“How far do you want to go this time?”
“A little farther than last time.”
“Last time we got almost to the belt. Are you sure you want to go farther? I don’t think we can go farther without getting into the belt.”
She nodded. “I know. It’s okay. I don’t want to, you know, go all the way with the belt. But I think I’d like to get started on it.”
“You think.” He took her hand. “You need to be more certain than that.”
“Sorry.” She took a deep breath. “Yes. I want to start on the belt today.”
He let go of her hand and sat back, his arms folded across his belly like he was warding off a blow. “All right. So tell me that you want to do this.”
“I…. Jesus, David, do I need to say this every time?”
“I need to hear it. Sarah… please. This is fucked up enough as it is. I can’t do it if — ”
She touched his knee. “Okay. It’s okay.” She folded her hands neatly in her lap, and spoke again..
“I want to do this. I am choosing to do this. And I know that I can stop it, any time I need to.”
“And why do you want to do it?”
“I want to deal with what happened. I want to feel like I have some control over it. I want to move on.” Her practiced voice began to wobble. “And… I want to get off. God help me, but this gets me off.”
“Yeah, I know.” He grinned weakly. “Me too. Fucked up, isn’t it? Let’s get started.”
He stood up.