“But why did you buy it?”

“For you, of course,” said Frank, leaning against the table. And, of course, she had already known that.

“Why did you do it that way? All secretive?” she asked. “Why didn’t you just give it to me like a normal person.”

“Would you have taken it?” he replied, smiling weakly.

“Not at first,” Alice admitted. “But I was getting pretty desperate. I would’ve taken it eventually… especially if you didn’t tell me that you bought it specifically for me.”

Frank nodded. “I know that, but—you wouldn’t have been happy about it.”


“I just…” He hesitated, not meeting her eye. “I just wanted you to have something go your way—something that made you happy. Everything’s been going against you, and I haven’t seen you happy a lot lately, and I—I just wanted you to be happy about something. And I didn’t tell you it was me, because I thought it wouldn’t make you as happy, and I—I didn’t want you to think I was trying to… like… I dunno, win you back or make amends or something. ‘Cause that’s not what it was about. I swear.”

—  TLAT (Chapter 18)