Chapter 17 - Nose on the Wall
“Babygirl, give me the book!”
Another couple of weeks had passed and basically they’d gone pretty well. I mean… Mr M hadn’t felt the desperate need to roll out any more of his horrible ‘stress position’ punishment things. In fact he hadn’t had to do very much at all in the way of punishment - just a couple of slapped wrists when I allowed Ro’s thoughts to slip out of my mouth!
But I guess I was getting a bit better at keeping a grip on her… and in return Mr M was getting a bit less stroppy about the whole thing. These days, he’d let Ro get away with the odd vaguely snarky comment… as long as I kind of… like… checked up on what she was saying before the words came out of my mouth… and provided I was kind of careful about following his stupid ‘ladylike language’ rule.
But then the book had come along. It was called ‘The Wee Free Men’.
And I was… like… totally loving it.
Basically I was loving it a bit too much.
In fact, I guess I loved it so much that I had ended up not concentrating on my school type stuff properly.
I’d made a couple of stupid mistakes in one of my maths sheets because I’d been rushing to get the thing done… and of course Git Features hadn’t been totally impressed by that… he’d made me do the whole stupid thing again…
Fair enough, I suppose. I knew his stupid rules… that was one of them.
But then I’d mucked up my German vocabulary test thing too and he basically got totally stroppy…
And he told me that I had to give him the book.
I mean… I basically did as I was told, of course… but I guess I was feeling pretty snarky about it…
And I might have let it show…
I mean… just a bit!
“Too slow,” he told me sharply, sort of taking the book out of my hands. “Come here.”
He led me over to the wall and showed me a point on it. “Put your nose here,” he told me in this totally calm… like… bored sort of a voice… the one that he used when I was in… like… proper trouble… I guess it was the one that pissed me off the most!
I sort of looked at him like he was mad or something… but then I kind of managed to work out that he was basically going to make me stand there like that as this totally pathetic punishment thing. Ro pretty much exploded and I was basically trembling as I tried to keep her in her box. “You can’t make me!” I managed to gasp. “I’m not a baby!”
“It’s true, I can’t make you but…” he left one of his casually horrible silences, “I can, however, put you in a punishment position.”
I might have been totally pissed off with him but I wasn’t… like… totally stupid so I stuck my nose on that stupid spot. In spite of the whole wild fury thing that was going on inside me, I managed to work out that I really didn’t have any choice. I could basically do it now or I could do it after one of his horrible punishment things. I heard him leave the room and close the door behind him.
Of course the Ro bit inside me wanted to pound on that door with her fists. She wanted to throw stuff around. She wanted to scream and swear and yell.
But I just about managed to stop her doing any of that stuff. I knew that, if I did, Git Features would have me dangling from the ceiling before… well… before my feet could touch the floor. So, instead, I stood with my nose pressed against that stupid spot on that stupid wall, blinking back these stupid tears of silent rage stuff.
And I was still… like… totally furious when he came back after a couple of minutes.
“Do you have anything to say?” he asked, all sort of casually.
“You shouldn’t…” I began.
“Wrong answer!” he interrupted. “Try harder.” There was even this bit of an amused thing going on in his voice too. Of course that did nothing to help with my whole spitting nails furious type thing!
He left the room without another word and I started… like… trembling as I basically fought to keep Ro in her box.
And of course this time he made me wait like that for much longer… like… totally ages.
And there’s a limit to how long even Ro can keep the whole nail spitting anger type thing going. Particularly when I had to keep my nose pressed to a single stupid point on that stupid bathroom wall. I mean… sooner or later, I was going to have to start doing the whole thinking thing.
At first, even as I was doing the thinking bit, the anger was still sort of pulsing wildly around inside me. Who did he think he was… punishing me like some little kid? I just wanted to scream the jumble of swear words that were churning around inside my head.
But I guess that… like… gradually… I managed to work out that it was sort of my fault, really… And that, even though the punishment was… like… totally humiliating… I guess I was really pretty lucky that I wasn’t already dangling from the ceiling or something. I guess that was what my behaviour… and how I sort of reacted when he told me off… really deserved.
So, of course, I did the total silence thing when my master showed up at last… and I kept my nose stuck to that wall. He sort of looked at me for a bit then he did his, “Do you have anything to say?” thing again.
“Thank you for punishing me, Master,” I answered in this quiet voice. “Thank you for teaching me that my school work has to come before having fun and that I must submit gracefully when you need to punish me.”
“Good,” he said. “Now come here.”
Of course I walked straight over to him. I mean… I was a bit worried about what he was going to do to me now… but I didn’t even… like… think about hesitating!
But I guess I should have known him a bit better than that. Instead of the extra punishment I basically knew I deserved, he pulled me onto his lap and snuggled me for a bit.
I let out this huge sigh as I felt myself sort of melting into him. “I really am sorry, Master,” I said.
“Your apology is accepted and appreciated,” he replied, giving me a kiss on the head. “Well done, by the way, in controlling yourself there. I thought I might be obliged to impose one of the more unpleasant punishments.”
“It was pretty close,” I sort of admitted.
He gave me another little kiss on the side of the head and carried on snuggling me for a little bit longer but then he gave me a pat on the bottom and said, “Go and kneel down.”
I went across to kneel on my rug and he told me that I would have to write out the complete list of words four times - and the three stupid words that I had mucked up twenty times. There would, of course, be another test before tea.
I passed his test without any problems, of course. By now, I could learn pretty much anything like that with no trouble… as long as I didn’t try rushing, of course!
And, after tea that night, he even gave me the book back.
And of course I was… like… quite stupidly grateful.
And I read the last twenty pages, snuggled up in bed with Mr Orange.
Not that I’d ever admit that to anyone, of course.
Mr M must have been keeping an eye on me because, as soon as I put the book down, he wandered in for our bedtime chat. Those chats were pretty much the highlight of my day. I mean… I basically couldn’t really get my head round the fact that someone as… like… big and important as him, would make the time to just talk to me… and to listen to what I had to say and… I guess… to make me feel as if I was kind of important too.
We talked about pretty much everything: my life before; the books I was reading; even what I wanted to do with my life because, funnily enough, I was even starting to do the whole ambition thing… I guess, for the first time in my life, I could basically kind of imagine some sort of future for myself which didn’t involve being stuck in a hell-hole of a home with a dead end job and a kid that I’d never learnt how to love properly.
But, that evening, Mr M had to warn me that he was going to be busy for a couple of days. A supermarket sort of wanted to use some software stuff he had written and they had piles of questions about it for him to answer.
He must have noticed that there were tons of questions sort of bubbling up inside me too because he laughed gently and gave me a little bit of a squidge. “Don’t bother asking, Babygirl,” he told me. “I appreciate that you are curious but I’m not going to be answering any questions of that sort for the time being.”
Fair enough, I guess. At least he didn’t get all stroppy at me wanting to ask!
The next couple of days basically dragged. I mean… my master didn’t exactly ignore me… and he’d… like… given me piles of stuff to be getting on with… but he didn’t have anything like as much time for me as he usually did.
So I was… like… properly pleased to see him when he arrived with our sandwich type lunch on the third day. As soon as he released me from my kow-tow, I scurried over to him and hopped up onto his lap.
“Hello, Babygirl,” he said, giving me a lovely little snuggle. “You seem to be exceptionally pleased to see me.”
“I am, Master. I’ve been looking forward to it. When I’m stuck in here on my own… Oh!” I shut myself up sort of sharply.
“You may say what you’re thinking, Babygirl.”
“It’s a bit whingy.”
“I hereby grant you my masterly permission to whinge!”
“It’s a bit boring when I’m stuck all on my own in here, Master.”
“You mean life’s more interesting and enjoyable when I’m about?”
“Yeah, that’s a non-whingy way of putting it.”
“Why, thank you for the compliment, Babygirl!”
I guess he wanted to make up for the whole leaving me on my own thing because he fed me my sandwiches with me all snuggled up on his lap. I mean… he normally liked me to sit sort of neatly on the bed as I ate.
But I noticed that he was pretty quiet and so I sort of guessed he was still thinking about his work stuff. That was pretty odd for him - the way he always seemed to… like… totally concentrate on me was one of the most amazing things about him…
I guess he’d warned me that he was going to be busy.
But, by the time the last lump of sandwich had gone, he seemed to have reached some sort of decision. “Hop down, Babygirl,” he told me. “We need to talk seriously.” He guided me off his lap with a firm pat on the bottom.
I knew I wasn’t in any sort of trouble because he wasn’t even a tiny bit grumpy so I basically had this whole burning with curiosity thing going on as I scurried over to my rug and knelt down for him.