I hand the photocopied pages to Charlie and wait, my right knee jiggling up and down, keeping time with my pounding heart.
He's taking forever to read it. His face is inscrutable.
Finally he looks up at me. "Does this mean we can talk about it now?"
My heart stops. "What do you mean? You think they're right?"
He half-smiles. "I mean I've known this since the first year. I knew what I was getting into when we got married. So now it has a name. I didn't leave you before and I'm not leaving now. Does this mean we can stop pretending and admit it's real?
My hands start to flap and my breathing quickens. I sink from the arm of the couch to the corner seat. Charlie gets up from the computer chair and seats himself next to me, taking my hand.
"It's okay. We've been through so much already. We'll get through this. Think about it. We know what it is. That means we can fight it."
"You believe me then? You don't think it's bullshit?"
"Baby, I've talked to them. I've seen them since we first got married. I know Stephanie and Roo and the one who cuts..." He wraps his arms around me, pulling me close. I should feel safer. I should feel relief. All I feel is terror.
"I thought they were demons." It would have been easier if they were. This isn't something we can tell to go away. It's in me and I hate them. They've ruined my life. Why is everyone so freaking happy and relieved about this?
The last thing I am is relieved. It's going to get worse. I know it.