For All To See

January 27, 1897
Sarah Waters

It was after class. The two of us were alone in the dimly lit room which suddenly seemed cold and large. I sat straight in my desk, not daring to move or even shift my gaze from the front wall. Mr. Bard paced the room behind me, keeping my nerves on edge and muscles tensed. I expected the worst because expecting more is often folly.

“Who do you think you are?” Mr. Bard asked.

His voice rang with irritation and the emphasis on the individual words gave me a hint of just how upset he was. The question itself, echoed in my ears and my brain scrambled to find an answer which could be spoken without making the situation all the worse.

“A student.” I said.

Safe, simple, short. What more could I say? Tell him my name and he will think me to be impudent.

“Is that what you call yourself?” Mr. Bard said.

Having just said as much, I felt the answer was obvious and the question rhetorical. The long silence with his question hanging in the air made me doubt myself. I counted to ten in my head and decided he was waiting for an answer, obvious or not.

“Yes.” I replied.

“Yes, what?” He said.

“Um, yes sir?” I said.

Perhaps it was unwise to respond in a questioning manner, but his manner had left me off-balance and uncertain to what he expected.

“Am I not your teacher?” He asked.

“You are.”

“Do I not deserve your respect?”

“You do.”

“Then why must I ask for it before you choose to give it?”

Are teachers taught to ask unanswerable questions? Perhaps they are not, but they all seem to be inherently good at it.

“You do not.” I replied.

I knew it was not the best answer, but it was the best answer I could come up with or at least the best of what I am brave enough to give voice.

“I see. Then your remarks about the monotony of my voice and the tiresomeness of my lectures was meant to be respectful?” He said.

Speaking of impossible questions to answer…

I could feel him standing close behind me. His warm breath fell on my neck and raised my hackles. I wished he would get it over with and spank me. Anything would be better than the delicate dance of answering his indelicate questions. I considered arguing for my first amendment right to speak freely, but discarded the idea as useless. Only men have rights under the Constitution in Mr. Bard’s view and to argue otherwise would only deepen the hole I have dug for myself.

Wish as I might that it were not true, I had said the words in gossip with other girls in the hallway. We were not in class and I had not thought to be cautious or quiet. Mr. Bard had heard although it was not my intention for him to hear, but I suppose that makes little difference in any regard.

He leaned down so his mouth was next to my ear.

“Nothing to say?” He asked.

“My comments were inappropriate, rude and perhaps worst of all, disrespectful. I am deeply sorry, sir.” I said.

The words ached coming out, but in someway it felt good to have said them. They were a cleansing of sorts, an acceptance of responsibility for myself and my actions which will allow me to learn and better myself from the unavoidable consequences.

“Very fine words, Ms. Waters. I even believe you mean them. Still, discipline must be maintained. You may now stand and strip.” He said.

I blinked at the command.

“But…” I started to protest.

“NOW!” He commanded.

I resigned myself to it. My hands shook at the task of undressing. My face flushed with embarrassment as I felt his gaze on my naked flesh. My hands and arms contorted themselves in a futile attempt to preserve my modesty. Mr. Bard enjoyed the spectacle with a wicked smile.

“Hands at your sides.” He said. “ You have nothing I have not seen before and unless your attitude and behavior have a marked improvement, I will see it many more times.”

Blushing to the bone, I complied and rested my hands by my sides. He stared at me in silence. I could feel his eyes taking in every part of me. He is not the first man to see me naked, and he will not be the last, but the experience remains a humiliating one, each and every time. It is not the exposure of my private flesh, but my utter compliance in its exposure that leaves me ashamed.

“Touch your toes.” He said.

I was only too glad to do so.

Mr. Bard took his time in securing the paddle from his desk. As much as I was hating every second, he was enjoying them. It is how it is meant to be, how it has always been and how it will always be.

The first crack of the paddle against my bare bottom rippled through my body. From my upside down view, I watched my naked breasts bounce and Mr. Bard watch them bounce. Just as they came to rest, he swung again, repeating the scene and increasing my blush both in face and bottom. He continued the cycle, making no attempt to hide his enjoyment while I conversely, tried to hide the pain and shame.

With fifteen swats delivered and my butt burning, Mr. Bard brought the paddle to rest against his leg. The look of satisfaction on his face was clear as the embarrassment on my own. Deserved as the spanking was, it felt all the worse because I knew he enjoyed every moment of it. I might have only myself to blame, but it would be easy to blame him as well.

I stayed in position, my fingers stretching to connect with my toes. Mr. Bard sat down on a nearby desktop and quietly drank in the view. It was only then, I began to cry. The burning pain in my bottom combined with the helplessness of my position finally broke through and I sobbed. I think he knew it would and he had waited for it.

“Stand up.” He said.

I did. My hands went immediately to my bottom.

“Hands at your side.” He commanded.

I complied although it was ever more difficult than the first time he had ordered it.

“Go and put your nose to the wall outside in the hallway. Keep your hands at your side and you can stay there until I tell you.” He said.

I began to collect my clothing to dress, thankful that the ordeal was mostly over.

“Naked, Ms. Waters. You publicly humiliated me and I intend to return the favor. You will stand naked in the hallway, so that everyone who passes by knows precisely what happens to naughty girls like you.” Mr. Bard said.

And so it was.

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