“Do you love me?”

“Yes. I do. I love the you that lives in me.”

“Is there something else?”

“There is.”

“What is it?”

“It’s the part of you that lives inside everyone else.”

“So, what about that part?”

“It’s an important part of you.”

“Is that it?”

“No. There’s more… but how do I tell you?”

“You just do.”

“By no means is it that simple.”

“God, would you just tell me?!”

“But I think you already know.”

“I do not.”

“You won’t like it.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I wouldn’t like it.”

“So, tell me anyway.”

“I will.”

“Please, do.”

“That part of you that lives in everyone else…”


“I envy, fear, possibly even detest that part of you.”

“Then why don’t you ask me if I love you?”

“Because I haven’t the courage for the answer. Besides, your asking me to ask you endears only you to me, not me to you.”

“But don’t you want to know whether I love you?”

“I think I’m far too selfish for the truth.”

“Well, I do love you. Though I wish you had asked me.”

“Would that prove my loving you?”

“It would have been a great encouragement.”

“Perhaps I don’t want to encourage you.”

“But why on Earth not?!”

“I told you. I’m too selfish.”

“Don’t you want me to love you?”

“What does my wanting it prove?”

“It proves that you love me.”

“I will not ask you if you love me.”

“Yet, you have said that you love me. Well, in a fashion.”

“And that isn’t good enough for you?”

“Is it good enough for you?”

“Nothing is ever good enough.”

“That’s ridiculous!”

“Then why did you ask me if I love you?”