Her note continued:

“I never believed your routine about being a cynic. You believe in things. Not good things or worthy things, but things nonetheless. From my point of view, every position I’ve teased out of you is utterly repugnant, but in taking them you’ve set yourself apart from the others.

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. It’s a cruel world we live in when somebody has to hide their idealism behind a cynic’s mask, to feign apathy about something they care deeply about rather than confronting it head on. I’ve worn that mask many times in my life, and only recently have I had the courage to remove it for good. I think, in time, you will too.

This isn’t like the end of the book you told me you wanted to write–the one where everyone manages to live happily if not ever after without reeking of sickly-sweet sentiment. I don’t know if even such a qualified happiness can exist in this world of ours without a platform of lies to stand upon, much as we all desperately need to believe it can and does. But it is an ending.

I’ll go my own way–don’t worry. But whatever happens, I want you to be strengthened by it. Go out there and believe repulsive things, but believe them sincerely, just as I sincerely believe that you’ll get your happy ending–whether in real life or in a world of your own making on a manuscript page.”