"Fancy Ketchup," remarks a guy as I pass the table where he sits across from a girl who looks familiar. He's examining one of the packets of ketchup with a critical eye. "How is it any fancier than the ketchup we use at home?"
"Frankly, I have no idea," the girl replies with a shake of her head. She glances up and her eyes meet mine. She breaks into a grin. "Kendra! Fancy meeting you here - of all places."
"Oh, hey Jen!" I reply, recognizing who she is. My mouth curves into a matching grin. "As fancy as ketchup?"
She laughs, but the guy turns to me with a scowl. "Do you know why it's called fancy?" he asks.
"Nope," I reply, glancing at Jen in hopes of an introduction. They don't look to be related. While Jen looks much like me, he looks more Hispanic.
"Kendra, this is my brother, Derek," Jen says. "Derek, this is Kendra, the author I told you about a few weeks ago."
His scowl deepens. "Oh, so you're one of them."
I nod. "I think I saw your name mentioned a few times in Jen's notebook, but I didn't realize that you were her brother. I thought ..." I trail off as I see Jen shake her head warningly.
"She let you read her notebook?" His eyebrow goes up, but the scowl does not disappear.
"A little bit," I answer.
"In exchange for reading her book," she adds.
"Huh," said Derek, leaning back in his seat, but not taking his eyes off of me. "Well, one thing you should know, Jen made up everything in that book, except for names and the fact that Megan and I are adopted. I keep telling her that she ought to change our names if she's going to use them, but she won't listen."
"It doesn't sound right if I don't use our real names," said Jen with a shrug. "Everyone who knows us will know that I'm making it up, and those who don't know us ... well, who cares about them." She leans forward and sets her elbow on the table and her chin on her fist, grinning up at him impishly. "Besides, I only use Megan's, mine and your real names."
"We can be thankful for small miracles like that, I guess," said Derek with a sigh.
I laugh. "Well, it was nice seeing you, Jen, and meeting you Derek, but I really need to get back to my own table. I'm hungry."
We exchange our good-byes and then part ways.
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