Grace walked down the long road and soon made it to the diner Mac was talking about. Hot, sweaty, and hungry, Grace opened the door and walked into the cool air-conditioned diner.
“Hey, doll. You must be the young girl Mac called me about.” A cheerful voice said from behind the counter.” Go pick a seat and I’ll bring you a plate of food after I finish with these bottles here.” The waitress said, gesturing at the condiment bottles in front of her.
Grace made her way to a back corner booth and slid in. The cool air was such a welcome treat and the amazing smells that filled the diner made Grace even hungrier. The mix of the walk to the diner in the blazing hot sun and the poor sleep she got on the train was starting to catch up to her. With a wide yawn, Grace put her head down on the table and within minutes she was asleep.
“You poor thing.” The waitress said, putting a plate of food on the table. “Here, eat up. You’ll feel right as rain soon enough. My name is Laurel. But I’m sure Mac already told you that.” Laurel said as she winked at Grace. Looking down at the plate, Grace saw that Laurel had brought her a full plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy and warm biscuits.
“Oh, wow. Thank you. Thank you so much.” Grace was so touched by Laurel ‘s kindness, she started to cry.
“Oh, dear. Look, I’m not sure where you came from, but I was down on my luck once. Many years ago. Some kind people took me in and got me back on my feet. I’ve made it a point in my life to always pay that kindness forward.” Laurel said as she slid into the booth and patted Grace’s hand. Grace opened her mouth, started to speak, but closed her mouth again. She had never known such genuine kindness.
“If you need a place to stay for the night, you can head next door. Mac and I are working overtime through the night and we aren’t headed back home until late tomorrow or else we would have invited you to stay with us for the night.” Laurel explained. “After you eat, head next door and ask for Angelo. I’ll let him know you’re coming. He’ll get you set up. No charge. He’s… had a tough time too and he believes in paying it forward also.” Laurel said, giving Grace a comforting smile.
“Thank you.” Grace said, in a quiet voice. Picking up her fork, she dug in hungrily into the meatloaf. Laurel gave Grace an encouraging smile, stepped out of the booth to got back to work.
“I need a plan.” Grace thought to herself in between bites. “I just need to get organized first.”