The worst ass whooping I have ever received

The worst ass whooping I have ever received I received as a result of running away with Raquel.

Raquel was my my mother's wife's daughter. I can't remember how much older she was than me but I would guess a good six or seven years. I don't very many memories of Raquel. I remember her being there. She had to be about seven years older than me. I'm sure she was fifteen when we ran away and I know I was eight because my mother kept screaming, "you're only eight" as she was beating my ass. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Raquel. She was always there.

I never understood the relationship between Raquel's mother and my mother. I remember them both being there. And I remember them both not being there. And usually when they weren't there, Raquel was.

I remember being an older teen. My younger brother is eleven years younger than me and I hated - and I mean hated - having to watch him when my mother went out. I was so frustrated over being the default babysitter and I am sure Raquel felt the same way. And I'm sure it was that frustration that prompted Raquel to run away that day.

"We're running away," Raquel said to me, "get your bike."

Before I could argue we were riding down the street headed to Raquel's aunt's house which was two hours away by bike.

I don't think Raquel gave this running away thing much thought. Had she, she might of thought about the fact that we were on bikes and our mothers had cars. She might have thought about the fact that she only knew one other person in Southern California in riding distance and her mother knew she only knew one person. Alas, she did not. Hence, her surprise when we finally peddled up to the aunt's house and Raquel's mother was in the driveway.

"Go home," she barked and Raquel and I immediately turned around and made the two hour bike ride home...

Where we were greeted by my mother who was parked on the lawn and clearly upset about my running away. She was almost as upset about me running away as she was about me leaving the house with dirty dishes in the sink.

Side note: What a horrible way to learn that you're not supposed to leave the house with dirty dishes in the sink.

Raquel and I stood exhausted from our ride in the living room while our mothers co-lectured us about running away the dangers associated with it. The lecture was peppered with phrases like "you are going to learn today" and "it stops tonight" foreshadowing that a serious spanking was coming once the pontificating ceased.

Finally, there was silence and each mother stood and placed a hand on their child and began the walk to the bedrooms. Right before we parted, Raquel leaned over and whispered, "Hold your breath. You won't feel a thing."

Despite Raquel's poor judgment in regards to running away, I took this advice and held my breath as my mother beat me. I was clueless. I had no idea what I was doing. I thought I was just holding my breath. I had no idea that I committing an act of defiance. I found out when my mother saw my face looking like Louis Armstrong and she screamed, "Oh, you're trying not scream?" before jumping into the air and bringing the belt down with fury.

I howled.

Side note: What a horrible way to learn that not crying out when being beat is seen as an act of defiance.

That's my only memory of Raquel. In 1980, Raquel's mother, my mother and I moved to Oakland. Raquel did not come with us. I think I have seen her twice since then. But I don't remember those times.

I just remember running away and getting my ass whooped.