Amed walked down the street in the small town he had moved to shortly after coming to the United States. He loved everything about his new home, except perhaps that it lacked the small things he missed from his home country. The food here was the biggest difference. Everything here was fatty, or overly sweet, rather than the simple delicious foods he had grown up with in the Middle East, but he cooked as much as he could to stifle the homesickness. Things were much better here after all.
Stopping in front of Sweet Treats, the local bakery, he saw Fiona, the owner, through the window. She waved and smiled at him, as she always did when she saw him. He felt awkward talking to women still, but he thought Fiona was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. They had met two years ago when he had moved here. She was the only person that didn’t give him suspicious looks when she saw him, and their relationship blossomed into a wonderful friendship.
“Good morning, Amed.” Fiona said a she swung the door open, turning the open sign around. “Come in, I have fresh Pan Au Chocolat. You’ll love it.”
“Alright.” He replied, “You spoil me too much. My teeth will rot out if I keep eating here.”
“You’re teeth won’t rot out, silly.” She said slapping him with a towel playfully. “If you don’t want to eat my baked goods, all you have to do is tell me.”
“No, everything you make is delicious. I would never refuse!” He replied, suddenly worried that he had offended her.
“Calm down. It’s alright, Amed. I know, you’re not used to it is all.” She said presenting him with a golden brown pastry with warm chocolate oozing from the center, “Trust me though, you’ll enjoy this. It’s French, you know.”
He cautiously put the end of it in his mouth and bit down gently. It was the perfect temperature. The flaky, buttery, crust mixed perfectly with the smooth dark chocolate. He felt a rush a satisfaction as he continued to eat.
“I told you didn’t I?” She said with a giggle. “Everyone loves French pastries, unless, of course, you’re some kind of monster.”
“It’s amazing, Fiona. How much do I owe you?” He asked when he finished.
“Dinner.” She said, her cheeks suddenly flushing.
“You owe me dinner. Tonight. You can pick me up at six and we’ll eat some of your cooking tonight.” She replied.
“I don’t know, Fiona. The other people in town already look at me like I’m up to something. What-” He replied.
“I’ve been waiting months for you to ask me out. I’ve finally worked up the courage and your going to shoot me down.” She started, throwing her hands up in the air. “I’m sorry, I thought we had something-”
“We can meet here!” He said, cutting her off mid-sentence. “I’ll bring some food here.”
“Well alright.” She said, suddenly adorable again, “I’ll see you at six then.”
To Be Continued…