When will it end? When he's thirty? Fifty?
At what point will I not get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach? When
will my heart stop pounding and my throat stop constricting? As I stood outside
the coffee shop watching as the dark red Miata screeched to a halt at the red
light a half a car length into the intersection, as I stared at the driver with
his eyes wide and a cell phone clamped to his ear, I thought, "Well, it won't be
when he's twenty-eight. And nope, it definitely will not be today."
Sam and I have been together for five years now. It's been five years since
this impetuous, often terrifying, giving, uncritical and loving young man came
into my life. My life has gone from being predictable, safe, ordered and calm
to a life filled with laughter, joy and craziness, as well as worry, fear and
frustration. But, I know beyond a doubt that I wouldn't trade it for anything in
the world. I love him, with more of my heart than I even knew existed six years
Sam had left the house early today intent on beating the traffic, going to have
lunch with a college friend who was at a business meeting in a nearby town. I
was expecting him back sometime this afternoon and had been enjoying a quiet day
puttering around some bookstores and hanging out in a coffee shop catching up on
some personal email. I was just leaving to return home when the red Miata had
made its appearance.
Several years ago a friend of ours was in a bad accident which occurred as she
spoke on her cell phone and was not attentive enough to see she needed to slow
down to safely take the curve ahead. At that point what had been a
semi-request, "it's really not a good idea, love," became a Rule. A Rule that I
intended us both to abide by. No cell phone use while driving, hand held or
otherwise. Period, no exceptions. Sam had agreed whole heartedly at the time.
I stood in what initially was dismay, watching as the light changed and the
Miata turned towards home. It didn't take long for the "how dare he's" to begin
to form in my mind and for anger to quickly take the place of dismay.
It's just as well that I also had a twenty minute ride home. I reminded myself
that lots of other drivers saw nothing wrong with driving using cell phones and
in fact did it every day without a second thought. I also suspected that
several of Sam's friends, especially his tennis buddies, would not understand
Sam's reticence to doing the same. But, frankly, I didn't give a flying fig what
anyone else did. Sam was not just someone else, Sam was precious to me beyond
all measure. When he risked himself he also risked my life and happiness just
as surely as he risked his own. No, there were no acceptable mitigating
circumstances, it was just plain not allowed and I had every intention in making
that very clear to Mr. Sawyer.
The Miata was in the driveway when I pulled in along side it. Sam had
apparently made good time. Trust is a funny thing, normally it would never have
occurred to me to wonder about what speed he had been going on the way home.
But, when trust is violated it raises those sorts of doubts and questions.
What else has he been doing that I am not aware of? Sighing, I entered the
house. Sam had kicked his shoes off in the hallway and I could hear him singing
along with Coldplay in the kitchen. He was busy putting away groceries as I
entered the room and I was greeted with a smile as he saw me. He bounded over,
obviously in a very good mood, throwing his arms around my neck in greeting. As
always, as I hugged him wholeheartedly back, thankfulness settled over me like a
mantle. I was thankful that he was mine, thankful too that he was safe and
whole and healthy.
"Hey, Sweetheart. Were you able to meet up with Carlos?" I asked him.
"Yep, it was good to see him. He hasn't changed much at all. He really wants
to meet you, I may have mentioned you once or twice," he grinned. Sam grabbed
up a grocery bag off the counter and began folding it.
"Is he able to stay longer, can we invite him over?" I asked as without thinking
I reached for another bag to fold.
"Not this trip, but, he may have to come back in a month or so, maybe then." Sam
put the bag down and reached behind himself, putting his hands down flat and
doing a little jump to sit on the counter. "What did you do today?"
"Oh, a little shopping, caught up with some emails.... Sam, we need to talk." I
was too upset to continue with the small talk. I lay the bag I was folding on
the counter and picked up the remote lying there switching off the music that
was still playing.
Sam's face fell a bit and his teeth caught at his lower lip for a moment. "What
about? What's up?"
"I was standing outside Starbucks when you pulled up to the intersection there,
you nearly ran the light." I was watching his face intently and saw the flicker
of surprise and trepidation that passed across it. I didn't say anything else
and we looked at each other in silence for a minute or two.
Finally, Sam broke the gaze and his eyes went to the floor. "Yeah, it was a bit
close. I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention." One of the many, many
things I love about Sam is that he doesn't try to make excuses and he rarely
Softly, I said, "yes, and I believe I know why."
I could see Sam accept that I had seen the phone. While he wouldn't have lied
about using it, at least not directly, I don't believe he had any intention of
mentioning it until he saw that I already knew. I sighed, again, and reminded
myself that Sam has made great strides toward the kind of openness and honesty
that I hoped would someday mark our relationship.
"You saw the phone," he said. It was a simple statement of fact.
"Yes, Sam." I gave him a straight hard look.
"I'm sorry, I saw it was Joe and I wanted to quickly firm up our plans," and
then he added quickly "I know that's not an excuse and I don't mean it as one."
I wanted to find out the extent of our problem so I asked, "Was this a one off
or has there been other times?"
"No. No, it wasn't a one off, but Aaron, it hasn't... I haven't... done it very
much." He didn't much want to look at me but I waited until he got his eyes up
to meet mine.
I nodded at him and said, "then we've got a problem. You know very well why we
have that rule and if you wanted it amended you could have brought it up at any
"Well if you know Sam, then what the hell happened?"
He slipped off the counter and crossed his arms looking at the floor again. "I
guess I just got lazy, we had been playing phone tag and I didn't want to have
to call him back again later."
In the early days of our relationship, Sam would constantly do things that would
set my teeth on edge. I knew I was in love with Sam and I didn't have a crystal
ball, but I knew my feelings for him were deepening and that they were likely to
keep deepening. I also realized that I was going to be often worried and
annoyed and that scared me. I wanted him more than anyone or anything ever
before, the problem was I just wasn't sure I could live with him. We talked and
he said he wasn't going to be happy if I was upset with him and that he didn't
want me to have to live afraid. And that he realized that he shouldn't be doing
some of the things I had mentioned. He already had been feeling a lot of guilty
remorse but was seemingly unable to alter his behavior for any length of time.
We both knew of discipline relationships and I was pretty sure that we were
both thinking in that direction, although, it would be something new for us
Except that it wasn't completely a strange idea to us. Then and now our
foreplay consists of lots of laughing and play. He will say something
provocative which usually results in mock threats from me, "just wait until I
get my hands on you, Mister," that sort of thing. Sam runs, I give chase and we
end up with him over my knee and me smacking his rear end as loudly as I can
without any real hurt. He laughs and squirms which leads nicely into stroking
and sex talk. We had, have actually, lube stashed all over the house.
But that wasn't anything like what we were talking about. We decided together
to give a discipline relationship a try. To be sure we didn't confuse things we
decided that a 'real' spanking would occur with him bent over a table or chair
and me with a paddle in my hand. We outlined exactly which behaviors were
unacceptable and he agreed to every one.
We both knew that was where we were headed now.
"What are your plans with Joe?" I thought that we should clear the evening.
"We made plans to play tennis at eight. I'll call him and cancel, shall I?" he
said slightly sarcastically, although I thought the sarcasm was aimed more at
himself than at me.
I nodded my head. "Call him and then you can meet me in the living room." He
grimaced and nodded. Without any further words I turned around and walked out
of the room.
When I returned to the living room with our wooden paddle in hand Sam was
sitting on the edge of the couch, his hands clasped before him and his head
hanging down. His dark blond hair was hanging down in front of his eyes and he
shook it back as he glanced up at me. He looked worried and upset.
I sat down beside him with the paddle in my lap. I grasped his knee lightly
with one hand. "Your phone needs to be completely off whenever you're in the
car, and I want it in the trunk or somewhere where you can't reach it." I had
considered taking it away but that would be a hardship on both of us. I wanted
to be able to contact him and I wanted him to be able to reach me as well.
"This doesn't happen again, Sam."
"It won't," he assured me. I nodded at him and stood up. Sam reluctantly stood
as well, he unbuckled his belt and undid his jeans, pulled them and his
underwear down and then turned and put his hands flat on the couch. I took up
position behind him, tapped his rear once and swung. Twenty or so strokes later
Sam was quietly crying and we were done.
Having a warm Sam in my arms is never a bad thing and while I felt bad that he
was upset I also felt that love for him which sometimes threatens to overwhelm
me. I whispered in his ear, "Sam, I love you so much, I can't, I won't allow
you to take risks with your life, risks to our lives." Sam nodded and held me
tighter, he knew my insecurities and that I needed the reassurance as much as he
did. I needed to know that he forgave me and that all was right again between
us. "I know, I'm sorry, it won't happen again" he whispered back.
"Thank you." I hugged him to me for a few more minutes and he hugged me back.
We got up then, Sam went to wash his face and regroup a little. I went to get a
start on dinner, pulling a casserole out of the freezer that I had made last
weekend. Switching the oven on to warm it up. I leaned back on the counter and
I wondered again, when will I stop worrying about him? When will I be able to
live assured that he doesn't need the rules? I didn't know, but realized that it
didn't really matter.
Now is good, just like it is.