From even a very early age Veronica "Ronnie" Monroe was pretty much set in the way that she felt her carreer path would go. Much to her friend's confusion at secondary school, she had only chosen subjects that would help her along that path, her final goal was to work within the church.
She had no intention to become a nun, or even to work in the missions. She didn't think her faith was strong enough for those options, her plan was to work within the public relations of the church, perhaps even in the Vatican itself.
To that end, she studied hard in school, then upon leaving school she went to university studying journalism. Once her degree was obtained, most people in her situation would have then looked for a job. Most people though are not as single minded as Ronnie, for her that degree only marked the halfway line in her mindset.
So instead of looking for a full time job where she could put her qualifications to good use, she chose to take Italian night classes, and to enrol on another degree course, this time theology and the divinities.
Father Langlan, her tutor and college mentor, was however worried about his young protege. Not that her classes were sliding at all, bearing in mind her work commitments she was doing excellent on the academic front, as she had for the previous two and a half years. It was Ronnie's personal life that was becoming a cause of concern for the old priest.
To finance herself through college the twenty four year old had had to take several part time jobs, bar and shop work for the most part. Now however she was working in a well known night club in the city centre. For a night club to be well known to the sixty two year old priest, meant that it had to be well known for all the wrong reasons!
Then as if a message from above, a letter arrived to Father Langlan, more an invitation than a letter, once he read it he knew straight away what course of action to take, hence the pressence of Ronnie in his office.
"Veronica, I have had a letter from a prestigious christian college for girls in Texas," he said to the pretty little dark haired girl sitting in front of his desk. "It's an invitation to send a student from here across to the states for a three months. As soon as I read the letter I though of you, and I would like to know if you would like me to put your name forward?"
"Er, well father I don't know, how will this effect my studies here......and....how much will it cost?"
"It would not effect your studies, if anything it may improve them, you would have more time for your college work with no night time job. As for the cost, the cost plus a living allowance is being given by the college, as a kind of bursary I suppose. To be honest I'm not sure how these large colleges over there work out their finances, but it is all in the information pack should you choose to take up the offer."
"Why me father?" Ronnie asked, somewhat wary of this strange but exciting opportunity.
"I won't beat about the bush," the priest said, then continued. "I'm a lttle worried about your private life, I know you need to work to finance your studies, it's just the choice of work that you have chosen. Perhaps not the grounding for someone who has ambitions to work in the Eternal City?"
Ronnie had never felt so small in all her life, she looked down at the top of the priests desk trying to avoid eye contact with him.
"I know, it's not ideal...." Ronnie said close to tears. "but it pays well for a very few hours work....and I didn't think...."
"Didn't think anyone would know you were working in a lap dancing club?" the priest asked directly.
"Yeah....I'm not one of the dancers you know....I work behind the bar...and the costumes are no different to being on a beach."
The old priest then struggled to get the mental image of Ronnie serving drinks in a bikini out of his mind as he tried to get the conversation back on track.
"Well if you take them up on this opportunity, you may find that it offers more stucture, and discipline to your life. Also it gives you the chance to immerse yourself in a foreign culture."
Ronnie gave a little chuckle, then said.
"Hardly really a foreign culture...in Texas! The same language, and let's face it we are innundated with USA based tv programs."
"Well tv programs aren't the same of living out the lifestyle, also the USA is a very spiritual place, at least in some places, more so than the UK." the priest said rising from his chair and heading over to the kettle in the corner of his office."Should I make a cuppa while you look at the invitation, and the college handbook?"
Ronnie didn't answer, but nodded her assent. Father Langlan returned, placing the tea on the desk, as he took up his seat he watched Ronnie's face intently.
He noticed each change, each little eyebrow raise, each frown and each smile.
"So what do you think Ronnie, should I put you forward, I don't want to rush you but time is of the esscence?"
"I'm really not sure if this is for me Father." Ronnie replied, her face a mixture of disappointment and confusion, Father Langlan smiled and nodded for her to continue. "It's all the rules. They have a dress code, skirts only on campus...knee length at that? Loose blouses...cardigans....it sounds like the set of Happy Days, or Laverne and Shirley all that's missing is the poodle prints!"
Father Langlan laughed out loud, and shook his head.
"The college is not Christian Fundamentalist, per se, but some of the staff and students are. The dress code reflects that, the bible teaches that the sexes should not wear each others clothing, so the dress code is in keeping with that tenent."
Ronnie nodded, then said.
"Discipline within line with the county and state education services?"
Again the priest laughed.
"Would you expect it to be out of line with the county and state rules?"
This time it was Ronnies turn to laugh at her own silliness, it was becoming obvious that she was looking a gift horse in the mouth.
The next three weeks had been a whirl of activity, from Ronnie agreeing to take up the kind offer to arriving in Austin Texas had only taken ten days!
All paperwork, and visa problems had just seemed to melt away.
The first few days at the college had her head buzzing. Even with the help of Johanna, the girl who had been assigned to her as "study buddy" and general guide, Ronnie still found the college to be an intimidating environment. The college was ran at breakneck speed, no sooner did a bell ring than the girls had their books packed away and were rushing of to the next lecture or seminar. The whole bell ringing thing reminded Ronnie more of school than university, and such rushing about!
"Ronnie you really don't want to be getting any tardies!" Johanna had warned her in very serious tones, so Ronnie just tried to get herself used to the frantic movements around the campus.
Lunchtimes, however provided Ronnie with a better chance to take in the general atmosphere of the place, as Father Langlan had said,
"immerse yourself in a foreign culture."
To that end, she had taken to attending the charismatic and popular Principal Everard's early afternoon discussions on The Bible In A Modern World.
Each day he picked some part from The Book, and left it open for the students to interpret how it is still pertinent today. On the thursday he had chosen the twenty third psalm, and asked for any ideas, a short haired girl in glasses rose up with her hand in the air.
Principal Everard nodded for her to speak.
"I see it all the time as a reflection of a christian family. The staff is the love of the family, pulling any wandering sheep back into the fold. The rod is the discipline, sometimes needed to keep harmony and respect within the family boundaries." she said quickly, almost as if rehearsed, then sat back down in her seat.
Principal Everard nodded thoughtfully before speaking.
"Thank you Lousie, not an unheard of analogy," he said, looking around the room catching each girl in the eye. "perhaps someone could give us an example of this in action?"
The room fell silent, Ronnie could see some of the girls fidget in embarrassment, whilst others looked down upon the bare wooden flooring. Then a voice broke the silence.
"Please sir! I could share my recent experience." all heads turned to look at the tall willowy black haired girl.
"That would be wonderfull Sarah, please continue." the principal said, his voice now soft and encouraging.
"Well a few weeks ago, I took my mom's car without permission. She was out and my friend and I wanted to go into town for a quick bit of shopping. I figured well no one will know so no harm will be done...." Ronnie watched as the girls face reddened, and her voice started quivering slightly, as if she now regreted standing up. "well anyway, to cut a long story short it all went wrong. Mom's car is a stick shift, I spent that much time worrying about the right gear and stuff....I sort of didn't take enough care over the actual driving...I hit a corner to hard and went off the road. We weren't hurt but I had busted the cars suspension, then along came a car from the Sheriffs Office. I knew then that I was in deep trouble...you know like we had kinda stolen the car!.
Mom and dad are both well known in the community, my dad is a lawyer, and mum is realtor. So as a favour to my dad, the Sheriff had the car towed home as we were taken to his office...."
Ronnie could see the young woman was now on the verge of tears, when the principal spoke.
"Please Sarah, continue...it will do you good to share this with us all." he said in the same soft tone.
"Well the Sheriff rang my mom for her to come and collect the two of us. When she got us out into dads station wagon that she had been using that day...she was fuming....I don't think I've ever seen her in such a mood.
- You know what's coming to you when you get home don't you? - she asked me.
- Please mom, not with Tammy staying with us! - I pleaded.
- You should have thought of that before you stole and wrecked my car. - she told me then said.
- Tammy should think herself lucky that she is not getting the same, for her part in this. When we get in I want you straight in the corner, jeans and underwear down till your father gets home then he can deal with you, with an oldfashioned belting!-"
At this Ronnie started in shock, was this girl serious? She looked to be about twenty or so, she had to be at least nineteen to be at the college. She had said this only happened a few weeks ago!
With tears now running down her eyes, Sarah continued.
"I pleaded with mom for her to put off my punishment till Tammy went home....she couldn't be budged though. I tried then to get her to change her mind about it being bare...I begged to at least be allowed to keep my underpants on. Again she would have none of it.
- If ever you have deserved a bare bottom belting it has been today, so that is what you will get. Before you ask. It will be dad giving you it! It will be in the lounge, and Tammy will see you get it so she can see what your joint stupidity has earned you! - I knew then that any further arguing was just going to make it worse for me."
"So how did you feel then Sarah?" Principal Everard asked almost in a whisper.
"Ashamed of myself for causing my parents so much distress. Ashamed that I was going to be seen by my father in my nakedness. Ashamed that my friend would be witnessing my punishment. When we got home, I just did as my mom had told me. You see deep down I knew she was right. I did deserve what was coming my way.
Of course that didn't make it any easier for me as I made my way to my old punishment corner. I hadn't had to stand there for...well I'm not sure how long...a couple of years maybe.
As I pulled down my jeans and underpants, It felt really weird, Tammy had seen me naked plenty of times at the changing rooms in the gym, and also when we have been sharing my room. This somehow felt so different....so humbling. Then mom tied my T-shirt in a knot, lifting it high up my tummy and my back.
Then I heard dad come through the front door, and I just thought, well this is it!
- Sarah! - dad said as he came into the room, I turned to face him, my hands still on top of my head.....I knew that he could see...you know...everything.
- I thought these days were long gone now, hand me your belt - my hands were shaking as I pulled my belt out of the loops on my jeans, It felt so odd handing it to him, knowing that in a few moments that I would be feeling it again, but in such a different way....I just broke down in tears.
-Thank you Sarah, now over the back of the sofa, you should still remember the position. - I rushed to get my self over the back of our leather sofa...if for nothing else, just to hide my frontal nudity. The leather was so cold on the bareness of my naked belly, but that sensation didn't last long...as dad lashed the belt across my bare behind.
I gritted my teeth not wanting to cry out in front off Tammy....of course I couldn't keep that up for long. Soon I was just hollering the house down...the belt wasn't just catching my behind...my legs were getting a good lashing as well.
Then after what seemed like an age, I heard dad's voice through all my sobbing and sniffling.
- Right Sarah, make yourself decent. Go up to your room. Get in your PJ's and get to bed. - I can tell you I didn't have to be told twice."
"So how did you feel about being belted and put to bed early like a little child?" Principal Everard asked.
"It's odd." Sarah said, "I felt kinda good about myself, I'd done wrong...but I took my licks. I knew that my parents had punished me not just from anger, but from love."
Ronnie was shocked as everyone else in the room, including Principal Everard, started to clap as Sarah sat back into her seat.
"What the hell was all that about?" Ronnie thought to herself.
She decided then to invite Johanna back to her room tonight for a couple of glasses of wine, perhaps she could explain it all to her.
A young woman recieving such a punishment, and the seeming acquiescence of all the other girls in the room to it?
Also the archaic language, which girls these days say behind or underpants? Instead of butt or panties?