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We drink and then put our glasses down.

“That’s it, no more work talk,” Tyler said with a grin. “Tell me about your childhood.”

I’m kind of thrown by the abrupt shift from professional to personal, but I don’t really want to spend the time here talking about work, so I go with it.

“There’s not really a lot to tell,” I say. “My parents are both doctors, so we were fairly well off when I was growing up. We weren’t rich but we weren’t poor. My parents focused on my education a lot and while I suppose in one sense, I should be grateful, in another sense, it was a bit selfish on their part because they were so focused on me becoming a doctor like them.”

“Did you never want to do that?” Tyler asks.

I shake my head.

“No. When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher, then I decided I wanted to be a flight attendant. And then finally I settled on architecture. My parents weren’t happy to say the least, but I suppose it was better than a flight attendant in their eyes,” I say with a smile.

“Do you have any siblings?” Tyler asks me.

“Nope. So of course, that made everything worse because all of my parents’ focus was on me. Do you have siblings?” I ask.

“One. A sister. She’s thirty-six, a year older than me. We’re not really close. It’s not that we don’t get along, we do, it’s just, well we used to be closer, but you grow apart from people sometimes, don’t you?” he says.

I nod my head. I want to ask him more questions about how he and his sister drifted apart because I feel like there’s something big that he’s not telling me, but I decide against it. If he wanted me to know he would have told me more. It’s not for me to go poking around in his private life.

“What do your parents do?” I ask instead.

“My dad is an electrician,” Tyler says. “He runs his own firm. I mean technically he’s retired now, and the firm has a manager in place. And my mom left her job as a librarian when Angela was born. She brought us up and by the time we were old enough to be left alone, my dad’s business was doing so well they didn’t need the extra income, so she never bothered going back to work.”

Tyler’s mom is exactly who my parents fear I will become.

“Is your mom happy?” I ask. “Doesn’t she miss having her career?”

“No,” Tyler says. “I mean no she doesn’t miss her career, not no she isn’t happy. She’s by far the happiest out of all mine and my friends’ parents. As she says, working is to finance your actual life and her life is financed without work. It gives her plenty of time to spend spoiling Angela’s little one and painting and gardening and doing all the things that she wants to do.”

“That sounds amazing,” I say.

“It does, doesn’t it,” Tyler laughs.

Would it really be so bad to give up work and be a wife and a mother and, if Tyler’s mom is anything to judge by, all sorts of other things? I think I would miss work too much and I would feel like all of that time and money getting my degree had just been a waste, but it doesn’t sound as bad as I have been led to believe it would be.

Our glasses are empty and Tyler nods towards mine and I shake my head.

“No, it’s my round,” I say.

“Your round? Really?” Tyler laughs.

“Yup,” I say. “It’s not a date, remember. If you were here with Jack, would you buy his drinks all night?”

I laugh to myself for using his own argument against him and he shakes his head but he’s laughing too.

“No, but I did bring you here to celebrate the project,” he says.

“Well, I would very much like to celebrate your part in it too,” I say. I stand up before he can argue. “What are you having?”

“I’m not going to win this one, am I?” Tyler laughs. I shake my head and smile. “Fine. I’ll have a rum and Coke please.”

I go to the bar and get our drinks and head back to the table. I’m well aware that I said I was only having one, but the conversation is flowing and I’m enjoying Tyler’s company and it’s not like I have to be up early for work in the morning.

“Did your dad ever want you to follow in his footsteps and work for the family business?” I ask when I am back seated, and we have started our fresh drinks.

“He didn’t try to pressure me into that route, but he did make it known that there would be a place for me if I wanted it. And one for Angela too,” he says. “When I said I was going to college and I was going to be an architect, he was supportive and never tried to guilt me into the business.”

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