Continued from Chloe – Part 3
Chloe was sitting on the edge of her bed facing the door seemingly rubbing at her thigh. With the damn creaky floors, Chloe knew she was right outside the door, but wouldn’t look up. Just sat there fiddling with her leg. The shower brush was on the bed beside her.
Karen approached and looked down at her daughter’s leg. She was making what looked to be little tic tac toe scratches on her thigh with her fingernail. “Stop that”, Karen said, tenderly cupping her head in her hand. Then, sitting beside her, she wet her finger and wiped the dry, white marks away with her hand. Self-conscious, Chloe wiped at them too and pulled the skirt lower.
Karen felt the spine melting out of her. “What am I going to do with you?”
“I think we both know that”, Chloe mumbled through a mouthful of cotton without looking up.
“Look, Chloe. I…”
Chloe’s heart was racing and her eyes were burning. She could not bear to hear another lecture, another session of having her own words thrown back at her and having to listen to what a shit she was. She knew that. I’m sorry Mom, was all she was thinking but she couldn’t make herself say that. Not right now. Not that it wasn’t true, but if she said that now-just apologized-Karen would believe her. She would forgive her and not do what she came upstairs to do. What she needed her to do.
Chloe twisted on the bed and laid herself quickly over her mother’s lap. Once there she reached back and pulled her skirt up as best she could, exposing her panty-clad rear. She was wearing skimpy blue panties that Karen had never seen and she chose to ignore the fact that her daughter was matching her underwear to her skirt. She had an idea of where this evening had been headed.
“Be my Mom alright? You can be my friend later. Now you need to be my mom!”
Jarred, Karen swallowed her surprise and still-borne response, remembering what Deena had told her. Christ, had she had been so blind to what her daughter needed from her? It had always been about what she wanted, what she needed from her daughter. How had she missed the signals being sent her way?
“Alrighty then”, said Karen, tightening her grip around her daughter’s waist shrugging off the feeling that she was a player in someone else’s drama. When she brought the first swat down heavily on Chloe’s right cheek they both said “OW!” Karen silently with an-O-open mouth and Chole not so quietly. It had been awhile, but Karen knew the feel of wood on bottom-something her daughter was about to learn.
At the moment, Chole’s thoughts were more along the line of “be careful what you wish for” but by the third smack of the brush had degenerated into a mishmash of “OW-Ouch! She’s really beating my ass! Jesus! Jesus! This hurts-HURTS! Ow! OW!” She managed to bite her lip and not yell too much but couldn’t stop the wriggling.
Suddenly remembering her own sessions over Chef Tony’s lap Karen switched the paddle to her left hand and quickly grabbed her daughter’s panties and yanked them down. Something obviously unanticipated.
“NO MOM!” Chloe yelled and reached back. Too late to grab her underwear, she instead covered her bared bottom with her hand palm up. “Not on the bare, Mom! Please!”
“Take your hand away or I will swat it.” She swatted her moderately on the back of the leg.
Chloe, having begun to cry despite herself, pulled a pillow down and buried her face in it. A thin sheath of cotton would not seem to offer much protection from a stout bath brush, but the first contact of wood on bare skin was electric. “Jesus! She’s spanking my bare ass!! My BARE ASS” echoed through Chloe’s brain as she yelped into the pillow. Karen delivered smack after smack to her reddening bottom. She kicked and swam not able to avoid the blows but neither could she register that every swat was a tad lighter than the one before.
Karen, even now determined to be more attentive to her daughter’s needs, watched her reactions and listened carefully to her cries. When Chloe stopped wriggling and instead pushed her legs straight back tightening her bum into two hard apples Karen decided the punishment was over. She dropped the brush back onto the bed as the girl relaxed, continuing to cry softly.
Karen grabbed the panties that were bunched at Chole’s knees and pulled them gently up, covering her bottom. She primly dropped the skirt back in place, only then patting Chloe’s aching back side.
“That should about do it”, she said. “Come on, get up”.
Chloe pushed herself up and sat on the bed where she had before eyes focused on the carpet. Karen got up and snapped tissues from a box on the bedside table. “Here”, she said putting them in front of Chloe’s face. “Let’s see if we can get along for a while”, she said stroking the top of her head.
Chloe didn’t look up but seemed to nod.
“You’re done for the night,” Karen told her heading for the door. Get ready for bed. No computer, no phone….”
“OK….” Came the tissue-muffled answer.
Downstairs Karen poured a thick glass of tooth achingly cold vodka over ice and headed for the front porch. The cool of the evening sliced hard into the heat running through her and she almost shivered. Tossing a few cushions aside she settled onto the wicker glider and finally, finally sighed deeply emptying her lungs then refilling-once, twice…sip. Repeat. She had thought about calling Deena but didn’t; wanting this time for herself and Chloe in case…
She heard the door opening behind her.
“Can I come out?”
“Sure.” Karen tossed the cushions beside her onto the floor. Chloe had changed into pajama bottoms and a long-sleeved Carroll High cheerleader T-shirt. She flopped down beside her mother and let her head loll onto her shoulder.
Karen took her offered hand. “How are you doing?” she asked.
“My butt is SO sore…”
“I hope you’re not looking for an apology.”
They sat just so for a few moments, Karen breathing the soft scent of Chloe’s hair.
“I know I still don’t have car privileges so you think you can take me to school in the morning?”
“Isn’t what’s his face picking you up?”
“Ah…I don’t think that would be right. I’m breaking up with him tomorrow.”
“Really?” Karen asked, happily surprised. “Why?”
She felt Chloe shrug and knew there would be no other explanation forthcoming right now. And she was fine with that. As they sat in silence, slowly rocking back and forth, Karen felt her eyes burning but was unwilling to let go of her daughter’s hand to rub them.
She let the tear slide softly down her cheek.