Solitude

Story By Stormdancer


"What's wrong?"

"Nothing."

"Someone's ly-ing."

"Who would that be?"

"You."

"No I'm not."

"Yes you are."

"Nu-uh"

"Uh-huh."

"Nope."

"Yep."

"No- are we really doing this?"

"Are you going to tell me what's

wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong! Why do you keep insisting that?"

"'Cause you're sitting alone in a corner instead of talking to your awesome friends?"

"ie, you?"

"Well, duh. And you only get that line down your forehead when something's bothering you. So what's up?"

"I told you, noth-"

"I'm just gonna annoy you til you tell me."

"Ugh, fine."

"…so?"

"Matt asked Liz out."

"For reals? He finally got the balls to do it? 'Cause he's been bitching about how hard it was gonna be for ages, and even I was starting to get irritated and I've known him for long enough that we don't really get mad at each other often- well, no, we do, but not seriously- and most of the stuff people do to piss others off I do too so it doesn't annoy me and- right. About you. Why does that matter? Did you… like Matt or something?"

"Matt? Eww, no. I just-"

"Yeah, that would be weird. I mean I love my brother, but he's so not right for you. Not your type. He doesn't talk at all, and you know you need someone who can talk 'cause you don't, and-"

"Corey."

"Yeah?"

"You're babbling."

"Oh. Sorry. But at least you're smiling now!"

"Not willingly."

"Doesn't matter. I'm too cute not to

amuse you."

"Suuure you are."

"I am! And you still haven't told me why Matt and Liz hooking up has got you so down."

"There's just no distracting you, is there?"

"Nope. I'm the definition of persistence!"

"Except when you're doing homework."

"Ali, that's not fair. You know I don't believe in work."

"And yet you're attempting to nag me into baring my soul."

"Yeah, well, stop pointing out my hypocrisy. And you still haven't answered me!"

"It's nothing, really."

"It's not nothing if you're trying to hide it from me."

"It's unimportant."

"Telllll me. Telllll me. Telllll me. Tellll me-"

"Are you going to keep chanting that until I give in?"

"Tellll me- yep; I'm gonna follow you to class, too- telll me. tellll me. Telll me.

tellll me. Telll me-"

"Arg, fine, just shut up already! And stop breathing in my ear. You're loud enough for the entire room to hear you; you don't have to get that close."

"Hah! Point for Corey. You just have personal space issues."

"I do not. And stop gloating. Do you want me to tell you or not?"

"Okay, okay, I'll stop. Spoilsport."

"I heard that."

"heard what?"

"Whatever. So-"

"I won!"

"I'm just going to ignore that."

"Sorry."

"It's just… it's, you know, depressing that yet another couple's gotten together, and I'm still…"

"Not in one?"

"Precisely. I don't want Matt, but... I don't want to be alone either."

"… lame."

"What?"

"I said that's lame. Since when are you alone?"

"Until you decided to annoy me?"

"Touché. But you chose that. You could have stayed and watched my epic dance off with Chris."

"I guess, but-"

"No buts. If you want to wallow, know you're wallowing willingly."

"… Has anyone told you you're really irritating?"

"Yeah, a lot. You, usually."

"Well, I'm right. Why do you have to tell me the truth?"

"'s what I do."

"Annoy me?"

"You know it."

"I hate you."

"No you don't. You love me."

"Of course I do."

"Yay! I knew it."

"You do comprehend sarcasm, don't you?"

"Nope. I'm a sarcasm duck."

"Come again?"

"It rolls right off me. Like water off a duck, 'cause their feathers are all oily and junk."

"… right. That's why you can stand me."

"There's other reasons too."

"Oh? And what, pray, might they be?"

"Because you're awesome?"

"I like how that was a question."

"It was a question that you hadn't noticed it before."

"It must have escaped my attention."

"Well, it shouldn't have."

"Thanks ever so much."

"You do know that, right? You rock. And we all think that. And you'll find a-a-a great guy who appreciates and loves and enjoys you."

"Aww, is Corey getting mushy?"

"Shut up. I'm trying to make you happy."

"I'm honored."

"You want to come back to social-ness now? You can help me make fun of Matt."

"Help? I'm such a better mocker than you are."

"Yeah, but I know him better."

"But he attacks you."

"But I beat him."

"Sure you do."

"I do!"

"Congrats."

"Are you gonna stop being mean and come? 'cause if not, I'll have to poke you til you come."

"I'm getting up; I'm getting up. No need to poke."

"Good. I don't really feel like doing that."

"Me neither."

"Hey, Ali?"

"What now?"

"You do know I'm always here for you, right?

"Yes, I know. You don't have to go all soft on me."

"I'm not soft! Softness is for losers like Matt who get all romantic and sweet and stuff."

"Exactly. Who needs a boyfriend when you've got regular friends?"

"Not me."

"Not I."

"No way."

"No sir."

"Not me."

"You said that already."

" I couldn't think of any other line. But who cares? Peter Pan's awesome. I don't want to grow up either. Then I'd have to be mature and responsible and quiet and no fun and-"

"Corey?"

"Am I babbling again? I never notice 'cause I talk so much anyway that-"

"No, no. It's just… thanks."

"For what?"

"Nothing. Nothing at all."

"Now you're being irritaing.