It is a conversation that would never happen in real life. But it's hard to fill in all the gaps and get the reader to understand the complex nature of relationships without some back story. So what are writers to do? Awkward dialogue or internal conversations that reveal the past? Or flashbacks? With AMARANTHINE, for example, I preferred to use flashbacks rather than dialogue. I liked being able to go back in time and show the reader what happened rather than tell them. I think it's nicer to read and gives a better picture of events than a dialogue recap. So why do publishers and editors detest them so much? I really have no idea. The same reason they hate prologues I guess. Too many people do them poorly.
But, I recently started watching LOST, and that show is full of flashbacks. It works. It drives the story and fills the gaps, and builds the characters without having endless dialogue telling us what made these people the way they are. I don't feel bad for using the flashbacks anymore. They are a tool, and a damn good one, and I did them well. So here is to the much maligned flashback, may you shed your bad boy image and enjoy the glory you so rightly deserve. Cheers!