From Normal People

Not for the first time Marianne thinks cruelty does not hurt only the victim, but the perpetrator also, maybe more deeply and more permanently. You learn nothing very profound about yourself simply by being bullied, but by bullying someone else you learn something you can never forget.

She closes her eyes. He probably won't come back, she thinks. Or he will, differently. What they have now they can never have back again. But for her the pain of loneliness will be nothing to the pain that she used to feel, of being unworthy. He brought her goodness like a gift and now it belongs to her. Meanwhile his life opens out before him in all directions at once. They've done a lot of good for each other. Really, she thinks, really. People can really change one another.

You should go, she says. I'll always be here. You know that.

From Rig Veda