She was hopeless in the kitchen. She just was. Always had been and decided long ago to be the girl who brought the drinks. And even those weren't mixed. A red, a white, and usually a good tequila.
He'd watched her for years, circling her in their circle of friends. He was the guy at the grill. The guy who you asked to taste to find what was missing. He'd been dying to taste her, but their friendship never ripened. So he contented himself discontentedly to just watch.
And so he watched. And watched. She never got too close to the flame. She nibbled, always looking unsure about what she was eating and whether or not it pleased her. This frustrated the foodie in him; you shouldn't have to wonder whether your taste buds had just exploded, in his mind at least.
After one dinner and far too much good tequila, he grew bold. Pulled her close for a dance, fell hard for her grin, and couldn't help but blurt out "I want to teach you to cook."
She blinked twice, once from the tequila and once from his offer. But she said yes.
The next morning, he showed up on her doorstep with one single and perfect peony. Tucked it in her hair, held out his hand, and said "Let's go. Your lesson begins now."
And so it did. Kind of. They drove to a peak and walked it up and down. Hiked through a forest and filled it with their laughter and kindness. They passed plants and insects she'd never seen before, and soon she felt dizzy from her gasping. They drank water from a stream and stole some strawberries and passed trees that made her weep with their beauty. They passed a cobweb as big as a stop sign, and they also passed lunch. And finally, when she was sure she would die from hunger, he opened his backpack.
Hiding inside was one red apple and one green. Cheeses, even though she'd told him she didn't like cheese. And honey. Even though she'd told him the same thing about honey and any food that made her fingers sticky, for that matter. His bag was a never-ending parade of deliciousness she'd never before known. And she devoured it all. Hungrily. Appreciatively. Surprisingly.
She was a little embarrassed as she wiped her mouth of stray juice and one errant mouth-watering crumb of Brie. "I'm not usually so...ravenous." she apologized.
"When you're hungry for something...really hungry...everything tastes sweeter." And for some reason, she was sure he wasn't talking about ingredients anymore.