It was at the art show where things started to go wrong. He wanted to buy her the piece, the one he could tell she had really fallen in love with. He loved her and wanted her to have the things she loved. But he couldn't get it for her for a multitude of complex reasons.
He couldn't get it for her because of his past, because of her past, because of the present, because of the future. He couldn't get it for her because of this person or that person, what they would think, what they would say, what they would do. He couldn't get it for her because of the house on Long Island, the one he had inherited from his parents but had taken out a new loan on, and was about to be foreclosed on. He couldn't get it for her because this life he had chosen, which was the only life he could have chosen, couldn't keep him in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed, and it wasn't really an unreasonable lifestyle besides.
Because of all those things and one more, he couldn't go back to the gallery and speak with the curator and make arrangements to buy the painting and surprise her with it and see the joy on her face, the face he loved more than anything in that moment; and that one additional thing was the real killer: it was his mind.
He was starting to know things, things he shouldn't know; those things were starting to tear him apart from the inside out.