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“Red! Blue!” the children exclaim.

“How are you, Claire, Will?” Larry asks the parents as he hands Julie a red balloon and Charlie a blue one.

The family orders ice cream and milkshakes from the brunette employee behind the register and decides to sit them at a center table, next to a couple quietly eating their burgers. Two college students sit at a booth against the back wall and two more 20 somethings sit at a booth to the right, next to a lone man eating his hamburger. Behind Larry the cook finishes an order and places the plates on a dividing wall, which Larry promptly carries over to the booth in the back.

“Hello, I’m Larry, I thought I would take the honor of bringing your…” He looks at the plate closest to him. “Cheeseburger with onions?” he asks the two students.

“Mine,” says Anne.

“There you are. So you must have the cheeseburger with no onions?”

“Right, thanks,” says Meghan.

“And you’ll notice the fries you didn’t order; those are complementary in honor of Midnight Burger’s 25th anniversary today.”

“Twenty five years, congratulations!” says Anne.

“Yes indeedy, two and a half decades. My parents, my brother, and all my friends thought I was crazy to open a burger joint after studying for law school. Only my wife supported me, but look how it turned out,” Larry proudly gestures to the cherry red booths, black tables and chairs, and to the vinyl records hanging above them. “Holly and I were in Washington D.C. with our first granddaughter last week. I came home early to be here today. She’ll fly back for this weekend’s big celebration,” he says.

Meghan says, “Your wife sounds great.”

Larry picks up their number placard and taps it against the table, saying, “oh, she is.” He goes back to the front, whistling.

Meghan grins at Anne. “Maybe I need to open a restaurant instead of learning Molecular Biology.”

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