Christina is not a good cook. Her smoke alarm reminds her every time that she attempts to make something. The smoke alarm should have a voice activated to yell out “YOU FORGOT AGAIN! YOU FORGOT AGAIN!” Her desk is right outside the kitchen in the corner of the dining room. She gets so into her game of solitaire or checking her Facebook, that she doesn’t hear the timer go off. Her mom has offered to cook her meals that she just has to heat up in the microwave. She thanks her mom but kindly declines.
Instead of attempting to cook chicken again, she decides to order a pizza. The last time she tried to cook chicken, it was so badly charred, it was hard to identify what it was. There was no saving the pan it was in, she threw it away with the chicken stuck to the pan. Christina has yet to get a replacement pan. And she isn’t in a hurry to get one. Her mom has family dinner once a week, either on a Saturday or Sunday. Christina rationalizes that, since she is getting a good meal at her mom’s, the rest of the week she can order out or just stop in at the deli and get something there.
When she was dating Charlie, he would try his best to not offend her when she asked how a meal was. He tried to show her how to make his favorite meal. Charlie was a good cook. He wasn’t the best, but he knew how to cook what he liked. He tried to teach her how to make mashed potatoes. Just peel them, cut them into smaller pieces and put them in water to boil. Easy right? Well, Christina just peeled them and put them in water and didn’t quite leave them boiling enough. Most of the potato was soft enough to mash, but there were a few little pieces that were still crunchy. Charlie would eat them anyway, and tell her they were delicious. “You just need to be more patient and let them cook a little longer, that’s all.” Unfortunately, Charlie accepted a job offer out of state. Christina didn’t want to relocate, so they ended things on good terms.
After a while, she met Nate. They met in the grocery store in the check out line. He was in line behind her and he noticed that she had a frozen cheesecake. They struck up a conversation while in line. One thing led to another and she invited him over to her place for dinner and cheesecake.
With Nate, she was going to cook baked ziti. How can she possibly mess that up, right? She cooked the ziti noodles, cooked the meat and added the cheeses, blended it all together in a pan and put it in the oven. She put the timer on her phone and set it on the coffee table while they watch a movie. The time goes off and she goes in to take it out of the oven and let it sit while she sets the table for her and Nate. Everything is going good, it smells good and he pours the wine. He makes a toast and then he takes his first bite. Some of the ziti noodles are done right, but few are still a little crunchy. The good man that he is, finishes his mouthful and tells her that it is good. She takes a forkful and notices that some aren’t cooked all the way through. She apologizes, “I am so sorry, I thought I let them cook enough before putting it together.” Being supportive, he says, “Let’s just eat what we can, because it is good, just some of the noodles weren’t cooked enough.”
Once they finished what they could. Christina cleared the table and scraped the plates and then soaked them in the sink. She took out the cheesecake from the fridge and cut two slices onto plates and carried them into the living room. Nate picked out a movie for them to watch. She handed him his plate and then she sat back and they both enjoyed their dessert while watching the movie. Not much was said during the movie. They were enjoying the cheesecake and the movie. They were so comfortable with each other that they didn’t need to always be talking. Sometimes just being there sharing a moment is enough.
That is how their relationship was. They didn’t need to talk every single second of every single moment. Sharing the same sense of humor and also knowing when the other just needed some space, it worked for them. Sometimes when he was in the shower, she would just write on the fogged up mirror a simple thing as ‘good morning’ with a smiley face. Or after he left for the night to go back to his place. She would text him that she had a great time and look forward to seeing him again. And he would do the same with her.
Today marks their first anniversary. Nate has informed Christina by text that he has a surprise for her for tonight. Don’t cook dinner, they are having dinner out. She is so giddy, she feels she is a teenager again. Wanting to look good for him on this special night, she goes shopping and buys a new dress and shoes. When he arrives at her place, she is all dressed and ready to go out to dinner.
On the way to the restaurant, Nate takes a wrapped box out of the glove compartment and hands it to Christina. “This is for you, It is my way of showing you how special you are to me.” While he keeps his eyes on the road, she opens it and its a gold necklace with a heart and a diamond in the middle of it. The diamond sparkles every time she moves it. She immediately puts it on and checks it in the visor mirror. She loves how it sparkles. “I love it, thank you very much.” He reaches over and takes her hand and squeezes. “You are welcome. The diamond represents how much you make my world sparkle.” She chokes back tears.
They arrive at the restaurant and they are escorted to a table. Once Nate has he seated, he takes his seat and orders some champagne. She cannot stop smiling, she loves him so much, she can’t see herself with out him. When he gives her a gift, he always lets her know that it isn’t for nothing. It represents something about her that he appreciates and wants her to know that she means the world to him.
While they are in the middle of dinner, Nate puts his fork down and takes her hand. She puts her fork down to and looks into his eyes. “I have another surprise for you. I hope you see and understand that this gift is not to offend you. It’s to enhance what is there but perhaps hasn’t known how to come out.” She is listening, looking a little confused. She didn’t notice he had a bag by his feet. He placed the bag on the table and pushed it to her. She looked at him not sure what to think, then she reached in and pulled out something wrapped in tissue paper. Maybe airline tickets to someplace exotic? No. She unwrapped it and it was a schedule for cooking classes. Christina laughed out loud. She was not offended at all. She loved that he took the time to do this for her. She got up and came around the table and hugged him. “I love this honey, thank you so much. I hope that I make you proud by making some good meals when I am done with the classes.” He moved back a little but still hugging her and replied, “I know you will come out of the classes being the greatest cook. I love you and I’m glad you liked it.”
After finishing the meal and dessert. They returned to Christina’s place and made love and fell asleep in each others arms.