I HATE my body. It’s too bumpy in places that it should be smooth. My boobs point down instead of out. The laugh lines around my mouth do not make me smile. I went on like this for some time until finally Sir had had enough. My words, he said, stung his heart. I was beatuiful, perfect to him and by insulting myself I was insulting him. Every “bumpy” place represented a trial I had lived through and won. My breasts’ reaction to gravity represented my maturity and experience. The miniscule laugh lines showed my past smiles. I thought about what he said, really thought about it. Then, I went to retrieve his cane. I stood before him and said that since I had stung him with my words, I deserved to also feel a sting. He smiled at me, pleased. I despised the cane, but he loved it. He used it, though, only with my permission and only when I felt truly guilty about something. “Number?” he asked. I hesitated. I could say as few as 2 and he would accept that. I thought of his kindness, his love for me, his respect for my mind and body, and of my respect and love for him. “I leave it to you, Sir, and will humbly accept whatever level of sting you decide.”


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