"He did not know the truth of me, yet he had perceived something true about me that no one else had ever noticed. And in spite of that—or perhaps because of it—he believed me good, believed me worth taking seriously, and his belief, for one vertiginous moment, made me want to be better than I was. I was a fool to let myself feel that. I was a monster; that could never change. I almost snapped at him, almost played the monster in earnest as only I could play it, but something stopped me. He wasn’t some dragon, coldly observing me. He was offering me something true about himself in return. It shone like a diamond. That wasn’t trivial; that was generous. If I knocked this gift out of his hand, I wasn’t getting another. I inhaled shakily and said, “Thank you, but …” No, no buts. “Thank you.”"