There is one more week before I return to school full-time so I've hit a 5 mile wilderness trail three days in a row to try to get back on track with exercising. Eric loves that I run; knows the release I get and appreciates the fact that I do my best to stay healthy. He fully supports all of my goals but, once again, there is the caveat that I do things safely. Today, my trail run caught me unprepared as it was over 100 degrees and I didn't bother taking any water with me. By the time I finished, I was quite dehydrated and I could tell by Eric's tone, he was shaking his head and not thrilled with my lack of planning. So.... I figured after dinner, we'd be having a chat.
I decided to BBQ; something I just recently discovered we both enjoy. I lit the grill and worked on seasoning the steaks while Eric sat at the table. He was pretty quiet, watching me closely, but deep in thought rather than being talkative.
"Everything okay?" I asked.
He shook his head, no.
"Are you upset with me?" I asked.
Again, he shook his head. This time, yes.
I let out a heavy sigh. "I know, I know," I stated, throwing my hands in the air and rolling my eyes a bit. I went to the junk drawer and grabbed a wooden spoon.
"Here," I said handing it to him. "Let's get this over with so we can have a good dinner."
Eric rarely looks angry. He is even keeled and handles most things in stride but this time, a flash of color crossed his face and he yanked the spoon from my hand and tossed it in the sink.
"Forget the BBQ," he said. "You don't make the decisions around here and tonight, that includes dinner."
He went upstairs and left me, shocked and alone in the kitchen. The steaks sat, uncooked on a cutting board and the house was terribly silent. After a few minutes, I wrapped the meat in cellophane, put it in the fridge and sat in the same seat Eric had just vacated. Time stood still.
Eric eventually came back downstairs. He had an old tie in his hand. He wasn't yelling but he was talking louder than usual and it was clear, my voice had no place in this conversation.
"YOU are NOT in charge of this THING we are trying to DO."
I ventured a swallow but otherwise remained perfectly still.
"YOU will NOT be telling me what, when or how I will deal with you," his voice quieted down a bit and he stood behind me, placing his hands firmly on my shoulders.
"Instead," his voice grew gentler, calmer, "you will learn to trust the decisions I make."
With that, he took the tie and blindfolded me tight enough to where I couldn't peek even if I dared. He led me throughout the house, taking twists and turns that made it impossible for me to know where we were. Slowly, he undid the zipper on my denim shorts. I reached out for him, but he pushed my hands away and told me not to move. He slid my shorts down my legs and tapped each foot so I would step out of them. Then he removed my panties in the same fashion. He walked me a few paces and placed my hands flat on the wall in front of me.
"You're in the corner," he explained, squeezing my wrists a bit before letting them go. "Don't move from this spot, young lady. I'll be watching you while I finish dinner."
I stood, completely out of my element, a captive in my own home without any sight to help me decipher where he was, what he was thinking, when he would strike or how he would do it. My heart raced like I was back on that trail and I listened as he clinked glasses, opened cupboards and closed drawers.
"I thought about punishing you for that careless run," he began as though we were sitting across from each other at a picnic in the park, "but then it occurred to me, what you really lack is the confidence in my being able to take care of you."
He continued on for what seemed like an eternity but the two times I tried to respond, that original wooden spoon found my ass and I learned to shut up quickly.
Eric's hands were in my hair, pulling my head back so his lips were right against my ear.
"I love you more than anything in this world," he said, his voice unwavering. "I will take charge of this family and you will learn the decisions I make are in the best interest of all of us."
I was led to a chair, where I sat, bare bottomed and was fed dinner without words. Everything was delicious, nourishing and nutritious but still, with each bite, there was a bit of hesitation on my part.
Eric slapped my inner thigh. I didn't see it coming, didn't hear it and didn't expect it either. I yelped and he immediately rubbed the sting away.
"Let's try this again," he said and I was given another bite of really wonderful food. Throughout dinner, drinks and even dessert, Eric kept repeating, "You have to trust me."
I hesitated three times in all, and my inner thigh payed the price each time. With dinner out of the way, I received the anticipated lecture about making healthy choices and planning ahead, my value to our family and the required end of all risky behavior. The blindfold remained in place.
When the lecture was finally over, Eric led me upstairs and told me it was time I learned this lesson once and for all. He put my hands on his waist and instructed me to remove his belt. When I had it through all of the loops, he ordered me to fold it in half and hand it to him. I heard the clink of the buckle and then he snapped the leather together and I jolted at the harsh sound it made. My tears began to stain the tie that still held tightly over my eyes.
"I'm so sorry Eric ..." I began but before I could finish the sentence, Eric snapped the belt again and I jumped, my lip pressed deep between my teeth. He turned me counter clockwise and I could feel the edge of the bed at my hips. He took my shirt and gracefully pulled it over my head. He undid my bra and I stood, completely exposed and blindfolded at our mattress.
"Let me be clear," he stated firmly, both hands holding my arms and directing me to bend over the bed. "I am the one who decides how to handle situations with you."
I was sniffling and frightened under that blindfold and I braced myself, ready for the blazing sting of the leather on my cheeks. I tensed. I tightened. I squeezed. Time ticked by and then, exhausted, I finally gave in and let my body relax.
"There you go," Eric said, gently stroking my hair. Somehow, he grabbed me in such a way I was suddenly up on the bed, flat on my back with his fingers interlocked in mine. His warm sweet mouth was kissing my lips and when I let go of my fear, our tongues danced in unison. Eric kept hold of one hand and placed the other behind my neck, lifting me to his face in a display of passionate kisses that rivaled our dating years. Then, the blindfold came off and I was eye-to-eye with the man I love.
"Just trust me," he said. "I'll do the right thing."