It had been a terrible week. Eric spent days listening to me cry on the phone about my job being in jeopardy, my friendships falling apart, and my schoolwork overwhelming me.
"Are you sure you aren't overreacting?" he would ask. In response, I would blubber through all the evidence I had, proving my world was falling apart and causing him to feel terrible about not being home to help me.
Eric was on the road, knew I needed a reset and to be held, but wasn't available. Self discipline, my coping method of the past, is no longer allowed so he did his best to talk me through my anxiety, push me to stay calm and ride it out. I was, for all intensive purposes, an emotional wreck. The last two days of his trip, we had no way to communicate. By Friday, he returned keyed up and expecting to spend the entire weekend rescuing his beaten down wife and bringing me back to life.
Well, call it a girl thing or whatever, I had such a great Wednesday and Thursday, I barely remembered all the crap that was still alive and boiling in his head. Love Our Lurkers day introduced me to a number of new potential friends and it turns out, the one relationship I had been so stressed about was solved with a quick lunch and realization that we had both just been too busy to chat. Work was smooth sailing and my homework was only overwhelming until I quit crying to Eric and buckled down to get it done. Problems solved. I was fine... I just hadn't let him know everything was better.
We met at a restaurant and Eric hugged me intensely before sitting on the same side of the booth, holding me close the entire time we scanned the menu. We ordered and he took my face in his hands, eye to eye, while he apologized for not being there when I needed him and promised to make things right now that he was home.
"I'm fine," I said, nonchalantly sipping a tequila sunrise.
His teeth clenched as I continued.
"Friends, all good. Work, no problem. School, back on top of it."
The waitress walked by to refill water at the table next to ours and Eric waved her over.
"We'll take our food to go," he said. "Apparently somebody needs a spanking."
My mind raced, embarrassed that he had implied to our server that "spanking" was part of our relationship and my eyes popped open wide as Eric's gentle embrace became a tight grip on my arm.
"I'm fine," I stammered and then whispered, "I don't need a spanking anymore."
"Are you kidding me with this?!" he scowled and I was sure everyone in the place suddenly stopped talking. "You put us both through hell for days and now, everything is just fine?!"
Eric released my arm and stared forward until the food arrived, neatly packaged in boxes and bags. He paid the tab and we walked to the car in silence, a dark cloud hanging uncomfortably in the air around us. Once the door slammed shut, he turned and calmly began to speak.
"Honey, I asked you multiple times if you were overreacting about everything in your head. You assured me, actually convinced me, everything was crashing around you and now suddenly its fine. I can't hit a moving target, Sweetheart. I need you to work with me."
As I type these words, I realize Eric was being kind and caring, doing his best to tell me he is there for me but that we need to make sure my anxiety is real and not all in my head. However, I didn't get that at the time and the bratty one inside responded with, "Maybe YOU are the one who is overreacting right now!"
Eric took a very deep breath, started the car and held onto the steering wheel while he looked out into the parking lot. After a few moments went by, he ordered me to sit on my hands.
"What?" I asked, not sure I had heard him correctly.
"Sit on your hands, NOW." he repeated and I jumped into action.
Eric reached over and pulled my dress up to my crotch and spread my legs apart. His large hand rested firmly on that soft tender flesh of my left inner thigh. I knew what was coming. I squeezed my eyes shut and suddenly three sharp slaps reigned down, leaving Eric's hand print red and raised on my pale skin. Tears welled up in my eyes and we began the drive home. I dared not move.
(Have to finish later...)