“Am I going to see you before I go out of town?” he asked in a text message.
“Yes. Thurs eve wrk 4 u?” I texted back feeling like a teenaged girl.
He was a little late, but had a viable and valid reason. As I let him in and followed him back up the stairs, he said “I brought cookies to make up for it.” and shook a brown paper bag at me temptingly. I reached up to kiss him hello and my hand landed in the small of his back.
He had arrived just as I had finished cubing some chicken. Tossed plenty of salt and pepper over it and threw it in a smoking hot cast iron pan. It sizzled and I tossed it around while I caught myself making nervous conversation and surprised myself at being nervous at all. I should be old hat at dating, and yet I’m still not.
I added oil to some brown rice pilaf and cranked up the heat so it fried and caramelized a little before spooning it into the bottom of two deep bowls. It lay there and crumbled while I babbled on about something.
While I did this, he came up behind me and rested his chin on my shoulder. “Whatcha doin?”
“Making you dinner.”
“Ah.” He had told me the first time we got together that he has “the metabolism of a hummingbird”, so I ladled plenty of black beans over the rice. The steam rose up from the pot and fogged my glasses a little. He asked me to hold back with the beans. Um… ok. The chicken had browned and I could smell the fresh pepper on it as I added it to the top of the beans. I glanced up at him as he watched me fill each bowl, attempting to be equal with the portioning.
Some diced tomato and shredded cheddar filled it up and then topped off with some pickled cactus pureed in tofu. A spoon, a fork and a glass of water and we went and watched a movie. A dinner of left overs, but still good.
He devoured it. I barely finished mine. After, he lay back on my chest and fed me a cookie from the bag, and I draped an arm around him.
Not bad for a second get together.