May 17, 2009 John’s backyard.
It is hot; Libby and John are drinking iced tea and picking at frozen mango, papaya, and guava cubes along with fresh blackberries, yogurt and toasted almonds – this will serve as a light dinner. Libby has been at John’s for two days, but this is her first visit.
Earlier in the day …
As John left for clinic hours, he asked Libby if, during her day, she would contemplate *WHY* she needs to be punished. He briefly explained that for some the *WHY* is unimportant – these people relegate themselves to erotic play and are content to do so. Then there are other people who think there might be more to it than sexual desire, but they don’t question – although they may want to understand, they haven’t an outlet so they get through their life as best they can addressing the physical need only as opportunity arises … And then there are people, like he and Libby, whose need itself compels them to understand.
John kissed her good-bye and headed out into the hot and humid day in dress slacks, long sleeve shirt, tie and jacket; Libby secretly thought the heat had to have cooked his brain; contemplate *WHY*. She’d just experienced spanking as she always dreamed it could be, and sex in ways she’d longed for all of her life; she now knew and understood there was nothing wrong with her – knew she could respond and enjoy and find ethereal abandon in a lover’s bed. And now, in the midst of her reverie and afterglow, he wanted her to *think* about something that had nearly driven her mad all of her life, something she had struggled to repress and control.
Libby went for a swim. Not a casual swim, our heroine swam laps. Hard and fast. Back and forth over and over again; when she stopped to look at the clock more than an hour had passed.
She got into John’s shower still determined not to think about *WHY* …
In deciding what to wear – as little as possible in the oppressive weather, she realized he had said he’d be gone about five hours. Looking at the clock she noted that half of that was now gone …
PANIC! And the dawning realization that she actually felt *PANIC* stopped our Beloved, Autonomous Libby dead in her tracks.
This was happening. It was REAL. John wasn’t an *ordinary* man. John was her lover, and her Top – and John was Sadist for God’s sake. He wasn’t *suggesting* that Libby give *WHY* a casual thought if she found herself with time weighing heavily on her hands.
No, John had given *his* Libby an assignment. And he had an expectation that she would work on it.
For about the millionth time since she had clicked *send* on that first email to John, Libby understood that she was in way over her head. She felt as young and innocent as a virgin school-girl, yet somewhere inside was an instinctive understanding of her need, and of herself. Her head was spinning …
The fact that John preferred Libby in no make-up was time saving, but how she was going to get her hair dry in the intense humidity she hadn’t a clue.
Leaving it damp, she selected an emerald green sundress; she dressed quickly, not bothering to put on shoes; next she went into John’s library and turned on his laptop.
She logged into her email account and noticed a new note from him:
My Beautiful Libby,
Did I sense hesitation from you when I asked you to contemplate why you need to be punished?
I suggest that you not hesitate again.
Libby’s panic was now trepidation, anxiety and dread – all mixed up in the most delicious sexual tension, sexual tension she had never before known! This was all so new for her – so wondrous, she was almost giddy when her mind returned her to the task at hand.
Her first thought on John’s assignment went something like this: “I am a grown-up doctor type person, I do not have to do what John *asks* me to do.” Rebellion, it was her only option – within seconds she was laughing at the absurdity of her idea, knowing instinctively this was the not the right path for her to take. All she wanted ever was to please him … she would not desecrate the sacredness of their love by force of will merely for the sake of will and her own indomitable nature. For the first time in her life, she let her heart decide her course …
and she quietly began to consider her *WHY* …
Her first answer was easy: it had been wrong to hide her sexuality, to repress it all her life. It had been wrong to marry Paul under false pretenses. It had been wrong to ignore her sexuality and allow it to consume her and make her do things that intellectually and emotionally she knew were less than honorable, less than true to who she was.
She was sitting in his desk chair when he found her … he’d already changed from doctor clothes to casual attire, and she hadn’t even heard him enter the house. Gently, he took her hand and led her to the kitchen where they set about putting the fruit, nuts and yogurt into serving dishes – Libby poured iced tea and they went out by the pool and sat in the shade with their feet dangling in the water as they nibbled …
“John, nothing about the way I managed my sexuality was right for me; repression and sublimation aren’t healthy. I’ve done things I am not proud of.”
John thought for a moment, then smiled warmly and said, “This is your why *Today* Libby. And I’m proud of you … it’s a good first step. But it is only a first step; this mystery cannot be unraveled in one afternoon – you are so complicated it may take your entire life to understand.” Then he laughed a little, “You learned a lot about yourself while I was at work, didn’t you?”
Without thought, she hesitated momentarily while trying to compose a witty reply …
The punishment that followed was sublime.
Epilogue – May 14, 2015 The longest journey begins with a single step, a hand to hold, and a candle to light your way.