Kinsley begins anew

     “This fight was the worst Luna, Cindy didn’t use her fists this time, but her words were so hateful. I was so scared and I had to get out of there, so as soon as Cindy fell asleep, I packed a bag, then after quietly searching her purse and different hiding spots for cash, I left home.” sighing, Kinsley sipped the hot tea, Luna placed in front of her. “Unfortunately, the rain was coming down in buckets; I knew I had to get to your house, but I couldn’t call because I left my phone. Cindy has a tracker app on my phone; she knows who I call, and everywhere I go.”

     “You did the right thing. I’m just sorry you had to walk the entire way and in this rain.” As Kinsley’s best friend, Luna was thrilled at first when she saw Kinsley at her front door, then worried. She was only able to relax after searching and finding no injuries. Kinsley often confided in Luna about the abusive relationship Kinsley had with Cindy. And although Kinsley has talked about it before, this was the first time she had the courage to leave.

     Kinsley planned to sleep on Luna’s couch for the foreseeable future, which Luna had been offering since Cindy’s first strike. She would never understand why Kinsley waited so long to make her move, but she was glad she finally did; now if she could only convince her to file a restraining order. Luna knew it was only a matter of time until Cindy showed her face in an attempt to bully Kinsley into returning. And be her punching bag once again. Luna only hoped she was home when it happens; she’d like to teach this bully a lesson.

     Luna was good friends with her neighbors, and they all looked out for one another. Once Luna explained their current situation, her neighbors promised to be on the alert. Of course, Luna was right. It didn’t take long for Kinsley’s crazy ex to make her first appearance. Luna was at work when she got the call; Mrs. Beatty, her seventy-six-year-old neighbor from across the street, had the bridge ladies over when Cindy decided to show. Mrs. Beatty and the group intervened when they heard Cindy banging on Luna’s front door, making an awful spectacle of herself.

     The group of older ladies marched across the street, yielding wooden spoons and waving their canes. A scary sight to behold, and Kinsley’s ex hightailed it to her car and raced away. But just as the vehicle was screeching down the street, Mrs. Beatty’s granddaughter pulled up. Gayle rushed over as soon as her Grandmother called about the disturbance. She stood shaking her head over the sight, a group of old ladies with weapons at the ready. Any trouble maker caught by this group was destined never to sit comfortably again.

     After exiting her car, Gayle eased up to the ladies, waiting for the chattering to calm down and her Grandmother acknowledging her presence. “Oh, Gayle darling, You got here just in time. I don’t know what we would have done.” Gayle chuckled at her Grandmothers poor old lady’s act after watching this group ready for battle.

     Wisely she decided to play along, as the group was still holding wooden spoons. No point putting her bottom in jeopardy. “Oh yes, you poor thing, how are you holding up? Do you want me to help you to cross the street?”

     Mrs. Beatty didn’t miss the hint of sarcasm but decided to ignore it. “No, dear, we’re fine, but I think Kinsley needs a cup of tea and willing ear. Would you mind terribly? Just until she calms down. That ex of hers is simply awful.” This idea wasn’t a request; the ladies were ready to get back to their game and, no doubt, gossip about today’s latest event.

      Resigned to her mission, and after her introduction to Kinsley, she said goodbye to her Grandmother and the ladies. “Come on, Kinsley, let’s get out of here and go to a happy hour up at Smitty’s. I’ll buy you a drink, and we can talk.”

     “That’s okay; I don’t want to put you out.” Kinsley was still shaking and did not want to be alone, but she also knew this lady was only asking because of her Grandmother’s instructions.

     Gayle laughed, “Kinsley, If you think I would defy my Grandmother, you must not have seen those wooden spoons.” dramatically shivering, Gayle continued, not taking no for an answer. “Go get your keys and lock up. I’ll wait right here.”

     Kinsley shrugged then did as instructed; Gayle seemed determined like her Grandmother, so there was no point in arguing. Not that she wanted to anyway.

     Two drinks and a few appetizers later, Gayle pulled into Luna’s driveway to drop Kinsley home. Before leaving, she said. “I know the circumstances weren’t ideal, but I had a nice time today. Would it be okay if I called you? Or is it too soon?”

     “I don’t have a cell phone yet. I left mine with Cindy. I could give you Luna’s number; I know she wouldn’t mind as long as you called after she gets home at five.” Kinsley hoped her lack of phone didn’t turn off Gayle, but when she didn’t hesitate to add Luna’s number to her contacts, Kinsley smiled.

     When Luna arrived home, she knew something was going on. Kinsley was a sporadic mix of emotions, one minute, she seemed nervous, the next excited. But once Luna extracted the entire events of the day, she understood. It annoyed her that Cindy dared show up here at her home but hearing about Mrs. Beatty and the ladies had her cackling. Then to top it off, Mrs. Beatty’s Granddaughter taking Kinsley for a drink. “It’s about time some good fortune found you, girl,” she said.

     It was six thirteen when Luna’s phone finally rang. Kinsley nervously listens to a one-sided conversation that was mostly about her. “Oh Yes, this is Luna.”  “Of course, it’s no bother.”   “Before I hand the phone over, I wanted to thank you for helping today. I wish I could have seen your, Grandmother and her lady friends in action. I bet that nasty Cindy couldn’t get away fast enough.”   “If only they would have given her a couple of whacks with those wooden spoons.”

     They were both laughing when Gayle replied. “That’s how I learned to use a spoon. I had many sore bottoms when I stayed with my Grandmother.”

     Then Kinsley blushed when Luna added, “Well, Kinsley is no stranger to a sore bottom either.”    

     Kinsley recovered quickly and pulled the phone out of Luna’s hands. “Don’t listen to her; she’s lost her mind.” Talking the phone into the other room, Kinsley remembered her manners and said. “Thanks again, Gayle; you turned my day around.” The conversation went on for over an hour, and in that time, they set up a dinner date, but Kinsley was adamant. “Gayle, it has to be casual; I’ve been borrowing Luna’s clothing until I can figure out a way to retrieve my things.”

     Gayle agreed, but she didn’t like the power Kinsley’s ex held over Kinsley. She never cared for bullies; to her, Kinsley’s ex sounds like she needs a lesson in kindness and if she shows up when Gayle is around. She may get one.

     When Kinsley handed the phone back to Luna, she said. “I can’t believe you said that. Luna, I’ve only just met her. And after Cindy, well, I’m not sure anymore.”

     “Oh, Kins, I’m sorry, but the conversation kind of fell into place.” when Kinsley looked confused, Luna tried explaining. “We were laughing about the old ladies and their wooden spoons, and she said. ‘That’s where she learned to use one’ Then it just slipped out.” at the time, Luna thought it harmless, but now she felt terrible. “Oh, Kinsley, I’m sorry, you’re right. I shouldn’t have joked like that; please forgive me.” Luna waited nervously to see how Kinsley would react.

     It only took Kinsley a moment to process; she burst out laughing. “Oh, I could never be mad at you, Luna. That was amazing seeing those old ladies ready for battle. And you were right; it would have been wonderful if they caught up with Cindy.” once the laughter calmed, Kinsley added. “Do you think it’s too soon for me to start dating again? Honestly, I like Gayle, but I feel a bit screwed up at the moment. I don’t want to rush into another relationship.”

     Luna got up and put her arms snuggly around Kinsley. “Kins,” pulling apart, she added. “She seems nice, so maybe talk to her. Tell her how you feel, and I know it sounds weird but possibly be just friends. Then when you are ready and if you still like her, you can start dating. But Kins, you don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.”

    Kinsley was a nervous wreck waiting for Gayle to show. Luna hadn’t made it home from work yet. So she had no one to ease her tension; her hands were sweaty as she paced back and forth in the front hall. When the doorbell rang, her jittery body jumped before she realized it was the door. Immediately Gayle noticed the unease in the girl, reminded of their last meeting. Gayle said. “Kinsley, Are you okay? How about we sit and talk for a minute?” Gayle directed the girl over to the living room couch.

     Embarrassed, Kinsley tried apologizing, only to be cut off. “Kinsley, If it’s too soon for you, I understand. Would you please not make yourself sick? I’d still like to be friends if that’s okay? If it makes you more comfortable, we can order in and invite Luna to join us; I can even run over and ask Grandmother?” Gayle pointed toward the house across the street.

     Covering her eyes, Kinsley wasn’t sure what to say. “I’m sorry, Gayle, I shouldn’t have led you on. I thought I was ready to date, but I’m just not.”

      Gayle pulled the girl’s hands down but didn’t let go. “Please don’t be sorry. I knew you had ex issues and I pushed too fast. Come on, how about this; you leave a note for Luna. Have her meet us across the street, and I’ll give you a proper introduction to the old lady.” then, joking, she added,  “you had better not tell her I called her old.”

     Giggling, Kinsley said, “I wouldn’t dare. I saw her in action.”

     “She’s an old softy unless you make her mad, then watch out.” Gayle performed a dramatic shiver causing Kinsley to giggle once again. Then she added, “I’ll leave a note if you’re sure Mrs. Beatty won’t mind us dropping in unannounced?”

     “Oh, on the contrary, she loves company, and she loves to make a fuss over people. So just let her do her thing and gush over you. She means well.” Gayle said as she escorted Kinsley out the door. She gave the handle a quick turn double-checking that indeed she had it locked. Watching Gayle, Kinsley quietly thought Mrs. Beatty wasn’t the only one who meant well.

     Gayle gave a quick knock, then let herself and Kinsley in the front door, grumbling at the unlocked door. “Grandma, I’m here to visit, and I brought along Kinsley from across the street.” It didn’t take long to find her Grandmother. After fussing about the unlocked door, Gayle introduced Kinsley.

     “Don’t be fussing at me, little girl! I can still put you over my knee.” the older woman was trying to save face; she knew the door shouldn’t be left open. “So what are you two ladies up to, and why aren’t you out having a good time?”

     “Well, we thought we’d all order takeout; Luna should be here soon too.” Gayle hugged her Grandmother, “It didn’t take long before all four women were chatting away like old friends. Soon Gayle felt comfortable enough to ask, “Kinsley, Have you tried to get your things from your ex’s place?” receiving a negative nod, she continued. “Do you still have the key?” nod yes; Gayle could tell this conversation was making the girl nervous. “Well, If you still have the key, we can go when she’s at work and pick up your things. Does she work tomorrow? I can borrow my friend’s truck?”

     Kinsley knew sooner or later she would need to retrieve her things. She had been putting off going by herself. “Yes, I think she does. I don’t think we need a truck. I don’t want any of the furniture. A few boxes and my clothes are all I want; she can keep the rest.”

     “Well, I’ll borrow the truck just in case. This way, we won’t have to go back.”

     Gayle’s Grandmother smiled at the girl; she was proud of her granddaughter for stepping up and helping. “Do you want me to come and be the lookout? I can scare her off with my wooden spoon.”

     Gayle laughed, “No thanks, Grandma, we are going to be real quick. Go in, get Kinsley’s belongings and get out.”

     Once again, Kinsley was pacing in the front hall, waiting for Gayle. As soon as the truck pulled up, Kinsley ran outside; she wanted Cindy out of her life. She felt more confident with Gayle by her side; without this push, Kinsley may have never found the courage to retrieve her things. The drive to Cindy’s wasn’t long, but it gave Kinsley enough time to panic. Luckily Gayle’s presence and reassuring words eased some of the worries.

       In the driveway, Gayle took both of the girl’s hands in hers and made her focus. “Kinsley, you are not alone. I’m here with you. You’re going to be okay; breathe.” sensing this was as calm as Kinsley was going to get, she reached for the keys. Then helped Kinsley out of the truck. “Alright, little one, let’s get your things.” Gayle brought some boxes and garbage bags to fill.

      As Kinsley would fill a box or bag, Gayle carried it out to the truck. On the next to last trip, Gayle heard glass breaking. Hurrying back inside, Gayle was flabbergasted; Kinsley was taking figurines off the shelf and smashing them. Sharply Gayle snapped. “Stop that; what do you think you’re doing?”

     Holding a figurine above her head, Kinsley said. “These are her prized possessions. I intend to smash every last one.”

      Hands-on hips, Gayle said sternly. “You break one more, and I will put you over my knee and spank you until you come to your senses.” sternly, she added, “Little girl, I am not joking!” Smash! And there went another figurine in a million pieces. It took Gayle three steps before she had Kinsley by the bicep, pulling her toward the couch.

     “Let me go! Gayle, stop!” before Kinsley knew it, she was face down over Gayle’s knee. “You can’t.”

     Not impressed or deterred, Gayle had Kinsley’s pants and panties down and the first swats landing before Kinsley knew what was happening. “You do not smash anyone’s property! No matter how horrible a person they are!” Swat, swat, swat, “Do I make myself clear?” another dozen or so sharp swats landed. This spanking wasn’t severe but sharp enough to get the girl’s attention.

     “Yes! I get it. I won’t break anymore. Please stop.”

      Gayle ended with a quick flurry to the girl’s sit spots. “Are you ready to clean up that glass so we can get out of here?” a mumbled yes ma’am was the reply. So Gayle helped Kinsley to get up then, after giving her a quick hug, swatted the sore behind into action.

      It didn’t take Cindy long to come storming over to Luna’s house, banging on the door, intent on intimidating Kinsley. However, when several police officers pulled up shortly after she arrived, her plan was foiled. Mrs. Beatty was watching from her front window and called as soon as Cindy pulled into the driveway. Gayle asked her Grandmother to be on the lookout. She gave strict instructions informing her not to interact but call the police right away. She expected Kinsley’s ex to show up, so she made sure to keep Kinsley away. Gayle was going to keep her out until her Grandmother called to say it was all clear. Kinsley didn’t have to deal with any more of Cindy’s abusive behavior.

     Even though they hadn’t discussed it, Kinsley was aware that Gayle wanted her away from the house. She understood why and was grateful not to have to see Cindy. She did, however, want to discuss the spanking Gayle gave her earlier. “Gayle, I need to ask you something.” Gayle looked up, giving Kinsley her full attention. “Earlier you, well um, you know, you spanked me.”  blushing, she continued,  “well how’d you know? I mean, we never discussed it.”

      Gayle took the girl’s hands in hers and tried to explain. “Kinsley, you send out brat vibes constantly. Plus, when I spoke to Luna, she pretty much sold you out.” taking a more serious tone, she added. “I’m sorry I didn’t ask before I put you over my knee. I let my instincts take over, so when you were destroying her property, it felt right.” Gayle waited for Kinsley to absorb her words, then added. “Can you forgive me?  You must see me like your ex, a bully.”

      Kinsley’s head shot up, “No, not at all. You are nothing like Cindy.”   “I don’t need to forgive you. I was just surprised at how right it felt.”  Kinsley’s face grew redder, thinking she might regret her following words, but she continued. “Maybe we can let spanking be a part of our friendship?”

      Gayle smiled as she got up from the table, pulling Kinsley along with her, then smothering her in a huge hug. “Let’s get you back to Luna’s so you can put your things away.”

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