To Train A Wild Rose

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 15 - A Rose for a Rose

The next morning, I was already sort of half awake when the lights flashed on, so I hopped out of bed and dropped into my kow-tow thing. That kind of stuff was basically so much easier because there wasn’t… like… all the messing around with the blindfold.

“Good morning, Babygirl!” Mr M said as he wandered into the room. “You may kneel up.”

“Thank you, Master,” I replied cheerfully.

But then I sort of froze when I saw that there was this single… like… totally perfect red rose in a vase on the breakfast tray he was carrying.

“I… err… but…” I began but my mouth… and, I suppose, my brain… had basically packed up so, after making a couple more stupid burbling type noises, I totally gave up on the whole talking bit.

But Mr M didn’t seem to be excessively stressy about that. He gave me this lovely little smile, popped the tray down on the table, then scooped me up off the floor, sat down on the chair and snuggled me for a bit.

“Thank you, Master,” I said, when I had sort of remembered how to talk again. “Did you know…” I began but then, for some reason, I kind of… like… trailed off again.

And, for once, Mr M didn’t get all stroppy about it. He just snuggled me tight for a bit longer.

“Did I know that you used to be called Rose?” he suggested. “Of course. A rose for a Rose!” He gave me this lovely little kiss on my cheek.

“Did I know that nobody would ever have dared to give tough, little Ro a rose?” He grinned then said, “I think that it would be a reasonable assumption!”

We shared a smile as we thought about what the old me would have done if anyone had tried it! I’d have probably made them eat it or something!

“Did I know that you have never been given flowers before? I could probably have guessed that too!”

I was kind of relieved that he managed to work that one out for himself. I mean, it was hardly my fault but, for some stupid reason that I couldn’t even start to understand, I sort of felt… like… totally embarrassed about it or something.

“Or… did I know that your computer password at college was the single word, ‘Hate,’ which, while it says a great deal about who you used to be, was hardly secure.” He did his squeezing my thigh thing which made me sort of squirm into him. “I may have discovered that fact.”

“How on earth did you find that out?” I asked when I had finished my squirming.

He did a funny twitchy thing with his eyebrows to remind me that I wasn’t supposed to ask that sort of question but he was in a good mood so he let me get away with it.

“Somebody in the IT department there was rather lazy and I am very good at that sort of thing,” he answered.

“And very modest!” I bounced back without thinking - I blame Ro!

Before I knew what was happening, I was hoiked off his knee, spun around so that I was lying across it and received a sharp, little whack on the bottom that came up just short of being painful and did funny things to my insides.

“Master!” I protested. “You can’t do that!”

“That is self-evidently…” he gave me another of the little whacks… “untrue…” and another. Then he twizzled me back round and plonked me down on the bed and gave me a kiss on the cheek to let me know that I wasn’t really in trouble. “Now behave!” he told me.

He shook out a white napkin with a bit of a flourish and spread it across my lap. “I know a great deal about the person you used to be,” he told me.

I thought about what he had been saying as he stuffed a spoonful of his delicious porridge into my mouth. I chewed thoughtfully for a bit and then, after carefully checking my mouth was empty, I risked, “If I can ask, Master… why did you say ‘used to be called Rose’?”

“You self evidently can ask it because you just did so!”

I vaguely wondered about whether I could get away with sticking my tongue out at him but his little smacks on my bottom told me that it basically wasn’t worth the risk! So I took a couple of seconds to stuff snarky Ro back in her box and then… like… re-did the question. “If you don’t mind me asking…”

He gave me a grin to sort of acknowledge my masterful self control then replied, “You’re a very different person from the one I first… encountered.” He did the twitchy thing with his eyebrows again to remind me about the whole car-skateboard bit. “Back then, you were tough as nails little Ro who used her fiery temper as a shield to drive away anybody who threatened to get too close.”

I thought about this for a bit then nodded. I’d never really thought about it like that before but I guess it was basically true!

“And you’re not that Ro any more.”

“So who am I now, Master?”

“You’re my little Babygirl. That’s plenty for the time being, isn’t it?”

I thought about that for a bit - letting him have one of those silences he likes so much. He took the chance to stuff another spoonful of porridge into me and, only when I had finished what was in my mouth did I answer, “Yes, Master. I guess it is, really.”

He smiled and stuffed in another spoonful.

“Master… may… may I ask why you are still feeding me?” I asked hesitantly after another couple of spoonfuls. I sort of knew that I was breaking stupid rule number eight but he was in a good mood so I kind of guessed that, even if he didn’t give me an answer, he wouldn’t get overly stroppy about it.

He went quiet as I worked my way through another couple of spoonfuls and I was vaguely wondering whether he had decided to basically ignore it when he suddenly smiled. “I enjoy feeding you,” he answered. He paused for a bit before adding, “It is my considered opinion that you have not had enough attention in your life.”

I suppose it was true but, for some stupid reason, hearing him say it out loud basically tied me up in these stupid knots inside and, unusually for me, I found I couldn’t say anything. He must have noticed because he hauled me back onto his lap and squidged me extra tight for a bit.

I nuzzled my head into his shoulders and he kissed away these… like… tear things that were sort of threatening to leak out.

And he fed me the rest of my breakfast with me all snuggled up on his lap like that which made me feel as if I was about two years old but was still… like… totally lovely.

When we had finished our breakfast, Mr M popped me back down on my rug, “Right,” he said. “Today is Saturday…”

“Time flies when you’re having fun!” Ro said before I could stop her.

Mr M gave me this Paddington Bear style very hard stare that made it pretty clear that, another time, I would basically have got a slapped wrist for that.

“I’m sorry,” I said hurriedly.

He gave a bit of a nod and then went on, “And I was minded to give you a day off lessons… but I might have to reconsider that in the light of that last comment!”

“I’m very sorry indeed!” I said hurriedly, though I could sort of tell he wasn’t properly grumpy.

He gave a little smile then said, “So, this morning, I thought you might like to show me what you can do with these!” He handed me a small metal box of artists pencils and a sketch pad. In my excitement over the flower, I had basically managed to completely miss them!

That sent a little explosion of excitement through me.

“I would like you to start with the rose but then…” he said but then he sort of stopped. I guess he must have seen that there was something up. “What’s the matter, Babygirl?” he asked all sort of gently.

“I’m no good at drawing stuff like that.”

“But I thought you said you enjoyed drawing.”

“Yeah I do but…” I left a long pause. “But that’s all Gothy type stuff with dragons and castles and vampires and rivers of blood. That sort of stuff. Not… like… proper drawing stuff.”

“Good, healthy, wholesome stuff for a young lady to be thinking about,” he sort of quietly commented.

“I’m not a young lady!” I pretty much snapped. I guess I must have been feeling a bit embarrassed or something.

There was this long pause and another of his Paddington Bear ‘very hard stares’.

And I managed to hold out for quite a long time before giving in and saying, “I wasn’t…”

But then I went quiet for a bit and I guess Mr M could see I was thinking so he didn’t disturb me. But he did take the chance to scrape the bowl and stuff the last bit of porridge into me.

“I guess that’s why,” I said at last, “when I found myself tied up in an echoey room, I sort of thought I was locked up in a dungeon.

He laughed at that and did his patronising hair ruffling thing. “OK, hands, face and teeth shiny clean and dress on,” he told me, “and then I want you to spend at least an hour on the rose. After that, you may draw anything you wish but first an hour with the rose, Rose!”

“I’ll do my best, Master.”

“I know you will. And don’t worry if it doesn’t come out right. I don’t expect a work fit for the walls of the National Gallery… on this occasion.” He gave me another lovely smile as I dropped into my kow-tow.

It was a funny sort of experience as I got going with that drawing thing. I mean… it wasn’t easy - I’d never sort of drawn with proper artist’s pencils like that before - in fact I’d pretty much never done anything with a proper anything before, I seemed to spend my entire life basically making do with second hand and second best. But Mr M had told me to draw the thing so I was going to give it a go and, before long, I was starting to kind of get used to the different way those new pencils worked.

I found I had to concentrate really hard… but at the same time, another bit of my brain had sort of wandered off and was kind of watching me do it. The first couple of times, the whole thing went totally wrong and I knew the old me would have basically given up pretty much straight away but I didn’t want to… like… disappoint my master so I stuck at it. I didn’t even tear them up. I just… well… sort of turned over a new leaf and started again.

And, on the third go, I sort of managed to come up with something that basically wasn’t too embarrassing.

I was sitting back, sort of looking at my drawing, when the lights flashed so I sort of automatically dropped into my kow-tow thing and, when Mr M wandered in, I was… like… totally astonished to see he was carrying a tray with a couple of mugs of coffee and this huge muffin for us to share. “Aren’t you too early?” I asked. We normally worked for a couple of hours before cup of coffee time

“No, slightly late, in point of fact. I was waiting for you to finish.”

I knew he could keep an eye on me so I wasn’t particularly surprised by that but I was… like… totally stunned to learn that I had been busy with my drawing for two hours.

“Time flies when you’re having fun!” Ro said before I could stop her but this time he didn’t even get a tiny bit stroppy. He just gave me a little bit of a smile. I don’t suppose he thought the comment was even cheeky this time… just a bit silly!

We drank our coffee and Mr M fed me lumps of muffin… with a cake fork, of course… I mean… who else uses a cake fork! And then he looked down at the pad in front of me. “May I take a look?” he asked.

I was a bit surprised at that too - that he would ask me for permission, that is. I had to have a little think about it.

“You can… may look at the third one but not the first two,” I answered at last.

So he opened the pad at the third page and stared at the drawing for a long time… like… ages. It was sort of a bit uncomfy and it basically felt a bit like he was judging me just as much as my picture.

“It’s beautiful,” he said at last and I could sort of see he was becoming… like… all sort of emotional about it which was totally amazing. I mean… it was just this stupid drawing… I mean… one of my drawings even!

At least he’d taught me how to take a compliment so I looked him in the face and said, “Thank you, Master.” I thought for a couple of seconds and then I had this total brainwave. “Would you like it?” I asked.

He did one of his silence things before replying. “Thank you, Babygirl. I shall treasure it forever.”

If it had been anyone else, I would have just sort of guessed that they were being… like… sarky but I totally trusted Mr M in that way and I just sort of knew he would never tease me about something that really mattered to me like that. It gave me this really special warm kind of a glow inside.

Then, after lunch, Mr M gave me the choice of snoozing or reading and I sort of totally surprised myself by choosing the snooze thing. So he stuck on some of his violin type music - the four seasons - but I only managed to get about halfway through spring before I nodded off.

Then, afterwards, he rolled in the exercise bike and, now I could see, I realised what a snazzy, space age type thing it was. It even had proper drop handlebars, as well as the ordinary sit-up type that I’d used before.

And this time he rolled in a huge telly type screen thing too and somehow linked it into the machine so it looked as if I was cycling through the countryside. Of course the pedals were harder to turn when you went uphill… the downhill bits were fun though - particularly when Mr M showed me how I could go even faster if I used the drop handlebars ‘to lower my body and cut down on wind resistance’!

It took me an embarrassingly long time to work out that there couldn’t possibly be any wind resistance on a non-moving exercise bike. He must have seen the cog wheels ticking in my brain though because he went into this long sort of explanation about sensors and computers and stuff but I was basically too busy trying to breathe to pay him any real attention.

I was totally knackered by the end and Mr M had wandered off so, when I was done with the showering bit, I basically just collapsed into bed.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.