There is never a good time to have a breakdown in communication. Some times are worse than others.

I was naked except for his collar and chain, attached to the chrome leg of the small desk in his hallway. It made for an efficient use of space. My arse was stinging from his blows. My head was heavy. The combination of anticipation, wine and a thorough beating was affecting my ability to think clearly. When he spoke to me I answered in monosyllables. It was all I could manage.

‘Do you like it when I hit you, bitch?’ he asked.


‘Yes what?’

‘Yes sir’. It was an effort to speak the words, not just because such words were foreign on my tongue. But because it was an effort to speak at all. I wanted to curl up under a warm duvet. Part of me wanted to go home.

‘Bend over’. And so I did.

My bum must have been pink, red, purple by now. It seemed to encourage him as he smacked me firmly with the flat stinging palm of his hand. Over and over and over again. My head was swimming in thick treacle. I felt as if I was going under.

‘You’re a filthy slut aren’t you?’


‘Yes sir’.

‘Yes sir’. This conversation was very limited. It was only the second time we had ever met.

As he continued to hit and scratch and pull my hair something happened. I was suddenly transported from that ground floor flat, into an upstairs bedroom, a long way away, and some years ago. Someone was hitting me, pulling my hair. Calling me ‘bitch’. I was screaming. Was I screaming now? I couldn’t tell. The two events merged into one, as my brain became heavier and heavier, the blows became harder and more frequent. I couldn’t take it anymore.

‘You’re hurting me’, I cried, stating the obvious.

‘I know’, he said, and carried on. By now my cries were turning into sobs and I was wriggling away from his hand.


‘What?’ he asked, irritable. He didn’t want his stroke to be interrupted.

‘Stop’, I think I said. But that can mean ‘don’t stop’ can’t it? Because we were a long way down the rabbit hole now, and everything was upside down and back to front.

As my crying became more pronounced, more miserable, my body less compliant, the panic in my eyes more real, he finally slowed then stopped hitting me.

‘Let me go’ I may have managed. He undid the chain and removed the collar, freeing me to go into the living room, throwing on my clothes before sitting  down on a sofa, facing him across the room.

‘I had a violent partner’ I said, ‘it was bringing back memories’.

‘Oh’ he replied. What else could he say?

We drank wine and in stilted voices began to share our painful pasts. He had had a stepdad who had beaten him, apparently, and a mum who had sat by and let it happen.

I’d been stalked, had my house broken into, been assaulted by my ex-boyfriend, in that uncanny mirror of what had been happening, what he’d been doing to me, just a few minutes before.

Nobody moved off their separate seat. Nobody suggested we stopped for the night and had a cuddle. Nobody said ‘I know how you feel’ or ‘isn’t life strange?’ We may have acknowledged silently, that there was some connection between the real violence in our pasts, and this, less malevolent, role-play version. Less malevolent but more confused. At least I’d known what he had meant when he’d broken down my door that time, and beaten me to shit. At least his intentions had been crystal clear.

When we went to bed it started again. He fucked my arse then hit it again, and again, and again, till I cried ‘red’ and said, ‘you bastard’. I put on my red t-shirt, I became a human safeword. I lay awake in the dark while he slept peacefully beside me.

The next morning we dozed and fucked and had breakfast as if we were a ‘normal’ couple, not two strangers too scared to look into each other’s eyes for fear of what we might see.

When he dropped me off at the station he gave me a hug, smiled brightly, then said:

‘We must do this again sometime’.

And, like the sad, lost fools that we were, we did.

Quiet Riot Girl


2 responses to this post.

  1. […] can read the whole story Here Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]


  2. Very true story, how you can share your deepest secrets with someone and still have no greater understanding of each other, or yourself.


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