Anna and Natalie 7: The welcome

I insisted on getting the cab and she, amazingly, agreed. She wanted to wrap things up so she could be completely free for the rest of the weekend.

I couldn’t help imagining the “I’ve missed you so much hug” . I was trying to come to terms with my mistakes and the future consequences, with how much of a pain in the ass I am. But some tiny, stupid, part of me thought it deserved a hug and kept putting images in my head.

I wanted the plane ride to last for ever; I was tempted to say to the taxi driver to drive me somewhere else…. I thought I was going to have a heart attack when we entered her street and when I remembered how ecstatic I was just one year ago, coming down the same street… What plans of brilliance and success I concocted. And now I was coming a failure.

Strangely enough, I wasn’t as scared as I thought I would be. The fear of punishment was just one small part of the negative emotions, well… until I saw her, on the porch, her arms crossed. She was wearing elegant, black sweatpants and a T-shirt. She was magnificent.

For a second I thought of Maleficent, in the movie and I didn’t hide a giggle as I was coming dragging a small suitcase behind me. I felt happy to see her. She looked at me head to toe. I had gained weight but she didn’t comment on that.

– Oh, I wouldn’t be so cheerful if I were you. – she said calmly and inhaled deeply while showing me in. To me, at that moment, she didn’t seem like she was glad to see me. It turned my happiness sour. I reminded myself that I only came to tell her that I cannot stay and study;  that I won’t be a bother.

– I am sorry… – I said it, and although I deeply was, at that moment I wasn’t being sincere. I wasn’t sorry, I was hurt.

– We’ll talk about everything when you settle in your room. And I don’t understand why you didn’t bring back more things… I guess you have some ideas, but we’ll straighten it all out.

Her house was as beautiful and perfumed as always. Compared to ours it was a castle. Not because of the size, but because everything was perfect. She had done some redecorating while I was away. Living room seemed like a room from the 19th century – there was no TV to begin with. The armchairs were fit for a queen, and yes…. both the back and the arm part were very practical, if you must know. A carved wooden desk was placed by the window and the only thing that felt out of place was the laptop on it. On the fireplace mantel there were some photos, but I didn’t have time to take a good look.

– Do you need help with the suitcase?

– No – I was taken out of my trance. – Thanks. – I felt elated. The reason was beyond me. In the matter of seconds I was in “my” room. There was the bed and the wardrobe. No desk, no chairs… I was beginning to have the feeling that I will not be spending much time in there…

– I hope you like it this way. This year you will be studying downstairs.- I loved her voice. I loved that she wanted to help me because if anyone could, it would be her. And if only she was my … Mom …or Dad … or somebody who chose to raise me or chose to give birth to me… but she was doing this for some other reason… I couldn’t understand why she would sacrifice so much.

– Look, Nat… – I felt so guilty that she went through all that trouble – We have to talk… I can’t

– The dinner will be ready in 15 minutes. – she said quickly and inhaled deeply again, looked at me in a strange way, turned around and left.

The shower felt great, but I had read so many domestic discipline stories and it made me so sad that my story wasn’t one of love; it wasn’t one where I could expect a smiling Top to take me into her arms … the one where I could hope to mean something to someone. And I couldn’t understand why she did all that… It’s something you do for a daughter… and most people wouldn’t do it for their own children.

She made my favorite pumpkin pottage. I felt guiltier by the second. Why don’t I have more strength to be what she deserves?!!!!!!!!!!!

– Is it that bad? – She smiled for the first time.

– No… it’s wonderful… Nat, look… I don’t deserve all this… I mean… I don’t know why you did all this; I am a lost cause.

– Aaaagh! (I was seriously annoying her) Stop it with that self-pitying already! It’s been enough! – (Ok,… now she made me angry, which is much better than feeling guilty. And yes, even back then I knew she was right… I mean, she’s always right, for God’s sake!)

– OK, I will not pity myself. But I don’t understand why you’re trying to help me. – She looked at me as if she were hurt. I was even more confused. She expected me to know? What, that she loved me?! Come on… She doesn’t show other signs of love, like, there is no tenderness…

She seemed as if she wanted to say many things, but in the end her expression became resolved and kind of cold.

– If you don’t know already, maybe you shouldn’t. – She said after a very long pause. Then, after we had finished the pottage, she told me to go get ready for bed.

– But we must talk first, please… I..

– Oh, we will.  – the meaning was quite clear.

As I was getting ready I was beginning to feel the happiness, the freedom from my usual rumination. I almost skipped around because I felt that she did love me. When I tried telling myself that I am just fooling myself, again, a thousand reasons and proofs popped into my head. She loved me!

Finally in my pajamas, clean, perfumed and happy I ran downstairs and before she could do or say anything I hugged her. For one second her guard was down, for one second she hugged me back. She really hugged me and held me! I whispered: “I love you sooo much!”

– I know, silly, I love you, too… – I hugged her even tighter. I felt there was nothing in the world I couldn’t do. She kissed my hair, gently leaned her cheek on it and then she sighed – But that doesn’t change the fact that we have to talk. – Very gently she pushed me away and towards the couch. The belt was on the table… Pillows stacked on one armchair, almost to the top of the back side…

– As you can see – she continued in a strict and soothing voice – I have made some changes, because this year everything will be different. You will be studying at that table. Kim bought you a new laptop and I had it connected with mine so I will now what you’re doing.

– But how…? – I was sincerely surprised and curious. She just gave me a warning look, not to interrupt her, I guess.

– You will report to me, when you leave for school and when you finish. I will know your location, and not only through your phone. I will look at your schedule for every class and you will turn in your papers at least one week ahead of the deadline. I will quiz you every night on the subject of my choice. If I am not satisfied, you will get a sound spanking. – I felt elevated. I felt I could do it. It was such a wonderful feeling after so much time of hating myself. A strange kind of self-confidence was appearing. I felt I could actually do it all. I even saw myself getting all As. It will all be worth it! We will succeed. I will overcome this stage of idiocy and I will be able to do so much for her one day. But then, she continued: – You will also start working part-time. – I was getting dizzy. I can’t do it all and work. It’s too much…. I can’t… – There is an opening for an entry level office clerk position in my company. – In her company!!! Is this a dream come true or a nightmare…? But how will I work and study! Last year I was supposed to do only one and I failed. My thoughts were racing. – You have the interview for the position on Tuesday. On Monday, you will come with me to my office and meet with the clerk who will teach you the necessary things and explain everything you need to know to impress them on the interview. Anna, are you listening to me!? – she instantly got angry.

– Yes, yes, I am sorry. It’s just too…..

-Yes?

– Well it’s too much…

– Stop it right there! First of all, it is not too much. Secondly, I will be there every step of the way, like it or not and if I see that it is too much, you will be allowed to quit the job. However, until I say differently you will be studying, working and getting all As.

-All As! But that’s impossible with the – but she didn’t let me finish. She got up and said firmly:

– Get up and bend over the armchair.

– But Nat, please… – I knew I deserved a spanking for sooo many things, I did, but I couldn’t make myself get up. And I wanted to explain to her that I cannot do what she wanted me to.

– Do not whine and do what I said. You deserved this over the summer so many times and don’t make me get into details. If I remember everything you won’t be able to sit for days! – I wasn’t moving. I was just imploring her with my eyes, voiceless. Of course, it did not work.

– If you don’t get up, it will be without the pajamas.- she said in a nonnegotiable voice while holding the belt in her right hand. Since she had such convincing arguments, I just had no choice but to force my legs to work. The back of the armchair was surprisingly wide with the height just below my rib-cage. I leaned on it.

– All the way over. – she added without any empathy. – I gave her a final imploring over the shoulder but there was no changing her mind.

As my feet were leaving the floor my upper body found support on the pillows. I felt so exposed and ridiculous… my butt in the air like that…I hated the humiliation part of it. The whole set up made me feel like I was too old and too big for this… The discipline was supposed to make me feel protected and within the safe boundaries, like a child and this was making me feel ridiculous… But the moment she approached and  put her hand on my back, my thoughts were gone. Fear was seeping through me. For a second it felt like I had never been spanked. I was struggling not to jump from the armchair and run. I wished so much I were a small kid that could hug her, sinking my head into her belly and practically hugging her waist or her legs. I wished I could be so tiny that scolding would be seen as enough.

– Why didn’t you answer my calls this summer? – her voice brought me back to how I had treated her.

– Because I felt guilty… – I felt pretty shitty and I felt like I had nothing to lose.

-Ahm…- she was expecting me to continue.

– I knew I had been horribly difficult, and childish, and… a total failure… and you offered me everything…. and you’re not my Mom… it’s not like you had any obligation to … to.. to take care of me like I was your…. like …as if…

-my daughter. – she was impatient.

– yes, … and I had taken away a whole year of your life…. I was a burden and… I mean, you put in the effort and I didn’t…

-So you decided to repay me by ignoring me?

– Nooooo… I wanted to stop being the burden… I wanted to free you from myself.

– But, without putting in the effort. You wanted an easy way out. So you can make the “effort” worth even less.- I was speechless. She was right. Now I wanted to get off the armchair and face her. But as I made a move she pressed her hand on my back and started snapping that belt fast and too effectively. My thighs and my butt were sore within two minutes. I was shocked at first and only gasping with the strokes, but the pain was building up fast. Every stroke burned like hell very soon.

– Naaat … Please…I am soooory I am sorryyy – I begged, but she went on relentlessly. Soon, I had trouble catching my breath between the sobs. – I’ll… do .. every-thing-I-am-sorry….- It was a terrible experience, and it felt almost cruel. The sounds of the belt were ominous. – I aaa-aam sorryyyy…Naa-aaaat .. I’ll be good I’ll be good I promi—ise . – I knew she had to make it horrible because this was supposed to be punishment for the whole summer, and also a warning of what would happen, but… it didn’t feel loving at all. – Pleeease .. nooo mooore… – I imagined my butt won’t be red but kind of bruised. – Pleaa- aseee… Finally, after spiraling further and further into horror mode, suddenly I switched into some state where I could only feel the pain, hear the belt, and let out emotions, crying like a hurting baby, without filter. And then she stopped.

I slowly came out of that state, and I knew I felt different although still sobbing. She gently touched my forearm as an invitation to get off the armchair. As I was getting up and wiping my face she handed me a tissue. When I turned around I saw that her face had been streaked with tears and that it was now dry. I hugged her and she hugged me tightly. While she was holding me, she kissed my head a couple of times and whispered, almost as if she was asking me to promise.

“Don’t you ever pull this again! Ok, kiddow?”

“I won’t. I promise.”

I was incredibly tired, but somehow there weren’t any thoughts in my head. I mean, I kept thinking: “I love you, I love you so much”, but it wasn’t really a thought, it was more of a mental verbalization of the overwhelming feeling. But there weren’t thoughts about past or the future. And there was peace.

(Just for the record, I saw that my butt was slightly bruised on the right sit spot but the rest of it and the thighs had deep red stripes, but not bruised. So the cruelty part was mostly in my head. )

Anna and Natalie 6

Natalie wasn’t happy with my progress, but she accepted it and helped me reevaluate what I actually could accomplish. I think she was being cautious not to overwhelm me this time, but I missed her strictness, because she was acting out of fear or … some sense of responsibility towards me… It didn’t feel like love and she didn’t seem herself. I found out that she had consulted a psychiatrist and she wanted me to go with her or alone for a consult.

In the end I passed the exams with two Bs and two Cs, but, of course, I lost the scholarship… and I delayed making the appointment with the shrink, because ….”been there, done that”.

Instead of enjoying my summer, I knew I was supposed to take summer courses and work… it was depressing, it was too much, so I gave up. 

Natalie was blaming herself which was distancing her from me. I knew I had failed everyone and that I was making a mess out of my life. I’ve been hearing about student loans and incessant debts and had sworn thousands of times that it would never be me…

At first, I was about to give up, as always, but then I thought about all options, selling my body, stealing, selling drugs,… I actually considered all of them… The emptiness in my heart made me not care… about morals or other people… but it also made me not care about myself, so I couldn’t push myself to do any of those things in order to pursue my studies, which stopped being worth the effort.

After a couple of days I decided to go back home. I didn’t announce my decision to just quit school to anyone. Natalie disagreed with my decision, but that was all she said. “I think you should take summer classes. But it’s your choice”.

I pretended it was easier to find work at home. Mum tried all in her power to cheer me up once I got there. She was trying to show me how it could all still turn out just fine. I spent my days sleeping in… with the curtains over the windows, watching TV shows when I just couldn’t sleep any more… and I couldn’t help thinking about Nat and what we could have been doing at that moment in some different reality…

You know… the usual pity party. 

Mum was helpless as always. I asked her not to tell Nat anything, and I think Natalie didn’t really call her much. When Mum called her she talked about how busy she was, but I knew that it she was trying to find a way out. 

I thought a lot about suicide, but I always kept thinking how I couldn’t do it to Mum. The summer was flying past me… I would start getting panicked, then, I just wanted oblivion, then I would let myself watch TV shows and not think about the future. The school year was about to start, I made myself go through the necessary procedures of taking a year off, although I thought it was going to be forever. When everything was over, I told my Mum that I had quit. We talked about me going to a psychiatrist, again. At that point, it seemed a fine idea to me because I felt I couldn’t get out of it by myself…. although I did start thinking about how wonderful it would be if somehow Nat cared about me enough, if she was my female father… somehow… and I sank deeper into the sorrow…

*****

I was coming down the stairs when I heard Nat’s voice. She was talking to Mum over Skype and she was mad. I froze on the top of the stairs, my heart beating like crazy. I was alive again. I felt the familiar fear mixed with the wonderful feeling of being cared for by a powerful being. I had forgotten how marvelous a feeling that was. My heart was singing: She cares!! I haven’t lost her! She cares about me!!!

Nat kept saying how my Mum couldn’t let me ruin my own life, how she should be stricter, and my Mum, miserable and helpless on the verge of tears, kept repeating how she’s powerless and how she can’t be strict because we don’t have that kind of a relationship.

Nat had asked to talk to me couple of days ago, but I made my Mum lie. She tried to Skype me once and wrote: “Call me!” but I kept my invisible status and answered when I knew she was working or on her way to work. “I guess you’re getting to work. I didn’t see the msg earlier… How are you??”. And then I turn the Skype off for weeks. My phone was cancelled and it was easy to just make my Mum lie.

– Tell her to come and talk to me now. Or even better, take the laptop to her room. –  A whirlpool of feelings sucked me in. The longing to see her, talk to her,… God how much I wanted to hug her, the fear, the embarrassment because if she talked about spanking in front of Mum that would be humiliating, so I would have to brush it off, like it doesn’t matter… and… there would be a confrontation…

Mum was moving!!! I ran into my room, looked at the mirror. I looked despicable.

Mum was already knocking!

– Honey, Nat wants to talk to you.

-Oh, just enter her room! – My Goddess was impatient. Mum has always been easily influenced by Nat. Not that I could blame her.

She was about to enter when I opened the door and took the laptop.

– Thanks, Mum! – I whispered  with a begging, apologizing expression. – Close the door pleeeease…

***

– Just take your time, Anna. Don’t you hurry. – a beloved scary voice boomed from the speakers. – And your room is an unacceptable mess. – I dared turn the camera towards me only when I put it on the table.

-Nat… – I couldn’t speak. I loved her so much… my eyes were welling up from emotions.

– Why didn’t you call me? Look at me!! – I was already on the verge of crying. I wanted to look at her. Oh, how much I had missed her. The tears were already streaming down my cheeks ….  – What are you trying to do? Kill your mother? ( I was looking for paper tissues) What’s that nonsense with quitting school. You wouldn’t be the first student to work and study. Anna, I told you to look at me!

– I am sorry… I can’t. I mean… I can’t study and work…

– Stop that right now. Oh,…I want to shake that out of you! I can’t wait to lay my hands on you, then you will be sorry.

– I am thankful for all your time and effort, and I’m…

-THANKFUL FOR MY EFFORT!!!

– It didn’t sound…

– Oh, it DID NOT! Listen to me, young lady. I want you to call the university, try to fix everything and come here on Saturday. Is that understood?

-No, Nat, please, listen to me…

-… telling me how you can’t do it when I know you can?

-No, but, Nat…

– I don’t have the time to come there, and trust me you don’t want me to. I am expecting you on Saturday. And you’d better get your act together right now or we’ll have problems.

– But… – and the “call ended”.

I sat there wondering what had just happened. I was scared of what was awaiting me… not the spanking – that – I almost wanted, but the effort and the energy it would all demand. And now, when some time had passed by and when I had realized how high-maintenance I had been and how much of a burden for Nat, I knew I couldn’t do it again, knowing it would be all in vain. Knowing I could never “pay her back” in time, effort, help… because I was pathetic. The excitement and energy I had started feeling just disappeared, like a pierced balloon. I couldn’t make her waste any more time on me… be in her way… it wouldn’t be fair … it just wouldn’t be right.

When Mum asked me about the conversation I just said how Nat is delusional thinking I’m going there on Saturday and how she should tell her not to expect me.

***

The next day Mum gave me a plane ticket and said Natalie made her buy it saying how this is the last chance to wake me up. And I saw that she felt how deep I was. I said I would go, but only to explain to Natalie that I absolutely cannot do it. She accepted it with a sparkle in her eyes. Nat was her Goddess as well, the all powerful kind.

ANNA AND NATALIE 5

During the two weeks before the finals Nat really saved my life. I had to get up early, eat properly and if I didn’t have classes, I had to sit at the dinning room table and study. No TV, no phone, no going out except to the store and throwing out the trash which were ways to get some fresh air. She released me of all other chores. Once I even got couple of warning swats with the wooden spoon for washing the dishes instead of finishing a chapter I had started before the dinner was done.


***
That day when she found out about everything, I started surprising myself with the effort I was capable of. No problems concentrating with her working on her laptop across the table. When my mind would start wondering and I ended up staring into nothing (you know that feeling when you’re not looking at anything really but you’re eyes are open), she could somehow feel it, I don’t know. Not even fully looking up she would just say: “Anna” and my stomach would turn and my butt cheeks start tingling, and concentration was back.

After about three hours and only one bathroom break I was starting to feel tired and more importantly studying became way more difficult. I was struggling but didn’t dare say anything. Almost an hour of that torture worked its way up, painting my thoughts black. “I can’t do it. This is all in vain. It’s impossible!! What was I thinking? I am dropping out and that’s it.” I must have been breathing differently and/or making faces but when I lifted my head decided to tell her that I’m giving up I saw a stern inquisitive glare awaiting for me.
The courage dissipated at once and only despair was left. I guess she felt sorry, although her face didn’t show it. To be quiet honest I didn’t take too good a look because I lowered my eyes and mumbled:
“I am sorry Nat… I am sorry for everything but I really can’t do this… It’s impossible… I mean for me… I am not capable of…”
“You are very much capable. I will, however, accept whichever result, as long as I see the effort we agreed upon. What I won’t tolerate is giving up, feeling sorry for yourself or any other bad behavior. I don’t care if you have to study standing at this table, but you will do as I say, because I know you will be happy in the end. And I want you to be happy.” I wanted to disagree… I wanted to scream BUT I AM NOOOOOT CAPABLE… 
“Why can’t I remember anything if I am so capable?! Why can’t I even understand this shit?!” I fell silent under her glare. She took her glasses off, slowly. And I was already having second thoughts and regretted my words. She closed her laptop, just as slowly, and got up. Now, I know that she was thinking about the right move: should she just grab the wooden spoon and give me a release from the vicious circle of my thoughts, should she quiz me on what I had been reading – but what if I truly didn’t remember, then she would be proving my point, should she just let me go for that night, it was quiet late after all. She took the wooden spoon before she had actually decided what to do. Finally it clicked. She had to know the truth, proving my point or not.
But that night, not knowing her train of thoughts I almost peed  when I saw her go for the wooden spoon because my butt was still so sore. I noticed that my eyes were already full of tears and my lips curling, I felt like remembering and understanding were up to me. Like not being able to memorize or comprehend was for the lack of effort not for the lack of intelligence or memory capacity. And of course, I was sorry….
“I am soooryy,… Nat… please I am sorry… please I will study… please don’t any more… please…I can’t take any more….” She stood in front of me with the spoon in her right hand and looked at me.
She was still angry about the whole thing, but at that moment she was touched by my sincere repentance. For some reason she decided that hugging me at that moment would be counter productive. (How could it ever be counter productive!!!? I mean, hug is the most wonderful thing you can do at any point!) She moved the book closer to her.
I was surprised. I expected her to order me to go over her lap or to grab me by the arm, although she had never actually spanked me over her lap or by her hand, which I regretted, seeing in it the love I read about in FF domestic discipline relationships.
“Stand up” And I did. My quivering legs somehow holding me.
She started reading random sentences and demanded I talked about them. At first I felt awkward and scared and didn’t speak that well, but later when she put the spoon down, took her glasses and sat in my chair I started feeling better. The first time I didn’t know the answer at all, I got scared again, but she just wrote something down and continued. After half an hour she gave me the list of pages I had to go over. If I didn’t know something on page 45 for example, I had to reread 44, 45 and 46. The list was pretty long, but the feeling that it all depended on my effort hadn’t left me. Well, at least not that night.
***
After two days of progress and cheerfulness, I realized I was actually already a whole day behind the schedule she devised that fateful day. She didn’t say anything and I saw that she was satisfied, but I wasn’t. I knew I would do badly despite of the torturous hours of trying. I was already sleepy that morning and when Nat left for work I went to the couch and fell asleep immediately. I kept waking up, thinking I heard the phone, or someone knocking at the door, and then falling asleep again in the matter of seconds. After having wasted 5 hours I finally got up, mad at myself. The goal felt so far out of my reach that I didn’t even think of trying to study. I went for the food. Half an hour later, disgusted by myself, I went to the bathroom crying, hitting myself in the belly, wanting to hurt myself so badly… I just wanted to die.
I threw up and cried, and when all but the stomach acid was out, I rinsed like twenty times and cried some more… hit my head with the fists and washed my face and punched my thighs…. barely retained myself from doing something worse…
I didn’t hear her come in.
I was sitting by the bathtub hugging my knees. The tears had run dry. And except for the deep scratch on my upper arm where I dug in the nails at some point, and the red puffy eyes with a couple of capillaries, there weren’t other traces of what had been happening in there.
She startled me :”Anna…?”
I got up quickly and got pretty dizzy. For a second I just saw darkness and some sparkling dots, but I pretended that I was looking at the floor.
“Sweetie, are you ok?” She held me and I hugged her. I didn’t want to let her go, ever. She was stroking my hair, and kissed me couple of times. I just held her in my arms, my face on her shoulder and in her beautiful hair. Finally she gently pushed me and held my face in her hands. I loved the sound of her bracelets when she moved her hands.
“What happened, sweetie? Were you throwing up? Were you sick?”
I knew that I shouldn’t lie, but it would be so easy… how about a half-truth. I want her to love me and hold me. I don’t want her to get angry. But, by the time I looked up, her expression had changed. 
 I couldn’t decipher it. Was she suspicious, angry, disappointed, worried..? Could she know what had happened. My brain was so slow.
“I am sorry… I ate a lot… I… ” I wanted to say I got sick, but she finished instead of me.
“You made yourself throw up?”  My eyes must have betrayed me. “Anna, are you bulimic?… Oh, my God, you are… Sandra warned me…” The realization hit her.  “Let’s go sit down.” She took me by the arm gently, but I winced because she placed her hand on the scratch.
“What’s …” and she saw it. Her eyes grew deeper, darker. She was speechless.
I felt even worse. Like a stupid freak, psycho, idiot…
I wanted her to yell at me, to punish me, not to make a big deal out of it. I didn’t want to be some psycho case…
“It’s nothing, Nat. I’ll just go back to the studying, ok? I haven’t done too much today. I ate and I was sick, and I threw up… yes, I did it on purpose, but because I got sick. I am not bulimic or any of that stuff. And as for the scratch,… ” I was trying to think fast, but no good explanation would come to my mind. I glanced at her face to check how I was doing so far, but she wasn’t strict. She was serious and worried. I could see that she was thinking about something else, not even listening to me.
 “OK? So,…  do you want a cup of coffee? I really need one.” I dared and at least partially succeeded.
“Yeah, sure” She said absentmindedly and went to the living room.


Why did I accept this responsibility. I never wanted to be a mother… I should have known that would be my role here…Well… I am the father… and the mother is 2000 miles away… missing her… Kimberly would have noticed it … but, ok… she would have freaked out and probably sent her to the shrink or something because she would have felt helpless… Should I make an appointment with the psychiatrist? I know what my Felicia would do… she would have spanked her, and then made her eat cooked meals until she finishes what’s on the plate… Am I becoming my mother, God! But that sounds like a very good idea actually. no…. it sounds like an easy and bullying solution… and dealing with the consequences… What?! 
“Sorry, Anna, what did you say?”
“I… said here’s your coffee and … I asked if you were ok…? And…. I didn’t say it, but I am sorry about everything… I am sorry for being such a mess and always… taking so much of your energy… I really want to be a perfect kid… I mean… person… and I would like if I could make your life better not worse… I am sorry…”
Natalie didn’t know what to say. She isn’t one of those people who would comfort you and say no, you’re no trouble, although they actually think you are.
I thought she was quiet because she had nothing nice to say. She patted the couch beside her and I sat.
“How often do you vomit after overeating?” she asked calmly with concern in her voice. I couldn’t sense one bit of anger or disgust and felt tempted to say the truth, but I thought it would be OK if changed it just a little bit.
“Well… sometimes… it’s like once in three weeks, sometimes… it’s less…”
“And sometimes it’s more often??”
“Well, usually it’s really not even once a month, but… like I think it’s connected to my period, … I get sad… or… nervous…”
 Ok, does this mean she’s not bulimic if it’s not that often? Is this not too often?! How much is she lying? Agrrr I’ll need a psychiatrist!! 
“And what about that scratch?”
oh-oh… Why did she have to go there?! Shit… what do I tell her… what is half of the truth … it happened … no… let’s say a quarter of the truth….
“Well couple of times a year, when I am really stressed out… I … ”  I wanted to say hate myself, but I knew that would be too much. She couldn’t help me with that… “I … got anrgy…” Oh, why didn’t I go for a lie?! Why is she looking at me so attentively. Can she read my mind?
 Couple of times a year is probably every month… Does she cut herself? 
“Take off your shirt.” She said it as if we were just talking about my tan or a something. “Why?” I was buying time. I didn’t look, I mean usually I don’t get bruises…well on my legs … couple of times but not on the belly… guess it’s the muscles…  I don’t hit myself thaaat hard… Yeah, I’ll give her the top if she lets me keep the bottom.
“And your sweatpants” Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeez is she freakin’ reading my mind!
“Come on, Nat it’s… “
“Anna, now.” Before I met her I never knew that someone could practically whisper and make you obey as if they’d yelled your head off. I was standing in my panties and the sports bra, the sweat pants around my feet and the T-shirt in my hands.
“Turn around” I wished that there was a mirror so I could see what she saw. I felt so embarrassed.
 Ok, so it wasn’t psycho all the way, maybe a tantrum… If she were a toddler, she’d be over my knees and never repeat it again. But this is deeper… Kimberly!!! This is your fault!!! 
“You can put your clothes on and tell me what you did today. The whole day, and don’t you dare… No, actually, keep the sweatpants down and come closer, it might be good for you memory.”
Oh, for God’s sake tell her the truth. Tell her the truth… she’s looking so stern… aaaa… I can’t tell her…
“Well… when you left I studied for a while… and… then…”
“How long a while?”
“Well for about… two and… well three … yes about… three and half” SWAT! Ooouch!
“Would you like to reconsider your answer?”
“No, I did…” Swat, swat, swat … and then I tried to move away and finally got what I had thought I wanted… a loving over the knee hand spanking… and.. oh, was I wrong for wanting it.
“Naaaaaaat!” I was surprised. My head on the couch cushion, feet kicking the coffee table. I tried to get up, but she just locked me down with her left arm and adjusted my body so she had a better hold of my waist. “But you can’t!”
“I swat can’t swat swat swat!?! Yes,  swat I can swat swat take a baby swat swat over my swat swat knee” She didn’t bother with making the spanking even. My right butt cheek was about to be set on fire any moment now.
I was bawling within minutes. There was something about the position, it wasn’t just the pain. The vulnerability and the closeness.
“Please … Nat… plea- ease… ” She was slowing down, and I was feeling a bit better actually, I mean emotionally, when she ruined it by saying.
“Ok, now that you’ve been spanked like a baby, do you care to tell me the truth, or should I go get the belt?” Where did the love I thought I felt go?!The caring!? The closeness! Why wasn’t she helping me stand up and hugging me, and stroking my hair, clean slate and all… ?
-Don’t – SWAT – owww – try swat – owww- to swat swat swat -get up -SWAT – aoooww
“ok…Whe- en youuuuuu weeeent I caaaa-aaame here aaaand slept until about one….aaa-nd theeen I-I ate like aa –aa pig… Plee- eease don’t spank me aa- any more…. I love -you” She released my waist and I finally got my hug.
“I know, sweetie, I love you, too. And from now on you have to tell me the truth, ok?” She held my face in her hands and made me look in those beautiful hazel eyes as I promised I would.

“Go wash your face and come back so we can revise our plan, ok?”
“Can’t I stay here a little bit longer? I really need a hug…” I was imploring her knowing that I wasn’t going to get a hug after she sees how far behind I am on ‘our’ plan…
“Oh, you big baby. What will I do with you?” She said as she put her arms around me.

ANNA AND NATALIE 4: SECRETS AND LIES PART 2

Introduction (I had a need to explain the inner turmoil, but you can skip it if you wish)Since the first spanking she kind of took me in hand and the talks were not the same for a couple of weeks. There was always the looming threat. I wanted to be good, and I was… but I had kind of a barrier in my brain. As if it wasn’t completely working. Like a car in the mud. Wheels working, mud everywhere but it just can’t get unstuck. Eventually … I just… stopped caring about everything. I guess I was disappointed in myself for failing 2 exams mostly because of absences, and being absent only because of my freakin’ laziness, but no matter how much I hated myself at times I kept allowing myself to have fun. The fun was tainted by the tasks waiting, but I couldn’t master the motivation to sit and focus. At the same time, I felt like Nat had done so much for me and that she cared in a more thoughtful way than my own mother. I mean, Mom was wonderful and I wouldn’t change her for Nat, Mom would hug me a lot and she would be understanding and we would talk much more and she would have noticed that something is wrong but… … well she would have also allow me to do anything I wanted…

I was a very good girl until my teenage years: I didn’t ask for much; but with the teens a kind of laziness, brain fog, depression, or whatever it was, started and it was getting stronger and stronger. Nat was like a father figure who can be gentle and caring… I mean she was the authority. And she had expectations. And for a short time after that first spanking I was more acutely aware of her expectations and I guess seeing that her “medicine” worked she was more strict in the way I needed it, but as the time went by she was releasing me. What the hell did she think? I matured overnight?! I know all of this is ridiculous, but I truly envied the ones who had a DD relationship, a top who would make them do what’s best for them. It wasn’t that I wanted to mix sex and discipline, I just wanted somebody to care.

However, I figured, I wasn’t giving anything back to Nat. How could I expect her to care?I didn’t love her in a sexual way (she most certainly didn’t love Me in that way). As the matter of fact, I never loved anyone in a sexual way… I thought I was asexual or otherwise an expert in blocking things out. The thought of spanking aroused me a little bit when I was reading about it, but it was more the threat, the taking in charge, the love that aroused me, not the pain. The pain I hated. When it got to the pain the arousal was pretty much disappeared. And with Nat I just wanted her to consider me her kid; I wanted her to adopt me…

Maybe I was just thinking in learnt schemas, like either you are a kid and taken care of oooor you are a sexual partner. The world was opening up for me while reading the blogs. And at the same time, I was getting further and further away from the real life and my obligations.The chores I did, sometimes at the last moment, but I would have felt truly ashamed if I bailed on them. Nat wasn’t asking much of me…

Still, I really wasn’t giving her anything… How could I even hope that she would help me with motivation? I had to do it on my own, but this damn blockage in my brain…  How I loaded myself… The overeating and occasional throwing up after it, combined with all of the above, were leaving me with fat and cellulite to which I wasn’t used to (I am 5’ 10’ and was more on the skinny side, 126 pounds, during most of the high school), and with guilt and the disgust for myself.

 I started sleeping more and more. Only to wake up minutes before I knew Nat would get home. Sometimes I was so lazy to even get up that I simply pretended that I’d just had a ten minutes nap, just before she entered and that I had studied before that. She was busy with work and I supposed that she wasn’t noticing anything. And to top it all we didn’t have our time in front of TV at night where I could hug her and at least for a second feel like a little kid, free and loved.

She went back to asking questions about my studies as if it was a routine thing to do and buying whichever answer I offered. When I would admit that that day I hadn’t studied at all she would brush it off because I had been studying hard (yeah, right, I wanted to say, but didn’t). When I admitted for a couple of days in a row she offered help, asked me how she could help and I wanted to tell her, tell me to sit at the dining room table with you, so you can watch over me while you work and see if I am actually studying, tell me that I have to learn this and that and you will quiz me … please help me get out of this f*cking hole I am sinking into. I can’t do it myself. I need to do something to regain at least that little shred of self-confidence that I used to have in high school, I need a proof that I am smart, please help me make it or I am just going  to quit. Of course, I didn’t say any of that… If I asked for it then it wouldn’t have been love but… sense of duty or something similar. I never liked that as a cause for action. It was too impersonal. And, to be quite honest I wasn’t sure I would get the help. I’ve heard her say way too many times: “Don’t be a baby” “That is just too childish”

Natalie had it all together: she was hard working, always had the energy, always focused, responsible, standing straight (unlike me), she was just perfect… From her always perfect hair to the ironed work clothes to a perfect body (skinny but muscular, about my height) to success wherever she went… How could she know the feeling of being stuck?  I knew she was tender and sensitive underneath it all, I knew that she had very strong emotions, but … since she never showed almost any except an occasional, rare … tense or nervous very short lashing out… her sensitiveness stayed a mysterious treasure. Her love was presented in actions… and… when there were no actions I needed, and no gentle words or gestures (God forbid she hugged me first!… ) I felt like she just didn’t care, like she changed her mind about having a burden in the house. After these thoughts, and they were almost constant, I felt even worse and more helpless, less able to focus on anything but the idiotic self-pity.

***

On Monday I found out that I will definitely fail the two courses out of the 6 taken. And the grades on the four weren’t good at all. Not attending the two classes I spent even more hours in bed. Eating only sweets and chips and watching TV when awake and yes… why hide it… reading the blogs…  (never actually managing to masturbate properly, I was bad even at that. The self touching wasn’t really my thing so I kept everything strictly in my thoughts).

On Tuesday Nat went on a business trip and was supposed to return on Saturday evening. It was Friday. Needless to say, the house was a pigsty. When I’d used up all of the tea spoons and spoons I started using forks to eat ice cream. I hadn’t washed my hair in 4 days. Laundry was piling up. And to think that I was planning a great cleaning of the whole house to surprise Nat. “I’ll do it tomorrow” Or “I’ll start later” were my mantras. It was 7 pm when she called to ask if I was home and if I needed anything from the city! It was like an ice cold shower. I rushed to put the whites in the machine, trying to clear the mess on my way, shoes, jeans, a bag…  and then rushed to do the dishes. I looked at my reflection in the window and realized how disgusting I looked.  The greasy hair tied in a messy ponytail. Half the dishes in the washer I ran up the stairs to the bathroom. I was finishing up the shower, hair washed in a towel made into a turban on my head when I heard her calling my name. I was glad I made it and the rush of finishing “so many” things in such a short time gave me the very wrong sensation that I managed to make the house look acceptable. She was closing the windows and I ran to hug her. She hugged me; well, more like patted me on the back after being gone for 4 long days! That’s all I got. She was tired and she wasn’t happy about the state of the kitchen.

-You could have cleaned this… Did you just turn on the washer when I called?

I hung my head feeling guilty and embarrassed.  

-I am sorry Nat. I was planning to do it all this evening and tomorrow. I even wanted to do a thorough cleaning of you know the whole house.

She entered the living room and stepped on a piece of chips.

-I am sorry… I will vacuum right now… I will do everything around the house for a whole month… Please… I am sorry…

She wasn’t saying a word. I wanted to hear what I’ve read so many times and have it delivered like she did twice. “You deserve a spanking” and have the slate clean. And have her hug me and comfort me… but.. no… she was too mad to do that.. too disappointed… Oh, I wish I could hear her thoughts…. Or maybe it would have been just too horrible… She was working long hours to come home to some idiot ruining her perfect house. I felt like shit. I just wished I could die then and there. 

-It doesn’t  really matter. I’ll go take a shower.- But she started to pick up the empty cookie box from the table, the piece of chips from the floor, and straighten the bed cover. I stood there like an idiot… My heart sinking further and further into the “I don’t care” mode cause I can never do anything right .I vacuumed while she was taking the shower and cleaned the kitchen a little bit. And went outside to throw the trash out. The excitement was gone. My pace slow. Dragging my feet and deciding that I should give up and go back to Mom’s and just stay in bed forever… I didn’t deserve Nat… How could have I ever expected her to care about me. I am a worthless piece of shit. 
 I will tell her about the two courses failed and about my decision.. or maybe I could just move out… and still see her at least from time to time. I would die from missing her…By the time I was back she was in bed with a book. I took care of the whites and put in the colors and sat there in the basement for a while. Saturday morning wasn’t cheerful. She was distant. It was the worst punishment ever. To top it all, she had mopped the floors before I got up. I hadn’t even thought of that the night before, I could have done it without waking her up. I wanted to plunge a knife into my stomach. I hated myself so much…
 If she’d yelled, if she’d done anything, it would have been so much easier. I was miserable and decided I should punish myself… by leaving…

-Nat, …- she looked up and through me… – I am sorry for everything… I will move out … I failed two courses anyhow..so..

  aaaaaaaaand she was back in the game.

-You did WHAT??- my stomach churned. Her eyes were flashing. Her voice sharp. I was awake too. The “barrier”, the fog in my brain, gone. I was completely present and my mind racing. And I was terrified. Didn’t even think about being happy that she cared.

-I-I … I-… (The muttering! Where did that come from?) I failed…

-How can you know? (When I was younger she used to think that I am too strict on myself, perfectionist and so on (although I was much smarter back then)…so she was trying to find an excuse… that I was only imagining, thinking of the worst.. yeah, I wish…. ) -The finals are not ..- she continued at the same time as I whispered:

I was absent- not so much willingly under my breath but for the lack of it. She couldn’t quite fathom that:

-You were WHAT?- The table cloth was really beautiful. Like everything Nat chose. I didn’t dare look at her, I stared in the direction of the pattern on the tablecloth…

-I wasmssn clses -Half expecting her hand to fly across the table I slouched further down

-Speak up!- man was she angry, she neeeever raised her voice. -You were missing classes!?- She came from across the table, picked up my chin and pierced me with her beautiful hazel eyes. I tried to hang my head back down but she wouldn’t allow it. The grip was tight. I got the point. I felt smaller by the second. 10 inches… 8… 5 … disappearing… Ready to clasp my hands together and plead, but I sat there motionless, petrified.

-Why?- (What could I tell her.. “didn’t feel like getting up in the morning”… ? “Felt like going back to bed in the afternoon”…? Or like watching TV shows, a season a day? Hadn’t prepared the exercises we were going to discuss… everything sounded soooo foolish, so stupid… Why did it ever make perfect sense to me!?)

-Answer me or I’ll slap you, I swear!

-I am sorry.. I was lazy…… I am sorry- the childish whimper was all I could produce her right hand in the air. She put her hand down and held the table.

-And the other classes… ?

-Well.. I still have the finals…

-You mean you could be failing more than two?! The straight As student to a failure?!– She didn’t know what to say. She let go of me and held the table with both hands. Was she dizzy? My silence was confirming her fears.

-Just… just go to your room.

I had no idea what was about to happen… I sat there and waited… and the fear was fading.. . I started to block everything out… after about an hour I just fell asleep… I didn’t care… again… it was so easy to go back to that place where you can allow yourself anything and everything and not think about the consequences…

-ANNA!!

-Naaat- I sat up straight, confused, and happy that she showed up, and scared THE BELT! I’ve had it but it was over my pajamas and … she wasn’t this angry… In fact, I haven’t seen her this angry in my life! And after all the stories I had read I dreaded the belt even more. I had to go pee… Why is she doubling it… how about.. you know some time for preparation, bracing myself… talking about it…

-You did NOT just fall asleep!- Exasperated with my attitude (though it wasn’t my attitude, I was depressed!  It’s not like I was doing it on purpose.. I couldn’t help it…) She grabbed me by  the left upper arm and there I was, on my belly. Swat swat swatswatswat aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa if felt like a horrible long one and like horrible hundred! Aaaaaaa swatswatswatswatswat…. The tears flowing, legs kicking, gasping for air, don’t know where I am swatswatswatswat! And then she slowed it down but made them harder

-how (SWAT) can you (SWAT) be (SWAT) so (SWAT) irresponsible?! (SWAT) !

-I aaaaaaaaaaaaaam… sorryyyyyyyaaaaaaaaa owww- she wasn’t stopping once she caught the rhythm: bottom, the soft part, the sitting spot, thighs she was all over. -I owwwwwwwwwww trieeeee-ed… Naaaaa-aat- Swat swat swaaaaaaat

-You (SWAT) tried (SWAT) ?! What exactly?! To (SWAT) ruin (SWAT) your (SWAT) education?- swat swat … I couldn’t take it anymore… the tears were streaming down my cheeks, I was wiggling, kicking uncontrollably, feeling absolutely miserable and helpless and guilty… when will this end? I can’t take it anymore… it’s too much… the words just escaped my mouth.

-Pleeeeeeeeeese… it’s enough oooowwwwwwwwwwww

-I decide when it is enough- owwwwwooowwwww she picked it up with seemingly more force.

-I am oawwwwwwwwwwwww Naaaaaaaaat uuuuuuuuuuuuunhhh soo-aaaaaaaa sorry uuuuh I won’t do uuuuuuhw it again… I uhhh aaaaaaaaaow will study…owwwwwwwwwwwwwww Nat stooo oop plee eeese it huuuu..rts ooooooow sooooooo ba-aaad pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeee aaaaaaaaaaaawww pleeeeeeeeeeeease!

-Oh, you WILL study! Believe me! And you will remember this one for the rest of your life!- SWAT SWAT SWAT the fact that I was in pajamas wasn’t helping. I thought my bottom must be bleeding.. it had to be that because the burning pain was unbearable… I tried to slide down the bed cover, but she caught me and landed some fast and hard ones.

-Move again and the pajamas are off! – That was just too horrible to imagine. I tried to be still but it hurt sooo bad… 
Finally, she stopped. I was sobbing uncontrollably. 

-Now, get cleaned and come downstairs.

My reflection in the bathroom mirror was pitiful.  I was ugly and puffy but when I looked at my eyes I hoped she will find a way to let that miserable look into her heart. I took the makeup mirror to check my butt. It was sooo deep deep…red …?worse, don’t even know what’s that color…  I couldn’t believe it.. Should I put some cold water on it? But I didn’t want to put anything on it… I wanted to lie on my tummy and cry to my heart’s content. I just felt like letting it cool and yet I had to go back downstairs. I could almost see her sitting at the dining room table.

And, there she was, a couple of sheets of paper in front of her. She had put the reading glasses on and looked even more strict! Although the spanking was over I felt as if I was walking towards a punishment. 

-OK, I think you are well aware of the trouble you’re in. Sit.

-But Nat….- she raised her eyebrows and I lowered my sore, sore behind on the wooden chair. Almost cried out again, so I tried to pretend that I am sitting, my butt half an inch above the wood. She tilted her head not believing my nerv. Ok… can’t go around it. I sat and it huuurt! I gasped.

-Now that you are seated… , we are going to save you, but be sure this will not end with your finals!

(“We are going to save you?” Save me? She actually thinks I can do something about it all!?? But it’s way too late! )I nodded, kept my mouth shut and my eyes on the table cloth.

-First, what are your grades so far?

( How do I tell her?! I can’t lie! Oh, I cannot! But…)

-Anna, I’ve lost my patience and if you don’t start cooperating this instant I swear to God I will take the belt and paint your butt red, without the pajamas!

The shocked petrified pleading look did not have any effect on her. And my bottom was already very much “painted red”…. If we were in a cartoon there lightnings would be coming from her eyes and the sky would roar madly.  I swallowed. I knew I should save the best for last, but I was a coward.

-Well… Capitalism… I … if I got a B on the finals I would get a B…

-And if you did the final exam 100/100 and begged for some extra work, earning some extra credit? ( What is she talking about?! Nobody could do that!!! And it’s what… like 2 weeks to the finals…) Would you have enough points for an A?

She’s doing it again! I am not brilliant, Nat! I wanted to scream I am not like you!!! I am not .. like YOU!!!  But I just mumbled…:

-I guess, but I that’s impossible.. nobody could…

-OH, you can and you WILL! (Yeah, and you’re delusional and I am dead!) I must have made a face. Her hand landed sharp on my cheek and over my ear.

It wasn’t too hard, it was more of an attention-getter,  but still it made my ear ring.

-Listen to me, young lady, you will do what I say and if you make that face again you will be sorry!

-I AM sorry…

-Good. The next grade, can you get an A? -I knew I had to speed it up…

-Well really the other three courses would be… like… Cs…- I could feel her whole body stiffen even though I was looking at her hand holding the pen.

-Cs?

-Yes…and one even maybe… one … but I could get a C there, too- There was no need to be explicit that I was going to get a D… Silence fell between us. I felt fear raising up, but there was also hope. When I had Nat on my side, maybe I can do something… Maybe I can make it tolerable..

-Kimberly should have spanked you every time you procrastinated. I should have been more involved… But you are an adult… For God’s sake Anna you were supposed to be an adult! What happened to you?!- Her head was in her hands. That wasn’t what I’d expected…

She got it together and continued with the questions with much less enthusiasm. After half an hour she had a plan, The impossible plan …an unachievable one.. I was set to fail in her eyes no matter what..

-You will be studying here where I can see you. Do not even think of pulling any kind of a stunt. I will spank you 5 times a day if I have to! I swear to God I will! Not one toe over the line. Understood?

-Yes- (that was very clearly understood but how will I do it all… there is no time.. and my brain is so slow… it’s just impossible…)

-What are you waiting for? Get your books here already!

When I look back to this moment I realize that fearing her punishment instead of beating myself up for all the failures had its releasing effects. It was actually helping me think more clearly. And knowing that she cared about me made me feel worthy, gave me motivation and strength.

ANNA AND NATALIE 3: PAYING FOR BAD CHOICES

I woke up with a headache. My sinuses stuffed and throat sore. I probably had fever. I knew I had to go to classes because of the ones I skipped without a real reason. For a moment there, lying in a comfortable bed I thought: What the heck. I don’t care even if I fail… But then I heard Nat going down the stairs and I knew I wouldn’t be able to face her. I mean Mom would be difficult too, but she knows me. She knows I was a mess underneath those As. But Nat she doesn’t want to see the mess I am. She wants to believe I am brilliant. Just looking at her eyes and telling her that I failed..… oh… I had to get up.

Trying to pretend I felt better then I really did, I got ready and decided to skip breakfast so Nat wouldn’t notice anything. Of course, she has a freaking sixth sense.

-Hey, Nat- I stood in the doorway and blurted quickly: -I have to hurry… overslept. We have a discussion class…- And I started for the front door.

-Anna, aren’t you going to eat before you go?

-I’ll grab something on the way- I sent her kisses and went for the door again

-Are you getting sick, honey? Wait a second.- She was walking towards me.

-Yeah, I think I might be. Don’t get too close though – the third one’s a charm, my hand on the doorknob…… or not. I felt her hand on my shoulder. Her eyes locked with mine the moment I turned around.

-Is everything OK? – but the suspicious tone was gone when she took a good look at me. Her hand on my forehead. – You have a fever, sweetie! You should be in bed. You really should go back. You are allowed to be absent 3 times per semester, if justified , you know.- (yeah, I knew and used it all up already) She turned to go upstairs under the impression I was going to follow.

-Nat, I don’t feel that bad. I’ll just go to the first two classes and then I’ll come back. It’s really important I am there.

-Are you sure, sweetie? – I thanked God she doesn’t think as sharply as usual when she is worried.

-Yeah…- I wished I could hug her. But didn’t want her to get sick too…

****

The day was so long. I was about to fall asleep the whole time. My head was heavy. I felt cold, chills all over and just longed for my warm bed. And the classes dragged on. Linda would get me tea in the breaks and I would put my head on my hands and try to rest at least a little bit. The medicine I took was not working at all. I couldn’t go to the doctors because he was our neighbor’s nephew and visited his uncle at least once every two weeks. I felt sooo weak. By the fourth class I started feeling dizzy and nauseous. And during the break I collapsed, in front of everyone!

Linda was too quick on the phone and next thing I knew I was waiting for Nat in the hallway. I was only thanking God the teacher witnessed the fainting and panicked so I was safe. Well, at least with him because he was the one who told me to go home and rest and that he would overlook my absence. Nat arrived, her heels making a sharp sound on the wooden floor. At the same time I was scared, I knew the scolding was inevitable, but also happy and relieved. I just wanted to cuddle.

-You told me you were going to come home after the second class- She stood in front of me. The dizziness was making her scarier than usual. I realized I had never been sick during the stay at her house. Must be the food she was making me eat. I half smiled. – Exactly what is funny?

-No, not funny. It’s just that … I am kind of dizzy…

-Should have obeyed and stayed at home, shouldn’t you?!- We were already walking and every part of my body felt so heavy and weak. I stopped and hugged her. I needed the comfort. Always a bit stiff when it comes to cuddling she put her hand on my hair and kissed the top of my head. I mumbled:

-I am sorry, Mom… Nat –   Whoa! I couldn’t believe what I had just said! I suddenly felt so guilty. I wished my Mom was there… She would hug me properly… but I still wasn’t letting go of Nat.

-Let’s go, honey-, she patted me gently on my butt.

****

Nat woke me up at about 7 pm. Mark, the doctor, was about to come (of course he couldn’t say no to her! It was soo obvious he was in love, I thought to myself) . I felt a bit better, took a shower and was even getting hungry. I came down the stairs, had couple of spoons of her famous green peas, but even sitting in a chair was just too tiring. I felt the fever rising. I checked when I went back to my room. It was 102 F! I couldn’t let them know! I’ll go for… 101? No… let’s say… 100.8. Yeah, that sounds credible.

Mark was taking notes and he wrote down the 100.8, but I wasn’t sure Nat believed me. I half expected her to tell me to take the temperature again. Mark seemed oblivious. I felt my lungs kind of hurting. The cough wasn’t terrible and I was trying to keep it down, pretty much successfully.

-Look, it doesn’t seem too bad. Let’s listen to your lungs – (no..!!! I dreaded that and I was right) His face expression changed: – Hm.. this doesn’t sound right. Blood work is necessary and I think some antibiotics will be too.

My heart started racing. Blood work. Oh… I hate that. I hate needles. But.. at least he didn’t mention shots… that would be too much… and maybe if  I get better by tomorrow, maybe I’ll figure out a way to skip the laboratory. Wait what the heck is he doing. To my utter surprise he was pulling out the equipment to take my blood!!!! … No escape. Right there on the spot. Nat watching. No escape. Shit!! SHit ! SHit!!!

-Straighten your arm.- He had a soothing voice but I could see that neither of them realized that for me it wasn’t a routine blood work “it’s no biggie” stuff. He tied that thing around my upper arm and prepared the needle. I wanted to look brave. Nonchalant. Nat was taking the empty cups to the kitchen. Thank God! I could look away and brace myself. It hurt… ok it’s not too bad…. It’s going to be over soon… sooon… oh, come on Mark. OK… that’s done. I relaxed. Smile on my face.

*****

I fell back asleep in no time. Nat brought me one of her squeezed juices, the not so tasty beet one. It must have been midnight. She was probably working late. Or… staying up for me… I felt terrible seeing the circles around her eyes .She handed me the thermometer. I put it a bit further than my armpit in order to prevent the real number to show up. I had already devised the tactics. I’ll ask her for something when it’s about to start beeping and put it right so it shows something but not too much.

-Drink up, sweetie. – I got ready for the undesired taste, but she had put honey in this time and it was actually great! She gently brushed off the hair from my cheek. And then held the hand on my forehead. She was worried. – You’re burning up. How do you feel? – I felt horrible.    

– well.. ok. – I wanted her to just go and let me rest and go to rest herself. I remembered how my Mom would stay up all night and take temperature down by rubbing alcohol all over my body. I didn’t want that to happen. But at the same time I didn’t like that she took her hand off my face. I needed a gentle touch. I always do. The thermometer started beeping. Shit, I had forgotten to distract her and put it right. She made a move to pull it out. I panicked:

-I think I didn’t put it right

She continued pulling it out, looked at it and the firm gaze made a knot in my stomach.

-Kim told me you were afraid of shots,and that you would probably try a stunt like this… but this is childish Anna… – (She knew!! How did she see through me with such ease?) I felt embarrassed. – I’ve known you since you were born! Did you really think you can pull something like that with me?- She said as she was cleaning the thermometer with ethanol.

-Open up- she motioned to my mouth. I was appalled.

-No, .. Nat, I’ll do it right – My hand was left empty in the air.

-Anna, now.- She didn’t have to raise her voice. She had the coldest, ice tone when she wanted. I felt ridiculous with that thing in my mouth but I was starting to get too tired. Of course the fever had gone over 102.

– We have to take it down.- She took away my blanket. Soft warm blanket. I was freezing. -Take off the top

As if it wasn’t enough that she was pouring ice cold ethanol on my legs and feet. And as if it weren’t disgusting. I mean touching my feet! Yucky … The fabric of the shirt was hurting my skin. At least I have some dignity left with the undershirt. The alcohol went dry almost as she was beginning to rub it in. I could see she was worried but at that point I no longer cared. I just wanted to sleep.

****

It was a long night for both of us. I could hear that the phone woke her up.

-Yeah… I guessed so. Ahm. No, no, don’t worry about that I know how to do it. No, she’s not allergic. I know, God forbid… yes… of course. Thank you so much!… Yes… I’ll let you know.

In a haze I wondered what it was that she knew how to do but I drifted off to sleep.

****

-Annie, honey, wake up. I have to give you a shot before I leave.- ( A shot! That’s a wake up strategy. Is she nuts!??) My eyes flung open to see her prepare the syringe and the needle … the knot in my belly grew tighter. – I will be here another two hours but we have to do it now in case you’re allergic. Come on, get ready.

She looked at me almost surprised that I hadn’t moved. What did she expect me to willingly expose myself to the needle?! I was like hypnotized. I felt the tears coming. The pending threat making my lips curl. She couldn’t believe it.

-Oh, Anna, come on! That is just too childish! You are not still afraid of a little prick.- She appeared to find it  funny. Well at least she didn’t look angry. – Anna, honey, come on.- She took away my soft blanket, my wonderful cover and protection and I was left in my panties and shirt. I turned to lie on my back, my butt safe, and recovered my voice.

-Nat, can’t we… skip that…? – I was pleading and was about to start crying, my eyes already welled up.
-Anna, stop being a brat and turn around this instant. Don’t make me spank you before I give you the shot- She was menacing, but the needle was even more.

-Maybe… if I don’t have the fever anymore..(and I felt pretty good) maybe we could…- but she grabbed me by the waist and started turning me around. I wouldn’t give in.

-Fine.- She put the top back on the needle. Her knee on the edge of the bed, my butt was up in a second. She landed couple of quick smacks on the left cheek.“ooow!”

-Relax your muscles- She was getting impatient and angry, but I couldn’t I was scared. – Anna! – I crossed the line, sick or not, wham, wham, smack.. I arched my back and my hand flew to protect my bottom. It ended up pressed against the small of my back. SMACK“owww”

-Will you be still and relax, now?

-uuhnn.. I ca-an’t – (Smack, smack, smack) – doo- don’t.. (smack )…uhhh …(.smack smack )Na— Nat – My bottom was already stinging when she landed a few really tough ones.
– I (Smack) told you (Smack) to relax (SMACK). You will get the shot, you cannot evade  it. So let’s get it over and done with. With you everything has to be drama.

I felt so terrible.. and stupid… I tried my best to relax. The cold ethanol on the cotton… her finger clicking at the syringe, her hand pulling my panties  down (this is all so embarrassing ).

-Count to five and it will be over. And relax, OK, sweetheart?

She gently patted the spot and ouch!

-Count!

-UUUH.. one .. uhh two.. – I counted through the tears…- Make it faster Nat .. three.. uhh… four… uuhh five. It’s overrrr

-Almost, sweetie.- She pulled my panties back and set beside me stroking my hair gently. -Sometimes I think you’re a five year old in an adult body…
-I feel like that, too…- my sobbing was calming down. My bottom was sore in more than one way. I went for a hug and ended up head in Nat’s lap, she stroking my hair with love.
I wished I could stay there forever… and not go to university and face the professors.. and then… her… I couldn’t even imagine what she would do… 

ANNA AND NATALIE 2: SECRETS AND LIES PART 1

Natalie hates laziness and I am a prime example of a lazy person. If it were up to me I would spend days and nights watching TV shows or reading novels, but mostly watching shows (guilty). I really don’t like exercising. I went to aerobic practice with her, because she insisted it was good for me, and I really wanted to please her and spend time with her, but after a while I just couldn’t exercise any more. It was boring and hard. Almost 20 years older than me she was jumping up and down, doing all the difficult exercises and kept saying how great she felt after the practice. I would stop and drink water, and take breaks to breathe. She let me off the hook couple of times, but, then, I knew, she would start expecting me to be fitter and be able to go through the whole practice without stopping. The first time I made up an excuse I said I was going to tutor a high school senior on colonialism. She bought it. The next time my friend Linda had just come back from a long trip and wanted me to come over. She swallowed that one as well. Then I had my period. That one was true. After a couple of days I called her from university saying I had some extra reading to do. She approved of studying though she noticed that I had been inside, sitting the whole day and that a little air and exercise might help me think better. I was feeling lazy and even though I really planned on staying at the library and doing some reading for a test I figured… Some air would really be good. So I started walking home… air would be good but a movie and ice cream would be perfect. I saw the lights were off and decided Nat must have already left. Her car was gone.
The joy overwhelmed me. I felt free to be me. Lazy… sloppy… sweat pants,.. lying on bed… just me as I am… but then I realized that I was happy for allowing myself to be lazy I wasn’t happy anymore. I needed that ice-cream to forget how despicable I was .I didn’t care much about the movie. I overate and was thinking that I should actually throw up because those calories would pile up quickly if I didn’t.

I didn’t think I was bulimic, because it wasn’t an everyday thing, but still I didn’t want anyone to know. Vomiting is disgusting. And plus I felt sleepy and I couldn’t go to sleep with my stomach full. I’d get fat… My mood was becoming progressively worse and I was sorry for not going to the practice. The phone rang. Natalie! But the practice wasn’t supposed to have ended! I sat straight. (She knows when I talk to her lying down.)

-Hey, kiddow, how’s the studying?- She sounded cheerful and I loved when she called me kiddow. 

-Ahm.. not so well… I decided to go home actually.. I just… couldn’t focus – She paused. But the wonderful being that she is she decided to believe me ( or to pretend) and probably thought that maybe I needed to relax.

-Oh. Ok. I am here with Sandra. We are going for a light dinner so I thought maybe you’d like to join us?

Agrrrhhh, I would have been so tempted hadn’t I stuffed my face with ice cream. And plus, I missed relaxing time with Natalie. And Sandra is so funny and cheerful… but I am so not in the mood… aaagrhh… what to do… what to do…. Oh, I want to spend time with her…. aaa
– I’m coming. Wher’re you at?

I went to the bathroom. A quick ritual, washing the hands, fingers up my throat, ice cream out, brush the teeth, mouth rinse, drink a bit of it, eat a piece of bread,  mints ready, get dressed and I was out in 15 minutes. By the time I sat down next to my Godmother I had swallowed like 10 mints and was pretty much sick. She was telling Sandra that I had been working real hard at the university and how tired I was .

-Yeah, you look kind of pale.- said Sandra looking at me inquisitively. Damn, I thought to myself, hope I haven’t left any traces… My eyes are kind of red from the burst capillaries sometimes… shit… didn’t even check that. As if she were listening to my thoughts she turned to Nat: -her eyes seem … red, don’t they?

I reacted quickly.

– Yeah? They do feel strange. I’ll go check it out”… As I was trying to get up, Nat looked at me as if she were worried or suspecting something.

-Are you ok kid? –

-Yeah- I brushed it off with a smile. -I’ll just go wash my face. Get me a… Ceaser salad, k?- When I came back, everything ended with Nat’s:

-K?

-Yep- I smiled and hugged her. She patted me on the shoulder and they continued talking about work.

*****

When we came home she noticed that Love actually was on its 65thminute and commented that I had been enjoying my evening. I chose to mumble a “yes” and she chose not to say anything else although it was obvious that she was trying to control her temper. 

****

It was Tuesday. I knew I had to go to the practice, no excuses this time. Once there, I was in the bored mood. Slow to get ready, dragging my feet. I knew she hated it but I just couldn’t help it. I didn’t want to be there.

-You could try not to spread the negativity, you know? – She was already annoyed.

-I just don’t see the point in this

-You don’t see the point? – Shit, eyebrows were up and the stare telling more than I’d like to. I have to think of something.
-Well … I know you like it… and I know it’s good for me… but…um…um…- The coach saved me by putting the music on and the mental torture began. I kept saying to myself: “Come on. Just a little bit more. Aaa… it’s boring.. no, it’s useful… come on.. try at least. What if I form muscles over the fat and look even worse… Ah… No, I am burning fat… aaa…I can’t. I stopped to untie and tie the laces on my sneakers, to drink water,…

She half whispered: “Stop it!” and I, unintentionally !!!, rolled my eyes, …… big mistake! I saw the anger rising to a bursting point in a second. If we were alone I swear she would have slapped me across my face.

-Do NOT ROLL your eyes at me! – I was already sorry but I also felt humiliated. I was there because of her, I thought to myself, and obviously “made a face”. She continued exercising and so did I. I decided I’d tell her that I’m quitting. We didn’t say a word to each other in the car. She pretended I didn’t exist, I pretended I didn’t exist….When we were both showered and she was heading for her bedroom I spoke.

-Nat, look. I am sorry for,… you know.. the practice.. for rolling my eyes… and…. it’s just .. for me it is stupid…( wooow should not have said that!)  I mean, I don’t mean….like that… it’s… I just feel tired and… I feel like eating even more when I practice… and it’s difficult… and I can’t wait for it to be over…

-Anna, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. You should have just said so instead of spreading negativity.

-I know…but I was so happy when we started it together… and it was fun because we were together… and I loved sharing something with you, and spending time with you… I need that… but after a while the exercising…. it just became way too boring…and I couldn’t pretend anymore…

– It’s your choice. – She was cold and distant. I hated it. I felt like taking it all back. I felt like saying, “you’re right, I’ll go”. I would do anything at that moment to have her smile and hug me. And then it clicked in my head: wait a minute, she thinks you have to exercise to be healthy, how come she’s letting me go like that, doesn’t she care about me?! She was already at her bedroom door when I heard myself saying:

-Linda’s coming back from Switzerland tomorrow so I’ll go stay with her during the weekend to catch up. – The moment she turned on her heels with a piercing look I knew I was doomed.

-And when did she go to Switzerland?- I hesitated. Should not have hesitated. My mind was racing. The fact that she’s coming back, doesn’t necessarily mean that she couldn’t have come back two weeks ago. The hesitation, the fear in my eyes gave me away. I looked down. Should not have looked down.

-You lied to me?- she was angry. I was sooo scared. Couple of months ago, I wouldn’t have been. Before that first spanking I would have tried to be cute and I would have tried to explain. But now it was different. It was as if some barrier broke back then and even though I felt we were closer and I felt her caring more deeply (or just showing it by making me do the things I should do but couldn’t push myself to do)… it was a scary place sometimes.

-I am sorry – I half whispered feeling like a 4 year old. The silence filled the room. I was too afraid to look up. She was approaching. I dreaded a slap on the face. I almost closed my eyes getting ready for it. She took my chin and made me look at her. I felt so helpless and so sad that I had made her angry. I bleated again: -I am sorry, Nat.

-The tutoring?- her voice was ice cold and my attempt to lower my head was prevented. The grip on my chin got tighter. – Last week’s studying? – a small voice inside my head told me to try and save at least that one… but I could barely breathe. – Get into your pajamas.

She turned away and hurried angrily towards her bedroom. I was sitting on my bed when she came in with a wooden cooking spoon. I gasped.

– Nat, please! I will exercise! I will never lie to you again! Please, please, there is no need – but she was arranging the pillows as if she were deaf. – Nat, pleeeeeeease! – the childish shrieking didn’t help.

-Stop it! Lie over the pillows.- I wanted to say that it was just way too humiliating and that I am not doing it. I have my dignity. I will not do it. Not even for you. I love you but I will not be humiliated. I stood up. I felt the courage building up inside me. I dared to look into her eyes and booom courage disappeared. I started backing towards the closet.

-Nat,.. come on.. I am … big…I am not a kid…

-If you were a kid you would have been over my knees already. Lie over here, don’t waste my time. I have better things to do.- “Ok, now I was angry. She doesn’t get to be that cold and spank me! It’s either loving and caring or … or nothing.“”

-NO! – I crossed my arms and gave her the most defiant look I could master.
What she pulled off after that was beyond me. She grabbed my ear and pulled me toward the bed. When the acceleration and the gravity started working her foot was on the bed and I was bent over her thigh, her arm around my waist keeping me still. Smack smack smack smack smack five or six smacks landed so rapidly on my bottom that I didn’t have the time to gasp after each of them but produced a strange sob like noise. It burnt even through the pajamas. I made her really angry. Smack smack smack smack… the right cheek was throbbing burning painful… she hit almost the same spot every time.

-Naa-aaat plea—a—a pleeeeaaaaaaaa- pleeese… dooo—aa- don’t! – smack smack smack..

-Lie where I told to- she released me.

-Please!!!!!!! I will do whatever you say! – I was holding my bottom and whining , but that did not produce the desired response. It seemed to irritate her even more.

– I said: lie over the pillows – I obeyed though I thought I would not be able to stand any more spanking…Smack smack smack And I thought those were hard! Smack smack

-PLeeee—se aaaaa.. it hurts oooowww… – … my bottom was on fire… I couldn’t stand it anymore…I tried sliding off the pillows and ended up on the floor by the bed kneeling, still half bent over the bed edge.

-Sit- she pointed to the bed. I sat slowly and still gasped out in pain. – Silence! – and with that she pushed my shoulder back down because I tried getting up.

-I am sorry. I will never lie to you again- I sniffled and sobbed…

– I hope so. – I thought I heard a bit of pity in her voice, a bit of love.. maybe. I looked up but even through my tears I could hardly see anything gentle in her expression. Later I will find out that she was stopping herself from reaching out to hug me.

Anna and Natalie 1 :The turning point

It was half past eight. Everything was calming down in the cold night. I was sitting in front of the computer screen as usual, but instead of writing my paper I was watching the Kardashians. My brain was in that half dreamy state when you just can’t focus on anything. I did try to write, but without success, so I figured that relaxing a little bit is better than going to sleep. If I go to sleep I most certainly won’t advance on the paper and if I relax … well, maybe…I was careful not to play the show too loudly because my Godmother was watching television in the other room and we had already had soooo many talks on how I should “Just do it”. She couldn’t understand what a curse procrastination was, she couldn’t understand how I “just couldn’t”. So, I was hoping that she would believe that I was being a good student. It was my first year at college and it felt a little too much. So different from high school where I was a star-student.

As I was watching the people in the show eating, I felt like taking a snack and, being in the Kardashians’ all’s basically happy and relaxed mood, naively, I thought I could sneak over to the kitchen unnoticed. By the time I was back my Godmother was in my room, sitting at the desk. My heart skipped. The nerves made me almost chuckle. The stupid nervous laughter was stopped by her stare.

-I really don’t know what to do… how to get through to you…– she never yelled, but most of the time she held a kind of a distance that would make me think she didn’t really care, like… she would repeat the same stuff but it sounded to me like she thought it was her duty or something, not like she honestly cared. This time, she was also calm, but she looked at me in a strange way, and I could feel how present she was at that moment, how she was up to something. I started with the usual excuses…

– I know, Nat… it’s just that I couldn’t write… I was just reading… and I didn’t have any ideas… and I felt kind of frustrated so I figured, I’d relax, take a break… Look, I’ll do it .. you know I’ll do it as soon as the deadline approaches… it’s just….my stupid… brain… it doesn’t work until… the last moment…. – Usually she would interrupt me right away trying to convince me that I am not stupid, and that I have to try harder, that I could relax when I had finished it, that it was all easy for me…and so on, as if I didn’t know the theory… But that evening the silence was menacing… She was looking at me with a stern expression for at least 10 seconds. I wanted to interrupt the silence but the unease was overwhelming. She finally closed the player, opened a blank Word page and stood up.

-Anna, I want to see at least three pages by 11.

My stomach curled up in a ball, I felt an “or else” more frightening than if it had been pronounced. A tiny voice of cheeky reason whispered inside me: “You are an adult,… come on..” As she was passing in front of me I started:

-But, there is no way I could write that.. I still haven’t read everything and…- and the door closed behind her. I stood there, chocolate chip cookies in my hand, and a very strange feeling in my stomach…Well, I thought to myself,.. I could try and write it… Brain fog gone, I sat at the desk and started thinking about the influence of capitalism on ecology…Everything seemed obvious. It felt like the last moment surge of energy. I started typing, just putting my ideas on the paper, but suddenly, I desired desperately to impress her, because, suddenly, I felt visible. Just like when I was a kid and she would come to visit us. She would talk to me, and I would philosophize and argue my points, and later when I was pretending that I wasn’t listening I could hear her tell my Mom that I was a genius and how much she loved me, and that she would have a kid if someone could guarantee that she would give birth to a kid like me. And I wished there was a way that she could adopt me, while I keep my Mom as Mom at the same time.

She has always been a goddess to me… I lived for her praise and loving words or a look. When she moved away I was 8 and almost had a nervous breakdown. My Mom says I cried for days and I went on a hunger strike. And all that time, I wouldn’t speak to Nat on the phone because I was angry at her and I kept telling my Mom how much I love Nat and that I wanted us to move where Nat was. When my Mom realized that I could actually get sick she promised that we would move near Nat next year and that we would go visit her during the summer, so I calmed down a little bit. Time healed the wounds and my Mom kept postponing the imaginary move until I found another female authority figure to love – my teacher, and then I wanted to stay at the same school. But my emotions for my Godmother hadn’t truly changed, and after all these years I still wanted her approval and love just as badly as when I was a kid.

I heard Nat’s phone ringing and it brought me back to reality. “She will read what I write! SHE will read it! I have to make it brilliant and these ideas are just to obvious.” A rapid search for papers online began… I started reading but I couldn’t start writing… summarizing had always been so difficult for me… I felt so stupid.. and the “or else” was filling up my head. What could she do? Not speak to me?? She wouldn’t kick me out of the house…right?… ground me…maybe? I don’t go anywhere anyhow… and… I mean she can’t take the computer away, I need it for the studies, and I bought it myself… A story came creeping into my mind… My Mom told me how she once witnessed Nat getting spanked by her mother… Mom and Nat were about to leave the house, dressed for a party, when Aunt Felicia (who’s not my Mother’s aunt, but Nat and my Mom were so close that they kind of adopted each other as sisters) returned from the neighbors’ earlier than the two 19 year old girls expected. Aunt Felicia was very patriarchal and she wouldn’t have approved of many things Mom and Nat did. Seeing her daughter “dressed like a hooker” (quoting her) made her go ballistic in a second. “I had no idea what was happening”, my Mom told me. “I looked at Nat pale and scared, literally not moving as if frozen. Felicia went into her own room and the next thing I saw was Nat falling on the bed and belt flying through the air. Nat was sobbing in seconds and her thighs already had a few pink straps, the short skirt up on her lower back. I felt scared and helpless and… embarrassed… can’t imagine how she must have felt…” The belt was coming down on her mercilessly and she was crying out “Mo-oom… Mom… ple—ase”. Felicia didn’t say a word. When she was done I was crying as well, you know how Granny never even considered that kind of thing…I wanted to go and hug Nat,  but one look from Felicia and I was out the door, Nat kneeling beside the bed crying like a little child… As she opened the door for me, Felicia mumbled… “If I were your mother…”  I thanked God she wasn’t. Nat told me the next week, ( she was, of course, grounded), that she couldn’t believe it either. The last one was when she was 17 and caught smoking… but it felt different, being in high school…and this…”, she said…”‘ it was so humiliating … and at the same time like… I wasn’t… 15 or 10… it felt like I was 5….especially in the end. And when I went to straighten up in the bathroom and looked at myself with the makeup in black streaks on my cheeks …. I felt so ridiculous.”… that’s when my Mom, who’s never had any authority over me what-so-ever, tried to sound all serious and authoritative which looked ridiculous on her. “Anna, I know how you adore Nat, she’s like the only aunt you ever knew and … I know you admire her… that’s why I consider it brilliant that you’ll be living with her, but be careful, hun… Nat is strict, you may not have seen that side of her, but trust me… I’ve seen it with her sister’s children…She is Felicia’s daughter… ”

My eyes slid to the bottom corner of the screen. Shit! It was 10:07! There’s noooo way I can make it!! Shit! Shitshitshitshit! Aaaaaaaaaa…Ok, I’ll focus and I’ll write something… anything… she will probably have forgotten that she’d told me it was by 11… I mean Nat is  forgetful…well about the things she promises to me… always hundred things being planned.. and she always changes her mind… Ok… but I’ll do it.. like… for myself.. it’s not like I am scared… or something…Ok, so… Capitalism produced over production…  no that’s a stupid sentence… the products are not there to satisfy needs but tastes… ah… everybody knows that… oh.. I have to write something good… 10:15…Advertising … advertising… oaah… I am so stupid! Why can’t I write…? I need references.. Ok, I’ll read and then I’ll just write when I have a clear idea…

10:48…. I had written one lousy page… OK, I give up… I’ll just go back to the Kardashians… she’s probably forgotten all about it, and tomorrow morning I’ll probably have some good ideas… Yeah… I should maybe write about how much an average episode of Kardashians affects the ecology… the jets, the cars, the luxury goods, the parties…

11:00 Nat entered the room with disappointment on her face and a belt in her hand. It was as if somebody yanked my guts, I felt I would pee right there… My lips started curling on the ends without my will…

-Nat… I tried…- I gasped for air… my voice went up, a shrieking pathetic childish…

-Yes, I could hear you are trying though the door. Obviously,… I have to do it… to wake you up before it’s too late… and I hate it…Come. (What does she mean??? What does she have to do!!??? I’ll pee, I’ll start crying.. I can’t move… I can’t even feel my legs… I am an adult I … am … an adult…. Say it… ) Anna, COME.

-I …am….I am no… Y-y -ou can’t… – She sighed… and walked over to me as if she had flown. She grabbed my upper arm and pulled me up like I had no will or strength. The belt burnt through my pajamas, once, twice. I yelped… it hurt! It went on… Sucking in the air every time.  I was surprised… I thought it would hurt only after a while but she was strong and obviously skilled. – Nat… please…- I felt idiotic for begging…  I tried to release my arm, go couple of steps back to get to the wall when the she started to speed it up. I was over the table. The belt hit the chair couple of times and it banged! – Stop… pleeeeeasee…. I’ll.. wri….te …(she went on without a word or slowing down… That’s not how I imagined spankings… I had thought when you said you were sorry or promised… it would be over) I proooo … aaaaaaaaa…. I prooo … mise you… Nat .. pleeee…se pleeaaaaaaa.. aaaaoo….it huu-aaa–uurts pleeese-  After a couple of swats more she pronounced sternly and angrily: 

-Itis supposed to hurt- and with this she pulled me up, tears streaming down my face. When I looked at her … so cold and angry and distant… the tears started flowing even faster … I wanted her to hug me and tell me that she still loved me… I wanted it more than anything… My own sobs and pleading echoing in my head. I felt as if I were 5. So scared, and small and in need of love and protection…

– Now go to bed. Tomorrow when you come back you will be writing in the living room. You will finish that paper by the evening.

I went for a hug. She stretched out a hand:

-No, you haven’t deserved it, Anna.- I was confused and desperate… Nothing similar had ever happened to me… I cried myself to sleep…don’t know what hurt more… I just knew I had to deserve that hug tomorrow. I skipped classes and went to the library and started writing. It was difficult to sit. Couldn’t quite say if it was itchy, or burning or painful or all of the above, but all of it reminded me so well of my goal. When I came home, there was no smile to greet me. She was distant the whole evening but I knew what I was doing. By 8 pm I was almost finished, the whole 15 pages. She was preparing dinner. It reeked of cauliflower. I hated it so much I felt sick, but I thought she would not make me eat it when she saw I’d finished the paper.

-Nat, I did it! I wrote it…- I said with a proud smile on my face while the printer was doing its job. I handed it to her. She went through it fast. I knew her powers and I knew she wasn’t missing anything.

– It’s very good. But,… did we have to go through that…?- I felt guilty, my head hanging…  I whispered “I am sorry” and I really was… I looked up, hoping for a smile. I almost caught a strange expression, half smile half wondering… and love, definitely love … but it vanished quickly. – OK, the dinner is ready-

I felt what it meant. I knew there was no escape from it…. And… I felt it was going to be like that from now on… She will become the authority I had never had in my life, and… I knew I was supposed to be happy, because I knew she loved me… and I knew she was capable of seeing further than Mom … and I knew that it was going to be good for me … someday… but I really hated cauliflower… So, I started pouring the food going around the hideous pieces although I couldn’t avoid the stench. She took the ladle from me and there it was, in my plate.

-But, Nat.. you know how much I hate it..

-I hated spanking you as well-… and then she added … – but if it could help you eat what’s healthy ,…- I was on the verge of tears. I looked up and there was the “no negotiations” face.
In three weeks my test scores went back up, almost all A’s and the situation was almost back to normal, except that I obeyed her far quicker than before and hugged her more than before… And I felt as if she had truly adopted me, as if she cared more profoundly than before… and it was the love that gave me wings …well for a short time before I started going back to my old habits…