Philip walked slowing into the family room and found Vivian standing there already with hand out- stretched and in it a tumbler of rye and ice. Philip gratefully accepted the glass with a sigh, "thank you honey" he said. "I forgot how emotionally draining it is disciplining the kids". "I know honey" replied Vivian "but they both needed it. God Philip, I was so scared when we got the call to go to the emergency room". Philip opened his arms and Vivian leant gratefully into him and they hugged each other tightly. "I was scared too" said Philip "Lets sit down shall we". Both Vivian and Philip walked over and sat next to each other on the sofa, Vivian cuddling up to Philip, resting her head on him she said " do you know where Hilary and Ashley are, I've not seen them for a while?" "I think that Geoffrey may have suggested they go elsewhere honey so that they wouldn't hear me dealing with the boys.". "Geoffrey" he bellowed.
"yes sir, you bellowed" said Geoffrey.
"yes Geoffrey, where are my girls?"
"I suggested that they go and stay in the summer house sir, I didn't think that you'd want them hearing what was going on upstairs. Shall I fetch them?"
Geoffrey went to fetch the girls, whilst he was gone Philip thought to himself how am I going to handle the questions they ask. Vivian seeing Philip's brow raised said "what's up Honey?" "just thinking how am I going to answer the girls questions, I don't want to embarrass the boys?" "oh honey lets see if they ask anything first and then we can gauge it from there."
"Daddy, is it OK to come in?" was the softly spoken question from the kitchen.
"yes it's OK"
Hilary and Ashley walked into the room and stood awkwardly near the smaller second sofa. "please sit down girls we want to speak to you" said Vivian. Both girls sat down quietly, Ashley sat down on the sofa and kept looking down at her feet with her hands in her lap. "Baby what's up?" said Philip.
"Hilary told me off for asking questions about why you were mad at Will and Carlton and I thought you were going to be mad at me too" said Ashley.
Hilary looked quickly at Ashley but then addressed her parents. "I was only trying to explain that it wasn't any of our business daddy"
"look girls" said Vivian, "your father and I have always tried to be open and honest with you children if you have questions or queries about anything we would prefer that you ask them rather than making any assumptions." "do you have anything you want to ask us before we discuss what has happened over the last few days?"
Ashley look up at her mother and father and nodded. "Are Will and Carlton OK, daddy was awfully mad".
"Ashley honey, Will and Carlton will be OK, they have been through a difficult few days and yes I have had the sort of "discussion" you think I have had with them, but they have survived it and we will NOT be talking about it any more." he looked at Hilary and said "darling thank you for trying to be a good elder sister but I don't have any problems with any of you asking questions."
"look girls, Will was worried that we were going to send him back to Philadelphia because of what happened to Carlton and he also was worried that you would hate him for endangering your brother. I want you to spend some time with him please, when he is ready to face the family, so that you can prove to him that you do forgive him." "I do not want you disturbing him, please just let him come down when he is ready but your mother and I would like you to treat him normally please. If he wants to talk to you he will, it may seem awkward at first as he may still feel guilty but I am trusting and expecting, you to both make him understand just how much you love him."
"As to Carlton I expect you to treat your brother normally, but I DO NOT want either of you teasing him about taking drugs, he will share what he wants to with you and I expect you to be supportive. please remember he has had a real scare and may not be himself."
"Now I have a question, do either or you know Freddie surname?"
"oh I think it's Phillips, you know Doug Philips son from the country club" said Hilary.
"OK thank you honey" said Philip. "do either of you have anything else you want to ask?"
"no daddy can I go please?" said Hilary
"yes you can go, Ashley?"
"um, no daddy I don't think so can I go please?"
"yes OK honey".
Philip sat back on the sofa and looked at his wife "well that went well I think, didn't it?" "yes Philip, I think our girls understand but I bet they both check in on their brother and Will" she chuckled.
Philip smiled wryly "yeah I think they will too!". "do you know Doug Philips?". "no but I think I've spoken to his wife at the club" Vivian replied "I can't remember her name though Philip."
"can you get me the number of the country club secretary from the Rolodex please?"
Geoffrey returned a few moments later with card from the Rolodex. "Shall I dial for you sir?" "No that's OK, Geoffrey". Geoffrey went to walk back to the kitchen. "Geoffrey,,, thank you for suggesting the girls were out of the house earlier, I didn't think about that and it was very considerate of you." "not at all sir" was the reply as he walked away.
Philip dialled the country club "hello, ah yes is Duncan Travers available please?, it's Philip Banks."
a few moments passed "Hello Philip, hows the family, Vivian's quite radiant still I hope"
"hello Duncan, yes the family is well and Vivian is as radiant as ever thank you for asking. I was wondering if you could help me please Duncan. I was hoping to be able to bump into Doug Philips do you know him? Do you know when he might be coming into the club?"
"Doug Philips, hmm I don't think he is a regular, only comes in occasionally I think, well except for the main functions of course. I can get you is number though, any reason why you need to talk to him, can I be of assistance?"
"no Duncan it's OK I just want to have a chat with him about his son and something that happened at school with the boys, I'd be grateful to have his number though."
"Sure Philip I think that's OK, he's not had any block put on his number being given out to other members as you know is his right to do so, I'll just get it for you. Pleas bear with me Philip." Duncan tapped a few commands into his computer and brought up the membership file. "OK then Philip it's 555-4782. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance, give my best to Vivian wont you please." "I certainly will thank you Duncan." Philip rang off "Duncan sends his best to you Vivian" he said to his wife. "oh that's nice" was the reply.
Taking deep breath Philip picked up the telephone again and dialled the number he had been given. The telephone rang three times before it was picked up. "Philips residence". "ah yes, may I speak to Mr Philips please, it's Philip Banks calling."
"One moment please Mr Banks" said Geoffrey;s counter-part. Approximately 30 seconds passed before a deep voice answered " Doug Phillips, what can I do for you Mr Banks?"
"Mr Philips, I am the father of Carlton Banks and the guardian of William Smith, they are friends of your son Freddie I believe. There has been an incident at school and I was wondering it we could get together and discuss it please." "What kind of incident? Freddie hasn't mentioned anything." "Perhaps we could discuss it in person please Mr Philips, I'd be happy to meet you at the country club or either my or you home if you'd prefer, it's a little delicate." said Philip.
"OK Mr Banks, well since I do not know what it is about yet you say it is a delicate matter, I am happy to meet you here as I do not frequent the country club all that much. Would you like to come over tomorrow morning say around 11? We live at 4217 Hillcrest Avenue." "Thank you Mr Philips that time is acceptable I will see you then. Goodbye sir."
Hilary softly knocked on Carton's bedroom door, hearing no response she gently opened the door and poked her head around it. "Carlton are you OK?" she asked softly. "Go away Hilary, dad made his point I don't need you to as well". Hilary sighed, she was going to leave him to it but she head the almost silent sob Carlton made and she could help herself, she wasn't always s self centred she care deeply about he little brother. "Carlton I'm not going have a go at you" she said as she approached , seeing him laying face down with his head on one side she sat down on the bed softly and began stroking his head gently. Carlton surprised at his sisters touched turned his head towards her. "daddy had one of those type of discussions with you then, your not the only one you know."
Carlton turned onto his side hissing at the pain caused at that movement, "what don't tell me he's spanked you too Hilary., I'm eighteen I know I made a mistake but I haven't been spanked since I was about 12, it's humiliating." "Carlton you know why he did it don't you, we were all rally scared, but mom and dad especially so and I know that you know that. I'll tell you something but I need you to promise me that you will not tell anyone else." "OK Hilary I promise". "it's not that long ago daddy spanked me too and I'm 2 years older than you. He only reserves it for really serious issues now we are older, but like you I knew that I messed up and I deserved it and it did help me deal with the guilt I felt in disappointing mom and dad." "wow Hilary I didn't now that". "yes well it's not something you broadcast is it!" "no, don't worry I wont tell a soul". "yes well anyway, I just wanted to let you know that it is OK for you to accept that kind of discipline still and that it will help you cope. Mom and dad and Ashley and I forgive you now you just need to forgive Will ans yourself. I'd better go before daddy find me in here, by the way mom has some cold cream that works great on a sore butt but don;t tell her I told you, it's on her dressing table left side."
Philip had finished his conversation with Mr Philips and had decided to pop up and check on the boys
Hilary rubbed her brothers head lightly and then quietly left the room and turned left to go to her own room.
"Ahem" was the sound she heard before she got more than 5 feet. Hilary gulped at the sound of her fathers voice. "your room young lady" he said sternly. Hillary nodded and carried onto her room hearing her fathers steps behind her. "Did I or did I not say leave the boys alone Hilary?" "Yes daddy you did, I just wanted to see if Carlton was OK I wasn't teasing him I promise, I'm sorry I disobeyed you."
"Hilary sweetheart, I overheard a little bit of what you said to your brother as I was at the top of the stairs. I was coming up to check on both boys as they had not appeared downstairs yet. I understand and appreciate you wanting to do the big sister thing but, I told you girls to leave the boys alone so that they could decide when to re-engage with the family. Neither of them is confined to their rooms, I was trying to give them space to deal with how they were disciplined as its a long time since they were disciplined in that way and both of them thought that they were past that type of disciplinary consequence. As you know that is not true, if I think that the situation warrants it then I will continue to discipline my children or those under my care all the time that they are under my roof. I do so because I love them do you understand?"
"yes daddy I'm sorry
"do not do it again young lady, I need you to trust your mother and me and when I tell you to do or not do something I expect you to listen. Come here." Hilary approached he father warily, he was aware of that fact and when she was near enough he grabbed he right arm and turned her to the left and he landed a hard swat to he rear with his right hand. "oww" Philip turned Hilary back towards him and pulled her into a hug, "that's for disobeying me Hilary. Honey, I love you and you can do the big sister thing with Carlton and Will but make sure that it is when they decide to come out of their rooms OK?" "yes sir" "good girl, now I'm going to check on Will and Carlton, can you go and find Ashley and make sure that she is aware of the rules please." "yes sir I will"
Philip left Hilary's room and now being nearer to Will's room he decided to check on him first. He knocked gently on the door "come in" was the slightly muffled reply. Philip entered the room. Will had awoken only a few minutes ago and was lying face down still on his bed, he'd tried to turn over when he's first woke up but the extreme shot of pain he'd felt had discouraged him from trying to move just yet.
When Philip entered the room Will turned his head to see who had come in to the room. "Will I've just come in to see how you are will you sit up please?" "Uncle Phil I don;t really want to my backside smarts you know". "Will it's supposed to and the sitting on it is part of the punishment. You are lucky, in my day you were spanked and then expected to site in the corner or at desk writing lines and the chairs in those days were hard wooden ones with no cushions. Now sit up please I want to talk to you."
Will reluctantly slowly rolled over onto his side and then tried to ease himself into a sitting position, he could not believe that his backside smarted so much from only 6 lashes of the belt. He certainly didn't want any more so whilst he hissed when he sat up, he tried to sit still when facing his uncle. Philip grabbed the desk chair and dragged it into the middle of the room and sat down opposite Will. "Will I've spoken to the girls and have gotten Freddie's surname and I will be going over to meet with his father in the morning to discuss Freddie's part in this whole fiasco. I just wanted you to know that I will do as I said and will make every effort to keep this away from the school. Now apart from your sore backside how do you feel?"
Will looked his uncle directly in the eyes and apart from fidgeting a little on the bed due to the discomfort in his rear he found that he could hold his uncle's gaze. "Actually uncle Phil whilst I still feel a bit guilty, I do feel better, is Carlton mad at me because you spanked him too?"
"no Will I don't think so but now that you are both awake why don't you ask him?" "Dinner is not ready just yet, if you feel up to it please come downstairs. I think that both of the girls want to check that you are OK and I've told them not to both either of you. If you still want some time to get yourself together I'll send Geoffrey up with some food and a drink but, I want you at breakfast do you understand?" "yes sir I understand, can you send Geoffrey up with some food please, I don't want to face anyone yet, I will check in with Carlton though if he will speak to me."
"OK will, I'll ask Geoffrey to bring you something up soon. I love you Will, we will get past this you know." "thanks Uncle Phil, I love you too."