Distance Learning: Matriculation

Sarah and David’s story began here

Sunday night, yet again. They seemed to come more quickly in summer. Sarah remembered when she had looked forward to her Sunday night ritual, when the weeks had stretched long and Sunday seemed to never come. Now they came all too frequently.

Sarah composed her weekly report, mentally ticking the boxes of each of the rules she and David had established, a list that had grown considerably since they had first started these weekly check-ins. Even with the longer list, Sarah had rarely required punishment for lapses, something of which she was very proud.

His responses had gotten shorter. In fairness, her reports had grown shorter as well, though they still covered all the requirements, or at least most of the requirements- the list had grown to the point where it was difficult to remember all of the rules. Occasionally she had forgotten a detail here or there and had to be prompted. . . and of course punished.

It had been a temporary arrangement. They had both known it, even if it had never been explicitly discussed. He had even eagerly asked about her search for another spanker, someone who could be more present. He had helped her, encouraged her as she first started going to the munches, first started reaching out. That had been back when they talked freely, when the messages flew back and forth nearly every day.

That period had long passed. Sarah scrolled back through their thread to his last message, needlessly reminding herself that it had been nearly a month since she had heard from him. She closed her eyes and took a breath, keeping the panic at bay. This wasn’t another disappearance, not the same as before. He had mentioned being busy with work, his messages became slower and shorter. It as an ending, but not abrupt or overly painful.

Sarah considered the thought, just letting this fade to the background. It didn’t feel right, there needed to be closure.

She opened the email tab again and scanned through her report. Nothing remarkable, nothing that would require correction or spark further discussion. Even her introductory paragraph contained little that could be considered “news,” just statements indicating she was happy and busy, peppered with a few questions on his week. Questions that she had a suspicion would go unanswered.

Sarah was not the kind to end things with an unanswered question. She had tried that already, and it was miserable. David had been so kind, so understanding, he deserved more than silence.

She wrote a farewell. A note of thanks, of appreciation. He had helped her, even from half a continent away. It had only been a few months, had only been email, but she had developed feelings for this man she’d never met, and would miss his quiet presence.

Sarah pressed send and closed her eyes again, resting in the quiet sadness of finality. The quiet was pierced by the soft buzz of her phone. Sarah smiled, the universe apparently did not wish to see her linger in this space. She picked up her phone to find a message from Sinead- she and Isaac were at the pub waiting for her.

It was time to move on.


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