I could feel Ma’am’s eyes on my back as I harshly chopped up tomatoes. Kerry had followed me into the kitchen a while after I had marched off. I didn’t have to look to know what she was doing as she stood there. I could vividly picture her arms crossed across her chest, left ankle crossed over the right, shoulder leaning against the kitchen door frame. Her eyebrows would be pinched together and lips in a thin line.
I tried hard to focus on my chopping, ignoring my fluttering stomach and racing thoughts, as I heard Kerry stride closer to me. “Let me help you cook. It’ll get done faster that way. You should focus on school work anyway.” Heat exploded from my chest. It was like she thought I was incompetent or something! I had managed my life well before she was a part of it. I didn’t need help now!
“I’m fine! Don’t need you to help me!”
Instantly, Ma’am removed the knife from my hand, placing it on the counter, spun me to the side and began connecting her solid hand to my still uncomfortable bottom as she firmly spoke, “You do not yell at me, young lady! You get your backside upstairs to your bedroom and don’t come out until I come to get you.”
Every word she spoke was equally punctuated with a firm swat which continued guiding me towards the stairs with a firm hand on my arm and steely palm on my bottom. I ran as fast as I could up the stairs fighting back a pool of tears. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Why would I talk to my Ma’am like that? I wanted so bad to go down and climb into her arms and never let go, but at the same time, I couldn’t admit that’s what I needed so bad right now. I hated this.
Reaching my bed, I curled up under the blankets and held onto my stuffed hippo closely and tried to relax. I replayed and replayed this day over and over in my head up until the most recent interaction with Ma’am.
I couldn’t explain it. I wanted to fight with her, but to snuggle in her lap. To get her attention and a reaction and for her just to leave me alone. Why did she always want to fix it? Why couldn’t I let her? This was so confusing.
I woke to the sound of someone lightly knocking on my bedroom door. I turned and saw Kerry enter and cross the room sitting on the side of the bed, “Hi, little bit, how did you sleep?”
I shrugged and sat up in the bed, stretching my stiff muscles, “I guess it was okay. I should have been doing homework.”
Ma’am cupped my cheek gently, “Bit, I know you do well with your school work and are always ahead, so you have no reason to be this worked up about a thirty-minuet nap.”
I huffed and went to stand up, but, was caught by ma’am, her pulling me back onto her lap, encircling her arms around my waist, a move that usually made me feel safe, however, today had the opposite effect. I could feel my tense body getting ready to fight with her again. However, I silently sat listening to what she had to say to me.
“Are you calmer now, little bit?”
“I’m fine ma’am.”
“Just remember what I told you. You will go back over my knee for another spanking if you don’t cool it with that attitude.”
“Yeah, I got it.”
I got up from her lap and went downstairs to find the meal I had been preparing sitting on the kitchen table steaming hot.
Ma’am followed me down the stairs, “I hope my lasagna is as good as yours is.”
I didn’t respond, instead sat at the table in silence, tracing random shapes with the tip of my finger, finding the table more interesting than Kerry.
“Eat little bit, especially since you didn’t have lunch.” Kerry thrust a plate and fork into my hands.
“I’m not hungry.” Even as I said those words my stomach gave me away growling loudly, which made me frown sharply at my own body betraying me.
“Eat little bit I’m not asking.” I huffed scooping salad, lasagna and garlic bread onto my plate. However, I wasn’t going to eat without something to wash it down with.
I stood going into the kitchen, getting out a wine glass for myself and pouring a large glass of red wine into the glass.
As soon as ma’am saw the wine bottle and full glass in my hand she gave me a firm look, “Oh, I think not. You are in a mood, so no alcohol for you.” Without warning, she took the glass out of my hand and set it aside.
I tried to keep my growl low so she wouldn’t hear. I wanted to drink and to hell with what she wanted! I knew that it would allow me to relax and hopefully keep me out of trouble with Ma’am. So instead I took a long drag from the bottle and sat it on the table next to my plate.
Shaking her head Kerry took the bottle out of my hand as well and moved it out of my reach, “Enough you. This is absolutely the last warning you are getting. The next conversation we have is going to be with the paddle!” Pointing to my seat on the opposite side of the table to her she told me, “Sit. Eat. We have some things to discuss.”
I forced myself to slowly eat the first bite of the food. It was delicious, not that I wanted to admit that to Ma’am. It felt good to get food into my body even if I didn’t want to tell her that. I was glad she had put her foot down not that I would admit that
“So, little bit, you want to tell me what happened today that has you acting out,” I fiddled with my phone, I spun it around and around on the table top as she continued, “You know you can tell you anything. Maybe if you talk about it you will feel better.”
I chewed slower than necessary as I considered what she was saying, swallowing I admitted to her, “I won’t feel better when you get mad about me failing a quiz today.”
Ma’am laid her fork down and reached across the table stilling my hand, “You know I’ve never been mad at you for your grades. I know you work hard and do your best. Did you work hard and do your best?”
I shrugged, pulling away from her touch and continued to eat, realizing that eating meant less opportunity for me to speak to her. The less opportunity for me to speak the better.
“I’m here when you decide you are ready to talk.”
I nodded and continue eating, enjoying the silence between us.