“Hey Stevie, I’ll race ya!” Lenore shouted to her fifteen year-old brother who was only a few months older than her.
“You’re on!” Stevie yelled back, pedaling his bike as fast as he could.
“Hey, what time is it?” Lenore called. “We have to be home soon, don’t we?”
“Shoot!” Stevie groaned. “We’re late! Dad’s gonna kill us!”
“Again,” Lenore replicated. “We’re so dead now; we promised we wouldn’t be late this time.”
With that the two of them raced their bikes home as fast as they possibly could. They pulled into the driveway and threw their bikes on the front lawn then dashed inside, hoping that their dad wouldn’t be there. Suddenly they froze in their tracks, there before them stood their dad.
“Where the hell have you two been?” He demanded. “I’ve been waiting for you for almost an hour now!”
“Look dad, we’re really sorry,” Stevie, who was now sitting on the couch, said. “We kinda lost track of time.”
“You’re always losing track of time!” He retorted. “I thought I told you two to be home by seven?”
“You did, but…..” Lenore started as she too sat down on the couch.
“No buts about it!” He yelled. “I’ve told you both a zillion times to be home on time!”
“We’re really sorry dad,” they stated in unison.
“I’ve had it, you’re not getting away with it this time,” their dad confirmed. “Lenore, you’re not to go to Katie’s birthday sleepover tonight, and Stevie you’re not allowed to play Nintendo; neither one of you is allowed out of this house until Monday.”
“But I have to give Katie her gift,” Lenore complained. “Why is my sentence worse than his?”
“Yeah dad, why is it?” Stevie queried. “After all I am older.”
“Keep complaining and you’ll both be grounded all of next week!” Hank roared. “Oh yeah, and no phone calls!” With that he stormed out of the living room and into the kitchen to check on his three younger children. Lenore and Stevie just sat there looking at one another shocked. They’d gotten into trouble before for being late, but not at all like this. A few minutes later their big brother Brian walked in to find them sitting quietly on the couch staring off into space.
“What’s wrong with you two?” Brian questioned. “You look as though the world’s about to end.”
“We were late again,” Stevie replied. “We accidentally lost track of time and were late, after promising that we wouldn’t be.”
“Dad wouldn’t let us explain or anything,” Lenore added. “He grounded us until Monday; I’m not allowed to go to Katie’s party either.”
“Ouch,” Brian rejoined. “Sorry to hear that you can’t go anywhere all weekend. Especially since, oh never mind.”
“Never mind what?” Lenore asked. “What are you hiding?” Brian responded, “Oh nothing.”
“What do ya mean nothing?” Stevie said. “You’re hiding something and we both know it!”
“Never mind, it’s not important,” he replicated.
“Tell us right now mister or else!” Lenore growled. “Don’t ya dare leave us hanging like this!”
“Fine, I’ll tell ya,” he told them. “The guys and I have to go to this party tomorrow night and I was gonna ask if ya wanted to tag along, but I guess ya can’t now.”
“Maybe dad will make an exception,” Stevie returned. “What’s the party about?”
“We’ve won another award,” Brian responded. “I thought ya might like to come and help us celebrate.”
“Celebrate what?” Hank interrogated walking back into the room. “When did you get home?”
“I got home about fifteen minutes ago,” Brian said. “We’re celebrating the fact that we won another award.”
“How many times do you have to celebrate something like that?” Hank questioned. “You’ve won like a zillion awards already, and you still have to go and celebrate.” Brian retorted, “Dad, we celebrate each time because it’s a privilege to win each and every award, especially the ones you get after you thought that you wouldn’t win in that category.”
“I still think that it makes you all sound conceded,” he replied. “You don’t need to commemorate for each and every one. I do not want you coming home drunk again!”
“I’m not going to come home drunk!” Brian riposted, then nodded towards his two younger siblings. “Especially since I was originally gonna bring them along, so that they could be our VIG (very important guests) at the party.”
“Well, they’re grounded this weekend,” their dad replicated. “They’re not to go anywhere and no phone calls either.”
“Can’t you make an exception just this once?” Lenore pleaded. “Please dad; we swear on everything we own that it’ll never happen again.”
“If I let you go this time, then you’ll want off of the hook the next time, and the time after that,” Hank replicated. “You’re not getting out of it this time.”
“Can’t you just let us go to the party?” Stevie queried. “We’ll stay in the house for the rest of the weekend. Please?”
“Which part of no do you two not understand?” he interrogated. “The N or the O?”
“Both,” Brian rejoined before they could say anything. “They’re not the only one’s though. Dad, can’t you please let them off just for tomorrow night?”
“NO!” Hank yelled. “They have to learn their lesson! They’re not little kids anymore!”
“Dad, they swore on everything that they won’t let it happen again,” Brian insisted. “I really want for them to come with us; it’ll be an educational experience.”
“Educational my foot!” He roared. “How is it educational? All you do is go there, get drunk, get into fights, and swear at everyone!”
“That is not what happens!” Brian growled. “That only happens sometimes, and we’re never involved! It would give them an idea as to what stardom life is like!”
“I don’t care what it would teach them!” Hank bellowed. “For the last time, they’re not going!”
“Fine, be the big old idiot that you are!” Brian shouted. “You never want them to have fun anymore!”
“That’s it mister, you’re grounded for a week!” Hank hollered. “I’ve had enough of your dang lip!”
“I’m twenty-four for Pete’s sake; ya can’t ground me!” Brian yelled. “I’m too old to be grounded; I’m not a little kid anymore dad!”
Hank screamed, “As long as your living under my roof, you’ll never be too old to be grounded; if you don’t like it then move out!”
Brian looked over at Lenore and Stevie then and saw the worried looks on their faces. Stevie looked unsure of things and Lenore looked really scared..
“Fine, have it your way!”