From When Jonathan Died by Tony Duvert
Jonathan thought again of leaving everything, going back to Paris, seeing Serge again quickly, suffering anything – even his contemporaries – so long as he could save the little boy.
But save him from what? The world in which one could believe oneself happy wasn’t Jonathan’s world. Serge had spent three or four months here, months which might be counted happiness; but he wasn’t yet of an age to recognize or go looking for any happiness at all. His stay with Jonathan was rather the stuff of 60-year-old memories and of “if I had known.” For when we get old we finally remember an age when we were happy, which we lived without knowing it would never come back; and these are the first years of our life, and the only life ever.
Serge really is very big. Children of 10 or thought of as larvae with dead brains; and many of them, in fact, are even worse. But Serge, Serge indeed had resisted.
Which made him already familiar with unhappiness. This surprised Jonathan, and hurt him. While two years before he had loved a little boy who had seemed a stranger, almost, to the suffering of the world, now he had to deal with someone like himself: a man of 10 years old, who lived and knew the same things as Jonathan; but to believe that to be with Jonathan was to save himself from this knowledge, to recover from it, to make of it an ordinary nightmare, from which you free yourself in the morning with a laugh. For Serge it was still possible for the world to be like the people one likes, and not like the people who rule.
Jonathan knew this wasn’t true. He didn’t say so. And this was the one silence that still stood between them.