My bedroom door is quietly pushed ajar. I know who's coming in, but I pretend to be fast asleep.
She tiptoes across the room and stops at the foot of the bed. In a feather-like motion, she pulls down my pants and stares at my bare bottom for a while.
I know what'll happen next, and my resentment is ebbing to make way for a sense of remorse.
Mom runs her fingers over the surface of my butt, searching for any sign of angry ridges. With a sigh of relief, she gently plants a kiss on every spot that her ruler had touched earlier that evening.
I can't see her face, but I can feel her emotions - a mixed bag of hurt and guilt just like the one I carry. She lathers a layer of cooling ointment on my skin before leaving the room, and I flip onto my back and let out the breath I have been holding.
Poor mom. It must be so difficult to be both my mother and my teacher. Because how can a teacher ask her pupils to strive for perfection, when her own daughter can't even achieve it?
Although I do try very, very hard.
To be honest, my butt doesn't really hurt. Mom would only ever whip the bottom and nowhere else on the body, because she believes the thick flesh would serve as a barrier between the ruler and the pain.
Whipping - it's what a good parent is ought to do.
Kissing - I guess it's what a loving parent wants to do.
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Up next, 1985!