Marc cleared his throat. "Diane," he said. "I have something to ask you."

    "What?" I replied without looking up.

    "Would you like to have dinner with me?" he asked. "Tonight, tomorrow, wheneverŠ"

    Almost immediately, I stopped clearing the papers. I couldn't think.

    "IŠdon'tŠ" I tried to formulate a coherent sentence.

    Marc smiled. "It's alright if you don't want to."

    "No, it's not thatŠ"I said.

    There was no reason to turn him down if he was a friend.