It was December 2002 and A. was my
ambiguously undefined cyber-guy. We had been chatting (and flirting)
online for months and finally declared over Yahoo Messenger that we
really cared about each other. That we were a couple – you know, in
an ambiguously undefined way.
Even more ambiguously undefined was how
we’d ever be a couple in a clear and defined way. I was in Oregon. He
was in England. I was bedridden. He was on the dole. I was praying just to
get on the dole.
One afternoon – at least afternoon on
my side of the Atlantic – we were doing the Nick Cohen End of the
Year quiz at the Observer website. A. told me not to cheat by looking
down at the answers. Which meant, of course, that I totally had to
"You really need your backside
tanned, young lady," A. typed.
"Nuh uh," I replied.
"Hrm…well luckily for you, and
your bottom, I am a few thousand miles away."
I grinned at first. But that longing to
be together quickly stole my smugness and replaced it with grim
"I do have an exercise book by my
PC," A. finally typed.
"An exercise book?" I asked.
"It is a lined book for writing
in," he explained.
"Oh oh — you mean like a
"It could act as such, yes."
There was a pause. "What is the date today?" he asked.
"December 29," I
"Okay…" A. wrote a minute or
two later. "Your misdemeanor has been entered…’Dec 29:
Cheating at a quiz after promising not to. Attempting to justify
cheating.’" He paused again. "It will be interesting to
see what words keep cropping up in your punishment book…When it is
all read out it may sound very bad indeed."
"Yeah, " I wrote back,
feeling like a naughty little girl who was finally being held to
account and a hopeful lover excited to have witnessed such a romantic
gesture of faith.
Sure A. lost the
exercise-cum-punishment book by the time we met in person nine months later.
But by that point, our relationship was no longer ambiguously
A. hates surprises.
On Christmas Eve I could
tell he totally wanted me to open right then the presents he bought
for me a few hours earlier rather than wait until the next day.
The first present was a
black satin nightie from Torrid.
The second was a light blue
book tied with white satin ribbons and a clear window on the front
cover behind which read "Punishment Book" in pink italics.
I always knew that the
solution to his penchant for losing my punishment book was to leave
it with me.
There is only one
misdemeanor recorded so far. After a rare trip out to Walmart (which
probably deserves an entry just on its own), I didn’t rest once I got
home but bounced around the apartment setting up the new lamp and the
new drawers replacing my bedside table (all those pill bottles were
getting to be a real hassle). By the time I did rest, I was very sore
– a foreboding sign as I usually don’t feel it until the next day.
After a thorough hand spanking, A. recorded the following:
Jan 21 – Not taking the
required rest needed after a lengthy shopping trip.
It actually takes up two
lines. The deal is once I fill up a page, I get an extra spanking.
Very mean, I know.
There are probably two
entries missing at this point (which I may well be ordered to add) as
I’ve been punished since then for not remembering to do my physical
therapy exercises (important for regaining the use of my index finger
after my tumble down the stairs in November, as well as reducing the
pain in my pelvic floor), and for going to bed too late last week.
That last spanking I got
Saturday night. After asking A. to tuck me into bed a half hour
before the deadline (now 3 am), I suggested my early retirement
totally made up for going to bed late earlier that week. Needless to
say, A. didn’t agree. Plus, I’d forgotten my leftover yakisoba
noodles at the Thai restaurant up the street where my godfather and
his partner took us for dinner earlier that night. A., being the best
boyfriend in the world that he is, went and retrieved it for me.
"That was very naughty
making Daddy fetch your dinner like that," he teased me.
"I know. It was."
I nodded while snuggling up to him. To be honest, I felt like I owed
him a spanking just for going all the way back and getting my dinner. Not that I was going to
"I think somebody needs
a spanking," he said.
"Nuh uh." My
standard answer, being code for "yes I do but I also want to be
cute and coy."
I made my way over to his
side of the bed and took my pajama bottoms down. There was some hand
spanking and some smart-assed comments, which earned me the ping pong
paddle. After a bit of that, A. decided it was time for the hairbrush
(actually, it’s a clothesbrush – sorta halfway between a bathbrush
and a hairbrush).
"In a few days you’re
not going to have anyone here to make sure you go to bed on time,"
"That’s right. Then I
can go to bed whenever I want," I sneered. As soon as I said it, the rational part of my brain and my ass were screaming at my mouth
to shut the hell up. I buried my face in my teddy bear as I awaited
As soon as I heard A.’s
tone, I started to feel contrite even before the first stroke of the
brush. And I certainly felt even more repentant afterwards.
"You (whack) are going
(whack) to be in bed (whack) before 3 am (whack) and not a minute
later (whack). Is that (whack) understood (whack)?"
"Yes…yes, Sir. I’m
sorry. I promise."
My pleas of repentance and
obedience didn’t stop him from whacking that brush on my bruising
backside a few more times. And when he finished, I looked back at him with sober submission
while he stroked my hair.
"Is it okay if you rub
some arnica gel on my ass?" I asked.
I tried to reach for the
drawer on the other side of the bed, but as it was out of reach, I
simply got up and walked around to the other side. I didn’t notice A.
staring at me while I opened the drawer and picked out the tube of
"Did I say you could
get up?" His voice was very grave.
I froze. I gulped. I felt
"I’m sorry. I…I
didn’t mean to…" I staggered and scurried back to the other
side of the bed and over his lap. It’s not that I wasn’t genuinely
contrite beforehand, but at that moment, I’d reached a whole new
level of contrition.
"You do not get up
until you are given permission," A. scolded as he
spanked my already throbbing cheeks. "Right. I’m going to finish
off with eight on each cheek. Count them please."
Ugh. Sixteen more? How on
earth would I take that many more strokes?
"Yes, Sir," I
I counted and squeezed my
teddy bear and kicked and squirmed my way through those sixteen
strokes. And a few extra A. added on when I was done counting.
"Okay. Big cuddle for
my girl," A. said softly as he sifted the hair away from my
face. I let go of my teddy bear and grabbed A. After cuddling he
rubbed the arnica gel on my purple bruises and put a couple of bags of frozen peas on top. Twenty minutes later, once the slightly mushy peas had done their
job and were returned to the freezer, I sheepishly asked if I could
pull my pj bottoms up. A. nodded in that authoritative way of his. I
pulled up my flowery knit pants, laid my head down on his chest, and
fell asleep as PBS flickered in the early morning darkness.
Not quite twenty-four hours
ago A. put on his big winter coat, grabbed the handle of the rolling
backpack, and kissed me for the last time before heading out into the pre-dawn cold where the MAX and then the airport awaited.
"You make sure you get
to bed on time," he told me with a grin. "You’ve got your
punishment book now."