I put down the manuscript.
“Well?” he asked. He was doing a crossword puzzle with a ballpoint pen.
“She’s not me.”
“The girl. She’s someone else. She’s not me.”
“She’s no one,” he said. “She’s made up. It’s fiction.”
Always a level voice. I loved him: steady, solid. But hated that he could build worlds with words that made me weep while never weeping himself. Do you feel these things you write? Or are you just a scribe? Tell me you feel something, dammit.
“Do you love her? This girl?”
“She’s made up. She’s not real,” he said quietly.