Mom finished her wine and got another glass, refilling mine as she did so. I worked on the beer and Dad said, “Thinking about an MBA?”
“No,” I said. “Don’t have the pre-reqs.”
“Still avoiding the real world?”
“Why not a Masters in English? Or a PhD?” Mom suggested.
“And be a professor?” I asked as if the thought had never occurred to me. She smiled and I smiled back.
“Prettiest places in the world, golf courses and college campuses,” Dad said.
“Did your PGA tour card come?” Mom asked, winking at me. I’ve never swung a golf club in my life.
“It’s in the mail,” I said. “Should have it by graduation in May.”
“Have you been to the Williams’ house?” Dad asked. He pressed the side of his fork into the flakes of the salmon, separated a bite from the hunk. The scrape of the fork on the plate had an unexpected volume. He raised the bite to his mouth. I could see a greasy sheen on his chin. I watched him chew.
“Not yet,” I said, waiting for him to meet my eyes.
“Damn shame about that.” He worked the fork into another bite of salmon, pinning one long fettuccine noodle with it. “Still I say you mess with fire.” He raised the bite to his mouth.
“Honestly,” Mom said, her own fork poised over her plate, nothing skewered on it. She didn’t have the fish oil sheen on her chin, but her lips were wet. She was staring at him, not her plate.
“What?” They made eye contact across the table. “What did I do wrong? Brian knows. He knows that’s not the way to go, don’t you?” he prompted. He left his fork on the side of his plate and reached for his beer. He lifted the napkin out of his lap, wiped his chin, took a drink, a practiced balance between right hand and left, a dinner adjustment, familiarity. He looked at me. Finally. I met his gaze. The classical music was building toward crescendo.
“Sure,” I said, not looking away.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish