Continuation to I Like Cheese. Jodi’s friend has gotten into selling drugs, and Jodi wants to help. Ufff… Derrick’s gonna be pissed.
“Jodi, can I borrow a hundred dollars?”
I nearly choked on the Dr. Pepper I was drinking. “Excuse me?”
My friend looked around to make sure no one was listening. “I’ve got this awesome investment plan. It’s a way that I can spend a hundred dollars and at least double it… and even as much as triple it.”
I bit my lower lip. “What kind of investment plan?”
She leaned back against the wall, pushing her long black hair behind her ears. We’d been friends for at least ten years, went through all of our schools together, and we’d been there for each other through all the bad times, even adopted the same style, though Derrick would never let me die my hair black like hers. “Selling stuff,” she answered.
“Juliana.. I don’t have a hundred dollars.”
“But Derrick does. I know he’s got a shitload in savings so you guys can take that trip after your senior year. And he never looks at it… never touches it. He’d never know if you got any out. Please Jodi.. please help me.”
I digested that, leaning against the wall, too, and looking out at the crowd of people who were sitting outside for lunch. There weren’t very many of us, because it was the middle of October and a little chilly out, so most people were crowded in the cafeteria or hallways. If Juliana wanted me to take money from Derrick it must be important.
She must have noticed my thought process. “Listen — I have to pay off that huge fine for the marijuana charges. My dad already told me he wouldn’t help me… and I can’t find a job anywhere. No one wants to give a job to a sixteen year old with black hair and a tongue ring.” She paused so I’d consider it even more. “And I’ll give you a third of the profits.”
“What would you be selling?” I whispered, having bootlegged movies or cds in mind. Then I started thinking about anti-depressants or pain relievers. Something illegal, of course. I knew Juliana well enough to know that she wasn’t going to be doing any clean selling… not to mention she couldn’t start with anything less than $100.
“Ecstasy,” she whispered back, waiting for my reaction.
My heart thumped crazily inside me. Some weird random part of me wanted to help her out, just because it’s illegal and dangerous. I’m always the type that’s scared to do dangerous stuff… scared to be daring. Anything like that. “I want in with you. I want to sell it, too. Do you have clients? I can just be your partner? I can drive you and stuff?”
She flashed me a grin. “Of course. Then we’ll split the profits half and half. Then we’ll both have $100 to buy and sell more. How does that sound?”
Sounds like a plan.
So like the smart girl I am, that evening while Derrick was in the shower, I grabbed his debit card out of his wallet (because it’s for his checking and savings account) and announced that I was going to get a notebook for school and would be back soon. He told me that he’d cook dinner while I was gone. I was so nervous holding his card in my hand as I drove towards the former Bank One (now called Chase), I almost got in about three accidents and even managed to run a stop sign. I did, however, make it to the bank okay and punched in his pin number, withdrawing a hundred dollars and shoving it in my pocket. I went ahead and got a notebook anyway so as not to feel suspicious.
By the time I got back home, Derrick had dinner ready and I somehow managed to slip the card back in his wallet while he was in the kitchen. I was nervous as hell and shaking so madly you probably can’t imagine it. I rambled on and on about my day at school while we ate dinner, then almost kicked myself because I was being too obvious. Derrick didn’t seem to notice though.
After dinner, I hurried to my room and dialed Juliana’s number. “I got it,” I told her.
“Good. See you tomorrow. We’ll make our first run then.”
So that’s how the whole ordeal started. We spoke with Juliana’s former Marijuana dealer, who went by the name Coby, who hooked us up with an ecstasy guy who went by Jared, who would sell us ten ecstasy pills for $100. He said that they could in turn, be sold for at least $20, maybe $30, depending on the people we were working with. He said that he’d help us out at first and give us the names of some of his clients who already knew the deal and wouldn’t want to pay the full amount, but at least it was business, and they’d have friends or know people who’d want it, too. He also said that Coby would probably give recommendations to us.
We got our first call that night from a man who wanted to buy for only $15 or said that he’d go somewhere else to someone who’d sell for that. We decided that it’d be fine and sold to him anyway, in the parking lot of the cingular store. The two of us were so excited to have the money that we went and spent it right off the bat without even thinking about saving it to pay back Derrick.
Speaking of Derrick, he ruined our fun when he called about nine demanding for me to come home. So I dropped Juliana off at home and she begged me to take the bag of ecstasy home with me because she was in enough shit with the law already. I absent-mindedly agreed to take it, if we alternated the nights that we kept it. She didn’t like the idea but agreed anyway.
The next night was Friday and we somehow mustered up a lie to where it’d be okay to stay out all night. Jared had told us that Friday nights would be busy so we’d probably get it all sold by then. By midnight, we’d gone through half of the pills, some that we’d sold for $20 and some for $30, depending on if the people had done ecstasy before or not. It was about that time that Juliana said, “Have you ever done X before?”
I shook my head. “No.”
“Well, you should try it. I mean, one of us should… so we can know how good the stuff we’re selling is. We could both try it?”
“I don’t want to drive after trying it. You can try.”
“Aw come on, Jodi… I’ve tried X before… if you haven’t, then you should. I’ll drive for you.”
I considered that. “Well… that could work.. But if Derrick found out, he’d kick my ass.”
“Derrick won’t find out,” she assured me.
I gave in to her peer pressure. After all, like she said, it was part of the business. We needed to know what we were selling to everyone, and she already had an idea, so might as well take one. And damn, after the shit kicked in (which took a while) I knew why they named it “ecstasy.” If you’ve ever been so excited and happy that you can define yourself as “ecstatic,” then you know half of what it’s like to be on X. The only bad part was drinking a lot of water and having to pee every ten minutes.
It started to wear off the next morning. We’d been driving around selling the stuff all night, so our night of work was finished. Juliana was high on life (and loads of Mountain Dew), and I was coming down, ready to go to sleep. I think I’d actually somewhat fallen asleep in the passenger’s seat when Juliana exclaimed, “SHIT!”
“What?” I mumbled.
“We only made a $40 profit. How the fuck did that happen?”
I lifted my head. “Forty dollars? That’s not enough to buy another bag to sell.”
She groaned. “Just put off paying Derrick back,” she commanded and I nodded. It would all be fine, I concluded.
The next few days were a lot like the movie Requiem for a Dream. Not the profitable part of the movie. We were selling to a lot of people for cheap because we liked them and every so often we’d take a pill. Then Jared came up with a deal for us, since we were getting so popular. “I’ll sell you thirty pills for two hundred dollars.” We were running low on cash anyway, only having about a hundred and twenty, not to mention that we hadn’t paid back Derrick the hundred back yet. But how could we turn down a deal like that? With thirty pills we could easily make six hundred dollars. At least that’s the way we saw it.
So that night I took Derrick’s card again and withdrew another hundred dollars. And the more days that passed by, the better deals Jared was giving us, and the more I was taking Derrick’s debit card and withdrawing money, because it was just so much easier to do that then to spend the money that we’d made through our sales. Did I mention we were buying everything that we saw that caught our fancy? One night we went to Wal-mart in the middle of the night and bought a shitload of cds and movies for us to watch at Juliana’s house while her dad was out of town.
“Juliana..” I said a couple of weekends later, “what’s happening to all of our money? I owe Derrick like $500. I thought we were going to save up so you could pay off your fines and I could pay him back?”
She blinked. “Oh, well, I guess we’ve gotten out of hand with spending. But we’ll have the money soon enough. Just borrow another $200 and then Jared said we could have fifty pills with that and the one hundred we already have… then we could make about a thousand and we’d save it to where we could pay Derrick back what we owe him, and we’ll only invest our own money from now on. How many more movies could we possibly buy?”
I nodded. “No more taking pills, okay? We already know how good they are. We have to save our money.”
“Sure deal. See you tonight.”
I sighed and snuck to Derrick’s wallet to get his debit card again. I was becoming an expert. I knew where his wallet was at all times, knew how to sneak in and get it, know the excuses to make when he thought he misplaced it.
“Derrick! I’m gone to work, then to hang out with Juliana!” I called. “We’re going to stay at her house again tonight.”
He came out of the bathroom, rubbing his wet hair with a towel, dressed in only his pair of jeans. “Again? How many nights are you going to stay over there?”
“Every weekend, forever.”
“You girls aren’t doing anything you’re not supposed to, are you?”
“Of course not, why would you think that?” I said, batting my eyelashes.
“Well, as long as you’re not doing anything stupid — like drinking and driving — I suppose it’s okay. Give me a call when you’re in for the night.”
“Super deal,” I told him, grabbing my jacket and the bag of pills… it was my day to hold them. I’d numbed myself to the whole situation — it didn’t even seem illegal anymore. I stopped by the bank first, getting the $200 out and noting that he was down to only $1300, instead of the $2000 that he’d started out with. Damn, Derrick would kill me for sure if he knew what I was doing. I sped to work and hid the pills under the seat with the money. My phone rang at least six times through work and on my break I called Juliana who said that she’d already made twelve deals for the night and we’d start our runs after I got off. She stopped by my work and picked up the money so she could buy the fifty pills for $300. We were so in business. It was exhilarating.
The night went almost as good as planned, though we didn’t pull through with a thousand dollars like hoped. We did, however, sell enough pills to pay back half of the money we owed to Derrick. Saturday morning I even got up early enough to go put the money in the bank myself, before we spent it again. I was off work on Saturday, so we spent most of the afternoon chatting with people about times and places for them to get their fix I was so excited that we were finally getting out of our debt that I almost considered taking another pill myself. Then I remembered that it’d be a ten dollar loss. Actually, I didn’t think about the loss til my cell phone rang and it was Derrick who was calling and I realized how much I owed him.
“Hey Derrick, what’s up?” I answered.
“Hey, have you seen my debit card? I seemed to have misplaced it… again.”
“No, don’t think so… just a sec.” I was thinking on impulse and my hands were shaking because something in Derrick’s tone made me suspect that he knew what was going on. “Oh! I must’ve picked it up by accident…”
“Would you mind dropping it by the house?”
“Sure, Juliana and I will be over there in a few..”
“I’d prefer if you came by yourself, Jodi. I need to speak with you about something.”
“No problem,” I said and hung up. “Shit,” I muttered. Juliana raised her eyebrows. “Derrick knows.”
“He does?” she shrieked. “How?”
“I don’t know. He wants me to come by the house… he must’ve known I’ve been using his debit card. Juliana… I’m in soooo much shit!”
“He probably doesn’t know. Just bring him the card… tell him you picked it up by accident, that he left it lying on the table or something.”
“Okay… well, if he found out, I won’t tell him what we spent it on, okay? But you’ve got to sell all the shit tonight and get the money so I can pay him back. I’ll tell him that I wanted to help you with the fine you had to pay and you were going to pay me back after you sold some stuff on eBay… okay?”
She nodded, biting her lower lip. “But be sure you don’t give away any evidence that you did it before he shows you proof that he knows you took the money..”
“Okay. I’ll call you later,” I told her, having the feeling that I’d be so nervous I’d probably end up telling him about my theft before he even knew about it. I nervously drove home, subconsciously chewing on my fingernail and so preoccupied that I didn’t even listen to the music playing on my cd player. I pulled into the driveway and turned my car off, taking a deep breath in and closing my eyes. Here goes nothing.
I cracked the door open and Derrick was sitting on the couch, a sheet of paper spread out in front of him on the coffee table.
“Hey, Derrick… what’s up?” I said nonchalantly, as if nothing wrong was going on.
“Oh nothing much…” he answered standing up. “Just got this crazy bank statement in the mail today…” I gulped.
“Oh? Why was it crazy?”
“Because it shows that I’ve withdrawn a lot of money that I haven’t. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?”
“Funny, because you’re the only one who knows my passcode and the only one who’s been around my card.. not to mention it comes up mysteriously missing for days on end, and then I somehow find it back where it was, after I knew that I’d already looked there.”
I kept telling myself not to break, but I was so close to it, and my stomach was twisted and swirling around inside of me. I was so nervous… so scared.
“So, Jodi,” he said, walking closer to me and looking me in the eyes. “Tell me what’s going on.”
“Maybe somebody stole it and hacked into your account.”
“That’s probably the case, I’m just worried that that somebody is my sister. Did I mention that you’re the world’s worst liar?”
I guess I was the worst liar ever. I was twitching and shifting from foot to foot, and I couldn’t even look him in the eyes. “Okay, so I’ve borrowed some money.”
“Juliana needed some help paying back for her charges,” I mumbled, which was true… “And she said she’d pay me back, right after she got the money back from the things she was selling on eBay.” I said the last part in a rush and my eyes averted from his gaze again.
I could tell by the look on his face and the way that he shook his head that he didn’t buy it. “Go to your room,” he ordered.
I was biting my lower lip profusely and just scampered past him to my room, knowing what was going to happen. I guess that’s when the truth of it all hit me. Stealing money from my brother to help a friend sell drugs? What kind of idiot am I?
There wasn’t much time to think because Derrick was in my room before I knew it. He was holding his belt, folded over. A chill went up my spine.
“Noooo… Derrick… please,” I began.
“Don’t start, I don’t want to hear it.”
“I’m soooo sorry. I was just helping out Juliana.”
“This, I realize. But I have this strange feeling that it’s something more. One, because if it was just helping Juliana, you would have probably asked me to help her, or she would have asked. Secondly, it wasn’t all taken out at the same time. So, I suggest that you tell me what’s going on or it’s just going to be worse on you.”
“But that’s all it is,” I said, tears forming in my eyes.
“Get your pants and panties down,” he ordered.
“Get them down right now, Jodi Marie, and I am not asking you again.”
I whined as I stood up and tugged them down nervously. He sat on my bed and pulled me over his lap.
“So you say that Juliana was just selling stuff on eBay, huh?” he asked, slapping my bottom a hard one and causing my hand to fly back to protect.
“Yes!!” I wailed. “That hurts!”
“Move your hand,” he ordered and I did as told, mostly because I knew it was in my best interest. “And I don’t believe you, Jodi,” he answered giving me a couple of more smacks. A friend once told me that brothers aren’t psychic, but I was suddenly sure that they were, though Derrick did have some good points of why he knew that I was lying. “Even so, I don’t appreciate you stealing from me, Young Lady.” He kept on spanking me, I gripping the sheets for dear life and begging for him to stop. He didn’t even much less let up on the spanking.
I guess he spanked me like that for a minute or two, then lifted me up. I wasn’t up for long, because before I knew it he was lying me back on the bed.
“Why did you and Juliana want the money?”
“To help pay off her charges,” I wailed.
He lifted the belt up high in the air and crashed it down on my bottom. “Then why didn’t you ask me for it?”
“Ooowwwwwwww because I thought you’d say no.”
He crashed it again. “Are you lying to me?”
“Noooooooooooo,” I howled.
I felt the leather on my bottom two more times and cried in pain, moving my hands back to cover where he’d lashed me.
“Move your hands or you’re going to get it twice as hard.”
I quickly moved my hands, but they threatened to move back when I saw him over my shoulder lifting the belt again and then felt the pain. By this time, I was crying full out and I felt terrible and I was still lying and Derrick knew it. Why couldn’t I just tell him the truth? Then I’d get it worse?
“In case you haven’t noticed, Jodi, I’m not stopping the spanking until I hear the truth from you.”
“I’m telling the truth,” I swore, thinking that there’d be no possible way he’d stay there all night spanking me. Then he stopped talking for a while and just hit me with the belt, going in little spurts… sometimes giving me five smacks and breaking, other times about two or three really hard ones in a row. It felt like I’d been there for twenty minutes and my backside was burning like crazy. I then realized that my brother was *serious* when he said that he’d spank the truth out of me!
I wasn’t about to break, though… and besides, I was crying too hard to say anything anyway. He finally had to restrain my hands behind my back as he spanked because I kept trying to block. I was aching so badly… I don’t even know what came over me.
“Okay..” I muttered.
“Okay, what?” he answered.
“She,” I began, stammering and sniffling through my words, “needed one *sniff* hundred dollars.”
“So she could do business.”
“What kind of business?”
He slapped the belt down again. “What *kind* of stuff?” he asked, getting agitated.
“Ecstasy,” I whispered.
“Mmmhmmm. I thought so,” he said, then sat down on the bed next to me, holding his head in his hands. I cried silently for a little while, face buried into the covers.
“I’m sorry,” I told him.
He shook his head at me.
“I really am. She just wanted help to get some money for her fines. She was only going to borrow $100… then we kept getting more and more money to buy more drugs and sell more so we could make more money and I didn’t realize what I was doing.”
He shook his head again, then lifted his head up and I could tell that he’d been crying, too. “Jodi… why would you even do something like that? Don’t you realize how dangerous it is and how stupid and irresponsible? It’s one thing to steal from me… but on top of it, you have to break the law?”
“I know, I’m sorry, we just..”
“Where’s the rest of your ecstasy?”
“We don’t have anymore,” I lied, another obvious one.
“Jodi Marie, where is the rest of the ecstasy? You’re in enough trouble as it is, if you keep lying to me, you honestly will not be able to sit for a week, and I’ll make sure of that.”
My stomach churned. “Juliana has it… but Derrick… she’s just going to sell it and get your money back.”
“Like hell she’s going to sell it. She’s going to get it back from whatever asshole she bought it from and she’s going to get a job and pay me back respectably. And YOU, Young Lady, are going to do the same…”
“But Juliana can’t find a real job because she has black hair and a tongue ring,” I answered, thinking back to the first day that we’d talked about or investment.
“Oh, Juliana will find a real job, if I have to hire her myself. And the three of us are going over to this guy’s house tonight and giving him back all of his shit…”
“What about the money we get back from that?”
“No, we’re not getting money back from that. He can keep it, so he’ll keep his mouth shut so you girls won’t go to jail. You and her are going to pay me back the money yourselves.”
I began crying again.
“And you’re grounded until I get the money back.. And I’ll be contacting Juliana’s father.”
“Nooooo Derrick! Don’t get her in trouble.. please!”
He raised his eyebrows. “After all the shit she’s put you in, you’re still on her side?”
“Please, Derrick… just let her pay you back. That’ll be enough punishment for her. She has to pay her fines still, too.”
He digested that. “I’ll think about it,” he told me and stood up. “I’m very disappointed in you, Jodi. I never thought you’d stoop that low.” And with that, he left and I suffered in my room, still in tears, until I cried myself to sleep… pants still at my ankles.