A girl is punished by her gym teacher

By Ima Kant

My name is Frances and I’m recently retired. My lover and long time partner, Mary, tragically passed away last year – I miss her so much.

I have found with grief that you don’t just mourn for the person you have lost, you kind of mourn for the whole world – it’s so difficult to encapsulate an emotion in words.

Nearly three decades ago I was witness to an incident that changed something inside of me – irrevocably: Friday, 14th March 1980… my birthday: thirty three.

I was a secretary at a high school on the South Coast and it was coming up to five o’clock. Most of the pupils had gone home, except those engaged in after school activities… or in detention.

The Headmaster had handed me a requisition form and requested me to: ‘Pop over to the gym and hand this to Miss Woods… she should still be there as I have a feeling she’s got a girl over there for detention. Can you explain to her that we can’t actually stretch to all her requests for new equipment…. and could she trim it down by about thirty percent. Leave the form with her so that she can peruse it over the weekend and then get it back to me first thing Monday morning with the alterations. When you’ve done that, Frances, you can shoot off home…. and Happy Birthday!’

I had left the study gripping the requisition slip in my hand then made my way through the Main Hall and to the far corner where there was access to the gym and changing rooms. I then pushed through the fire doors and into an annex. To the left, three steps led down into the gym, to the right was the girl’s changing room.

I glanced in and saw a white school shirt, school tie, and regulation navy skirt hanging from one of the pegs. There was in addition, a pair of knickers, bra and socks – all white and folded neatly on the wooden slatted seating that ran round the section. A pair of well polished, black buckled lady’s shoes rested on the bare concrete floor. For some obscure reason a sense of poignancy washed over me as I viewed the temporarily forsaken garments.

I was then jolted back to reality by the strident tones of Miss Woods barking her commands to the unfortunate girl in the gym as I gingerly descended the couple of steps that led to the glaringly bright gymnasium. I halted at the entrance – you couldn’t fail to mistake Miss Woods; tall, flowing flaming red hair, green eyed and powerfully built; she was probably in her late thirties. Attired in a green sleeveless sports vest, that served merely to accentuate her strong and freckled arms, and purple track suit bottoms, the adjective that sprang to mind was: Amazonian.

The abject object of her attention was a slim girl with shoulder length fair hair who was hanging somewhat desperately at the bottom of a rope which was slowly twisting round. The girl, I was surprised to see, was topless and only wearing black shorts across which the word BULLY had been embroidered in large red capitals.

“You have FAILED the last test, MISS Linda Tanner!” She snarled. “It will be THREE! Now get down and go to my room where you will await me. Remove the punishment shorts, put them back where they belong…. and assume the position!”

“Yes, Miss Woods.”

The girl’s accent was unmistakably from Liverpool. Her tone; resignation, surrender. Linda, whose feet were at about head height, uncoiled her sturdy legs from around the rope, released her grip then soundlessly landed on the floor of the sports hall. With bare feet padding on the varnished wooden boards she headed in my direction.

I felt a bit awkward as the girl passed me and lowered my gaze. I noticed, strangely, that her toenails still retained some varnish.

“Miss Woods!” I shouted.

“Sorry, I didn’t notice you there, Frances.”

I waved the order slip, but didn’t get any further.

“If you could just excuse me, I have to finish off… could you wait in the changing rooms… I’ll only be a minute.”

I noticed, now, that in her hand she was grasping a tatty looking plimsoll and I made my way back into the changing rooms. I felt compelled to glance in through the open door of Miss Wood’s office.

Facing away from me, completely naked and bent over with her firm white buttocks thrust out and taut, was Linda. I thought that I detected her legs quaking ever so slightly.

Miss Woods was right behind me and obviously felt the need to explain.

“She’s been menacing the younger girls – taking money off them. She won’t do it again!”

She then entered the small room and the door clicked shut. I moved fully into the changing room and waited.

I heard a whack. Then another one but this time accompanied by a yelp. There was a pause then one final loud whack – three hard strokes had been administered, by the sound of it, in total.

I heard the door swing open and Miss Woods state sternly: “Go and shower, get dressed and then go home – you might think twice about bullying in the future!”

Linda emerged sobbing and clutching her behind and once again she headed towards me. When she noticed me she ceased rubbing her bottom and attempted to stop snivelling in order to regain some semblance of dignity.

She was quite a pretty girl with small blue eyes, though reddened by crying – she put me in mind of a younger Gaby Roslin with her flaxen hair just touching her faintly freckled shoulders. Her breasts were modest and her nipples, pert and dark pink. The pubic hair was light brown and appeared trimmed.

She uttered nothing.

I suddenly became overwhelmed with an urge to hug her. Despite what she had done, I felt terribly sorry for her. It was also at this moment that I became aware that I could give myself to her – I had been in deceit all those years: I was gay; I was a lesbian.

The showers hissed on and she entered into the stalls. I glanced discretely in the direction of her back and clearly saw the crimson patterns where the sole of the slipper had impacted with such force on her left buttock just a few minutes previous. I suspected it would bruise and take more than a few days to return to the natural white of the flesh – it must have been hell for her.

I so wanted to take her home with me and comfort her but, I couldn’t. She twisted round unexpectedly – caught me unawares and our gazes locked. Something unspoken, something significant, passed between us, then she disappeared naked into the fog of the steam.

I concluded my business with Miss Woods.

I never saw Linda again. She must have left or transferred to another school. Whatever happened to her? She’d be in her early forties now; perhaps she’s married with children. Does she ever think or talk about this incident?

I don’t know, but I do. A couple of years later I too left the school and then met Mary. We were very happy but I just cannot free myself of the images and feelings of that day!

The End