1. Chiefly British Informal. lacking in vitality or intelligence; stupid, dull, or clumsy.

For some reason Peter felt nervous. He knew it wasn’t the lack of sleep from this morning’s 3 a.m. call, as much as it was who he spoke to during the phone call that was throwing him.

Since hearing Miranda Pierce’s voice for the first time in 20 years, memories of what had been and thoughts he had long buried of what could’ve been had started coming back to him. He remembered everything so clearly, but was still confused as to how things had collapsed the way they did.

There had been many a day when Peter wished they had disagreed over some gormless topic, fought, and then broke up. That would’ve been easier to understand than someone just leaving without any warning or even a slight indication. They hadn’t fought. They hadn’t even disagreed about anything worthy of a second thought.

But she still left with one single note:

I don’t love you. Don’t come looking for me.

“Your extremely quiet this morning, Peter, and that’s saying something because you rarely talk anyway,”Nelson said as he tidied up Peter’s bedroom, putting a bottle of vitamins back on the nightstand. “Is everything okay?”

“I need your help,” Peter said reluctantly. “Just don’t get carried away. I don’t want you having me look like some 19-year-old.”

Nelson’s excitement was palpable. Peter’s assistant had often offered to dress him, insisting that a decent wardrobe was being wasted on someone who was letting his looks slide as well.

“Finally,” Nelson rejoiced. “And what is the impetus for this long-awaited answered prayer? Do you have a date by chance?”

Nelson was joking, but Peter’s silence revealed everything.

“You have a date? How? With whom? You barely go anywhere.”

Peter held up his hands to end the barrage of questions.

“I’m meeting a woman I used to know. She needs my help. It’s not a date, but I want to look presentable, Nelson.”

Nelson went to peer into Peter’s closet. He was quiet for a moment, thinking.

“Did you used to be romantically involved with this woman in any way,” Nelson asked.

“At one point…” Peter said solemnly, trying to forget the past and the pain.

Nelson rifled through the closet, pulling out a crisp blue and white gingham shirt and a light blue sweater. The colors would help accentuate Peter’s grey eyes. Nelson grabbed a blazer too. They were forecasting chillier temps and high winds today.

“Well then, we want you looking your best so this woman can regret every moment she hasn’t been in your life-”

Nelson paused for a moment as he looked at Peter’s face.

“And I’ll trim up your beard while we’re at it, I mean we do want her to have some sense of regret for not coming back to you sooner.”

Peter had to stop himself from laughing. He had hired Nelson to be his assistant about five years ago. He appreciated the young man’s honesty. Along with that honesty came Nelson’s hopeless romantic nature and his constant pressing for Peter to dress up more and get back in the dating scene.

“There are a ton of older guys who are dating women my age and I secretly resent it, but I like you, so I would at least try and be happy for you and whatever gorgeous woman you pull who would never look at me,” Nelson would say.

A little over an hour later, Peter stood ready for his “meeting” at the cafe around the corner and Nelson stood by feeling like a son who was proud of his father.




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