WHY DID I GET PUNISHED?

By Alexandra Nathaniel Spence

I quickly rubbed my buttocks and moved my hands before the long leather belt descended again.

SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!

I cried out at the third attack of the leather on my skin. I felt the agonizing pain on my buttocks and was tempted to rub it again. Sweat beaded down my face as I felt the other attack.

I pleaded for it to stop as tears flowed down my chubby black cheeks.  I heard my high pitched voice screaming while she yelled:

“I give you anythin’ to cry for?”

I braced for the other; hands on the White wall of our very tinny living room and feet slightly apart jus at the corner of the living room behind the big old and torn sofa, next to the Cabinet, where all the expensive glasses and cutlery went. She only took them out when we had special guest. Like the very mood of this situation the room was semi dark, in fact the living room was always semi dark, which could explain why major punishments were done

I hear my cousins outside bickering. For a moment I hated them. What was so wrong about what I did? No one told me it was wrong, was my life to be different because I’m a girl?

Earlier today my cousins came into big yard on their big blue bikes, stopping at the old wooden kitchen. Our dogs rushed to them from under the guava tree that was next to Grandmother and me. I stopped scrubbing my pink panty and at their bikes. I didn’t know how to ride and it was so fascinating.

Clayton greeted grandmother with a hug. She pushed him away, threatening to throw the pan of dirty water on him. Clayton and Tiron laughed.

“You and your bike out a’ the yard! I’m goin’ to pin some clothes on the line and I don’t  want the two a you up and down in the yard a mek trouble!” she instructed, her strong arms on her hips in her long sleeves and high neck blue shirt and faded torn jeans, her head tied with a black head tie. They left.

After washing, I played with my dolly and again Tiron and Clayton strolled in the yard. My game stopped. Tiron, heedless of my protestation took me on his bike for a quick ride.

We passed  Church and Mr. Eon’s Field where he planted ground provisions. There is a thing to learn from being too happy. Only a few feet away from the gate I saw grandmother, both my cousin stopped their bikes. Grandmother was speaking with a gentleman in a car that she didn’t see us. Tiron took me off the bike and sneaked me over the wall and told me to run to the back. Before I could turn to run, I heard my grandmother’s loud angry voice.

“Come here, you lef’ the yard” I didn’t have to pretend who she was talking about. He lifted me over the wall and we all walked to grandmother.

She grabbed my hands and dragged me to the house cursing Tiron and Clayton who tried their best to explain.  I felt the familiar burn in my eyes and felt the sweatiness of my palms.

Now my tears seem to be flowing relentlessly. Grandmother stopped now but started ranting away. I was in so much pain I struggled to listen to her.

“… I’m not tellin’ you again, stay away from those boys. You and them are not the same age…you a girl pickney… play with the dolly your father got for you” she ranted “You hear?” she asked as she starred hard at me.

“Yes gran’ma” I said looking into her eyes, with confusion. I went to my bed that night still lost. WHY DID I GET PUNISHED?

Alexandra Spence

Author’s bio: Alexandra Nathaniel Spence, 18, attends the Antigua State College. Her story is an honourable mention in the 18 to 35 age category of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2014 Challenge.

Copyright belongs to the author; so, no stealing.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Wadadli Pen 2014, Wadadli Pen News

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