Bertrand was gone. He left. He stayed long enough to kiss June on the cheek. If you change your mind, call. Don’t be a stranger. Can’t we still be friends? Bertrand didn’t come back. He went away hurting. Like he’d been shot. But he gave it his best shot, and what more can a man do? He might not simply have kissed her. He might have taken her to bed. He might have fallen to the floor. Clasped her knees. Begged. Instead, he went home. Got in bed. Pulled the covers up. To his chin. He didn’t sleep too well. He took some pills. On the third night, he was just too exhausted to see the bright side. Only the dark underside. He wondered, had June been right? The thing about escaping. His dad. The premise on which he based everything. He felt he could not consider the possibility that he had been wrong, since it would nullify his entire existence. At least he had his classical guitar training. But was that enough?


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