Artie peeked into his dad's office. "Did Miss Jolene leave already?"
Lawrence nodded. "You just missed her."
"Aw, man. I wanted to see what she thought of my costume. I guess I'll have to show her later." Artie lingered in his dad's office. There was something else on his mind that he wanted to talk about, but he wasn't sure if it was a topic he should bring up. "Hey, dad. Since we have a minute, just you and me, can we talk?"
"Of course," Lawrence replied. He turned to his son, giving him his full attention. "What's on your mind?"
"I was just thinking about something. . ." Artie stammered a moment, looking down at his hands as he tried to come up with the right way to broach the topic. "I was just thinking, Mom's been gone a long time and it would be okay if, you know, you wanted to start dating again or anything like that."
Lawrence exhaled sharply. He was so taken aback by that remark that for a moment he was without words. When Artie looked up at him, he could see the sincerity in his son's eyes and knew he had to respond in a way that showed he was taking this man-to-man talk just as seriously. "Do you think I should?"
"Only if you want to," Artie said with a shrug.