Once we got inside, we hung our coats by the door, and I started on dinner while Tom flipped on the TV. I had decided to make him some vegetable lasagna. The recipe really wasn't that difficult, and I had it memorized. I busied myself with layering the pasta, so that I could stick the dish in the oven to broil. After that was finished, I threw together a simple salad with some mozzarella cheese. When everything for dinner was almost ready, I went to join Tom on the couch.
When I entered the living room, I noticed that the TV had been muted, and Tom was busy looking through my collection of novels. He was so engrossed in what he was doing that he didn't notice my approach. I think I startled him when I said, "You're welcome to borrow anything you haven't read."
He spun around, a touch of embarrassment reddening his face, "I was just admiring your library. I've never even heard of some of these."
He started pointing out specific books that were foreign to him. In the end, he settled on my well-worn copy of Kerouac's On The Road. I was surprised that he hadn't ever read it before. I lent it to him, excited to see how he liked it when he finished. We were talking about some of my other books for a few minutes, when a loud 'ding' interrupted us.
Dinner was ready, and I pulled the lasagna out of the oven, and put in the cookies I had made. I had chosen maple snicker doodles for the desert, because I knew Tom had a huge sweet-tooth. As I placed them in the oven, he eyed the cookies with a look of excitement. "They're for after dinner, Tom. I won't let you ruin your appetite over cookies," I reminded him.
He just laughed and grabbed the salad bowl and brought it to the table. I followed with the lasagna dish, and then we quickly set the table. After sitting down, I served up Tom's lasagna. I was anxious to see if he would like it or not. He took a large helping of salad, and then placed some salad and lasagna on my plate.
Once I was served, I waited for Tom's reaction as he took his first bite. A groan of satisfaction was the answer to my curious look. He loved it, he told me, and he'd never had anything like it before. I was laughing almost the whole dinner as he savored each bite of lasagna as if it were gold.
"Ugh," he said, sitting back in his chair after finishing two helpings of lasagna.
"I hope you saved room for cookies! I made maple snicker doodles for you, my specialty," I teased, knowing he would find a way to eat at least a couple of cookies. I was right. I brought the plate of sweets out, and Tom ate four before insisting that he would get sick upon eating anything more.
"I should probably be getting home," Tom groaned, "I need to sleep off all this food."
I saw him out the front door, and watched, laughing hysterically, as he slowly made his way home.
Once the door closed, I was still giggling. There was nothing like spending time with Tom. I could be myself with him, and he was totally accepting. This was definitely a good friendship. It made me glad that I had been a huge klutz the day before and run into him.