"You have someone on table 3."
"Thanks." I pulled out my notepad and entered my section. My footsteps faltered when I spotted Melissa Everhart there with her boyfriend. Melissa and I used to be friends in elementary school before puberty and teenage angst reigned supreme. I hadn't seen her since graduation, but here she was in my section. Taking a deep breath, I walked over to the table. "Welcome! What can I get for you today?"
Melissa looked up from her menu, and she plastered a big smile on her face. "Laura, is that you?"
I nodded. She knew it was me. Who else would it be?
"It's great to see you!" She studied me while flipping the dyed blond strands over her shoulder. "I didn't know you worked here."
"Yeah, I do. I've been working here during the summers."
"Really? I had no idea." She motioned to her boyfriend. "Do you remember Marcus? He's in a band." She grinned before staring up at me. "His mother is fabulous too." She twirled a wisp of hair around her finger. "His mom's a hair dresser. She did my hair for $10, a real deal."
I looked at her blond, high-lighted hair, and I thought of my own. It was pulled back in a short ponytail. The brown locks the same I've had forever. "That's great. Do you know what you want to order?" I smiled and hoped she wouldn't notice it as the grimace it truly was.
"Go ahead and order, Marcus. I'm still deciding."
"I'll have the cheeseburger and fries," he drawled.
"Oh, that does sound good," she exclaimed. She looked at the menu, and in a stage whisper said, "I'm going to be bad tonight! I'll have the burger, too, but without cheese, and fries." She closed her menu and offered it to me."
I wrote down the order and took the menu while trying not to notice how she looked at me when she said she was going to be bad. Melissa probably didn't even weigh 125 pounds, and I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable about my own chubbiness. "I'll put your order right in," I said, my tone sweet despite the turmoil brewing in my stomach.
I put their orders in, refraining myself from spitting in them or something else equally cruel. Melissa's snide, underhanded remarks reminded me of why our friendship broke apart.
As I passed by their table, I saw Marcus sitting alone. I was half-tempted to tell him to run, but he was calling one of his contacts on his cell phone. Then, he hung up and dialed the next contact on the list.
"Hey, Grayson," he spoke into the phone, "Call me back in ten minutes. Tell me it's an emergency." He paused. "Thanks, dude, I owe you big time." He shut the phone seconds before Melissa came back.
I chewed on the inside of my cheek to keep from smiling. Her boyfriend was bolting.
Wasn't life grand?