My New Love

March 1, 2008
By Jessica Schneider, Las Vegas, NV

My grandmother always told me that I had a knack for cooking, and she especially praised my apple pie. She used to say that it was made by the hands of an angel. Of course, that was when I was twelve years old. As the years passed, the compliments still kept coming, and Granny would invite all her friends over to sample my new creations. She continues to do it even now, but my “new creations” are fewer with each passing year.

I think Granny was upset when I did not accept a friend’s offer to help me get into cooking school, but she never told me so. She always encouraged me to think for myself and pursue my dreams. I spent a lot of time with Granny when I was young because my parents, both lawyers, worked so much. Granny was always happy to oblige and baby sit for me. She said it was our special time together. She is the one who allowed me to pursue my interest in cooking. She never worried about the mess I made. She simply helped to clean up.

When I went to college and studied accounting, no one was prouder than Granny. She visited my apartment more often than my parents did. We would try “new creations” when I had the time, and Granny would clean up. When I graduated and landed a job with a big accounting firm in town, she was the first one to congratulate me. She eventually stopped nagging me about cooking because she knew I was very busy, but I would call her whenever I was available, and that made her so happy.

Her new topic of conversation lately was about my personal life. She always asked about my friends – after all, they all knew her. Her real interests lay in whom I was dating. I was always honest with her, and I told her that all the men I was meeting were jerks. She said that she was concerned that I would reach thirty without a husband. I tried to explain to her that not being married by thirty was the norm these days, but she knew I wanted a family. I always thought I would make a great mother, and I wanted to have children before anything happened to Granny because it would be devastating not to have my children know her.

She frequently invited me to dinner and cooked all of our favorites, so I was not suspicious that day last year when she called to invite me to dinner. She asked me to make one of my famous apple pies because there would be other guests. It was tax season and I had a very long week at work, but it was Saturday and I could not disappoint Granny. She had always done so much for me, so I never even hesitated at her request.

I took a shower and went to the store to purchase the ingredients for my apple pie. It was spring and the weather was getting nicer, so my spirits were lifted. As I strolled through the aisles of the grocery store, I noticed a tall, handsome guy with wavy brown hair and beautiful blue eyes watching me. I started to blush and ignored him. When our carts crashed at the end of the aisle, I knew he wanted to meet me. “Hi, my name is Nick Matthews. I hope I don’t sound forward, but I admit that I wanted to meet you. I noticed how beautiful you looked while reading the ingredient labels. I’m sorry I sound so corny, but it took a lot of nerve for me to speak to you. I am usually very shy. I’m sorry, I’m rambling. What is your name?”

“Hi, Nick. I’m Vanessa Stevens. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I know how you feel. It would be awkward for me to approach a stranger also. So, do you live around here?”

“No, but I’m moving here next month because my company relocated me. I’m an engineer for Brown & Smith, and they’re opening a new office here in a couple of months. They want me to start it up and run it. I really can’t wait. I needed a change. I just came in to pick up some flowers and wine for my aunt’s friend. We were invited to a dinner party. How about you? I assume you live here?”

“Yes, I have lived here all my life. I am an accountant for a large firm downtown. I hate to be rude, but I really have to go. Maybe I’ll see you around next month.”

“Why wait until next month? If you’re free tomorrow, I would love to take you to dinner. I’m not leaving until Monday.”

“That sounds great. How about meeting at Mario’s at the corner at 7:00?”

“Perfect. That will give me a chance to spend time with my aunt during the day. See you tomorrow, Vanessa.”

“See you tomorrow, Nick. Bye.”

I was so excited after that encounter that I felt like a schoolgirl with her first crush. I ran home to bake my apple pie because I wanted to get to Granny’s to tell her about Nick before the other guests arrived.

It had been a while since I made my apple pie, and Granny said that other guests would be at dinner, so I made sure to prepare it carefully. It had to be perfect for Granny. I arrived only ten minutes before the guests were expected, but I managed to tell Granny all about Nick as I helped her with last-minute preparations. “Granny, why is the table set for only four people? I thought you had at least three friends coming.”

“Betty had to cancel because her daughter needed her to baby sit.”

“Oh. So what do you think of Nick. Doesn’t he sound great?”

“He sounds wonderful. You should have a great time at dinner tomorrow. Oh, that’s the doorbell. Would you mind getting it, dear?”

“Sure, Granny.” When I opened the door I was greeted by Granny’s friend, Evelyn.

“Vanessa, dear, it’s so great to see you! How are you?”

“I’m great, Evelyn. Where’s your husband?”

“Oh, he’s not coming. He was invited to a basketball game, so I told him to go. I brought my nephew with me. He’s parking the car. Oh, here he comes. Vanessa, this is..”

“Nick.” I finished her sentence. “We met at the store today where he bought those flowers and that wine. Hi, Nick. It’s good to see you again. I’m glad we met earlier because I think that your aunt and my grandmother were trying to play matchmaker.”

“Well, I am very glad they did. This will be a perfect weekend.”

It was the first of many perfect weekends. That was over a year ago. Nick and I have been married for nine months. No one was shocked when we got married after only three months of dating. We were inseparable since that weekend. Of course, now Granny is waiting for great-grandchildren.

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