"I don't want to tell you", softly - but firmly - she said.
"But now I know there's something to know."
"That was my first mistake. I'm not going to make a second. It's better this way."
"But... but that means I'll always wonder, always know there's something there keeping us apart"
"There always has been. You never worried about it before. What's changed?"
"It's different now. Don't you see that?"
"Not for me."
"So you knew from the beginning. Don't you realise you've misled me, hurt me?"
"If I told you, you'd understand why I mustn't tell you. Trust me."
"I want to, but you've abused my trust by not telling me."
"I don't want things to change now, there's no reason. Just... leave it."
"I can't. If you won't tell me, we are less than we were. I can't reconnect with you without this."
"You can force me, you know. I'm only human. Try hard enough, phrase it in the right way, and I'll tell you. What we have means more to me than not telling you. But...
"But you too will have destroyed something. You will have pulled a sacred chord to find out, and the chords can't handle the strain; they break. You'll get what you want to know, but you won't rebuild our bond, you'll destroy it. Especially as when you find out, you'll agree I shouldn't have told you."
"But where do we go from here?"
"Nowhere. You won't be satisfied unless I tell you, and neither of us will ever forgive ourselves if I do."
Silence, and I listened to the clock, counting the dull ticks until I got to ninety-nine.
"I'll let myself out", I said, and walked away into the autumn night.