“I know you thought it was all true. You wanted to believe him. And why not? Such a sad backstory and a willing ear when you needed someone to listen. You shouldn’t feel duped because I know he needed to cling to something to make it through all of the valleys in his life. So many low points that he simply deserved to have a story that didn’t hurt and a to have at least one sympathetic ally.”

“But I have to tell you they were imaginings on his part. Drawings and paintings, half-finished impressions of a woman he’d only seen twice and built up into a fable of a romance that was doomed. Because a love that isn’t returned is always a dead end and he ought to have known that. Any normal person would have walked away, but Dirk wasn’t normal in the ways of romance. He was swept up in a tide of fantasy and expectation that fueled his chaotic art, but ultimately destroyed his oddly idealistic views about love.”

© 2023 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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