Authors: Anastasia Vitsky
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Romantic, #Romance, #Contemporary
“Sleep well!” she calls to me as I head into our room while she goes toward the bathroom. “Good night!”
I fall onto my cot fully clothed, grinning into the darkness.
The next morning, the headache is nothing compared to my panic when I realize that it’s Wednesday. Where did the past week go? During class I surreptitiously scratch out an attempt of the latest translation in one notebook while pretending to take notes in another. It’s awkward to manage the two notebooks plus my textbook, but I put on a slightly aggrieved expression. Lee Sonsengnim has barely said ten words to me since the birthday-dream incident, and today I plan to make full use of his discomfort.
“Mira!” Ah-ee whispers to me as Lee Sonsengnim enters our classroom. “What did you get for number five?”
“Number five? Oh, no!” I moan. I stare at my school notebook, turned open to yesterday’s page with the scribble “Questions 1-10 for tomorrow” at the bottom. How did Ah-ee get hers done? She went out just the same as I did!
“Good morning!” Pedro raps out, and we follow his lead. “Good morning!” we chorus. Lee Sonsengnim taps his desk.
“Please put your homework here. Open your books to lesson thirteen…”
I moan until Kumiko, sitting on my left, asks me what is wrong. “Hangover,” I mumble, and her sparkly eyes widen. I am not positive if she knows the meaning of a hangover. I shuffle to the desk and place my homework-less notebook on the top.
“Mira-ssi, please begin reading lesson thirteen.” Lee Sonsengnim’s perfectly polished black leather shoes click smartly against the floor.
Click, click. Click, click.
I clear my dry throat and begin. “Yot is a traditional taffy made from rice. Many years ago, yot sellers would clang their big scissors together. Children ran to the sound of the scissors. These days, yot can be flavored with pumpkin or green tea in addition to the traditional rice flavor.”
“Eat yot!” hisses Juan. The class erupts in shocked giggles. Lee Sonsengnim’s leather soles pause in their clicking.
“Yes, Sonsengnim.” Juan gives the title a slight nasal twang, emphasizing the “seng” rather than the usual accented “Son”. More giggles.
“What did you say?”
“I said that yot is delicious. Sonsengnim.”
Another rash of titters. Even Ah-ee’s shoulders are wobbling. I shoot her a questioning look, but she shakes her head.
The laughter stops.
“I said that I wished we could all eat some yot, Sonsengnim. Because I am hungry. The cafeteria only served fish soup for breakfast, and it wasn’t good.”
Lee Sonsengnim stares at Juan until Juan’s face reddens.
“I said perhaps it might please you to partake of the yot nourishment, Great Sonsengnim,” he amends.
“So you told me to eat yot?” Lee Sonsengnim’s voice is soft, like a snake about to strike.
“No, sir! I…”
“You may report yourself to Director Choi. Tell him why.” Before the gasps have subsided, Lee Sonsengnim turns back to me. “Continue, Mira-ssi.”
Never a skillful out-loud reader in the best of circumstances, I stumble through the yot description as Juan blows out the air from inside his cheeks, gathers his books, and slinks out of the classroom. Not one person looks his way as he exits. Nor does anyone speak for the rest of the lesson except to answer Lee Sonsengnim’s questions.
I cringe. I am only one step away from the door when Lee Sonsengnim’s voice arrests me. I take another half-step toward the door, but I lose my nerve and turn around instead. He is sitting at his desk and holding out my notebook.
“Where is your homework?”
comes unbidden to my mind, and I cough in the effort not to giggle. “I was wrong. I am sorry. I will try harder.” I offer the trinity of promises, but Lee Sonsengnim is not pacified.
“You are meeting your tutor today?”
“Yes, sir. Actually I have to catch the bus…”
“That will be all, Mira-ssi.”
I’ve brought her favorite snack, squid-flavored crackers shaped in a ball with a peanut in the middle. As I set the plump package on the corner of her desk, her voice cuts through my prepared excuses.
“Lee Sonsengnim messaged me.”
No tea today. I sink into the offered chair and find that I have nothing to say.
“Should I ask you to explain yourself or assume that this is more of the same?”
More of the same what?
I wonder. “I’m not sure.”
She leans back in her chair and crosses her legs.
“Remind me what happened last term, please.”
I fight every urge to stand up and run out the door. “I got behind and failed my classes.”
“And you promised that it wouldn’t happen this term, correct?”
Not exactly. It’s hard to remember.
“Stand up, Mira.”
Today, her school is nearly deserted for a special event. There is no one to see me catch the hem of my flared skirt on the arm of my chair and pitch forward nearly into her lap. Or to see her raise an arm directing me toward her desk. Shaking, I bend over it. My hands have difficulty finding a grippable spot amongst her piles of grading papers, pens, binders, and desk supplies. She nudges me to bend further forward and picks up her “rod of love”.
“Mira,” she says, “this is what a student of mine can expect for the irresponsibility you have shown.”
Even though my hair is hanging down far enough to shield my face, I reach one hand up to cover the tears.
After the first time the hickory cracks against my bottom, I leap to my feet and run out the door. The hallway heating is turned off after school hours, and I can see puffs of my breath ahead of me as I dash to the bathroom. I pull the door closed and turn on the sink tap. Frigid water rushes out, and I pat the coolness against my neck and arms. I am shivering without even realizing it. I’m dead. If I haven’t died already, I would be dead now. Maybe this is the afterlife. Where is Saint Peter? Or the bright light?
I turn off the gushing water. The ice water combined with the frosty air have struck someplace just below my ribcage, and I can’t stop shivering. My books and purse are in her office.
I want her to spank me
There, I’ve admitted it. But not like this. Again.
Each step back to her office is a marathon, and each breath is a respirator working overtime. I break into her office like an intruder expecting security guards, and she jumps to her feet. I barely have time to notice that she is sitting at her desk with her head in her hands, or to register that when she springs to her feet and reaches out to me her eyes are filled with tears. Her arms encircle me, and this time mine cooperate enough to respond.
“Mira-ya,” she murmurs. “It will be all right.”
She kisses the top of my head, and even as she bends me over her desk and the stick nips more viciously than I could ever have thought possible I hear only her words.
It will be all right.
It is a very stiff-legged walk to the bus stop afterward, and despite the nearly vacant seats I hold onto the hand strap hanging from the ceiling. After a few sways and bumps that nearly jerk my arm out of its socket I grip the cold metal pole instead, spreading my feet slightly outward to get a better balance.
It will be all right
, she said. And on Saturday, I have an appointment with her for lunch.
“Mira!” Ah-ee calls across the courtyard. “Come with us tonight!”
I shake my head even though she is too far away to see. “Meeting a friend!” I call back. It’s not exactly true, but it’s true enough.
“We’re going to stay out all night! Pedro’s brother will let us stay at his place so we don’t have to be back by midnight. Come on! You know you want to.” Ah-ee waves her arm emphatically in a circle.
“Sorry! Maybe next time!” I call back, heading toward the bus stop. I’m not exactly sure where I’m going today, and I need the extra time in case I get lost. First the bus, then the subway, and then another neighborhood bus. Plus about a ten-minute walk, she said.
Please arrive precisely on time. Come alone. If you can’t find the apartment, text me. Do not call. Bring your list.
Her instructions are clear, and I recite them in my head as I board first the bus and then the subway.
Do not displease me. I will make your dreams come true.
After months of chatting with one confusing person after another, “MistressSusan” caught my notice with a message referencing an event downtown. Most of the other chatters were from the US, Canada, UK, or Australia, and she was the first one who lived close to me. We private-messaged, at first tentatively but then daily. Mistress Susan, she told me, was an English teacher living abroad. Close to me in age and sharing many of my interests, after a few weeks of conversation she offered to meet me in person. I declined, and she immediately apologized.
, she assured me.
But if you change your mind, the offer still stands. Free spanking.
Free spanking? Was there any other alternative? Did people actually pay for a spanking? I found to my surprise that some people actually did. Quite handsomely, in fact.
If I fail out of my classes again, I could always spank for a living.
I giggle at the thought as I climb the many stairs back to ground level before searching through the possible exits. I finally have to ask a security guard before getting the correct one, and it is an equally disorienting maze to find the correct bus stop. By the time the bus arrives, the crowd around me pushes me inside before I can take a breath. In the commotion I have forgotten to pay, but I am squished so far back that I will never make it to the front. Half of the bus population pours out at the first stop, and then I struggle forward to drop my coins into the box. The bus driver gives an annoyed grunt as I slide into an empty seat.
Why do you need to be spanked?
Mistress Susan asked me in one of our private chats.
What do you need?
I didn’t know how to answer her, but I explained about my tutor and how it caused me to want things entirely inappropriate for the situation. I even told her how I ran out the last time and nearly got myself in even worse trouble.
It sounds like you are a very naughty girl indeed,
If I were to take you across my lap and soundly spank that naughty bottom you would certainly learn a lesson in responsibility, young lady!
Her words gave me an indescribable thrill.
I wish you could.
I can make your dreams come true
, she wrote back immediately.
Are you still afraid to take the chance?
I took a deep breath and tapped out my reply.
How about tomorrow?
“Are you getting off or not?”
The bus driver’s angry question jolts me from my reverie. We are at the subway station again. I fumble for the correct words, hoping he will understand my accent.
“I’m sorry, but I missed my stop. Can I go again?”
The aggravated mutters are thankfully swallowed up by the new rush of incoming passengers. This time, I strain to watch every stop and exit at the correct place. On the way down from the steps of the bus, a briefcase swings around and knocks the cell phone out of my hand. I struggle frantically to retrieve it, but the coursing current of passengers sweeps me out the door. Before I can gather myself enough to turn toward the bus, the doors have closed and I am left gaping at the bus hurtling down the street. My phone! If I run after the bus, maybe I can at least get the license number to track down my phone later. How will I get it back? But I am late already.
Please arrive precisely on time. Do not displease me. I can make your dreams come true.
Realizing that I can’t call to report my phone lost without the phone itself, I shove aside my uneasiness and pull out Mistress Susan’s directions. At least I can be less late, even if I can’t get my phone back.
Turn right at the first intersection and walk uphill until you see the supermarket. Cross the road and turn left, and then go downhill to a small parking lot. Go through the parking lot, and to your right you will see a three-story bright blue building. I am on the third floor. Buzz the intercom and I will let you in.
It takes several tries and wrong turns, but eventually I find the building.
I jump at the unexpected volume.
The voice is much deeper than I’d expected. “Yes, it’s me.”
The door lock unfastens itself automatically.
Panting after walking up the three flights of stairs, I knock on door 302. It’s such a small building that there are only two apartments per floor. They must be big apartments, though, because the hallway is enormous. I rub a sweaty palm against my denim skirt before knocking timidly on the door.
A forty-something guy opens the door and holds his hand out to me. He is tall, much taller than I am, and the hand is thick and coarse. Muscles ripple upward as he squeezes air with the proffered hand. I stare at him in confusion.
“She asked me to meet you. Come in, please.”
I hesitate, and his voice rises.
“Do not displease me.”
I hesitate again until his hand grasps my shoulder and propels me inside.
“But why isn’t Mistress Susan here…”
He locks the door behind me, and I turn backward involuntarily. It is a complicated automatic lock, one I am not sure I can operate by myself.
“Sit down, Mira. What would you like to drink?”
“Nothing,” I lie as I slip off my shoes and leave them in front of the door. Plain black flats, as Mistress Susan had instructed. Coffee-colored nylons, brand new. I step carefully not to snag threads on the floor.