Joyce was in shock, utter disbelief. There had to be some other explanation, there had to be!
'Video foolery? A trick?'
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the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
"he refuses to face reality"
The video showed Renee as you would expect, someone having a bad dream - night terrors.
Her head slammed unnaturally to the right, then left - she flipped on her stomach and writhed in pain. Gripping desperately at the sheets above her head.
But then . . . . Welts appeared.
"I told you!"
"Sshhh sshh" Joyce waved her to wait and backed up the video a couple minutes and watched again.
She held her hand to her mouth and was silent, staring in disbelief.
"You have to . . . I mean . . . this is . . . this is . . ."
"You can't tell anyone, please Joyce, I mean it"
"Honey" she chuckled a bit "who would believe us?"
She backed up the video and watched again.
"Because you . . ."
"Yes, he told me I wasnt allowed"
Renee just watched patiently as Joyce tried to wrap her head around this.
Joyce sat back and took a calming deep breath . . . Then another
"Well then . . ."
"You really should have that eye looked at sweetheart "
"Its fine, im not trying to start a domestic violence investigation"
"Ah, right . . right"
"How can . . . I mean . . . How is this possible??"
Joyce watched the video one more time.
"What are you going to do?"
"Not masturbate, thats for sure"
They both laughed. . . Cut short by the realization.
"And he has come to you every night?"
"Yes, I go to bed expecting him." "Joyce . . . " she paused "I feel like . . . ."
"Its ok, go on "
"I feel like . . . im falling in love with him"
"Come on now Renee, you're talking like hes . . ."
She stopped . . .
"Like he's what? Real?"
"You're talking about falling in love with a dream!"
"You see the marks Joyce, you saw the video"
Time passed, he continued to visit her nightly. Sometimes giving her tasks to complete, telling her what to wear, or not wear. Sometimes egding her almost to her breaking point. Sometimes punishing her.
But always there.
"Joyce, I want to join him"
Joyce chuckled at the thought, but her smile quickly faded when she saw Renee's completely serious expression.
Renee just stared
"Oh come on! You cant be serious!"
A tear slipped down Renee's cheek
"Honey, you cant be serious! You're talking about . . . "
"I want to join him"
Joyce closed her practice that spring and moved to France.
She never spoke of her time with Renee (or him) to anyone.