"I would give any thing to see you."

"I want to see you, too."

"What?" He heard me clearly the first time, but there are implicit rules now. We have a goal to achieve and I couldn't hurt him any more even if it was hurting me.

"Nothing. I miss you, too."  A lie can be an act of mercy.

There was silence on the other end. Maybe he was hoping I would repeat it. Maybe he was hoping I wouldn't. "Thank you," he finally said.