I'm not ungrateful. Painter's gift is really a reminder to myself that she is not who she pretends to be, and because of that, I owe her nothing but time and distance.
Which of course begs the question, knowing I didn't send one, what is Painter gaining by pretending I did something I didn't?
I have allowed invisible loyalties to interfere in my well-being. I have taken life-altering actions on more than one occasion because I allowed invisible loyalties to hijack my decision-making process.
I was never confused about Painter’s decision to end the relationship. Although I was hurt and sad, I was never confused. I understood.