Once you start living with someone, like I had with Mr. Grant, it is
easy to fall into old habits. This was especially true when I bought a
new video game system and flat screen television and put them in the
guest room. I had little else to spend my money from work on so I
decided on an impulse to get something for myself. It was easy to play a
game for hours at a time in the morning and between classes and work. I
kept up my homework as usual for my new classes but when I didn’t have
an important responsibility, when Mr. Grant wasn’t home, I played my
games. It was even better when Ethan was on at the same time. We
chatted a little as we played but mostly we talked strategy.
didn’t ask for another session with Mr. Grant and I didn’t bring it
up. He told me about guys he met and that none of them seemed to be
into spanking. He said most of them were too superficial. He said he
liked the idea of someone being athletic, even a little self-centered,
but when they started getting judgmental then he had a problem. Our
conversations made me think about my own experiences ‘dating’ and how
Tucker had been my ‘fuck-buddy’ but I didn’t miss it.
single, trying to find a new guy every night, hoping one of them would
mean something all felt so desperate. I liked the idea of being with
someone, having a home, a warm body to cling to in bed, and the feeling
of knowing someone would be there for me.
Mr. Grant seemed
to take little notice of my new distraction. He had been a little
different since we got back from Las Vegas. He reprimanded me, gave me a
few corrective smacks on the ass, but we hadn’t had an intense session
like the ones we had before and we didn’t talk about Ethan. We did have
sex on a regular basis though, usually after work. It was the perfect
release when we got home and it helped us both get to sleep easier.
was an ordinary Monday. We ate breakfast and made small talk. We
showered together, fooled around a little under the water and I watched
him get ready for the day. I walked him to the door, even gave him a
peck on the cheek before I went to the couch where I thought about
turning on the television before I thought to make sure there were no
chores to do. I was reading over the list when there was a knock at the
door. I was still in my underwear but somehow, for some reason, I
didn’t think anything about it as I went to answer the door.
I had expected Mr. Grant to be there, maybe he had forgotten his keys.
It wasn’t until I got to the door that I noticed my undressed state so I
opened it partially to cover myself in some way. It could have been a
meter reader, the mail man, or even a church group and I wouldn’t have
cared. I was horrified to see it was my mother. She smiled at me and
looked around a little, glanced over my shoulder before she looked me in
the eye and cleared her throat. She smelled of an obnoxious floral
perfume that she always wore and was dressed for work.
then my white briefs felt even more ridiculous even though I used to
wear boxers around the house regularly when I lived there. I thought
about closing the door on her, just panic and run away, but there was no
where to run to and I knew she would knock again. She had caught me. I
was in a precarious situation and she had definite intent but I thought
we might be able to talk it out.
“Good morning,” I said.
“Good morning,” she replied.
thought for a moment she would speak but instead she let the
uncomfortable silence hang in the air. I was used to her doing this so I
didn’t panic. I just looked her in the eye as I feigned sleepiness.
But she didn’t speak, didn’t even budge.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
birthday is coming up and since you’ve been spending so much time over
here I thought I would stop by and see how you’re going to celebrate.”
my birthday, I don’t know. I don’t think we had any specific plans. I
haven’t really mentioned it. I’m not even sure if he knows it’s coming
“Well, we were planning on getting you a gift
and maybe having some kind of part but we weren’t sure if you might want
to have it over here, or well, at home. We’d like it if you came over
to visit us, maybe we can get a cake. I’m not saying you have to spend
all day with us but we hardly see you anymore.”
It was another one of her guilt trips partially based in reality. I
should have felt bad about not spending time with them but I was also
moving on with my life. They showed so little interest any other time,
any other day.
“I’ll have to think about it but sure, I can come over.”
“I was hoping to get something a little more certain than that. Can I come inside?”
door between us, my state of undress, all felt like minor things. She
had come over for something else, something important, and yet I
couldn’t help but feel a little angry. She was ruining my good time. I
opened the door and invited her inside as I walked away back to the
bedroom where I planned to get some pants. She followed after me. I
didn’t expect her to keep after me like that. I didn’t bother to close
the door before I picked up a pair of jeans from the bed and began to
pull them up my legs.
“What’s that mark on your thigh?” she asked.
zipped up my jeans and picked up a shirt, careful to determine the
front from the back before I pulled it over my head, then down over my
chest, adjusted it about my waist so it felt even. I didn’t want to
tell her anything and yet I knew she wouldn’t leave me alone. I knew
she would keep after me. She was like a dog with a bone.
“It’s nothing mom,” I said.
wasn’t humiliation but anger that I felt. She had come over here,
barged into the house, and now she was interfering with my life when
before it meant so little to her. Who was she to criticize when she
barely said anything before? I didn’t want to tell her about the
spanking. It felt bad enough that she knew I was gay. How do you come
out as kinky?
“That looked like bruising. How did you get that? Does he hit you? Is that what he does? Tell me and I’ll call the police.”
“He doesn’t hit me mom. He spanks me.”
“What do you mean he spanks you?”
“It’s part of the life we live. It’s part of our relationship.”
“What is that supposed to mean? You mean it’s sexual.”
sighed. Here I was in my boyfriend’s house being interrogated about my
sex life. My face warmed and I clenched my hands together just to keep
from grabbing at something, breaking something. I wanted her out. I
wanted to scare her. I wanted her to run. It felt impossibly difficult
just to stand there with her staring at me.
“Yes mom, I like to be spanked,” I said. “Then we have sex.”
when she let out a groan of disgust and walked away. I didn’t have to
break anything after all just tell her. I looked to where she stood and
listened as she walked out of the house. It felt like a victory. It
felt like a loss. She would tell my father. The stereotypical response
would be that he’d attack Mr. Grant, possibly have him arrested, but
not my father, my father would invite me, us, to a therapy session,
maybe at his office, probably over a cup of coffee. He’d be casual
about it, not try to imply that anything was wrong nor that he had any
suspicions. He’d treat, get me to talk, work his way into my comfort
until he’d ask me and then he’d study me closely, look for some doubt,
something to question. He had done it before when my grandfather died.
We went to my favorite burger place, then he said it as I was eating.
mother hadn’t been home when I got back from school. I suspected, just
because all of my friends parents were divorced that he was going to
tell me they were getting a divorce. I thought he’d ask me who I wanted
to live with.
“I need to tell you something,” he said.
had a few fries in my hand and was ready to dip them in ketchup. I put
them to my mouth as if carrying through with what I was going to do
would make it all seem normal. I looked at him.
“You’re grandfather died. He had a heart attack while playing golf. He was on the twelfth hole.”
started to cry. The ketchup tasted sour and acidic. It wasn’t just my
grandfather’s death but the feeling of having been caught in a trap.
It was the worst meal of my life. I never felt the same about that
That was how my father did things. I knew
that I would be walking through some dangerous territory. They
wouldn’t understand. If I had to walk through it at all? Part of me
thought about just ignoring the whole thing, cutting them off if
necessary, but I couldn’t imagine a life without them. I couldn’t
imagine that how I chose to live my life would be so terrible. It all
felt so frustrating and I knew it would take time to work out just what
it meant so I decided to get on with my life.
I finished getting
ready with a spray of cologne and some deodorant under my arm pits and
went about my day as usual. I checked the kitchen to make sure
everything was clean and put away, checked the bathroom, and the living
room, finally I collected my bag, made sure my books I needed for the
day were there as well as my laptop and set out for campus.
was an easy, familiar bus trip. I started thinking about my morning
and I had to laugh a little about it to myself. The thought of my
mother seeing me getting dressed and seeing the marks on my thighs was
kind of amusing in a dark, sarcastic kind of way. Like when something
embarrassing happens on television, I thought. Of course there is a big
difference between life and television but the thought comforted me.
And by the time I got there I reasoned that I didn’t have it so bad
because I lived with Mr. Grant now. I had a job and money. They might
stop paying my tuition but I could figure something out, probably.
Besides having to drop out wouldn’t be so bad, I told myself. I could
finally get my dream job of being a go-go dancer and/or porn star.
got off the bus feeling better about the whole thing and it was far in
the back of my mind by the time I got to the library. Once there I
found a quiet spot, took out my books, and began to study. I didn’t
seriously think about it again until I got to work that evening.
a bus boy is a quiet job. With the exception of a few words to
coworkers and a few words to patrons there isn’t much that needs to be
said if you’re paying attention. In some ways the less said the
better. Of course it isn’t a job where I found I could really think too
much either and I found myself making a few mistakes here and there,
not really paying attention when people spoke to me. By the end of the
night I snapped at Rose when she started to confront me about not
cleaning up a table as quickly as I could have. She gave me this look
and I considered whether I should start yelling or walk away. I decided
to walk away.
By that time things had slowed down and I
wasn’t surprised when Mr. Grant came out to the alleyway where I leaned
against the brick wall wishing I had a cigarette. He moved to me
quietly. I could tell he was serious but he was also being gentle. I
admired that quality about him.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“Nothing,” I replied.
was my defense response. It usually worked with my parents. Sometimes
it meant I didn’t want to talk at the moment but would later, but as I
got older it just meant I wanted them to go away. He shifted on his
feet, hands in his pockets, I knew he raised an eyebrow or two of
curiosity at me.
“You’ve been on edge all night,” he said.
course I did, so did everybody else. It’s been little things but
still, the way you snapped at Rose in there was uncalled for and I want
to know what’s going on. Is it something to do with school?”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “It’s nothing.”
“Hey, don’t lie to me. You can trust me.”
saying it to him felt even more humiliating than the actual incident.
His opinion mattered to me and I wasn’t sure what he would say about how
I had acted or what I thought about it. I also worried he might be
embarrassed that she knew my secret, our secret, now and that he might
be afraid. He might worry she would turn him into the police for abuse
or confront him, maybe even kill him. No, not kill him, not my mother,
but still it wasn’t good. I didn’t want to cause him pain. And yet as I
stood there in that darkened alley that felt so much like a
confessional I felt like just saying it. He was a strong man and I
thought he might know just the right thing to do, just the right thing
“My mother came over today and she wanted to know
what I was doing for my birthday. We started to talk and were being
civil, but then she came in the house and I was getting dressed and she
saw my bruises.”
started asking me about it and asked if you hit me. I told her you
spanked me and it became this whole big thing. She ran out of the
“Yeah, I mean I wish it was a practical joke but it’s not.”
“Did she do anything else?” he asked.
“Not yet,” I answered.
“Well, I’m sorry you had to deal with that. Is there anything I can do?”
“Got a cigarette?” I asked.
“Nope,” he said. “There isn’t much she can do.”
“I know, it’s just, I don’t know. Everything was going so good.”
still is.” He leaned to me, found my lips in the dark and kissed me
briefly before he pulled away. “But we need to get back in there.
We’ll talk about it after work. Don’t worry about it. You’re an adult
and it’s your life.”
He started to move and I stopped him
with one hand against his shoulder. He paused and turned to me. I
couldn’t make out the details of his face. I looked over his shoulder
to the door that had remained closed, hoped no one was in the alley who
could hear, who would care.
“This thing with my mother. I
know I didn’t do the right thing. I know I was rude and everything but
it wasn’t my fault,” I said.
“I know,” he replied before he started to step away.
“I don’t want you to spank me,” I said.
caused him to stop and turn back to me. He got close and for a moment I
thought he was going to hug me and kiss me. I could smell his breath
and his cologne.
“I’m not going to spank you. Not for this,” he said, “I’m not trying to hurt you.”
course, I just wanted, I just want, to challenge you. It’s not about
control. I don’t want to control you. I want to help you and given the
situation I know it was very difficult, but what you said to Rose is a
different matter. You need to control yourself.”
“I’ll apologize,” I said.
closed the distance between us and gave me a kiss on the lips. I pulled
him into a deeper embrace, pushed my tongue into his mouth for a moment
before he pulled away and let out a laugh.
“Let’s get inside before they think I’m sexually harassing you or that we left for the night. I don’t want them misbehaving.”
stepped aside and ushered me to the door where he playfully slapped me
on the ass before I opened it. I laughed it off and held the door for
him. The kitchen had a familiar warmth and I knew I was safe there.