Is anybody there? It's me, Keilani Akana.
I'm typing this on Sister Bernadette's computer while everybody else is asleep. I'm not supposed to be in her office, and if I get caught I'm sure I'll be in for another round of punishment... especially after what's already happened.
But let me back up a bit first, so you'll understand. I've been trapped here at Saint Sebastian's, in Kailua, on O'ahu, for about a week now. Last time I told you how I ended up here: Got fired by my prick of a boss. Had to leave my uniform and walk home nude. Got picked up by a cop who thought I was twelve and I couldn't convince her otherwise. Got a spanking from the social worker when I tried to run away.
The rest of that night is something of a blur. I remember sitting in the passenger seat as we drove through the tall iron gates to Saint Sebastian's orphanage. You can call it any damn thing you want, but it's still an orphanage, plain and simple. Its official name is Saint Sebastian's Home for Orphans, Neglected Children, and Problem Girls. At any rate that's where I found myself the next morning. I was startled awake by the jarring clang of a metal bell waved by Sister Ulalia.
Over the days I learned that's the normal routine, they wake the girls up at seven every morning. The sleep had been rejuvenating, and it took me a minute to remember where I was and why. Then the painful, humiliating memories of the previous night's events came flooding back, and I realized it hadn't all been just a horrible dream. At that point I just wanted to crawl back under the covers and die, but Sister would have none of that.
"Ho`āla! Maka hiamoe!", she cried, hauling me to my feet. That's native Hawaiian for "Get up, sleepyhead."
"Girls, this is Keilani," she announced, presenting me to my new roommates. "She's going to be part of our `ohana for awhile."
Yeah, not if I have anything to say about it, I thought.
But then I realized I probably didn't. My parents, whom I live with, were away on a tour of the continental States and I hadn't been able to reach them. They were the ones who could convince these people that this was all a horrible mix-up, that I actually was 21 rather than 12. I suppose I could have tried one of my college friends, but at this point I really, really didn't want anyone else to see me in this mortifying predicament. It would be bad enough with Mom and Dad.
Sister Ulalia turned to me. She was a squat, round woman with a kind face centered about a slightly bulbous nose. "Get your bed made up, Keilani," she told me, "then we'll go take care of some things."
I desperately wanted to explain to her that I was fully grown, but was not about to cause a scene in front of everyone. There would be a chance later, I told myself.
As we tidied up, I took the opportunity to examine my new surroundings. The bedroom I'd slept in housed maybe a dozen other orphan girls-- A dozen orphan girls, PERIOD, God DAMMIT, I am NOT one of them! They all looked to be about twelve or thirteen, the same age Gail, the social worker, had clearly told the Sisters I was (believing it herself). I later found out there were several dormitories throughout the building, where the girls were assigned beds approximately by age.
I tried to act like I belonged there as I straightened my sheets and tucked them around the pillow, but I felt a lot of curious eyes on me the whole time. Everyone was wondering about me, how they'd gone to bed the night before and all of a sudden I was here this morning. I tried to think of what I'd say if anyone asked, but no one did. I guess I still had that awkward new-kid air about me, and none of them seemed sure how to approach me.
My bed in order, I turned and peered out the window onto the grounds below. We were on the second floor. The first thing I noticed were the wrought-iron designs that crisscrossed in front of the glass panes. You could disguise them any way you wanted, their intent was clear. Bars, to keep the girls from opening the windows and climbing out after dark. I felt a twinge of despair again. Beyond was a circular driveway before the main entrance, and past that, a short expanse of grass and trees up to the outer brick wall and metal gates.
As I stood gazing out, I gradually became aware of snickering sounds from behind, unmistakably directed at me. It was then I remembered I was still wearing Gail's too-short pleated skirt and those wretched smiley-faced flower underpants! I pulled the back of my skirt down to try and hide them, and turned, glaring at the tittering girls.
One of them broke the ice with, "Nice britches y'got there, Kay-Lawny!" Her accent had a twangy drawl, and unlike most of the other girls, she was halakea, fair-skinned. A mainlander, not a native. Her name was Suzanne, I came to find out, and rumor had it that her family came over on a cruise and dumped her here after something she did. I don't know whether it was true or not. But don't go feeling sorry for her, she's a mean, manipulative, EVIL little bitch and I hate her!
After our beds had been made, Sister sent everyone else off to wash up and escorted me down to the ground floor. The halls were tiled and echoey, not the comforting wooden floors like my old childhood school.
"Um, Sister?" I asked politely. "I know this is gonna sound crazy, but I'm actually 21. I got brought here by mistake and--"
She gave a little laugh. "Oh yes, I've heard about your little tale. Ms Whitmur told all of us after she brought you in. You're the talk of the orphanarium."
"Great," I muttered. She didn't believe me either.
"But don't worry, we'll get you looked at, then we'll go see Sister Bernadette."
Well... that sounded faintly promising at least. But: "Wait, looked at? What do you--"
And before I could get the question out she had led me into a small room with a padded table and some medical equipment. A doctor was there, a male doctor, snapping on a pair of rubber gloves.
I groaned to myself. But out loud, so Sister heard it.
"Now, Keilani, we have to make sure all our girls are healthy. It won't take long, and I'll be back for you shortly."
With that, she was out, and I was alone with him. I've gotta tell you, I hate doctors! I've seen too many elderly relatives suffer and slowly die off around them, while being poked and prodded and crammed full of medication the whole time. Plus they all give off this cold, professional demeanor that they must think puts you at ease, but actually makes you feel worse, like you're some kind of lab experiment to them.
He turned around, chart in hand. "Good morning, Keilani, how are you?" Without waiting for an answer, "I'm Doctor Kanehailua. I just need to ask a few questions, then we'll take a look at you. Don't be scared."
There, that was the kind of behavior I was just talking about.
He clicked a pen, poised over the clipboard. "How old are you?"
Here we go, I thought. But maybe, just maybe... I mean, the guy was a doctor after all. So I tried. "Twenty-one."
Doctor Kanehailua raised his eyes from the chart and looked at me with a disapproving expression.
"I'm telling you the truth!" I insisted. "Everybody thinks I'm a little girl, but I'm not! God, you're a doctor, and you can't TELL?!" Then I remembered the name of this place, specifically the "Problem Girls" part, and I understood my reputation had preceeded me.
"Sister Bernadette warned me about you," he said. "No more games, Keilani. Now let's try again. Tell me how old you are."
I sighed in disgust. "All right, fine, I'm twelve. Happy?"
It was weird. Up until this point I'd screamed denial every time someone had misidentified my age. This was the first time I'd ever actually gone along with it. I felt a horrible sinking feeling, like I'd crossed some line, and there was no going back, ever again.
The exam marched on. "Are you hurt anyplace? Does your tummy feel okay?" Yes, he actually said that, like I was a baby. He checked my eyes, ears, peered at my throat, took my blood pressure.
Then he said, "Okay, let's weigh you." He indicated a scale in one corner, and I stepped onto it. Then: "No, without your clothes."
So I had to strip, once again ending up naked in front of a complete stranager. There was nothing to do but stand there, feeling a cold breeze from the air conditioning vent in the wall right above, every inch of my olive skin exposed.
You've got to understand, this guy seriously thought I was a child because I sort of looked like one. I'm very short, my body never really filled out much at all, and I shave my pubic hair regularly. I was wearing a schoolgirl uniform, my hair was still in childish pigtails from when Gail had fixed it up, and of course everybody else acted as though I were a juvenile. It's amazing, even frightening, how some people's treatment of you can influence everyone else's.
Doctor Kanehailua recorded my weight, and stood me back against a measuring strip on the wall to get my height. I gasped as he put a cold stethoscope against my chest to listen to my heart. I kept both hands folded over my front the whole time.
"All right, Keilani, let's take your temperature."
I opened my mouth, waiting for the thermometer.
"Oh, sorry," came more bad news. "It's the other kind."
So I ended up on my knees, bent over on the exam table, as the doctor eased the glass bulb of a rectal thermometer inside my `ōkole. That's Hawaiian for... well, I'm sure you can guess.
"Take a deep breath, then let it out," he instructed.
I did so, moaning slightly at the discomfort. It was so thoroughly humiliating, being in that awkward position, intensified by the fact that this man genuinely believed I was a pediatric case! The indignity lasted almost a full two minutes. I felt the redness in my cheeks and tried to reassure myself it would all be over soon.
Kanehailua, marking his notes, concurred. "We're almost done," he told me. "Now sit down.... Lie back... Good, now spread your legs apart."
That was the end of my modesty, I couldn't keep myself covered any longer. The white paper under my bare body crinkled noisily as I complied.
I felt an odd shiver as his latex-gloved finger probed around the edges, then the sensitive area just inside me. My mind raced with thoughts, trying to cope, to take my mind off what was happening. What would he do if I just leapt off the table and ran for the door? Of course I was naked so even if I made it outside it'd be last night all over again. I should have done it when the exam first started, right after Sister had left. When I'd still been dressed. Shit.
"Have you had your first period yet?" he asked, snapping off the gloves.
Had my first--! "What!?" I blurted. Then I got an idea. It'd been a couple of days since I'd last shaved myself down there, and there was a tiny bit of stubble starting to show. I figured what the fuck, at this point he'd already seen everything anyway. (Well, except for the fact that I was NOT standing on the threshold of puberty!)
So, "Look!" and I showed him. "I have hair here, it's starting to grow back! See? This proves I'm--"
"Yes, that's called pubic hair," he explained, very patiently. "Your body is going through a lot of changes right now, and it's probably a little scary to you. It happens to everyone. But I promise you, you'll be just fine."
I sat up angrily. The thin paper underneath me had torn in some places, and was soaked with drops of my sweat in others. "NO, you fucking quack!" I shouted, outraged. "I'm trying to tell you, I've already been THROUGH--!"
The door burst open, and Sister Ulalia appeared. Obviously she'd been waiting outside for the doctor to finish with me. "What's going on in here?" she demanded.
"Hey!" I cried, covering myself. "Close the damn door!" She'd left it wide open behind her, and a group of my roommates were passing right by! I caught an unmistakable guffaw from Suzanne, mingled with the others' giggles.
"Keilani, are you misbehaving for the nice doctor?" Sister asked. "Ms Whitmur warned us about you."
I wanted to SCREAM in frustration, to throw myself on the floor and yell and kick and throw a tantrum, just like a real little girl would. But that would only make my case worse. Plus I was naked, so I'd look ridiculous. Instead I clenched my fists my fists, gritted my jaw, and muttered, "The nice doctor is a fucking moron."
"You'd better watch your mouth, young lady!" warned Sister Ulalia, raising a finger. "Are you finished, doctor?" she asked, and he nodded.
"My mouth!" I exclaimed, inspiration striking. "Check my mouth! I have all my adult teeth! No, WAIT!" I pulled and struggled against Sister's larger, stronger form as she got me dressed again and hauled me out of the room.
Doctor Kanehailua was already packing up his bag to go, and he only smiled and shook his head.
Sister Ulalia kept a tight grip around my arm as she pulled me down the hall, and I seethed with fury. Jesus Christ, a fucking MEDICAL DOCTOR couldn't get my age right within 9 years! It felt like a terrible conspiracy against me, every single person here seemed absolutely convinced I was a child. I prayed I'd never start believing it too.
No, I reassured myself, that was pupule, insane! I knew who I was! I just had to make just one other person realize it.
Hopefully that person would be Sister Bernadette, since that's where we were headed next.
Her office was exactly what you'd expect: Functional, simply furnished. Crucifixes, framed prayers and pictures of Jesus everywhere. And, I noticed with some trepidation, a nasty-looking switch beside her desk, clearly intended to function as a deterrant, or if that failed, a punishment device.
"Good morning, Miss Akana, how are you feeling?"
"Well... to be honest," I answered, still breathing heavily from my struggles, "I've been a lot better."
"Yes," she said understandingly. "I know you've had a rough time and you're probably frightened of being in a new place, but I promise you we are here to help."
Sister Bernadette actually spoke to me as if we were on the same level, none of the "Keilani dear" bullshit Gail had used on me. I began to have hopes that maybe I could get through to her, convince her that I was a grown-up, stuck here by a comedy of errors in the system. (Well, it would be a comedy if it weren't so fucking degrading.)
"Then please, help me." I figured let's get right to the point. "I didn't get a chance to talk last night, but I really don't belong here."
"You want to try your parents again."
"YES!" I gushed, gratefully. Finally we were getting somewhere.
She lifted the phone receiver. "What's the number, dear?"
I'd really rather have dialled it myself, but Sister didn't offer me the option, and I didn't want to blow my chances by "acting up". I bit back the first words that came to mind and gave her my parents' cell number. I couldn't remember the hotel's, and the list they left was back home.
I was on pins and needles as it seemed to ring for ages.
Finally Sister Bernadette hung up. "I'm sorry, Keilani," she told me, "but there's no answer."
I sighed. "Okay, next question. Can we go to my house to get a few of my things?"
That was my Plan B. Get them to take me home, where I had my driver's license, family photos with me in more adult getup, my class schedule for the U of H fall sememster. Then they'd have proof I was an adult.
But... it wasn't going to happen right away.
"Yes, on Saturday," Sister Bernadette said. "We'll have to have someone drive you, and the Sisters all have classes during the week."
"Classes?" I asked.
"Saint Sebastian's is more than a boarding house for girls like you." (Nice euphemism, I thought to myself.) "It's also a school. All of our Sisters teach here."
"And you can't spare anyone before Saturday?" I asked in the nicest, most imploring tone I could muster.
"No, we have six grade levels to cover, as well as cooking and cleaning. It takes a lot of hard work to keep this place running."
I conceded. "Fine. Saturday, then. But in the meantime can you maybe get me some clothes that fit? This uniform's too small." I tugged down the back of my skirt for emphasis. And because it had crept up to let my undies peek out again.
"Oh, of course," she said, "Sister Ulalia, will you see to that?"
While she went to look, Sister Bernadette sat typing something on her computer, ignoring me. That's when I first got the idea to use her office as a conduit to the outside world. There was a phone line going from the back of the PC to a jack in the wall, so I figured she had Internet access. I just had to find a time when no one else would catch me there.
Sister Ulalia returned a few minutes later, carrying a small stack of clothes... but also looking crestfallen. "I'm sorry, Reverend Mother, but we don't have anything in her size. I did the best I could."
"I feared as much," said the head nun. "Charitable contributions are down and we haven't been able to order any more."
It looked like I was doomed to having those embarrassing underpants on display for my entire stay here. My heart sank, and I thought of the donations canister that always sat up by the cash register at the luau bar where I used to work. (God, was that just yesterday?) I even recalled, guiltily, raiding its contents for cash I felt I deserved when some cheapskate haole tourist didn't bother to leave me a tip. And now here I was on the other side, genuinely needing that money and not having it.
The "aloha spirit". Doing good improves the whole world, while doing wrong makes it worse. The Hawaiian equivalent of karma, biting me in the ass. God dammit.
"I'm sorry, Miss Akana," and Sister Bernadette looked like she sincerely meant that, "But you'll just have to make do until we can get over to your house, in a day or two."
I gave it one last try. "All right. Just please, LISTEN to me. I know what that social worker told you last night, but honestly, I am an adult woman! I have a job and everything!" (Okay, so technically I didn't anymore, but still.)
Sister Bernadette didn't say anything, but the look she gave Ulalia suggested they'd both heard this sort of thing before.
"I can prove it," I insisted. "Ask me something only an adult would know."
"Very well," Sister said, deciding to play along. "If you have a job... How much did you pay in taxes last year?"
"Oh, crap," I cursed under my breath. My parents have always taken care of that stuff for me. In fact they'd often chided me about not being more responsible for myself. And here was the proof, me in a schoolgirl's outfit in an orphanage three days after they'd left me alone. Congratulations, Mom and Dad. You were right.
"I don't..." I trailed off, lamely. Sister Bernadette folded her arms triumphantly, but without cracking a smile.
"All right, fine," I said, standing. "You want proof? Would a child know about SEX?"
She kept her eyes on me, unblinking.
"Not just regular sex, but..." And with that, I launched the heavy artillery. "When a girl swallows the guy's cock it's called a 'deep throat'. If she jerks it between her breasts they call it 'titty-fucking'. If she lets him cum all over her face..."
Sister Bernadette's eyes widened with shock and anger. Sister Ulalia looked like she was about to faint.
"Dear Lord..." The Reverend Mother made the Sign of the Cross over herself. "Gail was right, you ARE a foul-mouthed little girl, Keilani!"
"NO, dammit! I'm NOT a child, see, that's the proof! What child would know about that kind of stuff?!"
She shook her head. "Miss Akana, it's obvious you're a very bright but also very troubled young lady. I've seen cases like yours before, children whose parents fail to teach them proper respect for sexuality." Then something occurred to her. "Did Suzanne and Makala put you up to this? Those two...!"
And, just like that, I lost it, big-time.
"All right, enough is ENOUGH! Just because someone DRESSES me like a child and TREATS me like a child, that DOES NOT MAKE ME A CHILD! But you just BELIEVE IT, you aren't even LISTENING TO ME!!" I raised both arms and bellowed at the top of my lungs, "How can you be so GODDAMN STUPID?! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!"
Sister Bernadette's expression grew even more grave, and I knew I'd made a serious mistake.
"Miss Akana," she stated sternly. "There are three things I do not tolerate here at Saint Sebastian's." She ticked them off on her fingers. "The first is lying. The second is shouting. The third is blasphemy."
"I'm sorry, that just slipped out!" I pleaded.
That seemed to placate her a little. "Well. Seeing as you're new here and this is your first offense, I will let you off easily this time."
I relaxed a little. But then... Her hand reached for that switch.
"Whoa, wait!" I protested. "I thought this was just a warning!"
"I did not say that," replied Sister. "I said I would let you off easily. Believe me, Keilani, compared to the normal punishment for taking the Lord's name in vain, this will be a mercy." She patted a conspicuous open space on her desk. "Now bend over."
"Aiā," I squeaked, cringing. Last night's memory flared up again, Gail's palm smacking my bare behind over and over, and me howling uncontrollably. Again I thought about turning and running, but I knew Sister Ulalia would grab me before I'd make it through the door. And it would probably be worse for me if I tried. So I moved to the side of the desk and leaned over it, stomach down.
Sister Bernadette stood, lifted the hem of my skirt and pulled my flower underwear down to just below the curve of my buttocks.
I swallowed hard, trying to brace myself.
Raising the switch, Sister B swung it in one swift CRACK across both cheeks, hard. It hurt like fuck-all, but the shame was worse. The knowledge that I was far too old to have this happening to me, but that I was powerless to do anything about it, hit harder and deeper than Sister Bernadette's switch ever could. I whimpered and bit my quivering lip, willing myself not to unleash the tears. My face was burning hot.
She allowed a moment for the punishment to sink in, then told me to stand up, which I did, pulling the infantile cotton panties back up over my tender rear. "That was your warning, Miss Akana." She held my chin, forcing me to look her in the eye. "There won't be another."
"Okay," I said contritely. I managed to get it out without bursting into sobs. Sister Ulalia handed me a tissue and I blew my nose, sniffling.
"Now go wash up and join the other girls for breakfast," the Reverend Mother instructed me. "And think about how our Lord suffered and died for your sins, only to have His name degraded by your vulgar little tongue."
My entire being burned with fury as I was taken back to the second floor to wash up for breakfast. She would NEVER have treated an adult like that! But because she thought I was so much younger, she could get away with it, even feel justified in doing so! I vowed that somehow, I would find a way to get through to Sister Bernadette, to prove that I was who I said I was. I would make them all SO SORRY for everything they'd done to me...!
Okay, I've got to stop there for now. There's so much more to tell from my first day alone, but I've got to get some sleep tonight. Writing all this is exhausting, and I hate having to relive the whole nightmare all over again.
PLEASE, if you get this, send help!
(Copyright © October 2004 by ToddCheese.)