The windshield wipers make a small squeak as they swept back and forth across his truck windshield, the rain barely harder than a drizzle. He was stuck at a miserably long red light, the radio turned down to a low murmur so he could think. He should have been in a better mood, but his stomach was tied up in knots. He felt like he was headed to his own funeral.
He hadn’t seen his parents since he first moved to the city a few months ago after graduation. His entire family had celebrated together back in his college town the night of his graduation ceremony, drinking and laughing and having a great time together. But the next morning, he was once again left to his own devices. Mainly, those devices included day drinking for the next two months and sitting at his luxury apartment pool with his buddies before anyone actually moved off to start their post-grad “adventures.”
He had flown too close to the sun, now, and he knew it. He had spent the past six months fucking off in the city with his friends, doing nothing but having a good time. Sushi and steak dinners, happy hours at all hours, weekend trips out of town. Unfortunately, that good time came at a price, a price that he hadn’t exactly been keeping up with. Even more unfortunately, his father had been keeping up with the bill, on a certain AmEx that a certain son still had from his time at college.
Not once had his parents ever asked him about his plans. What was he going to do after college, was he going to get a job? That awkward conversation had never been an issue. He had been on his dad’s “payroll” since he was 15. What was his job, you ask? Son of the year, of course. He’d never really raised a finger to maintain an actual job with the family company. He had been living the high life, hoping he could milk it for all it was worth for as long as he could. But now, it seems that it was time to pay the piper.
Just one week ago, he had received that fateful phone call. His father had discovered his recent credit card purchase: a week-long trip to an all-inclusive resort in Cabo for spring break. “What kind of adult goes on a goddamn spring break to Mexico?” he had asked incredulously.
Now, all of a sudden his parents were coming to “visit” and “take him out to dinner.” It was looking like that was going to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
He arrived at the steakhouse, pulling into the valet area right outside the front door. He saw his mother’s new steel-grey Range Rover parked right up front, and a feeling of dread washed over him. They were about to eat him alive.
He clamored out of his lifted truck and into the drizzle. He exchanged his keys for a valet ticket and pushed through the revolving door, stepping across a velvety dark green carpet, matted from the rain. From across the dining area, he saw his parents seated at their table. His mother, always perfectly put-together, was sipping on what looked like a Cosmopolitan. And next to her, his father, a large and stone-faced man who held a glass of scotch in one hand, and an iPhone in the other.
He was ten minutes early, and he silently thanked the gods for allowing traffic to be light on this particular evening. He crossed the room as he met eyes with his mother. She stood up from the table, wearing a big smile, her arms outstretched for a hug. “Hmmm,” he thought to himself, “Maybe this won’t be so bad after all.” .