Another 10 miles have passed and your mind shifts to another memory.
Your awoken by the shrill ring of your cell phone.
“Yes, may I ask who’s calling?”
There was slight chuckle, “I’m not sure whether to be insulted or not that you didn’t put my number in your phone. Worse, that you never used it. I thought American women were more aggressive than that.”
The longer he talked the more familiar his voice became. You quickly flip open your wallet and pull out the card he gave you to compare numbers.
“Yes ‘mam. Did you really not know it was me?”
“Um, no, sorry. I honestly thought you just gave me your card to be nice.”
“But you kept it, didn’t you?” You can hear the smile in his voice.
Now playing with it in front of you, you nod to herself. “I did, funny isn’t it?”
“Maybe you were hopeful. I know I was.”
“Uh hunh, well; what’s up?”
“I have a little free time coming up; how far are you into your recipes? Ready to try any of them out yet?”
“I have a decent selection. You were serious about this? You're sure you want to help me with this?”
“I called didn’t I? I see this as something beneficial for both of us. Research for you, VAPP time for my fans, a chance to hang out together, do something fun…”
“As long as I’m not on camera.”
He had laughed and changed the subject. You'd chatted comfortably about this and that for the next 30 minutes. It was impossible not to have a smile on your face when you eventually hung up.
A few days later you met him in front of an address he texted you. Ringing the bell you stood and waited. A few minutes later he opened the door, took a couple of bags from you and motioned for you to follow.
An apartment door was standing open and he waved you inside.
“Is this your place?”
“It is, the kitchen is right here; convienent right?”
He had bedazzled you with his smile again. Repeatedly telling yourself to get a grip wasn't working and it was becoming increasingly difficult around him.
You notice he has his phone on a selfie stick that’s attached to the counter.
“Well, that’s handy.”
He grinned, “Tricks of the trade. And I angled it so it is mainly on me; however, if you cross this imaginary line here, all bets are off.”
You look at his imaginary line seriously trying to figure out the best way to stay away from it. A few seconds later you hear him laugh and bump your chin up with his fist.
“You’ll be fine. No worries.”
You had looked at him; realized once again how far out of your league you were and nodded. “Yes, I’ll be fine because I’ll be over there.” You comment as you point to the opposite side of the counter.
He leaned over, all serious.
“What if I need you beside me?”
Pulling your hair up in a ponytail you move around the counter.
“I’m sure there are many that would be happy to take that spot. I’m not one for making them jealous, I can do my part just fine from here.”
He started the live broadcast and it had been fun. He was silly, charismatic, and gorgeous. Man, you were just as sunk as all the female viewers sending in the hearts. Problem was, he wasn’t on the other side of screen, a country or city. There was only a small counter between the two of you and he knew exactly what he did to a woman.
Several times he had tried to draw you into the conversation. You gave monosyllable answers or got caught laughing at something ridiculous he did. The instant your voice was heard or your hand seen, the comments woud start.
“Oppa, who’s there with you?”
“Oppa is your mom there? Why can’t we see her?”
His mom? Really? You rolled your eyes and kept chopping.
“Let me read some comments while I wait for this to boil. ‘Hi Oppa… Hi’ ‘You’re so handsome Oppa, say hi to me…Thank you and hello’. When he started to laugh you knew he's seen the mom comment. “Is my mom here? No, my friend is here helping me. Actually, I’m helping her.” He looked over at you and smiled, “We are helping each other." Before anything else could be said the water spit out of the pan at him. "Ah…its boiling!”
When the meal and dessert were prepared, he had scooped up an amount, blown on it and reached across the island to feed you. Once again his VAPP exploded with comments.
“’Oppa are you feeding her?’
‘Is she your friend or girlfriend?’
‘Oppa why didn’t you tell us you were dating?! How could you?’
‘I’m so jealous right now, I’m hungry Oppa, feed me!’”
He had smiled, taken a bite, than held one up to the camera. “See, it is very good. We make a good team and did it well. I would share a bite with you, it is a good thing you can’t smell it, or you would be more jealous. But don’t be jealous, I love you all.” He had bid them goodnight, blown a kiss, multiple hearts and turned off the broadcast.
He came around the counter, pulled up a stool and slid the plate between the two of you.
“We really did do good. I’m glad you can cook, it tastes great.”
“You did the cooking…”
“With your guidance…”
You rolled your eyes. “Yes, it’s delicious, thank you for making it. Sorry about your fans. Maybe I should have been on camera, they wouldn’t have been asking about us dating.”
He had turned, taken your chopsticks away and made you face him. “Why do you do that? Do you really believe there isn’t anything attractive about you?”
You took back your chopsticks and scooped up another bite. Very sarcastically you had responded.
“Of course there is. It’s been told to me too many times to doubt.”
“Wow. America is really screwed up. I find you very attractive.”
You choked on your food and he pounded on your back. When you regained some composure you faced him.
“The camera isn’t on anymore. You don’t have to pretend with me. I have a lot of guy friends, I’m totally good with just being a friend; or just a cooking buddy, you don’t need to keep up the charm.”
He put his chopsticks down, frowned and took a drink. He sat there a minute, nodded and took another bite. “You aren’t going to let me win this are you?”
“Nope and I don’t need you to. A few minutes ago, on camera, you admitted that there are many things that make a person attractive and they aren’t always looks. Guys only ever bring that stuff up if you aren’t their type. In America it’s like being told, ‘You’re such a sweet spirit’.” You made gagging noises while he laughed and hit the counter.
“That’s good! I want to use that.”
You helped him clean everything up and headed to the door. A the door you turned and bowed.
“Thanks. This was fun and yummy, I appreciate the help.”
“Wait, you’re leaving? Why don’t you hang out for a little bit?”
You shook your head, “I’m sure you have other things you’d rather be doing. I don’t want to overstay my welcome.”
He had nodded, didn't try to agrue and opened the door.
“I’ll walk you to the door.”
You were disappointed that he didn't try to make you stay, it just went to prove that you were right; you weren't his type, majorally out of his league. At the outside door he turned before opening it.
“I’ll send you my schedule. I think we should do the next one next week?”
You'd been shocked. “Next one?”
“Didn’t you say you had multiple recipes to test out?”
“Well yeah, I just didn’t think you wanted to do them. I figured this was a one shot thing.”
He shrugged and tossed an all too familiar, beautiful smile at you.
“Why not? I think we can create more than food, maybe turn the heat up a little next time?”
You totally caught onto his ennuendo but chose to ignore it. You figured he was just trying to prove his point about finding you attractive and it was being wasted.
You pointed in his face before turning.
“Right. Spicy food recipes, got it. I’ll do my homework and let you know.”
You slipped out the door before he had a chance to say anything else. No need to mention that he had totally just turned the heat on. As you turned on your car, you blasted the air conditioner all the way home.