‘You’re the most exquisite thing I’ve ever seen,’ he says. I don’t sigh or tell him he’s wrong or accuse him of lying. I say, thank you, which I’ve always believed is the appropriate response to a compliment, whether you believe or not. It’s important not to devalue a person’s sentiments. My mother taught me that, I think. ‘I mean it,’ he says, thinking my thanks is a no. ‘I know,’ I say. I can tell. The truth of it is there in his eyes and that half crescent smile that rises with his happiness. It breaks my heart.

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