Monday, November 4, 2013

The "Reel" Thing

Paul and Sandy had dated when they were in high school.  Paul went off to college and Sandy stayed in Harbor Ridge.  Sandy was a pretty girl with long blond hair, perfect white teeth and an attitude that needed taming.  She was the only daughter of Mitch Marshall, the local sheriff.  Her mother had passed when she was very young and Mitch had turned her over to his mother and father to help him in raising her.  Her grandparents doted on her and so did Mitch.  She wanted for nothing.  Seventy-five per cent of the time, she was a sweet tempered well-mannered girl. but watch out for that other twenty-five per cent.

Harbor Ridge was a small community and a place where everybody knew everybody and doors remained unlocked most of the time.  It was a great place to grow up and surprisingly enough, many of the younger set either stayed in town or gradually moved back after experiencing life in another place. 

Sandy attended the local junior college but dropped out before graduating. She felt like school was a waste of time because there wasn’t anything she really wanted to do as much as she wanted to have fun. It wasn’t until her dad finally stepped in and gave her a choice.  She could go back to school, get a job or get out on her own.  He was not going continue to support her current lifestyle, which included sleeping until noon, lazing around all afternoon and then spending three hours getting ready to go out in the evening.  She and her friends would drive into the city and visit the clubs, getting home about 3:00 AM and the cycle would start all over again. 

Sandy was not used to getting ultimatums.  To say she over reacted to this one would be putting it mildly.  She withdrew the money her father had been saving for her to finish school, packed her bags and left.  She didn’t tell her dad or her grandparents where she was going but did leave a note-saying goodbye.  Her dad didn’t think too much of it at first.  He figured she would be back with her tail between her legs in short order.  At that point, he didn’t realize she had cleaned out the bank account.  He contacted her friends and they didn’t know either where she was or were not forthcoming with any details.  He even threatened to have them arrested as accessories to grand theft.  They all swore they had no idea.

It wasn’t until a couple of months later they heard from Sandy.  She contacted her family by mail saying she was fine.  She offered apologies but no explanations and no additional information.  Her dad wanted to trace the letter but his mother stepped in and said to let it be.

“We know she’s okay and she will be back in touch with us when she is ready.”  Her dad let things drop but hoped she would be in touch again soon.

What they didn’t know was that Sandy had become a Flight Attendant.  She loved the idea of travel and the work was well suited to her personality.  She received glowing compliments from her passengers and several of them took the time to let her superiors know what an asset she was to the airline.

She didn’t know why but she couldn’t get in touch with her dad.  Her family loved her and had done everything for her except provide the discipline she needed to become a productive adult.  Her dad’s first and last act of discipline had set her head spinning.  She didn’t know how to cope so she reacted like she always had. She had a temper trantrum and took off.  It had worked out well for her.  She hopped a plane to Dallas and in flight began talking with one of the attendants. 

“You are so lucky to have such a great job.”

“It is a good job.  Not nearly as good as it once was years ago but I’m still here and my  family and I enjoy the benefits.  If you are interested, you should try it.  What do you have to lose?”

As she deplaned, the attendant pressed a paper in her hand with a name and phone number.  Sandy thanked her and as she walked down the terminal, she decided she would make that call.   

The rest, as they say, is history.  She thought of her family all the time and tried many times to get in touch.  She knew they had to be worried but the longer she procrastinated the harder it was to press that ‘send’ button.  She wasn’t sure if it was shame or embarrassment but eighteen months had passed and she still hadn’t pressed that button.

Sandy picked up an extra hop for a friend and was standing at the plane’s door greeting passengers when she heard,

Sandy, is that you?” She was startled and when she looked up and was surprised to see a familiar face.

“Paul Sanderson, I don’t believe it.”  She reached over and gave him a hug.  The passenger behind him made a comment ‘to get moving’ and Sandy told Paul she would catch up with him later in the flight.

Meeting Paul had Sandy all flummoxed.  It was the first time she had seen anyone from home and while she knew this was something that would eventually happen, she had not  thought about who or why or what she would say when it occurred. 

The plane was ready for take-off and as Sandy sat in the jump seat, she was right in line to see Paul.  He was staring at her and she gave him a big smile.  Boy, he looks good, she thought. He had filled out in all the right places and he was good-looking before. At over six feet tall, with sandy blond hair and blue eyes he had an air of confidence around him then and now.  There was something more now, though.  It wasn’t anything physical.  
Whatever it was he wore it well; it sent shivers down her spine as he continued to keep her in his line of sight.

She hadn’t seen him since right after high school.  They had been the golden couple and everybody expected them to marry eventually.  Everybody except them, that is.  They both had different plans about their future life.  Although he was a jock, unlike most high school jocks, he had a plan for his future.  He planned on working in law enforcement with his goal becoming a Secret Service Agent.  She had no doubt he achieved his goal.

Once the service was completed and all the passengers’ needs were met, Sandy invited Paul to join her in the back. The last row was empty and he would be able to sit while they chatted without interfering with other passengers.

He started.

“So, how long have you been doing this and why haven’t you been in touch with your family?” Don’t you think they deserve to know that you are alive and well and what you are doing with your life?  Or are you still that same self-centered brat who thought the world revolved around you?”

Sandy reddened.  “Why don’t you tell me what you really think, Paul?”

“You have a responsible job, you look like a grown up, I just wonder why you aren’t acting like one.”

“I have tried.  You don’t know how many times I have dialed that number and just can’t seem to press the button.  I don’t know if I am ashamed or scared.  The more time that goes by the more embarrassed I am about what I did  and how long I have let this continue.”

“Get over yourself.  Scared of what? Finding out the misery you have put them through the last few years. Whether you are ashamed or embarrassed doesn’t matter. Your family loves you and they deserve to know what’s become of you.”

“I know you are right.”

“You’re damned right I am right and I intend to make sure you do the right thing.  When this flight ends, I will be making that call and handing you the phone.  If you know what is good for you, you will speak to them.”

“Are you threatening me?”

“Call it what you will, but there will be repercussions if you don’t talk to your family.”

Sandy wasn’t sure how to react to his last statement. Should she just walk away or continue conversing with him?  She didn’t have to make that decision. The pilot announced they were making their initial descent into the airport and Sandy had to resume her flight attendant duties.

“I’ll see you on the ground.” He told her as he went back to his own seat.

She watched him walk down the aisle and her body convulsed.

“What’s up with the gorgeous hunk of man?’ her colleague inquired.

“He’s from my hometown.  We used to date in high school.”

“If he isn’t attached to anyone you should try to reel him in.” Sally was always on the lookout for husband material.  She had succeeded in finding a couple but so far, had not succeeded in keeping one.  Sandy laughed and said she wasn’t in the market.

When they landed and the passengers deplaned, Paul was the last one off. 

“Are you getting off here, or do you have another leg?”

“I’m finished for the day.  I’m staying at the Marriott and don’t have another flight until tomorrow at 10:00.”

“Good, I’ll be waiting at the gate.”

Sandy stalled as long as she could until finally Sally grabbed her arm and hauled her out the door.  Paul was standing there as promised.  When he stepped up to her, Sally said goodbye and walked down the terminal.

“Do you want to talk to your dad here or go somewhere more private?”

“I’m not ready and I can’t do it here.” She stammered.

“Fine, we’ll take the shuttle to the hotel and we will make the call from there.”

Not a word was spoken by either one of them while waiting for the shuttle or on the ride to the hotel.  He accompanied her to the desk and she was surprised when he checked in also.

“Your room or mine?” he asked in the elevator.

“Mine.”  He walked her to the door, she handed him the card key.  As he opened the door, he went in first and she followed.  Seconds later, he was dialing the number and handing her the phone.  She took the phone.  Her dad answered but she couldn’t speak, she just hit end and the call disconnected.

Paul didn’t miss a beat.  “I told you, you would be sorry. I keep my word.”  He hauled her over to the bed, sat down and pulled her over his lap.  Before she even had a chance to ask what he thought he was doing, he was doing it.  His hand landed on her butt and she howled.  It landed again and again.  His hand felt like a plank and she was wriggling around like a fish trying to dodge the next spank.  He tucked her in tighter and continued to spank her bottom.

“I’ll talk, I’ll talk, just please stop spanking me.  It hurts.”

He gave her a few more spanks before he finally stopped.  He sat her up, grabbed the phone and dialed again.  She took the phone.

“Hi daddy, it’s me.” She said.  She heard her dad’s voice catch.  She started to cry so hard she couldn’t speak.  Paul took the phone and talked to Mitch while Sandy tried to gain control.  Mitch was having a difficult time too and Paul suggested they call back in a few minutes.  Mitch said no, he wasn’t hanging up.  He had waited too long to hear the sound of her voice and even if she was crying, he wanted to listen.  Sandy took the phone.  They talked for half an hour and before she hit ‘end’ this time, she told her dad she would be by for a visit next week.

After the conversation, she sat down in the chair and cried.  Paul brought her a bottle of water, a tissue and rubbed her back.

“Don’t you feel much better now?”

“Yes, thank you.  Thank you for making me talk to my dad.  I’m not sure I’m going to thank you for the spanking though.  That was my first and it hurt like hell.”

“Someone should have spanked you a long time ago and often.  Maybe if I had done it back then, we would still be together, married with kids.”

“If you had spanked me back then, you wouldn’t be able to have kids now; so it’s a good thing you waited.”  She laughed when she finished speaking.

He chuckled.  “So am I forgiven?”

“Buy me dinner and I’ll think about it.”

“Still a mouthy brat too, but I can fix that.”

She looked at him and knew what was different now that she couldn’t put her finger on earlier.  It was dominance and she loved it.  She thought to herself Sally, you may be right, I think I will try to reel him in.