Wind rushing through an open door, the scuffle of heavy footsteps and the sighs of a tired student; John never needed to announce his arrival, an aspect of him that hadn’t changed much from when he was just a little kid. I straightened my back, and removed my phone from my hand. Maintaining appearances is very important, it dictates someone’s immediate impression going into a conversation.
With quiet judgment, I watched as my son brazenly pushed the dining room door open, with as much force as one would use to push Sisyphus’s rock all the way to the top. His momentum came to an abrupt halt when his eyes met and danced cautiously with mine. As much as he tried to conceal his terror and anxiety, no concealment of his would fool his own mother: the greatest concealer of all.
My tone indicated a level of kindness on its surface, but we both knew that my soft tone was a fallacy; it was an act that never reached intermission, even if an audience was missing the actors still made sure to play their part, or else. His short depressed step, that contrasted with the step he had just moments earlier, made my blood silently boil. He did so many things wrong, from the way he clumsily half-lifted a chair so he could sit on it, to his pseudo-confidence that only served to show how truly terrified he was of me.
“You were not told told to speak”
Shutting him down quickly was necessary, I needed to break his demeanor by demonstrating my overwhelming authority over him. Though, I didn’t expect him to start shaking right away. I told myself that later I would reward myself for such a quick performance, but the true work was yet to be done.
“Johnathan Archer, please tell me why my daughter came up to me earlier today bawling her eyes out.”
His eyes darted sidewides and all he could manage was a small whimper,
“I made fun of her bedwetting”
“I made fun of Emma’s bedwetting ok?!”
His sudden outburst was to be expected, his control over his emotions was horrible for a male his age, though to give him credit, he did recover from his anger in a blink of an eye. As expected of someone from the Archer household, the speed at which one emotion is switched out for another is rivalled only by the blink of the eye. Unfortunately, such things didn’t impress me, John’s disobedience meant a punishment was in order.
From under the table I put a baby pink pull up and made sure to get up from my chair so I could deliberately place it in front of John. I stood beside him in his chair expectantly, which told him that he had better tell me about the thing I placed in front of him.
“This is… one of Emma’s diape-”
“Pull ups,” I corrected. If the theatrics weren’t enough previously, I pulled out a cloth diaper from behind my back and slid it from me to John on the table.
“This, John, is a diaper. One I got especially for you.”
Purposely letting my final word linger around the room, I relished in seeing John’s face go to a bright red, his tears swelling up despite his best efforts to fight his body’s reaction to how mortified he truly was. His fists curled in his lap, and he managed one pitiful glance at me.
His eyes were beautiful, they showed off his bare soul reaching out in a desperate attempt to find any chance of sympathy. If I had a camera on me at the time, I would have taken a picture to relish that moment forever. But time was fleeting, and the day was not over; there were many more masterpieces left in those eyes to come.
“Go upstairs and put the cloth diaper on, and make sure to leave your underwear in the bathroom, they will be duly disposed of!”
(Note: Treat this as more like a possible extract of a larger work, I wanted to see how well I could write an interaction between someone who was very much dominant and manipulative and someone who was expected to be able to control their emotions but failed to meet up to the dominant’s expectations, resulting in tension. Plus there’s the theme of AB/DL of course that serves as more of a backdrop to the scene than anything else.)