The giant, red-skinned, dark-suited man squeezed into the booth across from the sullen young man. His enormous body molded itself to fit in the small confined place. He stared patiently at the young man focused on his burger; both of them ignored the screams as the patrons rushed out.
“I’d rather be alone,” the man said without looking up.
“I know,” Satan said with a deep, low chuckle. “That’s why I scared everyone off.” The young man sighed and rolled his eyes; the corners of his mouth almost tugged upward. He almost smiled but instead refocused on moping over his untouched burger.
“Why..?” he asked aloud. Satan did not speak, he felt the young man wasn’t finished with his question yet. After a few quiet moments, the college student looked up, quite high up, to meet Satan’s dark red eyes. “Why do you do it?” The red giant made a show of shrugging with exaggerated motions.
“That’s not the issue, is it?” he said. “You’ve known for a while now; it’s never been an issue before. It’s only an issue now because your boyfriend-“
“We had one date,” the boy corrected him. “He wasn’t my boyfriend,” he said coldly; trying to convince himself.
“It only became an issue because Arthur…,” the devil decided using names would help. “… can’t handle the truth about the universe. It has nothing to do with me or you; it’s all on him. Julie’s fine with it. She’s talking to him. He’ll come around.”
“And what if he doesn’t?” he asked. “What if I want to live a life with him instead?” The devil grinned broadly and chuckled.
“I can’t guarantee Julie isn’t trying to talk him out of it for that exact reason. I’m pretty sure she wants the job; and, I’m a little bit scared to give it to her,” both men at the table laughed at that. The mood shift put the young man enough at ease to reach for his food.
“You’d really be okay with that?” he asked before taking a large bite. The devil nodded and answered while he chewed.
“I already made the mistake of choosing work over family once. It won’t happen again. If I try to force it on you not only will it push you away; you’ll do a shitty job out of spite,” Satan said. “You’re the rightful heir, but,” he shrugged. “It’s not Hell if we can’t change the rules for our own benefit every now and then,” he smiled. “All kidding aside, Julie would make an excellent Satan. She’s smart, quick-witted, and completely okay with how the universe works. But you need to be sure about your decision. I get the feeling she wouldn’t give up the power all that easily if you changed your mind.” The young man smiled with bulging cheeks while chewing. His eyes sparkled with appreciation as he stared at the giant red-skinned man. He swallowed.
“Thanks, Dad,” he said.