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It was cool and overcast on the Friday they made him turn in his ID badge
and laptop computer, and gave him a cardboard box to collect his things.
The dashboard clock read 2:05 as he pulled out of the parking garage.
Twenty minutes later, he walked into the daycare classroom to surprise his son.
“We can go anywhere you want,” he said as he strapped the 3-year-old into the car seat. “Where to?”
“T-Rex Cafe,” the son murmured, groggy from his nap.
A life-sized, snarling dinosaur greeted them as they walked into the empty restaurant.
They dug for rare bones, wore paper T-Rex hats,
and wandered around the dining areas to marvel at the animatronic beasts.
The cheeseburger was overcooked, but the Dino-Nuggets weren’t too bad.
“I want this,” the son said, holding up a spiky plastic toy. “It’s a Stegosaurus.”
“What do we say?”
“Please?” the son asked.
The long drive from T-Rex brought wind and rain.
It was dark by the time they got home.
For months afterward, the son recalled that afternoon as the best one of his life.