Her face looked as if she knew his worst suffering and it was hers and she wished to bear it like this, coldly, asking no words of mitigation.
“You’re wrong,” he said. They could always speak like this to each other, continuing a conversation they had not begun. His voice was gentle. “I don’t feel that.”
“I don’t want to know.”
“I want you to know. What you’re thinking is much worse than the truth. I don’t believe it matters to me – that they’re going to destroy it. Maybe it hurts so much that I don’t even know I’m hurt. But I don’t think so. If you want to carry it for my sake, don’t carry more than I do. I’m not capable of suffering completely. I never have. It goes only down to a certain point and then it stops. As long as there is that untouched point, it’s not really pain. You mustn’t look like that.”
“Where does it stop?”
“Where I can think of nothing and feel nothing except that I designed that temple. I built it. Nothing else can seem very important.”
“You shouldn’t have built it. You shouldn’t have delivered it to the sort of thing they’re doing.”
“That doesn’t matter. Not even that they’ll destroy it. Only that it had existed.”