Dinner With the Changs

He was in the lobby waiting for Michelle when Karine walked in. Like clockwork, his heart began to pound. She didn’t notice him sitting there and walked over to the desk to talk to Gatimu.

Jason watched her, his eyes traveling over her figure in the yellow dress which flattered her figure and complexion. It was knee length, exposing her shapely calves. He felt an intense stirring in his loins and he crossed his legs.

He hoped that Michelle wouldn’t choose that moment to show up. He didn’t want Karine to get the wrong idea. Michelle was pretty but he wasn’t attracted to her and to him she was just a very nice person. They were co-workers, nothing more. They were going to spend a pleasant evening with Mr. Chang and his wife. This wasn’t a date as far as he was concerned. The only woman he was interested in dating was Karine.

Suddenly, she turned and saw him. She turned back to Gatimu, said something and then she was heading over to Jason. He immediately stood up and his heart fluttered when he saw the way she was looking at him. “Hello, Handsome.”

He blushed. “Hello, Karine.

“You’re all dressed up. Going somewhere?”

“My boss invited me to have dinner with him and his wife.”

“Are you waiting for a taxi?”

“No. Michelle’s picking me up.”

Her eyebrows arched. “Michelle?”

“My co-worker. She was invited too.”

“Hmm. So, is she your date?”

“No. You look beautiful.”

“Thank you. So, you and Michelle, are you just co-workers?”

“Yes.”

“Is she Asian.”

“Yes.”

“And pretty?”

“Yes.”

“A woman fitting that description just walked in and is heading over here.”

Startled, he turned and saw Michelle approaching them. Her eyes shifted from him to Karine and then back to him.

“Hello, Jason,” she said, greeting him with a smile.

“Hello, Michelle.”

Michelle looked at Karine, her smile fading.

Jason quickly introduced them. “Michelle, this is my friend, Karine. Karine, this is Michelle, my co-worker.”

The two women shook hands.

Then, Karine turned to Jason. “Enjoy your dinner,” she said before she turned and walked away before he could say anything.

He watched as she headed towards the bank of elevators. How he wished he wasn’t going to the Changs for dinner. He would much rather spend the evening with her.

“Ready?” Michelle asked.

He turned to face her. “Yes.”

Michelle looked elegant in her red dress and with her hair pulled back in a chignon. The drive to the Changs from where he lived was half-hour. They arrived ten minutes early and were ushered into a very large and attractive living-room where they enjoyed pre-dinner drinks with their hosts.

The dining-room was beautiful but cozy. The host and hostess sat at both ends of the table while their guests sat in the middle and opposite each other. It was a lively evening, lots of conversation flowing along with non-alcohol wine not to mention the mouth watering food.

“So, how do you like Kenya?” Mrs. Chang asked Jason.

“I like the place very much and the people.”

“And the food too,” Mr. Chang said, smiling.

“Yes. I really like the food. My new favorite snack is Bhajiyas.”

They all laughed. “Marita’s makes the best Bhajiyas,” Mrs. Chang told him.

That was the place where Karine had taken him on Thursday after they finished playing ping pong.

“Have you started to miss your mother’s Sweet tofu soup, Sweet and Sour pork and Congee?” Michelle asked him.

“I miss all of those foods you mentioned but I really miss the Hong Kong style-cheeseburgers.”

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She laughed. “I thought as much when I saw how you went down on that burger on Friday night.”

“It was like I was back home again.”

“Guess what we’re having for dessert?” Mr. Chang asked Jason.

“What, Sir?”

“Mango Pomelo Sago Pudding.”

“My husband told me that it’s a popular Hong Kong dessert,” Mrs. Chang told him. “So, I thought I would make it so that you would feel connected to your roots and just in case you were feeling a little homesick.”

Jason smiled, touched by her thoughtfulness. “Thank you, Mrs. Chang. It happens to be my favorite dessert.”

After dessert, they retired to the living-room where they had Masala Chai. It was a pleasant evening but he still wished that he was spending it with Karine. He decided that he would call her tomorrow evening and invite her over to his place.

On the drive over to his place, Michelle did most of the talking. He was anxious to be alone, relaxing on the sofa with a cup of tea as he listened to classical music before he went to bed. “Did you have a good time this evening?” Michelle asked.

“Yes, I did.”

“Me too. Mrs. Chang is a terrific cook, isn’t she?”

“Yes.”

“Mr. Chang’s mother doesn’t like her daughter-in-law.”

“Because she’s South African?”

“Yes. Silly isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is.”

“I personally don’t see anything wrong with interracial relationships or marriages.”

“Nor do I.”

“Well, here we are.” She pulled up outside the front entrance of his building.

“Thank you, Michelle.”

“You’re welcome, Jason. See you tomorrow.”

“See you tomorrow.”

“Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.” He pushed open the door and stepped out. After he closed the door, he waited until she had driven off before he headed towards the revolving doors. As he rode up to his place in the elevator, he thought about Karine and the long awaited journeys and lingering kisses he hoped he would soon be enjoying with her. He wanted to take her for long drives, a romantic picnic, to the beach and other fun places. There were so many things he wanted to with her but he didn’t have a car. Well, he was going to do something about that this coming week.

Sources: Delishably; Tripzilla; CNN Travel

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