You look relaxed again today.
I don’t like it.
I want to like it, I do, but there’s a little monster living in the pit of my stomach that demands your attention. Your positive attention, your compliments, your arm around my waist, but also the hard palm of your hand, the yank of your fingers around my wrist, your legs pinning mine… I want all of it. I am jealous of books and street signs and the songs that get stuck in your head. I hate the sound of your car starting in the morning and I’ve got a collection of hate mail for your boss that I will never send.
You’re not looking for signs of rebellion, and it throws me. The logical part of my brain… the sane part, you might say at this point… is celebrating this apparent return to normalcy. The little monster is outraged, though. I can feel her screaming, pulling at her hair, stomping across my liver and throwing punches at the soft walls of the stomach which contains her. I feel her anger and my muscles clench involuntarily. My ass aches; I’ve spent more time across your lap in the last ten days than in all the other time we’ve known each other combined, and so little of it playful, the way we usually enjoy each other.
There has been a lot of love, too… aftercare, comfort, cuddles and forehead kisses. But it’s never enough to feed the little monster. I pinch myself, hard, and she quiets down, at least through breakfast. I’m walking a very thin line here. My efforts to restrain her often end up with me bursting into tears, sinking down into a sobbing mess at your feet, feeling guilty and sad and wounded. Every night seems to end in this way or the other, all of my energy zapped from crying or from spanking. Every night. One way or the other. Never both.
I watch you warily from the corner of my eye as I put our dishes away. There’s a part of me ready to panic. You’ve reassured me again and again that you will take care of me, that you know I’ll be okay, but I don’t really believe you. I believe that you believe I will okay, but I don’t trust anyone more than I trust myself, and I don’t know what the fuck is going on. I’ve been to the dark corners of my mind before, places where no one else is invited. You’ve waited me out then, and you have your own lonely dark corners. You understand. But this is different. These demons are… active.
I startle at your hand on my shoulder, turn to watch it slide down my arm until you’ve locked your fingers in mine and you’re tugging me out of the kitchen. My brow knits, and without thinking about it I hesitate, locking my knees, leaning back against your leading hand. You saw this coming, and there is no hesitation on your end. With one fluid motion you have jerked me ahead of you and I feel your free hand come crashing down on my pajama bottoms, two, three, six times, too fast for me to do anything but yelp and hop forward, and somehow we’re in your bedroom now. You loosen your grip on my hand and I jerk it out of yours resentfully, glaring at you and rubbing. You sit on the bed and beckon me with a finger. I feel a few tears jump into my eyes. I haven’t done anything yet, and I don’t like this.
You’re watching all of these emotions flicker across my face, and your expression softens, but you still don’t explain. I walk slowly toward you, unhappy, but I trust you, and lord knows you’ve earned my compliance so long as I can make myself give it. When I’m standing in front of you, you put your hands on my hips and pull me down to sit in your lap. Mad or not, I can’t help but curl into you, wrapping my arms around your neck, feeling small and comfortable there. “We’re going on a little trip today,” you say, and I look up, surprised. My heart jumps, excited- you know how much I love going anywhere- but then it sinks, rattling my ribs and waking the little monster.
Her eyes must have taken over mine for an instant, because your face becomes stern again as you continue, “And to make sure you are a very well-behaved young lady on this trip, I am going to spank your bottom right here and now.” You silence me before I have a chance to protest, moving me across your lap as you say firmly, “It is not up for negotiation.” My pjs are down in an instant and I still do protest some, but it’s half-hearted at best. You don’t use anything but your hand, but it’s enough. I’m still sore from the rest of the week, so the swats hurt immediately, propelling me forward as you land them one after another on the fullest part of my backside. I grab a pillow and hold on, determined not to reach back. Sometimes when I do that you scoop up my wrist and carry on, but other times you just move your swats down, spanking the tops of my thighs so that my legs kick wildly and I move my hands. I don’t want to risk the latter, so I cling to the pillow through the whole thing.
Now I’m in the passenger seat, shifting a little but maintaining my grip on your arm even as I attempt to find a comfortable position. Usually I’d be chatty right now, telling you about my dreams from the night before or asking you questions, but I don’t have anything to say. I’m curious about where we’re going, but instead of trying to guess I just sit, focusing on the flashes of blue and white sky through the window. You seem content, maybe even preoccupied, probably analyzing the morning, analyzing your actions, analyzing me. Maybe not, though. Maybe you’re just happy for the silence.
I must nod off because suddenly the radio is on and nothing looks familiar. I sit up, looking over to you, and you’re smiling a little. “Good morning, baby.” I smile back, still coming out of the nap I did not intend to take. “Where are we?” You keep your grin but it’s a little stiff now as you say “We’re almost there.” I roll my eyes at your non-answer, but a bump in the road makes me wince and I get distracted from griping at you. In fact I hunker down a little, feeling small again.
I hate to admit how much a spanking, even a quick one like this morning, can affect my mood. My arm loops back through yours instinctively; I don’t know what today is about, but it feels big. I think you might be about to leave me, a thought that came early and continues to grow stronger. It’s not as panic-inducing as one might think, though. I know the manic stage will come later, when you’re moving my stuff out of the house, or maybe the first night I have to sleep in my own apartment again, a place that’s served as nothing but storage for months now. But now it’s almost comforting, holding on to this knowledge that you will finally be free of me. I want that for you. Even with the little monster trying her best to destroy us both, there is a small unselfish corner of my heart left that wants you to be happy without me.
The car slows and I’m brought back out of my head. You’re parking the car and it looks like we’re in a neighborhood. I look at you, confused. This is a weird place to break up with me, but you’re running this show, I guess. Who am I to question where we are? Numbly I follow your lead, walking up the path to the front door. It’s a cute house with lots of flowers and a big cherry tree in the front yard. You take my hand as you open the door, leading me into the empty echoing foyer. You start to lead me around the house but even in my numbness I’ve had enough of this. I stop, keeping a hold of your hand, but looking to you for an explanation, nothing submissive on my face in this moment. Your cheeks are a little red and you clear your throat awkwardly.
“Do you like this house?” you ask.
I hadn’t really been forming an opinion about the house, and you have to be able to see how absurd I think your question is. You fumble for a moment, clarifying a little, saying “What I mean is, do you think you could be happy in a home like this?” I’m more confused than ever but I glance around, humoring you but answering honestly, “Maybe. I’d have to look around a bit more. Why?”
You don’t answer. Instead you walk over the picture window in the living room, waving a hand at me to follow. When I’m near enough, you wrap your arms around me, so we’re both looking outside at the white blossoms falling slowly around the yard, our bodies pressed against each other and your head resting on my shoulder. “I think I could be happy in a home like this with you. I could be happy anywhere with you.”
One of your hands disappears for a moment, returning to present a little black box at my waist. I stare down at it, mouth agape, and you continue talking in my ear. “If this is the worst that it gets, I’ll take it. If this is just the beginning of the worst, I’ll take that, too. If you will have me, I want to be there for all of it. I love everything about you, and I want you to know that I’m not going anywhere, ever. You make me happier than any other person I’ve ever met.”
I don’t know if you have more to stay, but I don’t give you the chance to continue. I turn around in your arms and I have your face in my hands, my lips pressed against yours, kissing your mouth, then your cheeks and chin and nose and every part of you I can manage.
I kiss the corner of your smiling mouth, the dimples that form there, finally slowing to press my forehead against yours and whisper over and over again “yes.”
And the little monster doesn’t say a word.