And then suddenly, Lory shut me out. She told me she was sick, so I brought around some flowers and soup, just in time to see her striding away somewhere like a woman on a mission.
I know a brush-off when I get one. I figured she’d met somebody and I’d touch base once in awhile till she figured things out and told me. It hurt that she felt she had to tell me lies, but I got it. She was afraid I’d be mad and didn’t know how to face up to it. 

I blamed her grandparents. You got one job with kids: unconditional love. You put conditions on it, they think for the rest of their lives they gotta earn it, and don’t feel like they ever can earn it, so they lie and cheat and whatever they feel they need to do to get it, and live in constant fear of losing it. I could tell her it wasn’t necessary till I was blue in the face, but she’d have to have it proved to her - again and again, probably. I hoped her new guy was up to it.

“I programmed it all in and they’re mostly your words anyhow. Just follow along.”
“You know I can’t sing, though!”
“You can sing this. On three, now -”

“Will you love me if I’m not perfect? What if I do something wrong? Will you love me if I show weakness? Will you love me if I’m too strong? Will you love me if I smile too much? Will you love me if I scold? Will you love me if I’m clingy? Or if I should turn cold?”

“Will you love me if I can’t perform, or I’m not smart enough? It’s always been smooth sailing, but what if things get rough? - Okay, together now:
"That’s not the way that love works. I’m in love with who you are, and with who you are becoming. We cannot grow too far.”

“I…haven’t really said all those things, have I?”
“One way or another. Not always in so many words.”
“So…does that mean I share copyright on the song?”
“Now you mention it, it does.”