BROTHER’S KEEPER


Bobby Waide stood outside Max’s office, his usual cocky manner nowhere in sight. He had an appointment with the team trainer and for once he wasn’t late. The only reason you got called to the office was when you were in trouble, something that Bobby was very familiar with.

“ Bobby Waide you are really gonna get the business this time” he told himself firmly. The young football player’s thoughts were interrupted by the appearance of his brother,

“ What are you doing here?” Bobby asked.

Porter had the usual confused look on his face that was associated with anything to do with his younger brother.
“ I have no idea, I had this call at school asking me to get down here. What have you done now?” Porter demanded.
“Nothing!” Bobby said hastily.
“ The only time you aren’t up to something is when you’re fast asleep.”
Bobby was spared having to counter that as the office door opened.

Max Harris stuck out a hand to Porter and they shook,
“Come in “ the trainer motioned. Bobby was ignored for the moment and trailed behind. They were ushered into chairs as the trainer paced about the room.
“ What’s this all about?” Porter inquired.
Harris abruptly rounded on Bobby,
“ He, has skipped out on practice three times this week.” Harris poked a finger in Bobby’s direction.
The accusation hung in the air for a moment before Bobby began to splutter a denial,
“I, er,..” he fell silent as both men glared at him.
“Did you cut practice?” Porter asked his younger brother.
Bobby continued to look at his hands and made no reply, Busted, he sighed to himself.
“Bobby?” Porter pressed.
“Yes.” The younger man answered softly.
“ Oh God, here we go.” Porter said out loud.

The trainer sent Bobby off to the afternoon practice session. Left alone the two men just looked at each other,
“ Do you have any suggestions?” Max Harris asked.

“ Me? You aren’t going to fire him then?” Porter said in surprise.

“We don’t want to, but we’ve tried all the usual deterants; benching, fines, what else can we do? I thought you might have some influence over him.”
Porter shrugged,” I can hardly ground him; he already has a curfew. What else is there?”
“ Beat him?” Harris suggested hopefully.
Porter was shocked, “ I don’t believe in that kind of thing! And anyway, he’s bigger than me!”
Exasperation showed plainly in the older man’s face,
“ I’d do it myself if I could! If you can’t think of a way to bring him into line we have no choice but to cut him from the team.”
“Bobby would never agree to it and I couldn’t make him.” Porter said.
“ A million dollars.” Harris stated.
“ Excuse me?”
“ No punishment, no $1000,000,000. That should be enough to give you leverage over the kid.” Harris tried unsuccessfully to keep the pleasure from his voice.

“ That could just work, he is fond of that million bucks.” Porter mussed.

The two men shook hands “ Good luck.” Harris said as they went their separate ways.

At 3pm Dena dropped Bobby at home and for once she escaped unmolested by her juvenile client. Bobby was glad to have escaped being recalled to Max’s office so was in a good mood. The good mood didn’t last.

“ Oh man, no way!” Bobby wailed for the umpteenth time.
“ It’s your choice Bobby, just let me know when you’ve decided. What do you want for dinner?” Porter asked casually. Bobby stomped off down to his basement room, muttering to himself about the injustice of it all.

Later in the Kitchen

Bobby almost made it into position at the end of the kitchen table, but at the last moment straightened up again.
“We could tell Max that you gave me a good whipping and I promised never to do it again. “ he tried hopefully
“I have no intention of lying for you Bobby, if you don’t want to accept Max’s conditions then quit. Go get a real job.” Porter added.
“You’ve never been supportive of my career,” the younger brother accused.”
“Its hardly a crime not being a football fan Bobby.”
“Its un-American.”
Porter almost fell for his little brothers delaying tactic but stopped himself from getting into an *is not/is too* slanging match, instead he unfolded his arms and waved a doubled over leather belt in Bobby’s direction.
“Can we get this over with, I have papers to grade and Oscar’s dinner to prepare.”
Bobby glared some more at his brother, “ you’re gonna enjoy this aren’t you?”
“You know I don’t believe in corporal punishment…”
“Ha! Then how come you’re gonna hit me?” Bobby said with triumph.
“To save your career for you.”
Silence feel between the brothers for several moments.
“I hate you!” Bobby pouted in defeat.
“I know, now turn around and bend over-I really do have to get Oscar’s dinner ready soon.”
Bobby silently chanted Fame, a Million bucks, over and over as he slowly turned around and bent over the end of the kitchen table.
“Are you ready Bobby?” Porter asked impatiently.
Bobby gripped the sides of the table, “Yes” a million buck, fame, a million bucks…
“Owwww!!!” Bobby howled as the first lick of the belt struck his butt and all thoughts of fame and money went out of his head.
“Ouch, Owww! “ Bobby whined as another stinging lick landed on target, he had no idea that his brother could be so vicious.
“Quit being such a baby, I hardly touched you, I’m just warning up!” Porter retorted. He knew he told Bobby this was for his own good but it was kind of good to pay back his annoying little brother for all the stuff he’d been put through, both as a kid and again now. Of course he would never admit this was the case, as it wouldn’t be a good example to set Oscar-but if felt good! And with that he landed a succession of swats to Bobby’s defenceless behind and ignored his brother’s cries and pleas for mercy.

After a dozen or so whacks had landed Bobby lost count and began to cry a puddle of tears onto the table counter and waited for his torment to come to an end. After 15 licks of the belt Porter decided that Bobby had been punished enough to satisfy both Max and himself! He put the belt aside and moved I closer to his sobbing brother, he gently rubbed circles on the younger mans back and spoke soothingly,” Come on Bobby its all over-your million bucks is safe, for the time being,” he added softly under his breath.
Bobby slowly straightened up and whipped his eyes and nose noisily on the sleeve of his jersey, “ I heard that crack and it’s not funny!” he pouted.
“Sorry.”
“So you should be!”
“You better go to your room until dinner’s ready Bobby.”
Bobby glared petulantly at his brother, “ I don’t wanna go to my room and you can’t make me.”
“Fine, sit down then, you can pod the peas for me.” Porter suggested.
Bobby looked at the hard kitchen chair and decided he definitely didn’t want his sore butt getting into contact with that any time soon.
“I’m going to my room and I don’t want any dinner.”
“You can eat standing up at the counter.”
Oh, Ok then, call me when it’s ready.”

The end.