Together it was a life, and it might not be a perfect life, but she had built it and she thought: I cannot do this. All love eventually flamed out, didn't it? Was anything permanent? Wouldn't she find herself lying next to Owen and feel the same way she felt about Charlie? Oh yes, she thought, shat she had with Charlie might not be exciting, but there was something to be said for the quiet love of two people who had been together forever, the ease they shared, where she did not ever worry about him, where she took him for granted, not as that sounded, but in a positive sense, in the way you come to rely on the snow of winter and the heat of summer, on the solid warmth of a great meal.