Something happened at dinner, some kind of confrontation. Maybe it was something he did, maybe it was his brother, or maybe his mom was in a bad mood because of something that happened to her during the day. But, it didn’t matter the reason because all Rudy knew was he was in big trouble.
He left the table, said he was going to go to the room downstairs, had to get out of there, away from the negativity. His mom didn’t let it go that easy. She grabbed a belt and followed him down the stairs, down to where the guests stayed and where she did the laundry.
His mom wrapped the belt tightly around her wrist, around her hand, leaving just enough leather to whip him. Rudy surprised her by grabbing the belt and yanking it away from her, saying he wasn’t going to take spankings anymore. That he was beyond too old for such discipline. That didn’t stop his angry mother. She grabbed a piece of wood, determined to make a point. But, that too, he pried from her hands. And then he walked away, walked back upstairs, up into his own room, and locked the door. And out of anger, he smashed some glass, breaking apart the bottom half of an otherwise functional slated glass window.
He could hear his mom on the phone, the phone right next to his bedroom, calling his dad, telling him how awful Rudy was behaving, how out of control he was. Rudy’s dad listened to his wife, told her he’d be right home, that he just needed to say goodnight to the client he was having dinner with.
He heard his dad approach, and opened his bedroom door when asked to do so. Rudy’s dad asked him what was going on, what happened. Rudy began by apologizing for breaking the window, but then he told his dad he didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t know what his mom was so mad about, and that in no way, no how was he going to let his mom spank him with a belt. “I am 15 years old,” Rudy told his dad. “Enough is enough.” His dad wasn’t angry. Didn’t try to dispute Rudy. He simply listened, then nodded. Then his dad walked out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him.