Finn was a beautiful orphan. H was a prep school misfit. On a September afternoon many years ago they met on a beach on the coast of England, near the ancient fishermanas hut Finn was squatting in with his woodstove, a case of books, a striped blanket and a cat. H insinuates his way into Finnas lifeahis blazing wood fires and fishing expeditions. Their friendship deepens, offering H the freedom and human connection that has always eluded him. But all too soon the idyll of their relationship is shaken by a heart-wrenching scandal. "What I Was" is the unforgettable story of H at the end of his life looking back on this friendship, which has shaped and obsessed him for nearly a century.