“He quit calling me by my name… I was like a thing to him, but not in a bad way. More like a pet. He’d take me out on the town, dress me up in sleazy clothes… I remember…” she enjoys remembering, “one time, I was wearing a very short, black leather skirt, a pair of thigh high boots with stiletto heels, and a tiny cropped T-shirt that barely covered my nipples. We went to the Royal Tea Room for “high-tea”. The stuffy ladies looked at me like I was a prostitute he’d just picked up off the street. I thought sure that they would kick us out, but the maitre’d was an old friend of Samuel’s, one of his fucking buddies—they used to stay out all night and have competitions on how many girls they could screw in a night. . . ” She giggles again, her face lighting like an angel’s, her eyes shining like two matched stars, “. . .Corey led us to a table in the corner of the restaurant, sort of out of the way. He leaned in and whispered for Samuel to behave himself. Of course, Samuel had no intention of behaving himself. He liked making a scene. I think it was a rush to do the absolutely outrageous, stopping just before he’d gone too far. He would have preferred a table in the center of the tearoom, but he made do with the more discreet one in the corner. I was sitting in a high-backed leather chair with my back to the dining room, so it was difficult for most of the diners to see me. That just made Samuel bolder with his plan. He ordered me to strip. I thought I’d die of embarrassment and told him I couldn’t. He said if I didn’t obey him, he’d pull me over his knee and spank me right there. So, I took off the T-shirt and the skirt; I wasn’t wearing any underwear.
“Samuel must have let the waiter in on our game… while I was sitting stark naked in the that leather chair—except for the boots… they would have been impossible to take off—the fellow served Samuel tea, hardly taking notice of me. While Samuel ate his meal, he ordered me to masturbate. I was so horny when I first touched myself, that I could have gotten off in less than a minute, but Samuel made me back off and take my time. I was panting so hard, my body bursting with desire, I was sure that any minute, I’d implode and disintegrate.
“He finally leaned over and put his hand to my mouth, making me suck his fingers. I thought of his cock, and pretended I was running my tongue over the head. His eyes were locked on mine. I swear I could feel his dick pulsing in his pants. Finally, in his very detached style, he told me to come without making a sound. ‘Not even a whisper,’ he said. I started to writhe like a snake on my fucking hand. The chair creaked as I twisted—I was afraid it was rocking back and forth, but Samuel told me later that was just my imagination. I swallowed my groan of pleasure, although I really wanted to scream out loud.
“Samuel smiled at me as I came and that inspired me. Pleasing him was all that mattered. Once I climaxed, he told me to get dressed. We left, meandering through the dining room toward the back door. He wanted the guests to see me again in my post-coital splendor. He liked rubbing their prudish faces in the sexuality they shunned. We exited into the alley behind the tearoom. It was dark by then. Samuel pressed me against the brick façade and began to play with my cunt—he planned to fuck me right there. When I told him I had to pee, he made me squat by the wall, lift my skirt and take care of my business like a stray dog. When I was finished, we moved deeper into the alley, until were directly under a burning light bulb at someone’s back door. He bent me over there, and told me to put my palms against the wall for balance. Then he raised my skirt and pounded my sex with his erection. He usually came inside me, but that night, he sprayed his cum all over my ass. The sticky mess pasted the skirt to my skin. All the way home in the car, we laughed like were kids … and later at home we made love like we were equals.
“The next day, he asked me if I felt guilty about the night before. I admitted that it felt naughty. He said I’d have to be punished for that. I thought he was just joking and I laughed at him, but he was serious. He hung me in the corner of the hideaway for over an hour… maybe it was two. He had this pulley system installed, with a crank on the side of the room that can hoist a dangling body high into the ceiling. I started out flat on my feet with my arms high above me, then every few minutes, he cranked me up a little higher, until finally even my toes couldn’t reach the floor. I hung like that for just a few minutes. But it was dark, and he left room and I was scared to death that he wouldn’t come back. I was crying when he finally returned and lowered me to my feet. He scolded me for being afraid. He said I should trust that he would never do anything to hurt me.”
The girl stops talking; her face is weary and sad. She’s moved through a hundred spaces in the course of the long monologue, from laughter, to amusement, to sadness, arousal, glee and then sadness again as her memories linger on the man she lost. She stares around the room, her eyes taking in the paintings, the drapes, the flowers on Sydney’s desk.
“I like your office,” she finally says, breaking the silence even before Sydney can find a way to comfortably do so.
“Thank you,” the counselor answers.
“It reminds me of the loft.”
“Just the upstairs balcony… I think it’s the landscapes. Did you know that Samuel painted landscapes?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“I dabble in art, too,” Sydney tells her.
“Then these are yours?”
“No. I’m not that good yet.”
“Samuel says that you never get good at anything until you say you’re good, and you believe it.”
The change in the subject matter seems to be an appropriate segue for their goodbye. The girl may understand silence and personal interaction as well as her trained counselor. It takes someone who observes well, and Melinda duBois was inadvertently trained to observe. Though she’s obviously kept most of her observations to herself, it doesn’t mean that she hasn’t come to her own conclusions or formed opinions about what she sees.
Sydney imagines that these sessions are bringing her out of her shell, allowing her an opportunity to express herself, which may be the way to her redemption from the life of slavery she’s dangerously close to making real the rest of her life.