Tied Up

I was walking down the street with the sun shining in my eye. I put my hand up to block it, and had to move as I almost ran into a dark street sign I couldn’t see.

“Fuck,” I said.

My mind swarmed with images, of dozens of nightmares and terrors. Every one was a possibility, every one was wrong but seemed right when I saw it.

“Hey watch where you’re going!” someone shouted at me. A horn honked.

I looked at the driver, in a blue sedan, and shrugged. “Sorry,” I shouted back, but it came as more of a whisper. I kept walking.

My stomach twisted, and I felt sick.

I could have been killed back there. Could have, but probably wouldn’t have. How many times was I almost killed walking down the street?

The thought came through my head with the rest of the images. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, but that I didn’t care about it in the right way. What life had I left if I died then? Would I have a legacy? Another image- an empty funeral home, a few people going by to laugh. 30 years old and nothing to show for it.

I made it to the office almost on time. Almost. It was only five minutes, but I could feel the eyes on me as I went through the golden coloured halls.

I made it to my office where my boss was waiting. He was tall, dark haired- it bothered me that he had done so much but wasn’t old enough to have grey hair yet, he might only be a few years above me- and his name was…

Fuck.

I forgot his name. I really hope he doesn’t ask.

Wait. He was at my desk? What for? Was there something wrong? Did I forget something? Was I supposed to be in early? Am I being fired?

My breathing got short, the images returned.

I took this job because it seemed safe. I had different plans once. I would have been a doctor, a surgeon, save lives and make more money but…

How many years in school was that? What if I failed?

I had told myself this was safer. Maybe later, when I was doing well, I could take time and pursue something more advanced, and then it wouldn’t matter if I succeeded or not because I’d still have money. Nice and safe.

Nice and safe.

Except it didn’t feel that way. What I thought was going to be easy ended up being years at the bottom, struggling to get noticed, feeling like a failure after every mistake, and oh so many mistakes.

If I couldn’t even do this well, how would I do anything else?

The boss was smiling.

Was there a joke? Was he laughing at me, something I wore? Was it condescending? Was he happy I’d be going?

What was behind a smile?

“Good morning Toby, how are you doing?” he asked. Voice sounded friendly, but my guard was still up.

“I’m fine…” Nope, no name came to mind now either. “…Sir. How are you?”

“I’m doing well thank you. I wanted to thank you for your effort on…”

Thank me for the effort? Was that good or bad? Like he knew I tried but didn’t exp…

Shit he was still talking.

“So,” he said. He slammed a folder of papers down on my desk with force. He had the firm movement of someone who was used to being in charge. Voice always loud, movements always dynamic, the sort of thing people might call dynamic. Perfect for a middle management businessman, or a genocidal dictator. “I have a new project for you to do. Don’t stress to much over it, there is plenty of time, but I think it will help you grow as an employee.”

I smiled at him. I hope the smile seemed real.

But seriously, was it Mitchel? Michael? Michane? Was the last one an actual name? None of them seemed right.

“Thanks sir! I’ll get right on that.”

Grown as an employee. As in stay there, forever, and ever. Forget dying that morning, even worse would be the same but of old age. 90 years old, on my death bed, and what to show for it? I grew as an employee once, yippee yay for me. There is a lot of random papers that wouldn’t have been signed if I didn’t carry them to the person who normally signed them so that they could be seen by the person who could approve them for another person to implement them after having them approved by the person who approve them for me to carry them to the person who signed them so that they could be seen by the person who could approve them for the next guy to implement them so someone else could do them.

Would be nice to be the person who did them. Or the guy signed them so that they could be seen by the person who could approve them for the next guy to implement them so someone else could do them. He had a hire pay grade. I could try to be the person who could approve them for the next guy to implement them so someone else could do them, but that was probably reaching to far. I was 30 and an intern, after all. Even then I wasn’t perfect, I had misspelled “higher” earlier when writing about pay grades.

Perhaps this wasn’t the right career for me after all. There was a time I had thought I could do anything. I did so well in school, all sorts of extracurriculars, everyone talked about the placed I’d go.

Never specified where, just “places.”-

But here I was. But what If I just left? That was 6 years of work down the drain.

30, really. 6 years at the company, but I’d probably need to start from scratch really. Maybe even go back to school, study something…

More images. Going back to school, being the oldest person in a university, thinking that was an advantage as their youthful vigor outpaced me, all of them laughing, going to parties as I was alone…

My stomach was worse than before. Was it something I ate?

I could take more night classes. I was in a few, but I could do more. I could sign up tonight…

I kicked myself. No, tonight I needed to exercise first. I hadn’t the last few days, I missed it. So I needed to work, go home, go to the gym, workout, back home, shower, eat something, look at classes.

I also needed to grocery shop at some point. I could do that the next day, but that was Friday, and I had an appointment with the other person I called “Sir.”


“And so?” he asked. His looks were always striking to me. Tall, thick, arms carved like a statue, I spent years in the gym and couldn’t look like that.

I avoided his gaze. His blue eyes always felt like they were burning me.

Most eyes did if I looked right at them, but these ones more.

“Well?”

“I just, I had a lot of work to do,” I said
.
He reached a hand to my face. Gently, he cupped it under my chin and turned it toward him. He met my gaze with a searching expression.

His eyes didn’t seem as hard to meet ass they had before. I felt myself fall into them like an abyss, and couldn’t pull myself out.

“You look like you haven’t slept all week. What have you been doing at night?

“Just, things.”

“Answer me,” his voice was hard. I wanted to answer it. And answer to it.

“I just have had trouble sleeping. My stomach always turns. I think its something I’ve been eating. I don’t have much time to sleep as it is, and most of that I spend away in bed.”

He nodded. “What have you been doing before you go to bed?”

“I’ve been exercising. I’ve been planning different things. I’ve been studying and…”

“Planning what?”

“Just… things.”

“What things?”

“My life. I make different plans, but they never seem right. I think about a lot of them.”

He nodded again. “That’s what I thought. Come with me.”

He took me by the hand and dragged me through his house. I always wondered how he could afford all this. Almost no one I knew could afford a house on their own anymore. I always wanted to be able to, but I wasn’t sure if I it would ever happen.

More images, and my stomach turned.

Most of the home was dimly lit, and the walls were painted in a dark red. There were paintings hanging all over the place. Cheap prints, mainly, but they looked nice. He took me up a flight of carpeted stairs and to closed door.

I felt my chest get tight.

He opened it, and took me into a bedroom. It was simple, with a single night stand, shut closet and a large bed in the center with barred head and footboards.
“Are you ready?” he asked.

I nodded. “Yes sir,” I said.

“Get on the bed. Lie down on your back and put your hands above your head.”

I followed the instruction. “Like this?” I said.

He nodded. “That will do. Now stay still.”

He left the room for a minute, and came back in holding a pair of hand cuffs. He walked to the bed, knelt beside me. He attached them to one of my wrists, wrapped the chain around a bar in the head board, and attached it to the other, so that I couldn’t move them away from it.

He left again. This time he came back with a white glistening rectangle which he lay down beside me. He undid my belt buckle and pulled down my pants and underwear.

I began to get excited. I was lying there, helpless, half naked… he could anything he wanted to me. My mind filled with possibilities.

But why had he kept my shirt on?

He smiled at me and shook his head. “Lift your butt up,” he commanded. I obeyed.

He then took the white object and unfolded it in front of me into an hourglass shape.

“A diaper? Why a diaper?” I asked.

“Shhh,” he replied.

He lay it underneath me, then motioned me down on it. I obeyed, and he taped it on.

He went to the foot of the bed. I could barely breath, wondering what he was going to do next. He took a blanket that was folded there, and to my surprise he spread it over me. He then knelt beside my head and cradled it.

“Just resting,” he said.

“Are we going to…”

“No, we are not.”

I gasped. He was rubbing his hands through my hair. It was something I hadn’t felt in years.

A warmth spread from his hands. It went down through my head, easing the pictures in my head, slowing them, loosening my chest. I felt the knots in my stomach began to unwind.

“You’ve been working too hard. You’ve been stressing too much, and worrying to often. Its time for you to rest.”

“But what if…”

“No,” he said. “You agreed you’d do as I said?”

“Yes but I didn’t mean…”

“You agreed you’d do as I say?” he asked again.

I looked at him, trying to see any sign of a joke, but his eyes were serious. “Yes sir,” I said.

“Good. I’m telling you to sleep. That is your task, your law, the only thing you need to worry about.”

“But what about…”

He put a hand on my mouth and shook his head. “Don’t make me gag you, though I imagine you’d like that too. You have your orders. Feel this?” He reached to the handcuffs and pulled on them, making a clanking sound against the wooden bars.

“Yes,” I nodded. His hands went through my hair again, and I felt my eyelids get heavy.

“There is nothing else you can do. All those things you’re worried about, all those plans, you can’t touch any of them. You are tied here and there is nothing you can do except sleep, so don’t even think about it. You’re wearing your diaper so you don’t have an excuse to get up, and if you need water tell me.” He kept rubbing.

“But what about…”

“No, shhhhh. Sleep.”

2 Likes

I like this one. I could practically feel all the racing thoughts and anxiety be redirected and then start to melt away as Sir took control. It was quite nice.

Thanks :slight_smile: That is what I was trying to capture. I find S&M can be very comforting in that way

This was interesting, and a little different. You portrayed Toby’s racing thoughts and anxieties very well. The impression I got of him was he’s racing head-first for a mental/ emotional breakdown of some sort. There were parts where he seemed to disassociate from reality. The S&M put the brakes on it- or at least gave him a temporary reprieve, the diapers and soft touches providing a sense of security and comfort, but the impression I got of the character is he’s breaking down in a bad way and his life is spinning out of control. Possibly in need of psychiatric care at some point? (None of these are bad things at all, and I haven’t read a story like that in a while. Possibly they already exist and I just never read them, but it was nice reading something different. :slight_smile: )

As it is, it could stand either as a oneshot or the beginning of a longer story.

That is what I was going for :slight_smile: I wanted to capture the calming feeling of S&M
I imagine irl this person would need actual help. S&M can’t solve all problems unfortunatly

There is more coming, in a sec lol :slight_smile:

I sat at the side of a white, square table. My coworkers surrounded it idly chatting, and boss what’s his name was setting up a white board.

Thrilling scene, I know.

Boss what’s his name looked at his watch. “She should be here any minute now. I don’t think she said she was going to cancel.”

Melissa, tall, blond haired and always smiling, checked her phone. “No, she hasn’t sent an email yet.”

“Well then we oh hello Caroline!” he said. Caroline was easy to remember, sort of like a stop motion movie but not.

A tall dark woman with her hair in a close, severe bun walked in.

I suppose there was nothing really “severe” about the bun itself. Hair can’t really be severe, per say, it just sort of is. On another person it might have been a jolly bun, or a silly one, or a sad one. However, her personality, and more my impression of her personality as she was my boss’ boss, made most things she did seem severe. She smiled a severe smile, waved a severe wave, and held out her hand for a severe handshake.

“Hello Scott,” she said, and shook my boss’ hand.

Ah yes, Scott. Should be easy to remember because it reminded me of a sitcom I saw once, but I got the first name confused with the last.

She went around the table saying hello. When she got to me, she said “Ah, Toby! You’re looking well today! You just get back from vacation?”

I smiled. I had gotten several comments. Amazing what months of mild sleep deprivation followed by actually sleeping for once could do.

“Not really,” I laughed. “Just been feeling good. How are you ma’am?”

“Good, good,” she said. “Alright let’s get to it. So, what have you covered for the last two weeks?”

This was a regular meeting we had twice a month. She’d go around to each section in our building, talk about what they had accomplished, what their goals are, what they were working on, and whatever else she wanted. It was supposed to boost workplace morale while keeping track of everything. The boss would write everything down on our board and list her comments to go over when she was gone. I normally zoned out until it was my time to speak.

“And Toby, what have you been working on?” she asked, turning her severe toothy grin to me.

“A few things! I’m still doing the weekly updates.”

“Yes I saw that! Very helpful!”

“I’ve also finished my report on new areas of development and took on a new project on reducing task overlap which is coming along well. Finally, I’m still doing my extra position monitoring redundancy.”

“Great! And what about your research into applying konsensasu theory here?”

I drew a blank. I felt my mouth hanging open for longer then it should. What was that word? Was it English? Some kind of jargon? “What?” I finally got out.

She scrunched her eyebrows in a severe, pensive look. “I had asked for that by the end of the week?” She looked at Scott.

Scott, in turn, met her gaze then looked at me. “Yes I thought I emailed you about that.”

There it was. The memory came back up. He had sent it at the end of the day, and I flagged it but forgot it by the next day. I shook my head. “I’m sorry, I totally forgot.”

She waved her hand in a severe, dismissive gesture. “That is alright. Its not due yet, and honestly I don’t mind if its late. Just give me what you have when you get it.”

She moved on, but I was still thinking about it.

I screwed up. I tried to tell myself it was nothing, but it was wrong, and my boss ended up looking bad. How would he react?

Caroline said her goodbyes then left, leaving Scott to take over to review. Once Caroline was out of ear shot, Melissa leaned into me.

“OOOOO you got in trouble!” she teased.

I didn’t respond but felt my face drain of color.

Scott waved his hand. “Its alright. He still has time, and its no big deal. Anyway, you’ve deadlines before too.”
Somehow his words didn’t help. Even if he was kind about it, I still knew I let everyone down, and they all saw it. I felt as if I was naked in front of all of them, a long built mirage faded.
Scott was still talking and I tried to follow, but could barely pay attention.

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“I just, I didn’t do it right. I screwed up. I screwed up big.”

Sir watched me from a high backed leather chair as I paced in front of him. We were in his living room. As always, I was surprised whenever I saw it. He was my own age, but the carpets, the couch, and the television, not to mention the wide deep red room itself, seemed like things I wouldn’t be able to afford for years.
“Didn’t you get it done in time anyway?” he asked. He looked he was about to roll his eyes but stopped himself.

“Yes, but I didn’t have the update! They specifically asked me to have something for that meeting! Scott was relying on me and I let him down, and now we all looked bad. Now I don’t know if he’ll ever trust me with…”

“Shhh,” he said.

I stopped and looked at him. I felt awful just remembering it, and I almost wanted to cry.

“Did she get angry.”

“No,” I shook my head.

“Did anyone mention it since?”

“No.”

“Did anyone die or get hurt or lose their jobs or get robbed?”

“No.”

“Did they bring you in and say you were going to lose your job, or not be trusted, or not get another opportunity, or anything like that?”

“No.”

“Then its not really a big deal, is it?”

I looked down at my feet. “No, but… I don’t know I just felt bad all week since then. I feel like I did wrong and no ones mentioning it but they still know.”
He nodded. “So you’ve been feeling guilty since then even though no one else cares?”

I nodded.

“Alright then. You’re right.”

“What?” I asked.

“You’ve been bad. Very bad. Disrespectful, irresponsible, and immature.” He was grinning, trying not to laugh.

“Really?” I asked. Now I was trying not to roll my eyes.

He stood up, suddenly glaring down at me, and my eyes went wide. He was holding a leather rod I hadn’t seen before and he snapped it into his hands. I jumped.

“You’ve been very bad, you naughty little brat, and its time you learned your lesson.”

“I…”

“Don’t speak unless your spoken too,” he said in a rough voice, and I closed my eyes. He pointed the rod at me. “Undo your belt buckle.”

Without speaking I followed his instructions.

He reached to me and pulled down my pants. I blushed as he rubbed a hand over the colorful glossy material that was around my waist. One of our agreements was that he could control anything I wore that wouldn’t be seen in public, which included my underwear. He took full advantage.

He smirked. “Cute undies, boy.”

I rolled my eyes “As if you didn’t demand I wear them.”

“As if you don’t love that I demand you wear them.”

I rolled my eyes again, and he reached around behind me and spanked me. I yelped.

“Sorry sir, I’ll behave,” I said.

“Good boy. Now, turn around and bend over the couch.”

I obeyed. I put my hands on the cushions, bent over at ninety degrees. My heart was throbbing, and my breath was quick. We had done this kind of thing before, and I had agreed to it, even asked for it before we met, but now that it was happening my head went clear and I almost blacked out.

A hard snap brought me back to attention.

“You’ve been a very bad, bad little boy, haven’t you?”

Another one.

“Yes sir!” I said.

“Well, now its time for you to pay for it, and hopefully learn your lesson this time.”

Another snap, and my arms collapsed and I fell to the couch.

“Back up, or we’ll keep going longer,” he said.

I forced myself back to my hands.

“Now,” he said. “Confess to me. What else have you done since we last met?”

“I… I skipped the gym twice.”

“How horrible. What a terrible, horrible sin.” Two snaps. “And that’s one for each. What else?”

“Ummm, I was late for a meeting at work.”

Snap. “Anything else?"

Even as I said it, it sounded silly in my ears, and his exaggerated shock made it embarrassing. I had mulled over each thing for days though I really knew it wasn’t a real problem.

“And there’s your comeuppance for that. And? Tell me it all. Everything you’ve felt guilty about.”

“I ordered junk food when I was trying to watch my diet, and drank during the week because I was stressed at work. I forgot to call when I was going to be late to meet my parents and grandparents. I ummmm… I knocked over a clothing stand at the mall and left before anyone noticed.” I tried to think of anything else.

He laughed. “Actually that last ones kind of funny. You just ran away?”

“Yeah I… OW!” Another snap before I finished, then three more. “There, one for each horrid crime. Anything else?”

I panted, then tried to think. I couldn’t come up with anything. “I don’t think so.”

“Good,” he said, then whacked me again. “One more for good measure.”

“Ow! Hey! That was uncalled for!” I said.

He laughed. “Now now, I get to say how many is called for.”

“Yes sir,” I said.

He grabbed my wrist and turned me around, then sat down on the couch and pulled me close to him.

“Careful! That’s still tender!” I said and winced…

“Now was there anything else you felt bad about?”

I shook my head. “No.”

“Then since I’m supposed to be in charge of you here, I say you’ve paid all you need to for it, and you’ve learned your lesson now.” He made a cross sign above me with his hand. “By the power invested in me by you agreeing to it in an online forum, I hereby absolve you of your signs, so that you may walk free of guilt and not beat yourself up anymore. Alright?”

I smiled. “Yes, sir.”

“You’re a good boy now,” he said and ruffled my hair, and I laughed. He began to rub my back. “There he is, there’s you smiling again. You always overthink these things and create your problems. No one else is thinking about them. So if you ever feel bad about something again, just come and tell me and we’ll deal with it, alright?”

I nodded.

“Good. Now, as for payment, there is one other job you definitely can do well.”

“Don’t be gross,” I said and rolled my eyes. “How do you want it?”

“Just get down and follow my instructions,” he gripped the air on either side of my head and pushed me down slowly.

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The night air was cold, and I walked as quickly as I could to get out of it. The streets were busy tonight, and people were lining up at restaurants and bars along the way. It was still early but already beginning to get loud.

The one I was heading to, thankfully, had no line. I showed my ID to a bouncer and went in.

It was dark on the inside, almost as dark as out. The walls and floor were wooden, and the roof was exposed wooden beams and pipes. There were small fires behind glass walls dotting the space, and massive bar along the back.

“Toby, over here!” Simon, a tall, lanky, dark haired man I had known since college called at me. He was built like a runner, in fact he spent most of his free time running and training for marathons, and ate more then anyone I’d ever seen. He worked at an insurance company nearby and we often met after work on Fridays.
I walked to the table and sat down. There were a few others there- Sarah, who we both knew from university, Stephanie his girlfriend, and Jerald and Eric who we had met since moving back to the city. There were a few others I didn’t know but guessed were from his work. They had already ordered drinks and appetizers, and I waited for the waiter to come around.

I tried to come into the conversation. They were talking about movies, though I couldn’t tell which one.

“Hey Toby,” Jerald said out of the blue, “why’d you decide to wear that?”

I looked down at my clothes. I was wearing a bright pink button up shirt, which I had brought for casual Friday.

“Uhhh, I don’t know, what do you mean?” I asked.

“Well is it like, a statement? Normally guys don’t dress like that.”

“I don’t think that’s really true anymore. Its just a shirt,” Simon said.

“Yeah that’s a bit old fashioned. I think its fine,” Stephanie added.

“Thanks,” I said quickly, and the conversation moved on.

Once again I tried to follow, but my mind stayed in that moment.

Had I done something wrong? He was the only one who mentioned it, but that didn’t mean other people hadn’t thought it. I had worn it all day at work, too. Would that be seen as unprofessional? Was it unmanly, and would it be a problem if it was?

I suppose it was kind of a statement. I knew some people had different ideas about it, I just didn’t think it would come up. When it did, I couldn’t even respond- it took other people to defend me for it. Did that mean they thought I needed their help?

The waiter came, and I ordered, and tried to force a smile and stay calm for the rest of the night.

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“So basically you were worried they would think you were girly because you were wearing your cute pink shirt?”

I glared at him. “Saying it like that isn’t helping.”

He smiled. “Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Did anyone mention it again?”

“No,” I shook my head.

“And from the sounds of it, people were more on your side? He was the odd one out?”

We were in the same living room as before. It was becoming a tradition that we had these conversations there. I paced back and forth as we talked, and he looked at me from his chair. “Yes, but I don’t think any of them would have done it. It was kind of odd, right?”

He sighed. “Well did you like the shirt?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Did you hurt anyone by wearing it, or cause anything bad to happen?”

“Well no!”

“Then your just worrying too much again. They defended you, right?”

“But even then! Did they do that because they saw me as less then a man, or not tough enough? Like I couldn’t do it myself? Did I just spend the entire day looking like an idiot and no one wanted to say anything?”

“I think they defended you because they agreed with you, and no one thought that way.”

I was still frustrated. I put my hands on my head. “I should just get rid of it and not do something stupid like that again.”

“Why? You liked it, why should you care what others think?” he asked.

“Because I do.”

“Alright,” he said. He stood up out of his chair and walked toward me in his aggressive, “this is happening no matter what” way. He grabbed my wrist. “Come with me.”

He dragged me along through the house and up his stairwell. “What are we doing?”

“We’re going to find out if this matter or not,” he said.

“What?” I said, but he didn’t respond. This time we didn’t go into the spare bedroom, but his own. It was much larger, with blue walls, paintings, a wooden dresser, all everything around a massive, king sized bed. As normal I was baffled at how he could afford it all.

“Alright, strip down to your underwear,” he commanded.

“Yes sir,” I said. I took my shirt off and undid my belt buckle. “What are we doing?” I had a pretty clear idea but normally we worked these things out before we began them.

“Don’t ask questions. You’ll find out when I’m done.”

When I was standing in front of him in just my socks and boxers, he took my wrist again and dragged me to his closet.

“Hands up! In the air like you’re surrendering.”

“Yes sir.” I raised my arms up. Now I was really confused, this was much different then I was used to. My heart and my mind raced- what could he be doing?
He walked into the closet and emerged with a folded piece of cloth. I noticed it was pink, which I suppose was the point. He raised it above me, put my hands in and let it drop.

“A dress?” I said, looking down at it. It hung from thin shoulder straps and descended halfway down my thighs. I wanted it off almost immediately, and felt myself blushing.

“Yes,” he said smiling. “A nice pink one. It fits you perfectly, and I figured it would. Now now, don’t try to take it off, we just got it on you!” He reached out to block my hands, and I glared up at him.

“Why?” I asked.

“Why what?” he asked. I knew he knew exactly what I meant, he was just being obnoxious. “Oh, and ask properly or I’ll get the rod again.”

The rod was far from an actual threat, but I played along. “Why do you have this, and why am I wearing it, sir?” I asked.

“I have it because I’ve met other people with different interests then you. I had fun and decided to keep it.”

“The reason why you’re wearing it is to teach you a lesson.”

“Mhmm,” I said.

He took a step away from me and closed the closet door. There was a long, thin mirror on the front of it, and I stared at my reflection. I blushed again; it was odd to see myself like that.

He walked behind me and put his hands on my shoulders, then put his head up to mine. “See yourself there?”

I nodded.

“Good. It fits perfectly. Doesn’t it? It even looks pretty good on you.”

“Yes Sir,” I replied.

“Was anyone hurt because you’re dressed like that?”

“No sir,” I said.

“Is there any real problem with it?”

“No.”

“How does it feel? Do you like it?”

I ran my hands down it. “It feels alright. It is comfortable, sort of very soft and smooth,” I kept running my hands. It was silken and light, unlike anything I had worn before. “Its…. Its alright. It does fit really well, and it is pretty. I think if you wanted me to wear it, I could like it.”

“Good,” he smacked me from behind. “You make a pretty girl.”

“Don’t say that sir,” I said.

He laughed. “So. You can still be as ‘manly’ as you want without having to follow some strict set of rules, and if you don’t feel like being “manly,” that is alright too. Your life is up to you and you aren’t hurting anyone.”

I nodded.

“So take this as your limit. If you are fine wearing this, then anything under it is alright as well. Pink shirts don’t even register.”

“Alright,” I said. I turned toward him. “So what next? Something more fun I hope?”

“First admit you make a pretty girl.”

I rolled my eyes. “Fine. I make a pretty girl. Now what?”

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“So you’ve been feeling better then?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “I’ve been falling asleep on time, and have more energy during the day. I’ve been doing better at work and I’ve managed to save more money. People seem to be responding better to me too, I’m getting along with people I know well.”

He waved his hand as if cutting someone off. “That’s not what I meant.”

“Oh,” I said.

“Don’t tell me some practical sign you think your life is going the right way. Do you feel better?”

I thought about it, but I knew the answer. “Yes, I do. I’ve been feeling a lot happier.”

He smiled and nodded. “Good, that’s what I wanted to hear.” He reached out and ruffled my hair. A few weeks ago I would have been embarrassed by the action, but now I laughed at it.

“Now there is something I’ve been wanting to try with you,” he said.

“What is it?”

“Just come with me,” he grabbed me by the wrist and dragged me up the stairs much like before.

We got into his bedroom and he grabbed something out of his pocket. “Here, let me put this on you,” he said. It was a long piece of dark red cloth he used as a blindfold.

“Yes Sir,” I said. I turned around, and he wrapped it around my eyes and tied it behind my head. Everything was black.

“Now, I am going to do something to you. You won’t know what it is until I am done and remove the blindfold, but you will let me, and do everything I tell you. Alright?”

“Yes sir,” I said.

“Good boy.”

He began manhandling me, starting at the arms. He pushed them up into the air and took my shirt off. He then undid my belt buckle and finished stripping me. He dragged me, naked, across the room, and put a hand on my chest to stop me from walking.

He disappeared from my feeling. I remained still, not knowing where I was or where he was going, but trusting him completely. I heard him moving, grabbing different things and shuffling through drawers. He returned, and I felt something being put on me, and he disappeared again. I tried to guess at what he was doing but couldn’t come up with anything.

The footsteps came back, I felt him rub something on my face. He moved my limbs back and forth, posing and positioning me, and each time I felt something change, something put on me or taken off. I kept my mouth closed and let him work.

Finally he stopped manipulating me. He pulled my by the wrist again to a different location, and posed my limbs. I let him move them then held them in place.

“Alright, I’m done. Are you ready?” he asked.

I nodded.

I heard him go behind me and untied my blindfold. I gasped at what I saw.

“What do you think?” he asked.

I put my hands to my mouth. There was a person in the mirror. It was nothing like me at all, but everything I was. It was everything I hated and was afraid of, and everything I loved, everything I wanted to avoid and everything I desired. It was a prison cell and it was freedom, it was horrible and perfect. It was me.
I felt a tear in my eye.

“What do you think?” he asked again.

“Its wonderful,” I said, and it was.

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