There I am. Standing in midst of a desolate living room, wielding a small letter in left hand. A short message written down by my father:
“Yo, I’ll be off since late tonight, could ya fetch me a supper? There’s gnocchi in the fringe, do your best. Thankya, pops.”
May it sound simple, this task has a very deep meaning. I can feel it in my heart. My dear father is always working so hard to ensure family welfare. Yet, what did I do to help him? What did I do to make him feel better? That is why. That is why this is no task. This is a chance! The one I have been waiting for! It is said that love is felt through the stomach, so I just have to prepare meal so delicious, that my father could have no doubts about my love, which would be the best support!
As I walked to the kitchen, I realized, that cooking frozen food is meaningless, so I just threw the gnocchi from the fringe in a trash bin. True love meal has to be made by own hands!
I put on an apron. Found some fresh goat cheese in pantry and-
-now that I think about it …
… how exactly do I make homemade gnocchi?
My desperate scream echoed through the house. “How do I make it!? How the hell do I make this thing!?” There should be a cookbook here somewhere, but I have no idea where, since I never needed it before. Why can’t man find anything at the moment he needs it the most? I curse all the gods, both known and unknown. Yet, it still does not help me find the desired recipe.
“Just what should I do!? If I didn’t want to use frozen ingredients before, I can’t use them even more now, if they’re in trash bin!” I fell on my knees on a verge of crying.
But – in that very second, a brilliant idea flashed in my mind: If I am unable to cook it myself, I need to find someone who can! It is this simple!
And I might know just the person.
With dazing speed, I rushed out of my house, without even changing shoes. I have to find her … or him, at least. These two guys would surely help me. They would be able to. If I fail … If I fail now, I would never be able to voice my true feelings!
Luckily, these two live in house, or rather a shack, with no security. I did not even need to break the window or pick the lock to get inside. But it seemed there is no one in the kitchen or the living room. I peered in HER private room, but she seems to be gone.
Once I opened the second door leading out of the living room, HE, however, seemed to be present more than sufficiently. With a puzzled expression, a guy with brown hair, dressed in a white shirt, just seconds ago sitting by his computer doing some evil doings cried out of both anger and surprise as he seen me. “Wha-wha-wha …” he tried to speak, but his inner turmoil prevented him to do so. It took a little while, until his emotion calmed down and:
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE AGAIN!?” he yelled at me.
“Don’t be so mad,” I enlightened him, “you’ll get more wrinkles.”
“I don’t care about wrinkles, Light,” he answered with a bit calmer voice than a second ago. He still was emitting a large amount of enmity, though. “Only thing I care about is you being here, although I told you NOT to sneak in here like a burglar like … ten thousand times. Why can’t you just ring the doorbell or call me before you show your face here?” Apparently, he regained his temper rather quickly.
Andrei Tyfo, a local playboy who would hit on anything with breasts. However, as we know each other since early age, we reached a point of mutual understanding, where I can trust that he will not try any of his elaborate tricks to gain my affection. “Yea, yea, I know,” I waved my hand over his words, “but I came to you since I have a favor to ask. It’s just a small thing, we’ll be done in no time.”
“Now wait a second,” he tried to resist my plea with a scolding expression. “You dare waltz in my home and ask ME for a favor? You’ve got some guts, not even saying ‘sorry’ or something alike!”
“What!?” I shook worriedly. “How could you … How could you say such a thing, when you see I desperately need your help! You would leave me like this, without trying? Without caring!? I’ve done so much for you and yet, you are like this! Just what kind of friend are you?”
He let out a quiet sigh. “I didn’t say I wouldn’t help you,” he answered after a short while. “So, what do you need?”
Heh, this works every time. This guy is a weakling, who would do anything I tell him to. He might talk back a lot, but he does not tend to disobey.
“I need you to help me in kitchen with something, just come to my place with me.”
He tilted his eyebrows. “You’re moving some furniture?”
Curse him. If he knows I am asking for a help with cooking, he might just laugh at me and stay here after all. I cannot tell him. “Just follow me already!” I grabbed his hand and started pulling him out of his room.
Surprisingly, his resistance was futile. He just kept yelling random sentences like: “Hey, let me go! Tell me what’s this all about first! Door! Use doors, Light – not the window!”
I was not listening to his whining.
As we arrived, I explained the situation. He surely looked surprised, but it was not any of my concern. “You’re familiar with cooking, so I need you to tell me ingredients and guide me as I make gnocchi. Should be easy, shouldn’t it?”
He was thinking for a second, then grinned wickedly, but in the end, agreed.
“Alright,” he said once we were in my kitchen. “Firstly, we need potatoes. Use two pounds, peel them and grate them. Then add two eggs, a coffee spoon of salt and one pound of sugar.”
I did all he said, as he said.
“Done?” he asked. But then answered himself: “Not at all. We need to give it some seasoning, so, put in orange crust to give it some taste. And a bit of cloves, too. And to finish it – handful of cinnamon. Blend it all perfectly and we got the basic mixture.”
I nod and nod, as I progress.
“Now, pour it through sieve to get small pieces. Once you’re done, fry them on a pan. You need to use a lot of oil not to burn them. How big your pan is? Hmm… then at least ¾ liter.”
Frying it was a pain, but I would never expect this to be easy. I might have done a mistake or two along the way, or misheard something, but Tyfo kept smiling proudly as I continued, so the process could not be utterly wrong.
“Perfect,” he complimented me. “Now mix it with goat cheese and fried bacon, and we’re done. Easy weasy, huh?”
The whole thing smelled a bit … weird. But no matter the fact. The supper was ready. It took me more time than I thought, since sun has set a long time ago, but I parted with surprisingly satisfied looking Tyfo and thus, final preparations were ready. My father shall be here soon, so I’ll just put a plate with his desired supper on a table in living room and wait for him until he arrives.
And … it is taking longer than I anticipated.
My eyes are getting heavy, as if the darkness behind windows were pressing on them with all its might. It might be … it might be alright, if I nap … for a moment.
It is late night, and a tired man returns home, not wanting anything more than a bit of rest. Though, he could not sleep calmly lately. All the stress might be falling on him too much. And for a man, it is difficult to be alone every night.
But as he entered the main door, an exotic smell reminded him of an errand he put on shoulders of his daughter. He had no taste for food, but even this smell warmth him at the very heart. And when he entered the living room, the warmth changed to pleasant heat, when he seen Miki lying on a couch, breathing peacefully. She was deep in her dreams, a little bit smiling.
In that moment, he forgot about all the stress, about all the depressions. He did not care if the food she made is edible or not. His mind was wrapped in a single thought: He could never be truly alone, as there is always one person needing him, waiting for him.
Quietly, he switched off the lights and carefully sat on the couch beside her. His eyelids were heaving for a long time already, so his brain started resting in a matter of seconds.
But the last thing he felt before falling asleep was embrace of tender hands.
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