It was strange for Joanie, being back at the office. As she sat down at her desk it occurred to her the last time she had sat there was when she was fantasizing about Peter. Peter Thompson, her old buddy, her old flame, was now pent up in some asylum waiting for a psychological assessment. Pleading insanity would be the best course of action for him to take, Joanie reasoned, but still, it stung her heart thinking of him locked up, possibly for the rest of his life.
While paperwork and post-it notes sat piled on her desk, most of Joanie’s morning was spent daydreaming about Peter. But this time, the daydreams were not the least bit erotic. She went over and over in her mind all the things he had revealed to her that fateful day in her apartment. His strange behaviors, his need to torture, and his ability to push the limits with people but not go all the way, all this fascinated and confused her. How had things gotten so out of control? Thinking back, she should have seen it coming. Peter was right. They had been living a fantasy that, during their lives, never blossomed into a reality. When he hadn’t made more definitive advances toward her, and had married Clarice, Joanie went to New York to try to move on from the emptiness she was left with. He had let her down. But even more recently, when he had become so moody and irrational, she had still been unable to admit that Peter – her Peter – was losing control. What had made this friend of hers become such a monster? And more, what made her want to protect him?