"Everything on my tray is beige," I said, sitting down across from Lou at our table. Two days in and the school lunches were already getting a little desperate.
Lou continued pulling apart split ends with the concentration of a brain surgeon.
"Hey, Cafeteria to Lou." I swatted her hand away from her hair and she looked up at me like I'd kicked a puppy rather than discouraged her bad habit. "Tell me what happened this morning--why were you late to school again? And what are you eating?"
"Kali forgot to send in my lunch money and this was all I could find at home." Lou stirred the murky contents of the plastic container in front of her. "Leftover pea chowder. I think."
"Your mom cooks the weirdest shit." I took the chicken patty out of my sandwich and handed her the bun. "Here, you can have this. I don't need the carbs and you won't eat the meat. Win-win."
"Can I have your applesauce? You don't need the sugar either." Lou glanced down to my waist and back up again.
"Excuse you?" I pushed my tray across the table. "Whatever. We're going to Big Sammy's after school anyways, right?"
"Can't," Lou said through a mouthful of green soup and applesauce.
I handed her my napkin. "Kinkaide Problems?"
"Yep." Lou disregarded the napkin and swiped the back of her hand across her mouth. "He showed up this morning going on about some Miles guy. I think he owes someone money. Or he's someone's brother? He owes Kinkaide's brother money? I'm not sure. Anyways, Kinkaide is bringing this Miles character to dinner so I have to go straight home after school. Besides, I'm going Paleo from now on. No more Sammy's." Lou pushed my now empty tray back to me, keeping the cookie from dessert.
I glanced at the cookie and back to Lou.
"What? Starting after lunch. I can't go on a diet mid-meal."
A continuation of Lou's story. Read more here and here.
THANKS: Neighbor guy at work, who helped me shovel out my work car and who always greets me with "Hello, Beautiful," in a non-creepy way.