The appetizers came, and the food came, and it all ended up being a pretty good evening after all.
Lauren didn't eat as much as the others. Most of it was fast food, and she'd seen the documentaries about what kind of chemicals they were putting into that. Despite that, she ate more than she would have at a burger chain. It was the local diner, after all; plus, the food was a lot better.
Her job here was done, for now. Lauren knew there'd still be wisecracks about the missed practice next time they met, probably even the next time after that, but she could take it. She'd at least helped to smooth over the roughest patches.
She waved as Susan left, then checked her watch. There was time before she had to pick up Kaitlyn, maybe thirty minutes or so. Knowing her luck, though, it would probably be wise to leave early in case of complications.
As she stood up, she dug in her wallet, finally putting down a few five-dollar bills on the table.
"Gotta go too," Lauren said, tilting her head towards the door. "If the money's not enough, text me." She thought about making a joke about remembering the texting function of her phone, but decided that was just asking for trouble. "It's been fun."
With that, she headed out the door, her worries lighter and her immediate future full of traffic.
((Lauren Rowe continued in game