After more than an hour, the screen finally went dark. Tonya turned away from her computer, a thoughtful expression on her face. She had been chatting with her sister in Australia again. Doubtless some new problem with her and Isaac fighting about the car or about the sink or about the bills or some other damned thing. I hate it when Tonya chats with her about that stuff. It always seems to ripple into our world.

Tonya broke the silence, prompting me to close my book and pause the iPod. “Am I a nagger?”

“Not really, babe.” I answered carefully.

“But sometimes?”

Careful here, Jim! “No more than most, I guess.”

“Like when?” Tonya prodded the beehive again. “When do I do it? And does it make you so mad?”

Like now. I thought.

“Like now.” I said, with a smile, hoping to disguise the truth as jest. “Don’t worry… you’re not a nagger…except when I’m driving.”

She seemed to weigh this for a moment, considering her thoughts.

I saw an opportunity to parry. “Let’s take Tommy to the park.”

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