Bev checked her stockpile. She wished she hadn't been so profligate with the words of her youth, tossing out "I" practically in her first sentence, wasting "you" on a playground spat. Soon she'd have to start using vocabulary so esoteric that she wasn't even sure what they meant. She selected her words carefully and glanced up. Nigel was waiting patiently. Was that hope in his eyes? She wasn't sure; she'd used "hope" accidentally last year.
"Gleefulness," Bev said, feeling the meaning fly out from her like a last breath. "Proximity. Extended."
She watched Nigel's face, wondering if he would understand.
The Best of Clarkesworld 2013
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