Thank heavens it's Friday - I needed to get to this weekend. It's been a long chaotic week, lots of fun, but I'm very tired. Mollie got the boys to the airport just fine and they are back where I suppose they belong. Mollie will be heading back to school Sunday afternoon. I'm ready for my empty next back but I'm just exhausted.
Today's story is by one of the most loved writers here in blogland. This was the first story I read of his and I was so excited when I got it. This one is from our friend Bas! We bullied him into bogging him and now I think we've pestered him into writing - feel the power! LOL!
Everyone, please enjoy...
The story of Mary and John
18 years old she was, a dangerous age for Mary, as it had been for so many other girls. 1976 was more dangerous than ever. No one bothered anymore with the notion that there were borders on behaviour. Mary knew nothing about things being dangerous. She divided everything in only two categories. Things were either Nice or Boring.
There were quite some nice things in the world: Shopping, reading magazines, hanging out with her girlfriends, watching TV and of course the best of all: rating the stupid boys in her class, usually in the order of X,Y or Z level. A-Levels were reserved for super chicks like the Bionic Woman, and for Mary herself of course.
The rating category for “going to school” had recently become under revision. Going to school had always been in the ‘Nice’ category, because all her girlfriends were there, but since this last school year started, those teachers had a new pet peeve. They could not stop talking about final exams. It was like an epidemic. Final! Final! Final! Mary wished somebody would put a final end to Finals. School was definitely heading to a Boring classification.
Then something happened that made her world collapse.
Her father got the Final disease. No, no, not a serious illness, but maybe even worse! He started talking about final exams! You too Brutus? You’re supposed to be on my side.
At first Mary hardly understood what the man was talking about. OK, that might have been caused by the fact that one of her girlfriends had slipped her a letter in one of her schoolbooks.
‘Mary! Do you hear what I am saying?’
‘Ehhh, yes Dad, you were talking about school and the finals. That’s OK Dad, at school they talk about that all the time. Waste of time if you ask me. Now what problem could those finals be?’
‘Mary, I was telling you the problem with those finals! Your problem with the finals, that teacher of yours called me to say you stand hardly any chance to get through!’
‘What? Of all the dirty…..! He phoned you behind my back? Without telling me first?’
‘Mary, he has told you, he told me you got bad results for chemistry, physics and math!
‘Oh well, but that does not mean anything, those courses are stupid. Have you ever seen a molecule or whatever they call them?’
‘Mary, you want to be a Doctor, you need those courses.’
‘But Dad, I have been to the doctor remember? No molecules on his desk. No integrals, no differentials, just a needle and the courage to put the needle in somebody else’s arm. I can do that!’
‘Mary, stop acting stupid. I won’t accept that anymore. You’re a legal grown-up. Now act like it. It’s your choice: study those courses and be a doctor or become a cleaning lady to wipe up the molecules that have fallen of the doctor’s desk.’
Now, you cannot say that Mary was stupid, actually she was very smart, and the word ‘cleaning’ brought her to attention right away.
‘Dad, you know what I want, I want to be a doctor, but those courses are impossible. Chemistry, that is Mrs Gopal, she’s at least 60! The other teachers are even older. How am I ever going to learn something from those old bimbo’s?’
‘Watch your mouth, young Lady. This is your lucky day. I have found just what you need: a Tutor!’
Now, that word really got Mary’s attention. Tutors meant working for school and for the Tutor, that’s double. And Tutor’s meant ruined evenings and weekends.
‘Why Daddy? I don’t need a tutor, I’ll just work harder, I could even start doing homework, oops, I mean I could do even more homework. Besides, I know we cannot afford a tutor. They are really expensive. Jenny, she has a tutor and she charges a lot, and they didn’t give her presents for her birthday because she did already cost so much money! And…’
Mary had to pause a second to catch some breath, and her father took immediate advantage of the moment of silence:
‘Mary, if you could start listening one moment: I have the perfect solution. You know Billy?’
‘Dad, I don’t want Billy, Mum is always trying to set me up with Billy because his Mum goes to our church, and I don’t want Billy, not when you bury him in gold. Besides he is learning to be a German teacher, which does not help. I’m great at German language.’
‘Mary please, Billy has a friend who studies Physics at the university, he knows all about your courses. I think you’ve met him at Billy’s. His name is John.’
‘What? That John? That’s a NERD! He cannot be more than 21 years old!
‘Mary, stop it. John is 23, he knows all, you need to know, he has tutored before and both kids passed their finals with flying colours. And, not unimportant, for friendships sake, he has offered to tutor you for free.’
‘But, a 23 year old Nerd? I cannot do as he says, I cannot help myself! I’ll change him into a mass of little pieces of stressed out nerves.’
‘I’m sure you will try to do that, young lady, that’s why John and I, discussed how to keep you in line. He had some very constructive ideas about that and I have given him full power to deal with you.
You young lady are a grown up according to the law, although I don’t understand who makes these stupid laws. This evening John starts his tutoring, but before he starts you will accept his authority.
If not, well, cleaning ladies are in high demand.’
I really don’t remember how they did it. It was a setup between a few ladies and if Billy hadn’t been so stupid he would have understood it. But no, he was so completely innocent that I fell for it, and now I’m stuck with it.
Somehow, I heard myself offer to tutor that irresponsible girl.
Impossible task! And for Free!!! For Heaven’s sake. I’m even more stupid than I thought. She will fail every exam, and nobody will ever ask me to tutor again. I must go and kick myself in the ass. Although, now that I think of it, kicking ass could be a way to make this work. Maybe I can get that kid to do some learning. I’ll have to talk to the kids dad……
The first tutoring session
I arrived that evening strict on time and the girl’s mother and father welcomed me. The girl did a serious attempt not to see me. We started with coffee, but soon Mary, her father and I went into her father’s office. I knew what was to come first, so I started it off. No reason to let the initiative slip away to her father.
‘Mary, we must understand each other and be very clear. Right?’
The kid nodded almost invisible, she knew what was to come too.
‘Mary, please speak up.’
‘Yes John, that is good.’
‘OK then. I have seen your school results and let’s be honest, they are very bad and actually nobody gives you any chance to pass the final exams. But, I have promised your Mum and Dad, that together we can at least make a serious attempt. You are extremely intelligent and I know you can do it, when you really, really go for it.’ I’ve got to give it to the kid; she showed a remarkable lot of self-control. Her upper lip only slightly quivered when she answered: ‘I want that too, I can do that’.
I continued: ‘Mary, you know that we can only get to our goal when you give yourself for a lot more than 100%. Your father expressed doubts to me that you could keep concentrated on learning for the coming trimesters and we have agreed that we have no time to politely discuss this with you, each time something does not go as it should. Therefore your father and I agreed that I shall have full power to punish you physically whenever I think your conduct warrants a punishment. I know that you already agreed to this condition to your father, but I want to hear it from you too. Are you going to give this studying a serious go and will you submit to a punishment whenever I think you are not doing the best you can?’
She knew she could not and would not escape the inevitable, but that did not keep her from trying to negotiate. ‘You will not punish me for every little thing? And you will not hurt me when you punish me?’
‘Mary, you’re asking the wrong questions, you should ask: if I work hard, then do I never get punished? The answer to your questions is simple. Tell me you agree to our tutoring plan, and you will see what happens.’
I hardly believed it when I suddenly saw her eyes focus right on my eyes, and with a firm voice Mary said: ‘If you help me with learning, I help you by being the best student you can imagine’.
Boy, that girl must hate cleaning!
‘Ok then Mary. Let’s not waste any more time. We’ll start with your father present this time. This is your chemistry book. What did you learn from that book in the first 2 month of this school year?’
I saw her attitude change. If she could have ducked under the desk, she surely would have done it. She looked at her father, but he shook his head. He stood up and said: ‘I see you two will get along great’. He left his office. Mary looked longingly at the door that closed behind her father. ‘Mary? What have you done until now?’
A whisper: ‘I have read the first pages, but then I did not understand and then, nothing…’
‘Mary, this will not do. I understand that you have not seriously tried to learn anything in the last 3 month? I think, we will have to leave this disastrous way of learning right behind us.’
I showed her the leather paddle I had with me.‘With this paddle you are going to get 61 strikes, one for every day that you wasted away. Please stand up and bend over the desk.’
It was my first big surprise of the evening. Without a word she complied and waited for me to begin. ‘Mary, this spanking you deserved by doing absolutely nothing for 2 whole month. This will never happen again. As long as we’re in it together, you will give it 100%, at least. With this spanking, we agree to forget about these months gone by, and we promise each other to concentrate on doing better in the future.
I paddled her over her jeans of course. I tried to make it so softly that I hardly hit her. So the first strikes made not much of an impression. But 61 is a lot, slowly her butt started to signal to her brain what was happening, and suddenly it went very fast. She started screaming for me to stop. Screaming changed into crying around slap 50. At 61 she was a puddle of remorseful tears.
Then came the second even bigger surprise for this evening. When I let her get up, she turned around, threw her arms around me and with a voice laden with tears she said: ‘Thank you John for helping me. I promise to do my best from now on, if you keep your promise to help me.’
So for the second time that evening we promised to be there for each other. That didn’t really change over the years to follow, but that’s also why we have continuing stories.
‘Mary, I’ll give you a few minutes to recompose, and then the lesson starts. Yes, your butt hurts. I believe that. But think of what a great reminder that will be for you to study seriously!
To be continued, maybe.
Bas, thank you so much! I think you know now that you can write fiction and that we enjoy your writing very much. I hope that there will be many, many more stories to come.
Next we we have another brand new story. I appreciate everyone who as sent one in and if you are still writing I hope you will still share with us. Send your stories to email@example.com