Cathy was crying. My best friend since middle school was sobbing on my shoulder, and I couldn’t understand why. She had lost her wallet, and I had come over to help look, but that couldn’t explain why she was almost wailing in sadness. This is the girl who’d refused to cry when she broke her ankle in track, refused to cry when her grandmother died and hadn’t shed a single tear when her husband asked for a divorce. Tears were what I did, not Cathy.
“It’s OK,” I said, not feeling OK in the least. “Let’s make a list of what was in your wallet and then we’ll report all the credit cards and figure out what needs to be replaced.”
Cathy cried more loudly.
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What’s the matter?” I asked in my most comforting voice. Cathy wouldn’t say.
I held Cathy as she cried. Instead of thinking about what could possibly be bothering her, I thought about the weirdness of her not telling me. We were buddies. We were best friends. We told each other everything. She knew I was part of a kinky bondage community, although that sort of thing seemed silly to her. I knew the approximate cock size of every man she had ever been with. She knew I got a hard-on every time I heard a Stevie Nicks song, while I knew she liked to masturbate to football games. We had no secrets or shame anymore, but here she was, crying about something I couldn’t understand.
She said something, but I couldn’t hear her. I peeled her tear-stained face from my wet shirt and made her look at me.
“I used to lose my wallet all the time,” she said. “My parents called it ‘pulling a Cathy.’ ”
She went back to crying. Just saying it made it seem worse. I didn’t ask her to explain because there was nothing more to explain. See, one reason we’d become best friends was that both of our fathers were alcoholics. We understood the terror of never knowing if it would be the good father who’d come home from the bar or the bad, wicked father who would seem to hate your guts. In this case, though, Cathy was thinking of the insecure father who was angry that his daughter might have more self-esteem than he did. That bastard father who created little insults and running jokes that have one punchline- Cathy’s a fuck-up, so there’s no reason for her to judge him for hitting mom last night.
“Cathy, it’s OK,” I said again, but this time I thought I knew the right tack to take. “All kids lose their wallets or their purses at first. Your dad just had to be an ass about it. So you lost your wallet today; big deal. At your age, your dad was driving cars into ditches.”
“I know,” she whimpered. “But I still feel like I did something wrong. I feel like I have screwed up and I deserve everything my father is going to say about it.”
My mind raced along on various tracks. I wanted to fix her somehow, although I knew there were no magic words. I wanted to take away her shame. I wanted to go back in time and kill her father.
A solution occurred to me. In normal times, I wouldn’t even have entertained it. But these were not normal times. Cathy was crying, and I had to fix it.
“Your dad never spanked you, did he?” I asked.
She shook her head. Of course, he hadn’t. Drunks like our dads liked to bruise with words. They used guilt and shame instead of their hands. They piled on doubt and self-loathing in between times of sobriety.
“Come here,” I said. I walked her over to my couch and sat down. When she tried to sit down with me, I grabbed her by the hips and faced her against my knees.
“Over,” I said. Maybe it was my tone. Maybe it was just her distraught state of mind. Whatever the reason, Cathy bent across my knees and didn’t resist as I positioned her legs and pulled down her pants. I was tempted to leave her blue panties there, but they came down, too. There had to be no protection for her bottom tonight.
I placed one hand on her back. “Cathy, losing your wallet was a bad thing. You’ll need to get your driver’s license redone, and you’re going to have a mess of phone calls to cancel all of your credit cards. It was careless to lose your wallet, and you should have been more aware of where it was instead of realizing it was gone a day later. I’m going to punish you now for what you have done. Do you understand?”
Cathy didn’t say anything, but she did nod her head.
“You have to understand that once you have been punished, what you did wrong has been forgiven. It will never be brought up again, and there is nothing more for you to do. You have paid for your crime, and it will never be held against you. Do you understand?”
She nodded her head again.
Spanking can be slow, sensuous and very pleasant. That’s not what Cathy needed. She needed the other way. She needed it fast, cruel and painful. Because I am her friend, I gave it to her.
My hand came down on her bottom with a boom. Her whole body shook, and her ass checks squeezed together. I thought the sound had been worse than the hit, but the way Cathy sucked in her breath told me the hit had been just fine.
I smacked her ass again. As soon as her back arched from the hit, I smacked her ass again. Her hands clenched my thigh, and a pitiful sob whimpered from her lips. This was no fun for Cathy at all. It was no fun for me either, but sometimes, this is what friends do. They give each other what their families neglected to do. Today, I was giving Cathy the gift of atonement.
I spanked her. With each swing of my hand, I forgot every little tip I had ever been taught. Instead of caressing her bottom after each hit, I only swung again harder. Instead of a gentle building rhythm of swings, I gave her the escalating volley of relentless spanks that only the wicked deserve. Instead of whispering encouragement, I only gave Cathy stern silence. This was discipline; logical, ruthless and so much needed.
Cathy endured her punishment. Sometimes, my blows would come too fast, and she would squirm on my lap. Sometimes, her feet would kick and her hands would squeeze my thigh painfully in protest. And sometimes, she would shriek as the pain became too intense.
She never asked me to stop.
My arm grew tired. I pushed myself. I drew from my own relationship with my father. I thought of his snide comments. I thought of how he’d emasculated me during my childhood. I thought of the bastard and how he would have raised Cathy if she were his daughter. I tapped into my anger and a little of my own grief. No matter how sore I was getting, I kept going. Cathy deserved no less.
My hand was tingling from all the spanks when the dam broke inside Cathy. Deep within her, something released, and her crying exploded into full-blown grief. Her body hung limp on my lap except for the racking sobs. The shame her father had given her was pushed out by the cleansing sensation of a burning ass. When you’ve held shame that long, sometimes the only way out is through tears. I spanked my best friend till every tear, whimper and wail was exorcised from her body and soul.
The crying stopped. As the crying dying down, so did my spanking. My hand was sore as hell, but I knew Cathy’s ass was in far worse shape. I helped her stand up and then I insisted she pull her panties and pants back up. There would be no lotion or balm for her. She had to keep the pain. She needed to suffer for her transgression so she could alleviate the shame that she had been trained to feel.
“Oh, God, I am never losing my wallet again,” she said.
I laughed. “And if you do, I’ll help you find it.”
Cathy hugged me.