Lina often asked Luke to dinner. Lina loved Luke, but Luke loved Lina's cooking, not Lina herself. Lina accepted that for the time being. But she felt that, with enough meals and enough time, she would get her man.
Luke rarely stayed more than ten minutes past the last bite of dessert. Lina would ask Luke if he wanted to watch TV, or play cards or chess, or take a walk around the neighborhood, but Luke always declined. He always said, "I've got to go." They both knew that Luke didn't have to go anywhere. All he ever did was go back to his apartment and read books or go online.
Tonight was probably going to be more of the same. But Lina was a patient woman. She loved to cook, and she loved to watch people eat her cooking. Tonight she prepared shrimp, fresh green beans, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Luke ate everything with gusto. Then she brought out her homemade cheesecake with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Luke asked, "Are you trying to fatten me up for something? Every time I come over here, I have to eat celery and lettuce for a week to get back down to my normal weight.
Oh, stop exaggerating," Lina replied. "You enjoy every mouthful.
You're right. I apologize. I love your cooking, and if you didn't invite me over here, I'd be hurt and hungry.
Lina watched contentedly as Luke devoured the cheesecake and ice cream. Someday, she thought, I will be his dessert.