I felt a warmth in my chest. This was how family life should be. Then I caught myself…life is what you make it.
“Okay, then,” I said. “Dinner’s on you, if you don’t mind.”
“I don’t mind,” Rachel said, beaming at me. “Have a great day” she called after me as I walked out the front door.
I turned to her. “Call me Mike,” I said and headed off to work.
I put in almost a full day of work finishing up my quarterly reports. I would be happy
if I never saw another spreadsheet or SQL query for the rest of my life.
When it was nearly six, I called Rachel and let her know that I was on my way home.
“That’s great, Mike,” Rachel said. “Dinner will be hot and ready when you get in.”
“Wow. You really are good,” I said. “Thanks again. You didn’t really have to cook dinner.”
“Yes I did silly,” Rachel said, giggling, and then hung up the phone.
I found himself smiling like an idiot when I got off the phone .
She had a way of making me feel like an awkward kid fresh out of high school. I had forgotten to ask her if she needed another ride home tonight.
I pulled up to my house about forty minutes later and the door opened up before I had a chance to fish my key out my pocket.
“Hi, John,”Rachel smiled at me. “How was your day?” It was really nice to have someone ask about my day for once 😪.
“It was great,” I said, meaning it. It felt good to get everything done and not have to worry about someone giving me an attitude when I got home late.
“I’m really glad to be home though.” That was the truth.
“Well I’m glad you’re home too,” Rachel said. She reached out to take my briefcase and carried it into the house.
I followed her into the house and was greeted by the unmistakable smell of spaghetti and fresh garlic bread.
Rachel placed my briefcase by the stairs and motioned for me to follow her into the kitchen. She had two plates on the table and two glasses of wine as well.
“Thank you. This looks wonderful.”
“You’re welcome. I’m a little nervous. I’m afraid you won’t like it.” She said.
We sat down and started eating.
“Rachel, this is so good. Who taught you how to cook?” I couldn’t believe how good it was.
“My mom,” she replied. “Well, she started me off, but I absolutely love to cook and I’ve taken some classes at the community college already.”
She picked up her glass of wine and took a big gulp and I snapped back to reality.
“Uh…that might not be a good idea,” I said. “I don’t want you driving home after drinking and I don’t want your parents to think that we’re…partying here or something. In fact, you probably shouldn’t be drinking at all”
“I already thought about that,” she said, sucking an entire meatball into her mouth.
“Drink up. It’s really good,” Rachel said, draining her glass and then filling it up again from the bottle on the table.
“How were you planning on getting home?” I asked, changing the subject.
“I’m not,” Rachel said simply, taking another drink. “I told my parents that you wouldn’t be home till really late and that it would be easier for me to stay the night and get picked up in the morning.”
Rachel cut me off with laughter. “You are so silly,” she said smiling and gazing into my eyes.
“Well, let’s finish up, “I said.
When we were done, she went up to check on the kids. I cleared the plates and started the dishwasher. Rachel came down a few minutes later.
“Oh, don’t worry dear, am going to do that.” She said.
“Not on your life,” I replied. “The cook never does his own dishes, at least not in this house.”
“That’s so sweet , “Rachel said smiling and staring at me while I wash.
To be continued