Never before, had she been so puzzled over a simple dinner.
She had already walked twice, all the way to his door before turning around and hiding in her flat again. It had crossed her mind to text him to excuse herself, giving any reason that would have come her way. But in the hallway, the old wooden doors allowed all and every smell to ooze out of the fancy apartments, and she had recognized the spicy aromas of her favorite curry stew stirring on the stove.
She was going to kick her butt, get herself to his door, go in, eat and then kill him. Or maybe she could strangle him first and then take her time eating… Possibly taking the whole casserole home to prevent getting caught on the crime scene.
She could imagine him getting all kinds of siddings ready, to compliment the curry, the naan bread getting warm in the oven, and her stomach growled furiously.
She had struggled all afternoon, hesitating on how she should dress for dinner, if she ever decided to attend it. Her first idea being that she would go for super casual, possibly pulling an old turtleneck out of her closet to make a statement. Or… She could get all pampered and play the “nothing happened, what are you talking about?” card. Being over-confident had served her well in the past, but she didn’t feel that cocky today.
Finally, she had settled for a simple jeans and t-shirt that said… Well that didn’t say much, and maybe that was just the approach she needed.
Back in front of his door for the third time, she had second thoughts, again. But when she turned around to flee once more, he came out and grabbed her by the wrist.
-Ok, enough walking back and forth, miss… I’m not eating all this food by myself! -she wondered how he could know she had been standing there – I can hear you locking and unlocking your door, you know…
Leaning her way, she felt a little odd leaving the usual peck on his cheek. She knew the really odd thing would have been to refuse to, but still, it wasn’t the same innocent gesture it had been for so long.
As soon as she stepped in the loft, she flushed all mushy feelings away from her head. It wasn’t easy at first, watching him waltzing around the workbench. He was in his element, and to watch him juggle with kitchen tools she couldn’t even name, was charming in itself.
He didn’t act weird, and she felt they might pull it off after all. She almost felt sorry for spending her day anticipating an interrogation or worse, him being openly cocky about the situation.
They sat at the small table next to the large window looking over the city. She had always been jealous of his view… He put down the last bowls on the table and invited her to serve herself, while he opened a bottle of good wine. When the cork popped out, she told herself she had to behave… They had enjoyed pretty alcoholized nights in the past, and she didn’t want to loose control, not tonight.
-To friendship? And dry naan bread, since you almost stood me up…
She knocked his glass with hers, and took a sip. Damn, he knew his wine, and how to make every dinner just spot-on perfect. He was always too hard on himself, cooking-wise, and as she thought, the bread was just fine, even if she had made him wait for a little over an hour…
Past the first ten minutes or so, things were going so smoothly, that she had almost forgotten the previous night’s events . He hadn’t mentionned anything, hadn’t made double sense comments. And she was sitting on the couch again, just not right next to him, laughing at his jokes just as naturally as she used to.
For a moment, she honestly thought she had freaked out for no reason at all. She had a head on her shoulders, and could cure this temporary fling by remembering how wrong he would have been for her… And he had obviously decided to put everything behind him. They’d be good. What a relief!
After her last sip of wine, she stood up to head home.
-Babe, I think we need to talk about something.
Oh great. She had been wrong again. He hadn’t put all those shenanigans behind after all…
She headed for the door anyway, ignoring his comment.
-Don’t forget your doggy bag if you’re really running away again…
By the door, she hesitated a short moment, weighing her choices. Looking like a coward, or ending up making a fool of herself… She chose to be a wuss. Taking her share of the leftovers, she wished him goodnight and left the loft, peeking over her shoulder to catch one last glimps of him, legs stretched on the sofa…
Insults wouldn’t make her change her mind. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of pulling the truth out of her, nice dinner or not. She was closing the door behind her when he added,
-Sweet dreams, gorgeous!
He would have been so proud to know about the goosebumps she had gotten at the thought of dreaming of him… That was it! First thing in the morning, she would look for a specialist in brainwashing or shop for a lobotomy… He would never get the satisfaction of making her week in the knees again.
Not with his good looks… Not with his witty humor… Not with his charming ways, or his culture, or intelligence, or cooking talents…
Get a grip, girl! Tomorrow… she would. Oh yeah.
To be continued…?