Let me take y'all on a little journey with me. This is a journey of childhood, sibling rivelry, and things Mom didn't know.
It was the early 90's. I grew up in a ranch style house in a quiet neighborhood. Most of the houses were built in the 1960's. Large trees cover the roads, generous sized lots, and lots of hills. Kids were around to play with on the weekends and afternoons after school, but for the most part it was a quiet neighborhood in mid Raleigh. Our house was on a corner lot, and the back yard backed up to our elementary school. We had a pretty large yard. About 3/4 of an acre. Mom and Dad wanted us to have a large yard to play in, and we loved it. Large oak trees provided shade for the driveway and parts of the back yard. We had a swing set, sand box and a tire swing. Our black lab, Blackberry, would always romp with us. We had plenty of room to ride our bikes and run around like kids do. Later, it was also where our wedding reception was held.
Every morning my brother and I would get ready for school, grab our lunch boxes and walk up the sidewalk to school. He would always walk a few steps ahead of me as the 'leader'. I suppose this is what big brothers do, they lead. Younger siblings follow. He always had to be first.
Once my younger sister, Annie, was in Kindergarten, I took over the roll of the leader. Evan, moved on to better things in middle school. With our school being so close, it made after school events and activities so much easier to attend, for us and Mom and Dad.
On this particular fall evening, Mom and Dad needed to attend a parent-teacher conference for Annie. It was the beginning of the school year, and Annie was so excited to show Mom and Dad her desk, her classroom and show off her new school for them.
Because Annie was the child involved, the older kids stayed home. Knowing our parents were just a few feet away, we felt comfortable with them leaving us for an hour. Just to be on the safe side, Mom agreed to pay Evan to watch me and she paid me to be good. A win-win.
So off Annie, Mom and Dad went toodling down the sidewalk. I, like any other 9 year old, decided to see what Evan was doing. I will say this in secret, I loved to pester him. And because I like to pester him, we fought. A lot. We wrestled, hit, poked, and body-slammed each other until one of the other cries (it was usually me) or got hurt (again, usually me). Well, on this particular night, Evan wasn't having a bit of it. He warned me, I didn't listen (as usual). He man handled me into the kitchen and got me in one of the kitchen chairs.
Next thing I know, out comes the Duck-Tape. Evan was the neighborhood yard mower and always smelled of gasoline, exhaust, greas and oil. I don't know how he got his hands on Duck Tape that quickly. Probably had it hidden in his pants for this very moment.
He wraps me up so tight in that chair, I can't move. He leaves. I am left in the kitchen. Awesome.
I thought he was playing a game and I knew in a few minutes he would come back and get me and we would continue our 'rough housing' as Dad put it. He came back. But he came back with his socks. His sweaty, grass-covered, exhaust smelling, nasy BOY socks. My hands were tied. I had no way of blocking it. I was doomed. He stuffed those things IN my mouth. Me screaming and writhing the entire time. I can still taste them to this day. He stood over me so proud, like I was some kind of creation he had built. Smiling.
I didn't cry, in my head we were still playing a game. A mean game, but still a game. I sat there. I'm sure giving him the best 'sad' eyes I could muster. Then he turned and went into his bedroom. Crap. Now I'm stuck. Stuck, bound, gagging and beginning to panic a little. I got MAD.
Really, really, fuming, mad. I'm sure I was a sight. Mom's going to killlll him once she finds out what he's done! I'm so tattling on his butt when she comes home.
So I sit. And wait. And wait. And wait. Not the fun evening I envisioned. At. All.
After waiting for seemed like forever. It was proabably no more than 30 minutes in real time, he came back for me. He knew the others would be getting home any minute. Since he didn't want to be getting in any trouble (which I had total intentions of!) he let me go.
I ran to the bathroom, closed the door and brushed my teeth like they would fall out if I didn't. I flossed, used mouthwash, the works. Anything to get that nasty boy sock taste out! Once done, I came out to find Evan waiting for me in the hallway. Great. What now? Atomic wedgie? Swirly?
Quietly he came closer to me. I was ready to run if need-be. He simply said, "if you want to get paid, you won't say a word".
He had me. I wanted my money. Mom would know I had pestered him into putting me in that chair if I said what he did. Then I really wouldn't get my money. But he wouldn't either.
I calmly brushed past him and went to watch TV. I needed to think about this. Not 10 minutes later did Mom and Dad walk through the door.
I never said a word.
It wasn't until 7 years later did the truth come out about that night. We were sitting as a family for dinner and talking about how we used to beat each other up. Evan said, "remember when I Duck-Taped you to that chair and stuffed my dirty socks in your mouth and left you there? That was awesome".
I thought Mom was going to come out of her chair, cross the table and wring his neck. Never had I heard her squeal like that.
Dad just chuckled.
I sure am glad I didn't tell her.I enjoyed him tattling on himself.