They sat down on the cold wooden floor. It was morning. She told him of her days of loneliness, of which, he could understand well - all of it, and more. He told her of his. She kept silent for long. The trees were rustling out of their London window.
'I'm sorry,' she said.
'Because I don't know what to say - because I can't understand it as much as you.'
'I hope you never do,' he replied. She kept quiet once more, with her knees clasped within her arms. He looked forward, like a lost man, of whose likes we often hear in fables, plodding through the thickets without hope. He did not stir, and she merely looked at him. Perhaps it was pity, perhaps it was guilt, that she added such great sorrow to a man who already bore such deep wounds. But then, as though it were wrested from her mouth with force, she blurted:
'Love yourself more!'
'Call me a whore, call me a horrible person. All the things I did to myself, I did, because I didn't love myself. I felt cheap, I was treated cheaply. I didn't love myself. Don't put me, don't put others before you. Love yourself more --- please!'
Her porcelain skin, now stained of tears, grew red. She couldn't say anymore - she was distanced from him, by the pain he felt, and the pain she may never know. He stirred at last.
'Love yourself -- please?' she pleaded again.
'It is not in my nature,' he smiled.