rogitate; to entreat or ask often
solipsistic; applying the doctrine that the self is the only thing known to exist
If Alice’s eyes hadn’t automatically closed when the hands came from behind her to cover them, she would have closed them now. An inward groan over past foolish choices, an ache of loneliness rearing its ugly head, and a strong resolve to withstand the perpetrator flashed through her brain. She turned slightly in her chair, shook her head free, and asked, “Luke, when did you get back in town?”
“What? No hug?” he asked. Alice just looked at him. After a few seconds he took the hint and dropped into a chair across from her. “I got in last night. I’m staying at my mom’s for a few days before I head to the city for the next assignment. Are you glad to see me?”
Her brain screamed warning signals, which Alice heeded for a change. Very levelly she responded, “being glad to see you would imply that I had noticed you were gone.”
He grinned, “if you didn’t notice I was gone, why did you ask when I got back in town? So why don’t I get a hug for old times’ sake?” He began to lean toward her.
“Why must you rogitate about physical affection all the time?” Alice leaned away from him.
“Oooh, that sounds like something dirty, Alice! I just want to see if you still feel the same as in the old days,” Luke answered.
Alice pushed back from the table and rose. “I have important things to do and important people to see. I don’t have time to be drawn into your solipsistic orbit again.” As she stalked across the cafeteria and out the door Luke’s expression turned from a self-mocking grin to a disappointed grimace. “I seem to be nequient in the area of talking to that woman,” he muttered to himself.
Brian’s voice cut into his revery. “Why were you talking to my sister? Haven’t you caused enough damage in this town?
Luke turned, “Brian! I didn’t realize you were here. What’s new?”
Brian answered him, “let’s see…since you left town I’ve put my sister’s life back together, lost my beloved wife and been accused of murdering her. You returning to wreak havoc again makes the perfect ending to a perfect year.”
Luke's grin disappeared and he looked sincere for a change, “Oh Brian, I’m really sorry about Marina. I knew it didn’t look good when I left, but I didn’t realize…” he trailed off. “Yeah, well about Alice and me, I know I screwed that up too. I want to make it up to her but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to convince her to trust me.”
Brian answered, “no one in our family trusts you. Not my parents who gave you a home when your parents kicked you out, not my sister whose heart you broke, and not me who thought of you as a brother. You blew it. The only reason I’m not hitting you right now is because I’ve already been arrested once in the last month. The cops don’t need much excuse to run me in again.” Brian whirled around and strode angrily toward the exit.
“Brian!” Luke called out, but it was no use. Brian had disappeared through the swinging doors.
This time Luke looked around before talking to himself, “oh man, how am I ever going to make this right?”