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"I think this is going to work," Tim said. "I'm going to whack it...right about now."

I held my breath and took a peek. Tim's hand was made into a fist with his middle knuckle protruding. He lifted it and brought it down quickly, but not very hard, upon my cyst.

"Well that didn't work," I said, after letting my breath out in a blow of air. "I could hardly feel that."

"That's how hard I hit Renee," said Tim. He looked perplexed, but determined. "Let's try it again."

"I don't know, maybe I should -- OW!" This time it was more a knuckle-punch than a whack. "Okay, thanks, but I don't think it's going to work. My cyst is a lot older than Renee's, and well, it's clearly more resilient."

In a sudden burst of cooperation, David reached over and held the growing lump on my wrist with his thumbs and forefingers. "There, try it now," he said. "I think it was moving away when you hit it." I looked at him in horror. Either he no longer believed Tim was going to break my wrist, or he was out to get me. Another whack.

"AAHHH! OKAY! Really, you guys, it's not going to work," I whined. Tim jumped up and, in two long strides, reached the other side of the room. After rummaging around in a corner, he found what he was looking for and raised the object -- a huge sledgehammer -- high above his head.

"That settles it. You are categorically insane . There's no way I'm letting you take a swing at my wrist with that thing," I said, cradling my arm, which was beginning to throb. "And you! " I snapped at David. "I thought you were afraid I'd get hurt! How could you condone this?" Tim handed the sledgehammer to David, and my lover taunted me by brandishing it in my direction, perhaps as a mocking form of punishment for not listening to him in the first place.

"Thanks, Tim. You tried your best, but I think I should go to a real doctor now."

"No, no, Barbie, this is what we'll do. Give your wrist a week to heal, and then we'll try it again, with the hammer. I know I can do this," said Tim. I looked into his eyes, ice blue sincerity. He sounded so confident.

"Yeah, sure," I said. "I'll think about it."

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