I blinked, astonished. I can't, honestly, remember anyone ever asking me that. I do, usually, hear "yes!" or "fine!" or "thank you, God!" - "why?" generally isn't the first piece of vocabulary that comes to the fore.
"Because..." I started. "Because... well..."
But then, of course, without a "why", there can be no "because". I didn't have the answer... and that's what scared me.
I always had the answers.
I tensed, glanced away. He shuffled, maybe uncomfortably, waiting for an answer to his "why". A frantic recce, on my part, of the surroundings. Anything to latch onto? Something to come to my aid?
Scrabbling in my pockets, my hand suddenly closed around the cold metal of the Impulse I held in my jacket.
I stopped, looked him in the eyes, breathed in, and came back with: