I was inspired by last night's rerun. And I realized something (because you won't believe how dense I can be at times... lol) And most of the dialogue is actually from the episode, with the exception of what Luke and Dean say after he asks why Rory couldn't love him.

I don't own Gilmore Girls. Ever. If I did, many things would be different, but we're not going into that now. And that's about it.

You like to sit here, when your diner is quiet and you are all alone, and ruminate.

You ponder over every issue. Mostly, however, you reflect on what you want, what you need, and what you have.

You need this building. It is your home, both physically and spiritually, though you've never believed in the latter. It gives you wealth and connects you to those you love. In a way, you love it. But it is not real. Not human. It alone does not satisfy you.

You want a family. Not a group of people who won't even gather to bury their kin. You want your sister to call you once in a while. You want Jess to visit. You want that stupid white house, with that stupid picket fence, and those stupid 2.5 kids, and a wife who you actually love the same way she loves you.

But you know you'll never get that. So you settle. Anything is better than nothing. Life is real, so you take your head out of the clouds.

What you have is a wife you want desperately to be rid of and a bunch of strangers who aren't friends, but aren't family. You have this diner, not that it amounts to much. The only thing you care about that you own is your memories. They keep you sane in your crazy world.

While you sit here, wishing and wanting for what you know you will never have, you think of what you should've done, the risks you've never taken. The things you wish you could change. But you can't change anything. You aren't a risk taker and you're stuck here in this town. Life is habit.

Most of these thoughts involve her. But you knew that already. You've known that for as many years as you've sat here, thinking of how foolish you've been.

Your wife, who you should never have married in the first place, is the antithesis of her, the woman you love. Your wife is blonde, formerly a redhead, with brown eyes, a frank personality. Your wife is a lawyer, you met her through the man you hate with all your being, and you should've taken that as a sign. She is cunning, jealous, and polite, your wife. But she is boring, so boring. She does not complete you.

The woman you love has raven-colored hair and blue eyes like yours. She's bubbly, loud, witty, intelligent, even annoying at times. But you can't say she's boring. And you love her for it. She runs her own business, much like you. You two have much in common, yet so many differences. It is the perfect balance, for she is your other half.

You can't have her. You never have and never will. You've only briefly had her in your grasp before she slipped away. She teases you, flirting every day, touching you, paying attention to you. No one ever pays attention to you.

She takes you for granted. But, then again, so does everyone. She expects you to be there always, but one day you won't.

You're a good man. You don't cheat on your wife, rob, or kill people. At least, physically. Emotion-wise, you've been cheating on your wife before you even knew her. But maybe it's the other way around. Maybe you've been cheating on Lorelai by being with Nicole. You don't know, but then again, when have you ever had the answers?

You almost told her. A few times. You think back to the most recent one. The memories hurt.

"Why didn't she love me?" Dean asked, falling asleep on the bed that Jess once slept in.

The irony alone almost kills you. You stay there frozen for a moment before you answer.

"She did, Dean. Just not in the same way you loved her," You reply, feeling tired yourself.

You wish you were the drunk one. He reminds you of yourself a few months earlier, except you didn't have a bachelor party. And you'd never dated Lorelai.

If you had, you probably wouldn't ever let her go. At least Dean got that chance. You have a feeling that yours has already come and gone.

"What do you know about it?" He slurs, sounding somewhat angry.

You want to tell him to call off the wedding. You want to tell him that this marriage is a mistake. You want to tell him that you did the same thing and it didn't pan out well. You want to tell him that he won't forget about Rory if he marries Lindsey.

You want to, but you can't. So you sigh, and look at him, feeling much older.

"A lot more than I want to," You respond, looking at your feet.

But the drunken kid in your house is asleep now. You almost wish that Jess were here, because you two might actually have that real conversation you've never had. But you both burnt that bridge.

You can't tell him those things though, because Lindsey would be hurt. The wedding cost so much money. It would be such a waste.

You know he wants Rory there. But she shouldn't come. He might do something rash, or assume that she loved him or something.

You know because it's the same feeling you felt at your wedding. Someone should've stopped you. But no one had the guts. You wanted Lorelai there, you really did. You wanted to be able to look at her and finally make that stand. She was in Europe though, so it was impossible.

You wish that you had the courage to tell Dean not to marry Lindsey. But you don't.

So, instead, you go to sleep. And you wake up at a quarter to five, but you ignore the urge to sleep in. You've always ignored your urges. You're tired, but that tea sure wakes you up. You go through the motions of opening the diner, letting Cesar in, starting the coffee, making breakfast for yourself.

You do this because it requires no thought. You've done this so many days that you could do this in your sleep. You wish you were asleep, but that doesn't matter.

She runs in, looking tired. She's out of breath and starts rambling about something. You have no idea what she's talking about and that brings you comfort.

Taylor apparently wants to park a truck in front of the diner. You can't believe that he didn't even run it by you and made Lorelai jump through hoops just to try and get you to agree. It's a public street and you don't mind that he parks there. It's not illegal to do that. And he knows she has pull with you.

Everyone does. Of course, the whole town knows that you're in love with her.

She starts ranting about how dirty business is, and you're remotely worried when she says that the old Lorelai has died. She runs out of the diner to talk to Taylor and you smile.

After she leaves, you go upstairs to check on Dean. You hand him your hangover drink and he drinks it, making a face. You know the recipe by heart from your younger days, when you got drunk a lot over the fact that you couldn't tell her. But you stopped that habit because it's destructive and you're not that much of a masochist.

Dean leaves with a thanks and you nod. You tried to tell him, but he didn't listen. No one ever does.

You rush from your diner, looking for Lorelai. You've finally realized something.

You have to tell her.

You don't know where the courage came from, because you've thought about it many a time, but every time you try and get the words out, you can't talk. You know that if you tell her now, you won't stutter. She's not dating anyone and you're filing your divorce.

The timing might not be perfect, but when has it ever been? You two certainly aren't perfect. You think that if you tell her right now that she might feel the same. You see Rory, whom you know is thinking about going to the wedding.

And you can't let that happen. You stop walking.

"Hey, Luke," Rory replies, wondering why you are here.

"Hey, Rory. Um, where's your mom?" You ask quickly, because you're in a hurry.

This can't wait.

"Uh, around somewhere. Why?" Rory remarks, and this annoys you.

If this works out, you both will tell her later.

"I thought I'd find her at Doose's. Did she go back to the inn or..." You mumble, not able to stand still.

Rory frowns and thinks for a moment.

"She was going back to the inn, then she was picking up a wedding present for Dean from us, because she hates it when people send gifts later. And then depending on time, I was either going to meet her back at home or at the church," She answers quietly.

You nod and exhale. You have to tell her this. Or you never will.

"She have her cell on her?" You inquire desperately.

Rory wonders why you're asking her this. She knows you hate cell phones. Your seriousness must be scaring her.

Truth be told, it's scaring you too.

"I think it's dead. What's going on?" She responds, confused.

You need to talk to Lorelai. You really do.

"Or a pager or something?" You beg, sounding stranger every moment.

Rory's worried. And she has right to be.

"Is something wrong?" She questions, slightly alarmed.

You don't know what to say.

"Oh, no, I just need to check something with her," You state, sounding sure.

Well, that's one way to put it. You do need to check something with her. It's such an understatement though.

"Well, we can stop by after the wedding," Rory says, sounding unsure.

The wedding. You can't let her go.

"Don't go to the wedding," You demand.

She is shocked by this surge of concern.

"What?" She asks, dumbfounded.

You don't need this right now.

"Uh, don't go to Dean's wedding," You restate.

She's still confused.

"Why?" Rory asks, bewildered.

"I just... don't go. Trust me," You say, not knowing how to articulate the words.

You hope she follows your advice. You may not be her father, but you do know that not going is best for her. And Dean.

"Okay," She mumbles.

"It'd just be better this way," You explain.

She nods.

"Okay," Rory repeats.

"So, you're not going?" You say, checking to make sure she listened.

She looks sort of tired, and you know the feeling.

"I guess not," She whispers, dazed.

"Okay, good. Good. I'll see you guys later," You stammer.

You're secretly hoping that you'll see Lorelai sooner, rather than later.

"Yeah, Luke, I'll see you later," Rory says, bidding farewell.

"Okay," You answer quietly.

Rory leaves and you are left alone. You'd like to go back to the diner, but that would be giving up and you figure that Lorelai has to be around somewhere. So you go to look for her.

But you never find her. You go back home. You know that she must've met up with Rory. And that Rory must've told her mother what you said. Lorelai should be here to talk to you any minute.

But she never comes. And you wonder what Rory said to her.

And when she finally comes, the next morning, you've lost the nerve.

The guilt overwhelms you, as it does always. But it does not consume you. And so you go on, every day the same.

But then, you get up, stop thinking about your regrets, and go upstairs. You fall asleep, but the dreams are fleeting and though you wish they could become a reality, they aren't. But you never get what you want, so it doesn't surprise you.

In the end, all you have is this diner and those late night ruminations.

- Loren ;*