“No.” I wanted it to be firm. Instead the word floated in the air with uncertainty. I watched as it drifted to him. I knew he heard it when he lifted that eyebrow.
“No? What do you mean, no? This has been a rule for a very long time. You know the consequences when you break it.”
His words came out firm and sure. Why can’t I do that? Does it come from the diaphragm? Or the heart? Maybe it’s just a dominant thing. My wandering thoughts came to an abrupt stop as he cleared his throat. It wasn’t impatience or rudeness that made him do that. He just knew me so well. Knew I got lost in my own mind. That was just his way of bringing me back to the real world.
“Um. Uh. It’s just there comes a day that I shouldn’t need a spa....discipline.”
I watched as his eyebrows pulled together. From the first day I met him, so long ago, I could almost read his mind just by watching his eyebrows. The way they were furrowed together meant he was trying to figure out what I was thinking. I don’t know why he even tried. Half the time I didn’t even know what I was thinking!
Why? What kind of question was that! “Um. Why what?”
He was so patient as he said, “Why do you think there comes a day you don’t need spa...discipline?”
Oh, yeah. “People think it’s odd. That it’s wrong.”
He tilted his head. “Do you? Do you think it’s wrong?”
“It doesn’t matter what I think. People think it’s wrong.”
“It does matter what you think. It matters more what you think. Not what ‘people’ think.” His voice had that growl in it that made my stomach flip. “So, do you think what we do is wrong?”
I opened my mouth, but didn’t know what to say. I didn’t think it was wrong, but I’d always been a bit to the side of what everyone else thought. Maybe I was supposed to think what we did was wrong. But discipline worked for me. It made me feel calm. It made the world slow down so I knew what was the right thing to do.
I looked up and met his eyes. Those caring, understanding eyes. I knew if I said I really didn’t want to continue the discipline relationship we’ve had for years, he’d step back. But already my stomach was in knots over what I’d done earlier. If we left it, if we didn’t address it, I’d end up making even worse decisions.
“What we do here. In our home. In our world, doesn’t have to be shared unless you want to share it. Unless you know the other person would understand what we do.”
His words slipped into my busy mind. And they made sense. What we do here is ours. It’s not for the world. It’s not for ‘people’. It’s for us.
“No.” This time the word came out very firm and sure. “No, I don’t think what we do is wrong. It’s right. At least for me.”
He nodded. “And for me.”
I knew soon my backside would burn, but my heart was at peace. For today.
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