“Who taught you to cook?” I watch him as he moves around the kitchen, efficiently.
Since I only ask for a glass of milk and nothing else. So he decided to make for stir fry noodles because according to him milk doesn’t qualify as a mid-night snack.
“Mom” He smiles, while he slices some bell pepper, “Cooking is something we do together, in her words it is our thing.” He lightly chuckles.
“Whenever I miss her, I often end up cooking a three-course meal.” He lightly sighs while putting sliced bell pepper on a plate.
“Do you need any help?” I ask, changing the conversation.
He thinks for a moment then shakes his head in no.
“Okay, good, I will cut the carrots.” I shrug, ignoring him and take another knife from the knife holder.
“Woah, stop.” He quickly drops his knife and pulls the knife away from my hand, “You and knife are a big no, I still remember the way you were cutting the apple that day.”
“Don’t worry, I will not imagine someone’s face while cutting the carrots.” I wink.
“No.” He shakes his head sternly, and hand me a peeler, “You peel carrots, I will cut them.”
“You imagine people’s faces when you cut things?” He arches an eyebrow and passes the carrots to me.
“Yeah, it is better than to cut them instead.” I shrug and start peeling carrots.
“You have serious anger issues, I guess.” He chuckles making me narrow my eyes at him.
“How was your date?” He gives me a sideways glance and suddenly asks.
“It was amazing.” I smile, “Pops said grandma will be so envious of him and will regret leaving us.” I laugh. I never realized his posture was stiff, until now, as his shoulder slumps in a relaxed way.
“Where did your grandma go?” He asks as he finished slicing carrots, keeping up the conversation.
“She died long back.” I turn and slightly lean my back on the counter.
“I am sorry.”
“So, you have gone on many dates?” He casually asks as he puts vegetables in a pan and stirs them.
“Are you interested in my dating life, Gregory?” I teasingly arch my eyebrow and cross my arms.
“No, I am just asking.” He shrugs trying to sound casual.
“Well, since you are just asking." I smirk, “Then I will tell you. No, I have never gone on a date. Other than with Kristan and Pops.”
“You never had a boyfriend?” He asks slightly surprised.
“Ah, now we are talking directly.” I raise my eyebrows and slowly nod my head, teasing him.
“Okay, don’t tell.” He looks irritated with my teasing and focuses on his cooking.
“No, I never dated anyone.” Rolling my eyes, I say in a monotone.
“I don’t know maybe I am looking for something which is beyond physical attraction.” My gaze falls to the floor and a small laugh escapes my lips, “I don’t want to rush into something which is meaningless, I want to experience something real... something true. Even if I have to wait all my life for it, I will wait.” I play with my fingers.
He nods his head in understanding and gives me a small smile, then he gets back to his work.
“I will steal you from him because you are so damn adorable.” I talk to Frisky while she is rolling on her back on the carpet.
I decided to leave him in the kitchen and play with Frisky in the living room because he was not letting me do anything. A few minutes later Alec walks into the living room carrying a tray, then he sits in front of me placing the tray in between.
He picks up the plate and swirls fork in the noodles, then he blows air on the fork.
“Open your mouth.”
Before even I can complete my question he places the fork in my mouth.
“What are you doing?” I frown and quickly swallow.
“You asked me to feed you, so I am feeding you.” He shrugs, then again brings fork near my mouth.
“Alec.” I loudly laugh, “I didn’t mean this, I can eat by myself.”
“Shut up and eat.” He playfully glares and gently shoves noodles in my mouth, “I never leave any task in between. And at this moment my task is Feed Firefly.”
Alec has literally spoon-fed... no, fork-fed me till the time I was full. He slapped my hand away numerous times when I tried to take the plate from his hand.
“Can I ask you something?” Alec asks.
I nod my head prompting him to ask.
“Will it be difficult for you to pretend not knowing me in front of others?”
Difficult? Not much. But it would definitely be weird.
“I ignore half of the people, and the other half ignores me, so it won’t be difficult for me to ignore you.” I lightly shrug, “Plus, I don’t think anyone would be interested in knowing, with whom I am acquainted.”
“Why are you asking this anyway?” I stifle a yawn and ask him.
“No specific reason. Just a question that came to my mind.”
“Now, I think about it, I feel it would be so fun being sneaky and all.” Slowly a smile appears on my lips, “You know, I always wanted an imaginary friend. And now you are my that friend about whom no one knows.”
“A friend who is only visible to my eyes, the rest of the people can’t see my friend. They will be only mine, and I don’t have to share them with anyone.” I glance at him and grin, “My amazing imaginary friend.”
Amusement is evident on his face while his gaze his holding mine.
“I still have to figure you out, Firefly.” He lightly shakes his head, “I have never met anyone like you.”
“Don’t try to figure me out, as you will get nothing.” I force out a smile.
It is true, other than a girl who is angry with herself for her mother’s death, he will find nothing. It is hard for me not to blame myself for my mother’s death, I have unwillingly broken apart my family. My father had to bear the pain of my mother’s death because of me.
Every day I think how their life would have been if instead of my mother I would have died. Or even better if I would have never existed from the beginning. Mom and Dad would have been living happily with each other, maybe they would have kids whose birth would have brought happiness in their life. Unlike mine which is nothing more than a curse.
“Alec, it is really late now, can you please drop me back home.” Swallowing an invisible lump, I smile... a forced one but still a smile.
It seems like he wants to say something, instead, he stays silent and nods.
The entire drive to home is in silence, we both lost in our own thoughts. But it still I don’t feel any awkwardness with him, neither I feel the need to initiate small talk to fill the silence. However, I catch him stealing glances at me a number of times, which makes both of us laugh.
“Thank you.” I turn to him in my seat as he pulls the car near my house, “After a very long time, I had this much fun.” I smile at him gratefully.
“You are not the only one.” He smiles, “I have also enjoyed every moment of tonight, all thanks to you and your late-night snacking habit.” He lightly chuckles.
Giving him a small smile, I get outside the car and walk back towards the house. Unlocking the door, I quietly walk inside the house and make my way toward my room. Lying down on my bed, I close my eyes. Even though there is not a hint of sleep in my eyes, still it feels good to be in the comfort of my bed.