‘Here,’ said Dave, placing the takeaway coffee cup on the small square table of the inner-city coffee shop.

‘Cheers,’ said Pete, grabbing his cup, looking at the scrapping build on the young workman sitting opposite. ‘You make time to do real coffee or you an instant kind ‘a bloke?’

‘Me?’ Taking a sip from his cup, licking his lips, Dave nodded to himself. ‘Simplistic would be my word.’

‘Simplistic, huh?’

‘Yeah, you know,’ thumbing towards the men in suits walking past while the two men wore tradesman’s clothing, ‘Simplistic.’

‘Like all men should be,’ nodding his head slightly. ‘I found ya gotta grind ‘em coffee beans first, it releases their flavour,’ dwarfing the cup’s exterior with his large workman’s hands.

‘I clicked onto that and its part of my coffee ritual. I blame my girlfriend for that.’

‘Gotta girl then?’

‘Yeah…’ smiling widely, watching his fingertip trace a crack on the table top.

‘She the one?’

‘I like to think so.’ Then sighed, his stature deflating.

‘What’s the problem?’

‘Her dad’s apparently a real hard ass.’

‘Don’t he like you?’

‘Never met him. But you’re a dad right?’

‘Got three kids. One girl and twin boys,’ smirking to himself with a shine to his eyes.

‘What do you do when your daughter brings home a boyfriend?’

‘I clean my guns an’ warn ‘em. I’m sure every father’s the same.’ Hiding his smile behind his cup.

‘Oookaaay,’ rolling his eyes while shaking his head.

‘So how long ya been with this girl?’

‘A year.’

‘An’ never met the parents?’

‘Nope,’ grimacing while fidgeting with his coffee cup. ‘But she’s met my parents. Just not hers-’

‘But keepin’ secrets from her folks…’ shaking his head slowly. ‘My daughter’s seein’ a medical student these past few months, an’ I haven’t met ‘im.’

‘Would you pull out the shotguns for this trainee Doctor?’

‘Sure,’ wriggling his eyebrows up and down. ‘I remember to clean ‘em then.’

Grinning widely at the burly middle-aged male, Dave said, ‘glad I’m not dating your daughter, because my ex’s dads weren’t as scary as you.’

‘My wife says I’m over-protective with my little girl. Maybe I am…So, what’s ‘em other dads like when you meet ‘em?’ resting his beefy forearm on the table between them.

‘Intimidating…You got any tips bein’ a dad?’

‘Me,’ chuckled Pete. ‘Buy ‘em beer an’ be ya-self…You’re alight. Easy to work with. And it’d be better if this idiot Project Manager showed up,’ glancing at his watch.

When Dave’s mobile phone rang. ‘That’s my girlfriend,’ holding up the phone to show Pete the photo displayed.

‘Hold the phone,’ snatching the phone, activating the speaker ‘Shelley is that you?’

Dad,’ replied the female’s voice over the phone. ‘What are you doing on Dave’s phone?’

‘What are you doin’ callin’ Dave,’ demanded Pete, glaring at Dave?

Instantly Dave leant back in his seat hearing the chair scrape against the floor. ‘You’re Shelley’s Dad!’