Otto sat at a table in Mata’s café, enjoying a cup of black coffee. Maria tried to get him to order something fancier, but he told her he wasn’t in the mood for fancy. He had almost finished his drink when he saw D come in. He stood up and waved him over.
“D! Come sit down! How are you?”
“I’m fine, Dad.”
“And how are Samantha and the baby?”
“They’re fine. I hadn’t talked to you for a while, and when I went to the office to do that, Mata said you were here.”
“You could have called. I would have come back.”
“Thanks for that, but I wanted to get away from work for a while.”
“Oh? Is there a problem?”
“No, I just wanted a change of scenery.”
“Well, sit down and let’s talk.”
D sat across from Otto.
“So, how do you like being a father?”
D smiled. “It’s amazing to watch her grow, but we do lose some sleep.”
“Oh, yes, I remember those days.”
D sat silently for a while, and then he said, “What would you say I’ve been offered a really good job with United in Chicago?”
It was Otto’s turn to be quiet. Then he said, “If that’s what you want, sure. Why not?”
“You don’t sound too sure.”
Otto put both hands on the table. “Look, D, here you have everything you know here, and your family is here to help guide and support all of you.”
D sighed. “Yes, I know that, and I’ve been grateful for it, but I feel I need to have my own identity, and that can’t happen around here.”
Otto could think of nothing to say about that. Finally he said, “You know that whatever you do, short of any sort of felony, you have our love and our full support.”
“Thanks, Dad. I appreciate that more than you can know. Now I’d better get back to work. I’ll tell Mata about the job in Chicago so she can get the paperwork started.”
Otto stood up, as did D, and they shook hands. “I’m sure I’ll see you around for a while,” Otto murmured.
“You bet. See you soon.”
As Otto watched him walk out of the café, he thought, this still doesn’t seem right to me, but I’ll see what Mata thinks.
Otto finished his coffee and started back for the office. When he pulled up in front, he didn’t see D’s car there. He must have finished his business, he thought, but that’s good because I can talk to Mata without him around. He walked in the office.
“Hey, Brother. How was your coffee?”
“Oh, pretty good for a local effort.”
“Hey! I can make you drink lattes until you can’t drink any more.”
“What a horrible punishment.”
“Did D find you?”
“He did, and I’m sure you know about the Chicago job offer by now.”
Mata sighed. “I do. He came by here after he saw you to get the paperwork started. I think it’s a mistake, but I didn’t want to say anything until I talked to you.”
“I think it’s a mistake as well.”
“So what do we do?”
“Other than tell him that, not much. I expressed my doubts and told him this was the best place for him and his family right now, but he was having none of it.”
“So we let them go and then see what happens. We have no other choice.”
“I suppose you’re right.”
“Are I always?”
“You don’t want to hear what I have to say about that.”
Otto laughed at that and went into his office. I suppose that waiting is all we can do. I just hope nothing bad comes of this, but I think it will.