Melia took the bottle of olive oil and stared at it for a while. Then she stared at the fries she was making. They looked sad and uninviting. Something was missing in the recipe and Melia was determined to figure it out on her own.
A little bit of oil never hurt anybody, right?
And with that thought, she poured some into the pan.
Luckily, no one was standing nearby. Even Melia’s eyebrows survived.
It wasn’t the oil then, I guess.
But her fries still looked sad and disgusting and she just knew that if she was about to become a better cook, something had to change. And since family funds were looking quite good, Melia decided that something was the kitchen.
She carefully planned the reconstruction and the beautiful new kitchen was ready in no time.
‘How perfect!’ Melia thought to herself, very satisfied with the results. She couldn’t help but gush over a shiny new oven and a huge fridge for the rest of the day.
Eira, on the other hand, found the new kitchen sterile and incomplete. This was not the kitchen where she prepared her first garden salad or tried to bake the first birthday cake for Castor. This was not the kitchen where Devi said her first llama jokes and it was not the kitchen where Eira and Adrian kissed after the first night they’ve spent together.
But she was Eira The Supermother and she knew how to fix it.
And even though house renovation was much needed and exciting, something even more exciting was going on: Melia went on another date with Alexander.
Melia was not really experienced with boys, but she could tell that Alexander liked her. And it was a more-than-friends kind of liking.
She was flattered to know that (well, she didn’t know for sure, but it was fun to speculate about it). It made her feel so special and confident.
“Alexander!” she called out with a pretended resentful look in her eyes. Then she laughed loudly.
She nodded with an amused smile. Alexander sighed, shaking his head in disbelief as if he was thinking ‘What did I do?’
But he was smiling, too, and he somehow managed to make the whole situation sweet and not awkward. He even had enough courage to sit closer to her.
He started his speech as he slowly put his arm around her shoulders. Melia felt a bit weird when he touched her. She’s never made a physical contact with someone who was not related to her before. It was…new. And nice.
Alexander didn’t notice her thoughtful face and he continued:
Melia smiled at him again, absolutely lost. She had no idea what to say. She liked all the attention and sweet gestures, of course. But did she like Alexander? Romantically?
She was not sure about that.
And then she rushed away, leaving confused Alexander in the park.
Melia was a bit distracted in work that day, but her boss didn’t notice. Or he didn’t mind. Because she ended up with a promotion.
It was about time! All those dirty dishes were getting pretty annoying. Being a caterer seemed like a great new opportunity and she had plenty of experience from all the birthday parties.
But this success hasn’t gone to her head. She knew she needed to continue with her hard work and so, she celebrated the promotion by preparing her first gourmet meal ever- Pasta Primavera.
Even though she used vegetables from her own garden, it didn’t turn out quite well. And this time, Melia couldn’t blame the old stove – it was her fault. She just couldn’t focus on her cooking because she was constantly thinking about what Alexander said in the park.
Adrian was concerned. He knew that bad food is an unusual occurence in Melia’s life and he wanted to know what’s going on.
“Did you cook one of those meals that tastes better AFTER two weeks in the back of the fridge?” he teased her jokingly.
“It seems so, huh?” Melia laughed. “I don’t know what’s wrong. I have a suspicion that I’m just nervous because of a man I met…”
Melia frowned: “No, Dad, that’s not the problem…”
But there was no stopping Adrian after he decided to share his wisdom with someone: “I mean, look at your mother. She can mess up a salad, for Watcher’s sake! But I’m still here. Because all food is good as long as love is your secret ingredient.”
Melia sighed. Dad and his advice…
But there was something about his words that made her think. Mom and Dad, they were doing it right. Melia always knew that what they had was special. She saw the tender, soft look in her Mom’s eyes, the look that was reserved only for her husband.
And that look in Mom’s eyes was an ultimate symbol of love for Melia. That was what love was like for her: pure and wordless, warm and overwhelming, but most importantly – simple. As easy as breathing. Obvious and natural, working perfectly at all times without thinking about it.
Melia, of course, wasn’t naive. She knew that relantionships were hard work and compromises. But love – the sole reason behind every relationship – was not.
It really made her wonder.