Reluctantly going along with a friend has consequences

By Joanna Jones

I really don’t quite know how I got involved with Tina Evans. I was quiet and fairly well behaved, whereas she was outgoing to the point of brashness and always seemed to be getting into trouble. I guess one could say she was fun to be with, and it was never dull. Whatever the case it led to the least pleasant experience of my school career:

“Let’s go this way.” Tina said as she jogged through the trees just out of sight of the school.

“What are you doing?” I asked. “We’ll get into tremendous trouble.”

“Nobody will miss us if we join in at the end, and I’ve got something far more interesting to show you than jogging round that muddy track.”

I was nervous. Miss Dickens, our PE teacher, could wield a mean slipper which was what bunking the run would mean. The fact that we were both in the upper sixth did not exclude us from either doing PE, nor from the consequences of not doing it properly.

Tina clearly sensed my reluctance. “Come on, don’t be scared. I promise you it’ll be worthwhile!”

“What is it that is so good?” I asked.

“Wait and see!” was the cryptic reply as Tina led me back towards the school, but through the trees.

She followed a rather mazy route and it was not until the rear of the PE block came in sight that I realised roughly where we were.

She nudged me to keep down and we crept forwards until we were on the top of the embankment looking down. I then saw we were directly able to look through a high window straight into the building.

More specifically straight into an open plan room with benches along both walls – it took me a few seconds to get my bearings, and then I realised why I did not recognise it.

“Is that, is that the boys’ changing rooms?” I whispered.

“Yep! And the school first XV rugby team should have just finished training”

“What?” I gasped. “We could get into so much trouble.”

“You worry too much.” Replied Tina.

Before I had chance to reply she continued: “Shhhh! Here they come.”

I watched, both nervously and mesmerised at the same time, as they stripped off and went to the showers. I was surprised how casual they were with each other, fooling around even though they were stark naked. I was much more self-conscious with my body, and so I knew were most of the girls in my class when we got changed.

Tina was clearly enjoying herself. “Look at the way their bits jiggle. Don’t you think that Mike Fulton is a bit of a hunk?” Were a couple of her printable comments that I remember.

I just got more and more nervous, and eventually said: “We’re going to be missed soon, I am going back. We really should not be here!”

However, it was too late!

As I turned to leave the voice of Miss Dickens rang in my ears. “Indeed you should not, Penny Carter! And Tina Evans! Why am I not surprised to find you crawling in the undergrowth here again? I think we can safely assume you are responsible for this escapade, and for inviting your friend here.”

One look at our guilty faces confirmed her assumptions.

“Please, I am very sorry. Don’t slipper us. We won’t do it again.” I pleaded.

Miss Dickens looked at me hard and then turned to Tina.

“So, before leading Miss Carter here you did not explain the risks, Miss Evans?”

Tina looked at the ground as the PE teacher turned to me again.

“I am sorry to say, Penny, but this is out of my hands. You are both coming with me to see Mr Holburn.”

The gnawing in the pit of my stomach was suddenly magnified. I had never been to the headmaster’s office before, but knew that his options went well beyond a simple slippering.

Miss Dickens sensed my desire to beg for an alternative and pre-empted my pleas. “I warn you arguing will only make it worse. Follow me.”

In retrospect, thankfully, the boys had not seen us escorted away, as I am sure the consequences amongst my peer group would have been awful, but it was not something I was worried about at the time. We traipsed in our PE kit along the school corridors until we found ourselves sat down outside the dreaded office.

I felt very vulnerable sat there clad in my elasticated gym “shorts” (basically regulation knickers, which we had to wear for all PE, something we all hated) waiting while Miss Dickens was inside explaining the situation to the Head.

Finally the door opened and Tina was beckoned in. The interview was longer than expected though I heard nothing through the door. Then I heard a scream of “No!” And: “Please don’t,” which was repeated a number of times. What confused me though was that the sounds did not correlate with any form of whacking, which by this time I was pretty sure was what was going to happen to the both of us.

The door opened, and Tina was escorted out by Miss Dickens. She was clearly distraught, and never saw me as she was escorted past. I wondered if Mr Holburn had delegated some particularly nasty punishment to Miss Dickens to carry out. I had a sudden vision of being whacked in front of the boys whose privacy we’d invaded, which would have been death by embarrassment. I prayed that would not be the case.

It was about five minutes, I think, sitting alone staring at the floor in front of me feeling sick with nerves before his door opened again. Mr Holburn’s voice boomed. “Miss Carter! In!”

I jumped as I was brought back out of my thoughts, and then crept into his office and stood in front of his desk as he sat down.

He stared at me a long time.

I remember being almost awestruck and panic stricken as I waited for him to start.

I do not remember much of the lecture other than I was in tears long before he finished. I remember him asking me why I thought it was okay to spy on the boys in such a manner. He asked me what my parents would say.

I, of course, had no answer to give to him on either question, though in the case of my parents I knew they would go ‘ballistic’.

He carried on describing how disappointed he was given my (to that point) relatively unblemished record.

Finally he got to the point of discussing the consequences of my action; what was going to happen to me. It was a part I remember all too clearly.

“Do you know what happened to Miss Evans?” He asked.

“No Sir.” I shook my head miserably.

“She has been expelled.” I remember him pausing to let that sink in. “Miss Dickens is escorting her to get changed and pick up her belongings. She will then wait in the library till her parents come to pick her up.”

I was shocked to the core; first that she had gone, then the realisation that I might be going too hit.

I found myself starting to incoherently beg for any punishment but that. However, Mr Holburn forestalled me.

“It was the third time Miss Evans has been caught there spying on the boys, to say nothing of a number of other reasons for being in my office. Taking you along too was the final straw. However, getting back to why you are here, can I ask what punishment you think would have been appropriate if a boy had been caught spying on you?”

I was silent as I stared at his desk. Yesterday I would have wanted him expelled as a pervert, or caned severely at the very least. Certainly I could imagine my parents and my friends’ parents being up in arms at such a gross breach of privacy. Today, however, it was a very different story.

Eventually he continued. “What you did was despicable and you must understand how seriously the school views such behaviour. I will be notifying your parents of what has happened. Further, I dislike having to do this, but I am going to cane you.”

I rather gulped, but I had resigned myself to that inevitability already. The letter home was an unwelcome surprise. I had not been spanked for over four years, but l knew there was a good chance that record would come to an abrupt end with such a letter.

“It will be four strokes. The only reason it is not six is because of your record to date.”

He paused. Perhaps he expected me to thank him for being so lenient but I was too wrapped up in nerves to respond.

Mr Holburn continued. “You are entitled to a female witness if you wish. Shall I fetch one of the secretaries?”

I shook my head and muttered that it was fine. I had no desire for anybody to witness me having a thrashing.

“Very well.” Then he went to a cupboard, which seemed to have a couple of gowns in it. However, it was a crook handled cane he, of course, retrieved from the midst of the black fabric.

As he turned to face me again he had the cane in his right hand.

He came round his desk and gave the dreaded order. “Turn and face the window, then bend over and grab your ankles.”

I double-took at that. I had been expecting to get the cane on my hands, which was more normal for girls. However, I reluctantly did what I was told and turned so his desk was on my right hand side. All that was left was to get into position, and feeling sick to my stomach I bent.

“Legs straight! And hold tight! If you stand before I finish I will repeat the stroke. Understood?”

I complied with his instruction. It was very uncomfortable with my gym pants tight across the target, and the backs of my thighs and calves feeling the stretch. I gripped my ankles as hard as I could and waited.

Even though it cannot have been long it was a horrible wait as Mr Holburn positioned himself to my left and lightly tapped his target.

Finally a ‘Swish’ and a ‘Crack’. A stripe of pain blotted all other thoughts from my mind. I gave a small wail.

A pause, then a second crack. I screamed and burst into tears. I desperately wanted to stand and stop this, but I had enough awareness to know better.

The pain of the last two strokes was truly awful, and the wait between each seemed far longer than the few seconds it presumably was. The experience was worse than anything I had ever received at my parents’ hands, and far, far worse than the solitary slippering I had had in second form. It would be nice to say I took my punishment well, but the reality was I wailed like a baby through the last half of my caning.

As soon as the fourth stroke was over I stood with my hands clamped to my rear, tears streaming down my face. I could not imagine surviving a full six that I had been told I was so close to receiving.

I was not to escape immediately. Mr Holburn made me wait while he put my name in the school punishment book and gave me another lecture on ensuring I never was so foolish again. Most of what he said went over my head. However, I got the point; behave myself or else I might find how much worse six is, and go near the boys’ changing rooms again and you may well get kicked out of school completely. I had no desire on that latter front anyway; the experience certainly did not have the all consuming interest for me that Tina clearly found it had contained.

Although I was told to return straight to my games lesson, I risked a brief trip to the bathroom to clean up.

My classmates fortunately never found out the whole story of the reason for my caning (and Tina’s expulsion). They thought that we had been caught out of bounds having gone to the village, to the shop or even the pub, that was an easy (and not uncommon) detour from the run route. I was far too embarrassed ever to let them know the truth.

I never saw Tina again. Her parents, I heard, got her into a girls’ boarding school to complete her A-level studies, and later the same year they moved from the area in any case. My parents forbade me to meet her again of course.

Regarding my parents I was right, ‘ballistic’ understated their reaction. I had five days of dread till the end of the weekend when my mother gave my rear end a dose of the hairbrush with my pyjama bottoms around my ankles than I will never forget. It also marked the start of a new and less desirable (for me) home regime as, as they put it: ‘Eighteen or not, this incident proves you are not too old to have your bottom spanked when you deserve it!’

The End