i placed my to go order and headed over to the four available chairs to wait. there was a girl in one of the chairs, so i sat at the other end. this, however, placed me about 12 inches away from a couple eating their appetizers.
as easy as it would have been to join their conversation, that’s particularly rude and i don’t count that among my personality traits. i opened my magazine and commenced waiting.
girl employee to other girl employee: “is there an abby here?”
other girl employee to girl employee: “yes.”
i perked up and started to gather my things as they called out my name.
they handed me my dinner and there was a flurry of action behind the counter, but the girl made no move to ask me for money. before she questioned why i was lingering, i offered up my reason for doing so: “i never paid for this.”
girl: “oh wow, thanks for being so honest. most people would have just walked out without paying.”
me: “seriously?” i forked over my cash. “that’s insane.”
girl: “yeah, well. they would. they do. anyways, enjoy your food.”
me: “thanks. have a good night.”
i left pondering the possibility the girl had proposed. would most people really have left without paying? it never even occurred to me to do so, and in fact, i felt embarrassed the girl had to thank me for doing the right thing.
just then the steam from my meal rose up around me and my stomach growled. i stopped thinking and started walking faster because on a chilly winter night, a hot meal sure is better than a cold one.