“So, what are your plans for Christmas?” Ameera asked Timotheus.
“The usual which is getting together with the family. And you’ll be heading off to New Delhi soon to be with your family, right?”
“Not this year.”
“I was there in September for my grandmother’s funeral. I can’t afford to go again so soon. And I’m not even sure that my family will be in the mood for Christmas now that she’s gone although she lived a long and full live.”
“Oh yes, I remember about your grandmother. You were in New Delhi for two weeks. Yes, if it had been earlier in the year, you would have been able to go again for Christmas. So, now you’ll be spending it all alone?”
“Pretty much. I’ll just veg in front of the television and–“
“No way. I’m inviting you to have Christmas dinner with my family and me.”
She stared at him. “Are you sure it would be okay with your family?
“Yes, I’m sure that it will be okay with them. I’ve told them about you, you know.”
“You have?” she exclaimed, really surprised.
“Yes, I told them that there’s this incredibly beautiful co-worker whom I’ve wanted to ask out for a really long time but wasn’t sure if she would be interested.”
Her heart was racing and her mind was spinning. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. He thought she was beautiful and wanted to date her. “I-I never knew that you were interested in me,” she said. “In fact, I thought that there was something going on between Jada and you.”
“No. She’s more like a sister to me. And she’s the only one who knows that I want to date you.”
“I–I don’t know what to say.”
“Say you’ll have dinner with me on Saturday evening–that is if you don’t already have plans.”
She shook her head at once, her face and eyes bright with excitement. “No, I don’t have any plans.”
“Good. I’ll stop by your cubicle on Friday and let you know where I’m taking you for dinner and what time I will be picking you up.”
“All right. I’ll give you my number and address then.”
He smiled. “And over dinner, we can talk about what Christmas dinners with my family are like. They’re anything but boring.” She must have looked a little anxious because, he added, “Don’t worry. They’re a lively bunch but they’re cool. They’ll make you feel right at home.”
She nodded. Excitement and nervousness filled her at the prospect of meeting his family. “I’m–I’m looking forward to meeting them,” she said. “Thanks for inviting me to spend Christmas with you and them.”
“I don’t believe in people spending Christmas alone. It has never happened in my family. It’s mandatory for us to congregate at my parents’ house every year unless there is a blizzard. And my mother always makes sure that she packs food for me to take home because there is so much food. I don’t mind of course and I look forward to those delicious leftover turkey legs while I’m relaxing in front of the TV watching a game.”
“She sounds like my mother. Growing up, she always cooked a lot of food and seemed to give me the biggest portions because she thought I needed fattening up. You’re like a stick, she used to tell me. Of course, she was exaggerating. If you weren’t plump, you were a stick.”
He laughed. “It would be interesting for our mothers to meet. They would probably have a cook off or something.”
“Well, I better let you get back to your filing,” he said.
He winked and smiled at her before walking away. She returned to her filing but her mind was on him, their date and the family Christmas dinner.