Patsy had asked him if he had had adventures in Paris and he had truthfully answered no. It was a fact that he had done nothing; his father thought he had had a devil of a time and was afraid he had contracted a venereal disease, and he hadn’t even had a woman; only one thing had happened to him, it was rather curious when you came to think of it, and he didn’t just then quite know what to do about it: the bottom had fallen out of his world.

My heart grips as the word crosses my mind. So many different feelings come with the word, not just loneliness. The word went beyond its definition. Loneliness has a deeper meaning to those who truly know what it means to be alone.

Tully starts in again. ‘See, the hidden value can go way deeper than sentimental attachment. Sometimes you feel it down to your soul. Like maybe you’re the one person who appreciates a work of art that everybody else hates. … This thing you treasure, this thing nobody else wants, could also be what you’d call organic. It could be alive. … That’s what falling in love is, isn’t it? Discovering the hidden value in someone.

Soul mates, I’ve always believed in, so I accepted the truth there. But curses? That was extreme. There had to be a place where the line was drawn between fiction and reality, and a curse sounded way more on the fiction side of the spectrum.

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