Kyle burst into Tanner’s 6th floor office without knocking. Tanner’s gaze never strayed from his computer screen.
“Not now. I have fifteen minutes to get this done,” he said before Kyle could speak.
“Did you hear…”
“No,” interrupted Tanner. “Tell me later. Go.”
Kyle shook his head and stormed off. Tanner sighed and kept typing.
A minute later, Becky burst in.
“Tanner, did you hear…”
“Unless the earth is coming to an end, I don’t want to know,” snapped Tanner.
“Is the earth coming to an end? Is it?”
“Then tell me later. I have ten minutes to finish this project,” said Tanner.
Becky stomped her foot, then rushed out.
“Close the door when you, oh, whatever,” mumbled Tanner as he hammered away on his keyboard.
Five minutes later Mr. Leeds entered Tanner’s office.
“I’ll have this for you in a couple of minutes,” Tanner said, even before Mr. Leeds could ask.
“That’s okay. It’s not important right now,” said Mr. Leeds.
“I’m almost done.”
Mr. Leeds placed both his hands on Tanner’s desk and looked him squarely in the eyes. “Tanner, stop. We need to discuss your priorities.”
Tanner sat back and gave his boss a confused look. “Sir?”
In his most practiced nurturing tone, Mr. Leeds said, “Life is short. Um. You need to embrace every moment and cherish it, uh, because when it’s gone, well, all you’ll have is work and what’s that to look back on, really?”
For a few painful seconds Mr. Leeds and Tanner looked at each other.
“I have no idea what you just said,” Tanner finally admitted.
Mr. Leeds kicked at the carpet. “I don’t either,” he mumbled.
“I understand your partner is having a baby. What are you doing here?” accused Mr. Leeds.
“Who told you?” asked Tanner, carefully.
“Kyle did. And Becky confirmed it. Get going, man. Don’t miss this. She needs you. Go,” said Mr. Leeds. He ushered Tanner out of the office.
Kyle and Becky were waiting for Tanner in the main lobby of the building. Tanner shook his head as they laughed.
“You two are idiots,” said Tanner.
“What?” asked Becky, feigning innocence.
“What happens when Mr. Leeds discovers I’m single?” asked Tanner.
“We scored seasons tickets on the 45 yard line. I say we string this baby Tanner thing out through the playoffs,” said Kyle.
“Maybe we should put in for paternity leave,” said Becky.
The three laughed, then left the building and headed for the stadium.