Robin was driving. I know how in the USA that is the most common thing in the world and that 16 year old kids drive. But, in my country you have to be 18 to start with classes and pass the exam, and you need two average monthly salaries to pay for it, and by the time those conditions are fulfilled, some of the responsibility and fears arrive, and on top of everything, using a car is not a cheap experience. So, maybe because of the stick shift, which is still largely predominant, and maybe also because of the poverty: more than half of the population don’t own a car… Or, maybe because I couldn’t drive… Anyhow… seeing a woman driving was always something powerful for me, and sitting next to my loved one while she was managing the traffic jam in the trickiest roundabout of the capital made me feel like I am sitting next to a Goddess. I loved seeing her focused and calm at the same time.
We were going to a kind of a party at her friend’s house. She was gorgeous. The shirt made her breasts look perfect. Her hair on her shoulders, light, silky. She was wearing a watch that made her look elegant and powerful at the same time. I looked at her wrists and hands and had an instant shiver of excitement and love throughout my whole body.
“What’s up?” she asked without looking at me. I was shocked that she had noticed that slight a tension in me. It was amazing! I wished I could read her thoughts in the same way.
“Nothing” I laughed ” I just looked at your hands… and…”
“… and you were looking forward to tonight?!” she asked teasingly and quickly glanced at me; and after stopping at the traffic light, she, not so gently, patted my thigh and then squeezed it, again, not too gently.
“Robin!!” I was still laughing, but I was getting turned on. The next second her hand was on the stick-shift and her focus on the traffic.
As always when I feel joy, I remembered why I shouldn’t be so joyful. There was this paper I was writing.. well, I was supposed to be writing. I mean the requirements were ridiculous. I was supposed to find one thing I don’t agree within an academic paper about a piece of literature. I mean, how was I supposed to disagree with somebody who had read that piece ten thousand times and analyzed every freakin’ sentence in it and the meaning of every word?! And then, I will find something wrong with it! Right! Like that’s going to happen! I felt like it was an impossible task and the deadline was just a couple of days away. I had been putting it off for a whole month. And yes, all you tops, self-disciplined people out there, I knoooooowww… I could have at least tried… and I could have read at least ten papers…. but… I just didn’t think it was possible for me to do it well… so I wasn’t exactly looking forward to wasting my time to fail…
“Love, do you have any obligations this weekend?”, my Goddess asked and I sank deep, wishing I could smash my elbow through the window to punish myself for leaving the paper for the last moment… that is … the weekend.
“am… not much… I have something to write, but I could probably finish it before the weekend, and then just polish it up on Sunday evening.” yeah, right.. like hell I could finish it… if I find what I disagree with by Sunday evening I should be happy. “Why?” I tried to sound relaxed, but I guess my excitement was clouded by self-hatred and the burden of the paper awaiting me….
“What are you working on?” Yes, of course she answered my question with a question. Of course, I couldn’t hide it.
“Some paper…it’s so stupid and irritating. I mean, how am I supposed to disagree with experts!?” oooops… I let off more steam then I had planned.
“What do you mean ‘disagree with experts’?!” I sighed and explained what the requirements were. I tried not to show how much I didn’t believe in myself and … well, why not be honest with you,… how much I didn’t feel like putting in that much effort… But, my Goddess isn’t easily tricked, so she gave the conclusion to my expose:
“and you think you can’t do it, so you haven’t even started?”
“Well, I have started… I mean, I read the story, and it’s like 80 pages…. and I downloaded the academic papers… and I… read about 10 of them” Yes, you’re guessing right, I didn’t even finish reading the second paper, but you know how it is when you have to show that you did try your best.
“Oh, so what where they claiming?” She said as she was turning off the engine.
“Well, one was claiming that the character changed before he died and that the love he felt made his dying easier….and the other one…” (wooooooooow, what a rookie mistake) “ones…” (I corrected myself quickly but my voice completely betrayed me) “I can’t remember … I read them like two weeks ago…”
“ahm….” She didn’t speak. She was just looking at me with her left eyebrow slightly raised and her stare piercing and ominous.
“But, Robiiiin,” (yes, I was whining already) “I didn’t find anything I disagree with!!!”
“First of all,” her tone was ice cold, “was it the other one, or ones; and be very careful when you answer.”
My heart was beating like crazy. Whyyyy did I lie? Why am I so stupid?!
“…one” … I barely pronounced my voice already quivering… “I am sorry…”
“Why did you lie? Because you wanted to pretend that you did everything you could, but the paper is too difficult for you? You wanted to convince me that you can’t do it?”
“Well, I couldn’t find…”
“Stop that this instant! When did you read the story?”
“About a month ago.”
“And you read the papers about two weeks ago?”
“You knew what should have been the first step?”
“Yes, rereading the story… But I didn’t know which one to choose…”
“I will slap you right here if you don’t stop with those lame excuses.” She snapped holding her hand ready in case I try to speak. She seemed angry and even a little distant. It was scaring me. Not in the way that a spanking scares me, in a more horrifying way. She put both of her hands back on the steering wheel. And for some reason, that move made me feel like Selena used to make me feel: like my struggle doesn’t matter, like I am worth less because of it. And instead of saying what I felt, what I was scared of, or instead of letting myself feel the pain of what I perceived as rejection, I somehow, got angry.
“Well, I am not perfect, ok, I am lazy, I knew what I had to do, but I didn’t feel like doing it! I am lazy, there…” She was slowly turning her head and body toward me, in disbelief, but I wasn’t stopping. “I knew that if I read enough papers I would find two writers who disagree on something …” I blurted it out, but I hadn’t thought about it before. Suddenly, the problem seemed half solved, I would just pit one expert against another. It didn’t seem impossible anymore! I was relieved for a split second. But when I took a good look at her, I realized that she had a strange expression on her face. I read it as anger, disappointment and distance. Instead of retreating, I pushed on. Don’t ask me why, because I have no idea why I did it. I continued as if I was arguing with her: “What?! That would have been just a starting point. I would have thought about it myself… I just… before I got this idea it felt insurmountable… and I couldn’t push myself to do it.”
There was silence and for a second I felt tempted to continue talking in order to fill it, in order for her disappointment to stop being so loud. However, the pause gave me time to think, and to feel. I felt panic spreading through my body and tears rising from my stomach… and terror growing in my head:
“I am sorry I spoke like that… I will never talk like that to you again…” I touched her elbow in some pathetic attempt to try to get to her hand. And then I retreated because she wasn’t reacting.”I am sorry… Robin?”
She glanced at her watch. My God how much I love that elegant wrist with that watch on it. I wanted her to touch me, even to slap me, but just to touch me with that hand. I wanted connection, of any kind.
“I am dropping you off home.” She said as she was starting the car.
“No, Robin, please, I am sorry… “
Selena wouldn’t have allowed me talking to her like that, she wouldn’t have called me or answered my calls for days or maybe even weeks without even admitting that she was angry. Actually, I wouldn’t have talked to her like that in the first place, because the punishment was so cruel that I monitored my every move and every word and swallowed every negative emotion. This realization shocked me. I treated Selena better than I treat Robin!? What the f… is wrong with me!? Robin who was nothing but perfect, gentle, patient, accepting… How could have I been such an idiot?! I couldn’t stop thinking about my behavior and wishing I could turn back the time.
“I am sorry,” I repeated after couple of minutes. “I will never do it again… I am sorry”… I wasn’t whining, this was so much deeper. I was on the verge of accepting that the dreaded moment had come and that she saw me for who I was- a narcissistic, spoiled, lazy, self-centered, stupid idiot. I was sorry more than I could express and I just kept thinking how she didn’t deserve me talking to her like that. I couldn’t wait to get home and disappear. I hated masters degree, I hated the paper, but most of all I hated not being able to change. I just wanted to lie in bed and fall asleep, and hopefully never face the emptiness of my world again. I wondered if maybe I could find somebody who is into drugs and like …. take something really bad! I really just wanted to die.
When she stopped in front of my building, I couldn’t believe that was the end. She didn’t even bother to park, just like Selena. I had experience with this, I thought, just leave quickly, because you have become a bother, a nuisance.
She looked at her watch again, and I went for the door and at the same time I said.
“I am sorry, Robin, … I really am…” She sighed.
“I know, honey.” I couldn’t believe my luck! Honey!!! Honey!!! Did she say ‘honey’??! That is the most beautiful word in the world!!! She sounded understanding, and like I was hers. Like I sill was hers.
“We are not breaking up!????” I closed the door and eagerly looked at her.
She tilted her head and looked at me incredulously.
“Oh, silly…” – she almost smiled, but there certainly was a smile in her eyes and that was enough for me. “No, of course not, but the punishment will be severe.”
Some guy stopped behind us. My street is one-way, narrow street.
“You will read the story and the other 8 papers, and we’ll talk more tonight.”
“Thank you!!!!” I hugged her and she slapped my butt twice with all her strength. Well, it felt like that.
“Ouch… I love you so much! Thank you!!!” I quickly left because the guy had started to honk.
Now, when I have written this text, I will do as I was told. You understand that I had to write this first, right? 😀
At first, I had trouble focusing on the text. I felt like squealing from joy because she loved me! She loved me!! And I would see her soon and everything was perfect and whether or not I did the paper …well whether or not I did it right, didn’t matter. I wouldn’t care even if I got a C. I had her in my life!
Finally, the story pulled me in and I read. When the character was thinking about his dying, I would think how great it is that I am not as depressed as a couple of months ago. I found hidden meanings in the text, saw things I hadn’t noticed before. And I got a little bit more confident.
Robin told me about building self-confidence through action, but it hadn’t truly made sense until that moment. I also realized that I had that idea about pitting two experts against each other because I finally let myself think about the paper, and stopped running away from it.
I found the paper I had started reading two weeks ago, and after just a couple of pages I found something I didn’t agree with! I felt a jolt of energy and joy! But then, when I continued reading the author’s explanation, his point started to make sense, and I doubted my opinion, because his seemed much more convincing and I started to spiral down. I opened a third paper, when, suddenly, a message on the phone beeped and it was Her!!!
“Honey, how’s it going?”
“Not too bad! I found something I disagree with!!!” and then I put in a bunch of happy emojis and hearts. Then, I sent another message: “I am sooooooo sooooo sorry for today! I am soooooooo sooo sorry!!!” and then some sad and crying faces.
“Good. Then, write, while it is still easy for you to sit on that bottom of yours.”
I knew that that was supposed to scare me, but I was excited about the prospect of seeing her again after the argument… I mean, after my … reaction… whatever….
“I will. I promise, but aren’t you coming over? 🙂 “
“No. I’ll pick you up tomorrow evening”.
I was disappointed, but determined to finish the paper by tomorrow morning. And then maybe even get some other things done, so I can be wide open for the weekend.
Nevertheless, the fact that she wrote instead of calling, bothered me. Was that a part of punishment; or was she still angry and did not want to hear my voice because it would be irritating; or was it because she felt that a phone call would somehow distract me more than a message?
“OK. And if I finish the whole paper by tomorrow, will there be… the weekend?” A pleading emoji was trying to convey my emotions, but what I really wanted was to call her.
“If you don’t continue working on your paper, and you let your thoughts wander, I will come, and you will be very sorry.”
She knew what I needed to send me back to that joyful and productive space! And I was on!!!!!
Although I didn’t finish until late afternoon next day, I was working on good vibes: imagining how I will hug her and hold her. I had fears about her being distant, but I hoped for the best.
When the car stopped, I hurried in and I hugged her tightly, but she just kissed my hair and patted me on the back.
“You are cheerful…” I could feel that she was suppressing a smile, maybe even a laugh. I realized that I must seem completely silly to her, but somehow I felt that maybe she doesn’t mind it. I actually hoped that she liked it. I felt like my heart was out in the open, and all hers.
“Since you seem to have forgotten what happened yesterday, I believe you need a reminder first.” she said as we were walking to her front door.
When we entered her house, there was silence. I turned toward her and was about to wrap my arms around her shoulders when she caught me by the wrists.
“No, honey. Not until we have finished with the punishment.”
“But, I missed you.”
“We would have spent the night together if you hadn’t thrown that tantrum in the car and if you had worked on the paper on time. So, you ruined my night as well.” she said.
“I am sorry, …. ” I felt sad and guilty, but I was so thankful that she was there and that she was nothing like Selena. So thankful that she cared enough to spank me for not doing the paper on time and that her solution for that mouthing off, was spanking and not breaking up.
Robin walked to the kitchen and took a wooden spoon. Her heels were making ominous sound on the tiles.
Well, it is usually sexy, but at that moment it was scary. The whole house was so silent, except for the heels. The seriousness of the situation was beginning to dawn on me.
“Come here and take off your jeans.” I did as she said, and quickly. “Lean over the counter”.
“Over the counter?!” I wanted her to hold me, this was too official. It was like those cruel punishments by people who hate the one they are punishing. Like, you know, the head masters or nuns in those schools from the last century. But I remembered, I really was guilty… I remembered how I had talked to her and, also, she convinced me with a couple of really hard smacks. “o…ookaa..y”
The smacks started raining all over my butt and thighs. After about 20 or so, I couldn’t stand still any more, so I tried to turn around when she delivered couple of really hard ones which made me cry out. She slowed down, but still continued for a while although I was bawling.
Then she took my forearm and led me all the way to a corner in her bedroom. She gave me a box of tissues and looked at me calmly and with a very serious expression.
“You will stand here and think about everything you will do differently the next time.” I nodded, still sobbing.
As she was taking off her clothes before the shower and as the burn all over my behind and thighs was slightly calming down I felt tempted to catch her reflection in the mirror. I had barely moved my head half an inch when she added.
“And if you move, love, I won’t spank you over the knee.”
I practiced self-control and I didn’t move, but standing was really difficult for me. I don’t know if you have that problem, but when I have to stand still I start feeling light headed, and like blood is leaving my cheeks, and the more I stand the more I feel like I am about to collapse. I tried not to think about the standing and to focus on what I would do differently if I got into the same situation.
It was easy to think when I was looking at it from outside. If I felt doubt and helplessness, I would take action toward the goal, even if it was a very small move. If I still felt helpless and like the situation is overwhelming, I would calmly explain the situation and ask her for advice, and support, and help before wasting days in procrastination, self hatred, and all those bad feelings… Wow!!! I realized that now I had her to ask for help! I had that brilliant and patient woman to ask for help! She probably wouldn’t judge and dismiss my problems.
For a couple of minutes I thought about my good luck, but then I started yawning, due to the lack of oxygen in my head or something like that. And I know that when I start yawning it means things are about to get worse, fast, unless I sit down. I could hear the water running in the shower, and I was getting progressively sleepier and weaker. The sleepiness reminded me how my biggest problem is procrastination and laziness even when I know I can do something, even when it is easy… although, maybe there is something behind it…. but it was getting difficult to focus. The weird sweating-like feeling around the spine began and I started feeling nauseous. There was no choice, I had to sit on the floor. I sat, but I didn’t do it soon enough. The nausea was rising and even though I held my head between my knees the horrible sleepy feeling wasn’t stopping. I started feeling like I was dizzy in a bus ride. I lay down and after a minute or so of admiring her beautiful, soft and clean carpet, and thinking how she doesn’t have anything under her bed, everything went back to normal, except that I felt weak and like I needed a lot of water and something sweet.
Water!!! I couldn’t hear the water anymore!!! I quickly stood up, but then everything went black for a second and I had to squat back down. Damn anemia or whatever it is! I had to sit down again. I can’t tell her about it because she will make me have my blood drawn and who knows what…
“Love, are you feeling ok?” She was already behind me. I froze. Her hand under my chin, she gently made me look at her. My soul welcomed that gentle touch. “You are really pale.” She knelt on the floor next to me. I wanted to hug her, but then I saw the worried expression, which for some reason looked strict. How much did she see??? Did she see me lying down? How much do I have to say? She took my wrist to check the pulse.
“Yes, I am just really thirsty… horribly thirsty… I am sorry.”
“Shhh, hon.” She looked very focused on the pulse and her watch. I felt such love for her. She was so grown up, so powerful… My pulse is usually incredibly low in these situations, but the adrenaline of getting caught and of her holding my hand must have gotten it back to normal, because my pulse was 62 beats per minute. “I’ll get you the water, babe. You don’t even look that pale anymore…” I must have confused her.
She came back with the water and the stethoscope and patted a place on the bed for me to sit.
“Take off the shirt, hon” she said, while she was adjusting the stethoscope. Something about medical examination, and especially that she was doing it, felt scary.
“I just felt dizzy because I got up too quickly. It happens to everyone.”
She wasn’t about to argue with me or to ask why I was down in the first place. She had the no-nonsense look, took my water put it on the bedside table and simply took my shirt off herself. It felt as if I were a small kid, which made me feel strange: comforted, and scared, and relieved all at the same time. I was about to say that I am really fine.
“Shush! … Breathe!” I didn’t even realize that I had stopped breathing. “Everything seems fine. But, what were you feeling?”
I reached for the water in order not to look at her. “I was just really thirsty and sleepy. I hadn’t drunk anything for hours (I was lying, I would die if I didn’t drink water for such a long time), and tonight I slept only for couple of hours.” After a long sip, I added: “I finished the paper, though!”
“mhm…. but what were your sensations? Did you feel nauseous, or light-headed, or like your heart is beating too slowly or irregularly…Or like… there was something fluttering in your chest?”
Wow, wasn’t this tricky? Both yes and no are trouble. Truth or dare….
“Well,” I was pretending I was trying to remember. “I did feel a little lightheaded. But it was more like when you are really sleepy…you know. But I am ok, I really am.” I said as I was carefully standing up. I walked to the corner. “You see,” I added facing the walls.
“Ok, then, you can come here”
I stood in front her in my bra and panties. She took my face in her hands with such an expression that I had no idea what she was going to do next. And then she checked my lower eyelids.
“You are anemic, love”
“Oh, I know. I am taking iron supplements… already.” Well, it was almost true because I did use to take them, and I was going to start again the next day, so I almost didn’t lie.
“Oh, ok, then, let me know when you finish this round so we can check the situation. Understood?”
“Yes” And in my head I added: and let’s hope you don’t have good memory! Suddenly, I took a good look at her and saw that she looked incredibly tired. I took her hand and kissed it. “I am so sorry about everything…”
“Ok, let’s go to bed now, and in the morning we will finish what we started”
She fell asleep in my arms while I was gently stroking her hair. That was the position I had been yearning for years. I didn’t need anything else in life, just her in my arms.
And, of course, I thought about Selena. How much I worried about her and how much I put my life on hold so that I can be of help to her. Why didn’t I notice earlier how tired Robin had been? Was I taking her for granted?! Was I expecting her to treat me like I treated Selena because that was my dysfunctional definition of love? How do I stay present in that relaxed state of being loved and not become selfish, self-involved….?And how do I not become too preoccupied to be present…? Because I used to that with Selena too…
I was stroking Robin’s beautiful hair and I felt so much love…if somebody was looking at us and could see the energy they would have seen a beautiful bubble of love energy! I am sure of it!