Dying to Live
Cheryl’s tearful face turns towards the door when she hears Beth’s key in the lock. Cheryl knows that her friend will be surprised to see Cheryl in her house and crying on her sofa.
This is sudden, with no warning for her friend Beth. Cheryl has been working her courage up for weeks, but only today has she been able to actually form the thoughts. She is going ahead before she thinks about it too much and chickens out.
Beth’s boyfriend Cal opens the door and holds it for Beth to enter first. They both stop and stare at Cheryl in surprise for a brief moment.
Cal stays near the door because he knows Cheryl is sensitive. Beth has no such hesitation. She rushes forward, “What happened to you?” Beth starts to put her arms around Cheryl, but pauses. Beth wants to hold and comfort Cheryl, but knows that she may be too upset to tolerate even her best friend’s touch. “Cheryl, hug?”
“Hug.” Cheryl offers aloud as she hesitantly responds, at first forcing herself and then truly responding. Beth’s warm presence welcomes her and makes her feel safe once again.
“Hug.” Beth repeats as she feels her friend relax just the little bit that means she will be able to think and talk again in a few minutes.
Closing the door, Cal watches them. Cheryl is so hesitant and Beth is so giving that he can’t help a smile. He moves closer, keeping himself in Cheryl’s line of sight, but several arm lengths away. He leans forward just far enough to pick up a magazine from the coffee table. He is used to these episodes of Cheryl’s. They usually aren’t this bad, however.
Cal is very deliberately avoiding any actions that will trigger a defensive reaction from Cheryl. Over the four years he has been with Beth, he has learned to sidestep a long list of actions that make Cheryl feel threatened. During that entire time, Cheryl has never intentionally touched him, or any other man. He has only touched Cheryl once. He caught her when she started to fall down some stairs. The instant that she landed in his arms, she reflexively tried to shove herself away from him. Fortunately, her petite 5′ 1″ frame and much shorter arms kept her from pushing completely out of his grasp. After that instinctive reaction, she managed to hold herself rigidly still while he set her back onto her feet. She stumbled back about six feet from Cal and the top of the stairs before she could relax enough to apologize and thank him.
Cal knows that Cheryl comes closer to trusting him than to any other man, mainly because of his long time relationship with her best friend Beth. However, he is still very careful about how he moves and talks around Cheryl.
Cal doesn’t know many details of Cheryl’s abusive teen years and frankly doesn’t want to know more than Beth has already told him. He knows that the abuse has made Cheryl horribly afraid of physical contact, particularly with men. She has trouble trusting people enough to form any sort of relationship. Even Cheryl knows that her reactions are over the top, but she has never been able to bond with a therapist, male or female, well enough to “open up” and talk about her problems. The medications that she has tried have all caused terrible side effects.
Beth isn’t just Cheryl’s best friend; she is Cheryl’s only friend. They have been friends since childhood.
Beth was the first one to date Cheryl’s abuser but dumped him when she started to suspect his true nature. Cheryl didn’t heed Beth’s warnings and started going out with him. He used threats and violence to terrorize Cheryl. She was afraid to tell anyone about the abuse, even her best friend. Eventually, Beth noticed that something was wrong with Cheryl and found out about the abuse. Beth went to the police and Cheryl’s abuser died in a stand-off with the SWAT team. This ended the abuse and brought Cheryl and Beth even closer together.
Cheryl finally pulls back from Beth’s hug. She looks up at Beth and then Cal. She gives him a small smile of thanks for being concerned but not coming too close. She takes a deep breath and begins, “I lost my job today.”
Beth gasps. “You love that job. Were you laid off?”
“No, I lost it. I mean I literally lost it. All week, Melody has been hoping that Frank would ask her out. During lunch today, he did ask her.” She pauses and shudders a moment. “He made it a crude joke, but Melody likes that sort of humor.” After another pause, Cheryl continues. “The way he asked...the words he used...it sounded just like when that evil...when he used to make me...”
Beth puts her hand in front of Cheryl’s mouth. “Hush Cheryl. You don’t have to say any more.”
Cheryl gives Beth a brief, grateful smile. Then her expression falls back into sadness. “Right about the time Melody was accepting Frank’s invitation, I lost it. I freaked out. I screamed ‘No! No! ’. I threw my desk phone and my keyboard at him. They both just caught on their cords and smashed on the floor. He was too shocked to do anything. Then I realized that I was doing it out loud, not just in my head like I always do. This time it leaked out and I don’t know why. Everyone was staring at me, staring at the crazy woman. I ran out of the building and went home. I left my boss a voicemail saying I quit.”
Cal shifts position slightly but doesn’t move any closer to Cheryl. He isn’t sure what to say.
After a moment, Beth collects her thoughts. “What have you been doing since lunch time?”
“I sat in my apartment and thought about how pathetic I am and how much I hate my life. I hate how I am and I hate that I can’t change it. I thought a lot about dying.”
“Cheryl!” Beth grabs her into another hug. Cheryl flinches but Beth keeps holding her until Cheryl relaxes. “Cheryl, please no. I want you to be here with me forever. I want you to be happy.”
Cheryl pulls back and looks briefly at Beth. Then she stares at Cal for an uncomfortably long time. “Good. Being happy and being here forever sounds very good. Today I realized that I can’t do it.”
Beth frowns. “I don’t understand.”
Cheryl continues to stare at Cal. Her expression shows a combination of fear and determination, like someone about to make their first parachute jump. Cal is normally very good at reading people, but right now has no idea what is going through her mind. Looking away feels like the wrong thing to do so he calmly meets her gaze. At least, he appears calm on the outside. He watches the fear and determination battle in silence for over a minute. Finally, the determination pushes the fear away.
Cheryl takes a deep breath, staring back at Cal, and finally speaks. “Cal, I have known you for almost 4 years now. In my mind, you have always been Beth’s boyfriend. You never flirted with me. You have always respected my boundaries without pursuing why I have them, without pushing me, or them. That made you seem safe enough for me to actually get to know you. You are wonderful for Beth. I have so much wanted someone like you for me, but the idea of trying to get that close to someone scares me beyond words. Although I never planned it, I have gotten closer to you than I have to any other man. Even more, I have learned to trust you. I think that I was able to do this because you never pursued, never pushed. You have been good for Beth. You always want her happy without trying to change her, so you never set off my alarms or made me feel insecure.”
“Wow, I’m not sure what to say.”
Cheryl searches his face for something and then sits back into the sofa. A weight seems to come and go as she battles something deep inside her, perhaps in her very soul by the looks of it. Her eyes drop to her clasped hands, clinging to each other furtively in her lap. “Cal, you are the smartest person I know. You are also the best at reading and understanding people. You always know how to fix things. You always know what to do when something goes wrong. I said that I thought a lot about dying. I don’t actually want to die. I want to live, really live.
Cheryl turns to Beth. “I have made a decision, Beth. I want, I need your help and your support. I want this Cheryl,” she gestures towards herself “the Cheryl the world sees, the one you know now, the forever unhappy and forever afraid Cheryl, to go away forever. I want the old Cheryl back, the one I was before, the one you knew before. I want, I need her. Will you help me? Will you support me in this? Will you be my friend in this? Will you stand by my side and keep me on course even if I think I have changed my mind?”
“Yes, of course Cheryl, you know that,” Beth answers, puzzled and concerned. She is able to see something new for the first time in years. “Anything, but what do you mean ‘change your mind’?”
“Thank you Beth. I mean that, thank you.” Cheryl says with a smile and the most direct look Beth has seen from her in years, “Cal, you always seem to know how to fix anything. This time, I want you to fix me.”
“What?” Cal asks unsure what to think.
“I want you to make me into someone who is happy.” Cheryl says, unable to keep looking him in the eye, but not stopping either. “I mean really, truly happy. Make me into someone who can enjoy all kinds of…” She blushes. “...all kinds of physical intimacy.” She looks into his eyes with the same determined gaze. “Do whatever it takes. You can hypnotize me, drug me, brainwash me. You can perform a lobotomy or whatever else you think it would take. Just please please take away this pain.” Cheryl slides off of the sofa and onto her knees. She remains motionless for a moment, then lunges forward and wraps her arms around Cal’s legs. She pulls her face up into his lap and starts crying again. The war between pulling away and the need holding her in place is written in tears. “Please Cal! I’ll do anything you need me to do. I’ll give you anything you want. I’ll be anything you want. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as I end uptruly happy.”
Cal and Beth are shocked by Cheryl’s obvious desperation. She never touches men on purpose.
Cal’s brain flashes into the extreme crisis mode that can only come when huge amounts of Adrenalin pouring into the blood. Everything around him seems to slow to a crawl as his mind sorts through countless facts and possible solutions in a handful of seconds. Most people never know what using 100% of their brain at once could accomplish. Most people go their entire lives without encountering the sort of crisis needed to push their brain to full capacity. Some people try to create this sort of clarity by pursuing extreme sports or using drugs. At best, they get a pale shadow of what is really possible.
An instant later, everything shifts back to normal speed and Cal has his answer. As usual for this kind of answer though, it isn’t a straight line.
“Cheryl,” Cal says, looking at the woman clinging to his legs like they were a life preserver, “That sort of change could be done in theory, but I don’t think it is possible or even desirable in your case. I am concerned that desiring such an extreme change amounts to being suicidal; a different form of what you have already stated has gone through your mind. Doing this would mean destroying the person that you are now. I won’t help you end your life in body or in spirit. When you inevitably resist, I would have to crush that resistance and that would finish destroying you anyway. I don’t want to be the sort of man who can do that to a defenseless woman.”
Cal pauses but Cheryl remains silent. “To do what you really want, need, would require extensive hypnotic programming and conditioning over time. Changing someone’s personality to that extent, especially without changing who they really are, can only happen if the programmer has continuous and complete control of the subject.”
“And?” Cheryl asks in a whisper with a shiver.
“Unless you could drop all of your defenses and surrender control of your own body and mind to me, I would have to take that control in order to do what you are asking. Then I would have to test that control over and over by making your body and mind do things that Cheryl, who you are now, can’t or won’t do. I don’t think that is possible for you. If you could consciously drop your defenses and let go enough to make this work, then you wouldn’t be so trapped by your fears. You wouldn’t need my help like this.”
Desperation and panic give Cheryl her own moment of clarity. She looks up from Cal’s lap. “In any other situation, you would be right. Right now, I am more desperate than I have ever been and I trust you more than I have ever trusted anyone but Beth. Right now, to achieve this, I can do impossible things.” She emphasizes her point by tightening her grip on his legs and resting her cheek back down on his thigh. Her eyes stay constantly focused on his face.
“But,” She continues desperately, “if I so much as think too much, if I lose contact, sight, then I don’t think I could do this again. So it has to be now Cal, right now. I don’t have a choice. I have to do this while I have this one chance.”
“Then let’s try a simple test.” Cal slowly moves his hand to her head and begins gently stroking her hair. Her eyes track his hand as it approaches her. She holds herself as still as she can while his hand glides over her shimmering black hair from where it begins at the top of her head down to where it ends on her shoulder. Tears flow and her body trembles. Gasps of mere fear becoming panic escape, but she doesn’t let go. She doesn’t back away. She is committed. If she stops then she knows she won’t start again. She has no idea what has enabled her to come this far, but she is not stopping.
“Cheryl, this is the most control I have ever seen from you,” Cal said gently, stroking her hair in time with his voice. He hates not being able to plan, but knows that she will never have this kind of courage again so it is now or never, “What I need, however, is surrender.”
She nods her head once as he brings his hand back up to the top of her head. Then Beth and Cal trade looks of amazement as Cheryl’s body melts into Cal’s lap. His hand automatically keeps stroking her hair as his mind turns over this unexpected development.
This is so out of character for her that Beth begins to wonder if Cheryl has fainted. Beth slides off of the sofa and kneels. “Cheryl? Cheryl, are you OK?” After a moment’s hesitation, she gently pokes Cheryl’s shoulder. “Look at me, Cheryl. What is going on?”
Cheryl jerks her head up and flinches away from Beth’s poke. This breaks the spell and Cheryl pulls away from Cal. She scrambles back up onto the sofa and sits on the end farthest from Cal. Cheryl pulls her knees up to her chest and grips them tightly. Her face is a sickly pale green and she looks nauseated.
Cal almost reaches for her but stops at the last moment. “Are you alright Cheryl?”
She starts to nod but then shakes her head. She doesn’t think that her voice would be steady enough to speak.
Cal gets up and paces the floor on the opposite side of the coffee table. He wants to give Cheryl some space to calm down while he thinks. Beth stays kneeling on the floor, unsure what to do. After a few minutes, Cal stops pacing and turns to Cheryl.
“I am surprised that you could surrender like that. Will you be able to do it again when I ask you to?”
Cheryl nods slowly and then whispers, “Yes, I have to. It is my only chance to get out of this.”
“I am still very doubtful that I can do what you want. And if I try but fail…”
“You won’t fail. I am sure of it.”
Cal looks past her with a frown, barely shaking his head.
“Please Cal, you have to try.” Cheryl’s voice gets more desperate. “I’ll give you everything I have.” She glances at Beth. “You can have me however you want me.” She folds her hands together and begs, “Please”.
“I.” Cal says softly, not even trusting himself to speak.
“Beth?” Cheryl says turning to her.
“He ends this or I do.”
“He does, or I do. You know me Beth. You know how I’m suffering. It ends tonight.”
“Anything Beth, any price. If he’s half as gentle with me as he is with you then I’ll be happier than I’ve ever been.”
“Even as his…?”
“Even as his sex slave, but he won’t keep me that way. Why would he want to when he has you?”
The long silence is finally broken by Beth. “Cal, please do what she asks. I will be OK with whatever you need to do. I will help however I can.”
“But Beth, I don’t…”
“No Cal. Promise that you will try. Leaving her like this is too cruel, and you heard what she just said. She means it. She’s done. She’s ending it, tonight.”
“This sort of change will need a lot of monitoring and reinforcement.”
Cheryl nods. “Then make me your live-in maid. I need a new job anyway.” She looks at Beth and receives a small nod of encouragement. “You can use me however you like as long as I enjoy it.”
Cal thinks a moment more. “OK, another test. Cheryl, I am going to try hypnotizing you. If that works, then I will try to make you do something that you normally would never do.”
Beth moves back onto the sofa. “Do you think that will work?”
“Actually, no. I think it will scare her out of this foolishness.” He turns towards Cheryl. “Despite my misgivings, I really will try to make this test work.”
Cheryl relaxes and scoots to the edge of the sofa. “What do you need me to do?”
“Take off your shoes and lie back on the sofa. Get comfortable.”
While Cheryl stretches out on the sofa, Cal hurries into the master bedroom. He grabs one of Beth’s necklaces with a crystal pendant. When he returns, Cheryl is lying on the sofa with Beth in the arm chair by Cheryl’s head. Cal gets down on one knee and holds the pendant above Cheryl. Ten minutes later Cheryl is in a light trance. After another fifteen minutes he has her in a fairly deep trance.
When Cal turns to hand the necklace back to Beth, he sees her eyes closed and her head hanging limply on her chest. She has gone into a trance along with Cheryl.
“In a moment, I am going to touch your shoulder. When I do, you will ignore everything that happens in the room until I touch your shoulder again. Nod if you understand.” Both women nod gently. Cal lightly brushes Cheryl’s shoulder, making her flinch. Then he turns to Beth.
“Beth, you can speak normally without awakening from this trance. Did you let yourself become hypnotized on purpose?”
“Why did you let yourself become hypnotized?”
“I want to help Cheryl.”
“How does being hypnotized help Cheryl?”
“You can make me forget what you do with Cheryl.”
“How does that help?”
“You don’t have to worry about what I think. You can do whatever you need to in order to help her. This way I don’t have to remember.”
“Are you sure you would feel safe not remembering?”
“Why are you offering to let me do this?”
“Because Cheryl is my friend, she needs our help.”
Cal’s plans for testing Cheryl shift. He has always been attracted to Cheryl but has carefully hidden this from both women. Now, Beth has given him a chance to play. He touches Beth’s shoulder. “Beth?” No response. “Beth, nod your head.” She doesn’t move or respond in any way.
Cal touches Cheryl’s shoulder for the second time. “Cheryl, can you hear me?”
After a few seconds she whispers, “Yes”.
“You can talk normally without waking from your trance.”
“Cheryl, I need to control you for your plan to work. Do you understand?”
“Yes, you need to control me to make my plan work.”
“If my control isn’t perfect at first, you will need to help me. Will you help me control you?”
“Yes, I will help you control me.”
“You need to help me by acting controlled until you really are controlled. This means you will obey me even if I don’t completely control you. Do you agree to this?”
After a moment’s hesitation, Cheryl replies, “I…um…guess…”
“Cheryl, you have to do this for your plan to work. You want your plan to work, correct?
“Yes, I want my plan to work.”
“Then you must agree to obey me even if I don’t completely control you.
“Do you agree?”
“Yes, I will obey you even if you don’t control me.”
“You must obey me even if you don’t want to. Will you do that?”
“You have to obey even if you don’t want to. It is the only way to make your plan work. Will you do that?”
“You will obey any command I give.”
“I..um..I will obey any command you give.”
“Good girl Cheryl.” Cal says warmly and then pauses a moment to be sure that he really wants to commit himself to this, “Now this is where your project begins. Do you understand?”
“Do you know what that means?”
“It means I have to do what you command even if I don’t want to.”
“Correct. Now stand up while remaining in a trance.”
Cheryl slowly stands up next to the sofa.
“Hand me your blouse.” He orders gently. “Just remember, every order you obey brings you closer to what you want. You are not handing me your blouse because I want you to, you are handing it to me because you want to. You want me to control you so you want to give me your blouse. You want to give me your blouse and with it you are giving me just that little bit of control.”
Cheryl’s hands move very slowly to the front of her blouse and then pause as though they are fighting her. She un-tucks it from her skirt and then begins unbuttoning her blouse from the top. Each button reveals more and more of her lacy white bra and more and more trembling in her hands. When all of the buttons are undone, she shrugs her blouse off of her shoulders and holds it out to Cal with an almost convulsive movement. He takes it and lays it on the coffee table, wondering what is going through her mind.
“Hand me your bra.” He orders, unsure if this will continue to work. “Remember, you are not obeying me, you are obeying you. Doing as I say, obeying me, is obeying you. If you truly want to me to do what you say you want me to do, then you must choose to obey me.”
Slowly, hesitantly, she reaches behind her back to unfasten her bra. Moments pass before her fingers do as ordered and unclasp it. Then it slides down her arms, revealing her perfect C cup breasts that he has been wanting to see for a while now. Her light brown skin contrasts with her dark brown nipples. Cal takes her bra and puts it on top of her blouse.
“Stand at parade rest and open your eyes while remaining in a deep trance.”
Cheryl stands up straighter and puts her hands together behind her low back. Her eyes open, revealing a blank stare.
“Now hold still while I take some pictures of you with my phone’s camera.” After snapping a handful of pictures, Cal puts his phone back into his pocket.
“In a moment, I am going to touch your shoulder. When I do, you will ignore everything that happens in the room, and to you, until I touch your shoulder again. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” She answers and Cal touches her on the shoulder. There is a brief moment of some reaction when he touches her and then nothing as she begins to ignore everything as instructed.
Then he circles her, examining her body, looking for understanding. There are no scars, no old marks, and no healed wounds to explain her reactions to touch. Avoiding her shoulder, Cal’s hands explore her face, her head, her arms and finally gently explore her bare breasts. He stops himself short of sucking on them, but just barely. After one last wistful fondle and a caress, he touches her shoulder again.
“Good girl, Cheryl. You have shown me that you will obey me while you are hypnotized. Now you must show me that you will obey me after you wake up. This is necessary for your plan to work. You must agree to follow the commands I am going to give you now after you wake up. You already obey me now. Obeying later is no different than obeying now.” Cal takes a moment to admire the view as she breaths. “Do you agree to obey my post-hypnotic commands?”
Hesitation and then “I don’t know what they are…”
“Cheryl, you must give me control for your plan to work. You must give me control by agreeing to obey any post-hypnotic commands I give you. Will you give me control to help make your plan work?”
Brief hesitation and then “Yes”
“Yes what, Cheryl”
“Yes, I will give you control to make my plan work.”
“Will you agree to obey any post-hypnotic commands I give you?”
“Yes, I will obey any post-hypnotic commands you give me.”
“Say ‘I will obey your post-hypnotic commands. I enjoy obeying them.’”
“I will obey your post-hypnotic commands. I enjoy obeying them.”
“Good girl, now say it again.”
“I will obey your post-hypnotic commands. I enjoy obeying them.”
“Put your hands on your breasts and start fondling them.” Cheryl’s hands hesitate and then slowly move up to her breasts. Her hands begin caressing her breasts and tugging her nipples. Cal watches her nipples gradually harden as her enthusiasm grows.
“Say ‘I will obey your post-hypnotic commands. I enjoy obeying them.’ like you mean it.”
“I will obey your post-hypnotic commands. I enjoy obeying them.”
“Now begin repeating it.”
Cheryl begins repeating “I will obey your post-hypnotic commands. I enjoy obeying them.” over and over.
“Each time you say that phrase, it becomes more and more true. As it becomes more and more true, you pleasure builds. When you absolutely will obey my post hypnotic commands, you will climax and then relax even deeper into this trance.”
Cal is treated to a show of Cheryl gradually getting more and more aroused as she repeats her promise to obey over and over. Her resistance melts as her pleasure builds. Just how much she needs a real release is evident by how well and rapidly she responds. After 5 minutes, she climaxes with a loud moan and then her hands fall limply to her sides.
Cal is ready to test her willingness to surrender and obey. “When I count from one to three, you will awaken from your trance. You will place my hands on your breasts. Then you will remain passive, focusing on nothing except my voice and how good it feels while I fondle your breasts. When I tell you that I am finished, you will immediately drop back into a deep trance.” He waits a moment and then slowly counts, “One, two, three.”
Animation returns to Cheryl’s eyes. She feels something indescribable as she watches her hands reach out to Cal’s and guide them onto her breasts. The moment his hands touch, her whole body tenses up. Cal doesn’t want her to balk too much so he gently squeezes once and then says, “I am finished.”
Cheryl’s eyes drop shut as the animation leaves her face.
“Put your blouse back on.” Cheryl slips into her blouse and buttons it back up. Cal puts her bra into her purse.
“From now on, whenever I say ‘trance time Cheryl’ you will fall back into a hypnotic trance. You must obey this post-hypnotic command even if you don’t want to. That means you must fall back into a trance even if you don’t want to. You choose to obey now meaning that you will obey then. Now, tell me what happens when I say ‘trance time Cheryl’.”
“I fall into a hypnotic trance.”
“What happens if you don’t want to be hypnotized?”
“I become hypnotized anyway.”
Cheryl doesn’t realize it yet, but she has just surrendered the first bit of her free will to Cal. She can’t reclaim it without his consent.
“I am now going to awaken you by counting from one to three. You will clearly remember everything that happened while you were hypnotized. One, two, three.”
Cheryl’s eyes open slowly and she stretches. This pulls her blouse tight across her chest, highlighting her bra-less breasts. Suddenly, she pulls her arms across her chest and looks horrified. “Oh my God!” Her hands grope her own chest, searching for a bra that isn’t there. “Did I really…I just stood there and…and I actually put your hands on…on me!” She stares at Cal. “It felt sort of good at the time but now I feel ill thinking about it.” She takes some deep breaths, trying to calm herself. “Umm…where is my bra?”
“I had you leave it off to help convince you that this wasn’t all just in your imagination. Your bra is in your purse.”
“I’m going to go to the bathroom and…umm…put it back on.” She grabs her purse and clutches it to her chest.
“Take as much time as you need. I know you will have a hard time processing this.” Cheryl flees to the bathroom. After watching her go, Cal turns his attention to Beth. He touches her shoulder for the second time.
“Beth, nod if you can hear me.” Her head bobs once. “What has happened since you were hypnotized?”
“You asked me why I was hypnotized. Then you touched my shoulder and I relaxed until you touched it again.”
“If you want me to hypnotize you again, we can set up a way to make it easier. If you choose, when I say ‘Trance Time Beth’ then you can fall back into a hypnotic trance. Does that sound like a good idea?”
“You will wake up as I count from one to three. You won’t remember what happened while you were hypnotized. One, two, three.”
Beth slowly opens her eyes and then smiles at Cal. Then she looks at the sofa. “Where is Cheryl?”
“She is in the bathroom freshening up.”
“Is she alright?”
“I think so, but she has a lot of processing to do.”
“Do you want me to hypnotize you each time I hypnotize Cheryl?”
“Why?” He asks, wanting to be sure her conscious and unconscious reasons line up.
“You will have to play with Cheryl’s body to test your control. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to be jealous.”
“Are you OK with me doing sexual things with Cheryl as part of doing what she wants?”
“Umm…I want Cheryl to be happy and only you can fix her so I want you to do whatever it takes to make her happy. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
They wait quietly for a few minutes until Cheryl comes back into the room. She sits on the sofa and looks up at Cal.
“Will you do it?”
Cal sighs, “I am convinced that you are willing to surrender a large amount of control. I think that is enough to try but I am still skeptical that it will work out the way you are expecting.”
“I am only expecting something better than what I have now. I know you can do that much.”
“OK, I will try. If we are going to keep you, then you need to move in here. We will turn the study into your bedroom. Go ahead and cancel the lease on your apartment, you will be staying here one way or another. We will help you get moved in and everything.” Cal pauses and looks at both women. “I have some preparation to do before we can start. Don’t bring the subject up again. I will let you know when I am ready to start.”
Both women nod their heads.