A Painful Lesson
Twenty years ago, and I still remember it like it was yesterday…..
I sat uncomfortably perched in the hard chair as I watched my American lit professor talking on the phone. I had a really bad feeling about why he had asked me to come and see him this afternoon after class. He was my favorite teacher, but he was known for being quite tough on his students, never accepting less than 100% effort. And I knew that lately I had not been giving him that. I hated the idea that I had let him down with the work I had done recently. But I had been overwhelmed with so many demands on my time that something was bound to suffer.
As he spoke quietly into the receiver, I studied him carefully. He was quite attractive for an older man, I thought. Probably somewhere in his late thirties, he looked quite distinguished although somewhat pale-skinned, like someone who spent a lot of tine indoors grading papers. The hair at his temples was just beginning to silver, and it was neatly combed, as always. He had a square-jawed face that wasn’t a pretty-boy look at all, but quite fitting for a college professor. His suit jacket had been draped over the back of his chair. He had loosened his tie and the collar of his shirt, and his sleeves were rolled up. A light dusting of dark hair was scattered on his forearms. I could see his long fingers fiddling with some papers that rested on his desk, and my heart almost stopped when I realized exactly what it was. The last paper I had turned in to him. The one from Friday.
Oh, God. Last week had been a nightmare. I had been so busy that I hadn’t had time to write that paper. I had complained to my roommate who had advised, “Just go to the library and find some dusty old book no one’s used in a million years. Copy your paper from there.” She had laughed at the expression on my face. “What? Little Miss Goody Two-Shoes never cheated on her homework? Give me a break!”
“But…that’s plagiarism. If I get caught, I’ll be expelled. My parents would kill me.”
“Oh, bullshit! You won’t get caught. I do it all the time.” She had been quite adamant and so, against my better judgment, I had allowed myself to be persuaded.
And now here I was. A feeling of inevitability overtook me. If the professor had found out…if he knew what I had done…oh, God, what would I do? My scholarship money, the GPA I had been struggling to keep at a 4.0, all my plans—gone. I wiped my sweaty palms on my skirt and shifted nervously in my seat, unable to remain still any longer. The creak of the chair drew his attention, and I froze as his deep brown eyes focused on me unblinkingly while he concluded his phone call.
After he hung up the phone, he picked up his glasses and put them on, looking down at the paper he held in his hands with a frown. The ticking of the clock was a loud accompaniment to the pounding rhythm of my heartbeat. I thought I would scream as the silence drew out and the minutes passed. Finally, he reached up to remove the dark-rimmed glasses, placing them on his desk. He pressed his fingertips against the bridge of his nose, as if to soothe a small ache there. Then he sighed and stood, the paper still clutched in his hand. Walking around his desk, he came to a stop in front of me. The office was not large, and I felt somewhat intimidated as he loomed over me.
I couldn’t meet his eyes. Instead, I kept my gaze trained on the buckle of his black leather belt. The moment stretched.
Again he sighed, and I got the impression that he was uncertain of how to proceed. He paced back and forth for a few moments, then stopped and propped himself on the corner of his desk, giving me a bit of breathing room.
Hesitantly I finally raised my eyes to his. He set the paper down and then gestured towards it.
“I think you know what this is, don’t you?”
I just nodded.
“I also think you know why you’re here.”
My eyes fell. I could hear it in his voice. The disappointment. My eyes focused this time on the grey wool of his pants, the shiny black of his shoes, the watch that encircled his wrist, anywhere but at his face. I bit my lip and could feel my face turning a bright red as he waited for my answer.
“Let me make this easier for you. The paper you turned in last Friday was fascinating. Particularly so since I had read it before, in a critical analysis of Robert Frost’s poetry written by Dr. Andreas Brodell, a noted poetry critic.”
My heart sank like a stone. I couldn’t think. Could barely breathe. This was it. All my plans–ruined over one stupid, stupid mistake. And the worst part was…I had known better. Why, oh why had I listened to my roommate?
“You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?”
Reluctantly, I nodded, feeling tears begin to well in my eyes as he proceeded to express his disappointment and to explain the university’s position against plagiarism and cheating. The policy was clear. Suspension with a recommendation for explusion.
The first tear began its slow slide down my cheek, and I surreptitiously raised a finger to brush it away, hoping he hadn’t noticed. How humiliating to break down into tears and cry like a baby in addition to having been caught cheating. Finally I just tried to tune out his words as I thought about the possible repercussions of what I had done. My father would be furious. And my mother…oh, God, my mother would be crushed. It had been her dream for me to go to college because she hadn’t had the opportunity. I just hated letting her down. My tears began to fall faster and faster.
So wrapped up was I in my own thoughts, I hadn’t noticed the professor had stopped talking until I felt a hand under my chin nudging my face upwards. Startled I glanced up, and he began wiping the tears away with a tissue. His expression was carefully blank, but there was a gentleness in his touch that comforted me.
When he had finished wiping my face clean, he leaned over to toss the used tissue away. The he asked, “Why did you do it? You’re one of my brightest students. I know you’re perfectly capable of writing this paper. It’s been apparent to me from the first that you are a gifted writer. So why take the easy way out? Just tell me that.”
As if a dam had burst, my words began tumbling out. Things I hadn’t even realized were worrying me. I told him about my family’s precarious financial situation, the thrill when I’d gotten the scholarship that would allow me to attend such a prestigious university, the pressure to keep my grades up, my father’s doubts in my ability to succeed, my boyfriend’s lack of sympathy, my troubles at work…I just went on and on and on. Finally, after I don’t know how long, my words slowed and then trickled to a stop.
After several long moments, he signed. “I’m not unsympathetic to your situation, my dear. However, you have to understand that I cannot just let this go with no consequences. But,” he continued, “perhaps we can come up with an alternative to my reporting this incident to the dean.”
My heart leapt with hope. “Oh, yes, sir. Please, I’ll do anything…anything to keep from being expelled, from losing my scholarship.”
An expression that I couldn’t decipher gleamed in his eyes briefly at my rash statement. “Anything? Are you sure?”
I nodded eagerly, so grateful for this opportunity to somehow salvage my college career from my own stupidity that I didn’t care what he would demand of me.
“Well, first of all, you will have to rewrite the paper. And this time, use your own words, please.”
I quickly nodded in agreement. That was more than reasonable.
“And as for a punishment…well, it will have to be something fitting. Something that you will remember. Something to remind you not to do anything so foolish ever again. Don’t you concur?”
“Yes, yes, of course.”
He stood contemplating me for a several minutes before seeming to come to a decision. “Very well then. I think I know just the thing.” He walked over to the door and turned the lock with a loud click. Then he turned to look at my face—to see my reaction to what he had just done, I supposed. It began to occur to me how rash my statement of saying “anything” might have been. All sorts of dark and perverted scenarios began running through my head. Then he said, “I think a spanking might be the perfect punishment for such naughtiness, my dear.”
I know my eyes must have revealed my surprise, because he smiled. Just slightly, the corners of his mouth crooking up a bit, although his eyes remained stern.
“A spanking?” I squeaked. That was the last thing I had expected him to say. I hadn’t gotten a spanking since I was nine years old, and I had spilled my mother’s favorite expensive perfume on the bedroom carpet.
“Yes, my dear, a spanking. It’s a perfectly good punishment, you know. People have used it for centuries. And a sore bottom is a good reminder of the misdeed that has been committed.” His gaze sharpened. “Of course, if you’ve changed your mind, we can still let the dean handle this matter…”
“No! Oh, no, please. Okay. A spanking is fine. That’s just fine.” I quickly agreed to the unusual suggestion. Anything to avoid the other. He smiled and straightened from where he had been leaning against the door. “Good girl. Well, then, stand up.”
“What?” I was startled. “You mean now?”
“Well, yes. No time like the present, don’t you agree? If we postpone the punishment, it will just be all the harder. You will worry yourself sick about it. Best to just get it over with.”
I stood up slowly and glanced around, not exactly certain what he expected me to do next. I looked over to where he stood by the door. He smiled, a somewhat wicked little smile, and said, “Take off your panties.”
My eyes flew to his in shock. But from the expression on his face I knew I had not misunderstood. I froze as long seconds ticked by. Patiently he waited for the command to sink in before he spoke again. “Now, please.”
Realizing my options were slim, I reached down towards the hem of my skirt and began inching it upwards, just enough to be able to reach under and tug down my panties. Wriggling my hips slightly, I parted my legs and pulled the panties down. I stepped out of them, and picked them up from the floor. “Give them to me, please,” he reached out his hand.
With trembling fingers, I did as I was told. He looked at the white cotton for a moment. “Very practical,” he smiled. Then he tucked them into his pocket. Reaching into another pocket, he pulled out a handkerchief. “We don’t want anyone hearing you in case you cry out, do we? I’m going to put this into your mouth to muffle any sounds you might make, okay? Luckily most everyone is gone for the day, since our appointment was so late, but we don’t want to take any chances of being overheard, do we? It might raise some embarrassing questions…for both of us.”
As he walked toward me, he wadded the handkerchief into a small ball. He pressed it to my lips, which I parted for him, allowing him to insert the cloth into my mouth. He rummaged in a desk drawer and pulled out a bandana, placing it over my mouth and quickly tying it behind my head with an ease that made me realize this was not the first time he had done this. Then he unfastened his belt and I almost panicked. Was he going to whip me with that? Apparently he saw the fear in my eyes. “I’m just going to use this to secure your hands. Sometimes people reach back to try to stop the blows and get hurt. We don’t want that happening, now do we?”
I shook my head no. He ordered me to hold out my hands in front of me, and he wrapped the belt around my wrists, securing it tightly. When he was finished, he stood back and studied me for a moment, nodding his head as if pleased at what he saw. Then he led me over to the chair I had occupied earlier. Sitting down, he tugged lightly until I was stretched across his lap, my hands dangling below me on one side and my feet on the other.
He used his left hand to hold me securely in place while his right hand began to push my skirt higher and higher until I could feel the cool air on my flesh. I quivered as I realized how I must look to him, draped over his lap, my skirt up to my waist, my bare bottom exposed to his gaze. How I would look to anyone who walked in on us unexpectedly.
“Are you comfortable?” he asked.
I thought it was an odd question. Comfortable? Not hardly.
But I nodded.
“Good. Good. I’m going to give you twenty licks. Try not to tense up as it will make it more painful. Understood?”
Again I nodded my head. Not tense up? Was he kidding? But I nodded as best I could with my head dangling to the floor, my hair a curtain around me.
I waited for the first blow, trying to prepare myself. Trying not to tense. When he struck, though, it startled me. I jumped, more, I think, from the surprise than from actual pain. It stung, but wasn’t too terribly bad, and I began to relax a bit. The next blow was much harder. And the next. As he continued with the spanking, his blows rained down on both of my rapidly heating cheeks. Some harder than others, but all of them triggering something in me that I had not expected. Arousal.
I tried to suppress it. Tried to deny it. Tried to hide it. But it was impossible. My hips began to raise themselves towards the next strike rather than trying to avoid it. And I could hear myself beginning to whimper, the sounds muffled by my gag, as the blows continued to fall.
Moisture was gathering between my thighs, and I squeezed them together to give myself some relief from the throbbing that was becoming stronger and stronger.
To be continued…