"Sort of. I still had this idea that there was a whole world of marvelous golden people somewhere, as far ahead of me as the seniors at Rye when I was in sixth grade; people who knew everything instinctively, who made their lives work out the way they wanted without even trying, who never had to make the best of a bad job because it never occurred to them to do anything less than perfectly the first time. Sort of heroic super-people, all of them beautiful and witty and calm and kind, and I always imagined that when I did find them I'd suddenly know that I belonged among them, that I was one of them, that I'd been meant to be one of them all along, and everything in the meantime had been a mistake; and they'd know it too. I'd be like the ugly duckling among the swans."
Shep was looking steadily at her profile, hoping the silent force of his love would move her to turn and face him. "I think I know that feeling," he said.
"I doubt it." She didn't look at him, and the little lines had appeared again around her mouth. "At least I hope you don't, for your sake. It's a thing I wouldn't wish on anybody. It's the most stupid, ruinous kind of self-deception there is, and it gets you into nothing but trouble."