Been a short while since we had a guest story and even longer since the wonderful Esskay graced us with his work. Here he is again with The Brothers.
“I don’t think we can blame this one on the Governor,” Tom Malone said as his car joined the line for the toll booth at the George Washington Bridge. They were still about a mile away from the barrier, and even using the electronic payment E-Z Pass lane, it would take about 15 to 20 minutes to reach the booth.
“Hope it’s not all the way to the Bronx,” his brother Doug said.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning in June and Tom, 28, and Doug, 24, were on their way to Yankee Stadium from their respective New Jersey homes. Tom’s wife Kim and Doug’s wife Jennifer had also decided to spend the day together at one of the larger shopping malls in New Jersey.
The car started the stop-and-go movements it would stay in until the bridge, and Tom was deep in thought. He reached over to turn down the radio and said, “Dougie, there’s something I have to ask you.”
“You were at the house last week when we had that cookout. Did you notice anything about Kim’s mood and her actions?”
Doug thought about that for a moment, then said, “Yes, I do remember now she seemed to get angry at you when you had that little spat with her sister. I remember her kind of looking daggers at you and I was thinking you’d hear about it when everybody left.”
Tom let out a small laugh. “Oh, I heard about it, OK…..Was there anything more about her actions you noticed?”
“No, not really,” Doug said. “What’s up? Everything OK?” He sensed something serious was on his brother’s mind.
The older brother hesitated before responding.
“If I told you something -- something that’s maybe a little embarrassing -- could we keep it just between us? Not even Jen to know?”
“Absolutely,” Doug replied. “You’re my brother. Blood thicker than water, and all that.”
“Well, Kim and I have what you’d call maybe an unconventional kind of marriage.”
Doug thought for an instant about cracking a joke in response, but quickly thought better of it -- Tom obviously was talking about something serious that was on his mind, so the younger brother stayed silent.
“Our marriage,” Tom said, “is not a 50/50 kind of marriage. To be honest, Kim is in charge. I’m not. And we both know it.”
“Not a big thing,” Doug replied. “That’s how we grew up. Mom pretty well told Dad the way things were going to be.”
“Well, it’s a lot more than that,” Tom said. “And I’ve always wondered if other people can pick up on the way things are between Kim and me. Do they suspect that she’s really the dominant partner in the marriage?”
“I don’t think so,” Doug said. “Sure, I know Kim’s kind of a strong-willed woman, but I don’t think of her as dominant. Is she really?”
“Yes, she is. It’s a long story.”
“We’ve got time. Traffic’s not moving very fast.”
“It started even before we were married,” Tom said. “I moved into her apartment and things got off to a poor start quickly. I tried to keep the place clean the way she was used to, but we had different standards about cleaning, and I tried to keep my stuff where it wouldn’t disturb her, but it did. And she didn’t always like the hours I kept when I wasn’t with her. I had hoped living together would prove we were good enough together that we should get married, but it was really proving we wouldn’t be good together.
“So we sat down and had a long talk. She went through a lot of things I had done that got her upset. I could have guessed some of them, but there were other things I was doing that I didn’t even think about. She said she was almost ready to ask me to move out and I was really upset about that.
“I said what could we do to make things better. She said the only way it could work was for her to set the rules of the house, and for me to follow them. She would tell me what she expected, and I would do it -- period.
“I told her if that was what it would take to keep us together, I would do it, but she said what happens when I screwed up and failed to do what I was supposed to. She said rules mean nothing if they can’t be enforced and we both knew that while I would try to do all that was expected, there was bound to be times when it didn’t happen.
“I knew she was right. I told her whatever she felt was necessary to enforce her rules was OK with me. Well, she had grown up in a family where there were three boys and two girls, and spankings were a frequent event. She had seen her brothers strapped on many occasions, and she said, ‘OK, if you break the rules, I’m going to strap your bare bottom with your belt.’
“I certainly wasn’t expecting that, but I had told her whatever she wanted to do would be OK, so I agreed. She said she owed me a good one right then and she walked me into the bedroom, told me to get undressed and took my belt. She made me lay down on my stomach and she started to strap me hard. I couldn’t believe how much it hurt. But I let her go as long as she wanted to. I was sweating and shaking, but when she stopped I managed to get up and I apologized and we hugged. She cried out of pure emotion. I almost did too, partly because it hurt so much, but also it was very emotional. My girlfriend had just taken over complete control of our relationship, and I had let her. But as much as it hurt, I felt OK about what she had done.
“Then we went to bed and even with my butt aching it was good. Unfortunately, that was the only time we ever had sex after a strapping. But we had set a precedent, and even after we got married, it was still the same. She went out and bought a strap that hurts a lot more than the belt did, and she uses it whenever she feels I deserve it. And trust me, I got it real good last Sunday after all of you left.
“I’ve come to grips with all of it, I love her and I think she’s worth all of it, but I’ve always wondered if other people can pick up on how things are.”
“Not that I know of,” a surprised Doug replied. “I know you as well as anyone knows you and I never would have guessed.”
“Thanks, brother,” Tom said. “And thanks for listening. I’ve been living with this secret for more than five years now, and I’ve always wanted to be able to talk to someone about it. I really feel much better having told it to you.”
“No problem,” Doug said, as he started to think about his own life.
The car continued its very slow progress, with neither brother talking. After about two minutes, Doug finally spoke. “Bro, I think for some reason you and I have been attracted to the same kind of woman,” he said.
“What, Jennie? No, somehow I can’t picture her standing over you and swinging a strap at your butt.”
“No, but can you picture her putting me over her knee and spanking my bare behind with a hairbrush?”
“Very serious. I was too embarrassed to talk about it too, but it seems like you and I are in pretty much the same boat. And I never got to agree to it like you did.”
“How long, Doug? How did that get started?”
“It came about so gradually I never saw it coming. Now I can look back and see all the things I should have done differently so that she wouldn’t have thought she could do it, but at the time everything happened nothing seemed like such a big deal.”
“Well, we’ve got time….still ten minutes away from the bridge. Talk.”
“I guess it all started early when we were first dating,” Doug began. “I quickly learned Jen wants things to go exactly the way she wants them to go. If we went out and everything was what she wanted it to be, I usually got to spend the night. But if I did anything she didn’t care for, I ended up going home that night. I didn’t see it as a punishment at the time, but I guess it really was. If I was a good boy to her, I got to sleep with her, if I was a bad boy, I was sent home.
“After about maybe six months, the word ‘punishment’ started to be used. I had told her I would come over to her place to fix something, and I totally forgot about it and went out with some guys instead. She was furious. She told me I had acted irresponsibly and needed to be punished for my behavior. She told me I should decide what my punishment should be. I ended up cleaning her apartment on a Saturday afternoon while she was out with some of her girlfriends. At the time, I felt like that was fair --I really had screwed up and disappointed her. But now looking back at it, we had established that she had the right to decide when I needed to be punished.
“A couple of weeks later, we went to one of her family’s outings. I had a couple of beers too many, and I was talking to some of her cousins and I used some pretty rough profanity. Unfortunately, Jen’s mother overheard and got pretty upset. On the way home, Jen drove and she told me that I was going to be punished when we got to her place, but this time she was going to decide what the punishment was.
"When we got there she marched me into the bathroom, took out a rag and bar of soap, and told me to open my mouth. I should have stopped her, but I really did feel bad about what I had done so I opened my mouth and she stuck the soapy rag in. It tasted terrible, and between the beers I had drunk and the soap in my mouth, I almost threw up. Now with 20/20 hindsight, I can see that I let her decide on however she wanted to punish me, even if it was a really childish punishment like washing my mouth out with soap.
“At one point when everything was going well, I was kidding around and asked her when I get to punish her. She got very serious and told me ’never.’ She said it was very clear that she always acted in an adult manner and there were many times when I didn’t. She said if we were going to stay together as a couple, I could expect to be punished when I deserved it, but that it was not a 2-way street.
“Again, I probably should have stopped her right there, but everything else about the relationship was so wonderful, I didn’t. And I really couldn’t dispute what she had said, she really was right.
“There were a few more punishments for various things, but nothing that terrible. I loved her -- I still do -- so I proposed.
“Everything was great for the first couple of months, no punishments of any kind. Then there was one morning where she had left for work and I was running late, and I ended up leaving a big mess in the kitchen. I had meant to text her to tell her I would clean up when I got home, but I never got around to sending the text and when she got home and saw the kitchen she went ballistic. I got home about a half hour after her and she was still fuming. She told me to clean the kitchen before dinner, so I did, and while we were eating she told me that if I ever left a mess like that again I was going to get a spanking.
“I told her spankings were for kids, and she said very seriously that when I acted like a kid I would get spanked like one. I should have made it very clear right then that a spanking was off limits, but I didn’t. I’m not sure why. Maybe I didn’t think she really would do it, maybe I felt guilty that I had left the mess. I let it ride -- big mistake.
“Well, about a month later, it happened. She had left early again and I woke up late and had to shower before I went to work, and I left the bathroom in a mess. I did text her to tell her I’d clean up -- I thought that would be enough to keep her from getting too mad, but I really think she had decided after the kitchen incident that she was going to spank me the first time there was a reason.
“I got home and told her I’d clean the bathroom first, but she told me it was too late, she had done it already. I knew I was in trouble. She told me I was going to be spanked right after dinner. I told her that was ridiculous but she kept on talking as if nothing I was saying mattered at all. She kept on saying I had acted like a little boy, and she really was treating me like one.
“I was pretty nervous during dinner. I knew she really was planning to spank me, but I still wasn’t sure what I should do. I knew I could stop her by just plain refusing because I’m bigger than her, but I was thinking if I refuse her, what happens to our marriage, which is great in all other ways.
“As soon as we were done with dinner, she stood up and grabbed my wrist and started to lead me to the bedroom. I knew I could pull away, but I didn’t. She led me into the bedroom and sat down on her side of the bed, then she told me to step out of my shoes and take off my pants. I hesitated and she repeated the order in an angry voice, so I did it. Then she grabbed my arm and pulled me down over her lap. I told her this was silly, and she said she would show me how silly it was to act like an irresponsible child. As soon as I was down over her lap, she reached into the waistband of my shorts and pulled them down.
“I didn’t know it but she had put a hairbrush under her pillow, and when the first spank landed, I knew it was a lot more than her hand that was hitting me. Like you said, I couldn’t believe how much it hurt. After she landed several spanks I wanted it to stop and I tried to get up, but I couldn’t. She pressed down on my back and put a leg over my legs to hold me down. She started scolding me about the bad little boy doesn’t like being spanked, but he’s going to learn a lesson tonight before his spanking ends. Then she said she’ll know I’ve learned my lesson when she sees real tears.
“I didn’t want to let her see me crying, but eventually I couldn’t stand the pain and I did start to cry. That was what she had been waiting for, and she started to ease up and then finally stopped. I was crying hard, but she cuddled me and helped me calm down.
“She’s been spanking me ever since. She says she does it only when I act like a child, but I think anything I do that she doesn’t like she defines as a childish act. I guess that by allowing her to do it, I’m consenting in a way, but I don’t like it at all and I wish she didn’t do it. I’ve asked her a couple of times to agree to no more spankings, but she says the only way to make sure I don’t get spanked is to behave myself.
“So I know she’s not going to change. I’ll get spanked whenever she thinks I need it. I don’t like it, but except for that, I have a great marriage with a woman I love a lot. I don’t want to screw up a good thing, and it is true that I don’t get spanked for no reason at all, so I can live with it all.”
“Wow,” the bigger brother exclaimed. “You too. I never would have guessed it.”
“Thanks for listening and for telling me about you, it gave me the courage to talk about myself. And I do feel better about it having told somebody, and also knowing my big brother gets about the same treatment I do.”
“Well, at least neither of us got it last night. Otherwise those seats at the Stadium could have been very uncomfortable.”
The car finally reached the toll barrier, and happily they could see traffic moving freely on the bridge ahead of them. Manhattan loomed ahead, with The Bronx just behind. With luck they could be in the parking lot in ten more minutes.
Tom accelerated and was doing a steady 50 MPH across the bridge. Halfway, just as they passed the sign that shows they had crossed into New York, something struck Doug. “I just had a terrible thought,” he said.
“What’s that?” Tom asked.
“The girls went out shopping together. It just hit me -- what if they’re having the same conversation we just had?”
Jennifer and Kim with their weapons of choice.