Danielle is always looking for something new and exciting to do, so when Miguel asks for her assistance in something that isn’t exactly lawful, she doesn’t think twice before agreeing to do it. Of course, after Carlos gets ahold of her, she’ll wish she had… (this story takes place, obviously, before the Studying Abroad stories)
I lay in my bed staring out the window, enjoying the sound of the rain pattering against the ground. It was such a nice day to be off of school and home alone, just waiting for something exciting to boost my adrenaline. Then the phone rang — Miguel. He was always the great adrenaline-rush-provider.
“Yesum?” I answered, stretching slightly.
“I have work for you,” he said in broken English.
“Hmmm? What might that be?” I asked, rolling over to my back and staring at the ceiling. Knowing Miguel, his job offer would probably be something uber illegal and result in some kind of crazy fight. That’s how my endeavors with him seemed to end up lately.
“I have help to drive for a friend.”
He went on to explain that his friend’s wife and kids were in San Antonio with a coyote (AKA human smuggler… not the animal) who was holding them hostage until he coughed up some more cash. Miguel’s friend was worried that if he didn’t go get them himself, the coyote would continue to drain money from him with empty promises to transport them to Houston. And this is where I came into the picture — with my legal Texas driver’s license and an SUV with tinted windows, I was the perfect candidate to perform this illegal operation. Sounded like a good adrenaline rush to me.
“I’m in,” I said, smiling slightly. “What time do you want to meet up?”
“Three o’clock,” he said. I glanced at the clock beside me. It was 2:07… I had 53 minutes to hop in the shower, wash my hair, put on some revealing clothes (with a jacket, ’cause it was a bit cold outside), and eat some leftover Christmas candy.
I was unwrapping a bite size Twix bar when I heard the knock at my door. There was Miguel, looking sharp and handsome as always, with his friend, Francisco, who was equally gorgeous. This was going to be a fun trip.
Francisco wasn’t much of a talker, and didn’t really speak English. I tried my hardest to converse with him, but he just answered “si” or “no” even when my question wasn’t a yes or no question… so eventually I gave up. Miguel and I chatted a bit, and he teased me, grabbing my boob every so often (not without first making sure Francisco wasn’t watching, though), to which I retaliated by smacking him as hard as I could. But otherwise, the trip was pretty uneventful.
We stopped in a small town close to San Antonio for dinner, as we were still a bit early to meet with the coyotes. Since I was with two Mexicans, their choice was, of course, Mexican food. And I had no idea what to order because the menu was totally in Spanish, so I asked Miguel to do the honors.
The rain had passed by the time we arrived in San Antonio. The moon was shining brightly, the one thing I noticed as Francisco spoke on the phone in soft Spanish to the coyote. I was beginning to get slightly nervous, as it seemed that not only was there a lot of traffic, but also a lot of cops who seemed to enjoy pulling people over. This was the first time I actually began to think of what would happen if I did get caught… with not one, but five undocumented immigrants in the vehicle with me. Shit.
Francisco explained to Miguel where we were going, and Miguel, of course, relayed the message to me. We stopped in front of a grocery store in an obviously unsafe part of town. I felt really out of place as we sat there, waiting for the mysterious white van to pull up. The two boys chatted a little, not noticing my nervousness.
“Miguel… I’m scared,” I said in a near whisper.
I shrugged. What could I tell him? Because this couldn’t be safe, sitting here at night time in the middle of a rough neighborhood. Because what if the coyotes had a gun and decided to “bust a cap” in someone’s ass? Because what if a cop came up to us and asked us what we were doing? How would I even answer him?
I pulled out my cell phone and opened up the internet to mapquest. I typed in some addresses and created a false story in my head that we were supposed to meet some friends, but were lost…
Then the white van pulled up. I bit my lower lip, heart pounding. Francisco pushed himself out of the vehicle and jogged towards the white van, digging money out of his pocket. He counted out the bills for the coyote, then handed them to him, opening up the sliding van door. A woman who seemed to be only a couple of years older than me practically fell out, tackling Francisco in a hug. His two kids were next, a boy and a girl, both little… waay too little to be going through what they’d been through.
The family walked towards us and Francisco introduced everyone while the white van sped off. I took a deep breath, smiling to Miguel as I saw the happiness that engulfed the newly reunited family.
“Tienen hambre?” I heard Miguel ask the family, Spanish for “are you hungry?”
Francisco and his wife were open to do whatever Miguel and I wanted since we were the two driving. At that moment, all I wanted was to get out of San Antonio. Once we were on our way back to Houston, we made a quick stop at McDonald’s. It was so cool getting to see the family’s reaction to being in the U.S. for the first time in their life. The kids were so happy to see their dad again as they hadn’t seen him in years. Francisco’s wife talked about her experience crossing the border, and while I didn’t understand everything she said, I picked up bits and pieces and instantly admired her. She had put her life on the line to be a family again, and she’d made it. It made me wonder about the women who aren’t so lucky.
Now full on junk food that I hadn’t needed, I was prepared to finish the three hour drive back home. Francisco was much more talkative with his wife and kids than he had been with Miguel and I, which I later learned was nothing personal, just the fact that he had been too worried on the drive to San Antonio to carry on much of a conversation. The kids asked a million and one questions about Francisco’s job and house and the school they would be going to. And his wife was just in awe of the whole situation, sitting close to her husband with the biggest smile planted on her face. I felt all these warm fuzzies inside of me.
Francisco and his wife thanked me for about ten minutes when we finally arrived to Miguel’s house. I assured them that it was no problem and I enjoyed the trip. We said our goodbyes, our “it was nice meeting you”s, and I sped off, heading home. I smiled the whole way, feeling good about what I’d done.
When I got home, Carlos was sitting in the living room, watching TV in his khakies and undershirt. He’d obviously just gotten off work.
“Hey, Hermanita. Where ya been?” he asked, in a seemingly good mood.
I grinned, plopping down next to him. “You’ll never believe what I just did,” I told him.
“Oh? Do share,” he asked, turning towards me and now more interested in what I had to say than whatever was on TV.
“I went with Miguel and his friend to pick up this family from San Antonio… and it was so amazing, Carlos. I really helped them out.”
His seemingly good mood changed abruptly. “You did *what*?”
I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with his reaction, so I scooted away from him a little. “I helped out this family… I drove them to Houston…” I stammered, starting to get worried that Carlos wasn’t going to see this as helping out someone in need, but rather as another stupid stunt that I’d pulled.
“An undocumented family?” he asked.
“I- I dunno…” I said. “But what does it matter anyway? They just needed a ride from San Antonio…”
Carlos took a deep breath in and looked away for a moment.
“Uhm, I think I’m going to shower and go to bed…” I said, standing up in the hopes that it’d get me out of this conversation.
“Have a seat,” he said firmly.
I plopped back down. “It’s really not that big of a deal, Carlos…”
Carlos turned the TV off and looked at me again, this time with a stern demeanor. “Danielle, I want you to tell me everything, from beginning to end, no leaving out details.”
“But…” I began, only to be cut off.
“I want to know, Danielle. I’m not going to tell your mom, or my dad, but I think it’s important that we discuss this.”
I wasn’t worried about talking through this… the thing that worried me was the fact that he used the word “discuss” and that usually meant that the “discussion” would involve a belt of some sort.
“Carlos… please… it wasn’t anything bad…” I said.
“Start from the beginning.”
“This isn’t fair! I didn’t do anything wrong!” I yelped, near tears. “Gah! If I’d have known you were going to flip out on me, I wouldn’t have told you anything!” I buried my head in my hands now, overwhelmed by the entire night’s events, and now worried that I was going to get into trouble for something that shouldn’t have even been wrong.
I felt Carlos’s arm around my shoulders. “Danielle, I’m worried because I care about you. If you were driving undocumented immigrants around the state of Texas, you could really screw up your life…” he began. He pulled me close, pressing me against his chest. “And anything could’ve happened out there…” he continued. This was quickly turning into a sentimental sappy Lifetime movie moment.
I sniffled and wiped my eyes, pulling away from him. “But nothing happened. I came home alive and without handcuffs… so we can just put this all behind us, right?”
He shook his head. “Hermanita… if Miguel called you tomorrow and asked you to do the same thing again, would you do it?”
I didn’t answer. I couldn’t say it aloud — of course I’d do it again. I didn’t see the big deal about illegal immigration anyway. It kept families apart, like Francisco’s… and sometimes the living conditions in Mexico or Latin America were so hazardous that the only way to better one’s own life was through coming to the U.S…. and it was such a long, tedious, and difficult process to get a visa…
“That’s what I thought,” Carlos said, snapping me out of my moment.
I bit my lower lip as I began the story of the night’s events, telling Carlos everything, from seeing an actual coyote to having apple pie and a chocolate shake at McDonald’s. He shook his head in disappointment, waiting for me to finish before saying, “do you realize that you could’ve gotten hurt, arrested, or even killed?”
I hung my head in shame. “I didn’t think about that, Carlos.”
“And all for $150… Your life is worth so much more than that, Hermanita.”
“I know, I’m sorry…” I said. “It just seemed so much more important to help out Francisco… and it was standing up for something I believe in… or rather, don’t believe in.”
“I wouldn’t call this ‘standing up for something’… no one’s going to listen to you if you’re sitting in a jail cell. If you really want to make a point, write an article for the local newspaper… or participate in a protest… those are safe and legal things that will help you have a voice in this country.”
“But…” I began, not quite sure how to answer that.
“Do you even know how much legal trouble you could get into for this?”
I shook my head.
“Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to research online what legal repercussions you would have faced had you gotten caught, then I want you to go to your room and think about what else could’ve gone wrong tonight. I’ll be in there in an hour.”
If I’d been on the internet, I would’ve typed in a “:(” to that statement. But since I wasn’t, I just had to put on my best sad face and shuffle towards the den, only turning back to ask Carlos if I could take a shower first.
This was probably one of the worst punishments Carlos had ever given me… especially when I found out that I could’ve gone to prison for 1-10 years with a minimum $1000 fine. And then I made a list of other things that could’ve gone wrong… things I’d thought about while I was on the trip but had pushed aside… like getting shot in that unsafe neighborhood, or Francisco turning out to be a creep and hurting Miguel and me. I even went a step further and thought about how much it would’ve sucked had I gotten caught — I would’ve been out of money I’d been saving for college, it’d be hard to find a good job, I’d never be taken seriously. I was practically crying by the time Carlos opened my bedroom door.
“Well?” he asked.
“Carlos… I’m sorry,” I said, a tear slipping down my cheek. “I hadn’t thought about all of the things that could’ve happened to me… it’s just so much easier thinking that I’m going to really and truly help someone and make a difference… and besides, none of that happened…”
He read over my list and kissed my forehead. “I’m so glad none of these happened… but you *are* getting a spanking,” he said.
“But Carlos…!” I whined.
He shook his head. “I don’t want to hear any complaints from you. Now you know the ‘what could’ve happened’s… and now you’re going to feel what WILL happen if you ever do this again. Because believe me, Danielle, I will find out, won’t I?”
I would have liked to challenge that, but he was right… he would find out. He seemed to always find everything out, and I’m such a blabber mouth I’d probably end up telling him even if he didn’t find out on his own. “Yeah, I guess you will find out.”
“A spanking should be the least of your worries, though, for real, Danielle,” he said, sitting down next to me. “I care about you, Hermanita, you know that. I don’t want you to end up in prison and screwing your whole life up… and I know that I’ve told you about how corrupt coyotes are… they don’t care about anything but money. What if Francisco hadn’t given them enough? Then they would’ve turned to you and Miguel… and if you two didn’t have what they wanted, they could’ve killed you all.”
I nodded. “You’re right,” I said, still not wanting the spanking. “And I understand. And I know the consequences. So is it really necessary to spank me?”
“You tell me,” he said.
The immature part of me wanted to say that it wasn’t necessary. That I’d learned my lesson, I wouldn’t do it again, and a spanking was an uber bad idea. But the more I thought about it, the mature part of me felt guilty for getting away with doing something so stupid, and knew that a definite spanking would be more likely to keep me from pulling such a stunt whereas an abstract possibility of getting caught by the law or getting shot would probably not deter me at all. So I confessed. “I guess it is necessary,” I murmured, looking away.
I think Carlos was proud of me for admitting it, because he immediately hugged me. “Come on then,” he said softly, helping me over his lap. I shivered ever so slightly, burying my face into my blankets.
“Please, Carlos, not too hard.”
He probably couldn’t help but chuckle at that statement — I’d just admitted that I needed my bottom blistered, and then I was going to beg him not to hit me too hard. Apparently I wasn’t the brightest crayon in the box.
He tugged my pj pants down to my knees, sending my panties with them. A cool breeze swept over my backside and I buried my face deeper into the blankets, wanting to take back my statement that this was necessary. He rested his warm hand on my bottom. “Danielle, I care about you,” he scolded. “And I care too much about you to see you do something so stupid. I know that you knew better than to do what you did today, didn’t you?” he asked, slapping my bottom.
“Owww, yes,” I yelped.
He swatted me again, and then again, and finally began a definite rhythm. I kicked and squirmed, trying to reach back and block, only to be restrained further by my older brother.
“Pleaseeeeee,” I howled. While it hadn’t been that long ago that he’d started spanking, I could already feel my bottom turning red. This might have been his idea of a “warm up” but for me it seemed like it would’ve been just as painful to start spanking me with his belt!
“I hope you’re learning your lesson, Danielle Grace,” he said, continuing the spanking even though my squirms and pleas.
“I am!” I promised.
He began concentrating on my sit spots, and hitting my thighs every so often. I yelped loudly each time he smacked me, feeling like a six year old. Some people may think a hand spanking doesn’t hurt, but Carlos was definite proof that it does! It just reminded me of what was coming next…
“Carlosssss, owwww, I’m s-sorryyyy!! Ooowww!!! I won’t do it again!”
“I know you won’t, Hermanita,” he answered, still not letting up on the swats.
I don’t know how long the hand spanking lasted, but it felt like hours. When he finally stopped and lifted me up, I was crying like a baby and doing the “ants in your pants” dance.
“No rubbing,” he said firmly. “Bend over the bed.”
“Carlossssssss,” I cried, “I’ve had enough! I promise!”
Tears were steadily streaming down my face and I knew that part of him had to feel sorry for me, but he helped me bend over anyway, not letting his pity stop him from administering the spanking that I deserved.
Elbows on the bed, I buried my face into my hands to catch my tears. My body was quivering and shaking from all of the crying, and because I feared what was coming next. I heard the belt unbuckle and saw the image in my head of him sliding it out of his pants, then folding it over. This thought just racked more sobs through my body. “Please,” I said desperately.
He put his left hand on the small of my back to hold me in place, then didn’t take any time in bringing the leather down on my poor bottom. I yelped, only to be rewarded with another blow, and another. It was hard to take the spanking, each swat biting into my skin. It hurt so badly I couldn’t even talk from sobbing so heavily.
“I won’t allow you to put yourself in dangerous situations, Danielle,” he said, raining down another smack. “So next time you think about doing something so dumb, I want you to think twice, and remember this spanking, understood?”
I cried out in response what was supposed to be “YES!” but was more like muffled sobs. He finished up with a crash to my sit spots, then threw the belt down on the floor. He crawled into my bed and pulled me to his lap, holding me tightly in his arms. I pressed my face against his chest, still sobbing, wanting to apologize for what I’d done but unable to find the words.
“You okay?” he whispered after I’d regained my composure.
I nodded, sniffling and wiping more tears away.
He stayed there with me a little longer, letting me know that I was forgiven, that he loved me, that he didn’t want me to do something so stupid ever again. And I promised him I wouldn’t.
“Goodnight, Hermanita,” he said.
I smiled, sniffled, then said, “gooodnight, big bro.”