How long do dreams last? I only ask, because mine t’other night seemed to go on forever, with a lengthy sequence of events – yet, I guess, it could only have lasted for moments.
There was a girl, see: a sixth-former. A bright girl (aren’t they always?). She was aiming for the best grades at A Level, for a place at a top university.
The school had allocated her a tutor, therefore, to help her to succeed. He was young by the standards of my fantasy schoolmasters – in his late twenties at most, a high-flyer, respected by his colleagues, much loved by the girls.
They’d meet three or so times a week for tutorials, but before long he’d given her permission to visit his study whenever she needed peace and quiet to concentrate on her work. She’d curl up with a book on his sofa, as he prepared his lessons and did his marking. And, needless to say, there was mutual – but unspoken – attraction between the two. There’d be the odd hug, perhaps – but nothing that could break the law in terms of impropriety between a master and his pupil.
It would be after the Christmas break that things would start to go off course for her. An assignment for his tutorials, completed in a hurry. “Not to your usual standards,” he’d say. “In fact, not at all acceptable.” And she’d find herself, to her shock, being ordered across his knee, her school skirt lifted for a hard hand spanking. It would hurt, naturally, but her sobs were more as a result of having let herself down; having let him down. And then they’d hug, until she was calm.
Not long after that, he’d be the teacher who rounded the back of the science block, taking a short cut, and caught her and her best friend smoking. Neither would
own up to having bought the dreaded cigarettes – but when he checked their blazer pockets, she’d be the one in possession of the half-empty pack. He’d march them to their housemaster’s office, explain the situation – and leave them to their fate. (Four strokes of the cane each for smoking, it would transpire; she’d get another two for having procured the cigarettes).
And then, the following week, at the end of one of his classes... He’d ask the girls to hand in their homework; she’d look flustered. “I didn’t think it was due until tomorrow.” “Then you’d better go and wait outside my study,” he’d reply.
“It’s almost as if you’re on a willful campaign of self-destruction,” he’d comment a few minutes later when they were alone. “And that’s not going to continue.” He’d reach for the plimsoll from its home on the bookshelves; he’d make her lift her skirt and bend over the arm of the sofa; this time, he’d take down her knickers to punish her on the bare – over the still-visible stripes from her housemaster’s cane.
They’d not speak of the punishments again: she’d work hard, with his support and encouragement, and her exams in the summer would go seem to have gone well. And then term was over – the final assembly marking the end of her school career.
As was traditional, though, the departing girls would stay on for one final evening, enjoying a sumptuous ball. Not pupils, now they’d talk to their former masters as grown-ups, as equals. And they’d eat, and drink, and dance, and talk. And he and she would find themselves back in his study – with no legal constraints to stop him holding her tight, to keep them from kissing, to prevent him from bending her over the arm of his sofa once more, lifting her skirt, removing her knickers...