He knew Alec enough by now to know the conflicting impulses that warred in him. He was conscientious, the kind of person who believed that the others around him were so much more important than he was, who already believed he was letting everybody down. And he was honest, the kind of person that was naturally open about all he felt and wanted. Alec's virtues had made a trap for him; these two good qualities had collided painfully. He felt he could not be honest without disappointing everyone he loved. It was a hideous conundrum for him. It was as if the world had been designed to make him unhappy.