Last night I finished reading a story in which a beloved character died.
And even though I knew he really wasn't dead, quite the contrary, he was still alive and would spend several years in hiding to escape anyone else who might be after his blood, it still made me cry.
I spent a few minutes quietly sobbing, clutching the book tightly to my chest.
What his companion must have felt, all those years thinking your best friend was dead and then having him turn up in your study.
I wanted to keep going, wanted to reassure myself that he was still alive by reading the next story, wanted to hear exactly how he had survived that dreadful battle with his arch nemesis.
But it was late, and my eyelids were heavy around my tears.
I set the book down on the bedside table, turned off the light, and allowed myself one night, one fraction of the grief felt by his companion.
And what a night it was.