"Why can't I come along?" Lewis was using his anxious voice. The one which usually got him his way where Nita was concerned.
"Because," Nita replied, "I really need time to focus." She wasn't having any of his guilt-trip tactics this time.
Nita's was the kind of room that left one with a feeling that just another couple of feet in one dimension or another would make it work. It wasn't cramped, exactly, but it wasn't quite big enough, either—especially for two people to share. There was a queen-sized bed, a tall dresser, a bookshelf and a very old desk and chair. None of this furniture matched. The state-of-the-art flat-screen TV on top of the dresser certainly looked out of place, as did the pychedellic paint job and the posters featuring bands from the 1960s and '70s.
"I can be quiet. I'll just sit," he said. "And be quiet."
"No, you won't." Nita had had far too much experience with Lewis to believe him. "I know you'll mean to, Honey, but I don't think you're actually capable." She could tell he was about to get into one of his down moods. She really couldn't afford to babysit him tonight, though—she had far too much work to do.
"Listen, Lewis," she interjected, before he could really get going. "This is really important to me. Besides which, I want you to do me a special favor."
"Wait." Lewis was a bit surprised by this development. "What sort of favor?"