I was on my way to my new home with my Master. In a way
it was our first home. We’d saved for years, lived in a
series of small apartments where the neighbors were
always thin walls away, putting money away and dreaming
of what we’d have ‘one day’. And now the day was here.
This time when my Master had gotten the news of another
transfer he’d told me to stay behind. This would be our
last move, he said, so he wanted to go ahead and select
our house and get it ready. I was to stay behind,
finish up with my job, and get rid of everything but
our personal belongings. We’d never bought anything
very ‘nice’. It was all temporary. Just what we needed
to get by.
I sat there in the Waffle House, waiting for him to
come meet me and take me to our new home. I didn’t even
know the street address. Since I was unfamiliar with
the area it hadn’t seemed necessary. He would show me
where it was. Or would he?
As I waited, I started to think about how reckless I
was being. How much trust I had placed in one person.
What if he never showed up? What if he took everything
we had both worked for and disappeared? What if I had
been temporary? Just something he needed to get by?
Left with nothing but a few boxes of photos and books
in the back of my SUV?
But, didn’t I literally put my life in his hands every
time we had ‘played’? How many times over the years
could he have hurt me or killed me and I wouldn’t have
been able to stop him? With all I had already trusted
him with, was I really that worried that he wasn’t
going to show up? That this had all been an elaborate,
multi-year hoax? Sure, it was possible, but not
Fact was I’d missed him. He’d been busy with work and
the new house and had been so far away and I felt so
disconnected from him. I wanted him. I wanted ‘us’
back. And I’ve never been good at patience.
And then he was there, walking through the door with a
big smile on his face, and an expression that was a
mixture of happiness to see me and ‘I can’t wait to
show you what I did!’ And everything was right again.
I jumped up and ran to him, hugging and kissing and
laughing at myself and my silly fears and got ready to
start our new life.
As I followed my Master’s car down the winding, country
road I realized it would have done no good to have the
street address. I never would have found this alone.
It was beautiful, and green, with lots of trees and
very few houses. We turned into a wooded gravel road. I
started looking for the house but the road kept going.
One last turn and there it was.
It wasn’t a big house. There were just the two of us so
we’d never wanted or needed a big house, but it had
charm. It looked like a happy house.
We parked and went inside. I saw so many things we’d
talked about wanting over the years; big, sunny
windows; leather furniture in the den with a leather
ottoman that was just the right size; a kitchen table
and counters that were the perfect height; a sinfully,
luscious bathroom with everything made for two. It was
I started telling him how wonderful it was and he
stopped me and said, ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet” with
a big grin and lead me to the backyard.
There was a jewel of a pool sparkling in the sunshine,
a hammock strung between two big trees, and a little
pool house that he lead me too. As we stepped inside I
saw he had outfitted it as a playroom; whips and
floggers hung from one wall; hooks were strategically
placed in the walls, floor, and ceiling; drawers held
toys and intriguing devices I couldn’t wait to explore.
I would have been happy to stay there for the next few
days but my Master led me back outside.
“Yes, I know, you wanted to stay.” He laughed “But I
have something else to show you.”
He led me to the edge of the lawn and pointed to a big
green plant. “This is a grove of bamboo.” He said “It
grows almost wild here. While I was waiting for you to
join me, I kept thinking of you picking a cane for me
to use on you. It’s been too long since I’ve marked my
I went to the grove and selected a back stemmed cane
that was one of the smaller pieces. My Master took out
a pocket knife and cut it free. As he trimmed off the
leaves and extra bits, he told me take off all my
“But…” I asked.
“No neighbors.” He smiled “We can make as much noise as
I stood with my arms crossed over my head under the
trees in our new backyard as my Master marked me for
the first time in our new home. I had missed having his
marks on me. The stripes that reminded me I belonged to
him every time I saw them.
I looked around and thought of the times we would share
there and how he had created the home we had dreamed of
over the years. It was definitely a happy house.
The boxes in the back of the SUV could wait.