Marie laughed when she saw the storefront, and Dakota smiled. She turned to him and jerked her head toward the place he had brought her.
“Did I step onto a set of Our Town without realizing it? Is this the part where we sip the same milkshake out of bendy straws?”
“Only if it’s strawberry. Actually, the milkshakes are decent, but this place has some of the best french-fries I’ve ever eaten. They are obscenely good.”
“Great, I’m starved.” She led the way into the restaurant, which was modeled after an old-fashioned diner, and sat on one of the red pleather covered stools at the bar. She instantly gravitated towards the dime operated mini jukebox on the bar and started flipping through the tunes. Dakota watched her methodically scan and flick, scan and flick, until she paused and grinned. He fished a dime out of his pocket and passed it to her.
“What did you pick?” he asked as she punched numbers into the machine.
“It’s a secret!” she replied, shielding her selection from him. She shot him a sideways glance.
“I didn’t see anything, I promise,” Dakota said, as the waitress came by and offered them menus.
Marie smirked as she snapped the menu open.
“Mmmm,” she groaned, “I’m hungrier than I thought. Everything looks good.”
“So get one of everything,” he said cheekily. She laughed and elbowed him in the ribs.
She ended up going with a bacon hamburger and fries. Dakota ordered the same with cheese and onion rings. As a last minute thought, Marie tacked on an extra large strawberry milkshake, two straws. Dakota smiled.
“Bendy straws?” he asked.
“Absolutely,” she replied.
Their food came as the song Lollipop started playing. Marie cheered and pumped her fists in the air.
“This is the song you picked?” Dakota asked incredulously.
“This song is awesome!” she shot back. “It’s a classic! I can’t believe how much I missed this planet!” Marie sang along with the chorus, and Dakota grudgingly made the popping sound. She laughed.
“Told you this song was awesome,” she said coyly, dipping a french fry in ketchup.
“Oh, totally,” he replied sarcastically. Marie smeared the ketchup from her fry onto his cheek as he tried to dodge her.
“No sarcasm allowed,” she declared, eating the fry pompously as a laughing Dakota wiped off his cheek with a napkin.
“Ok, ok,” he relented, “It’s a great song. Happy?”
She bobbed her head in acquiescence.
They ate ravenously. Marie declared the burgers “sensational” and the milkshake “sexy”. They drank the shake Our Town style, bumping noses as they slurped the thick strawberry concoction through red and white striped bendy straws. Dakota stole nearly half of Marie’s french fries, which she willingly gave up for his onion rings, which were large and perfectly cooked.
“Oh man,” Dakota exhaled when both plates were empty, leaning back exaggeratedly on his stool.
Marie nodded in agreement.
“I knowww,” she moaned.