Tom's got himself into something of a mess, not that I say it necessarily is an unpleasant mess, but still. Read on and you will see what will happen.
The next morning, Tom woke up, shook his head and wondered what had become of his school days. He wondered if it was his membership in the Mushy Peas Club that had changed it. Or was it he, himself, who had changed?
He had been fooling around with the girls before, and especially Stephanie Burns, but she had never before been so keen, or so, Tom was searching for a word,...advanced.
He was nervous about the after dinner treatment he was to bestow upon Stephanie. At the same time he looked forward to it. He walked through the day in a kind of haze, finding it hard to focus on his studies.
He noted also that there was another kind of attention given him, especially from the girls. He blushed fetchingly when some particularly pretty one smiled at him.
When he walked from lunch, he felt someone grab his arm.
'Hello, Mr Tom Banks,' a small voice said by his side.
He turned to the voice and saw that it belonged to the girl he had treated with the cane the evening before. She held his arms and smiled at him.
'Amanda!' he said.
'You remember my name,' she said, and blushed, still smiling.
'I...I am sorry for yesterday,' he stammered.
'Oh, don't be. I was late, you know.'
'Oh, I see. I had never before...you know.'
'You handled it well, then.'
'Yes, I can still feel it.'
'No, that's how it should be.'
'Do you think so?'
'Yes, of course I do,' Amanda said with a slightly dreamy expression on her face. 'Don't you think that there is a very special affinity between a boy and the girl he has whipped?'
Tom felt mean hearing her call it 'whipped'. It was, indeed, a whipping, but Tom thought it reminded him of far more gruesome things.
'So you are not angry with me?'
'No, not at all, you did your duty.'
'Yes, yes,' he said, his voice uncertain, 'I did my duty.'
'I use to take a walk in the garden, after dinner,' she said.
'Oh, I am busy,' he replied before thinking of what he was saying.
'I know, but not every evening.'
'No, no, that's true.'
Amanda left and hurried away. Some distance away, she turned, and smiled and waved to him.
Tom was baffled, but not in an unpleasant way. He liked Amanda. She was very different from Stephanie, smaller, darker, cuter in a way, although Tom had always found Stephanie very beautiful.
Dinner came and Tom was not able to fully appreciate the blandness of the stew and the texture of the overcooked vegetables.
He walked on trembling legs back to his hall of residence. A small crowd had already gathered outside his room. There were mostly boys, for obvious reasons. Only boys were allowed in the boy's hall of residence, unless invited by a resident. Besides Stephanie there were some girls who had, indeed, been invited to watch the spectacle.
'I never knew I was this popular,' Stephanie said as Tom unlocked the door.
'Will you just wait a second, until we can get in?' he shouted above the crowd. They held back a little, although the constant chattering didn't stop.
The audience stared through the doorway as Tom and Stephanie went in. The room was small, and Tom had made sure to put anything private away. He still didn't like the idea of having a lot of people there.
He took his chair, the one by his desk and turned it around. Stephanie stood beside the chair with an expression on her face he couldn't interpret. She didn't look scared, rather amused, or even eager. He was surprised and a little confused.
'Can we come in?' someone said.
'All right,' Tom barked, 'but not too close.'
A dozen or so crammed themselves into the room, the rest gathered in the doorway. They all stared eagerly at Tom and Stephanie.