feud for us. All the years of tension seemed to come to a head and explode at once, culminating with the moment when Mrs. Henderson called Cori’s birth “a horrible mistake” and Cori threatened to stab them in their sleep. As outrageous as it was, it had nothing on what happened next.
“I was upset,” she said. “And I knew I crossed the line. If they had just given me a little time, things might have been OK. But instead they came back five minutes later. They had Mathilda with them and they…oh Jesus….they made her spank me!”
Mathilda Reyes is the Hendersons’ housekeeper. Half German and half Peruvian, she’s a real knockout. She’s also probably the only sane person in the entire house. I’d only met her a few times (Cori’s parents weren’t big fans of me coming over) and each time I saw her, I’d feel bad for her. A single mother at twenty-six, she was stuck cleaning up the messes of a bunch of snobs who treated her like she just walked off the boat.
At first, Mathilda wanted no part of it. She got along with Cori better than she did with the rest of them and it was easy to find the entire proposition quite sick.
“I’d really rather not get involved,” she said timidly.
“Do it,” Mr. Henderson seethed. “A bonus awaits you.”
Of course, what he really meant to say was, “do it or you’re fired.” Mathilda knew it too and she knew she really didn’t have much of a choice.
“I’m sorry,” she said approaching Cori. “But I have my daughter to think about. It’ll all be over soon, mmkay?”
Wide eyed and dripping primal sweat, Cori looked like a caged animal. It was the ultimate demonstration of her parents’ cruelty: an attempt to turn her against her only potential ally. Perhaps to spite them or perhaps because she simply had no more fight in her, she acceded and allowed Mathilda to spank her. A towel was draped over the young woman’s lap and Cori climbed obediently over her knee.
“This is long overdo,” Mrs. Henderson said. “Since violence is the only language you seem to understand, Corrine, perhaps we will finally get through to you.”
Hands shaking, Mathilda pulled down Cori’s diaper.
“Be thorough now,” Mr. Henderson instructed.
“And clean her up when you are finished,” Mrs. Henderson added. “I want her in a double-diaper this time.”
“Yes Mrs. Henderson,” Mathilda blankly replied, sounding as if she had just been told to water a plant. Cori sighed and focused her attention on the colorful array of band posters that adorned her walls. She hoped to lose herself in them, to take a mental vacation whilst her body soaked up humiliation and pain. She was vaguely aware that her parents were savoring this moment and that her sister had put off her bawling long enough to see her get punished. She tried to tell herself these things were inconsequential, that they were happening in another place and time and to another person. However, when the first blow hit she felt the pain and had nothing but reality to contend with.
“It was sick,” Cori continued. “And the worst part is, my parents were coaching Mathilda through the whole thing. Every once in awhile, they’d pop in with “faster, dear” or “harder.” Forget that ‘for your own good’ crap, I KNOW they were enjoying it. And they didn’t even have the balls to do it themselves, the bastards.”
By the time it was over, Mathilda was exhausted. Cori lay limply over her lap, her bottom red and her expression suggesting a chemically induced daze.
“Thank you, Mathilda,” Mrs. Henderson said curtly. “That will do.”
After they left, Cori began to gather a bit of her strength back. She let out a guttural shriek and pounded her fists into the bed.
“Why?” she yelled as tears began to flow. “Why? WHY?!”
“Shhh,” Mathilda said softly. “It hurts, I know. And I’m very sorry that….”
“It’s not your fault. It’s them. It’s all them!”
“Aye de mi…. who knew the rich could be so fucked up, eh?”
Still sniffling, Cori somehow found room to smile. “I hope you win the lottery, Mat. I hope you win and never have to come back here.”
“Yeah. Me too. But in the meantime…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah…. do what you have to do.”
Cori rolled onto her back and allowed Mathilda to diaper her. Two diapers were applied, as per her mother’s instructions, making the bulk between her legs even more awkward and thick.
“You know what?” Cori said after she was all diapered up. “Fuck them. I’m out of here!”
“Do what you have to do,” Mathilda echoed. “Just be careful.”
“Pfft…what could happen to me that hasn’t happened already?”
“I packed real quick, ran out the door and now here I am,” Cori concluded. “I didn’t look back to see if they noticed and I don’t care. I’m not looking for pity or help or anything, just a place to spend the night if it isn’t too much trouble.”
“Could you excuse us for one moment,” Mom said, motioning to Dad. They stepped out of the room and a moment later, I stepped out as well. Cori’s story had pushed me over the edge and the vomit I had been working so hard to suppress finally came up. Goddamn Hendersons.
By the time I emerged from the bathroom, the verdict was in.
“Of course you can stay here,” Mom said. “You can sleep in Judy’s room.”
“Thanks, Mrs. Kifka.”
“No problem. Have you eaten?”
Cori shook her head and Mom went to fix her a plate of chicken. In the meantime, Dad departed to his study to “make a few calls,” leaving me alone, sick to my stomach and very, very confused. I wished Robbo could have been there to help me sort out what had just happened, but it’d take nothing less than a world war to rouse him from his Rocky marathon.
After Cori had eaten, I led her to my sister’s room. Judy hadn’t been home in awhile, but my parents were optimistic about her randomly dropping in and always kept the bed made.
“How’s Judy doing?” Cori asked.
“Good, the last I heard.”
“You’re lucky you have a sister you can get along with.”
I tried to rebut Cori’s observation by conjuring the memory of some long-forgotten rivalry, but all that came to mind was a few petty squabbles. My sister and I weren’t best friends, but there was no real animosity. She had her life and I had mine and we made our peace between us.
“Yeah,” I said at last. “I guess you’re right.”
Up until then (largely due to suppressing the nausea and attempting to imagine everything that was going on in the Henderson home as Cori explained it), I’d failed to notice that Cori hadn’t bothered to change out of her diapers before coming over here. The bulge under her sweatpants was huge. It was as if she had a porn star’s erection and an inflatable ass. I couldn’t imagine spending a minute looking like that, let alone an hour.
“What?” she asked when she noticed me staring. “Oh…. that. Yeah, I was so mad I didn’t even bother to change. I…hold on.”
Before I could ask what the problem was, she was vigorously searching her duffel bag. “Shit” she grumbled. “I’m an idiot.”
“What now?” I asked.
“I got so used to wearing these stupid things lately that I packed diapers instead of panties.”
I started to chuckle. I knew it was a dumb thing to laugh at, but I couldn’t help it.
“It’s not funny,” she asserted.
My laughter only grew louder.
“Yeah, OK, maybe it is,” she said, joining in. That was the great thing about Cori: even when she was pissed off, she still had a sense of humor.
We ended up crashing in front of the TV and watching Night of the Living Dead. Dad came to join us about midway through, looking as if he had been sucking on a lemon for about half an hour.
“Those people are impossible,” he said. “I’ll have to try again tomorrow.”
I could only assume he was speaking about Cori’s parents.
By the time the movie ended, Cori was already half asleep and I was pretty tired myself.
“Cori,” I said, gently poking her.
“Lemmalone,” she muttered, turning on her side.
“Sleeping on that couch is a good way to hurt your back,” Dad told her. “Believe me, I know.”
I held out my hand and she used it to pull herself to her feet. She thanked my father again (my mother had already gone to sleep), wished him goodnight and retired to my sister’s room.
“Poor kid,” Dad said to me. “I hope she gets over it.”
I nodded. I wanted to hope so too, but I didn’t even have a clue what ‘it’ was.
I’d been sleeping for maybe fifteen minutes when I felt a hand touch my arm, startling me right out of my skin. I violently kicked the covers off and banged my elbow against the wall behind me.
“Holyfuckcrap!” I exclaimed.
“Sorry,” Cori said, allowing a giggle to escape her. “I couldn’t sleep.”
“You were out like a light a little while ago.”
“Yeah, but I’m awake now.”
I sighed. “OK then. If you can’t sleep, let’s talk.”
“I’ve done enough talking,” she insisted. “It’s just…well…. dude, is there something wrong with me?”
“No,” I replied sarcastically. “Whatever do you mean?”
“I’m serious, Seth,” she said. “At first, I thought it was just my family making me crazy, but now I’m worried that I’m crazy on my own.”
As bad as I felt for her, I was starting to get annoyed. There I was, tired as hell, sitting in just my underwear, still a little on the sick side and listening to her trying to solicit unqualified psychiatric advice.
“Crazy, not crazy, its all good,” I told her.
“Look,” I said, yawning. “We’ll talk more tomorrow. You had a bad day. I had a bad day. Sleep is your friend.”
She got the message and walked away. I had just begun to doze when she returned. Rather than react with surprise, I greeted her with a groan.
“I’m sorry,” she said, sounding embarrassed. “But I just can’t fucking sleep in there.”
“What (yawn) do you want me to do about it?”
“Spoon with me.”
I knew why, but I didn’t tell her. Cori was my friend and while she was definitely one of the guys, there was no getting around the fact that she was a girl. The last time a girl shared my bed was at the end of a long relationship and I didn’t want that to happen again (at least not with someone who was nearly blood). Call it paranoid, but I call it prophetic. I foresaw a brief, passionate fling turned to heartfelt confession turned to confusion and bitterness. I foresaw a friendship going down the drain while resentment and hurt festered like mold on bathroom tile. I foresaw the end of the world in something as simple as a kiss and it scared the hell out of me. Then I realized that I probably shouldn’t worry, that this was Cori and that neither of us would ever let anything get that far.
“OK,” I relented. “Fine. Slide right in.”
“Thanks,” she said, climbing into bed next to me. “I really am tired, you know. Tired of fucking fighting all the time.”
A moment later, she was out but I was still awake. I lay on my side facing her back. My crotch was about an inch away from her puffy, diapered butt and one of my arms was cast protectively over her while she used my hand as a pillow. Sleeping with her wasn’t even the weird part. There had been times when me and Cori and Robbo would pass out in front of a TV and wake up entangled with one another. No, the weird part was knowing that I had been chosen somehow. Cori had her credit card with her when she left. She could have checked herself into a motel; she could have taken a cab out of town. She could have gone to Robbo or Dan. Even Mathilda would have probably taken her in. Instead, she came to me. I felt as if I’d been charged with the responsibility of protecting her from whatever forces swayed her to anguish, hurt and madness, and damnit, I wasn’t about to let her down.