Don't Try Any of This

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Chapter 5

Wednesday 8 a.m., and I’m suffering the consequences of my fourth life. My fourth life as Sid’s whipping girl. Or is it my fifth? Even I lose track of them all.

I don’t know why I put up with this shit, but I do. I guess I’m the masochist to Sid’s sadist. When I got back from Chantal’s last evening that was the Sid that was waiting for me at the apartment. Who knows why these parts of him come out. Whether it’s the drugs, or his trip gone bad, or jealousy over real or imagined transgressions, or just because, I don’t know. But there it was. It’s just him, I guess.

It’s a good thing I don’t have to play the piano naked at Chantal’s today since there would be a lot to explain. The pretty blue and purple bruises on my ass and breasts, the florid stripes across my back and belly and thighs. Sid doesn’t care how much he hurts me. All that matters to him are the marks he leaves and how beating me and hearing my cries makes him hard. Hard enough so he can rape me. Yeah, that’s a fair word for what he does to me. The only word. It’s been that way since the first time, and he still takes special pleasure in doing me that way. I don’t really care anymore. I know it satisfies some drive in him, and to tell you the truth, I kind of get off on it. It’s terrible what someone will put up with just to feel wanted.

At least Sid listened to me this time when I told him not to put any marks on my face. He doesn’t always listen, but that would be too much to have to explain at the culinary school or to Chantal. Sid’s not stupid, not by a long shot, so even he knows when enough’s enough. As it is, hopefully the bruises and welts will have mostly faded by the time I’m back naked at the piano tomorrow. I tend to fade pretty fast, and in the subdued light of Chantal’s salon they shouldn’t be noticeable. When it doesn’t matter, I’m disappointed when I lose those marks of distinction, as I’ve come to look on them. But now, I’m just as happy not to have to explain to anyone how I got them.

I don’t think I need to go into detail about what it was like with Sid last night. If you’ve ever been with a guy like Sid, you know. And if not, maybe you don’t want to know. Trust me on this.

One thing Sid told me, when it was all over and we both settled out, is that once there’s a break in the sessions at the school in a couple of weeks we’re taking another trip together. He wouldn’t say where exactly, but it sounded pretty exotic. Something to look forward to, I guess.

Okay, so now here I am back in the kitchen at the school ready for another lesson. We have a guest chef today who’s demonstrating, and then we get to practice what we learned in the afternoon session. I need something to take my mind off last night and off the aches I feel this morning. It’s a complicated demo today, and this is as good a way as any.

Wednesday is our long day, and while it sometimes drags on I’m happy for the double sessions today. When I was younger and still living at home I’d often dread my parents coming back. I know a lot of kids can’t wait for their parents to get home, but for a long time, I wasn’t one of them. And now I dread going home myself, dread going back to Sid. It’s not that I don’t still want to be with Sid, because I do. At least I think I do. It’s just that I never know who or what I’ll find when I walk in.

My classmates are all seriousness and concentration, all focused on the demo. They probably think the same thing about me, to the extent they think about me at all, given the intent look on my face and how I’m pretending to watch the chef putting together whatever it is he’s putting together. But my mind is half somewhere else, half back in the apartment last night, half reliving all that went on then. And wondering what tonight will be like, which Sid will be waiting for me when I walk in after class is out.

I look over at my Lithuanian friend. She’s told me how she’s happily married, married to her high school sweetheart, and how much still in love they are. Her husband doesn’t cook, he’s a teacher, and now that school’s out he’s coming to Paris to be with her for the summer. I know she’s looking forward to his arrival, not a bit of dread in her, and I know she’s concentrating on the demonstration since she doesn’t have any reason not to. I wonder what it’s like.

I’m pleasantly surprised to find the congenial Sid waiting for me when I get home. Sometime over the course of the day Mr. Hyde departed and Dr. Jekyll took his place. Well, as much of Dr. Jekyll as Sid will ever be. He’s in royal blue silk boxers and bare on top. I like seeing him like that, bare-chested and all. Call me shallow, but it reminds me of part of what I saw, what I still see, in Sid.

“Good day at school?”

“Yeah, it was fine. Learned something new. How to make Gâteau Opéra. Opera Cake, to you.”

“Great. Whatever that is. Glad I’m getting my money’s worth. Look, we’re going out to dinner tonight. I’m ready to get a breath of Paris after that fucking trip.”

“Oh, goody. Does that mean you’re not beating on Rosie when the sun goes down?”

“No, giving your ass a break tonight. I was pissed-off yesterday. You just happened to get in the way of it.”

“At least it wasn’t anything personal, was it?”

“No. It was just me. You know how I am.”

Indeed, I do. Unfortunately, I do. And I know he won’t ask how my ass is, or any other part of me. It’s just part of what we do together, how we are together.

“Yeah, I guess I do. Where are we going for dinner?”

“I don’t know. We’ll take a walk and see what appeals.”

“Okay. Sounds cool. I don’t like to plan, anyway.”

“We can go for drinks or something after dinner. You’ll have to wear clothes, though. Not like for your gig at Chantal’s.”

“You just have to make a dig, don’t you, Sid?”

“Chill, kid. Just busting on you. You know I like to. Now can I have that welcome-home fuck I didn’t get yesterday?”

“What was that last night?”

“That? No, that was different. That wasn’t it. I just needed to do that. You know.”

I do know that, too. And sure, I’ll let Sid have his way with me, even as beat up as I feel. I take the gifts Sid provides, don’t I? The trips, the culinary school, the apartment, the dinners out, the expensive things he buys me when he’s feeling generous. I guess that makes me a whore, just like the girls at Chantal’s, or any other whore. I take the perks and I give Sid my body in exchange. He can abuse me, lend me out, fuck me when he feels like it, let his other girlfriends play with me, get me to carry his drugs and aid and abet whatever twisted thing he’s into. I’ve been doing it for four years now and I’m not about to stop. So that makes me a whore, too.

I mean, every woman who ever used sex to get what she wanted is a whore, isn’t she? I’m no different. I’m a whore who can pass as a good girl when I want. Just like I do when I play the piano at Chantal’s. Or being the little bright-eyed waif of a culinary student. I kind of like the idea. It gives me a sense of power, being a fantasy for men. Being able to push their buttons to get what I want. Tips and lustful looks and slips of paper and 100 euro notes with phone numbers scribbled on them from the men at Chantal’s. Privileged treatment along with sex in the walk-in from chef. And I get to push Sid’s buttons, just as he pushes mine, and down come all those nice things from him.

Sid has his good points, you see, and they’re enough to keep me with him, enough for me to do what it takes to stay with him. I suppose, to answer my own question, that’s why I put up with his shit. And, for now, I have no where else to go, anyway.

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