October 1, 1896
“Edgar!” I said, “It wasn’t my fault, honest.”
He did not look like he believed me and who could blame him? The note from Dr. Phallic made it quite clear, he held me responsible. Just to be honest, I was not exactly innocent either.
“I don’t want to hear it. This kind of behavior, these kinds of notes are not acceptable.” Edgar lectured.
He waved the slip of paper from Dr. Phallic menacingly in the air. My overactive imagination went to work and visualized myself resting comfortably in Edgar’s lap while he slapped the note down on my bare bottom over and over again. It was punishment in a bizarre, twisted way only my demented mind could understand. It was also funny and I laughed. Oops.
“You think this is funny?” Edgar demanded.
He moved closer to me, so that his head enveloped my entire field of vision. It was supposed to intimidate me and if it had been my father’s face it would have, but Edgar is not my father. His flushed cheeks, flaring nostrils and wide eyes were just short of adorable and way past cute. I tried to stop laughing, really I did.
Edgar backed away after what was meant to be a tense moment. His hands curled into fists and then released again as he stood there staring at me. The more he tried to look stern and serious, the harder I laughed. My sides began to ache and then Edgar’s lips turned upward. He shook his head at me and chuckled.
Oddly his levity helped me regain control and bring my own laughter to an end. I chewed on my cheek for a moment considering the situation carefully. I shuffled uncomfortably as my conscious asserted itself and I began to look more at the floor than at Edgar.
“I’m sorry, Edgar. Really, I am.” I said.
“Jesus Maggie, what the hell am I going to do with you?” Edgar said.
“Somehow I don’t think that will make you a good girl.”
“I promised Mrs. Carrington I would see to it you never do this again. How can I keep that promise when I can’t control you for even one second?”
“Maybe you shouldn’t have made it?”
“If I hadn’t she would have blistered your butt, black and blue.”
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t do it myself?”
“Because you love me?”
“That’s more of a reason why I should.”
“If you really think I deserve it, I guess you got to do what you got to do.”
I glanced up at Edgar careful not to meet his eyes for too long. He looked uncomfortable, sad even. I had not felt bad all afternoon even with what had happened, but that look on his face changed it all. Maybe it was not all my fault but no matter what I never want Edgar to be saddened by anything I have done. My heart hurt. Tears stung at my eyes.
Edgar shook his head.
“I know I should, but I can’t do it.” He said.
“No, I want you to. I deserve it and we both know that is truth.” I said.
It was reckless courage, but it felt right to surrender myself to his care, to his discipline.
“Are you sure?” He asked.
I nodded affirmation, not trusting myself to speak.
“Very well. Get yourself ready and wait for me in the bedroom.” He instructed.
He turned his back to me and walked away. It was as if he was spurning me. How could he just walk away?
I pushed the tumultuous thoughts from my mind and focused on the tasks at hand, undressing. It took only a few minutes but they were lonely minutes stretched into infinity. When the last of my garments lay folded on the bed, I moved to stand in the corner beside the dresser. He had not directed me there but my father would have and it seemed right to me that I belonged there while I waited for Edgar’s return.
The clock on the dresser ticked away the seconds and minutes of my wait. It seemed an hour before I heard his footsteps on the floor behind me. I did not turn despite the instinct to do so. I held fast to the routine I was familiar with, the one that said I had been naughty but would soon earn my forgiveness through pain delivered with love. It is a complex paradox of logic and yet a simple truth known to the heart and soul.
Edgar guided me carefully to the bed where he sat down on its edge. He laid me across his lap and secured me with his strong left arm. His right hand rested on my exposed cheeks. Was it my imagination or did he long to caress me? I will never know as I am too embarrassed to ask.
He began with light slaps delivered at a moderate pace. The sting was slow to build and the first moments left me feeling safe, warm and protected. The warmth blossomed into a stinging heat but the safety and protection remained. I cried softly into the bed sheets, but never for a moment even considered asking him to stop. I deserved every slap and every sting. More than that, I wanted them.
When the pain had grown to the point my legs were beginning to kick against my will, Edgar stopped. I was relieved and disappointed all at the same time. I wanted more, I wanted to be brought to that state of remorse where no other thoughts can invade. I wanted forgiveness for embarrassing him, but most of all I wanted him to prove just how much he loved me. Had I true courage I would have begged him to continue, but it was not mine to control.
Maybe he does not love me quite enough.