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nagging of unfi nished business. There would be no mourning yet. He called Denise. “How are you holding up?” she asked. “Hanging in there. Can I see you?” “Rachid’s home.” “I don’t care, I want to meet him.” He could hear her mulling it over. “It’s got to happen sooner or later,” he said. “I’ll ask him.” She muffl ed the ensuing exchange with her hand, then said, “Okay, come on. Have you eaten?” “For some defi nition of the word. I had to take her to Applebee’s.” “I’m sure there’s something here you can eat. You understand you have to behave, right?” “I’ll do my best.” Rachid turned out to be as tall as Michael, and thin in the way of hyperactive teenagers. Denise kept her distance as she introduced them. Rachid shook hands quickly, then his arms dropped to his sides like dead weight. “Hey,” he said nervously. Comic conventions were ideal training for dealing with the terminally uncomfortable. “Hey,” Michael said. “You doing all right?” “Yeah, yeah, good,” he mumbled. Despite bad skin and posture, he was quite 222 lewis
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