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Chapter 13

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With a metallic groan, the door to Mitch's Bar swung open and Mary walked in. Jake stood up and waved her to their table. She wore a tight pair of jeans, black flats, and a maroon sweater. Makeup covered the dark circles under her eyes, and her hair sported a few curls. Jake, Bobby, and Rick were outclassed in their t-shirts and jeans. Jake wished he'd put on a fresh shirt, one that buttoned up so that he didn't look like a complete schmuck.

As she approached the table, Jake stood up to hug her. "I thought you were going to text me when you got here."

"I forgot. Besides I found a parking spot right by the door." She gave him a quick peck on the cheek, smelling lavender and vanilla. "Thanks for turning my kid against me by the way."

"That was all Emma."

"Sure."

"Anyway, you look great."

"Shut up. I look like hell."

Rick and Bobby stood, the chairs scraping on the wood floor. Mary worked around the table and hugged Rick who agreed, "You do look like hell."

Mary hugged him tighter. "Gee thanks, Rick."

"You wouldn't want me to lie to you. Would you?" Rick sat back down and gave her a smile.

"I'm with Jake. You look great." Bobby gave her a big bear hug that squeezed the breath out of her. "And Rick's an ass."

Mary pulled out the remaining chair at the table and plopped down with a sigh. Half-full glasses of beer and a soda for Jake littered the table. Bobby and Rick studied a flat screen television mounted in a corner. A Detroit Tigers baseball game played on mute.

Jake fiddled with his straw. "We were beginning to worry about you. It was getting kind of late."

"I almost didn't come. After struggling to decide on which bike to buy Hunter for his birthday, I wanted to go home, curl up on the couch with a LifeTime movie and eat ice cream. But then Emma worked me over to meet you guys here."

"She said she can be quite persistent," Jake said.

"Yes, she can."

Jake grinned. "What do you want to drink?"

"I'll have a rum and diet when the waitress shows up," Mary replied.

Not waiting, Jake waved to a waitress two tables away who made her way over. She wore short shorts, an out-of-date hairstyle, and a no-nonsense friendly demeanor. The waitress laid her hand on Bobby's shoulder and gave it a flirty squeeze. He looked over his shoulder and into her t-shirt that was a size too small. Bobby's eyes widened with delight. Jake snorted and gave her Mary's drink order.

"How about you guys? Need another pitcher?" The waitress winked at Rick.

Bobby jokingly put his right arm behind his back and jerked it up. "You twisted my arm. We'll take another one and a Coke Zero for my little friend."

"Great." The waitress looked around the table, her big hoop earrings swinging wildly. "Ready for food yet?"

"Definitely," Bobby replied. "How about four bacon cheeseburgers and a big basket of fries?"

"Sounds good." She grabbed the pitcher and poured the remaining beer into their glasses. "I'll put the food order in and be back with your drinks."

After she left, Rick elbowed Bobby. "How do you know what I wanted to order?"

"You know they only serve burgers here." Bobby rubbed his massive stomach

"I could've wanted onion rings."

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by Henry Scott
@henry_scott
After your unlikely murder, old classmates will post on social media...
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